On a glorious July 4th, it was back to a semblance of normalcy, with the Great Pandemic diminishing and returning us to our family's

Independence Day Traditions!

Following Church on the morn, it was off to Deer Grove in Palatine to resume the July 4 "Breakfast In The Woods" tradition first started by our Johnson Grandparents way back in the 1950's!   

Dowager Chief, had viciously rallied all the troops a couple weeks prior and produced Jeff & Allison, Jeff & Vicky, Deb & Aiden, Randy & Nancy with Jaclyn & Ryan.   The Princess, Brett & I rounded out the field.  A formidable lineup!

Everyone shared their Breakfast Treats in our "One Family" Tradition.  Special Kudo's go out to Ireland's Finest Aiden and cousin Debby for making the trek up North from the far South Suburbs.  Wouldn't have been near as fun without them.

However, one huge dissapointment....    Debby's mechanical Uncle Sam - a staple at Johnson July 4 gatherings for decades - apparently has suffered a massive structural failure and no longer dances or sings!  Brother Jeff tried a repair with a thundering "Joe Snap" across Sam's head - but to no avail.  Debby committed to finding a replacement Uncle Sam for next year!  Good Luck Deb!

The longstanding tradition of Fireworks was not ignored and second generation Jeff G, under the master tutelage of Uncle Jeff J, blew off a tasty variety of Fireworks, including the family favourite pyrotechnic called "Butterfly Gardens"!

Awesome as usual!

Following a couple hours of chatter, photos, and family love, we all packed up and headed out of the Grove - many to other Parties they had on the diary. Thanks to Laurie for organizing The Breakfast and bringing all of The Red Rabbit pictures to reminisce with.  Just below are some shots taken from a July 4 Johnson Family Breakfast In The Woods - circa 1967....

After a brief visit Home to pick up some treats that the Princess had prepared, it was off to an afternoon Picnic at Ben & Jordan's Carol Stream home.

Jordan had went to a lot of trouble and work to lay on just a great spread for us.   Kathy, I, Brett and Laurie got to their Maison just after 2pm and were greeted by their friendly doggy, Reese - who promptly took my shoe and carried it round for the next 45 minutes.  She's a Rascal that one.

We went in their pool for a very refreshing dip and just whiled away the afternoon.  As I was drying off - sitting at their table on their deck, I just watched Ben & Jordan as they grilled the Burgers and prepared all the fixin's.  

I just started to choke up in tears at how proud I am of them both and what great kids they are.   Here is our boy Ben, all grown up now - with a wonderful wife that he loves so dearly - both of them Teachers, contributing so much to the future of this world.   Almighty God has Blessed Us and Them so much.  I was overcome!

After Dinner, we took some desserts to go as we were just too full to eat them after dinner.  As we said our GoodByes I just relected on

What a Beautiful day this was!

How much I love our Family!

Praise God for all his Many Belssings!