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!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Driving Time!

How can she possibly be old enough 
to get a learner's permit???

Besides getting her impacted wisdom teeth out in June (ouchie!!!)
Maddy studied for and received her learner's permit for driving!

Oh my word!
It just does not seem possible that this little sweetie 
is ready to start driving real cars!

Driving in 2009!

She took driver's ed in July and she's been practicing driving with me!
Fun Fact:  In a former life, I became accredited to teach driver's ed.
She's doing great. 
I bought these handy-dandy magnets for the car from Amazon* and
I'm sure they have helped calm down those drivers
who are in such a hurry to get places!
Let's all try to be patient with other drivers, shall we!

Once she gets more practice in, she'll take the final driving test.
Since her 16th birthday isn't until December 20, we have 
a bit of time!

Happy Motoring!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What a Character!

When we first began visiting Disney World,
our main goal was seeing Princesses!
We had breakfast with Cinderella in the castle
the first year Maddy and I went to DisneyWorld!
[Wish I could find a photo - I think she was only 4 that year!]

Beautiful Mulan with Maddy - May 2011

While we still love seeing a Princess when we can,
we get so excited to see some other 
characters as well!

Yikes -- it's Chewy!!
One year, we caught sight of Chip and Dale and
we both took off in a sprint to get in
line for a quick autograph and photo!
My sister and her daughter were with us and just rolled their eyes!
We were serious - we had to meet Chip and Dale!

We saw Chip again this year at breakfast at Garden Grove --
best breakfast with characters ever!
Chip and Maddy at breakfast!

Characters are definitely part of the magic of Disney!
Am I right?!!!  Of course, I am!  :)

Love Pluto's dog tag, don't you!
If you can't read it, it says:
"If found, please return to Mickey Mouse"

We simply cannot go to Disney without meeting Mickey
somewhere -- this year, it was Farmer Mickey!

And we even saw one of our favorite characters from Maddy's
toddler days -- Doc McStuffins!!

We definitely were feeling the magic with the characters!
Most were characters
 we had never seen or been able to get a photo with on other trips!

Yes, we are goofballs, and we do love Disney!!!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Now, Where Was I?????

Back again and now it's August!!!
Oh my word -- I am so behind!
I could give you a million and one excuses, but 
it doesn't really matter, does it.
I'm going to attempt to catch up a little bit.
It's been a very stressful and busy summer.
And now, only 2 weeks til school starts!
H E L P!!

Where is everyone??  Early breakfast reservation for us!!

So, let's put back-to-school shopping, school supplies and
all that stuff out of our minds for a bit while
I try to catch up on our trip to Disney World in June!
(Where, oh where, did the summer go?)

We had an early breakfast reservation on our first day there
at "Be Our Guest" and it was fabulous!

Bonus - we were able to get into the park early, so it was not too crowded 
and we were able to jump on some favorite rides
without waiting or a fast pass!
Two faves -  the always popular and crowded 7 Dwarfs Mine Train and
Peter Pan!

How much do I love the teacup ride???
SOOOOO much!
Even though someone likes to get that ride spinning very, very fast!
Dumbo and the Goofy Rollercoaster are also
"must rides" for us

I wish I could show you a photo of me on the Splash Mountain
ride getting soaked, but sadly, no photos were made
of that scary ride or my resulting scary hair! :)

Love Magic Kingdom - it's always a favorite!
Stay tuned -- more to come!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Always Be Yourself . . . or Be a Unicorn!

As Maddy says -- 
"Always be Yourself unless you can be a 
Unicorn, then
Always be a Unicorn!"
Words of wisdom from my favorite teenager!
Pretty magical, right! :)

We've been loving the rather large
floatys that are around this year
and the unicorn is definitely our favorite 
. . . 
so far! :)

With the extreme heat and humidity we've 
been enjoying,
the pool is the place to be with a floaty
and maybe a root beer float too!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Animal Kingdom!

Africa section of Animal Kingdom

Good news as you can see --
my friend was able to get back into my
blog setup and figure out how to
remove all that junk!
Africa - Animal Kingdom
 I must attempt to get caught up now as I haven't
even finished chatting about our Disney trip!
Yes, I am way behind!

Soooooo -- on to Animal Kingdom (AK)!
Usually, there are only a couple rides I really like at  AK -
the safari ride and Kali River Rapids.
Those rides are such a blast and I don't even
mind getting wet on the river rapids ride!
 Generally, this area is packed, wall-to-wall people!

Looking forward to a ride on a banshee in Pandora!

Disney just opened a new area known as Pandora.
This area is where all the people went and was packed with people and
some waiting 4-5 hours for a ride!
It was a fabulous ride - but 4-5 hours in line???
 In the heat and humidity of Orlando??

Pandora - The Floating Mountains!

The Avatar ride is the best!  We had Fastpasses and walked
right past a 4+ hour waiting line!
Yippee for planning ahead!  :)
Get this -- you even had to wait in line (no fastpasses)
for the gift shop attached to the Avatar ride!
You'd think they were giving stuff away -- ha ha ha -
Disney giving stuff away -- that's sooooo funny! :)
I crack myself up sometimes!

Stay tuned as I am finally able to access my photos and my blog again!

Monday, July 10, 2017


Oh my word!!
So, Photo*bucket decided to hijack part of my blog!
I think one of their gadgets or some such was
used in my blog header or side info.
Please excuse the mess!

Hopeful that my friend will be able to figure it out and
clean it up.

It's so distracting, isn't it?? 
I'm so sorry!

Guess a forced bloggy break is 

Love & Kisses -
Hope your blogs are safe!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy Independence Day!!!

Happy Independence Day!!

What a special day to celebrate our freedoms!
Mr. Tennis and I lived in Philadelphia a few years and the celebrations 
there were simply amazing!
I love Philadelphia!

I must admit when my sons were young and LOVED fireworks,
I kind of dreaded the 4th of July -- not the actual holiday, of course,
but the danger involved with boys and fireworks!
Mr. Tennis was like a kid himself and the three of them
together were constantly blowing things up (including toys, 
stuffed animals, little cars)
 and making more and more trips 
to the fireworks stand for supplies! OY!
We had a few mishaps over the years . . . 
probably the most memorable was when a spark somehow
ignited a bagful of fireworks on the patio table!
Ended up with a hole in the umbrella and a fried table!
But, at least no one was injured that time!

Looking patriotic in her Happy Hound bandana, but terrified of fireworks!

Maddy and I like the pretty fireworks and sparklers,
the Roman Candles, buzzing bees, smoke bombs 
and cracklin balls.  Much tamer fireworks!

We're planning some pool time and hot dogs on the grill.
A little gin and tonic is on my list!
Maddy and I may make a quick trip to our local zoo.
Sounds like a perfect day to me!

Happy 4th Friends!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Magical Magic* Kingdom

On our first full day at the parks, we
visited the always magical, Magic Kingdom!

We had an early breakfast reservation at "Be our Guest"
so were able to get into the park a little bit before other
Always nice to see the park before it's full of people!

We were also able to get on some fun, fun rides before the lines got long!
Yes, even  a wimp like me will ride a roller coaster sometimes!
Plus, we never miss a chance to jump on and 
ride Dumbo and the Teacups!

And, of course, besides the rides, we had to visit our favorite snack shops -
like Casey's!

It was a fabulous first day - you could say, "best day ever!"
We continued it at the pool
and Hollywood Studios later!

We 💖 Disney!