Sunday, July 3, 2016

Independence Day!!

We welcome July by celebrating our nation's freedom today.  In spite of the trying times we live in, we still live in the greatest nation in the world.  Happy Independence Day!  Can you believe our nation is 240 years old?  Pretty amazing. I wonder if our forefathers imagined things would turn out the way they have?  Do you think they would be happy with the decisions we've made thus far, or do you think they would think we've made a mockery of the constitution and our interpretations of it?  I shutter to think what they would say if they were here with us now.  Well, enough about that.  This is suppose to be a celebration.  Happy 4th of July!!!

Is July 4th another fun day off work to play or a day that you truly celebrate freedom?

I look forward to the 4th of July all year long.  My earliest memories as a little girl were of BBQ's at my grandparents home and spending the entire day swimming in their pool.  My grandma would prepare these homemade hamburger patties and my grandpa would cook them on the grill.  There was always lots of food.  But those burgers cooked on the grill were the best!!  After Kevin and I got married I stopped going over to my Grandoarents home and we spent the holiday with my husband's family.  There would still be a BBQ and the kids would all go swimming.  Lately we have drifted away from getting together with my BIL and SIL.  We've always felt like we were intruding on their celebration, plus their family has grown, and we just don't want to get in the way.  So, we spend time with our own kids now.  We are having a BBQ, swimming, and playing a few games.  Should be fun....the highlight of summer, in fact!  Over all those years, the freedom part never really hit me until the finale of all the fireworks displays to the tune of "God Bless the USA".  But, for the past several years, since September 11th, I think about the "reason for the season" more and more these days.  It's amazing to me that it took something so devastating to our nation and to the world, to wake us all up to an appreciation of our freedom and the privilege to live in this wonderful nation.  

Do you consider yourself patriotic?  Why?

I would have to say, YES.  My heart swells whenever I see the American flag pass by in a parade and even a Cub Scout Pack Meeting when we say the Pledge of Allegiance.  Songs like "America the Beautiful" and the "Star Spangled Banner" make me cry.  Even with the nastiness of politics, I often thank my Heavenly Father for the freedom that we have to vote, for this great country, and all the blessings we enjoy because we live in the United States of America!

Do you have a flag or anything patriotic decorating your home during the holiday?

We have SEVERAL flags that we usually display all over the house.  I usually line the walkway up to our front door with little flags.  Hang out large Anerican flag on the house, and I even have a wreath with an American flag draped over it that we hang on the door.  Inside I have all kinds of things we put out around the house.  Wooden hearts on a white tablecloth with some red, white, and blue flowers in a large vase.  Then I have garlands and a few wall hangings, with even a patriotic doll to put on our mantle well as a light up flag I sometimes display in our front window.  I love to decorate for the Fourth!!!

Do you attend fireworks, but your own for a home display or do both?

Like I mentioned before, we use to get together with my BIL and SIL on the Fourth, that also meant for fireworks too. A few years back, we started hanging out with our own family to let off our own fireworks with all of our neighbors down the street.  That was always fun.  Lately, we haven't been getting together like that, so I'm not sure where we will see fireworks tonight.  Time will tell.

Who's the pyromaniac in your family?  

I'd have to say, my husband and the boys are the pyromaniacs in our family.  Mostly Kyle though.  I don't know what it is about blowing things up, but they LOVE it!!!  We like to watch it too.  I just wish fireworks didn't cost so much.  Definitely a budget crusher!  Ha Ha!

Which is your favorite of the fireworks? (Describe it or share a picture!)

The BIG giant ones!  Especially the ones at the finale!  I prefer the big circle shaped ones that burst out in red, white, or blue.  I especially like the gold sparkly ones that twinkle.  The green and purple ones I don't like so much.  Oh!  And I love those little whirligig things that spiral up and whistle too.

Where do you go to see the fireworks, if you watch?  Inside the event, outside the event or from afar?

We use to go to a park close to our home to see the fireworks one of the churches in the area let off.  Then one year we went to one our church buildings in another stake to see the same fireworks the other church let off.  BUT, that's changed lately.  This year, I'm not sure what we will do.  That's still up in the air.  More to come on that.

Do you have a traditional meal or festivity on the Fourth of July?

Of course we do!  It's a BBQ of the typical hamburgers and hotdogs with all the fixings!  

What other traditions do you have for the Fourth?  Camping with friends or family?  Picnics?  Family Reunion?

We sometimes have a pancake breakfast put on by the scouts in our ward, but thankfully not this year.  I got to sleep a bit this morning.  

Where's the most exciting place you've seen fireworks displayed on the Fourth?

I'd say in El Paso, Texas!  They shut down an entire street so you can let off your own fireworks and the displays from the local Army Base was awesome!

Does the fact that we are a nation at war, and have been for years now, affect your feelings regarding our freedom?

I think it makes me appreciate our freedom more.  Let's face it, that freedom comes at a price.  A price our folks serving in our nations military pay each and every day they serve.   We want our troops home safe and sound, we honor and appreciate that they serving their country.  And YES, we are definitely affected. 

What's your best Fourth of July memory?

As I mentioned before, spending time with family, my grandparents.

What's your favorite patriotic song?
I have several.  BUT, I think I prefer being able to SING the songs.  I think my favorite thing to do is attend church during July to be able to sing all of those patriotic songs.  I love that!

Clothes are in the wash.  We are headed off to the grocery store to pick up a couple things, and then we will be all ready!  It should be fun!  We decided to put things off a bit until later because Kyle had to work today.  This way Kyle will feel like he's a part of the fun too.  Kevin on the other hand, has decided to stay home.  He's having some issues he would rather stay closer to home with right now.  Personally, I'm bummed he won't be with us, and I think our kids will miss their dad too.  We always have more fun when Dad is around to keep us all on our toes and laughing.  We'll just have to make sure the next big get together will be closer to home.  

It's that time again.  Time for us to get going.  Take care my friends.  Enjoy your day.  AND, we will talk again soon.  
HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!!
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