Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Update!

As usual, I am feeling a bit behind -- that was my MO for the whole
Christmas season,
so guess I will continue it a while longer!

We had a fabulous birthday celebration for Miss M and Christmas! 
But first, just a couple days before Christmas, our wonderful
neighbors held their annual Santa party!

Last year, their house was being rebuilt due to a fire and
we missed them so much --
it took 9 months to rebuild the inside of their house!!
The main damage was not really due to the fire, but due to the
copious amounts of water used to put out the attic fire.  
I think that was the only year in the past 15 that they
haven't hosted a Santa party
at their home just before Christmas!
Even though, she may be getting a bit too old
for Santa, he talked her into a quick photo!
Please excuse my iPhone photo -- I think I need a new phone
to get better photos, of course!

Mr. Krier (choir director-back right) is amazing and so are all these freshman girls!

More holiday fun -- Maddy's choir group sang at a holiday celebration
at a local hospital.
They did such a great job and were all pretty amazing considering
it was an early Saturday morning choir event!
I think the girls LOVED being able to wear Santa sweaters and jeans!
Do you believe it -- there are 72 freshman girls in choir
(they weren't all at this event,
but that's pretty amazing, isn't it)!
By the way, they sound like angels singing!

Great singing voices!

We hosted Christmas at our house with my sons, daughter-in-law
and four littles!  I even cooked!!!
I made beef stew and biscuits --  it was delish, but
not a fave with the kiddos.
However, I have never professed or sought to be a great cook anyway!
We had so much fun with everyone together --
it was really special!
Somehow we missed out on getting many photos
because we were busy chatting and opening gifts. 
I'm checking with the other
in-house photographer (Maddy) to see if she has any photos,
so may update this later.

But, if I don't get a chance to chat with you all again . . .
Happy New Year friends!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Happy Birthday!

Today is Miss M's 15th birthday!
On my word -- I can hardly believe she is 15 already!

I have so many things to say about Maddy --
that she is a blessing beyond belief; 
that she is sweet and sensitive
and thoughtful and caring; 
that she has the biggest and most tender heart; 
that she is a loyal friend;
that she is silly and funny;
that she sets goals and is determined to meet
each and every one; 
that she is a diligent and hard working student; 
that she is a taskmaster when it comes to 
doggie training and photography and sewing!;
that she has a big faith;
that she is brave and strong;
that she loves snow on her birthday 
and  a white Christmas; Disney World, bbq chips and french fries;
that we are the luckiest people in
the world to have her in our family.

Happy Happy Birthday Sweet Maddy!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ringing Some Bells!

Maddy and I have often said that we
should volunteer and ring the bells for the Salvation Army.
So, I contacted the volunteer coordinator through
my good friend Jodee and
signed us up!

Our red kettle duty was last Saturday
when the temp was around 20, the wind was blowing at least at 30 mph, the
wind chill temp was 10 or below
and our location was not one that was not protected by 
What I'm trying to say is  . . . 
Baby, it was cold outside!

We rang loudly whenever people were 
going in or out of the store and even
louder if someone put some money in the kettle!
Maddy made me sing along some Christmas 
carols with her -- I may have frightened 
off donors when they heard my voice!

Even though we were cold, we both deemed it a worthwhile
endeavor.  Next year, we will try to get the cheerleaders to 
ring bells too -- hmmm- somehow I think high school
cheerleaders could generate a few more cash donations!
Merry Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Little Bit of Ice is Nice!

Last weekend when the weather took a 
sudden and definite dip into the low temps,
Maddy and a friend went ice skating!
BRRRR -- it was freezing!

Railyard Ice Rink (from their website)
The girls did fairly well for their first visit of the
year to the outdoor skating rink.  They even
moved away from the sides after a few
trips around the rink.
No one fell!  I'd call that a success!

The great Christmas movie Elf was
showing on the outdoor screen!

If the temp wasn't 10 degrees, I would
have sat outside by this lovely fire and watched the movie
and the girls skating.

I think I made the best choice when I went inside for 
hot chocolate with whipping cream! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Doggie Bandanas, Craft Fairs and Holiday Napkins!

As you may recall, Maddy and I took on
special little project recently -- sewing and embroidering.
I almost felt like Ma Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie -
but I admit, I did have electricity and sewing and embroidery  machines!

After a couple weeks of nearly non-stop sewing in the evenings-- well, we did
take bathroom and school/work breaks, the craft fair took place last

Mads and I were so excited and had quite a bit of inventory including
doggie bandanas, a few dog collar scrunchies and holiday embroidered napkins.
Yes, the napkins would go into the category of 
"what one thing doesn't belong with the others?"
we wanted to include them, as we loved them.
Yes, we are  those people who think whatever we
make (especially homemade) is fabulous!  :)

You probably can't tell, but these bandanas are really well made, have soft
coordinating-color flannel on the back for doggies and do not tie.
 Instead, we sewed a channel for the 
dog's collar to go through.  So, you slide the collar through and then clip
 the collar shut around your pup's neck, voila - the bandana cannot fall off!  
Doggies - beware -- there is no sneaking out of this bandana!

