Tag Archives: Chick-Fil-A

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.

Bikes, horses, and a Haunted Hayrack

We’ve hit Peak Fall and are enjoying some of the best weather of the year, making the most of the Great Outdoors before winter rolls around.

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Last weekend, Jack and Donna’s neighbor Toni invited us over for an outdoor movie night in their yard. We dropped by with the kids to have some chili dogs and potato salad as they played on a few of their swings as a reel of weird, old cartoons played on their makeshift bedsheet-turned-movie-screen. I think the kids had a little more fun making dancing shadows behind the screen rather than anything that happened to be projecting on it.

The next day, we stopped by Ralston Park after church, just because the weather was so absolutely gorgeous. We got some McDonald’s for lunch and then let the kids run around a bit on the playground afterward. Aaron and I both hit the swings for a bit, and then we practice some martial arts together afterward.

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I kept busy the following week with an Education Program at work, which involved me putting together presentations and then doing a group photo hanging from a ladder in a hotel lobby, which was interesting. I still had time to bike down to the local Chick-Fil-A for lunch with Hannah and Vivian after BSF on Thursday. I’d been hoping their play area (which Hannah is still small enough for) would be open, but it wasn’t. We still enjoyed having some chicken together and seeing some of the restaurant’s pumpkin décor.

Then on Friday, we took the kids down to Mangelsen’s to look for some Halloween costumes. Hannah decided to be a Pink Power Ranger, while Aaron wanted to be a Cat Ninja. We couldn’t quite find a suitable cat or ninja, so he decided to be a Skull Ninja instead, which seemed to work just as well.

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On Saturday, Vivian took Aaron clothes shopping while I took Hannah on a lovely bike ride around Walnut Creek Lake. I showed Hannah the “secret” entrance via the tunnel near Santa Fe Circle, which went through a tunnel under Highway 370 and through a bit of woods before coming up to the lake. Hannah and I pedaled around the entire lake together, stopping to get a closer look at the water (and a stray leaf) and stopping at a playground before circling back.

On Sunday, Pastor Ron donned a dreadlock wig to talk about Samson as the kids learned about the Ten Commandments. Then that afternoon, Hannah did a little horseback riding with her friends with American Heritage Girls. She’s been learning about taking care of horses as part of earning a badge with her group (as is Sammy), and she wound up riding for 45 minutes while on horseback for the first time.

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Capping off the weekend was a trip to James Arthur Vineyards for a Haunted Hayrack Ride. It’s an immensely popular event, with tickets typically selling out in less than half an hour once they go on sale. We bumped into our friends Jenny and Kody while we were there (who I hope still read this blog, since I mentioned it!) and had some ribeye steaks and wine together for dinner (with Kira the dog begging for scraps). Owner Jim Ballard told a few “true” ghost stories to the group about such characters as local ghost Charlie Werner (who has a port-style wine named after him). Then local musician Chris Sayre sat down to play music on a saw and tell a few ghost stories, such as the “Legend of Blackbird Hill.”

Of course, there was also a haunted hayrack ride, which mostly involved us puttering around the vineyard in the dark while a lone guy in an orange mask chased after us. It was a beautiful evening with or without the haunting, though, and we were even allowed to take glasses of wine along on the trip, none of which spilled.

Halloween’s just around the corner, and next on my agenda will be scrambling up some costumes for Vivian and me — as well as a family trip to Sioux Falls right before Jenny’s Halloween party. The fun never stops!

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.

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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).

Medical Emergencies

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It’s been a busy few weeks since Easter for us, partly because of a few medical situations with my mom and dad. First, my mom had Covid, which eventually infected my dad, who had to be hospitalized in the ICU briefly with some breathing problems. It was a scary couple of days, but he’s since been doing better (after many prayers all around), and I was able to take him home last week.

Meanwhile, after having Covid, my mom had an emergency with her right eye, which had to have an emergency surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the retina. Her retina had fortunately not become detached, but without surgery, the eye could become permanently blind. I took her to the hospital bright and early on 5:30 AM on Tuesday, where the operation apparently went well. In the meantime, I had a lovely breakfast of Chick-Fil-A while reading Jordan Peterson’s new book, “Beyond Order” (and discovering their Chick-Fil-A sauce now comes in convenient 8 oz. squeeze bottles).

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In other news, spring has sprung once again, with tulips and daffodils popping into bloom in our front yard. Our kids have been making good use of the nicer days, getting outside and finding such things as an actual four-leaf clover in our yard. We’ve also gotten Harold, who’s been enjoying his new hammock, out to explore the kids. Vivian and I are always trying to make sure he’s not just stuck in his cage all day.

Then on Saturday last week, we took the kids down to Memorial Park to have some McDonald’s for lunch and get some fresh air. Hannah found her way to a “secret” playground across the creek by St. Margaret Mary’s School.

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We’ve given the kids some fun culinary experiences as well, including German food from Aldi, French toast, cheesesteak sandwiches, “snowball cheese,” and a take-and-bake pizza, which I thought Aaron would have fun decorating with us.

Hannah’s been rather crafty in the meantime, putting together a dollhouse with bits of scrap cardboard one day, and then creating a paper doll with its own set of clothes the next (along with a teddy bear with its own set of clothes).

Park Time and Easter Prelude

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Spring has sprung, and that naturally means more quality time outside. Gov. Ricketts declared last Saturday (March 20) as “Meat on the Menu” day, so we naturally grilled burgers on our back deck. Then on Sunday, we took the kids down for some quality time running around Dreamland Park, spinning around their carousel and even having a picnic lunch before it got too cloudy.

One person was selling Girl Scout Cookies, so we got some Lemonade ones for the ride home. We’ve been having some experimental treats with cookies, even concocting a mint/chocolate sandwich just for fun (when we’re not trying Aldi’s Macrons).

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The following week, we took the kids down to Halleck Park for an Easter Walk. They had volunteers handing out eggs and also an Easter Bunny and Chick on hand for photos with the kids. It was a bit chilly, but still a good day for some quality time outdoors, and Hannah was even able to break out her scooter for a bit.

The next day was Palm Sunday, and Hannah got to practice walking through a gauntlet of plastic fronds with her Sunday school mates at church. Then that afternoon, we got Harold outside for a little time grazing in the yard and even a walk around the block.

In other news, Hannah and Aaron got to try Egg in a Hole.