Friday, July 8, 2011

July 4th Celebrations

I have very fond memories of the 4th of July.  The big parade in Provo holds a special place in my heart.  Nothing was better than watching the floats roll by in all their sparkly, mysterious glory.  It baffled me that I could see them moving, but I could not see any wheels.  Occasionally I could see the driver’s head, and I wondered where the rest of him was hiding!  As much as the sound of the sirens terrified me, I loved watching the fire engines and police cars cruise by.  And the motorcycle police rallies left me entranced as I watched the motorcycles circling around, weaving in and out and somehow not crashing.  The parade was full of beautiful floats, old cars, marching bands and horse riders.  Nothing like the advertisement-filled, candy-throwing parades of today.  If the parades today were more like the ones I remember as a kid, I would be anxious to take my own children.

The fireworks show at BYU was the other big 4th of July highlight for me as a kid.  I loved going early in the day, staking out a spot with blankets, playing with my brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents…whoever was there with us.  Every year I was slightly disappointed that we’d have to sit a little farther away than the previous year because of safety concerns.  But the disappointment faded quickly as the fireworks began to light up the sky.  How I loved watching the brilliant colors and hearing the deep booms, crackling popcorn sounds, and high-pitched whistling!

While we don’t go to the “parade” very often, watching the fireworks is a tradition that we have continued in our own little family.  And our kids seem to look forward to it almost as much as Christmas.  This year we took our bug spray, treats, blankets and chairs to a church near the hospital.


This spot has served us well for the last several years.  It comes complete with shade, grass, close parking (for a quick get-away at the end), plenty of parking lot to run in, and trees for climbing.SDC17432

Really, does it get any better than this?


The kids missed the company of cousins this year, but did get to have fun with Stacie and Phil.  Phil was an especially good sport, running races and wrestling with the kids, and answering their incessant questions.  “What do YOUR pajamas look like?” {asked by Caleb} was our favorite.


The Air Force refueling jet that flies by is a definite hit (though the fighter jets that buzz the stadium in Provo are way cooler.  Hey – we take what we can get).


And there seems to be something completely magical about glow sticks…especially when you can capture the baby in them and turn him into a glow-in-the-dark prisoner!


{Disclaimer: None of the children involved in this incident were harmed in any way during the events leading up to, during, or following this photo.  Adult supervision was present the entire time.  Just sayin’…}

I am proud to be an American, and thankful to live in a country where I am truly free, where my children can grow up and receive an education, and where dreams and hopes can be more than just that.

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