Saturday Morning Cartoons and McDonald’s Happy Meals: A Trip Down Memory Lane

As she sat in the drive-through line at McDonald’s, the smell of fast food flowing through her car window, a rush of childhood memories flooded her mind. It was Saturday morning and she was six years old again, laying on a quilt on the living room floor, watching Alvin and the Chipmunks. Her mom was in the kitchen preparing breakfast and the sound of her flipping pancakes and brewing coffee mingled with the jingles and theme songs coming from the television.

Meme: SpitFyre8513

The commercials during those Saturday morning cartoons were as much a part of the experience as the shows themselves. She still remembered the catchy My Little Pony jingle, and the excitement she felt when the latest Transformers toy was featured in a commercial. But what she looked forward to most was the tradition that followed: going to McDonald’s for a Happy Meal and the latest toy!

As she pulled up to the window to collect her order, the scent of French fries and burgers brought her back to the present. She couldn’t help but feel a pang of nostalgia for those childhood days, when life was simpler and McDonald’s was the highlight of her week.


As she drove away Happy Meals in the passenger’s seat, she couldn’t help but compare her childhood experience to that of motherhood in the 2020s. She realized that things had changed so much since she was a child. Today’s children were growing up in a world where screens dominated their free time and simple things didn’t have as much appeal as they did in the past.

She couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness as she thought about how different things were now. As a mother herself, she longed to give her children the same kind of childhood memories that she cherished. But she knew those days were gone and her children would have their own unique experiences.

Photo: ToyGameScroogeMcDuck

As she arrived home and unpacked the Happy Meals for her children, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction as she watched their faces light up with joy at the sight of the toys inside. The toys may have been different from the ones she remembered, but the delight they brought her children was just the same.

As she sat down for lunch with her kids, she began to reflect on the moments of childhood that had stayed with her through the years. She realized that the memories of those Saturday mornings with her mom were not just about the Happy Meals and the toys. They were about the laughter and the love that they shared over their fries and McNuggets dipped in sweet and sour sauce.

She also thought about the ways in which motherhood had changed in the 2020s. The pressures and challenges of modern parenting were vastly different from those faced by her own mother. But she also recognized that there were similarities. The desire to create lasting memories with her children, to give them a sense of joy and wonder in a world that could be overwhelming and complex.

She realized that the simple act of sharing a Happy Meal with her kids was a way of creating a tradition, of passing on a piece of her own childhood to the next generation. She felt grateful for the opportunity to do so and wondered what would someday nostalgically trigger a rewind in their mind of days gone by.

Little Blessings

When you release a book into the world you never know what will come of it. My first book represented my personal story, my second the story of my town, and the one that releases tomorrow is the story of my faith.

When I hear stories of little girls who relate with “Eclectic Emily” it puts a smile on my face. When I am told that grandparents buy “Goodnight Covington” for their out of town grandchildren and use it as a map to show them around the city, my heart is warmed.

These are blessings I never expected when I started this publishing journey in 2020. But it’s part of the promise I made to you in those early days of this IG account to create good things to share with you here. Authoring and illustrating doesn’t pay much, but the blessings I get from the readers are priceless!

Tomorrow is launch day for “Adventure to Joy” so bear with me as I try to get the word out and share the blessing of another book with whoever would want to read it.


Children’s Devotional Picture Book Now Available!

“What is joy?” I asked my students. “Happiness!” one child said. “Smiling all of your life!” answered another. “Excitement!” exclaimed another. “My parents say joy is a deep happiness.” the last student declared.

“All good answers, but there’s one more thing about joy that makes it different than happiness.” I added. “What makes you happy and me happy may be different. Happiness is dependent on your circumstances. Joy, however, is shared. It overflows! A special kind of joy comes from the Lord when the Holy Spirit lives in our heart. Joy is the Fruit of the Spirit!” I shared.

“That’s what Psalm 119 is all about, the joy that comes from following the Lord and living in His Word. Jesus is the way to joy and when our eyes are on Him and He lives in our hearts we can’t keep that joy to ourselves!” I said.

