Saturday, January 25, 2014

Trip To Coral Ridge Mall



Marshall Basketball Highlights January 25th



Carousel Ride



When you down at the mall in Iowa City your visit just isn't complete until you take a ride on the carousel.  As you can see both of the boys had a pretty good time on the ride.

Trip To The Bookstore


After the game we decided that we would celebrate by heading down to Iowa City for some lunch, but to also let Marshall use the gift card to Barnes and Noble that Mema and Papa got for him.  Marshall is a ravenous reader, he finishes a couple books a week so he is always in need of new books.  Today he picked up 6-7 new fairly large novels which should probably last him another month.  As an interesting side note I picked up a book on knitting and thought I would try my hand at making some socks.  I figure I have plenty of hobbies that are very intense but none that are relaxing.  Ideally this would be something I could so Ironman week when I turn into a nervous wreck.  ;)

Basketball Today


Today Marshall had his basketball game down in West Branch, Iowa so it was a bit of a trip for us.  At least the game wasn't until 10:00 which meant we didn't have to be up at the break of dawn to get to the game.  Today's game was a the first real test of Marshall's team.  The team we played had two absolutely huge kids that were a good 6-8 inches taller that our tallest kid and probably had 50 pounds on our kids as well.  We got down early, at one point 6-17, and we thought that the game was out of grasp.  Each of the kids though stepped up and made an amazing come back and by the end won 23-19, they only let the opposing team score 2 points in the second half.  Marshall played the best game he has ever played.  He was in there scrapping with the kids, get rebounds and taking shots at the hoop.  Jen and I were both really proud of him and can't wait to see him play again next week.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lazy Sunday

After a very long week and work, hosting people this weekend and multiple birthday celebrations we used today and a lazy day.  We pretty much did nothing today except sit around and relax in our chairs and get prepared for the week ahead.  Well I guess I technically did a 3 hour workout this evening but for most of the day I sat around and did absolutely nothing and it felt good.  The kids don't have school tomorrow so they have one more day to relax and get prepared for the week but I have to head back into work and get back at it.  I'm hoping it will slow down pretty soon at work so I can get a breather.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Crafting Away


For Marshall birthday he got this thing called the Rainbow Loom, that is used to weave rubberband bracelets.  I'm not sure what the reason was but I decided to sit down and see if I could weave myself a rubber band bracelet.  I'm going to say the reason I did was because I've had a crazy long week and work and needed something to take my mind off it.  To make it seem less lame I decided to drink my final Amana Iowa Pale Ale beer while I did it.  Turns out that it is a bit harder then I thought and I had to restart 2 times before I got it right.
As you can see all my work paid off and I ended up with an awesome friendship bracelet that I can give away to my friends ;)

Marshall's Family Birthday


Today we had Marshall's 3rd and final birthday celebration with the family here in Clarence.  For this birthday he requested chili for lunch and a famous cherry cheese cake for his "cake".  As you saw from the post earlier Jen had to go to the cafe to cook the hamburger for the chili.  On Friday she went up and cooked the crust for the cheesecake.
Here is a selfie I took while Marshall was opening his presents.  He got a couple really neat things and of course papa came through with a wooden creation for Marshall.Try and figure out how the pencil got into that piece of wood.  It's a solid block of wood with a pencil that is too long to pull out.

I stared at it for a good hour before I figured it out, (Yes papa, I did go to the internet to check my answer).

Here are the boys enjoying their final cake of the Marshall birthday half week.  Boys are both getting so big and turning into awesome young men that I'm awful proud of!

Marshall's Family Birthday



Marshall's Basketball Picture

Today after the game the coach gave Marshall his basketball picture. He's looking pretty good and old.

Cooking At Millcreek


With the oven broken at home that meant Jen I had to stop, on the way from Marshalls game, to cook the hamburger at Mill Creek. While it's not ideal at least we have somewhere that we can cook our birthday dinner and not have to try to make everything in the microwave.

Marshall Basketball January 18th 2014



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Marshall's 10th Birthday



Marshall's 10th Birthday



Highlight video of the days activities, have to love modern technology.

Marshall's Birthday Party

Here at the VanOort house we like to do birthday's up right and celebrate them in the morning, in the evening and then on the weekend when the rest of the family comes over.  For dinner tonight Marshall requested bacon cheeseburgers and curly fries.  The cheeseburgers just about didn't happen tonight because the over decided to get a short, blow the break and stop working just about the time the cheeseburgers were ready to come off the broiler.  May make it a bit hard this weekend to host the family without an over so hopefully the repair place can make it out.

