Tag Archives: sledding

Fish, snow, and sledding

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Our friends the Mills went on another road trip this week, which meant Harold’s mommy got to stay with us for a couple days. Hannah and Aaron enjoyed having the with us and set up a giant play-area for her and Harold to run around together in the living room, including when we had Virtual Church on Sunday (because of some more freakish snow).

In the meantime, it’s Lenten season again, which means fish fries. There are only a handful of options this year, but I thought we could start with one right at home — with some battered fish, fish sticks, fries, tots, and shrimp all from Aldi. We had a bit of a feast at our house for our first Fishy Friday. Then Hannah and Aaron played some classic NES games — specifically Super Mario Bros. and Maniac Mansion. Aaron even got to beat King Koopa (and rescue Toad, who Hannah described with a laugh as “the wrong guy.”)

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On Saturday, Vivian broke open a collector’s item to make some old fashioned Aunt Jemima pancakes for breakfast. She also made a batch of bacon with enough grease left over for me to make some tasty breakfast popovers, which I stuffed with scrambled egg, bacon bits, and cheese. Tasty! (Meanwhile, Aaron’s been having fun assembling his own breakfasts in the shape of a smiley face or the “Statue of Liberty.”)

Then overnight, we got SEVEN inches of heavy, wet snow dumped on us (which was forecasted to be two or less). That meant we stayed home from church and I had a serious day-long workout digging out both our driveway and my mother in law’s, with some lunch in-between to keep me going. Thanks, Vivian!

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Fortunately, the snow melted fast as temperatures soared back into the 50s on Monday. I had a session of Beer and Bloviation with a few like-minded friends down at the Lucky Bucket. They also had a sale on cases of beer, $20 for 24 bottles, which I was allowed to mix and match. That should keep us stocked until after Easter, at least.

The melting was happening fast on Tuesday, so we took the kids down to a slushy, wet Memorial Park for one last season of the season (probably). They each got to coast down the eastern slope a bit but then turned to explore the park a bit, particularly where several people had been making snowmen and/or giant snow boulders along the south lawn. Mommy and the kids has also made one in our own yard, which hadn’t quite yet melted by the time I returned home to take a picture.

Snow Time like the Present

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So, it’s still winter, but we’re always finding things to do, both inside and out. For instance, Hannah broke open the geology kit she got for Christmas and has been proudly showing us the rocks she’s dug out of it.

Then on Friday last week, Grammy stopped by to help Hannah and her friend Sammy make and decorate some cakes together. They created a few cupcakes first for practice before putting together some lovely cakes with underwater themes — complete with gummi fish and sea creatures. The girls did all the decorating themselves, and Hannah got to cut herself a little piece afterward — right from the middle of course.

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The weekend was full of cold and cloudiness, so we decided to take the kids down to Lincoln for a trip to Lost in Fun — our first time there in about a year and a half. Usually, I have some other business in Lincoln to warrant such a trip, but this time it was entirely just to get out of the house. Hannah got plenty of time in the foam ball pit, climbing on the walls to jump in — or be thrown in by daddy. Aaron discovered the ball cannons and got to explore some of the large “Habitrails” with Hannah, and both kids had a little time on the bouncing pillows as well.

We called it a day after about two and a half hours, and we stopped by Big Sal’s for some pizza for dinner on our way out of town (per tradition).

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On Sunday evening, I visited Converge Church in west Omaha with my dad for some “Burgers and Batman” with the men’s fellowship group there (fellowship being code for “pigging out”). Someone had been having fun in the snow out front and made a giant “Kool-Aid Man” sculpture, which can be seen quite plainly from 144th street. Inside, the men had brought a couple dozen foil-wrapped “sliders,” and they asked us all to bring along various sides and ingredients to put on them. I got some peanut butter and pickle for mine, along with some guacamole and bacon.

After that, we settled down to watch The Dark Knight Rises, the third installment in he Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. I’d seen the movie way back in 2012 with Vivian and Hannah at the Boulevard Drive-in Theater in Kansas City, but I wound up missing much of it because Hannah got cranky and unhappy toward the end instead of falling asleep as I’d hoped. I rather enjoyed it the second time around, partly because it was made back when Hollywood had no problem portrays cops as the good guys, particularly when fighting an angry mob of anarchists.

