Monday, May 31, 2021

Hello Summer!

Memorial Day weekend always feels like the beginning of summer to me, despite the fact that it officially begins on June 20, so I'll be taking a break here for a bit as I get out and enjoy the longer days and beautiful sunshine (in between all the rains and storms we're having)!

Happy Summertime Y'all!

May Every Day | Remembrance Sunday (UK) ~Guest Post by Ruth

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

As we celebrate Memorial Day and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country here in the United States today, please join me in welcoming my friend & today's guest blogger Ruth from London, England, as she shares about a similar day celebrated in the United Kingdom.

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In the UK, Remembrance Sunday is commemorated on the nearest Sunday to the 11th November (that date being the day the Armistice was signed in 1918 signalling the end of the Great War). It’s an important date in our nation’s calendar.

The country’s main focus for commemoration is at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. Her Majesty the Queen is present (although she no longer physically lays a wreath) and is joined by senior members of the royal family, all ranks of the military and politicians.

At the same time, across the country in cities, towns and villages, communities come together at their own war memorial. When the clock strikes 11am, there is a two-minute silence followed by the sounding of the Last Post.


We attend our local war memorial in West London and The Boy usually wears my old RAF beret. I place a memorial cross in remembrance of Flying Officer Roy Stewart Wilson – you can read why here.


Remembrance Sunday is how we unite across faiths, cultures and backgrounds to remember the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces community from Britain and the Commonwealth.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Thanks to Melissa for inviting me to write a guest post; I hope you enjoyed it. You can find me blogging at: thiswestlondonlife.com and on Instagram as: @thiswestlondonlife.

__________

Thanks for this wonderfully informative post Ruth! I hope we'll be able to meet up in person again one day - in your country or mine.

And thanks to each of you who have popped in and left comments as we've celebrated and observed a variety of days & weeks throughout this month!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

May Every Day | National Photography Month

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

What better time to focus on your picture taking skills than National Photography Month? This celebration of all things photography was first organized in 1987 by the American Photographers Association. Photography plays a huge role in modern society and it has become easier for everyone to enjoy this hobby with the advent of digital images and smart phone cameras.

Photography allows us to preserve memories, capture the beauty around us, tell stories, share things with others, see changes over time, etc.



With our cameras or smartphones, we can capture the big picture or focus on the details.


We can snap photos quickly to capture a moment or activity, while other times we can carefully compose a shot (and take numerous snaps to get just the right one). If you haven't already done so, be sure to slow down and capture, enjoy and share some photos this month!

Monday, May 24, 2021

May Every Day | Victoria Day (Canada) ~Guest Post by Mary-Lou

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Please join me in welcoming my friend
& today's guest blogger
Mary-Lou from Ontario, Canada.

__________

Wikipedia says this about May 24th – Victoria Day:

Victoria Day Victoria Day is a federal statutory holiday, as well as a holiday in six of Canada's ten provinces and all three of its territories. Initially set to honour Queen Victoria's birthday. It is informally considered to be the beginning of the summer season in Canada.

The holiday has been observed in Canada since at least 1845, originally falling on Victoria's actual birthday (May 24). The holiday has always been a distinctly Canadian observance and continues to be celebrated across the country. It falls on the Monday between the 18th and the 24th and so is always the penultimate Monday of May (May 24 in 2021 and May 23 in 2022).


As time changes connections, Canada is no longer an annex of the British Empire, but a willing member of the Commonwealth, the Victoria Day weekend informally took on other names. It’s now either the May Long Weekend or fondly referred to as the May Two Four weekend. Two Four, 2 4 refers to the size of beer container many/most people purchase at the start of the weekend, a case of 24 beer bottles or cans.

In Ontario, May long weekend is also the date we use as calendar marks for things like when to plant our tender annual plants and vegetables, as it is unlikely that after this date, we will get snow and/or heavy killing frost.


It is also the weekend that for many signals the wearing of white shoes, you stop after Labour Day in September by the way. There are lots that don’t follow this “rule” & wear white shoes any time they feel like.

For many, May 2 4 weekend signals the time to open the cottage after a long winter season, hence the need for beer substance. It is also the weekend that begins the camping season, which is also when the black flies appear on mass and torment all. These tiny little flies have a big bite, which can cause great swelling and pain at the bite site. If you have never been tormented by these little nasties, consider yourself truly fortunate.

