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Independence Day 2014 (as usual) was fantastic. We began a tradition of heading to my in-law’s house for a potluck and fireworks show long before they were even my in-laws.

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The traditional kid’s parachute catch. All the cousins got more than enough!

I think I appreciate going back for the fourth of July even more since we’ve moved away. There are always old friends to catch up with and though I’m sometimes not one for a lot of conversation, it’s fun to watch everyone interact.

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That’s a big box of artillery shells…

The afternoon was filled with the usual setting up fireworks, grilling, the kid’s parachute catch and sparklers.

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A cup over the hand to keep from getting burned (that won’t protect you though when your sister points hers at you though, as Claire found out…)

The trip was also extra special because it was a family reunion and all of the cousins, brothers (except Alex, who is on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), sisters and spouses were present. The party was a wrap up for an incredibly packed-but-fun week with both sides of the family.

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The start of the show.

Though I don’t participate in lighting off fireworks much anymore, we decided the girls were old enough to do a few of their own this year as I carefully watched. I remember the thrill of trying to hold the punk steady and running like mad when it finally lit. My girls were no different.

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Lighting her first crackle ball.

Before we knew it, the sun set and it was time for the famous fireworks show. Here’s a clip of part of the finale (the whole show was forty-five minutes!):

Another great year celebrating our nation’s independence and all of the rights, liberties and freedoms we enjoy because of the rich history and sacrifices made by others.

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Cool enough to need a blanket to snuggle under.
Happy (belated) Independence Day!

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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