Back to the craft fair report - guess when the weather decided to change and snow 
decided to fall???  Last Saturday!
Soooooo, I'm attributing poor turnout to the weather 
and the people who did visit either didn't have dogs, had never
seen anything but paper napkins before and had no intention
of purchasing anything at the craft fair.
We sold maybe 5 bandanas and 1 scrunchie in 6 hours!
Big disappointment!  :(

While we were bummed, we decided we would try again some other time,
but NOT at that craft fair!

Dog collar scrunchie!

It really was not a waste of effort or time as Maddy told me
her favorite part was the time we spent on the production
line with her cutting and me sewing!
Some evenings she had me sewing up to 10 PM!

Maddy designed her own logo and
had a business card printed
We have an entrepreneur on our hands!
Shark Tank here we come!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Cooking Post!

As most of you know, I am not the best cook or meal planner!
I seriously lack in the that department.
But, I actually made a dinner on Sunday
that everyone loved.
I spent the evening patting myself on the back about it!

It was a copy-cat from The Pioneer Woman.
I watch her show whenever I'm on the treadmill
and always think --  "I could make that!"
And I finally did!

This photo and recipe is from her website and is known as
Chicken and Dressing One Pan supper!
It was delish!
And only one pan -- gotta like that!
Mr. Tennis could not stop raving about it,
so am sure I will put it on the menu again.
Even Maddy liked it --
well, she liked the chicken --
 the veggies not so much!
Here's the link to the recipe.
Thank you PW for this one!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hello December - Hello Craft Fair!

For the past month, Maddy and I have been
getting ready for a craft fair that will be held  tomorrow (EEK)
Saturday, December 3rd!

Maddy and I will be selling homemade doggie bandanas (sizes mini and standard) and
dog collar scrunchies!
We have been sewing like crazy and spent over 3 hours
of Black Friday shopping at JoAnn's fabrics waiting in line
for holiday fabrics!

Some of our inventory!
We are also selling embroidered holiday napkins!
If you have a chance, please stop in.
Our napkins are similar to the one below - however, that one
was silk screened and ours are embroidered.
We've been so busy sewing, embroidering and ironing along with
all the usual school and work stuff that we failed to get
photos of any of our napkins!
No worries, we'll get some later!

Since we've never done anything like this before, we have no
idea how it will go, but Maddy is fairly certain we will
be super successful.  So much so, that
she designed a business card
for her Happy Hound Collection!
That girl!  She's such a little entrepreneur!
Sorry for the bad photo of her card -- believe me, it is super cute!

Wish us luck! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

ThrowBack Thursday - Christmas Card Edition

Maddy and I have been out at least 2-3 times
attempting to get photos for the Christmas card
this year!
Here's a Throwback Thursday Christmas card attempt from
a couple years ago!

Loved that hat and wanted to do a similar
look this year.  I even bought a new hat . . .but she declined!

Yesterday Maddy was delighted to 
see a few itty bitty snow flurries!!
I was happy when they disappeared into thin air!

She would be most delighted to have a repeat
of the early December snowstorm of
2009 -- throwback Thursday edition!

I'm in no hurry to put on the snowboots and get out
the shovel!
But . . . the weatherman is predicting some for
next week!

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Turkey Weekend Update!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
We were truly blessed with good health this year 
(even though I have another cold) 
 as last year Mr. Tennis was in the 
hospital at Thanksgiving -- so this was a huge improvement!

Please excuse messy kitchen in the background!

My son and his family hosted us for Thanksgiving, so Maddy and
I made a couple things to take along - her fave - green bean casserole and 
my fave - pumpkin pie!
She helped a teensy bit when she wasn't
 busy making her list for Black Friday shopping!

After shopping on Friday like crazy girls (JoAnn's Fabrics!!),
we had a quieter Saturday morning
watching this little angel for a few hours!
Little Miss Dorothy - now 8 months old and
as cute and sweet as a button.

She's such an adorable and easy baby!
We let her watch Shrek with us -- she laughed her
little head off!  :)

Maddy and I spent more of the weekend shopping (she loves to shop)
and sewing - more on that to come!
Have a happy week!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Finally Friday!

TGIF - Finally Friday!  Yippee!
I don't know about you, but this has seemed like a long week!
Maybe the anticipation of a short week and Black Friday 
next week has me a little antsy!
How bout you?
I know this highschooler is very, very happy at the thought
of a short school week!

