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Ann Walker's

compliments of

Ann Walker 573-374-1331 路 888-525-3289

Laurie, MO 65038

As I look out my window this morning and see patches of snow, I wonder how far off spring can be. Our trees are waiting for the warm temps and more sun to start budding and the other signs of spring seems to be on hold also. The one thing that is on the move is our lake area home market. The activity has increased in the last month as buyers are looking toward to summer and wanting to have their purchase complete and ready for the season. Inventory is slightly down from last year at this time. Although property sold is up 15 percent, prices are still down about 3 percent. But as inventory continues to drop, home prices will begin to climb. Local lenders are still lending to qualified buyers and rates are at all time lows. If you are considering a home for retirement or a vacation home, give me a call. The lake is a wonderful place to live.

compliments of

Ann Walker 573-374-1331 888-525-3289 Visit My Site Email Me

Laurie, MO 65038

Welcome Home! Table of Contents 4

Recipe And Design A tasty recipe and a stylish home design how to.


Outdoor Summer Fun Ideas


Have a blast this summer!

Do’s and Don’ts for a 4th Of July Cookout. Have your best 4th of July gathering ever.

In The Kitchen. A 4th of July themed drink that will delight everyone.

Welcome Home is for entertainment purposes only. This magazine is not intended to solicit other brokersʼ listings. If you are currently working with another broker, please disregard this information.


Health and Wellness. What is CrossFit and why is the pain so worth it? 9

10 - 11

12 - 15

Who Signed The Declaration Of Independence?

Who actually signed the historic document?

How To Photograph Fireworks A guide to capturing the perfect shot.

16 - 17 American Flags Through History Discover these amazing pieces of American History. 18 - 19

Food They Will Love Make the kids a special part of the Fourth of July this year!

20 - 21 Products To Love! Hot trends, technological wonders of tomorrow and so much more! 22 -23 City Spotlight Washington, DC. So much more than the National Mall! 24 DYI Project - July Get your Neon on! These funky shoes are 25 Businesses That Make A Difference Target, lending a helping hand to make a better life possible.

All pictures courtesy of or unless otherwise noted. Thanks to Wikipedia for Random Fact information and aid.

Editor in Chief - Phly Jambor The information provided in this publication of Welcome Home or on any website maintained by U.S. Cybertek, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, agents, representatives, licensors, licensees or employees (collectively Publisher) is intended as a general guide illustrating common methods of common practices, and the publisher makes no warranty or guarantee whatsoever of the safety, effectiveness, or other characteristic of any methods or products described herein. Neither does the Publisher assume any liability for information published in any website or other publication to which reference may be made herein. Readers are cautioned to review and comply with all written instructions, safety bulletins, and other materials provided in connection with any of the products mentioned herein and all products used in connection with any of the methods described. Neither Published nor any of its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, agents, representatives, licensors, licensees or employees shall in any case be liable to you or anyone else for any loss or injury or any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special punitive or similar damages arising out of your use of or failure to use any of the methods and/ or products described in this publication or any other publication or websites to which reference may be made herein. Publisher disclaims all warranties, and any warranty or guarantee of safety, merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose lies solely with the manufacture(s) of any product described or recommended or used used in connection with any methods described or recommended.

Recipe and Design Blueberry Cobbler with Sugared Shortcakes

Red, White & Blue Picnic Servers

Ingredients What You Need: • • • • • • •

2 pt. fresh blueberries 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/8 teaspoon almond extract 2 (12-oz.) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits 1 tablespoon coarse sparkling sugar Sweetened whipped cream

• • • • • •

Recycled Containers (oatmeal containers work great!) Scrapbooking Paper Scissors Glue Gun and Glue Sticks Chalkboard Paint and Brushes Cardstock and a pencil for tracing

Preparation: 1.




1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until bubbly and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. 2. Separate biscuits, and flatten each into a 3 1/2-inch circle. Cut with a 3-inch star-shaped cutter, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet; sprinkle with sparkling sugar, pressing to adhere. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. 3. Place 1 biscuit on each serving plate. Spoon blueberry mixture over half of biscuits; top with remaining biscuits. Serve with whipped cream. Note: We tested with Pillsbury Grands! Jr. Golden Layers Buttermilk Biscuits.

