Monday, May 31, 2010

Supper On The Porch

We've talk about it for years but today was the first time we have ate supper on the porch since we've lived here. It was such a spectacular day with low humidity, light breeze and no bugs so it was a perfect night to enjoy our supper outside. The boys though it was pretty cool to be able to eat outside while we watched the squirrels play in the trees. We are going to have to make this a more regular thing.

Camaro Off To Be Fixed

Today Mark and Tyler came over to my house to pick up my Camaro to go put a different engine in it. Ever since my Dad put the 283 into the car in 2002 the Camaro just hasn't ran that well. It constantly overheats, doesn't idle real well and just won't stay running. Mark got a 350 block to put in the car and came up today with a trailor to take it back to his shop to put it in. Being Memorial Day we decided to cook up a nice lunch for everyone to celebrate a bit and thank them for coming over. Now hopefully before the summer is out the Mark will be pulling into the drive in the Camaro after he drove it across the state.

Remembering The Man, The Myth, The Legend

I thought it was appropriate today being on Memorial Day and the seven year anniversary since my dad passed away to take a moment and reflect some. I think this picture here captures the essence of my dad best, he was a very talented man who always had some big project going. The 68 Camaro, that is shown a few posts down, was one of his biggest and best projects. It was a complete body off restoration that took him 2 years to complete. He did every bit of work himself body work, engine work and finally the paint job that he labored over for hours on end trying to get it just perfect. That was just the kind of guy he was when he did something he did it big, spared no expense and did the project right. He did two complete Camaro restorations a 68 Camaro for himself and a 67 Camaro for me. He was in the middle of a restoration of a 67 Camaro for my sister when he died, which my Uncle Mark has since taken on to finish.

Many people know my dad as a rough and tumble guy who could put the fear of god into you just by looking at you, but I remember a very caring guy. The kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his own back. In the middle of the night if you needed him to come do something he wouldn't hesitate, just get out of bed and come help you with whatever you needed. He was a risk taker who wasn't afraid to try anything once.

In his life he started a number of successful dirt moving businesses and ready mix businesses, V.O. Concrete which he started with his Dad and two brothers being the most successful. This business was started in Colfax, Iowa in 1979 in an old premix plant, that had long since passed it's better day, and a couple of old trucks that required constant work to keep on the road. From those humble beginnings the business grew into 9 ready mix plants scattered all over central Iowa, a large fleet of ready mix trucks, and a large number of employees. In the early 90's if you needed concrete in central Iowa it was brought to you in a V.O. truck not a Manatt's truck.

When Jerry VanOort's life was tragically cut short on Memorial Day in 2003 he still had a lot to give. He has two little grandsons that would have adored him and cherished the time they got to spend together. They would have talked about all the great projects they worked on together and loved driving fast in Grandpa Jerry's car, much to the fear of Jen and I. I'm sure Grandpa Jerry would have built both Marshall and Clancey cars that Jen and I would have never let them drive. But finally they would have just loved him, for who he was. He is missed and we think about you often.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

First Tball Game

Here is a video I took today of Marshall playing in his first T-ball game, this is his first at bat. Marshall had a good time and he did a good job.

Cleaning Up The Camaro

With Mark coming tomorrow to get the Camaro to put a new usable engine in it I though I should get the car out and cleaned up. Of course the battery was dead so I had to get it charged up so I could get it started. After turning over a few times it fired right up. It doesn't idle very well but if you flutter the gas pedal it will stay going for you. It is always nice to get the car out and running again. It will be real nice when I have a decent engine in it so I can actually drive it without it overheating all the time.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fun In The Pool

Official Start Of Summer

With mommy in Cedar Rapids running errands the boys and I decided to officially kick off summer. After a quick lunch down in Tipton at the Dairy Queen, ice cream included. Then a trip to Thiesen's where they have 3 pound bags of gummi worms which we had to get. After that we headed home to fill up the pool and play with hose. The boys had a blast and we must have played for 3 hours in the water. The boys are beat and are laying on couch now I'm sure it will be an early bed time.

