That title is more important to everyday Americans. The regular families. Parents who work both white and blue collar. Children to carry on your families traditions. Growing up our holidays like this were spent with great family, plenty of food, and the pyrotechnics show given in almost every town large and small across the country. Swimming pools and BBQ scents fill the air. Lawn chairs, watermelon, ice cream and red, white, and blue can be seen everywhere
Laughter, squeals, and firework pops are audible over the playlists of classic rock, Souza marches, and songs of Americana heritage. Any born here should take this opportunity to give thanks for being born here, immigrated, or the men and women of our armed services for protecting our freedoms.
With the advent of social media we are all familiar with the policies swirling through current events. To agree or disagree is not the important question here. Recognizing that we have the right to disagree, we all must learn to get along and live together. All who stand within our shores should be proud to be an American. Our Flag, Government, and our values shape this great place we call home, never let anyone tell you that you are unlucky to be here. With no fear of imprisonments, torture, and many horrors that we see abroad. Is all fair and just here, no but looking around the world you could do worse.
As we Celebrate the founding of this nation on July 4, we remember those who came before. Immigrant, native, man, woman, child. Let us focus on the good and work toward solutions that resolve our arguments. This Wednesday, as we spend time with family and friends, bbq or take-out, enjoy the time and festivities.
If you find yourself in a quiet moment, add a special song to your playlist, wave the flag and proudly display what makes up the best part of our country, We The People.
Please drink responsibly and remember that alcohol and fireworks can be a bad combination.
Are you looking to amp up your Easter Egg Hunt? As the years have passed, we now have diverse ages of participants. Starting with a 10-year-old 5, and two 2 year olds. So as usual when seeking inspiration I flip over to Pintrest to see what i can find. They never let me down. Everything from non-candy egg fillers to neat coloring technic and several ways to make the hunt more fun.
The Scavenger hunt looks like particular fun for the older girls, while Egg exercises look entertaining for the littlest ones. To make this fun I think we’ll try assigning a specific color to each child. (This will also work well with certain food allergies and sensitivities). Each younger child will need an adult paired with to read the exercises to them and make sure they are done before searching out the next egg.
The older girls will have to figure out and solve the clues to find their next egg. I may even add prizes to give incentive to the fun. It will also engage their parents in the game to entertain and participate in the fun.
Before the big hunt I’m thinking of hosting an Easter Brunch complete with adults only punch. Coffee of course and maybe specialty coffee bar. This will give me the perfect reason to use my new espresso machine I got for Christmas. Regular orange juice for the kids and several selections for brunch itself.
A spinach and bacon Quiche, Easter egg fruit pizza, bunny shaped Orange rolls, and carrot shaped pre-rolled silverware. To make this easy cleanup, The Dollar Store is my go to for Tablecloths, plastic table ware, napkins and plates. I like the idea of very little cleanup. I can remember going to family gatherings and the ladies spent quite a bit of time after dinner putting food away and doing dishes. Even with the dishwasher it still took quite some time and more than one load. It’s not the most environmentally friendly, but in this case throwing away the plates, napkins, and tableware, cloth if need be saves hours that can be spent with little and big ones this Easter.
The phrase “They grow up so fast”, is more true than most of us think. It seems only yesterday of oldest was just learning to walk. She is now getting ready for her first ballet recital.
To one and all I hope these ideas inspire your family fun. To all the hunters out there good luck and happy egg finding. Live, Love, Laugh, as your Easter is filled with wonder, good food and the blessing of family to surround you.
We love ideas and like to keep things fun, new, and exciting, so what do you do for this occasion? Share your traditions, recipes, menus, games, and gifts. We’d love to hear from you. If you like any of their ideas featured here make sure you visit the links to their sites.
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Facing the rest of the year ahead.
If you’re like me we look at the year ahead and try to put habits in place that will make it easier to handle. My Pintrest boards are getting lots of added ideas. Every thing from recipes to holiday ideas, and don’t forget to update the calendars. I take this time out to both show myself some love, and get organized. Anyone who knows me has seen me go a little OCD when being organized. I try to start with the basics. Holidays, Anniversarys, home and garden, Birthdays and finance, parties, and other projects throuout the year. I start with the basics.
My planner/engagement/brain for the year. I like a full desk size book. Why paper you ask? In the digital world we live in things like smartphone, tablets, smart tv, and even the laptop & desktop give us access to technology at our fingertips. Paper and pen are still my go to medium. I will probably add it to my digital devices, but for my main list I prefer paper. It’s where I start from. If you’ve ever tried updating or creating a note when you were fast asleep you’ll know why I still keep my pen and paper.
I enjoy daily/weekly/monthly views in my planner. It helps me stay on track with both what I need to do today as well as looking ahead in the week or month. There are a lot of free pages available that can be printed however knowing myself, I would probably take a page out and loose it as I become involved in what ever project I’m currently working on. The last several years I’ve turned to Cat Naps.
It is wire bound so I can leave it open atop my desk for quick daily checkins. I have important dates, appointments, moon cycle, holidays, and contact info that I transfer yearly into everyone. I usually purge or make changes as I go. I know your reading this and saying I have all that in my phone. I do too, but the tangible works better to help me stay on track.
