05. September 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

This is what Jacob greeted me with this morning. At least he said “Good Morning” first.

No, my house isn’t that filthy! As you’ll remember from my Pros and Cons posting at the end of last month, our neighborhood sits just north of a large cattle farm. When the wind is from the south or the west, we get the “rural” smells from the farms. I’ve had the windows open in the house since Tuesday, so overnight the “zoo” odors crept in.

To all my friends living in the paths of Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike, good luck to you!

BTW: When the winds are from the east, we’re able to hear Offutt AFB’s broadcast of Taps at 10pm. Not super-loud, but if it’s otherwise quiet, you can’t miss it. Dave and I thought that was pretty neat.

05. September 2008 · Comments Off on Nebraska Discoveries 5: Wild Sunflowers · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Wild sunflowers are in bloom in E. Nebraska and W. Iowa. They’re just popped up all over the place, like how Queen Anne’s Lace pops up in PA and WV, and how wild thistle grows on the sides of the highways in NC.

So I pulled a Maryann and pulled over on the side of this country road while driving back from Toys R Us in Iowa and took some pictures.

This is what a single plant looks like…

And here’s a group of them.

There’s a HUGE field near Timmy’s preschool, I should get over there and take some pics soon before they’re over with.

04. September 2008 · 4 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

Today was Timmy’s first day of preschool at a church up the street from us here in Bellevue.

He was great going right into the classroom, picking up his nametag and getting involved in the centers scattered about the room.

Then it was time to say “Goodbye”.

He became a terrified wreck and it took his teacher peeling him off me and off the doorway to get him into the room.

I was pretty emotional after that… believe it or not, I hadn’t experienced that with Timmy in a very long time.

But if past experiences serve as an indicator, I’m willing to bet he will have had a good time when I pick him up about an hour from now.

Then it’s off to Toys R Us to go lightsaber shopping!

PS: Like the shirt? The kids wear their preschool shirts on Thursdays.

04. September 2008 · Comments Off on A Numbers Game · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

This caught my attention tonight…I randomly came across this blog when searching for some information about how the Republican National Committee chooses how many delegates get sent from each state (it isn’t as cut and dried as the Electoral College).

Statistics fascinate me — sure, I’ve been exposed to enough statistics in my work and I understand stuff like Gaussian distributions, Chi-squared tests, etc. But because of that, I’m keenly aware of how statistics are used all over the place.

The Yankees thing I’ve referenced above reminded me of that blog posting I did a couple weeks ago.

I wish I could say more about this, but I’m beat and I’m starting to not make sense…


“What a strange number…”


I’m one of the Box Top assistants for my son’s elementary school PTA. Aren’t I Little Miss Involved, huh? This was a good program to get involved in since I have a deployment in early 2009 that would mess up my being a room Mom or a PTA officer. Maybe next year.

Actually the group of us does a lot more than just the Box Tops for Education Program ($0.10 per label). We also help with the Campbell’s Soup Labels for Education (earn points, use points to buy supplies for the school), Tyson’s Project A+ ($0.24 per label), and Land O Lake’s Save Five for Schools ($0.05 per milk cap).

The school calls the entire program “Trash to Treasure”.

Every month, on the last school day of the month, each class turns in their accumulated “Trash” and the totals are tabulated. The class with the most labels/caps earns an incentive of some sort.

Jake’s class won for September, whoo hoo, with 534 items turned in.

Anyway, this week I picked up my sack of labels to clean up and organize. My task is to trim the Box Tops for Education (less excess around the label = less postage weight) and bag them in groups of 100. The sack I picked up was a gallon-sized Ziploc bag filled to the brim with labels. Whoa.

Yesterday I set Timmy at our kitchen table with Play Doh and other crafts while I sat with him and trimmed labels. You can see the untrimmed on the left, the trimmed on the right.

So I ended up with 813 labels trimmed and bagged. They range in size from 2″ x 3″ (like on a box of Toaster Streudel) to smaller than a fingernail (Pillsbury Crescent Rolls). My hands will be paying me back for this come wintertime — my hand pain has been a 24-hour cold front forecast for the past 3 years.

Trimming the labels I learned about the wide variety of products that have the labels, from Huggies to Caribou Coffee granola bars.

And I have to admit, today at the grocery store I was keeping an eye out for products with the labels…

…which is a corollary benefit to this program, huh? General Mills, Pillsbury, Kimberly Clark and Betty Crocker are steering us Moms-of-kids-in-school to their products.

02. September 2008 · Comments Off on Nebraska Discoveries 4: The Nebraska State Fair · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Today we paid a visit to the last day of the Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln. Unlike the North Carolina State Fair, this is somewhat smaller, mainly because most of the competitions are for youth, through their 4-H organizations.

The highlight for me was the demolition derby. We never made it to any of the NC State Fair ones, but I’ve enjoyed one at the Ohio State Fair, and Dave had seen both Ohio’s and Delaware’s. It won’t be long before we can make the circuit!It was in the low 90s, but we still enjoyed just enough animals, food, a tractor parade, demolition derby, games, and rides to call it a day at about 4pm.

We took our times driving back to Bellevue, taking U.S. Route 6 instead of I-80, and hoping to run into some BNSF Trains. We only saw this one on the trip back.