Looking Back on the Fourth

The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. I have my parents to thank for this. They are extremely patriotic and always instilled in me a respect for my country and a sense of thankfulness for all the freedoms in my life.

Here is one of my favorite Fourth photos.... taken eight years ago.

This one is high on my list, too! I think it was taken at a minor league baseball game in Ft. Myers, FL.

Many Fourth of July holidays have been spent at my mom and dad's house in Florida - as you can see, my mom likes to go all out!

Getting a little more current with the pictures (this one is a CLASSIC!)

And this one is just sweet:

Finally - something a little more current! I love how this picture is smoky from the fireworks we had been setting off.

Looking back at all of these happy memories makes me extremely thankful for my blessings. This year I am particularly grateful for the freedom to homeschool my children as I see fit, without interference from the government. I'm not sure how much longer I will have that freedom, but that I shall save for another post!

Our family has a fun and busy weekend planned - many celebrations. Tonight, we are surprising our kids with a trip to see The Atlanta Braves play the Florida Marlins, which also includes a fireworks display afterwards. We can't wait to see the looks on their faces when we show up at the stadium - they think we are going to have a picnic with friends of ours that live in Atlanta. Now that our children are a bit older (8 and 5), doing things like this are actually fun - not work!

Tomorrow we will have a family fourth of July afternoon of swimming and grilling at my sister-in-law's house who lives very close to us. Then, on the fourth of July we are having friends come over for Nachos on the Grill (thank you Bobby Flay!) and a few fireworks we will shoot off in the backyard. I am a happy tired just thinking about the next few days.

My sweet husband, who has been working incredibly long hours for the past few months, has the next FIVE days off! As I sit here and type, he has taken the kids to swim at the YMCA so I can get some work done around the house.

Today I plan to get a book to read/sing with my children all about the Star Spangled Banner. I really like this series of books/CDs from The Smithsonian. I think they are well worth the investment. Children now just don't know enough folk and patriotic music. Come to think of it, I also have the same type of book with the song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" - we may have to spend some time laying around with our CD player this afternoon!

Happy Fourth of July!
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