Frozen, Mud Pies, and Loessfest

We’re entering that fun time of year, when school is out, the weather turns nice, and everybody gets to enjoy a three-day weekend with family and friends.

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The Fontenelle Forest Nature Center concluded their Mud Pies program by letting the little ones make actual mud pies on Wednesday. Hannah got to get her feet muddy in a wading pool and make little Hannah Footprints on the patio. She also got to take a paintbrush to make a mud painting and put together an actual mud pie in a pie pan. She even got to have a “mud” ice cream bar as a snack afterward. Hannah loves playing in the dirt, and mud seems to make it even more fun.

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Then on Friday, the Sumtur Amphitheater kicked off another season of free outdoor movies with Frozen. The lovely weather combined with a film with songs everyone seemed to know by heart (whether they liked it or not) made for a record-breaking crowd of a couple thousand people. A couple youth rock bands had been playing on stage since three, leaving the gates wide open for the entire Omaha metro to claim spots on the great lawn before we happened to arrive. It was no problem, though — we squeezed in with our cluster of friends, and there was room left over for Hannah and the little ones to run around and stretch out on the grass. Princess Elsa was on hand for pictures and scared the wits out of Hannah, who was probably afraid of another freak snow from the Queen of Arendelle.

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We also welcomed Donna back to Omaha after spending a couple weeks in California to handle a series of estate/garage sales to handle the belongings of Nonie after her passing. She had been gone over Mother’s Day, so we had a belated celebration at their house in the afternoon. Vivian and Donna went shopping for tomato plants together and let Hannah pick out a couple flowers of her own to take home and water. We had a lovely little lunch outdoors of when they got back (with Jack manning the grill as usual), and then had some of Vivian’s tasty lemon cheesecake for dessert.

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Sunday evening marked the beginning of Loessfest (pronounced “Luss” fest) at River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs, and that meant a night of free live concerts featuring Loverboy, The Guess Who, and Three Dog Night! There was a fairly decent crowd, and Hannah got to share her adorableness as she danced to all the music from the 70s and 80s throughout the night. We’d seen Loverboy perform at Memorial Park a year ago, and I’d listened to their music for years, but The Guess Who and Three Dog Night were a little before my time (though I did know many of their songs). I was also impressed to see original band members Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, Michael Allsup, and Jimmy Greenspoon still playing together with Three Dog Night after all these years. The show was unfortunately cut short thanks to a thunderstorm that managed to hold off until the end of the night, but we did at least get to hear Shambala before the end.

I also got a slew of pictures, as you can imagine, and I contributed a handful to pages on Wikipedia where they were needed.

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Then on Memorial Day, I hung up our American flag out front and spent the day cleaning house with Vivian in preparation for some bike-riders at the end of the day. Jenny and her crew went riding to Silver City on the Wabash Trail, per tradition, and then crashed at our house for burgers, brats, and shish kabobs. The Kam family also came with their two boys, but Hannah was a bit too clingy to play with them very much. We had a good time catching up with our handful of friends and playing some ladder golf outside before calling it a night — the perfect way to wrap up a long, busy weekend.

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