Our Family

Our Family
Benaiah, Justin, Melinda, Abishai, Keturah, and Jared

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Year 2, Day 176: Independence Day, 2017

Independence Day.  What does "independence" mean?  Well, we could talk about that in all facets of the word, but hopefully my readers already know that the 4th of the July holiday is NOT about fireworks, cookouts, and big sales at big box stores.  Hopefully, I have taught my kids what it means, but actually, I'm not sure I have except for last year when we were going through that part of history in our history book.  I read a blog post by my favorite (secular and kind of liberal) preschool teacher blogger, and he said that he reads the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution every year before going to any festivities.  It's actually not a holiday to celebrate our troops, past and present, although we should always appreciate them and thank them when we see them.  No, it's about the birth of our nation, primarily to have the freedom to express ourselves, especially religiously, to not be under Britain's rule, and to come together as a unified nation of separate colonies.  The blogger used the word interdependence because our founding fathers did refer back to us being unified (under God) and that we need to lean onto each other in order to stay a strong nation.  And we all know that our country is so divided 241 years later, it's ridiculous.  So, with that in mind, and many other burdens on my heart, I wasn't really in a celebratory mood on Monday and Tuesday.  (I'm writing this on Wednesday, the 5th).

This is the blog post I'm referring to:
Interdependence Day

Part of those reasons included, once again, remembering that we are here and not there in Canada.  But we must celebrate both holidays because we have a Canadian in our midst and we all are all United States Americans.  I try not to say we are "American" because I believe "American" can refer to any person in North or South America, especially the North.  I'm pretty sure I heard it asked from a Canadian friend, "Why do you refer to yourselves as Americans like you are the only ones on this continent?"  True statement.  I think many USA people really don't take notice of what is happening around the world unless it has to do with fidget spinners, video games, technology, etc.  Maybe they see that USA is or isn't stacking up to other countries in education or politics.  But do they really see that there are other nations that actually might have it "all together" more than we do?  Do they see that people from other countries look at the USA and her people as being "high and mighty" and full of themselves? You see, there are parts of Canada I don't like, like allowing older people to decide to be euthanisized.  Their healthcare has it's flaws.  There are provinces where home education is heavily  watched and restricted.  But at the same time, they are just more relaxed than the USA.  At least on the Island, they take more time to enjoy life, and I mean spontaneity, not highly scheduled "enjoyment."  For me, it's like going to Africa on a mission trip and coming back totally changed, wanting something more than the USA has to offer.  My eyes were opened to the world, not just what is right in front of me.

So, I find it hard to celebrate the 4th.  Plus, it was 5 years ago that we arrived on PEI and started unloading our trucks.  Just typing that can send me to tears.  The grieving isn't over.  Watching my Maritime friends on Facebook go to the beach (it's finally warm enough!) and seeing pictures of their sunsets and the water and red earth and green grass.  Well, it's breathtaking.  I've been trying to capture some sunsets here, but they don't compare, at least not in the suburbs.  Plus, right now, I'm doing the Whole 30 diet and it's just hard.  It's so restrictive, and I'm still in the detoxing grouchy first week.  I've been good though, if you don't count the cornstarch in the baking powder I used, which the website says means I'm back at Day 1.  They do count it, so I am back at Day 1 until I finish those waffles I made, which wow, you'll see, they were a little better tasting but a pain to clean up from.

But Momma did have a good time doing sparklers with all the kids the other night.  I have gotten a few things done around the house.  We had a great time seeing fireworks on Tuesday night from our old favorite spot 2/3 of the way into town.  I wore my Canada shirt on Saturday and Sunday, the 1st and 2nd, and I wore my new Captain America shirt on Monday and Tuesday, the 3rd and 4th.  We have both flags in mini versions in a couple of spots in the house.  I will have a whole shelf in our mission/memory/sitting room dedicated to Canada, but also have one dedicated to NH and IN, as well as all the vacations we have been on.  I plan to put up the picture of Indianapolis' skyline we had people sign before we went to Canada in a prominent place.  I have a picture of a lighthouse and/or foxes from Canada to put up.  I will still follow Justin Trudeau although he missed Alberta when he was listing all the provinces in a speech on Canada Day.  (He's the prime minister of Canada if you didn't know) and follow what the Queen and the Royal Family are up to, as well as President Trump and all the news that goes with our politics and especially how they all intersect.  I'll be teaching Canadian history as well as USA history side by side when we get to it again in a few years.

Overall it was a good holiday, not as stressed as last year's since we have been in the house over a month now.  The emotions from leaving Canada have subsided on most days, but they crop up just like my grief over my parents crops up at certain times, during certain times or handling certain objects like the stuff that makes up my memory shelf (or the "shrine" as some people call it).  I'll never truly get over it, and I am forever changed and will be processing it all for a while longer.  Kids are happy, Jared's happy, and Momma will get there eventually, with God's help of course.  In fact, I've been praying more this time around, especially for strength for this special diet, but in general, too.  I'll get there, like we all will, eventually, but what does "there" mean? Hopefully Heaven for all of us, right?

Oooo, speaking of, I have heard of reports from Gary that Benaiah is having a grand time at CIY, getting up early and showering, and he's been having some deep questions of faith with his not as grounded in the faith friends.  He's always been our little evangelist.  And he's great at persuasion.  So,  more power to him!  I'll post something fun in Wednesday's blog about it, too.

