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!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Frankenstein pudding cups

Made these yummy pudding cups for our Halloween party at a friends house.
They were so good & so easy! Had seen the picture in a Better Homes & Gardens Halloween mag or maybe it was Family Fun? I can't remember!
Anyways, found the recipe on line. It was simple! One box of instant vanilla pudding wtih 2 cups of cold milk & 6 drops of green food coloring. Pour into cups quickly as it starts to set rather fast! Then top with crushed up oreos. Rather than using chocolate on the inside of the cups to make my faces, I just made then on the outside of the cup with a marker. My friend made ghosts with regular vanilla pudding & the vanilla cookies crubmled up on top. I also saw where you could do pumpkins with orange food coloring & a pretzel stick for the stem.
Very cute & yummy!

Yummy dinner last night - Bruschetta Chicken Bake

From my Fall 08 Kraft food magazine...SOO yummy & so easy!

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese

HEAT oven to 400°F. Mix tomatoes, stuffing mix, water and garlic just until stuffing mix is moistened.
LAYER chicken, basil, cheese and stuffing in 3-qt. or 13x9-inch baking dish.
BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy now or cover and refrigerate. To reheat, microwave each serving on HIGH 2 to 3 min.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

Such a great recipe! I've been making this Pumpkin bread since 1995!

3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup oil
2 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
½ tsp baking powder
1 can pumpkin (2 cups)
2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup water
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. all spice
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup nuts (optional)
2/3 cup raisins (optional)

Cream sugar and oil together. Add eggs, pumpkin, water, nuts and raisins. Add all dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour at 350.

God Bless The U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood

God Bless The U.S.A.
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone,I’d worked for all my life.And I had to start again,with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars,to be livin here today.‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,and they can’t take that away.
And I’m proud to be an American,where at least I know I’m free.And I wont forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,next to you and defend her still today.‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,God bless the USA.
From the lakes of Minnesota,to the hills of Tennessee.Across the plains of Texas,From sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston,and New York to L.A.Well there's pride in every American heart,and its time we stand and say.
That I’m proud to be an American,where at least I know I’m free.And I wont forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,next to you and defend her still today.‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,God bless the USA.
And I’m proud to be and American,where at least I know I’m free.And I wont forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,next to you and defend her still today.‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,God bless the USA.

This is one of my all time favorite songs & brings a tear to my eye & chokes me up when I hear it. I LOVE this song & think it really means a lot today - Nov 4, 2008. This is a historic day for our country and I am praying that John McCain comes out ahead. I do not want to see someone who is not proud of this great country, proud to be called an AMERICAN, become the leader.

What We're Fighting For

Article by John McCain: What We're Fighting For Protectionism and tax hikes are wrong for the economy. By John McCain, Wall Street JournalNovember 4, 2008
Article Excerpt:The presidential election occurs at a pivotal moment. Our nation is fighting two wars abroad, suffers from the greatest global financial crisis since the Great Depression, and is facing a painful recession. I believe in the greatness of America. I believe in our capacity to prosper, and to be safer and remain a beacon of light on the global stage. But we cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. We have to act immediately. We have to fight for it.

The institutions that we counted on -- Wall Street banks, our elected leaders in Washington -- failed us. We must reverse the corruption and arrogance that have overtaken these institutions, and we must place our trust in the hands of those who have never let us down, especially the American family and small businesses.

We need to grow our small businesses, not tax them. I will fight the Democrats' plans to redistribute the fruit of America's labor and turn our economy into a full-fledged disaster. I will cut taxes on families, seniors, savers and businesses. We need to double the child deduction, cut the capital gains tax, and keep jobs in America with a lower business tax.

I will make government finally live on a budget and enforce that discipline by the power of veto. I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. I will impose a short-term spending freeze and rid the government of waste, duplication and fraud. And I will chart a different course than the administration and Barack Obama and not spend your money just to bail out Wall Street bankers and brokers. I have a plan to protect the value of homes and get them rising again by refinancing mortgages so your neighbor won't default and further drag down the value of your house.

I will end three decades of failed energy policies; stop sending $700 billion to countries that oppose American values and finance our enemies; and drill for oil and natural gas. We must strengthen incentives for all energy alternatives -- nuclear, clean coal, wind, solar and tide. We will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex fuel and electric automobiles. We will lower the cost of energy, and create millions of new jobs.

I will not impose "one size fits all" health care on families and small businesses through expensive mandates and fines. I will bring down the skyrocketing cost of health care with competition and choice, reform the insurance market to be fair, and allow you to keep the same health plan if you change jobs or choose to stay home.

One in five jobs in the U.S. depends on trade and I will fight the threat to those jobs from Democrat plans for isolationism. I won't make it harder to sell our goods overseas and kill more jobs. I will open new markets to goods made in America and make sure our trade is free and fair. And I'll make sure we help workers who've lost a job that won't come back find a new one that won't go away.

Senator Obama wants to raise taxes and restrict trade. The last time America did that in a bad economy it led to the Great Depression.

While most Americans are rightly concerned with the economic crisis, a world of pressing national security challenges also awaits the next president.

The gains our troops have made in the past 18 months in Iraq could be lost if we pull our troops out prematurely and regardless of the conditions on the ground. We have also dealt devastating blows to al Qaeda, especially in Iraq, but terrorists have found sanctuary on the Pakistan frontier among those trying to topple governments in both Kabul and Islamabad.

Afghanistan is reaching a crisis point, just as Iraq did in 2006. As an early supporter of the surge strategy in Iraq, I know that turning around this situation will require more than just increased troop levels. We also need a new, comprehensive strategy, one that integrates civil and military efforts and engages with various Afghan tribes.

Other major threats loom on the horizon: the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs; aggressive Russian behavior toward its neighbors; Venezuelan adventurism; genocide in Darfur; and global warming. And those are only the dangers that we know of. Just as few expected the Russians to invade Georgia, we remain unaware of precisely where our next crisis will erupt, or when. The only certainty is that, as Joe Biden guaranteed, the tests facing the next president will be more severe if he is seen as weak in national security leadership.

I have devoted my life to safeguarding America. Former Secretary of State George Shultz compares diplomacy to tending a garden -- if you want to see relationships flourish, you have to tend them. I have done that, by traveling the world and establishing ties with everyone from dissidents to heads of state. There is great need for American leadership in the world, and I understand that only by exercising that leadership with grace and wisdom can we be successful in safeguarding our interests.

When I am president, I will not offer up unconditional summit meetings with dangerous dictators, nor will I foreclose diplomatic tools that serve our interests. I will respect our trade agreements with our allies, not unilaterally renounce them. I will close the Guantanamo Bay prison and ban torture. I will expand our armed forces and transform our civil and military agencies to win the struggle against violent Islamic extremism.

I believe that America is an exceptional country, one that demands exceptional leadership. After the difficulties of the last eight years, Americans are hungry for change and they deserve it. My career has been dedicated to the security and prosperity of America and that of every nation that seeks to live in freedom. It's time to get our country, and our world, back on track.

Get out & VOTE!

Vote vote vote!

What a great picture. This is a man that is proud to be an American!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The BEST Chili ever...

I got this recipe from, go figure! It's where I get most of my recipes. Anyways, I made this for Halloween & when I was eating anotehr bowl on Saturday for lunch I could not believe how good it was! I followed another reviewer and used tomato sauce in place of the tomato juice and used a can of petite diced tomatoes for the tomato sauce.

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 cups canned red beans, drained and rinsed

Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
Add all ingredients to a large kettle. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally