“Happy Birthday Lex and many more forever”

“Happy Birthday Lex…”
Lex turns 3 today❗
He grows leaps and bounds with each unfolding moment.
It’s truly astonishing to observe, especially from the perspective of his Mom, who appreciates and cherishes him as wholeheartedly as humanly possible. 🥰
Every day is a fun adventure with him, and the whole world is our playground to explore.
I cherish these days of finding little toy cars in surprise places, like my underwear drawer and the kitchen spice cabinet, not to mention all the ones stuck in this house’s ventilation system forever. 😅
I will surely miss these days later in life, like when he no longer does funny toddler things, like stopping mid-bite during dinner to say, “hey Daddy, quack quack!” 🦆
The way he expresses himself and shows love gives me hope for a bright future ahead.
Cheers to many more years of an amazingly creative and wonderfully fulfilling life.
May all your birthday wishes come true today! 🎈🥳🎂

“Extra special Blessings and Greetings….  from all of the family and relatives…we all LOVE our extra special “LEX”…   NOW and forever!”

…. and many more….

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“Getting Ready … For the Big Birthday Party”

“I am getting ready to turn…. just one year older… to the BIG  “THREE” years  of age!”

“I feel like having lots of Fun… as everybody will be coming to our home and they will share in my big “Birthday  Cake” and lots of  “Ice Cream” as that is what  my Great Grandma likes… and she will sing to me … maybe all day long…as her way of letting my know … she likes lots of   my Birthday Cake and Ice Cream!”

“My Mom said, “When she was little … that all of the little kids called  “Grandma” …   their … “Fun Grandma”  as she would play with all of  them… all day long and always had so many good things to do!”


“This is my  little baby-sister, Ruby… she is learning to walk and to run all around the house… and  she likes to watch everything,  that I do … and then she will  be trying to do…  all the same things…  that I do!”

“I am so LUCKY… to have a wonderful  little sister… that likes to try all the silly  things that I do… so… then we can play together… as I get to teach her all the stuff , that … I  now, know how to do!”

“I will be showing my baby sister… how to blow out all of the candles on  my Birthday Cake, because…  she did not know how … to do that… when she just  turn, the big “ONE YEAR OLD”… and…  I may even let her blow out the candles on my cake… just so she knows…  how to do that… when she will have her next  BIG Birthday!”

“Now is the time to start singing…our favorite song… when we want to get “ONE” year older in a hurry!”

Have FUN… while I enjoy a nice size…  piece of Birthday Cake… just for singing the mostest!

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“SOUSA The Stars and Stripes Forever “

John Philip Sousa – 1932

Known as the March King, the U.S. Marine Band leader composed

 136 marches and recorded more than 400.


“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band recorded John Philip Sousa’s march “The Stars and Stripes Forever” on March, 3, 2009, in the John Philip Sousa Band Hall at Marine Barracks Annex in Washington, D.C.

This video was recorded for the National Museum of the Marine Corps gallery titled “A Global Expeditionary Force 1866-1916,” where visitors will find an interactive Marine Band exhibit.



Listening to this in honor of my father-in-law.
He was a WW2 veteran. He was a Marine. He passed 02/08/2020 at the age of 95.
We love you and miss you, Dad. It’s sad that I need to edit this but I’m not conservative and neither was my father-in-law.
He fought for our rights and he treated everyone equally.
When I hear this song it reminds me of back in the early 2000s when I served in the British Territorial Army.
I had the honour back then of going to the USA on attachment to the 1-188th Air Defense Artillery, North Dakota National Guard.
Each evening, a few minutes before lowering the flag on the parade square, they would play this rousing march over the loudspeakers in Camp Grafton.
It was an honour to serve alongside such a fine formation of men and women, and I have fond memories of the experience, which will forever be associated with Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever”.

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“Best-Ever Oatmeal Cookies Recipe”

Are oatmeal cookies good for you?

These cookies have an added bonus: My Best-Ever Oatmeal Cookies are packed with a cup and a half of oats and only 3/4 cup of flour.

