Sunday, July 31, 2011

All the Chickens Are Back Home

Last night, all four bedrooms were filled with sleeping bodies and my heart was happy.  I felt like the mother hen with a full house. 

P, the girls, and I just returned from our trip to Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little Town on the Prairie and C returned from church camp in Colorado.  I have much to share of our adventure on the Prairie, but we have just one short day with Mr C before he goes to camp on Monday at his high school.

That means that I have loads of laundry to do, catching up to do with our favorite son, and time to enjoy one of the last few Sundays of Summer.  Homemade Chocolate Zucchini Bread (from the garden) for Breakfast, Late Church and then it's chilling time.  At least between trips to the laundry room!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mikey's Blanket Finished

Mikey loves his new blanket!  His mother sent me this photo a few days ago and it made me smile.  What an adorable boy. 

After tons of advice from knitters, blogs, and my favorite knitting shop, I finally decided to Block the Blanket.  I wasn't thrilled with how the sides rolled up and, while I knew my friend would love it rolled or straight, I wanted it to be perfect. 

Here's how I blocked the blanket:
  1. Got the blanket wet, with a spray bottle of water. Not soaked, just damp
  2. Rolled wet blanket in a clean white towel to ring out excess water
  3. Laid out the blanket on another clean and dry white towel.  Thankfully, the blanket was small and it all fit on one towel.  I put this in a corner of our bedroom that was clean, freshly vacuumed and away from foot traffic.
  4. Measured the blanket before and figured out how much I wanted to stretch the blanket.  My goal was to get it a little bigger without compromising the design.
  5. Stretched the blanket and remeasured
  6. Used quilting pins to secure the blanket to the towel.
  7. Let the blanket "block" until it was completely dry (two days)
I was thrilled with the final outcome.  Not only did the sides lay flat, the blanket was softer and felt more finished.  I loved this pattern and plan to use it again for either a baby blanket or for a family snuggle blanket.  I might try the real pattern and make it in blocks.

What a joy it was to send this off to Mikey, a much loved baby!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beginning of Girls Week

My husband is already feeling a little outnumbered and it's only been a day.  Mr C left for a week of church camp in the Colorado Mountains leaving P back at home with just the girls.  He thinks we are a little too chatty, giggly and much too worried about what we wear.  Sunday morning when we left for church with a picnic basket packed for a trip to the Zoo along with spare clothes for the experience, I think he thought we were nuts.

Church was contemporary and casual so P just wore shorts while the girls and I changed from our church appropriate skirts and nice shoes to shorts and flip flops.  Girls. Of course, if we'd left the boy in charge, we wouldn't have had a lunch packed, so he should just be thankful we over plan.

Rumor had it that it would be a cool afternoon and a nice change from the 100's of the week so the Zoo seemed like a perfect idea. The weatherman lied.  Shocking, I know. However, we obviously weren't the only people to buy the lie as the zoo was packed. Thankfully, P was able to talk the girls out of the petting zoo in the heat, but he did make us climb Pachyderm Hill (the furthest place in the zoo, far far away) just to see the Rhino.  Boys!

I've never been more grateful that we have so many indoor exhibits at the zoo as I was Sunday.  Even if my glasses did fog up coming in and out, at least I was able to cool off.  The best part of the trip of course was the IMAX movie "Born to Be Wild" about the elephants (which we didn't see at Pachyderm hill, since there aren't any anymore) and orangutans orphaned in Borneo.

It was a stellar movie, beautiful, touching, adorable and heart tugging. Plus, it was air conditioning and 3D on a huge IMAX screen.  Miss A loved the 3D glasses and couldn't believe how it "even starts out as 3D, wow!"  Miss M not as easily swayed by red plastic glasses has decided that she might just movie to Asia to help with the orphan orangutans; she's always wanted one as a pet.

I'd say the beginning of girls week was a success.  Hot, sticky, and exhausting none the less, it was perfect.  The fun as they say, has only begun!!  Don't tell Mr C.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Farmers Market a Perfect Recipe for a Summer Saturday

Our garden plot is coming along.  We've enjoyed some zucchinis and cucumbers but as of yet, no red tomatoes.  However, we have faith that this hot weather will be producing an abundant harvest soon, at least that's what I've told my trusted garden helpers.  Mr C is already dreaming of BLT sandwiches!