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We had a little more fun on Monday, when Aaron got to make some homemade ice cream as part of a school project. That meant mixing up some chocolate and cream in a bowl along with a few cups of actual snow scooped up from our yard. Then we actually gave it a taste, and it wasn’t too bad, though the kids both wanted the “real thing” afterward.

I watched Groundhog Day on groundhog day with Vivian, one of my favorite movies that doesn’t seem to get old after all these years. Then on Wednesday, we took the kids sledding out by Bellevue East once again. The weather was predicted to turn much, much colder, so we enjoyed the above-freezing temperatures for just a bit before calling it a night.

Fondue, football, fireworks, and fun in the snow!

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Happy New Year, everyone! We’ve had a fun and busy week as we usher 2020 out the door and welcome in 2021, and once again we were able to spend much of it with our family.

On Tuesday last week, a winter storm blew through town, dropping around six inches on us and prompting me to take a “snow day” to work from home. It was actually quite nice, as I let the plows do their work rather than slipping and sliding to work, and little Harold kept me company on my makeshift office on the couch. I got a decent workout afterward shoveling our driveway and my in-laws’ before having a burrito for dinner and having a bible study over Zoom.

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Next came New Year’s Eve on Thursday night. The City of Omaha had some fireworks down by the riverfront, so we took the kids down there to watch the show. People were told to park in various lots around the Qwest Center (I know what it’s called now but I don’t care), but we found a spot with a better view down at River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs, where Loess Fest is usually held. We got to see the fireworks a little after seven with music coordinated with 104.5 FM. The kids snuggled in the back seat (mostly paying with their Mad Lib Elf), and then we slogged through the traffic afterward to make our way home.

We had a dinner courtesy of Taco Bell before watching The Lorax, some TV shows, and playing a video game as the time crept toward midnight. Our neighbors set off some fireworks, which we watched out the window, and when midnight rolled around. Aaron fell asleep on the couch, but we roused him for a New Year’s toast (with sparkling white wine for us and eggnog for the kids) after the clock struck midnight.

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The college football playoffs happened on New Year’s Day, so I went over to my dad’s house to watch Alabama beat Notre Dame via a free trial of FuboTV. I brought along some cowboy caviar, which we had with chips as we watched the game.

Then I returned home to have some fondue with Vivian’s parents afterward. We had a cheese fondue once again with parsnips, shrimp, and other things that the kids dipped for us (but didn’t eat themselves). We also wound up watching another football game, as the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Clemson Tigers (which made me happy, since we weren’t going to have yet anther Alabama / Clemson championship game).

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We finally got around to getting some fresh air and enjoying the snow on Saturday and Sunday. We went out and threw some snowballs with mommy in the driveway, and Hannah tried to build a tiny snowman on the side of the driveway, but we found the snow was still a bit too powdery to make a real one (that would have to wait until Monday).

Then on Sunday, we woke up to a world with trees frosted white, and I took a brief walk snapping pictures of some of its wintery beauty. Then that afternoon we took the kids sledding down at Bellevue East (on “suicide hill“). It was above freezing and the snow was packed down, which made for good sledding conditions. Several other kids and families were there as well, so we had to be careful to avoid collisions with other sledders. Aaron seemed to prefer rolling around in the snow and making snow angels as Hannah tried repeatedly to fly her way into the ditch at the end of the hill.

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Then on Monday, we did even more sledding down at Memorial Park around lunchtime. The weather was in the 40s and lovely as we sent the kids down the east side of the park. Once again Aaron seemed to want to run around and play in the snow with mommy rather than sled, while Hannah tried repeatedly to hit a small snow ramp someone had made — and she was quite happy when she finally succeeded.

We’ve had a fun week kicking off the start of 2021. I hope the next twelve months are filled with more fun with our friends and family, and the pandemic of 2020 quickly fades into a memory. Here’s to hoping!