Category Archives: First Presbyterian

Movie and last pump it up

It’s been a groggy start to the new year, getting used to a regular forty-hour work week after having a fortnight bisected by Christmas and New Year’s. Vivian’s been making use of her new KitchenAid mixer, whipping up some homemade pizza and sticky buns that have definitely been a treat.

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We spent Saturday taking down our Christmas tree and decorations, bringing an official end to the holiday season (and introducing the kids to Mr. Bean and Punky Brewster in the process). Then on Sunday, we dropped by First Presbyterian for another movie night. We arrived early enough to get in some quality playtime outside, playing hide and seek with the kids on the playground and then inspecting a tree stump to determine its age.

Then inside, we got some chili dogs with a few of our friends for dinner before watching Homeward Bound, the 1993 live action animal Disney film that Vivian and the kids have seen multiple times, but I never had. The kids got to break out their sleeping bags as well and get a nice view right up front.

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Then on Monday night, we had one last bouncy trip to Pump it Up. We’d gone to multiple outings at this inflatable indoor park, all hosted by the Autism Society of Nebraska. Hannah and Aaron have both loved going up and down the big slide and hopping across the giant balls over an inflatable pit.

We’ve even come to know a few familiar faces after coming month after month, but unfortunately Pump it Up will be closing its doors at the end of January, so this was our last trip. We didn’t tell the kids, and I hope we’ll find a new bouncy venue for them to hop themselves down once again.

We may be having a quiet week or two coming up, which will be just what we need to get the house ready for another Hors D’oeurves Party at the end of the month. Stay tuned for that!

Bookin’

Summer’s now on a downward slope, with a week of muggy hotness and scattered days of showers, with time for some house painting, VBS, and a few visits from politicians in-between.

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On Friday, it was Cory Booker who dropped by. About a hundred people came to the Gathering Room to see the New Jersey Senator and Presidential Candidate (polling around 1.5% nationally). He was introduced by three local Democrats and then gave a brief stump speech focused on “values” rather than “policy.” He had a great deal of enthusiasm and energy, which made for more interesting photos than most other candidates I’ve photographed. He also seemed to enjoy making a number of “dad jokes,” asking me personally during the Q&A if I were walked on as a child since my name was “Matt.”

My question was a bit more seriously, as I briefly relayed the assault of journalist Andy Ngo by Antifa in Portland and asked Sen. Booker if he would condemn them for it. You can read a partial transcript of his answer here, but he essentially condemned the violence but not the group itself, saying he wasn’t familiar with the situation. I thanked him afterward (during selfie time) for the question and said that the sides these days are not so much right and left but fringe versus mainstream, and we all should be OK with calling out the fringe, no matter which side they think they’re on.

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In the meantime, our kids were having a week of VBS at First Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, learning about Jesus healing lepers, washing feet, and being a servant in many other ways. We went to the church for service on Sunday so they kids could stand up front and (almost) sing a song or two from their week with their little friends. Our friends the Mills were there as well, and we stuck around afterward for fried chicken and some playground time before dragging the kids home.

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Then on Wednesday night, I dropped by a town hall with Jeff Fortenberry, who actually represents my district here in Nebraska. It was a packed house, and as usual the crowd seemed to be peppers with members of the opposite party. Things stayed mostly cordial, though one lady seemed to want to talk over everyone else during their questions before being told my another audience member, “We came to talk to him, not you.” Another woman wanted to argue with Fortenberry over the words “climate change” and seemed uninterested in his actual proposals on green energy and reducing carbon emissions, and another wanted him to condemn President Trump’s tweets (which he did).

A few more people had more serious questions, such as a woman whose parents died of carbon monoxide after their car, which had a key-less ignition, was accidentally left running. There was also a blind veteran who talked about the difficulty deaf veterans have getting help at VA hospitals when nursing staff have to deal with calling “711” and TTY machines. It was a good exchange overall, and it was especially nice to be able to have a back-and-forth with someone who will actually be on my ballot next year.