Although not officially in 2012, I saw a snowy owl in our subdivision as I was on a wet, and cold walk on New Year’s Eve.  Sorry the photo isn’t great, but it sure was great to see this bird of prey.  S/he looked at me, I looked at him and for probably a minute he let me gawk at him, take his picture and then he was off.

Classrooms of 1st grades can be so fun!  These little guys we so excited because we all had the same shirt on.  As we were lining up to leave, I had their teacher snap a picture!  Serendipity at it’s best:)

The first weekend in January found our Ecology Club at the Council Bluffs Recycling Center.  The kids liked the huge ground up glass pile!  We found out that most the paper and plastics are shipped to China!  Good grief - what a carbon footprint we leave on our earth.

When we got back to school, we let the students do science experiments having to do with water, air, sound, and magnets.  We even made a bird feeder out of a recycled plastic pop bottle.

The Press Club got into trip action by going to the Omaha World Herald.  We learned that the printing press is 6 stories tall.  This is a model.

The Henry Doorly Zoo had a class on tigers and their hearing and vocal production.  Researchers have found that each tiger’s voice is as distinct as our fingerprints.  So they are in the process of putting recording stations up to accurately count the number of tigers in the wild.  It’s a shame these beautiful animals have to be behind bars.  Possibly humans are the ones who should be put behind bars!

This tiger has three legs.  She has had many litters and is the animal trainer’s favorite cat.

I purchased an Appalachian Mountain Dulicmer.  It was made in Tennessee!

Music Club members were treated to a trip to St. Cecilia’s Cathedral in Omaha.  They have an annual Flower Festival, where florists decorate the cathedral with all sorts of flowers!  When we walked in, it smelled just like a green house.  There are varied performances going on and we got to hear a lute and watch the OPS MiniSingers - our district’s elementary honor choir.

Dad raised his first amaryllis and it was a whopper!

The first weekend in February is our All-City concert.  Omaha had 6 to 10 inches of snow, and it was cancelled.  Our principal felt bad for the students who had prepared their music and didn’t get to perform, so he gave them all a Cougars ROAR t-shirt.  I work with the best!

The Ecology Club had a full moon party.  The night sky was cloudy but we took the iPod Touches outside and looked at the stars and planets!   Plus harvested herbs, planted orange seeds, made garden stakes and shelled popcorn.  This party was also a chance for students to complete their assignments on renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.

We’ll have enough popcorn to pop during another club meeting!!

I purchased a Weber mandolin, made in Montana out of Mahogany.  It is fun to learn how to play :)


Leanne and I attended a talk on East Campus by a researcher who was published in Louv’s book.   Dr. Taylor works at U of I, and must be a true researcher because she really didn’t have many answers for the questions that were asked about something other than her work.

Dad had some trees cut down on The Plantation.  As you can see, they were home to lots of bugs and worms!

The CV Music Club took a walking tour of the UNO campus on the last Sunday of February,  and then were treated to a choral concert.  A smile came across my face when I heard the students saying, “This is MY college!!”  I do hope they continue learning!

The Ecology Club was treated to their own private showing of The Lorax, pizza at the school, and then on to Fontenelle Forest!  They had to complete the energy assignment and attend so many club sessions to “earn” their way!  By the end of their party, they were tired little cougars.

Our Music Club made a little commercial for Music in Our Schools Month. 

Emily Mae was the lead in the Crete HS production of Grease!   She made her aunt very proud!

Jonathan Kozol spoke at Doane College.  He was like a little boy in an older body! 

I took Chris Murray, now retired K teacher, to see the loves of her life!!

Emily in the prom dress she created!

The music club and family members attended a Celtic concert in the recital hall of the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Although I was out with bronchitis/asthma/pneumonia, Children’s Classics had a picnic in a park complete with bike riding and geo caching!

All 700 Cougars got on 14 buses and attended a Salt Dogs baseball game!  Batter up!

Our honor graduate!  Way to go Emily Mae!! :)

Lots of classes got in on mulching the flower beds around the school.

Our first harvest :)

Nearly all classes were digging in the dirt to plant the CV garden!

This is a favorite picture of students in the garden.  You just line them up in a row, tell them what to do, and within minutes the row is ready!! :)

Plain Jane Party

Good food, great conversation and plenty of games and laughs!  Who could ask for anything more??

