Tuesday, December 30, 2014
After spending a few days at Mema and Papa's after our family Christmas we picked the boys up today. I was really looking forward to getting my video game playmates back so we could have some more Titanfall tournaments. I've been practicing but I'm still not as good as Marshall and Clancey is even beating me from time to time. Going to have to step my game up if I want to be able to beat the boys on our second video game day on New Year's Day.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
On the way home from Mema and Papa's Jen and I decided to stop at Hickory Park for some lunch. The boys aren't with us because mema and papa wanted to keep them for a few days so it's just Jen and I. Tomorrow the plan is to head to CR to do a bit of clothes shopping for me since it's been years since I've actually bought clothes for myself. Pretty sure I'll have a baby fit at some point during the day though ;-)
Saturday, December 27, 2014
As is tradition, we celebrated Jen's Birthday that evening after we celebrated our family Christmas. I'll say this, Mema does a good job of making sure that we don't invade Jen's Birthday with Christmas. She always makes sure that she has a rum cake and that any gift she gets is not wrapped in Christmas paper. Hard to believe that Jen is 39 years old and next year we will be 40. Doesn't really seem like that long ago we graduated college and we're just getting our lives started. Time sure does fly.
After we got done opening the presents it was time to do our family Christmas dinner. As an adult dinner is probably the best part of Christmas, in all the hustle and bustle of the year it's not very often you get to sit down a good ham dinner and mashed potatoes and gravy. Plus it give you a chance to retell all the stories from the year. A new favorite is Daddies Baby Fit putting together the tent on the way to Disney World. Not sure I"m a fan of that story.
In what is somewhat of a weird twist we decided to do presents at Mema and Papa's before we did lunch, which I have to say the boys were quite happy about. Clancey we quite concerned though because as he was looking under the tree he didn't see any presents for himself so he was sure that he wasn't getting anything. Much to his relief there ended up being a number of presents for him.
Friday, December 26, 2014
Thursday, December 25, 2014
After about a full hour of opening we got our present opened. I took a video of the whole thing but it's like 7GB which is going to take about 4 days to upload to Youtube I probably won't start uploading for a couple days so it's going to be a while until it shows up online. Anyways, the kids had a great time opening gifts. Once again Santa out did Jen and I by getting the boys each their own laptop computer. Which they were both excited about. They also got Remote Control Helicopters, some video games and clothes. We're thinking that after I get the laptops setups we are going to head upstairs to the game room and play some Titanfall for a while.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Kind of late in the game but after church we decided we had better decorate some cookies so that we had some to give Santa this evening. After this it's time to do the reindeer dust, the pickle, and then head to bed and wait for Santa. So far we've had a great Christmas season and can't wait to see what the jolly fatman brings us tomorrow.
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to take pictures in Church but I guess I have to risk it so I can get this picture every year. Right now Jen and boys are downstairs decorating cookies and getting excited to go to bed. As much as they enjoy video game day they still like Christmas the most. Who wouldn't, that's when you get gifts.
Not sure if you can see it on the TV, but take my word for it we are tracking Santa. I think every year the technology for tracking Santa gets more and more advanced. This year we are able to use our phones to send the live video of Santa right to the living room TV. Works out well because every time we run downstairs to get snacks we can check where he is at.
I think it was yesterday that Clancey lost his second front tooth and is officially in need of two front teeth for Christmas. Pretty sure Santa does what he can to meet the kids desires but this one may be a bit out of Santa's control.
We've been at it for a couple hours now and are having a great time. We've spent some time playing Halo Reach along with some competitive Titanfall. Turns out that the boys are both better than me at games now, which is kind of a hard pill to swallow. I guess it comes with the turf, I'm getting older and the boys are in their video game playing prime.
Hard to believe that today is Christmas Eve and our annual Video Game Day/Food Day at the Van Oort house. This morning Elfie, our Elf on the Shelf, brought the boys two new bean bags for the game room and then a new Xbox 360. Now we officially have 3 Xbox 360's, 3 TV's and can play Halo Reach against one another on our own screens, which as a gamer is a really big deal. The boys are up early and can't wait to get started.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Today after spending most of yesterday having a mini-video game day and not stepping foot outside the door, Clancey and I headed into the Quad Cities to do a bit of Christmas Shopping. Marshall was feeling a bit under the weather still so it was Clancey and me on our own. In addition to Christmas Shopping we went out for lunch, had some Starbucks and even went bowling. It's not that often Clancey and I get to spend time together by ourselves so it was fun to hang out.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Friday, December 19, 2014
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Today, after church, I spent a better part of the the day working on the video game room and I have it mostly done. There are few things left that need to get moved and some stuff that needs to get sorted through but at this point it is good enough to use and is ready for video game day! The boys have been really excited about getting it done so I'm really happy to have it done. I spent some time up here this evening trying it out and it's pretty cool so far. Can't wait to try it out with the boys next weekend.
