Monday, March 31, 2014

On The Plane

Here I am on the plane headed out to DC once again for a week of meetings.  This time we are staying about 30 minutes from downtown DC so I'm not sure that I'm going to make it to the National Mall area.  The goal is to get my meeting done by Wednesday so I can come back on Thursday but we will see if I can get that goal accomplished.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Headed Out to DC Again

Well once again tomorrow at 7:00am I'm hopping on a plane to go out to DC for another week of meetings.  It's not entirely ideal to be heading out again tomorrow considering that I was just in a Green Room for a week and now I'll be gone for another full week before I get back to my normal job.  Marshall also starts soccer this week so I'll miss taking him to his first practice of the year on Tuesday.  Right now the plan is to come back Thursday afternoon which would mean at least one day of "real" work this week before the week comes around again.  I guess technically I'm headed to DC for work so I am doing "real" work but it's not the work I really need to get done next week.

March 30th 2014

Dairy Queen

After her hard afternoon raking the leaves in the front yard Jen had a craving for some onion rings.  Well given it's Sunday and no one really wants to do any real cooking we figured it was a great idea.  We all piled in the car and headed down to Tipton to eat at the DQ.  Glad we got there a little early because by the time we got our supper and were getting ready to leave it was getting darn busy.

Marshall Climbing the Apple Tree

While we were sitting on the bench Jen spotted Marshall climbing up the apple tree in the back yard.  The apple trees aren't necessarily the best trees to try and climb up, they are small and full of pokey branches.  Well that didn't stop Marshall from trying to climb it anyways.  Of course being the active blogger I am I had to capture a picture to upload.

Jen, I and Harley

Here is a picture I took of Jen, I and Harley sitting on the bench outside our back door while the kids were playing.  One can never have too many selfies with the wife and the dog.

First Warm Day

With it being the first warm day of the year, temps in the mid 60's, we all decided we had better get outside and enjoy it a bit.  Since my bike is in the shop right now that meant no long ride today, which really didn't break my heart considering it was pretty windy today, so I headed outside to play with the boys in their tree house.  When we were in the cities a few weekends ago Jen and I got Marshall and Clancey a new outdoor table and chairs for the house which meant they needed to be put together.  Jen decided to rake up some leaves up in the front where her hasta's are going to be.

Trivia Night

Last night we had another trivia night event as a fund raiser for the new Clarence library project. We had a pretty good turn out last night and as always I had to be the MC for the night. I'm not sure how the wife always manages to twist my arm into it but she always seems too.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Clancey Soccer Getting Started

This morning Clancey had his first soccer practice of the year and it couldn't have been a nicer day.  Well maybe I should correct that statement, given how bad the weather has been it could have been far worse out.  He had a great time at practice and is looking forward to his first game of the year coming up in a couple weeks.

Lunch with the Family

Whenever we are in Cedar Rapids we always have to take the opportunity to go out for lunch.  The boys had a hard time deciding which place to hit up but they finally compromised on mexican.  I have been crazy busy at work lately so it's nice to be able to get out hang with the family for an afternoon.

Dreaming About A New Bike

Today we had to run into Cedar Rapids so Jen could get a sign shipped and I could drop my bike off for a tune up.  While we were there some of the new tri-bikes caught my eye.  I didn't realize that my current tri-bike is 5 years old and I had over 10,000 miles on it.  While they are pretty expensive I feel like I put enough miles on my bike that I can justify the expense to myself.  I have a half Ironman race and 2 full Ironman races this year so it's not like it won't get the use.  I'll have to do some research to figure out which one I want.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Busy Week

This week was yet another busy week but pretty awesome week at work.  Normally when I spend the week in a green room it's not the most entertaining thing you can spend you week doing.  Traditionally it's spent slaving away over word documents, power points and endless requirements documents but this one was a bit different.  Given the public nature of the blog I'm not going to go into the details but lets just say it was a different kind of green room, I feel like we got a lot accomplished and it was a very engaging experience.  To toot my own horn a bit, I walked away as the "overall winner" from the week we spent engineering in the green room!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

