Lewis and Clark

Friday Photography: Happy Birthday, America, from Nebraska!

July 4th Eagle & Balloon

Even our national symbol is blown up …

July 4th Rider Collage

I love a parade!

July 4th Two Flags Collage

Flags from yesterday and today …

July 4th In God We Trust Edited

Our national motto …

July 4th Capital

Reminders of our government …

July 4th Kids on Capital Steps

A beautiful day to enjoy the Nebraska Capital!

 

July 4th Fireworks Collage

Have a safe and happy 4th of  July!  A BIG THANK YOU to those who serve our country and who have made freedom possible!  God bless America!

 

 

 

 

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

Celebrating Independence Day Across Nebraska

File:Fireworks 4.jpg

Image from Wikimedia Commons

I had hoped to get this posted earlier today because many events have been underway, at least in this area, for quite awhile.  Yet since there are a few more hours left until dark and the real shows are beginning, I decided it was still worth the post.  Obviously I will not manage to catch every town.  But here are some of the larger celebrations happening across Nebraska today, tomorrow and the rest of this week-end!

Frontier Trails

Grand Island: Fonner Park Fireworks at Dusk on July 4th

Hastings: 4th of July Concert with “The Rumbles” (possibly fireworks to follow?)

Kearney Fireworks: Thursday July 3rd 10 pm

Fort Kearny Stampede Day (July 4th Day)

Lewis and Clark

Columbus: Red, White & KaBoom on Thursday July 3rd

Norfolk (Saturday the 5th at 10 pm)

Metro

Fremont: Thursday Night

Lincoln: Uncle Sam Jam: Thursday July 3rd

Lincoln Red, White and Zoo (Friday All Day)

Two Other Lincoln Events on the 4th of July:

Celebrate America! — 9:30 a.m., kids’ parade and marching band; 10-11 a.m., patriotic program; 11-11:30 a.m., old-fashioned family games; 11:30 a.m.-noon, hot dog lunch, Cripple Creek Park, Pine Lake Road between 40th and 56th streets, north on Beaver Creek Lane; the park is on the corner of Fir Hollow and Beaver Creek Lane. Everyone welcome.

Fourth of July storytime — 11 a.m., SouthPointe Barnes & Noble Booksellers. “Corduroy’s 4th of July” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Omaha: Link to “Family Fun in Omaha” for all the area events!

Panhandle

Alliance: Laing Lake Lunatic Boat Races

Gering Fireworks (Thursday Night)

Scotts Bluff Area VIewing (Watch area fireworks from the Bluff – no actual fireworks permitted on site)

Pioneer Country

Beatrice: Homestead National Monument: Campire Series (July 4th evening events)

Nebraska City: Events on Friday and Saturday

York: July 3rd Fireworks

Prairie Lakes

Maxwell: Maranatha Bible Camp (Dinner, concert & fireworks: $)

North Platte Fireworks on July 4th- 8 p.m.?

Ogallala Fireworks: July 4th at Dusk

Sandhills:

Ainsworth Fourth of July (Celebration all day including races & evening fireworks)

Know of any other great events happening to celebrate the 4th of July?  Please post them on my “Odyssey Through Nebraska” Facebook Page!

Happy Birthday, United States of America!

 

 

 

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

Happy Blogiversary to Me: One Year of Odyssey Through Nebraska

Blow up the balloons!  Throw the confetti!  Drape the streamers!”Odyssey Through Nebraska” is exactly one year old today.

When I started this blog last July, I had no idea how much this would change my life and also the lives of my family.   While there have been a few bumps in the road, overall I have definitely enjoyed the journey.  Thank you for being a part of this path with me!

Four in a Jeep

Don’t you just love the various expressions on my kids’ faces?  Kind of sums up the year for me: happy, confused, delirious and tired.  Guess you can assign who is who! 🙂

I plan to make this month a true BloGIVErsary.  That is right: I have been working on lining up some great giveaways.   While most bloggers manage to feature several prizes in a row, I have decided to space mine out a bit.  Each Tuesday in July, I will be announcing what prize my readers are eligible to win!  I am so excited – giving away prizes is so fun!  Especially when you have such great sponsors!  Later on today, I will announce my first one, so please stay tuned!

