July was full as usual. The 4th of July has become my family holiday. The Salem Dixons stayed the night and extended the party. Ariel's Mother was here from the Dominican Republic and it was fun sharing our traditions with her. Emily and Matthew both had to work, so we missed them this year. Mom and Dad and Lindy and Wally and Sandy and Jack and new pup, Sunny, came too. Lindy is still recovering from her foot surgery. Dennis, Abby, Gabe and Daniel went to Italy with his work, so they didn't get to be with us this 4th.
Josh was proud to show off his new car. In the pic below, Josh and Josiah are waiting for firework time. Not an easy thing to do for the kid who wants to light them.
This was the smoke from our firepit, it made pretty cool rays.
Emily and Matthew were working on the 4th but came up for brunch the next Sunday. These two newlyweds are off to Europe for a whole month starting the first of August!
That afternoon, I went to celebrate my nephew David's marriage to Jennelle.
Rosibel and Jimmy and her new mother-in-law and her friend came out and made tamales. They are made the Central American way of wrapping them in banana leaves instead of the Mexican way of using corn husks. The leaves add moisture and flavor. They are filled with meat, vegetables and rice. We spent the morning putting them together and by early afternoon, we were filling our stomachs with them.
It has been a cloudy month. Even though it has not been a rainy month and it has been warm, the clouds are usually covering the mountain for at least part of the day.
I don't care if they are weeds, the dandelions were so gorgeous by this fence I had to stop and get a photo.
One of the few times we saw the mountain this month.
The flowers have been amazing this year. Each new plant that blooms is loaded and such pretty color. I decided to make a flower rainbow from some of them.
My morning porch time has been full of humming birds. The come and go, some are so noisy with their clicking, and wings propelling the air, others come and go almost silently. Then there are the fighters. Sometimes they almost hit me as they dart around each other.
I posted the red head one last month. Here is the same bird, a whole different color, just by turning his head.
This little guy decided to have a little bath in the wet hosta leaves.
Hummers are not the only morning visitors.
There is at least one rabbit.
A few chipmunks and squirrels...
and even a deer came for a visit!
A lady bug
and a few spider webs.
Somehow, I have ended up the class reunion organizer for three reunions. This year was our 45th. We had a fantastic turnout! 85 people attended, 50 of those were from our class. I delegated most of the work, saving my favorite part of table decorating for myself.
Jessi had to make an unexpected trip to the Dominican Republic for open heart surgery for her host father. He was also superintendent for the school she was a nurse in when she lived there. Alberto is a very special man in her life and there was no way she could stay home. She flew down to be with his family for the surgery. Ariel stayed home for work and that meant I got to have the kids off and on for a week! Three overnighters even! We had a fun, busy time together.
My morning porch time was shared with the girls.
Earlier in the month, Arianna discovered how much fun paper dolls are when she found my old ones. She played and played with them.
So I found some new paper dolls for them to cut out and play with of their own. It was so fun sitting with them, cutting them out. They did a really great job of cutting them out.
Lina pulled off the daisy petals...he loves me, he loves me not...until the end...HE LOVES ME!!!
Of course, it would be best to catch a fish, but he really doesn't seem to mind as long as he gets to try. He brought along his new fly rod and seems to have it all figured out.
Here is how I found the dresser after the girls put the Barbies away.
We went to the cheap matinee for a movie. Josiah ate a whole large bucket of popcorn!
Here are a few random shots from our hike to the river.
Deep Creek meets the Sandy River.
Straight up from here is our house.