Wednesday, December 7, 2011


My little Hemi puppy is all better! :) I get to take him home from the vet at 4:30 pm! It was rat poison that he got into and Thomas has now picked up every single one that he set out. he promises to never again set out poison. Thank Goodness!!!! Today is also my last day of student-teaching. Oh, and I passed one of my teaching exams, only one to go! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Silver Bells. Jingle Bells. School Bells.

Brrrr....It is finally snowing outside. It is absolutely gorgeous, of course. Snow is one of my favorite things, as long as I don't have to go out in it to work. Luckily, I am about to graduate college with a degree that will insure that I stay inside during the winter. Good planning, right?
Anyhow, it has been a little while since I blogged, as I have been super busy trying to finish everything up for the semester. This is my last week teaching, so I should have more time for blogging, woodcarving, cooking, and anything I so desire. Still haven't heard anything on the job I am seeking. Winfield High School has posted an opening for an English teacher which would start in January. I submitted all of my application materials on Friday, so I am praying that I will hear something soon. If not, I can always substitute teach. Now, for some bad news. Yesterday was a pretty crummy day. I had to take our puppy, Hemi, to the vet. Kip (my vet) said that Hemi had most likely gotten into some rat poison, which means it is No Bueno. Poor little guy. Hoping to hear some good news about him, this morning. Will keep my fingers crossed.
Well, I should probably return to doing something productive, or semi-productive...To heck with it, I think I will just read a book....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chip Carving

It is about time to get back to my other wonderful hobby - woodcarving. Throughout the semester, I was only able to steal brief moments with my carvings, but in two weeks, my time shall once more be mine. Currently, my woodcarving endeavor is Chip Carving. It is an amazing process that creates intricate designs on flat surfaces, such  as wooden plates and ornaments. I am slowly improving at this venture and am finally starting to enjoy it more. It is such as calm and quiet form of woodcarving that requires very little space and energy. One thing that I have noticed, however, is that it starts to wear on my eyes. I should probably try a magnifying lense to carve under. Anyhow, I have already created 5 oraments for christmas presents, the most recent two, are not that bad, honestly. I need to get my own knives for this, instead of using my grandma's. I cannot use my usual carving knives, as this requires a different blade, which faces the opposite direction. Okay, I am tired of typing...TTFN!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Counting Down the Days....

Soon, I shall be free! Well, sort of...
After this week, I only have two weeks until I graduate. WOW! At least, I hope I will be graduating, he he. I should have my KPTP scores by this evening, which makes me extremely nervous, and I am hoping it is over a 20. Just hoping, and praying, and dreaming....
Yep. Spazzing a tad, today. I just finished teaching my last lesson of student-teaching AND my last observation. Big weight off my shoulders. Now, if I can just pass that darn KPTP and the exams... Bleh.
I am off this evening, so headed to carving around 6pm. So thankful because it helps me to relax AND I am making Christmas presents. Not sure who gets them, yet, but someone who will like them, for sure!
Starting to miss my sis, even though she hasn't been gone that long. Honestly, I probably miss her just because I know she is so far away. Plus, I am a little jealous that she lives only a block away from Hobby Lobby. On second thought, it is a VERY good thing that I don't live that close to Hobby Lobby because I would be even more broke than I am...
Keeping my fingers crossed on a potential teaching job......
It's a Raptor!
A really, cute Raptor!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm thankful for.....

1. My Family (including in-laws) :)
2. My Critters - all 9 of them!
3. My lovely, warm home which is MUCH warmer now that Thomas fixed the wood stove.
4. The fact that I have less than 3 weeks of school before I graduate!
5. The chance that means I may have a teaching job in January, even a small chance.
6. My wonderful friends...
7. The news that Thomas will move to 2nd shift in January...
8. Chocolate
9. Pepsi - even though I don't drink it anymore, at least I know its there if I need it! :)
10. Mexican food, especially black beans and chips & salsa!

There are so many more things I am thankful for, but I'm tired of typing..... ;P

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thank You Cards....

