Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Getting ready!
 This year we had our feast a few days early!
It was so fun and mostly yummy -- the turkey turned
out very, very dry!  Yikes!
Oh well -- the sides were delish - so who cares
about turkey anyway!

Maddy, Grace and Grace's roomie - Nevaeh!

Bonus -- this year, my sweet and adorable
niece, Grace, is at the University here.
Grace and one of her roommates also joined us and
it was great to have them with us!
I mentioned a couple of family favorite foods. . . 
strawberry jello with strawberries and cool whip marshmallow fruit salad
(both very healthy options) that we always had as kids.

Shock -- my sister has not kept up that tradition at 
her house, but she will now that Grace has 
tasted those wonderful traditional
Thanksgiving foods.

Baby Dorothy - 1-1/2 years old!
The big kids (Philip & Catherine and Connor) also joined us
with the littles!  So much fun with those 4! 
Somehow, we missed getting the oldest Jane in a photo -- sorry sweetheart!

3 of 4 of the grandkids!  Such cuties!
Maddy and I are now devising our shopping plans!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Friday, November 17, 2017

The Business - Happy Hound Collection

Some of you may remember that Maddy
has a little doggie bandana business.  
Since it's been about a year since she first started it,
I thought I'd do a quick update!

Muffy - modeling one of the flannel tie-on bandanas!
Last year around this time, Maddy and I attended and sold
at our first and only craft fair.
While it was a fun and learning experience, we learned
that most of the people visiting our church-sponsored
craft fair were little old ladies whose dogs had just died.
Soooo, they were not at all interested in our adorable doggie bandanas.  
Nothing against lol [little old ladies], of course,
as I am getting to be one of them, but we quickly figured out they
were not our target audience.
Maddy researched a plan and decided an etsy (homemade items) store
was the way to go!  She made a logo and set up the Etsy
site, listing products and doing all kinds of social media
posts on Instagram.
She's had over 572 sales since her business
started in February, 2017!  That does not include
direct sales to friends and neighbors.
Isn't that amazing!
So proud of her and all her hard work!
She really connects with her customers and has developed
so many Happy Hound friendships!
We love visiting the fabric stores and choosing fabrics and 
sewing, sewing, sewing!
Plus, our Scottie Muffy, has thoroughly enjoyed
modeling and receiving loads of treats for her hard work!
If you'd like to see any bandanas currently available,
check it out at   Happy Hound Collection
Yawning or just waiting for another treat?  Modeling is a tough gig!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

We Love Fall!

 Finally -- it seems that fall temps are here to 
stay!  Leaves are falling almost as fast as the temperatures!
Yippee -- we love fall -- it's just that winter is up next 
that worries me a bit!

Recently, Miss M and I went out for a little photo shoot!
That girl loves to be silly sometimes and she's already
planning a Christmas-theme photo shoot!

She took her favorite pineapple-shaped uke as a prop!
She loved uke lessons and just gave them up recently
as there were too many other commitments going on.
No worries - she can still strum a good tune!

We are so thankful to have this ray of sunshine 
in our lives - every single day!
She's amazing!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Halloween Update

Just a tad bit late on the Halloween update, but here goes!

Maddy had planned to be a unicorn for Halloween,
but her costume was not quite warm enough as we got hit
with a bit of a cold spell.
Plan B -- wear a Cheer Bear onesie!  
It was perfect and she said she 
was warm and toasty!
We went to Boo at the Zoo - a 
tradition we just can't give up yet!
Oh my word -- we had a million trick-or-treaters
on our block.  My neighbor counted (who does that?)
and said she stopped counting after 600!!!!
Seriously, the sidewalks were full of kids and parents!

The need for candy is great!! 

The need for cute decorated cookies is also great!

This was the first year ever that I bought candy that I do not 
like for trick or treaters so I wouldn't eat it.
Nerds -- who eats those things??? Ugh.
Of course, I am wishing that I had some good 
candy bars!  

Have a great weekend friends!
Enjoy that extra hour of sleep!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Jumping Around at the Pumpkin Patch

This has been a crazy, long, stressful week, so
let's look at some fun photos, shall we!

One of our so-called yearly traditions is a 
visit to the near-by pumpkin patch!
Maddy's favorite thing to do is not the hayrack ride or
the pumpkins!  Rather, it is jumping on
these crazy jumping pillows!

