After the parade we had a very busy day, including a Dairy Queen lunch, a Women's World Cup game, firework shopping and more. Between all the busyness mom and the girls found time to decorate the cheesecake we had made the other day:
Then as dinner was getting prepared I took out the more eager little Pepinos for some daytime firecrackers, like snakes, snappers and, of course, smoke bombs:
They loved them of course, as Maria and I regulated and encouraged them.
To add to their utter excitement, my little sister Tessie has three kittens who live in our garage, and they hardly had a moment of peace the whole weekend. This one clearly earned her keep:
But Josie was smart enough to take advantage of Noura the Kitten's exhaustion, and held her for almost a solid hour while watching her older sisters do fireworks.
Meanwhile, the grillmasters grilled.
Josie then got so excited that smoke bombs don't make noise...
...that she decided to join Marguerite to light them!
My lil brother Gus couldn't stay inside with all the fun going on in the backyard.
He probably just came out to chill with this cutie:
Maria was enamoured as well.
The teenagers arrived home from an event, bringing home a balloon animal, whose species was the subject of hot contention. (Bee, butterfly, or hummingbird? You decide!) It was a hit one way or another.
Then it was time to eat. Here's a picture to give an idea of the organized chaos of too many people in a house for the weekend.
As it got dark the excitement mounted.
The teens pretended they were bored, but we know better.
Earlier in the day we had bought no fewer than 150 sparklers, being aware that the Pepino kids had never been allowed to play with them before. But my mom had promised them they could, and us older kids took good care of littles, so lots of sparkles (and lots of smiles) happened!
They lit one after another after another, and were heard to say later that night that this was the best Fourth ever, refering to the sparklers.
Even Josie joined in the fun!!
As the kids went into the garage and chose "their" next firework, and the adults/big kids lit them, everyone enjoyed the yearly spectacle.
(Meanwhile Josie, who hates loud noises, covered her ears!)
Finally, I organized Tessie, Raphael, and Maria to have fun with sparklers while I used the long exposure on my camera, with some nice results.
Happy Fourth of July!!