Low-Key Independence Day

Berries and sugar #summer #4thofjuly #independenceday #food #celebrations #family #holiday

Strawberry and blueberry cobbler #summer #4thofjuly #independenceday #food #celebrations #family #holiday




It was a slow day for us, this Independence Day. We were all tired from staying up too late the night before with friends. We opted to stay home, watch silly “Independence Day,” grill burgers, and eat homemade strawberry and blueberry cobbler. We burned some money in the form of fireworks, and then hit the hay. There was food and fire, and the boys were satisfied. And it was enough.

Edit 7/6/2014 [I’ve linked up to my friend’s Slow Summer Series at Little Acorn Learning. If you and your family are enjoying peaceful, slow moments this summer, join us here to share and inspire others to slow down and savor life.]


Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day! Wishing everyone a safe, fun, exciting celebration! #summer #festivals #holiday #traditions #gardening #flowers

Happy Independence Day, my friends! We are wishing you safe, fun, and exciting celebrations today. May you be surrounded by your loves, and may you contemplate for a just a moment or two how very blessed we are to live in this nation of high ideals like freedom, equality, peace, opportunity, and love. However imperfectly we achieve these, may we never, never cease striving for them.

Throwback photo from 2002

Defender of Justice


I’m feeling sleepy and sentimental, so I offer up these three shots from previous Independence Days (2002, 2008, and 2011).

And now I’m off to make a blueberry/strawberry cobbler. Because 4th of July.

Tutorial: Patriotic 5-Pointed Window Star


I am a freak for window stars. It’s been quite a while since I made any new ones, so I pulled out my kite papers and glue stick the other night. I wanted to make something red-white-and-blue to decorate for Independence Day, and five-pointed stars are always festive and patriotic in the U.S. Our family is almost never at home on this holiday, but crafting with this theme seemed like a fun thing to do anyway. If you are hosting a gathering for the Fourth of July (or for Bastille Day/La Fête Nationale in France on July 14), these would make lovely decorations. Make a bunch!

Incidentally, check out how many countries have flags made of red, white, and blue!


  • 5 sheets of square kite paper in red, blue, or white
  • glue stick
  • tape
  • ruler or straight edge for making crisp folds
  • large white piece of paper
  • protractor
  • pencil



Fold your square into diagonals. Open it back up again.


Now fold opposing corners to the center line (photo above). The top is now a horizontal fold that is parallel to your horizontal crease. Unfold the bottom corner; the crease you made will be used later.


From the top, folded edge, fold the left side down to meet the center horizontal line (photo above). The top edge will now be vertical along the center line.


The bottom edge now meets the line of the horizontal fold you made above and then unfolded.


Do the same to the other side. Now you have a point at the top again.


Fold the bottom corner up to the horizontal crease line.


Now fold both sides in to meet the center vertical crease. This step looks like a sailboat. Do your best to keep the top point crisp.


Open those sides out again.


Now fold the left top side in again, allowing the corner to touch the horizontal crease you made in a previous step. Your top point is becoming more acute. Now do the same with the right side.


Congratulations! You’ve make one point for your five-pointed star! Use tiny dabs of glue from your glue stick to tack down the parts that want to spring up. If you do this, your assembled star will look very precise hanging in the window and you’ll be able to see the beautiful pattern of lights and darks made by the folds of the paper.

Now repeat that folding process four more times, so that you have five of these points.


To assemble your star I recommend that you make a guide on a large spare piece of paper using a ruler and a protractor. Your five points need to connect at 72-degree angles. Draw nice long lines on your guide so that you can align your point and the center along the lines. My guide has lines for 10-pointed stars, so I skip one when assembling a five-pointed star.


Start with the top point. Place it’s bottom center on the intersection point of all the lines on your guide. Align the center crease along the line. Now hold it firmly in place and add the next point so that its left side overlaps the first point. Align the second point’s bottom center on the intersection point and the center crease along the guide’s line. Place a dab or two of glue so that the two will stick together. Add the third point to overlap the second. Before you glue the third point, ensure that all three points are still lining up with your guide lines. Continue with the fourth and fifth points, but glue only the left side of the final point.


Finally, lift the top point up so that the right side of the fifth point goes underneath it, and then glue.


Voilà! Now hang your star in the window!


They’re pretty all together in their red-white-and-blue glory, aren’t they? I love them!  I’m thinking of making another style of window star for Fourth of July. I’ll try to do a tutorial for it, too, if I can find the time.

Fourth of July

We all had a wonderful 4th of July holiday this year, with swimming, friends, barbecue and yummy food, and fireworks of course. I didn’t feel like pulling out the camera until nighttime. Maybe it was the good conversation, maybe the perfect temperature of the swimming pool …

After dark, the Fire Sprites appeared and colorful shenanigans ensued. Some of them were so fast and so flighty that it was nearly impossible to capture their images. Often, the best I could do was to photograph their fiery flight paths and trails of sparks.

Asher with Glow Stick and X

Asher, Ian, and X, I Think

Asher Waving Glow Stick

Lucas with Sparklers 2

Colorful! I think this is Lucas...

So-Fast Lucas

Asher's Done Celebrating

And then some of the Sprites became so tired from all the flitting about, they fell asleep. Yay America!

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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