So, I played photographer a little too much on Tuesday night, so I have like 300 photos (no joke!) to share, but I'll pick out only a handful.  I did play around with some settings as we were waiting for the fireworks to start and it felt so good to do that.  I promised myself that I would take the time to learn a little photography, but I knew it would take a long time.  So, to actually stop and think, and play around with settings reminded me that I can do it, I know how, and to keep playing.  Here's the results!

Decent flavor - almond flour, almond milk, a bit of coconut flour, flax instead of eggs, salt, and the baking powder (which I wasn't supposed to have.)  However, because I didn't have a pan spray that was on plan, I tried to drizzle olive oil on the waffle iron before I put the batter in and it didn't work as well as I had hoped.  The waffles were crispy but crumbly, too.  The recipe made too much batter, so I didn't make it all up into waffles yet.  I will probably throw that out since it's not on plan and it was super thick.  It did make me extremely mad and frustrated and I was in the kitchen for like 3 hrs trying to get breakfast made and done and cleaned up.  I get interrupted a lot during breakfast sometimes because of the kids.  Think: sometimes I warm up my coffee 3 times before I get to drinking it all.

We had an inspector friend come and fully scope out the crawlspace and flooring situations and it is NOT good.  But during that process, the kids discovered that they could hear Dad talking and decided to talk through the vents to him.  Justin is hugging a cookbook because he was figuring out what yummies he wanted to make.

They all decided it was a good idea to bring all their bedding out to the living room that morning.  Fun!  Just as long as you put it all away, which they do without much grumbling most of the time.

Like Where's Waldo?, Where's Keturah?

Even Abishai did it!  Well, he does drag his bed stuff out on most days anyway.  He has literally 4 little blankets, his Cars pillow and lots of stuffed animals, including the "Icee" one with big eyes.

Our go to spot for many, many years on Southeastern Ave. near State (?).  It's about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way Southeastern between our houses and downtown.  The booms from the main fireworks show aren't bad at all.  But there were way too many personal fireworks going off and those were scary and loud.

We go about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs early to claim our spot.  The little parking lot does fill up, but not until 9:30.  So we bring games and food.  This tic tac toe game Benaiah made many, many years ago at the Lowe's Build and Grow program.

Grandma found new Micro Machines of Star Wars vehicles to play with.

Abishai had to show Granny Annie all the vehicles one by one.  Grannie Annie lives on Leah's street and is 90 years old now but still pretty spry.  She loves engaging the kids and is so sweet.  Abishai immediately warmed up to her and gave her backwards hugs and everything!

Picnic dinner!

Lots of great sunset shots!

Pretty clouds.

The feast!  Fried chicken from Kroger, fresh cherries, chips and cookies.

Us 5, Leah, Granny Annie and one of her granddaughters.  We know one of her other granddaughters because she used to attend our college Bible study with us.

We tried to find a restroom but were unsuccessful.  Abishai came with us and I didn't bring the stroller.  So, at one point, Grandma put him up on her shoulders!  Yeah Grandma!

Grandma also brought more sparklers and a new lighter so we didn't have to bring the big blowtorch, lol.

Abishai is so intuitive.  He saw Keturah lying on the blanket and immediately did the same.  At one point he even had blnakie and paci with him.  He didn't like the big booms, so he and Jared spent the whole 25 minute show in the van.

I had the camera on "continuous shoot" mode so if I held down the trigger, it would take multiple pictures.  I was able to capture a ton of great shots!  We like the ones that showed red, blue, and white!

They even had heart ones! Justin claims he didn't see them, so here's proof that they exist!

The ones other people were setting off were almost as big as the ones being set off from one of the bank towers!  And they were very loud, too!  Not only that, we also saw more on our way home. People spend tons of money on fireworks, whole paychecks worth even, and probably on credit.

Halftime show.

Finale!  Oh, they do play clips of popular songs and this year, we heard "Let It Go" as well as "God Bless the USA" and of course that famous one I can't remember.  They did start with the Star Spangled Banner, which none of my kids know the words to because well, Canada's anthem is much easier to remember and sing.

On our walk to find a restroom, we walked over a couple of train tracks.  I was trying to catch up to the others the first time we walked over, so I hurriedly pushed Abishai over them, although he had hesitated.  So, on the way back, I let him actually touch and look at the tracks.  He had never done that before.  He as a little concerned and looking to see if a train was coming.  Indianapolis is full of train tracks and still has many active trains, mostly grain and coal and livestock, but some passenger trains as well.

Perfect place for a gymnast!

I want to touch the tracks, too!


Little guy on the tracks holding onto Grandma's hand.

Now that's a beautiful sunset.

 My attempt at being artsy with the train tracks.  I grew up with a coal train that went behind our house between the house and the Merrimack River so we would sometimes walk the tracks, which always made me nervous, too.  But it's always fun to see them up close.
After the fireworks, the kids all stayed awake on the way home.  Traffic wasn't too bad either.  A few crazy people, but no gridlock because we weren't all the way downtown.  Thankfully, I had put Abishai down for a late nap and he didn't wake up until 6:30pm.  So, staying up to 11pm wasn't as bad as it could have been.  So, today, (Wednesday), we all said no to friends and going outside even.  Just staying in and being quiet and getting some rest.  Happy Independence Day!

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