On the 4th of July, I woke up and my boys had already made Kool-Aid and poured it into fancy glasses to celebrate. Yes, they drank it before breakfast, and no, they didn't get in trouble, because it's the best holiday!
Killing time in Payson.
We battled, too. That was a work out!
Happy Birthday, Tyson!
Crew of mischeif makers at the Payson fireworks--my brother-in-law is the Head Pyro at this show, and they did an excellent job!
Yeah...he probably shouldn't have that in his mouth in case it breaks & the glowing toxins come out.
Payson fireworks--the first time I saw the show. I was pretty impressed!
Breakfast the next day with Jason & Randa's kids. So cute!
Lunch at the Mexican Food Restaurant in Heber.
Night before the parade.
Can't forget the moment of my stark realization that I was the new, proud owner, of this amazing little green man!
Getting ready for the parade with our "Patriotic Orcs" as Jodi so correctly called them.
My mom put together a float honoring my grandma - one of the longest living residents of Heber Overgaard. She & my Grandpa Zane moved there when they got married in 1949, before indoor plumbing & electricity. They were the 15th house in the town, and boy did they help build it up over the years. They're amazing examples of hard work, dilligence, and home-grown-American patriotic Spirit of entrepeneurs & building the American Dream. They taught us the importance of loving God, Family, and Country!
Grandma's descendents who supported her in the parade!
Grandma was the one who told Uncle Russ to keep driving through the Soak Zone...and boy, did we ever get SOAKED!
Hey, Taylor! If you're reading this, I want to point out the bracelet on my arm from Guatemala! I told you that I wear the bracelet you gave me so that you can be with us there "in Spirit" to things I know you wouldn't want to miss. :)
When we sang Happy Birthday to Tyson, he squoze Miles' cheeks as if the baby was singing the words, too. It was hilarious, and Baby Miles didn't even squawk.
His new Ninjago Alarm Clock was a smashing success until he started to use it. His famous words when he realized what having an alarm clock means, "Well, I really like the look of it, but sometimes I just want to sleep a little bit longer."
Exhausted from the parade. :) It was their first time being in a parade ever!
It's a Bald Eagle, Son! WE LOVE AMERICA!
I made Hudson & Miles matching baby blankets last year for the 4th of July, but only Hudson's was finished on time. Thankfully, my mom brought it up the mountain for me, and I could take a picture of my baby in his 4th of July baby blanket while he's still sort of a baby.
We got RAINED OUT! I'm talking puddles and wet blankets, and this was the boys' fort to sheild them from the rain.
Had so much fun with Tina. She's one of my best friends! I love my sisters in law!
My boys are probably the closest thing my nephew has to having brothers, and these 4 have an awesome time together. Caden is frequently referred to by Tyson as his "best cousin" (like his best friend). I like having Caden around because he's kind of like a big-brother for my boys to look up to, and they really do look up to him. It would be so awesome if we could have more Borden cousins around town so we could have more interactions like this, but boy do I thank my lucky stars that we have had all the fun memories with our awesome nephew, Caden. Now with a new neice in town, the in-town Borden family is growing. We love cousins!
This year was Tyson's GOLDEN BIRTHDAY! He turned SIX on the SIXTH!!!! If getting face painted, marching in a parade, buying stuff, and playing with cousins all day wasn't enough, I don't know what is. But there's more: we have "connections" with the fire-works crew, and my husband got to write Tyson's name on one of the fireworks for his golden-birthday. We had a fun time watching the show, and wondering which one exactly it might have been that had Tyson's name on it. :) We don't have a picture of Tyson's firework, because there were no cameras allowed in the fireworks zone during or before the show.
The flag was flown at half-mast for the poor 19 AZ firefighters who died fighting the wildfires the week of the 4th of July.
The most special part of the show was the end, when after the Finale, one, single, firework was shot in honor of my Uncle Lewis, who did so much to build community and patriotism and service to the town of Heber. This month marks a year of his death. We miss him, and so does the community that he lived in. About 30 years ago, the Heber-Overgaard Fireworks show started out the the back of a pick-up truck by Uncle Lewis and his friend, Dewey, and now it's grown into a huge, community event that THOUSANDS enjoy every year. (I took this pic from my cousin's blog--my Aunt Mary, some of her kids, and my dad got to sign the final firework--they have a picture because it was from the night before, and I'm so glad they got to have this moment.) The show has grown becuase people like my uncle, and my dad, and my Uncle Les on my mom's side, and my Uncle Russ, and other patriots from this small town who put together their efforts to grow the show. I remember being a kid, standing by an orange bucket, holding signs that said, "Lighten Your Pockets, and Light Up the Sky!" We raised donations for the show every year, and then the Chamber of Commerce eventually took that part over. It's my favorite fireworks show in the world, because it's a home-grown, patriotic celebration that makes me feel closer to God and family. I love America so much because of the roots my ancestors have given me. Every Sunday after the show there is the most patriotic testimony meeting you've ever experienced, and I know with all my heart that this country was founded upon principles of righteousness, and that the Constitution can only be upheld by a people willing to fight for truth and righteousness and defend their rights by standing up and being counted. "Democracy is not a spectator sport." --Unkown I also know with all my heart that those who came before sacrificed the things they did so that we could enjoy the freedoms we enjoy, and it would be a disservice to them to ignore that. It's so important to remember what America was founded upon and to teach our kids the simplest of simple things: put your hands over your heart, and take your hat off when the flag goes by. Sing the Star-Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, and My Country Tis' of Thee. Recite the Pledge of Allegience with pride. Vote in every election. Show up to PTSO meetings, or any community meeting that you can to make a difference. And don't ever miss a 4th of July Celebration! My dad says he thinks it's a sin to not celebrate the 4th of July--that's how much he LOVES America and the gifts he's been given. God Bless America. Let Freedom Ring!
I felt the Spirit so strongly at the end of the show. It was as if my Uncle Lewis was right there with all of us--just like he used to be back in the day on the field, selling snow cones with my Aunt Mary.
The willow tree firework was his favorite, and no one knew what exactly the firework was going to look like until it went off. I don't believe it was a coincidence that this beautiful firework was the one that went off in his honor.
He fell asleep if you can't tell. :) He was asleep for, like, EVER!
Miles & Cord--growing bigger every year! They're 1 week apart. Elizabeth & I had the same due date last year, and now look at our chunky, big-boys! Don't you love the "God Bless America" sign? My Uncle Les is the head pyro in Heber, and he also owns the LARGEST American flag that I've ever seen, and it waves above his house every day.