Fireworks, for the May weekend is a hotly debated/argued pro/con issue. It is the first of the three big holiday weekends that fireworks could be called for. The other two long weekends would be for Canada Day in July and Labour Day in September. It is written, in most community by-laws, that Monday is technically the only day of these holiday weekends you can use fireworks, but it seems that many ignore that … I’ll say no more.

Besides the fireworks debate over the weekend, the other hotly contended debate, even within civilized families, is who makes the best potato salad. If you Google potato salad you get back hundreds of recipes, all with little subtle differences. I can settle this argument right now, my Mother’s recipe makes the best, ever!

Now you’ll have to excuse me, I have a pair of white sandals to find and a potato salad to make.
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Thank you for this delightful and informative read Mary-Lou! I hope you are having a wonderful Victoria Day/May 2 4 Long Weekend!

Did you know today is also National Scavenger Hunt Day? Each summer, Mary-Lou hosts a Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt on her blog. It's always FUN, so be sure to pop over and check out this year's list - the hunt begins June 1.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

May Every Day | National Taffy Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Today is the day to celebrate taffy, that sticky sweet chewy candy that comes in many colors and flavors. It is made by boiling sugar, molasses or corn syrup with butter (and other ingredients), which is then pulled until it's porous and glossy.

My favorite place to get taffy is at La King's Confectionary on the Strand in Galveston, Texas. This wonderful candy store and ice cream parlor is always on my list of places to visit when I make it to Galveston Island. Along one side of this deep store is a soda fountain with a wide variety of ice cream flavors to choose from. The other side houses long cases of chocolates and candies of all colors and varieties. A taffy-pulling machine is set up near the back of the store. If you're lucky when you arrive, there's might be a taffy pulling demonstration going on - stand back and watch for a bit and the candy maker just might toss you a taffy!


Then it's time to browse all the baskets of taffy and choose which flavors to take home. A few of my favorites are vanilla, cotton candy, and watermelon.

Do you like taffy? What's your favorite flavor?

Friday, May 21, 2021

May Every Day | National Strawberries and Cream Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Today we celebrate another delicious snack - it's National Strawberries and Cream Day! Typically this means fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream; however, my favorite "recipe" for strawberries is what I affectionately call "Central Park Strawberries."


I first had this delicious dessert when my friend Elinor and I traveled to New York in May of 2001. A friend met us late one evening in Central Park with a bag of strawberries, a container of sour cream, and a sack of brown sugar. I was terribly disappointed because I don’t didn’t like sour cream and I thought we were going to visit one of the numerous dessert spots in New York.

However, when I grabbed a fresh strawberry, dipped it in the container of sour cream then into the sack of brown sugar, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was absolutely wonderful! As we strolled through around the park and through Columbus Square enjoying the beautiful evening and watching the general hubbub that is New York, we dipped and ate and dipped and ate until the entire bag of strawberries were gone and we were well satisfied!

Of course, anytime I've visited New York since then, I run into one of the grocery markets around Central Park and grab some strawberries, sour cream and brown sugar. Then I/we wander around and enjoy this tasty treat!


What's your favorite way to eat strawberries?

BTW - It's also Strawberry Month, so if you weren't able to enjoy some today, you still have time to celebrate this yummy fruit.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

May Every Day | National Be A Millionaire Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines millionaire as "a person whose wealth is estimated at a million or more (as of dollars or pounds)." Collins Dictionary says, "A millionaire is a very rich person who has money or property worth at least a million dollars." The term millionaire was first coined in the 17th century when there were only a few individuals who had amassed a net worth of a million dollars. Today there are millions of millionaires around the globe.  I remember reading something a few years ago about millionaires here in American - the majority of them have a net worth of between one and ten million dollars and are your typical next-door neighbors.

Be a Millionaire Day is celebrated on May 20 each year and honors the desire to be financially secure. There are many ways to celebrate today - take time to review your financial situation and future goals, open a savings account, set up regular contributions to a retirement plan, create a budget, etc.

