Pictures of my Year

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy December!

Hello everyone! Its about time for another blog, don't you think?

Hall School's Reading Night
Presenting a Project Linus Blanket to Ana, my new friend :)

November has been quite a ride! From All-State Choir to my 9 days of school this month, I've been just about everywhere you can imagine! I've had the opportunity to perform for various groups in North Platte in the past month and promote my platform as well! I welcomed in the new month with a trip back to Chadron to pass down my local title of Miss Northwest Outstanding Teen. It was great to see my Chadron "family" and meet a very promising group of new contestants!

I was honored to, once again, sing the National Anthem for the local VFW Post's Veteran's Day Services. Being able to be a part of these ceremonies has really taught me a lot in the past couple years. There is only so much that a history class can teach you about what these veterans really did for us. I am so blessed to have met my good buddy Cal Stratton two years ago at the Vietnam Veteran's Wall. Since then, he has given me countless opportunities to perform as well as speak about how important their sacrifices are to me and our country. So so blessed, thank you Cal and the VFW Post Members!

                           With the Firing Squad                                                      Speaking.. these Cal :)
 
                                               Congressman Adrian Smith
                                              Showing the little girls Cal's Brick at the Memorial
Cal helping me out, once again!, by driving me in the Veteran's Parade

I am so excited to start of the 4th annual Coats4Kids coat drive! With the assistance of my good buddy Josha Gifford and ProPrinting, we are beginning what we hope to call the most successful year so far! Boxes are located at First National Bank, Bank of the West, the NP Library, ProPrinting, Sunmart by Walmart, and the Dance Factory. So far we have one definite "Pick Up" location, and we are working on two others.

I attended my third and final year of All-State Choir over the week of Nov. 16th. I traveled to Lincoln with a group of 9 other students, 2 of which were also third year members. After 3 busy days of rehearsal, running around Lincoln, Laser Tag, swimming, muffins, Lazlo's, and Qdoba, I was once again left speechless by the experience. Every year, All-State renews my love for music and changes my career path back to music. I think that's a sign... :) We had an awesome director, amazing choir, and amazing singers from our school. So proud of everyone who made it, and very very sad to say that I won't be able to attend ever again.

Over 400 of Nebraska's most talented singers

I was honored to be a featured guest at the Miss Nebraska Pageant's annual Festival of Trees over the Thanksgiving break. Kayla and I sang and introduced the trees that were decorated by businesses across North Platte. This fundraiser benefited the Miss Nebraska pageant as well as the Children's Miracle Network. There was a GREAT turnout! My cheer squad also took part in decorating a tree! Our "Believe" tree had plenty of blue and gold dog bones to show our spirit and even had a Santa, angel, and Rudolf bulldog! It was all handmade by the squad and was auctioned for over $300 and then donated to the Bridge of Hope for the kids to enjoy there.

Kayla and I helping to auction off a wreath

This is the Coffee Maker.. I mean tree.. Kayla won :)

My visit back to Chadron was very much needed! I missed my Chadron family! Mom and I braved the winter roads and were welcomed with open arms back into the community. I enjoyed spending the day with the new contestants and volunteers. Jon Marquez and I were the emcees for the night. Thank you to Michele Strom of the Winning Crown Boutique for providing my wardrobe for the night as well! I'm so excited for our new titleholders; its crazy to think that they are preparing to take over my job already! :)


Our canned food drive was also this week! The seniors brought in a whopping 37,000 points, however, as a school, we were still shy of our 55,000 point goal. The final day has been extended until Monday, so we're working all weekend to reach it! If we do, we will not have school on Dec. 22nd, the final day before break. Needless to say, we're all hoping for the best!



Tomorrow is NPHS's Vespers concert at North Platte High. Anyone who is in the North Platte area, you cannot miss this! The NPHS Varsity Choir has an absolutely amazing selection of music this year and the talent in our choir is phenomenal. It will fill you with Christmas cheer :) The concert begins at 4 on Sunday, Dec. 11th at the Performing Arts Center in North Platte High.

As for the rest of the already predicted month, I will be finishing up scholarship applications, running the mile in gym class one last time, writing a few English abstracts, and ending hopefully the most successful year of Coats4Kids! Notice, this is the predictable schedule. I'm sure you will see me out and about with my sparkly hat pretty soon! Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and God Bless to all :)



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All I do is RUN RUN RUN!

Hello Bloggers! I am so sorry for this crazy gap of time between entries, the life of a high school senior is full of twist and turns with book reports and research papers, but throwing a crown into that mix just makes computer time impossible!

AND I've had a phone malfunction, and so my entire calendar got deleted, which is basically my life. So I'll attempt to fill in the empty spaces!

