Monday, December 28, 2015

Holiday Wishes

Hello Friends -
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday!
Maddy's wish came true and we had a white Christmas!!
So happy that the weatherman was wrong and
we got some snow!
Bonus -- we're now enjoying very cold temps!
Ha -- just kidding -- that is not a bonus in my book!!

Those warmer than normal temperatures we enjoyed earlier this month evidently
moved East and now the Polar Plunge has arrived!

I neglected to post my Christmas Card earlier.
So, if you didn't see it on FB or IG,
here it is again!
Mr. Tennis insisted that our Scottie be in the photo too 
or he wouldn't be in it!
Luckily (for the photographer) both cooperated for photos! 

It's been such a busy and fast month - don't you agree?
I am woefully behind on updating the good old blog, but
hoping to catch up soon.

Just in case I don't get back here by the end of the year,
Best wishes for a Very
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Choir Concert Catchup!

Time for a quick post as I try to catch up a
little bit!  Maddy's jr. high class had 
their choir concert last week!

It was magical!  
Listening to their beautiful voices in Church
and having some quiet time to reflect was
so needed, 
especially this year.

There she is -- top row - next to her friend Maia

They all did a fabulous job and I do love
listening to the group sing.
Hoping she continues choir in high school
as the choir director there is amazing!

True story -- Maddy actually started thinking
about her dress for the Christmas concert in August!
When you wear uniforms and rarely get a chance
to get out of the plaid skirt and polo -- 
thinking about and planning a 
a perfect new dress takes some time!

Sorry, you can't see it very well, but it's white
with sparkly gold polka dots and she
has some fabulous shoe/boots to wear with it!

Great job - Junior High Choir!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Weekend Update!

The cold weather found us!
We knew it couldn't last forever, but wow -- 
we did enjoy the 50 and 60 degree temps in December!
Record books people!

But rain, and lots of it,  hit on the weekend
and a cold wind blew in too!
How do people where it rains all the time
handle it??
If instead of rain - it was snow --
we would have had over 12 inches of snow and likely a day off school.
Someone is disappointed!

Though cooking is not exactly my forte',
I knew just what was needed . . .
my Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup!
Served with a toasted English muffin
and it's one of those yummy warm meals
you want over and over 
(or at least I do)!

Bonus -- it is low fat and still
incredibly yummy!

Not low fat but one of my favorite holiday
treats -- Fantasy Fudge!

And Marble Cheesecake!

Bring on the holiday treats!
Counting calories can wait for January!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Weekend Update on Wednesday

Yes, I am wee bit behind on
 just about everything lately, sooooo
the weekend update is posting on Wednesday!

And it was a busy weekend!
Maddy's junior achievement group was selling their
wares at the Church craft fair on Saturday.
Friday night, Mads and I ran around gathering
materials for more inventory!
Her products included Santa and Snowman mugs
with a corresponding pot-holder or towel and
packet of hot chocolate.
She also made up bottles of holiday candy!
In addition, she had some of the remaining sugar scrubs for sale.
It was a busy morning and the team did fairly well!
They also sold some hand-painted ornaments and room deodorizers
made by other team members.

With the afternoon off, we did a little Christmas shopping
and then it was time to get ready for the 8th Grade Honor Choir performance
singing the National Anthem at our local ice hockey team game.
The choir did a fabulous job and they all  
loved watching the hockey game ---
especially exciting were those moments when a little "fight"
between opposing team skaters would break out!

8th Grade Honor Choir and Music Director - Miss H.

Sunday meant yard work!  :(
But, we really couldn't complain too much as it is
somewhat rare to have temps in the 50s in December!
Fingers crossed that NO more leaves blow into our yard!

Happy to report that we are still enjoying the warmer than normal
temps though I just heard accumulating snowfall predicted for the weekend!
Someone (Maddy, not me) is very happy with that forecast!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Looking for Santa

Here Comes Santa Claus . . . 

Well, actually -- there sits Santa Claus!

This year my sweet Miss Maddy declined
to visit Santa -- :(   

But, that didn't stop me from having her stand
near Santa village at the mall!  :)

Here's a little throwback to when she would sit on Santa's lap
in 2008 - at a neighbor's party!  

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hello December!

Whew -- So long to November!
It  was a bit of a tough month
with Mr. Tennis being ill and having surgery
during Thanksgiving week
Deja vu all over again as last year
at this time he was ill too.
He is on the mend and we are hopeful
for a full and speedy recovery!

Pine cones -- love these!
So, in a rather slow attempt to get some
holiday decorating done,
Maddy and I went to our local Earl May
and put together some
pot-toppers for the outside planters.