Good Workout This Morning

After the triathlon last week my confidence wasn't real high for Ironman Kansas 70.3 in a week. While I really should be tapering right now I decided to get up and do a mini race rehearsal this morning to see if I could build a little confidence for my race next week. I have a 61 mile bike loop that I like to do so I got up at 5:20 this morning to head out to do my loop. I did the 61 miles in about 3:15 and felt like I didn't really push myself at all. After a quick 5 minute transition I headed back out for a 4.5 mile run which took me a little under 40 minutes. All in all I got a 4 hour workout in and it felt really good, so mission accomplished. I think today was probably my last tough workout before Kansas I will start my taper tomorrow.  By the way only 106 days until Ironman.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Herding Cats

Tonight we had our second T-ball practice at 5pm here in Clarence. Trying to coach Tball to a bunch of 6 and 7 year olds is amazingly hard. Tball is a relatively slow game so getting the kids to pay attention is nearly impossible. They all play in the dirt, play with each other and just space out. It is a lot like I would imagine herding cats would be like. At least tonight was our last practice and now it is all games here on out. Out first game is Sunday at 2:30 in Lowden and I'm sure it will be a production. Hopefully the kids have fun and all the parents stay in line and it should be a good day.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Clancey's Tumble

Yesturday, right about the time I was leaving to head to Ames for my triathlon, Jen decided to put Clancey down for a nap. Well Clancey wasn't really in the mood to go down for a nap so he started jumping up and down in his crib. Jen came downstairs to tell me goodbye when all of a sudden we heard a big thud from upstairs. Jen knew what it was immeadeatly and blurted out an explative as she ran up the stairs with me in close pursuit. About halfway up the stairs we heard Clancey starting to cry. When we got to his room Clancey was laying on the floor decidedly upset. Poor kid had fallen out of his bed head first on to the floor. Besides being a bit upset he was alright but at that moment Jen decided that his crib days were over. For the past two nights Clancey has been sleeping on his matress on the floor and this next weekend we will be on the hunt for his new bed. So far he has done good staying in bed so hopefully it stays that way.

Bluff Creek Tri Finisher

I just got done with the Bluff Creek Tri and I have to say it was a tough race. The wind was strong and there were two killer hills you had to climb. The race didn't exactly build my confidence for Kansas but if I know anything about triathlon one race really doesn't say how another will go. I was slow on the swim but it wasn't as hard as it normally is, I think I could start to press the swim a little harder in the future, the bike on the other hand was brutal and the run was really tough. The last time I suffered like I did today was my half ironman last year. I missed my PR by 15 minutes if that is any indication of how tough the course was. Now time to focus on the Half Ironman in two weeks. My goal is to go sub 6 hours and after today I'm worried that I will be able to accomplish that goal. Well if nothing else today really showed me that I need to step my training up if I want to do good at Ironman Wisconsin in 112 days.

I was able to meet up with an old college friend, Jason Woods, who I hadn't seen in years. He was able to catch me up on what all my Iowa State track friends were doing these days. I'm thinking that the next track reunion that happens I'm going to have to try and make it.

In Transition

Here I am in transition and ready to rock. Kind of windy and the bugs could carry you away.

First Triathlon Of The Season Today

I just woke up in my hotel room and am starting to get myself gathered around for my first triathlon of the season today. This season I'm getting after it right away with my first tri being an olympic distance and two weeks from now I'm headed to Kansas for a half Ironman. I'm feeling pretty good but like always I'm not feeling real confident about my swimming. Its been pretty cold so far this season so I haven't gotten any open water swims in yet, today will be my first. At least this morning it is warm out, 72 is what my phone is telling me, so I won't freeze while I setup transition. Well wish me luck and I'll report in again from the race site.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bluff Creek Triathlon Tomorrow

Well my packet is picked up and I've checked the race site out in preparation for the Bluff Creek Triathlon tomorrow. The race is a bit unique because the swim is actually a point to point swim instead of the standard out and back. The water is pretty freaking cold so I'm not really looking forward to my mile swim in it, makes me wish I would have sprung for a full wetsuit instead of the sleeveless one I have. I'm real excited about getting the race season started, I've been training since January 4th so it will be nice to finally put all that training to the test. Starting the tri season also puts me on the final stretch towards Ironman Wisconsin which I'm really looking forward too. Time to head back to Ames and find something to eat, likely Hickory Park. :)

Morning With Clancey

It's Saturday morning and Clancey and I are up early hanging out together while Mommy and Marshall sleep in a bit. Since I've been training for my race I generally can't sleep past 5:30 and Clancey is up around 6:30 so Clancey and I get up and spend time together while everyone else sleeps. Clancey can be quite entertaining :)

Clancey and I decided that with everyone in bed we would run up to Casey's to get some donuts. Too bad for everyone else that when you go get the donuts you get to eat the best ones. Clancey had the sprinkle donut and I had the cream filled donut. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Busy Night