Over the years, I've read numerous books on personal finance and Robbie and I use a budget and financial planner to help us progress toward our goals. I've even taught Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course to adults at church and teenagers at a private school. However, the first and best piece of advice that I give anyone who asks me about finances is found in the following scriptures:

"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it."
~Malachi 3:10~

"Give, and it will be given to you:
good measure, pressed down, shaken together,
and running over will be put into your bosom.
For with the same measure that you use,
it will be measured back to you.”
~Luke 6:38~

I believe wholeheartedly that we can never out give the Lord and following His command to tithe is the best thing anyone can do to increase their financial security! Many financial planners will recommend paying yourself first, but the Bible says, "Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine." Tithe first, pay yourself second, then watch the Lord provide all you need with what's leftover!

How about you? What's your best financial advice for those seeking financial freedom?

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Upcoming Class | Esther's Time Virtual Bible Journaling Class

I'm excited to announce my next VIRTUAL Bible Journaling Class! This class will be presented via Zoom, so you can join in from anywhere as we dive into the Word and use our creativity to draw closer to the Lord.

Did you know that the book of Esther in the Old Testament is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God? However, He is ever present in this story that can rival any fiction thriller on the market – it has a hero, a heroine, a villain, a plot to overthrow the government, women's lib controversy, a nationwide beauty pageant, lots of eating, drinking & celebrating, a beautiful palace setting, irony, humor, intrigue, revenge, and suspense.

Join me for a virtual Bible journaling class in June as we take a look at how Esther captured the hearts of all who knew her and how she prepared for the most dangerous step of her life.


Your class fee includes Biblical teaching, illustrated Bible journaling technique demonstrations and ideas, a printable notes handout and a traceable image.

Please note:

* This class will be presented live via Zoom. Due to the interactive nature of these classes, replays are not available.

* Your spot is reserved once payment is received. The link to the Zoom classroom and the notes handout will be sent separately as we get closer to the class date.

* There is not a supply kit for this event. However, I will be sending a list of items you may want to have on hand during the class. You’ll definitely want to have your Bible and a pen on hand. Otherwise, I encourage you to use what you have available as you illustrate what the Lord is showing you through His Word.

* I have previously taught classes on Esther – if you attended one of these classes, some of the devotional materials will be the same. However, I will be doing a fresh study of the book of Esther in preparation for the class and will have new Bible journaling pages and ideas to share.



Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope to see you in class!

BTW - If you or someone you know could benefit from attending a class but the cost would be a hardship at this time, please contact me!!

May Every Day | National Devil's Food Cake Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Devil's food cake is a moist rich chocolate layer cake. It tends to have a darker color than a regular chocolate cake and is topped with chocolate icing. There are many recipes for this delectable dessert, some dating to the early 1900s, so the "devil's food cake" is often used to describe any super chocolatey cake.

Since today is National Devil's Food Cake Day, it's the perfect excuse to do a little baking and enjoy some chocolate cake!

Any day that involves chocolate cake is a good day in my book! How about you?

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

May Every Day | International Museum Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Since 1977, the International Council of Museums has organized International Museum Day to stress that "museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples." It is celebrated on May 18 with museums around the world participating.


It's been a couple of years since we've visited a museum, but here are a few of our favorites.

MoMA in New York City - Some of the highlights for me were seeing Van Gogh's Starry Night, the art of Andy Warhol, and Monet's Water Lilies (which have their own room).

Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas - You can view the museum's collections online HERE.

Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas - One of our favorite places to take friends and family of all ages. There are several virtual exhibit resources HERE.

Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam - When we visited Amsterdam several years ago, we thoroughly enjoyed this museum that showcases the numerous ways the Dutch resisted Nazi occupation during World War II.


The National Gallery in London - I've been in this museum three different times so far, and there's still so very much I haven't seen!

These are just a few of our favorites. Many museums now offer virtual tours or online views of their collections, but I'm looking forward to the time when we feel comfortable traveling and visiting more museums in person!

Which museums are your favorite? Please share in the comments!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

May Every Day | Armed Forces Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Here in the United States, we have three holidays focused on our military men and women. These holidays are often confused and many times the meaning of each is lost in the celebration of a long weekend or the excess of retail sales or the beginning/ending of summertime. However, they each serve to honor members of the United States military.