We do not have pickling cucumbers planted this year so off we to the Farmer's Market to get our July fix of those small little green babies.  I'm not sure if the kids like going to the market for the fresh produce, the free samples, or the people watching, but I think the homemade Root Beer might be a key reason.

Saturday was perfect for strolling among the booths and dreaming of making salsa, pickles and grilling up some sweet corn.  Mr C wasn't so thrilled when I made him carry the heavy bag with new potatoes, but he likes to eat so he was willing.  Miss A and Miss M's hands were already full with balloon animals and we didn't want "them" to get hurt.

I put the pickling cucumbers to use immediately and, with my husbands expert chopping skills, we now have both fridge pickles and bread and butter pickles stashed in the fridge.  I have the feeling I'll be needing to restock soon; they are yummy.

Of course, when you are already downtown in the big city, you might as take in the sights and enjoy lunch out. Maybe that's only what I told my husband so I wouldn't have to cook.  We did stand in amazement at the mighty river that's overflowing it's banks. Wow. 

I've never seen the river with actual rapids, but I'm sure that's what I saw.  It's fast and furious and does not care what's in it's way.  Looking at the pictures, you can see the big patio umbrellas that used to be in the middle of the riverwalk, but now are actually part of the river.  Miss A thinks that we shouldn't plan on taking a walk there anytime soon.  Miss M just hopes they remembered to empty the trashcans along the way or they might get stinky before the river retreats.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Plan B Isn't So Bad But Sometimes C and D Are Even Better!

We had big plans yesterday.  Friends were lined up for both Miss M and Mr C to bring to the lake for a day in the sun and sand.  Dad was even planning on skipping out from work early to drive the boat.  Thursday was suppose to be a stellar day.  After days of heat in the 100's, it was going to be just 88 and sunny.  Best laid plans.

When I woke up around five a.m. to the sound of thunder and rain, I started to get a little nervous.  I knew that there were three kids still asleep and dreaming of their day with friends.  I began to formulate another plan; an inside plan, while still holding out hope that this would be a passing shower and our lake plan would hold.

By nine o'clock, when the sky was still dark and the radar looked ominous, I began to think that Plan B was looking brighter than Plan A.  Now I just had kids to convince.  Thankfully, they have my father's and their father's blood running threw their veins (weather channel junkies) and when we watched "local on the 8's," it was really an easy call. 

Who wants to go to the lake and sit inside.  Who wants dad to waste a day off and not take us out on the boat.  Not us!

Plan B meant we would go Bowling.  However, a few hours later when the we got to the bowling alley, that plan fell apart.  No public bowling from 12 to 3 due to day cares taking all the lanes.  Bummer.

Plan C quickly came together; the boys ( Mr C and his friend C) would go to our gym and "hang" out playing basketball, tennis, ping pong and of course see who could bench more.  According to Mr C, his buddy is the hulk and can bench 300 pounds.  Don't even ask about his lower body strength, it's outstanding.  A perfect day for boys full of sweat, competition and fun.

The girls ( Miss A and M and M's friend) would go to the Pottery Place and be creative.  The older girls decided to make Ice Cream Cone Jewelry Boxes; one in purple with blue spots and the other blue with purple spots.  Adorable. 

Miss A wanted a mug,  When she saw the one with the green shamrock, she loved that it had a flower on it.  When I told her that Dad's birthday is St Patrick's Day, she thought it was extra special.  She's becoming a real artsy girl like her sister and was very focused on the task of painting.

All in all it was a great Plan C day.  After a great dinner of steaks on the grill, we even made a trip to Red Mango for desert.  Really can it get better than a full day of fun, yummy treats, and a sleepover?  I think not.  Gotta love summer even when plans are crushed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer is Almost Over: Say It Ain't So We've Got Plans

If I wanted evidence that school is almost back in session, a trip to Target yesterday confirmed it.  There were "signs" everywhere that summer is almost over.  In addition to the huge clearance section of rafts, pool toys and summer fun items, there might have been a big school supply session.  Not to worry, we ignored the signs.

