Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pool Party!

Last night the family got invited to go over to one of Jen's friends houses for a pool party in their new backyard pool.  It worked out well, the adults sat on the porch while the kids played in the pool for almost 5 hours.  We got there at around 4:30 and the kids played in the pool until nearly 9:30 with a small break for supper around 6:00.  It was nice to have an evening where we could just hang out and have a good time on one of the few remaining nice summer evenings.  

Baby Olivia Comes For A Visit

Last around 10pm Mike, Michelle and Olivia got to our house for a short weekend visit. I was surprised this morning when I woke up to see how much Olivia had grown, sure is a far cry from when she was born and in the hospital. Now if you know me very well at all you know I'm not a huge fan of babies, not babies so much but the constant crying associated with their presence. Turns out Olivia is a spectacularly good baby, last night I was sure we would be up half the night while she cried and I would be reminded why I'm happy we are done with babies, well she wasn't at all and slept all night. It appears that they got one of the good ones, that the rest of us parents are jealous of. 

Math Hell Week

With this being the first week of school I'm not sure what the deal was but for Marshall and I it was math hell week. Every night the math teacher sent home a worksheet to do with continually harder problems on it. For a kid going from 3rd grade all the way to 5th and then having to work on 2 hours of homework every night it was a big adjustment. For me it was hard to try and explain all the concepts in a way that Marshall could grasp it. It's very easy to forget how hard it is to learn new math concepts and they aren't just intrinsically known. By the end of the week we started to figure out how to work together and we didn't get any homework for the long weekend.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Crazy canning lady.

via Instagram

First Middle School Homework

This afternoon Marshall came home with his first legitimate Middle School homework, math.  This is probably the subject that is going to be the toughest for Marshall to do this year.  Missing an entire year of 4th grade math puts Marshall at somewhat of a disadvantage and him and I are going to have to spend a lot of time getting him caught back up.  Today the teacher sent home a review worksheet that I can only assume covers all the things they did in 4th grade math so there was stuff on there Marshall just didn't know how to do, the hardest was long division.  So tonight I had to teach Marshall to multiply multiple digit numbers followed by a crash course in long division.  It's pretty tough to learn long division in one night so there was a bit of frustration on both our parts.  Me not realizing that it's hard and Marshall struggling to learn it.  He did pretty good though, a couple times he got really frustrated but managed to hold it together and get through the problems.  We are going to have to spend the rest of the week working through long division and then fractions to get him caught up.  I'm sure there will be more frustration but once we get him caught up he will be fine.

First Full Week Of School

Here we are at Monday and starting the first full week of school. This is really the first week that Jen and I will be able to see how Marshall's multi-school schedule is working out. So far Marshall seems to be doing alright, he has had a few things go wrong but nothing really that big of deal that he hasn't been able to handle. For Clancey there really is too much question he really enjoys kindergarten and is doing great, although given his intelligence I'm sure we will be in the same position with him pretty soon too.

Slow Weekend

After a whole lot of crazy weekends in the past couple months we decided to "take a weekend off".  The kids really just needed to decompress from the first couple days of school, I needed to get some workouts int and Jen really wanted to get some yard work done.  On Saturday morning I got up and 4am to drive into CR to meet a friend for his first 50 mile ride.  Up and too this point his longest ride was 25 miles and I would say his total bike mileage ever is right around 200 miles.  As you would expect a 50 miler was a big ride for him.  Since I'm in the midst of my taper for Ironman in 2 weeks I figured it would work out for me to ride with him.  He would keep me in check from going to fast and I would help pull him along to get him through his first real big ride.  It ended up working out really well.  The first 25-30 miles weren't too bad but about mile 35-40 he really started to feel it.  Beyond just being tired being on the saddle for greater than two and a half hours is not a pleasant experience, even for experienced riders.   By the time we got to mile 45 he was really a hurting unit but he persevered and kept going.  We ended up taking about 3:30 to do 50 miles and he was feeling it but he made it and that's what really matters.  Figure that it only gets easier from here.

