Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back Home

The boys just got home from out boy trip today. We ended up going to Panchero's for quesadilla's, burrito's, chips and salsa. After that we headed over to the mall where it turns out that they were having a kids Wellnes Fair. The boys got stickers, tatoo's and even some cool frisbee's. Of course both Clancey and Marshall saw the fountain and I think we ended up throwing about $20 in change into the fountain. Then like I blogged earlier we ended up at the video game store for a treat for Marsh and Dad ;) By that time the boys were starting to get a little tired so we ran over to Target really quick to pick up a few things we needed and then headed home for the day. Both the boys were little angels and had a really good time. Hopefully we can get our again pretty soon for a boy day.

On a side note when we got home Jen's tempurature had gone down and she looked a lot better then when we left. Maybe by tomorrow she will finally be able to enjoy the day a bit and not have to spend the day miserable in bed.

Video Game Store

No boy trip is complete without a trip to the video game store. Good thing mommy is stuck in bed so she won't know we bought some new games ;). Gears of War for daddy and Sega Rally Revo for Marshall. Got to love the used game store, 2 games for for less then half the cost of a new full price game.

Boy Day

Today I decided to take to boys out for what is known as a boy day. In fact this is Clancey's first time ever going on a boy day with Marshall and I. Normally we head to Panchero's for lunch then we head over to Coldstone for some ice cream. We also try to hit a video game store possibly Best Buy, you know all the places boys like and Mommies hate ;). So far the boys have had a really good time and besides being a bit sick they have both been really good.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ice Cones

Tonight after I got home from work I found Jen in misery on the couch from what seems to be the flu. She said after she had gotten home from picking Marshall up from the bus stop that it really set in. Eyes hurt, chills, the whole works. Now you may be wondering at this point how this is related to ice cones but I'm getting tot that part. Well since it appeared that I was going to be in charge of supper I thought I would kill two birds with one stone. Take the boys to Dairy Queen, that way they get fed and Jen gets a little time to relax without two crazy boys running around the house screaming. Now as soon as I mentioned Dairy Queen Clancey started screaming Ice Cone, Ice Cone and Marshall quickly joined in. The picture above captures Clancey finally getting to enjoy his Ice Cone after his cheeseburger and applesauce.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sick Boys

Well in only took 4 days of school to get Marshall sick and ruin his chance at perfect attendance for the school year. On Tuesday when Marshall got home from school he was complaining to Jen that his throat hurt. By midnight, when the severe thunderstorms came through, Marshall was in the midst of his first sickness of the school year. Come morning he was in no shape to go to school so we had to keep him home for the first time this school year. By yesterday Clancey had gotten sick and of course by tonight Jen and I had come down with it too. I really had forgotten what a germ infested place school was. I just hope that this isn't a sign of things to come.

Rain, Rain Go Away

Yesterday morning when we woke up after a night of crazy storms we found we had nearly 8 inches of water in our basement. In fact the water got so high in our basement it put the pilot light out on our water heater so this morning we didn't have any hot water to shower with. We were able to pump it down far enough over night last night so I was able to light the pilot light on the water heater again but with receiving nearly 10 inches of rain in a 2 day stretch it has been hard for the sump pump to keep up with the water that is coming into the basement. Hopefully the storms will and and we can get downstairs and start cleaning up the basement.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kindergarten Open House

Tonight was Marshall's open house at the elementary school. Marshall was pretty excited to show Jen and I all the places he goes in the school and all the things he uses. As we were walking around the school Marshall decided to take us to the music/art room. When we were in there Marshall's music teacher came over and introduced herself. We were chatting for a minute or two and I noticed she had a Cyclones football poster on here office door. I asked her if she was a cyclone fan and she said that she was and in fact her uncle was the head football coach so she kind of had to be. Jen and I then both told her we were alumni and were die hard fans ourselves. Maybe she can score us some free suite tickets in the future ;)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More Play Equipment

