On Thursday this week, my Lincoln Bible Study had a cookout on a farm outside of Waverly where a couple of our members live. We ate hamburgers, hot dogs, and nachos together before having a tour of the big place. Jeremy fired up the tractor and pulled us around the grounds, which hosts some kind of tractor and farm implement show every year or so. There was also an old church on the property that we got to look inside. It had been uprooted and hauled down here from Mead some time ago, and it was fun to check the place out and watch Ethan bang away on the old organ.
On Saturday, Vivian and I toured a couple of apartments in Omaha. We weren’t sold on any of the properties we looked at, since we’re hoping to find a place within our price range that had a washer and dryer hookups and a good elliptical machine in the gym. We headed down to Lincoln afterwards, where Vivian got to attend Becky Moore’s bridal shower, and then I got to watch Rocky Balboa with her afterwards.
On Sunday, we went to church together and then went out to watch Expelled at the Lincoln Grand. I quite liked it, particularly the parts about how hard it can be just to discuss ideas like Intelligent Design in a classroom and keep your job afterwards. We had some lunch afterwards and then returned to my place to look through one of the photo albums my dad sent me last week. I’ll be using some of the pictures in a video for our wedding come July, and Vivian liked looking through my collection of baby pictures.
This was a weekend for a couple of (so-called) surprise parties, as two people both Vivian and I know celebrated some landmark, decade-turning style birthday parties this weekend.
The first surprise party was held for Chad, the unofficial leader of the Christian singles group Great Adventures. It couldn’t have been much of a surprise, as Angie led him up to the garage where we were all hiding wearing a blindfold. For the clueless among us: blindfold = surprise party. We had a flaming grill with hamburgers and hot dogs and a volleyball court cake made with coconut and red licorice.
Vivian and I spent the weekend in Cedar Rapids visiting with my Uncle Ben there. We came at first to talk about our wedding: my Uncle Ben will be performing the ceremony, and he’s been through this routine enough times that he gave me and Vivian a list of things to figure out ahead of time.
What we didn’t know when we arrived was that last Thursday my Uncle Ben turned seventy, so after we attended a church service on Saturday night, a bunch of our family from town came by to throw a “not so surprised party.” We had a good time, and my Uncle Ben got ribbed quite a bit over turning over another decade.
On Sunday, Vivian and I got to visit my Grandma Gibbs. Aunt Carol said that she seemed to be much better today than she had been in a while. Vivian and I visited Arlan and his family a bit before heading on back for home. We drove along part of the Lincoln Highway, having an adventure traveling a few of the less traveled roads along the way home. We also stopped to have a picnic at a park in the tiny Iowa town of Elderon before the final stretch home.
Vivian and I went down to Lincoln. on Saturday to go on a double date with my brother Nathan and his girlfriend Ranae. We went to Laser Quest and had some fun trying to find each other in a very large maze filled with mirrors, haze, and freshly-waxed floors. Ranae was beating us rather easily and it was a very fun time, and I was glad just to find other people in that very large maze. The four of us had the room out to ourselves. Afterwards, we went practically across the street to go to Grisante’s to have dinner together. It was packed, especially for a Saturday night, but the food was great and we got to enjoy some Italian food with bread warmed by candlelight.
On Sunday, after going to church and having lunch with our friends at IHOP, I got to introduce Vivian to the Marx Brothers. We watched the movie Horse Feathers, and Vivian liked Harpo the best of the bunch. I was still getting chuckles from Groucho even after seeing this movie multiple times. On Monday night, we went out with our friends to GAMe for our Monday night bible Sunday. It was much more comfortable at this time in the room because they were furnished very nicely with couches, end tables, and coffee tables from Nebraska Furniture Mart.
I also wound up eating very well on Monday night. Vivian made me pork ribs for dinner with mashed potatoes loaded with garlic and sour cream, asparagus and some toasted baguettes. It was very lovely. Then the next morning, Vivian got up and made me a breakfast of eggs with bacon, potatoes, onions and peppers. I’ve been eating like a king all weekend.