She loves those things -- I know we should
have had a trampoline for her, but I have always worried
about injuries.
Yes, my name is Jboo and I worry . . . constantly . . .
it's what I do best!

Anyhooo, she had an afternoon off recently
so we headed to the patch for some fallish fun!

She had loads of fun and really 
who can't help but have a good time
jumping and going down ridiculously long slides.

Happy Fall!
Winter temps around the corner for us --
how about you?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Making Strides

Yesterday was the American Cancer Society
Breast Cancer "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" Walk 
in our city!

Every year the Pius cheerleaders attend the event
and cheer on the walkers as they start and as they finish!
So proud of these girls to give up part of their weekend
to think about and support others.

Yesterday was a beautiful day for the event and
over 2,500 people attended and walked!
I was one of the walkers!
I figured I would do a quick speed-walk 
through the 5k route.
However, an older gentleman befriended me
and so I walked with him -- we did the 5k route.
 I learned all about his family, kids and grandkids!
What a beautiful day and event!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Unsung Heroes of High School

There are really so many unsung athletes and heroes in
high school, don't you agree?
The coaches, the trainers, the school  managers
and the ones closest to my heart -- 
the cheerleaders!

Last Friday night, the Pius cheerleaders
traveled 2-1/2 hours away each way to cheer on the
football team!
These sweet girls were totally soaked to the skin, 
but cheered through torrential downpours and dropping temps!
Soaking Wet + Cold = Misery

Still smiling - but soaking wet!

Luckily, they all had packed an extra change of 
clothes so they could get out of the wet uniforms
for the 2-1/2 hour bus ride home!
So, home around midnight then quickly launder the cheer uniforms 
before bed, hang to dry and be up, in uniform and
back at the gym at 8:15 AM to cheer at 
volleyball until noon!
Oh my word!  Bless those girls hearts!

Cheerleaders don't get much credit for all they do.
They're not considered athletes by schoolmates [but they are]
as they put in long hours of training and practice just like the other
athletes and teams.
Yes, they have 6 AM practices at least once a week before classes!
So, I say . . . 
Great job Pius Cheerleaders!
You are all amazing!

While we're chatting about unsung heroes,
let's not the forget the parents who support and pay for 
everything, drive  their student athletes everywhere and often sit on freezing
bleachers to support the cheerleaders and the teams!
Thank you Parents! :)
You're pretty amazing too!


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Well, Hello October!

So hard to believe it is October already!
Miss M has the countdown to
Thanksgiving and Christmas on
her iPhone and advises me daily 
on "how many days until . . ."
Yikes!  I already feel unprepared!
But, I'm reading about getting ready early
this year, so there's hope I will actually
be ready!

It's been forever since I posted anything about "The Littles."
So, it's about time, isn't it!

Catherine's brother got married in July and almost everyone was in the wedding!!
Oh my word, they are growing like weeds and
Jane and Walt are not so little!
Jane is in 2nd grade this year,
Walter in first grade,
Harry in preschool
and little Dorothy - 18 months old already!

They are such a joy and so hilarious!
Kids do say the darndest things -
Art Linkletter was right!

Such a fun swing!
Jane really works hard pushing
that swing for her brothers and sometimes
squeezing their adorable little heads together!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Saying Goodbye to Summer and Hello to Fall!

Is it just me or does it seem really impossible that
Summer is over and Fall starts today???

Wasn't it just last week that Mads and I were
out taking these 4th of July photos???
We did have a fun summer even though I
didn't really blog much or get any of those
organizational/clean-out-the-closet chores accomplished.
There's always winter for those tasks, am I right???

I suppose if we were enjoying cooler temps,
it would seem time for Fall.
However, humid 90s does not feel like the start
of Fall!
Pumpkin fever
No worries though, a cold front 
(those words almost make me shiver!)
 is headed our way on Sunday!

Yummy S'mores!

We're looking forward to pumpkins and s'mores and sweaters
and ponchos!
Ahhhh Fall -- we love ya - 
welcome back!
Mads with Plaid

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Cheer Report

My apologies - I have been derelict in my duties!
I have not been updating/overwhelming you all
with photos of my JV cheerleader!
BAAAAD Cheer Mom!

