Looking back and looking forward....

We are so excited and looking forward to a fun July 4th weekend with our kids and extended family.

As I am finishing up with the food prep and decorating, I was looking back on so many precious memories.
Like my mom's LOVE for July 4th and anything patriotic. She loved the good ole' USA! 
She used to plan a parade with her grandchildren long before neighborhoods thought of the idea.
Each year we would spend the day at Mom and Dad's house. 
The kids would decorate...whatever they were "in to"...tricycle...bike...scooter...go-cart, themselves on skates...
And they would ride around the driveway and little road between the house and barn.
And we would clap and wave our flags.
We would do our own "firework show" which really was just poppers and sparklers. 
Then we would drive to a location, all sit on top of the cars and in lawn chairs and watch the local firework show. And we would do lots of ooohing and aaaahing.
And my nephew, Cody, would sing "It's a Grand Old Flag" over and over and over and over again. :)

Ever since Ashley was the Abilene High Champ (Eagle mascot) and was asked to walk in our Hillcrest neighborhood parade, we have gone to watch, then pull our grandkids in the red wagon and now watch them ride their bikes. First tradition is for them to come to the house to decorate their bikes. I really should buy stock in the Scotch Tape brand. :) There is a lot of crepe paper, stars, flags involved in this project and Scotch tape. You can never use to much tape. :)

The 3 boys were here this morning and we were getting their bikes ready, I was overwhelmed with emotions. So thankful to all those who have put their life on the line for this country. For our Founding Fathers. For all those who protect us so we can have parades and wave our flags and vote and not be in fear! For all the sweet memories my Mom has given me to think back on. 

For instance, how it was my job as a child to sit on top of the ice cream freezer as my Dad cranked the ice cream until it was a perfect creamy delicious treat. Yes, we had electricity back then! But we didn't have electric freezers! I think every single child should have the pleasure of sitting on top of a towel that has been folded over the ice. Yes, it is a cold job...but the rewards were getting to help Dad clean the dasher...with a spoon. Yum.

Or the year Mom and I made little wooden firecracker decorations complete with a little twine fuse, the boys asked if that dynamite was real this morning. It made me laugh!

So...because I am feeling quite sentimental I will close with some pictures. This is just a few of hundreds of my favorites! I love the expressions...to these little ones...this is serious business...it might as well be the Macy's parade to them. There is pressure to do well, lots of people are watching to see if you can ride a bike or sit in a wagon. After all...its the highly anticipated and well known Hillcrest Neighborhood Parade. I love our little neighborhood.

 Clay and Will
Will, Clay and Owen
 Will and Emma
 Owen, Clay, Will and Emma
Owen, Will & Clay

I will try to write and post more after this years big event.
But for now, I will just close with a
Happy 4th of July Ya'll!