Heres a run down on what I've been up to since my last update-
1) I've made various appearances in North Platte, but the one that sticks out the most in my mind is where I met my good friend Sprinkles the House Pig. I was asked to be a part of First National Bank's NEST-fest, which encouraged families to open an account with them that would save money for their child's college education. I sign tons of autographs and was able to watch a really cute talent show. I also met my friend Sprinkles and was even allowed to hold him!
2) As my senior year gets closer and closer to the end, I have to start thinking about picking a college! AHHH! No pressure, since this is one of the most important decisions I will probably ever make, right? I visited the University of Nebraska Lincoln on their Red Letter Architecture Day in order to see just what exactly architecture is. I can honestly say that I was very wrong in my idea of what I would be learning, and I am currently considering other paths to take. Not that I don't enjoy architecture, I just believe that the plan I have for my life wouldn't work out with the career demands of an architect. Of course, music is the first thing I thought of. I'm exploring my opitions right now as to my major, but I'm still considering UNL as my first choice! I even met my long lost best friend Sadie at the architecture day! We were best friends growing up, however after she moved away, we lost a lot of contact. It was great to catch up and hopefully I'll be seeing her around campus a lot next year! *On the note of colleges, I've currently applied to a TON and have been accepted to Hastings, UNK, UNO, UNL, Doane, Luther, and Wesleyan. Still waiting to hear from Yale, fingers crossed!I raised my ACT score to a 31, so we'll see what kind of scholarship money that brings in!

3) My life has been filled with cheering too! On top of our weekly football games, I traveled with the squad to many volleyball games across Nebraska. We held our annual Pink Out and raised over $5,000, our most ever! Of course, this was my last game to cheer at good old NPHS, so a few... okay maybe a lot, of tears were shed. Thank you girls for making this a memorable senior football cheer season. Although I didn't play, I can still say that I'm going to miss those Friday Night Lights. Now we're gearing up for the winter season and preparing for State Cheerleading in February, I'm choreographing the routine!



4) All State Choir Auditions! As a possible third year All-State member, I was terrified going into the auditions. Sometimes you can audition perfectly, but you didn't quite make the cut, so I was very worried. However, two weeks after the audition, I found out that I was one of nine North Platte High students that would be attending the All-State Honor Choir on Nov. 16-18. I'M SO EXCITED! Congrats to the other third year members, Natalie Poppe and Ben Montegomery!


5) I've also been in the works of planning a Halloween dance for the Senior Class! Myself, along with my friends Riley Evarts, Jordan Enderle, Jake Berglund, Adam Bailey, and Mitch Alexander successfully put together a dance raising $1,500 for our class's canned food drive! Over 300 people from North Platte and the surround communities attended. It was such a success :)



6) My boyfriend, Jeff, and I ventured to Lincoln to watch the Huskers WHOMP Michigan State the next day :) Of course, we partook in the customary after game wings at the Waterhole, and then headed home. It was a fun day, and we got to check out the campus from a students point of view.

7) As for more things with my crown, I was featured as a performer at the annul luncheon hosted by Lincoln County's Community Domestic Violence Prevention Organization. I was joined by Husker football announcer Matt Davison. He spoke on "Creating Captains", his program encouraging kids to think about their future and prepare for what they want to be. He had a very inspiring message that I'm finding to be true everyday in my journey to college!

8) Finally, I just got back from the State Student Council convention! Our council headed to Lincoln on Sunday, and enjoyed the night doing crazy teenager stuff in our hotel. We had tons of fun taking crazy pictures, having pillow fights, and laughing hysterically After a night of staying up until 3am... I was a tad bit exhausted. During the convention, our key note speaker really caught my attention. Ted was his name, and he had a realistic plan that I think everyone can relate to. His slogan was "Be the solution, not the problem." He talked about just doing something nice. Being a good person, to yourself and others. His message really spoke to me. I'm altering my platform, if that's allowed in the middle my reign... But I think that this statement really speaks for what I stand for. Yes volunteering is important, but as my year goes on, I'm finding that "Being the solution" is that I believe to be a message we can all listen too. Everything that I feel strongly about can be accomplished if you "are the solution" and not the problem.

It's time to get to bed for cheer practice tomorrow! I challenge all of you to think about "being the solution." What does that mean to you? I'll share my "solutions" throughout the year too!

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Homecoming week is over!

Now, it's time to catch up!

Last Saturday, Sept. 17th, I was asked to help with the Cartwheel-A-Thon in North Platte that raises money for Children's Miracle Network. Kayla and I weren't able to help with the tumbling part of it much, but we were definitely good encouragement for the kids fulfilling their pledges. Every hour on the half hour we taught the kids more about a healthy lifestyle and why its important. I had the strength station, so we did push ups :) In between pledgers, we did a little bit of tumbling ourselves. Kayla is a master at somersaults!