It's time to remedy that and post a bit about JV cheer!
This year is way busier than last and I thought last year was hectic!
The JV squad cheers at JV and Reserve games
 (football, volleyball, etc., whatever sport is going on)
and some Varsity games too! 

The JV squad also makes posters "GO TEAM WIN,"
hosts fundraisers and has a 6 AM practice weekly.
I kind of hate that 6 AM practice!

Aren't they so adorable!
Volleyball is my and Maddy's favorite sport!
It's so much fun to watch the girls (both the volleyball and the cheerleaders) -
 they are all so awesome.
And volleyball only takes about an hour -- very important
when there is homework to be done, and . . . 
there is always homework.

The JV squad is really the cutest and best of all 3 squads.
I am not kidding and am not in the least bit biased!
These girls and their adorable smiles and ponytails
get me every time I see them together! 


Friday, September 15, 2017

Have You Met the MathElf?

Quick post before the weekend hits - and
we are definitely ready for a couple days off of 
school and work!
But, before we get started on all things fun . . . 
Have you met the MathElf?

I heard about it from a neighbor whose daughter in 
Houston is one of the Elves!
MathElf is an app where students can talk with real-life math tutors
to help them understand and solve difficult math problems.
Miss M was skeptical about an on-line tutor on the iPad --
in fact, she thought I was a little crazy when I told her about it.
But, we tried it and we liked it . . . a lot!
In fact, we love it!

Find it on the iTunes store to set it up and get going.
We have already used it numerous times.
People -- it has saved my sanity!
I don't know about you, but it's been a really long
time since I've done high school sophomore level geometry.
I've tried assisting in math issues previously and it hasn't been pretty.
In fact, it's been a real struggle for me.
So, imagine my delight when I listened to Maddy speaking over the
iPad with a math tutor who used a white board to totally and
fully explain how to do the math problems she was couldn't quite figure out.
It's such a great system and app!
I highly recommend it if you or your student have any
questions about math.  

Topics covered are Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus,
 Statistics, SAT/ACT/ASVAB, as well as earlier stage math levels 
that are not among the ones that are listed.
They can work on elementary, high school and beyond math
and they are available 24/7!

Since I am such a fan of MathElf, they
provided me with a special discount code for any 
readers who may wish to try them out.
Enter this referral code when you sign up and you will
 receive 45 minutes of free tutoring!
Use the code  AQ5OVD
  If you have any questions about our experience, leave me
a comment or shoot me an email!  
We Love the MathElf!

P.S.  MathElf did not ask me to post about their service. 
I reached out to them for permission -- I love it that much! :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Chicken Taco Salad!

I rarely post about our meals and my cooking because . . . 
I'm awful at meal planning, prep and meals in general.
Not kidding - I'd rather drive-thru or bake than cook a real meal.
But, Maddy and I are attempting to 
plan a few meals here and there.
We've found our favorite!
Chicken Taco Salad
It's the Pioneer Woman's Chicken Taco Salad!
It is so delish and so easy -- I really
have to have easy and fast and
this dish meets both of those requirements!
We make a few adjustments to the 
recipe as we don't always like
tomatoes and don't have avocados on 
hand.  We do use fresh corn on the cob!
 I don't think I could figure out avocados anyway!  
Isn't there a secret key or way to open avocados?
And then what do you do???
Chicken Taco Nachos
We even went a little further and
made Chicken Taco Nachos!
Wooo hoo - call us crazy!

 This is on the menu every single week!
And every time we prepare it,
Mr. Tennis says
Go me!  :)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

And Now She's a Sophomore!

So, now she's a sophomore!
Maddy's first day of school was last month -- 
of course, I'm still trying to catch up!
Rainy on the first day of school this year
so couldn't get our typical outdoor photo!

She was excited to get back to school --
not really!
Truth be told, we both felt like it was way too 
early for school to start on August 16!
But, no one from school asked for my opinion!  :)

The start of sophomore year seemed a bit easier 
in some ways.  At least, she didn't have to struggle with that
locker combination lock this year - it was a breeze!

