Since it opened a couple of weeks ago, the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park has quickly become my favorite lunch spot. I ate there four times last week! On one occasion I even made a new friend (Jimmy Vo, Kan-Grow Hydro Farm, pictured right).
Naturally, I had to share the park with Brian (because I share everything with him). We grabbed Thai House food one night and decided to eat dinner there. It was too chilly, though. We caved and brought our takeout home instead.
Determined to share the magic of the Pop-Up Urban Park with Brian, I dragged him out there again before our Citizen Police Academy session at the Sedgwick County Detention Facility. This time the weather was better. We got to play some ping-pong.
I’ve been to busy this week to walk over there during lunch. I’m hoping that I’ll have some time next week. I’d really like to enjoy the park a bit more before the weather starts getting colder.
If you haven’t been to the park yet, I highly recommend it. If you go, holler at me so we can meet up (if I’m free). I may even play a game of ping pong with you.
Brian and I had a crazy idea to complete September reward cards in one visit to the Alley. We had to complete two hours of bowling, two hours of billiards, and eight go kart rides. Though the task seemed daunting, given that we only had a couple of hours to spare, we were up for the challenge. It didn’t cost us a dime and we got free soda to boot!
First up was bowling. So, we kind of cheated a little bit. Rather than spend two hours bowling, we decided to take one lane each for an hour. We asked for adjacent lanes so that we could cross-bowl (league style) which is what we prefer anyway. We completed four games and still had plenty of time to complete all of the other items on the list before closing time. It was brilliant.
For our go kart rides, the attendant allowed us to take the remaining rides in the form of coupons so we didn’t have to actually complete all eight rides. Brian and I raced one time. Since it was a slow night and, it was just the two of us, the attendant cranked the go karts up to the top speed. Not being much of a daredevil, one race was enough for me. Each race lasts four minutes so it would have taken a bit longer to complete four races, and we still had to play some billiards. Neither of us really wanted to be there all night so we cheated at the go karts part as well.
We didn’t even last an hour when we played billiards. We played a couple of games and we were done. Brian lost both games but he didn’t care because he bowled a 252 that night and he was still euphoric from that. Anyway, they signed our cards anyway so we could turn it in at the front desk for the raffle. We didn’t quite finish the task but at least we gave it our best effort. And, we had a blast!
As for the remaining go kart tickets, we ended up using them with my little sister Nickira on Thursday night. Nickira said she wanted to eat somewhere she’d never been before so we took her to Cheddar’s right by the Alley.
After dinner we raced go karts a couple of times. It was perfect because we had exactly six rides left so the three of us got to race twice. The best part was that we were the only three people there so we had run of the track.
Brian and I had to take turns taking pictures. The first time we went in the following order: Nickira, me, then Brian. Brian was able to pass me but he couldn’t pass Nickira.
The second time it was Nickira, then Brian, then me. I was able to pass Brian but, again, I couldn’t pass Nickira. Who knew that my little sister was such an expert go kart driver? She knew exactly what to do to keep us from passing her.
Anyway, I can’t believe that school is several weeks in and Nickira still doesn’t have any homework. I’m beginning to wonder about her teacher. LOL. Kidding aside, I’m glad we got to do something fun last week because I have a YMCA dinner this week and won’t be able to get Kira this Thursday. We’ll just have to make up for it next week. I’m hoping that we will have some homework to do by then!
Brian and I are now halfway through Citizen Police Academy (CPA) so I figured I can tell you a little bit about the experience. The CPA is a thirteen week program designed to provide a working knowledge and background of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and Wichita Police Department (WPD). The main goal of the program is to foster a closer relationship between local law enforcement agencies and the community. CPA provides an avenue for community involvement and provides first hand experience of policing.
We’ve been in it a few weeks now and, for a program that costs absolutely nothing, it’s a super awesome experience. Brian and I are learning so much about local law enforcement. All of the speakers and presenters from both the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and WPD have been very informative and accommodating. We have an inquisitive class and we always have lots of questions, which they answer patiently.
The topics we will cover during the 13 weeks of CPA include:
- WPD and Sedgwick County Sheriff patrol operations
- Overview of Investigations
- Homicide and Robbery Investigations
- Gang Unit
- Tour of the Wichita/Sedgwick County Law Enforcement Firearms Training Facility
- Polygraph Operations
- Exploited and Missing Child Unit (EMCU)
- Tours of the Sheriff’s Crime Lab and the WPD Crime Lab
- Tours of the Records Bureau and the 911 Emergency Communications Center
- Overview of Community Affairs and Community Policing
- Air Section Helicopter “fly-in” and presentation
- Traffic Radar Demo
- SWAT Team Demo
- Bomb Squad Demo
- Tour of the Sedgwick County Adult Detention Facility (including an opportunity to sample jail food)
I can tell you that I’m not looking forward to that last item on the list, which we are actually doing next week. I hope they don’t force me to eat the jail food. I got to try it last year when my Leadership Wichita class spent the morning part of our session at the detention facility. Lunch was really memorable that day because we got to have lunch with some of the trustees and the food was terrible. Immediately after that experience I made a comment to Brian that fewer crimes would be committed if people only knew how horrible jail food is. I can’t wait for Brian to try it.