When I got home about 11:30 Jen was already working in the yard and the kids were playing video games inside.  That is pretty much how the rest of the afternoon went for everyone.  Jen worked in the yard, kids played video games and I napped in my chair.  That night we all headed up to Victory Lane to celebrate one of Jen's friends birthday and have dinner.

Sunday Marshall and I got up early around 7am with the plan to head over to Lowden to play a round of golf before we headed into the Cedar Rapids for the afternoon to get the kids some clothes and groceries.  Of course, after I got up, showered and had breakfast I decided to check the schedule for the golf course only to find out that they were having a tournament that day.  With that plan down the tubes we all got up and headed into CR.  Jen had a lot of luck find some clothes for the kids, which was good, and pretty much the whole point of the trip.  I successfully found man chairs everywhere we went so I succeeded too.

We got home mid afternoon and I packed my swim bag and headed down to Tipton for what is likely one of my last swims before Ironman.  Once I got home the kids and I played some Halo and called it a weekend.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

First Day Of School

Today was the first day of the school for the boys and as I said in my last post was a big day for them both.  Clancey was starting Kindergarten and Marshall was starting for 4th and 5th grade which meant we was a half time middle schooler.  Sending Clancey off to Kindergarten wasn't as hard on Jen and I since he had been going to Pre-K all day last year on the bus so this really wasn't his first time leaving on the bus.  It was a big thing but not like it was when we sent Marshall off to Kindergarten.  For Marshall though it was a bit of a different story.  He was not only going to 5th grade classes but he was also going to the Middle School for part of the day which is a huge change from elementary.  For him he goes from standing in lines to from class to class to navigating from class to class on his own, in a school he is unfamiliar with, with kids he doesn't know very well.  I was worried for him all day but his first day went great.  There was a bit of confusion when he first got to the middle school but it all got sorted out and he made it to each class fine.  For Clancey the day went great.  He likes school, he likes his teacher and he is excited to go.  Hopefully it continues to go well for them both!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Marshall Starting 4th and 5th Grade

It's hard to believe but Jen and I are going to have an official Middle School Student in 2 days when school starts.  Technically Marshall is going to be in 4th grade but with his academic performance we have decided to send Marshall to Middle School part time this upcoming school year.  In the morning he will jump on the bus and head to the elementary in Lowden for a couple classes but mid-morning he will leave his 4th grade classes to head over to the Middle school to take Reading, Science and Math for the rest of the day.  So what that means is we all had to go over to the Middle School tonight for orientation.  It is going to be a big change for Marshall, Middle School has a higher set of expectations and a lot more freedom then elementary school.  Marshall is nervous and I don't blame the kid, to be honest I'm nervous for him.  From an academic perspective I have no worries about Marshall's ability to succeed, the real question is going to be whether he can fit in and make his place.  Marshall doesn't like to draw attention to himself and being a 4th grader attending 5th grade more then half time it's going to be hard for him to not draw some amount of attention to himself.  Thursday is the first day of school so we will see how it all goes, wish him luck.

Number #1767

They just posted the bib list for Ironman Wisconsin which is exactly 20 days from today and I am officially going to be #1767 this year.  For those who didn't read my previous post about the Pigman race I'm feeling good about the race this year.  I never feel like I train enough for the race, mainly because I do far less training then any training plan recommends, but I feel confident in my ability to finish the race this year.  I'm certainly in better shape then I was my first year and the year I did Louisville, but maybe not quite as good as last year.

With the obsessive nature of this sport and the amount of time it takes to be prepared for it I really struggle to strike the right balance between Ironman and all my other responsibilities.  I remember when first started the sport and someone who had done 15 Ironman races told me to keep it in perspective he said quote "Always remember that this is a hobby and if you want to keep doing it you need to make sure it doesn't take over your life.  It should be a part of your life not the focus of your life."  That is probably the best advice I've ever gotten when it comes to this sport.  All people make choices about the role Ironman takes in their life,  for me I've realized that just finishing the race is enough for me.  Making that choice may not lead to the best finish times but it does give me enough time to hang with the kids and wife, have a social life outside of triathlete friends, and be pursue other interests such as golf.  For anyone getting ready to pursue Ironman dreams for the first time you need to make the choice about how it fits into your life.