Tonight turned out to be a very busy night. I got home from work about 5:20 and had to head right to T-ball practice. T-ball practice was alright but trying to keep 10 kids focused on practice for an hour is tough, probably a lot like herding cats. Once we got done with our hour long practice we had to get team pictures taken. Finally about 7 we were done with everything practice done, team pictures done, and all the kids sent off with their parents. After practice Jen wanted to head over to Sandy Fiegan's house to get a cabinet and jars that she had given Jen. Finally we got that dropped off at the house and headed to Tipton for something to eat. We didn't get home until 8:45 so it was a late bedtime for the kids. Feels nice to finally be home and laying in bed.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Playing Ball With The Boys

Tonight when I got home it was spectacular out so the boys and I headed outside to play ball for a while. We thought it would be good to practice for a bit tonight before our first T-ball practice tomorrow.  Marshall did great tonight, he caught the ball in his glove a dozen or more times. Clancey also did great perfecting his throw. I'm sure Clancey is going to be disappointed tomorrow when Marshall and I leave for practice because he will want to go to, since as he says he is a big boy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


When we were at the mall we saw a sign for Petland that had a huge puppy on the front of course Clancey saw it immediatly and yelled out "puppy, puppy". I figure as part of the boy day we could drive over to petland and see if they actually had an puppies we could pet. Turns out they had a ton of little puppies and Clancey was really excited to see them. He zoned in on one little puppy that seemed to like him too so we got him out so he could pet him for a bit. It was a nice puppy and I'm surprised Clancey didn't demand we take him home. Now Marshall on the other hand really wanted to get a fish. I told him he had to ask mommy and if she said yes we could get him a fish as a gift for completing kindergarten. Sorry Jen I passed the buck to you. ;)

Game Store

It just isn't a boys trip without a stop at the Game Stop. As you can see Marshall has a game he really wants. We'll see if he can talk me into it.

Boys Day

After a weekend full of working on the ceiling everyone needed a break to go have some fun. Jen went off with one of her blogging friends to go "junking" is what I think she said. I don't know exactly what that means but it probably means more junk we don't need will show up at the house. The boys and I headed to Iowa City to eat some lunch and check out Coral Ridge Mall. We just got done at Culvers and now we are headed to the mall to see what they have. I may see if they have a trisuit for my race next weekend but if they don't we will just check out video games and all the other boy things.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ceiling Project

Tonight Jen and I finally finished tearing down the ceiling. We spent a lot of time vaccuming and cleaning up the damn blown in insulation so we can use our kitchen again. For the past few days we haven't been able to use the kitchen because that insulation would fall down and get in to whatever you are cooking. Tonight we put some plastic up over the stove and sink so we don't have to worry about that anymore and can use the stove again. Next up for the project is to cover the huge gaping holes in our ceiling and put the insulation up. Slowly but surely we will get this project done.

5K Finisher

Marshall just finished his 5K and ran the whole time. His finish time was great he ran it in just under 35 minutes and did awesome. When it got hard he sucked it up and got it done. I am so proud of this kid.

The results for the 5K were posted and it turns out that Marshall was the youngest kid in the race. He ended up getting eighth place out of nine people in his age division but most of the kids that beat him were 9 and 10 years old. One 7 year old beat him by just a few minutes and he beat another 7 year old by 15 minutes.
During the run today there was a group of people that were running around him that were trying their hardest to keep up with Marshall. They would pass him, then start to walk Marshall would pass them back they would feel bad and run again to catch up with him. It went back and forth like that for a majority of the race. At the end Marshall out sprinted a lady to the finish line and that is why Marshall finished two places ahead of me. All in all Marshall did awesome for his first race and I am so proud of him.

At The Race

Marsh and I just arrived at the race start line. Marshall is pretty excited to get going. He is going to do great I bet.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ceiling Project Hits a Snag

Last night Jen finally sucked me into to helping her work on her ceiling project for a while. She had been working on it by herself for the past two days and was about a quarter the way done and so far it hadn't gone too bad. She had encountered a couple bad spots on the ceiling but nothing all that bad. Well last night Jen and I were able to get the project to about 3/4 the way torn down but we encounter a ton of really bad spots on the ceiling. In fact there were a number of areas where there were large gaping holes in the ceiling.  It was this point that we realized that we were probably going to have to leave the drop in place and put dry wall back up where we had just taken it all off. It isn't a total loss though because it does give us a chance to fix up the broken spots and put in new lights. 