Southern Living JULY 2010

Instructions: 1. Cut paper to size. Use the glue to adhere the paper to the outside of each container/cup. 2. Trace the shape of the label onto the cardstock and gently cut it out being careful not to leave any rough edges. Save the part of the paper with the label shape cut into it to use as a template. 3. Hold the cardstock template in place and paint on the labels using the chalkboard paint. 4. Let dry and write the desired message on the label. TIP: Short on time? Scrapbooking and crafts stores often carry pre-made chalkboard labels. Courtesy of Better Homes and

Outdoor Summer Fun Ideas Summer is coming and with the warm weather comes the need for new and exciting outdoor adventures to try. Below are some great outdoor summer fun ideas that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Hiking Whether you choose to hike up a mountain or simply hike through flat trails, there is nothing better than being close to nature and breathing the fresh air within a forest.  Hiking can be great exercise and fun for the whole family.  I have always found that returning to nature and being amongst the trees puts me into a state of calm relaxation where my mind clears and my body almost breathes a sigh of relief. If you are lucky enough to live in an area that offers trees, trails and mountains then plan a few hikes this year and explore some new territory. Kayaking Kayaking is one of my favorite warm weather activities.  This can be a fantastic way to get out and enjoy the water be it a beautiful lake, a windy river or taking on some ocean swells. If you decide to try kayaking you will have a few options.  You can either rent a kayak for a few hours or for the day, or you can invest in either a hard-shell kayak or my personal favorite, an inflatable kayak. Inflatable kayaks are ideal because they are so convenient.  They are able to be stored in small spaces and transported in the trunk of your car.  They also tend to be more stable and safe than a hard-shell kayak so is great for families and kids. Geo Cashing Geo Cashing has become very popular over the last few years and can be played in just about any city or town around the world.  Look up online which areas closest to you have hidden maps and treasures to find and make it an adventure the whole family can enjoy.  Geo Cashing allows you to go on great treasure hunts and share in an amazing detective experience. Cycling If you have a bicycle or are willing to rent a bicycle then you will be able to cover a lot of ground this summer.  Cycling of course is a perfect activity for singles and families alike.  You can choose to bike on roads or on the trails and see sights and sounds that are not able to be experienced by car. This could also be a great opportunity to teach your kids about the environmental impact of motor vehicles and how cycling is a great way to help the environment and keep the Earth safe and clean. Each of the above activities are ideal summer fun activities that can be enjoyed by any person of any age.  Make a goal to at least try two of them and you will find your summer to have many new exciting memories. Written by Samuel Walker, courtesy of

Do’s and Don’ts for a 4th of July Cookout With the Fourth of July around the corner and cookout season beckoning, you could be planning the allAmerican backyard grilling event this year. Whether you are an amateur or a seasoned pro at the cookout, here are some handy Dos and Don’ts to help make your Fourth of July celebration a success!

enough space? A deck of cards or a Frisbee to toss around works just as well.

DO plan your event beforehand. Make a guest list, send out invites, plan the menu, shop for supplies, and prepare the activities for the event.

DO make it a potluck if pressured for time. Remember, guests love to bring food to a celebration.

DO get into the patriotic mood and set up red, blue, and white decorations. They could be simple – just some lights, or red, blue, and white napkins and other table decorations. If you enjoy craft, you could make an entire range of Fourth of July decorations ahead of time. DO put up the flag. DO have plenty of things for your guests to do. Have a game set up: badminton, volleyball, or baseball. Not

DO play music in keeping with the theme. Make a CD with a mix of country and rock versions of patriotic songs.

DO make the hot dog if you are planning the typical Fourth of July cookout. Homemade works just as well as store-brought. DO have plenty of other food to grill, such as fresh vegetables (it’s summer, after all), corn on the cob, chicken, steaks, or bratwursts. DO have at least a couple of beverages, one alcoholic and another non-alcoholic for your guests. Have plenty of water.

DO provide choices for your vegetarian guests. You can get veggie burgers or soy dogs at your grocery store.

DON’T drink too much alcohol. You need to be in control till the very end.

DO keep perishables cold. Keep the cold salads in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It also helps to keep cold food on smaller containers on ice to maintain temperatures and keep bacteria out.

When transporting meats and poultry to the cookout site, make sure they are cooked completely. It is never advisable to carry partially cooked meats and poultry in coolers. Partially cooked meat does not reach temperatures necessary to kill bacteria, and these bacteria will only grow and spread to other food in the cooler. Either cook the meat completely and chill it before putting it in the cooler, or carry uncooked meat that can be grilled right away.

DO serve watermelon – it’s red! Do have plenty of sunscreen and a first-aid kit handy. DON’T keep raw and cooked food on the same plates or utensils. Avoid cross-contamination at all costs. DON’T run out of grilling fuel or ice. DON’T leave kids unsupervised around the pool or around fireworks.