Armed Forces Day honors Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches - Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. This holiday was established in 1949 and stemmed from the unification of all the branches of the military under the Department of Defense. It is celebrated the third Saturday in May. This is the day to thank those who are currently serving our country.

Memorial Day honors those who gave their life while in military service to our country, particularly in battle or from wounds suffered in battle. It is celebrated the last Monday in May. This is the day to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

Veterans Day honors all those who have served our country whether in war or peacetime. It was originally called Armistice Day and is celebrated on November 11. (Because November 11, 1918, is considered the end of World War I, many countries have some sort of military observance/celebration on this same date.) This is the day to thank living veterans for their service and their sacrifices.

Do you know anyone currently serving in the military? Be sure to thank them for their service today!

Friday, May 14, 2021

May Every Day | Get Caught Reading Month

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

The Get Caught Reading campaign was founded in 1999 by the Association of American Publishers and actually runs all year long, with May being designated as Get Caught Reading Month. It is designed to encourage people of all ages to enjoy books and magazines and to share the pleasure of reading with the young children in their lives. This is definitely my kind of celebration!

I can't remember a time when I wasn't reading something, and I love sharing about books here on the the blog, reading books to children, discussing books with others, participating in book clubs, and using books to teach.

In fact, one of my favorite traditions involves reading. The first time I meet a new niece or nephew (or now great-niece or nephew), I read them a book. I think I started this first-time-meeting-tradition when my twin nieces were born in 2005, although I read many (many!) books to the older three before that time. That first meeting has taken place at different times for each of the kids, depending on family schedules and traveling distances. I've done first-time reading to preemies in the NICU, babies a few months old, a toddler, and even a 10-year-old (who joined our family when her mom married my nephew).


Of course, I keep reading to them anytime I get the chance! I'm always happy to read something the kids/teens are reading so we can discuss it. I've been known to have the whole family act out a book I'm reading at get-togethers, and last year I even read some Christmas stories over Zoom!


Yep, this is definitely my kind of celebration!

Did you know about the Get Caught Reading campaign? Who will you be sharing your love of reading with this month?

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

May Every Day | Twilight Zone Day

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

When I hear this introduction coming from the TV (or laptop or iPad), I know immediately what Robbie's watching: 

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone.

The Twilight Zone first aired in 1959 and many of the original episodes can still be viewed on TV, Prime Video, Netflix, etc. These shows are a unique combination of sci-fi, mystery, horror, comedy, and superstition. It's completely bizarre at times, but the old black and white thought-provoking shows stand up to the test of time.

Two of Robbie's favorite episodes are Time Enough at Last (the story of a bank clerk who loves to read but can never find the time, until he is left completely alone after an H-bomb attack) and It's a Good Life (starring Bill Mumy who also played Will Robinson on Robbie's all-time favorite TV show, Lost in Space). This show is definitely not for the faint-of-heart, but if you're willing to travel into the bizarre and horrifying dimension known as The Twilight Zone, here's a scene from It's a Good Life where 6-year-old Anthony controls everything. (If you're reading this on email, you may need to click over to the blog to view this video.)


We'll be watching a few episodes of The Twilight Zone on Netflix this evening. How about you? Will you be entering The Twilight Zone today?

Monday, May 10, 2021

May Every Day | National Shrimp Day

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

As I've been researching all the interesting and significant days this month, I've discovered that quite a few foods and/or food groups have special days associated with them throughout the year. Today is National Shrimp Day, which is great for us because we enjoy a good meal of shrimp (grilled, fried, sautéed, scampi, stuffed, shrimp cocktail, etc).

One of our favorite shrimp memories occurred years ago at Pier 99 in Corpus Christi, Texas. We were on a long road trip and had arrived at this coastal town starving after a long stretch of highway with very few dining options. We strolled down the beach a little ways from our hotel to Pier 99 Restaurant, which sits "just right ... on the water." Literally, we were sitting by the restaurant's patio fence enclosure with the beach on the other side and the Gulf of Mexico waves rolling in several yards away.

I laughed out loud when Robbie said he was going to get a hamburger, one of his go-to orders. I said there was no way he was going to be sitting on the beach at one of the best seafood restaurants around and eat a hamburger! He, of course, immediately saw the logic of enjoying seafood in this seaside setting, so we ordered the Shrimp Bonanza to split.


