Category Archives: Family

Ducks, Eggs, and Autumn Spice

We’ve had a lovely start to November, with a brief encounter with a cold front that turned out to be mostly rain and several other lovely, warm days that made for some leafy fun outside.

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On Thursday, I biked on down to Chick-Fil-A to join Vivian and Hannah for some lunch together. It was also the last chance for an “autumn spice” milkshake, which Vivian and i shared in in the most sickeningly-romantic way (of course).

Afterward, I took them across the street to the Asian market, where we shopped for some sushi rice (for Musubi later this week) and got to introduce Hannah to such Asian delicacies as whole roasted ducks hanging around on display. She wasn’t quite sure what to make of them.

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On Saturday, Vivian and I had an egg taste-test, sampling some of our friend Lexi’s home-grown eggs and comparing them to some store-bought ones. The verdict: not only do the they look different (inside and out), but the yolks are much tastier in the home-grown eggs.

I walked down to my parents’ house later on to help change a few light bulbs in their house and then have some Taco John’s with them for lunch. My brothers also helped them rake some leaves, and I decided to get some raking done back at home. I also made a giant pile for the kids to jump in, which was quite comfortable once I decided to crashed into them myself.

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Then on Sunday, Hannah introduced us to a card game she made up before we headed off to church. Afterward, we got some McDonald’s and spent a little time at Ralston Park. The kids got to run around the playground for a bit, enjoying the fall colors and getting quality time on the swings (and fence). Vivian took Hannah back to church for a weekly rehearsal for the church Christmas program (Hannah hopes to nab a speaking part), and afterward Hannah went clothes shopping with Vivian and Grammy.

I took Aaron home afterward for some quality time together. I also got some end-of-the-year yard work done, specifically bagging up a bunch of leaves and then giving our lawn one last mow — just in time for the sun to set.


We’ve got a midterm election coming up, so my next blog post will likely have some politics in it. Be forewarned, ye who may be triggered!

Trunks & Treats

It’s Halloween time again, which means enjoying plenty of fall food such as acorn squash and Halloween-themed pasta (which I call “Spook-Ghetti“) — along with all the usual Halloween sweets, of course.

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Aaron has a few days off of school (thanks to some parent/teacher conferences), so Vivian took him to BSF on Thursday. Afterward I biked on up to join them for lunch at Chick-Fil-A, something I’d done this a number of times with Vivian and Hannah, but never with Aaron. It was nice to spend a little time with our son having some chicken sandwiches — and an ice cream cone we got for free. He even spent a few minutes in the play area before we went home. Likely, he’ll have outgrown it the next time we come by.

We had some beautiful weather on Saturday for Hannah to sell chocolate bars with the girls from AHG outside Sam’s Club. Then in the afternoon, I dragged the kids to my parents’ house to help rake up some of the leaves that had fallen in their backyard. Naturally, they got to play in them a bit as well, but we wound up bagging five giant bags of leaves before we were done. There are more than enough leaves to have to do this again soon. Hopefully when they all fall down it will still be warm enough to rake them up without jackets.

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Then on Sunday, Vivian and I wore orange and black to church for Halloween eve. Then that afternoon, we took the kids out for for a couple Trunk or Treat events. The first was down at Wildewood, where we met up with the Campbells and the Lenarts to get candy from a handful of our friends from church. We saw some creative trunks decorated with themes such as Pac-Man, Monsters Inc., and even Insurance mascots. One had a quiz on the Ten Commandments, which I think had approval from Farmer/Pastor Ron. The kids got to play a few carnival-style games afterward and have some hot dogs and cotton candy before we headed on.

Then on the way home, we stopped by Heritage Hill Church of the Nazarene for their Trunk or Treat event immediately afterward (where we coincidentally bumped into our friend Debby, with Emily in tow). There were some swings and a bounce house for the kids to play in, along with a hayrack ride where they got to “pick” a few pumpkins from the bottom of the hill. Hannah jumped into a haystack, swung around with Aaron, and somehow lost a tooth. We got some chili for dinner before collecting some more candy and chucking a few pumpkins. and then the kids got to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown as the sun went down.

