This year, my oldest daughter Alyssa and I found ourselves home alone on the 4th of July this year. Gene, Aaron and Alivia were still in Florida, my parents were camping and our neighbors and friends Ben, Julie and their girls were celebrating on the 3rd since they were going to be gone on Saturday.
One day at work Alyssa loudly sighed and said, "This is going to be such a boring 4th of July."
"Why," I asked, "what are you doing?"
"I don't know," she said, "I guess I'm stuck with you."
Well, if that doesn't make one determined to make it a holiday worth remembering, I don't know what would. I wasn't sure how Amiyah would react this year as last year she slept through Aaron's explosions. She freaks out over a vacuum so we were uncertain of how she would react to lights and booming sounds.
Grandma just had to find something exciting to do on the 4th.
Something that would mesmerize my 15 month old gorgeous grandgirl.
Later that day I was talking to Kelley and told her what Alyssa had said and how I was on a mission and that is when she invited us down to stay overnight in KC.
they would be setting off fireworks on the 4th.
An activity that is illegal in their state.
What more excitement could I show my teenage daughter than
*a spontaneous 3 hour road trip with her 2 girls and her Mom
*a free overnight stay in KC
*law breaking entertainment
She was all over it and got busy packing her and the girls' bags.So up to the KC we drove on Saturday afternoon.
The girls slept the whole 3 hours and so Alyssa and I enjoyed some good bonding time.
Lots of laughter.
We were welcomed by Quin, the cute and cool pirate...
And Kelley's open arms...
We ate a delicious dinner hot off the grill and then Kelley's husband John broke out the works along with Quin, Sophie and Cece...
Little beauty, Juliana, was the one to doze this year wrapped in Kelley's arms while Big Sister Amiyah proved herself to be no Crime Stopper,
but instead an accessory as she told them which one to light next...
She was mesmerized...
She was encouraging....
She was impressed...
as John lit up the sky and as Quin, Cece and Sophie ran around the backyard
with their sparklers that shined through the smokey air...
But she was not as patriotic as Sophie tried to get her to be...
After the show John and the kids went on an ice cream run which is why Amiyah's face is covered in chocolate while being loved on by
Then before bedtime, Amiyah showed how well trained she is and
helped Cece unload the dishwasher...
Until she was removed from the kitchen when she started throwing the clean dishes...
Trying to get back to her job, Little Miss Helper got some lovin' from her Mommy
in hopes of distracting her...
Too sleepy for chores...
Then it was Juliana's turn to receive undivided attention from
Until handsome Jake, the oldest of the Kizer boys and not a pirate, took over...
After an afternoon of shopping with Kelley and Sophie, we met up with the rest of the family for dinner. Feeling full and blessed from our time together, Alyssa and the girls and I headed back to Nebraska.
On the drive home Alyssa and I got to laughing at how gross it was when bugs hit the windshield. Between each mile marker, it was one thumping sound of death after another we heard.
I just can't imagine flying along and all of a sudden you're just gone.
Then your remains are gone with one swipe of a wind shield wiper.
If I had to name a favorite bug I would have to say the lightning bug.
So my laughter ceased moments later one hit us head on.
He was gliding down I-29 probably leading other bugs with his light then suddenly their leader was gone.
Once a leader then a glowing smear on a Toyota's windshield.
As we kept driving at 75mph, the line of glow against the backdrop of the night completely extinguished after only a short minute.
Made me think of how when we are not connected to Christ our light just doesn't shine.
How when we stray and take our own path our light goes out.
When God tells us to go south and we decide to head north we lose our connection to our Father.
Without being connected to Jesus, our light for Jesus dies out because without Him we have and are nothing.
For He is the light that shines within us.
In John 15 we are told that we are the branches and Jesus is the Vine.
And how we must be connected to Him, remain in Him as John put it, in order to produce any fruit in our lives.
Don't let your light go out.
Let's strive to stay in daily connection with our Savior.
Let's not be like the lightning bug that flew south and ended up being nothing more than a smear on a piece of glass heading north.
Thank you Kizer family for such a wonderful, blessed time.
We love you all.