This morning was the Christmas Program up at church and both of the boys did a good job. It wasn't quite as exciting as the Drama performance earlier in the week but it was alright. Marshall read for the first time in front of the church which was cool to see. Clancey was a star that held up signs for the church crowd to see.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
They made it too the finish! Jen said the race went really good and she is feeling confident for the half marathon. Marshall hasn't spoke yet, looks to be in shock, and struggled to run the entire race. Jen said they were about a half mile in when Marshall started to ask to walk. He did manage to muster a run the whole way but it appears it's going to take him a while to recover.
Jen and Marshall just ran by Clancey and I, they only have to run around the block and they will be done. As you can see Jen looked really good, Marshall on the other hand, didn't look like he was fairing for well. I'll be curious to see what they deal is when they finish in a couple minutes.
Here we are at the start of the 5K. While we were waiting around for the race to get started we took a few pictures of Jen and Marshall. After Marshall and Jen have been sick all week I'm a bit worried about how they are going to do. I guess we will see in 30 minutes or so when then make it back around to the finish line.
This morning we made a trip over to Geneseo, Illinios so Jen and Marshall could do the 5K they have been training for the last couple months. Since we got there a bit early we were able to take the city in a bit. We found this awesome cafe downtown Geneseo called State Street Cafe. As you can see from the picture above they had a leg lamp in the window that we all had to get a picture with while we waited on our food. After we got done we found this cool pig in clothes that Marshall really wanted to get a picture with.
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Tonight Marshall had his first drama performance up at the middle school in Clarence and the kid killed it. He played Brutus in a modern take on Shakespeare which was pretty entertaining. At one point the kid got into an insult contest with Shakespeare and even had to tackle him. Marshall really enjoyed himself and was sad that he wasn't going to get to do it again for another year. To be honest, I'm sad too because it was fun to watch him perform.
Sunday, December 07, 2014
Saturday, December 06, 2014
Marshall really wanted Clancey to see what was going on so he asked me to grab him so he could see the last time they ran the robot close up. I made sure to get as many good pictures as I could without violating the rules of the competition. As you can see they were in deep discussions about the robot the best way to solve the problems.
Today we are at Marshall's First Lego League competition in Marion. The competition is best described as an engineering competition for Middle Schoolers. What they do is couple different tasks, build a robot to solve some problems on a table top and then present 3 different topics. One topic about the Robot itself, one about a project they came up with and one about core values. So far the kids are having fun and doing alright.
Friday, December 05, 2014
Here I am posing with Santa at Christmas in Clarence. I came up the Mema, Papa and the boys to take part in the events and get some supper. It's early yet and it's already busier than it was last year. Hopefully it stays busy and the group makes a lot of money for the library project.
Thursday, December 04, 2014
This week I've actually have a fairly productive set of meetings for once and feel like the trip was worth it. I was able to accomplish a couple key goals over the course of the week and will be able to leave today to head home. I was worried I would have to stay another day but since I got my goals accomplished early in the week I'm headed home in a few hours.
Monday, December 01, 2014
This morning was a spectacular morning to get out for a run. When I started it was a bit chilly but by the time I got running I managed to get warmed up and it was perfect out. As you can see I got up to the monuments before the crowds so I was able to get some good shots without having people in the way. Not sure if I'll be able to get out the rest of the week for a run but at least I got out for this one.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
I just got to my hotel in DC. The trip was pretty uneventful beyond the standard crappy traffic in DC, even at night. Tomorrow I don't have my first meeting until 1:00pm so I'm planning to head out on a run in the morning up to the mall to take some pictures of the monuments.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
It wasn't that long ago that I spent a week in France and now once again I'm boarding a plane to head off to DC. Just like with my trip to France, I leave on Sunday and don't get back until Friday afternoon so once again it's going to be a long week. Right now though this is looking like it will be my last business trip of the year. There was a chance I was going to have to go to Kentucky the week before Christmas but that's looking less likely at this point. Looking back over the year this has been my busiest travel year ever. In fact this is the first year I've ever earned a status on an airline. I guess I have plenty of frequent flyer miles to get some free trips next year. Maybe I can use it for another trip to Orlando with the family.
We made it to Kelly Tree Farm to get our Christmas Tree for the year and it was freaking packed. The first time every we had to park on the gravel road outside of the farm because there wasn't any parking in actual lot. It's alright I guess, I did manage to get this good picture of the sign on the way in.
Like always the family picked the tree that was the farthest from the car and while the picture gives the impression that the boys carried the tree up, that lasted all of 2 seconds before I ended up carrying the tree up the hill. Good thing I'm and Ironman and in great shape because the hill is steep and it's a long way up it.
Finally I got that heavy tree up the hill and the farm hands got it all shaken out and ready to load. We once again posed for our picture with our tree that we will receive from Kevin next Christmas, I suppose as a reminder to come back. I took a short video of the cutting of the tree that should be uploaded shortly for everyone to enjoy.
I guess technically in honor of "Shop Small Saturday" we stopped at the bakery in Tipton on the way to Kelly Christmas Tree farm to get our family tree. The bakery is always a family favorite and went well with all the other stuff that we ate this week that is bad for us.