Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Working On The Neighbors Roof

Tonight as we were getting ready to have supper we heard this loud racket coming from what appeared to be the electricity box on our property line. I decided to go check it out to make sure it didn't blow up or anything. Well when I got out there I realized it wasn't the electricity box but actually coming from the roof of the neighbors house. He happened to be out drinking a beer with my other neighbor so I stopped by to ask what the noise was. They didn't realize it was coming from the roof so next thing you know me and the other neighbor are on his roof fixing his attic fan. Once we got that fixed we all went back down to his garage to have a beer and chat for a bit. So all in all it turned out to he a pretty good night.

Clancey's Last Night Of Soccer

Tonight was Clancey last night soccer and while he may be sad that it's over Jen is really happy to be done. Clancey's team was full of a bunch of squirrel baits that were very poorly behaved. Clancey was clearly the smartest and best behaved kid and most of the other kids barely even knew where they were at or that they were even playing soccer. Tonight Clancey told us that he didn't want to play with the little kids he wanted to play with the big kids instead because they knew how to play the game. We assured next year would be better and he would get to play with kids that at least somewhat know what is going on. Well he did play a good game tonight and even scored a goal from halfway across the field. I guess the is the advantage you have when you are 6 inches taller then everyone else, you can kick really hard ;-)

Marshall's Last Official Soccer Game

Last night was Marshall's last official soccer game of the year and he was pretty bummed that soccer was going to end.  He has told Jen and I multiple times that soccer is his favorite sport and he didn't want the season to end.  I was kind of chuckling to myself when he said that because that is a far cry from the beginning of the season when he didn't even want to go to the game.  He gets that way about things though.  Really wants to do it at first but then when it comes time gets all uptight about it, Jen and I make him do it and then it turns out he really enjoys it.
While last night was the last official game he has an unofficial game on Thursday against the other North Cedar team in Clarence.  I guess you could call it the North Cedar Championship game.  After that we will officially be moving into the fun summer season when we start running 5K's.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Perfect Spring Day

Today is an absolutely perfect Spring day, the sun is out, 70 degrees, and very little wind. We get very few of these in a year and today was one of them. Once we got home from church we have pretty much spent the whole day outside enjoying the day. Marshall and I went and played 9 holes of golf while Jen and Clancey kind go diddled around the yard. Once we got back I went out to sit on the porch and suck up more of the nice weather. With it being really freaking nice again tomorrow it's going to be hard to go back to work and sit inside all day.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Afternoon Golfing

This afternoon the boys and I headed over to Lowden to play 18 holes.  Turned out to be are really nice afternoon for golf, mid 60's, very little wind and the fairways were well groomed.  For the first 9 holes I played my best nine holes ever and ended with a 48 for the round.  I've never gotten below a 55 ever on 9 holes so I was pretty stoked.  I went to the driving range the other day and made some breakthroughs on my swing and it really paid off today.  Now I wish I could say the second 9 went just as well but it did not.  After a really poor start on the first hole I got so frustrated I just stopped keeping score and just worked on hitting the ball well, it took until the 4th hole until I finally started hitting the ball decent again.  Now it's time to get showered up and get ready for the Love Dog show down and Rhino's in Tipton.

Ironman Training Week #1

This week was the official start of my 20 week Ironman training plan and it didn't go too bad.  Besides being hard to adjust to getting up at 5:00am in the morning the workouts really haven't been too bad as of yet.  Granted the plan starts out pretty easy at 10 hours a week and slowly makes it's way to 15-20 hours per week in a month or so.  Today was a 2:30 hour bike ride and since it was warm enough I headed out to the roads to get the ride in.  I have to say finally being able to get out of the pain cave and out onto the roads makes the rides seem so much faster.  Tomorrow I have a 2:00 hour ride and I think I'm going to go outside again to get it in.  Now that I'm done with that and showered up the boys and I are going to go play 18 holes at the Lowden Golf Course and then tonight Jen and I are headed out to see a local band.  Shaping up to be a busy but fun day!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Playing In The Backyard

With the temperatures finally starting to warm up and be more spring like the boys and I went outside to play last night. Clancey and I tossed the football around for a whole before he decided he wanted to climb the tree in the backyard. As you can see he was successful in getting into the tree while Marshall supervised the operation. It's a good thing the tree was small because I can imagine coming out of the house one day and see Clancey hanging from the top branch and scaring the daylights out of me.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