Pigman Half Ironman

On Sunday I did the Pigman Half Ironman as a warm up to Ironman Wisconsin coming up in just a little under 3 weeks.  Originally I was supposed to do the race with one of my friends from work but 6 weeks ago while training for the race he crashed his bike and managed to break his shoulder so he was out.  He ended up doing the race distance that day, minus the swim, just so he could feel like all of his training wasn't for nothing.  

While the Pigman course is not the most interesting course it's nice in the sense that only about 300 people do the race and it's the only half Iron distance held in Iowa.  Unlike the sprint distance race held in June this race is way less congested and the distances keep the total newbies out of the race for the most part.  

After doing these races for as long as I have I've kind of developed a strategy, do the best you can in the swim, hammer the bike as hard as you can to make up lost time from the swim and hang on in the run for as long as you can.  While this strategy doesn't necessarily lead to the best finish times if you total crash in the run, it sure does create some awesome bike splits.  I've decided over the years that given the amount training I do I'm probably never going to be able to pop of a sub 1:50 half marathon no matter how easy I take it on the bike.  Plus, like most triathletes, I fancy myself I biker first, runner second, and finally a good enough swimmer to complete the distances.  If I have a killer bike time and a horrible run I've had a good day.  By those standards Sunday was a good day for me.  
It turned out to be a beautiful day for a race one Sunday.  I got up in the morning it was in the low 60's but  by the time I got to the race site at 6am it was in the upper 60's to low 70's.  Like always I got my transition setup in about 10 minutes and then had a whole bunch of time to sit around.  The schedule didn't have me going off until 8am so I grabbed my wetsuit headed down to the beach and sat around and chatted with Jen until the start of my race.  

I'm sure I've mentioned this in some of my previous posts but for this distance of race you have to spend the day before super hydrating yourself and getting extra salt in your system, Jen and I refer to it as Gatorade day.  While it's not quite as vital for this distance, a half Ironman is still long enough at 5.5 to 6 hours that you should make sure you are well hydrated.  Well what this ends up resulting in is needing to pee a whole lot.  Once you get your wetsuit on you aren't taking that bad boy off again so as I sat around waiting I probably peed 2-3 times in my wetsuit.  If you are ever at a triathlon and see athletes standing around in water that is up to there ankles, high enough to reach the bottom of their wetsuit you know what they are doing.  

Well 8am finally came around and I dove into the water for the start of the race.  When it comes training I am horrible about getting my swims in.  I'm not very good at it and don't really enjoy it that much so I just don't do it that often.  For most of my Ironman training I'll average about once a week swimming between a mile to a mile and a half.  That being the case I'm always one of the slowest swimmers and struggle through the event.  Sunday I managed to swim a 2:48 which is about a minute faster then last year which is surprising considering I've probably swam less this year then last.  I guess my run and bike fitness are helping bridge the swim fitness gap.  

Once I was done with the swim I ran into transition got my bike stuff on, gave Jen a kiss and headed out on to the bike course.  My plan was to hammer it on the bike and try to make up as much time as I could.  My goal was a 2:45 or better for the bike.  That would equate to a better then 20mph average for the distance which a very respectable bike.  To do that kind of time though I had to be disciplined, stay in aero position, power down the hills and maintain watts on the uphill.  The bike was pretty uneventful, I stuck to my plan and nailed a 2:43 bike.  I managed to hammer the whole way, pass a bunch of people and not cramp at all.  Going into the run I was feeling good.  

The run was where it kind of fell apart.  I left transition didn't feel too bad and hammered out the few miles in 8:00-9:00 minute pace.  If I could have kept this up I would have PR'ed by 15 minutes but around mile 4 I started to slow down to greater then 10 minute pace.  By the time I got to mile 6 I was fighting a blister on the ball of my right foot and was not keeping the pace I needed to go sub 2:00 hours.  For the last 6 miles I managed to run more then I walked but my pace really wasn't there and I just didn't feel like I had the energy to run a good pace.  I ended up running a 2:13 which isn't horrible but certainly isn't spectacular by any stretch either.  

