Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

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!

Marshall School Picture

Ironman Finisher Picture

I've had this picture since Ironman back in September but just now got around to scanning it in. Like I wrote back in September the smile on my face doesn't reflect how bad my feet hurt.

New Years Eve Fun

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

Basement Coming Along

Today Jen and I made some really good progress on our basement. The picture above is what my workout area used to look like. It was functional but it was kind of a cluttered mess and up until recently the treadmill was unusable because stuff was stacked on it. What started our whole basement project was my desire to turn the back room, also known as the Red Room, into my new "Pain Cave". Jen jumped right on board we spent last night clearing out the Red Room and painting and this morning went into Cedar Rapids for some more shelves. When we started last night the Red Room looked like this:

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.

Out Shopping

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

New Pain Cave

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.

Week At Mema and Papa's

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

Christmas #3

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.

Frosty Morning

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

Christmas Winding Down

After a long day of Christmas fun, the day is finally winding down. We've played plenty of games, ate plenty of treats and made a huge mess of the house. Our Christmas Dinner turned into a Christmas supper because the ham was taking forever to thaw out. Good thing we didn't have a huge group of people coming over ;) Right now the kids are parked in front of Netflix watching Scooby Doo and just relaxing a bit after all the fun. Thinking it is going to be an early bed time tonight so Jen and I can get the house picked up before we head to Thor tomorrow to celebrate Christmas and Jen's Birthday with Jen's family.

The Essence Of Clancey

Here is a picture I took of Clancey with Jen's new camera. I thought this really captured the essence of Clancey and really what he is all about. ;)

Christmas Video

Opening Presents on Christmas Day

Present Opened

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.

Christmas In Full Swing

Christmas morning present opening is in full swing and the boys are have a great time. I'll post some more pictures and a video later. :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Message

Here is a Christmas message to the grand parents on Christmas Eve.

Building Lego's

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.

Christmas Eve In Full Swing

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.

Tracking Santa

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 ;)

Christmas Eve

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

Christmas #1 In Full Swing

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. :)

Hair Cut

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. ;)

Last Minute Gifts

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

Visitors From California

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!

Clancey And The Big Rat

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

Long Trip

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.

Trip To Ames

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

Christmas Program 2010

Christmas Program 2010

Christmas Program 2010

Christmas Program 2010

Clancey singing at the Christmas program this morning. He did good for his first Christmas program.

Marshall's Piano Recital

Here is the video of Marshall playing the piano during his recital. He did a great job!

Marshall's Piano Recital

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.

Christmas Concert

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

New Casey's

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.

Vacation Time

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

Headed Home

After a long week down in Huntsville I'm sitting here at the airport waiting to catch my plane back home. Of course my plane has been delayed from 3:15 to 3:40 today but it's not that big of deal considering I have a long layover in Chicago. Being on travel can be fun because you get to eat a lot of fancy dinners on the company dime but it does wear on you by the end of the week. I excited to get home and start my Christmas break also. When I get home it's going to be two weeks of no work and no worries just relaxing at home and enjoying hanging out with the family.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fire Alarm

Turns out that a ton of people from Cedar Raids are down here in Huntsville this week so when I walked into the hotel last night I ran into two guys I work with. We quickly decided to head downtown to the Embassy Suites, where one of the guys was staying, for the free happy hour they have from 5:30 - 7:30. Turns out that Ruth Chris Steak house is in the hotel so once we were done with happy hour we headed over and grabbed dinner. It was about 11 before I got back to my hotel. I jumped in bed and figured the night was over.

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

In Huntsville

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.

Delayed In Chicago

After a hurried sprint across ORD we got to our gate just to find out that the plane had been delayed. Hopefully we get out of here pretty soon so I can make it to the us space museum today.

Headed To Huntsville

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

Blizzard A Big Dud

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.

Reading To Brother

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

Marshall Lost Another Tooth

The morning when Marshall got up he showed us that he had a really loose tooth on the bottom row. During the whole basketball game Marshall was wiggling it, when he wasn't scoring points ;). Well on the way home from Lowden after the game and the new dishwasher Marshall tooth popped out. In fact it popped out and right under the seat so when we got home we had to look for it while it rained on us. So once again the tooth fairy is going to come visit the VanOort house. Hopefully she can make it through the blizzard.

New Dishwasher

Today after the basketball game we headed over to Olsen's Appliances in Lowden to see what dishwashers they had in stock. I can't remember when it was that our dishwasher crapped out but it has been a really long time. Our thought was that we knew we were going to remodel the kitchen sometime in the future and figured until we did that it didn't make much sense to get a new dishwasher. Finally today we got our new dishwasher and in fact they are going to install it Monday afternoon. I really wish when we first moved here and bought all new appliances that we would have know about Olsen's they have great service and a great people to deal with. I blogged a couple years ago about how they came out to our house on the same day we called and saved Thanksgiving this was after Sears had said it would take 2 weeks to get the same service. From now on we will be buying all of our appliances there.

Marshall Making a Basket

Well Marshall ended up having a great game today in fact he took 4 shots and made two baskets. The video I posted above is of his first basket of the day. Marshall may not be the most athletic kid on the court but is the best dribbler I think. It's really too bad that the season is over because he was really starting to get the hang of the game. I guess we are going to have to spend some time practicing in the basement this winter so he will be that much better next year.

