Friday, July 3, 2009

Proud to be an American (even if we are called ex-patriots =))

Happy 4th of July!!! Today is always a very special day to our family. Dave and I started officially dating on the4th of July 7 years ago. It is also the annual celebration of Fourth of Dimaya in Las Vegas. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a giant fireworks show put on by one of our friends, Brian. Every year it gets bigger and better (though I'm not sure they can top last year, but I'll bet they'll find a way =)). We are so sad that we can't make it this year, we always have so much fun with the Vegas crew. Dave is really going to miss being a part of the pyrotechnics team. Maybe next year......

We celebrated the 4th of July here in Australia though. We attended a celebration put on by the American Society of Sydney. There wasn't a picnic, bbq, or swimming, but there were other Americans and fireworks. We ate some food, socialized, and watched the fireworks. Annabelle was scared of the clown (who wouldn't be), but got a balloon animal out of it, so she was happy. She also got to color and watch her first fireworks. She was really excited at first and would say "oooooo" and point at them. Then she just sat back and enjoyed the show. It was very cute. It was strange to experience the 4th of July in the winter. It was much cooler than last year's celebration in Vegas. The cool thing was it gets dark so early that we watched fireworks and still made it home by Annabelle's bedtime. It did however make us miss home even more today. The 4th of July in Australia, even among fellow Americans, just isn't the same.

We are so grateful to be American citizens. Even though we don't live in America right now we still enjoy the blessings we've had by living there and by still being citizens. We are a little offended to be referred to by the government as ex-patriots. We spent all morning listening to patriotic songs and dancing around our living room. We're dressed in red white and blue, we have American flag stickers, and we watched fireworks. How much more patriotic can you get? ;) Seriously though, America is a great country. I know when you live there it is easy to pick out all the flaws our country has, especailly during the hard economic conditions that currently exist there. It isn't until you leave and go to other countries that you realize how wonderful America is and how lucky you are to be a citizen there.
We also want to take the time to thank all the service men and women who fight for our country. You do a great service to us all and we could never thank you enough! You sacrifice more than we could ever imagine. I also want to thank their families for all the sacrifices they make so their sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers, and fathers can defend our nation. It is people like you that made our country what it is. Without you, we wouldn't have such a wonderful, beautiful, free land to call home. Our thoughts and prayers are constantly with you. Thank you!!!

We appreciate Australia as well and the opportunities that living here has afforded us. We're grateful to the people who have been so kind to us and helped us adjust to living here. We're grateful for the freedoms we have living here. Even though there are great things about Australia, even things we will miss when it is time to move home, it will never be America, it will never be home. God bless America and all of her people! WE LOVE YOU!!!

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