Tuesday, June 07, 2011

American Heroes Days - April 16&17, 2011

It’s been a rough spring for Benjamin.  He’s been hit hard with viruses: colds, croup, pink eye, sinus infections, fever … one after the other, and some at the same time.  On this, the weekend of one of our favorite events of the year, he had a mild fever and was probably recovering from one of multiple bouts of pink eye.  (I honestly can’t remember.)  Needless to say, we had to make it a brief tour of Camp Mabry.  Benjamin could not keep up running across the fields, and he was a goner just after lunch. 

Day 1

On Saturday we made it through the circuit of helicopters.  One of the Starflight rescue helicopters took off shortly after we arrived, and the boys had a front row seat. 


After that Jasper would have nothing to do with the multiple helicopters lined up in a row and instead wanted to leapfrog them and head straight to the Blackhawk.  He loves this helicopter!  He loved it even more when he found out it was used to fight forest fires with it’s 500-gallon basket for water!  He very respectfully asked the captain of the crew about fighting fires with the helicopter. 



Next we checked out the Apache helicopter on display …


and then made it over to the massive Chinook!  This behemoth is the first to arrive and the last to leave – or it would tip over other helicopters from the great swells of wind it produces. 


The boys thought it was GREAT that it had a built-in slide!  Jasper & I talked to the office at the back of the aircraft and asked him what they could transport or how the Chinook is transported.  He said they can carry all sorts of trucks inside or carry them by straps underneath.  Jasper really wanted to know if it could carry a fire truck.  They officer said he thought they could underneath. 



Day 2

On this day, Drew took the boys to Camp Mabry by himself.  Again it was a short trip because Benj still wasn’t 100%.  Once again we brought little bags of lifesavers with a note inside saying “Thanks for keeping us safe.  You’re a Lifesaver!”  On Sunday Jasper got really active and generous in handing these out.  He circled the Apache helicopter with a handful of bags asking each Army man he saw if he had received a treat bag.  He even returned to Drew to get more to distribute.  As he handed each one out he said, “Thank you for being here, and thank you for all you do.”  We are very proud of how he is growing in being considerate and thankful to others!

Sunday was a jeep day for the boys.  You have to notice the hat to figure out who is who on this day.  Red = Jasper; White = Benj.  We happened to dress them both in navy tops and gray shorts.  sorry!







But they couldn’t help checking out the helicopters again.



Benjamin looks comfortable in the pilot seat of the Blackhawk.



Since our family & friends having served in active duty to defend our freedom and liberty, Drew and I want very much for our boys to not only respect our men and women in the armed forces but look up to and admire them.  We are so grateful that we live in a nation that is defended by the best armed forces in the world.  We do not have opportunities each day to show the boys how significant this blessing is.  This is why American Heroes Day is a wonderful time for them to really see how cool our military machines and personnel are so that their admiration will grow. 

As a side note: on Memorial Day we watched a wonderful documentary “Hallowed Grounds” about American military cemeteries around the world which hold approximately 40% of the men and women who fought and died during WWI and WWII.  It was beautiful.  If you happen to get a chance to watch it, we’d highly recommend checking it out. 

Riding Bikes with Daddy

The boys love riding their bikes with Drew.  They want to go riding as soon as he gets home from work – sometimes before he’s even had a chance to change.  Here are some shots of them (April 12) going up and down the street while Jasper still had his training wheels on. 


Benj doesn’t have the stamina Jasper has, and sometimes is happy to ride just a little and then come walking back.


Despite getting over some hurdles with teaching Jasper how to peddle – since he didn’t have to do that on the Skuut bike – he got fast in short order.


Look What Daddy Built!

We’re going to do some DIY projects in our backyard sometime this summer.  Since some projects could be bigger and might take longer to complete, we thought it would be good to knock out a small one to entertain the boys. 

Back in April Drew built this bridge.  No, it doesn’t cover anything.  It is just something to run up and down and ride bikes across.  (It’s done a number on our yard after two months of hard use, but boys are only young and FULL of energy once!)  Drew build this in a day and put it out for them to enjoy one Sunday afternoon just before friends came over with their families for a bike ride.  It was initiated by Jasper, Benjamin, Fred, Andreas & Adolai.  They all loved it!  Benj has found it’s particularly helpful for getting on top of the Jeep.