20 Weeks To Ironman

Hard to believe that as of today I'm only a mere 20 weeks away from my 6th Ironman and after 24 weeks of preseason and out season training I officially start my training plan tomorrow.  After doing 5 of these things now I've found that my body has adapted to being able to handle the really long workouts and I'm no longer destroyed after 2 hour runs and 4-5 hour bike rides.  Mentally I've also grown accustomed to dealing with multi-hour workouts as well.  Really the only thing that has never really adapted to Ironman is my butt when I do the multi-hour rides.  To this day when I cross the 2 hour threshold my butt hurts just as bad as it did in the first year.  I guess being hunched over a bike on a narrow bike seat is painful now matter how you slice it. I was also thinking that the start of Ironman training also bring early bedtimes.  To be sure that I get my workouts in I will start getting up at 5:00am but that means by 9:00pm I am pretty beat.  I guess that is one of the consequences of training for the hardest one day endurance event.

Boys With Olivia

Right as we were getting ready to head out the door each of the boys got there opportunity to hold Olivia for the first time. They were a bit nervous but they both did a great job holding her and as you can see they looked really cute doing it.

Olivia's Reception

After the church service we headed over to the hall for the reception and brunch. There ended up being quite a few people who showed up for the event. We had egg bake and cinnamon rolls while people mingled and chatted with one another. The boys spent most of their time at the whiteboard working on Math problems and reading while the adults chatted. Numerous people came over to Jen and I to tell us how well behaved our kids were and wanted to know what our secret was. That made Jen and I feel pretty good about ourselves.


This morning was Olivia's baptism in Webster City. I guess technically she was already baptized the day she was born and today was the presentation to the church people. Jen and I were the god parents so we got to stand up front with Mike and Michelle for the baptism. The one thing about going to other churches is trying to figure all the nuances of how they do things. This church did a whole lot of stuff in very quick succession and you had to work to keep up. It was alright though they had a couple projectors to let you know what was going on. The church service was over in about an hour and we were headed to the reception.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Getting back from Des Moines so late and the fact it was just so cold this morning we decided to not go to VEISHEA today. Marshall ended up sleeping until nearly 10 today which also kind of lead to us not being able to go but he needed the sleep after being up late. It worked out after a very long and stressful week we all needed a day to just relax and decompress a bit. Right now we are all gathered around papa's new TV watching Goonies with the kids. Forgot how good this movie is.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mema and Papa's

After a long drive across the state we finally made it to Mema and papa's house. It makes for a really long trip when you start in Cedar Rapids at 5pm go to Des Moines and then head all the way to Thor. The trip was worth it though all of us managed to find a whole bunch of books at the sale. The plan was to head to the VEISHEA parade tomorrow but given we didn't get into Thor until nearly midnight and it's going to be cold tomorrow I'm not sure at this point. I guess if the boys get up and around we will probably go but if not we will won't. Not going won't necessarily be a bad thing it's been a pretty stressful week for Jen and I think she could use a little down time tomorrow. We will play it by ear and see what happens.

Book Sale

Tonight we made the long trip from Cedar Rapids to Des Moines for the biannual book sale. Last time Marshall filled up two huge bags with books and I'm pretty sure Clancey did too. We will see how he does this time. We got here a little later then we wanted because of all the damn traffic jams on 380 and 80 that means the boys are going to have to hustle. Next time I will listen to the wife and take highway 6.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kindergarten Roundup

Tonight was the parents meeting before the big kindergarten round up day tomorrow. Once again Clancey was sick today but by this afternoon he was starting to feel better so we could all go to the meeting together. Being we've had Marshall already in kindergarten we are kind of old hats at this but there has been some changes since Marshall was there. I guess know they are doing more of a personalized learning plan for each of the kids so they can work at their own pace. For Clancey this is going to be awesome, certain areas, like math, he is well ahead of the curve. Heck he has been doing simple addition for a while now and started some multiplication. Given his interest in learning especially his desire to learn to read I expect he will suck information up like a sponge. I'll be excited to see how his day goes tomorrow when he gets to actually go to the kindergarten room and experience it first hand.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bombs At Boston Marathon

Normally I don't post much about the things going on in the news because for the most part it doesn't directly effect me, plus this is a family blog and I like to keep it that way. Well today at the Boston Marathon two separate bombs went off at the finish line and injured a whole bunch and even killed some. As a member of the endurance community this really hits home for me, while I've never run Boston, many of my fellow Ironman competitors have and, in fact, I know some people that were doing this years race, they have all reported in and both they and their families are safe. It is tragic to me to think about all the training and hard work that went into qualifying for the race and the joy of getting to compete in Marathons premier event only to have it all shattered by some crazy with a bomb. These poor athletes that were on the course, nearly to the finish line, having to fear for the safety of their family who were there to share in the joy of an amazing accomplishment. I don't have words to express my shock and my heart goes out to all of those people affected by this terrible tragedy.

