Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Treats, tears, and tributes!

 9 years ago today this hero, my brother, was killed in Iraq.  He is a hero in so many ways. There were many times my family expressed concern for his safety whenever he was called over seas but he always responded with the same thing, "Someone has to do it and if I die then I died doing what I love."  He knew that freedom and liberty are not free, they are paid through the blood and sacrifice of him and so many others like him. We are so blessed!

A week ago my oldest son Ethan came home with a very fun surprise.  They did a podcast segment at school about Heroes.  He was so excited for us to hear his.  Most of the other kids talked about their parents so I was getting ready to hear the words My dad is my hero but instead he said my Uncle Clint is my hero.  I was so thrilled and got chocked up as well.  I tried so hard to get just his segment downloaded but it was impossible.  He talked about how special Clint is to our family, that his middle name is Clint, that we watch the news clippings and his funeral on DVD to remember him, and he even did research online to see how he died and the exact date he was killed.  It is so sweet!  After we listened I told him that his 9 year anniversary is coming up and we should do something special.  He said he wanted to make cookies and share them with his class.  He is so my kid, always thinking treats!!
 There was no doubt in Ethan's mind that he wanted to do flags.  We have tried to teach Ethan respect for the flag and what it represents.
After Clint died I will never look at the flag the same.  He taught our family how to take proper care and have respect for the flag. I have never seen more flags flown in someones honor.  There were hundreds of them lining the streets on the day of his funeral. It was awe inspiring watching the soldiers carefully fold the flag that draped his coffin.  There wasn't a single wrinkle.  Ethan loves watching this on the video and knows now that the flag is so much more than beautiful colors representing states and colonies.
 I can honestly say that this treat has been the most rewarding one I have ever done.  I can't explain what it felt like but it was so much more than a cookie to me.  I took a walk down memory lane with my best friend. I was reminded what was important in life.  I reflected on my life and hoped that my brother is proud. I thought about what all these colors mean.  I promised to be better about not taking my freedoms for granted.  I needed these reflections, I have missed my bro so much this year.

 Ethan said he loved taking the cookies into his classroom because he wanted to tell everyone why he brought them.  He loves talking about his hero just like me!

 Every March my family likes to pay tribute to Clint so we try and do something to honor a hero.  My kids usually pick firefighters.  This year was no different.
The only way we know how to say thanks is with a treat and a card.
The Butterfinger cupcake:
1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups crushed Butterfinger candy bar
Mix everything but candy bars for 2 minutes.  Add 1 cup candy bars. Bake 350 for about 15 minutes. Cool. Frost with my favorite chocolate frosting. Sprinkle with remaining crushed Butterfinger.
The Oreo and Peanut Butter Cup cupcake. Click here for the recipe.

I topped them with these firetruck chocolates.  I know they are childish but these cupcakes needed some color.

We scheduled a tour with the fire station when we delivered them and invited our friends from our church playgroup to join us.  We made these mini lemon cupcakes to give to everyone who came.
Thank you hometown heroes for spending time with us today!

*Thanks Mindi and Jill for all your help with these.

* I hope I didn't bore you with this post.  I wish I was better with my words but I love talking about my hero.  Thanks for listening.

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