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This theme is what inspired my latest children’s book, “Adventure to Joy: A Journey Through Psalm 119.” I wanted to share my love of God’s Word and this particular Psalm with children who love picture books.


How to use my new book in the classroom, Sunday School, or at home with your children

  1. Read it to them like a traditional book.
  2. Use it like a children’s daily devotional, reading it a page or two at a time and discussing the meaning of each page.

Try to get them to read (or listen to you read), reflect on what was read, and rejoice in what they can be thankful. The dialogue I wrote at the beginning of this post is a great example of a back and forth conversation that could take place on page one of my book.

3. Scan the QR code in the back of the book to download additional object lessons, scripture memory cards, Bible art, and lesson plan ideas to help you disciple your children or students using this book.

Demonstrating soaking in God’s Word daily instead of just looking at it from time to time.

I pray that “Adventure to Joy” will be a great resource to those who read it or share it. May a love for God’s Word will grow from the seeds that are planted!

Emily Cook

Big Things Come from Small Changes

Years ago I saw an ad in the church bulletin for a discipleship group that was reading through the Bible in a year.

It was 2008, we were thinking about having children and I thought to myself, “I better learn the Bible before I become a mom!”

At that time I couldn’t tell you where most characters were in what book of the Bible much less the redemptive thread that ran from Genesis to Revelation.

Book dedicated to…

So, I bought the green Bible, showed up to class and that led to my daily Bible reading practice. The love I developed for God’s word changed the trajectory of my life from that point.

Big things come from small changes.

Learning and falling in love with the Bible would eventually lead to a career change and the writing/illustrating of a children’s book, but before that I just gained confidence to say “Yes!” to things God was calling me to that I wouldn’t have had the courage to do before.

I learned to hear His voice by reading scripture and gained courage from seeing how faithful He was throughout history.

I began writing a faith blog that led to a women’s and children’s ministry that led to homeschooling my preschoolers, to then teaching preschool at a church school, to teaching biblically based art full time and writing a book about Psalm 119, the Psalm about loving God’s word!

I would have never guessed in 1,000 years when I opened that green Bible it would lead to my life taking all of those turns, but that’s what God’s word can do!

Has learning the truth been transformational for you, too! It’s something wonderful to reflect on for sure.

That’s why I want to read it, share it, and hope you’ll fall in love with it, too, and do the same.

I wrote “Adventure to Joy” one morning after reading my Bible. It was so powerful to me I wanted a yard sign so everyone could read it! I googled and my search came up empty. Then I began searching for a children’s book about the Psalm and there were not many appealing choices.

I decided I should write and illustrate one. I hope that this book will spark a love for God’s word in the hearts of your children. It releases widely on 9/20, but if you want a signed copy, pre-order before 9/6.

Pre-Order your signed copy by clicking here.

Psalm 119 for Kids

I’ve been busy working on free resources to go along with “Adventure to Joy!” I just completed six lesson plans (for Sunday school or biblical integrated lessons) and a printable of 10 fun facts about Psalm 119 that can springboard spiritual conversations or additional lesson ideas. Scripture memory verse cards that you can cut out are also included with these lessons.

The hardcover proof of the book arrived today and it looks great! The official release date is September 20, but to receive a signed copy, pre-orders are due before Sept. 6. You can order your copy below.

As I’ve been writing this book and studying the text in depth, I’ve realized that the Psalmist isn’t so much trying to persuade us to love God’s word but instead he can’t keep quiet about telling us how much he’s come to love it. His enthusiasm is contagious! I heard a preacher say last week that God has done so much for us we shouldn’t be able to stay quiet. An authentic sharing of our faith comes from the overflow of a life of loving Him.

I hope and pray that this book will give kids an age appropriate understanding of Psalm 119 and the illustrations will remind them that God’s way is the best way.

📚 “Adventure to Joy: A Journey Through Psalm 119”

Do you want to be joyful? Psalm 119 shows us the way!

In Emily Cook’s vibrantly illustrated children’s picture book, Adventure to Joy!, readers are led on a path to find the Source of true joy, Jesus!