I feel like a terrible person because I still have not sent out my Thank You cards. However, they will be going out this week! YAY for me! :) I only have 1 page of people left, I have already written 3 pages worth. Thomas needs to sign his name on them still. lol. Anyhow, that will be a big relief. I am just getting things whipped out and finished - KPTP was submitted last night, took my exams on Sat, TUs going out this week. All that is going to be left is wrapping up the Student Teaching paperwork and I will be DONE! Soon, it will be Thanksgiving and then, I can decorate for my favorite holiday - Christmas! I even bought a new mini tree for my kitchen table - it's cute, for sure. Still keeping my fingers crossed for a possibility of a job in January...
Here is another recipe or two from my email chain....

Cheez-it Chicken

Cheez-its Chicken
Chicken tenderloins
1 cup sour cream
3 cups of crushed Cheez-its
½ cup of melted margarine

Dip clean chicken into sour cream coating it on all sides. Then roll it into the crushed Cheez-its making sure it is covered well. Place in baking dish with melted butter and turn it over so that margarine is on both sides. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes at 375 degrees

Laura Johnson-  Garden City, Kansas
Zucchini Banana Bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1.     Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4 inch bread loaf pans.
2.     In a large bowl, beat eggs until light yellow and frothy. Add oil, brown sugar, white sugar, grated zucchini, bananas, and vanilla; blend together until well combined. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the cranberries and nuts. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.
3.     Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool in the loaf pans on a wire rack before removing and serving.

Beth Bellinger

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recipes and Ramblings.....

I am well on my way to actually graduating and becoming a certified teacher. On Saturday, I took both of the exams required for certification and should receive my scores in the next few weeks. I feell very good about one, but the other is iffy. I also finished the KPTP on Friday and am going to finish editing it before submitting it this evening. Only 13 more school days until I am finished! WooHoo!
My deaest sister is leaving for TN on Saturday. :( We had dinner at Mom's for her 'going away' last night. It was a lot of fun and we had a lot of good food. Allie also cleaned my house on Saturday! Yea! :)
I am participating in a fun email exchange with recipes, so I will include a couple that I have receieved:


1 whole grain english muffin sliced in half
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 slices thin sliced deli ham
1/4 granny smith apple
1 piece swiss singles

spread the mustard on the english muffin, then put 1 slice of deli ham per side of the english muffin, slice the apple into thin slices and place on top of ham, top with cheese and broil in the oven until cheese is melty and bubbly!
Easy Holiday Truffles

Oreo Truffles –

1 package Oreos (Blended)
1 package cream cheese
1 package white chocolate bark

Crush Oreos or blend them in a food processor. Mix with softened cream cheese. Roll mixture into 1’ balls. If the mixture is too thin or thick, add more Oreos or cream cheeses, accordingly. Chill Oreo balls for at least half an hour. Melt chocolate. Dunk the balls in chocolate.
Lay out on wax paper and chill until serving.

Peanut Butter Truffles

1 part Peanut Butter
1 part Powdered Sugar
1 package Chocolate Bark

Combine Peanut Butter and Powdered Sugar until mixture will form a ball, easily. Create 1’ balls and chill at least half an hour. Melt chocolate. Dunk PB balls in chocolate. Lay out on Wax Paper and chill until sevring.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November at last...

It is FINALLY raining! Thank goodness, I was wondering if we were ever going to experience the rain in Kansas, again! Maybe the Oklahoma earthquakes shook up the skies so that they would open. Ya think? Anyhow, went to a wonderful field trial in Eureka on Saturday and had a great time. I even scouted for my dad while he was running Rowdy Bo Dandy, a 2 year old Brittany. The pup had two finds and a stop to flush, but he just doesn't run quite big enough to compete with the big boys. However, I am betting this dog really does well in the next couple years. Right now, I am sitting at school trying to work on this KPTP. I am on page 23, so that's good, right? I should probably quit procrastinating and get back to it before I have to teach 7th hour. Eventually. Thomas finally signed me up on his insurance last night and I just hope I have a chance to use it. Another warn notice is coming out at his work on Friday - hoping his job code is not on it. At least we have a few options if he does get laid off. He has started looking into the railroad a little bit. He thinks it is something he might want to try if the aircraft industry keeps nosediving. He would be gone a lot, but the money is good, I guess. He is still working on Ground School, I think he is about halfway through. That's it for now. TTFN!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

