Monday, December 22, 2008

A couple more chipboard albums

I was so pleased with the way my other album came out, I decided I'd make these for my Son's preschool teacher's! Really happy with the way they came out! Now they can insert pictures of their friends! Since none of them are married with kids, I decided FRIEND was a good one for each of them.

Chipboard Photo albums

Found this cute photo album on Etsy & decided it would be a fun gift to make up for my Mom for Christmas. I thought I'd put pictures of my late Grandmother in there, going back to when my Mom was a little girl.

I was so pleased with the final product & CAN NOT wait to give this to my Mother! I think the paper choices were perfect too & am really happy with the colors I chose to go with. All I had to do was glue them onto the letters & then I used my exacto to cut out around the letters. I then cut & tied my ribbons onto the metal rings I bought.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SO motivated today after finding some great new blogs!

OK, so I've just come across a couple of amazingly (is that even a word)? creative women! I'm not even clicking on the blogs that they like to go to yet as I'm afraid I will just keep finding more great ideas! SO cute & now I want to go home, lock myself away from the husband & son and create away... I was at Hobby Lobby yesterday & already found a project that I wanted to make. This is in addition to the teacher's gifts I've decided today that I would be making, the project I'm finishing for my mother & the project I was just about to start that I bought paper for yesterday! Anyways, check out these two blogs to find some really fun ideas!

You want Change?

This lady is right on with her ideas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tanner's visit to Santa

So much fun! Tanner was so excited he could hardly contain it! He couldn't wait to tell Santa that he wanted a Batcave for Christmas!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

So much to be thankful for! * that we live in this great country where we have so many freedoms! * for the health of my family * for our stable jobs that provide us with the opportunity to work and provide for our family. * for such loving and supportive family.

Tanner is thankful playing with my cars all day with my daddy. That's what his reply was when they asked at School!

I hope dinner comes out OK today as I'm hosting! First time cooking for my family or Chad's on Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Batman party ideas

On the internet again & found some fun ideas for a Batman themed party!

Party games:
Facing Mr Freeze: Children must carry an ice cube on a spoon and race to the finish line without dropping the ice cube.
Target Practice: Print out pictures of Batman villains (Catwoman, the Riddler, the Penguin, Joker) and tape them to empty plastic 2-liter bottles. Set them on a table and have the kids stand behind a line and throw foam Bat-a Rangs (Batman party favor boomerangs) at the "villains".
You could do a batman bowling too. Use empty pop cans or empty plastic 2-liter bottles that you wrap in black paper & put Batman villiain pictures on. Use a small batman themed ball from party supply store.

Batman The Dark Knight Birthday Party Game:

SOLVE THE CRIME COMMITTED BY PENGUIN - Reintroduced The Penguin. Pertinent info to bring out: 1) Gentleman of Crime 2) Loved birds and used birds in his crimes. The Penguin had kidnapped someone and they had to figure out who. I bought 6 little red birds from the floral dept. of the arts and craft store 5 were hidden around the facility w/a clue attached. The kids had to find the 5 birds/clues and solve the crime (I used the 6th bird just to show them what they were looking for). The clues were things like victim is someone you see on TV., yellow, lives on Sesame Street,loves to sing the alphabet song. You guessed it - Big Bird (remember, Penguin loves birds). I had a stuffed big bird toy that I took out and said that they'd saved him.
We had a BAT craft, Black foam paper precut into bat shape, the boys glued on google eyes and a popsicle stick (they dried during party).

"MR. Freeze Dance". I played Batman music and when I paused the music they had to Freeze.
"Stomp the bad guys" I put a few pieces of candy in Blue, Yellow, and Black Balloons, then I blew them up and tied them. I also put names and drew pictures of the bad guys on the balloons with a paint pen. They stomp the bad guy balloons and got the candy out.
The last game was "Pin the bat on the Riddler". I used my Riddler poster and cut out bats from black construction paper.
"Mr.Freeze tag" (pretty obvious)
"musical bats". I taped a bat with a number onto each chair. When the music stopped, I called out a number and whoever was sitting in that chair got a sticker. We played until everyone got a sticker.

