Thursday, April 30, 2015

Life Flight

This was probably the highlight of the trip for most of the kids, getting to see the helicopter up close and personal.  The trip has been alright so far but let me tell you, kids are freaking naughty as hell.  Pretty sure the most parents have ZERO expectations for behavior.  I always compare other kids to Clancey who is able to sit still, follow directions and just generally behave, that is not the norm at all.  I'm thinking after this we will be getting on the busses to head back.  At least Clancey and I had a good time together even though the other kids were a pack of wild animals.

Field Trip with Clancey

 Here I am on the bus with Clancey to take his class field trip to St. Lukes hospital.  I guess it's a yearly thing and they really needed a dad to go along be able to help with the boys.  Jen volunteered me to help, pretty sure I'm going to regret this by the end of the day.  The bus is already nuts and we are just outside of town.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Painting the House

I guess we aren't technically painting the whole house and just the facia.  Next week the gutter people are going to be here and we needed to spend this week getting ready for them to come put the gutters on.  Jen has spent the whole week on a ladder getting the facia ready.  Today I left work a bit early so I cold help her with the ladder now that she is working on the second story. At this rate we should be done by Sunday.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Last Treat Before We Get Home

On the way home we stopped at an Ice Cream stand near Washington Iowa to have our last treat before we get home.  The place it pretty much in the middle of nowhere and it was busy as heck.  The ice cream is really good though so it's not a surprise that it's busy.  It's going to be hard to get back into the swing of things next week after having a short vacation.

Headed Home

After a fun couple days in Hannibal we are headed home.  Both the boys said they had a good time and I know Jen and I did, I would rate the trip a win.  It's nice to be able to head out as a family and decompress for a few days and leave the worries of work and home behind you.  Thinking we are going to have to do this again soon it was fun to have a road trip with the boys.

Rockcliffe Mansion

As one of the last things we did here in Hannibal we went over to see the Rockcliffe Mansion.  It's a huge mansion build the a lumber baron in 1900 by John Cruikshank.  Not only is the place huge but apparently it's haunted as well which was right up Jen and Marshall's alley.  The tour turned out to be quite interesting and was well worth the trip up the hill to see it.  I personally didn't really feel the haunted part of the house but Jen and Marshall both said they felt it.  

Historic Mark Twain Buildings

This morning we headed over to see the historic Mark Twain buildings and the Mark Twain interpretive center.  We got to see Huck Finn's house, Mark Twain's boyhood home, Becky Thatchers house and finally John Clemons building.  It was neat to see some of the places that inspired his books.  

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn Statue

Yesterday with it being rainy and dreary all day we couldn't get that great of picture in front of the Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn Statue.  Today as we were headed over to see all the Mark Twain historic buildings we took the opportunity to use the good light to take a picture.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Becky's Ice Cream Emporium

Holy Cow! We did something that wasn't title "Mark Twain".  We had ice cream to end the day at Becky's Ice Cream Emporium. Poor Clancey after his crazy big burger at lunch just couldn't finish his ice cream but he still had a good time.  After this we are headed back to the hotel to rest our feet and swim in the pool for a while before we head out for supper.

Mark Twain Museum

We made a quick stop at the Mark Twain Museum to see all the artifacts and exhibits they have surround Mark Twain and his novels.  Funny story to tell about Marshall while we were here.  So as you saw earlier we actually went into the Mark Twain cave and walked around all the area's that inspired Mark Twain in his novels.  Well the museum had an exhibit here that was a replica of the Mark Twain cave.  It was all of about 12 feet long and had light up story boards as you walked through.  Marshall refused to go into the replica cave, he was just too scared.  Not sure I get that one.  We will walk through the real cave for nearly a mile and at some points in pitch black, but the 12 foot replica is just too much.

Mark Twain Riverboat

The theme is still alive here in Hannibal as we are boarding the Mark Twain Riverboat for a tour.  It just started raining pretty good here so it's good we are headed into the boat for the next hour to stay dry and enjoy a tour.

 Between the phone tripod Jen got me and my Smartwatch I've been able to set up some pretty good family photo's.  This one was from our little "private room" on the riverboat for the tour.
 After the rain let up a bit I had the boys step outside for a quick picture on the boat.  I'm pretty sure that this was the first time that any of us have every been on a riverboat floating down the Mississippi River.
Just a few of the sights from the trip.

