Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Most Read pop-we Headlines of 2015

Nebraska City Festival. Divecations. Book Reviews. The list of top stories for 2015 included its share of diverse subjects. But the story that perhaps struck our readers the most involved a Marian High School teacher who has catapulted herself to a world-renowned author and motivational speaker, MK Mueller. Here are the news stories of the year, as selected by population-we™(pop-we) readers.

1) Teacher Appreciation Week Post Honors Mary Kay Mueller
Worldwide this week May 4-8 is Teacher Appreciation Week. In honor of teachers past and present population-we™ (pop-we) dedicates this week's post to Marian High School teacher Ms. Mary Kay Mueller.

2) Nebraska City Welcomes AppleJack Festival and More
Harvest time in Nebraska City, NE is the time for the annual AppleJack Festival where apples will be on center stage from Sept. 18-20. The city where Arbor Day traces its history honors its heritage while providing all the elements for an old-fashioned family friendly celebration.

3) pop-we Reviews Works of Author Mitali Perkins
Culture is a way of life. I recall students parroting back this simple definition to my grade school teacher during Social Studies class. Though my young mind had limited understanding of the phrase, I have always enjoyed learning about different cultures.

4) Shark Week Footage of Shark Feed Dive
This spring, Brian and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary with a scuba diving divecation on a liveaboard in the Bahamas. Since our Blackbeard's shark feed dive, Shark Week is every day in our household. Why? Because we got to enjoy the majesty of these underwater creatures in their natural habitat.

5) pop-we Reviews Alyssa Auch's Inito
I am optimistic that imagination is alive and well in The Digital Age. I have seen it in the rising generations who have viewed computer screens and other media since they were babies. Of course, one of the most abundant sources of a vivid imagination is a fantasy writer. I am excited to share an interview with Alyssa Auch, a fantasy writer who majored in Marriage and Family Relations in college. She gives tips on tapping into our imaginations.

6) Giving Your Condolences via Social Media
With the advent of social media one would think it would be easier to give condolences. This was tested recently when I had two dear friends whose parents passed away. Unlike years passed it wasn't from a phone call that alerted me to the news but via a Facebook post and a text message. Therefore, I felt responding with my condolences in the same manner was appropriate.

7) Wedding Reception Missteps Worth Blogging About
Sitting with my grandfather at the back of our wedding reception I was apologizing for everything he witnessed at our reception. At the time he was 78, and he’d seen a lot of his grandkids get married. He announced to me with a grin, “This was probably the most memorable reception of a grandchild I’ve been too!” I was truly mortified.

8) pop-we Highlights 2015 Men's College World Series Lineup
The 2015 College World Series will be played in Omaha, NE at Ameritrade Park from June 13 through June 23 or 24 if necessary. There are numerous reasons to be especially excited this year. The field of eight that made it to Omaha is stacked with traditional powers that have been made the trip before. 2014 Champion Vanderbilt returns and will try to repeat. The talent level showcased will be high with four of the top ten players selected in the 2015 MLB draft including the top two. Finally the redesigned baseball has produced more home runs nationwide this season but the test will be to see how they play at Ameritrade Park which has kept hitters in check the previous two years.

9) It's Camping Divecation Time
Yes, you read the headline right--it’s time for a Camping Divecation! No problem you can pack your scuba gear in your sleep but what if you are planning a sleepover. In this case, it isn’t at a hotel but in the great outdoors. If you prepare well ahead of time--you can sit back and enjoy the great outdoors without any regrets. Because what goes better together than scuba diving and a camping trip? Read on for a list on what will make your next camping divecation a success.

10) Red Nose Day Comes to America
Red Nose Day has been a tradition in the UK that happens every two years where people do something funny at home, school or work for money. A telethon is held on BBC with comedy and entertainment to inspire watchers to give generously to the UK's number one fundraising event. After 30 years it is crossing the ocean as Red Nose Day USA when NBC will have a three hour special on May 21, 2015 at 8 p.m. Eastern\7 p.m. Central.

