Memorial Day Game Ideas

On Memorial Day (the last Monday in May), we commemorate those who fought and died for our country, as well as those who are still fighting for freedom.  You can recognize the commitment of our men and women around the world by honoring them with a special family ceremony by lowering your flag to half mast.  Say a prayer for them and their safe return home.

usa-flag-with-cloudsMost likely, you will be celebrating Memorial Day by having a BBQ; so here are some Memorial Day game ideas for all the family to enjoy, some of which will also help you remember and share the reason for the holiday.

* Play a game of touch football

* If you have permission to have your BBQ at your local park take along your baseball or softball gear and have a quick game.

* If you’re at the park, have a relay race – either separate races for adults and children or mix the teams so your evenly matched.

* Get those board games out, especially if it’s raining.

* Play charades – you could even make it Memorial Day themed with events, prominent people, TV shows, movies and books based on the military.

* Get out those kite kits and have everyone make their own kite. It would be wonderful if you can have kites with American flags.

* Play word games, such as naming a state for every letter of the alphabet

* Put on Sing Star or CDs and sing along to patriotic or US themed music
There are so many Memorial Day game ideas you can come up with besides the ones mentioned here.  While there are families across this nation who may not want to participate in Memorial Day games for obvious reasons, perhaps as an act of kindness you can pay a visit to families in your area who have lost a son or daughter.

Most importantly, remember to attend the Memorial Day Parade in your town or city, and as you enjoy the day, think about its meaning and share that with the younger members of your family.


The History of Cinco de Mayo

It’s the fifth of May, which for those of Mexican heritage means it’s the day to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Cinco de Mayo is the remembrance of the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla.  It was one of the few victories that the Mexican people had over the occupying French Army.  Mostly it was a moral victory, but still holds a solid place in the celebration of Mexico’s struggle (and ultimate victory) for independence.

The French occupation of Mexico started in the aftermath of the Mexican-American war that lasted from 1846 – 1848.  Mexico had very little money to pay its debts and declared that it would pay nothing for two years, until it could get its own finances back in order. France disagreed with the proposal and backed it up with armed forces.

history of cinco de mayo

In 1862, on the 5th of May, the well-equipped French army (along with Mexican traitors) totaled around 8000 and began its advance on the Mexican people.  The Mexicans were undermanned and ill-equipped to fight the battle.

Union forces came to the aid of the Mexican people, because of the mutual disdain for the French.  General Phil Sheridan helped to supply the Mexicans with weapons and ammunition.  American soldiers were released from duty in order to join the Mexicans in battle against the advancing French army (some experts believe that because of the United States’ assistance during the Battle of Puebla against the French, many Mexicans rushed to support the United States after Pearl Harbor).

The United States and Mexico came together to defeat an enemy that outmanned them both. By working together, the two countries were able to eventually secure their own freedoms. The French were kept out of the United States and eventually the Mexican people ran them out as well and celebrated their own independence day.

The holiday of Cinco de Mayo in America goes back to the 1860s.  It was a celebration of the cooperation between the United States and Mexico to defeat the French.  In Mexico, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo is mostly regional – with the holiday being commemorated in the state of Puebla.

For the most part, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with festivals and fairs around the United States.  There are parades, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and many more activities to celebrate the Mexican heritage in America.

Today the celebration of Cinco de Mayo has lost almost all of its historical (and unification) roots.  Few people from any heritage understand the cooperation that formed the holiday. Like many cultural celebrations (St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest and the Chinese New Year) it has been hijacked by commercial enterprises.  It’s a shame that a celebration of such significance for the two countries now seems to be nothing more than a date on the calender.


Thanks to Paul Stein on Flickr for use of the image

Mother’s Day French Toast Breakfast

Mothers Day French ToastNeed a simple breakfast recipe to surprise your Mom on Mother’s day? Try this yummy French Toast:


4 slices of bread
3 eggs
¼ C. milk
Dash of salt
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
½ C. brown sugar
¼ C. water
Sliced fruit (optional)


Melt the butter in a skillet.

In a bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and salt together. Dip the bread into the egg mixture and cook until light brown and the egg is cooked. The bread should be slightly fluffy.

Remove from the pan.

Add the brown sugar to the pan and stir until melted. Add the water and stir again. Place the bread back in the pan and turn to coat it.

Remove from the pan and serve with Mom’s favorite fruit, sliced, as a garnish or side dish.



Thanks to ralph and jenny on Flickr for the use of the image

Duck Egg Blue Speckled Easter Egg Cookies

I have been loving SweetAmbs cookie decorations ever since I discovered her on Facebook. There are many beautiful ideas and recipes on her website, which I suggest you take a look at if you want to achieve spectacular results with your cookies (or biscuits as we call them in the UK). However, these blue Easter Egg cookies with brown speckles were so appropriate for today and such a simple idea that I had to share the video:

There are many tutorials on the website and she has a book coming out soon.

Dia de Madre – Mother’s Day – Stovetop Enchilada

Looking for a simple meal to treat your Mom this Mother’s Day? If she’s a fan of Mexican food, then you should try this stovetop Enchilada recipe. Add side dishes of rice and re-fried beans.


½ lb. ground beef
¼ C. chopped onion
2 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies
½ C. water
4 corn tortillas
Shredded white cheese


Brown the ground beef in a 10 inch non-stick skillet, stirring until crumbly. Drain.

Add onion and potatoes and cook until tender.

Stir in the green chilies and water. Cook until the water evaporates.

Heat the tortillas in the microwave or skillet to soften.

Spoon the mixture onto the tortillas and roll. Sprinkle cheese on top. Microwave until the cheese melts and top with chopped lettuce and tomato.

Serve with soured cream or creme fraiche.

This is a recipe that all the family will love – not just your Mom!