Independence Day will soon be upon us and with the coronavirus affecting what we can and cannot do, I have to prioritize my list of things to do on this Fourth of July.

My wife Donna and I raised eight very active kids, with that came the challenge of keeping them fed and entertained.

I'll share with you some things that have become a Fernandez family favorite that is either easy, cheap, or free.

  • Photo by: Rudy Fernandez
    Photo by: Rudy Fernandez

    Fly your Flag

    Proudly display your flag, we fly the flags our family members have served under. We make sure they're worthy of flying. Not too faded, not too tattered and not torn. If your flag has seen better days, please retire it properly by contacting the Boy Scouts, Lions Club or the American Legion.

  • Boston Pops Facebook photo
    Boston Pops Facebook photo

    Listening to Patriotic Music

    Start the day by playing patriotic music on the Fourth of July. Nothing screams Independence Day like Lee Greenwood and the Boston Pops. If you'll start the day with Lee or the Boston Pops patriotic medley of songs, you'll feel a more genuine sense of patriotic pride. Just try it.

  • Photo by: Photo by John Moore/Getty Images
    Photo by: Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

    Bake a Patriotic Cake

    Baking a red, white and blue cake has been my daughter Branddy's patriotic idea. She bakes a 9 by 13 cake and simply covered it with whipped cream. She then arranges blueberries and strawberries to create her patriotic themed cake. You should see the kids eyes when the cake comes out.

  • iStockPhoto

    Back Yard Barbecuing

    Barbecuing is my domain. I learned at an early age, the best way to please my family is with hot dogs and hamburgers for the boys, chicken for the girls and plenty of grilled seasonal veggies like corn on the cob, jalapeno poppers, squash and smoked baked potatoes. At least I know I'll hear peace and quite while the children eat.

  • Yobro10

    Watching a Fourth of July Parade

    Abilene is very fortunate to have several neighborhood parades. Some of the ones I recall were on Amarillo Street, Jeannette Street, Button Willow Parkway and Mesquite Forrest neighborhoods.

    Take in the sights and sounds of the Abilene Freedom Festival, complete with fireworks at the end of the day.

  • Creatas

    Make Homemade Ice Cream

    We always have leftover strawberries and/or blueberries from the cake making ceremony earlier in the day. What berry's are left ended up in the ice cream maker. Here's the Fernandez family "super easy" recipe for fresh berries ice cream, enjoy!

    2 cups whole milk
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 cup white sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 cups chopped or mashed fresh strawberries (and/or other berries)

    In a bowl big enough to accommodate all the ingredients, mix the milk, sugar, vanilla, cream, salt and the berries. Pour the mixture into the ice cream makers freezer bowl and start cranking and/or turn on the ice cream maker (following manufacturer's directions). Enjoy!

  • Smileus, Thinkstock
    Smileus, Thinkstock

    Watch a Fireworks display

    Finally at the end of a very busy 4th of July, gather up  your flags, then go watch the fireworks show. Abilene will have a fireworks show and the Abilene Freedom Festival at the Taylor County Expo Center this year.

    Remember to take a camera, then share your pictures with us on our Facebook page.

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