More Projects

Today Jen started on to yet anther house project, redoing the boys closet.  For years we've just dealt with the fact it's a horribly ugly closet with very little usable space but finally it's getting a little love.  Today she got all the old crappy paneling off the wall and the old wallpaper it covered scraped off.  She also managed to get the floor tiles pulled up too.  Next it's on to filling to nail holes and getting some paint.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Snuggling In For the Game

Tonight is the first tournament game for the Cyclones so we are all snuggled in to watch the game.  Thinking this year we could go all the way to the Final Four so we are excited to get the tournament started.  Only bad part is the game starts and 9:00pm so I'm not sure we will be able to make it through the whole game.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Headed Home

After a fun weekend up in the cities and an ice storm this morning Jen and I are headed home.  We had a great time getting away for the first time in a long time and are going to do this a little more often.  As a final treat we stopped at Culvers for some custard on our way through Cedar Rapids, which I have to say tasted pretty good.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mall Of America

Around 1pm after our fine BK breakfast and another quick run downtown we made it to the Mall of America. It was surprisingly busy for a random Sunday in March, in fact, I've been here I  the past near Christmas and it was nearly that busy. Apparently this place is a very popular hangout for families on the weekend. My sister Nikki and her family drove up to the mall to have lunch with us which was nice. Once we were done with lunch we found a couple small things for the boys, I stopped by the Microsoft Store to check out the Xbox Games, and then we headed over to Ikea for Jen.

Fine Burger King Breakfast

This morning we got up and around about 9am so Jen could drop her sign off to a customer in the lobby of the hotel. We figured since we were up and around that we would drive over to the mall find a breakfast place and then head over. Well when we got there the IHOP was crazy packed so I was not about to wait for an hour to eat IHOP. A quick search of the area yielded very little other results so we started to drive. If you're ever been on the restaurant hunt you realize how quickly it becomes very frustrating. We had been driving around, searching Google and looking out the window for about 15 minutes when we finally lowered our standards to any place that served breakfast. Well then we happened upon Burger King, which seemed like a good idea until you ate it. After that we've decided that lunch better be somewhere actually good to make up for that horrible idea.

Great Show Last Night

The show over at the Guthrie Theater last night was a really good show. They were correct in saying that if you don't like this show there is no hope that you would ever like any live performances. We ended up getting lucky that after the intermission one of the ushers moved us to some nice seats right in the middle. To be honest Jen and I are just happy that for once we got to use tickets for an event. For the past couple years almost all the things we bought tickets for got ruined in some way. Now today it's on the Mall of America to walk around and then back home on Monday. No matter what at this point, even if we have to rush home for some reason, we'll consider the weekend a success.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Late Lunch

We walked down the road to head to a place called Grumpy's but made a decision to stop at the place right before it called Dayblock for lunch. It's a place that makes specialty pizzas and craft beer that just so happened to play music Jen loves. Turned out the place was awesome and we had a great time. Planning to head back to the hotel for a nap and then head over to the theater.

In Minneapolis

Jen and I made it too our hotel downtown Minneapolis for more of our weekend adventure. The place is a very trendy hotel called the Aloft. We're going to head out now to try and find some lunch before our show tonight.

Weekend Adventure Continues

This morning we got up to a fine breakfast cooked by our wonderful innkeeper, Sally. As I was talking to her I found out that the room we stayed in the Clinton's stayed in in 2007 when she was running for the Democratic nomination, which was kind of cool. Once we got done with our breakfast I drove around to find Grandma Bang's old house and grandpa Mingo's house to show Jen where they lived. Now we are back on the road headed towards Minneapolis for our show tonight. We figured in honor of all teenagers in the world we better stop for a mouth open selfie.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Weekend Getaway

This weekend Jen and I decided it was time for a weekend getaway for just the two of us. Mema and Papa came over to watch the boys for the weekend while Jen and I headed up to the cities for the weekend. Tonight we drove halfway up and stopped to stay in Mason City at Decker House Bed and Breakfast for the night. We went up town and had dinner at Chops a fancy restaurant on the square across from the mall. Been awhile since I've spent the night in Mason City so it feels somewhat weird to be here. Tomorrow it's on to Minneapolis and our show downtown.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Clarence Lore

