Cocked & Loaded, Shootin’ Stars, & Blasting Giv3away H0P

Cocked & Loaded, Shootin’ Stars, & Blasting Giveaway Hop

(Click on the hottie above to return to the LINKY LIST)

July 5th – 11th

Hosted by:

Hello Everyone!  Are you are ready to celebrate Independence?  Well Nikki, Ronda, and a host of wonderful Co-sponsors are celebrating big.  Yes, we are Cocked & Loaded with some amazingly great books, Shootin’ Stars with the Authors & Bloggers, and Blasting a Giveaway with TWO (2) KINDLE FIRES loaded with the Co-Sponsored Authors’ book (s).

Cool Right!  Not only that, at each stop on the hop you have more chances to win more great prizes. So join in and let’s have some fun! Here’s my post now…

We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!

I used to teach elementary school, every grade but Kindergarten. My favorite grade was fourth for one simple reason. I got to teach American History. For me teaching was all about the experience, so we didn’t just learn about the birth of our nation, we LIVED it.

To begin, I divided the class into Patriots and Loyalists. I was the governor appointed by the King and wrote many ridiculous laws that pissed off my constituents. Laws such as a pencil sharpening tax, a snack tax, a paper tax. Some I had to repeal. But I refused to repeal the chair stacking tax. Students had to pay a tax to get their chairs in the morning.

 Well, there was outrage and a boycott. (Think Boston Tea Party, although I hadn’t taught them about this yet.) Imagine this, if you will… Students refusing to take chairs and sitting on the floor all day. Some students spying on each other and telling me their plans. Some others “borrow” some “money” to pay their taxes. Still other students meeting secretly in corners of the room, writing a letter to the king complaining about how unfair the laws are and they are done with England. YES! Success!


They wrote their own Declaration of Independence! And THAT’S when I taught them about the American Revolution.


My students could really appreciate what our Founding Fathers and colonists risked to break away from England and form their own country. They marveled at the rag tag army Washington led and enjoyed learning how the Constitution came to be written and what it contained. 


At one point, they became Congress and learned how a bill became a law, creating their own and putting it through the process.

So, Happy Birthday, America! We’ve come a long way, baby!


In honor of our country’s birth, I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of Picture Perfect to one lucky person who:
1. subscribes to my website here and…
2. leaves me a comment here telling us what you do on Independence Day.



91 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Preston says:

    Happy 4th of July. I am in Australia. We celebrate Australia Day in January. It’s not the same thing , but it’s our day. We have fireworks & a BBQ.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Fantastic, Mary! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Crystal Clifton says:

    We usually stay home but this year we are going to the 4th of July parade YAY Happy 4th of July and thanks for the giveaway

    1. deenaremiel says:

      You’re welcome, Crystal. We celebrated on the 3rd this year at a huge event with fireworks. It was lovely. 🙂

      1. Crystal Clifton says:

        I was shocked when my husband asked if I wanted to go and it actually was a lot of fun he even got in on the candy grabbing LOL We have been married near 29 years and this is the first time he has ever done that Happy Fourth

        1. deenaremiel says:

          LOL! Aw, the big man turned into a little boy at a parade. I love it! 😀 Happy Fourth!

  3. Debi says:

    Dera Deena,

    Thanks so much for sharing your methodology when you were teaching history to your year four students. How brilliant! I wish more teachers could put their heart and soul into teaching, as you obviously did. I’m in Australia, and spent most of my school years travelling both New Zealand, and Australia, and was both blessed and cursed to have been taught by many, many teachers. I think the two best teachers I had were both in NZ. One was Miss Forest whom I adored, the other was a teacher who’s name I cannot recall, but the belt in his drawer was called Charlie, and he was the only teacher in the school. I learnt to kick a football at that school, although not terribly well, but I believe that it was in his school that the ‘boundaries’ between age, sex, and colour disappeared. For that, I will always be grateful.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Thanks for the compliment on my teaching, Deb. I’m glad you had at least 2 impressionable teachers in your life. We can make such a huge impact on children. I always hope I’m making a positive one. 🙂

  4. Renee Waring says:

    Happy Independence Day Deena!
    We usually have a swim and picnic with our kids and grandkids but they are getting older and this year have made plans with their friends. Hubby and son will go to the D-Backs game tonight and the puppy and I will stay home and read. Life goes on 😉

    1. deenaremiel says:

      That’s so funny, because my eldest is going somewhere else today while the rest of us are going to a friend’s house. Yup, time marches on and our kids find fun elsewhere. lol

  5. Jody Duffy says:

    We go to a friends house for swimming and a BBQ. Then we watch fireworks from the top of a Target Parking Garage where here in Orlando, you are surrounded by fireworks going off from Disney, Universal, Sea World, City of Orlando, and any other illegal participants. 😉

