Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Working With Jen

With me having the day off and the kids being in school I'm spending the day with Jen at her work. For those who may not know what the means we are searching various Restore's searching for things to paint signs on. Although it's good when I come with so she doesn't come home with unapproved items that we don't need. ;-)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bowling With the Boys

Turns out the bowling alley was open and, to be honest, really freaking busy.  The boys and I were worried that we wouldn't get a lane but turns out they had one for us.  I didn't bowl all the great but both of the boys did pretty good.  I'm not sure any of us broke 100 but for a little kids even getting close to 100 is really good.  We had a great time and I'm happy that they were open because Clancey was really looking forward to it.

Future PGA Pro's

While we were at Dick's looking for my goggles we had to make the obligatory trip through the golf section to check things out.  While we were in the golf section I spotted these awesome looking out outfits that I had to try on them.  Yes, I get that this is a bit weird.  Well as you can see from the picture above it was worth it because the kids looked really good.  The only reason I didn't leave the store with the two outfits is because I'm way too cheap to spend $100 a piece on outfits for the boys, it really just didn't seem right.  They did end of having my goggles but they were $10 more expensive then if I just bought them online so that is the plan.

Boy Trip

Being the last day of the long weekend for the boys, and being to crappy outside to grill, the boys and I headed into Cedar Rapids for a boy trip.  Of course every good boy trip has to start at Panchero's for some lunch.  After this I'm not sure where we are going to go but I'm thinking Dick's Sporting Goods to see if they have the goggles I'm looking for and then I think Clancey wants to go bowling, hopefully it's open today.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Back Home

With is still raining this morning and the radar showing torrential down pours for Eastern Iowa we decided we had better get up and on the road early today.  The big fear was if we stayed for too long today we would get home to a completely flooded basement which is not on our list of fun things to deal with.  We were on the road by about 8:30 and home before noon and were quite happy to find our basement didn't have any water in it yet.  We figured since we were home so early we could head down to the kennel to pick Harley up which I sure he was happy about.  This afternoon the plan is to head down to the pain cave for a 40-50 mile ride and then relax on my chair for the rest of the afternoon.  Jen is painting some signs, she currently has 10 orders, and I think the boys are going to play video games.  Not to bad of way to spend a rainy long holiday weekend.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hanging Out For The Day

With it pouring rain once again today we decided against going out to Mike and Michelle's farm and instead hanging out at Mema and Papa's for the day.  Marshall absolutely loves playing games and begged everyone to play a Monopoly game after we had lunch.  Being there wasn't a whole lot to do being stuck inside we all decided to play, I think we ended up having a game of 7 people.  Being it was Monopoly and we had so many people playing the game went on for HOURS.  By the time we decided to call it quits and declare Marshall the winner we had been playing for 3 hours.  We did up having a good time so it was worth missing the nap I had planned for the afternoon.  ;)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Papa and Marshall Building Model Rockets

Uncle Mike bought a model rocket for Marshall and him to launch tomorrow when we head to there house for lunch. Since it needs to be glued together they had to get it put together tonight so it is ready for the big launch tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn't rain so they can launch it!

Jen With Olivia

After a lengthy drive across the state, once again we got caught in stopped traffic on 380, we made it to mema and papa's.  Mike and Michelle came over and brought the new baby which you can see was a big hit with everyone.  As I saw Jen cuddling and longing looking at the baby I was happy I had a vasectomy because she would be begging for another kid.  When it comes to babies daddies see the crying and pooping and mommies only see cuddly little balls of joy.  As much as I am not a baby person Olivia sure is a cute baby and pretty irresistible, just as long as I can give her back when she cries ;) 

Day Off

Today I took the day off from work to get a full 5 day vacation. Since the plan is to head to mema and papa's for the weekend I wanted to get a long bike ride in and possibly play some golf. I wanted to get up at a decent time to get on my bike but ended up sleeping in until nearly 9am and by the time I got done with breakfast it was after 10. Given that I was having such a lazy morning getting on my bike was the absolute last thing I wanted to do, 5 minutes in I wanted off. I did manage to stay on my bike for a full 40 miles but it was tough. Once I got done with that I took Harley to the kennel and then headed over to Lowden to play a few holes of golf. I didn't hit the ball all that good and the bugs were bad but it sure was better than being at work.