Our favorite session so far has been our session at the Wichita/Sedgwick County Law Enforcement Firearms Training Facility. I took lots of pictures that night because I didn’t feel like I got to take enough pictures when my Leadership Wichita class went through last year. I made up for it this time.
Obligatory firing range photo. 😉
The facility was established in 1995. Incidentally, that is the same year that my family moved to the Wichita area.
Here are some more pictures from our tour of the facility.
Here’s Brian’s “shoot or no shoot” scenario.
We all thought it was over but then the guy actually pops back up out of nowhere. I really thought Brian got him and he was dead. He wouldn’t stay down, though. At least Brian got him in the head.
This is our friend Bill’s scenario.
Brian gearing up.
Brian and KSN’s Denise getting ready for their simunition exercise scenario.
Here they go!
A few others in class volunteered. Here’s another scenario along with the debriefing.
The debriefing was actually really educational. Even though I didn’t volunteer I learned a lot from watching the participants, how they reacted during the simulation, and the discussion that followed afterward.
Brian got interviewed by KSN at the end of our session. I hope that he told them what a great experience this has been so far and how grateful he is that I talked him into signing up. LOL. Seriously. He didn’t want to do it at first. I really had to sell him on the idea. It was the “shoot or no shoot” exercise that really sealed the deal for him. That night was his most awaited night of CPA training. I’m glad that he got to participate in all of it. I’m also glad that I’m sharing this whole experience with him.
Couples who learn and grow together, stay together!
I seriously hope you didn’t mope around the house on Saturday because there was so much to do in town. All of the events kind of overlapped so you really had to prioritize. Some of the events we were aware of were Race for the Cure, the Great Plains Renaissance Festival, the Wichita Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cook-off, the grand opening of the Wichita Art Museum’s Art Garden, KMUW’s Old Town concert series kicked off, and the 7th Annual Haus of Brews. That’s just the special events. That doesn’t include all the things to do in town that happen every Saturday. Insane, right?
We couldn’t do everything so we had to pick three activities. One of these that made the cut was the Wichita Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cook-off. My friend Bill is a Wagonmaster so I had to stop by and see him.
We arrived toward the end of the event because I had to shower and change after my Zumba class, and I had to start on our laundry. We weren’t exactly speedy. There were still plenty of people milling about when we got there. We even ran into my friend Darcy. However, there were several tents that were already out of chili and packing up.
Our next stop was the Wichita Art Museum’s Art Garden grand opening event.
It was a beautiful day to be out and about. We had the perfect weather!
While at the Art Garden grand opening, we had to stop by and say hello to my friend Teresa. Yes, I have cool friends who do cool stuff in the community.
I really wish we could have hung around because there were lots of cool things going on at the Art Garden grand opening event.
Alas, we had to skedaddle to our next stop: OJ Watson Park. I’d never been there so when we were invited to the Kansas DUI Impact Center volunteer appreciation picnic I accepted. I figured that I’d meet some Impact Center folks and also check out the park.
Brian grew up on the South side of town and had frequented the park as a child. He said the park hadn’t really changed. It was pretty much the same as when he was young. It was all new and exciting for me, though. I enjoyed pedal boating and was grateful that we didn’t fall in the dirty, murky water.
The 7th Annual Haus of Brews was our final stop for the evening. I wanted to get there early but we had to stop by the house to take care of Molly. Then Brian ended up falling asleep on the couch so I had to wake him up. LOL.
I’m really grateful to our friends and coworkers who came out to support the event.
I heard that attendance was down compared to last year. However, I know of at least three people are interested in joining Rotary as a result so I think that’s a win.
Misty is looking into joining the Old Town Wichita Rotary Club because the meeting location and time works better for her. I told her I’d go with her to check out the club. We’re going next week.
My friend Jill from Adventurous Babes Society is interested in the Andover Rotary Club so I’ve invited her to our next meeting.
Overall it was a fantastic Saturday. The only thing that could have made it better was if we were able to hit all of the happenings in Wichita!
It’s that time of year again and we’re doing pledge drives at both of my jobs. At my primary job we have what’s called Your Gift Your Choice. It used to be the United Way campaign but we changed it a few years ago so that employees weren’t limited to donating to just the United Way. Now we have dozens of organizations to choose from which has actually increased engagement and participation. Sometimes we have folks who don’t want to give to United Way but they’re passionate about other causes. The new Your Gift Your Choice format allows us to support those causes via payroll deduction.