Oats are one of my favorite ways of getting in some stick-to-your-ribs nutrition. Oats are full of healthy fiber and keep you fuller longer. Sweet raisins, instead of chocolate chips, mean no extra added sugar or fats. The combination of these two ingredients not only gives these chewy cookies their signature flavor, but bump these oatmeal raisin cookies into a healthier territory.

[ Healthy recipes can be fun, easy, and delicious! Try my Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread too! ]

What makes a cookie chewy?

What gives these cookies their extra chew, besides the obvious rolled oats and raisins, is the combination of white and brown sugar.

When creamed with the butter the white sugar adds crunch to the outside of the cookie as it caramelizes super fast. The brown sugar has more moisture, and that molasses flavor, which when combined with white sugar creates the chewiest bite at the cookie’s center.

Prep Time1 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Chewy, tasty, and healthier than a lot of other options, my Best-Ever Oatmeal Cookies will knock your socks off!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 16


  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./115g) butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./115g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz./85g) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg*
  • 3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz./105g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups (4 1/12 oz./128g) rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup (3 1/3 oz./94g) raisins


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Then line to large cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 
  • In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients, apart from the sugars. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter, white and brown sugar. Once light and fluffy add the egg and the vanilla and whip until combined
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix with a spatula until the flour has just absorbed, do not over mix.
  • Lastly, fold in the oats and the raisins. 
  • using a tablespoon measure scoop heaped tablespoons of the cookie dough onto your lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 to 2 inches between the cookies.
  • Bake for about 9-10 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and slightly risen. Don’t be tempted to bake for longer or you will lose the gooey center. 
  • Allow the cookies to cool slightly before transferring onto a wire rack to cool fully. Enjoy!
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. 

Recipe Notes

This dough also freezes really well for up to 3 months. Scoop it and freeze in balls so you can just take them out, defrost, and bake! 🙂

*Don’t eat eggs? Use my egg substitute chart for cookies!

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“Getting Ready for a Big Birthday Party”

When the word gets around to all of the members in the family… even the youngest, little Miss Ruby, herself… will do whatever she can to help.

May be an image of child, standing and indoor

“Looks like…  little Miss Ruby…knew that…  that there was a special treat on the counter… that her big brother, Lex would like… and nothing is stopping her from getting that treat for the party!”

“Sure is terrific when all those in the family… know where to find special things,  that they like…and know that a PARTY is to be had soon…will help find of all those good things…   that they want to enjoy!”

Mary Ellen Aldrich
“Little Miss Ruby is so terrific… she is learning so fast from her big brother, Lex… just a real good instructor” xoxoxoxo

May be an image of baby and indoor

“Best of  all … these “NEW Shoes” for me… help me… to run and climb… where ever I want to go… and in  a big hurry!”

“Now that we have the music and the words… let us all open those  big mouths and start the singing of that most popular song… that is sung all across América today… to our most energetic young boy,  Lex…who will be having his big third Birthday Party this weekend!

and… It does look like “Little Lex” will be our next  Pilot, as he goes flying every chance he gets!

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“New York Cheesecake”

Recipe of the Day

New York Cheesecake
Prep:  25 minutes
Cook:  45 minutes
Total Prep:  70 minutes
Servings:  6-8


1 – 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar

8 ounces cream cheese
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sour cream

1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar


First Prepare Crust:

Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

Press into a well greased, 9-inch springform pan.

Spread up the side and along the bottom of the pan.

Place in freezer and chill for 5 to 10 minutes.

Next prepare filling:

Heat oven to 400°.

In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth.

Add eggs, vanilla, and cornstarch and mix well.

Stir in  1 cup sour cream.

Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and bake for 45 minutes.

Turn off the oven and let cool 3 hours with the door slightly ajar.

Refrigerate overnight.

Prepare topping (before serving):

Combine 1 cup sour cream and 3/4 cup sugar.

Pour over chilled cheesecake before serving.

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