July is the month in which Mr C is gone more than he'll be home. He leaves this weekend for a week long trip to Colorado for church camp and then after his arrival he goes straight to camp at his high school.  I hope to get some of his laundry done in the short time between engagements as it's less than 24 hours!  He's going to have a blast white water rafting, rappelling, growing his faith, and seeing the mountains (His order, not mine).  The second camp is all boys; swimming, outdoor games, lots of food and of course bonding with other incoming freshman.  Maybe there is no need to wash those clothes from camp, he'll probably not change his clothes the whole week anyway.

We still have things to cross of our Summer Wish List so to keep myself accountable, I'm going to list a few here.  A few will be a girls only event with C gone, but we hope to cram in a few of these as a whole family things too....
  1. Trip to Laura Ingalls hometown in SD
  2. Pedicure at a Salon (NO BOYS ALLOWED - OK, that was pretty obvious)
  3. Homemade Ice Cream and cookout with friends at the Lake
  4. Bowling
  5. Nighttime walk to catch fireflies
  6. Pool swimming with friends
  7. Sand Mountain with friends
  8. Picnic at the Park
  9. Miss A's Birthday Party
  10. Boys Campout at the Lake
  11. Dining al fresco on the deck
  12. Eagle Scout Playground Installation
  13. Miss A and Miss M play dates with friends
  14. Movie Night with Popcorn
  15. Water park
Now, I know that this is an adventurous plan for a few short weeks, but I'm willing to carry a few over into September and live in summer mode until then. School starts in Mid August and I know that I can't avoid the school supply aisle forever, but I like to pretend that it's still summer for a little bit more.

The fact that it was 103 degrees yesterday confirms my faith in summer.  Here's to making the most of the summer days ahead.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Early Birthday Party: Just the Beginning

Miss A's birthday is two weeks away.  I know this because she's counting down.  Let's just say she loves a time to celebrate and if she's the honored guest even better. 

While we were on vacation last week, Bestemor planned an early birthday party for Miss A including cake with pink frosting (her favorite), pizza, and of course presents. It's a joy to get to celebrate birthdays, but when it's with out of town family it's a real treat. 

Miss A was spoiled with a new fleece robe, a fun window painting kit, and even a little spending money for Miss A to pick out her own little special something at the mall.

I think this soon to be seven year old is really blessed!  I have the feeling she's going to love celebrating her birthday a few more times this summer.  Can you really blame her?  Nope.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Family Vacation: Going Seperate Ways

We were on a family vacation of sorts last week.  I say it loosely as we all went out of town, but we didn't really spend any of our time together.  Yes, we all still get along.  It just worked out for the girls to spend some quality time with grandparents while Mr C had some male bonding with his uncle while P and I went to a business meeting a few hours away.

Before you think I was at an exotic location soaking up the sunshine on a beach, you might as well know we were in a small town in Indiana. Great quality time spent in the car and over dinner at night, but too bad it couldn't have included a few sunsets with an ocean view.

We did have some great family bonding time before we left including having the kids learn how to make homemade ice cream the old fashioned way by hand cranking it out.  Who knew you could have a workout at the same time you are creating an ice cream taste treat.  Thank goodness we had our new muscle man around to finish the job.  Even if his sister did grab the paddle first for tasting!

My kids had a fabulous vacation.  The girls made memories that will last a lifetime; picking blueberries, making cookies wearing new aprons, and of course a few trips to the pool.  Miss A to keep her streak alive even made a hole in one at mini golf.  Miss M points out that even though she missed an ace, she won the round. 

The girls had some great stories about "birds" living at the pond, the perfect way to feed the hungry fish and how much ice cream they had.  According to Miss A, it's not a trip to visit B & B without a walk around the neighborhood to find golf balls. Grandparent spoiling is the best. 

Mr C had a great time sans sisters and was thrilled to show his aunt and uncle what life with a teenage boy is like.  I think they might have been shocked with the amount of food he can consume and how quickly he can get ready in the morning.  According to C, we've missed out on some of the best parts of Chicago, a park with a fantastic walking trail and canoeing down a quiet river. 

He even got to cross an item off his bucket list by eating a Chicago Dog on Navy Pier. What could be better? Guess you could say that walking around downtown Chi Town with some natives gives you access to great museums, people watching, and train rides.  A perfect adventure for this boy.

