Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day...MY way

Remember that big cuarenta-era I was going to have this year?  I had big visions of a gorgeous dress along with all my friends and family at a Ball for my 40th birthday.  But...I grew up in the last few months.  I couldn't see spending all that money frivolously when I could do something really great and for a better cause.  So, I decided to go bigger and better on recognizing our Veterans this year.

I've spent days getting ready for today.  I have a perma-grin on my face right now.  I'm so happy.  It was so much better than the perfect dress.  The kids and I served breakfast to eight Veterans/Heroes and their families.  We had eighteen guests over this morning.

We rolled out the red carpet* for our Veteran's this morning.  Had our new flag hanging on the front of the house.  Had a welcome sign with balloons upon arrival.  And 54 long stemmed red roses around.

(Kind of feel like the Von Trapp family with the picture above.  House.  7 kids.  Flag of our Nation on the front of our house.  Makes me happy.)

We had an amazing breakfast!  I can't wait for lunch to eat it all over again.  We had cran-apple juice, mint hot chocolate, fresh berries and pineapple, bacon, the most amazing frittata (thanks E), lemon poppy seed muffins, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and all bran muffins.

We compiled a book for each Veteran with thoughts and thank yous from each family member.  Here are my thoughts:

"Dear Veterans,
From the time I was a little girl, I have loved those that have served our country.  I grew up having a dad that was drafted in the army and other family members that had enlisted or were also drafted for different wars.  I remember hearing their stories.  They were heroes to me.  As the years have gone by, my appreciation and love has grown for all Veterans and what they represent.  Freedom, safety, pride, gratitude, sacrifice, and patriotism.  It's important for me to teach my children to recognize and remember the Veterans of The United States of America.  This past year I have interviewed and questioned all of my family Veterans and have compiled a book for each of my children.  I cannot let them forget you.  You are the heroes that I teach my children about.  We talk about you often.  None of you are any less important than the next Veteran.  We have needed all of you.  We have the lives we have, because of you.  You are not forgotten!

Thank you so much for serving the country that I love.  Happy Veteran's Day."

We recognized each Veteran individually and then had them tell what branch they served in and when.  I expressed my thanks to each of them and told them when and why I learned to love our Veterans the way I do.

The kids and I sang "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood.  It was hard fighting back the tears.  I love that song and so do my boys.  They were singing at the top of their lungs.  Even little g who has become a great reader this year was singing out with such pride.

Each Veteran and family member thanked me several times.  They were so grateful.  I'm so grateful.

I can't wait for next year.  It will be bigger and better still.  I'll be looking for more Veteran Heroes all year.

I'm going to go collapse now.  With a smile on my face of course.  Then in a couple of hours, we'll do our visits to those that couldn't come this morning and call our family Veterans.

*I bought three runners and three quart cans of red latex paint and got to painting them last night.  G and I took turns using the paint roller to get them done.  We were quite thrilled with how they turned out.  After all is said and done, I need one more for next year.  Oh ya, don't pay attention to the walkway.  Hard lesson learned.  Don't pay the worker until they are DONE with the project.

1 comment:

NelsonFamily said...

I love you Tonia! I think you are one of the most thoughtful people I know. Because of you me and kids are making cookies for a friend that served 20 yrs and we are going to take them to him tonite. Thanks for being a great mom, wife, and citizen!