We also helped to break the world record for the most handstands across the world at one time... with crowns on :)

Last night, Sept 23rd, was North Platte High's Homecoming. The Cheerleaders, Pacers, and band performed at half time, which went REALLY well! We were lucky enough to have Danny Woodhead send Tapout, a brand of clothing/athletic supplies, to the game and bring along tons of merchandise to throw into the crowd. After the game, everyone ran off to get ready for the Homecoming dance and danced the night away. My date, Jeff Hardy, and I finished off the night at Penny's Dinner by getting a giant plate of hash browns :)



Today, I woke up bright and early (for the day after Homecoming at least) to go to First National Bank of North Platte's NESTFest. NEST encourages parents to set up college funds for their children at an early age. The parking lot was filled with HappyHoppers, face painting, carnival games, free food, a petting zoo, and an autograph table for yours truly. My estimate is that I gave away over 100 autographs, so the event was a complete success for First National, and I hope many parents in the area set up an account for their children. As I'm now a Senior preparing for college, I now really understand the importance of college money. You can never start too soon! At the end of the event, I went into the petting zoo :) I met Sprinkles, the house pig, and took a picture with him.

So that sums up my busy life for the past week! I'm not relaxing before being thrown back into the whirlwind of Cheerleading! Happy Saturday, and GO BIG RED!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reflections on Sept. 11th

On a day like this, it's impossible to not remember where you were 10 years ago. I had not been told about it at school, I found out after school when I came home and turned on the TV. I don't remember much about that day, but I do remember there was a parents meeting that night, and we were asked to take a moment of silence. I was really too young to take in the magnitude of what just happened. It's hard for an 8 year old to understand that this was really happening, and that it would effect the rest of my life. I knew it was a terrible thing, but I didn't understand just how bad it really was.

Ten years from that day, I look back with a different view. Within a few years, I understood the impact this made on our nation, and even my life as a little girl in North Platte, NE. My Freshman year we watched the 9/11 movie, and I have to say that changed my life forever. It brought tears to my eyes, to see the firemen giving their lives to save others, to see the people on New York streets running to help in any way they could, to see that a human being could actually cause this much death and destruction willingly. It scared me to death. Yet at the same time, it gave me a sense of pride that our nation was brought together and completely forgot about our own selves in order to help our fellow Americans.

My dad and I always discuss what happened and things about the war. I've been really involved with the VFW and Legion activities this year too, so my eyes have really been opened. I am so proud of our soldiers who are fighting overseas. Our entire nation should be proud of our soldiers overseas. They have prevented another attack on our nation and have kept us safe. I only wish I could show my gratitude in some way, thank you.

Yesterday, I had the honor of singing the National Anthem at the Milo Day's Celebration in Carleton, NE. Before I sang, a presentation was made by the local Fire & Rescue Team in honor of 9/11. Everyone watching and involved in the parade was asked to rise and give 34 seconds of silence for those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. Thirty-four seconds - 1 second for every 10 firemen and servicemen lost in the 9/11 attacks. It was dead silent. Prayers were being sent, thoughts were being made, and even the children wanting candy stood completely still in honor of this silence. Following that up with the National Anthem was quite difficult, I had tears in my eyes from just the thought how this event brought together our nation into one and how even a town in the middle of Nebraska can be so affected by this tragedy.

Today, I once again have the honor of singing the National Anthem for the NebraskaLand National Bank flag dedication at their North branch. I'm looking forward to this, and hopefully to once again take part in a ceremony like yesterdays.

I ask everyone reading this to take a minute out of their day to say a prayer, I gave mine last night before I went to bed. On a day like this, you can't help but thank God for protecting us, sending angels on that day who went into the buildings and saved lives, and continuing to send angels who are currently overseas protecting our country.

"Dear God,
 I ask that you give every single angel up there in heaven with you that was taken from us on 9/11 a giant hug. Be with their families on this day, and please give them a sense of peace. Watch over our soldiers fighting today as they remember why they are fighting. Bless our nation, for You are the one who has lead us through these troubled times. You have given us glories throughout the past 10 years that we can also celebrate on this day of remembrance. Watch over us as we remember those who have fallen, those who are grieving, and those who are still fighting. Thank You for protecting us."

One last thing, on this day of remembrance, I ask every single one of you reading this to do some sort of act of service. It's the least we can do to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. :)

God Bless

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Major Catching up!

Oh my, it's been forever since I've had time to write anything! Needless to say, my life has not slowed down at all since MAOT.

School is back in session! The cheer squad is doing amazing and I couldn't be more proud of them. I've heard nothing but good comments! :)

As for the pageant world, I have spent my time attending every local pageant that has been held so far! I've visited Miss Scottsbluff Co., Miss Lincoln, and Miss State Fair. Congrats to all of the new local titleholders, I'm looking forward to seeing you at state! Kayla Batt, Miss Nebraska, Kayla Decker, Miss State Fair 2010, and I escaped from backstage and took a trek around the fair grounds. We found red velvet funnel cake (YUM) and hair feathers! I ended up doing 18 Army push ups at the Army tent and won a free tshirt also! We signed autographs and performed, and then I was headed home once again.