Campfire or Camping party theme

I love finding ideas for parties & a cousin was looking to fo something for her little girl turning 5 in a capfire theme as they were going to their cabin to celebrate. Here are some of the ideas that I found:
Family Fun has a bunch of ideas & this is where I found the cake

Another website with what looked to be some fun ideas…

Games and Activities:Daylight~Nature Scavenger Hunt:Make a list of natural things that you can find around the 'camp site' and make a list for each individual or team. See how many they can find. Freaky Nature Hunt:Doctor up different plants, trees, make your own freaks of nature. i.e.: An orange growing on a oak, flowers out of tree trunks, etc. Keep a list and see who can find them all within a time limit.
Some fun favor bag items?

Party FavorsFind some green canvas or other fabric and cut into about 15 inch square or round place items like toy binoculars, whistles, compasses, flash lights, candy, and stickers. Bring the corners together and you can tie it up with a piece of twine or rope. You can find most of these items at Camping Out with Oriental Trading Co.
(found this on the website below – childavenue)

More fun ideas…

This might be pretty cute! I just found on the website above:

Fishing Snack : Place goldfish crackers on a blue napkin (as a lake or pond). Have the children dip pretzel sticks (fishing pole) into peanut butter (bait) and then touch the peanut butter to the goldfish.... HEY I caught one:)sent in by Erika

Check this out – another 5 year old having the camp out party theme:

Thinking about party wear…
You could use regular plates & for their cup get a solid colored thermos & put camping stickers and their names on them. Or I’m seeing fun bug party wear too! Could be fun to do with a green thermos if you want to go that route.

Other website’s with stuff and/or ideas…

Found an old friend...

So our old friend Jordan Newhouse is in fact alive and well and living over in Sweden! Funny thing, rumors had flown around that he had died in a boating accident. No one was ever able to tell you anything other than that...Well, while planning this reunion with friends from Elementary school, I got word that someone had talked to a guy that said he played in a band with a Jordan Newhouse htat would have been about our age within the last 5 years or so. So, I started searching and low and behold - I found a picture of him looking back at me on the Internet! he was in a band called Birdman Ray over in London. I got in touch this week with him through email in which he said something very funny! "Reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated. The only boating accident I've encountered since '91 is when my 10 month old son decides to throw the plastic one out of the bath tub at me. His name is Rufus and he rocks".

So glad to hear that our old friend is alive and well!

Worlds Best Lasagna

SOOO good! Tastes like something you'd get at a good Italian restaurant. I found the recipe on

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

10 secrets about breast health

I got an email with a website & it had a lot of information about breast cancer that I did not know...I found this to be really interesting! I've heard of people sleeping in their bras & that sounds like it's really not a good idea!

Here are 10 Secrets that you NEED to know about your breast health:

