Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Story # 197: A marvelous-ly wonderfully blasting July 4th

I am sure everyone had a great July 4th weekend. Man, I miss it already. My July 4th this year is a little bit more special since this is the first year I officially celebrated it. I remember when I was at BYUH, I didn't really participate or care about this celebration.

Our July 4th weekend was full of playing in the sun and in the pool. I went to 2 pool party in 2 days back to back. It started off when we went over to Paul and Nikki's new apartment (super nice and luxurious, by the way) and played in their pool for a couple of hours before going back up to their house to BBQ the shish kebab (I had know idea what it meant when they told us that was what we were gonna eat for lunch). It turned out to be pretty good. We marinated the chicken, onion, pineapple, and bell peppers in soy sauce and some other spices. I mixed in a bunch of spices that I thought looked cool--basil and chives--and they tasted pretty good too.
It was a great get-together since we hadn't seen June, the soon-to-be-married girly. We had a lot of fun playing in the pool, eating, and talking.

Grilling shish kebab


On Saturday, I woke up way earlier than I used to to go to our city's July 4th breakfast. Oh, I was woken up by Mr.L playing the "God Bless The U.S.A" song. I thought there was going to be a parade but they didn't do it this year. The breakfast was good though. I was so glad it wasn't cereal. They were serving sausages, eggs, and pancakes. Yummy.

Soup Kitchen! (just kidding)

After the breakfast we had some fun programs. The color guards raised the flag and everyone stood up and went completely silence. I was the only one moving (I was trying to film/take picture of the process). I think this is a very great teaching lesson to me. I could see that everyone loves their country so much and was so reverent and respectful towards the flag and what the flag symbolized. I remember over in Malaysia, we would have lots of Malaysian flags up on the national day but the flags would be all over the floor, under people's feet, being used by barbers as their aprons and so on. I never think twice about that but on July 4th, I understood something profound.

Everyone has their hand on their heart. I remember I used to stare at my friends who do that and think they were playing around. hehe

There were some people who sang some songs about the U.S.A. The songs told of the early history of how this country came to be, the war they fought against the British to gain their independence, and the people who died giving freedom to this country. Those are all very touching songs and history because at one point I even shed some tears. This is not my country but I have great respect for it. The program ended with everyone standing up and singing "The Star Spangled Banner" (all 3 verses).

The primary children sang

The Miss Toquerville Pageant winners sang

A race for children of all ages. This is the under 5 year old group. I was of course in the 15 and above group. I could have won if some people didn't take off running before "GO."

But that was not the end to my July 4th. We've got more comin'. It was also the day Mr.L's little cousin, Ethan, was getting baptized. He just turned 8. So exciting!

He got some presents for his baptism :) Minus my card, of course.

I tried to make him a card to congratulate him for being baptised but I sucked at drawing. We drove for about an hour to Mesquite, Nevada.

Passing through the gorge on our way to Mesquite. I think it's one of the most amazing scenes. I mean the gorge, not this picture. It's impossible to capture the majestic sight.

Kendall, Mr.L's youngest brother was the one who was baptizing Ethan. It was a wonderful experience. I've always loved baptism. It's the first important steps towards heaven. The baptism was short and sweet. It was then that I learned another great lesson. Having the priesthood on earth is so important. And being worthy to use the priesthood power is so important too.

Here are some pictures taken at the baptism.

Michelle and Jared. My models when I get my DSLR.

Ethan and Kendall

Little Karly, Ethan's sister. She is too cute!

After the baptism, we went back to Ethan's home. We had the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a lot of little cousins at his house. We played pool (another thing that I sucked at, but I was managed to hit a couple of balls in the holes).

Yea yeah, who's the master?

The Leighton-and-Sharon team won in the end.

Then we changed and jumped into the cool swimming pool that was so inviting in the heat of the summer. I did my first canon ball...haha. We played in the water til the sun went down. The BBQ was so good!!! We had a great meal with hot dogs, burgers, salads, fruits, and chips and dip. Guacamole dip is GOOD!

What is the moral of this picture? Maybelline waterproof mascara SUCKS! I need to switch back to Lancome.

The hot tub by the pool.

Mr. L and Ethan were playing with Michelle

We played some fireworks and sparklers. Would anyone ever grow out of love with fireworks? I don't think so. I played more sparklers than all the adults there (maybe I am too young to be an adult. I think they should change the adulthood age from 21 to maybe 30). I love to play with the kids and goof around with them. They make me feel young and energetic. But I do have to say that they are way more energetic than me. They would not stop for even a second to rest. It was always one thing after another and I was like...just let me rest for 5 minutes. I guess as you get older, you lose something...not just your hair, but your stamina.

The fireworks we witnessed from the backyard was amazing. I kept taking pictures because every single one was breath-taking. I just wish I have a better camera so that the pictures would turn out nicer. But yea, the fireworks were awesome. Seriously, I think that the fireworks are so beautiful to everyone who sees it, except maybe the people who is burning their hard-earned money.

I hope you had a great July 4th. I sure did have a blast :) God bless the U.S.A (cause I am living in it now)!

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