Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today we joined the throngs of people attending the Marigold Festival in our small town. Seems as if all around us comes to a halt as everyone congregates in the center of town . . . thousands and thousands of people from all over attend the Marigold Festival. The annual event is much anticipated every year. We chose not to attend on Saturday . . . although Katelyn did go with Grandma. I am thankful we decided to stay home yesterday . . . people were shoulder to shoulder trying to make their way through the art in the park.

We headed out a little after 11:00 a.m. this morning . . . before we even got close it was evident the festival was in full swing ~~~ a BUZZ was in the air. People parking their cars and walking blocks and blocks to get to the park. Families, friends, people alone walking either to or from the festival. The smells . . . An array of  tasty treats awaited those in attendance . . . a menu to delight just about anyone!

We parked our cars (two for our brood) and began walking the few blocks to the park. It wasn't long before the vendor tents were in our sight! The boys were full of anticipation . . . what cool thing would they find? What yummy food was in store for their tummies?

At noon, the Star Spangled Banner began playing over the intercom system of the park . . . every one's signal to stop what they are doing and be still. Soon a voice came over the intercom and asked everyone to stop and observe a moment of silence in reverence to 9/11, those lost, the survivors, the families and our Country. The festival became silent  . . .   it was almost eerie . . . as we all stood still, I scanned the festival . . . everyone was completely still where they stood. Silence. As we stood in reverent silence, a flood of emotions overcame me . . . as I held two of my boys close, I was thankful . . . unlike so many, my family is intact and safe. Ryan looked up at me and asked, "What are we doing?" I shh'd him and told him that I would explain in a minute. Cody leaned into me and watched. Cameron and EJ were standing by Randy . . . their minds were busy trying to grasp what was happening that very moment. The silence was broken by a friendly voice thanking everyone for their cooperation and the festivities continued once again. The boys all looked at me with question in their faces . . . What, Why? I quietly told them of the events that unfolded September 11, 2001. They, like most adults couldn't grasp the reason someone would do something so awful to hurt others . . . so many people, families hurt by other people. Will we ever understand Why?

As we maneuvered our way through the people . . . laughing and chatting with one another. I teased the boys about buying them hair bows, tutus and girl stuff! Loud NOs came from each of them and then we all would laugh. The boys were amazed at the size of the crowd . . . you could hear them say, "Wow!" and "Coooool!" many times over. Our eyes skimmed each vendor tent looking for just the thing that would "catch"our eye. The boys were patient as we stopped to chat with someone we knew here and there. We reached the far side of the park and spotted the rock climbing wall . . . TIME OUT no more shopping. The boys were ready to TACKLE the Wall!

Here are some photos Katelyn took with her telephone camera:

Cameron made it all the way to the top very quickly and rang the bell!

Ryan climbed almost half way up . . .

EJ climbed up a little bit . . . then looked down. I knew he was in trouble at that moment . . .
he turned as white as a sheet!

Cody climbing up . . . in his words It was AWESOME!

Randy and I were thrilled the boys wanted to attempt the climb. It was really tall and the climb was a bit of a challenge for all of them. They probably should have worn their tennis shoes though and we need to remember that next year. (they were tethered in to a safety harness the entire time they climbed).

After rock climbing it was lunch time for all . . . the boys opted for pizza and nachos. Katelyn had nachos and curly fries . . . Randy and I had a baked potato. It was such a delight to see families enjoying one another throughout the festival.

Next on the agenda . . . find the lizards and snakes for the boys! We were on a mission and they were on high alert to "find" that specific tent. After about ten minutes of walking Cameron yelled out . . . "There IT IS!"  The boys made there way into the tent and around the tables . . . searching for just the right lizard and snake.

Here is what they chose:

EJ chose the Chicago Bears theme.

Cameron chose a black lizard and red/white snake.

Ryan chose a blue lizard and leopard print snake.

Cody went smaller on his animals so we let him get three.
A green/yellow snake, psychedelic lizard and red monkey.

We all had a fabulous time today and even snuck in a nap! The boys are outside playing kickball right now with the balls they go from NoE's 1st birthday party on Friday night.

The sun is setting . . . the locust are singing their evening song. Randy and I are enjoying our evening coffee out on the deck as we watch and listen to the boys as they play. Our furry babies are chilled out at our feet and every once in a while will look up at us to see if all is well.

Tonight I am so very THANKFUL! I am thankful for:
  •  a FREE Country
  • those who keep our Country safe
  • those who have given their own lives for each of us
  • for the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE of Jesus . . . the day He gave His life for our Sins

I am Thankful for my family . . . I am so very BLESSED!

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