Pipers in the parade

It's been a week of celebrations.

Wednesday, of course, was Independence Day. We left home early to head out to Delano (home of Minnesota's oldest and largest 4th of July parade) where some friends live on the parade route. They invite family and friends over for a day of watching the parade and eating. This year the host along with his father and some friends got together and played some blues songs in the alley behind their house in the afternoon. Despite nearly 100 degree temperatures, we all had fun.

On the way home, we stopped at a lake to cool off for a quick swim (along with a couple hundred other people). Then we headed down to our old stomping grounds in St. Louis Park for fireworks with friends and friends of friends. We still love watching them there--you get to sit up close and personal, and they're really good fireworks for a smaller suburb.

Yes, that would be our child in a Canada
shirt on Independence Day
Yesterday Anders had friends from school over to celebrate his birthday. We (as usual) went simple and set up a pool, slip-and-slide, and a sprinkler in the yard for the kids to cool off with on yet another hot day (all week was upper 90s with at least one day in the 100s). My wife made a superb ice cream cake (we made the kids eat fruit first). Water balloons may have also been involved.

Today was Anders' actual birthday. After breakfast in bed (a tradition) we headed down to the Mall of America (I tried to persuade him to do something outside--the zoo or anything besides the Mall, but he wanted to go to the Lego store and we had four tickets for rides at Nickelodeon Universe). After a new Lego set and getting to ride a few things, we headed across the street to Ikea where a birthday lunch of Swedish meatballs had been requested. 
Picture by Anders

Pizza was requested for supper, so we sacrificed and cranked up the oven to make a couple homemade pizzas (Anders' half was ham and pineapple--his favorite), but ate outside which was slightly cooler than the kitchen by that point. We ended the evening with some archery (Beth had made him a quiver for his arrows for his birthday) and a dip in the lake (both boys have gotten good at swimming despite having only gone a few times this year).

Tomorrow we're off to celebrate another birthday party--this time for one of Nils' classmates.

The 8-year old
There is much to celebrate...(including the cooler weather that rolled in last night)

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