Overall I'm not unhappy with my race my total time was 5:54 and I didn't get any cramps to speak of or fight any severe pain.  It did hurt a little more then I remembered it hurting which did renew my respect for my Ironman race I'm doing in 3 weeks.  It's easy to forget the amount of hurt you have to go through to finish ultra endurance races so it is nice to get a small reminder every know and again to remind you to not take it too lightly.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

State Fair

Today as kind of the unofficial end of summer and our vacation we headed to the State Fair.  The state fair has been family favorite since the boys were really little and now that they are both getting older it is getting so much more fun.  This year we bought our tickets in advance and got what were known as family fun passes which had tickets to do a whole bunch of stuff that we normally do plus some fair dollars to spend on food and drinks.  First thing we did when we got to the fair was do the zip line which was right inside the gate.  I was shocked that Marshall saw it and wanted to do it right away.  Here is picture I took of the boys doing it but I also managed to get a couple videos too that I will post later.

Since we had to pick our dog up from the pet resort by 6pm today we didn't have as much time as we normally have to walk around so we kind of had to rush from thing to thing.  We did end up hitting up most of the normal favorites, Sky glider, trains, butter cow, Bauder's Ice Cream, etc.

The hit light of Jen's day, though, was to get to meet the "Iowa Nice" guy and take a picture with him.  He is kind of a hero of Iowa and I Jen is a pretty big fan of his work.  I've posted the video below.

We had a great time at the fair and had a great week and a half of vacation, it's going to be hard to head back to work.  Now it's time to turn our focus to Ironman, fall activities, and Christmas!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Today was our annual trip to Adventureland and the boys had a great time.  I'm thinking this could have been one of funnest trips to Adventureland we've ever had.  We got there around 10:30 am and while it wasn't crazy busy it we busier that I expected it would be for a weekday.  Later I found out that the this was the last full week that the park was going to be open and with the State Fair in town it's not surprising it was going to be busy.

We tried to do as many rides as we could and for the first time ever we did ever show in the park.  We was pretty impressed by the circus and magic shows.

This year the bumper cars were a family favorite and I"m pretty sure we did them no less then a dozen times but the line was short and we we're having fun so there was not reason not to do them.

This year also both of the boys even did the Outlaw.
But Clancey also showed us he was still a little boy by doing the lady bugs.  All in all we had fun and we are off to the fair tomorrow!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

4 Weeks Until Ironman

As of today we are only 4 short weeks away from Ironman Wisconsin.  It is always surprising how it sneaks up on you like this.  I remember the long cold rides in the basement in February when you thought it would never warm up and you were sick of being indoors but here it is again already.  My training this year went so so, I didn't poor my heart and soul into it like some of my past years but I'm also confident I've done enough to finish with a reasonable time.  I didn't intend it to be this way but this kind of turned into an "Off" Ironman year, where I just do the minimum to finish.  Next year with my buddy doing the race with me my head should be back in the game but this year it appears I'm just going to have to suffer a bit through the race.  I guess next weekend will be the big test when I do the Pigman Half Ironman.  Sure hope it's a confidence builder because with 3 weeks to go there really isn't much you can do to gain more fitness.


We just got in the door after a pretty hardcore power drive from Beaver Island today, although I do have to say it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be though. The nice part about driving at night is you don't have a whole lot of traffic to contend with even in the metro areas.  The traffic through Chicago/Gary area was thicker then the rest of the trip buy sparse by Chicago standards.  Heck we made it the whole way without ever having to stop on the interstate which in and of itself is a feat.  The plan for tomorrow is to sleep in a bit and then get ready for the next part of our vacation Monday and Tuesday.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Headed Home

I know I just posted my blog that talked about heading home but I had to make sure I got the obligatory leaving the harbor picture posted. I guess in my last entry I didn't say that the plan is to try and make it home tonight so we can have a full day tomorrow before we pile in the the cat for Adventureland and the state fair on Monday and Tuesday. After that the boys head to mema and papa's for one more visit before it's back to school the following week. Man, where did the summer go.

