Tuesday, July 9, 2013

God Bless America...


I have said this before...next to Christmas, the 4th of July is my favorite holiday.  I get the same sacred feelings inside when I think of our Fore-Fathers, when I see our Nation's Flag, when I hear our National Anthem, when I see my kids dressed in Red, White, and Blue, when I hear a patriotic talk, when I hear the 5:00am anvil go off on our corner, and especially when I see the best Fireworks Display ever.  This year the past week was an highly emotional one.  It was this time last year that my Dad was the Grand Marshall, when we had our last family reunion with Dad here with us, and when we knew that we were in the final weeks of my amazing Daddy's life, so he's been on my mind more than once the past week.  I gained my love for this country multiple ways, but have to give some credit to my Dad.  There is no doubt his priorities were God, Family, and Country!!

We started off the festivities by going to Les Parham's house and signing the Firework that they would shoot off in my Dad's honor.   

 What Jake wrote

 My mom

 What my Mom wrote

 My message

 Jami's message

Les told us that my Dad's would be the very last firework of the night...

 It ended up being a willow which was my dad's favorite!

 We of course love hanging out with these guys and are so glad they watched the fireworks with us!!(Elder Johnson and Elder Vickrey)

Anybody that knows me knows that my favorite part of the ENTIRE weekend is the 5:00AM anvil shoot by the corner of our house.  THERE IS NOTHING BETTER!!!
Amelia sleeping on the grass waiting for them to get there to shoot the anvil

Keyghan, Ashley, and Eva

Tristen, Tessa, and Payton

Porter, Macie, and Brandon(doesn't he look sexy...super sad that this is the only picture I got of him that entire day!)

 Les and Val setting things up....Ready...Set...BOOM!!!!!!

After the anvil shoot I headed to the school to take pictures of Carissa's run for the chamber.  Then we headed to the Flag Raising at 7:00am.  Our really good friend, Mike Burns, was the patriotic speaker and did an amazing job. I will post later about this amazing guy, his family, and their story.


Any of you who know me well know that I HATE the parade!  I have only been once in 12 years, but of course the Burns talked me into it so I took 7 of the kids and went.  I have to admit that it never crossed my mind that it would be hard on me to be there, BUT all the memories of last year being there with my entire family walking behind my parents as the Grand Marshall came flooding back and man the emotions hit me like a freight train!!  I literally could not control myself...I felt silly, but glad I got it out and I could feel my Dad close!  I must say that I really enjoyed myself(other than the melt down)!!
 BFF's...Amelia and Payton

 Tristen, Eva, Payton, Zach, Amelia, Ashley, Keyghan, Kayleb, and Michael all loving the parade!

 Mike(my 12th brother) and I sitting up in the stands during the parade!!

 YAY for Parades!!!

 The Burns family after the parade

This year was unlike any other 4th of July Saturday.  Usually we spend a few hours out at the ranch swimming, then come in for lunch, then get ready for our annual family picture, and finish with BBQ-ing at the slades and watching the fireworks.  Well...in a nut shell, Brandon and Mike spent 5 hours collecting parking money up on the mountain, and Robyn and I spent 4 hours collecting parking money on the corner by our house for the Chamber.  Our poor kids just ran around parentless for the evening, No family picture was taken, everybody else did the BBQ-ing for us, and I learned a LOT of valuable lessons about myself that night. 

 Thank Heavens things settled down and we got to enjoy the fireworks with our families!

  Robyn and Mike

 BFF's...Miles and Kayleb

 Maron Kay

 Mallori, Miles, and Kayleb

 Eva and Tennyson

Robyn and I...not sure what I would do without this lady!!!


Robyn Burns said...

Well I must say that I truly don't know what we would do without your family either.. We love you all so much and had a great day! On to many more holidays together as family and planning an amazing float for next years 4th of July parade :) Love ya sista!!

debrajo said...

It was a beautiful 4th of July! That is neat you were able to get pictures of the firework for your dad. That was such a sweet & beautiful moment to see that cover & light up the entire night sky.

We miss you, Uncle Lewis! Thanks for starting the legacies & traditions that live on & affect so many people that visit that beautiful community today! God Bless America!

KaNdRa and JaReD said...

I thought about you the whole weekend wondering what it's truly going to be like with out them and knowing it was going to be so emotional for you because I know how much your dad loved this country (thanks to PFUSA!). The last time I saw your dad was just before the fireworks when I was in your yard and your dad came out from your house because he was trying to rest. He gave me a big hug and then went over to the Slades for the festivities. We sure miss his big smile:)
Glad you went to the parade because I thought this parade was the best parade that I have been to in 10 years!!