We thoroughly enjoyed the huge platter that included "hoss size jumbo shrimp, sautéed shrimp, blackened shrimp, fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, cole slaw, cob corn, new potatoes & toasted French bread!"

We won't be having quite that many options tonight, but shrimp is definitely on the menu for supper here. What will you be enjoying this evening?

Sunday, May 9, 2021

May Every Day | Mother's Day

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday here in the US to honor mothers. To celebrate Mother's Day today, I'm sharing a short video of the School Years scrapbook I created for Mama late last year.

Mama had her school portraits and reports cards, plus some extra bits and pieces, and I had a FUN time putting them together with a few stories. (If you are reading this on email, you may need to click over to the blog to watch the video flip through of Mama's album.)

Mama was thrilled with the results, and I snapped a few photos when I delivered the album to create a layout for our 2020 chronological scrapbook.

Happy Mother's Day to Mama 
& all the moms out there today!
Hope y'all have a great day!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

May Every Day | National Have a Coke Day

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

This is my kind of day - National Have a Coke Day! I can't remember when I started drinking Coca-Cola, but it has been a constant in my life as long as I can remember. Even in the 1980s when I was a pre-teen, I knew that the company was making a mistake with that New Coke formula! I realize it's not the healthiest of habits, but I do enjoy an ice-cold Coca-Cola most days. 

There are, of course, quite a few options for enjoying a coke - iconic glass bottles, fountain drinks, plastic bottles, over ice, with ice cream to make a coke float, and (in other countries I discovered) with a lemon. However, my favorite way to enjoy this beverage is straight from an ice-cold red can!


If you haven't seen it in a while, here's the classic Coca-Cola commercial filmed on a hilltop in Italy in the 1970s, along with a 1990 reunion.


I do hope you'll find time to enjoy an ice-cold Coca-Cola today! 

[BTW - It's also Coconut Cream Pie Day. I checked the pantry and it looks like we have all the right ingredients, so Robbie assures me we'll be having a slice of pie to go with our coke this evening.]

Friday, May 7, 2021

May Every Day | School Lunch Hero Day

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

I had no idea there was something called School Lunch Hero Day until I started researching this series, but I immediately knew what I wanted to share when I saw it! Robbie's grandmother worked in the school lunch room of a junior high school for many years. We have a couple of her school portraits from that time, so I used inspiration from Shimelle's Half and Half class to create a layout about her and the little pizzas Robbie likes to make.

Robbie's journaling reads: In the 1950s and up to sometime in the late 60s, Grandy worked in the lunch cafeteria at Sill Junior High School in my home-town of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She was always an excellent cook, and I like to think my ability to cook and bake, as well as my talent for ‘creatively cooking,’ comes directly from her! She and the other ladies were responsible for feeding hundreds of junior high students daily, and she would come up with several unique recipes from time to time to add something a bit ‘extra’ to the then-standard daily school fare. Several of those recipes were favorites of mine (and my brother Tommy) back when we were young … and still remain so to this day. One recipe was for what she called “Little Pizzas,” which I call “Grandy’s Little Pizzas” for obvious reasons. It is made up of ground beef, ketchup, water, sugar, breadcrumbs, and oregano all cooked together and then scooped onto sliced English Muffins, covered with a slice of American Cheese, and put in the oven for 10 minutes or so. These things are addictive and are one of my favorite ‘comfort foods’ to this day. I probably make them about half a dozen times a year – with the majority being made on Sunday afternoons during football season, or if Tommy happens to be in town. When I was in elementary school and then in Junior High (long after Grandy had already retired), they still served the same “Little Pizzas” every so often – they were called “Pizza Burgers” by that time, but it was the same recipe for years until it too was finally changed. Nevertheless, I’ve been making them myself for nearly 50 years and the recipe was probably more than 20 years old by the time I started making them myself. I think Grandy would be pleased to know that Tommy and I still make them (and enjoy them) to this day. (~Robbie~ May 2021)

I love that we now have this story preserved in our scrapbook of Robbie's family stories! Have you scrapped any memories of older generations lately?