Tomorrow Is Race Day

Marshall has been eagerly anticipating his race for 3 weeks now and tomorrow it is finally the big day. Mema and papa decided to come over to cheer him on along with Clancey and Jen so he is going to have plenty of support to drive him to the finish. I'm pretty excited to see how Marshall does. Marshall is very determined so I have no doubt he will finish so its really just a matter of how fast. Be sure to tune in tomorrow because I plan to blog the event. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wife With A Plan

Tonight when I got home from work I was greeted by an entryway that didn't have any paneling on the wall or a drop ceiling anymore. What was under the paneling was about 9 layers of old wallpaper. Jen's plan is to peel all the wallpaper off and paint it up to look nice.  Later on when I was sitting on the couch Jen came in and sat by me for a minute but when she saw I was watching South Park she said I'm going to the kitchen to make a small hole and see what is under the drop ceiling in the kitchen. I sat and watched my show for a while and was a bit concerned by all the noise from the kitchen but against my better judgement stayed in the living room. Finally my show got over and I headed to the kitchen to check out what was going on. Much to my surprise the picture above is what I was greeted by. Not much more to say then that is my wife for you. ;)  

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Working Day

After my workout this morning and then taking Marsh to Tipton for a 1.5 run we all headed out to the yard to work the afternoon away. The boys and I attacked the chip pile that has been sitting in the corner of our garden for nearly a year and a half now. Marsh is such a hard worker he shoveled with me for nearly two hours. Clancey was a good helper too but lost focus and didn't help for too long. Jen, who you can see in the background, worked for most of the day in the garden, pulling weeds and planting things. This year our goal is to get the whole thing planted and looking nice which we are well on our way to doing. 

Training Half Done

As of today I'm half done with my training for Ironman Wisconsin. Hard to believe that I've been training for 125 days already and only have 125 days to go. I have been really impressed with my commitment to my training this time around, while I miss a few workouts here and there I have done far more then I did last time. I'm excited to see how my training is coming along at my half Ironman 4 weeks today. Here's to the next 18 weeks of training.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Baseball Gloves

Today both Marshall and Clancey went through the boy rite of passage and got their first baseball gloves. Even I got in on the action a got a baseball glove too, figured that I would need a ball glove so I could play catch with the boys. Hard to believe that Marshall is already old enough to start playing T-ball and I'm already sucked into my first coaching gig. 

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Happy Couple

Here is a picture of Jigs and Allison at there engagement party.

Engagement Party

Here we are in Boone for Jigs and Allisons engagement party. Been a long time since we've seen Jigs so its good to be down here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tee Ball Coach

Tonight after I got home from work I was told that I needed to head to a tee ball meeting with Marshall. Marshall and I ate supper and we headed over to Stanwood to what I thought was a meeting fpr the parents and kids to find out about tee ball. Well what it turned out to be was a coaches' meeting for the parents who wanted to be coaches. By the time I realized this it was too late, I couldn't leave and I was roped into being a coach. Turns out that the guy I'm coaching with didn't realize it was a coaches meeting either so we both got tricked into it. I guess it won't be that bad it's only going to be 2 practices and 5 games and I think Marsh will enjoy having his dad as the coach for his first season of tee ball.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Marshall Spring Concert

Here is the video I took from Marshall's spring concert last night. Marshall has the white button up shirt in the front row second from the right.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Boys Being Hams

After Marshall and I did our runs this morning, Marshall did 2 miles and I did 10 miles, we headed downtown to the FOZL ice cream social. Poor Jen has had a busy weekend which won't end until 5 tonight after the social is over. Anyways, on the way out of the social we saw this chevelle parked on the road and Marshall wanted to get a picture by it. Of course neither one can pose normal. ;)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Working Hard at Mill Creek

Today Jen left at 6am to head down to work at Mill Creek to work for the day. Normally they aren't open on Saturday or for breakfast so today is a special day. The boys and I decided to head down for lunch. It was also a good opportunity to catch a quick glimpse of mommy who has a very busy weekend. Tomorrow she has Sunday school in the morning and then a FOZL ice cream social in the afternoon.

More Training for Marshall

This morning we headed to Tipton to get a new bow saw so I could cut the downed tree branch up and while we were down there I took Marsh too the track for another training run. Today we stepped it up a bit and Marshall put in 2 miles on the track. Marshall did good, he managed to keep running for nearly the whole time. Only two weeks until his big run and I have no doubt he will do well and I think he can do it in under 40 minutes. While he was really tired after the run he said he was ready to train again tomorrow. I'm thinking we will take it easy and only run a mile tomorrow.

Lightning Strike

Yesturday when I got home from work I was greated by this. I guess during the storms that rolled through yesturday lightning struck this poor tree, which seems to lose more big branches every storm. In the picture you should be able to see all the parts of the tree on the ground, I guess when the lightning hit the tree it exploded. In fact a piece of the tree flew over the house and landed on the other side.  So today I get spend a couple hours cutting the tree up and dragging it to the alley in the back.