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Jody! SO lucky! 🙂 We went to Disney one year for the 4th and had a blast! It’s pretty wild watching all the different towns doing fireworks at the same time. 🙂

  6. Today we’re going to a friends house for a “Running of the bulls” and then we are headed out to guthrie for dinner, a bday party, & Fireworks with my husband’s grandparents. Normally we try to go to at least one show but we’ve got so much going on with the move that i dont think that will happen this year.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      All right, Terri, you’ve intrigued me… quotes around “Running of the Bulls”. Please come back and explain! LOL

  7. Sandy Lion says:

    I spend the 4th with my family up north and have a tradithional cook out and sit out on the deck and read a book and relax…..ahhhhhhh. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Ahhhh, Sandy, that sounds delightful! 🙂

  8. Kassandra says:

    Lots of good food! Hang out with some friends.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Kassandra, gotta love it!

  9. April London says:

    *squeee* What an awesome way to teach!!!! My calling has never been to teach but history is in my blood… and that is spectacular!

    We are very low key on the 4th. The Saturday before the 4th, our neighbors have a huge family reunion and do a fireworks display that we watch from our back porch. On the 4th, i love to hear the fireworks being shot in the neighborhoods around us. I can close my eyes and imagine what it must have been like to live near a battlefield…. the fireworks exploding like canons…. *goosebumps*

    Happy Fourth!!!!

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Thank you, April! I couldn’t see me doing it any other way. 🙂 I love your imagery for the 4th. We used to live 3 minutes away from Battleground State Park and would go to the re-enactments each summer. Very cool…

  10. tore923 says:

    I am a follower and email subscriber. We have a cookout.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Thanks for sharing! Happy 4th… 😉

  11. neljo mullins says:

    we stayed home and had a cookout

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Hope it was fun and relaxing! 🙂

  12. Ronda Tutt says:

    Awesome post! Thanks for being apart of the hop. Sending you hugs!

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Awww, I’m lovin’ it! You put on a great HOP, girl! 😀 Hugs right back. Gonna go look around myself now… lol

  13. yganoe says:

    We had the family over and did lots of grilling and eating.

  14. anna says:

    We just stayed home this year and relaxed. Was great 🙂


    1. deenaremiel says:

      We’ve done that in the past and enjoyed ourselves, too. 🙂

  15. mabledsoe says:

    This year I did yard work and cooked hamburgers. The weather was to dry for fireworks and family were all working 😦

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Usually it’s super dry here, too. But man, was it humid this year! Made fireworks fun to play with… 😉

  16. wolphcall says:

    We stayed home all day & relaxed.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      I love doing that. The family did that the other day,watching movies and eating popcorn and candy. 🙂

  17. Anne Nelson says:

    Thanks so much sweet Deena for this amazing giveaway!!! *angel hugz n luvz*

    1. deenaremiel says:

      It’s our pleasure. 🙂

  18. katsrus says:

    I would of loved a teacher like you! I stayed in my air watching fireworks on TV. Thanks for the giveaway. I follow by email.
    Sue B

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Thanks, Sue B! It was so humid the past couple of nights, staying inside would have been much more comfortable.:)

  19. Patti Williams says:

    We spent the 4th in the pool most of the day. Supper was an easy cookout and them fireworks with the kids. It was nice to stay home and stay cool.
    Subscribed to email patti1075(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Sounds absolutely delightful, Patti. 🙂

  20. debi01760 says:

    Spent the day at the beach. Came home to the staples: macaroni salad, burgers and apple pie 🙂

    Subscribed by email

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Ahhh,the beach. I miss the beach… 😀

  21. Love the 4th. I am like a little kid watching the fireworks. =)

    I am pretty sure I signed up via email but I received no confirmation. Let me know. I don’t want to be disqualified.


    1. deenaremiel says:

      Lordy, but we love fireworks, too! 🙂 No worries, you’re good…

  22. Diane Sallans says:

    We usually barbeque, but this year was just so hot that we went to the movies & saw Spiderman than had dinner at Macaroni Grill.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  23. Andie Wardlow says:

    I ended up working in the! Came home to relax before we went to Grandma’s for a bbq…had fun with the family. Watched fireworks and my favorite thing is shooting Grandpa’s canon…so stinkin’cool!
    Email subscriber

    1. deenaremiel says:

      A cannon! WOW! That is so cool! 😀

  24. normally we would watch fireworks on the dock but this year we just stayed in. I caught up on emails and reading!!
    Not sure how I am following but it would be under imajicasnow or Christina Cessna

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Christina, on the dock sounds very cool. to sign up just click on the “sign me up” button 😀

  25. Kelly R says:

    I am a follwer.
    Twitter @ronnkelly3
    This year we stayed home, but I usually have a big cookout..