Not that I generally use my blog for these kind of things but this is a story that will live in Clarence Lore from now until I'm an old man.  I'm pretty sure that if I'm still living here in 50 years we will still be talking about this story even then.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

March Weekend 7-10th 2014

Headed Home

After our lunch and a trip to the video game store the boys and I decided to head back home, mainly to play our new Halo game.  As you can see on the way we passed a truck on the highway 13 clover leaf that decided to go a bit to fast and tip their truck over, smooth move buddy.  I wonder what made up story you are giving your boss to convince him it wasn't your fault for driving too fast.  

Rockin' The Beats Audio Headphones

It just isn't a trip to CR with the boys without stopping at Best Buy to check things out.  I'll tell you what it sure would be nice to have infinite money to spend on electronic gadgets from Best Buy because they also have a ton of cool things.  Anyways, while Clancey and I were walking around we happened upon the Beat Audio display which, as you can see, we took full advantage of.  Awesome as they sound I'm not sure I could ever bring myself to spending $200 on a pair of headphones.

GameStop Trip

Success we've found a copy of the game we were looking for on the used game rack and it's only $20.  It's been awhile since I've played the original Halo game, probably before Marshall was born, so it will be fun to play it again.  I still have my original copy of Halo but the graphics are so bad the boys and I just can't bring ourselves to play it.

Panchero's with the Boys

After church this morning the boys and I decided that we needed a special treat so we jumped in the car and headed to CR for some Panchero's.  Been a while since we've made our somewhat regular weekend Panchero's trip so it was nice to get to enjoy a burrito together for the first time in a while.  Just like always we plan to hit up the Gamestop after this to see if they have a used copy of the remake of the original Halo game.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Late Breakfast

As you can see to go along with our lazy morning we are having a really late breakfast.   At this point I think it would technically be called lunch except for the fact we are having pancakes,  eggs,  and bacon.  

Saturday Morning

Kind of sound like a broken record but after a whole lot of busy weeks we are having our first lazy weekend at home in a long time.   I brought the TV up from the pain cave for the boys so they could play some networked Xbox,  which I'm pretty sure I will be getting involved with to.   Pretty sure this afternoon,  after my ride,  the boys and I will play some Halo Reach Firefight.   Maybe we could ever get Jen to play with us.

Night At The Pool

Last night after I got home from work we all piled in the car to head Tipton for a family swim. It had been a while since we did something fun as a family so we decided that it was time. The boys also really wanted to go to DQ for a post swim supper and ice cream treat. The pool was dead so we had the pool to ourselves for most of the night. We had a great time and can't wait until summer gets here and we can swim in our new pool.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Frozen Tundra

I have to say that while I understand that it's the beginning of March it seems a little bit uncalled for to have the temperature be -11.  I'm starting to think that the forecasters may be right and this will be the shortest summer ever.  I think I"m going to go crazy though if I can't get outside for a workout soon!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Basketball Tournament

Today was the final day of Basketball for the Marshall and they ended it with the league tournament.  All the teams in the 3rd-4th grade level were put into a bracket and played to see who won the championship.  Our team was actually pretty good this year and only lost one game to a very good travel team from West Branch.  We started the tournament playing a team from Tipton we had already beat pretty badly once this year already and once again managed to easily dispatch them.
The second team we played was one of the other North Cedar teams who were undefeated this year.  They had about 3 really good players but turns out don't play that well together as a team.  It was tight the whole game but we ended up pulling out the upset and beat them by 3 points.
Finally we met the only team that had beat us all year in the championship game.  We stayed with them pretty well for the first half but by the end our team was wore out.  I forgot to mention our team only had 6 players so our kids had to play pretty much the whole day.  The other team in the championship game had 10 players so they could sub in and out the whole team.  We played well and I'm proud of the boys for how they did.  We ended up getting second place which is great for the "Little Team Who Could"!