God Bless America

We took the 3 youngest boys to the Memorial Day Parade.  I think for the boys, and even for myself, it started out as just a fun outing on a  beautiful day.

 Who wouldn’t want to go out into the main town, see friends and snack on red, white and blue sprinkle donuts.  Our parade consists mainly of veterans, soldiers on leave from active duty, police, fire fighters and boy scouts and girl scouts.  Each branch of the military was represented.  They walked, drove jeeps, were driven in convertibles and wore full, dress military uniforms and looked resplendent.  Military aircraft fly over head, making the heart of each young American swell with pride as we look up to see the power of America in all its celebratory glory.  We attend a parade in a very small town.  I can just imagine what it must be like in a big city, with even more pomp and circumstance to see.

This year I thought the attendance was excellent and it made me proud to see young and old, men, women and children stand and clap in respect as we honored our men and women in service.

As the parade began, the morning changed immediately from sitting in the sun and watching a fine show, to a chance to explain to the boys exactly what was really going on and why.  The parade began with some really, really old men walking proudly, leading the way because they were World War 2 veterans. If you are a WWII vet and you were 18 years old in 1945, the year the war ended, then you would be 85 years old this year.

I was able to explain to the boys that we stand to show honor and clap with gratitude as they pass because they sacrificed and lived to tell of the victories and sorrows of a war that we had to win if we wanted to save the free world from the brutal tyranny of Hitler and his horrible military.  There were veterans from the Korean War, a war that the boys really didn’t know much about, others were dressed as Daughters of the Revolution, U.S.O. entertainers and then came the veterans from Viet Nam.  There were many of them, representing all the branches and to the credit of our town, we clapped, waved, high-fived and saluted them and thanked them out loud.

The next groups were the soldiers representing Desert Storm and then the conflicts in Bosnia and Afghanistan.  Some carried signs telling the numbers of those who were lost in each war, some carried signs with the names of fallen soldiers and some carried pictures of those who were POW’s and never heard from again.  There were lists and lists of people who gave their all for our country and freedoms.

In between the different military groups were a couple of high school bands, Knights of Columbus and other groups throwing out bits of candy to kids.  It was during these moments that we sat down for a moment or so, but not for long as there’d be another group come along that needed us to show them gratitude and respect.

It was so great for the kids to watch from a front row seat, military jeeps, old and new, Hummers, amphibious vehicles and of course all the horses, motorcycles and fire trucks.  It  was a great teaching moment to be able to show them, up close and personal, the people who serve us in our own community in their different careers.

As the streets of the town were clearing, we left to grab a bit of lunch at Taco Bell.  In the restaurant, there was a young guy about 15-18 years old talking rather loudly and authoritatively to a family about soldiers and war.  The family was a mom, dad and 2 kids about 9 and 6 years old.  I’m not sure if the teenager was part of the family or just a friend.  He was saying horrible things about soldiers raping and killing women and children and shooting people right in the face. I kept watching the dad to see if he’d say something to this kid, but he just kept eating his taco.  David started to bristle right away at what the kid was saying, but I assumed he was talking about ‘enemy’ troops and what they probably do in times of war.

I really dislike conflict, but as soon as we realized that this boy was talking about our troops and making it sound like this is the way our military behaves all the time, I knew David was going to blow, and I was ready for it.  The moment this kid said there is no terrorism or war on terrorism and we should stop pretending to fight it, David was out of his chair, half way across the restaurant telling this kid very loudly that he was wrong, should be ashamed of himself for saying such disrespectful things especially on Memorial Day, when we’ve just spent the morning thanking our military for all they’ve done for us.

I loved the surprised look on this boys face when he looked up to see a stranger speak up to him and tell him he was way out of line for speaking that way.  The dad of the family told David to stay out of their conversation to which David replied that their loud conversation included the entire restaurant which, almost for sure, included several veterans or families of veterans.  He said that we were proud of our country, our service men and women and it was a disgrace that a kid would speak that way.  The dad replied that his father and grandfather served as well which of course made him look very foolish to allow this kid to speak the way he did.

First I thought, what an ignorant kid!  Doesn’t he know that because of the sacrifice of those that have gone before us, he has the right to live the way he does?  He has the freedom to hang out at the mall or the skate park, or even do something important with his life or not. Then I realized that he is just an inexperienced child who has not been taught, shown or guided in his upbringing in a way that has helped him to understand why he is able to live in such a rich and free country where he can choose to go down any path that he wants to make his own way in this world.

Secondly, I realized that it takes time and effort to train and educate kids and a great deal of wisdom and gratitude within yourself to instill the right values in young ones who have not seen much of the world.  When I saw a man with graying hair/life experience, I jumped to the conclusion that he would be the one with the…I’ll just say guts, to speak up to that kid and set him straight.  Instead he just sat there like a weak-minded person allowing the kid to spout off!