Leaving Beaver Island

Here is one of the last pictures I took of the boys before we jumped on the ferry to leave the island for another year. Once again we had an absolutely wonderful time and just like always considered what it would he like to buy a place and move to the island. It is always surprising how quick the week seems like it goes but also how long it seems like it's been since we've been home. Next year with Ironman Boulder in August 3rd we are considering going over the 4th of July instead but with Disney next year we aren't sure. I guess we will play it by ear the next few months and see what shakes out.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Rough Water Swim

Today I figured even though the water was really rough, like St. George rough, I had better get in one last open water swim for the year.  Let me tell you it was a hard 1.2 miles in the water.  I swam into the waves the start with and it was like I was a rag doll getting tossed around while I swam.  I made very little distance parallel to shore but the water was quite effective at pulling me out to the deeper water.  I swam and swam and before I knew it I was a half mile out into the deep water and could barely see our cabin.  Good thing it wasn't too hard to get back to the shore or I may have been a bit worried ;)

Last Full Day On The Island

Today being our last full day on the island for the year we decided we would go and experience all the Beaver Island stuff that you must visit before you go.  First up was big rock, which is just what I said it was a big rock sitting in the middle of the woods.

Right down the road from big rock is Big Birch, which is a huge old birch tree that has a branch that everyone sits on for a picture.  I can't believe this is the first year that we made it too both of these island staples.

After we visited both of those things we headed down to Iron Ore Bay to take in the scenic view.  It's going to be a bummer when we get back on the ferry to head home tomorrow but at least we have Adventureland and the State Fair still left on the agenda for the year.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Hanging At The Shamrock

After we played on the beach most of the afternoon we headed over to the Shamrock for supper with our friends.  While we were there the kids noticed that they had a pool table and asked if they could go play.  As you can see Marshall looked like he was quite the little pool shark.  Later in life when is hanging at seedy pool halls all night he can blame his parents for giving him is start ;)

Day On The Beach

After a long bike ride yesterday today we decided to have a fun day on the beach and relax.  It also helped that today was the warmest day we've had so it made for a good day to enjoy our beach.  At first Jen and I hung out on the beach while the kids braved the cool Lake Michigan water.

But it didn't take too long before Jen grabbed one of the boys tubes and went out to brave the water herself.  Now me, being an Ironman and all, couldn't be the only wussy sitting on the beach by himself so I headed out to float with my sexy wife.

We had a pretty good time while we waited for our friends to come play with us on the beach.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


After our crazy long bike ride this afternoon the boys took early bathes, we had some supper and had some time before the boys had to head to bed.  Since we had bought some dice at the toy store the other day, in case it rained and we needed something to do, I thought I would teach the family to play Yahtzee.  The fact the boys had never played wasn't surprising, but the fact Jen had never played Yahtzee was a bit shocking.  What red-blooded american has ever played Yahtzee!  Well I got on the Android appstore downloaded a digital Yahtzee score card and we started playing.  I think the funnest part about playing Yahtzee is the various dice shaking technique that everyone adopts.  Clancey and I went for the more flamboyant and active roll techniques, while Jen and Marshall were a bit more subdued with how they chose to roll the dice.  Apparently their techniques were the ones to use because Marshall and Jen came in first and second respectively while Clancey and I brought up the rear.  It was fun non-the-less and we successfully "made some vacation memories" as I say in all of our vacation videos so far.

Crazy Long Bike Ride

One of the hazards you have when your dad is an Ironman you kind of lose perspective about what is a long ways for "normal" people especially kids.  Marshall has wanted to climb to the top of sand mountain since we left Beaver Island last year, I looked it up on the map and saw it was about a 10 mile bike ride from our house to it on the north west side of the island.  I immediately thought well that's not that far at all, if we make a couple stops along the way it should be that big of deal at all, just a fun casual ride for the day.

Right around 10:30 we took off from our house and headed towards the Dalwhinnie, which is about 7.5 miles away.  We were about 1.5 miles down the road when we had to stop for a first break.  At that point I should have thought about whether riding this far was a good idea and about the fact that Clancey is only 5 riding a mini-sized bike.  Nah, not I lets power on, Dig Deep is what I say.