Camp Cougar’s theme was Fishin’ for Facts!

Our first travel day took us to Lake Manawa’s playground and then to the zoo to see the Imax’s movie on the Arctic.

Those wascaley wabbits made us put up chicken wire around the bottom of the garden fence!

Made a cherry pie from The Plantation tree for my wonderful bus driver Willard!

Karala (6th grade CV teacher) & I took two CV Cougars to the Negro League Baseball Museum, and topped it off with a root bear at McFoster’s!

The next week’s trip was to the Kroc Center where we played games, they cooked a meal for us, and we went swimming!  We started our swimming with a 10 minute rest break!

Not all the fishing was done outside, these music students are fishing for the elements of music!

Our next excursion took us to the Bellevue Berry Farm.  Look at all those raspberries!!

These Cougars were happy gardeners!

Emily made baby blue bird cupcakes for Grandma Brown’s 85th birthday!

I have been a member of Postcrossing.com for over a year now and I love how each card gives you a slice of life from another part of the world.  I have been blessed by a friendship from Yi who lives in China (she’s the one with the noodle coming out of her mouth!).  It’s great to see the world from the eyes of an intelligent 21 year old.  Thank you Yi!

Our last Camp Cougar trip was to Fontenelle Forest and then to a water pad park in Papillion.

Another one of Emily’s quilt headed to the county fair!

Emily’s Youth Governance Team was creating public awareness of Crete’s nature trails at Tuxedo Park.  They held a Run/Walk on July 7th and I was happy to walk a mile for them!

Harriet and the girls spent a Friday afternoon on the River City Star and I was aboard as well!

My, the Saline County Fair was a big event for Emily as she earned many awards and trophies!  She made the dress she is wearing!

August saw Emily move into her dorm room at UNL.

The Czech Festival in Wilbur wouldn’t be complete without Emily and Mark winning the Duck and Dumpling race :)

I went to Omaha twice a week to water the Chandler View garden.

Novak Reunion

Troy, Jo Ann, and Brad with Aunt Betty.

         Cousins Jo Ann, and Rosalie :)

Kolaches are always good!

First Plymouth has Summer Sings and I participated in Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

Emily makes the UNL Marching Band!  She is one of 31 trombones.

Nebraska State Fair had a pork and beans pig and Emily’s awards!

One of the first things the Ecology Club did in school was have a Blue Moon party.  We took the students to a wooded area close to school and let the students climb around in nature and a lady came to show us how to “mud” for a straw bale house!

Chandler View Garden Harvest time!

Music Club goes to watch UNL Marching Band practice.

Emily and I attended Lorrie Moore’s reading at UNL.

She’s pretty humorous!

Jeremiah, my mentee, and I went to the Children’s Museum to meet a former Husker and see the sites

The “real” Cornhuskers!

Did you know cleaning up the garden patch could be so much fun??

Music Club party antics!

Emily and I attended the musical Shrek!  These are the Orpheum curtains before the show began :)

More Music Club party time.  Learning how to play the recorder takes some practice time!!

Children’s Classics is a group of 18 reachers who meet during lunch to discuss classics such as Dracula; Little Women; A Christmas Carol.  The readers went to see the Nebraska Repertory Theater’s presentation of A Christmas Carol at South H.S. 

Thanksgiving at the Kramer Kastle.

Emily and Grandma at the Western Fraternal Life Association recognition dinner in Milligan.  Lodge No. 76.

Even though the Husker football team can’t win the big games, the band just kept getting better and better!  Emily was on national TV several times during the season!

Out of the 31 trombones only 3 are girls and one of the majors is a trombonist as well.

Before their Season’s Highlights Show, various sections performed little ditties.  Here’s to the trombones!!  The stage at Pershing was filled with the band.

Emily and I went to see the musical Billy Elliot.

This was our Christmas program at Chandler View this year.  Our technology teacher usually loads the program onto our website, so if you want to view, take a look here:


She’s been out with the “crud” so it may take her awhile to get it uploaded.

Emily sang with the Abendmusik Choir and 1st Plymouth Brass!  What a glorious program!  It is supposed to air on NETV and on Nebraska Public Radio.  If you happen to run across it, it’s certainly worth the time to listen to their beautiful music!