Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wild Dog Eyes

The other night I took this picture of Harley to show how he had won the dog lottery and ran the house. Jen had got up to get something to eat only to come back and find the dog in her chair. Instead of picking him up and tossing him off she moved to the couch so she wouldn't disturb his relaxing slumber. In the process of taking the picture Harley looked up at me and gave me the don't you dare try and move me look and then must have cast and evil dog curse on me.

Winter Wonderland

Last week the weather people squawked all week about this huge winter storm and blizzard that was coming. They had us all convinced that we were going to be stuck in our houses for a week, in fact they cancelled school before nary a flake fell. Well the storm came and went and we got maybe 4 inches and the wind never came up. I think that storm made the weather people somewhat gun shy and they were hesitant to predict this latest storm it started yesterday at 2 and has pretty much snowed continuously since then, heck they didn't even delay school until 5am today. With March starting on Friday I'm hoping it ends soon so we can get it all melted off and we can get spring officially started. To be honest, I'm getting sick of riding my bike indoors ;-)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday At The VanOort House

After a couple of long weeks it felt good to have a week and weekend that was back to normal. Yesterday we had the basketball tournament but today we didn't have anything to do and it felt good. Instead of getting into my normal Sunday lazy funk i decided to head into CR to go to the rec center and get a run in this morning. This afternoon I did settle into my chair but it was to watch the Daytona 500 so I'm not going to count it against myself. After the race was over the boys and I found Ironman the movie on TV which consumed the rest of the night. In fact as you can see everyone fell asleep watching the movie which made for an alright night.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

First Long Ride Of The Year

Untitled by lvanoort at Garmin Connect - Details

After we got back from Marshall's basketball game I headed down to the pain cave and did my first long bike ride of the year.  Given I don't have any Ironman events coming up in the near term its not that vital I focus on going long but I do have an indoor 100 mile coming up in 6 weeks so I figured it's time to start going a bit longer on the weekends.  I forgot how hard it is go over an hour and a half on the trainer indoors.  The first hour generally isn't too bad but by the time you cross over the hour and a half make it starts to kind of suck a bit.  On the trainer indoor you don't have a whole lot of options for different positions to ride in, pretty much in the aerobars or sitting up.  The ride didn't go too bad but my legs did hurt some at the end of the ride, more so then they normally do for a ride of that distance.  I guess I still working to build my Ironman fitness at this point and can't expect to keep it all year round.  Considering I have 197 days until my race I think I probably have some time to train.

Basketball Tournament

Today was the Kid League Basketball tournament and the last weekend of basketball for Marshall.  Like I've said before after a somewhat rough start to the season it ended up going really good.  Marshall got better each game and today in the last game of the year Marshall scored 3 points for the team.  In fact Marshall was the first kid to score points in the game when he got fouled shooting a layup.  He was a bit nervous to be shooting free throws and missed the first one but managed to get his wits about him and make the second shot.  Later on the the game Marshall was open down low, they passed him the ball and he made two more points.  All in all Marshall played a pretty good game.  Hopefully after we get the court poured and we get the basketball hoop up he will be even better next season.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

200 Days Until Ironman

Hard to believe but Ironman is only 200 days away as of today.  So far I have to say my training is not going as good as I would have liked.  Granted I don't think that I have been working as hard as I did last year but it's not like I've been a lazy slacker either.  Who knows maybe the 5 straight years of training for ultra endurance events is starting to take it's toll on me.  I think my running is better then it has ever been but I'm not riding with as many watts as I was last year.  I guess it's really not that big of deal.  At the end of the day a good Ironman time is all about setting a consistent pace and continuing to move forward.  There is still more then plenty of time to get faster and once it warms up and I can get outside that will start to break the monotony of months of indoor training. 

