We had a fun week filled with events and family visits. First Mom came and helped the kids pick out and plant flowers, which they loved. I ripped up a bit of grass in that area, while they were working, and decided that would be the perfect spot to start a few vegetables -- we'll see how they do.

Mom left a few treats, including one of those giant bags of peanut m&ms, which meant that I ate m&ms exclusively the next day. Good thing I never buy them for myself :).

While I was eating m&ms, Woo spent a day at his parents picking raspberries and making raspberry jam, otherwise I could've counted on him to hide them from me.

The day before the Fourth, Christine and Jon and their kids rolled into town. We had fun in the pool and ate dinner before getting the kids to bed. Nicole spent a large chunk of that time in the bathroom working on her hair. She definitely had the best hair there.

The kids got up in the morning and dressed in their best red, white and blue, which for Herbie meant his cub scout shirt. I wanted to know when he'd planned that, but he told me that he always wears that shirt for the Fourth. There was no debate or planning involved. Before the parade, his den leader rode by and asked him if he wanted to walk in the parade with the flag. He said no, but later when his den walked by, I think he regretted it.

Archie really loved throwing the snaps that Grandma sent along with Woo. All that good rock throwing finally came in handy.

After the parade, we had no real plans until the fireworks, so Jon went on a mt bike ride. The same ride he started at the family reunion last year, but had a much more enjoyable time due to the actual presence of a chain.

Ruby took the liberty of ripping Isaac's training wheels off his bike, and the next thing I knew he was riding around on two wheels with all the other kids.

Penelope taught Sammy the joys of "bum-bitty bum, bum, bum!" They spent a lot of time laughing and being silly together.

Linus decided he'd had enough of Lil' Pinker, and upgraded to the slightly bigger blue bike, which the kids call Lil' Bluer, of course.

We also made a trip to the beach, kids used the water slide, everyone but Christine took a ride on the kiddie train and we BBQed before we headed to the park for fireworks.

Woo declared this picture the best picture of me taken in the last five years. I guess he would know. (Thanks, Jos and Trace for the glasses.)

Penelope was not nearly as scared of the fireworks as we thought she might be, and they put Sammy to sleep.

The next morning Woo took the kids to the park for their annual search for "treasures." Moses found these glasses, which pretty much made him the coolest kid in town. Or maybe it's the cherry stains. Or the ribs. Either way, he's the coolest.

Ruby found a broken camp chair that she insisted she could fix with duct tape. When I refused to allow her to take it home, she countered that I just didn't know how to use duct tape as well as she did.

We made another trip to the beach, where Ben finally got his fill of sand and water.

Through it all we ate A LOT of food. In part because Christine brought enough meat and ice cream treats to feed a small army. Woo declared her salmon the best salmon he's eaten in five years (I'm sensing a five year theme here ... )

Anyways, it was a good holiday and week. Hope you had a great Fourth!