Sandhills

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

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.

File:Springview, Nebraska street signs.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

Region:

Frontier Trails

Kearney

Northwest (G.I.)

Holdrege

Minden

Kearney Catholic

St. Celia (Hastings)

Arapahoe

Lewis and Clark

South Sioux City

Pierce

Pender

Homer

Humphrey/Holy Family

Guardian Angels Central Catholic (West Point)

Crofton

Emerson-Hubbard

St. Francis (Humphrey)

Bancroft-Rosalie

Metro

Lincoln Northeast

(Omaha) Benson

Bellevue West

Bellevue East

Millard West

Fremont

Gretna

Norris

Duchesne (Omaha)

Pius X

Lincoln Lutheran

Platteview (Springfield area)

Bishop Neumann (Wahoo)

Panhandle

Sidney

Chadron

Crawford

Pioneer Country

York

Fairbury

Palmyra

Friend

Sacred Heart (Falls City)

Giltner

Sterling

Prairie Lakes

Dundy County-Stratton (Benkelman)

Sutherland

St. Patrick’s (North Platte)

Wauneta-Palisade

Sandhills

St. Mary’s (O’Neill)

Boyd County

Stuart

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

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