DO charge your cameras ahead of time. DO put a trash can or a recycle bin on the patio, Clean up the fireworks debris too. Above all, DO have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Written by Cherrie Rasmussen. Courtesy of

In The Kitchen Is there something you know how to do but you are surprised to find out that others have not yet been enlightened? Or maybe a friend does something in front of you that totally blows your mind? For example, I just found out that some people use a fork do skewer an Oreo and dip it in milk. What? I can now dunk and read with ease. Others continually grow green onions on their windowsill (completely awesome). Layered drink how-to is just one of the pieces of useless knowledge that fills my head.

Ingredients: • •

1 Cup Red CranApple juice 1 Cup White Sobe Pina Colada flavored drink 1 Cup Blue G2 Gatorade Ice

• •

Directions: 1. 2. 3.

Fill your glass 1/3 of the way full with CranApple juice. Fill to the top with ice. Slowly pour the remaining drinks directly on top of a piece of ice.

Notes: •

You MUST pour SLOWLY, DIRECTLY over ice :)

You can layer drinks in any way you like- the secret is in the sugar content. This works well for red, white, and blue but you can really do this with any color combination. The other secret to success with layered drinks is plenty of ice. After you add your bottom layer fill the glass to the top with ice and pour the second layer slowly and directly on top of an ice cube. These would be a really fun and easy addition to any picnic you are attending or hosting for the Fourth of July holiday this weekend. I had a few friends ask if they could add alcohol and I don’t see why not as long as you note the sugar content in your layers. Since I have the kidlets running around we kept these alcohol-free.

Courtesy of

Health & Wellness

Cross Fit Cross fit has gained popularity as one of the best health and muscle build up types of trainings. But, is cross fit ideal for weight loss and can it help you to shed more pounds faster than traditional forms of exercise? Let's take a look at this aspect of cross fit and find answers. Cross fit is a very active type of work out. It makes you sweat hard and strain when you do the exercises. Cross fit is not directly aimed at weight loss. Rather it is aimed at keeping you active and loading up your large body muscles with enough work to build them up and keep them strong. Besides, cross fit gives you a good deal of cardio work out while conditioning many muscles that are normally missed. Most crossfit sessions are done in shorter workouts but at a higher level of intensity for each one. Now, to burn fat and lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume. So, in this respect cross fit works just great for shedding pounds. However, alone it cannot do much. You have to match cross fit with proper and healthy diet. The good news is that if you do cross fit regularly (5 or more days a week), you do not have to get on a low calorie diet.

With cross fit you do burn a lot of calories. That is if you work hard and scale your cross fit sessions properly. This demands a good cross fit coach, who can load you up with work properly, but without getting your body overstrained. They will custom tailor an appropriate regiment for you to help guide you in the right fitness path. If you consume lots of veggies, fruit, drink up and keep down the amount of snacks, unhealthy fatty foods or fast foods, you can shed pounds fast with cross fit. Cross fit classes can also help regulate your sleep. People have reported decreased insomnia with cross fit, as your body gets tired and your emotions get let out during the training sessions. Getting a good night sleep also contributes to losing weight more easily. It keeps down your food cravings and helps you to normalize your food consumption. So, finding a good cross fit in any major cities can help you to stay fit and healthy. Look for a place with good trainer to trainee ratio. You do want to be able to get enough of the attention of your trainers to scale your work outs for you and to attain the best results. Written by Michelle Janson. Courtesy of

Who Signed The Declaration Of Independence?

The U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776 by 56 members of the Continental Congress. John Hancock got to sign first with his huge signature because he was the President of the Congress. Itʼs commonly believed that John Hancock said, “There, I guess King George will be able to read that!” when he signed, referring to the Kingʼs bad vision, but thereʼs no actual proof that he really said that. The youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence (Edward Rutledge of South Carolina)

was only 26-years-old and the oldest (Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania) was 70-years-old! Two of the signers would go on to be Presidents of the United States. They were John Adams (the 2nd President from Massachusetts) and Thomas Jefferson (the 3rd President from Virginia). Most of the members of the Continental Congress had notable achievement of their own but their connections to other famed historical characters were often almost unbelievable! One of the best examples of this is Benjamin Harrison. Besides his intense involvement in the development and execution on the American Revolution, Harrison also

