Saturday, December 29, 2018

Christmastide feelings . . .

Source:  Facebook

Back to blogging soon! 

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Fun with Gift Wrap!

This year will forever be known as 
The Year of Gift Wrap!
Maddie started a part-time job as a seasonal
gift wrapper at a fabulous store.
Seems like a perfect job as the store didn't require
her to work on Black Friday and generally schedules her for
only one day of
the weekend!  
She really doesn't want a job
with a lot of hours -- easing in slowly 
to the working world, you know.
Plus, she does have schoolwork to do.

1st day at work!
The only glitch in the whole working thing is
that wearing a dress or skirt is required.
After wearing uniforms all the time to school, she's not 
too thrilled with the idea of having to wear a
dress or skirt, but it's all good and not too big of a hassle.

Guess who has joined her in the Gift-Wrap 
So, it's a bit of a Mother-Daughter 
bonding time too.
It's been fun to be scheduled together as we can
confab on the best way to tissue and wrap some of the more
difficult packages!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Weather

Yes, I am already commenting on our wintery weather!
The last four (4) weekends in a row, we've had bad weather.
Rain, ice, snow, cold and frigid temps have descended upon us.
I admit there have been a few times when the temps 
warmed up a little bit during the week and melted the snow and ice.
But the very next weekend -- repeat -- more ice and snow!
It's not even officially winter 
and I'm getting tired of it!

Our pup, Muffy, thinks it is a real treat to go out 
and rub her Scottie nose in the snow and roll around a bit!
Lately, she's taken to going outside and barking
at the snow too!
What a treat!

A warm weather vacation is looking better and better every day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Photo Fun!

Mads and I have been sneaking out for
holiday fun photo shoots recently.
Of course, it was before it snowed and iced up and dropped
the temp to 10 degrees!

We traded in a camera for a new prime lens
and have been having fun testing it out!

She loves everything about the holiday season!
Maybe since she has a holiday birthday, it's in
her genes to love December!
She even loves the cold and snow whereas I could jump
right back into spring and warmer temps!

Hope you're enjoying getting into the holiday spirit!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

It's Invisible!

Last Friday, Maddie and I had the opportunity to spend the evenings with the Littles! 
We had so much fun!
Warning - that Incredibles 2 movie is strange (at least M and I think it is).

The kids always go to bed like little angels!
Jane (8 years old) had a rather complicated good-night
ritual for the boys and Dorothy consisting of
playing and singing an original song on her harp, playing another song, 
making up a story and then praying together.
That took a while!

Photo from Jane's First Communion in April
However, Jane and Harry (5 years old) had a little trouble getting to sleep.
Both missed their Mom and Dad and felt very sad.
One time when Harry was crying and I went to see what the problem was,
there was a bucket next to his bed [it hadn't been there before].
He said he was sad and he threw up!!! 
Oh No I thought - yuck!
But . . . there was nothing in the bucket.
I told Philip about it later, he said that has
happened before. 
When asked why the bucket is empty, Harry responded
"It's invisible throw-up!" 

Meanwhile, Jane was up a few times because she was cold
and her comforter "was not very comforting!"

Those kiddos are such a hoot!
We love them to pieces!

Friday, November 9, 2018

It's Chilly/Chili Around Here!

Brrrrr -- winter has hit here hard already
with snow, wind and 10 degree temps!
When it turns this cold, my thoughts turn to food - of course!
Chocolate chip cookies, fudge, soups and chili!  
Does it say something about me that the first foods I list are cookies and candy??

Do you believe it - I have never made chili myself!
Just recently I found a great recipe for 
no-bean chili using the crockpot!
We do not really like beans and this recipe is perfection!

So here's the recipe and Lynn's photo!
Mine looks just like this too!
I even have the same white bowl!
Great minds -- you know!

Photo from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

And, for the win, I used leftover chili to make 
goulash that Mr. Tennis has been requesting!
It turned out so fabulous!
I think I could figure something out to mix the leftovers 
with every single day!
Even M liked the goulash!

