You’re a Grand Old Flag, a High Flying Flag!

You are a grand old flagMay, June and July are great months for patriotic minded people. It starts with Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day in May, Flag Day on June 14th and Independence Day on July 4th.

This patriotic jigsaw puzzle, entitled “Grand Old Flag” by artist Ray Simon, shows different symbols that represent some aspects of Americans’ patriotism: the bald eagle, the flag and the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima during World War II. The Bald Eagle is our national bird and national animal. It is prominently featured on the Great Seal of the United States of America. It is also important to Native American cultures. The “Star Spangled Banner” is our national flag. In its current form with 50 states and 13 stripes has been in use since July 4th, 1960. The Battle of Iwo Jima took place from  February 19th to March 26th, 1945. Even though it was not of great strategic value for its staging base and fleet base, it was used for emergency aircraft use by the US Military. What it is most prominently known for is as the location of one of the fiercest and bloodiest battles in the Pacific theater during World War II. During this battle, six Marines lifted the US Flag over Mount Suribachi to indicate that the US had advanced in the battle. The painting here is based on the Pulitzer prize winning photograph by Joe Rosenthal.

As you and your loved ones assemble this puzzle, it would be a great opportunity to share memories of other important patriotic times in history.

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Do You Have A Story About Strawberries On This Strawberry Morning?

Strawberry MorningBesides school ending for the year, one of the things that I enjoy about the month of June is the strawberry harvest. Strawberries are a very popular fruit around the world, having been first cultivated from wild strawberries in Brittany [in France] since the late 1700s.

I especially love freshly harvested strawberries. I remember when I was a child that I never liked strawberries. But then one day my mother bought some that were freshly harvested that morning at a farmers’ market. My father enjoyed eating them, and decided to offer some to me safe in the knowledge that I would do as I had always done and turn him down. Thus, he would be a good father by offering healthy fruit to me but also safe because he would still get half of the berries. But, suddenly, I changed my mind and tried them. I realized that freshly harvested strawberries are scrumptious and addictive and I wanted all my fair share! He couldn’t believe it! No extra berries for him that day! And I have loved freshly picked strawberries with a bit of sugar on them ever since.

As you and your loved ones assemble this 300 piece jigsaw puzzle, entitled “Strawberry Morning”, you can reminisce over your own favorite, funny childhood memories as well as get out a bowl of strawberries and have a great snack.

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Do You Know Which US State Has The Most Lighthouses?: (Bon Voyage: United States)

Bon Voyage: The United StatesBefore we had electronic navigational systems on ships, people used lighthouses to guide ships around dangerous coastlines. According to Wikipedia, the modern era of lighthouse construction began at the turn of the 18th century. With the increase of transatlantic travel, people became really aware of the greater need for the light to guide ocean travelers around dangerous coastlines. The light from these lighthouses  be seen up to 20 miles [32 Km] away.

Do you know which US State has the most lighthouses along its coast? If you guessed Michigan, you would be correct! Of the over 1,000 lighthouses in the United States of America, approximately 150 of them are found in Michigan. Because of their important role in the history of the United States, the symbol of the lighthouse has become an important cultural symbol even though it is no longer as necessary to the shipping industry as it once was.

As you and your loved ones assemble this 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle entitled “Bon Voyage: United States”, it would be a great time to explore the history of Lighthouses in the United States or another country, and maybe even make plans to go visit one nearest you.

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The Mountains Declare His Glory!

Thomas Kinkade Mountains Declare His GloryThis beautiful painting by Thomas Kinkade, painted in 2000, is based upon Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

According to the painter’s website, this painting was birthed after a visit to Yosemite Valley National Park in the Sierra Madre Mountains of California. He was so taken by the grandeur of this scene that this Bible verse came to his mind, and he felt compelled to paint this scene.

In the center, he included a scene of a Miwok Native American village. According to Wikipedia, the Miwoks are located in Northern California and first encountered Europeans in 1769. Today there are about 3,500 in total.

As you and your loved ones assemble this puzzle entitled “The Mountains Declare His Glory”, it would be a great time to discuss other times in which you have been in awe over God’s beauty in nature around us. You can find this and other Nature and Landscape jigsaw puzzles at A+ Puzzles, Etc.

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Check Out this Bluebird Lookout! : Do You Know About these Types of Bluebirds?

Bluebird Lookout Lori SchroyOne of the delights of spring and summer in the northeastern United States is being able to see and hear the birds outside of one’s window. In this puzzle, entitled “Bluebird Lookout”, the bluebird is the main feature.

There are three types of bluebirds: Eastern, Western and Mountain. Eastern and Western look similar to each other [blue and rusty colors] while the Mountain Bluebird is mostly blue. They are found throughout North America.

