Sunday, October 31, 2010


Tonight in Clarence it is trick or treating night so we got the kids dressed up and headed out. This year mema and papa were over so they came out with the boys and I on our trick or treating adventure. This is the first year that Clancey could really enjoy trick or treating and let me tell you he certainly did, in fact at most houses Clancey was the first one to the door. We ended up cutting it short at about 6:40 because Marshall was getting a bit cold and everyone was getting a bit tired. It was fine because the boys had more candy between the two then we can probably eat in a year. Now I guess Christmas season officially starts tomorrow which is hard to believe.

Marshall Plays Bells at Church

Working Day

Today is a big working day after a long night out. This morning my mom and Jen's parents came over to watch Marshall play bells this morning at church. After we all headed to Tipton for lunch at Happy Joe's then we headed back home. One of our friends spent the morning running electricity for our new kitchen lights, Jen and her dad worked on creating a counter out of a door for the kitchen and I changed my rear tire on my bike to a trainer tire. Tonight its trick or treating so its been a busy weekend.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Party

Tonight Jen and I are headed out to a halloween party for a bit. Jen is the tooth fairy and I'm the sleepy boy who lost his tooth. Should be a lot of fun. Get to see the Love Dogs and hang with some friends should be a good time.

Pumpkin Farm

After out trip to Iowa City we stopped at Dairy Queen in Solon for lunch and then headed off to the pumpkin farm to find our pumpkins for the year. The pumpkin farm has quite a few things to besides just look for pumpkins. They had a corn maze, a petting zoo with a zebra and props to take pictures by. We ended picking out two pumpkins, one for each of the boys. I'll upload pictures of the Jack-O-lanterns later today.

Salvage Barn

This morning we all piled in the car and headed to the Salvage Yard in Iowa City. For Jen's kitchen remodel she needs a new heater grate for the kitchen so we are down to see if we can find her one. After this I think we are headed to the pumpkin patch and then the boys and I may do something together this afternoon. Tonight Jen and I are going to head to a Halloween party for a bit so its shaping up to be a pretty busy day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Clancey's Birthday

Well I guess its not technically Clancey's birthday anymore because its after midnight but tonight we celebrated Clancey's birthday again. Saturday was his official party day but today is his actual birthday so we had more presents and ice cream. After the party was over I got to spend the night format reloading my wife laptop because she had gotten some crappy virus that prevented her from getting on the web and was slowing her pc way down. In my haste to get started I managed to forget to backup her favorites and contacts which really sucks. I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to recover that data either.

Tonight was also spent nursing a sick kid. About half an hour ago Marshall had a huge coughing fit which lead to a puking fit. Looks like no school for Marshall tomorrow. Kind of funny this morning Marshall was lobbying to stay home because he didn't feel that great but we sent him to school anyways. Everytime we do that we end up paying the price that night with a way sicker kid. I'm thinking from now on when Marshall is sick and wants to stay home we should just let him to avoid a bigger problem that night. I'm betting Jen is going to be up most of the night with Marshall downstairs. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Clancey's Birthday

This afternoon we are celebrating Clancey's birthday. Clancey requested Lasagna, brocolli, and watermelon for lunch followed by a puppy and pumpkin cake. Papa hand made him a wooden crane toy and he also got a bunch of scooby-doo DVDs. On an interesting note the Cyclones beat Texas at home for the first time ever and I believe last year they beat Nebraska at home on his birthday so apparently Clancey's birthday is good luck.

Back Home

I finally got home last night at 5:30 after 20 hours of traveling and it felt good. It was nice sleep last night in my own bed and even better to see the boys. Today we are all celebrating Clancey's birthday and then tonight dinner at the resturant. I think I'm going to spend the day relaxing and getting back adjusted to this time zone and enjoying netflix.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Back In America

After traveling for nearly 16 hour I'm finally back in the states and on the final leg of my trip back home. The flight from Amsterdam was pretty uneventful, I didn't really get any sleep but I did get to watch 3 movies. As much as it is nice travel and eat fancy meals on the company dime it doesn't take long until you get a bit homesick. I'm really excited to get home to see the family and sleep in my own bed. Been a long month of travel so it will be good to get home. Just a couple more hours and I'll be there.

On My Way Home

After 5 days in Linkoping, Sweden I'm on my way home. I just landed at Schipol in Amsterdam and have 2 hours to kill before my flight over the ocean to Detroit. Finally yesterday we got out of work early enough to get out a do a few things before it all closed. I ended up going back to the kids store I went to last time I was here and got Clancey some new Laban pants. I had to dig around to find some that would actually fit him since he is so big. I also went to one of the 50 candy stores in the downtown area and got some more Swedish candy for Clancey and Marshall. I guess they are really into black licorice flavor in Sweden so a lot of the candy has that flavor in it. On the advice of one of the Swedish engineers I'm working with I got his favorite candy some salty black licorice thing. Let me tell you it has to be one of the worst candies I've ever eaten in my life. I brought enough back for everyone to try that way everyone can enjoy the horribleness. I did get other more tasty candies for people as well like Swedish fish and chocolate.

