This July 4th weekend was a busy one for us. On Friday, we drove up to Branson for the day. We swam at the condo's pool for a little bit, ate lunch, then laid Brooklyn down for a nap. My parents watched B as she napped, while Allison and I took Emma to White Water. Emma has been taking swim lessons this summer, and has really progressed a lot...she can now stick her head under the water, and swim(ish) without floaties. White Water has three kids areas with lots of fun stuff. Emma spent most of her time at the big kids park, where she fearlessly did all the water slides. Over. And Over. And Over Again. It was really fun! We drove back home that night after eating with my parents at Fudruckers. When we got back, all our neighbors were beginning their annual festivities. We walked down to shoot a few fireworks off with the Archer's before going to bed.
Saturday morning, I got up about 4:45 AM and drove down to Lost Valley (near Ponca/Boxley) to take some pictures of Eden Falls. I recently purchased Tim Ernst's guide to all the known waterfalls in Arkansas, so I've been trying to hit the local ones when I get the chance. The hike is crazy easy and the falls are absolutely amazing. There are 3 falls (Cave, Middle, Lower), and I shot the lower 2 (I'm not going into a cave by myself). I picked up McDonald's for my girls on my way back into town.
Saturday night, the Hale's hosted a big shindig out at their farm. Tons of people, food, games, and fireworks. This is the first year Emma hasn't been totally fearful of fireworks. She actually held a sparkler without crying, which is a big step. Here are some pictures of the kids in attendance at the Hale's party. We had to leave before the big fireworks started, as the whole family was thoroughly exhausted.
On a side note, I got locked inside my office building this morning before church. We apparently had a power outage at the office that lasted for quite a while. Interesting thing to know: at our office building, when the power is out, the external security still works, while the internal security system stops working. What does all that mean? I can open the external doors and go inside, but the doors won't open from the inside. Yes...I got locked inside a 4 story oven (no AC) for 30 minutes this morning. Thankfully, my boss lives 2 miles from the office and came to let me out. Good times.