Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jen Visits the McVille School Again

This afternoon it's just me and the boys hanging out together because Jen ran off with Jamie to go checkout what was left at the old Mechanicsville school before they tear it down next week. I am kind of worried what stuff she is going to come back with being this is the stuff that no one else wanted. I'm sure she will come home with a truck load of stuff we don't really need or have a place for and I'll be sure to give her a bunch of crap ;) Jen and I were already there about a month ago and came home with a truck load of stuff so we really don't need anymore. Oh well, I guess it's cheap and Jen enjoys it so I can't give her too much grief.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hickory Park

On our trip across the state to get back home we made a quick stop at Hickory Park for lunch. Marshall and Clancey are both most excited for the ice cream.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Stuff

Seeing this joyous Christmas motiff at Micheal's made me smile.

Wierdo Wife

So we were just at Jordan Creek Mall and there was nothing there that Jen wanted. While we were there she asked if we could go to the True Value Hardware store in Valley Junction so she could get some nuts and bolts. So here Jen is among the old bearded men on black friday searching through the hardware. Yep I'm going to say it, wierdo! JY

Cheesecake Factory

After Old Navy and Besy Buy, where we made Christmas merry and bright, we made out way over to the Cheesecake Factory. Ever since out favorite restaurant, Garcia's, closed we've been looking for our new favorite Des Moines restaurant and I believe we have found it in The Cheesecake Factory. They feed the heck out of you at this place and the cheesecake is killer. Once we are done here we are off to the mall to take in the chaos.

Joys of Black Friday

Jen and I just started our black friday adventure in Des Moines at the Jordan Creek Center. Out first stop of the day was Old Navy for some clothes for Marshall. The place is packed and destroyed I would hate to have to clean this place up tonight. Jen being the nice person she is tried to pickup as she went but to no avail. Me on the other hand I just tossed stuff on the ground so I could be part of the black friday fun. After this we are headed to Best Buy for some RAM for mema and papa's computer and other fun stuff.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Clancey Singing "Jingle Bells"



Clancey singing "Jingle Bells" getting everyone into the Christmas spirit.

This Isn't Europe

On my way to Fort Dodge I came across a round about. You have to be kidding me, this isn't europe. Hell Fort Dodge is a pretty rough town that probably isn't a roundabout kind of town. I'd imagine this thing is going to cause it's share of accidents since most americans have no clue how to use them.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Today we had a great Thanksgiving day dinner at mema and papa's house. It turned out to be a pretty small group but that's alright, meant more food and pie for me. After lunch I ended up heading to Fort Dodge to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a stick of RAM for papa's computer. Turned out they don't sell RAM at Wal-Mart anymore but it did give me a chance to pickup some underwear, Jen forgot to pack them when we left yesturday. Wow, I think I could be a huge hee-haw, going to Wal-Mart, comando, on Thanksgiving day to buy some underwear and a Mountain Dew. All I needed was to buy some country music and cigarettes to complete to image. ;)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Plan Changes

This year Jen and I really thought it would be nice to have a big Thanksgiving at our house. So Jen sent out all the invites and person after person sent emails back saying they had other plans and wouldn't be able to make it. At the end it was going to be Mema, Papa and us. Then late last week Papa found out that he was going to have back surgery to fix a slipped disk on Tuesday, yesturday, and they wouldn't be able to make it. At that point Jen and I decided that having Thanksgiving dinner for just us and the boys didn't make much sense. Since Mema and Papa wouldn't have anyone over we decided to move our event to their house to Papa didn't have to travel and they could still enjoy the holiday. While it wasn't the initial plan it all turned out alright. It also works out that Jen and I can now go to Des Moines on Friday to expierence some of the chaos :)

Putting Up the Tree

Today Jen thought it would be a good idea to put up the fancy Chistmas tree in the foyer. Every year we have two trees, the fancy tree in the foyer and the family tree in the den. The fancy tree is meant to showcase our really nice front entry way. Jen always decorates it with nice ornaments and wraps fancy empty packages to put under it. The tree in the den is meant for all the kid decorations and the real presents. It is nice to have a house big enough to put up two trees. That way Jen can have her nice "blog" friendly tree and we can have the normal everyday family tree where all the actions happens. ;)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"I want to ride that"

Clancey announced to me "I want to ride that" ;)

Duffy's

When we were headed into town I saw Duffy's and thought that Clancey would really enjoy going. He has been really excited to see each of the cars. He keeps saying "daddy I want that car" and "daddy pick one out". :)

Daddy's Were'nt Meant to Go Inside Play Equipment

For the last 20 minutes I've been clinbing around inside this McDonalds play equipment. I don't think adults were meant to go inside this equipment. My knees are killing me.

At McDonalds Play Area

Clancey had lunch at McDonalds and then headed into the play area to play on the equipment.

Clancey Visits Work

When we got to Cedar Rapids I needed to stop by work and take care of a couple small things so Clancey got to visit daddies work for the first time. As you can see he got his own badge and everything. So far he hasn't been that impressed, work is just a beige office and a computer, but maybe he will think the lab is cool.

Vacation Starts Early

This week I decided that I would take a couple extra days of vacation to spend a special day with Clancey. Poor Clancey never gets an opportunity to spend time with daddy by himself normally Marshall is there tagging along. Well today is different it is a whole boy dedicated to Clancey. I really haven't figured out what we are going to do yet but figured we would just play it by ear. I'll be sure the keep the blog up to date with all the fun things we do.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day of Lasts

Tonight Marshall and I decided to head down to Dairy Queen in Tipton to get some burgers, fries and ice cream on the last day it's open this year. Marsh and I are going to have to find another place to go for boy trips in Tipton for the next few months.
Earlier today I went out on my last long bike of the year. Since it's the triathlon off season I've been taking it easy but today I decided will be the last day I go over 25 miles until I start Ironman training January 4th.
Today also was the last Nascar race of the year and finally today was the last Ironman in North America of the year.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Horizon's Magazine Article

Last June I conviced a bunch of people on my team to take part in the Pigman Sprint Triathlon, which I called the Common Display Applications Triathlon Challenge. Afterward Horizon's, the Rockwell Magazine, did an interview with me about the event. I've been anxiously waiting for the article to appear in the magazine and yesturday it finally appeared online so I thought I would share it with everyone.

http://www.rockwellcollins.com/horizons/volume14-issue3/across-company/cedar-rapids/index.html

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Family Photo's

In August the family all headed up to Wisconsin to have a photo session in the Madison Arboretum with Jen Roh. Just this week Jen got all the digital proof's from Jen and the pictures are absolutely amazing. I've posted a link to the pictures below for everyone to check out.

http://picasaweb.google.com/lvanoort/FamilyPhotoS#

Shirt and Tie Today

For the first time in years I wore a shirt and tie to work today. One of the engineers on my team is an engineer of the year semifinalist and today I have to present some slides to a selection commitee, a bunch of my bosses, why he should be a finalist. I've spent a great deal of time preparing my speech so hopefully it is good enough. I'm sure it's not as cleanly polished as some of the others who have done this many times before but I'll do my best and see how it turns out.

Marshall's First Tooth Came Out

This morning when Marshall got out of bed he noticed that his first tooth had come out in the night. After a quick search of his bed we found the tooth for the tooth fairy to collect tonight. Mommy got a bit teary over the whole process as the tooth he lost was the first tooth he grew. Marshall was pretty excited about the whole thing and stated that brushing his teeth is going to be different now.

Monday, November 16, 2009

300 Days Until Ironman

As of today there are 300 days until Ironman and about 7 weeks until I have to officially start training for the race. I'm always surprised how quickly the time passes from when you sign up to when ypu actually race. I remember last time how quickly the race snuck up on me. This time I've learned my lesson and I'm not going to neglect my long rides and runs this time. Six hours into the race I started to feel my lack of training. Not this time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Boy Day In Pictures

Yesturday for the first time in the long time I took both the boys out on a boy day. We decided that we should start the day out at the mall. The mall pretty much has something for everyone. First thing you have to do on any mall trip is head to the fountain to throw some coins in. I had to keep a close eye though because Clancey kept trying to climb up on the ledge of the fountain to throw himself in. Wouldn't that be quite the show for everyone sitting around the fountain, a dad and his youngest son taking a morning swim in the fountain. Once we got done with the fountain we headed over to the escalators for a free ride. I think we must have went up and down the escalator about 20 times before I finally had to pull the boys away. If I would have let them they probably would have ridden them all day.




With the escalator done it was time to go check out the train. Both the boys are huge fans of trains so they were pretty excited when I put some money in it and it started running. They watched the train for a few minutes and then the rides across the way caught their eye.






















As you can see each of the boys chose the ride that best suited them, daddy got out the quarters and the fun started. It wasn't long before the boys decided sitting in ride that does nothing more then shake back and forth isn't as fun as the rides looked. That is when Clancey's keen eye spotted race cars in the Radio Shack.





Radio Shack doesn't really have all that much worth going into the store anymore but they always have a good selection of RC cars which both Clancey and Marshall loved. We must have spent nearly 30 minutes pouring over ever last toy in the store. Let me tell you there was just a bit of disappointment when we finally had to leave without any new toys in tow. I kept reminding the boys Christmas is coming and they will get plenty of new things then. Anyways once we were done here it was time to head to Panchero's to get some lunch. It just isn't a boy trip without Quesadilla's, chips and salsa. There is a new Panchero's over on Edgewood and Blairs Ferry Road in Cedar Rapids. I thought we would give it a try. When we were done at the Panchero's we headed over to Best Buy the ultimate boy haven. We must have pawed over nearly everything in the store. We just about came home with a number of different toys but we managed to keep ourselves in check and not buy anything, I don't know how. The highlight of the trip had to be Clancey, Marsh and I playing 21 Guns on the Rock Band demo they had in the store. Clancey on Bass, Marsh on drums and Daddy on Guitar we had quite the band.

It was just about to head home but we had two more places to hit. Petsmart for some turtle food, Marshall had to remind me because I had totally forgotten and finally Coldstone for some ice cream. While we were at the pet store Clancey got to pet a small little puppy somebody had brought to the store with them. Clancey keep petting the puppy and announcing "Nice Puppy, puppy likes me!" He also found some cats in a cage that he had to check out. Right before we headed home I had to head to the Verizon store to fondle a Motorola Droid for a bit. After that it was nearly 4:00 in the afternoon and it was time to head home. It was a long day but we all had a good time and can't wait for the next boy trip.

Family Wii Night

Well family Wii night is once again in full swing. Today Marshall and I went to Tipton and stopped by Wal-Mart and picked up Wii Fit Plus. This has a bunch of new games as well as a new multiplayer mode. It is hilarious to watch mommy do the hula hoop or flap her arms doing the flying game. It's just about my turn so I better wrap this entry up and get too it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rock Band

We stopped by Best Buy and Marsh and Clance got into a game of Rock Band together. Might have to get this game one of these days it's pretty fun.

Boy Day

Here we are at the start of our boy day. Since it was a bit early for lunch we decided to head to the mall first to see what was going on. Of course we had to throw some coins in the fountain. I think we are headed over to the escalator to ride it a couple times then maybe to the play equipment. The boys just found the area where you take pictures with Santa and are enamoured with the Christmas tree and big toys. So far it's shaping up to be a fun day :)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Loose Tooth

This week Marshall got his first loose tooth, the very front tooth on the bottom left side of his mouth. I can't believe that Marshall is old enough to start losing his baby teeth already. He first mentioned it to Jen on Monday but tonight we noticed that it was really loose. Probably fall out in the next couple days. Jen is going to have to stay up late to finish making the tooth fairy pillow so Marshall has somewhere to put it when it finally does fall out. What I've been wondering is what the going rate for a tooth these days is? When I was a kid I think it may have been a dollar or so but in todays day and age, with video games, cell phones and everything else, it has probably gone up significantly. I guess I'll have to wait and see what the tooth fairy decides ;)

Clancey's Football

When we went down to the park today I thought it would be a good idea to dig out the football to toss around with the boys. Well ever since then I don't think the football has left Clancey's arms. In fact tonight he demanded that he sleep with the football. Being as big as Clancey is this could be the start of his long trek to being a starting linebacker for the Cyclones!

Wii Night

Tonight we decided to congregate in the living room and have a family Wii Night. First we did a little Wii Fit, which I was getting beat at so then I decided I wanted to fire up Wii bowling so I could whip the family. Well as you can see it didn't exactly go as planned. Marshall found his marks and handed out a proper ass whiping in Wii bowling. Hmmm, we may have to move to Halo next so at least I can win something tonight. ;)

Picnic

Today is another spectacular fall day so the family all decided to head out for a picnic. This time we decided not to get to far from home and only head to Tipton. Burgers, Hotdogs and play equipment what better way is there to spend a nice fall day.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Wii Fit

Hmmm. Jen went off shopping by herself today and she came home with a Wii Fit. I don't remember that being on the shopping list. Maybe now I'll be able to score my new Droid phone ;)

Update:
So after getting the Wii Fit hooked up and running you had to do a bunch of stuff to get it setup. Gave your Age, Height and it calculated your weight. I get on do all the stuff and it tells me I'm 53, over weight, and out of shape (made my Mii fat, grrrr). Jen gets on tells her she is 34, normal weight, and in great shape. Damn Wii ;)

My Ironman Chariot

I'm sure my wife will give me crap about taking a picture of my bike and writing about the Ironman but oh well ;). It was such a nice day out so I decided to head out for one of the last outdoor bike rides of the year. I was thinking it's only 2 more months until I have to start training for Ironman Wisconsin which is only 308 days away as of today.

Enjoying the Park

You don't get many 70 degree days during the month of November so we had to get out and enjoy the weather. The whole family headed up to the park so the boys could enjoy the equipment for a while. It's just too bad it gets dark so early now. Otherwise we would play a lot later.

Lunch at DQ

Jen headed into Cedar Rapids today and left me in charge of the boys. At about noon she called and was still at Aldi so I knew at that point I was in charge of lunch. That's when I decided to head to Tipton and take the boys to lunch at DQ. Can't go wrong with burgers and ice cream :)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Results Are In and I Won!

Jen just checked the county auditors website and the election results are in. I ended up getting reelected to another 4 years on the the Clarence city council.

Clancey Dr. Appointment

Today Jen took Clancey down to Iowa City for another doctor appointment for his sixth nerve palsy in left eye. The doctor said that everything seems to be progressing alright but they are going to need to do surgery on his eye to get it fixed. Not really the news that I really wanted to hear but the doctors assured Jen that it's a routine surgery and takes right around 2 hours. So they scheduled that for February 19th with a pre-op appointment on February 17th. Hopefully once he gets this done we will finally be done with his eye issue.

Polls Are Open

After the parent/teacher conference Jen and I headed down to city hall to cast our votes in the big city election. When put our ballots in the voting machine we noticed that 160 votes had been cast in the 4 hours the polls have been opened. Considering that work hasn't let out for most people yet and nearly 15% of the population has already voted I'm expecting a huge turn out. For some reason the people of Clarence turn out in force for city elections never really figured out why. Three more hours and the polls close and we will see what the future of Clarence holds.

Parent/Teacher Conference

For the first time as parents Jen and I attended a parent/teacher conference for Marshall. Marshall is doing great. Many of the tests the teacher gives the kinds he's already getting 100% on them. In fact the teacher kept reiterating to us that we won't see much improvement over the year simply because he is already getting the top score on many of the tests she gives him to grade against. Hopefully we can keep this up for the next 18 years. :)

Election Day!

Well today is election day here in Clarence and I'm up for reelection. I thought that after my first go at city council I probably wouldn't run again, but being that five seats of our six person council were up, and many people asked me personally to run again, I kind of felt obligated to run again. If its anything like last election I'm sure most of the town will come out and vote so it could be a really close election. Now one would think that something like a small town city election would not be very political considering we aren't even party affiliated but just like anything two sides have formed, people who are "from" here and those that aren't. As someone not "from here it seems I wouldn't have much of a chance to get elected but I find that it works to my advantage. People who are "from" here have a lot more history and chances to upset people while I haven't been here long enough to piss too many people off. So some votes I get are solely based on the fact that the voter doesn't want to vote for the others. I guess we will see how it plays out. Jen and I will setup a mini-campaign headquarters at home tonight and watch the results roll in. :)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Flying Marshall's Kite

Today Marshall realized how windy it was and asked if we could go out to the park and fly his kite. Since we got the new park land we've planted grass but put nothing else so we have a huge plot of land that is perfect for kite flying. Marshall is doing a great job so far and having a great time.