Star Spangled Fun 2017

We love the 4th of July in our house, so I can’t let the holiday sneak away without sharing our long weekend fun!


We started the weekend off with Liam’s belt promotion ceremony with Victory Martial Arts.

He moved up in belt rank to Cheeri recommended from Baeoh in the Tiger program. We continue to be so proud of him for his accomplishments, hard work & dedication. Huge thanks to Mr. Johnson and Mr. Valle, as well! Mr. Valle is off to college now, so we will miss seeing him each week, but we’ll definitely be keeping in touch!

Saturday evening, we intended to go mini golfing but the rain thwarted those plans. Instead, we headed to the bowling alley.

The boys were very competitive with one another. My score was awful….hahaha! A good time was had by all, though!

My little artist creating a work of art with his gnome for the front walkway.

We couldn’t let the holiday go by without a celebratory photo. Trying to get both of these boys to BOTH look at the camera was work, peeps!  As you can kinda tell, Timber was not amused with my antics. This shot was Liam’s favorite, so it wins for getting posted 🙂

Monday, it was a just me & little man hanging out while Daddy was visiting his Grandma. So, we had a movie date. Despicable Me 3 was super cute!!

On the 4th, we all got up bright & early and headed out to Cocoa Beach. The weather was gorgeous but it was a scorcher out there.

The sand by our chairs was too hot to play in, so we were building castles by the sea shore ❤

Finished masterpiece by Liam & Daddy….

We decided to forgo our usual trip downtown to see the fireworks this year, and instead, we did some at home. It’s always a little more challenging when holidays fall during the week, so we decided to be creative this year. It worked out well since we’ve actually been seeing quite a bit of fireworks lately on our trips to Disney. So none of us felt like we were missing out {I looove my fireworks!}

photo credit of mommy & daddy by Liam 🙂

Our little firecracker!

You can link up to the posts from previous 4th of July celebrations — HERE

It was a great weekend celebrating our nation’s birthday! ❤

Until next time, friends!

10 Tips For a Safe July 4th!

Happy Birthday, America!

I want to share another post I wrote a few year’s back for Orlando Mom’s Blog, as the tips are still relevant for each & every 4th of July holiday. Many of us choose to celebrate with fireworks (who doesn’t love them, right?), so let’s always remember to be safe while we are having fun celebrating this great holiday for our nation.

When I think of the fourth of July, I think of fireworks. Yes, I realize that we are celebrating the birth of American independence, but ever since I was a child, I have always associated this holiday with those beautiful colors that light up the night sky.

Even at 34 weeks pregnant a few years back, I made my husband take me out in what seemed like 100 degree Florida heat to gather around Lake Eola here in downtown Orlando to see the spectacular fireworks show. Now that we have our little man, we have continued the tradition of returning to see this show each year. I truly love seeing my son’s eyes light up as he watches what he believe to be magic!

Whether you are like our family & choose to go to public fireworks events, or you like to do them at your home, please always remember to be safe! While fireworks are fun, we must not forget that they are dangerous. Only adults should handle them, and children & pets should be closely supervised while around them. Children like to do sparklers, and admittedly, we let our almost 4 year old do his 1st sparkler this past weekend. We made sure we stood right next to him & he held it far away from his body, but I will tell you that this momma was still a tad bit nervous. If you are not comfortable with it, don’t do it. Simple as that. Little arms are short, and sparklers can heat up to a staggering 1,200 degrees. A great alternative to sparklers is glow sticks! I know my little one LOVES them & never turns one down.

Here are my TOP 10 Tips for Fireworks Safety this July 4th:

1. Obey all laws regarding the use of fireworks.

2. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.

3. Point fireworks away from your body, other people, homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances.

4. Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.

5. Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.

6. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

7. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.

8. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

9. Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.

10. Never try to make your own fireworks.

Did you know there is a National Council on Fireworks Safety? Many of my tips were taken from the recommendations on their website — www.fireworkssafety.org

I hope you & your family have a happy & SAFE Independence Day holiday!

Star Spangled Fun ~ 2016

The 4th of July weekend has evolved into an important little family tradition for us. While it’s not a major holiday filled with all the hustle & bustle most of us are accustomed to, it’s one that we’ve definitely grown to look forward to with our little man. We usually have one or two low-key family hangouts over the long weekend, and of course, fireworks.

To link up to last year’s fun, click HERE

2014’s festivities — HERE

2013’s festivities — HERE


We kicked off our weekend with some birthday fun at Monkey Joe’s for one of Liam’s friends from Pre-K, Jase. There were several of his little buddies there from school, and some of them hadn’t see one another since graduation a few weeks back. Needlesstosay, these boys had a great afternoon!

2016-07-02_Jase Bday Party_Monkey Joes 001

Sunday evening, we caught up with some friends for yummy dinner & dessert. Take a look at that smores dip! …it was delish! The kiddos had a grand ‘ole time with sparklers, too. I don’t think we could let a 4th go by without sparklers 😉

2016-07-04_Fourth of July 019

2016-07-04_Fourth of July 023

All the holiday festivities didn’t start for us on Monday until later in the day, so I got a brilliant idea to go to the park & splash pad with little man…instead of the pool. I told him it would be fun to change things up. OMGEE….it’s been so hot…I think we both questioned my judgement later on 🙂 ….still had fun, though & was all smiles!