 

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

Friday Flashback: Nebraska’s Ashfall and the Missed Photo Op

In 1996, I was privileged to go on road trip with two VIP’s.  At least they definitely were to me.  Weeks away from starting my first “grown-up” job teaching fifth graders, I went up and stayed with my grandparents for several days late that summer.

They were the ones who initiated the outing.  At age 84 and 88, they still got around quite well.  Although they did have me drive, they picked the destination.  Ashfall.

Ashfall text

I loved the time we spent there!  The above picture of a picture almost captures the fun adventures that await for anyone that chooses to visit.

Ashfall Scrapbook 2

In fact, I captured the experience in one of my very first scrapbook layouts.  Documenting the landscape and the fossils complete with stickers of the animals that once were found here in Nebraska in ages long ago (probably right before Noah’s great flood), I still enjoy remembering that trip.  I would have enjoyed seeing all of those animals.  Hopefully sometime we will get to take our kids there!

Ashfall Scrapbook 1

My biggest regret: while I managed to document the place, for whatever reason I did not document the people.  No pictures exist of the couple that day that wanted to make a memory with their oldest granddaughter. I can still picture them then – Grandma guiding Grandpa along as he was no longer quite as steady.  Arm-in-arm, they walked the paths, just as they traveled through life.

They are both gone now – on to meet their Savior.  I still miss them.  In fact, tears are streaming down my face as I type this.  I am hopeful that maybe a picture of them together that day still exists in one of my many boxes of snapshots waiting to be documented.  But I am afraid that I will just be forever relying on the pictures in my head, rather than on the page, for the memories that day.

I still take many, many pictures of places.  But today, as we were on yet another adventure, I was intentional about capturing my kids in the moment.  For that is what will really matter someday.

 

Categories: Family Outings, Lewis and Clark, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ashfall Fossill Beds: Ancient Adventure in Nebraska

As you  maybe guessed from my title yesterday, a guest blogger is being featured on “Odyssey Through Nebraska” today.  This post is by my dear friend, Lynnette, a fellow homeschool mom.  Our kids are very close in age and get along very well.  Almost too well as they have gotten into some mischief on occasion … 🙂  I know you will enjoy reading her recap of one of my favorite Nebraska places.

ashfall01

As a transplant to Nebraska, I get to learn about the state right along with my kids. I learned about Ash Fall Fossil Beds a number of years ago- perhaps at Morrill Hall, and my mother-in-law was very excited about doing this trip with us. (She was a high school science teacher before kids, then a preschool teacher for a number of years. The perfect traveling companion for a trip like this with five kids!) We had been waiting for the kids to be old enough to learn something, as well as for me not to be pregnant or nursing. 🙂  The time had finally come!

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Ash Fall Fossil Beds is open from May 1 – October 12 for the 2014 season. Depending on when exactly, the hours are slightly different. We went in October of 2013, and spent a few hours there. It was plenty of time to see and do almost everything. There is an entrance fee, and you also need a valid park permit for your vehicle. If you have a Morrill Hall membership, you can add a “Friends of AshFall” for $10. (A huge benefit of this membership is the passport program which gets you into other science museums around the country for free or reduced costs)

From Lincoln, it is about a three hour drive. An adventurous and ambitious family could make this a day trip. A long day, but doable. We decided to make it a longer adventure, and rented a cabin at Niobrara State Park, so traveled another hour further north. (This is another trip worth doing on it’s own! Beautiful!)

