Monthly Archives: February 2013

Spaghetti and Spaceballs

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Most of the posts on my blog have to do with friends and food. Mostly food, of course. Two of our favorite Foodie Friends and Phil and Jen, and they invited us over to their place on Saturday night for some Spaghetti and Spaceballs. Phil created some handmade spaghetti with fresh dough and the two of us round up some meatballs made with pork, bacon, and lamb. Mel Brooks kept us amused in the background, particularly Hannah, who seemed to think one inch from the screen was the ideal place to view the musical adaptation of the Spanish Inquisition (which none of us expected).

On Sunday afternoon, the brakes went out on my Taurus on my way home from church. I’m not entirely sure what happened yet, but I was able to coast safely to a stop by pumping them several times (one of the few things I remember from Drivers’ Ed). The car’s in the shop now awaiting a verdict. I’m mostly glad that this didn’t happen to Vivian during rush hour, when losing your brakes at highway speeds could prove a little more dangerous.

That evening, the Johnson Family dropped by the Kleven House in west Omaha for an Oscar Party hosted by Venche and Bente. It had been a while since Hannah had seen Venche and she was able to show off such things as being able to climb stairs and accept an award for Best Supporting Toddler. I didn’t pay much attention to what was happening on the red carpet or on the stage afterward, as I was mostly corralling Hannah and feeding her chicken nuggets from my plate, but it was nice to hang out with a few other people for the evening, particularly after a somewhat scary afternoon.

Love and murder

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Love was in the air last week, with just a whiff of murder. On Sunday evening, Twin Valley Church hosted its first Valentine’s murder mystery potluck party. We had almost the entirety of the congregation participating, including Mark and Lisa, Drew and Teresa, Jack and Donna, and a handful of other willing suspects. The setting was an Australian island after some kind of shipwreck involving a cluster of Olympic athletes. I got to play a Swedish ping pong champion, a la Jan-Ove Waldner, who didn’t do much other than pee on trees and run away from snakes. Several of us enjoyed getting into our characters, including Pastor “Terone” from Detroit. The actual killer turned out to be Lynn Sahs, which took almost everyone by surprise, since we had about a hundred red herrings floating around for our characters to fish for.

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On V-Day itself, I made up some heart-shaped pancakes for Vivian for breakfast. Then, I spent a busy morning preparing some fettuccine alfredo for a surprise lunch visit to Vivian at Friendship Program. Of course, I brought Hannah along for the ride so everyone at her office could coo over our rapidly-growing up baby girl. (And left a surprise on Vivian’s desk when no one was looking.)

That evening, we had a modest romantic dinner at one of our favorite burger chains, Five Guys. I’d taken Vivian to other more (traditionally) romantic venues in the past, but we somehow enjoyed our burgers and fries much more, particularly because we didn’t need to worry about Hannah interrupting anyone else’s candlelight affairs. After dinner, we topped off the evening by getting Naked at Aldi. Yes, we did.


In other news, Hannah knows herself from head to “toooooooe!”

Where’s the beef?

The fun just doesn’t stop for the Johnson Family! Last Friday, it was our turn to set up at Jitterbugs Night Out, so we naturally brought Hannah along for the ride. She tended to be a handful upstairs, toddling out onto the dance floor and trying to participate with the Lindy Hop lesson, so I took her downstairs where the older folks at the Eagles’ Lodge got to go all gooey over her. Vivian and I stayed long enough to have a dance or two together, and we also said hello to an old friend, who’d grown his hair out and decided to show up.

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On Friday, I took a trip to Lincoln with Vivian and Hannah to celebrate my old friend Mike Duewling’s 50th birthday. It was a reunion of sorts, as I got to see several familiar faces I hadn’t seen in many years, ranging from high school classmates to friends from one old bible study or another. For whatever reason, it was a men-only affair, so Vivian took Hannah to a cute little children’s activity center called Lost in Fun. Hannah was too little for most of the activities, but she did enjoy swimming around in the ball pit.

Sunday, of course, was the Superbowl, so Vivian and I crashed at the house of church friends Kelly and Andy. Pastor Drew and his Crew stopped by to play with Hannah as we watched the game (or pretended to, anyway). I think Hannah was rooting for the 49ers, and the blackout pushed the game a little beyond her bedtime.

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On Tuesday night, the grandparents treated us to a baby-free evening of fun. We had a Groupon for the Pizza Shoppe in Benson that was about to expire, so we decided to spend it while taking in a live comedy show from 88 Improv! We invited a whole troop of our goofy friends, which was perfect as the group decided to play a series of improv games rather than their usual “long form” improv show. That meant we had volunteers from the audience coming up on stage to be “handy” with the players. Vivian provided some manual dexterity, and I got to be a bit of a poser, seeing how long I could bend over acting crazy in a slideshow routine. It was a fun time, as always, and our Groupon paid for our whole pizza. What could be better? Well, maybe Stilton Blue Cheese ice cream from Ted & Wally’s. (Yes, we did that.)

By the way, where’s the beef?