Jen's Big Field Trip

Today while I had a day off Jen went on a field trip with Clancey's class and I choose this picture as the opening to the entry because it demonstrates one thing, Clancey is about the only kid in his class that knows how to listen.  We've always wondered why the teachers thank us so profusely when we go in for parent/teacher conferences and today Jen got a first hand demonstration as to why.  She said for the most part kids have absolutely zero discipline and really don't know how to behave themselves.  As a point the teacher asked the kids to put their hands in the air for the picture and you can see that Clancey and one kid on the left is only one that listened to her, it took 4 tries for the rest of the kids to figure it out.  Well beside all of the misbehaving kids Jen did say that Clancey had a great time at the John Deere place and the zoo.  I think he especially enjoyed that Jen could come along on the trip with him.  Unlike Marshall, he isn't at the age yet that actually having parents is uncool ;)

I need to tell the story around this picture.  For those who don't know the girl with Clancey absolutely adores him.  She invited him to her birthday party this winter, they play together everyday and anytime there is field trip she always wants to be in Clancey's group.  If I recall I think they may ride the bus together everyday as well.  Well anyways on this trip Jen was informed by another little girl in Clancey's class that Clancey and the little girl above are "dating" and just as soon as they are old enough she is going to marry Clancey.  Clancey hasn't really given his opinion on the matter but from the picture above he doesn't seem entirely against the idea.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ugly Tree Comes Down

Today after living with half a tree for way too many years the big, ugly, rotted thing finally came down.  We've been trying to find someone to take it down for a couple years now but it was so big nobody really wanted to touch it.  Well finally this week I found someone who wasn't scared of it, or rather didn't realize how big it was, to cut it down.

The plan had been to put a tree house on top but it was just way to tall and rotten for that.  Besides the big hole in the yard it's nice to have the thing down.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Geochaching With The Boys

The boys and I decided to enjoy this really warm day and go to do some geochaching for a while. I looked on my phone and found a few on this walking trail up in OJ that looked like they would be pretty easy to find. Turns out I was way wrong. Between the unidentified weeds that I was afraid were poison ivy and all the mosquitos we really didn't have any luck finding any. In fact when we got back to the car I found a tick crawling on me. I'm thinking we will just cut our geochaching event short and and get ice cream instead.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Clancey and The Crystal

The other day Jen told me this story about Clancey that I've been meaning to get up on the blog so I figured I better do it today before I totally forgot about it.  So one day after school Clancey was outside in the yard playing with Marshall when he found the little piece of crystal I show in the picture above.  Being a really near looking rock of course Clancey picks it up and starts to check it out.  Well after awhile Clancey final comes inside and kind of looks a bit upset so Jen asks him what the deal is.  Clancey goes ahead and shows her the rock he found outside and Jen tells him it's a pretty neat rock and he was lucky to find it.  Well he tells her that yes indeed it is a nice looking rock but he tells her that it's broken.  She tells him that the rock isn't broken that rocks just look that way.  He responds no it's not the way it looks, it's the fact that you are supposed to be able to use crystals to make wishes and his wish has not come true yet so it must be broken!  He never did tell us what he was wishing for but clearly it didn't come true and he was disappointed.

Final Results

We are home and the final results are in.  As you can see he ran a 29:41.05 and placed 4th in his division!  Heck if we would have pushed the pace a little harder that first mile or so he probably would have gotten 3rd place.  Well he has one more year in this age division and if we train a little harder he could probably get a podium finish.  Either way it's a big accomplishment for a kid his age to be able to run 5k races.  We may have to sign Marshall up for a couple more of these races this year!

Clancey With A Cow

While we were waiting for Marshall to recover from is awesome run we spotted a cow wander among the crowd and Clancey wanted to get a picture with him.  I was thinking as I was taking this picture of Clancey that next year he will probably be over with Marshall recovering from running instead of taking pictures with cows.  If I recall Marshall was 6 the first time he ran a 5K.

Great Run

We just finished up and Marshall had an absolutely spectacular run.  I haven't went over to pick up the final results yet but from the time on my watch it likes he ran under 30 minutes which means he cut nearly 5 minutes off his last 5K time.  We pushed the pace the whole time and managed to negative split every mile, heck he ran his last mile in 9 minutes which is pretty darn good.  When I get his final results I'll get them posted but no matter what he ran a great race and I'm really proud of the kid.