was the Governor of Virginia from 1781-1784. He went on after that to be elected to the Virginia State Legislature and rose to the Speaker of the House! But the really interesting stuff about Harrison that is so common with many Continental Congress members is not his great personal achievements. Harrisonʼs son was William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States, and his great-grandson, Benjamin Harrison VI, was the 23rd President! Harrisonʼs father was also an ancestor of civil war General Robert E. Lee. The fellow who succeeded Harrison as the Governor of Virginia was Patrick Henry, famed for his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. In any case, these wonderful characters from U.S. history have a nearly unlimited number of tantalizing stories that should make delightful reading for any history buff! Below you will find a list of all 56 Continental Congress members who signed the Declaration of Independence: Connecticut: Samuel Huntington, Roger Sherman, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott Delaware: Thomas McKean, George Read, Caesar Rodney Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton Maryland: Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Massachusetts: John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Elbridge Gerry, Robert Treat Paine New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, Matthew Thornton, William Whipple New Jersey: Abraham Clark, John Hart, Francis Hopkinson, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon New York: William Floyd, Francis Lewis, Philip Livingston, Lewis Morris North Carolina: Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, John Penn Pennsylvania: George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, John Morton, George Ross, Benjamin Rush, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson Rhode Island: William Ellery, Stephen Hopkins South Carolina: Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge Virginia: Carter Braxton, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, Francis Lightfoot Lee, Thomas Nelson, Jr. George Wythe The original Declaration of Independence is badly faded but it is on view in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in Washington, DC. There are also twenty-four copies of the Declaration that were printed by John Dunlap and are known today as “Dunlap Broadsides”. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in less than three weeks at the “Declaration House” located at 7th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The house was nearly new, built in 1775 and was rebuilt from original photographs in 1975. Jefferson often complained about the numerous houseflies that were coming from the stable across the street but soothed his soul after work each day at the City Tavern where he had an account! Jefferson took pride in his writing abilities and wasnʼt thrilled when the Continental Congress made changes to “his” declaration in June of 1776. The common U.S. citizen did not get to see the Declaration of Independence until July 6, 1776 when it was printed in the Pennsylvania Evening Post. It was then officially read to the public on July 8th in Philadelphia. By the way, despite what you saw in the exciting 2004 and 2007 National Treasure movies, there is no mysterious message on the back of the Declaration of Independence. The only thing written on the back is “Original Declaration of Independence / dated 4th July 1776?. It was originally rolled up for storage and that was most likely written on the back so it could be identified without unrolling it.

Written by Rick Brady. Courtesy of

How To Photograph Fireworks A Guide To Capturing The Perfect Shot

During celebration periods such as The Fourth of July, Christmas and New Year, there will be many firework shows in many places. Therefore, there are a lot of opportunities to photograph firework photos.

What do you need for taking firework photos? Camera: the one that has “Bulb” shutter speed is preferable. Wide and normal zoom lens: 10-22 mm, 16-35 mm, 18-55 mm, 24-70mm, etc. Zoom lenses have more flexibility to frame your photos. However, there are no solid rules which focal length should be used because it depends on how far of you and fireworks, how big of the fireworks are, etc. Tripod: You really need it because of long shutter speed while taking firework photos. You must keep your camera still otherwise your photos will be blurred. Remote switch: It helps you to keep your camera completely still while photographing firework shots. When you use “Bulb (B)” shutter, you should not press directly to a camera shutter button because it causes the camera to be unstable. Therefore, you can not get sharp and clear photos. There are some optional things that you may be able to consider as listed below: Black cap: It’s used for protecting lighting when you want to photograph many fireworks in one shot. Food and drink: You may wait for awhile before fireworks will be commenced. Therefore, you may need food and drink. Flashlight: It helps you to find anything in the dark. Small chair: In case you have to wait for a long time. Umbrella: In case it starts raining. Where and when you should go for taking firework photos? The best place to photograph fireworks should be any tall building around the fireworks area about 0.5-1.5 km from where the fireworks will be shown. You must be able to pan your camera without any obstructions in your viewfinder. Moreover, it should be in the upwind direction too.You must get to your location as early as possible because there will be a lot of photographers and speculators. You must remember that the location is everything for taking fireworks photos. The better location you are at, the better photos you will get.