Has this happened to you?
Not sure if it is due to the upcoming holidays or what, but
lately it seems that the marketing geniuses have my number!
So far this week, I've ordered or wanted to order
a Simply Fit Board (yes, I will be svelte and fit by Christmas!),
a stocking cap with a light on it for morning or nighttime walks
AND . . . some crazy panties called
Skinny 360 panties that are supposed to make a gal feel great and look slim and trim!
What the what??!
The women wearing them on FB ads say they are 
Plus, I just received an ad for botox from my local medical
provider -- a look in the mirror and I'm saying, sign me up!
While I try to avoid at least some of these temptations,
let's change the subject, shall we?

In other weekend news, Miss M and I are putting on
our crafting aprons and getting busy
with some holiday projects.

Photo from world wide web, but this is basically my machine! Isn't it so cute!
This most adorable vintage sewing machine was
passed down to me by my Great-Aunt Carrie!  It needed a little tune-up
but is now purring like a kitten.
Stay tuned!

We are also learning machine embroidery on this cool machine!
Perhaps we will have some items to show you next week, but
then again, we may begin our holiday shopping early!

We're just really happy that it is finally Friday!
Enjoy your weekend and do some shopping! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Changes on the Boulevard!

We live in an older neighborhood on a lovely 
tree-lined boulevard.  The homes here were mostly built in the 1920's
which means that they have a lot of character and charm which is
actually code for
they often need a lot of repairs!

Our house with trees still on the median.  Sign of things to come!
For the past year or more, there has been a boulevard committee of sorts
working with the City Parks and Rec Department to
spruce up the boulevard and put down some new asphalt 
on the streets!
Oy -- the potholes -- they were attempting to swallow people up and take over.
So, some repairs were definitely needed!

Look at all the trees on the median!
It took nearly a year of discussion, but there was finally
agreement with the City to remove all trees, bushes and grass 
from the median with and replace it with lower and more coordinated plantings. 
 It was a bit hard to believe that
some beautiful trees that we nurtured and watered diligently 
from day one would be removed.
But -- destruction is in full force!!

Look -- all the median trees and bushes gone!
The project has been going on since the beginning of November.
Luckily, we've been blessed with decent weather and
the sidewalks repairs have mostly been completed.
So nice to have a decent sidewalk where little kids won't fall get
hurt (always a worry of mine)!

Our house looked like a crime scene while the sideward was being repaired!
We had to park on a side street for a couple days or in the neighbor's driveway!
The sidewalk part of the project is completed now and we can once again park
in the driveway!  Yay!
Street and median repairs are continuing.
Next spring it should look really good -- fingers crossed!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Little Funny for You

At last -- the election is over!
No matter how we feel about the results :0
 it's time to move forward with goodness
and kindness for all.
Here's something to smile about!

Mr. Tennis, in all of his Halloween glory, 
as Christopher Columbus or Marco Polo 
(who really knows)!

Isn't he just a hoot and a half!
He loves this costume and I'm afraid he's 
calling for formal apparel for Thanksgiving, and 
this is his idea of formal apparel!
Heaven help us!

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Cat in the Hat!

Maddy's list of "what to be" for Halloween was mixed this year --
a cat, a dog, a dinosaur (really?).  She tossed aside my
suggestion of "cheerleader" rather quickly!  :)

But when she and I were on a little shopping venture for a costume,
she quickly found the perfect get-up . . .
The Cat in the Hat!

It seemed just right as it is usually freezing in Nebraska
on Halloween and wearing a coat over a costume
is a definite no-no, but a onesie would be 
toasty warm!

And it was!
This year it was 80 on Halloween and the days leading
up to Halloween -- like when we went to Boo at the Zoo!
A photos with the zoo wizard (director) is required!

We tagged along with Jodee and Kamree after they
won free VIP tickets through our mutual orthodontist office.
We love that office! 

VIP is the way to go!!
No waiting in a long line to get in,
easy to get on the train - which is normally packed,
and dinner from Raising Canes - yum!
Thanks Jodee for taking us with you!!

By the way, I also did dress up for Halloween
and went trick or treating with Maddy!
She picked out a onesie for me too - Minnie Mouse!
It was adorable, but SOOOO hot!
Sorry -- we neglected to get a photo of the two of us together -
that may or may not have been an oversight!
We had hundreds of kids at our door and all over neighborhood!
I'm talking lines to get to houses for candy!!!!
Just about everyone ran out of candy by 7:30 pm.
Guess who my favorite neighbor was?
If you guessed the friendly neighbor guy that had
candy for the kids and a keg for the adults -- 
you'd be right!
Genius idea! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Carving Pumpkins!