Last Basketball Game

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

Charlie Brown Christmas

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.

Marshall Christmas Concert

Here is the video I promised from last night of Marshall's Christmas Concert at school.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Marshall School Concert

Tonight Marshall had his annual school Christmas Concert over in Lowden. I took a video of Marshall's class singing but Youtube is down right now for maintenance so you will have to wait until tomorrow to see it. All in all the concert was as good as a school concert can be. During one section the audience was supposed to sing a couple lines of a song that no one had heard before. When the teacher turned around to the audience to sing their part it was dead silent. I'm sure a lot of kids are scolding their parents tonight for not singing that part. Another thing that happened tonight was Marshall had told Jen that one of the songs they sang was really pretty. Well during the concert the other kids weren't singing the song to Marshall's standards and he kept making faces and shaking his head every time the other kids messed the song up. I haven't seen the video yet to see if it's visible in it.

I'm Training for an Ironman

Here is a video that one of my friends posted on Facebook that I thought I would repost on my blog for everyone. This is a conversation between a person training for an Ironman and someone who doesn't know what that is. There is a slight error in the video you actually train for 9 months not 6. ;)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

VanOort Family Tree

Today we made our annual trip down the Kelley Tree farm to get the VanOort family Christmas tree. The past two years we've been down to get the Christmas Tree there hasn't been any snow which means no sledding down the hill to the trees. This year was a different story though there enough snow that the boys and I could pile into a sled and shoot down the hill to the trees. Good thing we got there when we did because the tree farm was decidedly empty this year. I'm betting the farm will be closed some time this afternoon because they will be out of trees. Once we got down the hill the search was on for the perfect tree, given there weren't many tree it didn't take long. Once we found it I had the family pose for a picture before we proceeded to cut it down.

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

Playing In The Snow

Playing In The Snow

Here we are out in the snow enjoying a snowball fight. Without mommy here it was hard to track down all the winter clothes but we managed to come up with something. I better get back to the snowball fight before the kids drown me in snow.

Posted For My Wife

First Snow Of The Year

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.

Basketball Day Again

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

Busy Week

In keeping with what the trend has been the last couple months this week was a busy week again. I had class Monday, Wednesday and then on Thursday I helped the North Cedar kids work on their robot again. This week at the robot meeting I tried to teach some kids who have never written a line of code in their lives enough C so they could make their robot do stuff. When you've been writing code as long as I have it's hard to remember what it was like when I first started. Things that are just common programming knowledge to me they've never heard of. Hopefully I'll be able to teach them enough so they can write their own code for the robot because it's no good for them if I write it. Other then that not much to report. Really looking forward to Christmas break only 2 weeks away now!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

24 Days Until Christmas

Hard to believe that we are already in December and headed toward the Christmas Holiday. In fact at the end of this week I will only have 2 weeks left until I am on break for 2 weeks. Just this morning Marshall told me he wished it was Christmas Eve so he to eat treats and play video games all day. Personally I'm really looking forward to break ,between the Ironman and being really busy at work it has been a long year tiring year. My break I intend to zone out and just enjoy hanging with the family because it always ends too quickly and it's another year until you get another one.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blast From The Past

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.

Marshall and Clancey Checking Out Some Cows

Lunch At Hickory Park

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.

Visiting The Farm

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

Long Day Shopping

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

Great Dinner

Dinner has been over for a bit now and it was great, in fact I've been poking around the kitchen looking for something for supper. The thing about Thanksgiving dinner is it keeps giving and giving and giving, it normally ends up being supper and lunch for at least the next couple days. Tomorrow, like I said before, Jen and I are headed into to Des Moines to brave the crowds and do some shopping. We normally hit up Black Friday shopping every year but not really so much for the shopping as to just people watch and be part of the experience. As great as the deals are I'm not going to get up at 3am, wait in a long line, and fight women for 50% off something I probably don't need anyways. I think the real reason we head out is to celebrate the start of the Christmas season and just take it all in. I'll keep the blog updated with what we do tomorrow.

Thanksgiving Day

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.

All I Want For Christmas Are My Two Front Teeth

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

Dinner At Mill Creek

Since we weren't able to get out of town tonight we figured we would head down to Mill Creek Cafe for supper. We have to get up pretty early tomorrow to travel and Jen will likely have to help with dinner so there was no need to cook tonight.

Damn Weather

Today the plan was to head over to Thor for Thanksgiving tomorrow but like always mother nature had different ideas. Right now travel is not advised on I-35 north of Ames and it is thunder storming here. It is 34 degrees so I'm betting all this rain we are getting is going to turn to ice and make it a nightmare traveling. The plan now is to get up and travel over to Thor first thing in the morning assuming the damn ice stops falling out of the sky. Otherwise I guess we will be on our own eating sandwiches and chips for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Clancey Riding the Mall Merry Go Round

Here is a video I took yesterday of Clancey riding the Merry Go Round at the mall. This was his third trip on it because he wanted to ride it in each of the different vehicles and of course I couldn't tell him no.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mall Playground

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.

Leaving Chuck E. Cheese

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.

Vacation Day

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

North Cedar Robot

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

Kid Heaven

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.

Basketball Day

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.