Happy 4th of July {And a Family Celebration!}

Happy Birthday USA.

It’s been a few years since hubby and I have hosted the family 4th of July Party. There was no way I was going to in 2014 and last year we thought we were selling our house so we didn’t open the pool. This year we didn’t open the pool until 2 weeks before the 4th, but decided to open it.

That morning dad brought over the hay trailer and they loaded up the hay bales to get them off the field so that the fireworks didn’t catch them on fire.


Fourth of July

Hi… my name is Nicole and I’m a picture addict. I totally like them and I make no apologies for that. The thing I do apologize for is not printing more and displaying more. That’s one problem I have with digital photos, otherwise I absolutely LOVE them!

Saturday was the 4th of July. Hubby had to go with the MO Governor’s Mounted Guard to help park cars for the Seneca fireworks. Baby girl and I stayed at the house so she could nap and not get to hot and then we had plans to go down later in the evening.

Hubby on the other hand was supposed to take pictures because a girl has a blog and needs pictures… dun dun dun… epic fail. ha! He didn’t take any.

Baby girl and I went over to grandma and grandpa’s around 5pm to see what they were up to and invite them down to watch the fireworks with us. Around 7 or so we loaded up, went and ate dinner at Applebee’s and then headed down to the fireworks.

There is no epic fail there though… I took pictures!


Extreme Fourth of July

Saturday hubby was off helping the Missouri Governors Mounted Guard. Squirrel girl and I stayed home so she didn’t get to hot and then we showed up later in the evening. I asked him to take pictures for me so I could write a blog post… dun dun dun, he didn’t. I asked him how I was supposed to write a blog post with no pictures. So that being said, I guess you can tell I like pictures… that is if you didn’t already know that. I guess what I’m trying to do is justify my number of pictures for today’s post. So without further ado, Today’s blog post…..

Thursday night started off our round of Fourth of July parties. The first Thursday of the month is our Extreme Dive Club meeting and being as though it was July, that mean the Fourth of July bash!

Wednesday’s I usually go to the dive shop to work on blog posts for the Extreme Sports Scuba blog as well as help out in any way I can. During the summer on Wednesday nights there is a local children’s camp that we go help out at with try Scuba. But being 4th of July week, there was no camp. So hubby and I went to Deb & Grady’s to help get the meat ready for Jared to smoke on Thursday.

I usually volunteer anytime anyone needs onions cut up. I love to chop, dice, slice, you name it…


How to: Take Fourth of July Pictures

It’s that time of year… How on earth did we get to the 4th of July? The thing that the fourth of July brings besides celebrations of our Nations heritage and food, parties and get togethers, is fireworks. Who doesn’t like fireworks? I guess there are those out there… but I’m not one of them. I love them.

So the next thing to think about is how do you capture them on film? If you’re ever around me or you’ve been on my blog for a while, you know that I take pictures of EVERYTHING and I mean everything. Although every once in a while I miss a shot and have a #bloggerfail but usually I take pictures of Everything.

A couple years ago I went to every fourth party I could to learn how to take pictures of fireworks and today I want to pass along some of the tips and tricks I learned along the way.

dSLR and Point and Shoot directions for taking fireworks pictures

Normally people would tell you that you have to have a dSLR to be able to take photos like these. And while I’m not going to lie, it is helpful, I didn’t take all those photos above with my dSLR… Nope, I took one of them with a point and shoot. Can you guess which one?

So my first recommendation would be to get a tripod. If not a tripod, make sure you have a very solid foundation for your camera to sit on to avoid camera shake.

Maybe I should have stated my first recommendation would be to have a camera… or maybe that is just a given. Okay moving on…

So you can definitely check out this post that helps clarify aperture and shutter speed… I’ll wait while you refresh yourself…

Okay now for the settings for a dSLR to take great photos of fireworks.

ISO: 100. Now normally that would be what you set it at for a bright and sunny day… and you might be thinking, but wait, what… these will be at night. Oh but that’s the way to do it. First off at night you’ll get a lot of noise, especially by bumping up your ISO. To avoid that and with fireworks being extremely bright against the night sky you don’t need a high ISO.


Our 1st 4th of July Celebration

Our first 4th of July celebration was at Dive club meeting on July 3rd. When we got to Grandeb’s and Grady’s Sysco and Pete were already in the pool enjoying!

The food was pulled pork with sides brought by everyone. We brought Blackberry cobbler. I didn’t come home with any leftovers. Kinda cool, kinda sad….

Kimmy had her cousin there and she was trying scuba for the first time.

Mini Lee collapsed on the ground and refused to walk. It was kinda cute! Okay, no it was really cute, especially since it didn’t happen to me.

Peanut was passed around. Momma Bear though knew where she was at all times… lol. I didn’t let her get far out of my sight.

They finally let Leo off his leash. There were a couple times we had to chase him down because he fit through the slats of the fence.