After a long car ride and a beautiful evening at the park, we woke to cold, dreary, gray skies. We found out one reason why this site is closed in winter- no heat in most of the buildings! So bring a sweater if you plan to visit early or late in the season. This site is literally in the middle of fields, so plan your day accordingly by bringing a lunch or eating a big breakfast. It will be a bit of a drive to get to the nearest fast food.

ashfall03

We started our trip by checking in at the Visitor Orientation Center. Here we got a map and an overview of the grounds. There’s a gift shop and a couple of displays. One wall is glassed off and gives you a peek into a lab. During the summer you may be able to observe scientists at work!

We enjoyed the displays of fossils, shark teeth, and bones found in the area. But we spent most of our time at the interactive station where the children could examine samples for themselves.

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From there we headed outside. On our short walk to the education building, we stopped by two more displays. The first had fossil samples on tables outside of the Visitor Center, the second was a place to stop and dig for bones.

ashfall05

The building we were headed to (that I can’t remember the name of) is an education building that provides many interactive opportunities for children. We were the only kids there (the benefit of homeschool means we can take a trip like this during a weekday in October). Displays included bones from several animals’ legs, a 3d camel, fossil vs petrified wood, puzzles for preschoolers, and the ever-popular digging experience. Later I learned that these (and the ones you can uncover at Morrill Hall) were made from casts of skeletons found here!

ashfall06

After examining every display, we made our way to the Hubbard Rhino Barn. Lots of education happened here! There are numerous posters and displays and even volunteers on hand. The main fossil bed is protected within the barn, but on the walk there, we passed several exposed and labeled fossils. Within the building, you can look down from above, you can see the areas that have already been excavated, you can see the exploratory trenches that determined the size of the fossil field, and you can view exposed fossils. That volunteer was great at pointing out things of interest for both adults and kids! She helped to make sense of what we were seeing. During the summer, when scientists are working in the field, there are cameras and video screens that give you a closeup view of what they are working on (the downside of being here during a non-peek time means no scientists). The students who come here for internships get the lovely job of sifting the sand looking for smaller fragments. One of the biggest lessons my kids learned is that being a paleontologist is tedious and time consuming. They’ve been excavating this site for decades!

ashfall07

Even a trip to the bathroom is an educational experience! The sidewalks were lined with Nebraska rock samples.

ashfall08

If it had not been so cold and rainy, we would have taken a walk on the beautiful one mile trail.  Perhaps we would have eaten our lunch at the picnic tables.  Although our family could easily have enjoyed a couple more hours here, we did not feel we missed out on anything since we did get to spend 3-4 hours exploring.

nette01

 

Categories: Family Outings, Lewis and Clark | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stopping Modern Day Slavery in Nebraska

Writing about the Underground Railroad on this blog last week was so much easier.  Partly because I want to stick my head in the sand and pretend that nothing so horrible as enslaving others is still going on today.  While the shackled may no longer be working the cotton, many are still forced into a lifestyle that is NOT of their own choosing.  This is even true in Nebraska.  (Thanks, Jen, for forcing me to recognize this fact even though I still really want to pretend that it does not exist!)

Sex Trafficking Haunts Nebraska Events

This compelling article from NET tells a story that I do not really want to read.  As the two game elimination series happens at the College World Series tonight, for me it is all about a great baseball game.  For others, it is not.  Big profile events perpetuate crime opportunities.   Even small towns can still hide evil.

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Image from Wikimedia Commons

On my Sacred Line blog this morning, I wrote a bit about my own personal reflections and what I hope to do about this issue.  Being only one small voice, I now want to point out organizations that are working so hard in our community to stop the horrific spread of modern day slavery.  How we can make the biggest impact is by coming alongside others who are already aware of exactly what is going on and are taking the stops to stop the injustice.  (A big thank you to Colleen for letting me know of several more groups that are making a difference!)

I’ve Got a Name This is the best site to learn about how this issue is impacting the Nebraska area.  They have resources to help you get informed and then ways that you can get involved in fighting this issue that does affect us here at home.