It was a DIY day so we nabbed their heavy duty
cutters and went at it.
Glitter and pine cones and embellishments were flying!
We each put one together 
and think we did a fabulous job!
We love to pat each other on the back 
when we accomplish something halfway crafty!

This morning when I picked up the newspaper, I noticed now that 
we've had a bit of snow,
the pot-toppers look even more festive!
Check off part 1 of outside holiday decorating!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Feeling Oh So Thankful

Hello friends --

Are you ready for a Thanksgiving break
and Black Friday sales?

Sneak peak of a family photo including our Scottie Muffy!
It's been a bit of a rough week.
Mr. Tennis has been ill and had major
abdominal surgery on Monday to deal with his Crohn's disease.
Boo hoo - it turned out to be more complicated and
difficult then anticipated.
we are very thankful
. . .
That our prayers were heard,
for the skilled surgeon who took care of him and
predicts a good recovery and for the many
nurses and caregivers who are taking such good care of  him.

Very thankful for family and friends and their support, kindness
and especially prayers during this hard time.
Love you all!

Thankful for the wonderful weather
we've been enjoying.  I'm a bit of a nervous driver so not
having to deal with ice and snow yet makes me so happy.
I know, now I've jinxed it, haven't I!

Thankful for Maddy's choir performance Monday night that provided
beautiful noise!
The joy in young voices warmed me up and lifted my spirit on Monday
after a long day at the hospital.

And . . .
Thankful for the smile my fitbit provided me
the other day when it said "ilikeu" (I like you) after I charged it up!
Yes, I like you too fitbit! :)

So many blessings!
Happy Thanksgiving all!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Who Wants to Go to a Movie?

Miss Maddy and I LOVE
going to the movies!
We especially love to go when the weather is nasty
outside and we can escape for a while!

Besides Black Friday shopping,
a movie at Thanksgiving time
is one of our traditions!
Truth be told, I may have taken a little snooze in
years past at some of the kiddie movies.
Big Thanksgiving meal + wine = napping in the theatre! :)

She has quite the list lately on movies she wants to see 
Meet the Coopers
The Good Dinosaur
The New Bond Movie
Mockingjay Part 2
the new Star Wars
of course,
The Peanuts Movie!

Bring on the buttered popcorn!  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Just Thinking Some Thoughts - A Bit of Randomness

Today I have some rather scattered and random thoughts to put out there -
while I wonder if we will get our first snow tonight!

Last winter -- hope this is a long ways off!

But first, Miss M doing cartwheels in the yard full of leaves!

Gotcha - Mid-cartwheel!

We've had delightful fall weather for weeks now,
but I know a change is coming soon!
I even managed to get all of the 3,455,222+ weeds and vines in the
backyard pulled and cleaned up this fall!
And I raked a ton of leaves though you can't really tell!
 Oh yes, I patted myself on the back many times
and pointed out the cleaned up landscape many times to anyone
who would listen!
Yep -- Go Me!

Next on the big long list of projects -- the garage
(where scary mice might be hiding) and the
basement (SO. MUCH. STUFF).
But let's leave all that for another day,
I feel like baking cookies, don't you?

In other news,
Miss Maddy has a junior achievement project we've been working on.
It's fun -- but really, didn't we wait to have junior achievement until junior year in high school?
Truthfully, I was an overachiever and participated sophomore year,
but 8th grade!?!
Methinks it is a bit early for JA!

Anywho, her team is making and selling sugar scrubs -- wonderful and
sweet smelling
ways to exfoliate, brighten up and energize your skin
(a tad bit messy to produce).
 So far, they've come up with Pumpkin and Lemon Sugar Scrubs.
 I thought I'd love the Pumpkin -- but not so much.
Coming Soon -- Candy Cane and Peppermint -- I'll be sure to post a photo!
Keep them in mind for your holiday gift list! :)

And in a not-so-great deja vu from last year's holiday season,
Mr. Miata's Crohn's disease has taken an ugly turn and
requires surgery.  He is really feeling rotten. It seemed like the meds were working
and they were, until they didn't work anymore.
Super disappointing.
So, we are hopeful that the surgery will be just the ticket
to get him feeling better, playing tennis again, riding that smelly old horse and
driving that his vintage (sounds better than old) Miata convertible --
when the weather warms up, that is.
We love that guy and hope he feels lots better soon!

Christmas photo, 2013 (2015 version coming soon)

Friday, November 6, 2015

There's a New Chick In Town!


Oh my word -- Chick-fil-a opened in Lincoln last week!
Miss M had been watching the progress of the 
restaurant for months and
counting down until opening day.

