Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fourth of July in England

Unfortunately, this is the best photo of all the kids all decked out in their red, white and blue. Leah didn't want to look at the camera.

We enjoyed a nice Fourth of July together as a family. We had a pretty low key day but did a few things. Every summer there are a number of different fete's or carnival's that are held in the surrounding communities. Since it happened to be the 4th of July, most carnivals had an American theme so we obviously had to go and participate (Steve kept waving an American flag yelling "Free from tyranny, free from tyranny", and he only got beat up a few times :)

We headed off to a carnival in Market Deeping (the next town down from us.) The thing that really drew us was the American Civil War encampment that was set-up. There were tents and people dressed in period costumes so we briefly had a wander...although for some reason we were expecting them to have American accents rather than English accents. We did a few things (as detailed below) at this Carnival and then headed for the Langtoft Primary School Summer Fete.
Cason playing a golfing game at the carnival. This booth was run by a small group from our church. The had what is called a Share-Out. It is like a free garage sale. They had tables of stuff and a sign that said 4 Free Items Per Family. It is such an awesome idea. People were so surprised that they were giving away stuff. We heard that they even gave away an XBox. How cool is that for the people that got it?
Andrew doing the same golfing game.
Tristan doing a cross bow game. The boys begged Steve to do this one.
Andrew doing the cross bow with the boys looking on.
All Leah wanted to do was ride the pony. She beamed the whole time. Out of all of our kids, our girls are the bravest. The boys wouldn't go near a horse much less ride one.
Leah (and mommy) at the end of her ride.
Nathanael in his red, white and blue gear. I even found our famous star hat. We got that hat when Andrew was a baby for his second Fourth of July.

NOTE: The * marks the point of the blog where we do some shameless self promotion and bragging. If you would rather not read it, please skip to the bottom of the post.

The Langtoft Primary School Fete was a bit smaller, but really nice. One of the neighbor girls invited us to come see her school so we headed over and wandered around with her. These events are primarily a fund raiser for the schools so all the games cost 5o p. The kids each took turns playing some games. *We spent a pound and bought a blank map of the USA that we needed to name all the states in. When we got home, Andrew promptly filled in every state and we sent it back to the school with our neighbor girl (for the prize draw). Guess who won a 25 pound gift certificate to Frankie and Bennies? Andrew was the winner. The thing is, he filled the map out on his own from memory...all 50 states labeled correctly. The other thing is that we have never actually taught him the 50 states (we figure that can wait until we move back to the US). Guess this goes to show what some good book can do for a child motivated to learn. I am not sure if he won because he was the only one that got all the states correct or if he was drawn from a hat, but either way, he knew he was going to win and he did.

The other game we cleaned-up on was the basketball shoot. They had a hoop and a container of basketball's and you had to see how many you could make in a minute. We watched another English guy do his shooting (I think he made 2 or 3) and then Steve started warming up. From the first shot, I think they realized that he had actually played ball before. Steve made 9 baskets (previous high was 4).

Before I go any further, I should make note that whenever there is a basketball shooting game (like at an arcade), we (Marti and Steve) can't pass on a bit of healthy competition and I would also like to point out that Marti usually wins.

This time was no different. Marti made 10 baskets in a minute. The amazement that the onlookers showed for Steve was ten-fold for Marti as I don't think the boys running the game had ever seen a girl shoot so well. When they called out the winners of the prizes at the end of the fete, Marti had indeed won a brand new, junior size basketball. As I said to one of my acquaintances there, they grew up playing football (soccer) and cricket...we grew up playing basketball.

We now return you to the normal, less self-promoting and braggin portion of the blog.

That evening we grilled hamburgers and had a bbq. We invited the neighbor girls over after dinner for smores over our patio fire pit. All the kids loved the smores. Smores may be a new Fourth of July tradition. We had a really nice day doing some fun activities with the kids. It was nice to be together as a family. I am thankful the the fourth was on a Saturday this year or Steve wouldn't have had it off work. That would have been yucky.

Hope you all had a great Fourth too!

-Steve and Marti


The Shoes said...

Love the stories! Can you believe that we had those same shirts on for the 4th??!!...as well as thousands of other people. I miss Langtoft! What was going on in the background of Leah's picture with the Cat machines? Where is that in Market Deeping? Sounds like you guys had a wonderful 4th. We went to the fireworks in Peoria and the boys were amazed by them. We have never been home for the 4th so it was nice to celebrate.

Glenda said...

Yeaaaa way to go Steve and Marti glad that you both got to show of your skills in good old Langtoft, glad you guys had a great 4th July:)

Stacey said...

I love the bragging!! They probably thought you two were professionals! Faith's class concentrated heavily this year on the states and capitals and she was in 4th grade-just to give you an idea on when they learn it in U.S. schools-I bet Andrew was so excited!!!

Laura said...

Great pictures! Looks like the boys may take after Grandpa and be hunters! Wow Nate is such a big boy, can't wait to see you all if a few x2 weeks...Sorry I didn't get to call you back Thursday we have been at Lifest..you guys would love this. Third Day tomorrow night!

Holli said...

WHAT! A BLOG TELLS ME YOUR NEWS!!!! BABY!!! WHEN I can't do math! Praying you are feeling well! CONGRATS!