Thursday, May 6, 2021

May Every Day | National Day of Prayer

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

The first Thursday in May is designated as a National Day of Prayer here in the United States. It is a day that invites people of all faiths to pray for our nation. Spurred by the evangelical movement and evangelist Billy Graham, a joint resolution by Congress was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman in 1952 and moved to the first Thursday in May by President Ronald Reagan. This year's prayer is: Lord pour out Your Love, Life and Liberty.

The National Day of Prayer website says this about the significance of the day: The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.

Today is the 70th National Day of Prayer. Here's a video with more information about these "70 Years of Prayer." (If you are reading this on email, you may need to click over to the blog to watch.)


Today, I encourage you to stop and say a prayer for our great nation! Take time to thank Him for all that we have, ask Him to heal the unrest and division in our world, beseech Him to guide our leaders, and praise Him that we live in a country where prayer is still celebrated. Lord pour our your love, life and liberty on our nation!

For my friends in other countries around the world, I challenge you also to take a moment today to say a prayer for your nation and its leaders!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

May Every Day | Cinco de Mayo

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for "Fifth of May," the day that marks the Mexican army's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It is not a hugely celebrated holiday in Mexico, although I read that there are some military parades and other activities, particularly in Puebla. However, there are many celebrations in the United States (most likely because a couple of brewing companies began sponsoring the holiday as a marketing ploy in the 1980s). 

For me, it is a day to celebrate Mexican-American culture, especially the food! Before joining the United States, Texas was actually a part of Mexico (and before that the Spanish Empire), so Mexican culture is a huge part of our history and culture. We have an abundance of Mexican food restaurants, grocery stores, and eateries throughout the state. Some of them offer a variety we call Tex-Mex, while others offer more authentic Mexican fare. Before the Covid pandemic, we enjoyed going out for a meal at Mexican restaurants around town and whenever we traveled.

Currently, we make tacos and quesadillas and burritos here at home. Robbie's been known to whip up a batch of Casa Ole's Chili Con Queso or his own homemade salsa, and I have several recipes I like to make.




Were you aware of the Cinco de Mayo holiday? Are you celebrating today?

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

May Every Day | Star Wars Day

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Star Wars Day is an annual informal commemorative day observed on May 4 to celebrate, you guessed it, Star Wars! This date was chosen because of the Jedi's phrase, "May the Force be with you," which easily transitions to "May the Fourth be with you."

The first Star Wars movie premiered in 1977. Robbie remembers going to see it on opening day...he might have even sat through it a total of three times that day! I was only 8-years-old at the time and my family rarely went to the movies, so I don't remember when I first saw it. However, I knew about Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia and had a few Star Wars trading cards in the late 1970s. [Little did I know then that I would marry a collector and we would eventually own many (many!) sets of Star Wars trading cards.]

We have, of course, seen all the movies several times now. When the new movies (Episodes VII, VII & IX) came out, we met up with Robbie's brother and his family to see them. This is no small feat since we are in Texas and they are in Ohio. Twice we caught the movie in Tennessee and once when we were visiting in Ohio. It's always a FUN time!


Quite a few years ago, Robbie and I toured a Star Wars exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History. We saw lots of costumes, props, and filming miniatures from the three original movies. Luke Skywalker's full-size Landspeeder was on display as well as Chewbacca's 7 1/2 foot tall costume!


In 2016, we visited Disneyland, where we saw props and costumes and such from the newer movies. We even got a hug and a photo shoot with Chewie himself!


As you can see, fans of Star Wars we are!


However you celebrate today - May the Fourth Be With You!

Monday, May 3, 2021

May Every Day | Drinking Water Week

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Drinking Water Week aims to recognize the critical role drinking water plays in our everyday lives. It is sponsored by the American Water Works Association, an international, nonprofit, scientific and educational society dedicated to providing total water solutions assuring the effective management of water.

In 1988, the week-long observance of Drinking Water Week was declared in a joint congressional resolution signed by then President Ronald Reagan. It is celebrated the first full week of May each year. This year's theme is "There When You Need It" highlighting the work water professionals do to ensure safe drinking water is always available when we need it.


Honestly, I wasn't aware of this observance until I started researching May holidays and observances for this blog series. In fact, having drinking water available right out of the tap anytime is something I take for granted because I've never known otherwise. Unfortunately, that is not the case everywhere in our world.