Tiny Hands International (Headquartered in Lincoln – they fight slavery here and across the world)

Restore Innocence (While this group may be located in Colorado, they do provide support to victims in Nebraska)

Innocence Lost: Ending Child Prostitution (FBI site) – their office out of Omaha is working directly on cases that may happen in Nebraska

Nebraska University Students Against Modern-Day Slavery (NUSAMS)

“Freedom Change” (A smaller group of students also trying to make a difference)

International Justice Mission on Facebook an international organization that is making a difference around the world!

Love 146 While this organization is based out of Connecticut, I appreciate the work and education that they seem to be providing here and around the world.  The below quote by their founder is the reason why I wrote this uncomfortable blog post and is why this issue is so important!

“Child trafficking isn’t just a cause full of mind-numbing stats.  It’s about somebody’s son or daughter.”  Rob Morris, Love 146 co-founder and president.

 

Categories: Causes Across Nebraska, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nebraska Passport: Tours Across Nebraska

I must admit I am a rather big Jeopardy fan.   Not very many shows have made my “follow” list, but that is one that I have watched almost daily for years.  One category that they feature is “Common Bonds.”  As for the pictures that I featured on yesterday’s “Wordless Wednesday,” they all had one thing in common: they are all 2014 “Nebraska Passport” stops.  Many of them I have covered on my blog already.  Several are yet to be shown, so for those I plan to keep you guessing.

Can’t Get Enough Tour

1) ?

2) Morrill Hall on Odyssey Through Nebraska

Morrill Hall Z

Forks in the Road Tour

Homestead Brand

3) High Plains Homestead (Home of the Drifter Cookshack and Bunkhouse) on Odyssey Through Nebraska

Hit the Snooze Tour

4) ?

Nebraska Homegrown Tour

Prairie Gounds interior

5) Prairie Grounds Cafe and Gifts on Odyssey Through Nebraska

How We Move Tour

Carhenge

6) Carhenge on Odyssey through Nebraska

7) ?

8) ?

Patchwork Passion

Quilts 5 purposes arch

9) International Quilt Study Center & Museum on Odyssey Through Nebraska

Rare Finds

Unfortunately I have not been to any of these places recently.  My grandparents lived in Laurel, so I did grow up walking into their downtown.  I am pretty sure that I have been to the Apothecary, but I think that it has drastically changed since then.  Hopefully someday I will make it back!

Sips and Suds Tour

Not sure that we will make too many of these places since we do more of the family tour.  But hey, Nebraska Passport has at least one place that will appeal to everyone! 🙂

Stars and Stripes Tour

10) ?

11) ?

SAS copter and plane

12) Strategic Air & Space Museum on Odyssey Through Nebraska

(By the end of the Nebraska Passport 2014 season, which happens to be the end of September, every one of the ? mark places will be featured on this blog!  I also will be featuring several of the places from Lincoln’s “Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown” program as well!)

Have you picked up your copy of the 2014 Nebraska Passport yet? This year they have even added a downloadable app, so you can keep track of your places that way.  Achieving prizes for the Nebraska Passport is a bit challenging.  Since the ones I would really want are for 40 stamps and above, I am pretty sure that we will not be getting any.  But, we will be enjoying the stops on the way.  Some familiar and some that are new.  All places to make memories as we travel across the nice state of Nebraska.

Categories: Family Outings, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Nebraska Passport, Panhandle, Passport Pursuit Programs, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cars in Nebraska: Going on a Wild Ride with Nebraska Stories

Tomorrow night is the premiere of the next edition of Nebraska Stories.  The topic may almost be more suited to Father’s Day as both segments are on special car events in Nebraska.  But as a mom of 3 boys (and a girl who will play that with her brothers) and the fact that I am definitely married to a car guy, I am looking forward to watching the event myself.  One of the last editions of “Nebraska Stories” featured a quick excerpt about the large Lambrecht Chevrolet Auction that took place last summer.  My family was hoping to see more details, so I am glad that they are showing more.  Also on this episode is a story about a father-son car restoration project over many decades that won a prestigious award.  As my husband has spent many an hour working on cars with his Dad, I know that this story will be a meaningful one to see.

