We got back from the camping trip Saturday night and right away started preparations for Seward's annual Fourth of July celebration. Due to various responsibilities and commitments, this year was not quite as typical as previous years. But it was still a wonderful day!
In the morning there is always the bubble gum blowing contest and apple pie eating contest. Susanna was not planning on entering but (thanks to a certain brother) she was selected to compete.
Nathanael got in on the pie eating part -- and as you can see, was eager to eat his piece.
He almost won his round!
Alan and Rachel were able to make it up this year and little Kendrick did not lack for attention!
I think he enjoyed his uncles!
We sang as we do every year at 2 pm then hurried over to main street to watch the parade.
Charissa is taking violin lessons when we are home and was absolutely delighted to walk through the parade with several of the other violin students!
Of course, the nieces and nephews were all excited about the candy!
After the parade we grabbed a bite for supper and then headed over to the large park where they host the annual fireworks display.
Every year they have a band play from 8-10pm, when it's dark enough for them to shoot off the fireworks. We were honored to be asked to do the music this year.
Setting up in such a big outdoor setting made it a bit different than our usual setup. But God answered prayers and everything ended up going smoothly.
Over the years we have made it a priority to pray before each concert. We do music as a family with the goal of pointing people to Christ and we have found that prayer is a foundation for doing that. Whether it is in family devotions, our personal quiet time or right before we go up to sing, prayer has a way of setting our focus and gives us a clear reminder that it is not about us but about Him!
It was a very relaxed setting with people sitting all over the park lawn. Playing Frisbee. Sharing picnics. Playing on the park equipment. Talking with friends.
After about two hours of music, the sun was down and it was officially time to watch the fireworks!
One of my favorite parts of the Fourth of July is sitting in the cool evening with family, hearing the powerful explosions and then seeing the beauty and uniqueness of each beautiful firework.
What a day to remember the founding of this nation.
"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14