I am aware, however, of how vital water is to our everyday lives and health, and I'm constantly striving to be diligent about drinking enough. Water plays such an important role in our overall health, from keeping our vital organs and body systems functioning properly to boosting energy levels and improving cognitive function. A recent article in Breathe magazine put it this way.


I've enjoyed learning more about this observance and am thankful that there is an organization dedicated to providing drinkable water around the world. Were you aware of Drinking Water Week? What can you do to celebrate this observance this week?

Sunday, May 2, 2021

May Every Day | International Harry Potter Day

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

In 2012, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron declared May 2 as International Harry Potter Day. This date was chosen because it was the date that Harry Potter beat Lord Voldemort in The Battle of Hogwarts. Honestly, I had no idea what day the battle occurred; however, I'm all for a day to celebrate Harry Potter.

I've scrapped and (shared on the blog here) our stories about reading (and re-reading) the Harry Potter books and watching (and re-watching) all the movies

However, I'd only created one (one!) layout about our 2014 visit to Harry Potter World in Florida and no (zero!!) layouts about our 2016 visit to Harry Potter World in California and our 2017 Harry Potter Studios tour outside London, England. 

So, I pulled out some papers and a never-before-used stamp set to create a layout inspired by Lesson 3 in Shimelle's Half and Half class. I wasn't sure about the artsy look that Shimelle created with watercolors, but I decided to give it a try using gelatos ... and I'm thrilled with the look.

Journaling reads: The first time we got a butterbeer, at the Leaky Cauldron with our lunch of fish & chips, we got one to split because we had no idea what it would taste like. But the next time, we each insisted on our own pint because it was so refreshingly yummy!

This next layout was also inspired by the Half and Half class. First, a 12x12 layout using two photos of the Hogwarts Express.

Journaling reads: The Hogwarts Express ride goes from "King's Cross Station in London" at Universal Studios Florida to "Hogsmeade Station" at Universal Island of Adventures. It's a FUN way to travel between the two Universal theme parks. The British countryside is projecting onto the train cabin's door so it feels like a ride to Hogwarts ... and then the dementors arrive and it all turns cold! We rode it between the parks several times during our two days at Universal.

I created a companion 6x12 page to include more photos and a fabulous dementor die cut.


It feels so good to get started documenting all our Harry Potter adventures over the past several years!

Bonus: Robbie has mastered the art of creating the nonalcoholic butterbeers at home. There are several recipes online and he combined a few and tweaked this and that until he was satisfied with the taste. This past Friday, he picked up the ingredients and fixed us each a mug to enjoy for movie night. We'll have another mug today, of course!

How will you be celebrating International Harry Potter Day this year?

Saturday, May 1, 2021

May Every Day | (inter)National Scrapbook Day

May Every Day is a series of daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

In 1994, Creative Memories began National Scrapbook Day for scrapbookers to get together for a day of photo celebration and album creation. The day has become popular around the world as memory keepers gather to work on layouts and projects, so it's now often referred to as (inter)National Scrapbook Day and is celebrated on the first Saturday in May.

For many years, I hosted a crop here at our home with friends and family scrapbooking, visiting, snacking, shopping and sharing memories together. We often met with other friends virtually using FaceTime, Skype, text, online chats and (most recently) Zoom. Obviously all of last year's get-togethers were virtual.

There are typically lots of online events, freebies, sales, and challenges posted for iNSD. Here are a few of the things I'll be enjoying as I scrap here at home today.

1. May Flaum is hosting a Grand Estate Escape Virtual (crafty) Vacation with challenges, Facebook lives, and prizes. (She also has several other virtual crafty vacation events scheduled this year.)

2. Shimelle's Half and Half online class is underway, and I'm having lots of FUN putting together layouts using two patterned papers as the background. The class includes prompts (handouts & videos) for twelve layouts. The first prompt encouraged us to choose a paper with one color and another paper with multiple colors, which worked perfect to showcase a photo of me at 4-years-old.