After my GPS lead me down a bunch of gravel roads and a couple of roads that should be labeled as level B we found another park. This time it was Dixon Memorial Park in Dixon, Iowa. Clancey, of course, found the little bouncy animals to ride on and jumped on each and everyone for a test spin. He seemed to prefer the Elephant. Marshall went found the jumgle gym and climbed and jumpe and just had a good time. Don't know where we end up next just as long as the GPS can get us home ;)

Family Picnic

Today is one of the first weekends in a long time that we didn't have anything planned. We decided to use the time and have a family picnic. Sometimes what we do is just load the car up, turn the GPS on, and drive until we find something. Today we found Scott County park just south of Dewitt. It is a really nice park. Well maintained, plenty of camping and last but not least play equipment. Right now I'm cooking lunch while the boys play. In fact it looks like Marshall just made a new friend.

The more time Jen and I spend at these camp grounds the more we want a camper. Kind of funny because I've always made fun of people who camp with campers but they sure do make it convienent. Maybe next year.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

At the Park

Tonight Jen got her arm twisted into having a jewelery party so the Papa, the boys and I decided to hideout at the park until at the crazy women leave the house. Good thing for all of us husbands that the jewelery isn't very expensive jewelery ;).

Clarence Water Tower Construction
















Just this week they started construction on our new water tower here in Clarence. At our last council meeting they were saying that they are ahead of schedule and likely to have it constructed and painted before the New Year. I've been rather suprised how fast things have been moving with the water tower project. We just started talking about it last spring as a council and now here we are within a few months of actually having it completed. Even better, once the tower gets constructed U.S. Cellular is going to get the new Clarence cell antenna mounted on top and cell coverage in Clarence will be great. No more dropped calls!!!

First Day of School

Today is Marshall's first day of Kindergarten and he is excited to get going. As a tradition we take a picture of Marshall on the front steps of the house on the first day of school. It's amazing to me how much he grows every year. Before we know it we will be taking his high school graduation picture on the front stair. I'm sure Jen will probably shed some tears when the bus takes off with her first baby but I guess that's just part of being a mom.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Big Slide at the State Fair

Bye Fair

We are done with the state fair for 2009 and had a great time. It started off a little rough with two little boys that were being kind of naughty, but once we started to find some things to do they started to have a good time. I think between Jen and I we sampled nearly every fair food the fair had to offer from hot beef sundays to corndogs. The boys are telling me that they enjoyed the big slide the most and I would agree that it was pretty fun. I have a video of our first trip down the slide that I will post later.

It's always during the ride back to the car that I joke with Jen that summer is over and Christmas is right around the corner. While it seems a bit early to be thinking about Christmas it amazes me how quickly it comes after the state fair. Well just like every year I left wanting more and can't wait until next year.

Clancey the Tractor Driver

Here is a pic of Clancey driving the rubber tire loader.

Mema and Papa

We had just got done at the Ag building and were over by Hardenbrook's concession stand and ran in to Mema and Papa. We didn't have any idea that they were going to be here and sure enough we ran into them. It's a small world.

Marshall and the Pig

While we were wondering around the pig barn a pig decided he would dart down the isle we were walking down. Well of course Marsh was head of the pack and right in the pigs path. Marshall jumped left the pig went left, Marshall jumped right the pig went right it seemed collision was unavoidable at this point. Right at the last moment I grabbed Marshall into my arms as the pigs owner came to the rescue too. So tragedy was avoided but Marshall had decided he had enough of the pig barn ;)

Clancey Enjoying the Cow Barn

Clancey is really enjoying looking at all the animals here in the barns. I think it is the most fun he's had all day.

Corndogs and Ye Old Mill

The ultimate fair pic. Corndog in front of Ye Old Mill.

