Sue Thornton
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What:  Ribeyes & Rods Steak Cook-Off & Hot Rod Show 2015

When:  June 13, 2015 | 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Where:  Tavern on Main Street, 115 E. Main St. (Belt Line Rd.), Richardson, TX  75081


This fun event is benefiting the Richardson Animal Shelter and also American Trooper, benefiting our veterans here in Richardson, TX.  American Trooper has a resale/thrift store that directly benefits our veterans who need a hand up, not a hand out!

This is a great, fun event for you and the family to attend.  It is FREE to attend with plenty of parking.  There will be a kids area with face painting, a dunk booth, a magician and Sno-cones!!!  

The Steak Cook-Off has cash prizes ranging from $1500 down to $50.  Check out for more information.

The Hot Rod Show is $50 entry fee for each car and cash prizes from $2000 down to $500.

Scheduled to appear on the live music outdoor stage are:  Jeff Hopson, Chuck Ligon, Aubrey Lynn England, Brad Purdom & more.  Many local companies will be showcasing their companies and products in the vendor area.  

Platinum Sponsors are:  Legacy Texas Bank, MAS Law Firm, Tavern on Main Street, Linear Automotive.

Other sponsors are:  Kwik Kar, Sams Club, Grill Grate, Portable Kitchen, Gann Allstate Insurance Agency, Pirates of the Primeribbean Caterers, Sysco and many others.

Sue Thornton
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See the poster below for all the information needed to attend this event.

Sue Thornton
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How many times have you heard a family story about your parents or grandparents, but there is no actual picture to validate that story?  A simple story can put us right into the picture even if there is no picture of the actual event.

For example there is a story in my family that we can call “Baby under the cherry tree”.  When you think about that in your mind we see a baby in a stroller sitting under the cherry tree. 

  • So what else can we add to this to make it more appealing?  The baby is crying!  Is it hungry, unhappy, sleepy or any number of other issues.
  • Grandparent comes over to the house and sees and hears grandchild crying under the cherry tree alone.  The parent is in the house.  Why?  Can you see the grandmother questioning this scene?

Going back to the story above, this takes place in a small Midwestern town close to the Mississippi river back in the late 1940’s.  The child’s father and uncle had purchased a coffee shop in town and it just so happened that the river overflowed its banks a week after the purchase.  The streets flooded all around it and the brothers had to sandbag the doors and around the building.  You could say they were not off to a good start! 

Due to the flooding of the town and the newly acquired coffee shop, the brothers had their wives doing the baking of pies, cakes and cookies for their coffee shop at home.  The baby was crying and would not stop so her mom put her outside under the cherry tree so they could get the baking finished.  In the meantime, grandma stopped by to see them and to also see what the high water was doing to the town.  She was really upset that ‘baby’ was outside crying all alone, but the mother and aunt told her that they just needed to get the baking done for the coffee shop and were watching her out the window!

Now, can you just “picture” that whole scene in your mind and how those snapshots would look like?  There are so many “pictures” that come to mind when we don’t have an actual photo of the event.  I am sure that you have heard stories from a family member about something funny or dramatic that happened to them or another family member, but there is no photo of the event.

These are the reasons we 1) take photos of everything, 2) we put those photos and stories into memory books for future generations to read and reminisce for years to come.


Photo Organizing Solutions can help you put those stories in writing with a memory book that includes photos and stories of events even if you don’t have a photo of a particular event.  Let me help you.  Contact me at, or email for more information about this service.

Sue Thornton
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Time is getting short to think about those graduation parties and what theme you are going to have.  You have probably already ordered those graduation pictures so now is time to put together a special memory book and a video depicting their life.


If you are interested in doing something with all those baby pictures, grade school & high school pictures.  Contact me through my website and I will be happy to call you and we can discuss your needs.  See for more information.

Sue Thornton
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Photo Organizing Solutions

Saving Your Photos

When you were going through those boxes of memories from your grandparents and great-grandparents did you find out something interesting about a family member that you did not know before?  Did you have a famous relative that you didn’t know existed?  You never know what kind of information that you will find when going through old family photos and mementos.

Don’t gamble with those memories, you need to find a way to preserve them for future generations.  I know everyone always talks about this as something they “need” to do, or “want” to do, but actually many people just don’t take the time to get started on that project.  It looks so daunting when you first look at those boxes of pictures.  How to get started, when to get started, and what am I going to do with all this “stuff” once I have actually started on the project.