Soccer Game In The Hail

Tonight when Jen got home from the soccer game she said that the kids were playing through a hail storm. I know I always said they take their sports seriously around here but I didn't think that meant playing kids soccer through driving rain and hail. In fact Jen said when the left the game that the hail was piled up everywhere like it had just got done snowing. That is two weeks in a row where Marshall has had crazy stuff happen while he played a soccer game. Last week it was losing a contact and getting a bloody nose, this week it was a hail storm, let's hope next week can just be normal. 

Sick Kid Again

Once again in the endless sting of sickness plaguing our home we have another sick kid. After making him trek 2.5 miles around the golf course yesterday he just got worse last night and today. He lost his voice and just felt down right crappy so there was no school for him or soccer game tonight. That meant that I had to miss another soccer game because Jen is a coach which meant I had to stay with Clancey while she and Marshall headed to Tipton. As you can see he is feeling a bit better now so hopefully he is feeling better so we can both make it to the kindergarten round up parents meeting tomorrow.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Busy Weekend

After sleeping in until nearly 10:30 today we got up and had another really busy day.  Jen got up and cooked us a brunch of eggs and muffins, at the request of the boys.  Once she was done with that she headed out to the garden to use some of the nice weather to get stuff planted.  The boys and I headed over to the golf course to play another 9 holes.  This time I was feeling kind of cheap so we didn't get a golf cart and walked the course.  The whole time Clancey was complaining about how tired he was but I figured he was just being a complainer and told him to "Dig Deep".  Turns out that he had a temperature of 102.6 so now I kind of feel like a heal for telling him to suck it up and then making him walk 2.5 miles around the golf course.  Today I didn't get as good as score as yesterday but I was hitting the ball way better, it was my putting that was a mess today.  Once we got done there I took the boys home and then I jumped on my bike for 1:45 of fun in the crazy wind.  Jen finished her gardening and now I'm headed out to go grill.  Busy, busy all around but it was a fun weekend.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Tonight we all piled in the car and headed over to the observatory for public night. They were giving a presentation on "Things That Go Bump In The Night", which was about near earth objects. The presenter was very knowledgeable and very into astronomy so it was pretty good presentation. It was a bit late for the kids but they stuck in there like troopers and made it to the end of the presentation. It was cloudy tonight so we couldn't loom through the telescopes but given how tired the kids were I'm not sure they could have made it.

First Golf Outing Of The Year

Today while it was a bit chilly out, in the mid 40's, it was nice enough to get out for my first round of golf for the year.  I had Marshall take the picture of me above before I proceeded to top the ball three times before I actually hit a pretty good drive, 210 yards right down the center of the fairway.  All in all the first few holes didn't go too bad but just like every time I golf I start to think too much about hitting the ball and then it falls apart pretty quickly.  

I brought the boys with and they had a pretty good time golfing with me.  As you can see they had to have winter coats and hats on but there was no complaining from them, I think they just enjoy getting to spend a few hours hanging out with daddy.  I did bring the kids clubs with and Clancey got out at every hole and did some putting, on a couple holes he out putted me.  

It was nice to get out and hit a few balls today.  I need a lot of work on my swing before I will feel like I'm really ready to go out and play but being a member of the golf club gives me the opportunity to play a lot of rounds of golf without worrying about going broke.  I can't wait until it warms up and I can get out at least a few times a week.  It should be a good year.

New Studio

After I got done riding I had promised Jen that I would move her drafting table from the basement up to her new studio.  I kind of mentioned this a couple weeks ago but Jen moved our bedroom to the former guest room, the guest room to the former office and put her new studio in our former bedroom.  Given how much sign business she is getting these days, the fact that the room has such good light and it really isn't necessary that we have that big of a bedroom it just made sense.  Also an added bonus is there won't be signs and paint on the kitchen table all the time.  Now we just have to get her a Sonos speaker for her new studio and she will be set.