As you can see Marshall got another cake, he requested a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  It wasn't that long ago that I would have turned my nose up at a chocolate cake but I have recently acquired a taste for chocolate.  

 For his presents we got Marshall new tablet with a bit more memory and the ability to run newer applications.  We also got him a Rainbow Loom.  Apparently all the kids these days are making rubber band friendship bracelets so Marshall wanted to be part of the craze too.  He started working on this first one tonight and it looks pretty complex to master.  It should keep him busy.  

As you can see Marshall had a good birthday and he is getting really big.  I can't believe we are only 8 years away from sending him to college and only having one kid in the house.  We better savor every moment with the boys because they go by way to fast!

Marshall's Birthday Morning



I remember the day he was born like yesterday so it is hard to believe that this morning we woke up to Marshall's 10th birthday.  I'm not sure I've told everyone the story but the night Jen went into labor with Marshall I had called her from work to tell her that I was going to work all night.  We had a software build that needed to get to the customer the next day and we had hard problem we were trying to debug.  Well she told me that I was in fact not going to work all night because she was in labor and we were going to go have a baby.  Well some 12 hours later we had Marshall, I think at 6:00am in the morning, and our life as parents started.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday January 12, 2014



New Phones and Carrier



After years of being with US Cellular and Verizon yesterday we switched to iWireless.  In the past 6 months US Cellular has been an absolute disaster, they have had there billing messed up, the customer support sucks and you pretty much fight with them constantly.  Verizon on the other hand isn't a bad carrier it's just really expensive and I get absolutely zero cell phone coverage in Clarence.  While iWireless may not be a top carrier they have great coverage in Clarence and Cedar Rapids and it is way less expensive then the other two carrier's we are with.  My biggest concern is when we travel will we have cell phone coverage or not.  I guess we will find out.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jen's Birthday Fun





This is a video that Google made for me using Google+ auto awesome feature.  Thought I would share it on my blog.

Ice Cream

This afternoon we were unable to find any bowling alley's with open bowling for Clancey and getting our new phones took about 2 hours.  After not really getting a boy day, beyond lunch, I owed it to the boys to take them somewhere fun so ColdStone it was.  I let each of the boys choose whatever they wanted for a treat which turned into about $20 in ice cream but they were really good today and they deserved it.

Lunch At Wildwood


It had been awhile since the boys and I had been on a boy trip so it seemed like a great idea to pile in the car and go have some awesome BBQ at Wildwood.  Jen isn't a big fan of the place since they only serve meat which is why it makes great place for the boys and I to go.  After this I'm not sure where we will be going but hopefully something fun.

Basketball Game



Today was Marshall's first basketball game of the year down in Wilton.  We ended up getting there an hour early since Marshall misheard his coach and thought it was at 8am instead of 9am.  I guess it did make Jen happy to be an hour early being the "ontime" sort so it wasn't a too big of deal.  Marshall ended up playing a great game today and with only 6 people on the team he see's a lot of playing time now.  The bottom picture is an action shot of when he stole the ball and ran it down the court to score a basket.  The team ended up winning 32-6 so it wasn't much of a game.  In fact I'm not sure the other team even scored in the second half.  Maybe we have a shot of winning the tournament this year!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Orthodontist Appointment


Today Marshall had his orthodontist appointment and we got the verdict on what they were going to do to get his teeth lined up.  The orthodontist told us we had a couple options either headgear at night or take some teeth out to create the space the other teeth need to grow into.  Marshall chose the headgear instead of having teeth removed, which might seem like the best option now but I'm not sure a year into it he will have think the same thing.  No matter what option we chose though Marshall is going to have to get braces so there is not avoiding that.  

Kids Finally Headed Back To School


Turns out that not only did the kids get Monday off for the cold they also got Tuesday off as well.  It's still pretty cold out but not -50 like it was the past two days during the "Polar Vortex".  For Clancey it's a full day but Marshall only has to go back for half a day because of an orthodontist appointment later today.  

Monday, January 06, 2014

Headed Back To Work On a Cold Day


While the kids have this horribly cold day off, work was not called off and I have to brave the cold day to head into work.  As you can see from my dashboard the ambient temp is -15 with a wind chill of right around -50.  Awesome day to go back to work!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Back To School and Work Tomorrow, Maybe


After two weeks off for the boys and I we head back to school and work tomorrow, maybe.  As you can see the forecast for tomorrow morning when the boys get on the bus and I have to drive to work is 20 below zero with a 50 below wind chill.  While it's unlikely that work will be called off on account of cold I'm pretty sure school will be cancelled so they will get one extra day off.  If my car starts I plan to head to work, probably to Jen's protests, but that will be a big if considering how cold it will be.

