We're back from my folks for our last 4th of July at their house and it couldn't have been a better weekend (well, it could have been a little cooler as it was pushing 90 degrees). The old house is sold (closing on the 16th) and it's been all good news for them. They were set to move into their retirement village, but not into the exact model they wanted, so they were going to move and then have to move again when one opened up (they're first on the waiting list). Get this, last week the model they wanted with the sunroom on it opened up as the buyers who had been holding it for 7 months decided not to move yet…their home wasn't sold and their time was up. I don't know how things could go any smoother for my folks…they're so blessed, and I'm so thankful!!!
We arrived Friday afternoon to stay at my youngest sister's home and then we drove up to see my parent's new twin single (the sunroom will make a huge difference as with two bedrooms and one great room it gives them somewhere to get away from each other when they need their own space (I call it the 'sanity room'...going from a four bedroom two story they'll need it). They have a nice couple next door in the attached single, and my parents seemed really happy about the home they bought there. I'd put their house plan and all the furniture they're taking on my architect software so I took some final measurements while we were there and had it all ready for Mom to print/look at before I left (with the program you can even take a 'walk through' of what it will look like with the furniture in it.).
We spent the weekend with all four of my siblings, so it was really nice to have almost everyone there; my older sister from Chicago (with their two boys/her DH and DD stayed home), my middle sister's whole family (they have four teen boys), my younger brother, and my youngest sister's family where we stayed (they have two young boys). My two oldest went downtown with their cousin's (my middle sis's two oldest boys are almost the same ages as my DD and DS1, so they've grown up as close cousin's) for the city's big fireworks display while the rest of us visited with the family. We had plenty of backyard fireworks shows over the weekend (yes, we had to stop in Ohio to pick some up on the way in). We took the kids to the pool on Saturday, and yes, I did….I wore my bikini…I was asked how long it had been since I'd worn a bikini…ummm, about 20 years…I'm guessing my lotion tanner wasn't enough to fool anyone that my belly hadn't seen the light of day for eons…no matter…I appreciated my new, albeit pale, belly.
Sunday was the best 4th of July ever! I'm sure I've told you how my parent's moved into their home 44 years ago and it was in the first 100 homes (Phase 1) of what is now a 2,000+ homes, elementary school, 18 hole golf course, development. My parents were the first 'Chairmen' of the community's first 4th of July parade (my Dad was President of the Civic Association and it was his idea). It's been a part of our year ever since (their street has entered a float every year and I, and my kids have ridden on plenty of them). Since it was the 40th Anniversary of the first parade, this year's committee asked them to be the 'Grand Marshall's' of the parade (the theme for this year's parade was 'It's the 70's All Over Again') and they were so touched and honored that they were asked (and what perfect timing with the move). My brother (in the retail automotive industry) borrowed a new Mercedes convertible to drive them (and DD was the 'co-pilot' and videotaped them along the way). They had a special breakfast at the Club with the committee and judges and they had a blast during the parade (Dad was laughing recounting hearing someone say 'I didn't know he was still alive' LOL)! All the past-chairmen get to decorate a golf cart and ride in the parade so the 4 oldest teen grandchildren rode on the cart too. The couple (and their 6 mo. old daughter) that is buying their home came to the parade at Mom and Dad's suggestion (through their Realtor) and they made a point to find my parents as they lined up before the parade and introduce themselves…they were SO happy to meet them and I think it really helped my folks to know that they're turning over their home to a nice family.
I had prepped and started a 'Note To The New Owners' paper to leave in the house, where we each wrote down some of our favorite memories in the house and told them how much they would enjoy raising their family there (making a copy as a surprise for Mom and Dad). Yes, there were lots of teary moments and even a few blubbering ones, but most were not in front of our parents, so it was really a very happy weekend for them (I'll be back there for the move in two weeks, so I'm sure that will be emotional). I was also really touched by my children's reactions…we're the ones who have moved a lot and have lived in 7 different houses, so for my kids, especially the older ones, my parent's home is really the only stable 'home base' they've known. My youngest gave up being with his two closest cousin's on Sunday night so that, as he said, he could have 'a last 4th' fireworks at his grandparents'. It was the perfect evening and a perfect weekend.
We took lots of pics in front of the house...my parents, my 4 siblings and me (yes, the 'baggy star shorts' are old and awful...I forgot to buy something for the Fourth LOL).
My three sister's and I. We laughed all weekend...until we cried...and then we laughed again...it was a blast. From the left: My 'Middle Sis' (She's the elementary teacher. I'm SO proud of her...she's lost a LOT of weight and was now in some of my 'sisterhood' Capri's in a size 18 and they were swimming on her...AWESOME as she's the one with medical problems/diabetes/strokes and I worry about her, so I was surprised and THRILLED!). My 'Older Sister' (She's the PE Special Ed teacher and just returned from coaching the USA Special Olympic/Adult Boccia team in the International Olympics in Lisbon. She and her DH adopted two Downs Syndrome boys and they have a DD of their own.). And the baby, my 'Youngest Sis' (She's at home like me and busy with their two small boys/one is my Godson. I can't believe how fast my little nephews are growing up...they're adorable...it just makes you appreciate the days we get with our kids even more.).
I hope you all had a GREAT 4th (and for my international friends 'a great weekend')!!! The grandkids (minus one-my niece)...cheaper by the dozen! My three are far left in the green shirt- DS2, to the left of his Grandad- DS1, and the only granddaughter- DD.