Morning Donuts and a Workout

This morning after Jen and I slept in a bit the boys asked if we could go to the Tipton Bakery for some donuts.  It was kind of a Saturday morning tradition but for the past few weeks between sickness and various event we hadn't been able to make it.  With summer looming large Jen opted not to go to the bakery for donuts and run on the treadmill instead.  The bakery was pretty packed this morning so the boys and I had to get our baked goods to go and bring them home to eat.

Once we were done with our donuts it was my turn to head down to the pain cave for my workout.  Jen needed to head to Kathy's for eggs so she loaded the boys in the car to make the trek out there while I went downstairs to jump on my bike for a couple hours.  Sure wish it would warm up so I could start riding outside.  Nothing worse then 2:15 in the cold dark basement!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Marshall's First Program

For the past week Marshall and I have been working together to teach him to program in Python.  It all got started because I bought a Rasberry Pi from a friend and told Marshall that he could have it as his computer.  For those aren't familiar a Rasberry Pi is a $30 computer that is based on an Arm Processor, runs Linux and is meant to teach kids about computers.  Since we didn't have all the things quite yet that we needed to get the Rasberry Pi running I figured we could start him actually programming on Python on my PC.  Up top is an image of the first program he ever wrote.  We did do "Hello World" first but we did it in interactive mode and since it was only a single line of code it didn't seem worth while to actually keep.  So far he has had a good time and once we get all his stuff for the Rasberry Pi we will get it up and going for him.  

Sunday, April 07, 2013

100 Miles Done

Well after suffering pretty good for the last couple hours I managed to get through the full ride. I did manage to get over my light headedness after they turned the fan and pointed it at our group. This year was a way harder ride then last year but I was also in full Ironman training at this point so it makes sense it was easier last year. It's always a good event and I'm happy I can help out children's cancer connection by doing the ride.

IronGlut Ride

Here I am at IronGlut for my 100 mile indoor ride and after being sick for a week I'm suffering and I'm only 25 miles in. I slowed down a bit to get rid of my light headedness a lot of hours left don't need to pass out ;-)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Soccer Pictures

Here is a picture of the family headed off to Tipton to get soccer pictures.  Just like every year we have soccer pictures it is a crappy day but, finally, this year they decided to move the soccer pictures inside so everyone doesn't have to freeze outside waiting to get their picture.  This year I'm not able to make it down to the soccer pictures because I have to get my stuff gathered around to head off to Altoona for my indoor bike ride tomorrow.  Clancey's pictures are at 11:20 and Marshall's are at 1:50 so instead of driving home for an hour in between, Jen packed a lunch and they were going to have a picnic in Tipton while they wait.  I'm not sure how that's going to go with it spitting rain and constant 20 mph wind.  Jen is pretty inventive though so I'm sure she will figure out a way to make is special for the boys!

Down With The Flu

Well after both of the kids got sick on Wednesday afternoon I got struck with the plague that has been going around the house.  Midday on Wednesday I started to get a headache, really stuffy nose, and the chills and I knew that I was in for a bad rest of the week.  I took off early on Wednesday got home around 3pm and hit the sack until Friday morning.  Friday morning I thought maybe I was feeling better and headed off to work and once again about midday I started to really feel like crap and cut out early again to head home and try to sleep it off.  Finally this morning I work and started to feel better, which is good because I have a 100 mile indoor bike tomorrow that I didn't want to miss.  I'm not sure how it will go but I'm feeling good enough to attempt it.

Monday, April 01, 2013

First Night Of Soccer

Tonight was the first night of soccer for both the boys, it is a bit cold out but it at least there isn't any snow on the ground.  Both the boys played pretty good and had a good time.  It is amazing how much bigger Clancey is then all the other kids and to honest how much more aware of what is going on he is then then others.  Most of the kids kind of wander around in, what appears, to be a half dazed state and if they weren't in preschool I would accuse some of them of being stoned.  Clancey, on the other hand, pays attention to the game, knows which goal he is going for and actually plays the game.  
Both of the games went on at the same time so I had to run between both the fields to watch the boys play.  I kind of worked out though because when one would be sitting out the other would be playing so I got to see them both play for most of the time they were in the game.