Tag Archives: Chandler View

Weathering through ’til Spring

It’s been another week of weathering through the weather, particularly when staying indoors isn’t always an option.


We had a bit of a freak snow on Wednesday morning, waking up to a winter wonderland before heading out to work. Thankfully, it remained wet and slushy and didn’t make much trouble for travel.

This was good, because I drove back down to Bellevue to see Aaron at his school’s music program during the day. He and his classmates sang Mama Paquita, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and The Tiki Tiki Room for us and a couple hundred other parents who took a midday break to see their kids. I also got to visit Aaron by his locker before heading back to work.

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In other news, I headed off to the trails with my bike a couple times, despite the chilly 30 degree weather and the city’s non-stop efforts to demolish every section of bike trail possible. They’ve decided to tear up the 42nd street bridge and close the bike path that runs underneath it, but I still managed to make it through to visit the silos again.

Then on Friday, I went up to Trader Joe’s and back for my usual run for various goodies, with a stop by Towl Park on the way back for a snack. The whole trip burned about 1700 calories, burning off my breakfast of steak and eggs and then some.


Then on Saturday, Hannah and I went to walk in the St. Patrick’s Day parade with a couple politicians. The morning was cold and rainy and made for terrible parade weather, but Hannah made it through like a champ, handing out candy to the handful of attendees who braved the weather to come out.

Don Bacon and Deb Fischer had a cluster of parade walkers as well, but the only two candidates who came out to join us in person were Pete Ricketts and John Glen Weaver, both of whom are competing for the same Senate seat in 2024. Weaver gets my respect for acting as a one-man parade entry, though Ricketts has the clear advantage — with John Orr in full green beard (and eyebrows) among his throng.

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 Commander Jeff at Royal Rangers. (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.


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.

Bacon, Eggs, and the Start of School

Summer vacation is drawing to a close after passing by in what seemed like a blur. Hannah and Aaron are gearing up to start a new school year, and we did a few things to celebrate.


On Tuesday, I attended a luncheon with the Business and Professional People for Life at the Garden Café, and getting to hear from Don Bacon over lunch. It was the first time the group had met since Roe v. Wade had been overturned, so there was naturally a lot to talk about. I also got to ask him about the FBI raid of Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, to which he responded, “if the FBI does not have 100% solid justification, they’re in trouble.”

You can read about the luncheon on my political blog and even see the live stream of Congressman Bacon’s talk on Rumble.

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On Wednesday, I dropped Aaron by Spirit Life Assemblies of God Church at 48th and Harrison to sign up for a year of Royal Rangers. The Royal Rangers are a group similar to the Boy Scouts that our mutual friends the Mills have been a part of for a number of years, and we thought it might be nice for Aaron to join in with his friends August and Gabe on Wednesday nights. They had some root beer floats and Matchbox car races, but Aaron mostly had fun in the gym with a few of the others boys.

We also bought a dozen eggs from our the Mills while we were there — eggs made by the chickens they have roosting in their yard. It interesting to have a dozen of farm-fresh eggs of many colors rather than the store-bought ones we were used to, and it was particularly interesting seeing the difference inside and out.

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On Saturday, we had a cookout down at Hickory Hill Park with our friends the Lenarts. The weather had cooled off a bit, and it was nice to grill some hamburgers and hot dogs under some thick, shady trees while catching up before the start of a new school year. Our kids had fun playing together on the playground and exploring the creek a bit, traversing a fallen log that had been turned into a bridge.

Then the next day, we took the kids to downtown Papillion to have some ice cream at Graley’s. Then we went to get some pizza up at the Little Caesar’s before heading home to eat and watch The Land Before Time with the kids.

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Monday was the last day before school started (for Hannah at least), so we had one last trip down to Elmwood Park with the kids. Vivian brought some lunch for the kids, and despite the light on-and-off rain, we all had fun being outside together one last time. The kids got some extra time on the swings (once or twice with me and mommy) and playing hide-and-seek with a couple other kids.

Then we finished off our visit by heading back down to Aksarben Village together to have some end-of-summer cupcakes at Jones Bros. I used to take the kids there all the time when they had free cupcakes of the day every week or so, but since then it’s become something more of an annual treat.


That evening, we down to Chandler View Elementary to meet Aaron’s new teacher for his Second Grade year and get a look at his new classroom.

Then the next day, Hannah had her first day at Abiding Life Christian School, an independent little outfit Vivian recently learned about through our homeschool co-op. It’s the first time Hannah’s ever been part of a more “normal” school setting, but she seems to be acclimating to it quickly. She’s made a couple friends and even had a part of putting together her own lunch for the day. We celebrated that evening with some Uncle Jonny Pops before Aaron started his first day of school on Wednesday.

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Welcome Back to School!

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.