I love the 4th of July, it's my favorite holiday! I love summer, I love that it stays light and warm well into the evening, I love being able to be outside in the sun all day long, I love getting together with my incredible and wacky family and wonderful friends for BBQs, I love fireworks, I love the US. I have only fond memories of the 4th of July.
It is hard to not be in the USA for such a patriotic holiday. There is no excitement here today, there will be no fireworks. While it does get warm outside during the day in the winter, it is now only about 55 degrees in my house as I sit here writing this. It is just not the same!
One thing that I am so thankful for here is amazing friends! Today we got together with friends for a BBQ (Lincoln says that today is the one day that we won't call it a braai!) Living here would be so much more difficult if we didn't have the support of our friends. Quite a few are missionaries from the US, so they know exactly how we feel and what we go through. Some are South Africans, and it's great to have friends who know the country and how things work here. They have been an extraordinary help as we have been getting settled again.
So, while I miss being in the US for the 4th and I miss friends and family, I am so grateful for what we do have here.
Here are some pictures from the day. Click on them to enlarge.
Our friend Amy's mom sent Amy some patriotic decorations.
There were little flags stuck in above the entry to the lapa. They had been rolled up and didn't want to stay unrolled. So we had American flag roll ups decorating the area!
American flag napkins, YAY!
Amy's patriotically decorated cake. It was delicious!
The guys around the grill.
We couldn't find fireworks, so Lincoln built a bonfire.
Kyler and his friend Malachi by the fire.
Lincoln adding fuel to the fire.
The kids played with these sticks for very long time, I have no idea what they were doing in this picture!
After a few minutes, the guys decided they weren't satisfied with the bonfire and decided to burn the entire field. This is actually very common here, people burn off their weeds instead of mowing them.
Lincoln was very safety conscious, his dad would be proud! (Well, at this point his dad would have been proud.)
Amy and Isabel
The field fire was growing, but not fast enough.
So, Lincoln got some gasoline . . .
. . . and that helped!
While the giant fire in the field was raging, a group crowded around this tiny fire (this was the bonfire after everyone abandoned it for the larger fire) to keep warm. We thought it was funny that they were by this little fire instead of the roaring one!
We were joking that for years all of our kids are going to say "Do you remember that 4th of July where our parent's lit a field on fire and then let us play in it all night? That was the best 4th of July ever!"
We probably won't be winning any parenting awards anytime soon, but the kids had a great time!
While the older kids played near the fire, Kendi and her friend Kyla played princesses, here they are on the top of their "castle".
I hope you have a very happy 4th of July (even if you don't live in the US and it's just a regular day for you.)