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A Chevrolet being put to good use in a Nebraska field!

 

Here are the official promo from NET (including a link to a clip) …

Nebraska Stories: Wild Ride

A special “Nebraska Stories,” airing takes viewers on a ride to the wild side as the NET Television series features two Nebraska car stories that garnered national attention:

  • Lambrect Chevrolet Auction: Last year’s Lambrecht Chevrolet Auction in Pierce, Neb., attracted people from all 50 states and 25 countries to bid on 500 vintage cars, including several with less than 20 miles on the odometer. While some came to buy the cars, many wanted simply to be part of a unique experience in automotive history.
  • Detroit Autorama Ridler Award: Then in Bennington, Neb., the fifty-year father-son project of Gordon and Ron Cizek won the Detroit Autorama Ridler Award at the nation’s leading indoor custom car show in 2013. Their 1940 Ford coupe was customized by Andy Leach, an up-and-coming fabricator whose work on the “Checkered Past” was as much about art as it was about muscle.
  • A Preview Clip is available here:  http://netnebraska.org/interactive-multimedia/television/nebraska-stories-wild-ride-506-sunday-may-11th-9pm-ct-promo
  • Air Times & Stations:

o   NET-1: Sunday, May 11, at 9 p.m. CT, and repeating Friday, May 23, at 7 p.m. CT

o   NET2 World:  Monday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. CT; Saturday, May 17, at 1:30 p.m. CT; Sunday, May 18, at 5 p.m. CT; and Wednesday, May 28, at 6 p.m. CT

Categories: Lewis and Clark, Metro, Nebraska Stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moving Monday: Shakespeare in Nebraska!

Somehow the Bard and (Ne)Braska just do not seem to go together very well.  But there are some actors in the Good Life state that would like to change that.  Since this week happens to be Shakespeare’s birthday, what a better time to find out more?

File:William Shakespeare Chandos Portrait.jpg

(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

I stumbled upon the Nebraska Shakespeare Company when I was flipping channels a few months back.  NET Public Television featured this outstanding theater company as part of their “Nebraska Stories” program.  If you have 10-15 minutes, the program is worth watching.  I love how they are bringing Old English to Nebraska.

Nebraska Stories: Shakespeare Wild West Episode Excerpt

Since Wednesday is considered to be Shakespeare’s birthday – his 450th one to be precise- what a great day to throw a party!  Celebrations will be happening across the “Globe” (:-) ), along with Talk Like Shakespeare Day.    If you can attempt to sound like you are a Shakespearean actor, you may qualify for free food and prizes.  I will post any places I come across on my Facebook page in the next day or two.  There also happens to be a sonnet contest!      Talk Like Shakespeare is a national site where you can find out even more.

“Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.” (The Man Himself)

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

April Nebraska Stories

Tomorrow night is the premiere of yet another Nebraska Stories show on Nebraska Public Television (NET).  This episode seems to be a packed one!  I have to admit that due to a busy week, I have not been able to watch this edition yet.  But I hope to watch tomorrow night at 9:00.  (Well, basically tonight since it happens to be almost midnight 🙂 )Click here for a preview of all that you will be able to see Sunday night, including the return of our Nebraska Olympian, a topic I blogged about in February!

Nebraska Stories Episodes

Air Dates: Premieres Sunday, April 6, at 9 p.m. CT on NET1. This episode of “Nebraska Stories” will repeat several times during April on NET1 including Tuesday, April 8, at 6 p.m. CT; Friday, April 11, at 7 p.m. CT; Tuesday, April 15, at 10:30 p.m. CT; Friday, April 18, at 7 p.m. CT; and Tuesday, April 22, at 11 p.m. CT. It will also air on NET2 World on Saturday, April12, at 1:30 p.m. CT and Sunday, April 13, at 5 p.m. CT.

 

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

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