Prairie Lakes

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!

 

 

 

 

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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

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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

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

Wordless Wednesday: Where All Were We (in Nebraska)?

1)   cropped-christmashouses_0212013.jpg

2)   DSCN3657_703August Nikon 13

3) Color High Plains Windmill

 

4)  Where Were We 6-4-14

5)   Where Were We

6)   3-19-14 Where Were We 2

7)  Where Were We 2 6-14-14

8)  Where Were We 3 6-14-14

9)   Where Were We

10)   Where Were We 4 6-14-14

11)    Where Were We 5 6-14-14

 

12) 10-2-13 where were we 7

Categories: Frontier Trails, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills, Wordless Wednesdays: Where Were We in Nebraska? | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

2014 Memorial Day in Nebraska

Today across Nebraska many celebrations in honor of the true meaning of Memorial Day are taking place.  Each link below contains several options – some will be more patriotic than others!

Central Nebraska (including the “1894 Memorial Day Celebration” at Stuhr Museum)

Omaha

Southeast Nebraska

Fort McPherson National Cemetery (Maxwell)

Many local area cemeteries will be having honorary events.  Please check with your community to see what is happening near you!  Know of any in particular?  Please post them on the Odyssey Through Nebraska Facebook Page.

 

Wyuka Honor Circle

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

-Katherine Lee Bates-

 

Categories: Annual Events, Frontier Trails, Lincoln, Metro, Military and Memorials, Prairie Lakes, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Playa Azul: Enjoying Mexican Food in Beatrice, Nebraska

If you happen to be from the Beatrice area, maybe you guessed where we were in yesterday’s “Wordless Wednesday.”

Beatrice Restaurant Sign

On a brisk winter day, we met some friends at this fine establishment.  I recognized the Spanish word “azul” meaning blue.  And now I know “playa” means beach.  The decor of the restaurant definitely fit the name!  The decor just feels happy.  They even have aquariums of fish!

Beatrice Restaurant Decor

They start the meal with complimentary chips & salsa – both mild and hot (making all of my children happy!)  Then the food was authentic AND delicious!  Their guacamole is some of the best that I have ever had!  They actually had a taco salad on the kids menu – the favorite of one of my children!  And their lunch fajitas were also on special – which thrilled my oldest!

Beatrice Restaurant Food

This seemed like a fitting place to “visit” with Cinco de Mayo being earlier this week.  Plus featuring a restaurant the week of Mother’s Day also seemed fitting.  I know this Mama is definitely not wanting to cook this Sunday.  (I think I do enough of that the rest of the year! 🙂 )

The best part of the meal was dining with longtime friends that I rarely see.  And I was rather sad to discover that I did not take a picture of them.  Sometimes I can get too caught up in worrying about food and decor shots and forget the people that really mattered.  A good reminder of me to remember to focus!  Anyway, thanks, friends for meeting us!

Enjoy celebrating as a Mom and hopefully with your Mom this week!

 

Categories: Cornhusker Cuisine, Eating Establishments, Prairie Lakes | 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?

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(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

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

Cozad

Kearney Catholic

Doniphan-Trumball

Southern Valley (Oxford)

Elm Creek

Overton

Elwood

Lewis and Clark

Norfolk

Wayne

Scotus (Columbus)

Boone Central/Newman Grove (Albion)

Battle Creek

Clearwater/Orchard

Randolph

Howells-Dodge

Fullerton

Bancroft-Rosalie

Spalding/Spalding Academy

Metro

Omaha Benson

Lincoln Northeast

Westside (Omaha)

Lincoln Southeast

Omaha South

Omaha Central

Bellevue West

Pius X

Roncali (Omaha)

Elkhorn South

Skutt Catholic (Omaha)

Wahoo

Neumann (Wahoo)

Archbishop Bergan (Fremont)

Panhandle

Scottsbluff

Kimball

Leyton (Dalton)

Pioneer Country

York

Beatrice

Falls City

Freeman (Adams area)

Sutton

Lourdes Central Catholic (Nebraska City)

Sacred Heart (Falls City)

High Plains (Polk)

Exeter-Milligan

Prairie Lakes

St. Patrick (North Platte)

Hitchcock County

Sandhills

Ainsworth

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

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