All in all, it was a perfect family vacation; memories with those we love, quiet time to read and knit for the mother, long conversations in the front seat, and lots of laughter in the car.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jumpin' In: Bible Study Group at the Lake

What a fabulous day! That's the phrase I heard no less than four times on my drive home Monday afternoon.

Monday was the annual Mom's Bible Study lake party.  It is one of my kids all time favorite days of summer.  I can't even tell you how much my kids look forward to this crazy day in the sun.  Even though they know no one will be there before noon/twelve thirty, they were ready to leave at 9 a.m. just to make sure we weren't late.

Over the past eight years, this group has evolved.  What used to be dominated by Mr. C's group of friends and their mothers is now made up of a multi aged-different stages of motherhood group of ladies and I love it.  Those core members who have been a part from the beginning have been so welcoming to the new crew and the kids just mesh regardless of the fact that we range in age from 3 years to high school with one even in college.

While we missed a few families due to "summer madness and schedules," it was  a perfect day to just sit by the water and watch our kids soak up summer fun. 

Everyone found their own little niche and there were groups on the sand making creations, paddle boat riders touring the cove, floaters who found the water the best place to beat the heat, and of course there were moments of complete chaos when little girls tried to push big boys into the water, cousins tried to prove who was stronger, and girls who found water as the perfect place to play.

I loved watching my kids (and thus the other kids too) just having an great old fashioned day at the beach.  Everyone went home having "spent" their wad of fun for the day, a little bit sunburned, a little exhausted, and a lot happy.

My favorite moments from my own kids:

Mr C was invited on a play date to his new friend J's house; even though he's all of three I think Mr. C is contemplating how to make him happy.  When C told his dad about J's invitation, dad called it a babysitting opportunity

Miss A has a group of girls to hang with playing on the shore and in the sand. She and Miss K and Miss E had a blast jumping in and even trying to push the big boys off the dock.

Miss M took on the role of hostess to the little kids and enjoyed catching frogs with the boys.  She about scared the pants off her mother and a few others when the frogs she caught thought it was fun to try jumping out of their safe location in the sand bucket.  Yuck.  She too has a new playmate in Mr. J and is trying to work it out for she and Mr C to go "babysit" and she's willing to let C be in charge!

I think I understand why this is one of my kids' all time favorite summer events.  Its a real blast for the Mom too.

Monday, July 11, 2011

There's Something About a Small Town Festival

We live in an average sized town; not too big, but not too small.  Within a few miles, you can shop any big box store you want, dine at any number of chain or hometown restaurants, and we have plenty of fun activities to keep you busy.  Really, beside Chick Fil a we have it all.

However, sometimes you have to go to a real small town to taste a bit of America.  Nothing is better for feeling nostalgia and pride than a small town festival.  Thankfully, the Lake is in a small town and they know how to put on a town festival complete with a Pie Parlor, Guinness Book of World Record attempt, children's festival, and antique auto show.  

This weekend was the annual event and, even though the weather made me think we'd moved to Texas (hot, very hot and humid), we took in a few of the events for fun.  The girls and I had a fun morning at the Children's Festival complete with carnival games, face painting and free snow cones.  In Miss A's mind, it was perfect.  The fact that they gave out candy to winners at the carnival games made it even better.  Miss M is a little too good at Spinning the Wheel and won three huge Nerds Ropes.  Let's just say she's not going Vegas anytime soon.

Of course, the boys were checking out the Antique Auto Show and dreaming over what kind of hot rod they would drive if they could.  After lunch, we checked out "world's largest open face sandwich" made with Spam.  That's a delicacy I'm not sure I understand, the smell alone was a little too much for me.  According to the kids, it looked disgusting!

Finally, before we headed back to the Lake, we made a detour to the Control Line Model Aviation show.  The boys have dabbled in model aviation, but have not really tried this type of flying before.  Mr C and P were thrilled when they were offered a moment in the "ring" and each of them got a chance to fly the plane.

Small town fun. We topped off our day with a few jumps in the lake, a boat ride, and of course S'mores. What an All American Day.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Space Shuttle Lauch Memories

Image NASA: Bill Ingalls
Watching the Space Shuttle launch brought back lots of memories and I was thrilled that Mr. C, Miss M and Miss A were able to watch history today.  I wish we could have been in Florida to see it live because I'm sure that, while this is the end of an era of space exploration, it will open up space in new ways.

