Memorial Weekend 2017

Memorial Day is a day to remember, and to be thankful.

I am so, so thankful to be an American.  I came by it easily...My parents are both U.S. citizens and so no matter what, I would be apart of this great country.  Doubly, I was born here!

Therefore, I obtained these incredible "rights" as a U.S. citizen.  I didn't really earn them, it's not like I did anything to "deserve" them...they were given to me.

I do not take them for granted...Rather, I appreciate them and hold them with respect.  I am given freedoms that many others in our world are not able to enjoy.  Because of that, I try to show respect for the men & women that took my place on the battlefield, in the offices, in foreign countries, behind the scenes, carrying the burdens that I do not carry...

I show respect by honoring the offices earned by elected officials. I attempt to peacefully disagree with opinions without demeaning the soul of a person. I try to show reverence towards ideas that differ from mine and not attack fellow citizens but rather focus on issues. I pray for our military and for those in office as I have over the years, even when those in office do not reflect my beliefs. I enjoy my family and train up our girls to be respectful, to not expect to be given things on a silver work toward a goal and to not give up or blame others when they fail, but rather pick themselves back up and continue to do the next right thing...We are helping them learn to listen to others, instead of shutting others have conversations, while still standing for Truth.

Because there are men and women fighting for our right to do so...and some have given their very lives for us to enjoy a backyard BBQ...they put my safety before their need to be close to their spouses & children as they fought on the front lines... overseas or long hours in offices...they aren't experiencing the luxury of speaking their mind & posting on social media & sipping a latte on the day to day...

We choose to show respect in others ways too that don't need to be mentioned specifically either...because the focus isn't meant to be on what I do, but on what they have already done!

And so, with a spirit of thankfulness...for Memorial Day each year, while remembering those that lost their lives so that we could enjoy the freedom we live out...we take the opportunity to invest time and build continued relationships with's something we don't have much time to do throughout the year, particularly with my brother. He is a pastor and so weekends are typically out of the equation for him...and with growing children & activities, sports, makes it tough to see each other outside of Christmas and an occasional quick trip reunion/birthday party.

We haven't been able to make it happen every year, and I'm sure at some point the kids will tire of the crazy antics...but until then, we enjoy our time together by competing for the Champion Title after a couple hours of competition...

These are just a few snapshots of our day...and I'm happy to say that Totally Untouchable Torlones took home the crown this year!

Each game is either a relay (points or no points) OR it's something in which you can earn points...
This year our games consisted of:

Water Ballon Pop: This is where balloons were hung from trees and in the relay, each person tried to pop one with a plastic fork that was attached to a ball cap

Pool Noodle Golf: Another relay game where each person can only use a pool noodle by holding onto the very end and knocking a beach ball through the cones and back again to hand off to the next family member

Water Gun Balls: We lined up plastic baseballs and used water guns to shoot the balls over a finish line.  Each ball was worth a specific amount of points...this might have been the toughest game yet and trigger fingers got cramped!

Tipsy Waiter: This one made us laugh.  We didn't have bats to run around so we used larger water shooters.  Each person spun at least 5 times and then was given a tray of 3 cups filled with water that they had to dump into a container and then run back to tag the next in line.  The container with the most water at the end, won the game.

Sponge Toss: This one is always a favorite because we put the dads in the holes!  Each person gets 3 wet sponges and throws them to add up points.  At the end, the kids get behind and parents throw the buckets of water!!!  It always gets us laughs!

Water Balloon Fight: this one isn't for points but rather just for fun!  We purchased a huge costco package of 350 balloons and let the kids loose...they had a blast!

And our time wouldn't be complete without the Cousin Pyramid and finally the Champion ceremony to award the winner...

To the Victor goes the Crown!

Thank you to the men and women that gave their lives so that we could still enjoy ours with freedom.  Your loss and the losses of your family do not go unappreciated.

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