Monthly Archives: March 2014

Earth Wellness Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska

Yesterday I had the privilege of bringing a group of homeschoolers to the 20th annual Earth Wellness Festival.  This is an event that is for Lincoln area fifth graders, and one I was involved with as a teacher.  I was excited to get to take  my oldest son and some friends.

For each festival, the student groups get to attend three separate workshops, and then all of the groups assemble together to watch a raptor show.  This event runs for two days, so several sections come to visit the events.  Each “workshop” is presented many times by volunteers from the community.

Here are the workshops we attended …


Yes, you read that correctly.  We learned all about poop can help in detecting which animals are in the area.  (Bet I may not use that word on this blog again for a long time!)  This definitely appealed to the boys as they all got to create edible scat out of tootsie rolls and other added ingredients.  (Hence the picture of the shredded wheat from yesterday!)

Earth Wellness Festival One

Our second workshop had to with learning about saline wetlands.  I definitely learned a lot about the habitat that exists nearby our metro area.  This culminated in a fun game of jeopardy.

Earth Wellness Festival Two

Our third workshop  had to do with CROPS (community gardens) and composting.  Including the worm variety.  The kids enjoyed getting to hold the worms.  I had never pondered all of the items that should not be composted (especially processed ones!)  Maybe someday I would even be willing to give this ecological habit a try someday!

Earth Wellness Festival Three

The highlight every year is the raptor show.  Just something special about having a large bird of prey fly right over your head.  They are beautiful animals to see in flight.

Earth Wellness Festival Four

Although he did not actually fly, the favorite bird of both me and my son was probably the bald eagle.  What a beautiful animal!

Earth Wellness Festival Five

This one was much smaller than we expected.  Evidently the baby birds have only brown tail feathers, so maybe we have seen a baby bald eagle without realizing it!

I enjoyed attending the Earth Wellness Festival as a mom.  I definitely want to take my other children/students when they are in fifth grade.  What a great event for those in ecology and conservation to put on for the Lincoln area kids!

Categories: Annual Events, Lincoln, Metro | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday: Where Were We (in Nebraska)?

3-26-14 Where were we 3

3-26-14 Where were we 1

3-26-14 Where were we 2

Categories: Wordless Wednesdays: Where Were We in Nebraska? | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Carhenge: Nebraska’s Circular Standout

Having three sons and being married to a “car” guy, I knew that Carhenge needed to be on our list of destinations when we went up to Northwest Nebraska last fall.  What surprised me: this iconic landmark is in the middle of farm fields with the Alliance water tower just a short distance away.

Carhenge 1

Our next move – walking closer through this modern “sculpture.”


Until you see the cars in person, telling just how many pieces and parts are there would be challenging.  Even in person grasping all that went into the creation of these metals towers is impossible.

Carhenge 2

So why cars in the middle of the field anyway?  The Reiners family wanted to honor their late father’s memory, the former farmer who had tilled this very land.  Only five years and thirty-eight cars later, their dream of Carhenge was realized.  Modeling their sculpture after ancient Stonehenge, the visualization of automobiles will never be the same!

Carhenge 3

Our family enjoyed wandering about.  Seeing the incorporated designs was interesting to me.  For my husband, he could determine the actual car make and models.  Besides seeing the cars, the kids (and the rest of us) were just glad to take a break from our long car drive.

Carhenge 5

The day was a hot one.  When my sister-in-law broke out her popsicle stash, she observed some happy people.  Not happen to bring your own sweet treats?  The adjacent gift shop sells them along with more souvenirs that a person could seemingly think up.

Carhenge 4

This unique collection has gone beyond the original formation.  Now this is all considered the “Car Art Preserve.”

Carhenge 6

And if automobiles are not your thing, you may enjoy seeing the other pieces of fabricated art.  No longer family owned, the city of Alliance are the proud operators with volunteers staffing this free family adventure.  Definitely a worthwhile detour to enjoy this unique Nebraska attraction.

Categories: Panhandle | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

For the Dads: Carhenge

Within the next week, both my father-in-law and father are celebrating birthdays (Sunday and Monday respectively).  They both enjoy classic cars.  So, this week I had to do a post in honor of them.  Did anyone guess correctly where we visited?


Carhenge!  Tomorrow I will write a combination Friday photography/Friday flashback session on just how this iconic Nebraskan landmark came to be!

Categories: Panhandle, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday: Where Were We (in Nebraska)?

3-19-14 Where Were We 1

3-19-14 Where Were We 2

3-19-14 Where Were We 3

3-19-14 Where Were We 4

3-19-14 Where Were We 5

Categories: Photography, Wordless Wednesdays: Where Were We in Nebraska? | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Flashback: Enjoying the Nebraska Boys State Basketball Tournament

This is another more personal post – I hope you enjoy reading my recollections.