 It was about noon by the time we covered the 7.5 miles to the Dalwhinnie, the kids were tired but still going strong.  To be honest, had it not rained the night before and made the road kind of mushy and if the gravel road wasn't so washboarded it probably wouldn't have been too bad.  As it was, though, the 5 miles we had to cover on gravel was a pretty rough endeavor.  By the time we got to the pavement a couple miles outside of St. James the kids were cheering.

We had a nice relaxing lunch out on the porch at the Dalwhinnie.  It was just about the right temperature where your're not too hot that it is uncomfortable to be outside but it wasn't too chilly that you couldn't be outside.  The boys are HUGE fans of the chicken strips and Jen loves the portabella mushroom sandwich.  I think we ended up taking about an hour long break before we headed out on the final few miles to the sand hill.

It was about 2:00 when we final made it to the top of sand hill for this picture of the boys.  The sand hill is the highest point on Beaver Island and as you can see it really isn't all that tall, maybe 100 feet.  It doesn't matter though the size of those smiles says it all, the kids were having a really good time.

It didn't take long until the children were jumping off the top of the sand hill and getting covered head to toe in sand.  This didn't seem like that big of deal until a few hours from now when we are 4 miles from home and the sand is causing a bit of chaffing on the boys as they slog the last few miles home, but that is the future and they are having fun now.

We ended up playing for a half hour or so at sand hill before we rode back to town and stopped for a refuel break at Daddy Frank's.  By now the kids are starting to get a bit tired and lobbying for me to ride back to the house and get the car and drive everyone back.  No dice, we told them to we would take a lot of breaks and we could make it.

I would be lying if didn't say that the ride home was a pretty rough ride.  By this point everyone was getting tired and multiple hours was taking it's toll on everyone.  Jen and the boys were telling me there butts were killing them and poor Clancey was covered in sand so he was a hurting unit.  Also the poor kid had to take about 3 times as many revolutions on the pedals to go the same distance the rest of use could go in one.  Not only was he littlest he had to do the most work also.  On the way back we stopped for a few minutes about every mile to mile and a half.  On one of the stops right outside the airport I captured a picture of the sign above.

Finally at 4:30 in the afternoon, after 6 hours of being out and about on our bikes we made it home!  I can't believe we did it and as you can see everyone still had a smile on their face.  Although, to be fair, the smile is more about being done rather then from the fun of the ride.  There is a point in every long activity where it switches from the activity itself being fun but the thought of actually getting done being the fun part.  For this ride I think the switch happened about 1 mile outside of town after Daddy Frank's.  Everyone made it and very few tears were shed so I think the ride was a success, plus I'm thinking Marshall will not be telling us that he wishes we could have rode our bikes more when we are on the way home.

Boys Morning Routine

The kids have kind of gotten into a morning routine every day here at Beaver Island.  While Jen and I sleep in a bit the kids get up shut their door and play video games on their beds.  Works out for Jen and I, we get an opportunity to sleep in a bit and the kids stay quietly occupied in their room. 

Damp Morning

Last night about 4am we had a pretty good storm roll through Beaver Island.  There Jen and I were running around the house closing windows, brining things from out on the deck inside and checking weather to make sure it wasn't too bad of storm.  This morning after the storm it was a pretty picturesque morning as the last the drips of rain fall off the tree and the sun comes up on the horizon.
As a treat for everyone I got up early and headed into town to get some cinnamon rolls and coffee from the Dalwhinnie.  The kids aren't out of bed yet so they don't know but I bet they will be excited when they come down.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

National Root Beer Float Day

Marshall reminded Jen and I that it was national root beer float day and we had better celebrate it.  I was thinking after we had all had our floats that this was the second time we had ice cream just today.  Good thing I've been getting a lot of exercise in or I would come back from vacation out of shape and over weight.  Not entirely the best plan with a half Ironman a week and half away and a full Ironman 4.5 weeks away. 