And just after school started was the solar eclipse!
Here in Lincoln, we were in the totality area so 
it was a huge, huge thing.  We'd been
hearing about it for months!
I bought my special glasses ages ago.
School planned a special outing for 
some students and others had hotdogs and chips
on the football field! 
 How fun was that!
Bill  Nye, the Science Guy, was in Beatrice --
very close to Lincoln!  If only I didn't have
to work, I would have been there!

Unfortunately, it was a bit cloudy that day, but
still very cool how it got all dark and nightime-ish and
then it was like morning again!
The next day was totally clear and 
would have been a better day;
but like the start of school, we can't
pick and choose the date when a total solar eclipse 
will happen!
No matter, it was seriously cool and 
as they said on the Pius t-shirts . . .
Totality Awesome!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Summer of the Pool Floaty - Size XL Please!

We are so sad to be saying "so long"
to our Floaty friends with the end of summer pool time!

Maddy had a blast at the pool
with the XL floaties that seemed
to be almost everywhere!

We started out with a Pineapple one -- loved it!
It was nearly as big as she was!
I had to put the back seats down in the jeep 
for the floaties to fit!

Loved the pineapple, but lo and behold -- 
she found a Unicorn  - 
Oh my word -- that one is crazy big!

I guess it's a good thing that the pool we visited was
not too crowded since the floaties took
up so much space!
Truth be told - there were lots of other floaties 
of similar sizes this summer!

The last big floaty of the summer
was the crabby duck!
We hate to put these things away for the winter,
but they don't really go with 
our house decor very well!  
The unicorn is currently lingering in the dining room
waiting for one last pool visit!
The pool and the floaties were Maddy's happy place
this summer especially during the trying times
of driver's ed classes!
Everybody needs an escape, am I right??
It's been a fun summer at the pool
with our pool friends! 
Fingers crossed for nice hot weather on the
weekend before we put the pool and floaties to bed
for this year.
Ahhhhh summer - we'll miss ya!

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Super Fair - JV Squad Takes On the Fair!

Do you have a state or county fair where you live?

In Nebraska, our state fair moved out of Lincoln
and on to Grand Island a few years ago.
However, we are still lucky enough (is lucky really the right word?)
 to have
the Lancaster County Super Fair!!!

Maddy and I made a quick trip there on one of the opening nights.
There was one ride (besides the Ferris wheel) I was willing to go on.
It was called The Tornado! 
I hated it!

  My favorite thing about the fair . . .
the funnel cake!!!!

This cliff hanger ride looked kind of fun, but you lie down so I was
afraid it might be too much for me and I'd lose my lunch
along with my shoes!

But, wouldn't a trip to the fair and all those fun [dreadful] fair rides
be just the thing for the JV cheer squad for some
cheerleader bonding time!!
Oh yes!  
The girls were ready to take on the Fair!
So happy these girls were able to go together
and go on those scary rides!
My bff cheer mom, Kay and I, hung out [we were the chauffeurs, you know]
and tried not to
follow the girls around and spy on whether
they were talking to any boys!
Actually, we attempted not to be seen by the girls
when we were checking on them!
They shooed us off once when they caught sight of us!
Teenagers!!! :)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Cheer Camp!

Of course, I'm still trying to catch up on summer activities,
so please bear with me.  
It's just been too busy and I've been too tired sometimes
to work on the blog after working all day and
running to school, cheer practices, etc.
Lost my mojo I guess! ;)

Sooooooo, let's get to it, shall we!

Varsity, JV and Freshman squads
Cheerleaders have a 3-day camp every summer at our local university!

Off to the University dorms!
Maddy absolutely loves the food at the dorm!
Hmmm -- do you wonder about my cooking now??
It's supposed to be a great time for bonding with teammates,
learning new cheers and figuring out how to 
go, go, go, all day long, stay up late and
put on a happy face everyday.
You guessed it . . . it's exhausting for the girls! 

JV - the winningest squad!
The JV girls (Maddy's squad) worked super-hard
and had fabulous results!
They won 3 first place trophies and 1 second place!
Way to go Bolts!
 Doing so well earned JV and the other squads an
invitation to go to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
game in Orlando over New Years!
Exciting, but doesn't exactly work as well 
as one would hope.  
Hotel costs + travel expenses + crowds over Christmas holiday
+ logistics = nightmare.
Nice to be invited, but not able to attend. 
No matter, we are super proud of the cheerleaders
and their hard work!