Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Graduation Day

Cue Chris Isaak, tonight was Graduation for Colin and the rest of his class from Frog Hollow in North Liberty. Although Colin will remain a student at Frog Hollow, it will only be before and after his elementary classes at Kate Wickham in Coralville.

Colin's Class Marches into the Auditorium.

Colin takes the walk to pick up his diploma.

Colin and the rest of his Frog Hollow class, taught by Ms. Alisha

The proud parents with the recent grad.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Honey Creek Resort

Memorial Day Weekend 2009 found the Engelbert Clan heading to Lake Rathbun and Honey Creek Resort. The resort is located five miles to the west of Moravia, Iowa or fifteen minutes from Centerville. Honey Creek Resort is the newest family destination in the state of Iowa. It has much to offer such as an Indoor Waterpark, Fine and Casual Dining set on the banks of the Lake, Golf, Boating, Hiking and much, much more. The resort has only been open less than a year and they are in the middle of much development. Although difficult to get to, once we were there it was worth the drive.

Here Colin could not wait to leave.

Dana tees off on the par 3, 3rd. It was the first time we had golfed together in almost 10 years. Her game improved as the round went on, just like my patience with her and Colin on the course.

Colin's attempt at teeing off with a putter in his hands. This is his first time out on a real course. Mine was at Prairie Knolls in New Sharon, his was a PGA Certified Course. The Preserve at Lake Rathbun was a highlight for little Colin.

Dana and Colin spend a little time relaxing and watching the boats drive by on the Lake.

This was one of many boats to be on the Lake.

Sun sets on Lake Rathbun

Honey Creek Resort where Colin enjoyed his weekend.

Colin enjoying the indoor waterpark and its one of many slides.

Colin and Mommy relaxing on this Sunday afternoon.

Mom and Colin enjoying the last few minutes at the resort.

Cubs - Cardinals

I know I am late with these photos, but I was without internet access over the weekend (those pictures to follow). I have been told that the new edition of Busch Stadium is one of the nicer ballparks around. Some have said it is nicer than Chicago's Wrigley Field. Busch is one of the newer ballparks that tries to give fans a feel of an old-time stadium. Each of these stadiums have their own characteristics, and this new park in St. Louis has some advantages that many of the others do not have. This is my second visit to the Cardinal's ballpark, first since writing this blog. This has the feel of old Busch with nicer amenities and great sight lines. While Wrigley Field has its own problems, it is Wrigley Field. It is the original and it is hard to pass up a trip to the Friendly Confines to sit and watch a game.

Shannon's is the place to congregate before and after a Cardinals game. This is a previous "Night Out on the Town." Following this Cubs - Cardinals game, the owner and namesake, Mike Shannon carried on the postgame show in the front lounge. Shannon who has made more of a mark as radio voice of the Cardinals for over 30 years, also played for St. Louis.

A beautiful night for the best rivalry in the National League, if not all of baseball.

Big Mac Land, best known as a landing spot for former Cardinal hitter Mark McGwire's home runs, is also where current all-star Albert Pujols connected on one to knock out the "I" in Big Mac. This came in the first inning off Sean Marshall.

Fireworks go off at the conclusion of a Cardinals sweep of the Cubs.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kinnick's New Turf Taking Shape

The new turf for Iowa's Kinnick Stadium has begun to be put into place. Here is a sneak peak into the new look.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sittin in the Principal's Office