What a great day for Halloween! It is the perfect fall weather, even a little bit on the warm side. We got to see all of the little preschoolers parade through the high school this morning and they were freaking adorable! Bless those that are preschool teacher, they must have unlimited energy and patience!
This afternoon, Mom, Allie and I are going to see Puss in Boots 3D. Haha. We all love Shrek and have decided that this movie is a must-see. There won't be many more evenings with the three of us, since Allie is moving to Tennessee, soon. :(  Oh well, I know it will be a great adventure for her!
Thomas is busy cutting trees at my Great Aunt Paula's today, instead of working at the shop. He has decided that there are limited nice weather days and he won't have many more days for working outdoors. Paula really appreciates all of his help, as most of her family avoids work like the plague. Thomas is getting a Thunderbird in return, it has suicide doors and is a early 70's model - really neat looking!
Anyhow, I need to get back to the KPTP.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Keeping all the balls in the air....

Yep, its cold! :) I do not mind, though. Finally ready for some actual Fall weather, it always feels so festive! I just cannot believe that next week will be November, this semester has moved pretty quickly. I turned on the wood stove again last night and it felt very amazing. :) I do hope that Saturday won't be freezig because Allie and I are attending a Trunk-or-Treat for the animal shelter. Most of the other board members are out of town for a conference, so I have wrangled my sister into helping me. We are taking 3 dogs and 2 kittens to Trinity Lutheran's Fall Festival Trunk or Treat for kids and their fanilies to see what we have to offer in the way of pets. It will be a lot of fun to see the kids all dressed up in their costumes. Allie and I are dressing up, sort of. Our costumes consist of sparkly, purple false eyelashes and purple striped tights. We will probably wear black dresses and shoes and be 'nice, purple witches'! Haha. We are so creative - not. Not much else exciting has been happening. Work is about the same - we had aother waitress quit. We are averaging about one a week! Sheesh! I think we have a hostess quitting this week. Its not their fault, my boss is pretty hard to work for and so is his wife. Oh well, at least it is decent pay and tips! I have been working on my KPTP and Thank You cards like a mad woman, trying to get it all finished. Thomas is still liking Ground School, but he says it is a lot of information to absorb. I think I am going to try Pinterest, has anyone heard of that?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekends are too short

Well, what a Monday! I have been working on my KPTP project most of the day, then I am headed to a humane society meeting at 5:30. I sincerely hope that it does not last as long as the last one. Whew! Maybe I will stop by Momma's afterwards.....
Thomas and I stayed up WAY too late last night. We ran up to dinner in Wichita at Bonefish Grill. It was decent, but not great. We are going to Carraba's, from now on. Way better. Then, we stopped by Freddie's Frozen Custard for some dessert. I am convinced my husband is crazy - he does not like anything at Freddie's, not the burgers, fries, or heavenly custard. Silly boy. That's ok, more for me! ;) We picked up a redbox movie and headed home to watch Bad Teacher, which was absolutely hilarious, but kept us up way past bedtime.
Hmmmm, what else?
Thomas may be at risk for lay offs in January. :( They are talking about it again. Hopefully, he can squeak by again, though. A better rumor is that they are going back to regular shifts in January, as well. This would be FABULOUS!!! I would take 2nd or 3rd, of course 1st would be best!
He is still working on his Private Pilot's license. He actually has homework this week. Its cute because he is doing everything he can to avoid it! Homewrok is not his forte, unless it has a motor...
That's all for now!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just Another Day....

Last night, was the first night managing the restaurant and it really was not too bad. I appreciated being 'officially' manager, rather than just having to handle everything without the extra pay. Ayhow, it will be a great job to put on my resume.
What else has been happening?
Thomas is still enjoying ground school. He has also been working out every morning with his friends. This means I don't get to see him before I leave for school, but I know he always feels better when he is working out. I should probably take notes! :) I get to see him for about 10 minutes after school today, before he leaves at 4 for ground school. He doesn't get very much sleep on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but neither do I  during the week. Who needs sleep anyways? I am counting down the days until the 2nd week of Decemeber, when school will be over and I have more time.
I haven't worked on my KPTP at all, today. Probably should get after that!
That's about it, for now! TTFN!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Okay, so I promised to get you the recipe for Spin. Art. dip. I am absolutely addicted to this dip and have to be careful when I make it because I will eat a whole batch for dinner!

