Category Archives: Children’s Museum

Last Splash of Summer

The start of a new school year is on the horizon, so Vivian and I are having as much fun as we can with our kids during the week before that starts. Of course, with temperatures around 100 degrees, that means finding multiple ways of keeping cool.

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On Tuesday afternoon last week, we spent the afternoon cooling off down at Fun Plex. We spent some quality time in the wave pool, and Hannah went down a couple of the bigger water slides while Aaron ran around Makana Splash.

We were having so much fun keeping cool that we nearly forgot about the other half of the amusement park, and eventually had the drag the kids down to ride some bumper boats, airplanes, and the “roller gator” before calling it a day. Then I grabbed some Chick-Fil-A on the way home for dinner as the sun went down.

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On Wednesday, Aaron and I got some “guy time” together while Hannah went with Sammy and the American Heritage Girls to try out the “Tree Rush” at the Fontenelle Forest. It’s an obstacle course with a series of platforms, bridges, and zip lines hanging several feet of the forest floor. Hannah and Sammy got to spend an hour or two traversing the course (along with a squirrel) as Vivian snapped pictures down below.

Then on Thursday, Grammy had an appointment with an eye surgeon, so I met up with Vivian and the kids down at Hanscom Park while they waited to pick her up. It was steamy and hot, so we got to dip our feet in the pond for a bit to keep cool together, much as we did two years earlier.


On Saturday, I had some “trunk time” with grandpa again, going through a few more of the books on his shelves, most of them on politics and theology. He also treated us to some Casey’s pizza and some corn from Sheryl (grown at UNO) for lunch, and we ate while watching a couple old (and embarrassing) home movies from around 30 years ago.

Then that evening, we took the kids down to Louisville Lake too cool off in the 100 degree heat for a little bit, getting wet for an hour or two. We drove by the Louisville Dari Creme afterward to get some burgers and ice cream for dinner, and then we stopped by the SumTur amphitheater for one last outdoor movie for the summer (Clifford the Big Red Dog). The place was nearly empty, likely due to the heat, but it was still nice to get chill out with a movie (and a stray frog) before summer drew to a close.

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Then on Sunday, I walked back to my parents’ house with Hannah to pick up a few ears of corn (grown right at UN-L of all places). Hannah came with me and showed grandma a cute music video she made with Aaron over the past week, and then we played a round of UNO with Uncle Jonny before heading home (finding an interesting plant along the way).

For dinner that evening, we had some burgers with garden tomatoes and “Jonny Pops” (calling them “Uncle Jonny Pops”). Then we headed down to the Children’s Museum for an hour or two, checking out their new exhibits full on space exploration and India to finish off a long, fun weekend together.

Hannah and Aaron sing

Musical, Museum, Fish Fry & Parade

It seems this last week has been jam-packed, with activities every night and a few during the day. I’ve also given up coffee for Lent and have been running on Postum the past few days, which I had to special order online, as they don’t tend to sell that sort of thing in local stores.


On Wednesday afternoon, Aaron’s class had a music performance for us, where he and his little classmates sang a few songs from Seussical the Musical and Disney’s Coco. Vivian and I stood up in the crowd and Aaron’s face broke into the biggest smile when he saw us. We also liked being able to see Aaron and all his little classmates, some of whom we only get to hear about on occasion.


Then on Thursday evening, Aaron’s first grade class got to spend the evening at the Children’s Museum. It gave Aaron the chance to interact with his friend Nico as he colored spaceships and cars to add into a virtual world on a projector’s screen. The kids also got to see the traveling exhibit upstairs about wood, which included a tiny house they could help “build,” along with model trees and a tree house.

The most adventurous moment of the evening came, however, when someone pulled the fire alarm. We got to stand outside in the damp cold for 10-15 minutes as the kids played on the playground while the fire department rolled up to inspect and clear the building. It was the first time Hannah had actually experienced anything like a fire drill at home, making me think we ought to practice this sort of thing more often.