Haven't contributed to this column in a while and thought it was time for a few quick thoughts:
  • Some of the shows garnering the most media attention are reality-style. Celebrity Apprentice, Dancing with the Stars, Amazing Race, Survivor, and Americna Idol are the more popular. Lost, which typically goes head to head with the finale of AI, ended a week earlier this year. The final performances of AI contestants were some of the more memorable of the history of the show, and Shawn's dancing captivated fans in Iowa as well as around the country, but it is refreshing to watch shows with great writing, such as Lost. The reality shows may be cheaper to produce but shows such as Lost, 30 Rock and SNL showed some of the greatest moments from 2009.
  • Michael Vick will get another opportunity to play. Some owner or coach will take the chance. Whoever signs him should do so by earning his way back. He should not be paid any more than the base minimum. Any more should be incentive based--incentives based on off-field performance, not on-field. Sign him to a five-year contract. No reason any team should deal with him for two years and then he becomes a free-agent leading to a higer paying contract somewhere else. That's not fair to the team that brought him back and endured the cirucs that will surround his return.
  • Much talk lately of the Cubs transfer of power to the Ricketts family from Sam Zell and the Tribune. The Ricketts family will find themselves paying large contracts in the later years for players such as Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano. In order to pay these high-priced athletes fans can expect to see ticket prices continue to increase. Consider where the North Siders could be today. Catcher Geovany Soto, Infielders Bobby Scales, Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot, Outfielder Micah Hoffpauier, and pitchers Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Shawn Marshall and Randy Wells all came up through the organization. (Dempster started out with the Marlins, but started his rehab from arm injury at the Cubs Class A Peoria Chiefs). Ted Lilly was a realtively cheap acquisition. Rather than paying top dollar for players such as Soriano, Derrick Lee and Aramis Ramirez had the Cubs went after cheaper Ryan Zimmerman and such I believe they could be in the same position in the standings as they are today. The Cubs aren't far away with home grown talent, but they risk future acquisitions based on the upcoming payroll.
  • I need to drink more milk.
  • It is nice to see a NHL Final Four including at least three teams from Hockey Towns. The Blackhawks and Red Wings is what the league needs, as well as Chicago.
  • I'm ready for Pixar's "Up." I enjoy taking my son to movies.
  • Speaking of my son, tonight was my t-ball head coaches meeting. We are the Rockies! Watch Out!
  • If anyone has any good BlackBerry Apps...pass them my way.

Friday, May 15, 2009

NCAA Softball

I'll take advantage of any opportunity to post the picture of me and Buzz again. Today we celebrate Iowa Softball's appearance in the NCAA Softball tournament. Their regional is set in Atlanta, GA at the home of Georgia Tech. The ladies play Auburn today in the double-elimination tournament. Georgia Tech takes on Boston U.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Now wait for 9 months

Good to see Rose and Bernard back on the show. Not a big fan of bearded Bernard, but still good to know they are alive and least we think they are depending on how the show starts up again in 2010.
Many good sites to find write ups on the final episode of season five. Google search Lost in the news categories and many different papers have their write-ups.
UPDATE: MAY 15--NBC Olympic Announcer Al Trautwig weighs in on his interpretation of the final episode.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Let's Play Two

On what may be the most perfect day anyone could have in Iowa, a trip to Sec Taylor Stadium (currently known as Principal Park, but will always be referred to as the original) was in order. Here is the home of the triple-A franchise of the Chicago Cubs, the Iowa Cubs. It was get-away day as the I-Cubs hosted the Memphis Redbirds (STL) in the final game of a four game series.

Thanks to our friends Ron Stewart and Tom Greene we were treated to seats among the scouts behind home plate. Here a member of the STL Cardinal organization is keeping tabs of the speed of his pitchers.

A beautiful shot of downtown Des Moines. Over 7,000 were in attendance, and by looking at the crowd entering the ballpark many were either taking the day off from school or work.

However this is a baseball game and not a board meeting. Ties only make you stand out in the crowd.

It was a 6-2 final for the home Cubbies.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all moms. Here Colin is helping his mom plant flowers in the backyard. This was after a day of lunch with his grandparents at Hu Hot as well as playing with his Aunt Amy, Uncle Gregg and niece Natalie.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Social Event of the Year

Saturday marked the "Social Event of the Year" for Iowa least for five year old that attend Colin's Frog Hollow class in North Liberty. The young Engelbert's birthday party was celebrated today at a Coralville Reservoir Shelter. All in Colin's class were in attendance.

Colin was treated very well by his classmates in the present category. Hot Wheels, Fire Trucks, Water Guns were among some of the gifts.

