Fourth of July Weekend 2020 with Friends

Emily and Nathaniel and their kids stayed with us from Friday morning July 3rd until Sunday evening July 5th, and Sarah and Sean and Evie came over three days in a row. There were big-boy sleepovers in the basement, girls sleeping in the backyard tent, mason-jar ice cream, a 5th birthday party for Caleb, a "Hamilton" viewing party, stress-weeding, and lots of fun and food. We were so happy to have them all visit!


On Friday after a lunch of Blackbird donuts and homemade bagels with pimiento cheese or everything cream cheese and roast beef (and Kiwi onion dip, made with the ingredients we brought back from NZ in January--Samantha and Lyla adored it and ate most of it), we took a walk over to the house of a BSO flutist to deliver an 80th birthday card for her father. I also had a letter to mail, so both Evie and Helen (sorry, Laura Ingalls, in the dress that was mine as a child) got to clutch an envelope in the wagon on the way over, and then there was a short playground stop on the way home.

In the afternoon, big boys played some video games (actually it's a cooperative game they were all playing on their phones together) and others assembled the tent, and then we ate mushroom-rice salad, pulled pork, and biscuits and assorted sides from Sweet Cheeks for supper, plus a strawberry cake and whipped cream. After dinner we all played Telestrations and laughed to the point of practically falling over.

On Saturday morning after waffles, Robert and Helen led a hike through parts of Franklin Park. There was rock-climbing and wagon-carrying at different points, and everyone returned extremely hot, but pretty satisfied with themselves.

Saturday after lunch of cheeses and cold cuts and crostini, the little kids played some game with a monkey and a banana (balance the banana on your foot, etc.), while the big boys goofed around with pillows and balloons. Then I got out 32-ounce mason jars and each kid got a jar and filled it with a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of sugar, a dash of vanilla, and a cup of heavy cream. Then they chose what else to add as they liked--rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, crushed-up Oreos, chunks of cookie dough, sliced strawberries, sliced mango, or any combination of those--and shook the jar for five minutes. We wrote their names on the jars and stuck them in the freezer, and then pulled them out after dinner (grilled miso-rubbed chicken thighs and gojuchang-rubbed skirt steak, lots of grilled zucchinis, and corn on the cob); clearly this wasn't custard-style ice cream, but it had a pretty good texture and the kids were proud of their concoctions. No adult, stealing scoops from the children's jars and topping them with hot fudge, whipped cream, or more sprinkles, complained either.

Sunday breakfast was a biscuit and cheese egg casserole, and then in the middle of the day we celebrated Caleb's birthday, since Emily had bought decorations and a cake-topper and paper goods a month or more ago but hadn't gotten around to making him a "real" birthday party at home, alone, in quarantine. Sarah directed the placement of the big-top-style pennants; Samantha took charge of the cardboard circus train centerpiece; I made the cake and copious amounts of popcorn; Caleb led an assembly line making his favorite kind of sandwich, peanut butter and nutella, with sprinkles on it for a festive touch; and Robert grilled hot dogs (the grown-ups topped theirs with dill pickle sauerkraut, daikon kimchi, and leftover pulled pork from Friday night. Sarah even brought over a lot of circus-themed dress-up clothes, and Samantha and Helen supplemented with pieces from their Halloween costumes (Mary Poppins and Burt the chimney sweep). Samantha did face-painting for all the little kids, and Robert made cotton candy with Sarah's wedding-registry cotton candy machine.


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Created: 7/17/20. Last Modified: 7/17/20.