Derby Days and Lavender Farms

Last Saturday we spent the morning at the Derby Days parade in Yamhill. I’m not much for huge city parades and fighting crowds and people for places to sit, but I really do love small town parades. Seeing the whole town come out (practically) and line the ONE little main road that travels through the 3/4 mile long town…love it. From the local bank handing out free balloons to all the kids while waiting for the parade to start, to all the candy being tossed, as well as pop cycles and lavender, we couldn’t have asked for a better parade.

For some reason I was drawn to the “Americana” theme…It sure feels as if our country is sliding further and further away from our roots, our convictions and our freedom, that I was reminded that it’s the small towns in America that (tend) to still live and breathe this way…and that was refreshing.

The announcer asked that everyone please stand and respect the flag as it led the parade…love that.

After the parade we made our way to the Willakenzie Lavender Farm in Yamhill. The smell was amazing and the beauty was breathtaking…could have planted myself there with a book for hours, but don’t think the kids (boys especially) would have appreciated that! And the gift shop there was so quaint!

This was my “pretend I’m in France lavender fields and pick to my hearts content” moment. While the girls wandered the area, looking at the fields, the boys sat in the car and oh-by-the-way, caught a mouse…in my car! Then they proceeded to bring it to me while I was headed into the gift shop, and let it go on the side walk. True story. My “France moment” ended promptly.

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Eight is GREAT!

Hard to believe Ruby is 8 already. We celebrated at 53rd St. Park with high hopes of hot weather so we could play in the fountains. But wind (so much that I couldn’t use the table cloth) and clouds greeted us with much gusto! We had fun anyway and she ran and played with her friends and siblings, not bothered by the lies on my weather app 🙂

We even had to pretend to blow out candles because the possibility of lighting them was out of the question! Ruby was such a great sport…laughing at daddy trying his hardest to get it to work.

This is perhaps one of my favorite pictures of all time. It says so much…

Her and her best friend, Ruby…they go by Ruby 1 and Ruby 2 🙂

The little sisters….

And the big sisters….

 

Our week in pictures…

This is pretty much how our deck looks at all times throughout the summer….best friends, old friends, new friends. Crunchy, sun-dried laundry hanging on the line. Good eats, brought by all. Kids having cannon ball contests in the pool. Can’t get much better than this!

My FAVORITE banana (dairy-free) ice-cream mixed up in my Vita-Mix. It’s amazing!

Recipe:

4 frozen bananas

2-3 cups vanilla flavored coconut milk (refrigerated kind)

2-3 TBSP Vanilla Creamer (dairy free)

Picking raspberries. Nothing I love more than being out in a field on a warm, sunny day. Guess I’m still a farm girl at heart.

We brought along cousins and friends and had many hands to help.

And let’s not forget the toad catching!

It’s a PARTY!

We Raicharts LOVE to throw a 4th of July party each year. Each year is a different mix of friends. We have some friends who haven’t missed one in the last 6 years and some who are new, some who come for the whole 9 hours and some who stay till their 2 year olds melt. We love em’ all!

And I love how all my friends from all walks of life, gather on my deck and introduce themselves to each other, gabbing like they’ve known each other their whole lives…just like this picture depicts below…none of them knew each other before the 4th.

Here’s to FRIENDS, FUN, FOOD AND LOVING LIFE!

Girls getting food ready…

The infamous “big swing” line.Max with his friend, Toby. Our kids enjoy and look forward to this BBQ the whole year long…they acquired the “social genes” from their mama.

Nothing makes me happier than a deck full of people!

The “BBQ MAN”….and his fabulous Traeger.

The spread!

I’m embarrassed to admit that this is another Raichart tradition…wearing our life jackets like diapers and jumping in…this was purely Max’s idea.

Miss Adorable.

This was the “Reptile Station”. Look closely and you’ll see that everyone is pretty much holding a snake or lizard. A major hit this year.

And the fireworks begin…43 children doing sparklers puts out some major smoke!

This is my happy place. Late at night. Evidence of a day full of yummy food, fabulous friends and so much fun.

And…the Grand Finale.

“O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea”