Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Independence Day celebrations

When the 4th of July lands on a Sunday, outside of Utah is it usually observed on an adjacent day or right on the 4th? In Utah things were celebrated (at least publicly) on either Saturday or Monday. Mark (and his parents) were already in AZ with our belongings, and I stayed behind with the boys at my parents house to keep them out of the way while things were unloaded and situated. A huge thank you to them for doing that! I'm aware that I good the good end of the deal. So, where my parents live the parade and fireworks were done on the 3rd. And since we wanted to attend that firework show, we did a few little fireworks of our own the night before that (July 2nd) in front of my parents' house. We didn't get many pictures, but here are a couple of the boys doing sparklers.

Noah had a little spark from a sparkler land on the top of his foot, which startled and worried him more than it hurt. Nonetheless, it took a lot of coaxing to get him near another sparkler - and he sat right in my lap (clutching my arm) while we set off the little fireworks in the street. Poor little dude.

I do struggle a bit with wondering how good of an idea that it is to hand a child something lit on fire to play with. Yes, there's always the chance of injury...but more than that I wonder if it hampers the healthy dose of fear young children need to have for such things until they are old enough to determine what is safe and what's not. Do I make sense? Either way, I continue to succumb to the nostalgia of tradition. I know I loved sparklers as a kid myself. So did Linc.

Late the next morning we headed down to the local parade. It was unseasonably cool for a 4th of July weekend in Utah, and I was happy to get a spot on the less crowded side of the street in the warm sunshine.
Unfortunately Noah was extremely unhappy with having the sun in his eyes (as you can see in these pictures).

Luckily my mom spotted this spot across the street and we snatched it up before the parade started. We were, after all, there mostly for the boys - so it was good that Noah cheered right up after we moved locations.

At first the boys sat still and observed the parade. Smiling and waving occasionally.

Noah was particularly excited to see princesses on one of the floats and he didn't take his eyes off of them. He waved at them and wore this adorable, sheepish grin until they were out of site.

And then there was the candy. Oh, boy. Once they realized there was candy being thrown out, the whole mood changed. Game on.

"I ate it all gone, Mom!" Not that I was surprised.

Our boys weren't as fast or agile as the older kids sitting next to us, so it was an accomplishment to end up with a piece of candy when they were thrown. Here's Lincoln showing me his treasure.

And Noah.

Lincoln was also pleased to stick these advertisements...errr, stickers, on his hands too.

At one point someone from a credit union was walking in the parade handing out balloons. It took some chasing the lady down the parade route to finally get them, but the boys sure were pleased. The things that you'll do for your kids. The boys were sure happy to have their balloons. The lady sitting next to us...not so much. Apparently she had a latex allergy and was scared that one of the boys balloons was going to touch her.

I can't imagine why she'd worry about that with my boys. Especially docile little Lincoln. I mean really. Just look at this picture.

The boys with my parents.

I like this next trio of pictures showing different expressions of Lincoln's. Sometimes he watched the parade like this...

And sometimes like this...

And this is the forced "smile" I got when I tried to get him to stop watching and pose for a picture.

Noah really enjoyed the parade, but instead of shouting for things like the other kids he hung back a little. He'd ask for help - sometimes saying, "...but I'm shy, Mom". Here he is with a cool firetruck behind him.

After 90 minutes or so of parade time, we walked back to the car. Lincoln was so tired that he just stumbled around, following the green balloon that was bobbing behind Noah.

That night we went to the local firework show, and it was perfect. The weather was nice, it was a great show, and the boys were sooo cute. I just wish Mark could have been there too. (Hmmm...for those of you wondering - Noah was acting out fireworks bursting open with his hands)

My parents bought the boys these glow toys from a vendor at the firework show. Huge hit.
I loved laying on the blanket and listening to the boys' squeals and exclamations. Lincoln kept yelling, "Do it again!" They loved it and it was a perfect memory for me to have from Utah before flying to Arizona the next day!
ALSO! Because I wish that I had could formulate something perfectly eloquent, appreciative, and patriotic to say about the country I've been blessed to live in & those that have served and sacrificed for it...I wanted to include this video clip that's been circulating around the internet. Many of you have already seen it, but I thought it was appropriate for this post. I say it's better with the sound on...especially for the little girl on Santa's lap. If that can't melt your heart then I'm concerned about you. (Again, I do NOT claim this video as my own. I pulled it off of YouTube)


Mark, Holly and Boys said...

Holy crap, I just about wet myself when I saw the pic of Linc trying to smile. I'm still chuckling.

Mark, Holly and Boys said...

Ladies & gentlemen...the last comment is from Mark :)

Jana said...

What a fun time we had! I'm glad we had that time together before you moved too. I can't get enough of the boys! And you and Mark of course.

Anna and Stephen said...

I had the same reaction to as Mark to the picture of Lincoln smiling. Hilarious! I love the moments you capture with your pictures.

Also, I cried the whole 10 minutes of that video. We live near a military base, and so we have lots of our ward that is deployed right now, and it reminded me of them. What a great video!