On Friday, we went over to Phil and Jen’s house for our a family fish fry. We were joined by a few friends, including Jenny and Kody, who had a cluster of kids among them who kept ours busy running around the house for a few hours. Phil and Kody breaded and fried fish (as well as cheese and some shrimp), which we ate throughout the night with such things as macaroni and cheese and some funky Taiwanese fish snacks. while having some hilarious grown-up banter as the kids kept themselves busy.

There was also some birthday cake for Gabriel (and a few presents). I was mostly just happy to see our mutual kids getting along so well, running in circles around the house as the grown-ups made hilarious banter with one another at the big table.


The next day, Hannah and I braved 12-degree temperatures and went to downtown Omaha to march in a St. Patrick’s Day parade with my friend Brett Lindstrom. He’s running for governor along with a few other people (like Jim Pillen and Theresa Thibodeau), but I’ve finally decided to put my support behind him this season. There were many other politicians in the parade, including Mayor Jean Stothert, and I saw a bunch of familiar faces with Don Bacon’s crew, though the congressman himself was still in Washington DC.

The parade went from 16th and Harney down to the Old Market and back along Howard Street. Hannah emptied multiple buckets of candy handing them out to kids along the route, and I got a nice little workout walking along, taking photos, and jogging to the pickup truck and back to refill Hannah’s bucket. The cold wasn’t even that noticeable once we started moving, and it felt good to be back in the swing of parade season once again.

We had a family movie night that evening watching The Love Bug (1968) with the kids over pizza. Then we spent Sunday covering as we turned the clocks forward and lost an hour of sleep for no good reason.

Careening toward Christmas

Is it just me, or has time shifted into Warp Speed as we’re just a week or two away from Christmas? I’ve been scrambling to get Christmas gifts as we continue checking off all our holiday traditions as time flies by before the big day.

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My parents both have birthdays in December, so I took them out to Famous Dave’s for some barbecue to celebrate. I got a two-meat combo with some brisket and burnt ends, and I had a couple gifts for my folks, which included a Tucker Carlson book for my dad and “The Baron’s Apprenticeship” by George MacDonald for my mom (a very specific request).

Then on Thursday, we went on a family Christmas lights tour together. Vivian brought the kids to my office first so they could say hello to the “angel” and see where I work for a moment. Then we let them run around Stinson Park (AKA Daddy Park) for a bit to get the wiggles out before we hit the road. We got some McDonald’s along the way and then went up Steinauer Family Lights on Larimore Ave. Vivian and I found this street on a tour bus a few years ago, and it’s quite the spectacle, particularly when you get out of your car and walk up close to it all. If it didn’t remind of the Griswold Family with the sheer number of light, they’ve got an inflatable Family Truckster on the roof just as a reminder.

We then drove through the displays in Linden Estates before making our way back to Omaha.

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On Saturday morning, we woke up to our first legit snowfall of the season, just just under an inch in the metro area (enough to dust our pumpkins a bit). Then around lunchtime we took the kids down for some quality time at the Durham Museum at Union Station. We got an obligatory selfie in front of the big tree before going downstairs to see some photos of Billie Holiday and run through the trains a couple times. Some of the cars that had been closed off before, such as the executive board room and the toilets, were now open for viewing, which was fun to see.

We took Hannah and Aaron by to see Santa, of course (when he came back from his break of milk and cookies), and then we visited the trolley car and a few other exhibits before we felt worn out. Then we got a few treats at the café before heading home.


That evening, Uncle Jonny came to watch the kids as Vivian and I went to a grown-up Christmas party with Jenny and Kody and a few of our friends up in Bennington. Vivian and I got some festive T-shirts to wear just for the occasion, and Kody’s black poodle was similarly \ as well. Kody put together a fancy charcuterie board for starters and then served up a pork tenderloin for dinner filled with stuffing like a Swiss roll, and we ate it with some macaroni and cheese, Greek salad, and some sweet potatoes Vivian brought with us. Jenny made some pistachio pudding for dessert, which we had with some chocolate banana cake from Jen.

