Of course with two major holidays (ok in two different countries but major to US) within such proximity to each other there HAS TO BE overflow images… so sit back and enjoy!!!
Well if we celebrate our homeland we must, of course, celebrate our new home’s birthday as well. However, this year not only was it the other side of the kids’ nationality, it was also the absolute opposite type of day. Where Canada Day was laid back and relaxed, full of colouring… playing in a garden and just us 7 transplanted peoples… July 4th was crazy busy and crowded and… LOUD! As Ken says (jokingly?) – it was all things AMERICAN.
July 4th is not only the birth of Independence and red, white and blue, but the birth of our only niece Gabriella. She turned 13 this year and due to an extended vacation (which I will talk ALL about when I FINALLY reflect on June) here in sunny Minnesota she was in state for her special day.
After breakfast and family pictures in the colours of the day… of course we took MULTIPLE! Poor Trinity has yet to forgive me after I had to give her sister her Hello Kitty themed July 4th shirt which had daddy running to the store the night before to get her the outfit for the day (a decidedly kitty free piece).
Then it was off to Cousin Gabbi’s 13th birthday party at a park not far from where Ken lived for most of his childhood (which we of course found a way to drive by). There was cake and presents and fun at the park.
Definitely a fun way for the kids to spend the morning before we said good bye to everyone… especially Aunty Faithe and Uncle Joe who would be flying back without seeing us again. Then it was home to prepare for our original plan – a family and friends BBQ at the Speltz’s (Karen Matthews and Renee Schwartz’s parents).
It was quite the event. The girls and I got to go LAST July 4th when the boys and Ken were camping with the family. This year not only was our whole family there but Renee and Chris there with their 3 kids. There was a bouncy house, the kiddy pool, a swingset and tons of yummy food and drink. Definitely a fun time for everyone.
Yup July 1st has come and gone and we got our full Canadian groove on to celebrate!!! In fact, the kids felt that this was our best year… outside of living in Canada (of course) to date! Each year we are becoming more and more aware of the differences in our countries… of the hole not being back in Canada has made in our hearts… so it is absolutely wonderful to be able to spend a day holding tight to our traditions, memories and favourite things!
So we started our day with some fun worksheets thanks to Activity Village. We have done up crafts and other fun activities from their Canada section other years. I absolutely do not know what we would do without their amazing site! Check out their Canada printables and more HERE and stick around and peek through the rest. it is worth it!
I gave them some down time for our holiday. It is hard to have a tradition fall on a week day that is not observed by the country you reside in. Everyone else goes on about their business while you want to scream THIS DAY IS SPECIAL! So we made it special.
Next we packed up a picnic snack, the kids, our art supplies and a blanket (oh and a flag) and headed of to the Walker Sculpture Garden. (talk about affordable fun.. 3.50 parking for the day and we were able to pass our still active parking pass along to another couple to use for them to continue the day) This is a place we have been multiple times and always enjoyed. Our plan: find a shaded corner, spread our blanket, pull out our Canadian Flag, art supplies and books and enjoy! And it was a total success!
Not only did another pair of Canadian stop by and say hi due to the flag but we also met a homeschool mamma who was so sweet about our set up. She totally recognized a homeschool family and was funny and kind. She even took a picture for us to remember our day. What a pat on the back that we would be so readily recognized as homeschoolers and for all the RIGHT reasons!
Add in dinner at Wendy’s where we got a SUPER deal on the kids’ meals since there was a mistake about how long a promotional price was on for and it was a capper to an awesome day. We even got our favourite cashier who has twin grandkids… non identical boy and girl as she describes them.
And now I will leave you with the extra images and one of my all time favourite vingettes…. Log Driver’s Waltz. I dare you to listen and not want to sing and dance! I know I can’t do it!