How to photograph fireworks? What you should prepare prior to taking firework photos as follows: 1. Be on location as early as possible and select the best location. The best location is the location where you can see the fireworks without any obstructions and there is interesting foreground or background as buildings, bridges, river, lake, etc. 2. Set your camera on Tripod firmly 3. Set the parameters in the camera as follows: Mode: M, Manual Auto focus: Off or Manual ISO: 100 Shutter speed: Bulb, B Aperture: vary from F5.6 to F11 Focal length: Infinity File type: Raw file is preferred because you have more flexibility to process your photos after. Memory Card: 2 GB at least so that you will not lose your opportunity to take photos due to memory full. WB: Auto 4. Set good composition by including nice foreground or background as building(s), pool(s), lake(s), bridge(s), river(s), etc. Use rule of third to get the nice composition. There are 2 ways to frame your fireworks photo which are horizontal or vertical. It depends on how your fireworks look like. If your fireworks are one big and long shot, you may need to frame your photos vertically. In other words, if you want to capture wide angle of fireworks, you may need to flame your photos horizontally. 5. Set your remote switch with your camera and test its function.

Let’s photograph fireworks: 1. Once you hear explosion, you start to press and hold a remote switch button. Then you look at the fireworks showing their magic until it disappears and then release the button. Normally, it takes about 5-9 second depending on how long of each firework shot is. If this is your first shot, please check a photo shown on your LCD and see how the composition and lighting look like. You may need to adjust the camera, the focal length and aperture in order to get the nice composition and lighting. Please do in quickly and continue taking fireworks photos. 2. If you would like to take many fireworks in one shot, please use the following tips: 2.1 When the first firework is shot, press and hold the remote switch button. Then when the first one fades out, put the black cap in front of your lens in order to prevent light coming to your photo while you are still pressing the remote switch button. You must not touch any part of your camera so that your photo will not blur due to camera being moved. 2.2 When the second firework is shot, take the black cap out and wait until the second firework fades out. After that you put the back cap in front of your lens again. 2.3 When you do not want to add any fireworks in your photo, you just release the remote switch button. You can repeatedly use these techniques in order to take many fireworks in one shot. However, you should be prudent with this tip because if you try to take too many fireworks in one shot, your photo will be too over exposure and your photo will be the flashy shot. Normally, I use this tip to get only 2 to 3 fireworks in one shot. 3. Check your photos periodically. You may have time to check your photos because the fireworks are shot periodically. You may change the composition and/or delete some bad photos in order to reserve the memory space. These are guidelines to help you to photograph fireworks. Let’s try and have fun with fireworks. Written by Suwat Pongtepupathum. Article courtesy of

American Flags Through History There are fewer objects that spark such passionate emotion as the various American flags through history. A Brief Overview of American Flags Through History When you consider that the history of the flag stretches just over 200 years, it's amazing to consider the impact this symbol of freedom has had on people throughout the world. Whether it was the sight of the battered flag in the middle of battle, as described by Francis Scott Key, or the vision of the American flag carried through the European theater of war, bringing freedom and liberty to war-torn countries and imprisoned Jews the flag is easily one of the most powerful symbols of liberty and freedom in the world today. The History of the U.S. Flag The very first flag was called the "Grand Union Flag," raised on January 1, 1776, by General Washington at his headquarters.  Another early flag, which many patriots know and recognize (seen on many biker jackets) is the rattlesnake and the motto "Don't Tread on Me ."    On June 14, 1777, the Congress passed the "Flag Act" which stated that the new United States flag would consist of thirteen stripes, red and white, and thirteen stars for the 13 colonies of the Union. There were some variations in the layout, and no one is certain who created the first.  Many history books tell students about the legend of Betsy Ross, but the truth is, no one knows whether or not the story is true.  In fact many historians suspect that the design for the first flag was created by Francis Hopkinson of the Continental Congress. Two stars and two stripes were added to the flag by 1792 in order to incorporate the two new states of Vermont and Kentucky.  The 15 stars and stripes flag was the one viewed above the battlefield by Francis Scott Key, who wrote the "Star-Spangled Banner ." Finally, in 1818, Congress passed another Act, which set the stripes back to 13, and made the stars equivalent to the number of states.  The last star was finally added on July 4, 1960, when Hawaii became a U.S. state. Don't Tread on Me Flag? The "Don't Tread on Me Flag" is a little-known part of American history.  Also called the "Gadsden Flag," it is the ultimate symbol of American independence and freedom from dictatorship and oppressive rule.  The symbol first appeared throughout the colonies in 1775, and it consisted of the American timber rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike.  According to American historians, the symbol was painted on some drums carried by the first Marines who accompanied the first U.S. Navy on its