After dinner, we played a game afterward taking turns unwrapping a giant ball of plastic wrap filled with a progressive series of gifts from the Dollar Tree (an a $10 Amazon gift card at the end), and then we finished off the night with a round of Say Anything before heading home.

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On Sunday, Vivian and I had the honor lighting an advent candle at church and reading a bit of scripture from Matthew for the “Love” week of Advent. Then that evening, we took the kids to the Children’s Museum. They had the same exhibits we’d seen back in August, but the kids still had fun throwing balls and making some Lego racecars to go down the Pinewood Derby track. Santa and his elves were there as well, so the kids got to pay another visit before running through some soapy snowfall together. We finished things off in the play grocery store and a few other exhibits for a bit before heading out, and I got wistful thinking of all the memories Hannah and Aaron have had at this place — and how they’ll be too old for it before long.

We grabbed some gas at Casey’s on the way home, and I grabbed a few slices of pizza for dinner, just to try it out. It’s less than a fortnight before Christmas. Hang on, tight everyone! Here it comes.

Gretna Daze, Museum, and Fun-Plex

We had some massively hot weather toward the end of July, broken up with a storm that cooled things off just in time for some fun outdoors (and some politicking).


On Saturday, Hannah and I drove out west to walk with the Bacon Brigade in the Gretna Days parade. Our crew was nestled in with a few other folksBrett Lindstrom, the Sarpy County GOP, and then Charles Herbster’s crew bringing up the rear. Hannah got to hand out candy, as she did for Ben Sasse back in 2019, and she was quite happy to hand out fruit chews to kids all along the street.

I walked along mostly taking pictures of everyone else, but one lady from Team Herbster offered to snap a photo of Hannah and me during a lull in the parade, which was nice. It’s very rare I get photos of myself during events like this!


Afterward, we met up with the Simpsons at Peterson Park to let the kids run around a bit, have a little lunch and some time snapping random family photos of them on the playground (wearing “I Heart Taiwan” T-shirts).

Some folks from “Gabriel’s Angels” was putting on a kiddie tractor pull, and Hannah was brave enough to give it a try. She didn’t place well enough to make State, but I was very impressed that she was filling to jump into the competition all on her own.


Vivian and Aaron joined us before long, and then we all spent the afternoon at the little carnival just off Highway 6 for much of the afternoon. We got some giant corn dogs (which seriously impressed Aaron) and then checked out a few of the rides, including the Go-Gator, some little shooting planes, the bounce house, and the Jungle Fun obstacle course.

Hannah and I also went on the “Hurricanetogether, which was one of those dizzy rides that doesn’t quite sit well after having a giant corn dog, but she handled it like a champ. I also went with her, and Vivian reminded me to sit on the outside eat so I wouldn’t crush Hannah with centrifugal force.


Then on Sunday, we took the kids down to Ted & Wally’s to have some ice cream to celebrate them both finishing their Sunday School classes for the year. I helped Grammy do a few chores afterward, hauling some sand, bricks, and mulch home from Menards and laying them out in her yard.

Then that evening, we took a trip the Omaha Children’s Museum, a place we hadn’t visited since December of 2019. They had a game-themed exhibit upstairs with a few games and balls, but much everything else was just as we remembered — the auto repair zone, the ball area with pneumatic tubes, play grocery store, and the water area. Our friends the Mills were there as well, so Aaron had some quality time with August racing Pinewood derby cars, while Hannah got a bit artistic, painting Mommy’s face and creating a paper bag puppet of ME, which was very sweet.


And then on Monday, because we weren’t exhausted enough, we decided to take the kids to a late-afternoon trip to Fun-Plex before the end of summer! Hannah was finally tall enough to go on the big water slides with us, so Vivian and I got to share that experience with her. Aaron still had fun on the smaller watersides, going down multiple times on his own before hitting the lazy river and wave pool. The kids also hit the sweet spot for the rides, short enough for the Go-Gator, the little cars, and the planes, but now tall enough to ride go karts and the Bumper Boats with Vivian and me. We got a selfie in the hot air balloon and then got the kids some ice cream and cookies before calling it a day.

