The 4th of July celebrations are already in full swing. We kicked off the festivities with the annual parade and herding of cattle through downtown streets. Easton and Layla remembered a few details of the event last year, but you can see their "impress me if you can attitude when we first arrived.
Once the people gathered and the excitement built, they were jumping around like mexican beans impatiently waiting for the parade to start. They had the best seat in the house... on top of Oupa's and my shoulders.
We were happy GG joined us because she brings the decades-long tradition and we get to meet some of her local friends. Always glad to have her around... Seeing the four generations of ladies (GG, Ouma, Kendra, Layla) together is such a treat.
Layla's fuse was lit by the flag bearer cowgirls galloping their horses past us. Of course Layla's loud voice, expressive hand waving, and energetic smile drew responses from almost every single parade participant.
I proudly held her high and smiled along with her. Meanwhile, Kendra and Ouma were underwhelmed by the event, but happy to be there with all of us. Seeing this for the 20th or 30th time probably loses its sparkle so it's understandable how they can pose so glamorously while the action is rolling through town.
The twins had their eyes glued to the street waiting for the what's next in line. Their faces show well the response to the first "impress me" picture. they were more than impressed... They were amazed.
After the parade we cleared out a little extra space for the real-deal rodeo portion. About 100 head of cattle and tens of horses shuffled by without incident. Last year a few of the cows headed out in to the crowd. We made sure the twins were several feet behind up on a hill just in case.
Ouma and Oupa left the 4 Webbs in charge of their house while they head South to LA for a visit with their friends. We're already looking forward to their return in a couple of days, but I'm happy they took a little mini-vacation.
We missed several weeks of park play time as the temperatures spiked in Phoenix early this spring. Good thing we have plenty of opportunities to make up for the lost time. According to my previous blog post, it's been exactly a year since we were here last. The biggest difference I noticed was their drive to try new things and push their own balance boundaries. A year ago I was encouraging them to climb and step onto new surfaces through the castle. This year they are officially considered self-starters in this area.
I found myself being a bit over protective as they ventured out onto new territory which includes a slight risk of accident if they fell. There are very few things that hurt me as deeply as seeing one of the twins get hurt. Only a few bobbles and close calls came from the increased risk so I'm more comfortable than ever to let them play on the bigger kid portions of the park. More times than not they will ask me to play with them. I always do, but only for a portion of the time. As soon as I stepped away and observed from across the park they were making friends with other kids.
I overheard one of the new friend's tell his older sister, "These two are our cousins now." The sister gave him a perplexed look, but since Easton and Layla were smiling and nodding their heads she went right along with their new family member idea.
Speaking of close family... We cheered for our adopted cousin Aimee at the boys Major All Star Team tournament baseball game. She is one of the best players in the entire boys league and the other teams respect her as well. She started out at first base and did great. this poor kid didn't have a chance as she caught the out at first.
Then she stepped up to the mound and pitched a few impressive innings. Sorry for the fuzzy spots in the pictures. I took these through the fence. :)