3. As I've mentioned previously, I'm participating in Stacy Julian's Story52 class as encouragement to tell more of our stories. This class provides weekly inspiration as well as monthly challenges, color inspiration, and sketches. I'm a couple of weeks months behind on the class materials, although I have created several story-focused layouts inspired by this class (including this one and this one).

I'm especially enjoying the reminder to add more of the story to my pages. For the layout below, I was originally focusing on the photos that show the before and after setup of Robbie's home office. However, I realized that the story I most wanted to tell was about how hard Robbie works to provide a good life for us.


4. I'm also planning to meet up virtually with a friend or two throughout the day.

Do you celebrate (inter)National Scrapbook Day? If so, how are you celebrating this year?

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Scrapbooking | Grandma Loved to Travel

After sorting Grandma's lifetime of photos earlier this year, I'm creating an album with my memories of her. Last year, I purchased some page kits from several etsy shops, and the 2-page Everyday Explorer kit (from this shop) works perfect with some photos of Grandma traveling in the 1970s.


This page tells the story of how she made me promise to travel anytime I had the time and money while I was young because she wasn't able to travel later in life.


Yes, she would certainly be surprised by how often I've kept that promise and the many places I've traveled to around the world!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Scrapbooking | 2013 The Second Half

After completing the first half of 2013 last fall, I continued filling in our 2013 albums with the stories, memories, and memorabilia I had not yet included.

This two page layout showcases photos of one of my nieces playing Scout in a local production of To Kill A Mockingbird. I used some pages from an old falling-apart copy of the book as backgrounds for a couple of the photos and my journaling tag.


There were several pages about Robbie's birthday, including our visit to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum ...


... and how Robbie was holding one of his gifts upside down when I snapped a photo and then continued to hold them all that way for the remaining photos!


There was also the story about how Robbie inadvertently sliced a sliver of flesh off his finger trying to cut into some frozen sausage. I had him add the journaling for that "adventure."


There were quite a few photos of Robbie and his cooking, which is always so yummy. This layout will actually go in an album All About Robbie.


I'm enjoying working through our chronological albums and filling in the gaps that I've missed as I scrap non-chronologically. Now, on to seeing what's missing in 2014!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Scrapbooking | Half and Half

It's been awhile since I've taken a layout class, so I've signed up for Shimelle's Half and Half class that starts today. The class title refers to using a background that is half one patterned paper and half a different patterned paper. I created a few "warm-up" layouts inspired by the ones on Shimelle's post with the class details.

Both of these layouts feature two patterned background papers and a "messy stack" of  papers behind the photos.


I spent the first few months of this year sorting my Grandma's lifetime of photos, most of which I returned to my Daddy in organized binders and a scrapbook of his early years. I'm creating a scrapbook of Grandma's life and my memories of her with the remaining photos.


I'm looking forward to trying this Half and Half technique on more layouts as I enjoy Shimelle's class. Will you be joining in?

Friday, April 16, 2021

Upcoming Class | Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Virtual Bible Journaling Class

I'm excited to announce my next VIRTUAL Bible Journaling Class! This class will be presented via Zoom, so you can join in from anywhere as we dive into the Word and use our creativity to draw closer to the Lord.

We often associate Mary, the Mother of Jesus, with Christmastime and the birth of our Savior. However, she appears several other times in scripture as she raises the boy Jesus and interacts with Him in His adulthood.

On Mother's Day, we honor and celebrate mothers, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. Here in the States, we celebrate the second Sunday of May, so let’s meet together that weekend and look at the story of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the lessons we can learn from her and her willingness to follow God’s plan for her life.


Your class fee includes Biblical teaching, illustrated Bible journaling technique demonstrations and ideas, a printable notes handout and a traceable image.

Please note:
* This class will be presented live via Zoom. Due to the interactive nature of the class, replays are not available.

* Your spot is reserved once payment is received. The link to the Zoom classroom and the notes handout will be sent separately as we get closer to the class date.

* There is not a supply kit for this event. However, I will be sending a list of items you may want to have on hand during the class. You’ll definitely want to have your Bible and a pen ready when class begins. Otherwise, I encourage you to use what you have available as you illustrate what the Lord is showing you through His Word. (I have a few product kits available HERE if you’re interested. I will be using some items from this kit for this class in May.)

Click the appropriate link below to reserve your spot today!



Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope to see you in class!