Monday, June 23, 2014

Viva Las Vegas! Part III Last Day

 We spent our last day in Las Vegas walking up and down the strip sight seeing.  We bought a monorail ticket and road it all the way south to the end of the line.  Then we started walking out way back.  You could take a gondola ride at the Venetian Hotel complete with someone serenading you.
 This is a photo of Liberace's rhinestone car that he used in his Vegas show to drive on stage.

 The Statue of Liberty outside the New York New York Hotel.  We went inside to visit the Hershey Chocolate Store.
 I have no idea how many miles we walked that day.  Notice my alcoholic beverage that I am carrying.  We went into a convenience store and purchase 2 beers for $5.  So much better than paying, $7-8 a beer or $21 for a 32 oz. fruity drink at the Mirage.
 Once we reached our hotel, we the rode the monorail all the way North and got off looked around and then got back on and rode back.
 Later that evening, we rode the bus downtown to Fremont Street which is the old Vegas strip.  The bus ride was experience in itself.  We saw stuff on Fremont Street that I could have went a life time without seeing.  All the lights on the hotels was cool and the food and drinks downtown was so much cheaper.  We ate dinner at the El Cortez Café.  Keith had a prime rib dinner and I had a chicken fried steak dinner and our bill with drinks was $25.  This meal was cheaper than one breakfast at our hotel that we shared the entrée.
Also while down on Fremont Street, we got to listen to a free street concert being performed by "Three Doors Down".  This band will be in Norfolk next month and we have tickets to see them.

All in all, we had a great time!  We spent very little time gambling because we are not gamblers.  One night we both put in $10 each in a penny slot and then moved to quarter poker slots and played for about an hour before losing all of it.  Keith won about $5 at the airport before we left.  Personally, we would never take our children to Las Vegas.  There is too much to see on the strip that is not appropriate for children's eyes.  It was a fun way to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.  We will probably go back again.

Take care,

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Viva Las Vegas - Part II

 So after checking into the Mirage Hotel and eating some lunch, we decided to go exploring.  Our first stop was the Forum Shops at the Caesar Palace.  This is an inside shopping center that makes you feel like you are in Greece.  In the center of the mall are some marble statues.  Keith took my photo by Zeus and Pegasus.
 The Forum contains many high-end stores.  You can see Gucci in the background.  We were just window shopping and taking in the sights, not much shopping going on.  Although I did try some sorbet samples and then ended up buying a small bowl of strawberry sorbet.  It was delicious and very refreshing!

 We did eat dinner one evening at Margaritaville, but on day one we just stopped in to get a drink.  I definitely had to get used to being able to walk around with an open container of alcohol. 
 While in the Venetian Hotel, we came across Carlos' Bakery Shop in the Grand Canel Shoppes.  If you watch TLC's Cake Boss, you are familiar with this bakery.  I wondered in and took a number to buy something.  I ended up buying two mini cannolis that cost me a small fortune.  But, I wanted to say that I had eaten something from the bakery.

 Later that evening, we went to Harrahs to watch the Dueling Pianos in one of the bars.  It was fun and entertaining!  We stayed until the piano show was over at 2 a.m.
 At some point, we found out that at the Casino Royale they had $1 Michelob light bottles of beer and $1.99 footlong hotdogs.  Just the perfect late night snack! 
 We went back to this place many times to get $1 beers!  The drinks and food in Las Vegas are expensive.  So, finding cheap beer was a definite plus!
Take care,

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Viva Las Vegas! Part I - Volcanoes and Fountains

On June 12th, Keith and I celebrated 15 years of marriage by flying off to Las Vegas.  Grandma Leader picked our kids up and took them to Bloomfield to spend some time.  This was a short get-away for without children.  We left on Thursday and flew home on Sunday.  This was our first trip to Vegas and did not know what to expect.
 We arrived in Las Vegas a little past noon, boarded our shuttle for the Mirage, and started exploring the strip and our hotel.
 The Mirage is the site of a water volcano eruption to music performance.  These shows are at night every 30 minutes from 8 to midnight.  People line up on the strip to view the short show and take photos and videos.
 We enjoyed the show so much that we watched it two times on different nights.

 We also walked down to the Bellagio Hotel to watch their water fountain show to music one night.  This show is put on for the public every 15 minutes and the music changes.
 The sidewalks are lined with people watching.  The show that we saw was to the music "Big Spender".  I thought it was very good and entertaining.

We were in Las Vegas to explore the sites, relax and have fun!  Neither one of us are gamblers, so, that activity was not on the list of things to do.

Take care,

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tornadoes in Pilger

Our part of the state of Nebraska is making the national news this week because of the tornadoes that are ripping through our area and causing many families to lose their homes.  On Monday night, Pilger, a village of about 400 people, was hit by a duel set of tornadoes causing about 75-80% of this little town to be destroyed.  Pilger is about 20 miles east of Norfolk where we live.
 These are just a few photos that I copied off of a news page.  The clean-up efforts start today for this little town.  The storms continued last night north of us by Laurel and Coleridge (about 50 miles away).
 The stories in the media are both heart wrenching and of amazement of how families were huddling in basements, vaults, storage coolers, etc. to stay safe.  The storm has claimed to fatalities - one a 5 year old little girl and another older man. 
 The middle school in town was ripped in half, the main street buildings are destroyed, homes are gone, and all that was left standing of the Lutheran Church in town was the bell tower.  I cannot imagine coming up out of my basement and finding my house gone.
Please pray for these victims of this awful storm.  Also, please pray that the storms go away.  The weather service is predicting more storms for today and tonight in our area.