first battles aboard the vessel named "The Alfred." The symbol, a terrifying rattlesnake, poised to strike, with thirteen rattles and displaying the motto "Don't Tread on Me," has become a powerful and patriotic symbol for the armed forces, but especially for the Navy and the Marines.    Other American Flags Through History   In addition to the stars and stripes, the revolutionary period of America's history was also represented by a number of local flags that colonists created during these difficult times.  Fort Moultrie Flag : The colonists defending Fort Moutrie in South Carolina in 1776 created this first flag representing the fight for American liberty.  It was a blue flag with a crescent moon in the corner.  Printed on the moon was the word "Liberty." Green Mountain Boys Flag : This flag was created by the militia in New Hampshire, on August 16, 1777, commanded by General John Stark.  It was flown at the Battle of Bennington, and it featured a green flag with 13 stars in the corner over a blue background.   Rhode Island Regiment Flag : The Rhode Island Regiment carried their own unique flag during the Revolutionary War.  The flag was white, with an anchor symbol in the center, and a blue corner with 13 stars. Commodore Perry's Flag : In an amazing battle, during the War of 1812, Captain James Lawrence of the Chesapeake, during his last moments before dying on his ship, proudly ordered his men "Don't Give Up The Ship."  Not long after this sad event, Commodore Perry raised a flag with these words during the Battle of Lake Erie, which encouraged the men to win the battle.  Bennington Flag : A flag that looks much like the stars and stripes, likely created in 1826 for the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, has the red and white stripes, but a corner featuring two stars at the top, and an arc of stars over the number "76". Cavalry Guidon : This well-known flag was carried by the cavalry during the Civil War.  These were carried by Cavalry soldiers throughout the western U.S. for many years.  The flag had the stars and stripes, but the stars in the corner were shaped in a circle with one star at each corner.  The right edge of the flag also had a "V" notch in it. A History of Independence American flags through history represent the longing of the human heart to remain free from oppressive rule and dictatorship.  These symbols stand for the American commitment to freedom, liberty, and justice for all.

Written by Ryan Dube. Courtesy of


Fourth Of July

marks the high point of summer but sometimes kids get

left out of the party because there's only grownup food around. Here are a few food ideas that are sure to please your little ones. Children love bite size snacks they can carry with them. Just about every child loves macaroni and cheese. You can make it special and portable by hollowing out a small dinner roll and stuffing it with mac and cheese. They won't even need a spoon. Stuff cherry tomatoes with a mixture of one cup of cottage cheese mixed with one quarter cup of parmesan cheese. Fill a plastic disposable container large enough to serve the stuffed tomatoes, half full of water, then freeze at least overnight.

At party time serve the tomatoes on the lid of the container placed on the ice. For a variation stuff the tomatoes with chicken salad or tuna salad. Chicken wings are fun and easy. Cut a chicken wing in three pieces. Bake the wings at 350 degrees until done. Serve at room temperature with dipping sauces. Mix equal parts honey, lime juice and mustard for a tangy dip. Or try equal party ketchup and brown sugar for a BBQ like sauce. Each child gets their own little cup of dipping sauce. Miniature hotdogs and buns are always a hit. Buy the little franks and refrigerator biscuits. Cut the biscuits in half. Place one little frank in the center and roll up. Bake as package directs. Grill baby burgers and place in a cut dinner roll, top with a slice of tomato, a lettuce leaf, and favorite condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard.. Salad to go. Wash endive leaves. Fill the broad end with a teaspoon of your kid's favorite prepared salad. Wash butter lettuce leaves, selecting the smaller more pliable leaves. Spread out the lettuce leaf and put a tablespoon of salad on the end nearest you. Roll the leaf forward covering the salad. Tuck the ends of the leave under as if you were rolling up a burrito. Lightly fill celery stalk with cream cheese. Press dried cranberries or raisins into the cheese. Cut into child bite sized pieces. For a change use flavored cream cheese. Child sized pizzas. Use refrigerator biscuits. Lightly flour a board. Roll each biscuit flat doubling the size of the biscuit. Place biscuits on cookie sheets. Spread with a teaspoon of tomato sauce, pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce. An alternative is to use a slice of fresh tomato. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake as package directs. A veggie platter and dip can be made special by using baby vegetables. Carrots, summer squash, patty pan squash, string beans, both yellow and green should be blanched by immersing in boiling water for one minute and then in immediately in an ice bath. Add snap pea pods, grape tomatoes, both red and yellow, and boiled baby potatoes. Mini tacos are fun and easy. Use the corn chips that are made for dipping and have a bowl shape. Fill with a teaspoon of cooked taco meat, a bit of refried beans and top with shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese just melts. Usually the challenge with kids and desserts is to stop the kids from only eating the sweet stuff. Here are a few suggestions to carry the mini theme forward. Use small cookies like vanilla snaps or mini chocolate chips cookies. Place a tablespoon of ice cream on the flat side of one cookie and cover with the flat side of another cookie to make a sandwich then freeze in a plastic container. Use a medium size sugar cookie, about a 3 inch diameter. Frost with vanilla pudding and top with slices of fresh strawberries for a mini strawberry tartlet. Make different varieties: Use chocolate pudding and raspberries, lemon pudding and fresh blueberries. Children will love you for making them feel special at your Fourth of July party.

