Monday, July 5, 2010

374 Overeating and Blowing Stuff Up

Like all good red-blooded Americans, we spent the Fourth of July celebrating our independence by overeating and then blowing stuff up. I hate to admit it, but it has been so long since I made pancakes that I had to google a pancake recipe. However, the result was perfection. I liked this recipe because you put oil in the mix and you don't have to keep greasing the skillet to keep them from sticking. I also used self-rising flour instead of all-purpose with baking powder and salt. I even got compliments off Twitter as to the size and perfect roundness (yes, I tweeted this picture. I am boring). The kids wolfed it down like no other breakfast food (besides bacon). Of course, the fact it is drenched in sugary syrup sure helps! I still find it strange that Katie insists that there be no butter on her stack. It seems like it would be totally lacking, but she will not eat the ones that are buttered. And it just isn't the Fourth unless you fire up the grill. One of the guys that Chip works with had told him how he cooks his brats, so we decided to give it a try. Rough chop up an onion and a bell pepper and crush a few cloves of garlic, and pour a couple of beers in the pan. Judging from the picture, Chip must have cooked the brats for a minute on the grill before he added them to the pan. THEY WERE DELICIOUS!I also made a salad using my Mother-in-Law's salad dressing recipe. It is to DIE FOR! Love love love this salad! It is helped along by the fact that there are so many other veggies cut up in there that lettuce only makes up half the volume. Hmmm, I didn't even ask if this should be kept a family secret? If you are lucky I will invite you over for dinner and make some salad for you. We finally sliced into my birthday cake on Sunday as well. I am pretty sure the kids were ten times more excited than I was to taste this cake. I guess Chip didn't want to set the house on fire again, so he bought the numbered candles. Added bonus of it being much easier to blow them out for my wish. And NO I will not tell you what I wished for, you know it won't come true then! How cute is this cake?! I know, it is meant for the Fourth of July, but I love it. Chip done did good! Notice in the bottom right of the next picture there is a little hand reaching in to steal some icing. That would be Connor. Thanks to this cake I think he can now properly identify red, white, and blue. I would not let him lick the icing from his finger until he told me what color he was about to lick. And yes, I was made fun of for taking so many pictures of my cake before I ate it. Katie had totally annihilated her piece before I took my first bite. Half of my enjoyment is in taking pictures. They should know this by now ... okay, so they do know but they still think I am insane.After letting all that food settle, we got ready and loaded up the van to head out for fireworks at Snowden Grove. I think Chip had promised Katie he would take her to the firework tent. There is no other explanation for stopping in on the way to watch fireworks when we had a bunch left in our garage from forever ago! We were big buyers. The kids each got a box of Snap Pops and we bought a couple boxes of sparklers. Judging from what some other people were purchasing there are going to be a few families going without food this week. We were a little late to get a really good spot for the fireworks, so we pulled up in one of the office parks down the street from Snowden Grove. We hung out in the van, watching a movie and enjoying the air conditioning until it was almost time. Then we piled out, opened the back and flipped the seats. Its a bit of a tight fit, but it was certainly cozy.Katie wore the tutu that Aunt Julie gave her when we visited Oxford last weekend. Yes, she is wearing shorts under it. We aren't complete heathens!I know this picture is terrible, but it is only meant to illustrate our position in regards to the fireworks. We did miss some lower firework action, but we were able to see most of the big stuff. I do wish we could have heard the music that accompanied the fireworks, but we were definitely too far away for that.Still, there were some pretty coool fireworks. Katie and Chip agreed that the ones that looked like smiley faces were their favorite. Well, Katie also liked the ones that looked like "chicken feet reaching out to get her".When we got home we finally got rid of those darn fireworks that have been in our garage for about two years. I mean ... we had our own small display. Katie was very excited, but unlike when we bought them, we were worried that there might have been some problems with them so Daddy had to light them. Katie and Connor stayed on the deck and played with their sparklers. Connor did one sparkler and he was done. He didn't enjoy it at all. Katie was happy to do the rest of the box while Connor was happy to watch the reflection of Katie's sparkler in the window.Once Chip started shooting off our fireworks Connor crawled into my lap. He did NOT enjoy the noise at all. He didn't really cry, but he did cover his ears and snuggle with Mommy. We had a great family day. Great food. Good fireworks. Very little fighting and almost no tears. And hey, WE HAD CAKE! Hope everyone else had a wonderful Fourth of July!