Marion Art Festival 5K

Here we are at the start of the Marion Art Festival 5k.  This will be Marshall's 3rd race and he has improved every year so I'm excited to see how he does.  It is an absolutely perfect morning out here, about 60 degrees no wind and sunny, so it will be a spectacular day to run a 5k!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Long Packet Pick Up Line

Tomorrow is the annual Marion Art Festival 5K and once again Marshall and I will be running it again. Last year we missed it and I can't remember why but this year we are back at it. This afternoon after I got off work and put in an 8 mile run I headed over to the park to pick up our race packets. As you can see from the picture above the line was freaking huge, I think I ended up standing in line for about 30 minutes to get the packets. Well now that I have the packets we are ready for the big race tomorrow. Check back for updates from the race.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dairy Queen

As the last thing for our mother's day celebration we thought we would head down to DQ for some ice cream, Plus we had to celebrate Marshall's par on the golf course today. Right now we have two pretty beat kid. I guess I forgot Marshall started the day off with a 2 mile run and then he walked 3 miles on the golf course with me today so that kid has to be about done in. Clancey has spent part of the day dealing with the last vestige of his sickness which left him beat too. Probably head home, shower up and just into bed after a fun day.

Marshall's First Par!

This afternoon, after we got back from Jen Mother's Day Lunch, Marshall and I loaded in the car to go hit the links for a bit.  I really wanted to see how my bag performed walking 9 holes and Marshall wanted to try out the 2 new clubs Jen got for him at the ReStore yesterday.  It was a bit windy again today but not near as bad as it was yesterday and really wasn't too bad for golf.  A fleece is really all you needed once you got walking.  For me today wasn't really the greatest day golfing ever, it's not that I was hitting the ball horribly but I just really wasn't hitting it consistently enough to score all that well.  
Marshall on the other hand was playing like a champ.  On hole #7 at the 3/30 Club in Lowden Marshall got his first par ever.  Hole #7 is a short par 3 about 120 yards from the front tee box.  On his drive he hit his new/used driver, which is an old school wooden driver, about 80 yards down the center of the fairway.  From there he was only about 40 yards out he pulled his 9 Iron and hit it to about 12 feet of the hole.  At this point I was telling him that he had a shot at his first legitimate par.  After I took 4 shots to get to where he got in two he took his putt.  He hit it, actually way too hard, straight at the hole and it bounced off the back of the hole into the air and then fell in for par!  I was freaking stoked and was jumping around like a wildman.  For those who don't actually golf getting a par is no easy feat, especially when you are 9 years old and have played less then 18 holes from tee box to hole.  Just as a point of reference I didn't get any pars today and, in fact, on the hole he got a 3 I hit a 6 and I was only back about 10 more yards then him.  Pretty freaking impressive if you ask me and I am really proud of him!

Sick Little Boy Still

When we were on our way home from Jen's Mother's Day lunch we weren't but about 5 miles from the restaurant when Clancey yelled from the back of the car that he felt like puking.  Having been witness to a kid puking in the car on a couple of other occasions, it is not a pretty sight and I pulled the car over immediately.  I jumped out of the driver seat grabbed Clancey out of the back and had him on the side of the road in less the 15 seconds from the time he said he needed to puke.  We stood there for a couple minutes and he never actually threw up but kept saying them his stomach hurt and he felt like he needed too.  We used to keep a bucket in the car for just this thing but we had taken it out at one point and never put it back. So with Clancey still feeling sick and no bucket that didn't leave us a whole lot of options but to sit with Clancey while his tummy settled down some.  Jen, being the best mother on earth, sat there with him and comforted him until he felt better.  Marshall and I ended up running into town to get a bucket but he didn't need it, since he fell asleep shortly after we took off again.  I guess if nothing else, as you can see from the picture above, the place we stopped to let him relax a bit was a pretty neat looking and had a great view while we waited.

Lunch At Stone City

Being Mother's Day and all we thought it would be a great treat to take Jen out to lunch at any place of her choosing.  She ended up choosing the restaurant up in Stone City, Iowa to eat at.  Stone City is a town about about 50 people but has this restaurant right on the river that used to be an old grocery store.  It is a really good place to eat and people travel far and wide to come eat here.  I think the last time we came here was for our 10th wedding anniversary last June.  We got here right at 11 so we could beat the rush and once again it turned out to be worth the drive.  The ambiance is nice, the food is good and the drive up is very scenic.  Can't think of a better way to spend a Mother's Day lunch. 