I’ve got a little more politicking going on this week before I take a trip to Cedar Rapids for my cousin’s daughter’s wedding. She was the flower girl in my own wedding, so it will be nice to be able to see her on the other side of the aisle after 13 years or so.

T’was the Week Before Christmas

Christmas is a week away, and that means we’re counting down all the various annual events and traditions on our way to the Big Day.


First up for the Institute’s annual Christmas Party, this year held down at Wheatfield’s at One Pacific Place. It’s the one time out of the year Vivian gets to mingle with many of the folks I work with all year ’round. Vivian also got to meet my co-worker’s new baby, who will be hanging out in our workplace for the next year or so. Of course, we also had dinner followed by dessert (but not Grinch Cookies) and some music from the talented Stephen Tefft in-between. Dr. Hilgers said a few words as well and handed out work anniversary plaques, per the norm.

I’m reminded every year how nice it is to work somewhere that not only has these kinds of festive events but also has employees who genuinely seem to enjoy participating in them.


Then on Sunday, we dropped by the Children’s Museum so the kids could spend a few minutes with Santa, along with Rudolph, an elf and an Ice Queen (definitely Not-Elsa, per Disney’s lawyers). Hannah and Aaron got to see the usual exhibits afterward, such as the balls and the animal slides, but they spent most of their time in a weird hybrid exhibit upstairs that combined dinosaurs and construction equipment. That meant they played inside a prehistoric shark submarine, dug for fossils with bulldozers, and decorated a gingerbread house… because I guess that’s construction related? I’m not even sure. In any case they had fun, and we stayed all the way until closing time.

We’ve had a few hints of a White Christmas so far, but nothing major for snow other than some hazardous, slippery roads. We’ve still got a few more stops before Christmas Day, though, so hang on until then. (And get your shopping done!)

Millard, Museums, and Lost in Fun

Summer vacation’s officially over now, and fall-like weather is starting to make a welcome return. That seems to mean packing more fun into every possible moment, right before I turn one year older.


We kicked off our busy weekend with our old friends Randy and Jolene to celebrate their son Emmett’s birthday. They had it down at Eagle Ridge Park, which had a playground and a splash pad separated by a small bridge, so we wound up wandering between the two with the kids to play and get wet, alternately. Randy grilled some hot dogs, and Jolene brought out a piñata for the kids to take a couple whacks at before we had cake.

We had a handful of old friends with their own kids, as well as a second birthday party next door, so we had a veritable zoo of kiddos playing together most of the evening. Mostly, though, it was just gorgeous, end-of-summer weather. (We also got some cool shades to take home afterward.)


The next day, I was able to drag the family all the way down to Millard to enjoy at least one legit parade together before the summer ended. It was the perfect morning for a parade, cool and cloudy with a slight breeze. A handful of our favorite politicians were walking the catawampus Main Street, including Mayor Stothert, Don Bacon, and state senate candidate Andrew Sakalosky (as well as a guy with signs for a dozen more). Most of the parade had local businesses and churches giving out candy (and frightening children), as well as some Irish dancers, Country Kickers, and a few marching bands. A few men riding lawn tractors pulled a train of kids through the parade, and one guy rolled a giant beach ball toward the end (for reasons I can’t explain). One float even featured the model of Millard itself.

Our kids got a decent haul of candy, and then we stopped by BIG Meats afterward so Vivian could get a nicely-marbled hunk of beef to take home (as thanks for letting us use their parking lot).