As the bills arrive by mail I enter the due dates, and mail by dates. Jot gift ideas as I come across them by person. I often hear people say I wish I had this or that, if appropriate I make a note of it and the name. As my husband and I do not have 9 to 5s it helps track both income and expenses.
My digital lifesaver is a financial program I read about in a top app review… from
I love it!!! There are lots of competition in this area, probably including your regular bank.
Prism is a safe and secure way to not only keep up with but pay my bills as well. “Prism is the easy personal finance app for managing and paying bills. • “Love, love, love this app! For those of you stranded by Mint Bills…..This IS your life preserver ..”
It gives reminders, schedules payments, income and current balances of both bank accounts and credit cards. It saves me a great deal of time, stamps, and energy. Unlike some I don’t have to go between apps to get all the info I need. it does take some time for initial setup but so worth it! Even locks the info on your phone if you left it up. Keeps prying eyes out of your personal information yet with a pin code it can easily be synced to all your devices.
With these two it’s easy to control the chaos in my world. Well time to finish this up because according to my handy book it says I have more to do before hubby gets home from his job. Weeding recipes for collection cookbook to be ready for Mothers Day, Plan Easter Family Gathering, and take some free time to catch up on my to be read pile of books. What do you do to stay on track in your busy life?? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Cooking Up Memories
Wow! Where did the year go? I would like to apologize for the hiatus in posts.
It was not planned that’s for sure. As many of you know I have been taking physical therapy since my spinal surgery two years ago, however as I prepared to leave for my weekly appointment I started experiencing shortness of breath. As I attempted to get in my wheelchair, I started not being able to breathe. I asked my husband to call 911. I awoke 5 days later having never met the paramedics who came and transported me to hospital. I was in respiratory distress, a breathing tube was inserted and kept in a medically induced coma while testing and stabalizing treatment was given. Luckily the drugs they gave means I remember nothing about this obviously scary time I spent in ICU.
Ten days in step down care before release to a skilled nursing facility. After another twenty days ton make sure prescribed therapy worked I was released to go home on October 30th. As a result I combined my homecoming dinner with my birthday celebration also the 30th. With Thanksgiving fast approaching the stress of the holidays starts creeping in. My answer is to remember just how lucky I am. The main thing I would tell anyone is to cherish the time the we have with family and friends. Instead of coveting toys, gadgets,clothing, or other material items take a brake from the hustle; look around and see all the blessing in your life you have to be thankful for. Friends, family, pets, even a kind word from strangers.
One event that I will never forget ; I think I met my guardian angel during my stay in hospital. After friends, family, visited I have to admit I was feeling really down with fears creeping in. I went to bed that night to shut off my brain from all those stupid thoughts. So 3am comes around and they collect blood for laboratory testing. The room was freezing, this beautiful young girl felt how cold my hand was she was encouraging me to get warm. I’m not proud of it but I was feeling pretty low and I just did not care which way it ended. She stayed with me. Held and rubbed my hand to warm it. She only left long enough to get some heated blankets. The rest of the time she held my hand and sought to reassure me that I would be deeply missed in this world. This girl didn’t know me at all. I’ve never had someone touch my life so profoundly. I try to make it a point to leave nothing unsaid. When I told her how mush her gestures and caring touched me she replied that she was just glad that she could help. After making me feel better she collected her sample, encouraged me to get some more rest because the sun was gonna come up soon enough. When my door closed the biggest thought was this bright light in this world just left me and I didn’t even know her name.
I’m happy to say I related this to my wonderful nurse and she agreed that it was in deed special. She helped me find out her name and since patients do not talk directly to their supervisor I could mention her in glowing terms in the follow-up survey following my stay. Wherever you are Whitney I want you to know how special you are. I hope this holiday season is indeed magical. If by some chance you get to read this please know how special you are and I hope you continue being a light in this sometimes dark world.
As we move into the holiday season I hope the world benefits from many more just like her. I have many people who are special to me and I have seen evidence of how simple gestures can touch the lives of others but this is probably the first time I have been so profoundly touched by a stranger. I hope there are many more like her and they continue sharing that special gift with the world.
Ok, kids are headed back to the classroom, school shopping done! Back to the world of conversing with people you can actually see, without bending double.
Take a deep breath, a mini spa stay and start getting ready for the back/busy half of the year. Work, kids school projects, meetings, sleep overs, and Holiday traditions on the horizon.
Me, I love fall!! Temperature drops, colorful falling leaves, Labor Day, Football Season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and if you were wondering what people do when it’s too cold outside and the internet is down you should see the list of Birthdays in my family. Especially if they live north of the Mason Dixon Line (assuming you can find it)! So here’s to hot chocolate, sweater weather, cute boots and the extra caffeine I claim is needed to spread the love during the hectic seasons just around the corner.
