Strugis Falls...

It has been SUCH a fun summer being reconnected with our Aussie cousins, Grace and Lance.  We have loved spending LOTS of time with them and their friendships are just blooming like crazy.  Every time we leave there are tears from Solon and "when are we going to see them again?".    So, before they even moved home, we planned a trip back to Scott's hometown, Cedar Falls, with his brother and his wife, Raquel and family, his parents and us for the annual town celebration also known as Sturgis Falls.  This was the kick-off to our annual 4th of July vacation so we loaded the car and the kids and off we went.
We met everyone Friday night at the Brown Bottle, a family favorite!  Of course we all got lasagna and it was DELICIOUS!  We also brought a tent and the 3 older cousins spent each night sleeping in it in the basement.

The next morning, we went to the parade!

Scott's best friend from high school and wife, joined us for the day.  We are so excited they are expecting their first child!  We always enjoy our time with Anne and Tim.

After a yummy lunch in the park, we headed to the historical museum to see artisans and the train exhibit before heading over to the carnival.

Funny story -- our kids bounced forever because the attendant fell asleep and never made them get out.  Our kiddos finally got tired and exited themselves...guess we got our money's worth :)!

That evening the kids were wiped so off they went to bed and the adults played cards.

The next mornign we went to church together and then had a picnic by their good friend's pool with their families and ours.

Solon was so brave as the shallowest portion of the pool was 4 feet and he swam without anything the entire time.  I knew he could swim but I wasn't sure for how long.  He sure has a competitive spirit.  He wanted to keep up with his cousins!  He also jumped off the diving board a million times and swam to the edge by himself!

Before long, it was time to head back and get stop was the lake to see lots of family and spend the 4th of July at the best place on Earth -- the lake!!!