2016-07-04_Fourth of July 018

2016-07-04_Fourth of July 015

We decided to give the fireworks at Avalon Park a try this year in an effort to stick closer to home since we had work & camp the next morning. We way underestimated the number of people that we thought would be there. Parking was crazy!!

2016-07-04_Fourth of July 012

Despite the massive amount of people crowding the streets in Avalon, we managed to find awesome seats in the grass right on the lake. These two sweaty boys were still all smiles!

2016-07-04_Fourth of July 009

Patriotic little man ❤

2016-07-04_Fourth of July 011

Headphones make great noise mufflers for loud fireworks! 🙂 ….He really enjoyed the show!!

2016-07-04_Fourth of July 005

2016-07-04_Fourth of July 002

It was a great evening celebrating our great nation’s birthday! ❤

Until next time, friends!

Script Signature

Star Spangled Fun

We had so much fun for our holiday weekend! For a look back on the last few year’s be sure to check out here and here.

On Friday, Stephen had to work so it was just little man & me hanging out. We are huge fans of the PBS series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, so we caught a few episodes on Netflix while playing & cleaning up. I walked by Liam’s marker board at one point in the afternoon & he told me he drew O the Owl from the show…so cute!

2015-07-03_O-the-Owl

I couldn’t help snapping a pic of this one practicing brushing his teeth solo…we do it for him but we’re also trying to teach him how to do it by himself after we do it. This was cuteness overload for me.

2015-07-03_brushing teeth

After we got ready for bed on Friday, we went out front to do a few small fireworks. Someone LOVES him some sparklers! If you didn’t see my latest post last week for OMB, be sure to check it out — HERE.

2015-07-03_sparklers

All decked out in their RED, WHITE & BLUE ❤

2015-07-04_Happy Fourth Of July

Before fireworks & fun-time on Saturday, we grilled up some deliciousness 🙂

2015-07-03_grilling

Little dude had to grill up something of his own too….just.like.Daddy 😉

2015-07-04_grilling like daddy

only one word for this —> YUM ….all about balance, right?!?!

2015-07-04_yum

After dinner, we headed over to Lake Eola to hang out & catch some fireworks.

2015-07-04_waiting for fireworks

This one gave us an awesome dance show while we waited for it to get dark…..note the shoes 😉 ….I had taken mine off while we lounged on our blanket. He also took his off but then put mine on & paraded around. Hilarious!

2015-07-04_dancing waiting for fireworks

For a while, it looked like it might storm, but we got this awesome sunset just before nightfall.

2015-07-04_Lake Eola

Fantastic show, as always, City of Orlando!!

2015-07-04_Lake Eola Fireworks EDITED

We had a great holiday weekend celebrating our great nation’s birthday! Hope you did as well!

Until next time, friends!

Script Signature

Recent Happenings

Today, I would like to wish my Grampy a VERY Happy 89th Birthday!!

I am so thankful that are we able to create wonderful new memories with him. For those of you who know, the last few years have been rather difficult since my Grammy passed & we figured out that he was progressing with Dementia. It’s gotten worse more recently, and I give huge kudos to my mom for taking such great care of him. It’s definitely not an easy task on a day-to-day basis.

However, we had a great afternoon with him on Sunday to celebrate his birthday, and I was thrilled that he was feeling good and seemed to really remember everyone. We took him out to lunch and met up with his sister, Frieda and her two daughters (his nieces).

Liam colored a picture on his own birthday card for Grampy.  It was really cute. We all know you can’t make an almost  3 year old do anything he doesn’t want to do, so it was awesome that he said yes to me when I asked him if he wanted to color a picture, and then he told me when he was done 🙂

2014-07-12_Coloring Great Grampy Bday Card

This was our group picture taken at lunch. It came out really awesome!

2014-07-13_Grampy Bday Lunch

The last few times that we have visited with Grampy, I have asked Liam to take a picture with Grampy but he has been too shy. So, I didn’t force. Let me just tell you that he was very loving and affectionate to Grampy on Sunday. It was awesome!! I know that in those moments it really made Grampy feel special. It warmed our hearts! I am treasuring this picture. When we brought Grampy back to his apartment that afternoon, Liam even went over to him and gave him a hug & a kiss all on his own. It was adorable ❤

2014-07-13_Liam and Grampy 1

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRAMPY!! WE LOVE YOU!

*******************

So, I was a little behind last week with my posts & didn’t get a chance to put up our 4th of July pictures. After much debate about where to go to catch fireworks, we ended up going back to Lake Eola & it was a great time for us, again….despite the rainy afternoon. Thankfully, all that cleared up just in time for the sun to go down 🙂

Here is me & my little man hanging out on our blanket and waiting for the festivities to begin.

2014-07-04_Lake Eola 4th of July 001

Snack break!

2014-07-04_Lake Eola 4th of July 002

Even though Liam has seen fireworks on tv several times since we saw them here last year, in person, nothing compares to the BOOM you experience live…well, it scared our little guy at first this year. This picture shows that emotion. I actually think it turned out pretty sweet. After a few minutes he settled down and sat up and watched the rest of the show. Afterwards, he said he had a good time and liked it 🙂

2014-07-04_Lake Eola 4th of July 005

It really was a good show!

2014-07-04_Lake Eola 4th of July 009

Hope everyone’s July is off to a good start….can you believe we are already half way to August?!?! Where is the summer going?? Crazy!!

~H