Monday, July 6, 2009

Patriotic Panamenos

We had a fun 4th of July, which began with the girls and I heading to the zoo. We went to the bird show, which all 3 girls really liked. And for some reason, when they brought out the bald eagle, I got all choked up. I love this country! I am proud to be an American. In addition to seeing all the animals and riding the train and carousel, the zoo had American flags from different eras around the grounds. It was neat to see all of these different flags...all standing for this great nation as it grew from 13 colonies to 50 United States.

Then we spent the evening with family...both my aunt and uncle and Alfredo's extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins). We went to 2 barbecues and then did fireworks at his aunt's house. The girls had fun, including dressing in patriotic clothes.

Notice Ella's shorts are on backwards?! Often this summer, she puts her shorts or pants on backwards...how can she fit? Oh, I forgot, she is tiny!

Look at Michelle's cute 4th of July hairstyle.


This is such an amazing country. Here are some of my top reasons that I love America:
*freedom of religion
*freedom of speech, press, right to vote, etc.
*the military men and women who, throughout the more than 200 past years, have fought to provide, protect and maintain freedom
*the right to have an education...as much education as we choose to have and in whatever field we choose to have...many women and children are denied that right in many countries
*the right to choose our occupations, to choose our spouse, to choose the number of children to have, to choose where to live, etc.
Do I think the United States is the only place with these freedoms? No. But it was the first, and it is still one of the greatest. I get choked up every time I hear "I'm Proud to be an American" and in school, we sing this beautiful song called "This is America" and in it, we stand and say the pledge. Each year our third graders perform it for their parents, and each year I tear up listening to them sing about this country and say the pledge. I love this country!

Anyway, back to my kiddos...here they are.


Take a look at their faces...here we are watching fireworks with Alfredo's family. All of the girls were so excited and amazed. Look at Michelle's wide eyes. Gabrielle would often clap. They loved them.

I have to admit that I always miss the big fireworks when we don't go...to me, there's nothing like a professional fireworks display to make me appreciate this great nation. But this was a pretty spectacular day, especially because Alfredo's grandma and aunt and uncle are here from El Salvador right now. And his uncle and cousins were also here from California. I know he, especially, enjoyed the time to visit with family. And my girls love their cousins Daya and Laly and had a great time with them.