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 package frz. chopped spinach
2 cans artichoke hearts (chopped)
1c sour cream
1c mayonnaise
1c mozzarella
1c parmesan
salt, pepper, garlic to taste
*My secret ingredient - 1/4 c dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine everything and stir, except 1/2c mozz and 1/2c parm.
Pour into 9x13 or deep 8x8.
Top with remainder of cheese.
Cook for 30 minutes or until slightly golden on top.
Serve warm with pita or tortilla chips!

Perfect appetizer for 6-8 people. Perfect meal for 3-4 people.

My name is Jessica and I am a salsa addict....

Okay, so one of my all-time favorite blogs is that of Ree Drummond aka Pioneer Woman. If you haven't yet checked out her blog, you absolutely need to...NOW! :) She also has some wonderful cookbooks out!

Anyhow, I LOVE salsa! I saw this salsa recipe on her site and just had to share with you. I have not tried to make it, yet, but I will soon! :) Enjoy!

The Pioneer Woman - Recipe

I also think that I am about to get onto some 9th graders. I am observing a class and the teacher is doing nothing to corral these little hellions! Cannot wait until I have my own classroom.

Tonight is the Animal Shelter membership meeting, so I will be leaving school a hair early to make sure I get my Spinach Artichoke made in time. There are 80+ memebers, so I sincerely hope a crockpot full of dip and four bags of tortaillas is sufficient. Stay tuned for the recipe for Spin. Art. Dip!

Oh and here is another wedding pic for ya!
This is adorable, little Cadie. She came to my wedding and was just in awe of all the fun and girly things! So sweet! :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Joe Walsh Concert

We were lucky enough to see Joe Walsh in concert on Saturday night. We went with Thomas' parents and it was a lot of fun! :) If you do not know who Joe Walsh is, look up "Rocky Mountain Way" which he wrote and turned into a number 1 hit! :)

              ^ Kansas = Flat

<Thomas driving - as usual
                                                                                   Joe Walsh >
Joe again....

Me looking oh so serious
Me Playing with the Camera

Spinach and Mozzarella Strata

Okay, so here is an amzing recipe that I found on a wonderful cooking blog! Cannot wait to try it out!

Spinach and Mozzarella Strata - Easy Family Recipes

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Real Dilemma....

So. My dacshund (Mo) is whining incessantly at the moment because he wants to go outside and chase cats. It is about to drive me up the wall, but I will attempt to finish this post before I strangle the little devil! The dillemma that I am struggling with is whether or not to quit my waitressing job. I do not necessarily need the money, but it is nice to have a little extra. If I was not student teaching, I wouldn't even consider quitting; however, I am extremely busy and stressed lately with everything that is on my plate. Not to mention work is getting out of hand. I am officially the unofficial manager since I have been there the longest of any employee, but I still only make $3 plus tips, per hour. I know that if I asked for a raise they would want me to be the manager, officially. I do not want that! I hate being responsible for everyone's screw ups and questions! My blood pressure must be through the roof! Anyhow, Thomas told me that I could quit whenever I want, since I will start substitute teaching this January, but I absolutely hate quitting jobs. So, I am going to try and stick it out a little longer and see where this goes. Oh, and the boss/owner just made his wife day manager and in charge of schedules. Great! < sarcasm. If you knew the situation, you would understand! lol

Ok, enough griping and groaning. On a brighter note, I get to sleep in tomorrow morning! Yippee! Hopefully, I will also get to spend some quality time with Thomas before we head to work. My dog is still whining. I belive he is rebelling lately, since neither Thomas nor I are ever home. The darn dog even peed on the bed last week!!! He doesn't do that, but I think he is looking for attention. Yet another reason I may quit work. :)
Headed to bed, hopefully to sleep very peacefully! Night!

Amazing Quote

"Le hasard, c'est peut-etre le pseudonyme de Dieu, quant il ne veut pas signer."
"Chance is perhaps the pseudonym of God when he does not wish to sign his work."
                         -Theophile Gautier, La Croix De Berny

I read this in a dedication of a book that I am reading and I thought that it was interesting.......

