Friday, October 14, 2011

Silent Night

Every year, our local fire departments have a ceremony and parade honoring those who have been lost while serving our community. It's called the "Silent Night Parade". We try to make it out every year to see the flashing lights of the fire trucks and to say a big "Thank You!" to those working to make our area a safer place.

Yesterday, the silent night parade followed a huge tragedy in West Michigan. We lost an officer in the line of duty yesterday. During a high speed chase that followed a bank robbery, Officer Slot selflessly offered to help stop the suspects and was killed for his effort. You can click here for news coverage.
The boys certainly had fun checking out the equipment and trucks available to look at. I know that Jeremy enjoyed showing the kids all there was to see after a long day at work (he was working when Officer Slot was killed).
The big boys got to climb up in a real fire truck.
Even with the rain coming down, we still had fun saying thanks to the fire fighters present.

While we had fun at the Silent Night Parade, yesterday certainly served as a reminder that many brave men and women put on their uniform and kiss their loved ones goodbye daily with no guarantee of coming home at the end of the day. Every day they put their lives in danger to help the public, whether by fighting fires or chasing bank robbers. As we remember all of our fallen heroes, I'd like to ask you to specifically pray for Officer Slots family and friends, the officers to daily risk their lives to protect us all, and the officers at Walker and the surrounding area who are grieving the loss of one of their own.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Healing Field

As we all know, yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the horrifying act of terrorism that happened in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. As a way of honoring the fallen souls from 10 years ago, West Michigan participated in a nation wide display called The Healing Field. There were eleven fields of American flags set up around the county, one flag for each person killed on September 11, 2001.
I'm not sure I can completely vocalize the feelings I had when first seeing the display. It was breath-taking, heart-breaking, and emotional. I think I actually had to catch my breath. To see so many flags, fluttering in the wind... I can't completely explain it.
We were told that during the ceremony to place the flags, two people read off the individuals names with a 4 second delay between names. In total, it took just over 4 hours to read off all of the names of people who perished September 11, 2001.
Jeremy and I wanted to make today a learning experience for the kids, but without too much information. Jeremy ended up explaining to Jayce that 10 years ago, something very bad happened and a lot of people died. He told our first born that each flag stood for a person who had died that day. My sweet heart of a son then asked if all of those people were in heaven.

Do you see that sign to the right of the picture? There were many "fact" signs around the hillside. That one there said this: "Fact: 2800 children lost a parent on that infamous morning".
Each of the flags stood for a person who died in the terror attack. Attached to the each of the flags was a card with a name, an age, where they died, and a short paragraph of information about them. The cards that had a blue ribbon were for law enforcement who died that day. The red ribbons were for firefighters. Personally, those with the red and blue ribbons were a little harder to see.

I'm glad that my children were able to experience this with us today. I can honestly say, being able to take part in such a humbling and honoring display was amazing.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grayson's 3rd Birthday

This little boy turned 3 last weekend. We had a great time celebrating him, starting with a trip to the Gardens on Friday, a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese on Saturday, and a baseball game on Sunday. It was a very busy birthday weekend.The day of Grayson's birthday, we had a yummy pancake breakfast at home, opened a few presents....

And then jetted off to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate with games, pizza, and delicious cake that my dad made.

We were joined by Grandma, Aunti Kalena and her friend Sterling, and Nana and Papa. Grayson even got to open a few more presents at Chuck E. Cheese.

We had fun playing games and riding rides.
Rhys even got in on a little bit of the action.
And wouldn't you know it, on Grayson's birthday, while we were celebrating at Chuck E. Cheese, we got a phone call telling us that Aunti Lauren had her baby. Grayson got a cousin for his birthday! His name is Tristan and he's an adorable little version of his Grandpa Dave.
We ended out the day with hot dogs and ice cream sundaes at our house. I think Grayson had a terrific birthday, and we are excited to have a 3 year old again! Happy birthday, Grayson!!

The Summer That Flew By

It is no secret that I've not been great at blogging this summer. Ok, I've been horrible. Non-existent. Well, here's my catch-up. It's all pictures, no words except these. You get to interpret what's happening on your own. Some are just family pictures around the house, fun outings, vacations, visits with an aunt and uncle who live much too far away. Some "firsts" were captured, and many, many trips to the beach. Enjoy our summer that flew by in pictures: