The Fabulous Fourth Of July – To Honor, Celebrate and Remember!

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The 4th of July is an exciting holiday here in the United States. Retailers have created colorful flyers, are running ads, decorating their windows all with holiday ideas. These party tips include an array of recipes to impress your family and friends, how to decorate, destinations for vacation and where to see the best fireworks. I love the excitement!

I don’t want any of you to not take time to celebrate because we do have a lot to be thankful for. However, please pause at some point during all of the fireworks and fury to honor and remember why we even have the Fourth of July holiday. To smile and thank those currently serving in the military whether they are serving abroad or here at home, and, no matter their capacity: on the front lines, in boot camp, instructing in a classroom setting or in the field teaching our young men and women. To our Veterans…I wish I could hug you all…THANK YOU!  To the family and friends who remain at home to carry on…I can’t imagine what you’ve endured! I’m not for certain I could do what you are all doing – I guess we’re all designed for different paths in life.
Last evening I stayed up to watch Nightline and the segment on the ‘Elite’ group of nineteen firefighters who died in the Arizona fires. I cried along with the now widowed mother of four who was able to compose herself just long enough to share how wonderful her husband was to his community and even-more-so to his family. The one sentence that made me shiver was common in wording, but, now is justly profound..Life here will never be the same… Grown men were crying and hugging, families were holding each other closely, and, balloons and flowers placed against a chain link fence. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to bring us together. We never know who we might need in this world, so, nod to that solitary person you pass on the sidewalk, say thank you, slow down and reflect!
Here’s a true favorite to honor OLD GLORY…
Old Glory Dessert
• 1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough*
• 2 packages (one 8 ounce, one 3 ounce) cream cheese, softened
• ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
• 4 ½ t. lemon juice
• ½ c. fresh blueberries
• 2 cups quartered fresh strawberries
Press cookie dough into a greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Set aside ¼ cup.
Spread remaining cream cheese mixture over crust. Decorate with blueberries and strawberries to resemble a flag.
Cut a small hole in a corner of a pastry or plastic bag. Insert a star tip #16. Fill with reserved cream cheese mixture. Beginning in one corner, pipe stars in the spaces between the blueberries.
*Note, 2 cups of any sugar cookie dough can be substituted for the refrigerated dough.
Source: Taste of Home. Courtesy of: