Saturday, November 30, 2013
I still find it rather impressive that Clancey is only 6 years old and can play Magic the Gathering. For those who haven't ever played it actually is a pretty complex game with a whole bunch of rules. Granted without being able to read we have to explain some of the cards to Clancey but still he does pretty good for a 6 year old. As soon as he can read he is going to be a formidable opponent.
Well the Christmas tree is officially up and decorated for the season. The year we are feeling particularly festive, heck we started playing Christmas music before Halloween. We really enjoy Christmas around our house and with the boys getting older it is getting even better. It has been nice for the past few years our holidays have been way less drama filled and we have been able to enjoy them even more. Only a few more weeks until my break starts and Christmas is here!
After fighting to get the tree strapped to the top of the car we are ready to take the tree home and get it decorated. While I was getting the tree tied down the boys got to hold the rabbits that they have there every year. If you want to see the pics Jen out some on instagram. Now I think we are going to hit up Happy Joe's and then get the tree put up.
And here it is the VanOort Family Christmas Tree for the year. We had a contender early in but we couldn't get Clancey on board so we had to keep looking. After looking a bit more we managed to find the perfect one we all agreed on. Now we just have to haul it up the hill and get it strapped to the car.
Here we are at Kelly Tree Farm for our annual trip to pick out the VanOort Family Christmas tree. This is the earliest we've ever been here to pick out our tree but with Christmas in Clarence next weekend and me in DC for the week this was about the only time to get it done. It's pretty busy here today but there are plenty of trees so should be able to find the perfect tree.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Is a preview to our plan for the Christmas holiday the boys and I setup our video game cave for the weekend. With our second Xbox and TV we have been hibernating in the living playing video games around the clock. Let me tell you it has been and awesome time. The boys, especially Marshall, are getting really good at Halo so Clancey and I have to team up to take him on. I'm thinking for Christmas we are going to pretty much spend the entire couple days leading up to the holiday hiding in our video game cave playing away. Going to be a blast.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Once I got my bracelet I headed over to the Xbox games to get see what they had, when I got there I was the only person there and they had a ton of games on sale for really cheap. Since I knew I had my TV already I made camp here and scoped some games out. It was finally around 5:15 when the store started to really get busy and a lot of people started to gather around the games. It was rather interesting to watch, at first we were all casual and chatting nice but as the hour approached 6:00pm people started to smash in so they got there game.
About 5:55pm the announced over the PA system in the store that shopping started and immediately the chaos ensued. There was an immediate rush towards the games and since in front I was pushed up against the game display. There were people elbowing, pushing and yelling it was freaking nuts. Since I was pushed up against the display I was able to reach in the grab the games I wanted and shove my way out of the madness. Until this day I didn't really think that the video's they showed online happened everywhere and where a bit dramatic but now I"m a believer. I'm not entirely sure how good I feel about being a part of one of those ;)
With that done I headed over to the TV line to get my new TV. Besides being a long wait this line was way more calm, which after my video game lunacy I was ready for. The line moved pretty quickly and after 15 minutes I had my TV. Good thing it was small and light because this guy forgot to grab a cart. Now by this time the store as a complete madhouse. Apparently fire code only allows 533 people in the Tipton Walmart and rumor was there was a line of nearly as many people outside the store waiting to get in by now. Too by the time those people got in there wouldn't be anything left.
Just like everything else the checkout line was crazy long and wound throughout the store. I found the end and commenced the waiting game. I did find it refreshing that people were being nice and cordial to one other. The line for the checkout didn't take as long as I thought it would and, to be honest, after spending multiple hours at the store waiting it wasn't that big of deal. I had did my battle for the stuff I wanted was in the checkout line the conquering hero. Not sure I would so that again anytime soon but I'll say this it was an experience.
This morning after we all decided to sleep in a little Jen got up and made us boy some pancakes to get the holiday started right. Even though we aren't able to do what we planned today we plan on making sure that this is one of the best holidays of the year.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Saturday, November 23, 2013
With the weather growing cold hibernating inside under blankets seems like a grand idea so that always lends itself to having a family moving night. Given we only have 3 decent places to sit that kind of leaves Clancey or Marshall with nowhere to really sit. As you can see he piled into my chair with Harley while we kept warm and watch Pirates of the Caribbean.
Today Jen had to head to Cedar Rapids to get groceries and run errands so that left me in charge of the boys for the day. Given we really didn't have anything to cook I asked the boys where they wanted to eat and Clancey immediately through out Dairy Queen in Tipton. When we were pulling in we noticed that it closes for the season on November 27th so this could be the last DQ trip of the year. :(
Friday, November 22, 2013
Today I had my yearly physical and once again the doctor told me I was in spectacular shape. Given how much I work out I would be pretty surprised if he told me anything different. Isn't it that most doctor's tell you that keeping weight off and exercising regularly is the key to staying healthy. Figure if you can finish an Ironman you can pass a physical. Anyways since I missed my flu shot at work this year they gave me one today while I was in there. As you can see they gave me a Bugs Bunny band-aid to cover the spot where I got my shot.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
About halfway through November here I stand with my No Shave November beard. As it time goes on my beard is growing on me, maybe it's because it makes up for severe lack of hair on top of my head. We'll see how it looks at the end of the month but I may end up keeping my beard, at least until triathlon season gets started next year.
On Monday of this week it was 10 degrees and we ended up getting measurable snow and by this morning we woke up to 60 degree weather and a tornado watch. In fact about an hour ago a severe storm rolled through with torrential rain and even a bit of hail. I'll say this, I'm sure glad the hail didn't turn out to be much because I really didn't want to have a car with a bunch of hail damage that I've owned for less then a week.
Jen and I had a great time last night getting to have an adult night out together. We went to Baiggi's for supper and were able to walk right into the bar area and get a table. The meal turned out to be spectacular. It had been years since I've been to Biaggi's but turns out that it is a really good restaurant. It was nice to be able to enjoy a nice meal together and have some time to hang out and chat since we weren't in a huge rush. We ended up getting to the Wine to Water Event at 7:30 after taking our time at supper. The place the event was held was pretty cool, it was a 3rd floor loft area that was under construction but they had really done a great job to get it ready for the event. We each got a glass of wine and wandered around checking out the art they were auctioning off and also chatting with Jen's friends that were there. We ended up staying until around 10:00 chatting and enjoying the live music. As you can see we also won the auction on a nice piece of original art by a local artist. Not sure where we will hang it yet but I'm sure we will find a place.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Jen got this awesome dress at Goodwill and as you can see looks absolutely spectacular in it. I'm thinking I'm going to have to be beating all the other guys off with a stick!
Thursday, November 14, 2013
For the past couple weeks my Honda had been starting to act up and have some weird engine issues. In fact one day on the way home it acted a lot like it was just going to die driving down 380 on the way home. Well I told Jen about this and she started to worry immediately. The problem we have is since we got rid of the truck we only have 2 cars in the family so if one goes down we are kind of hosed. If I didn't work so far away from home it might not be such an issue but since I do it is nearly impossible for us to get by with one car.
The next day after I told her that my car wasn't acting right she got on the Dave Wright used car site and found a pretty nice used 2010 Subaru Impreza. The car only had 19,900 miles on it and they really weren't asking that much for it. So today she came into town to get some groceries and she picked me up so we could go look at the car. We went to the dealer, asked for the sales guy that we've bought two other cars from and took it for a test drive. The car drove nice and didn't have any issues that we could see. Normally I would do a whole bunch of homework before I go into buy a new car but this time I just kind of shot from the hip. We started to talk price and not really knowing what the car goes for on Kelley Blue Book I just started dealing blind. After we went back and forth the to manager a couple times I ended up getting a deal I was happy with for both my beat up Civic and the new car. I don't know I may have gotten screwed but at this point I feel like I got a good deal so I'm not going to bother looking.
Monday, November 11, 2013
We a bit of snow last week but it didn't really last very long. Today we ended up having a pretty heavy downfall, by first snow of the year standards, they dumped about 2 inches on us. Given it's been colder then hell the past couple days I expect this snow is probably going to stick around for a bit too. I'm not sure I'm quite ready for temps in the single digits and teens and measurable snowfall. Doesn't seem that long ago that we were in shorts enjoying the nice weather.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
This afternoon after I got done with my bike ride we decided it had been awhile and we should take the kids to the pool. Clancey has been making some amazing strides with his swimming of the past few weeks, going from being unable to keep himself afloat for 10 seconds to being able to swim all the way to the other end of the pool by himself. Today just as we were getting ready to go I asked if he wanted to go the deep end with me to swim around a bit. When we got down there I had him jump off the side of the pool all by himself which took a little convincing but he did it. After he did that I knew he was ready to try jumping off the diving board. Well we talked about it and he was pretty scared to try. I told him if he jumped off the board we would go to Dairy Queen for supper as a treat. This got him to climb onto the board but he just couldn't bring himself to jump off. After that I told him he didn't have to so we swam back down to the other end of the pool.
When we got down to the other end of the pool Jen came over to talk to him and he was pretty defeated. In fact tears were even welling up in him eye's. I figured if anyone could work magic Jen could so I took Marshall and we swam around a little bit on the other side of the pool while Jen and Clancey talked. After a could minutes I swam back over to see if he had changed his mind. When I asked if he wanted to swim to the other end he agreed and we swam down together. At this Jen got out of the pool and got her camera ready. He acted a scared again but got out of the pool, climbed up the ladder. walked to the end of the board, like a boss, and jumped right off. Being cell phone camera's are horribly slow and capturing a shot she only got him just as he splashed into the water and the one above on the board.
When he surfaced and swam to the edge he was really proud of himself and let me tell you so were the rest of us. Like a champ that kid got out the pool and did it a couple more times. This time Jen took a video of it that I'm working on posting. She took it in portrait mode so I have to do some work on it before I can post it. Let me tell you though, that kid earned every bit of his DQ treat afterward.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Monday, November 04, 2013
Alliant showed up and tested our house out and assured us that there was no issue. The tech told me that the reasons homes are smelling so bad is that there is too much odorant in the gas and it doesn't burn off with the natural gas. So every time the furnace or water heater kick on the house gets more of the smell in it. They said it could be like this for another day or two which kind of sucks. Well at least our house isn't going to blow up.