Written by Dee Powers. Courtesy of,

Products To Love In July The one thing that you must have once you get your new kitchen pulled together is one of the Paula Deen Cookware Sets. I LOVE IT!! While I admit to being an admirer of that beautiful Southern lady, I would not recommend a pot I hated, no matter how sweet the designing chef. But Paula honey, you scored a culinary home-run with this set! They cook evenly, are pretty enough to display proudly, and best yet, the handles stay cool much longer than most pots and pans. I have made everything from chicken tacos to Elvis始 favorite (grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches) in with this set and I can honestly say that even as picky as I am, I始m very, very pleased! Please click here for more information.






Reviewed by Rural Jungle Testing

Want a cooler that really does it始s job? The new Tundra series from Yeti Coolers has every feature that one could desire from a cooler, plus it始s certified bear resistant! Honestly! How cool is that? It comes in sizes ranging from 35 qt to a whopping 250 qt and in two colors - white and desert tan. Please visit for more information.

Energy Independence! Proper illumination for your Flag gets easier. This solar-powered light replaces the typical power-greedy incandescent spotlight needed to display your Flag during night hours. Produces bright, pure-white light for showcasing contrasting colors of red, white and blue to their fullest. And power is produced for free, courtesy of the sun, with no wiring necessary. High-quality solar collectors recharge battery power even on cloudy days, 2 Bright, energyefficient LED bulbs provide 5 years of continuous burn time, Up to 12 hours of illumination on a full charge, Push button on / off on solar panel, Weatherresistant die-cast aluminum housing, Please click here for more information.

Products To Love In July

Mosquitos are the bane of any nighttime summer event, send them packing with the Citronella by the Hour candle. Elegant and effective this genius candle can be set to burn for exactly the amount of time you need without any waste! It provides up to 80 hours of pest free fun. Please visit for more information.

This is the ultimate patriotic room decorating kit! Each kit includes:2 Foil Swirls,36", 2 Foil Swirls, 24", 2 String Decorations,4ft, 2 String Decorations, 3ft, 2 Star Cutouts,15", 2 Flag Cutouts, 12", 1 Hat Cutout, 5 3/4", 2 Garlands, 10ft x 5", 2 Garlands, 10ft x 15",50ft String for Hanging Please click here for more information.

Tired of wimpy, flimsy camp chairs? Have we got a solution for you! The MaXXDaddy Monster is about the coolest chair we have ever seen! 2 cup holders, 2 layers of quilted padding, a magazine holder, adjustable and removable head and foot rest, a carry case and last but not least, it始s guaranteed to hold up to 800 lbs! Please visit for more information.

City Spotlight

Washington, DC As the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. is certainly not lacking of museums, monuments, exhibits, historic landmarks and a fantastic potpourri of cuisine and nightlife. The District of Columbia is vibrant and alive with thousands of college students, passionate non-profits and swarms of local and international government employees.

Get a taste of this unique social climate when you book your airfare to Washington DC through one of the region’s major airports: Dulles International Airport (Virginia), Ronald Reagan International (Virginia), and Baltimore/Washington International (Maryland). The city itself coexists as both the District of Columbia and the city of Washington. When the city was established, it was planned specifically to serve the United States as seat of government. A dispute arose between Virginia and Maryland as to which state would be home to the nation’s capital. Thus, the decision was made to establish Washington DC as an independent, non-state entity. What is most interesting about the city is its inhabitants are rule by the United States Congress, which has ultimate authority over DC and resulting in less government representation for residents than they would enjoy in a state. The National Mall… but That’s Not All! Although you will never find yourself short of things to do or see in Washington DC, there are several must visits in the District. A tour of the Capitol Building is a fascinating way to see the several stages of democracy as they emerged over the course of the nation’s history. The building itself was partially burned, along with the rest of the city, in 1814 by British forces and inside you can still see the remains of the old dome and the surrounding new, taller dome. You can also view the first Supreme Court, then housed inside the Capitol. This tour is most exciting because the building is an active part of today’s government, full of

