Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fourth of July

Independence Day is becoming one of my favorite holidays. I love the barbecues, fireworks, and fun activities but most of all I love the patriotism. I love my country. I am so proud of our history and still find myself fascinated by it even though I have studied it for most of my life. Our country is great. I listen to the news and sometimes get really depressed about the things I hear, but when it really comes down to it I am so proud of what we stand for and I am so proud of what our forefathers fought for. Don't ever let anybody make you feel ashamed or embarrassed for being American. This is a remarkable country that stands as an ensign to people all over the world. We are so blessed to live here. Never forget it. Tony Blair (the British Prime Minister) stated:

First, we should remain the closest ally of the US, and as allies influence them to continue broadening their agenda. We are the ally of the US not because they are powerful, but because we share their values. I am not surprised by anti-Americanism; but it is a foolish indulgence. For all their faults and all nations have them, the US are a force for good; they have liberal and democratic traditions of which any nation can be proud. I sometimes think it is a good rule of thumb to ask of a country: are people trying to get into it or out of it? It's not a bad guide to what sort of country it is.

We had a fantastic fourth of July this year. In the morning we went to the church where there were activities and tons of yummy food (albeit odd food to have at 9am, i.e. nachos, brownies, snow cones, cotton candy, cookies, etc.).

Braden went into a bounce house for the first time.
He tried it alone but didn't last long before he sat down because he was weirded out about not having control over his balance.

Matt came in and joined him, but Braden still didn't last very long. Maybe next year.

We ate way too much junk food and visited with people in the ward. It was tons of fun.

In the afternoon we went to a barbecue that our friends, Chad and Rachel Trotter, were hosting. There was great food and great company. David and Allyson Didlake were there, too, with their two cutie pies. All of the kids had a fun time playing together and especially loved swimming in the pool.

In the evening we did our traditional Independence Day walk from our house down to Mission Viejo Lake where there are always lots of fun things to see and do on the fourth of July. Olympiad is shut down from Marguerite Parkway to Melinda Road and there are tons of booths, shopping, food, games, and music. We never buy anything but we always have fun checking everything out and listening to whatever band/choir/orchestra is performing.
Braden was totally enthralled by the music and I was so happy to hear all of our traditional patriotic songs. Thank goodness some people still think we can sing about God and our country without worry about if it might offend someone.

After we finished up on Olympiad, we walked up Melinda a tiny bit and sat at our favorite spot to watch fireworks.

The fireworks were even better this year than they were last year. A guy sitting on a blanket behind us kept saying "these fireworks are EPIC!" It made me laugh, but he was right. Braden loved the fireworks this year (last year he lasted about 30 seconds before he started crying) and kept saying, "Ooo!"

It was an awesome day, and all the more meaningful because we had just gotten back from our trip to Washington, D.C.
God bless America!

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