Take care,

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kelly's Softball

 The City of Norfolk is not having a city rec league for girls softball this summer.  This is very disappointing because that was an affordable and fun way for girls to be introduced to the game.  All of our girls have played in the city's program.  But, this year with there being no program, we thought that Ashlin just wouldn't play softball.
But this summer some friends wouldn't hear of this, therefore, Ashlin was asked to play on the Kelly's softball 8 and under team.  We hesitated for awhile, but then went for it.  All of her games are in town and she only has one game every Wednesday night.  Kelly's softball is one of three organized teams in Norfolk.
 Ashlin started playing a couple weeks ago during the Golden Girls tournament.  She borrowed a uniform from Anna (Sauce) and started playing.  The team is coach pitched.  Each girl gets five pitches to try and get a hit. 
 Ashlin has been playing third base mostly.  She has a strong enough arm to get the ball from third to first base.  During the tournament, she recorded a few outs and also in last week's game.  Ashlin's team even received medals after their last game for being in the tournament.
 In this photo, Ashlin is getting base running advice from Coach Tina.  Last game, Ashlin also played 1st base for part of the game.  She is having fun and learning some softball cheers.  I laugh at some of these little girls and their cheers.  You can tell the girls that have older sisters playing the game because they really know the cheers.
Take care,

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Angels Baseball

 Justin has been busy playing baseball twice a week for the last few weeks.  He has been playing 3rd base in his games lately.  His games are on Monday and Wednesday nights.
 Justin is left-handed when it comes to writing, but for baseball he is right-handed.  He throws the ball with more accuracy and stronger with his right hand.  He has been playing 3rd base because he is one player that can throw the ball all the way to 1st base.
 Justin has also been batting right-handed.  He is learning to swing the bat hard and fast.  In his last game, he went 3 for 3 in batting.
 Currently, Justin's team is undefeated with a few more weeks to play games.
Take care,

Monday, June 9, 2014

Paper Quilt Wall Hangings

Another 4-H project that the girls have is a quilt making project.  At the project day last winter, they were given a frame and told to make quilt squares out of paper for the frame.
 Ashlin picked a frame and then picked out scrapbook paper that matches her room.  This is Ashlin's finished framed quilt.  She used four different sheets of scrapbook paper all having purple and blue in them since her walls are painted purple in her room.  We just rotated the background paper, the triangles, and the circles within each square.
 While at Hobby Lobby the other day, I had Cara pick out a frame and 4 sheets of scrapbook paper that were also purple and a teal color to also match Ashlin's room.  Then she set to work making her quilt squares.  She chose to make three different size rectangles into four quilt squares for her frame.  She rotated each size within the squares to come up with her design.
 They look pretty good hanging in Ashlin's room.  Now Erica needs to work on her quilt frame art for her room.
Take care,

Friday, June 6, 2014

Burlap Wreath Making

 Cara has started her 4-H projects.  Yesterday after a trip to Hobby Lobby for some supplies, she set to work completing two projects.  First, she made a wreath with burlap.
 Cara used a bolt of burlap to wrap the wire frame twice, then added some red polka dot burlap ribbon, and last added a red flower and the initials NC.  This completed her wreath to hang on our front door representing that our kids attend Norfolk Catholic Schools.  She wanted to add some sports balls, but we couldn't find a volleyball to use.  We might keep looking and add and change out a few things later. 
I love how it turned out and I can't wait to hang it on the front door.

Take care,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer League Volleyball

 Yes, Cara and Erica are back in the gym playing summer league volleyball.  They started practice on Tuesday and had games yesterday.  It is almost to the point that they are playing volleyball year round.  But, I would say that volleyball is their favorite sport.  They both enjoy playing!
 The 8th Grade girls had the first two games yesterday.  First up, was the team from West Point Guardian Angels.  These girls got creamed by this team last fall in a tournament.  Therefore, they were a little intimidated before the game even started.  The first set was not a success and they dropped the set 16-25.  They had issues on serve receive and they were not serving well.  But, they took the second set with a win at 25-20.  They were feeling some success going 1-1 against a pretty good team.
 Next up was the Battle Creek team.  The girls lost both sets 15-25 and 11-25.  They quit talking and having fun which just leads them to start committing more errors.  They show sparks of success, but then fall apart.  They are showing improvement though and that is key.
 Then we moved to a different court in the gym to watch the 6th Grade Norfolk Catholic White Team play.  The 6th Grade girls have two teams in the league because they have 18 girls in the grade that want to play volleyball.  First up was the Lutheran High Black.  Our girls get intimidated by these Lutheran High girls because they are good.  But, Erica's team won in two sets 25-18 and 25-18.  Our girls were serving and hitting well.
 Next, they moved to another gym to face the other Lutheran High team.  They split sets with this team 25-21 and 18-25.  Erica's team was coached by two high school volleyball players who gave them words of encouragement and advice on how to improve.
It was a great day in the gym!  I am so glad they are choosing to participate in a sport and not just sitting on the couch or playing video games. 

Take care,