On Sunday, we spent the evening at the Children’s Museum with the kids. They got a brief look at their new playground outside before going in to have the usual run of their balls in pneumatic tubes, makeup table, model river water table, pretend cooking, Gordman’s animal slides, and baby hospital. We had the most fun upstairs for an “Enchanted” traveling exhibit that featured such things as a “hall” of mirrors (which was about the size of a closet), a blacksmith table with a giant foam hammer, a bubble fountain, and a stable with a dozen plush unicorns for Hannah to care for.

The whole night was hosted by the Autism Society of Nebraska, which had some of the sensory overload of the Museum tamped down just a tiny bit, (though with all the kids running around you might not have noticed).


Hannah started the second grade on Monday (with a picture, of course). Then we spent a long, fun day in Lincoln on Tuesday. The kids got to play at Lost in Fun down in South Lincoln, getting their fill of a foam ball pit, climbing wall, and bounce house for most of the afternoon. In the meantime, I did some freelance work for my old company Land and Sky, shooting video and taking pictures of beds, continuing a gig I started some 15 years ago.

Before we headed back to Omaha, we dropped by Big Sal’s to grab a giant combo pizza for dinner together. (Hannah wanted to stick around and shoot some pool in the meantime.)


Before we returned home, we swung by the Durham to see some dinosaur bones. They had several model skeletons, skulls, and even a model heart on display — as well as a giant, fully-assembled T-Rex skeleton named “Scotty.” The kids were a little more interested in a giant video screen that superimposed dinosaurs walking around on top of live video of themselves.

We also had enough time for a brief walk by other things, including a buffalo skin, some trains, and an exhibit on polio — which I explained to Hannah that her grandpa had when he was little. It came complete with an original “iron lung,” which a man down the street had to use when my dad was little. Polio is one of those things I’m glad we no longer have to deal with — through the magic of medicine and vaccinations (of which my mom was one of the first recipients).

Crossing Bridges and Remembering Elephants

Well the flood waters are receding, and despite the promise of more winter coming tomorrow, it feels like spring may be here at least. Now if only, it would stay put.


On Tuesday last week, we took the kids out to enjoy some of the weather down at the now not-flooded River’s Edge Park. There were still some wet spots, along with plenty of dirt and debris to be found — a piece of which looks like the remnant of some poor person’s home or furniture. Fortunately, it sounds like Loessfest will simply be delayed until Labor Day rather than cancelled, so we’ll get to enjoy one concert sometime this year (no word yet on the one at Memorial Park).

The near sunset we walked across the river with a couple hundred others for Autism Awareness Day. The mayors of Omaha and Council Bluffs met at the halfway point to say a few words, and there were a handful of mascots on hand to meet and greet everyone. People were also dressed in blue for the occasion, though we had to head on home before the bridge was actually lit up in blue for the evening. Hannah and Aaron seemed to have more fun running around in the rock garden below pretending to be chased.


On Thursday night, Vivian and I attended the Elephant Remembers dinner with the Douglas County Republican Party. It was apparently a sold-out event with the Omaha Hilton filled to capacity with guests. We saw many familiar faces in the crowd, including a handful of friends mingling among the politicians. Scott Voorhees was emcee and featured speakers included Mayor Stothert, Congressman Bacon, Gov. Ricketts, and both Nebraska Senators (Sasse and Fischer).

We ate dinner as the event continued, and Vivian cut up the giant Wheatfield’s cake for our table (not waiting for anyone else to tell us to do so). The Senator Sasse introduced Tim Scott, Senator from South Carolina, who was the keynote speaker of the evening. According to Sasse, they almost didn’t make it, as Chuck Schumer had been holding up a nominee in the Senate. This kept Sasse and Scott on the floor until the vote was held, missing their flight and having to charter a plane instead. Sen. Scott then said a few words on his upbringing and religious faith before being awarded the title “Admiral” of “the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska” by Gov. Ricketts.

As usual, it felt good to be able to rub elbows with once again with many of the people I get to vote for. I got to personally thank Sasse for his recent “Born Alive” bill in the Senate, which he lamented 44 senators voted against. I also told Ricketts we were keeping him in our prayers as we’re all still dealing with the disastrous flooding last month. I told him that times like these might pull some people apart, but Nebraskans pull together instead.


