Over the weekend, we had a special guest at the Johnson house — a stuffed toy pig named Pig Pig from Hannah’s preschool. Every student at Hannah’s preschool gets a turn bringing Pig Pig home and then telling the class what Pig Pig got to do. On Thursday, Pig Pig went with Hannah and Aaron to their friend August’s house to celebrate his second birthday party.
Then on Saturday, Pig Pig came with us for an afternoon at Mahoney State Park. We got to visit the top of an observation tower, have a picnic lunch, and then have some quality play-time on the playground, where Hannah rode a merry-go-round for the first time. On Sunday, Pig Pig came with us to church and then got to have dinner with us at Grammy and Pop-Pop’s house that evening (in-between thunderstorms). It was a fun weekend, and Hannah even got to share the pictures daddy took with her class when she gave her oral report.
I spent Monday evening at Bible Study Fellowship at First Covenant Church, where I’ve been studying Revelation every week for the past year. We had a barbecue to celebrate the end of the year, and I even brought my dad along to meet some of my bible study friends.
Then On Tuesday night, Vivian and I had a long-expected date night in downtown Omaha. We had dinner together at the Panda House, and then we walked down to the Orpheum to see the Phantom of the Opera, a show I’d wanted to see for years (which Vivian got to see 20 years ago in Quebec with her high school choir). I’d gotten the tickets way back in December, so we’ve been looking forward to this for a while. The show was terrific, as I’d expected, but next time I’ll try to spring for seats on the main floor — the upper levels of the Orpheum were built back in a time when people must have been much, much shorter.
On Saturday night, Vivian and I transcended the Plane of Everyday Reality to attend a masquerade ball with around seventy other literary characters, all part of another one of Kaleb Michaud’s legendary murder mystery parties. The event was held at the Starlight Chateau, the former Poor Clares Monastery at 29th and Hamilton in North Omaha, which gave the event its own unique sense of history and spookiness (complete with a crypt downstairs). Vivian and I were a part of the “OZ” table as Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion, AKA “King” of the Forest, respectively. Other tables represented fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Olympian Mythology, Alice in Wonderland, stories from the Steampunk Era, Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood and Camelot, and a few others.
There was food and dancing throughout the night (with Vivian losing much of her straw), but much of the evening was spent trying to determine all the other guests’ identifies. There were also some dramatic moments when characters not in the public domain, such as Katniss Everdeen and Bella Swan, dropped by in disguise and were ushered out to be “burned.” At the end of the night our teams were graded on how well we did, and I think our table may have won, but I’m still not sure even several days later. In any case, it was a very fun night, and I hope Kaleb has a few more of these down the road even as he enters the new adventure of fatherhood with his wife Tzeyu Lin.
Of course, we’ve been busy parking it up with the kids as usual, enjoying lovely spring weather at Stinson Park and having a nice little picnic lunch at Memorial Park, taking in all the fragrant blossoms around the city (at least until the fires down in Kansas started stinking it up on Thursday).
It’s been another relatively quiet weekend with friends and family here in Omaha. On Friday night, Hannah mentioned that we hadn’t been to the “big indoor park” (AKA the Children’s Museum) in quite a while. It was the first Friday of the month, which meant they were open until eight o’clock, so it seemed like an ideal time to drop by. The kids got to sort produce and play with birthday cakes in the food area, ride a zip line and make comic book superheroes upstairs, and also take a ride on a carousel, a slide, and crawl through an obstacle course or two. We also bumped into some old friends paying an evening visit to the museum with us.
Spring has definitely sprung, with trees all over Omaha turning blooming white all at once. Our daffodils have also bloomed in the front yard, making for the perfect time for a front-yard picnic with Hannah during nap-time on Sunday afternoon (as a hawk loomed overhead).
That evening, we dropped by Dennis and Kara’s house for a barbecue and belated birthday celebration with their boy Matthew who turned four last week. We had a few Scooby-Doo toys for him and got to have some quality grown-up time as the kids played with each other (and the dog) most of the afternoon.