Friday, September 25, 2009


So, we haven't had a post in a while...and that's because we have been dealing with this.
Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)
Long story short, there is an error (0x00000024 NTFS.Sys) and we need to get the Windows Installation disk to run the repair on our computer. Only problem, we got this computer from my parents so the installation disk is somewhere in Indianola. We are seeing my parents this weekend, so hopefully we will get the disk and be back up and running soon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meals from the Heartland

What if you found out you can change the world? Meals from the Heartland
Iowans from all walks of life came together in love to do what they could to alleviate the devastating impact of world hunger. Working in teams of eight to ten, in two-hour shifts, during the week-long event in September, 12,000 volunteers packaged more than 4,000,000 meals to be delivered to starving people around the world. Individuals, businesses, schools, churches, and various civic organizations rallied behind the effort and showed the nation and the world what Iowans who truly care can accomplish.
Our small group helped out last year and we were jazzed to get on the assembly line again this year. This year we secured a 2 hours time slot on Labor Day from 6 - 8 pm, the last shift of the event! Excited to get started we throw on our hair nets and wait for instructions...
...only to find out that the volunteers who worked from September 3rd until we got there on the 7th actually packaged most of the meals and they were running out of supplies. Which is a good thing because they would reach their goal of 4 million meals! So we took our hair nets off and grabbed a rag and helped out with the clean up effort. We wiped down more plastic bins than I could count, they were stacked way over our heads!
At one point, they opened up the garage door at Hy-Vee Hall, it was a cool site to see out onto the downtown streets and also see hundreds of volunteers packaging meals that will make a difference to millions!
We got a team picture and it was accidental that the boys are lined up in height order.
After the dust had settled and everything was cleaned up, the volunteers through the week ended up packaging 4,019,904 meals! Check out a the video here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Doreen

I am a little behind with this post, but better late than never...right? Anyway, last Sunday, the 6th we celebrated Doreen's birthday. Grandma Great and the Pella VL's came to Ankeny for the day to hang out. The day started with the ladies getting pedicures! Doreen and Shay are all smiles as they get pampered.
Heather and Aaron planned accordingly for the day with matching blues!
After a great meal it was time for birthday cake! Nathan was super excited for the ice cream cake.
Nathan carefully watches Papa Brent's every move as he cuts the cake.
Aaron and I got to hang out for a little bit while the cake was being handed out, Nathan is already digging into his piece in the background.
What a cutie!
"What do you get when you cross an elephant with a fish?"...swimming trunks! Well Aaron thought is was funny.
Aaron's first bicycling lesson, holding on to the handles while he kicked (pedaled) with his feet!
Big brother Nathan also gives Aaron a biking lesson, now that he is a pro on his bike!
We had a great time hanging out in Ankeny on Sunday and spending time together!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I work in a world of numbers and today is wild!


Wednesday (9 letters)

September (9 letters)

252nd day of the year 2+5+2 = 9

So if 9 is your lucky is your day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Saturday evening Heather and I went to the Dayton Rodeo with our friends the Elsbernd's. We packed our picnics, put on our ivory snap cowboy shirts, threw on our cowboy hats and prepared ourselves to step out of our comfort zone and into cowboy culture!
We got to the rodeo around 6:15 and found a good place to sit on the hill. The rodeo is set into the hill in a natural amphitheatre. We got minor wedgies due to the force of gravity as we slowly slide down the hill through the night, but our seats were great so we can't complain. Ryan, Cindy and Lars digging into dinner before the show got under way.
For the pre-show we were amazed by the "Serpentine Riders"...they were a good starting act and got the crowd warmed up for the show.
Then out came "Old Glory" closely followed by...
...the smokeless tobacco flag and the Budweiser flag (and the crowd went wild!)
The local fundraiser for the night were young Hispanic kids picking up cans and bottles, welcome to small town Iowa!
The cowgirls with their flags and Miss Iowa Rodeo in the sparkly chaps!
Heather and I snapped a pic before the big show got started...can you tell we are not really farm kids?
Looking back up the hill at the spectators, Heather, Ryan, Cindy, Lars and Sam...all super excited for the 72nd Annual Dayton Rodeo to get under way! *side note, the Elsbernd's have been to the Rodeo since the 70th annual and are surprisingly well versed in "rodeo culture"
And a special treat...Troy, The Wild Child, was the rodeo clown for the evening.
First up...bull riding.
...after that it was bucking broncos!
Strap in and hold on as long as possible...usually less than 10 seconds.
This was a team event...riding a wild horse. 3 people per team, 7 teams. The gates open with two guys holding onto a stallion with a rope, they then try and throw a saddle on the horse and have one guy ride across to the other side...only problem, the horses aren't friendly! Guys were drug around, kicked, was 3 minutes of chaos.
Due to the darkness we were unable to capture the following events: Bulldoggers (wrestling a bull to the ground), Mutton Busting (young kids holding onto sheep for dear life), Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel racing. All in all, it was a great show and has made our top 5 list of summer events. We highly recommend going to see the 73rd Annual Rodeo next year...giddy up!