You can digitize those memories and store them on your computer hard drive, but will that hard drive still be around in 5 years or even 10 years down the road?  We don’t really know the answer to that question, but technology is changing every year.  According to Ethan Miller, the Symantec presidential chair in storage and security at the University of California, Santa Cruz, newer hard drives are less susceptible to heat and other environmental factors.  You can store items on an external hard drive but you need to check it out occasionally to make sure that it is still working.  (Just like your car, it needs to be started once in a while so the battery doesn’t die!)

Another option for storing digitized photos is to put them on a CD/DVD, but I personally feel that also storing them in the cloud is a good way to preserve those memories.  We should always have multiple copies of our digital photos.  Suggested that we have at least three places where you have stored photos in case of natural disasters or just plain loss.  One copy on your computer/EHD; one copy on a DVD/CD that you give to a trusted family member; and a third copy in your bank box or some other safe place that you prefer.

There are other options for you to store photos online, including Dropbox, Google Drive and Flickr.  While disk drives and computer cables might change, it’s a good bet that the internet will be around in 50 years.



Sue Thornton
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Panstoria Software

Family Cookbook Project

My last article talked about preserving family recipes and putting them into a printed recipe book for family members.  There are many great uses for this type of unique gift.  Think about family reunions, or a wedding gift for family members.

Your mother was a great cook and she had all those great recipes written down on scraps of paper and shoved into a box but not organized, how will you ever get them put together in an organized way?  When you decide to do a family recipe book there are steps that need to be taken to ensure the book is organized and functional.  Here are some of the steps you should follow:

  1. Organize your old recipe cards, cut outs and those scraps of paper.
  2. Put them in categories such as:  meat, poultry, desserts, appetizers, side dishes, etc.
  3. Scan all these items.  Put them into folders labeled like the categories above.
  4. Then create another folder for the stories and pictures of how your family enjoyed the various recipes.

I talked about these steps in my last article, so now we need to discuss actually organizing the Family Cookbook Project.

We all long for the welcoming sight of a buffet table simmering in familiar dishes at a family gathering.  Sights, sounds and smells motivate us when we are getting ready for a family meal.  The second helpings, the full stomach and the laughter of good conversation that we remember long after the holiday meal. 

Here are a few suggestions on how to really begin organizing all those recipes into a Family Cookbook Project. 

  • You want to have everyone organize and scan THEIR recipes, take photos if possible
  • Discuss with family members how you want to organize the book
  • Will you combine the duplicates into one recipe or pick out the ones thought best
  • Create a family history with photos of the dishes and who originally cooked that dish


No matter how you decide to produce the cookbook, someone needs to organize it.  It can take a lot of time, be loads of work on the part of the organizer, but also become a rewarding experience for the entire family.  As a group make some decisions like the following before going further.

  • Determine the size of the project and set deadlines weeks ahead.
  • Set up reminders to follow-up with each contributor.
  • Will you want to produce a printed copy of this book?
  • Decide the number of recipes you want submitted from each family member.


These are great tips and there are more in this series.  Stay tuned for more information and further breakdowns of the various steps that are outlined in this article.

You can sign up for my newsletter on my website, and also get more information about my company.

If you want to do this yourself, you can check out this new content with Artisan software through my page:




Sue Thornton
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My Mother's handwritten recipe Our family enjoyed this dish for many a holiday, and now I am asked to bring the same dish to my family gatherings!

Jeannette Van Houten of Union Beach, New Jersey said “food links you back to the moment in the kitchen when your grandmother, mother or grandfather let you sneak a taste.  It is the moments of love that we often take for granted.”

Would you like to make a unique gift for your family this year?  How about tackling the project of a family inspired recipe book!  This is something that all members of the family can be a part of by suggesting recipes that they remember as part of their childhood.

Food is the ingredient that ties family memories together.  When you think about family occasions from the past – holidays, birthdays, Sunday dinners, anniversaries, special events, and reunions – the memories you often want to preserve are connected to food.

Close your eyes for a moment and you can suddenly smell the way melted butter and sage wafting through the house hypnotizes you for an entire Thanksgiving afternoon until it’s presented at the table.  The stories told over the best ways to cook that harvest are part of your family’s folklore.  You knew exactly when to pick the corn, how to wrap a fig tree or the best ways to preserve five pounds of basil leaves.  The cookbooks you collected on vacations are functional home décor that remind you of journeys traveled.