My husband grew up in the Houston area, a stone's throw from NASA's Johnson Space Center. He went to high school with Astronaut's kids and lived in a neighborhood where they lived.  As a result, he has a vivid memory of not only watching NASA TV in his living room for successful flights, but has the date of the Challenger Disaster burned in his memory.  He still talks about coming home from UT that weekend and nearly losing it when he saw the flag atop the McDonnell Douglas building lit up at half staff.

I grew up in the Midwest miles from either Houston or Florida, but I can remember watching the news whenever NASA took flight and was glued to the television on the freshman dorm when Challenger blew up.  I had watched it live in a classroom setting and then rushed home to see the coverage. 

When Mr. C was just a little boy, he would talk about his desire to be an astronaut and go the Moon or Mars in a Rocket Ship.  I wasn't even sure how he knew about Space.  He would devour books with pictures of the planets and rocket ships.  He might have been the only three year old who could name all the planets in order.  He was an astronaut for Halloween one year with a milk jug air tank and a silverware drawer on his chest to stimulate the electronic panel on the space suit.  Still my husband's favorite Halloween costume.

When he was in Kindergarten, we watched Columbia takeoff.  He counted down the days until they would return from earth.  He drew pictures of the rocket in his kindergarten journal, and talked of his hope one day to join the space mission. 

When the Columbia blew up on re-entry that Saturday morning, we had just turned on the TV to watch it live and to cheer on another successful mission. As P figured out something was very wrong when contact was lost, I shuttled Mr C to another room to play trains until we could figure out if another disaster had occurred.  We knew the news would shatter him and it did.  His Kindergarten journal from the days following the disaster show a sky filled with fire and raining down pieces of the rocket.  Above the picture he wrote in his own kid write, "they went to God, not home." 

A few months later, Mr C told us he was rethinking his future.  he thought maybe its wasn't safe to be an astronaut and maybe he should now focus on building Rockets and Space Shuttles that would be safe.  He told us that's what an Aerospace Engineer does for a job ( I told you that he read a lot of space books) and he thought that was a safe way to change space.  Maybe he'd design a Hovercraft to make commuting and travel quicker.

Now who knows if that dream will become reality, if he'll become an Aerospace Engineer or an Astrophysicist, or a Anesthesiologist.  That's still unknown, but NASA helped to nurture that dream.  The shuttle program opened up a world to him that he might not have known otherwise.

We'll miss seeing the rocket boasters drop away from the shuttle.  We'll miss the calm voice of the man who counts down, but we know deep down that Space is still the final frontier and we've got lots still to explore.  I know one young man who might want a piece of that journey.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Staycation: Splash Time

When you've spent four days hanging out in the water at the Lake, what do you do on the final day of your Staycation?  Go to the Splash Pool of course!  Around these parts, summertime weather is short lived so you "make hay while the sun shines" at least that's what I told my waterlogged family.  In reality, I know that Mr C is outgrowing this outing and I wanted Miss A and Miss M to have one final trip there with the whole family. 

Top Five Things I Love About Splash Station
  1. Watching Miss A go across the water obstacle course.  It's amazing to see how much upper body strength she has.  She made it all the way across, and gave me a double thumbs up to celebrate.  Gotta love this sporty girl.
  2. Miss M loves water slides.  Her face as she comes down is priceless.  If I were a great photographer I would have a photo of it, but I'll never forget the look, it's seared in my mind.
  3. Mr. C will do anything for food, and splash station thankfully has cheap food.  While everyone else had one snack, the pictures don't show C's second snack when the girls were off with Dad swimming.  Yep, a purple snow cone cup bought me an extra hour at the pool without complaints.
  4. I went down the water slide and survived.  I love to swim, but I'll admit I can't see anything without my glasses on ; I'm blind (not really, but its a blurry world) so I don't normally get submerged.  The blessing of no sight going down the water slide, I can't get scared.
  5. Everyone left happy, tired and ready for dry land.  We had a wonderful afternoon at the splash pool and made it back to our house just minutes before a big storm blew through. 
I think next summer the girls and I will plan on meeting some friends at the Splash Pool and we'll plan another excursion during our staycation at the Lake; I'm thinking of checking out some fossil beds nearby.  Isn't digging in dirt the way to a boy's heart?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A New Chapter for this Boating Family

When Mr. C was a baby, we used to take him out on Boat Rides around the Lake and we could guarantee that before we got back home he would be fast asleep.  I'm not sure if he ever made it around the lake awake the entire time until he was almost three. The sound of the motor, the crashing of the waves against the boat, and ultimate ride on Nana's lap was just too much.