Labor Day, I participated and volunteered with the Run to Cure Breast Cancer here in North Platte. A few friends and myself ran the 5K and braved the chilly fall weather. This was my first attempt at working out after MAOT... and was successful! I ran the entire way and ended up winning my division. Needless to say I was quite surprised, and am now quite sore!

Preparing for the ACT is what I'm doing this week! I'm hoping to raise my score of 30 to at least a 32. We'll see what happens. This is only one of 3 times I will be taking it this fall before I make my final decision and apply for scholarships.

This weekend after the ACT, I am traveling to Carleton, NE to help out with the Milo Days celebration. They have a long running tradition of having a teen pageant and I am so excited that I was asked to help out! I will be speaking to the girls about my platform, helping them make a few blankets to give out, riding in a parade, singing, and teaching them about what a pageant is really about. I have never been to Carleton, but from what I've heard this community is very welcoming and I cannot wait to go this weekend!

Sunday, I am helping with NebraskaLand National Bank's flag dedication at their North branch. Following the dedication at 4, there will be a free will donation dinner. It would be great to see a large part of the community at the event, as it will be commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Also, concerning 9/11 - September 11th has been deemed a National Day of Service. I challenge everyone who reads this blog to go out of their way this Sunday to help someone in need. Even the smallest act will make a difference. It's the least we can do to honor those who have given their lives in service. I have chosen to not accept any form of re-reimbursement for my appearances this weekend in honor of this day, and hope to have the opportunity to find another service project by the end of the week. Let me know what you've done in honor of September 11th!

God Bless :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to the "Real World"

Wow.
That pretty much sums up the past week and a half of my life at MAOT. I had such a wonderful week filled with life changing experiences that I will never be able to duplicate.

After arriving in Orlando, I checked in, met the other contestants, and was a part of a Tony Bowls Photo shoot! ^ That's a sample :)

All 53 of us attended a Medieval Times dinner, a dinner at Planet Hollywood, and the Evening of Stars. We even got a break from rehearsals to enjoy the pool!!

I was blessed to have tied for the On-stage question/evening gown prelim award, but I was even more blessed to have added 52 sisters to my family. They mean the world to me and I miss them terribly.

I feel horrible because I'm at a loss for describing my week! It was such a whirlwind of awesome-ness. I've learned so much from this experience and have absolutely no regrets. I've never been so pleased and content in my life.

This experience has really taught me a lot about myself. I have reconnected with God in a way that I never thought was possible. I honestly have not prayed that much in my life! At the end of the week, I watched a plane write "Love God" in the sky. It was like the signature at the end of a letter. The best way to describe my experience at MAOT is a message from God, I am truly blessed to have had this opportunity to learn about myself, my life, my journey, and what He has intended me to do. I cannot wait to see what plan he has for me in the near future :)

To the MAOT Class of 2012- I miss you like crazy, thank you for making this journey an absolute blast. Can't wait for Vegas
To my friends, family, and support group here in NP & Nebraska- I couldn't have done this without you. I am eternally grateful for you love and support, it got me through the week!

Here's a service blurb! I am taking part in the Run for Breast Cancer here in North Platte on Sept. 5th. I highly suggest being a part of this great cause! Visit the groups facebook page or contact me and I would be glad to get you more information!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

IT'S GO TIME!

Alright, so my intentions of blogging every day up until MAOT didn't exactly work out. Ha, funny how packing seems to consume your life when you are leaving for a week and a half.

Anyways, the past few days have been filled with the Ludeman Family Reunion, packing, eating some chicken, working out, running to Gothenburg to get dresses altered, practicing my talent, my birthday, and my very favorite event, my send off. :)

Thank you to everyone who attended the send off. It was a complete success. I got more stage time in my competition outfits for practice, Darrell tricked me with a few onstage questions, and I was able to practice my talent! The silent auction went over great and so did the birthday cake! It was a great celebration, and I could really feel the support from the state. :)

As for now, I am completely packed and am getting ready to head out to Grand Island to fly out in the morning! I am so ready and cannot wait for the week to begin.

Again, another thank you to everyone for all of your support and well wishes. It means so much to me and I wouldn't be here without your help.

Mother will be keeping things updated on her Facebook, as well as mine and the Nebraska Outstanding Teen page. I won't have my phone or access to the Internet after Friday night. You can write me letters though! Letters, care packages, cards, ...chocolate :) anything except flowers due to allergies.

Please send to:
Miss Nebraska's Outstanding Teen Brooke Ludemann
c/o Rosen Centre Hotel
9840 International Dr.
Orlando, FL 32819-8122

Thanks again! I will be back up on August 22nd :)