Our Independence Day Weekend

Jed at the strawberry patch

Summer is in full swing! We had heat on the grill and sunshine all weekend long. Even better, Bron had the entire weekend off! No work, no thesis, no stress. It was wonderful! The only bad news was that I had to feed calves every night. Fortunately, we could work around that. We had a busy but relaxing weekend. I wish we could get lots more of those!

We started gearing up for the fourth of July last Wednesday evening when we went strawberry picking at Rulf’s Orchard. This is my third strawberry season here and Rulf’s never disappoints. The strawberries were deep red, juicy, and just begging to be eaten! Bron picked more than a flat in less than half an hour. I mostly kept an eye on Jed as he stomped through the bushes and stuffed his fists and mouth full strawberries. It was fun!

And because we are moving so soon, I’m not making jam this year. Instead, we’ve been feasting on all kinds of strawberry desserts, including this strawberry pie! Yummm!

Delicious home-made strawberry pie!  (If I do say so myself.)

We couldn’t let a sunny day go to waste, so on Saturday we hiked Cascade Mountain with a couple of friends. It’s one of the high peaks of the Adirondacks. Bron and I hiked it last year when Jed was just seven weeks old. I remember it being a lot tougher of a hike—maybe because I just had a baby and was out of shape. This time around it was still a workout but very enjoyable. I totally underestimated how much I would sweat! I think Bron had the toughest workout though. Jed enjoyed a free ride up the mountain on Bron’s back. I made sure Jed thanked his dad by dressing appropriately: he wore his “I love Dad” t-shirt. In the end, our physical exertions were entirely worth the effort when we reached the top and saw the incredible view! Thanks for coming with us and making it a memorable day, Natasha and Jordi!

The climb to the top

View from the top of Cascade Mountain.  Breathtakingly green!

Jordi and Natasha at the top

To commemorate his trip to the top of the mountain, Jed decided to lick a rock.

Relaxing and eating some lunch

Family photo!

Hooray!  Jump for joy!  We did it!!!

On Sunday evening we headed up to Rouses Point for a hometown feeling Independence Day celebration. We arrived just in time to see the end of the parade. Anyone who is anything was in the parade, including the recycling man. It was just a lot of fun to see. Jed’s eyes were glued to the commotion in the street and his mouth hung open.

Eating a sucker and watching the parade atop Dad's shoulders

A view of Rouses Point, NY

After the parade we bought some ice cream and walked along the lakeshore to find a place to watch the fireworks. It was a short but sweet performance. Jed didn’t seem to mind the loud noises and enjoyed watching the sky light up! It was a perfect summer evening. (We even beat the ominous black storm could headed our way.)

Wind!  Ahhhh!
This picture makes me laugh.

A great family photo on Lake Champlain

The girls: Natasha, Roxanne, Anna, Jessie (me)

The fireworks!  (It's called significant camera shake.  haha)

Independence Day was spent at a church barbeque at Macomb State Park. We ate and talked and played in kayaks at the lake. While sitting at the picnic table my friend Gina looked around and asked with a hint of sarcasm, “You don’t really want to leave all this, do you?”

“Gina, all the cool people are sitting at this table.”

“Yeah. You’re right.” And we both snickered.

There are a handful of families in our branch that we've made meaningful friendships with.  I am really going to miss teasing and talking with Gina in the nursery while our boys play side by side during church and Jed snoops through her purse for better tasting treats.  I feel so lucky to have Gina (and all you other cool people know who you are) as a friend.   As for many of the other members of our tiny branch?  Well, let's just say that our time here has been a heap of misadventures that I will just have to tell you about in person.

After feeding calves in record time that evening, we got together with Anna, Roxanne, Natasha, and Jordi for some teriyaki chicken on the grill and other scrumptious foods. It was the most delicious grill-out I’ve been to in a long time! We stuffed ourselves silly. We are really going to miss you guys!!!

A barbeque with friends at home

Also of note, a busy weekend and teething accompanied with a fever caught up with Jed fast.  Poor little guy didn't feel well.  Here he’s sacked out on the couch in front of the big fan because it was sticky and warm.

My sweet sleeping boy

It was a perfect all-American weekend.  God bless America!


My sister Lauren (and her husband Don too, of course) had a baby!!!

Meet Carter Wade Thompson
Born June 29, 2011
8 lbs. 10 oz. and 20.5 inches

I am such a proud aunt!  He is so cute I could just swallow him whole.  I am excited for my sister to experience all the joys of motherhood too! 

(And yes, I had permission from my talented cousin to post this picture.)


  1. It looks like you had so much fun! Alan really liked your pictures of the Adirondacks. Enjoy the rest of your time there in NY.. I'm sure you'll miss some of it once you move back west here.

  2. Mmmm... strawberries! That'd be so fun to go pick strawberries.

    Also, I enjoyed your fireworks pictures. I think they're fun!

    Also, I'd totally love to make a bag for you sometime, if you'd like. If you pay for the material I'll make it. E-mail me if you're interested. :) renaeganell@gmail.com

  3. What an awesome weekend! Great pics too! That first photo is just too cute for words! I want a strawberry patch! Did you recognize what Carter is laying on in that photo? It's the nursing cover you made Lauren. Very cute material!

  4. Great post! You are getting to be such a great photographer! Seriously. I wish we lived close, so that I could rack your brain!!!

  5. That first picture of Jed is delicious! I'm so glad Lauren had her baby, he is SO cute!

  6. I love those family pics. Such a cute family!


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