Update: 1/5/14 5:00pm
The school just left a message and they won't be having school again tomorrow.  These kids are getting the longest Christmas Break ever.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Picture With The Boys


Here is a picture I took with the boys earlier today, while we were at Target waiting on Jen to get the stuff paid for.  I have a goal to get back to over 500 blog entries again next year so I figured I better start posting more if I'm going to meet it.  By the way, the movie "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2" was pretty good.

Out and About With the Family

As a preparation to the coming week of getting back to normal we figured we better head to Cedar Rapids to get groceries and run errands. We also thought we should at least one last hurrah at some family fun so in addition to groceries we figured we would get lunch and go to a movie. The plan is to go see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2". Hopefully it's good.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Treadmill Setup


My treadmill is setup and my pain cave has been rearranged to better utilize space and not have so many cords running across the floor.  As you can see I set up my TV that I got on Thanksgiving, put up my stereo and got my new fan put together.  I just got done with my first run and let me tell you my new treadmill runs great, it is far way better then the one I had been using and the motor doesn't smell like it's burning up with I run.  It is also freaking awesome to be able to watch movies while I run and not have to star at a brick wall while I listen to music.  Going to be a good training year for me!

Treadmill Is Here!

After waiting around since 11am this morning my treadmill finally arrived in Amazon.  I thought that it would show up in a smaller van but as you can see it showed up in a semi.  The driver had some amazing stills getting the truck backed in and to my back door.
I also thought given the size of the load, 300+ pounds, that there would be two guys to help unload the package but turns out only one guy showed up.  That meant I was going to have to help the guy get the thing unloaded and wrangled down our back stairs.  For anyone who hasn't been in our house the back stairs down to the basement are small and narrow and the box we huge, 81 inches long, 33 inches wide, 24 inches tall and like I said earlier 320 pounds.

After some fighting me and the truck driver managed to get it down the stairs and into the pain cave which is the back room of my basement.  Now I just have to get it unpacked and put together before I can do my first run on it!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Christmas Donations


Some months back we started giving each of the boys and allowance for chores they do around the house.  As part of that allowance they get some to spend, some to save and some to donate.  When Christmas rolled around we asked each of the boys what charity they would like to donate to.  Clancey chose a bell off the tree at church for a little boy his age and Marshall chose to give to the pet shelter that we got Harley from.  We bought the stuff a while back but hadn't been able to make the hour and a half drive down to Washington, Iowa to drop the stuff off.  Since break was quickly coming to an end and it wasn't too bad of day we headed down for Marshall to drop his stuff off.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

More Video Games!

Trying to take advantage of every last minute of break the boys and I are playing video games again today.  The video game selection today is Halo Reach on multiplayer fire fight mode with me and Marshall vs Clancey and the Covenent hordes.  We've been having a great time again today so far Marshall and I have only managed to win one time out of a dozen or so games.  Either way it's been fun!

Another Snowy Holiday

It was just a week ago that is snowed all day on Christmas Day and now on New Years Day we have another full day of snow.  I guess everyone who predicted a hard winter was absolutely right because it has been constant snow for the past couple weeks.  I guess that means more sledding for the boys and I.

Christmas Tree Coming Down

It's that time of year again, when it's time for the Christmas tree to come down and it's time to start getting back to the real world again.  Like I say every year it's sad to see the tree come down because that means that Christmas break is coming to an end and it's time to go back to our busy real lives.  I guess all good things have to end, also we have another 5 days of break left so it's not over yet.  Although tomorrow some people will be going back to work so I will probably start getting some emails as a reminder that I'll be going back to work soon.

New Year!


This year as a change of pace, and sometime I've always talked about doing, I decided to bring the year in on my bike in the pain cave.  I figure since this year I'm once again attempting to double up on the Ironman, this time just 5 weeks apart, I'm going to need to spend a whole lot of time in my pain cave.  I got on my bike at 11:30pm and finished up around 1:40 the next day.  Besides being a bit cold it wasn't too bad of ride.
Normally I do some kind of year in review post but this year I'm not going to waste my time.  I pretty much blog my whole life so it's easy enough to see what the family and I did this year.  I don't ever put the bad stuff up on my blog because I think that stuff is best left private, there was some of that this year, but overall our family had a good year.  Here's to a good 2014!