~From the pop-we archive and contributors Barb Bohan, Becky Bohan Brown and John Bohan.
© 2016 population-we, LLC 
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Top 10 Made-for-TV Christmas Movies

It's that time of year, made-for-TV Christmas movie time! I truly don't know what my fa la la la la  fascination is with these shows? I mean in some of the made-for-TV-movies the story lines are so obvious and the acting is downright campy; no matter, the shows always seem to put a smile on my face.

You're wondering where to watch these holiday TV movies? Now through Christmas they're easy to happen upon; you can find the movies on a myriad of cable and satellite channels. I'd check your local listings for times. In some cases, you can even watch them on-demand at Internet streaming media outlets too. 

I know there's a cult following for these budget holiday shows. This time of year, my dearest friends and relatives constantly find ourselves always talking about our favorites. Anyone online can't help but notice the made-for-TV Christmas hype too. In this social media age hashtags are a flutter everywhere with made-for-TV holiday titles. 

population-we™ readers, join me as I rank my Top 10 favorite made-for-TV Christmas movies according to cable networks, on-demand media and genres below:

Network: Hallmark
Genre: Drama
Plot Summary: "Christmas Incorporated" (2015) Mistaken identity, Scrooge-like behavior by a CEO, a toy factory threatened to close in small Americana town and romance rounds out this Hallmark original.
Actors: Shenae Grimes, Steve Lund.

Network: Hallmark
Genre: Romance
Plot Summary: "Ice Sculpture Christmas" (2015) Romance is in the Christmas air for a dishwasher and inspiring chef who enters an ice sculpting contest with someone from her past.
Actors: Rachel Boston, Brenda Strong.

Network: Hallmark
Genre: Drama
Plot Summary: "The Christmas Parade" (2014) A TV personality escapes a scandal when she gets stuck in a small town for community service and falls for an artist as well as tries to save a local community arts center. 
Actors: AnnaLyn McCord, Jefferson Brown, Drew Scott, Jennifer Gibson.

Network: Hallmark
Genre: Romance
Plot Summary:  "A Holiday Engagement" (2011) dumped by her fiancé she may or may not find true love when she hires an actor to pose as her fiancé for the holidays.
Actors: Bonnie Somerville, Shelley Long, Jordan Bridges.

Network: Hallmark
Genre: Romance
Plot Summary: "Christmas Under Wraps" (2014) After moving to Alaska for a fellowship this doctor finds romance and falls for this small remote town that also hides a Christmas secret.
Actors: Candace Cameron Bure, David O'Donnell, Robert Pine 

Network: Hallmark
Genre: Romance
Plot Summary: "Crown for Christmas" (2015) A governess from Brooklyn wins over the hearts of a little princess, the Monarch's staff and the king himself.
Actors: Danica McKellar, Rupert Jones.

Network: Hallmark
Genre: Fantasy
Plot Summary: "North Pole: Open for Christmas" (2015) An elf and handyman try to persuade a woman executive to keep an inn she inherited, which is crucial to Christmas, open for business.
Actors: Lori Laughlin, Balee Madison, Dermot Mulroney.

Network: Hallmark
Genre: Comedy
Plot Summary: "I'm Not Ready for Christmas" (2015) Holly's world is turned upside down when her niece asks Santa to make her tell the truth and the shenanigans at work and her personal life begin.
Actors: Alicia Witt, George Stults,  Dan Lauria,  Brigid Brannagh.

Network: Hallmark
Genre: Family
Plot Summary: "Help for the Holidays" (2012) One of Sant's elves leaves the North Pole to help bring a family together over Christmas.
Actors: Summer Glau, Eva La Rue, Dan Gauthier, John Brotherton.

Network: Netflix
Genre: Family
Plot Summary:  "Christmas in Paradise" (2007) follows two families looking to escape bad holiday memories by vacationing over Christmas at a Caribbean resort. In the process, both families come together and learn some Puerto Rican culture as well as the magical Christmas story of the three kings.
Actors: Charlotte Ross, Colin Ferguson, Devon Werkheiser.

I guarantee, nothing makes the holiday stress melt away faster than watching made-for-TV holiday movies. So, merry made-for-TV Christmas movie watching!

(Editor's note: Plans are to make this an annual listing. So, remember to check back again the same time next year!)

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2015 population-we, LLC 
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