Archive for the ‘Fourth of July’ Category

The Parade

July 7, 2007

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It was a busy morning at our house before the Parade. It started off with breakfast for 23. What I had hoped to be a peaceful start to our thrilling day was instead chaotic and in reality had us all eating in shifts while intense work on our cannons was being done. Did you hear that? Cannons. Yes, we made air cannons that shot the candy out into the crowd. We had a few problems getting the generator to power all of the cannons, so things were a little tense for awhile. After a trip to Home Depot we had things under control.

The cannons were made from PVC pipe. Once they were made we (okay I had VERY LITTLE to do with the cannons —-but a huge shout out to Blake, Mark and George!) inserted them each into a carpet tube. The guys built a wooden stand to set the cannon on and then we (again I am using ‘we’ very loosely) nailed huge cardboard wheels to each side. We painted them and we had a Revolutionary War cannon—that worked!

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We have had so much fun with the cannons. There was tons of “testing” going on around here. For the parade the cannons only needed about 15lbs. of pressure but my boys (I will include my husband in “boys”) quickly figured out that at about 100 lbs of pressure a potato could be launched OVER our neighbor’s house! If you would like to build your own cannon I wil be posting complete instructions later.

We used cardboard carpet tubes to construct the fort. The walls are supported by a brace that was screwed to the tubes. All cutting was done with a chop saw as these tubes are hefty! Flags were painted on cardboard than attached to the fort. The boys all wore baseball pants. Hot glued strips of white felt made the criss-crossed belts. Cardboard was cut into a buckle shape, painted and then hot glued to the boys’ dress shoes. One of the biggest feats of the whole float was getting 9 boys to all wear polyester baseball pants and dress shoes. A few of the boys wore three pointed hats while others sported a bandanna.

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Mary’s group had a really great float also. It was colorful and fun. Their beach theme had them all lounging about sitting in front of a backdrop of fabulously painted surfboards.

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They did a great job and I am trying to be very gracious when I say, “Isn’t it lovely that we TIED for first place.” Hmmmmm………

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Happy Fourth of July

July 4, 2007

Setting our breakfast tables

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Firecracker Party Favors

July 3, 2007

Before our Fourth of July parade we have a breakfast. I have been working on these paper firecracker party favors

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from the July Country Living Magazine.

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Mine will be filled with fireworks. They are (so far —notice I haven’t gotten that far) really simple to make.

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You can download images from their site, here. I used vintage clip-art from this book.

Let the games begin

June 29, 2007

Fourth of July is next week and our hands are busy at our house. We decided to join our neighborhood parade three years ago. Along with some friends we hastily threw together a decorated cart the day before the parade started.

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We had a blast so last year we took a little more time. We turned two carpet tubes into red white and blue palm trees and sunk them each into a bucket of concrete. We strung a badminton net between the trees. The kids clad in their patriotic beach wear hit candy out to the crowd (okay a few spectators) with the badminton raquets. We were thrilled when we took first prize.

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What it takes these days for us to participate in the parade,now with a title to uphold.

  • One slightly scary ride home with more than 20 carpet tubes hanging (no I really mean hanging—-like so far out that we were in serious jeopardy of hitting on coming cars) out from the back of our truck.
  • One hot Saturday, cutting and securing carpet tubes. I mean to tell you these things are the greatest!
  • A PAINFULLY long trip to Lowe’s AND Home Depot to purchase and insane amount of PVC pipe, valves and levers.
  • A late evening gluing PVC after the tiring trip to the store because no boy in my house could contain the excitement of what was to come. There is a new book out called Dangerous things for boys ———-we could have written it!
  • Constant chatter about how this will all work.
  • Lots of friends to help with the planning, building, painting, making and perfecting the float.

I figure we still have a day worth of painting and then we will be ready. There is another family (our main competition) that gets into this and has as much fun as we do. Mary, the other mom, has asked what we were doing but I tried to be very vague as I have been here incase she might hear about our plans. There are very few things I am competitive about. One of my kids loves sports and I leave it at that——-if we win great if we lose great. It really doesn’t matter. I am not a “soccer mom” but maybe a little bit (okay alot) “parade mom.” The parade, it matters and Mary she is going down!!

So as I hear giggles from the basement, the air compressor cycling on and off, blasts of air and hysterical laughter I pray that when my kids are old they will forget that they always had to hunt for clean socks and they will instead remember the parade.