Monday, July 9, 2012

Independence Day Celebration

It was July 4, 2012 - the 6th annual Independence Day Celebration for Providence Church families and friends in our backyard.

This 'tradition' all begin in 2007 when we sent out an email to the church to invite anyone who wanted to join us to celebrate July 4th with food, games, and fireworks. Imagine our surprise when the whole church responded saying they would like to come! There were 83 people that first year. This year there were 165!

It is a love of our family to host the church for this auspicious occasion commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. And it is especially meaningful because we are Virginians, related to the President George Washington through the Taylor side of the Sanford family (as well as Jennie Chancey, but that is another story :-), and we also have sons serving in the military who also did tours of duty in the middle east as some point.

This year began like all the previous with lots of yard preparation (in 95+ degree weather I might add), but no one complained because it was for a favorite cause!

Next came the cooking....

....then Justin and Melinda arrived early to fellowship and help.

We made them pose for this picture...
as last year they stood in the same spot as a courting couple

...although not as close and cuddly!

Next arrived the Sanfords, namely Josh, Jen and Jael.
This was their FIRST EVER 4th of July with Providence Church!

In commemoration of the day, they had a special gift for Dad;
so we all went outside to see.

Josh had to re-do the giving of the present for Mom to get a picture;
here he is being a goof about it!

Mom was told to join in the 'unwrapping'.

Ta-da! The giant chair....

...which even comes with its own zip-on cooler.

Finally, a chair that makes Dad look small!

And to finish the gift giving, a bottle of DB (renamed Deacon Bob)!

Come to find out, this chair is really made for two...

..two love birds that is!

Soon everyone would be arriving but first we needed to eat lunch...

...made-up of cold cut sandwiches.

The 'crowd' starts to gather.

One of the things we enjoy providing is freshly popped popcorn and peanuts.

Jael is getting ready to play a mean-game of checkers with her momma.

Looks like Jael's red has 'cornered' Momma's black and will soon declare victory!

Fun in the Sand!

Cooler talk!

Had to move the popcorn popper due to the sun. Melinda gives moral support and poses for the camera.


Another game of checkers (2012).....

...just like last year (2011)!

'Just a swingin'! Adrianna and Elaina are waiting for their friends to arrive on the swings Peter, Zach, and Nathan hung in the front yard.

Ready for the food.


and fellowship...

and fun all over the place!

Including a big game of kickball....

...some roaring games of horseshoes...

...more swinging...

...trampoline (one at a time, please!)...

...climbing the fort...

...and the playhouse...

...several games of volleyball...

...more fellowship..

....more popcorn...

...and ultimate Frisbee.

Then the call was made and the prayer of thanks was time to eat!

Another thing we do to commemorate the 4th of July is to have a program after dinner.

We begin with singing Patriotic Songs.

When it came time to sing the Star Spangle Banner everyone stood and turned to face the flag on the porch.

This photo of the flag during the song will always be a reminder of the Lord's kindness to us that day...though it was 98 degrees there was a nice breeze to keep us cool and wrap the flag around its pole a few times!

As was started in 2007 continues in 2012....

Dad gives a talk regarding some aspect of our Nation's heritage. This year he talked about the history of the American flag and asked some key questions like....when is the star added to the flag after a new state joins the Union? It happens on the July 4th of the next year.

Then Ashton Bandy reads the Declaration of Independence in its entirety.

And Pastor gives a talk on our Christian heritage in America.

Next came the traditional....

The sons won 2 out of 3.

The dads were good sports...the sons did good to 'honor' their elders by not 'rubbing in' the win too much!

The evening ended with sparklers for the kids and fireworks purchased by donations from several in the church.

It was a 20 min. show. Unfortunately, our camera-girl could not get any good pictures.

Josh said next year he is going to take the job of raising monies for the fireworks and have even a more spectacular show!

So, if you are in our neighborhood on July 4, 2013 stop on by for some wonderful fellowship with food, fun, and fireworks. Hey, you will also get to see Taylor Garrison, fresh from the Marines, and meet the four newest Sanfords joining our family through adoption this year!