25 People 5 Days 2 Bathrooms

That's right! That's the gaggle :) Council Idaho 4th of July

That’s right! That’s the gaggle 🙂 Council Idaho 4th of July

25 people, 5 days (120 hours), and 2 bathrooms … One of the Best 4th of July’s ever! It’s rare that family and friends load up 4 multi-passenger vehicles, and a utility trailer filled to the brim to motor up to Boise, but when they do there is a smile on my heart that doesn’t go away. It’s heaven.

Our ‘peeps’ arrived staggered in stages; the beautiful daughter and 6 kiddos mid- afternoon Thursday … we ran the grocery gauntlet … menus designed to be easy to prepare and just as easy to clean up. The next bunch arrived around 10 p.m. or so with 8 more and finally around 12:30 five  more arrived. Where do you sleep 17 kids? Sleeping out under the stars in hammocks or in a sleeping bag spread out on the lawn.IMG_2586

Just hangin' around

Just hangin’ around

Friday Morning the pack the fun in started … the last 4 partiers pulled in the driveway just in time to head to Barber Park and a Boise River float.

The women ... ready to float

The women … ready to float

The river flows were reduced just the day before  (thank goodness, ’cause it was HOT) …  renting four 6 man rafts we donned life-jackets and split out … a crew of beautiful girls, a crew of rowdy boys, a family boat with the littles and an adults boat.  Perfect.

First safety lesson of the day

First safety lesson of the day

Saturday morning after putting Boise back into order we headed the 2 hours north to Council, Idaho for the remainder of the holiday weekend … fire-pit, joining the 22 caliber rifle training session on Sweetie’s shooting range (Council Mountain Gunworks, LLC), floating the swimming hole  and bridge jumping on the Weiser River.

Sunday afternoon ‘they’ all headed to McCall to spend the afternoon under the Ponderosa Pines on the beach by Payette Lake ; paddle-boarding, tubing and lounging while my Sweetie and I did some snoozing and movie watching (yep, old folks recouping). When they returned we had the fire roaring in the clay oven and it was pizza time!  IMG_2701

Anticipation ... PIZZA

Anticipation … PIZZA

For a small town, Council does the 4th of July just right.  Our day started when the adults snuck out and left the kids sleeping and enjoyed the American Legion’s Pancake Breakfast at the Peace Park, (no misnomer there) and staked our spot on main street (well, actually our chairs took up about 40 feet of prime sidewalk space) for the parade. You do know that the parade closes Highway 95 for 20-30 minutes? We know the parade is over when the 15 wheelers turn the corner.

World Championship Porcupine Races 2016

World Championship Porcupine Races 2016

After the parade the middle kids took umbrellas to stake a spot high in the grandstand at the High School football field so we’d have a perfect view of the World Championship Porcupine Races … this year there was plenty of space … the races weren’t as heavily attended as they usually are.

Later, back at the ranch, we grilled Italian Sausages and spread the tables with cold salads and hot baked beans and corn on the cob … pop cans covered every nook and cranny.

With every get together it’s the little things that build our memories and forge stronger bonds of love and friendship … like practicing for the zombie apocalypse … afterwards, we headed back into town at dusk for an evening under fireworks!

Splash targets ... ooze green when you get a head shot ... only place to kill a zombie, don't 'cha know?

Splash targets … ooze green when you get a head shot … only place to kill a zombie, don’t ‘cha know?

By early Tuesday morning we were alone … well, almost. We have a couple of grand-kids with us for a couple of weeks, with another flying in Saturday. When I take them home I’ll bring a couple more up for another week.  My whole July will be family and grand-kids … Grandma Keri Heaven!!

The only smudge on the weekend? I wanted to share … my thoughts and feelings about how much I love my country and how grateful I am for the determined men who gave all they had to build a new nation of laws and freedom.

I wanted to tell them to Be Grateful for this country we live in. Be Grateful for the freedoms  we enjoy and that we have a duty to stand with the millions before us that up have stood up, fought for, bought with their blood and hearts all that we have  today; the lives we live. in this most blessed of all nations.   I wanted to encourage them to remember that our freedoms have never been free, and that they will last only as long as we do our duty to stand up, stand tall, speak up, and act,  and fight the good fight to keep our country free.

I wanted to share John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, not only his oft quoted “ask not what your country can do for you …” but the hope, vision , and faith he offered … a true vision to follow … and which we can strive to reach … But sadly there was loud, lovely, organized chaos … and I didn’t have a chance … maybe they’ll read this post.

How grateful I am for God’s blessings of family and friends!! My Life is Good … and I am Blessed. Happy July my friends, Happy Summer.


The Morgans


The Poduskys


The Taylors (minus 2)



The Calls

The Calls (minus 3)

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