So, my posts have been very erratic lately as my Charlie kitty has been sick, I’ve been down with minor health issues. Have you ever tried giving both oral antibiotics and eye drops to a cat? I’m trying to put together, a very personal family gift for Christmas, along with other diy for Birthdays, and Holidays to come. I find early preparation and organization, let me spread cheer and not be overwhelmed. This year has also added intense physical therapy as I regain my ability to walk.
So I’m asking for some help. I want to create a one of a kind cookbook. I’ll be chiding our top family favorites, traditions, and some new to try. I want to include both the memories they invoke like Mom’s Pizza and pictures if available. So what makes the top of the list in your family? Help me choose from the recipes I post. Have you tried it? What are your thoughts? Do you have a Holliday tradition that you love to share? I strive for the feelings of love that warm even the coldest months of the year. Like my childhood memories filled with hugs, more food than is possible to eat and extra kisses under the mistletoe in my grandparents foyer chandelier. My dad would take us on a holiday light drive since we did not put up one of our own. The only interruption, hot chocolate, from his favorite doughnut shop. My sister-in-law started the Halloween Decorations, which have bloomed into my Birthday/Halloween party.
Don’t forget football season! Use any and every excuse to show some love and never regret giving enough!
As we celebrate this weekend and Tuesday the 4th of July, let us remember in our hearts and family cookout why we celebrate. The last number of years have divided the right and left to such a degree that we are seeing people on both sides moved to violence. With that in mind I remember this clip being important enough for my grandparents, and father all whom have served. I find my self looking to this explanation, that we seem to be loosing sight of as the next news scandal breaks. I think this is the true meaning as it should be for all who call America home.
These “trivial” things like our Flag and Pledge belong to all who shelter in her borders. Immigrant or natural born our Citizens and our commitment to unify behind our Flag and Founding documents are what makes this country Unique. American covers the great diversity to meld, join, and support both our differences and beliefs that “All men are created equal.” As a woman I believe it covers me too. This country was formed of the belief that we can find ways to come together to focus on our strengths not be divided by our differences, and if need be set them slightly to the side if only for a moment to the good of all. With the rules of law upheld by we who live, work, and create families here.
While this is my fondest wish, I also live in the world of today. I see parts of both here in reality land, and my honesty, usually relegatess me to one side or the other. My biggest wish for the generations my family and friends currently foster will get to live in my vision of what ‘American’ should be. So as we enjoy moms homemade potato salad while, the men handle ‘The Grill’ all the way to the fireworks shows after dark… I hope we pass on the essence of America and how special we are. Bought and paid with lives of the fallen to give us the peace we have today. To come together, to be free! Let us remember the difference we can make in the world with that vision both here and abroad.
I hope it does not take an Independence Day for us to see the true path here in America, and around the world. Happy 4th! Be Happy and Safe. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. See our latest on Facebook, Google+, Pintrest, Twitter, and of course here! Jens Perspective. What’s your family tradition?
A special Thank you for posting video.
Happy Fathers Day…. in society today that term is special. Anybody can be a father, but Daddy is a big job!!! Growing up I can remember meeting my dad when he came home from work. Blue collar all the way, bear hugs, and tickles came with him. He smelled of coffee, engine grease, and Brut aftershave. He worked hard everyday, sometimes two jobs and had very definate ideas that some find old fashioned. For all our differences of opinion as an adult I can honestly say i’m greatful for being raised this way. We learned the value of a dollar, manners, and respect.
. Daddy’s chase away monsters under the bed or in the closet. He worked hard for our family and spent time with us growing up. He took imaginary phone calls, drank tea at tea parties, and helped mom make the coolest blanket forts. Daddy’s are mysterious creatures and I’ll explain what I mean. Mine was a real ‘guy’. He didn’t do things in the kitchen unless it was a Saturday or Sunday. He did not wear blue jeans. Button up shirts, flannel in winter. Dad made the waffles or pancakes. (Mom had to make the eggs and bacon… He didn’t do that). Electronic toys are great but, I learned how I should be treated by my future husband, by watching his example. Mine wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for me.
I remember having one of those moments in time where you realize how lucky you are. At my younger brothers wedding I watched his bride dance with her father, of all my siblings I was fortunate enough to have a father daughter dance. I miss the whit and gentle teasing. I would meet him for breakfast, at a really early hour. That was one of his quirks, if he had to be up extra early he thought we should too. This sucked growing up on Saturday mornings. Unless he was making bbq, he spent years perfecting that.
I carry him with me everyday, as I passed on to others he lives on in my heart. I see his example shine through when my brothers play with their children. Even when they don’t want to admit it. My dad lost his battle with cancer in 2011. I vividly remember in coming to terms with his death how lucky we were to grow up in a world where more and more families fathers are absent. I wish they had visiting hours in heaven, but until they do, Daddy I Love You. To all the dads out there I hope you become the hero in your family. Daddy’s help us see ourselves like this.
To all the dads especially if you grew up without one and know find yourself in the role. Spend as much time together as you can. To my half siblings I hope you got to spend time with the same father I grew up with. Children have no owners manuals and parents genrally do the best parenting they are able. I hope both children and adults remember that word of wisdom mine left with me.