Little Go Savant

Tonight after supper I got the Go board out to play some with the kids. The great part about Go is its a game with very simple rules so a 5 year old can understand it but it's very complex and hard to master. Tonight I gave my youngest son a 2 piece advantage and proceeded to get handlely beat by him. That came shortly after he whipped his older brother who is a spectacularly smart kid in his own right. Looking like we may have two geniuses on our hands.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Niece

After the last two weeks last Friday Jen and I thought we were going to finally be able to get back to our normal routine.  We had planned to have our big Valentines Day dinner and celebrate the holiday a day late.  It all seemed like it was going to work out until Jen got the call from her mom at around 2:30 that Michelle was having issues and she was on her way to Mercy hospital in Des Moines to give birth the baby 2 months early.  That meant it was Jen's turn to head to the hospital to be the support her sibling needed during a rough time.  They tried unsuccessfully to induce labor Friday night and most of Saturday until 6:30pm when they decided it was time to do a C-section to get the baby out.  I"m not sure the exact time but sometime around 7:30pm on February 16th Olivia Grace was born.  She was 3lb 1oz and 15 inches long so she was quite the string bean.  Being she was born so prematurely she is going to have to spend a number of weeks in the NICU but so far things are going great.  Everyday she is getting bigger and stronger, it won't be too long until she will be home and we can all hold her!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Supper Time

For the first time ever I've been in charge of multiple meals including two suppers. Last night I was feeling entirely lazy and made peanut butter and jelly but I figured the kids would rebel if I tried to serve that two nights in a row. That left only one option, to actually cook some supper. I figured the easiest meal to cook was breakfast stuff for supper. Besides being a pain to clean up it is surprisingly easy to make. As you can see I went the extra mile and cooked eggs, sausage, hash browns and toast. Believe it or not the boys actually ate it and didn't complain.

Boys In Charge Of Gift

Today Clancey was invited to his first birthday party which, with Jen gone, left us boys in charge of buying a gift for a 5 year old girl. Turns out that Clancey is very observant and noticed that the birthday girl had Lala Loopsy on her backpack. Neither Marshall or I had ever actually heard of Lala Loopsy but Walmart had them so we were able to get in and out fairly quickly without having to wander up and down the girl toy Isle with no idea what to get.
The party went well and Clancey had a great time. When I went to pick him up he was in seventh heaven because not only did he get cake but he also had a big bag of candy. He was telling me that they had won one of the games so he he had a bunch of extra candy from that. The only bummer was his best friend was sick and wasn't able to make it to the party. After this I'm guessing Clancey is going to want to have a big party next year.

Post Game Lunch

Here we are at out post game lunch enjoying some Happy Joe's pizza. With mommy gone the best thing daddy makes is reservations but I'm thinking tonight maybe actually making something for once. Not sure what yet but I'm sure I'll figure something out. Maybe I should stop by family foods and pick up some Brats or something like that. Maybe I ask the boys what they want.

Basketball

With Jen having to be in Des Moines for yet another family emergency that left me in charge of getting the boys to basketball this morning. This is the last week of games before the end of season tournament next weekend. While the season started off a bit rough with Marshall really wanting to quit it had turned out pretty good. Once Marshall got used to all of the yelling from the stands and from the coaches he started to really enjoy playing. While his offense needs to develop some his defense is pretty good. He isn't afraid to muscle around with the other kids and gets very aggressive. In fact when he is out there his guy had a hard time doing anything. Once we are done here we are headed to Tipton to get a birthday gift for a party Clancey has later today and then probably headed to Happy Joe's for some pizza.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fried Ice Cream

On the way home from Owatonna, after the funeral, we decided to stop in Mason City for some supper. After a pretty crappy lunch at a place that described itself as "awesome casual dining" we figured we needed something decent. Jen searched Google high and low for something good that we would all enjoy and found this great Mexican restaurant just a few miles off the interstate. Turns out Google was right the place was freaking awesome. Great food, great service and great atmosphere. For dessert the boys had fried ice cream for the first time ever and as you can see they went at it like a pack of starving dogs. After a good meal like that the only problem was trying to stay awake for the couple hour trip home.