Throughout junior high and high school, one of my favorite yearly memories was the Nebraska Boys State Basketball Tournament.  Almost every year we had Friday off the week of state tournament.  And often that 2nd Friday in March was a lovely day outside, just like today.  I remember wearing shorts – something that was not a part of our private school dress code at the time.

The first year I distinctly remember the tournament was watching my school, Lincoln Christian, win for the first time in 1988, when I was in 8th grade.  (I must confess I had to look at the NSAA record books to verify that was in fact the year).  Being a part of the hype and the experience was such fun!  I can even still tell you  many of the players names.  Now when we managed to win three extremely close games when I was a junior in high school in 1991, the week-end was almost unreal.  These were my friends on the court, and I greatly enjoyed seeing them get the victory.  For some odd reason, we had a high school teacher that let us listen to the state game tapes during class while we were working on papers.  With headphones in our walkmans.  (Yes, I think I must be old!) 

I missed some of the following years of games due to being at college, but my brother informs me that Lincoln Christian played the eventual state champion almost every year consecutively for a long stretch.  Unfortunately for our teams, most of the time they were on losing end.  I do remember relishing seeing my brother play a part of the team for a few years – I had moved back and was actually teaching at Lincoln Christian his last two years of high school.  I know I was in attendance in 1999 when L.C.S. won state again, and my brother made the long trek back from college in Indiana to see his former teammates win the C1 finals

The picture that I posted yesterday was from 2004.  If you look closely, you can see that the medals were silver.  The boys were runners-up that year.  I know that I attended at least one of the games that year, probably with my 17 month old in tow.  (He has been a basketball fan all of his life basically).  This was the year that life transitioned.  No longer was I watching friends – instead my former students were the ones storming the court. 

As Lincoln Christian has made tournament appearances in recent years, we have enjoyed catching a game or two.  I dragged all four kids to the 2nd round game three years ago.  A cool high school from our church was on the team then, and the kids greatly enjoyed watching Eli play in person.  While the names on the backs of the jerseys have changed, the experience has not.  Catching a great game of hoops is always a great possibility during Nebraska Boys State Basketball Tournament time!  While I do not know any of the teams this year, I am sure we will watch a bit of a game or two (or more) tomorrow.  In fact, you can see the games on NET or watch the games live on NET.  Go, teams!

P.S. A big thank you to Lincoln Christian Director of Admissions, Jill Baker, for finding the Lincoln Christian basketball pictures for me for the past two weeks. She was a BIG help.  I am sure she would be glad to tell you more about Lincoln Christian.  I can speak from experience as a former student and former teacher that the school is a great place to learn!

Categories: Annual Events, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills, Wordless Wednesdays: Where Were We in Nebraska? | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nebraska Boys State Basketball Tournament 2014

Now flooded with boys basketball fans from across the state, the Capital City is going to be a happening place for the next few days.  By now, one set of games is already in the record books.  But despite being a bit delayed today, I still wanted to give a shout out to all of the teams that have made it into the tournament this year.  So, just like last week, I will show which teams are from each of the regions of the state. Teams are mentioned in order from the site.  To know the official pairings, please visit the Nebraska School Activities Association website.

Frontier Trails

Grand Island Northwest


Kearney Catholic


Southern Valley (Oxford)

Elm Creek



Lewis and Clark



Scotus (Columbus)

Boone Central/Newman Grove (Albion)

Battle Creek






Spalding/Spalding Academy


Omaha Benson

Lincoln Northeast

Westside (Omaha)

Lincoln Southeast

Omaha South

Omaha Central

Bellevue West

Pius X

Roncali (Omaha)

Elkhorn South

Skutt Catholic (Omaha)


Neumann (Wahoo)

Archbishop Bergan (Fremont)




Leyton (Dalton)

Pioneer Country



Falls City

Freeman (Adams area)


Lourdes Central Catholic (Nebraska City)

Sacred Heart (Falls City)

High Plains (Polk)


Prairie Lakes

St. Patrick (North Platte)

Hitchcock County



Congrats to all of the participants!  Go, teams!

By the way, looking for information on parking while you visit Lincoln?  Or on other activities to do in town besides basketball?  Lincoln Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has all of the information to make your visit to Lincoln a pleasant one!

Tomorrow I will again be nostalgic about some of my favorite memories of the Nebraska boys state basketball tournament!


Categories: Annual Events, Family Outings, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday: When Was It (in Nebraska)?

Categories: Wordless Wednesdays: Where Were We in Nebraska? | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Friday Flashback: Being a Part of the Nebraska Girls State Basketball Tournament

This blog post is definitely more personal and probably less relevant.  But I was enjoying reminiscing of a time many years ago now.  Thanks for indulging me.

