Not to brag or anything, but we are a pretty spectacular zoo here in good ol’ O-town.  Every year I gladly fork over my $100 to renew our membership and in return we receive 365 day access to the greatest zoo around.  (Yeah, yeah, yeah.  You’re zoo’s good too, but mine’s better.)

Since we can go anytime we want, on any day we want, we go often.  Sometimes we’ll pack a lunch and make a day of it.  Sometimes we’ll just swing in for an hour to visit a few favorite friends.

Whenever we go, there are a couple of exhibits that are a must see.




Hippo (My FAVORITE!)



Two-toed sloth….lazy SOB



Big A$$, angry Gorilla



And a trip is never complete without a little monkey business.

Aww the monkeys.  I could sit there all day and watch their antics.  As I watch them goof around, entertaining us lemmings, this is what I envision……

“I hereby call the 8 am meeting of cage 5 to order.  Roll call!  Steve!”





“zzzzz, hmmm, What??? Oh, here.”

“Let the record show all four of us were present and accounted for this morning.”

“Larry, is this really all necessary?  We live in a cage.  We can’t get out.”

“It’s all necessary Bob.  One can never be too careful.  Now boys, today is Monday, typically a slower day, but I need to remind you that it’s Memorial Day, so I think we need to on full assignment today for the anticipated higher crowds.”

“Seriously Larry?!?!  Do you really think it’s necessary?”

“Yes, Bob.  We’re still in the running for ‘Most Entertaining Exhibit’ this month and I’m not going to lose to those darn polar bears….again!   Steve, you’re on creepy smile.”


“Aye aye Captain!”

“Jim, you’ve on butt patrol today.”



“Bob.  You know what that means.  You’re on orange duty.”

“AGAIN!  How come I always pull the short peel?”

“You know why Bob.  The rest have tried and they just can’t kill it like you do….




….plus you already have the orange stains.”






Walk a mile

They say you should never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.  Well, I’m offering you the rare (ok, not so rare) chance to spend a mile in my shoes (ok, not really shoes, more like flip-flops…it’s summer time.  The shoes are in the closet until fall!)

Well, after a long night of sleeping and waking up without an alarm, it only makes sense to ease into the day.

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Now this is how you enjoy that first cup of coffee.

After a few hours of stressful ‘yard work,’ I realized it was time to feed those pesky children.  (Again with the eating three meals a day garbage!)  After a year eating in a boring school cafeteria, they forced me to change up the scenery and serve them their requested meal in a little more enjoyable lighting.

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Since I can’t having my children feel like spoiled, pampered babies, I put them to work to provide the family dinner.

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I’m only kidding.  I’m a true Nebraskan.  I eat meat, real, red meat.  Meat that used to moo and get tipped over.  I might love going fishing, but I won’t eat fish or any seafood for that matter.  Don’t judge.  It swims in its own poo.

After all that grueling chaos of the morning, it was time to FINALLY pamper myself.  Hey, I’d earned it.

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Yep, that’s the ticket.

Sidebar ~ I have terrible feet.  No really.  I actually feel bad for the poor lady who has to work on these clubs.  Just look at her.

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After all the power grinding, she needed a nap!  Apparently IP shares my sentiments.


He’s currently looking for a couch to crash on….

Well, as you can imagine, after making it through all the chores on my schedule, it was time to finally put these ol’ dogs up for the day and give them a proper rest….FINALLY!

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Now, there’s my mile, judge away….


Play that funky music

I’ve been sitting here, staring at a blank screen, trying to find the best way to phrase that I’ve been in a funk lately.  Here’s what I’ve come up with.

I’ve been in a funk lately.

Over the past few weeks, I think I have started four different blogs that are sitting hopelessly unfinished in draft hell.  This post itself sat with simply a title for three days.

I love writing.  I love bringing you my random thoughts, pointless rants, and hilarious stories.  Luckily, the chaos of my life provides many opportunities for me to find interesting tidbits and head-shaking occurrences to report to you in my oh-so witty ways.

In these last few funky weeks, I’ve still had enough material drop into my lap to write a handful of blog.  I just haven’t had the umph to follow through.

I blame the horribly late arrival.  (Sidebar ~ That MFing Groundhog better never scurry out of his damn Gobbler’s Knob again and have the nerve to say we will have an early spring.  Early spring my a$$.  We had snow in May….SNOW.  I sat at baseball games in my winter coat, seeing my breath!)

I blame the end of the school year.  Traditionally my students do not do well with a change in their schedule.  Despite how much they complain about school, most of them are happy to have a stable place to come everyday and a predicable routine.  They get particularly owly as the calendar comes to a close.  They have been off the wall nuts during these last few weeks of school, draining me of any reserve energy I might have otherwise had.