Here they are sitting down for some birthday cake and each sang Happy Birthday to Colin...some more than once.

The full day of play wasn't enough to put Colin to sleep at the end of the day. The cake provided extra "unneeded" energy to play with his new toys.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Iowa Football Video Staff Golf Outing

Today was the 2nd annual Iowa Football Video Staff Golf Outing and 13th annual Video Picnic and Awards picnic. A record turnout of 20 showed up. The winning score was -11.
Shane Dowty, Erick Tjarks, Nick Ehret, John Mills

LeVar Woods, Chic Ejiasi, Morgan Hawk, and Alec Johnson
Kyle Yoder, Justin Raddatz, and Frank Sanders
Josh Schamberger, Ben Hansen, Mitch Graybill, Matthew Engelbert
Former Hawkeye Football player and current San Diego Charger, Nate Kaeding joined the groups for a few holes.The winning team of Ron Stewart, Matt Morrow, Bob Rahfeldt Jordan O'Brion
The post-game party bigins
Sitting down together for dinner and awards is the Iowa Football Video Staff

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Purely Iowa--Pella Tulip Time

The first full weekend of May each year ushers in the annual Tulip Time Festival in Pella, Iowa. This year's event takes place Thursday, May 7 - Saturday, May 9. Final preparations were being taken care of in preparation for the thousands of visitors to the small community in south central Iowa.

A look at the town's center square as well as the official viewing area of the parades, queen presentation, dancing and cleaning of the streets.

Here are a couple of good shots of the tulips in full bloom.

Windmills are very common in this Dutch community.

A very popular destination for those in Pella for the weekend. Jaarsma Bakery and VanderPloeg Bakery are the hot spots for the many Dutch treats.

All types of pastries adorn the window of the bakeries.

The most popular item is the Dutch Letter.
If you decide to go bring plenty of cash. My mom and I found many stores and restaurants only accepting cash and no credit / debit cards.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Colin's Birthday Weekend in Chicago

Colin turned Five on Friday and he celebrated the event with a weekend in Chicago with Dad, the Cubs and all different types of transportation. As much as enjoys trains, planes and automobiles, this was the weekend for him, and of course a Cubs game was the weekend for Dad. The picture above is taken in front of the famous Chicago Theater after the Cubs game on Saturday. Colin wanted to ride the trains and where better to go than downtown Chicago.

Colin aboard the Blue Line "L"

Transferring to the bus for the ride down Addison Street.

Staying at a hotel near O'Hare allowed Colin to keep an eye on many airplanes landing.

And the luggage cart was his own "Blue Line train."

It was the Cubs and the Marlins playing the third of a four game series. The third base coach for Florida is former Iowa Defensive Back and Outfielder Bo Porter. Bo played for the Hawkeyes in the early to mid nineties. He has been with the Marlins for three seasons.

Peter Cetera formerly of the band Chicago led the crowd in Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch.

Here Colin and I take a picture from our seats, perhaps some of the worst in the ballpark. While trying to economize our trip to the Windy City, we decided to purchase the cheapest seats the Cubs had to offer, however, stay away from Row 9 of the Upper Deck Reserved in Section 509. Row 9 is the last row and those in Section 509 could not see the Center Field Scoreboard. On this sunny day with temperatures in the 60s, our seats backed up to a chain link fence with a cold wind howling into our backs. Colin did tough it out and we made it through seven plus innings.

And what I feel is the money picture from the entire weekend, Colin and I outside the Friendly Confines.

Of course we had to take time to do a little swimming. If we weren't riding on public transportation, we were in the pool.

But Colin needs time to relax following the game. Here he is showing off his new Cubs hat bought earlier in the day at Wrigley Field.

This was an exciting weekend for Colin. He was jumping for joy. Although it is difficult to see, there is definite seperation between his legs and the bed.

It was a long weekend, but it was a good weekend. Colin crashed hard every night.

For those of you with Facebook accounts, more pictures will be posted there.