Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Fun "Fourth"

Steph, Treav and Nick.  Enjoying the great outdoors.
Here in Thailand, we do things laid back.  Most people aren't in a major rush.  And, neither are we...just kidding.  Life is still crazy!  But, this week, we pushed back the celebration of the Fourth of July till the Fifth of July.  We're cool that way.

Or, we're just more into fitting into our schedule when it works!  Nobody here knows the difference.  ;)

Couple shots...*awww* Treavor and Alina...

...and Nick and Steph.

Treav and Huy.

Run and Elliot - it was so bright outside right then.  I promise he's not sleeping sitting up.

Steph caught a better kid picture I'm sure.  This was one I got after all her's were done.  The kids were done.  And, hilarious, too!  My fav!

Check out this little nugget dressed so patriotically.  Thanks, Meemaw, for the outfit!

With hot dogs and chicken on the grill, we downed chips with sour cream and onion dip (DIY for the first time...I over-salted it a bit, but when you can't buy it at the store, it is still a special treat!).  We had carrot sticks with Cesar dressing, watermelon (what summer b-b-q is complete without it?), and strawberry limeade drinks to wash it all down.  Other than the apple pie and potato salad (sorry, Nick! ;) ...it was completely awesome! 

Engrossed in a movie (about the first Fourth of July) - I cannot tell you how many of these types of pictures I have.  I should showcase them all some day just to prove it.  Over 2.5 years, these kids have watched tons of flicks together.  Good times.

During "color your own American flag time," the adults collaborated together to try and convey to our unsuspecting littles (7 of them, 6 years and under) - about what Independence Day means for Americans.  Let me tell you, this can get a little tricky.  Unless you're a great history buff or do your studying beforehand, it is a little difficult to try and shoot out the "bottom-line" of July the Fourth. 

The meaning of the Star-Spangled Banner - can anyone remember the whole story?  Bueller?
Declaration of Independence?  A document that was essentially a battle-cry. 
Calling it a "birthday party" for America?  (I thought that would help the pre-schoolers, and they were like, who's birthday is it?  George Washington's?). 
Fighting for land that wasn't "ours" to begin with?  Sorry if I stepped on a few toes there. 

I said it could get tricky.

Really, if you think about it, all the culture of the Fourth begins with barbeque's, swim parties, wearing patriotic-themed clothes, fireworks, staying up past bed-time, and such.  When I was 6, I thought there was nothing beyond celebrating Independence Day if it didn't include homemade brownies and sparklers!

But, as we grow up in America, we learn more about our fight to freedom.  About loyalties.  Taxes.  Having liberty to worship in any way we please. Becoming a "community" and a culture apart from Mother England...so. many. things.  We begin to understand more and think beyond cannon booms and the almost religious pledge of allegiance to our Flag.  We think to Freedom. 

Hopefully today, we attached not just a little patriotism upon our confused, third-culture kids - but, at the least, a happy memory to tag onto their formative years.  One day they will understand it all a little deeper (probably because we'll have to home school them on it!)...especially if we ever live in the States again. 

Pray for us.  Pray for our children to have identity not only here in Thailand - but as Americans - and, ultimately, as citizens of Heaven. 

Pray for our country.  For leaders to lead rightly.  To feel the weight of their responsibility.  And, *gasp*, to hear God's voice to lead them!

Pray for the world.  To be brought to true freedom!  Freedom from sin.  From guilt.  From oppression.  From hopelessness, poverty and the desperation of the world.  To be brought to the beautiful face of Jesus.

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