Photo courtesy of world wide web
Patting myself on the back for 
actually making something yummy for dinner!

Fudge is on my list for this cold weekend!

Photo courtesy of world wide web
What about you?
Any great and EASY recipes I should try?
Stay warm this weekend friends!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Happy November!

Well, October sure zipped by at warp speed, didn't it!
Hello November!
Hello Cold Temps -- it was 26 here this morning!
The cold weather actually got M out of her uniform shorts 
(her legs had to be freezing) 
and into her uniform skirt with leggings and the
uniform sweatshirt.
Of course, no one wears coats in high school!

However, she did wear jammies out for a photo shoot
not too long ago!
She's so funny!
She is gearing up for Christmas decorating and
hopes/plans to get the tree up this weekend.
We don't feel the need to wait until after Thanksgiving!

Hope November is starting well for you too!
How about you?
Christmas decorating and shopping on your "to do" list?

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
Seems like October has zipped right by - do you agree??

Maddie is dressing up as a Llama tonight!
She is too funny and at least
should be warm enough in this get-up!

Bonus -- she can wear it as jammies later!  :)

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Be Careful!

Friendly Reminder . . . 
Be Careful What you Wish For!

We were wishing the rain would stop!
Oh yes, it finally stopped and then --

On Sunday, October 14, 2018,
we received 6-7 inches of snow!
Soooooo crazy!
And so wet and heavy - goodbye flowers and plants!

Poor trees in our neighborhood that had
barely started to turn color
were hammered!
All those leaves covered in heavy snow and ice 
led to lots of branches going down!
You could hear tree branches cracking!
Some areas looked like a war zone.
Mr. Tennis went out and knocked the heavy
snow off one of our favorite smallish trees.
It bounced right back up -- YAY for our little tree.

The sun came out and finally after a day or
two of dealing with slushy messes and
the snow melted away!
Praying it stays away until approximately
December 20 - the day before M's bday as
she always wants snow on her birthday.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain . . .

Rainy days and Mondays and Tuesdays
 and Wednesdays . . .
basically every day for the last two weeks, it's been raining!
We have definitely had our share and more of
rain this year.

Usually the farmers are praying for rain  --- 
this year, they're praying for
Evidently, there are bumper crops waiting
to be harvested, but it's too wet!
Look at how nice and green our grass is -- 
this is not normal for this time of year!

Even my dog wants boots and her own little umbrella!

Weather alert -- the sun may peek out tomorrow,
but more rain forecast the rest of the week!
I think we should all have a day off work
tomorrow to celebrate seeing the sun again if,
in fact, it does come out!

Let's don't even talk about  my hair and this weather -
it's not good people, not good at all!  

What's new in your area??
Please send sunshine!  
I'll even take cold temps
if only we get some sunshine!

Rain, Rain Go Away!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

There's a New Store in Town!

When Maddie and I heard that Scheels (a sporting goods store)
was building a new bigger and better store, we both gave a 
shrug and said " hmph - big deal - we don't shop there much 

Not her red jeep, but a very cool monster jeep and great photo op!
But . . .
the new store is AMAZING!
Holy cow -- it is gigantic!

One of the biggest features is a Ferris Wheel!
Yes, let's go on the Ferris Wheel while we're shopping!
What. A. Blast!

According to their press release -- there are 60 different 
specialty areas!  Some of the highlights
include a gorgeous aquarium as you walk in; 

Do you see the little fishies swimming behind her?
Plus, a bowling alley, a yummy cafe (with free samples
of fudge -- how many is too many when 
requesting free fudge samples??? No limit, I say)!
There's also a gorgeous home decor section, LEGO World, 
a candy store, BIG RED stuff, of course, and

also loads of stuffed animals (I don't mean the kind you take to bed)
 in addition to the
the usual sporting goods stuff!

Yikes - is that an Elk??
Oh, there are also some animatronic characters including
Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.
Don't want to study your social studies book -- 
check out what Thomas Jefferson says as he
works on the Declaration of Independence! 