Eventually they saddled up the horses.

Say, mommy made me wear ear protection. I’m still looking for better ear protection for her but this worked fairly well. Although she wasn’t dealing with it so well… but then she went to sleep so she didn’t care.

And a family photo.

Then it was time for the fireworks. She only jumped a couple times…

And that was our 1st 4th of July adventure (outing).

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One last 4th Post

The way this year fell, we hit a lot of 4th of July parties.  It was a great year, especially celebrating this grand ol’ country we live in.

Sadie was hoping she’d get something so she had no problem hanging out with SH

Smoke Bombs

I promise they were being supervised!


Walter – The mean killer dog… lol

And watch out for Andrew!

What can I say, we’ve decided that we know how to eat right?!?!  Earl and I thought these might be good in smores because you’d also get the caramelized sugars.

What’s a 4th party without some Nascar?  Oh, and we eventually turned it to baseball…

Hi CH.  How ya doin?

And then it was on, mommas vs kiddos in badmitton. 

Finally once the sun went down, it was time to start the show.

I had lots of great chances this year to shoot fireworks.  Loved it.  Happy Independence day United States of America!!!

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Dive Club on the 4th of July!

So I think lately you’ve probably heard quite a bit about diving.  Well… sometimes at our house, when we get on a new kick, it seems like we just go and go and go like the energizer bunny.  So anyway, on the 4th of July, we attended the local Dive Club meeting, which just so happened to be a 4th of July party.  Sweet!  That’s a great way to start and better yet, there was food.  So I’d like to take you to our dive club meeting via photos.  I’m not going to lie, it reminded me a lot of a Sunday Night Dinner :).  Sorry, this again is a photo heavy post.  Enjoy!

I absolutely LOVED the plate/napkin holder that Grady & Deb had.  Grady couldn’t remember where they found it, but I seriously think it would be easy to recreate… (hint hint hubby)

Wednesday night while we were doing our pool classes for our diving certification, Deb was busy smoking the meat for Thursday night.  Oh boy was this good.  We had pulled pork and brisket.

D the Man brought his famous chicken.

We had salads galore!

The rest of the sides included stuffed jalapenos, baked beans, corn casserole, green bean casserole and Pita chips with Spinach artichoke dip and Hummus.

Leo got passed around from person to person.  He’s 14 weeks old now I overheard them saying.

This is Pete.  Pete is awesome!  Earlier in the day when we got there, he and another dog were playing catch.  Grady told them to stay out of the pool so the dogs were trying to get away with throwing their toys in the pool to retrieve without getting caught.  It was hilarious.

John is waiting for any day now his grandchild will be born.  He and his wife have their bags packed and are ready to hop on a plane!  He’s such a kid magnet though so we all know he’ll be a great grandfather!

One word here – ornery.

The best part was when I went up to take photos, no one questioned me, they just helped me get the food photos!  Heck yeah, I guess I’m making my mark on things… lol.

Finally it was time for dessert.

I made the flag cake.  Earl made the red, white and blue rice krispies.

This ice cream tastes just like a Wendy’s Frosty

After we were done eating, Divergirl and hubby wanted to go shoot.  JT was in and so was Grady.  They asked the Aussie and he was like, I love this country.  It’s a good day when you ask if you want to target practice and everyone grabs their guns.  lol.

The goat was seriously cracking me up.  He wanted to be involved in the fireworks too.

After we were done with the shooting range, we were walking back up to where the rest of the party was happening and saw the goat on top of the horse hay.  Silly goat.  or smart, maybe….

Finally it was time for the Fireworks display. The real awesome thing was the fact that there were people all around us shooting them off as well so we really got a fabulous show.

This was a GREAT way to spend the 4th!

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4th of July Partaey

So this last Saturday we had our annual 4th of July Party!  It was a lot of fun as you’ll see from this picture overload!  Hope you can handle it!

Jalapeno Peppers – YUM!

I’d like to point out with the help of JT, I grilled these dogs!

Hubby’s Smoked Beans

Hubby’s Smoked Cabbage

Smoked Pork and Smoked Brisket

My Patriotic Toes this year.

After dinner, the kiddo’s went swimming again until it was time for desserts.  The funny thing is our pool NEVER gets warm.  It was like 74 degrees in the pool.  And the other funny thing about our pool was how people swam in shifts.  It was crazy.

It’s not a party until there is a bump on the noodle-noggin (aka the head)

Tbug and Zebra girl waiting for dessert.  They were chilly.

My MIL’s cookies

And who can forget homemade ice cream?!?!

Vanilla, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip & Pineapple-Cherry

Then it was time for the kiddo’s to go shoot off fireworks!

Tbug, Zebra girl & MF decided to watch from the distance.

And I even found a glowstick in the bottom of our pool…. apparently Hubby and JT put it there for the fun of it.

My FIL’s dog Bud was ready to go home when it was all said and done.

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