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Then at long last came Halloween night! We had some pizza for dinner before Grammy came by with Bella to watch the door at our house, and then we took our kids for a long evening of trick-or-treating. We started off at my parents’ house and then walked their neighborhood as the sun went down. Then we drove up the street to visit a few neighbors by Grammy’s house, specifically Tom and Toni next door. Then we finished off with our own neighborhood, including a handful of nicely decorated houses just down the street.

I probably had more than my fill of candy throughout the (including some the treats left at work), but I hope the nice, long walk did a bit to offset it. Happy Halloween, everybody!

Air Rifles, Little House, and Jim Pillen

It’s been a busy, busy week finishing another Education Program at work and juggling other things with the kids as Halloween starts creeping around the corner.

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Hannah and I got to have some special daddy/daughter time on Saturday morning down at Platte River State Park with her American Heritage Girls’ troop. We started things off with a little target shooting using a few of the air rifles in their shooting gallery. Hannah got to draw her own little target and then try to punch a few holes through it with some tiny metal slugs. It was her first shooting experience and fun for both of us to try to figure out how to get through a cartridge or two without jamming too much.

The AHG leaders lit a campfire in the meantime to make some s’mores as we had some lunch. Then we got to shake up some homemade ice cream in a plastic bag for dessert. After that, we went on an insect scavenger hunt, looking around for a handful of bugs, including a cricket Hannah found on the sidewalk (and then took around to show her friends). We finished our visiting with a brief trip up the observation tower, where I got a beautiful birds’ eye view of the fall colors all around the Platte River before we headed home.

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The next day, we got Hannah’s Halloween costume in the mail. She’s been enjoying watching old episodes of Little House on the Prairie, so this year she decided to be Laura Ingalls for Halloween. Vivian put Hannah’s hair into braids after she tried on the dress, completing the look perfectly.

Then the kids and I walked on down to the Sandy Park together, stopping by my parents’ house to show them her out new outfit along the way. just to have some time outdoors enjoying in the fall colors and the crisp autumn weather. Hannah also got to take her dress for a test run down a hill, just like Melissa Gilbert did in the theme song.

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Then on Tuesday, I got to have a luncheon with gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen down at Gorat’s Steakhouse (where I’d coincidentally first met our current governor eight years earlier). The Business and Professional People for Life had him as their guest speaker, so we got to hear him speak about his campaign and pro-life issues over hamburger steaks, followed by a short Q&A.

Joining the crowd of regulars were my parents, who I got to introduce to Pillen. My dad was a professor at UN-L for a few years “before testing positive for political incorrectness,” so he got to tell his story to Pillen, who is currently on the UN-L board of regents. My dad said that was worth the price of admission. It was a nice way to do democracy — up close and personal, asking questions directly to a candidate for governor. I even got to eat lunch right across from him, which was kind of special in itself. Just three weeks until election day.

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Happy autumn, everyone!

Steak, Pork Ribs, & Pupcakes

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I got to have a little quality time with the kids this weekend as Vivian took the weekend off to go to a women’s retreat at church. On Saturday morning, I made some pumpkin muffins for breakfast and we walked on over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a little “trunk time” with my brothers. We looked through some of my dad’s old books, which included an old leather-bound copy of A Christmas Carol and a couple old MAD Magazines (which I showed the kids). He also demonstrated his old stereo and turntable, where we played some vintage music for the kids as we watched a variety of wildlife in the backyard.

After that, dad and I went by Hy-Vee to get some Chinese food for lunch along with some vintage sodas. (Hannah decided that her new favorite drink is Bubble Up.) For dessert, the kids had some the root beer pops they’d put in the freezer the last time they were here. Then we watched a couple old home movies and played a round of “Use Your Words” on the Switch. The kids were even able to join in this time (with some help entering their answers on an iPad and a laptop).