If you haven't been to Scheels yet and you are local, 
run, do not walk, circle that parking lot repeatedly to find a parking space 
and spend some time there.
Don't forget --ask for a sample of fudge!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Well, Hello Fall!

And just like that . . .
Fall arrived!

At the Sunken Garden - enjoying the flowers before the frost gets them!
Amazingly enough here in Nebraska,
on the first day of Fall, our temps dropped
over 50 degrees from record highs of 96
to an early morning low of 40-something
on the first day of Fall!
Wow -- life could not be more perfect!
Yes, we were definitely ready for cooler temps!

All the rain has kept our grass looking like spring!
Holmes Lake area
Of course, the temperature has boomeranged a little in the last
week, but we are avoiding the 90s
and that's a good thing!

Someone, Miss M, has been ready for Fall for the
last month or more!
She's been putting together her plaid button-downs and vests
and sweaters and boots . . . 
you get the idea, right!
The girl likes the changing fall colors and leaves and fall clothes!

Rocking that dimple!
And while she kind of hates to admit it, 
she's following in my footsteps of loving vests!
Welcome Fall --
we've been waiting for you!

Friday, September 21, 2018

So Long Summer!

Dear Summer:

Thank you for the warm and humid days and nights that
have made me long for cooler temps!
Summer frizzy hair days (and there have been too many to count)
help me appreciate winter and low humidity!
Low humidity = better hair days for moi!
And, as you all know, it's always about my hair!

Today is the last official day before fall arrives tomorrow!
Fittingly enough, yesterday we had a record high temp of 96 degrees!
Today, maybe 76!
We Love Nebraska and our up and down and all around crazy weather!

So . . . . 
Time to say farewell to summer and pool time!
Maddie loved going to the pool and having
every pool flotation device out there!
This year her favorite was the chocolate donut!

Seems appropriate as I have been eating way too many chocolate donuts!
I was not able to fit into find my 
favorite all-spanx* swimsuit this year.
Look below at how great I looked that year I had one! :)
Now, I've heard there is also spanx* for your arms -- seriously --
spanx* for arms!
  What next I ask???
Spanx* for chubby fingers?  Sign me up!

Anywho, thank you Summer for the warm temps, Maddie's big smile,
ice cream and, of course,
chocolate donuts!

See you next year!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Catching Up?

Summer seemed to have sped by at warp speed
and somehow I've gotten way, way behind on blogging.  
Sometimes, I have a bit of blogger's block
and simply cannot put together a sentence or
two and thus I get behind.

I'm going to try and catch up a bit here
and there.  Sorry if stuff is out of order,
but that's life -- it often seems out of order, doesn't it.

Me, Philip, Maddie, Connor and the Littles
In mid-August, my sweet niece returned to town for her
second year of college!
How she can possibly be in her second year already is
simply beyond me!

Grace, Todd, Amy and Philip's little kids
Amy (my little sister) and Todd brought Grace back to town from Florida!
We don't get to see them as much as we'd like, so
we nabbed the opportunity to go out to eat with them
in the always fun Haymarket area.
We had such a beastly hot summer and it was sweltering that day,
but being from Florida -- they didn't seem to mind!
They got Grace all  moved back into the dorm and she's
back into the college-coed groove!
I'm sure Grace is looking forward to temps cooling
off  . . . soon I hope!
Being a Florida girl, winter was her favorite time of year here
in Nebraska last year!

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Chronicle

Thank you for the sweet messages on the death of my Dad.
Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Earlier this year, Maddie was interviewed for an 
article in our neighborhood newsletter/magazine, 
The Country Club Neighborhood Chronicle,
her doggie bandana business - 
The Happy Hound Collection!

It was a fun chat with the writer about how Maddie started it all
with an instagram account of Miss Muffy, our Scottie Wonder Dog, and
how it has grown and changed through the last two years.
Maddie has sold over 700 bandanas!
She wrote a fabulous article about Maddie and the business!

