For the kids first Fourth a JOO-lie, we wanted to give them a true slice of Americana since this was their last major holiday that they had not yet experienced. For that reason, the Fourth a JOO-lie was a night of firsts for the kids. They both got to taste every kids favorite meat, hot dogs, for the first time. We didn't expect much, but at the end of dinner we realized that Micah and Mal had plowed through an entire Oscar Meyer Wiener without a complaint. I even sang the Armour Hot Dog song my mom used to sing to me to the kids.
After dinner, we took the kids out to the front yard and let them explore. It was the first time we turned them loose to roam in the yard. We have Saint Augustine grass, which is the most prickly, nasty grass in the history of the world. The kids decided to do bear crawls through it and then crawl on the pavement rather than be in the grass. Like always, Mal was in hot pursuit of her brother most of the time, but she had a blast doing it around the yard. Micah and I even took a little stroll around the front of the house to admire the landscaping.
Finally, the last treat of the Fourth a JOO-lie was the best; the kids got to have ice cream for the first time. Although Micah didn't trust it at first, the pictures don't do it justice, they both could not get enough of it. Once we finished the treat, Mal licked the bowl. As soon as Micah realized she was getting some more ice cream by doing that, he took the bowl away from her, and then scooted it across the sidewalk, preventing anyone from licking any more ice cream from the bowl. Mal chased, but to no avail.
As for the other big Fourth a JOO-lie tradition, firecrackers will have to wait for next year. As with everything else here on Eastern time, they start late. We decided it would not be cool to keep the kids up for over three hours just to let them be scared of the explosions in the sky, so we put them to bed only an hour later than normal. However, that gives the kids something to look forward to next year. Maybe by then, since we'll be living back in a Northern state, I'll let Rachel pronounce the holiday as the Fourth of July.
Epilogue: For those of you worried that Mal didn't get to catch Micah and the ice cream dish, I just wanted to show what does happen when she actually gets her mitts on Micah. He has a good reason to run; Mal takes whatever he is playing with whenever she gets to him. It usually turns out like this, as when Mal commandeered the walker earlier in the day, when Rachel was trying to get a nice picture of the kids in their church clothes: no such luck.
Happy Fourth a JOO-lie y'all.