Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July…on the 5th :)
As our day yesterday was quite crazy, we “postponed” our 4th of July celebration until the 5th. My dear friend, Jessie, who has been visiting us for a while had been sorting and organizing the children’s clothes a couple weeks prior to the 4th and had come across outfits that seemed to be fitting for the day :) So, she had actually picked out the children’s 4th of July clothes a couple weeks prior to the actual day – and today we finally got to show them off! I think they stayed nice for around 30 seconds before someone grabbed a watermelon. But we tried!

As always, family pictures are quite interesting! The kids were very cooperative until the cupcakes (which actually do say “Happy 4th of July” on them even though they are hard to read!) came out, and then it was just time to figure out how to sneak some icing without Mommy seeing it :) Joy was the first one to get the icing though…she conveniently stuck her foot in the cupcake while laughing.
While in town shopping, Jessie made a comment about 4th of July food, and we started filling Betty in on traditional 4th of July foods and events. It came up that I have never made hamburgers while living in Uganda – we all decided that it was high time we tried :) After packing the van with watermelons, minced meat (ground beef), bread rolls, coke, and potatoes, we headed back to the house to celebrate the 4th in style! Betty was officially put in charge of making chips (French fries), as she is the best ever at such. Jessie volunteered to pat out the hamburger patties, while I baked our traditional 4th of July cupcakes.

I cranked up the patriotic tunes so that they could blare through the house as we cooked and worked. There’s always a few that just must be played. Elvis sang loudly his, “Glory, glory, hallelujah!”; “God Bless the U.S.A.” took my mind back to my homeland as I stood in my Ugandan kitchen; and there’s just something about “God Bless America” that almost feels worshipful to me.

The kids enjoyed swinging outside, and playing in the yard as Mommy attempted to grill the hamburgers. And I say ‘attempt’ for a reason! Again, I had never made hamburgers in Uganda (we just eat Ugandan food almost constantly), but I seriously wanted to try to grill them. Only problem…no grill. But we have lots of charcoal!! So, I lit our charcoal stove. Now…what to put the hamburgers on to grill them. I then remembered our oven racks…one of them is the metal kind that has slats – so I grabbed that one and put it on top of the charcoal stove! I really thought that the hamburgers would burn and not cook through the middle because the rack was so close to the fire, so I started with one hamburger – oh, me of little faith! It turned out perfectly. Oh, my goodness….perfectly! I then put four on for the next round…more perfection :) The Lord blessed, yes, even my pitiful hamburger attempt.
Jessie even toasted the hamburger buns in the frying pan! Betty’s chips were as wonderful as always, and the Coke just capped off the American 4th of July celebration!

We had taken pictures before all of the cooking as we knew it was going to get messy quickly :)
The sentimental side of me comes forth in a major way sometimes…and the 4th of July is one of those times. As those songs played through my home here in Uganda, my heart longed to be at my home in those States. With the other part of my family whom I love. I missed my dad preparing the ice cream churn while walking through the house doing his amazing Elvis Presley impersonation. Yeah, the tears flowed a few times throughout the day. I missed the fireworks. I missed my family. I missed the pool, and homemade ice cream, and playing card games and Yahtzee while waiting for the fireworks to start. I missed the 4th of July family picture. I missed home. All the red, white, and blue. I am in Uganda and God has given me such a deep love for the people of this country. And I am so thankful that I am here. It is a dream come true…a miracle beyond what I can explain right now, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. But I am still an American. Always will be. America is my homeland. It is the place where God chose to birth me into this world, have me raised up, and stand as a proud citizen. America was founded and established on Biblical principles. And God has truly blessed America. 

And so. We celebrate. In American fashion to the best of our ability. America’s independence. America’s Liberty. And we celebrate how much God truly has blessed America.

our wonderful 4th of July watermelon

oh, how they love watermelon

sharing with Mommy :)

the grilled hamburgers that God just blessed

Betty and I cooking :)

finished product!

“Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land! God bless the U.S.A.”

May God bless you.

And may God bless America.

Happy 4th of July!


  1. OK. So you made me cry. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful memories we have of 4th of July celebrations with family and friends: watermelon, homemade ice cream, fireworks, Oreos, laughter.
    And change is hard. Doesn't mean it's bad or wrong, just sometimes hard. But I must say yall did an OUTSTANDING job of celebrating the 4th in Uganda!!! I am VERY impressed! Clothes, plates, food, ALL of it! And it's true: We are very blessed. I love all of you!! Mom

  2. Yall never cease to amaze me with your creativity!! Using that stove rack over the charcoal stove… brilliant! Wasn't God so kind to make those hamburgers turn out so well???!! Is Betty now craving American hamburgers to go with her yummy "chips?" (French fries!) Thank you so much for sharing the pictures of all the kids, watermelon, cupcakes,etc! Bless yall!

  3. What a beautiful, happy looking family you have, Amy! Got to visit with your sweet mom & hear more about your ministry last night. So glad to be able to have this glimpse into your life!