If she had known about it and not been in school,
she would have camped out in the parking lot overnight
to be one of the "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner" winners 
(free meal once a week for a year).

We were one of the crazies who attempted to
get in on opening day.  The drive-thru lines were so long, 
yet orderly with police directing traffic, but we detoured left and
hit Taco Bell instead!

Not to be deterred,  we visited the next day
earlier and went inside!
Let me say . . . it did not disappoint!

Miss M - a connoisseur of chicken strips, nuggets, et al.,
proclaimed Chick-fil-a to be "the best ever!"
She's not the biggest fan of their waffle fries -fries should look like fries,
 not waffles!
I had some yummy chicken soup - yes, I am one of those dorks
 who always orders soup!

The workers are all so sweet and friendly and at one point one of the managers 
called out -- "How do we feel?"  
And they all yelled back "H A P P Y"!

If you haven't tried Chick-fil-a yet -- we give it a big Thumbs Up!.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hey There Little Red Riding Hood

Just a little bit more about Halloween 
since I interrupted my regular programming 
with the weather alert Monday.
By the way, the gorgeous warm and sunny weather continues!

Maddy decided to be Little Red Riding Hood months ago
and we attempted to locate a costume in
stores, on the internet, etsy, etc.
Most were rather sleazy looking versions of the cute Red Riding Hood girl, 
so we came up with our very own rendition!
Maddy knew she wanted to wear a tutu -- 
she is a tutu-type girl and has worn tutus 
in a number of costumes over the years.

We found a cape at Walmart, the tutu on etsy and
she already had a peasant blouse.
She added a black vest for warmth (it wasn't cold after all)
and wore her uniform black leggings and black riding boots!

Added the eye mask too -- but it only lasted for the photos!
Mr. Miata is sporting a shark mask here and wanted to
watch Jaws all night long!
Figure that one out if you can.  :)

Our neighborhood was crazy with ghosts and goblins
 and had over 250 visitors!
I ran out of candy --
even my hidden supply that was supposed to be for me
was given up for the little monsters.

Miss M is already thinking about next year's costume --
surprise surprise . . . it involves a tutu!  :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hello November!

Before I get back to all things 
Trick or Treating-related,
I wanted to chat a bit about the weather --
Holy cow -- November -- I Love you!
 We are having incredibly
warm and sunny weather -- 
not at all typical for Nebraska in November!

Last week - there were frost warnings out and
some serious frost on the ground Thursday morning!
Yesterday, November 1st -- it was 80 degrees here!

Today at lunch time -- 75 degrees!
I walked 2 miles over my lunch hour in the sweet sunshine
to celebrate the fabulous start to the month!

You know how much I talk whine about the cold and snow 
all winter long, so only fair that I tell you about
the lovely and warm temps!
This is not to say it will last as a cold 
front is heading our way, but
seriously . . . 75 in November!

Photo from World Wide Web -- no beaches in Nebraska!
Mr. Tennis, aka Mr. Miata, jumped back
into his little Miata convertible 
that he figured was put away until spring!

3 extra days of shorts!!!!

Even better, Mr. E. the principal at Maddy's school
declared that the winter dress code (skirts and leggings - NO shorts)
would not go into effect until Thursday, November 5th.
I had one happy 8th grader this morning!

Welcome November!!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Costumes Revisited and Boo at the Zoo!

A little Flashback Friday for you --
A Ballerina from 2005 -- 10 years ago!!

Perfecting her princess wave in 2006!

Back to present day . . . 
Our annual Boo at the Zoo this year did not disappoint!
We arrived later than usual and found a parking spot in the first row!
Yippee -- that never happens!

Here she is -- Little Red Riding Hood
with the Zoo Wizard -- our
fabulous local Zoo Director!

My only complaint is that too
many paper coupons and ads were distributed
and not nearly enough chocolate!

Hope that the school's Trunk or Treat tonight
and real Trick or Treating tomorrow yields
more chocolate
and less paper!

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Patch 2015

Our traditional visit to the pumpkin patch
was a bit delayed this year,
but we did make it last weekend!
Perfect time to go as even though it was crowded,
it was fun and their french fries did not disappoint!
The funnel cake smelled so good and was so tempting, but we decided
on the fries this time instead!

Werewolves of London musicians!
Who doesn't love that song! :)
The crazy haunted house also did not disappoint!
Even though it's fairly small, it makes me crazy
dizzy at one point.  Luckily, Maddy was
in front of me in her neon sweatshirt
so I was able to wobble my way through!