Here’s what our participation looks like just a week into the campaign. Amazing!
At my part time side-gig for the Greater Wichita YMCA we have pledge drives for both United Way and the YMCA annual campaign. Since I’m donating to the United Way through my primary job, I didn’t pledge anything on my YMCA paycheck but I’ll be donating almost all of my classes back to the YMCA through the YMCA annual campaign.
Here’s my friend Teresa installing a computer at La Familia Senior and Community Center. We met Dr. Carla Lee, Executive Director of La Familia, last year during our Leadership Wichita community service project. She told our team that she needed help with technology and wanted some computers that work. They had several computers at the center but they weren’t connected. Last week my teammates Teresa, Jason, and I installed computers that were donated by High Touch (Jason’s employer). We spent Wednesday afternoon connecting all of the computer terminals. Jason even got on a ladder and fixed network cable through the ceiling tiles.
High Touch donated CPUs, keyboards, mice, and cables and then we just salvaged the existing monitors that the center already had. The monitors weren’t pretty but they worked just fine.
On Thursday morning several colleagues and I attended the United Way campaign kickoff at Century II. The theme this year is “Readers Become Leaders” and we created about 400 reading kits during the kickoff event.
It’s amazing considering we assembled the reading kits in just 10 minutes.
Some of the books that went into our boxes were previously donated and were already at our table but all of the event attendees were encouraged to bring a copy of their favorite children’s book or books. I didn’t get the invitation to attend until the day before so I didn’t have a chance to go to the store to buy books. I had to give up a copy of my favorite children’s book which I grabbed from the bookshelf in the office.
I was bummed that I had to give up my copy but also felt good that I was donating it to a great cause. I ended up ordering a few more copies of The Little Prince on Amazon. This isn’t the first time that I gave a copy of it away and it probably won’t be the last so I thought I better stock up. One of the copies is earmarked for my little sister. The two books I’ve gotten her for her birthdays have been Dork Diaries books, her favorite series. I’m thinking it’s probably time that I got her a copy of one of my favorites. It’s funny that it took the United Way campaign kickoff to make me think of it. I should have thought of giving her a copy sooner.
Anyway, that pretty much sums up my busy and rewarding week. This week is more of the same — lots of work with volunteering and donating and fundraising sprinkled in.
We had the annual Labor Run for the Treehouse last Monday, September 7, at Sedgwick County Park. Kidzcope Good Grief 5K was going at the Waterfront and then I think there was another run at the park also that same day, which was kind of a bummer. The last couple of years we’ve enjoyed being the only running event on Labor Day.
Participation was down this year but all the important people came to support the Treehouse. The Dills, Aharon, and Alison were all there. Alison even took first in her age range. You can check out the full race results at Oz Endurance.
I know Labor Day weekend is a popular time of year for out of town trips so for my friends who were busy and unable to participate in the run last week, you have another chance to run around Sedgwick County Park for a great cause. The Kansas DUI Impact Center is hosting our second Race to Remember DUI Victims and Survivors event which will be held at Sedgwick County Park on October 17.
If you are unable to run but would like to support the Kansas DUI Impact Center, please consider donating by sponsoring my fundraising effort. Your donation dollars make a difference toward reducing the traumatic effect a drunk driving crash has on victims and their families and increases awareness of the human consequences of drunk driving. Thank you in advance for your generosity and support!
Figures. I finally pay off my car and I mess it up. In my defense, it wasn’t my fault. It was because of the poorly finished parking lot at the Hill.
The parking stalls right next to the restaurant have these cement parking blocks. Most of them have been properly constructed/finished except for a couple that still have rebar sticking up out of them.
There’s one in a handicapped parking stall. The other is in the very first parking stall, which is the one that snagged my car.
I was paying attention to Brian’s car that was already parked and I was just relieved to find a parking spot right by the entrance so I didn’t notice the rebar. Plus, it wasn’t really noticeable. I mean, who leaves rebar sticking out of a parking block like that?
I didn’t want people who were pulling into the tight parking lot to hit the back bumper of my car so I pulled in all the way. Normally I have no problem clearing those concrete parking blocks so I typically pull in all the way until I feel the block against my front tires. Anyway, the front fender has some give so I didn’t feel the rebar going in. I didn’t realize what had happened until I was pulling out of the parking spot after lunch and I heard a crunching sound.
I called Brian who was taking grandma home first. I told him to please check my car when he got home because I thought I messed up my front bumper. I was hoping for the best but prepared for the worst, which is sadly the case. Brian confirmed it as soon he got home and was able to inspect the car. I messed up the clips so the front bumper needs to be replaced in order to get Alex back to normal.