Lunch At Mark Twain Brewery

In keeping with the days theme of doing everything that is title "Mark Twain ..." we headed over to the Mark Twain Brewery for lunch.  Turns out the place was really freaking awesome.  Marshall got the BBQ Chicken Wings for lunch and managed to get covered from head to toe in BBQ sauce, but I guess he really enjoyed them so it wasn't that big of deal.  Clancey got a 1/2 pound cheeseburger and managed to pack the whole thing away.  On an interesting side note, I ran into the guy who sits in the cube right over the wall from me here.  He had been gone for military training for the past few months so he hadn't been at Rockwell but decided to meet his girlfriend here for the weekend.  Crazy randomly running into someone you know 3 hours away from home.

Mark Twain Lighthouse

After we got done at the cave we headed downtown to check some things out.  Last night Jen had gotten on Twitter and was looking over the Visit Hannibal account and saw they had posted a question about Proclaimer's hits from the 90's.  I didn't realize this but she was a huge fan back then and answered the question correctly which meant she got to go to the visitors center to pick out a prize.  From there we thought we would check out the Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn statue and then head up to the lighthouse.  

 First stop on the 244 steps up to the light house was at the old bridge.  The bridge itself is gone but the approach is still there which they've turned into a park. We had a scavenger hunt sheet so we had to walk around and find all the items on the sheet and even learned a bit on the way.

 On our trek to the lighthouse we encountered an area with some graffiti so I thought what better place to showcase my picture taking skills and Clancey strike a Joe Cool pose.  Maybe he will get a modelling deal once this picture goes viral on Instagram.  

Finally we made it to the top and got to see the lighthouse up close and personal.  I guess the light is non-functioning and really was just a tribute to Mark Twain.  Which while I'm all for tributes to Mark Twain but pretty sure this whole city is a tribute to Mark Twain.  Anyways, before we came down we all had to pose for another family picture.

Into The Cave

Before we entered the big cave we had to pause for a family picture.  It had been awhile since I had been in a cave, and I'm not sure Clancey had ever been in a cave so we we're looking forward to seeing what's inside.
The picture above was the big test, were either of the boys going to freakout or be claustrophobic?  Well the answer turned out to be a resounding no, Clancey walked into the cave like a champ and ended up being the group leader for quite a while during the tour.

Clancey was the one to point out that a big part of the cave tour was all the signatures on the wall, over 20,000 said the tour guide, but visitors are not allowed to sign the wall anymore.  Turns out the cave was the hide out for Jessie James after a robbery, which they have proof of because he signed the wall where he was hiding.  All in all the tour was pretty cool and I would recommend anyone in the area go check it out.

Mark Twain Cave

This morning we are off to start our family fun day in Hannibal.  The first thing on the agenda is a visit to the Mark Twain Cave.  This cave is the one that Mark Twain writes about at length in his books.  Marshall is pretty excited to see the cave that he has read about in the books.  He told us he had read the book some year back but just read it again for a book report in school.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Vacation To Hannibal

For the last few months I've been busier than heck and work and spent a whole lot of time on the road so the boys really lobbied for road trip.  Jen got onto Mid West Living website to look for weekend getaway's and came up with Hannibal Missouri.  So Friday after the kids got out of school we piled in the car and headed south.  We got here around 7pm, checked into the hotel and went to find something to eat.  We found the Ole Planters Restaurant for dinner and it was pretty good.  Tomorrow we have a whole bunch of things planned to do, should be a good time.

Coe 5th Grade Honor Band Song #2

Coe 5th Grade Honor Band Song #3

Coe 5th Grade Honor Band Song #4

Day Off From Work

Today, since we are leaving for our weekend trip at 3pm and I've been really busy all week, I thought I would take the day off.  The plan is to get the cover pulled off the pool and start to work on getting it opened up, in addition to getting packed up for the trip.  Kind of nice to have the day off for once and get to spend the day with Jen, its been a long time since we've done that.  May need to make a habit of this once a month or so.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wet and Wild Soccer Game

I've always said that they take their sports seriously here in the North Cedar School district but today really showed it.  To start out with it was a crazy windy day today, in fact I was getting alerts on my phone all day about the wind.  Second it was somewhat really chilly today.  Finally, there were scattered storms in the area so I was certain they would cancel the kid soccer today.  Not in North Cedar District rain or shine we play!  As you can see above it was windy, rainy and cold for the game and the 7 year olds toughed it out to play.  At least we got to see a rainbow as part of the wild weather.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Long Workout Today

I really haven't talked about it much this year on the blog but I have another Ironman coming up in September which means I have to start getting in long weekend workouts.  Also, since Jen has signed up for a half marathon this summer, I've had a running partner on Sunday's for my runs.  The picture above does NOT reflect how I felt during my run.  I decided to do a 30 mile bike ride and then an 8 mile run after.  The ride went fine, the run was a different story, I suffered.  Neither Jen and I were feeling the run so it was a slow and painful slog for an hour and a half.  We were both exstatic to have the run done when we did finally get completed.  Next time I need to make sure I focus on getting my nutrition in me so I have energy for the transition run.  