1. Wear your bra as little as possible and certainly do not wear a bra 24
hours a day. According to Sydney Ross Singer, author of “Dressed to Kill:
The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras,” their studies showed that women who wear a bra 24 hours a day have a 125-fold (12,500%) higher percentage of getting cancer than women who do not wear a bra at all.
2. Ensure that your bra is not leaving red marks on your shoulders as this is an indication that your lymphatic system is being compromised. Your lymphatic system is an important part of your immune system and plays a crucial role in breast health.
3. Wash all new clothes before you wear them as they have toxic chemicals on them (such as fire retardant) that are absorbed into your body. Also many undergarments are made in less than sanitary conditions in developing countries and undergarments may have been tried on previous to you purchasing them.
4. Be mindful of what you put on your body in the form of toxic perfume, make-up, tanning lotions, antiperspirants and body creams as everything is absorbed through the skin and filtered through the liver, thereby straining your immune system and diminishing your breast health.
5. Love your breasts. Emotions play a role in our health and a positive, happy viewpoint about your breasts can contribute to healthier breasts.
6. Do not use birth control pills. They interfere with the normal hormonal balance of a woman and the increase of breast cancer in women has skyrocketed since the introduction of the birth control pill.
7. Learn about Thermography as an option to mammography. Digital Infrared Thermography (DIT) is painless, non-toxic and highly accurate. Safer and more effective than mammography, it has the ability to detect breast irregularities and possible “hot spots” years before they would ever be revealed with mammography or a breast exam.
8. Encourage young girls to exercise as it helps to delay puberty. Exercise has been shown to decrease the flow of estrogens and narrows the window of vulnerability to breast cancer. Clinical studies have shown young women who are involved in regular exercise and vigorous aerobic
exercise programs begin puberty at an older age and have a nearly 200% decreased risk of developing breast cancer later in life. And of course, get out and exercise yourself!
9. Find ways to deal with stress, including meditation. According to Dr. Nan Lu, a classically trained doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and author of “Traditional Chinese Medicine – A Guide to Healing from Breast Cancer,” he believes meditation is the best healing exercise.
10.Learn how to do lymphatic breast massage as it helps the flow of lymph in your breast tissue and promotes healthy breasts. For instructions on performing a proper breasts massage, visit our website at:

Kitty Litter Cake

Made this kitty litter cake ( and it came out looking really good! I don't think it tasted very good though. I changed up the recipe a bit, now I'm not sure why...I would not reccomend using graham crackers like I did. I think I would stick with adding some pudding like I had originally thought about & maybe do the vanilla creme cookies crumbled up. For gross factor though, it was great!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cute Scrabble Tile necklaces from the seller HomeStudio on Etsy!

Check out this Scrabble Tile Pendent necklace I just got on Etsy! So cute!!! I just ordered this one as a Christmas gift for our hairdresser to go with some homemade goodies. Check out this seller's (HomeStudio) other items on Etsy...
You can't beat the prices either!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic

Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon butter

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Rinse the mushrooms and pat dry. Season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat and saute the chicken until it is nicely browned on one side (about 3 minutes).
Add the garlic. Turn the chicken breasts and scatter the mushrooms over them. Continue frying, shaking the skillet and stirring the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the vinegar, broth, bay leaf and thyme. Cover tightly and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
Transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter and cover with foil. Set aside. Continue simmering the sauce, uncovered, over medium high heat for about 7 minutes. Swirl in the butter or margarine and discard the bay leaf. Pour this mushroom sauce mixture over the chicken and serve.

SO SO SO good!

Chicken and Broccoli Braid

I made this yummy new dish ( again) & it was a hit! Except that Chad doesn't like broccoli! I LOVE it! He just picked around it but asked for potatoes next time. He thought this was like a pot pie & he was right. The crust was great & I do think you could do some variations on this & it would be good.
Chicken and Broccoli Braid
2 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove crushed garlic
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1/4 cup diced onion
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees F).
In a large bowl, toss together chicken, broccoli, red bell pepper, garlic, Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed, salt, almonds and onion.
Unroll crescent roll dough, and arrange flat on a medium baking sheet. Pinch together perforations to form a single sheet of dough. Using a knife or scissors, cut 1 inch wide strips in towards the center, starting on the long sides. There should be a solid strip about 3 inches wide down the center, with the cut strips forming a fringe down each side. Spread the chicken mixture along the center strip. Fold the side strips over chicken mixture, alternating strips from each side. Pinch or twist to seal.
Brush braided dough with the egg white. Bake in the preheated oven 25 to 28 minutes, or until golden brown.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

One word to describe this - YUM! Another recipe from & a favorite of mine!

Buffalo Style Chicken Pizza

3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked and cubed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (2 ounce) bottle hot sauce
1 (8 ounce) bottle blue cheese salad dressing
1 (16 inch) prepared pizza crust
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a medium bowl combine the cubed chicken, melted butter and hot sauce. Mix well. Spread whole bottle of salad dressing over crust, then top with chicken mixture and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Bake in preheated oven until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 5 to 10 minutes. Let set a few minutes before slicing, and serve.