Half a dozen quotes later from various body shops around town, we found out that it’s going to cost at least $1,000 to effectively fix the damage. Cheapest quote was Auto Paint Repair at $855. The most expensive quote was $1140 from Carstar. I initially wanted to go with the lowest price because I didn’t want to file an insurance claim and risk losing my good driver discount; however, Brian really had his heart set on Carstar. They fixed Bebot after our rear-end collision last year and they did a really good job.
Twelve hundred dollars is a lot of money so I decided to sleep on it. A friend at work (Derek) told me that the front end doesn’t look too bad so I could probably wait to get it fixed. It’s just that I’m afraid to wash the car or nudge the front bumper in some way because I don’t want the bumper to fall off or worsen the damage. Lately we’ve been trying to drive around in Bebot more and not use Alex as much so we don’t make things worse, except on days when we’re both working because then I don’t have a choice but to drive Alex.
I’ll eventually need to get Alex fixed but hopefully I can postpone it long enough to where I have enough money saved up so I won’t have to settle for the least expensive quote and I can get it done by Carstar (Brian’s first choice). Getting Alex fixed may just have to be my birthday present this year. Sigh.
If you have some spare change and would like to donate to the Alex repair fund, clickity click the donate button on the right. Thanks in advance for your generous donation. I really appreciate it.
Looking for something fun to do on Labor Day? Come join us at Sedgwick County Park for Labor Run 2015. It’s a fun run/walk event that benefits The Treehouse, an organization that offers mothers and babies a brighter future through sharing God’s love, basic necessities, education, and genuine personal care. Please help us make this event a success by participating. Brian and I are helping with the run again this year so we hope to see you guys there!
Click below to see pictures from Labor Run 2014.
Click below to see pictures from Labor Run 2013.
There are laundromats and then there are laundromats.
We learned about this holy grail of laundromats from our friends Reby and Aaron after seeing some posts about the place on their Facebook. This laundromat has several old school pinball machines and classic arcade games and most of the games only take a quarter to operate.
I’ve never really been fond of laundromats except when we need to wash our comforters. We’re generally in and out and don’t really have a desire to linger. This is the first laundromat we’ve ever visited without needing to do any laundry. We specifically went for the games. Lost Sock is kind of a strange place to take a date but, if you’ve been with your boyfriend or girlfriend awhile, this would be a great place for a cheap date.
It’s a lot of fun and, the best part is, they’re open 24/7. If you ever need to wash anything, I highly recommend checking out Lost Sock. Or you could go just for the games like we did. Here are some photos…
Brian and I hung out with grandma two Saturdays in a row. Last Saturday we took her bowling with us at Derby Bowl. For months now she’d been asking to watch us bowl. We talked about taking her on league night one evening but it’s just so late for her and there’s way too many people. We finally just decided to hold a bowling match up between the two of us and grandma could come and watch us compete.
Here are a couple of pictures of Brian explaining the contest rules to grandma.
The contest rules are as follows: One point for each game won and two points for the highest total overall for a total of five points. Theoretically someone could lose two games but if they got a high enough lead in one game to take the total then they could get one point for winning the game and two points for the total for three points to the other person’s two points and effectively steal the match.
It seems complicated than just competing for the best two out of three games but we like making things more interesting. Sometimes with the other scoring the player who has won two games already feels like they can slack off in the final game. With our scoring you still have to be on your toes the final game because the other player could steal the whole match by winning with a high enough score.
Brian who has been bowling twice a week all summer long had an advantage on me. I was so rusty. I bowled terribly. The scores were close but he easily won the first two games. I was hoping to recover in the third game for the win but he stepped up his game for an even more decisive game victory. It was a sweep. He took all five points that day. I’m gunning for a rematch, though.
While we were at the bowling alley we ran into dad and the Cannadys. Our nephews have started getting into bowling and are actually started to get quite good at it. Eli (middle child) really enjoys bowling.
Anyway, it was nice running into them specially since we were with grandma. She doesn’t get to see them as often as we do. I found out later that mom came to the bowling alley too but she arrived after we left so we just missed her.
After bowling we took grandma to Los Cocos, one of our favorite restaurants in Derby.
While there we ran into a couple of my coworkers who were nice enough to stop and say hello. Grandma loves meeting our friends and coworkers so that was great.
We had churros for dessert and they were delicious!
Grandma would agree. We had a fantastic Saturday!
Yesterday we took grandma to another one of our favorite restaurants, The Hill Bar and Grill. She got to try Brian’s favorite starter: chicharonnes.
For lunch grandma got chicken tacos. Brian had them before and really like them.
Brian had the meatball sub this time.
I had crab eggs benedict from the Saturday brunch menu. It was pretty good. I messed up and ended up with hashbrowns instead of the asparagus, though.
Brian and grandma had a productive day shopping for groceries and we had a wonderful brunch together. Overall it was a great day except for the mishap with my car in the parking lot. I will tell you guys more after I find out how bad the damage is on Monday.