According to Wikipedia, they are the perfect garden bird because they eat garden pests, especially mealworms. They also love to eat berries during the winter. As you and your loved ones assemble this puzzle, it would be a great time to discuss which insect you think this bluebird will pounce on first for its dinner! You can find it and other Bird jigsaw puzzles at A+ Puzzles, Etc.

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Do You Know the History of Spring Tulips?

Spring Tulips Marjolein BastinOne of the beautiful signs of spring occurs at the first bloom of Tulips. Tulips originated in Eurasia and Northern Africa from Portugal and Spain all the way to Eastern China. Although, they could be found as far north as southern Siberia, they aren’t documented as being in the Netherlands until 1594, where they are extremely popular.

Award winning Dutch artist Marjolein Bastin has beautifully recreated a Spring scene of Tulips in Spring. According to her website, she loves to paint nature scenes in order to “hold forever” the impression that nature had left on her. She uses her artwork to encourage people to “pause and enjoy nature” and thus, find peace and serenity in their lives.

Assembling this puzzle entitled “Spring Tulips” will doubly enable you and your loved ones to pause and find peace because not only would you be dwelling upon a peaceful scene, but also be able to take life at a slower pace and chat with each other. You can find it and other Spring jigsaw puzzles at A+ Puzzles, Etc.

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Kindred Spirits of a Mayan Woman and Her Horse

Friends in KindWhen most Americans want to celebrate all things Mexican they usually think of Cinco de Mayo, or May 5th. But actually the best time to celebrate is during National Hispanic Heritage Month which lasts from 15 September to 15 October. September 15th was chosen because it is the Independence Day for 5 Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their Independence Days on the 16th and 18th of September.

Arizona based artist Maria Sharylen has beautifully created this painting [originally entitled “Kindred Spirits”] of a Mayan woman and her horse as an example of two kindred spirits.  Besides the joy that comes from two creatures who enjoy each other’s presence, this painting would also fit well in any Hispanic Heritage Month celebration because it is thanks to Hernan Cortes that horses are in the Americas. He introduced them to Central America in 1519.

As you and your friends and family members who are interested in horses or Hispanic heritage assemble this jigsaw puzzle entitled “Friends in Kind”, it would be a great time to discuss the joys that come from being with horses, or the accomplishments that Hispanic and/or Native Americans have created in the last 500 years. You can find it and other Horse jigsaw puzzles at A+ Puzzles, Etc.

 

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Honoring our Military on Armed Forces Day / Week

The Armed ForcesWhile Memorial Day honors those who have perished in armed conflicts, and Veterans’ Day honors those who have served in the military, Armed Forces Day honors those who are presently serving in the five military branches – Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. It falls on the third Saturday in May, which is at the end of Armed Forces Week.

Of the five branches, the oldest three [Army, Navy and Marines] were created in 1775, thus making them older than the nation itself. The Coast Guard was created in 1790 and then the Air Force came into being in 1947. According to Wikipedia, Armed Forces Day was created in 1949 and first celebrated 20 May 1950. Previously, each branch was celebrated on its individual day.  It is celebrated with parades, receptions and air shows.

As you and your loved ones assemble this puzzle, you can use it as another way to celebrate the Armed Forces, or someone that you know of personally who is currently serving in the Armed Forces. You can find it and other Patriotic & Military jigsaw puzzles at A+ Puzzles, Etc.

 

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What Would Make A Mother’s Perfect Day?

A Mothers Perfect Day Thomas KinkadeWhat would make a mother’s day be perfect? There are many different answers to this question because there are so many different types of mothers in the world. For the Thomas Kinkade Studios, this idyllic scene shows a possible example of a mother’s perfect day because it is a reminder of impromptu family picnics and exploring nature with her children.

I love this picture because of the beautiful variety of colors, and especially the inclusion of Dogwood trees that one can see in bloom everywhere during April and May. Regardless of whether or not you are a mother, this scene captures what a perfect day in May would look like.

As you and your loved ones assemble this picture, it would be a great time to discuss what a perfect day would look like to all of you, as well as share your favorite memories with your mother and/or children. You can find it and other Spring jigsaw puzzles at A+ Puzzles, Etc.

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Fillies and Flowers

Fillies and Flowers SpringA delightful activity that nature lovers anticipate each spring is to have a relaxing walk through the grass, so that one can stop and smell the flowers. This is a sweet, restful picture which can remind us of pleasant strolls through the meadows when we were children.

I wonder for whom she is creating the bouquet of flowers? Is it for herself, her best friend or her mother? As you and your loved one assemble this puzzle, you can discuss this along with sharing with each other fond memories of childhood strolls in nature in the spring. You can find this and other Horse jigsaw puzzles at A+ Puzzles, etc.

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