Happy November!

How in the world did October zip by so fast???
I'm a wee bit behind in blogging, so please forgive
me for continuing to blog about
Halloween-related topics!

We generally don't carve our pumpkins --
there is no need -
the squirrels destroy them before
we even have a chance to get out
the carving knife!
Dads and daughters
This year, the cheerleaders (yes, more about the cheerleaders!)
had a Father/Daughter pumpkin carving get-together!
How sweet is that!
As is his usual MO, Mr. Tennis wore dress pants, 
a button-down shirt and Brooks Brothers vest!
He said the vest made it a casual ensemble!

The girls and their Dads had a great time.
Reports were that most Dads did the carving while some of the 
girls read and/or updated their social media accounts!
Maddy assisted Mr. Tennis and they
carved a two-sided pumpkin.
On one side was a normal pumpkin face with a 
Thunderbolt (Pius emblem) 
and on the other was the other
Pius emblem - Px

Mr. Tennis was the winner of the "first Dad finished
with carving" and the "two-sided" carving victor!
Truthfully, I think he named himself the winner in both categories!
What a hoot!
They had a blast
and we finally had a pumpkin we could put a 
candle in for Halloween!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!!

Since I don't have any photos ready just yet from this year's 
celebrating and costumes,
I thought I would share one of my all-time favorite 
Halloween costumes for Miss M.

She was the Tooth Fairy!  
 2011 was the year that she lost a lot of teeth, 
so was constantly on the lookout for the Tooth Fairy!
And the girl loved tutus! 
I think she's worn a tutu for her costume every year since then!
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Feeling Kind Of Pink

The cheerleaders' pink festivities 
continued with the
girls all cheering at
the Walk for the Cure last Sunday!
I walked along with 5,000 other walkers!
We do believe and pray a cure will be found 
during our lifetime.
Thanks to the Pius girls for supporting and cheering on the walkers!

In other cheer news, the freshman squad
finished out their football cheering season a week ago!
Goooo Bolts!
Aren't they so adorable!!
The pink pom poms will be replaced with their regular
green and gold poms in November.
I'm kind of sad to say goodbye to 
the bright pink poms!

Fall sports are just about finished and
November/December will be devoted to 
6 AM (yes, 6 AM) practices to 
learn and master the basketball and wrestling cheers
along with stunting!
Fun times ahead if I can keep my eyes open!  :)

In other Pink news, Miss Mad has discovered
a new favorite store -- PINK!
I think Target is still probably her fave, but
Pink is gaining in popularity!
Her fave clothing options from Pink
are their yoga pants/leggings and sweatshirts.
She's writing down a few items for her
birthday and Christmas lists -- most
notably -- gift cards! :)

We're looking forward to some spooky Halloween fun
this weekend!
How about you?
Dressing up?
Of course we will be and will
give the Halloween report next week!
Happy almost weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Girl Can Jump!

Maddy has what I call --Mad Jumping Skills!
I'm sure she inherited her athletic abilities from me! 
HA --- kidding!
No one would ever describe me as athletic!
My favorite jumping sport when I was young, 
was jumping jacks and the pogo stick -- those count, right???

She and I went out the other day to attempt to get 
some photos for our Christmas card.
Although she likes to have family photos for Christmas and
prefers someone besides me to take the photos,
not gonna happen this year since
you know who (moi) is
STILL sporting a black eye. :(

Although the weather did not feel like
it was time for Christmas photos
since it was 84 and humid, 
we pretended!
I'm not sure any of the jumping photos
will make it to the final Christmas card,
but I love seeing them.
And . . . doing jumps like those in
skinny, skinny jeans and boots is not easy, 
so she did a  shorter jump as I kept cutting off
her pretty little head!
Ooops -- photo errors happen!
Now, let's everybody --
Jump for Joy!


Friday, October 14, 2016

Freshie Bonding Session - Pumpkin Style

Last weekend, the freshies (freshman cheerleaders)
were all invited to a pizza and pumpkin fest at one of
the cheer captain's homes!

They had pizza, made caramel apples and
painted pumpkins!
It was a really nice break for the girls from the
busy-busy-busyness of cheering commitments,
homework, studying for quizzes and attempting to fit in something 
fun once in a while -- like shopping! :)

The struggle is real~~being a high schooler these
days is not at all like it was back in the dark ages
 when I was in high school!
Yes, dinosaurs did roam the earth back when I was a 
coed at my local Catholic high school
Go Cardinals!

These girls are so sweet and work so hard at cheer 
and at school!
Thanks to the Mom and co-captains for providing such a fun
activity and break!

Happy TGIF!
We are hoping to fit in some shopping this weekend!
What about you???