Saturday, January 27, 2007

More YouTube, and a delicious recipe!

So this was actually in an e-mail someone sent me recently, but I couldn't figure out how to link it here so that everyone else could see it. Anyway, I searched YouTube and was able to find a link for you. Thought you'd all enjoy nearly made be cry...Reminded of my own great daddy! :)

Now, on to the delicious recipe I promised! Found this on one of the food blogs I occasionally visit, and have decided it is my new favorite! It is sooooo easy for packed lunches or quick suppers!

Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Parmesan
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
a pinch salt
1/4 cup loosely packed shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and stir gently to mix. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve immediately, or chill, covered until serving.

Note: This salad keeps well in the fridge and is in my (humble) opinion, best eaten cold.

Other variations: Instead of parmesan, try some sharp and salty greek Feta, some flat-leaf parsley, cubed cucumber, bell pepper and a black olive or two or some herbs de provence and some marinated artichoke hearts or red onion, olives and a little cumin or zest of the lemon used, cracked black pepper, feta cheese, diced black olives and GARLIC :)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

You Tube and McCutcheon

While watching the beautiful snow this weekend, I became bored and decided to search the internet. I spent some time on YouTube...for those of you who are unfamiliar, YouTube is a popular free video sharing website which lets users upload, view, and share video clips.

On a whim, I searched under John McCutcheon (one of my favorite artists) and this is what popped up. Thought some of you might enjoy them too! The song "Let's Pretend". "Duct Tape"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Secrets secrets, don't make Friends!

So, just wanted to let everyone know that I have a secret. One that can't be disclosed at this point, at least not over this medium... (In your face Patrick!) But one that makes me incredibly happy!

In other news...I recently ordered the soundtrack to the movie "A Mighty Wind" and tonight was the first chance to listen to it. Excellent! I also ordered Chantel Kreviazuk's album "What If It All Means Something" and have been listening to it as well--my favorite is the track "Feels like Home". For more information on this artist try . For those of you who haven't tried Pandora yet, if you are a lover of music, you will be a lover of this website!

Friday, January 12, 2007

What Teachers Make

This is an e-mail that a friend forwarded to me. Since my family is full of teachers, I thought you would all enjoy this as well.

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided their best option in life was to become a teacher?" He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?" (She paused for a second, then began...) "Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental... You want to know what I make?" (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.) "I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them criticize. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions. I teach them to write and then I make them write. I make them read, read, read! I make them show all their work in math. I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity. I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe. I make my students stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, because we live in the United States of America. Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life." (Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.) "Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant... You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make?"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Calm before the Storm

It's about to hit, I can tell! Yes, the weather forecasters are threatening that this weekend will have quite a doozy of a snow storm and winter weather headed our way, but I was really referring to the storm that seems to be brewing in my life! This week I've been coasting along with relatively free evenings, but this will end starting on Monday. I'm hoping the stress in my life dies down a bit before then, because I don't know how much of it I can handle while trying to balance school, work, conferences, and everything else I manage to squeeze in.

The past month has been pretty stressful at school...those of you who have talked to me recently have probably heard more than you want to know about it, so I won't go into it all here. Let's just say that I've had quite a few more responsibilities added to my plate, and lots of personnel problems to fix in the mix of it all. I'm really hoping that the frenzied pace of my life at school will soon abate. I'm past the point of being tired, instead I can truly say that I am weary!

Next week I have 3 conferences to attend-all about assistive technology for children in special education. Oh, have I mentioned that one of my new responsibilities is actually a new job title? "Assistive Technology Coordinator for Marion County" or something along those lines....I actually suggested "Assistive Techology Queen", but the SPED director seemed to think I needed something that was more official sounding. Just can't figure that one out! I guess if it will earn me some more money, I really don't care what I'm called! ;) I also start my night classes for massage next week, a SPED Christmas/Holiday party, and who knows what else thrown in!

The excitement of this week (as if you can take anymore!) is that I bought my plane ticket for this summer! I'll be leaving Wichita July 16th to fly to Germany, the adopted home of my favorite sister and brother-in-law, and staying until Aug. 7. While I'm there, I hope to see the Kreider-Stempfle gang, and spend some quality time with Heidi and Tim. Other tentative plans include: Rhine/Mosel tour, Munich area, Salzburg, Mainau, Riquewihr.... Now that I've purchased my ticket, I can't wait to get on that plane!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Christmas blessings!

Yup, I'm pretty sure I have the best sister and brother-in-law in the world! I know that there are some other pretty great ones out there, but mine have to be the best! The latest example was today's gift giving extravaganza...Heidi and Tim did Christmas "Heidi style" at least for me--lots and lots of little gifts to open. The absolute best was this cool addition to the bathroom--just what I needed for my bubblebaths! I'm thinking the star lantern will get hung in there too. Thank you Heidi and Tim! I love you!

Tomorrow I head back to work. :( This break has gone really quickly...any vacation time goes more quickly though when you pack your back and spend a part of it somewhere else than "home". Although I always enjoy my stays in other places, it is always nice to be home in my own bed.
I'm feeling much better...I spent most of Christmas vacation and the time leading up to break fighting the flu...after a trip to the dr. and some high powered drugs though, I'm feeling much better. All I have left is a bit of a cough...I'm hoping that will disappear soon.

It has been wonderful seeing all of my family this Christmas! Although not all members were present (Heidi and Tim, Renae, and Jason), I enjoyed the talks, laughs and hugs I shared with those that were. Those of you that were not able to be here, you were sorely missed. We love you!

I'm encluding some pictures from Christmas functions-Buller gathering, New Year's etc... I seem to have forgotten to take any pictures on the farm, whoops! Anyway, hope you enjoy!
Mom and Dad's "nicely shaped" Christmas tree, as per Heidi's request.
This is the flower arrangement I made for part of Pauline's gift.
Members of the Buller band: John, Anthony and Calvin.
Members of the Buller band: Patrick, Andrea, and Carmen.
Members of the Buller band: Andrea, Carmen and Arlin.
Standing around before the food gets on the table.
Ann with Adam "the big flirt".

Erica, Carmen and Brian out celebrating Whitney's New Year's Eve birthday at the worst restaurant in Wichita!
Erica with her boyfriend Adam after a great naptime!
Brian and Anthony try to figure out whether Whitney bought enough shrimp cocktail.
Carmen tries out her new chocolate fondue fountain.

Dad celebrated the New Year by breaking out the "Pennsylvania Dutch" egg nog...only the finest for our family! :)

Hm...all I can say is classic Whitney! Brian asked whether he could bring along some food and Whitney tonight to the party...Anthony's response..."sure, we'd love to have some food!" We were all glad that Whitney came along after all!