Stay tuned to my other blog for the book review...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Teacher of Promise

I was nominated for the Teacher of Promise award! Wow! It is an award through the KSDE and only two education students, per year, receive it at Southwestern. Very exciting! I am supposed to stop by SC this evening, before work, to fill out forms and find out more information. :)

Thomas had his first day of Ground School yesterday and he really enjoyed it! He said the first class was really easy - Basic Aerodynamics. His next class is Thursday, hopefully he keeps enjoying it! I was very happy that he came home 2 hours early this morning at we were able to spend time together. :)

I attended a Legacy meeting about endowments, last night. Previously, I did not even know what endowment meant, but now I can tell you the different types and the 5 steps to gaining an endowment! LOL. Hopefully, we can use some of the information that we gained at the animal shelter. We are in desperate need of an endowment with the way the economy has been, lately. Our anual fundraisers are going very well, but we should plan for the long term.  I am hoping to raise $15,000 at the wine tasting fundraiser this year, since we raised $14,000 last year.

That is all for now, at school right now and headed to work this evening. We do have a concert to go to on Saturday - Joe Walsh. It should be a lot of fun!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday, Monday, Monday!

Good news!!!! Thomas is starting Ground School this week for his private pilots license! It is an 8-week course, 2 days a week! Very excited for him, but it means we won't see each other at all during the weekdays. Bummer. He is looking forward to it, though, so it will be awesome! Can't wait until he can start flying!

I really, really, did not want to get out of bed this morning. Now that it is staying dark later in the mornings, I find it much harder to get up and around. Thomas and I had a great weekend, though! Saturday was a very busy and productive day.We made it to the vet for Hemi's shots and he was a perfect puppy! He messed in my truck on the way home, then fell asleep! Too funny. Thomas bought 2 pallets of wood pellets for our stove and I attempted to help unload them, I think I maybe did half a pallet. So lucky that he is strong! We also sold my Thoroughbred colt (FINALLY) to a good home. Then, the fun began! Our friends, Mike and Cynthia came by for a visit and we all headed up to a friends party. It was raining the entire time, but we still had a good night! After that, we went to IHOP! Love that place and we never go because we rarely want to drive an hour to get there.

Sunday was a day of relaxing. Went to lunch with Thomas family and then my parents came over that evening. It rained all day, again! Very thankful for the moisture, but I was getting used to not dealling with muddy pawprints in the house.

Back to school and work for the both of us, today.... SIGH...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chili and Bread Bowls

Work was not all that bad yesterday - came home with $160! The boss' wife wasn't working, thank goodness! Today, I am ready for a day of relaxating with the husband! :) Headed to the vet at 11 to take Hemi - the new puppy- in for his shots. Then, I am coming home to cook! Thomas has been begging me to make chili - I don't make it when its hot out- so I have finally relented. I am making some bread bowls for the chili, as well, using my bread machine for the dough. Later tonight, we are headed to a friend's party, can't wait! Here is my chili and bread recipe!

Johnson No-Bean Beer Chili

2lbs lean meat - venison works best, but I am using 93/7 beef until Thomas gets a deer this fall.
1 can beer - Coors Light is my favorite
1 onion or 1 bag pearl onions
1 big can tomato juice
1 package Wick Fiowler's 2 Alarm Chili Kit - I have to order this online

Brown the meat with the onion. Do not drain, if using lean meat! Add the beer and simmer for 15 minutes. Add tomato juice and chili packet (as directions instruct). Simmer the entire chili for at least 30 minutes. An hour is better, to get the seasoning to combine! Serve with cheese, fritos or crackers, or bread!

Easy Bread Bowls

3t active yeast
1c warm water
1c warm milk
1/2c shortening
1/2c sugar
2 eggs
2t salt
6c all-purpose flour

Combine in bread machine. Mix with dough cycle. Take out and separate - I like big bowls, so I separate into fourths, you could easily get 6 bowls, though. Let sit in warm place until doubled, approx 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees, for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Cut a thin slice from the top and hollow out. Press the bread to the inside walls for reinforcement. Toss in the oven for anoth 10 minutes to warm. Enjoy!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Langenwalter Living

I have decided to branch out into another blog! My other blog, Ready for a Good Read, has been so much fun, but I would like to keep it to book reviews. Therefore, I have decided to start Langenwalter Living! WIth any luck, I will post more often on this one! :) Would love to stay and customize it, but I have to go to work - waiting tables this morning. It will be SO much fun! Ok, just kidding. I actually get to work with the devil herself - the bosses wife! Yikes! The thing is, she is a HORRIBLE waitress, but nobody can tell her that or fire her because her husband owns the restaurant. Quite the predicament! Updates soon! TTFN!