Well I guess I’ll never know how that conversation impacted that family, but I know the impact it had on me.  I was proud to have a man who would have the guts to speak up for what’s right.  Someone needed to say something and maybe give them a hint that they need to do a little more investigating into some facts before they speak so disrespectfully in public and potentially hurt those around them.

The kids definitely got a Memorial day eyeful and earful.  This is homeschooling at its best.  You can’t buy this kind of education, and, I have to admit, a little bit of entertainment as well.

Posted in Lots of Kids, Main Menu | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

To Post or Not to Post

I wanted to develop a really cool blog, but I didn’t get too much feedback and so I just let it drift away.

So cool. A family of 9 plus 2 spouses and 1 baby on the way, get to go to Panama and see monkeys in the rain forest.

The family is growing and changing so quickly and our lives are so fun and interesting. Maybe I’ll try again.

Posted in Lots of Kids, Main Menu | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Favorite Pictures

You’d think I’d like full on pictures with my face, but I love the artistic style in these 2 pictures better than any pictures.

We wanted to feature these beautiful evening bags in a way that really made them stand out.  So we put our heads together and came up with fancy dresses, nail polish, my pretty rings and a cool angle.

So, I know its me, and now you know its me, but really matters is that when you look at the purses, it makes you want to buy one and go out looking as fancy and glamorous as purses like this deserve.

Posted in Fun Things I do, Main Menu | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Knitting Again

I get so inspired when I go into a knit shop and they have completed projects on display.  I see the cute little baby sweaters finished and I just want to try it myself.  So I’ve been trying to perfect my knitting by picking out sweaters at the shop that are finished and then I see how its supposed to look.

This was a  beautiful little boys hoodie that I was pretty sure I could do.  The best thing about this pattern is that its knitted all at once on your needles.  You can see  the cute little sweater transforming before your eyes as you go.  Other sweaters are knitted in pieces.  You knit the front, back, and sleeves separately and then sew them together at the end.  While you’re working, it looks like a mess of scraps that could turn into who knows what when your finished.

It was growing along very quickly, so it was keeping me inspired to not give up.  So here it is…Ta Da…it worked, just like the one in the store…Yay!

I’m so glad I bought the little wooden buttons right then at the store because it looked just darling.

It turned out to be very thick and snuggly. Since I liked it so much, I figured that what is good for a boy would be good for a girl…so here’s the little girl version.

Why not?  My only problem now is to choose really cute and unique buttons for the girls sweater.

So these are the buttons so far.

They may stay or I might change my mind, but for now they’re very cute.

The funny is, that every time I start a new sweater, the kids all say, “who’s this one for?”  No matter how many times I try to tell them that I’m just trying to get good, and make a ‘secret’ stash of sweaters for future grandchildren, they still ask me each time who its for. I’m just guessing I’ll have a lot of grandchildren, so I’m sure I need to get working.  What do you think?

Posted in Fun Things I do, Main Menu | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Knitting is Chic!

I really do knit!  I learned to knit from my Grandmother when I was a little girl, and then my Mom helped me along.  I didn’t knit very much or very often, but every once in a while, I’d get the urge to try a little project, and it would keep up my skills.

My Mom and her friend Sheila starting encouraging ladies to knit hats for newborns at the hospital as a charitable gift.  I started making some when I was pregnant for Caleb.  In all of my babies, I’d never seen a hand-made knitted hat at the hospital.  The hospitals I went to, gave those ugly stretch caps for the little newborns.  About a month before Caleb was born, there was a sweet article in Victoria Magazine about a lady keeping her little newborn’s cap ever since he was born because it was a keepsake and a dear little memory. That really made me want to knit the little caps.  After I got good at the newborn caps, I decided to venture out on some more complicated projects.

It was so sweet of Sarah to post a picture my recent projects on Facebook.  I just had to knit up something for Baby Christopher.  Afterall, I’d knitted up a storm for Emma and Abby.  I just didn’t take pictures of my accomplishments.  I didn’t know it’d be cool and trendy.  I kind of thought it’d seem old-fashioned.

Now, recently, knitting is super popular and really in.  Suddenly, what I do is hip!  How cool is that?

I took a couple of pictures of the sailboat blanket as I was making it, and its so cute to see Baby Christopher on the completed blanket.

I just got it finished in time for his arrival into this world.

Here’s his dear little smiling face, all wrapped up snuggle buggle in the blanket.

In our life, we run around and do fun, crazy things all the time.  We have a wonderful exciting life, but sometimes, I just enjoy a little quiet, creative outlet.  And when I can see the results of my labor, it’s very satisfying.

Posted in Fun Things I do, Main Menu | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment