This is likely going to be my last blog entry of the year. Every year Jen has big plans of being able to stay up until midnight and this is how it goes every year. Can't believe that the year is already over and we are now looking toward 2011. Overall this was a good year but a very busy year for Jen and I. Between Ironman, all my travel, and then all the other things it seemed like I was never home. I generally don't like to resolve things but my resolution this year is to be less busy and be home a bit more. Happy New Year everyone and I'll see you next year!
Friday, December 31, 2010
The made it back from mema and papa's a day early because of another impending winter storm. The plan was for them to come back today but they came back yesterday so they were sure they could make it back. Today with the basement nearly done we decided to take the day off and have some fun today. Here is a picture of the boys playing their new Busytown game they got for Christmas. I think plan for later is to make some homemade Oreo ice cream and play some video games. :)
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
By this afternoon I was able to do my first workout in my new pain cave and it looked like this.
Jen is going to post on her blog all the other pictures of the basement because it went from a total disaster area to an organized basement we can be proud of. We still have some work to do but in the last two days we have made some amazing headway.
Jen and I have decided to use the times we have while the boys are at mema and papa's to organize the basement. Yesterday we spend the afternoon cleaning out our back room to turn it into my workout room. Today the plan is to finish that room and work on organizing the rest of the basement. We are in Cedar Rapids right now buying some more shelves and paint to finish the projects we have started. While we were here we thought a quick lunch at granite city was in order too.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
With our boys away at mema and papa's house we decided to spend the time spiffying up our back storage room. The plan is to part of it and turn it into a workout room. I've been working out in this small corner of the basement but I wanted more space to put the treadmill, trainer, and a place to put my weights. Hopefully we will be able to get it finished in the next couple days so it will be done before the boys get home.
Jen and I are getting ready to head back to Clarence and leaving the boys behinds for a week at Mema and Papa's. Our plan is to work on cleaning the basement and and I want to build a workout room in the red room. Now that I have a new trainer I thought it was time to build a proper workout room. Hopeful we make good progress and get it done otherwise we will have a half done room for a year. ;)
Monday, December 27, 2010
Here we are just starting Christmas number three. The boys have been running around the house all day like lunatics wanting to open presents. We compromised and decided to let the boys open stockings before supper. I'm sure they won't be able to concentrate on eating with presents on the horizon.
We got up this morning in Thor to a very beautiful frosty morning. Today we are having our last family Christmas and birthday for Jen before we call the Christmas holiday closed for the year. I can't believe that the Christmas holiday is over already.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
And just like that all the presents are opened and Christmas morning is coming to a close. I think everyone really like their gifts this year. Marshall's big gift was the Hotwheel Criss Cross Crash set, Clancey's was a new bike, Jen's was a Canon EOS Rebel Camera and mine, probably the best gift of all, was the new bike trainer. For anyone who has ever been over at the house when I was on my old bike trainer and heard how loud it was when I was in the middle of a interval you knew I needed one. I've posted a picture below of my new trainer. The one in the foreground is my old one and the one in the background is my new one.
I was surprised this morning that the boys slept in until 7:00am. In fact I think Jen was the one that got up at 5:00am and couldn't go back to sleep. When the boys came in I teased them a bit and told them that we had to eat breakfast and I had to got workout before we could open presents. It was mommy who was the one that said "No Way! We are opening presents".
I posted a picture of Clancey on this new bike. So far he has been a bit timid on the bike because it wobbles back and forth from training wheel to training wheel but I'm sure he'll get the hang of it eventually. Well now it is time to got play with all of our new present and enjoy the rest of the day.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Here is a picture of Marshall and I putting together his Lego cars this afternoon. So far the afternoon has been pretty fun and now it is time to start thinking about bed time for the boys. I keep telling the boys that inthe morning we have to eat breakfast, clean it up and then I have to workout before we can open presents. I have Marshall really concerned in fact he finally said that I wont be opening presents with them because they aren't going to wait.
So far this morning the boys and I have played with remote control cars, built Lego's and played board games. We just got done eating lunch and are all laying on the couch enjoying a Christmas movie. With the snow its good we didn't have any traveling plans for the next two days because we likely wouldn't have made it or gotten stuck somewhere. Today is a great day to just hibernate in the house and just have fun as a family. Earlier I had to ride my bike for an hour and my gift showed up on the UPS while I was downstairs. I know Jen was pretty worried so now that it showed up our Christmas is complete.
We've updated our Santa tracking to the big TV this year to we can see both the live Santa image on the left and the 2D image on the right. Clancey asked me if the presents were the good boy houses or the naughty boy houses. I told him that those were the good boy houses and then he asked is this a good boy house? I told I wasn't sure ;)
Hard to believe that it is Christmas Eve already and sure enough it is snowing outside. I know both the boys are really excited for tomorrow. It is neat that Clancey is finally old enough that he gets really excited for presents. Today we have a full day of activities planed, tracking santa, food day, play games, candle light service, look at Christmas lights, and put out reindeer dust. I'll keep the blog updated with all our activities.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Grandma Marsha, Jigs and Allison came over to celebrate Christmas with us a couple days early so the boys got to open some presents early. In fact Clancey was pretty concerned about opening the presents. We have been stressing not opening presents until Christmas so he didn't know why could open presents today. The boys got a lot of fun toys that will keep busy until Christmas morning. :)
When I got home from Cedar Rapids I came it and Jen was giving Marshall a hair cut and I noticed that Clancey's hair was already cut. I kind of chuckled to myself because when Marshall was Clancey's age we had to just about pin him down and he would scream like a banshee while he got his hair cut. Now as you can see it is a far less dramatic event. ;)
This morning first thing I got up and headed to Cedar Rapids to run a few errands and pick up a few last minute gifts. Right when I got to Cedar Rapids I headed to the gym to get a workout in before I did all my other stuff. I was chuckling to myself how dead the gym is right now and in two weeks how crazy busy its going to be with all the resolutioners.
Once I got done at the gym I headed to Target to see if I could find some certain gifts. The gifts will remain unnamed because a certain little boy named Marshall has started to read my blog when Jen leaves it up on her computer screen. When I got to Target the toy shelves were bare and I could not find what I was looking for. It was this point that I resigned myself to the fact I was going to have to go to Walmart, yuck! I took a deep breath and headed to the Super Walmart to see if I could make some Christmas dreams reality. Turns out that yes indeed you can turn dreams to reality at Walmart. Their toy shelves were fully stocked and they had everything I needed. They saved me this time but I still hate Walmart.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Today the Austin's, Chad, Laura, and Cecilia, came to visit for the after noon. Chad is a good friend from college who ended up taking a job out in the central California area, the San Francisco/San Jose area, when he got out of graduate school so we don't get to see them that often. In fact the last time we saw them was a couple weeks after we moved into our house so that would have been around 6 years ago. I think Marshall was just a couple of months old at the time. They had come back to visit family for the holidays and it was great they could take the time to drive out and visit us. They even invited us to come out to California to visit them sometime which I think we will take them up on. Hopefully it isn't 6 years until we see them again. We really enjoyed getting time to chat and play the Kinect!
Last night while we were picking up the house in preparation for today's visitors I was taking some stuff down stairs. Clancey was following me around so he wanted to go to well Jen realized that we had Christmas presents hidden down there and knew he couldn't go. So what does she come up with for an excuse that he can't well that would be because a big rat is downstairs. Ever since that time he has been wondering around the house talking about the big rat that is downstairs. So if you are at our house and Clancey tells you about a big rat in the house no worries. :)
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Today Jen and I a big plan to head out shopping in preparation for our upcoming company. The plan was that we would drop Marshall of at school first thing in the morning and then head off to Kalona to hit stringtown grocery, then head to CR to get the rest of our stuff and then pick Marsh up from the bus stop. First thing this morning the first wrench was thrown into the plan. At 5:45 the phone rang and we were today there was going to be a 2 hour delay. Ok, no big deal we can handle that just have to hurry a bit more. So we hustle on down to Kalona for the first stop in our trip. We turn the corner to head down to the store when Jen notices that there are absolutely no cars in the lot. Yep, sure enough, the place isn't open on Tuesday. Of course there is no way we could have known, its an Amish store which means no phone and no website. Ok chalk that off the list. Next we get back on the road to CR when Jen says why don't we just get our stuff in Iowa City. We head into town fire up the GPS to find Super Target turns out the nearest one is in Cedar Rapids. We refuse to go to WalMart which means the only real choice is Hy-Vee. After driving the longest way we can we finally find it and get to do our shopping. Uuggghhh... At least we got everything we needed.
While I'm technically supposed to be on vacation I ended up spending most of the day doing work related things. This morning around 9 I headed in because I had a couple meetings that I needed to got to which I wouldn't normally go to but there was some important stuff to go over and they went really well. After that I headed over to the gym for a quick workout and then it was off to Ames. A couple months back I ran into an old friend from high school by sheer random happenstance at Olde Main. We talked for a bit and exchanged numbers and said we would be in touch. You know how it is a few months passed before we finally got in touch and set something up. Well it turns out he is a software guy so the trip served the dual purpose of being a recruiting trip as well. We chatted for a long time before I had to make the trip back east. It was great to catch up and hopefully I'll be able to do it again soon.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
We just got done listening to Marshall play in his first piano recital and he did great. Everyone who came over for the Christmas program this morning was able to make it to the piano recital so Marshall had a big audience. I was sure to take a video of him playing that I will post later today for those who weren't able to make the trip.
Today is the big church program up at the UCC church here in Clarence. This is going to be Clancey's first Christmas concert so I'm sure he is going to be quite the showman. Mike and Michelle as well as mema and papa were able to make the trip over from Eagle Grove to see the program which the boys really appreciated. I'll be sure to video it and post it to my blog.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
While I was down in Huntsville the new Casey's they've been building in Clarence opened up. This morning I thought I would run down to pick up some lunch and check the place out. Turns out that it is one he'll of a store. They have a sub shop and the works in this place even a table for all the farmers to hang and drink coffee in the morning. Nice that someone was willing to invest a million dollars into the community.
I made it back from Huntsville last night and now I'm officially on vacation for the next 17 days. Technically I am going to go into work for a couple hours on Monday to do a few things I wasn't able to do while I was in Huntsville but other then that it is vacation time. The break is really timely because lately I just haven't had the focus and motivation I normally have. The boys and I have a lot of stuff planned for the for the break and it should be a lot of fun.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
About 3am I'm awakened by this horribly loud noise and being 3am I can not figure out what it is. I kept picking my phone up to try and make the noise stop, turns out as powerful as my Droid is it can't shut off the hotel fire alarm. About this time the alarm stopped and I figured I could go back to sleep but not 2 minutes later the alarm is going off again. Then I start to debate do I need to get up and evacuate or just stay in bed until they come tell me I have to leave. I assumed it was probably some drunk guy that had pulled the alarm so I went with the later choice. The alarm final stopped after about 20 minutes and I went back to sleep. This morning when I got up I had a letter that had been slipped under my door. What ended up happening was a pipe froze and burst on 5th floor and sprayed water all over a bunch of rooms one of them happening to be one of my travel companions. Funny part was he is a Marriot Gold member which meant he got a bump to 5th floor to a "special room", I guess it was special ;)
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I finally made it to Huntsville after a nearly two hour delay in Chicago. In all the flying I've done this is the first time I've flown through ohare and I wasn't all that impressed. The airport was huge but very cramped and really not that great. I ended up getting here to late to go to the museum so it looks like I'll have to kill some time some other way tonight. Right now they predicting an ice storm for here tomorrow so its possible I may not even be able to work tomorrow. Time to head to the hotel and finds something to eat.
Here I am sitting in the eastern Iowa airport getting ready to head out on travel again. This time I'm headed to Huntsville to support a hardware design activity for one of our domestic customers. Kind of works out well because I'm on travel for the rest of this week and then I'm taking all next week off for Christmas. This will be my last travel of the year which turned out to be a pretty busy travel year for myself. What I haven't figured out yet is if this is a preview of how much I will be traveling in the future or just an exceptionally high year. I guess time will tell. I'm hoping I get to Huntsville early enough to visit the air and space museum his afternoon. Last time I was there I didn't have enough time to get there and I've heard its really good. If I do I'll be sure to post the pictures because I know Marshall would love it.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Well once again the forecasters got it all wrong. They forcast a huge blizzard for eastern Iowa and we didn't get much at all. The winds kick up but since it only snowed an inch or two the blizzard didn't turn out to be that much. Now granted, I heard western Iowa got hit really hard and they did cancel a bunch of stuff over here so it was a little bad but certainly not what they predicted. It turned out to be a good day to lay around though. Jen wasn't feeling that great so she relaxed most of the day and the boys and I played. We didn't get out of our pajamas until nearly 5pm.
This afternoon Jen and I were sitting in the living watching TV and looked up to see Marshall sitting on the chair reading books to Clancey. So far I think that Marshall has read Clancey about 10 books. It works out well Clancey really likes to get read to and Marshall really likes to read. Maybe Marshall will be responsible for reading bedtime stories for now on.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
This morning we at Marshall's last basketball game of the year. Last weekend Marshall made his first basket of the year so hopefully today he can follow it up with a big game. Today they are also predicting a big blizzard so it may be possible that this is the last time we will get out all weekend. Its looking unlikely that I will be able to make it to my bosses Christmas party tonight if it does decide to storm. We will see if its like any other time they will predict it and nothing will happen.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Tonight being that the family has been running in separate directions we decided to all hang out in and watch Charlie Brown on TV. This kind of a Christmas tradition around the house. The boys are riveted to the TV in fact Clancey just announced that he likes Charlie Brown.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Once it was cut down I loaded it onto the sled and the boys pulled it back up the hill. Clancey was being a bit of a pill so the trip up the hill was a bit more difficult than it probably needed to be but I guess that is how three year olds are sometimes. The boys did manage to work together to get the tree up the hill eventually. When we were done paying for the tree and they shook all the loose needles out it was onto Clancey's favorite part getting to pet the rabbits.
All in all it was a fun trip and now onto getting the tree put up, decorated, and hiding the pickle ornament in it. :)
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Yesterday, overnight and all morning so far it has been snowing in the first measurable snow of the year. I have mixed feelings about the snow. It's nice to have the show for the Christmas season but I know that means now the road conditions will start ty be crappy and nearly every morning before work their will be some kind of scraping or shoveling that needs done. Now the boys on the other hand are excited as heck. He plan for this afternoon is to head out and have a snowball fight.
Once again its Saturday morning basketball for Marshall. This morning we got up a bit late and were rushing around the house getting ready. The fact the first snow of the year fell didn't help. We did end up making it on time and now its time to see how Marshall plays. Maybe today he will make his first basket.
This morning a couple minutes into the second half Marshall got the ball and managed to score his first basket. Of course it was one of the few times he got the ball and I didn't start my video camera.
Friday, December 03, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Tonight after we got home from Thor I told the boys I had a surprise for them. I told Marshall that he would need to stop playing Xbox for a bit and I hooked my computer up to the TV. What I did was fire an old Nintendo emulator and put Mario brother's on for them. Marshall had never seen anything like this before and he seemed to really enjoy it, even Clancey got in on the action. After a quick lesson Clancey was able to get through part of level all by himself and he seemed to really enjoy it. I'll have to introduce them to metroid and Zelda next so they can experience all the classics.
Well were back in Ames for a second day in a row. Today instead of doing a bunch of shopping here we are using it as a stopping point for lunch before we make the trek back across the state. It may seem a bit weird eating at the same restaurant two days in a row but it is so good and we don't make it over here that often. It was Marshall that made the request for Hickory Park
Shit (damn auto correct) so we can blame him. Hard to believe we are through Thanksgiving and now its on to Christmas, the is going to fly.