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The next day, I took the kids to church, where they had Sunday School together, since they were a bit short-staffed (due to the retreat). Then I dropped Aaron off with Uncle Jonny and took Hannah down to Nebraska City for a steak fry with the Governor. The weather was just perfect, 78 degrees and funny with the trees in autumn colors at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. I got to see a few familiar faces, such as the Horsechief family, Sen. Fischer, Congressman Bacon, and a few others. The Bubble Lady was back, and a country music quartet got to introduce Hannah to such songs as Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.” (There was also, of course, lots of steak.)

State Senator Julie Slama and Gov. Ricketts played emcee while the guest speakers were South Carolina Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, and all four of them got to recreate the famous Iwo Jima photo trying to keep an errant flag upright. Tim Scott talked about growing up with a strict mother, giving hum “encouragement” with a switch, and Lindsey Graham essentially endorsed the idea of Pete Ricketts taking Ben Sasse’s soon-to-be-vacant Senate Seat. You can read more about it on my political blog, which includes full audio from both Senators’ speeches.

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I got plenty of pictures, but the two Senators didn’t stick around to chit-chat afterward. Ricketts and Graham made a bee-line for the exit, but I was able to stop Sen. Scott long enough for a brief photo with Hannah before he left. Hannah and I stuck around just a bit afterward as I said hello to Adrian Fischer (the one Congressman I had yet to shake hands with) and Rita Sanders. Hannah waited in line for a balloon animal and we both got to pick out a couple pumpkins to take home with us before we left.

Aaron had been having fun with Uncle Jonny and our own wooden train set, and I stuck around to help Grandpa winterize his sprinkler system before taking the kids home.

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Then on Tuesday, we had a little birthday party for Bella down at Jack and Donna’s house. Vivian and her dad smoked some ribs for us as the kids got some quality time playing underneath the fall colors. We had dinner out on the front porch as the sun went down, and then we went inside to have some ice cream and “pupcakes,” including a special one Donna made for Bella (with apples and blueberries instead of cake mix). Vivian and the kids also made Bella some special bone-shaped doggie treats, which the kids both gave Bella before we headed home for the night.

Open House, Hunter & Kingdoms of the Night

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Aaron’s elementary school had an open house on Monday night, so Vivian and I stopped by with Hannah to see his classroom again and look at some of Aaron’s artwork. He’d done a fairly accurate rendition of him and his sister along with a garden of flowers all measured with enormous numbers. We we checked out a few other rooms and signed up for a parent/teacher conference (which I think was the whole purpose of the open house) before getting a few snow cones outside before heading home.

Aaron’s also been enjoying going to Royal Rangers on Wednesday nights, doing some creative artwork and learning a bit about the bible with a few of his little friends. I’ve also enjoyed the chance to get away and read for a bit, leafing through my copy of “12 More Rules for Life” once again on the couch in the lobby.

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On Thursday, I had a political night to myself and got to have dinner at Chick-Fil-A leafing through “The American Story” by the Barton Brothers, a book given to me by one of the Royal Rangers volunteers who saw mw reading on the couch. (I was also able to cash in a few of my Chick-Fil-A reward points for some free food, which was nice.)

Then I headed north to the Cross Training Center to watch the film My Son Hunter, a kind of political satire about the Biden family directed by Robert Davi. It was a surprisingly well-done film — I’ve seen plenty of ham-fisted political films before, some of which were quiet cringe-worthy and barely watchable. This one was fairly polished and entertaining — not to mention hilarious. Much of the film seems to be done tongue in cheek with biting sarcasm, and lots of real-life quote and gaffes from Sleepy Joe to add to the humor.

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On Friday night, we stopped by the Mills house to say Happy birthday to our friend Sammy. She and Hannah have been little friends since they were born, and they got to spend time today shopping at the mall together like little tweens and having a “Sushi” cake decorated by Donna with some (pretend) sushi and cherry blossoms.