Emily encourages readers to practice reading, reflecting, and rejoicing in God’s word and shares the tools to inspire them to dig into the Bible on their own!

“I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.” Psalm 119:15-16

Book Trailer

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Adventure to Joy Coloring Sheet


Black Friday Deal: BOGO on “Goodnight Covington”

Now is a great time to pick up a copy of “Goodnight Covington” for someone this Christmas! Now through Cyber Monday books purchased through my website are Buy One Get One HALF PRICE (local pickup at Agape)! Learn more about my books here.

**Deal not available at Retail Stores

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“Goodnight Covington” Single Copy (Local Pickup at Agape)


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Mid-Century Modern and Me

When I stay home for an extended period of time [like this pandemic limbo we’re in], I start looking at rooms in our home as blank canvases.

Pinterest boards are started, then once overflowing, broken down into smaller niches so I can see what I’m really leaning towards more heavily color and style wise.

I’ve used The Nester’s methods a lot during this season taking pieces I already have and using them in another space.

This Summer I’ve been cleaning out unneeded items upstairs and making a girls hangout room for my tween to have a space for her friends and my littlest girl to have a Barbie hangout. It’s worked out nicely using furnishings and decor we already had on hand.

I moved the office to a corner of what will be our media room. Now I need comfortable seating for that room. I’m considering moving our family room furniture upstairs and revamping our den in mid-century boho.

Mid-Century Modern was popular when my Grandparents were starting their families. My Grandmother, like me, redecorated a lot so she didn’t hang on to those pieces. (I inherited her traditional pieces which work so well in our formal rooms).

So, now I’m on the hunt for some vintage or reproduction pieces to start my own collection.

What sparked my interest in Mid-Century is three fold. One, after teaching through the famous artists last year at school I realized I was drawn most to the art and colors of that period. Two, I think the times we are living in make me long for the nostalgia of that time and my family who lived in it. (Plus I watched a lot of “Jetsons” and “Brady Bunch” as a kid). Three, we are living in the future that designers of that era designed towards and I want my family room to reflect that as well as my artistic spirit and love of color.

Once afraid of committing to such a bold change of style, I’m becoming less fearful to make the change since I know it’s what I like and not a trend. I also love that you can mix in traditional elements with mid-century for an eclectic feel.

Here are the three boards I’m using for inspiration:

Mid-Century Colorful:


Mid-Century Neutral

Traditional Colorful


Joy bird

Fabric Inspo

Johnson’s Fabric

Amazon Finds

Do you have a period of art or design that you are drawn to?

The Power of a Goal

One year ago today as I launched this blog I wrote these words in this post encouraging you and me both to set half year goals.

So, this year, my June goal is to show up for you and write one post every Tuesday and send out one newsletter per month. I’ll also share three instagram posts each week…that tie back in with the weekly blog topic. I hope you’ll engage and interact with me there so we can build a little community of encouragement over this next year.

June 1, 2020

Today in God’s Providence, I walked into our local library for the first time as a two time published author to read a the first indoor Storytime since the pandemic began.

I signed books and met sweet families. My kids, who once upon a time never missed a library Story-time, got to help me get set up at the event.

Today as I type there have been 95 posts written, monthly newsletters sent, 2 children’s books launched, and one devotional on the gospel of John on its way to to being completed.

That’s the power of a goal with faith in God backing it up. I honestly didn’t think I’d stick with one post per week yet God had bigger plans than that and gave me the creative energy to see these projects through.

I’d say once again, if you told me a year ago I’d be sitting here today writing this to you, I’d sheepishly grin, bow my head in embarrassment and giggle “yeah right!”

My goal setting process worked. God has been answering my prayers left and right. There has been so much joy in this journey!

What are you dreaming of today? Re-read my post from last year. Make some notes. Pray about it and get to work. I believe in you!

More “Goodnight Covington” books are being delivered today to Agape, Persnickety, Something Special, and Liberty Vintage in Covington. You can also order on the here if you live out of town.