Fair Time

Well here we are at the SE Polk park and ride waiting to get onto the shuttle to the fair grounds. Just like an good event there is a huge line to get on the bus. Marshall and Clancey are pretty excited to get going.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pigman Half Ironman

Today was the Pigman Half Ironman race at Pleasant Creek State in Palo Iowa. For those who don't know a Half Ironman is 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run for a total of 70.3 miles. I woke up about 4:30 to the sound of rain against the bedroom windows and I knew at that point, today was going to be a rough day. When I got in my car and headed towards Palo the weather didn't get any better. I drove through multiple down pours that made me consider pulling over to the side of the road. By the time I reached Palo the rain had stopped and I though maybe the day wouldn't be too bad. Well that was short lived, about 7:00, a half hour before the start of the race, it started to rain pretty hard. So I scurried about putting my things into garbage sacks so it wasn't totally drenched when I started the bike and run. By the time the race started at 7:30 it was coming down in sheets and to top it all off the wind picked up and the water started to get really choppy. At least when I was on the beach I had a wetsuit on and I was getting ready to get in the water anyways so being wet wasn't that big of deal.

The swim ended up going alright, I swam a little faster then I expected to but compared to others it was still a slow time, but good for me. When I got to the beach it was still raining pretty good and I knew I had to get on my bike for 56 miles of joy in the wind and rain. The first 20 miles of the bike could have possibly been the toughest miles I have ever done. It was raining and the wind was gusting so hard as you climbed the hills you nearly came to a complete stop. By mile 20 the rain had stopped and we got the wind at our backs for the next 8 miles so that was nice. Once we got to the turn around at mile 28 I had to fight the wind back to Newhall but at least it wasn't raining so things were improving. Once I was back in Newhall the final 20 miles weren't to bad.

I think its important to mention at this point that they didn't have gatoraid at this race they had Heed. That is probably some of the grossest crap I have ever had to choke down in my life. I would have avoided it but my nutrition plan had me drink a sports drink every 40 minutes and race day is a bad day to change the plan. Next year I will bring enough gatoraid for the ride so I don't have to drink that crap. If any Hammer employees are reading this you need to change the formula to taste better or no one is going to use your products!

When I got to the run I thought that the windy overcast day was going to finally pay off. At least I will be cool for the run, and for the first half of the run that remained true, but at the turn around the sun decided to bless us with it's presence. So now the moist ground mixed with the sun created near sauna conditions on the run course for the final 6.5 miles. Other then that there wasn't too much to report from the run. It was hard, I suffered but I finished right around the time I was shooting for.

All in all besides the crappy weather it was a good race for me. If I was to say one thing I think I may have not given this distance the respect it deserved. After doing an Ironman I thought it would be cake, turns out I was wrong. Racing for 6 hours is tough no matter how you slice it. Next year I will be a bit more serious about the race but since it's a month before Ironman Wisconsin I should be in plenty good shape to do it. If not Wisconsin will be a sufferfest and I will get what I deserve.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dinner In Stoughton

We finally made it to Stoughton for an early dinner before our family pictures tonight. Mike and Michelle were able to make it out to dinner with us so that is nice. Getting closer to being done our crazy driving day today.

Clancey Chillin' at Applebee's

Today at lunch I captured this picture of Clancey chillin on the window sill at Applebee's.

PVC Pedal Car

Marshall got a crazy idea that he wanted me to build him a pedal car like the ones we rode in Door County. Well since I can't weld we had to go with the next best thing, PVC Pipe. So here we are at Home Depot picking up out building material. I'll keep the blog up to date with our progress.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One Week Until School

I can't believe that one week from today Marshall starts Kindergarten. It's hard to believe that he is school age already. It seems like just yesterday we were taking his picture on the steps for his first day of preschool and now we are going to have a kindergartner. It will be tough for us since he has never gone to a babysitter this will be the first time anyone but Jen and I will have significant influence over him. I would like to think that Jen and I have done a good job so far so it's unnerving to send him off and give others the ability to mess it all up. Well I guess that's part of being a parent.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Days

Here is a picture I captured on my way out the door that I thought really captured the essence of summer. Marsh and Clancey stil in there underwear and Jen hanging out laundry. Only one more week and this image will be replaced by the mad dash to the bus stop.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Grandma Eula's Birthday

Today everyone went down to grandma Eula's for her brithday in Churdan. We try to make this an annual event every year and it never fails that its the hottest day of the year. It hasn't been so bad yet but I bet it will get pretty miserable later. Either way I'm sure we have a good time.