We spent a little time afterward letting the kids have more quality time playing together while Nate took Jake and Lexi down to the airport for a week-long trip to France. Aaron got to run around with Gabriel and August and playing with some of their ducks and chickens wandering around the yard. I also brought Mama Ginny out to graze for a little bit before she started getting pecked at by a duck.

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Then on Saturday, we took a family trip to the Zoo courtesy of Autism Action Partnership. This time around, we went by the desert dome to see desert animals such as a kookaburra, some owls, and a variety of reptiles (along with some ducks running loose). We moved along downstairs to the Kingdom of the Night, where we saw bats, turtles, and a swamp full of alligators, among other things.

The sun went down and a storm lingered on the horizon and we stopped by to see some giraffes and elephants upstairs, who seemed to be hidden away indoors as the storm approached. As usual, the kids seemed to enjoy playing on the lion statues and spinning the watery fountain globe most of all. It was particularly interesting to visit the Zoo at night, where the desert dome was lit up in alternating colors for us before we headed home.

Luncheons, Days Off, and an Apple Orchard

I got to enjoy a fairly short work week in-between back-to-back three-day weekends here at home, and I also got to have lunch with some of my favorite people in the middle of the week as well.

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First up came a lovely little lunch with Vivian on Wednesday. Vivian has gearing up for another year of BSF with her lady friends, and she had an hour or so in-between her first meet-up with them an an appointment with an eye doctor, so we decided to drop by Maharaja for some Indian food down by 114th and West Dodge Road. I’d coincidentally first learned of the place from an Indian friend from my own BSF class several years ago, and it was nice to sit down for some authentic Pork Vindaloo and Chicken Tikka Masala together along with some fresh-made naan.

Then on Thursday, I had some lunch with my parents and a couple dozen others down at the Pizza Ranch on 84th Street. The River City Republicans had invited Sgt. Aaron Hanson, candidate for Douglas County Sheriff, to stop by and chat about crime, drugs, and using guns for self defense. My folks also got to chat with Marilyn Asher, who is running for state legislature against Megan Hunt. It was an informative little luncheon, and you can read more about it in detail (as well as watch my live stream) over at my political blog.

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I had taken Friday off since we’d planned to go on a camping trip over the weekend, but those plans fell through (and there was rain in the forecast anyway), so I had a lovely personal day instead. I went to the dentist for a cleaning followed by a tasty Taco Bell breakfast, and then I stopped by the Shadowlake Hy-Vee to say hello to Scott Voorhees, who was doing his show on KFAB from their entryway. I spent the rest of the day tidying up the garage and unearthing some of our camping stuff a few weeks ahead of our trip. I also uncovered some previously lost items that I was happy to find again.

It rained most of Saturday, which was just fine by me as we spent some quality time cleaning house, doing laundry, and emptying out the fridge. Once the rain stopped, I walked with the kids over to my parents’ house, where they spent some time with Uncle Jonny as I rummaged through my dad’s closet, taking a few shirts off his hands such as one stylish T-shirt from Dreamland BBQ, the best barbecue joint in America.

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We had some particularly nice weather in Sunday, so after church (and letting Harold run around a bit outside), we took the kids down to Ditmar’s Orchard for some apple picking. They had some fun activities for their “Fields of Flight” weekend, such as some bounce houses, an inflatable ax-throwing station, and a petting zoo with a bunch of goats. Our kids got a little time on the slides and the playground as well, which Hannah commented seemed to have “shrunk” since she’d been there last.

Of course, we also got plenty of time for applepicking, walking up and down a few rows to fill a ten-pound bag. We finished off our visit with a hayrack ride around the grounds and then some dancing atop some tractor tires before heading home. We’d missed out on the hot air balloons that had come by earlier, but it was actually nice to be able to let the kids explore without a massive crowd of people here for a change. Maybe we’ll do the same next year.

IMG_6377Happy fall, y’all!