Miss M and Miss A were much the same.  The would fight it and try with all their might to keep awake the entire time, but it was too much.  Sleep.  There must be something to said for the trust that little children have for those that love them, that even when they are wearing huge life jackets, speeding across waves, and unable to swim or save themselves that they can just close their eyes and go to sleep.

Those days are long gone.  Now these same kids are asking dad to go faster, begging Uncle S for trips around the lake on the tube, and pleading for trips to Marina for candy or ice cream.  They love the boat, but now they realize that it gives them something back; thrill, joy, trips to Sand Mountain and Sandy Bottoms, and if they are lucky a few sugar highs each weekend too. 

This Spring Mr. C took a six hour " Boat Safety Course" that trained him to drive the boat. At fourteen, he is legally able to drive the boat as long as an adult is in the boat, and he has the certificate to prove he's completed the safety course.  He came out of that afternoon with a lot of knowledge and an eagerness to show off his skills.

With the Holiday weekend winding down on Monday afternoon (after many firework shows, lots of boat traffic and parties all weekend), Dad decided it was a perfect time for Mr. C to take the family out for a ride.  He's good and I'm not biased.  He knows the rules and applies them, he's focused on safety, and knows his limits.  When he docked at the Marina (his sisters' were thrilled), he was slow and steady.  His lap around the lake was peaceful and calm with no big waves overtaking him.

He even knew his limit.  At six o clock on Monday night, the wave runners and tubers were back out in force so he suggested that Dad take us home.  There was too much traffic and commotion on the lake for him.  It was a wise decision as a boat pulling a tube almost side swiped us a few minutes later.  My husband was rattled by that and he's an experienced boater.

Time has really flown since July 4th 1997 when a wee little boy took his first lap around the lake in an old pontoon boat and barely kept his eyes open as we left the cove.  Now, he's a growing young man with eyes wide open and enjoying the ride.  I wouldn't want it any other way!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fabulous Fourth Festivities

We just got back from a wonderful getaway to the Lake to celebrate 4th of July.  We had a great time with our friends and family soaking up the sunshine, splashing in the cool water, and dancing on the sand to the sounds of summer tunes.  Perfection!

We made this into our Staycation too by taking a couple of extra days and, after a busy June, it was just what we needed to relax, refresh, and just jump into the rest of summer.  Miss A said there is "nothing like this in America."  Now considering she's never really been outside of the Midwest (except for CA), she might not be the best judge of this, but the sentiment could not be anymore true.

Lake friends were remade instantly with the "boys" jumping into contests with splashes, jumps, football catching and "slap ball" contests that might have made Nana a little nervous that there would be injuries, but made for very happy boys.  The girls were floating around sharing laughs and secrets.  There were nail parties and dancing contests.  When the neighbors DJ asked if there were any requests for songs on Saturday night, I think the girls were in seventh heaven. 

The "little kids," who are more and more becoming equal to the big kids, have become not only great swimmers and jumpers, but also expert Checkers and Sorry players.  At one point Miss A and Mr. N were in one of the bedrooms with the door closed playing checkers in the loft and my husband pointed out that I never would have allowed "closed doors among opposite sexes" with the other children.  I said it was true, but I know both Mr. N and Miss A are thrilled to have any privacy.  Youngest children need it once in awhile.

There is just something about the Lake house that binds our family together, not just with our immediate unit, but the cousins, the adults and the neighbors.  It's almost like it transports us back into time and gives us a glimpse of the simple life with no cell phones, no computers, no distractions.  Just family. Just Fun!

I've even mentioned to my sister in law that when she sweeps the sand off the sidewalk down by the dock it reminds of the woman in the sod house decades ago who kept trying to keep the "dust" down in her home.  It was a never ending task, but she didn't mind because it showed her family how much she cared for them.

Happy Independence Day America. What a blessing it is to call this Land My Home. God Bless America.