Friday, July 08, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment}~ A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

A Soule Mama ritual. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Our Fire Works...

I have more to include in this post, but I am eager to share! So, here is a slide show and movie from our Fourth of July fireworks.

Honestly, seeing this project come together makes me giddy... thank you, Geoff. I love you.

Water + Friends = Happy Fourth of July

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to celebrate the Fourth of July, a decent respect of the sponge-bucket-water game of Maria should be declared. We hold these truths to be self evident that all friends loved Maria's game, that we were equally pursuing certain inalienable rights, such as laughter, liberty, and happiness.

Maria stood on a chair, overcame a temporary shyness and then eloquently and thoroughly explained the much anticipated sponge-bucket-water game. Guests lined up behind two empty buckets, and prepared for the countdown.

Sponges in hand, at the start line, Maria and Shayan are about to run to the container of water, fill their sponges, carry them over their heads, run back to their bucket, deposit as much water as they can squeeze out, then hand the sponge to their teammate... relay style. The team with the first full bucket takes the prize... boasting rights!

Go Shayan!
Go Maria!

I must say, the runners were intense!

And almost as intense were the spectators and referees! Everyone was cheering, or shouting directions... squeeze the sponge, hold it over your head, go! go! go!

Somebody has to help me remember the team names... Emma is running for her red bucket team, and Landon is in the lead for the... something about Pink Elephants, I think.

Go Landon!
Go Emma!

Max has it, and Eric is ready for it.
Their teammates look on.
The crowds cheer wildly!

Grant's soaking it up, and Eric is moving in.

Go Eric!
Go Grant!

Go Nick!

Uh-oh. Man down, but he does not surrender. He does not give up!

Go Shayan!
Go Maria!

Annie is ready for Maria. Patrick is ready for Shayan.

The buckets are seeming kind of big, but confidence is high!

Looking at these pictures, Maria said, "They should have squeezed me over the bucket! My dress was full of water!"


All rookie teams. This was their first time meeting on this playing field, but the team work, the skills, the fierce determination... it all came together for the sake of the game. They were brilliant!

Go Annie!
Come on Patrick!
And James is ready with a high five for Maria!

James hands off to Holly.

Go Holly!

Sacha's sponge is loaded... no, I'm wrong... his sponge is unloaded!! Gee, journalism is tough. Got to keep all these facts straight!

Go Sacha!

Oh, yeah. They've got a sprinter!

Oh man. You don't know how big a bucket is, until you try filling it one sponge-full at a time!
They're getting close.

Maria hasn't lost any steam.

Gabe is ready to take the sponge from Andrew.

Maria is on it!

Gabe is moving in!

The suspense!

The thrill!

The dedication!

It's getting really close at this point.

I wish I had video. I wish we had video of the whole day... so much fun and goodness was going on! Today is all about this game, and later I will share the T-shirt cannon, the Ruben's Tube, Lavender, the awesome food, the face painting, swimming, laughing, talking, sharing... it was a good, good day.

Hand-off from Matt. Andrew's got it.

Go Andrew!



We have some winners!

Now, let's all shake hands. Good job everyone...


Hey, what are you doing with those buckets?

A sunny day, sopping wet sponges, sopping wet friends, and buckets full of water... a recipe for even more fun.

Lucas runs in for a closer look, Maria gets a handle, and Kyle gets ready to make his move. If I had Photoshop I could make one of those play-by-play arrows indicating where Keaton (far right) is coming in for a piece of the action!

Are the big kids staying back? The tug of war is between Maria and Kyle.

And it's serious. It's to the end...

It made me put down my camera, so I missed the winning shot... bummer.

Full bucket, full frontal.

Fully doused.

And it was hard not to laugh, but you could hear the hush as we waited for it...

Laughter! She thought it was "Hilarious!" Good sport, Maria.

Super soaked and drippy, fun loving, good sport.

And she's ready for more, apparently.

Grant hoisted a very full container up over his head, and the chase was on!

Water + strong friends = happy children!

Happy, splashed children!

Look out Mashid!

Look out Homer!

Some times it just wasn't safe out there!

Two thumbs up!
Five Stars!
Big cheers for sponge-bucket-water, and friends gathered together for the Fourth of July!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

We are nearly, almost, kind of ready.
Maria has kept us on track with her countdown to the Fourth of July, especially reminding everyone that we will be playing the sponge-water-bucket game she learned! Max mowed the lawn. William assembled the fire ring. Alex drilled some of the one hundred and forty-five holes in the metal tube for our fire-works. Geoff made all (almost all) our books fit in our secret library! Suki taught me four chords on the ukulele. Maria sliced the apples. I dusted the chicken coop.

Two apple pies
Three tubs of ice cream
Forty burgers
Three trays of Iron-Man pasta
Tuna Salad
Lots of juice and pops
Sangria and beer

A fire ring
A movie projector
Sponges and buckets
Water balloons
American flags
Red, white, and blue flowers
A new, citizen... Congratulations Helen!
A Ruben's Tube (fingers crossed)
A T-shirt cannon prototype
Rev up Lavender
A cleaner house
And fifty-four confirmed guests! It would not be a party without friends!

I love our country, our ideals, our opportunities, our spacious skies, and brotherhood.

Our sky is blue this morning, the pies are baked. I still have a thing, or three, to check off the list, but I think we are mostly, nearly ready. My heart is with loved ones far away, and closer by. My thoughts are with Americans who wish to be home today, and I thank them for their service. I am so excited for this day... for the liberty of playing with friends, learning, sharing, and celebrating together!