Favorite dishes have become every reason we race to be together around the family table.  They remind us of happy times when we enjoyed each other’s company over home-cooked meals and conversation.  I remember that my Mom would bake a ham and have her homemade potato salad whenever we were all going to be visiting at the same time.  It became a joke about the ham, because she always said that we could have several meals from that one dish – lunch sandwiches or dinner slices!

A family recipe book could be a wedding gift to your daughter, son, nephew, niece, mother, father or other family member.  When deciding to do a family recipe book there are steps that need to be taken to ensure you have a book that is organized and functional.  Here are the steps:

  1. Organize your old recipe cards and cut outs
  2. Put them in categories such as:  meat, poultry, desserts, breads, etc.
  3. Scan all the recipe cards and cut outs
  4. Then create another folder for the stories and pictures of how your family enjoyed the various recipes.

I will go into more depth in my next issue on actually putting the book together.  Contact me at or call 469.544.9525 for more information[i].

[i] Parts taken from 43 article

Sue Thornton
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Old Photograph Albums Do you have pictures stored in albums like this?

Do you have boxes of older family albums?  Do you have boxes of loose photographs? Do you want to preserve those items for future generations?  Most of us want to pass down those family memories to our children and grandchildren once we are gone, but don’t know how to do that besides just handing them boxes of stuff!

One way we are preserving those family photos is to digitize them by scanning.  Scanning a box of photos sounds simple enough for a single week’s task until you stare down several large plastic bins of photos that you inherited from other family members.  Your first thought is what do I do with all these images?  Your second thought is will anyone care about these besides me?  When sorting through a box of old photos, develop a keep-toss-share mentality to help you organize, and preserve family photos for scanning.

Sort your images based on time periods, groups, family members, trips, events, etc.  Many people choose to set aside the scenic images, whether they know where they were taken or not, and business photos.  Photos of family friends get their own separate pile.  If this sounds like a lot of work, you are correct.  It can be over-whelming to even think about starting the process.  So remember to set aside about 4 hours of time to start, then check to see where you are after that initial session.

I am dedicated to helping you preserve your family history photographs and projects.  Check out my website, and sign up for my newsletter.

Sue Thornton
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Family History Item

Do you have boxes of older family albums?  Do you want to preserve those items for future generations?  Here are some ways to do this yourself, or even to find someone to help you with the project.

If you have some of the older type of scrapbooks from the 1940’s and the photos are put on with photo corners and descriptions are in white ink, you can still preserve them.  We take those books, scan the entire page and then can actually make a digital book of those pages.  Easy and you can then make copies for other family members.

It is so important to scan those pictures and to save them because the longer the photos are in boxes, attics, or garages they will continue to deteriorate.  The other issue is the possibility of losing those photos in case of a home fire, water damage, or other disaster.

Check out my website,, and sign up to receive my newsletter. 

Sue Thornton
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Did You Know???

It is important to organize all those family memories.

Our friends at Flip-Pal strongly recommend organizing all those memories so families can find them later.  Have you been given the task of finding photos of family members who are recently deceased and you can only find a few of them?  Generally they are put away in boxes or files that you can't find quickly.

Between organizing old family history papers, scrapbooks and photos to digitize, clearing out attics and basements, preserving heirlooms, transferring home movies to DVDs and uploading everything from documents and emails to external backup drives and cloud-based storage, we can easily create a disorganized mess of our personal histories.
If we don’t take the initiative to create an organized system for archiving within our personal files and a backup to reference it all, we are likely to leave our heirs with an archeological dig. Simply put, the files won’t organize themselves. Take this week to create a digital archival file system that works for you and includes an index or research log of family history documents.
Being organized will better help you compose your complete family history.  (Check out 33 tips, or you can access through my website listed below)

There is a two-step process in preserving and organizing those photos.

  • Step 1:  Organize Your Photos
  • Step 2:  Merge, Save, Backup


Tip: Working for long periods of time on digital organization can strain your eyes. Get up and walk around every hour.

Tip: Hierarchy – Make it a goal to share these digital files with extended family members.


IF you want more information, check out my website and sign up for my newsletter.