This morning while Jen and Marshall were on their run Clancey and I decided to play some Go. Personally I find it very impressive than a 5 year old can understand how to play Go. The first game is a pretty close game Clancey had 33 and I had 48, the second game got a little bit more out of hand but he still played pretty well considering his age. I was thinking to myself that I really need to enjoy these wins now because I'm sure it's not that long before Clancey starts regularly beating me in all games, including Go. ;-)

Mother's Day Run

This morning Jen and Marshall headed out for a mother's day run together. She had never ran with Marshall before and I knew from all of my runs they would be really good running partners. Marshall can maintain a 9:30 mile pace which is right at what Jen runs if not a little faster then her. When they got back Jen told me that he really pushes the the pace and is a lot of work to keep up with. Know that they are done with that we can get showered up and head for lunch together.

Breakfast In Bed

This morning around 6:00am we heard the kids get up and head downstairs, which really isn't all that surprising, generally on the weekends they are both up around 6am.  It wasn't long and we heard the kids coming back up the stairs, normally that means they are going to ask if they can play video games, but this morning the kids had breakfast in bed for Jen.  They had gone downstairs, made some peanut butter toast, poured some milk and brought it up to Jen.  Not only that they had made a big poster board sign that said "Best Mom Ever" and had gifts they had made for her at school.  Needless to say Jen was brought to tears over the thoughtfulness of the both of the boys.  I always say it on the Blog but we seriously have some of the best and most thoughtful kids around.  :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Way To Windy Too Golf

The picture above shows my new golf bag in the parking lot after golfing today. I got through 3 holes before I decided that it was way too freaking windy to really enjoy golf today. It was around a 25-30 mph sustained wind today and it just wasn't that fun to be out there in wind like that. I managed to lose 2 golf balls in 3 holes and decided to throw in the towel for the day. I'm thinking I'll nap in a chair for the rest of the afternoon and just relax. Seems like a good rest of the day to me.

Unsupervised Children

This morning Jen went to Cedar Rapids to get groceries and I had a3 hour bike ride in the pain cave which left the children unsupervised for a number of hours. The kids are really good kids so leaving them unsupervised for a long time really isn't that big of a deal but when they're hungry they don't make the smartest of choices. I came upstairs and noticed that the kids had beef sticks out well it turns out you then ate about 3 packages of beef sticks each. I guess when I look at the snack drawer there pretty much was nothing in there to eat so the beef sticks were pretty much the only ready to go snack but I'm not sure eating 12 between the two of them was greatest of ideas. I guess next time before I go ride my bike I better set some stuff out for them to eat if I don't want him to snack on bad things the whole time.

Monday, May 06, 2013

School Concert

Tonight was the big spring concert at the Lowden Elementary school. This year I decided not to take a grainy video with poor audio and just enjoy the concert. Hopefully the boys aren't to upset later in life that I don't have a video of then singing in this one concert. It wasn't too bad right at an hour and then kept things moving right along. The boys both did good although it's hard to make their voices out amongst the group of other kids. Really as long as they aren't total goobers, sing the songs, and do the basic motions they are supposed to do then they are doing better then most of the other kids. Just like soccer there are some real space cadets in the classes, sure glad are kids aren't. ;-)

Kids Artwork

Before the concert they had an art show of the kids artwork. Clancey's piece is the "Concentric Circles" above his head and Marshall's is the dark blue tree to the lower left of him. As you can tell not only are the kids geniuses but also budding artists.

Dressed Up For The Concert

Here is a picture of the family all dressed up and ready for the concert. Everyone is looking good for the big show. Jen got a preview earlier and said it was a pretty good concert.

Birthday Golf

Today was my birthday and in honor of my birthday for the first time ever I took the day off work and just did things that I enjoy.  Ok technically I did call into a meeting at 8am but at 9am I was done and had the rest of the day to do things I enjoy.  First thing I did was head over to the golf course with Jen and golf 9 holes.  I really didn't play that well but we had a great time.  It was very peaceful out on the course and nearly a perfect day so I made for a great experience.  In fact while we were golfing Jen said to me now I see why you enjoy doing this.  Once I was done golfing we headed over to Stanwood to meet Mema and Papa for a birthday lunch.  They had come over to see the boys matinee concert so it worked out well.  Once we were all done with lunch they all headed to the concert and I headed to Cedar Rapids because I wanted to go pick out a new golf bag as a birthday present for myself from the family.  Well they didn't have the golf bag I was looking for but I was able to meet up with some friends for a bit before I had to head back home for the concert.  All in all it turned out to be a great birthday and I think I have started a new tradition for myself.     

