Our Fourth of July started in one of the best ways possible: at the beach. My parents were in Simi for the family 5K, so they accompanied us to Eric and Mary's beach house, where we spent the morning. The weather was perfect: overcast. Simi had been hot that week, so a respite from the sun was amazing. The boys loved the water, even though it was absolutely freeing. Lila actually loved the water, too! At one point, Asher was shaking and had blue lips, but when we asked him if he wanted to come dry off and warm up he yelled, "No! I'm not cold!" He was having a lot of fun.
They also had a fantastic time digging in the sand. Lila is not okay with sand touching her--so she spent her time walking between my mom and I, taking as few steps on the sand as possible so her feet didn't have to touch for long, then digging from our laps. She's a little bit ridiculous. And cute, when she fell asleep post-beach:
We went to Panda Express for lunch which, in retrospect, seemed a little odd, as it was a day we were celebrating being American. But anyway.
We spend every Fourth of July evening enjoying the lawn next to the church--as does the rest of the LDS community in Simi. We'd staked out our traditional spots early that morning, so once we ate dinner we were ready to go!
The boys talked my dad and mom into several trips across the grassy field to the other side, where they'd roll down the tiny hill. The only downside was that the other side of the field was in full sunlight, so it was quite hot. Eventually we convinced them to hang out with the girls for a while.
Notice the matching shirts? We made those with the girls on the third. The boys were quite excited to have matching shirts with their cousins.
Eventually we broke out the poppers that Grandma H got for us. Unfortunately, she was quite sick so didn't get to see how much alllllllll the kids loved those poppers. We left quite a popper massacre sight.
At the beach, we didn't look like we got much sun. At the grassy field I realized that maybe I should have made the kids hold still a little longer so I could do a better job sunscreening their faces. More than one person asked if we painted their faces for the Fourth of July. I'm not joking.
The girls taught Lila how to carefully set a popper on the ground, then smash it with her foot to get it to pop. She was immediately hooked. She popped poppers with the best of them.
Then I tried to corral my children for a few pictures. I was uber successful.
Finally, darkness started to settle in. We brought out the huge bag of glow sticks Grandma H got for us and the kids got a little crazy decorating themselves...
And then it was time for the big show! Thankfully, there was no crazy firework accident, like last year--and the city made up for last year's failed show with the craziest finale I've ever seen in person. The boys both loved the fireworks. Lila was initially startled and crying, but once I pulled her on my lap and pointed out the source of the noise she was enthralled. She kept pointing to the fireworks and waving "hi." She tried to get down a few times, but with a little coaxing ended up staying on my lap the entire time!