Open Water Swim

After supper I decided that I do have an Ironman coming up in a few short weeks and this is supposed to be a big training so I had better get another training session in today.  Given we are right on the beach and I'm way behind on my swimming for the year I figured I should take every opportunity I can to get out and get some open water swim practice in.  As you can see you really have to bundle up before you venture out into the water.  It's not that you can't do it without a wetsuit on but being in sub 60 degree water swimming for upwards of an hour it seems like it's the smart thing to do.  This is also the first open water swim that I used my action camera on.  I plan on using it Ironman day this year so I figured I had better try it out to make sure I don't hit it when I stroke but also to make sure it doesn't slow me down too much.  Turns out that it worked OK for my swim and I captured 40 minutes of exciting swim footage.  ;)

Bike Ride, Park and Daddy Frank's

After we got back from golf and had some lunch we loaded the bikes on the car and headed into town for a bike ride.  We ended up riding out to the lighthouse on Whiskey Point and then over by house we had rented for the last two years.  Pretty much any trip in to town means you better stop at Daddy Frank's for some ice cream.  They had just gotten a shipment of new ice cream in so they had a whole lot of new flavors available that they didn't have yesterday.  Of course I was so busy trying to capture video memories that I didn't get any pictures.  Sorry about that.  Once we were done eating ice cream we all headed over to the school so the kids could play on the equipment for a bit.  They really wanted to play teatherball again this year but the ball was missing but at least we found another ball to play with for a bit.  Just an FYI, when I get back I plan to edit all the video footage I've taken this week into a 15-20 video I'll post to YouTube for everyone to see.  Given my success with completing projects though I wouldn't expect it until Christmas time. 

Golfing With the Kids

This morning after breakfast and a 7 mile run the boys and I piled into the car and headed up to golf course to play our first round of vacation.  I had forgotten how challenging the course was since last year when I played it but did find it really fun to play.  I didn't end up golfing too bad a 52 and that included a triple and quadruple bogie on two holes.  For the most part I was making it to the green with one stroke left for par and if I could have sunk a few more easy putts I could have broken 50.  Either way it was fun to get out with the boys for a couple hours and give Jen some down time for a bit. 

Monday, August 05, 2013

Mema and Papa Headed Back

After the museum, a trip to Daddy Frank's, and the toy store it was time to drop mema and papa off at the ferry so they could head back to the mainland and home.  Turns out that the ferry travels by our house everyday way off in the distance so we can see it come and go.  We told meme and papa we would stand on the beach with our brightly colored beach towels to see if they could see us.  Not sure they actually could but we did take this picture of the boys on the beach with the ferry off on the horizon above them.  Well miss mema and papa but are happy we have until Saturday to enjoy the island and our vacation!

Maritime Museum

In the two other times we've been to Beaver Island we've never actually made it over to the Maritime Museum for a visit, and the crazy part is it was only a couple blocks away from our other place.  Now that we are 7.5 miles from town we decide to make the time to check it out.  Although I have to say now that the boys are older and Marshall is really into anything that involved reading and learning it was probably better to wait.  

When we got to the museum both the boys got a sheet that had a whole bunch of stuff that they had to find and if they did they got to pick out a postcard.  Each of the boys paired off with a grandparent and headed into the museum to find the stuff.  Given papa's affinity for reading nearly everything Marshall and papa took way longer then mema, who is more the rammer & jammer type, and Clancey.  They museum was pretty small but very informative and worth the visit. 

Before we left I captured this panoramic picture of the bay from the back of the museum that I thought I would share for everyone to check out.  

Sand Castle Time

This morning after a spectacular breakfast Jen made for everyone we all headed down to the beach for some more fun.  Jen and Marshall decided that is just isn't a beach vacation without building a sand castle.  It started out simple enough but by the time they got done they had a fully landscaped mutli-castle town, to be honest it was a pretty awesome castle.  I didn't actually get a picture of the completed castle so you will have to take my word for it.

Morning On The Island

This morning I got up made some coffee and headed down to the beach just to take it in. I'm not sure if in all our years coming here I've ever seen the lake this calm. Also being out here it is just so peaceful, the places directly to the north and south of us are empty so it is like we have a little piece of the island all to ourselves. I'm telling you we are never going back home just going to live on the island forever.