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Camaro Running

After getting the oil changed and letting the battery charger for most of the afternoon and about 10 tries I got the Camaro started. Since it was late in the day when I finally got it running it still needs washed but I'm happy it is running. Now it did die after running for about 20 minutes not sure if it's the alternator or what but I'll guess I'll take a loom tomorrow and see what I can come up with. Not that I'm much of a mechanic but I'm sure I can figure it out if it isn't too complex of an issue.

Marshall's Big Win

On, what turned out to be quite a trip to Tipton, Marshall had one of the first prize wins of his young life. While we were in out way down I decided to stop at Casey's to get a snack and some pops so I told Marshall he could pick out what ever pop he wanted. He ended up picking Cherry Dr Pepper which had a game piece on the lid for a chance to win a free movie from Redbox. Well wouldn't you know Marshall won and was pretty excited about his big win. Since it had a code on the lid I told Marshall that we could let him pick a movie out at the Redbox at Walmart. He ended up picking the Hobbit out so we be watching that late into the evening.
While we were at Walmart picking up my supplies to change the oil in the Camaro I heard a bunch of racket from one of the other isles and heard someone yell out "Someone call 911". I immediately dropped my stuff and hustled over to the Isle where I heard the noise to see what I could do. A man had fallen down, hit his face on the shelves on his way down and banged his head really hard. He was sitting up but looked a bit dazed so I called 911 to get the paramedics to come help him out. Once I called 911 and he appeared to be taken care of I realized that Marshall wasn't with me so I figured I should go find him. I went back to the car isle and he was still standing there wondered where I had went and why I ran off. I told him what happened gathered my stuff up and we headed to get the stuff for our grill out later tonight.

Go Kart Riding

This afternoon after I got done riding my bike and showered up I headed outside to see if I couldn't get the Camaro running. Well why I was out there the neighbor told me that he had a new go kart that the kids and I could drive around if we wanted. Since the Camaro had to charge up and I didn't have what I needed to change the oil, it left some time for the kids and I go tool about on the go kart for a while. It ended up being a pretty good time, it didn't go real fast but it was still fun.

Morning Golf

This morning I got up and headed over to the golf course at 8 am to get a round in before the family was up and around. Figured this afternoon we would go do something fun like picnic, bike ride or maybe even get the Camaro out for a cruise. It was nice to get out there before the big crowds this afternoon, in fact up until I was coming down the 9th hole I was the only one on the course. I didn't have a spectacular game but it wasn't horrible either. One of those days where you hit the ball good some holes and really terrible some holes. Now I have to head out on a 1.5 to 2 hour bike and then we can go do something as a family for fun.

Pizza At Happy Joe's

Last night after I got done golfing, actually it got rained out, we all piled in the car for a trip to get some pizza and ice cream in Tipton. Figured since I was out most of the afternoon either on my bike or at the golf course that we should go do something fun. We lucked out last night in both places and managed to beat the rush of people who showed up right after we got to both places.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Saturday Bike Ride

Well it's once again the weekend and I am in the midst of Ironman training so that means I was out on my bike for a long bike ride.  I'm glad the weather cooperated and I was able to get outside as opposed to being stuck in the basement for 2:30 hours.  When I got back I was telling Jen that last year at this time we were in St. George, Utah and I was getting ready to do the freaking hardest Ironman ever the next day.  I'll tell you what I'm sure glad to be in Iowa and doing a casual bike loop as opposed to fight epic waves, wind and a damn mountain.  Someday I would like to go back and do the 70.3 just to prove to myself that I can finish a race in that god forsaken place.  Every time I tell people I did a race out there they say what a beautiful area it is and how much they would like to live out there but my view is so skewed after my poor race performance I can't appreciate the area.  Maybe if I finish someday I could start to actually enjoy the area. ;)

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Last Soccer Game Cancelled

With it being cold and crappy today Marshall's last soccer game of the year ended up getting cancelled.  Although we can't complain too much I because we only had a cold rain over in central and western Iowa they had snow today.  In fact I think that Rochester, MN ended up getting a record amount of snow for May!  I don't know what the heck is going on but we have had by far the worst spring weather I can remember for a very long time.  Hopefully that means we will get a little extra summer this year.  Sure would be nice to have 70 degree temps into late October or November :)