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Happy Independence Day!

Happy Day of Independence, America!  I was thrilled to be able to spend this holiday with my husband and kids ... plus a fabulous little niece, here to visit. 

We had a wonderful worship service at church, lunch at (one of my favorite restaurants ever) Chuy's, then an afternoon of kids' play and visiting with Hubby's parents. 

For an early dinner, we decided to go with an all-American cook-out of hamburgers and hot dogs followed by watermelon and berries.  We also baked some American flag sugar cookies and made snack bags to take with us to the fireworks show on Fort Hood.

After the cook-out at home, we headed to Fort Hood for the annual Freedom Fest, an event we've attended 5 years running ... and counting.

We parked at III Corps headquarters and rode a bus to the stadium, getting there in plenty of time to (A) miss the hottest part of the day, and (B) see the official ceremony. 

Watching the parachute jumpers leap from a helicopter is always fun to see and our little niece was especially thrilled as she'd never seen it before.  "Cool!  He's holding an American flag!"

After the parachute jump, we enjoyed a fly-over and the traditional Salute to the Union event.  After the posting of the colors, Soldiers from each of the 50 states march in carrying their state's flag.  Each state is announced in the order it entered the Union.  As each state is announced, there is a gun-salute (Hooah, Field Artillery!) and folks from that state always cheer.  It's fun and Texas always gets a big round of applause, of course.  My boys like to cheer for all the states they've lived in before, with a special cheer for Georgia, where they were born.

After the Salute, we headed out to the center of the stadium to stake out our spot for the Seether concert and fireworks show ...
Making a fashion statement from her patriotic lei!

I was embarrassed to see so many running to their 'spot' for the concert WHILE Senator Cornyn was addressing the crowd.  Yikes.

AFTER the speeches were complete, we staked out our little spot to watch the show.


Cousins at play ...

Fun fireworks!

With some fun toys, too.

Bus Ride Home ... After a Super-Fun Night

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