Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stars and Stripes Forever - Independence Day 2012

Last Spring at a school event, my sister-in-law asked a group of kids if they knew why we celebrate the Fourth of July.  Because it's a time to light fireworks?? Because it's a time to have a party with friends during the summer?? These were the most popular answers.  Still hoping for the right response, she further quizzed them as to why we gather with friends for food and fireworks.

Of the numerous groups that she questioned, only a couple of the elementary participants were able to articulate that the Fourth of July is also called Independence Day, a day honoring the many battles hard fought to win freedom for our country from England.
It seems as though the Fourth of July is falling in line with all of the other holidays whose origins and meaning have been lost to a secular world view - Christmas is about Santa, Easter is about the Easter Bunny and Independence Day is about fireworks and munchies.

I have to admit, that sometimes preparations for the Fourth take a back seat to baseball games and practices, swimming lessons, 4-H projects and the overall lull of summertime.  I feel, though, that now more than ever, it is imperative that we nurture patriotism and American heritage in our hearts and in our homes.

How can one appreciate, support and fight for something that they do not love nor understand? Our children must know their heritage. And, in knowing it, they will come to love it.  With love comes the conviction to share it with others, most especially those who are here from another land hoping to make a life and enjoy the freedoms and opportunities afforded to us by those who have stood bravely upon the battle grounds, willing to sacrifice their life to preserve our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

To those of you who have friends or family overseas serving our nation, we offer our most sincere thanks and prayers!

In honor of Independence Day, we would like to share a few ideas that we hope to create and enjoy in our home tomorrow. We wish all of you a most blessed and happy day!!!  

The Wee Sing America CD with accompanying music book is a set that we have listened to and enjoyed for years.  The boys have learned several patriotic songs from listening to it in the car and around the house.  It's a great way to teach traditional songs, famous quotes about our nation, and facts attributed to the battle for our independence. 
Who needs to buy the holiday decorations, when your kiddos can make them for you?? After recently loading up on craft supplies on our last errand run, I am hoping that we have all the necessities to make a few of the festive crafts that I found at No Time For Flashcards.
For your older kids, digging in to the Constitution is a wonderful way to help them know more about our country and it's founding principles.  Reading and discussing even a few of the articles will surely fire up some political debate at the dinner table!  You can view the preamble and articles for free at this site.
Write a letter to a soldier! Go to A Million Thanks to find the information on how to send your support through a letter to one of our service men and women.
These fun and easy chocolate dipped sprinkled pretzels from The High Heeled Hostess are simple for the kids to make and yummy too.  I think I will use white chocolate and put them in mason jars tied with patriotic ribbon!
I found a recipe for these frozen Patriotic Pops on Spoonful.com, and thought that they would be a perfect treat for the end of what will probably be a very warm summer evening.
Free printables are easy to find via Pinterest.  I found this one on The Crafting Chicks. We have a distressed white frame that we place the creative artwork for all holidays and season in to set on the buffet.  Simple, easy and festive!!
Why wait for sunset for fireworks?? I'm thinking that the boys will have fun "learning" with this little scientific venture.  A colorful idea from I Can Teach My Child.
I love the idea of adding a little patriotic curly ribbon to a pair of flip-flops.  How easy and cute is that??
Finally, the Fourth just wouldn't be the same without a little patriotic fashion.  Unfortunately, my boys aren't interested in red, white and blue duds.  But, if I had a little girl she would look sweet in this. I found this idea for 4th of July Shirts from Lily Bloom Studio and couldn't resist sharing!!


  1. Great blog! Stopping by from Bloggy Moms and following

  2. Love your blog! Stopping by from Bloggy Moms... Newest follower. :-)


    1. Yay!! Thanks for checking in. I'm heading over to your site right now!

  3. Love this as always!!! Happy 4th of July my friend!

  4. Love the fireworks in a jar idea... something to recommend to the entire west since half of it is on fire right now. :( I hope they get them all out soon and no new fires start today. happy 4th!

  5. I love those chocolate covered pretzels! They are so simple and so delicious! We make them every Christmas! I never thought to do it for the 4th though!

  6. Very creative 4th of July ideas. Just stopping by to say HI! Found your blog via Red, White and You. I am following you now. Looking forward to reading your future post.

  7. So many cute and doable ideas! I of course love anything having to do with food haha. I also love that printable.

    I'm following you from the follow fest! I'd love for you to stop by my blog and become my blog friend too!

    xo, Brooke


  8. What a lovely tribute to our nation for the 4th! My husband is active duty military; he truly appreciates being recognized for his service. I'm returning your visit from Cave Princess! I loved your idea of being a guest contributor and think a guest post from your fabulous page would be fabulous!

    Krista Morgan

  9. Hey sue. See I do read your blog!


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