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.

Kitchen Coming Along

Jen's kitchen project is coming right along. Today she is getting her new counter put on and she pretty excited. It will be nice that we will finally have a new garbage disposal that van actually dispose of stuff as opposed to getting clogged all the time. When the counter gets installed I'll take so.e pictures and post them.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Clancey's Favorite Music Video

Clancey has been into listening to music for a while now. His absolute favorite song is Green Day - Know Your Enemy but his favorite video is Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend. We probably play this video no less then 5 time every weekend so I figured I would share it with the world.

First Tech Challenge

Last night was my first meeting with the kids who are building the robot for the First Tech Challenge and it looks like the kids have a ways to go. It's hard being an engineer myself and a huge tech nerd, to not just dive in build the robot and write the code for them but I know that won't help them. This week end I'm going to meet with one of the students and start working on the code for the robot so a least they can drive there base and have something that works. It should be a fun project but I'm sure it's going to be trying.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Marshall Bowling

Clancey Bowling


We managed to track down a Kinect at Best Buy. They just got a big shipment in and they were selling fast we got one of the last ones left. Should be pretty gun to play together tonight when we get home. I want to box Marshall and maybe have a virtual rematch in bowling.

Ice Cream

We are coldstone now getting ice cream for the boys. I wasn't going to get any ice cream myself but Clancey got this cheesecake ice cream that he didn't like so I had to get him a second one and I got the cheesecake stuff. Clancey was correct it wasn't that great, the Oreo he got was way better.

Final Scores

The boys and I just got done bowling and here are the final results. I didn't get the first game score but I got the second two. Clancey scored a 72 all by himself and beat Marshall and in the last game Marshall pulled out all the stops and beat everyone. All in all we had a great time and now we are headed to get some ice cream and see if we can find a Kinect anywhere. Just don't tell mommy about that last part ;)


Today I took Marshall and Clancey bowling for the first time ever and they love it. I have a couple videos I'll post later of Clancey bowling that are too cute. Marshall managed get a spare by himself once and Clancey nearly got a strike. I better get to bowling because we have really excited boys start of game number 2 and the boys both got 9.

Hanging With The Kids

Its the weekend and the boys and I decides to head off on our standard weekend adventure. Today were thinking Happy Joe's for lunch and then heading over to the bowling for a quick game. The boys have done plenty of virtual bowling but never any in real life. I'll be sure to take a lot of pictures and a video or two.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Basketball Day

It Saturday morning so it is basketball day again. Marshall is playing a lot better this week after practicing with me all week. I'll have to spend some more time with him this week and see how he improves.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Parent Teacher Conference

This afternoon after Marshall's piano lesson we had our first parent/teacher conference of the year. Just like we expected Marshall is doing very well at school. The teacher said he was one of the top kids in the class with absolutely zero behavior issues and even said that in third grade, when they start to identify Talented and Gifted kids, Marshall will likely be one of them. Looks like we could be grooming the next valedictorian to follow in mommy's footsteps and the next engineer to follow in daddy's footsteps. :)

Piano Lessons

Today we have a parent teacher conference in Lowden but before hand Marshall had his piano lesson. Here is a picture of Marshall work with his music teacher on his piano. This is the first time I've been able to make it to one of his lessons so it is really neat to see him play.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Clancey Being a Wildman

I popped around the corner to witness Clancey doing this so I had to get him to do it again for posterity sake.

Fall Clean Up

Today is fall clean up day around the VanOort house. With winter looming on the horizon we figured it was time to out the glass back in the doors, put the porch furniture away and get the leaves taken care of. Seems like just yesterday we were getting ready for spring. Where does the time go?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Clancey Riding Mall Spaceship

Here is a video I took of Clancey riding a spaceship at the mall. We were in the Gamestop looking at video games and Clancey demanded that I give him some money so he could ride this thing.

Jen Making Good Progress

Jen has been making good progress on her kitchen project lately. Today she got the first coat of paint on her cupboards and tonight will likely get the second coat on as well. Next week I'm going to call the drywall people and I think her counter guy is coming as well so she will be neatly done next week. I can't believe how little money she has spent doing this project.

At The Mall

After Panchero's we headed over to Best Buy to check out the games we headed over to the mall to ride the escalator for Clancey. Never figured it out but that kid loves the escalator so we end up riding it a ton of times everytime we come here. I imagine the kids are going to talk me into a cookie next and then I'm sure they will want to look at video games again at Gamestop. Maybe Gamestop will have a Kinect ;)

Fun Afternoon

This afternoon mommy kicked us out of the house so she could spend the afternoon working on her kitchen in peace. What else could the boys and I do but head into Cedar Rapids and try to find something to do. Of course we started the trip at Panchero's for lunch, after this I'm not entirely sure what we will do but we find something. I'm we may head to the Rockwell recreation center and see if they will let us in to play some basketball for a bit.

On a side not I got an email today from the North Cedar high-school math teacher looking for an engineer to help the students build a robot for an upcoming competition. Turns out that I'm one of the only engineers in the district so they asked me to help out. I'm really looking forward to it. Maybe I'll luck out and find my next high-school intern for the summer.

Marshall In Action

Here is a picture of Marshall dribbling the basketball in the action. Looks like I may need to spend some time with him to work on some basics. He seems to be a good little dribbler just needs some work on how to block, shoot, and go after the ball.


This morning we have basketball for Marshall. Right now he is warming up and really excited to get going. Basketball is Marshall's favorite sport so I know he wants to be good at it. I'll take a video and post it later so you can see how he does.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Mid Week Update

Figure its been a while since I updated my blog so I thought I would put a post up. I've been pretty busy lately working long hours which means I haven't been able to do much blog worthy stuff myself on the other hand Marshall has had a pretty big week. Today he started basketball practice, which happens to be his favorite sport. Saturday is his first game and I know he is really looking forward to it. In fact tonight after work I stopped by Dick's Sports and bought him a new basketball, I put it in his bed so it will be the first thing he see's in the morning when he wakes up. Jen has made great progress on her kitchen project. Tonight when I got home she had the last of the bead board up and will be ready to paint tomorrow. I can't believe the progress she has made, she has put all my man credit to shame. I may be an Ironman but apparently Jen is a real man ;)