7QTs: Stricker's Grove, Stokes Berry Farm, Loving Scrivener, and Cracking Jokes with a Mini Horse

1.  It's July 4th here and fantastically beautiful outside;  the temperature is hitting about 75 for the high with low humidity - a true gift in my part of SW Ohio.

Our town had it's annual fireworks last night and the weather was just as fantastic.  The kiddos had a great time, even the littlest one, watching the sky light up over N. Broadway from our vantage point in our church parking lot.  

I said to the kids on the way home that one of the reasons I love the Fourth of July is because it really turns out our community - our town has a parade in the afternoon and hosts a big celebration that culminates in the fireworks at 10 pm.  The town turns out, I get the chance to chat with folks I haven't run into during the weeks since school let out, and I am once again reminded how thankful I am that my children get to grow up in a small town like ours.

2.  We finally made it out to Stokes Berry Farm to pick black raspberries on Monday of this week.  The kids had a blast; one of my daughter's BFFs came along with us, too - the more the merrier!

Stokes Berry Farm is the largest black raspberry producer east of the Mississippi and their farm is just beautiful.  We love going out there every year and it was fun to watch Bethy try to eat her weight in berries while we were picking.

 3. & 4.  We had the opportunity to spend an afternoon at Stricker's Grove north of Cincy last Sunday courtesy of Knute's employer.  It's a small, family owned amusement park on a farm that books for company picnics, parties, and events and is only open to the public a few days a year.

It was a great way to spend the afternoon.  I think Knute and I had the most fun just watching the oldest three riding all the rides together, laughing hysterically as they spun and twirled and rocketed on the rides.  It's amazing to watch our kids really become a tribe unto themselves.

5.  I just love this picture of my oldest daughter holding her baby sister.  Bethy had fallen asleep in the van and her sister carried her into the house and insisted on cuddling her in the recliner for about twenty minutes, saying, "I miss when she was tiny and I could hold her all day!"

At least once or twice a day, my oldest daughter tells me how thankful she is for her sister and how she's the biggest blessing she's ever received.

Bethy - you are treasured!

Scrivener. Y'know - for writers.   6.  I've been using Scrivener for a writing project that I'm excited about and I have to say that I love how this program works to help organize my writing process.

If you've ever wrote anything longer than a grocery list, you might have had the same experience as I have:  outlines in one file, character sketches in another,  research links tabbed on your browser, and index cards and Post It notes scattered in various places and locations on your desk, kitchen counters, and nightstand.

Scrivener takes all those bits and pieces of the writing process and puts them into one place where everything.makes.sense.

I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to streamline their writing process without going bananas.

And no, I'm not an affiliate, just a fan.  ;-)

7.  I snapped this picture of Bethy last night at the petting zoo at the 4th of July celebration.  It looks like she just told that mini horse the funniest joke in the universe!  Love it!

Happy 4th of July to all of you out there!  Be sure to check out what's up with the movers and shakers in the Catholic blogosphere by hopping through the 7QT links at Conversion Diary.