I blame my crazy home life.  Before you worry, IP, lil’ IP (Paige) and T-Dog (Trystan) are all perfectly fine.  It just seems the family candle has been burning at both ends.  Between school, work, voice lessons, baseball practice, baseball games, pool board, school board, IP’s work schedule, IP’s travel schedule, household errands, household chores, and homework, I’ve lost track of more than a few days.

Just last night, after getting through the four subjects of homework T-Dog brought home and getting him ready to drop off at baseball practice, I realized that school ended in two days and I had yet to buy the end-of-the-year teacher’s gifts and make cupcakes for T-Dog’s classroom to celebrate his summer birthday.  As we jumped in the car to run to the store for the gifts and the vanilla I was out of, it dawned on me that I forgot to make dinner.  Why does my family insist on eating everyday?  And three times a day at that?  Geez!

By the time I get through the list of to-do tasks for the day, it’s all I can do to make it to my bed before I crash.  (Trust me.  You DO NOT want me to crash out on the couch.  Ask IP.  Waking me up after I’ve fallen asleep on the couch is taking your life into your own hands.  I’m cranky to say the least.)

The good news is I clock out of work for the summer on Friday and joyfully take my place in my poolside lounger until August.  The even better news is I will be back at your full disposal, spewing my opinions and observations, while hopefully not boring you with my amusing antics and brilliant adventures.

You’re welcome!

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Best Mom Ever

Forgive me, but I must take a moment to brag.  My beautiful, talented, smart, intelligent children locked themselves in a room the other day and made this video for me.

Best Mom Ever.

WOW!  Amazing right!

Whenever Mother’s Day or Father’s Day rolls around, I’m reminded of the scene from Seinfeld where the two old men in the hospital are fighting over who is truly the ‘World’s Greatest Dad” and for a while, I was really cynical when I saw all these ‘#1______ ‘ or ‘World’s Greatest _______’  I mean seriously people, you all can’t be the best.  Only one of you can, that’s what #1 means after all.  All those awards are empty sentiments.  What a joke.

Then, I had my own children and began the never-ending cycle of joy, worry, elation, pain, wonder, stress, and absolute amazement.  I also began building my own collection of ‘Best Mom’ paraphernalia.  Little sticky hands would toddle over and pass me a sticky #1 Mom drawing.  Grinning ear to ear, energetic elementary kids would run to me happily waving the ‘World’s Greatest Mom’ flower pot they proudly painted all by themselves.  Too-cool-for-school tweens shyly pass me a heart-felt poem they agonized over, trying to get the rhyming and meaning just right.

And I realized something, all of these ‘Best Mom’ awards are all true.  We were all created to be the mom (or dad or care giver) to the beautiful creatures that God chose to give to us.  We were made specifically for them and are the perfect fit for their needs.  The fact that we try to be the best and do the best for them everyday, the fact that we care about all the little things they do and say, the fact that we love them during their failures as well as their successes means that we all have earned our ‘World’s Greatest’ awards.

So as you sit back this morning, eating your specially made and questionably edible breakfast in bed, remember you truly are, without a doubt, the #1, the BEST, WORLD’S GREATEST MOM!

Thank a teacher

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to let you all know how much I love teachers.  I appreciate all the time, energy, and creativity they expend, and am so thankful for the things they give not only my own children, but all children in all schools, everyday.

Great teachers inspire a love of learning.  They teach kids without the kids feeling like it’s work.  They present things in fun and interesting ways, wrapping the students in and creating an unmeasurable excitement for the material.  Great teachers not only make school fun, but create memories that will last a lifetime while motivating and shaping our future.

“So what did you learn in school today?”

The standard question that we all ask our children everyday after school.  Well, today I got an interesting response.

“Look Mom!  Look!”

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Can you guess what that is?  Well, I’ll let Trystan tell you…

“It’s a cow’s eye.  We dissected it today!  I found the optic nerve.  Then I pulled it off!  Then I flipped the lens inside out.  I dissected it all by myself!  Did you know the bluish-green part feels like rubber?  I touched it with my bare hands!  Can I have a baggie?  I have to clean out the jar and return it to school.”

As I was making dinner, this got plopped next to me.

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Needless to say, I had a light dinner tonight.

All of this love, joy and excitement was created by the incredible Mrs. Mixan.

picture courtesy of google images

picture courtesy of google images

What, you say, that’s Paul McCartney!  Well, as much as I would LOVE to show you an actual picture of Mrs. Mixan, she does not allow you to take her picture.  Since she’s a life long Beatles fan and once tried to call Mr. McCartney long distance from her best friends kitchen, I think she’ll let me substitute this picture for one of her, just this one time…

Thank you teachers for all that you do you for my children and my family.  I hope you know how much we appreciate you.  And remember, summer is just a few short days away, not that we’re counting or anything….