Wednesday, July 4, 2012

This Land Was Made for You and Me

Ah, the 4th of July.  Independence Day.  The day we, Americans, celebrate our Independence.  And how do we do this?  With picnics, cookouts, family gatherings, parties, and playing outside (so long as the weather isn't scorching).  The day where Americans stuff their faces with hotdogs, hamburgers, baked beans, potato salads, corn on the cob, watermelons, and homemade ice cream all in the name of freedom!  The day where, sparklers, parades, desserts, patriotic crafts made by kids, and homes and stores are adorned in colors of red, white, and blue are all part of our prideful celebration.  The stars and stripes of the American flag are everywhere!

We watch wonderful displays of fireworks and "oooh" and "ahhh" in fascination as the beautiful lights dance in the sky.  There is something about the patriotic songs mixed with the display of fireworks that brings tears to Americans eyes as they reflect on the country they love so much.

I'm not sure how this full feeling of pride comes about in Americans.  Is it the history behind what our ancestors set out to achieve, the fact that brave men and women still fight in honor of our country, or is it because we are brought up with these traditions?  Or could it be that it's something we are born with?  I don't know.

I usually buy the girls a fun 4th of July type shirt every year.  I have to buy one every year because Ava grows out of hers each year and Adrianna feels left out if I get Ava something and not her.  Anyway, this year I decided we would make our own fun 4th t-shirts!  I bought a couple of cheap t's for the girls at Old Navy and some fabric pens and let the girls do what they wanted.

Ava loves peace signs so I described a shirt I saw at Old Navy and helped her design her shirt.  Adrianna wanted something with a flower (of course) so I made an iron on transfer for her so she could color in her design.  I think they turned out great!

In case you are wondering . . . here's how we did it.

For this project you will need:
a plain white t-shirt
fabric pens or fabric paint
(I used electrical tape to make the peace sign outline on Ava's shirt)
put a piece of cardboard inside your t-shirt before you start so the paint doesn't go through to the back
I used electrical tape to make the outline of the peace sign
Ava's started filling in her flag design from the bottom up and go a little off course.  The flag was supposed to stop at the bottom of the peace sign but we ended up having to fudge it a little to make the circle turn out right.  The middle line should have continued straight through to the bottom of the circle.  Oh well, it looks great anyway!
Ava's shirt
Adrianna's shirt
Let the shirts dry over night and you're good to go!
I opted to go with a simple bleach pen design of fireworks on my red t-shirt.  I bought a new red shirt at Old Navy, because it was cheap, and used a bleach pens to draw my design.  I put a piece of cardboard under the top of my shirt so the bleach wouldn't run through.  I left the bleach on the shirt for about 20 minutes but I don't think it bleached it out enough.  In retrospect, I should've washed my shirt a couple of times first because I read that newer shirts that haven't been washed won't bleach as well.  Since I bought the shirt yesterday, there wasn't time to wash it a few times and dry it.  I also read not to leave the bleach on for too long as the bleach would eat through the fabric.  Eek!  I didn't want holes in my shirt so I washed it out after 20 minutes.  There's always next year!!
photo credits go to Ava for these two pics!

We'll wear our new shirts tonight when we go watch the fireworks!

To all the men and women who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces and their families, thank you!  Without your sacrifices, we could not celebrate our freedom and this great country we live in!

I'll leave you with a little piece of history . . .

In a letter form John Adams to his wife Abigail:
"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

[July 2 was the day that the Continental Congress had voted in favor of independence.  July 4th was when the Declaration of Independence was formally adopted.]

I think we, as Americans, have upheld the expectations of John Adams.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun day!  Happy 4th y'all!!


P.S. - Google prompted the title for this post.  Check it out ;)

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