Swedish Meatballs

I got this recipe from my friend Michelle & made them up for dinner last night. Of course I forgot to take a picture of them in the pan or on the plate, so I snapped a picture of left overs I was sending home with my mother in law!

1 lbs Ground Beef
1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1 egg
1/4 onion, chopped fine
A few shakes of Kitchen bouquet, soy sauce and Worchestershire
Sprinkle of Margoram, sage and whatever else you like
Dab of A1 or other steak sauce

Mix and make meatballs. Cook in pan over low to medium so that they don't burn. You will take out & then use this pan to make your sauce. Once the sauce is made, throw meatballs back into the pan.

2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1 soup can of milk
1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet
1 tsp boullion beef
1/4 cup Red cooking wine

I found myself adding corn starch to water & into the pan to get my sauce to thicken up. Also, I think next time I will add some garlic to my meatballs, but they were really good!!! I did sprinkle on some garlic powder as they cooked b/c I got to thinking about garlic once I was already cooking them.

Even Chad liked this dish & said that I could make these again & he liked more than most of the other meals I've been trying out lately.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Loaded Potato Soup

Love this colder weather! What a great time to have soup...Here is one of our favorites - SO fast & easy! I made for a Halloween get together & got rave reviews!

Loaded Potato Soup 1 (from

8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups milk
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Place cubed potatoes into a glass dish, and cook in the microwave oven for 7 to 10 minutes, or until soft.
While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour until smooth, then gradually stir in the milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Stir in the potatoes and onion, and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the sour cream and Cheddar cheese until melted and well blended. Season with salt and pepper.
We leave out the Sour Cream

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Uncle Ed! The big 9-0...

Happy Birthday Uncle Ed! Though more than just a Great Uncle, you've been like a Grandpa & are so very special to me! Born Nov 7, 1918 - Edgar Allen Bussell we celebrate you & what a fun person you are!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Another one of my favorite people...Grandpa Taylor!

One of the neatest men you will ever meet, my Grandpa, Wayne Taylor! I LOVE my Grandpa & try to call him at least once a week! He just turned 92 on Nov 1st this year. So many cousins all say the same thing about my grandpa & what a great guy he is. He was the 2nd to youngest of like 13 kids & is the last one still alive today. Love love love my Grandpa Taylor!

Wayne Taylor as a little boy

Wayne, Helen, Duane & Dennis Taylor
Wayne Taylor

Grandpa with his Great Granddaughters Payton & Mallory at my wedding. Grandpa walked me down the aisle.

Grandpa & the only Grandma I've known with him - Grandma Mary! : )

Grandpa & his first wife Helen. Helen passed away when their youngest son Kyle was about 3. Duane was 14 and Dennis 13 I believe it was.

Grandpa givin' Grandma a smooch!

a couple more pictures...

Two more of my favorite pictures! These are both from the early '90's in Edmond, OK.

One of my most favorite people, my Grandma!

I miss my Grandma so much sometimes it hurts! She was one of my most favorite people ever! Grandma came to live with us in Edmond, OK when things started to go downhill for her in the way of taking care of herself in Omaha. It was great for her to be there b/c she was there for Dad in what ended up to be his last years while Mom was out working and he was sick and at home. My Grandma was the sweetest lady you'd ever want to meet! I have so many special memories from spending so much time with my Grandma and I miss her dearly everyday!

Grandma & Britta. She sure loved her Great Granddaughters & had so much time with them when they were little since they came over everyday for Mom to watch them. A lot of special memories for the three of them!
Just a couple of weeks before Grandma passed away in Oct 2004 My grandma in her younger days.

Grandma & I at the KU Granduation for my sister, her now husband & cousin Jeff.

Grandma was a little cuties as a girl!