Happy 4th of July

Last week, we received an invitation to be the guests, this 4th of July. We haven't been the guests very often in the last couple of years...we are usually the hosts. We like it that way - however, I do admit that I was relishing the idea of being guests.

Honestly, we became torn, because our good friends the Buycks have moved back to Knoxville and to Harvest, and the whole church was invited to their home, where they provided most of the meal for everyone, plus water festivities! But we had already accepted our other invitation....so today, we happily loaded up the whole family, grandson included, Jonathan and Sarah too, (Isaac and his sweet girlfriend had already committed to the 4th at her family's house)

...we spent the afternoon with some new-ish members of Harvest. We were treated to ribeye steaks, shrimp, homemade salsa (two kinds, one hot, one mild), salad (two kinds), corn on the cob, baguettes with garlic and butter, an amazing homemade cake...and I seriously could go on.

Timothy loves swimming in Mr. Don's in-ground pool...next year, he will be big enough to go down the slide!

Heartmeltingly adorable. Tim shot some video of Timothy "swimming"...I hope to be able to post it. He really does think he can swim. In fact, if Hannah takes our hosts up on the open invitation we have, he actually will be swimming by the end of summer, even as young as he is. He totally "gets it" and is unafraid to put his face in the water.

Tuckered out daddy and son...

We ate (and ate and ate) and I was invited - nay, pressed upon - nay, forced! to peruse our hosts' lush and large garden. I was prevailed upon to pick a bucketful of blackberries from a thornless blackberry patch, pick at least ten beautiful squash, a half dozen cucumbers, and to harvest all the herbs I wanted. Later, there will be about thirty tomato plants ready to pick, at which time I will get canning lessons. Then, potatoes and garlic and corn will be ready to harvest.

And I haven't even told you about the sewing room, with its four top notch sewing machines plus a serger. Not even lying. Or all the Belgian hand-embroidery going on in that room.

Or the beautifully landscaped property outside.

And I haven't even told you about the fireworks we were treated to, as the sun went down. And I've been asked not to tell you about the cinder block that the men blew up....accidentally. You see, Mr. Don is a former cop, and a firearm safety expert (he trained the men who patrol our southern borders!), and this couple wants to host our teenagers and our families with little ones, and so they don't want anyone thinking that they don't care about Safety First.

So I'm not going to tell you.

Now, it is eleven o'clock, and we are back home...and here is what we are doing:

Cut-throat. These people are brutal board gamers.

Lastly, we miss our son Josiah. We are so proud of his service to this country, as a United States Marine...he is at Camp LeJeune today, unable to come home for the holiday weekend...

We sure wish he could have enjoyed a big ol' ribeye steak with us today. Our hosts would have welcomed the opportunity to spoil him, as they spoiled us.

Happy 4th, everyone!