Just to be clear right away … I never played in the basketball state tournament.  For those of you who know me, I am short and slow.  I play a mean game of H-O-R-S-E, but other than some jv ball, that is as far as my skills have ever taken me.  But because of years of watching, I do know the game of basketball and that started when I sat on the bench in high school.

You see, after helping take stats when I was a sophomore, I learned I enjoyed watching the game with a critical eye.  So, the next two years, I did not play but instead managed and become team statistician.  I can still do many percentages in my head because of that time.  Being a part of the Lincoln Christian team was a wonderful experience.  While I may not have been on the court, my friends were, and I definitely felt a part of the experience.

Thanks to the excellent online records over at Nebraska School Activities Association, I could verify that our girls team was at state every year that I was in high school.  Mainly we seemed to always get stopped at Pershing – that was always an odd place to have a game as the court felt like an island.  The closest we came to a championship during that season was an unexpected runner-up my freshman year.

State tournament time was filled with team togetherness, meals made by moms and school spirit.  One year when we lost first round, I recall going to watch other games as a team (after all, we had the passes!)  The camaraderie from that season of life will always be a special memory.

Fast forward to the game picture I featured on Wednesday.

Girls State Basketball

First of all, thanks to Jill and to Susie for getting the pictures/article for me.  A Columbus Scotus player’s shot is being blocked by Megan Wilson of Lincoln Christian, the team that went on to win the Class C-1 title game in 2002.  This is the one and only time that L.C.S. girls won the state championship so far.

I have to confess that I watched the game on tv, but I had been in attendance at the game the day before.  I had just finished teaching five years at Lincoln Christian and had moved into subbing mode.  We had just found that we were expecting our first baby. (In fact, my morning sickness began that week-end and stopped the day he was born 8 months later.  He’s 11 now and was worth it!)  Anyway, funny how all of that can be brought to mind with just one photograph.  I tried to find an actual link to the article, but that does not seem to be easily found – so thanks again to Susie for still having the article on hand!  🙂

I know that many more memories are being made this week-end.  I hope that the players and managers will also be able to look back with fondness at this time period.  While the losses sting at the moment, they definitely lessen over time.  Just the togetherness of being with your friends remain.  Of course maybe I would feel differently if I had been the one that missed shots …

Categories: Annual Events | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nebraska Girls State Basketball Tournament 2014

This was supposed to publish yesterday right after I completed it.  Not sure why it did not.  So, half of the teams have lost by now, but I think the post is still relevant enough.  In just a bit I will post my personal Flashback Friday.  Sorry for the technical difficulties.


Moments ago, the first tip-off of the 2014 Nebraska Girls State Basketball Tournament just happened.  I have so many memories of being involved with the state basketball tournament and plan on sharing a few with you tomorrow on a more personal Flashback Friday.

For today, I want to simply celebrate those teams who are about to be put into the record books.  Whether they win the tournament or lose during the first round, being skilled enough to play at state basketball is a big deal.  Congratulations to each one of the teams participating!

What is fun about this event is that the whole state is represented in the event.  Here is a breakdown of all of the statewide regions and schools.  Hopefully  I did not miss any – it’s quite a list!

Event Picture


Frontier Trails


Northwest (G.I.)



Kearney Catholic

St. Celia (Hastings)


Lewis and Clark

South Sioux City




Humphrey/Holy Family

Guardian Angels Central Catholic (West Point)



St. Francis (Humphrey)



Lincoln Northeast

(Omaha) Benson

Bellevue West

Bellevue East

Millard West




Duchesne (Omaha)

Pius X

Lincoln Lutheran

Platteview (Springfield area)

Bishop Neumann (Wahoo)





Pioneer Country





Sacred Heart (Falls City)



Prairie Lakes

Dundy County-Stratton (Benkelman)


St. Patrick’s (North Platte)



St. Mary’s (O’Neill)

Boyd County


Here is a link to a printable page if  you want to keep up the bracket.

2014 Nebraska Girls State Basketball Tournament Schedule and Locations

Sorry that I did not think of posting anything like this for the fall sports or the previous winter ones.  Of course, mapping every qualifying wrestler would take more time than I have.  And I am pretty sure that most divers are from the Metro region since I would bet most smaller schools cannot exactly have their own school pools.  But I have to admit that I notice this time of year more because I am a big basketball fan.  I have been to many a tournament game as I will share tomorrow.

By the way, both the Nebraska School Activities Association and the Lincoln Convention Visitor’s Bureau have been working hard to make sure that the tournament participants’ visits to Lincoln are pleasant ones.  You will find construction postings as well as parking information, so you can attend any and all of the games.  Plus additional events are listed that are happening around Lincoln in case you want to paint the town (in your team’s colors of course!)  Go, teams!

P.S. Did you guess when yesterday’s basketball picture was taken?  2002 is the correct year.   Now can you guess the teams?  More on that tomorrow.

Categories: Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: