Monday, July 18, 2011

4th of July 2011

Quick refresher, we live in a duplex on a Greencrest street, a street full of duplexes. The one right next to us is owned by the same landlord and all four units are being rented by people from our ward. And all four, well, at least the other three families are freaking awesome. We love them to bits. They are hugely responsible for why our experience has been so amazing here in Michigan. (When we first moved to Michigan we randomly moved into the duplex right next door to these two, so there were 5 families for a year. We moved into the spot where the Overson's were after they moved. They were also responsible for our feeling so welcome.) Anyhow, our four families have two gigantic fenced in yards between us, which are perfect for shin-digs. Last year we had a wonderful 4th potluck and so we did it again this year. The Greencrest neighbors host and provide the main dish while everyone else brings sides and desserts. It pretty much rules. This year we went super easy with pulled pork sandwiches and sloppy joes. Sadly there were too many desserts for me to try them all, though I did make a valiant effort.

A welcome sign for the kids to draw on.
Just a few of the desserts.
Some of the sides, the ugly, but super tasty cake I made is in there, sitting on the world's cutest cake stand.
Here's a slightly better picture. It's a coconut cake with coconut, cream cheese frosting and fresh raspberry and strawberry and cream filling. Do you know how good raspberries and coconut taste together? Very good! I got carried away with the filling (more is not always better) and had a heckuvatime trying to frost it. Durr. I even dyed the top layer blue so it would be red white and blue. It ended up being served more like a trifle. Oh well.
P.S. You all remember that I looked for this very cake stand for over 4 years, right? Do you see how pretty the ribbon is? Sorry, it was a long four years. Darling children were everywhere. I won't name them in case parents don't approve, and since I never ask for permission. However, the little boy in blue is our very own Win. He he, it looks like he's picking his nose. Gross.
It was the first time a lot of our friends got to meet him, like sweet Laurie.
These two cuties were killing me with their adorable hair, and the fact that they were sharing the tiniest chair. (That aunt Jennifer gave to Eleanor- thanks Jen, we use it all the time!)
Eleanor had to get in a sweet snuggle with her brother. P.S. He is only 2 weeks and 1 day in all these pictures, which is why he is mainly (and blessedly) asleep the whole time.
Cute neighbors! I love her headband.
Family portrait!
Teaching her the patriotic essentials.

Little fireworks for little people.
If you click on the picture you can better see Eleanor saying "Ohhh!" or, "Oh no!"
We moved the fireworks to the back of the lawn and we had a really nice show! Thanks to the Allees and Hansens and others for bringing so many! I didn't even buy a single sparkler this year. (But I had the world's best excuse.)

Could these two be any cuter?
P.S. ( I know I write P.S. a lot, so sue me.) Our wall neighbors, the Johnsons, inherited this sweet play set from the lovely Bailey family, who sadly moved to Ohio. It is sooo great. The kids love it, our backyard has just gotten, like, a thousand times cooler. Wait til you see what else the Johnsons recently got. It will have to wait for another post.
Eleanor and Clayton enjoying the show.
A small sampling of her commentary. She would also say "Happy Birthday" to a lot of the fireworks. Why yes, we are celebrating our country's birth, Eleanor! Thank you for helping us remember the true meaning.

A shot of some of the group.
And a few more.
I had to include this one so you could properly see her darling red, white and blue skirt (from cousin Allie). With her sparkly silver sandals and white polo, I was seriously wanting her whole outfit in my size.
Look who's awake!
So Winston, what did you think of your first holiday?
"Oh, I don't know, a little loud."
No one said awesome-partying would be easy. We had a great evening! We have the best neighbors and friends in the world. Did I mention the desserts were awesome? (Why can't I have fruit pizza every day?) And I think I can safely say, over two weeks later, that everyone is finally out of fireworks. Thank heavens. I have been feeling like a super crotchety old lady each night when I hear someone letting off their stash of bottle rockets or whatever at 2 AM. It's one night people, move on!


Tim and Angela Johnson said...

Love the post! Those last pictures of Winston were awesome. And of course Eleanor is perfection. Thanks for making Grants amazing cake, we are so lucky to have you so close!

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