In other news, I got to enjoy eating out a couple times, once at Arby’s with Vivian and Aaron and then against with my dad for breakfast in thanks for his chauffeuring me to work these past few weeks (as I’m waiting on a new car).

Then on Saturday, my dad smoked some ribs and had the whole family over for dinner, including uncles Nathan and Jonny. The weather was nice enough to eat outside in the yard (and climb a tree), and my dad also went through another one of his trunks with us in the basement (so we’d know what all this stuff was should be ever pass on unexpectedly).

We finished off the evening with dessert and charades inside before calling it a night.


On Sunday, Vivian went to a “sharing day” with the Omaha cake club, learning how to make a mermaid tail (which she brought home).

Then that evening, we took the kids down for an evening at the Children’s Museum. They got to engage in their favorite activities, including cooking pretend food, painting on windows, being on TV, applying make-up, playing with balls, riding dinosaurs, making music, and trying out some sports (among other things). What made tonight different, aside from being free, is that a lot of the usual noisemakers were turned off specifically for autistic kids, who were invited to come. That made for a very slightly less noisy and chaotic visit than usual.

Next stop: fish frying and The Mads (again).

Enjoying the Great Indoors

We’ve had some super-frigid temperatures over the past couple of weeks, which has prompted us to find ways to keep the kids busy over the past week or two that didn’t involve being outdoors (or staying inside playing video games all day).


Our first stop was the Kroc Center, which had a fun open house last Saturday. They had face-painting the whole family participated in, along with a red kettle bounce house and various stations around the facility we could check out (in exchange for a spin on the big wheel for a prize). We toured the fitness center, watched some ice sculptures being made, and then finished the afternoon with a long stay at the giant, indoor heated water park.

What makes the Kroc Center unique is that it’s part of the Salvation Army, a religious institution which had a praise team singing during our visit and also worship services on Sunday Morning. We learned a bit more about Ray Kroc via the docudrama The Founder, which is available on Netflix. He seemed like a jerk in real life, but his late wife Joan left enough money for a decent fitness center here in Omaha, so maybe it all evens out in the end.


The next day, we took the kids to First Presbyterian for another movie night. This time they got to watch Moana and try out their new fuzzy blankets, which they got from Uncle Jonny for Christmas. They had some crafts and treats after the movie of course, which kept the kids busy (and sugared up) until bedtime.


The following Saturday, we took the kids down to the Omaha Children’s Museum for another annual Star Wars Night. Our kids still haven’t seen any of the films, but they still enjoyed seeing Darth Vader and a couple storm troopers with their friends Sammy and August. They were also able to make their own foam light sabers, and Aaron particularly enjoyed dueling with his afterward. There were also several interactive exhibits upstairs, including a fishing pond, a train, canoes, and a microscope. Mostly though, they enjoyed running and jumping around after a few too many days of being cooper up indoors.


Then on Sunday, MPact had a mid-year presentation for parents at the Bellevue Christian Center. This year, Hannah and Aaron are a Daisy and a Rainbow, respectively, which means they both shared the stage for the first time. They recited a couple bible verses with their friends and got to wear their vest and sash with badges in front of all the parents gathered there. Of course, they also got cookies afterward, which was probably the real highlight of the night for the both of them.

In the meantime, I got to celebrate working at the Pope Paul VI Institute longer than any other job I’ve had. It’s been over four and a half years since I started here, and I’m still loving it — hopefully for many more years to come. I celebrated the occasion down at Chick-Fil-A with the kids.

Fall fun at Vala’s, the Hall’s, and the Museum

Why hello, autumn! You snuck up on us while we’ve been busy, so I guess it’s now time for some of our favorite fall traditions: Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, a Hayrack Ride at the Hall’s, and getting set for Halloween!


