Category Archives: Jack & Donna

Bella, Huskers, and a Fire Pit

We’ve had some lovely fall weather over the past few days, allowing us to enjoy the great outdoors a bit before winter comes.

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I was able to nab a free sandwich at Chick-Fil-A on Friday and pedaled it all the way to Memorial Park for a lovely lunch among the rosebushes — which are still in bloom even in November.

In other news, Grammy just adopted a little dog named Bella, who’s a poodle mix and seems very sweet, albeit nervous — especially around men. Hannah and Aaron got acquainted with her for a bit and also took her for a walk or two down Bellevue Boulevard.

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We had perfect weather Saturday for a Husker game down in Lincoln. I won a pair of free tickets at work and got to leave the kids with Grammy for a bit as Vivian and I headed down to watch the game. It seemed to be a good game — even though the Huskers lost, it wasn’t the blowout everyone was expecting. There was one particularly impressive interception in the first quarter that I managed to photograph, and it was particularly fun to watch the game live — especially with the crowd getting riled up after a few bad calls.

We had some Runzas for lunch and were able to spot a few of our friends in the crowd of 84,000+ (though I’m sure there were a few more). At the end of the game, I recorded an impression of Rob Schneider’s character from Waterboy, just to amuse my friend Richard, who uses the clip as a meme.

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Then that evening, we stopped by Grammy and Pop-Pop’s to have a little “porch party,” inaugurating their new front porch. They’d had work done replacing some beams, adding new concrete, and removing a line of massive hedges, so celebrated with burgers, barbecue potato chips, and egg nog — a menu entirely of Aaron’s invention.

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Then on Sunday, I spent some time with Aaron enjoying the autumn leaves at Halleck Park. The leaves are at their peak, so it was nice to get out of the house (where Aaron’s been obsessed with math problems) and walk among the fall colors for a while.

Then back at the house, we brought out the firepit to roast some hot dogs with the kids on the driveway (and even a s’more or two). Daylight saving time ended, so it was dark an hour sooner, so I brought out the laptop so we could watch Beauty and the Beast (the original animated version, of course) by the fire. We even got to roast some marshmallows together before heading back inside.

Tender Heart, Super Thinker

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Another school year is winding down, which means a few end-of-year events with the kids. Aaron had a “virtual” concert at his elementary school, which I was able to tune into online. Naturally, it wasn’t the same as seeing it in person, but it was nice to be able to attend right from my office at work (and I even snapped a few pictures).

Aaron also won an award for being a “Super Thinker,” a rainbow slinky (which I hope lasts longer than ten seconds), and a tiny Octopus Sprinkler, which I set up for him and Hannah to use in the driveway to get a little wet on a warm evening. He also got to pick a book to bring home and naturally chose the most gigantic picture book I’d ever seen. (I suppose bigger is better?) Then the next morning, Aaron helped decorate a card to give to his teachers on his last day of Kindergarten.

IMG_20210526_200218019Sushi at the park

Hannah also had an end-of-year event with the American Heritage Girls. She’s only been attending for a month or two (and doesn’t even have a uniform yet), but she won a few patches as a “Tenderheart” and got to receive them at a little ceremony on Wednesday night.

Then with both of the kids out of school, we had a fun little year-end lunch at the park. I got some sushi from Ponzu around the corner, some of which I shared with Hannah. Then we let the kids play on the playground for a bit before a cold front started blowing in that afternoon.

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In other news, the rain let up just long enough for us to enjoy the outdoors a bit. I rode my bike for the first time this year, pushing through some gusts of wind for a decent ride (and workout) along the Keystone Trail. I’ve also been enjoying some regular walks during the day, stretching my legs with a walk down to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, just for the heck of it.

We also had another lovely dinner on the deck at Vivian’s parents’ house. Jack and Vivian made smoked some ribs and chicken, and then we Aaron had some fun in the sprinkler and Hannah played with a lawn ornament or two before we headed home.

Next up: Memorial Day weekend!

Thanksgiving in May

It’s been a rainy week in Omaha, making some flowers bloom in our yard (and Grammy’s) but keeping us indoors. That means watching for the dry days and making the most of them.

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I took Friday off last week just to participate in a peaceful protest with a few friends down in Bellevue, specifically over a new sex education curriculum the school board is trying to impose on the state.

At the same time, I also participated in Hannah’s homeschool education in a more direct way by helping do a math assignment that involved stacking stacks of nuts and magnets together while blindfolded. I’ve also been helping Aaron do his daily homework, which includes pages from his math book and reading on the school iPad. It keeps us busy, but it definitely feels good to be involved!

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On Saturday, we had a full clear day to plant our garden in the backyard. Vivian had a handful of tomato plants as well as basil, cilantro, and oregano to plant in our backyard. I was able to bring the kids along to participate in our family horticulture, but afterward they seemed far more interested in just getting wet with the garden hose, which was fine by me. We were looking at a full week of rain coming up in the meantime, so the m ore time we get outside, the better.

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We had another clear evening on Tuesday, when Vivian spent the entire day with her folks helping to cook a whole turkey on the grill (“just to use it up”). As such, we got to have a full Thanksgiving dinner — stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and even apple pie — out on the deck among the blooming things in Grammy’s yard.

Afterward, the kids decided to get wet running through the neighbors’ sprinkler spray on the sidewalk, but we corralled them back long enough to try out a badminton set that Grammy got from the Dollar Tree.

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We spent the rest of the week with almost perpetual rain, and I wasn’t able to take so much as a daily walk without getting at least a light sprinkle. One reprieve came on Thursday, when I grabbed some sushi for lunch (courtesy of my generous employer) and ate it picnic style at the park.

Hannah and I weren’t quite so lucky that evening, when she and I went for a walk together and it started raining halfway through. That didn’t stop our initial plan to make a 2.8 mile round trip hike to Chick-Fil-A and back just to grab some ice cream. It was quality daddy/daughter time, and she still enjoyed the ice cream (despite being a bit cold on the way home).

Haircuts and Hot Wings

It’s been a remarkably quiet week or so as the holidays fade away and a new year begins. Vivian smoked the discounted salmon I got on New Year’s Eve, which was quite tasty on a bagel. I also finally took down our Christmas tree and took it off to the dump to be with its many other tree friends.

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On Saturday, Donna came over and gave everyone a much-needed haircut. I’d been in need of one for some time, as I was reaching mullet territory, and Hannah got a short pixie cut and used some of Aaron’s scraps to make some adorable wigs for her little dolls.

Then on Monday, I went to my parents’ house to watch Alabama crush Ohio State in the National Championship game. My dad made some wings with homemade hot sauce, and I brought along some celery, blue cheese, and ranch to complement.

Roll Tide!