Central Invite

Saturday morning, Heather and I headed to Pella so I could run in the Central Invitational. A group of guys from the noon running group formed a team...SCRCXC, to compete in the race. Here we are at the starting line getting ready to race!
...and we are off, thumbs up as I go by.
Heading through the turns as I try and run with the college boys.
...climbing up the last hill to the finish.
...and into the finish!
Even though I have ran this course before, for some reason it felt a lot different running it when I was 28 compared to running it when I was 23...I think the hills got bigger. Despite our age, we did fairly well against the college boys. Our team finished 3rd overall out of 7 college teams and we had 4 guys in the top 21! Check out the full results here. Go SCRCXC!

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Little Landscaping

Heather and I have been wanting to plant some tall ornamental grasses along a small retaining wall that runs between our house and our neighbors house to the east. Well we were at Lowe's looking at their grass and it was on we got some!
We didn't get back from shopping till about 7pm, a quick dinner and then we got to planting.
...and more planting. We ended up planting 19 grass clumps. We planted two types of grass, Karl Foerster Feather Reed grass and Morning Light. Hopefully that will add some good texture and create a visual break (wall) between the two houses.
Here is what our new grasses look like in the daylight!
While our thumbs were still green, we turned our attention to a tree. In this picture there is a small tulip tree between our house and our neighbors house to the west.
Thanks to the help of these guys...
...that tulip tree is no longer there.

The tree really wasn't doing very well, it didn't get a lot of light because of the oak trees and didn't have very many blooms on it this spring, so down it came.

New least to us

We came across a new artist that both Heather and I enjoy, Matt Brouwer.

He is a worship leader/singer/song writer from Canada. Apparently, he has been around for a few years now, but we are just finding out about him. So far I have enjoyed what I have heard. He just released a new album at the end of August, Where's Our Revolution. I have heard clips from his website and I am looking forward to hearing more!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

bike route

There are a lot of things that one can see when they bike to work at 6:30 am. This morning was no exception! First off, I noticed the dawn. The sun was slowly coming up as I was pedaling and making my way downtown. I know, the sun comes up everyday. Two weeks ago, the sun was already up at 6:30 and now today it was just creeping over the horizon...days are getting shorter.
Another thing I noticed today were the kids waiting for the bus. That means...back to school, which also means summer is over.
I was pedaling up one street and a mom was walking her son to the bus stop. I would guess he was in kindergarten or 1st grade, he was pointing out everything to his mom. When he saw me he said "Mom, do you see that bicycle?" "Yes, I see the bike" the mom replied as I passed by. He looks at me going by and shouts..."Hey, cool backpack!" "Thanks" I reply back.
Then I turned the corner and I couldn't believe my eyes. Right there on the side of the road was a small sugar maple tree, half green and the other half red!
Can it be true? Can the tree be turning colors already? It's true, they are changing.
It is a blessing to me to be able to ride my bike to work. My bike slows me down in a fast paced world, which helps me to see the trees changing colors and today I realized that, according to my new friend walking to school, I have "a cool backpack!"