congressional interns, staffers and Congressmen. Take a walk on the wilder side of Washington DC’s Rock Creek Park and visit the famous National Zoo, which is home to America’s famous pandas. Washington DC also offers the very popular Spy Museum, which covers the history of intelligence, espionage and code breaking in the United States and worldwide. The world renowned Smithsonian Institution is the most famous collection of museums and galleries, including the National Air and Space Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the recently added National Museum of the American Indian. From the Smithsonian collection you will have the best view of the Capitol and the Washington Monument at either ends of the grassy Mall. The Bounty Beyond Washington DC Many of Washington DC’s attractions are beyond the limits of the District. Once you book your airfare to Washington DC on cFares, plan to explore the outlying areas like Arlington National Cemetery, just across the Potomac in Virginia. Take a bike ride from there down the scenic green waterside of George Washington Parkway to Mount Vernon, the home and plantation of the nation’s first president, George Washington. Washington DC is also surrounded by several National Parks and recreation areas, including Shenandoah National Park and Anacostia National Park. Find your airfare to Washington DC today and experience the heart and soul of America’s traditions, culture and democratic institutions.

Written by Elyse Morgan, courtesy of

DYI Project - July Neon-Tipped Oxford Shoes

Items Needed: • • • • •

1 pair oxford shoes Paper for wrapping Painters or masking tape White spray paint or primer Neon Spray paint of your choice

1. If you have work the shoes before make sure that they are clean and free from any dust, dirt or debris that might mar the paint. 2. Tape off the section just behind where you want the neon color to start. Double check to ensure that your tape is straight and that both shoes have the same amount of space exposed to the paint. 3. Wrap the remaining exposed portion of the shoes in the paper and tape to secure at both ends. 4. Apply the white paint or primer to the exposed portion of the shoe and let dry. 5. Repeat step 4 if necessary (If the shoes are a very dark color this will help the color stand out.) 6. Apply the neon spray paint to the same area as the white paint or primer and let dry 7. Repeat step 6 if necessary until desired brightness/color is achieved. 8. Once completely dry, carefully remove the paper and tape. 9. Enjoy your awesome new shoes!

Courtesy of

Businesses That Make A Difference

Target Corporation is consistently ranked as one of the most philanthropic companies in the US. It

ranked #11 in Fortune Magazine's "Top 20 Most Admired Companies" for 2007, largely in part to the donation efforts of the company as a whole. Target donates around 5 percent of its pre-tax operating profit; it gives over $3 million a week to the communities in which it operates. It also gives a percentage of charges from its Target Visa to schools designated by the cardholders. To date, Target has given over $150 million to schools across the United States through this program.

During disasters, Target has been a major benefactor for relief efforts.

Further evidence of Target's philanthropy can be found in the Target House complex in Memphis, Tennessee, a long-term housing solution for families of patients at the city's St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The corporation led the way with more than $27 million in donations, which made available 96 fully furnished apartments for families needing to stay at St. Jude over 90 days.

Target provided monetary and product donations during the September 11 attacks; it also donated money for relief efforts for the 2004 tsunami in South Asia and donated $1.5 million (U.S.) to the American Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It also allowed its store properties in the affected area to be used as command centers for relief organizations. It also donated supplies such as water and bug spray. Check out to find out more.

This month's random fact is an explosive one: Fireworks! Fireworks are a class of explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and culture, and religious purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event (also called a fireworks show or pyrotechnics) is a display of the effects produced by firework devices. Fireworks competitions are also regularly held at a number of places. Fireworks take many forms to produce the four primary effects: noise, light, smoke and floating materials (confetti for example). They may be designed to burn with flames and sparks of many colors, typically red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and silver. Displays are common throughout the world and are the focal point of many cultural and religious celebrations. The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China, where they were invented. The fireworks were used to accompany many festivities. It is a part of the culture of China and had its origin there; eventually it spread to other cultures and societies.Important events and festivities such as the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) and the Mid-Autumn Festival were and still are times when fireworks are guaranteed sights. China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks in the world. Fireworks are generally classified as to where they perform, either as a ground or aerial firework. In the latter case they may provide their own propulsion (skyrocket) or be shot into the air by a mortar (aerial shell).

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Ann Walker 573-374-1331 888-525-3289

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Sales executive at Lake Buy Realty, Lake of the Ozarks, located in Laurie, MO on Lake of the Ozarks. I sell homes and property off-shore and lakefront on and around the lake area. I will be happy to assist you in looking for your dream home or helping you sell and relocate. I have been in real estate for seven years here at the lake and believe it is the best place to live and retire. Prior to real estate, I was in public education for 33 years.