We went down to Vala’s last Thursday with a bunch of other home-schooled kids from Classical Conversations and had a long, fun day at the Pumpkin Patch. We took multiple trips through the Spook Shed (now Hannah’s favorite attraction), and Pig Caller Mark Celesky picked Hannah got to be a Pig Leader again during one of the many Pig Races throughout the day. We dropped by the duck races, the bouncing pillows, and the corn bin, and then got a bucket o’ fries to tide us over until dinner. We even got a free train ride around the park, getting rare glimpses of the Old West Town and the Singing Fish Wall (followed by the Train Playground afterward). The kids played on some scooters, some tractors also spent a good deal of time firing foam balls inside a the new, giant Egg Barn (which, as it turned out, had very little to do with eggs). Of course, we also took advantage of photo opportunities on the Big Chair behind painted cutouts throughout the park during the day, including a Cow, some donkeys, some ghosts, a pumpkin carriage, and the How Tall This Fall board to record how Hannah and Aaron measure up.

We went down a couple slides and then had some dinner and s’mores by the Classical Conversations fire pit toward the end of the day. Then we visited the Dragon and let Hannah and Aaron pick out a couple pumpkins of their own before we headed home, happily exhausted.


Dad and I spent a little time fixing things around the house on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we went to the Hall’s for another campfire and hayrack ride through the country. The kids tossed around a football, Aaron got to play on a tire swing, and Hannah chased some of the farm cats (which resembled her toy cat Zoey, which has gone missing yet again). I brought along my tripod for a few family pictures on the hayrack before Rick drove us around the dirt trails as the sun went down. We kept warm by the fire afterward while filling up on chili and things for dinner, and some of the guys broke out some guitars for some worship songs before we headed home.


Then on Tuesday, our kids got to break out their Halloween Costumes for the first time (after mommy dragged them to three or four stores trying to find them)! They dressed as characters from PJ Masks, Cat Boy and Green Gecko, and we took them down to the Omaha Children’s Museum for an evening of “healthy” treats and checking out the exhibits. They had some kind of obstacle course set up for Halloween along with a “forest” exhibit upstairs with a canoe, Brio Train Set, and logs to climb on. Some of the parents came in costume as well, prompting me to start thinking seriously about my own costume this year.

On the way out the door, Vivian stopped to get a picture with museum employee Shawn Toovey, also known for playing Brian Cooper on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman back in the 90s. He was very nice, and Vivian asked him if he’d enjoyed being on the show as a kid and whether he kept in touch with former cast members. I never actually watched the show growing up, so Vivian was a bit more star-struck than I was, but maybe I’ll have to give it a watch sometime. (I think it’s available on Amazon.)

Trolls, Cupcakes, and Dr. Seuss

We got to have a fun weekend with the kids, fueled partly by continuing warm weather that’s lasting just long enough for it to snow again. No time like the present to enjoy the great outdoors, whatever weather comes our way.


Thursday was apparently Dr. Seuss’ birthday, so Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders came to read to the kids at the library once again (per tradition). Then on Friday night, the Children’s Museum was open late with some Seussical activties. A lady dressed as a Snuv with Gloves did some science experiments for us (which included liquid nitrogen, of course). There were some Seussical crafts happening as well, but Hannah and Aaron both seemed to get a lot more mileage playing with Lego race cars and goofing around in the kitchen together.

The temperature climbed into the 70s on Saturday, so we broke out the tricycles and took the kids down to the “Sandy” park for the afternoon. This was the same park we’d gone sledding the week before, but there was not even a trace of winter left when we returned.


Then on Sunday, we had another movie night down at First Presbyterian Church. We had a few hot dogs for dinner with the kids and then watched the Trolls movie together on blankets on the floor. For a film based on the ubiquitous (and cheap) plastic troll dolls everyone seems to remember from their childhood, it was a surprisingly decent film. Kate and her girls joined us for the movie and some cupcakes afterward, and Hannah’s preschool classmates Sammy and Nicholette were also on hand to get sugared up after the show.

In other news, cheesesteak and jalapeño poppers.