We celebrated the Fourth about three different ways this year. First we went to the Crozet parade, and were pleased that not every fire truck from a 20 county region came this year. Some years it feels like there are 50 or more fire trucks… I think there were closer to 20 this year, which seemed more reasonable. (I think they all come because it’s a fundraiser for the volunteer fire dept.) Anyway, this year it was super hot, but that didn’t faze Tucker who proudly marched with the swim team float for the first time. (His favorite part of the swim team seems to be the social aspect, not so much the swimming!)
The big kids desperately wanted to stay to watch the fireworks, but 4 to 9:30 was just too long, so we went home and I took them back out later to a subdivision nearby (that is not connected via roads to the park so no traffic) and we watched the fireworks. The fireworks had started early and we saw them as we drove up. We hopped out of the car and started to watch – and then more fireworks started going off behind us, in a stereo effect. It turns out the first fireworks we were watching were actually someone’s house in the subdivision, and the second were the town’s!
On Sunday we went to a old time music concert on the Blue Ridge parkway, which involved Patches getting a lot of love and Molly channeling Laura Ingalls at the reconstructed mountain homestead.
And finally, on the Fourth itself, we went to Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s country home where there were lots of colonial activities going on. Tucker enlisted in the 11th Virginia regiment for the Revolutionary war, and was put through military paces. The girls dressed up in proper attire. We talked with powder horn makers, saw a blacksmith at work, and archaeologists digging to find where the slave cabins were. Poplar Forest now abuts a subdivision, and the archaeologists were literally digging in someone’s yard! We got to hear some of Jefferson’s favorite tavern songs, play colonial games, sign the Declaration of Independence, watch people making lace, spinning and weaving. Best of all, there were pony rides. I took Molly to stand in line while the boys were to watch the blacksmith one more time. I was shocked when suddenly it turned out that I had two girls going on the pony ride – Emily was over the top excited and loved every second of it.
At church on Sunday after communion, we were trying to interest Emily in doing something non-distracting. I told her she could sing with the congregation. She declined. “Holy Ghost songs,” she said with a disdainful shake of the head.
Not only did Molly lose her second front tooth this week, she also spent the week in Tennessee with her cousins. A week away – that’s big doings for a 6 year-old! She hadn’t seemed nervous at all about it beforehand, and I hadn’t wanted to plant worries in her mind, but I certainly had a few questions about how she would do when Austin and Tucker left last Sunday morning to go home.
But the tears were short lived because there was just so much to do with her cousins. In fact, she hardly had time to talk with us on the phone the whole week. The pictures below are all courtesy of intrepid Aunt Liz who was willing to tackle having an extra helper this week.
Hint: It’s not Patches.
Our swim test is really hard – 25m freestyle, 15m backstroke and treading water for 1 minute (all 3 things without stopping). So it’s quite an achievement to pass, especially when your body type makes it easier for you to sink than float.
Good job, Molly! Way to get that green band! She says swim team next summer as a 7 year-old.
I’m afraid that Emily is breaking the Jamison mold and is a night person. This week, with Molly in Tennessee and no one to wake her up leaving the room, Emily has slept in till between 9 and 10 most mornings! And still napped at lunchtime. But she isn’t so interested in going to sleep at night….
We’ve had a busy summer so far. A bit busier than I’d like, actually, but all full of good things. We dove right into summer the first week off with Molly’s swim lessons in the morning, and Tucker’s swim team practice in the afternoon. The next week was two full days of basketball camp, a swim meet, and 10 hours of driving to drop Tucker at camp. (Just a side note, our swim meets are quite the event… our team has 235 swimmers this year, so a meet involves about 400+ swimmers, and takes from 4 pm – 9:45 if Tucker swims a relay.) Week 3 with Tucker at camp, was girls’ week, and I tried to do the activities that are harder to do with Tucker around but that Molly has desperately wanted to do. So we set up a big baby pool on the basketball court, had lots of tea parties and two playdates with Molly’s school friends who don’t live nearby, and went to the local children’s museum and a bounce house facility – both of which Tucker is aging out of. After another 10 hours in the car getting Tucker from camp, week 4 of summer was swim team in the mornings, swim meet, and doll camp for Molly every afternoon. Week 5 brought the 4th of July, swim team, more swim lessons for Molly, a swim meet, and a track meet. Week 6 was last week. I appreciated the break from the pool with needing to keep Tucker’s stitches dry, so we had some more around the house time, punctuated by two playdates and the track meet.
It’s always fun to snuggle with your brother in the mornings….
Pictures from girls’ week:
Emily packing snacks for the pool… every granola bar we had (we order in bulk off Amazon for a kind that doesn’t have the peanut warning).
And this is Emily getting ready to run her first race at the track meet. She got scared once she was in her lane and only wanted to be held, so she didn’t actually complete her first race. But she wanted a ribbon so badly that she did the next one (200m rather than 100m) all the way. Tucker has won all the 100m and 200m races that he’s been in the past two weeks, and Molly has not complained once about going – she had said this winter that she didn’t like the meets and had thrown out all her ribbons. And to her credit, these track meets are hot. There’s no shade on the UVa track and 90 degrees in the sun without a breeze feels stifling.
Here is Tucker and a friend waiting to run… and then my two kids plus two friends taking a little rest in the V of the UVa logo!
It turns out that EVERYONE needed cake and water bottles yesterday! What a party for doggy. Emily even found the largest, sharpest knife in the house to cut the playdoh cake with. What an enterprising young lady (who was a bit miffed when I took the knife away)!