Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July

I love the 4th of July! It's my all-time favorite holiday. I love the parades, the flags everywhere, and the BBQ's. But most of all, I love that it's a chance to appreciate our great country. Pardon me as I feel a need to get on my soap-box here, but one of the hardest things for me has been to see people become so pessimistic and ungrateful for this land that we live in. I hate the media right now, because it has become such a breeding ground for negativity about our country. I wish there was more time and money put into reminding everyone of all that the country IS instead of what it ISN'T. This country is everything to me, and I am deeply grateful for all of those who have served, and are currently serving, this wonderful country we call America.

At least for today, I hope most of us have taken a moment to think about all we have here.

Joni, Abby, and Ava in the Plain City parade. I was in this same parade many times growing up.

The three girls in the backyard at Grandma and Grandpa's.

Stud-muffin, Ethan, barbecuing on the back porch. I love your view, Mom! I'm going to miss it while we're away.

Kristin, Becky, Mom, Andrea, and me on the couch.

Daniel eating dirt for lunch, and Jackson enjoying his cereal just minutes before he threw a complete fit during fireworks. Poor guy - he was terrified! (These are small pics but you can click on them to see them bigger)

The 4th this year felt differently than it ever has before. Knowing that we will be in a different country soon has helped me to start looking at things with a new perspective. Tom and I watched a documentary yesterday about the conflicts over in Israel. It was heart-wrenching to see people talk about losing loved ones in senseless acts of violence. One gentleman, an Israeli, had lost his daughter from a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv. Another gentleman, a Palestinian, had a daughter that died while riding in the car with him one day - an Israeli soldier thought he recognized their car as one that belonged to a wanted Arab, so he opened fire on this man's entire family, killing their 12 year old daughter. There were many other stories like these, and it completely broke my heart. I can see where both sides are coming from, but the violence that occurs over there is so unnecessary. It really helps me see how dramatically different the US is from many other parts of the world. I hope it's safe to assume that living over in the Middle East for a couple of years will only deepen my gratitude for the relative peace and safety we experience here on a day to day basis.

Happy 4th of July everybody...enjoy your independence, peace, and safety.

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