Boys Playing Bells in Church

Bells In Church

Yesterday after Marshall had to play in the Honor Band day his band director told him he had the rest of the weekend off from playing music.  Well turns out he had to violate that rule and played today in the kid chime choir.  Clancey on the other hand had no such rule to violate so he was cleared to play in the choir today.  Once again they sounded good and it was cool to see Clancey get to play today along side his brother.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Honor Band

We just got finished with Marshall's honor band and they sounded awesome.  After going to Marshall's band concert earlier this year I kind of had my expectations set for what an elementary band should sound like.  Wow, this was clearly way above those expectations.  It was shocking to think these only played together for the duration of today and sounded this good.  Now granted most of them had the music for about a month now but still I was amazed how good they sounded.  Marshall said he had a good time and is hoping he gets the opportunity to play again next year, which I'm sure he will.  I'll work to get the videos uploaded of the concert.

Day Of Golf

After I dropped Marshall off at the school to head over to Coe for his honor band, I headed over to Amana to play 18 holes of golf.  The Amana course is significantly harder than my home course 3/30 Club in Lowden but so far I'm not playing too bad.  Hopefully I can keep it up

Marshall Headed To Honor Band

This year Marshall got selected to play in the Coe Elementary honor band.  This morning Marshall heads over to Coe College for all day preperation and then this afternoon at 4pm he will play a concert.  It's pretty cool that he was selected to play in the honor band at such a young age.  I guess it helps that he has been playing piano since he was 7.  Really looking forward to seeing his concert this afternoon.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Soccer Game

Last week Clancey had his first soccer game but I was in Dallas so I couldn't see it.  This week I was finally able to make it down for the action.  Clancey played a pretty good game and even scored a goal, which he was pretty excited about.  As far as I can tell Clancey is one of the best players on the team so I'm betting that isn't going to be the last goal of the the season for him.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Family Game Night

The boys both rebelled and demanded the return of family game night.  In an attempt to be good parents and not let our boys down we played "Ticket To Ride" for the first time last night.  It actually was a pretty fun game, even though it took about 2 hours to get the game done.  Believe it or not Jen pulled out the big victory!  Generally Clancey and I are the ones to beat so my hat's off to her for beating us two.

Singing In Church

I'm sure I've mentioned this before on the blog but Marshall is not a big fan on "kid" singing in church.  He's getting older now and feels like he is too big to be singing.  Well we are coming up on the end of the school year, so his days are numbered as far as singing goes, but today was another singing day.  The song they sang was a really kiddie song and he was not impressed.  To make matters worse she made them sing it twice because they didn't sing it with enough vigor the first time.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Parkour Rolls with Clancey

When Marshall and I pulled into the driveway after we were golfing we saw Clancey outside doing Parkour in the front yard.  I decided to head out there with him so we could learn how to do Parkour Rolls.  We watched a video on Youtube and we were off on our Parkour experience.  Turns out that I'm not 20 years old anymore and I'm quite surprised I'm not hurt.  We'll see how tomorrow goes.  

Golfing With Marshall

This year we renewed out membership at the 3/30 Club in Lowden so the boys and I can go golf again.  I spent most of the afternoon watching the Masters on TV but decided around 4pm that is was time to head over to Lowden and play our first round of golf for the year.  We actually only played 3 holes but had a good time.  I'm thinking we may head over again tomorrow afternoon to play again so we can get a full 9 holes in.  Thinking I need to make some time to play more golf this year.  Really enjoy it and it give the boys and I a great excuse to spend the afternoon together.

Soccer Pictures

This morning we had soccer pictures for Clancey and I have to say while it was a bit windy and chilly, it was way better than it had been in the past.  There have been times we've been out here to take pictures and it's been cold and miserable.  When ever you see Clancey with his classmates it is amazing to me how much more mature and well behaved he is.  He can stand still and hold a conversation, while it classmates are completely nutty wild people.