Last night the plan was to fall asleep early but the people in the room next to me decided to have a loud crazy party until 2 am which woke me up at pretty regular 20 minute intervals. It's looking like I'm going to have to make up for my lack of sleep on the plane ride back to the US. Considering I'm flying business class with seats that lay nearly all the way back it shouldn't be to hard to get some rest.

All in all it turned out to be a very productive trip. The swedish engineers are extremely intelligent engineers and very easy to work with. The Swedes are "partners in success" instead of "actively working against it" like many of my U.S. customers tend to do. They also speak English very well which means you aren't fighting a communication barrier like I do with some of my other international customers. Besides the long flight to get to Sweden I really enjoy going there and maybe next time I could bring the wife with.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Update From Sweden

Here I am still in Sweden with not too much to report. We got here kind of late in the day on the first day so we didn't really do much. Every other day we get up head to work early and work pretty late. Today was supposed to be a day off so we could go tour some stuff but turns out there was still some work to do so we have to go in again today. I leave tomorrow at 6:10 am so it's looking like this is going to be pretty much a working trip for me. I did manage to pick up some treats for the kids some Swedish candy and a an airplane model which they should like.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Morning In Sweden

Just getting ready to head off to work for the day here in Sweden. Thought I would upload a picture of the hotel I'm staying for people to see. The hotel is right on the square so there is a lot of stuff to do around it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Supper Time

Now that I've switched time zones and moved ahead by 7 hours its suppertime here in Sweden. We decided to go to Bar BQ which is a place I remember fondly from my last visit. Apparently people don't eat in Sweden at 6pm because we are the only people out eating right now. I guess they don't start work until 9 so it makes sense. Get some food in me, a few beers and I'm going to sleep like a baby.

In Linkoping, Sweden

I just got to my hotel here in Sweden and let me tell you I'm sick of traveling. From the time I left Clarence yesterday to time I got here it was 22 total hours of traveling. Now granted it could have been worse I could have been flying coach the whole way which would mean I would feel like total crap right now. Were staying the in the Radisson hotel that is right in the heart of downtown and one of the oldest hotels in Sweden. I getting ready to head out and find some supper and take some pictures. I'll posted them later tonight.

In Amsterdam

I just landed in Amsterdam after my 8 hour flight over the ocean. Flight was pretty uneventful so nothing major to report. I did get to eat a pretty nice dinner and got some sleep which is good because it is nearly noon here and I have to get adjusted to the new time zone. My next flight takes off for Linkoping, Sweden in 2 hours so I'm killing time right now in the KLM Lounge. I'll update again when I get to my hotel. By the way if you need to get a hold of me while I'm over here my normal cell phone number, the 455 one, works so you can call that.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

In Minneapolis

I'm sitting here in the Minneapolis Airport killing time before my overnight flight to Amsterdam. Since I'm flying business class I get free admission to Delta Sky Club so I can hang out here and eat and drink for free for the next 1.5 hours until my flight takes off. On the flight over I get to ride in high style, plenty of leg room, fancy dinner, free internet, and a power outlet.

At The Airport

I'm at the airport with the family getting ready to head through security and head off to Sweden. Right now the boys and I are looking at the model airplane exhibit they have at the airport. We are here earlier then we probably need to be but with air travel you never know. Should be a fun week but I'm going to really miss my family.

Headed To Sweden

Today I have to get on a plane and head to Linkoping, Sweden for the next week for work. While I do enjoy getting to visit a lot of different places on the company dime this month has been busier then usual. Between all my travel and working late I haven't been home a whole lot lately. In fact last Sunday when I went to pick Clancey up from Sunday School the teacher invited me in to see some of the things Clancey had drawn in class. One of the things on the wall was a picture that was Clancey's likes and dislikes, he liked "Mommy and Daddy" and his disliked "When daddy had to go away". That's really when I knew I had been away far too much this month.

Hopefully we can get a lot accomplished with the Swed's on this trip. I'm not entirely enthused about having to be stuck in 4 full day engineering meetings but this face to face engineering session should get a lot of questions ironed out. I'm hoping we can get done a day early so I get a chance to tour Linkoping a bit. If we don't there isn't really going to be much time to see much considering we don't land in Linkoping until tomorrow at 5pm Sweden time and have to working first thing Monday morning. Keep an eye on my blog for updates while I'm in Sweden.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Lost Tooth

Today at school Marshall lost the first of his front teeth. The tooth has been loose for about 2 weeks and he said that at lunch he took the first bite of food and the tooth came out into the food. He is pretty excited to see what the tooth fairy bring him tonight, right now he is thinking a box of crayons.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Can Do It Daddy

The other day we were getting up and around and Clancey was determined he was going to put his cloths on himself. Being that it was Saturday morning and we weren't in any real hurry I figured we would let him give it a try. Marsh and I got our cloths on went down stairs and about 10 minutes later Clancey came marching down the stairs. I look up and this is what I see. Clancey with his shirt half on telling me his shirt is stuck.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


