IMG_1490

It’s hard to believe the 4th of July has already come and gone !  Where is the summer going?  We were in the parade again, representing Ryder’s school.  And this year, on task, was bug making again.  Our theme was “catch the reading bug”  – they have a book club at school so we wanted to promote that.  So we made some book worms/caterpillars for the float with some alphabet blocks and the kids wore butterfly wings (to represent the metamorphisis of a child learning their alphabet and the learning to read and like the caterpillar blossoming into a butterfly). 

So began the caterpillar/worm creation.  Take a pillow case cut in half and stuff with some newspaper and a flexi drain pipe (that’s what you get for working in a home improvement store), add some eyes and a mouth and viola – small bookworm for the top of the blocks. 

IMG_1492

Next take a fitted bed sheet, cut in half, sew up, stuff with newspaper, bags, packaging material, add eyes and a mouth and viola giant book worm.  

IMG_1500

IMG_1489

 I think they actually came out cute, very homemade and perfect for a preschool float for the 4th of July.  All recycled materials to boot! 

We had a great time.  There are so many wonderful families that we have met through Ryder’s school, there is such a sense of community.  We all gathered the day before the 4th at one of the family’s homes to build the float.  We brought food, ate, worked had a couple cocktails, laughed and had a great time as we prepared for the 4th (while the kids ran around and played). 

The next morning we were all a bit tired (but nothing a big cup of coffee can’t cure), but once we all got together we all came alive and had fun waving to the crowd that gathered for our local parade (it’s crazy how many people come).

We ended the day with ice cream and watching the fireworks (from the warmth of our car – Milo and Saige aren’t quite sure about the fireworks yet – they were coming a bit unglued until we got in our car where they felt safe – and it was more comfortable!)

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th!  How did you celebrate?  What does your community do?

Yesterday was the epitome of down home fun, mom’s homemade apple pie, sticky fingers on a warm summer day fun mixed with a bit of Northern California eclectic goodness.  It was the annual 4th of July celebration in our town.  We have a town “square” (which is really pretty big-we have two playgrounds, a duck pond, lots of great grassy areas, big shade trees, a rose garden, city hall, a band shell, etc.) that had the typical art vendors, food booths, kids corner (with jumpy houses and slides) and of course beer and wine booths and our annual parade (which we were in this year!). 

So let me start from the beginning, Ryder’s school had a sign up sheet for the parade – so of course I was the first name on the list (or the second) and they were also taking ideas for the float.  Again, I wanted to help come up with a great theme.  So I racked my brain and finally the light bulb went off, I was looking at their sign (which has a dragonfly – kinda like their mascot) and I thought how can we incorporate that into the theme.  So I came up with”soaring high on the wings of knowledge”. 

Basically I came up with an idea of making a giant dragonfly to hang from the float and then I had to figure out a way to incorporate that with a catchy saying.  So the teachers said they loved it and onward we pressed.  I volunteered to create the dragonfly- you know how you have an image in your head and then when you start to figure out the engineering of it- things start to seem harder.  Well we had a couple rough spots, but for the most part it went as I had planned.  Of course, working at a home improvement store I thought of materials we have here.  So I grabbed a 4 ft. piece of pvc and some copper wire. Bought a $.99 beach ball and started paper macheing.  That was the most challenging part but after a couple days of tweaking here and there- the dragonfly came alive! 

 

We had a float decorating party the night before the parade and decorated the kids wagons, etc.  while the kids ran around and raged- it was a blast! The float was decorated like the classroom, we had one of the tables, their calendar, their little exercise equipment and some other misc. items.

Then came the day of the parade, an early morning, some last minute touch ups and off we go….. I think the parents were more into it than the kids, but they did have fun. 

 I have vowed to be in the parade every year.  Much better than dealing with the crowds on the street (b/c our town gets packed) and you gotta love waving to everyone – there’s something fun about that.  So while the kids are in preschool I will continue to volunteer every year and then if at any point their school decides to not do it- I think I’ll make my own float (great platform to get your opinion out there!).

Much to my surprise, the teachers told me they are going to hang the dragonfly up in the classroom.  I was thrilled to hear that.  I guess it’ll be their mascot.

So on to the square, waited in long lines to jump on some inflatable thing (but that is what childhood is about), paid too much for some mediocre veggie burgers, sat in the shade and chatted amongst friends, enjoyed some adult beverages (Doug) and listened to the typical “fair” bands playing in the background.  Headed over to our friends for yummy dinner (and for Ryder to play some more- as if he hadn’t been playing all day) and parked the car on the way home to catch the fireworks.  Both kids were asleep in our arms before the first firework went off.  It was your Norman Rockwell kinda day.

Sweet dreams sleepy heads – until next year!