Maddie has expanded the business to include tie-on bandanas in addition
to the original over-the-collar bandanas
and plush doggies!  She was sewing up those pups at the end of summer
so quickly.  I think she made 18 one week!

Soooooo, if you're looking for a doggie bandana
for Christmas photos or to get your pup looking stylish, let us know!  
Classic plaid is a great look for every pup
at the holidays!
So proud of her hard work and her sewing skills!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Thinking of Dad

I'm having the hardest time starting and writing this post,
for you see, my Dad died on August 22nd,
only 2 days away from his 95th birthday!

Me, Dad and my sister Amy - a few years ago
While we are so sad to lose him (and at times I still cannot believe that he's gone),
he had really been suffering.  He had a fall  the week before resulting in 
deep cuts on his forehead, black eyes, a
 broken nose, broken wrist and an unstable neck fracture.

Mom with me, Dad with Judy (the twins)
A celebration of his incredible life was held last week.
I often called him Al and he loved that --
 he also loved that Mr. Tennis would call him Alberto and he called him Ricardo.
He would have been so delighted to see so many relatives and friends there and
would have talked to and
reminisced with each and every one of them.
We are at peace knowing that his pain is gone and he is enjoying eternal life in heaven
and with my Mom and nephew . . .
and probably wondering why we didn't have
any beers at his funeral.

He was truly the best Dad ever!
My sisters and brothers and I were so lucky to have had
such incredible parents and such wonderful memories to comfort us.

There are special people in our lives who never leave us . . .
even after they are gone.
My Dad was one of those very special people.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Dance - A Different Direction

When she was a wee little girl, Maddie took
some ballet and tap lessons! 
 She loved them, 
but later decided to try gymnastics and tumbling.
She also loved that and then decided to try cheer
and set a goal of being a cheerleader in high school!
That was so much fun and 
she also loved it -- but the schedule
last year -- oy vey -- too much!

So, it's back to her first love -- dance! 
 She has been doing tap for the
last couple of years along with cheerleading.
Every time she comes out of her tap class,
she has the biggest smile on her face!

She's taken ballet this summer and starting
in September, she'll be back in tap
and trying jazz in addition to ballet.
She asked me what I thought jazz was like . . . 
of course, I did crazy jazz hands! 
I don't have a clue --
remember, I can't keep a beat, so dance
has never been my strong suit.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

First Day of Her Fabulous Junior Year

And all of sudden . . .
she's a junior in high school!

She was up early today even though school had a late start
and off on her own in the big red jeep!
Bummer that someone was in her assigned parking spot
this morning, but she found an empty one.

1st Grade
It felt a little strange that I wasn't dropping her off at school --
wasn't she just starting first grade????

We have tagged a word of the day/year for 
junior year and it is FABULOUS!
If we say it, think it and believe it, it will happen.

This year one of her friends has the locker below hers!
Yes, finally she was assigned an upper locker.
That made her so happy!
She took a bunch of snacks today as she thinks
she and Gracie may be starving at either the beginning or
end of the day and  need some nourishment!  :)

She's planning to check our some clubs and try new things
this year!

I just love her so and hope she has the best year ever!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Backpack Shopping - Vera - We Love You!

So, I was the only one who got
new shoes in back-to-school shopping! :)

But we also shopped for a new backpack!
Maddie's last backpack was hammered -- due to carrying
around 60+ pounds of books every single day!
 It held up well for last year, but there's no way it can take
that load again.

The go-to backpacks for high school girls
in these parts are Vera Bradley!
Happily, there's a Vera Bradley shop at the outlet
not too far away!

I love these colorful backpacks and so does M!
In addition, she needed a matching lanyard for ID purposes and
a small money-holder/driver's license whatchamacallit.
So, we had a very successful day at the outlet
and she's mostly ready for
back to school.

Plus, her plaid uniform skirt that has been on back
order for months just arrived!

She was thrilled! Ha Ha HA!

Hello Junior Year - starting August 16!