Update 5:30 pm 11/27/2010
For those who may have been startled by my harsh language in an otherwise family oriented blog I would like to place the blame squarely on my phone for that one. I was using my virtual touchscreen keyboard when I typed my blog up which has a wonderful feature called autocorrect. Autocorrect is a feature that takes it's best guess at what word you meant to type. Well in this case it selected shit in the place of so. If you would like to check out some others who have had problems with autocorrect check this site out. http://damnyouautocorrect.com/
We are making our trek back across the state back we and we thought it would be a good idea to stop off and visit Mike and Michelle place. They are staying with her parents which also happens to be a farm and we thought Clancey would really enjoy seeing the animals. Clancey is the animal lover in the family so was pretty excited to see them.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Jen and I just got back from our long day of shopping I'm Ames and it turned out to be a fun day. We hit most of the major stores today and ate at both Hickory Park and Great Plains Pizza. We ended up getting quite a few presents bought that the boys should enjoy and a bunch of ideas for others on our list.
Jen got a new phone today, an android phone, which I thought was quite surprising. I really wanted her to get a phone she could text on it, turns out that the smartphone plan with unlimited texting was the same price as the plan they had with unlimited texting so it just made sense. I'm gathering I'm going to have to help her with it a lot ;)
Jen and I also went to a movie today which we haven't done together for years. The movie we saw was Burlesque. Ok now hear me out it may sound like a woman movie and yes I will admit there is a ton of signing and dancing but there are also very few clothes in the movie so it makes it a movie both a man and woman can enjoy.
Jen and I are out on our black Friday shopping extravaganza and the store are pretty packed. We ended up just going into Ames instead of Des Moines like we normally do. I did manage to hit up target and get a good deal on a Xbox controller which means we finally have three and Clancey can have his own. Now we are out at the Ames mall and Jen is looking for a new winter coat and actually having some luck.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
We made across the state a day late for our Thanksgiving dinner. That means we missed fresh homemade cinnamon rolls this morning but I guess we can have them tomorrow before we head out to brave the stores. Dinner smells great and I can't wait to dig in. My breakfast of a Casey's sausage sandwich just isn't cutting it now.
This morning I was greeted by Marshall at my bedside who lost the second of his two front teeth. Last night at the restaurant it was really wiggly but he just couldn't get it done. Well this morning when he was down stairs waiting to leave for mema and papa's he got it out. Kind of crazy he managed to lose it on Thanksgiving day. I wonder if it's going to be hard to eat dinner today?
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
So far at the mall we've sat on Santa's lap, riding the escalator, and know we are over at the mall playground. Normally on the weekend this place is a madhouse so we've never really gotten a chance to play here before. Clancey seems to be having a good time running around with the other kids.
Clancey and I just left Chuck E Cheese and I think we are headed for the mall now. Clancey is a huge fan of riding the escalator so I'm sure we will have to ride it a bunch of times before we leave. Clancey had a good time playing all the games and I think his favorite was the show.
Today I thought it would be a goods idea to take a day of vacation to spend the day with Clancey. Its not that often that Clancey and I get to spend time together. We decided that heading over to Chuck E Cheese would be a good time. I'll keep you up to date on all the fun we have.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
This afternoon I decided I had probably spend some time trying to figure out how to make this robot work for the North Cedar robot team I'm volunteering for. After spending an hour or so surfing through all the literature online I started my work. It ended up taking me a couple hours but I did finally manage to get the robot driving around my office using a computer game pad and Bluetooth. It has been a while since I've really got to mess around with stuff like this so I had quite a bit of fun. Now that I know what I'm doing its off to helping the kids figure it out too. Hopefully they find it as easy as I did.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Since they installing the new counters in the kitchen today I thought it would be best to get the kids out of the house and go find something fun to do. After hitting up a quick lunch at our favorite place, Panchero's, we headed to Toys R Us for the boys to look around and maybe get some Christmas ideas. It is highly possible that they may never want to leave.
Here we are at basketball once again this morning. Today Marshall had the early game and he on the court warming up. I've noticed marked improvement week to week and thinking he is going to have a good game today. I'll update the blog after the game to let know who won.