With it being a really nice day again today I thought it would be a good idea to take the kids to Palisades Kepler State Park and go hiking. The boys seem to be having a really good time so far. I better get back on the path so we can find the hidden tower.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Family Pictures

We are just south of Madison to get our family pictures taken. Jen is telling the boys that they are not allowed to make crazy faces so they are getting it all out of they way now. She is also worried that the boys will get their clothes grass stained which means she is trying her hardest to keep them from rough housing, which by the way is really hard to do.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I'm Home

After being on travel for the last 3 days I finally got back home about 15 minutes ago. Too bad when I got here everyone was already in bed and asleep but I guess I can see everyone in the morning. Tomorrow I took the day off so the family can drive up to Madison to get family pictures taken, that means more driving for me but at least this time I'll have company and the drive isn't near as far. After being gone for most of this week I'm sure that next week of work is going to be busy as hell but I'll worry about that Monday for now it's off to bed.

Headed Home

I'm getting on the road back to Clarence after a long day of interviewing here at Rose-Hulman. All the candidates I talked to today were very good, but I suppose they should be for a top engineering college that costs $150,000 to attend for 4 years. Going to be nice to get home because I've been on the road an awful lot this month. I get one week at home and then next Saturday I'm off to Linkeoping, Sweden for a week. After that I'm hoping to be home for a while before I travel again. For now its a 6 hour drive back home, yeah me.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Career Fair Day

Today was career fair day at Rose Hulman which meant I spent the entire day taking resumes and getting elevator speeches from candidates. It wasn't as busy today as it was at Iowa State a couple weeks ago but the school is also only 1200 people so that is to be expected. Tomorrow I get to spend the whole day conducting interviews, I think I have 9 schedule so it is going to be a long day. By the end of the day tomorrow I'm going to be ready to head home and be done talking.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Tonight we all ate dinner at Mogger's. I guess this is one of the local establishments that everyone hangs out at. It was alright but certainly no Hickory Park. At the very end of the table is my Vice President of engineering, that would be my bosses, bosses, boss, so I have to make sure I don't say anything that would get me fired. I'm sure I can handle it. :)

In Terre Haute

Once again I'm on the road, this time in Terre Haute Indiana for the Rose Hulman career fair. The endless search for good engineers never ends. I'll be here until Thursday and then its on to Sweden in two weeks. Going to be a busy month for me.

Kitchen Progress

Here is the kitchen progress so far. Jen has gotten about half of the walls ready to put the bead board up, removed the center island, and started to take up all the flooring. Turns out that we have nice hardwood under the linoleum in the kitchen so she has started to take it up ans remove the glue that was holding it down. This week Clancey is at mema and papa's so Jen can make some real progress on the kitchen.

Jen's Signs

As the Clarence resident artist Jen is asked to do a lot of different things around the town. Lately she has been asked to hand paint a lot of different signs. Her latest creation are two, four foot by eight foot signs for the new development on the edge of town. She has done this on top of doing a remodel of the kitchen and taking care of two kids. Don't know how she does it. 

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Jen The Working Fool

Jen has been working past midnight nearly every night since she found out she is going to be on the home tour in December. Beyond doing the kitchen remodel she has also pick up some more paying work from various people around town. The last couple days she has been working on some 4x8 hand painted signs for a development just outside Clarence. She also has picked up some more newsletter work and on top of that she is the Cedar County Hawk-Eye for Our Iowa magazine. I don't know how she does it and still manages to take care of a family. Jen makes me feel like a lazy slob most of the time and I just got done doing an Ironman!

Red Oak Park

This afternoon Jen and I took the boys down to Red Oak Park. Red Oak park is a small little park out in the country that doesn't have a whole lot equipment but the boys really seem to enjoy it. The merry go round is generally the highlight of the visit. Its pretty hard these days to find a merry go round so the boys really seem to have a good time when we find one. Jen is out looking around for fall foliage to decorate the house with, just what we need. After this I think we're going to go get some stuff to make some homemade ice cream with.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

First Cache Found

The boys and I found our first geocache of the day up at the Clarence park. While we were looking for the cache Marshall saw a what he thought might be the cache when he reached down to touch it, it turned out to be a toad. Marshall kept saying the toad was squishy and he didn't like touching it very much. Shorty after that Clancey peed his pants so we had to go home to change them. Now we are getting ready to head back out and try again.

We ended up finding 3 caches on Saturday before we headed to Dairy Queen to grab some lunch and ice cream. We tried for more but just couldn't find them when we got to the site. I guess that leaves us more to find the next time we go out.

Cyclone Fans

Here is picture I took of the boys this morning before we headed out the door to go have some fun. I thought the boys looked pretty good in their matching cyclone sweatshirts. I'm thinking the boys and I are going to head out and go geocaching after not being able to do it last weekend because of the rain.