Birthday Cake Time

Here we are getting ready to eat the birthday cake. Yeah!!!!

Grandma Eula's Birthday

Today everyone went down to grandma Eula's for her brithday in Churdan. We try to make this an annual event every year and it never fails that its the hottest day of the year. It hasn't been so bad yet but I bet it will get pretty miserable later. Either way I'm sure we have a good time.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Clancey's New Glasses

After months of patching and doctors appointments they finally decided it might be time for Clancey to get glasses. He seems to really like them so far and actually leaves them on his face, which is a miracle. Here is a picture of him in his glasses I think looks damn cute in them.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Big Creek Tri

Well I'm done with the Big Creek Tri and the race went really well. I ended up cutting 10 minutes off of my Hy-Vee tri time. The swim was a little tougher then I anticipated it would be. I suspect it's because I went quite a bit faster then I did at the Hy-Vee Tri. Kind of worried me a bit for next years Ironman but I have a year to get my swimming back up to form. My run felt the best, normally when I get to the run many of the people I caught and passed on the bike go flying by me on the run, which happened for the first 2 miles but after that I started to actually pass people on the run.

Two weeks is the last race of the season for me the Pigman Half Ironman. I guess I'm prepared as I'm going to be but I'm preparing myself to suffer a bit. My swimming and running aren't really where they need to be for a half I'm but I'm pretty sure I can get through both without too many issues. After that I'll be done with the season but headed to Madison, Wisconson to volunterr and sign up for Ironman Wisconsin 2010. I learned a lot last time and really want to go sub 15 hours this time. As long as I train right I should be able to do it.

Big Creek Tri

I just got my transition setup here at the Big Creek Tri. USAT officials are really being strict today. I've never seen USAT patrol the transition area before. Kind of nice because some people insist on taking up way too much space. I guess today is the Midwest Regional Championship so I'm sure there will be some smoking fast times. Turns out today the water is 75 degree so wetsuits are legal, yeah!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Big Creek Tri Tomorrow

Well I'm all set for the Big Creek Tri tomorrow at 8 am. I went out to West Des Moines earlier to pick up my race packet and get my race T-Shirt. On the way back I went out to the race location which was 15 miles away from packet pick up, which I thought was kind of odd. When I got there I wondered down to the water which was 78 degrees so it's right on the edge of wetsuits being legal. I did the Hy-Vee tri without a wetsuit so I'm not too worried about it but I sure would like it if I could use it. Anyways the water didn't feel too bad but it may be a bit chilly to jump in on a 60 degree morning. I've never done the Big Creek Tri before so I'm unsure how hilly the bike course but in sure it wil be all right, just as long as the wind stays down. Tune in tomorrow morning to track my progress if you like.

Marshall Having Fun at Grandma Marsha's

Marshall is having a lot of fun at Grandma Marsha's. I think they have gotten nearly ever toy out that grandma Marsha has. As you can see they have created quite the mess here in the living room ;).

Ice Cream Clown

When we first sat down one of the waiters stopped by and dropped off a clown. Turns out it was the wrong table but once Marshall saw it he had to have one. Here is a picture of Marshall posing by his ice cream clown.

Boys Weekend

This weekend I have the Big Creek Triathlon down in Des Moines. I had planned on coming down to Des Moines by myself but when I was packing my things up Marshall asked me if he could come with too so he could see Grandma Marsha. So I got on the phone and called grandma up to see if she would be willing to watch Marshall while I was at my tri tomorrow, of course she gleefully said yes! So here we are on our way to Des Moines to pickup my race packet and then go to grandma's house. First we had to make a stop for lunch at Hickory Park then it's on to Des Moines.