The bouncing pillows were a blast
as usual and her socks were the only

We love our yearly visit to Roca Berry Farm!!

Here's a little blast from the past -- 2011!

Yes, she did pick that really big pumpkin!

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Fab Four Friday!

Do you know the Fab Four . . .
The Ultimate Beatles Tribute Band!

On what would have been John Lennon's 75th
birthday (October 9), the Fab Four played here in 
our sweet little hometown!

Maddy and I attended and had a crazy fun time.
We rocked and swayed to the music ---
who knew I was so cool???

Not that I was a teen or anything even remotely close to a teen
when the original Fab Four were popular, but
I've always been a big fan of the oldies! 
Happily, Maddy loves the oldies too and has been 
learning both the Beatles and Beach Boys in her ukulele lessons.

Unfortunately, it was not the most fabulous of 
Fridays, as Mr. Miata was in the hospital
with a Crohn's disease-related issue. :(
He insisted we go ahead and attend the performance as he 
was a bit groggy and very tired.
He was out of the hospital in a couple
days and is feeling better every day.
Crohn's is an auto-immune disease and it is a beast!

So, let's move on to happier topics, shall we.
Stay tuned for Maddy's Halloween costume -
it is super cute and sweet just like her! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dear Fall -- What I Like About You!

Dear Fall:
What I like about you . . .
Besides the lovely cool temps
and low humidity
. . .
I Love Pumpkins!
Big ones, little ones, stripey ones, warty ones -
I love them all!

Lately, the "different" looking ones have appealed
to me a bit more than the usual jack-o-lantern pumpkins.

Though we haven't made it to the Pumpkin Patch yet
this year, Maddy and I are still hoping to get there.

The haunted house there is calling my name and if the
heat and humidity returns, I'm sure me and my frizzy locks will be recruited for
some witching duties!  :)

My other favorite pumpkins -- velvet pumpkins --
 oooh la la - I love these, don't you?

And who could forget gourds!
We used to dry out gourds
(I'm sure there is a tutorial out there somewhere)and
make them into maracas!
Weren't we clever! :)

Hope you are having a fabulous Fall too!

Friday, October 9, 2015

While I Was Away

In case you're wondering (or not)
while I was away visiting my Dad,
Mr. Miata and Maddy had 
a fabulous time together!

They sent me updates with photos of 
what they were doing during my absence.
Maddy had a golf lesson!

They went out to eat at a new restaurant
and both gave it a big thumbs up!

They played tennis!

They ate at a favorite Chinese restaurant.

They went horseback riding.

They went to the movies -- Everest -- too scary for me!
The bookstore and frozen yogurt shop were also on their list to places to go
and they went to both!

Bonus for me - they had my big red jeep cleaned and detailed!

And, of course, they missed me!
But, they absolutely had the best time together!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Special Visit!

Last week I was away a few days 
on a special visit to see my Dad, Al, 
who lives near Cincinnati.
It was such a wonderful visit!
Did I tell you that my Dad recently turned 92 years old!

My sister, Amy, who lives in Florida joined me there, so we had
some "sister" time and "Dad" time.
Amy and I enjoyed seeing him and visiting him and
having lunch with him a couple times at the
assisted living facility where he now lives.

It's such a nice place - the aides and workers 
genuinely care about the residents.
Bonus -- they make a tasty grilled cheese for lunch!

When we weren't there visiting Al (aka Alberto or Albert),
we did some power walking, power shopping and
power wine-tasting!
Yes, that trip had it all!

Our big disappointment was that our sister who 
lives there was out of town, so we
didn't get to hang out with her.  :(
On our next visit, we will introduce
her to all of our "power" activities!!  :)

However, we did get to enjoy some time with one of 
her cats!  I'm afraid I scared the poor kitty
with my rather loud rendition of
"Here kitty, kitty, kitty!!"
She finally came out from her under-the-bed
hiding place a couple days later!
Sorry kitty!

All in all, 
it was a very good visit  with my Dear Old Dad!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Family Photos and So Long September!

Adios September!

Maddy and me
Both Maddy and I commented this morning that
September just zoomed right by!
Being busy with work, school and volleyball, not to mention homework, 
made it a fast and fun month!

Me and the Mr.
Before the month ends and we move on
to all things "fallish", I wanted to finally 
share some family photos we had taken in July!
Yes, call me slow!  :)

The whole big family!
Philip and Catherine arranged the family photo shoot as 
birthday gifts for Mr. Miata and me -- such a
wonderful idea and much appreciated.  

The Originals!

I may be a teensy bit biased, but I think
they turned out fabulous!

My biggest problem now is
choosing a favorite!