The Orchid and the Golden Spike

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Both our kids are back in school again, giving us a newfound appreciation for time together after work and on the weekend. It seems to be going well so far. Hannah even made a little pretend “school” for all her Beanie Boos to attend, modeled after her days at Abiding Life in Bellevue.

In the meantime, Aaron has joined the Royal Rangers with his friends August and Gabriel at Spirit Life Assemblies of God Church, which gave me the chance to catch up on Jordan Peterson as he learned some things about the Bible.

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On Thursday, my dad and I went to see the first and only RiffTrax Live event of the year, where they riffed The Return of Swamp Thing, a truly terrible (sequel) film based on the DC Comics character. Our friend Richard Burney joined us for the movie and some burgers down at Culver’s beforehand, per the norm. I’ve been attending every RiffTrax Live event since they started way back in 2009, and hopefully they’ve continue having them well into the future (albeit only once a year sometimes).

In other news, Aaron lost another tooth. We’re also starting to get a crop of garden tomatoes, thanks to some regular rainfall (and watering). Vivian was able to turn them into some tasty bruschetta on Friday along with some basil (also from our garden). We also got to see a full-arch rainbow from our driveway after a passing rain.

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We had some gorgeous weather in the 70s on Saturday, giving me a little time to trim some branches and clean up the garage. Then we took the kids down to Dreamland Park in Council Bluffs for some quality time on slides, the sandbox, the carousel, and just climbing and running around. I grabbed a pizza from Little Caesars along the way, which we ate picnic style on the grass.

On the playground was a display describing the “golden spike,” which pays tribute to the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. After the park, we went to see the Golden Spike monument in Council Bluffs, which has been there since 1939. It was tucked away on a quiet strip of Ninth Avenue and didn’t have much other than a few picnic benches, but it was fun to come and see in person for the first time.

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After church on Sunday, we went downtown to see the “Orchid,” an art installation that’s been on display since March as part of the Common Senses festival. It was created by Sean Ahlquist, who was there taking pictures as Hannah and Aaron spent time climbing and swinging on the sculpture. We had a few free snow cones and spent a little extra time afterward watching some strange art films inside the Millwork Commons area and looking at a few interesting things on site, such as a bunch of wall-mounted bike racks that the kids turned into a jungle gym, and a corner lot full of painted concrete barriers that the kids decided to walk along. (I also got to recreate a meme with Vivian’s help.)

It was a fun afternoon of exploration. Then we returned home to have burritos and watch the Disney movie G-Force, which was about secret agent guinea pigs. (Naturally, I brought out Harold to watch as well.)

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Having the kids in school full time has given Vivian and me some quality adult time together. On Monday, we took Grammy by Costco to do a little shopping and get some new tires put on the CR-V. We learned we needed a new set after getting a flat last month, and it seemed like a good enough excuse to have a long lunch sampling items and having some lunch together.

Then on Tuesday, I went over to Jack and Donna’s house to give their lawn a trim. In kind, Donna gave my hair a trim (with Bella on my lap) so I’d be nice and neat for my birthday weekend coming up. More on that next time.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a last-minute birthday present for me, you may want to consider a new air conditioner. Just an idea.

Cool in the pools

We’ve had a lovely week recovering from Fourth of July weekend. We got to enjoying some blooming irises and hostas in our yard, and I’ve been able to see some more on a trip up and down the Field Club trail during lunch at work. We’ve been also taking advantage of a few different ways to keep cool during these hot, midsummer days.

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On Saturday, I dropped by my parents’ house for a little more trunk time with my dad. We dusted off (literally) an old adding machine and radio (with single “A” batteries) to look at, and we unearthed my dad’s art bin, which contained some old slide rules and a pen I allegedly gave my grandpa for his 80th birthday (when I was one). Most special of all, however, was a stack of letters that included my grandpa’s response when my dad asked for my mom’s hand in marriage. It was a real treasure to find.

Dad and I got some Chinese food down at Hy-Vee afterward (along with some “Dad’s” cream soda) and then had lunch while watching a few more embarrassing home videos together.

