Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How we roll on the 4th!

 Tomorrow is 4th of July, our nation's Independence Day, and I thought I would share what our family has done over the years to celebrate America's Birthday!  This year she will be 237 years old!  Yeah, she deserves some fireworks! :)

If you are familiar with Pinterest, you know that there are a slew of red/white/blue foods to make on the 4th, and breakfast is no stranger to that.  All you need are some strawberries or raspberries, blueberries and yogurt or whipped cream and you can turn anything into a patriotic feast!
Blueberry Waffles
Blueberry, strawberry, yogurt and granola parfaits

Not only do I like coordinating my kids clothes on a daily basis, but holidays get special attention!  Currently it's pretty easy to find anything in red/white/blue in the stores.  My favorite places to shop on a budget are Children's Place & Old Navy (love their online selection), Kohls or even Walmart and Target have some cute things.  Most of the time I just wait until the 5th and buy them 75% off and save them for next year.

My absolute favorite holiday tradition is parades!  The energy that a huge crowd of excited people bring is overwhelming.  I always cry at a parades. I know that's weird, but seeing how much work the volunteers put into this, seeing the veterans, our fire fighters and the extraordinarily cute kids in the parades...well it's a smorgasbord of emotions that take over and I gladly let it.

My children's favorite part, of course, is the candy and toys they throw.  We have our "parade baskets" that we always bring and my kids will sit through a 2 hour parade as long as someone's throwing some junk their way!

One year for my birthday, which is in July, I asked my husband to gift me all these patriotic decorations.  The bunting is great b/c when it fades, you just flip it over and use the other side.  I bought the fabric from the same website and, wait for it, I actually sewed the curtains.  Unfortunately I don't remember where I bought them online. :(

Here's my mantle.  It's not exactly how I want it, but it's still patriotic enough.  I'm never truly done collecting for holidays! :)

I do love a party!  Here's one I did for our family a couple years ago.  The flag frames come in handy! I love using props for parties that come from another place in my home.  It just seems more substantial and it's certainly cost effective.  Just look around your home and grab everything that's red/white/blue and arrange it on your mantle or table and voila, it's patriotic!

It's our family tradition that I make these Jell-O parfaits every year.
We eat these cool treats while watching the fireworks!

Who doesn't love a mason jar?  I cooked these cupcakes in the jars and they came out so extremely moist!  Best cupcakes ever!

My philosophy about food and parties is this: "Give any food a creative or wacky name, and it automatically becomes fun for the kids."  So here's my 'Rocket Red Glad Punch' and 'Star Spangled Banner Blue Punch'.

The 3 layered colorful cupcakes are always a hit!

But this is our newest tradition!  We make Sparkler Birthday cupcakes and after lighting them we sing "I'm Proud to be an American".  The kids are a little scared and excited at the same time!
Don't judge my cupcakes...the heat that day melted all the icing.  Oh well, they still tasted good.

The details always make me giddy!  Every year we paint our nails red and blue.  It's so stinkin' cute and my girls love it (my boys are a little bit jealous).

One year we even did a bike parade down our street.  All I remember is this, "IT WAS FREAKIN' HOT"!!!!

By the evening we are pretty wiped out, but we hang in there to see the fireworks, which is way past my kids bedtime and leaves them overstimulated and wild children.  And glow sticks are a fun addition to this time of the keeps their hands busy for a while.

Jell-O time! :)

One year I bought these fireworks glasses which are supposed to make the fireworks look 3D.  Yeah, that was a waste of money! LOL!

And every year our days ends like this! :)  Four children fast asleep, covered in stickiness and sweat and cute as can be!

Happy Independence Day!

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