    1. deenaremiel says:

      It’s nice to kick back sometimes and just stay home. 😉

  26. We just stayed in and enjoyed each others company, under the covers.
    Follow by email

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Made some fireworks of your own,eh? Love it! 😉

  27. Rachel Robertson says:

    For the 4th we bbqed with friends and family and went to the beach for the fireworks show 🙂 Hope yours was great! Thanks for the giveaway!
    email subscriber: malibu311 at live dot com
    twitter follower: @tamegypsy

    1. deenaremiel says:

      You’re welcome, and the beach sounds like the perfect place to watch fireworks. 🙂

  28. Lisa Hackney says:

    We spent the fourth of July relaxing with the kids, having a bbq and watching the neighbors set off fireworks! I follow you via email

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Sounds like it was fun! 🙂

  29. Vanessa N. says:

    We had a family BBQ and then all went to see the fireworks.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      That’s what we did. 🙂

  30. Thanks for the giveaway! We just spent quality family time together and I got lots of reading time in.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      You’re welcome, Molly! Lucky girl to getting reading time in! 🙂

  31. Forgot my email….molly(@)reviewsbymolly(.)com

  32. Sherry S. says:

    I spent the 4th at home by myself all day and that night I watched fireworks.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

    1. deenaremiel says:

      I would love to have some alone time every now and again. 🙂

  33. Susan W. says:

    Spend time with family either cooking or just hanging out.


    1. deenaremiel says:

      I love hanging out. No pressure, Just fun. 🙂

  34. Kathy Ross says:

    We don’t do too much. Sometimes we go to the parade and we can just sit out back of our house to see the fireworks. I subscribe by email also.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Right out in your back yard you get to see fireworks? Lucky… 😉

  35. Thanks for the chance to win!!! This year for the 4th we spent the day tubing down the river…fun times!
    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

    1. deenaremiel says:

      My daughter loves to go tubing, too! 🙂 What a blast she always has… 🙂

  36. Theresa Newbury says:

    Mine and sister’s families got together for food and fireworks, All had a blast!

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Good times, good times… 😉

  37. Jessie Llewellyn says:

    We spend it watching the town parade; enjoying good food & watching the fireworks.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      I’ve only ever been to a Memorial Day Parade. I bet a 4th of July parade must be a blast. 🙂

  38. Donna Singer says:

    Thanks for the contest. We spent the the day watching the parade and fireworks

    1. deenaremiel says:

      I love parades! Glad you had fun! 🙂

  39. I was working at a festival for my new business to get some leads. Then watched fireworks

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Hopefully the festival was fruitful for you. 🙂

  40. VanillaOrchids says:

    Normally my family will get together for a barbeque and then fireworks. This year there was no barbeque but my sister did get some fireworks. LOL
    Thanks for the giveaway!


    1. deenaremiel says:

      I love fireworks but they make me a little nervous. Some can be unpredictable or when we go to watch, if the wind is the wrong direction, we can get rained on with debris. Yuck! LOL

      1. VanillaOrchids says:

        Yeah, I know that first hand. LOL When I was little I was sitting on a well platform near my dad with a small box of fireworks between us. He was trying to light a sparkler, I believe, and accidentally set the whole box off. No one got hurt but it was pretty scary at the time.


  41. bookattict says:

    I had to work on July 5th, so I stayed at home and had some family over for a cookout.

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com (following)

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I love cookouts. We used to do them all the time back east.Funny how we hardly do them anymore since we moved to AZ…

  42. JoAnna B says:

    I was at my in-laws house with the family. We hung out in the pool and went to the fireworks in the evening. It was very hot!

    beckerjo at verizon dot net

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Wish we still had our pool out back…

  43. Tammy Byles says:

    We spent the 4th together as a family, I have 8 kids so lets say it was LOUD! O ;pve s[emdomg the entire day just hanging out with the entire family. We always have a huge BBQ! Love the salads, BLT is my favorite!
    Thanks for the contest
    email and twitter

    1. deenaremiel says:

      WOW! That is one huge instant party! LOL BLT is my fave sandwich ,so I imagine it would be my fave salad. 🙂

  44. deenaremiel says:

    SUE B!!!! YOU’RE OUR WINNER OF A SIGNED PAPERBACK OF PICTURE PERFECT!!!! WOOT WOOT! I’ll be emailing you for your snail mail addy! 😀 CONGRATS!!!!

  45. katsrus says:

    I am sooooo happy right now!!! Thank you so much! Got your email and replied back.
    Sue B

    1. deenaremiel says:


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