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Later that afternoon, we took the kids down to Gilbert Pool to cool off for a little bit. The kids had been clamoring to visit a pool for a while, and the newly-remodeled facility had some nice, new amenities, such as a pair of water slides and a spray-ground area. Hannah had some fun going underwater and both kids climbed up on the floating shark and ray in the pool.

Then afterward we dropped by Dairy Twist around the corner for dinner. We got some pork tenderloin sandwiches, a burger, nuggets, fries, and onion rings, and then we got some ice cream cones for dessert. We’d hoped for some watermelon ice cream, but they were all out, so I settled for pineapple with a cherry dip.

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I got some chores done the next day, running by Menards with Hannah for a few things and then getting a week’s worth of groceries down at Aldi. After that, I dropped by my parents’ house so Hannah could meet the squirrel my dad caught. It had been raiding his birdfeeder, so he wanted to catch and release it down on the other side of the Papio creek. Hannah went along with him for the ride as I mowed their lawn. Grandma taught Hannah how to play jacks before we headed home. In the meantime, Aaron built a level or two with a “Zelda Maker” game I found for him online.

Then on Tuesday, I had a breakfast taco (in honor of Jill Biden) and met up with some friends for drinks after work at the Lucky Bucket to chat about the NEGOP convention on Saturday, where there was a bit of an upset. A few of my mutual friends were there on the floor and it was fascinating to hear first-hand from one of them what actually went down.

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Wednesday was particularly fun, because I took the day off work just to spend the afternoon with Vivian and the kids getting sunburned down at the Mahoney State Park Aquatic Center. We had a couple of hours in the wave pool battling the waves and riding them with a couple inner tubes. Aaron wandered around the kids’ area a bit and we managed to get both the kids to go down the waterslides a couple times.

Our four-and-a-half hours at the park went by fast, and before we knew it, it was closing time. We showered up and then went down to Ashland to have some pizza for dinner at Breadeaux Pizza. Hannah and Aaron managed to eat an entire pepperoni pizza by themselves, and they still had room for ice cream afterward before we headed home.

Rolling for initiative

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We’re pushing our way into Spring now, despite the occasional snowfall we’re still getting for some reason. On Sunday, I made a full English breakfast with leftovers and took Hannah by my parents’ house just to play some more video games with Uncle Jonny. Aaron’s been inventing his own paper and dice game with some D20’s he got for his birthday last year. He’s also had fun playing Mario Kart with his sister and me and making little stop motion videos with his digital camera. Mama Ginny also spent a week or two with us while the Mills were in Mexico, and it was nice to have Harold’s mommy for an extended visit.

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On Monday, I dropped by the Garden Café for a luncheon with Brett Lindstrom. He gave a talk about his campaign and various bills under consideration, particularly a few dealing with tax cuts, one of which got unexpectedly shut down the week before. As usual, there were several other candidates running for office, including one for Jeff Fortenberry’s seat, which he’s just recently vacated.

Then on Tuesday, I dropped by the OPOA union hall for a campaign kickoff with my friend John Sieler, who’s running for State Board of Education. I’ve known John for a couple years, and he asked me to help live stream his campaign event and take some photos, which I was happy to do. I even created Facebook page for his campaign using nothing but my cheap little Android before the event got underway, just so I wouldn’t have to stream the event from my own personal account. You can watch the video here.

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Then on Thursday, we had some unexpected fun down at Skate City for a “Roller Skating Party” with Chandler View Elementary. Hannah seems to really enjoy roller-skating, having gone a handful of times over the past year or two. I joined her on the rink as well, still ridiculously wobbly and unsteady on my feet. I only fell down once, though — onto the carpet (and getting a massive rug burn). It was still fun, and it’s so nice to see Hannah bravely trying something new and getting better at it every time.

We got the kids some chicken strips and hot dogs for dinner while we were there, and they spent some extra time playing on some of the games afterward, with earning enough tickets for a handful of little prizes.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.