Cabela's Trip

This morning we had to check out of the hotel by 11am but the funeral wasn't until 2 so we had some time to kill. Being we were right next to Cabela's and the boys hadn't ever been there we figured that was the place to hang out. Now I'm quite certain that I'm one of about a dozen people who have been to the Cabela's dressed up suit and let me tell you it was attention grabbing. The standard uniform of the Cabela's is Woodland camouflage and I clearly was not in that, I suspect I would have been less of a show dressed as a clown. I'm any case the boys really enjoyed checking out the fake mountain and all the stuffed animals in the center of the store. Although the fish aquariums were quite the hit too. Some day we will have to head up here to stock up on everything we need for a fishing trip or something, I'm sure the boys would really enjoy that.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Night At The Hotel

Tonight we are spending the night at the Holiday Inn near Cabela's in Owatonna.  The hotel is a pretty awesome hotel with a great restaurant and an awesome indoor pool area.  The water slides were closed tonight but the kids still had a great time playing in the pool this evening.  It's to bad the reason we are staying at a hotel tonight is to attend my 18 year nephews funeral.  I still haven't written blog entry about last week and eventually when I get a chance to sit down and think about it I will write up an entry about it. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Supper At DQ

After an extremely long week, which I will write about once I've gotten time to process it all, we decided to head to the pool and out for some ice cream. To be honest I really just wanted to just lay on my chair all afternoon but Jen knew the boys wanted to go so she made us. Turns out it felt pretty good to get out and get a swim in. After we all had a hankering for ice cream so we had to drive to Mt Vernon, which is the only DQ still open nearby, for our treat. As you can see Clancey was hamming it up.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Jen VanOort's New Email Address

Hello Friends~
  My sincerest apologies for the dreadful emails that have been released from my hotmail account by some naughty email monster last week.  You would think folks would have better things to do with their time and talent...apparently not, however.

  In future contact, for me personally, or for the Clarence Community Newsletter, please use the above email to reach me, as my jenmwal@hotmail.com account, the account I've had since God was a boy, is going to live in email heaven.  I know this message has reached some of you several times...please bear with me....changing email addresses is just short of launching the space shuttle.

Thanks and have a terrific week!
Jen VanOort

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Superbowl Party

After heading to the pool for a little bit this afternoon we stopped at the store to pick up a few things and headed home to prepare all of our stuff for our Superbowl party. Marshall made taco dip while I made baby back ribs and cut up stuff for a meat and cheese tray. This is my first time ever trying to bake ribs so we will see how they turn out. They've been in for about an hour now and smell really good, hopefully they smell as good as they taste. As an interesting side note one of my friend just emailed me and asked me to do a 12 hour adventure race in Boone on April 27th. Be kind of a fun change of pace from all of my Ironman training.

Night Out

Last night with Mema and Papa in town Jen and I went to my friends 50th birthday party celebration.  The party started at the Butcher Block a new steakhouse in downtown Cedar Rapids and then moved over to Penguins comedy club that evening.  A whole bunch of my friends made it to the party and it was a great time.  It had been a long time since I had been to the comedy club to see a live act and I'm not sure the Jen has ever been to a comedy show before.  We had plans on our cruise to go see the comedy act but we always managed to fall asleep before the show and never actually made it.  The guy was really funny and ended with an epic sing along.  We are going to have to go back again sometime soon.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Basketball Day


Today was basketball day again for Marshall and Mema and Papa made the trip over to watch him play.  Every week Marshall gets better and better at the game and today was no different.  Marshall isn't the most aggressive kid on earth so he has to get out of his comfort zone when he plays the game.  So far he is a defensive king, he locks his opponents down and they don't ever get the ball.  Today he had a whole bunch of steals and had this kid frustrated as heck.  Also today only 5 kids showed up so Marshall played the whole game, by the end of it he was pretty darn tired.  The team ended up winning 19 to 10 to take their 3rd victory of the year.  Maybe after a summer practicing on his new hoop he will be an offensive star next year.