Friday, January 19, 2018

The worlds busiest week

This week was our worlds most busy week. Holy Crap.

We had ...

2 doctor appointments - Tom and Kay - all is good for both and ... drum roll ... Kay grew ANOTHER 1 1/2 inches and gained 10 lbs so she is now, officially 4' 11 1/2" and 96 lbs. I DO think she'll hit 5 feet and 100 lbs after all! This means she has grown 3 1/2 inches and gained 25 lbs this year. I'd be crabby too if that was me. No wonder she sleeps all the time!

1 dentist appointment - Billy had a back molar come in "rotten" so needed a filling

1 orthodontist appointment - Kay got brackets on her back molars, not a happy camper

1 orchestra concert - Billy was awesome on the violin and it was fun to see him play with the Jr High and High School and be able to envision "what's next".  The High School orchestra is going to Orlando to compete in February so they used this concert as a competition practice, very cool.

1 jazz band concert - Jimmy literally blew everyone away on the drum set.  He was having so much fun and cant wait to kick some serious drum kit ass in try outs next year for the Jazz 1 group.

2 gymnastics meets - Kay had her regular Thursday night High School meet against Edina and took 1st overall with her best all time score ever of 36.2.  Her floor was amazing, her bars fun to watch, her vault is getting better and her beam is always death defying and impressive.  Then, on Saturday, she had the Wolf Pack High School Invitational.  She LOVES to compete and the extra meets this year have really helped with her pre-meet anxiety. She still gets nervous but its WAY better than last year.

1 late start for school  -Tom is "in charge" of late start once a month and its a debacle.  This week it was below 0 so they couldn't even send the kids out to play AND ... 1/2 the staff called in sick - a bad bad morning for Tom. which leads me to...

1 sick kid - Billy came home on Thursday, after a week of coughing, and went straight to bed. Poor kid! But, he got his homework done and was up the next morning ready for school (and swimming in gym class). He's a tough cookie that one.

This is all on top of the regular schedule of school, work, homework, tests, work outs, dog walks and life in general.  Its a good thing we are a super high energy house that loves good (& healthy) food with pretty robust immune systems and strong competitive streak. Add in that most of us are extroverts and I think you can see how we got to this point.

However, I do have a martini (with 4 olives) in my near future.....

can you see Billy?

Featuring Jimmy !

Gorgeous morning walk in MN

Kays routines

Jimmys concert

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow

Holy cow, we have been pressuring Julie to bring the boys up for a white christmas and did we get it!
On 12/26, we all headed out to meet up with Tracy's family in Michigan for a week of white, snowy fun.  It was a BLAST!!

In fact, it snowed nonstop from an hour before we got to Tammy until 2 hours after we left Tammys. I think it snowed over 3 feet in 5 days and it was amazing lake effect snow, nice and fluffy. It also meant that we missed the -10+ degree weather in MPLS as lake effect snow usually bring temps of mid teens.  Nice.

We'll share the week through photos...

Daily walk with Mom, Tammy and Julie, through the cemetery and down the lake.  Julie held up surprisingly well considering she hasn't been home in the winter in 20 years.

The boys were busy grooming their sledding hill and trying to find death defining ways to use skis, planks and other random yard implements

Billy loves To dig holes, always has always will

Platform tennis competition.  Jimmy and Joey beat out everyone to have the honor to play Jeff and Grandpa. Jeff and Grandpa nearly beat them too!


The gang eating pizza while getting ready for the championship round of platform tennis

Jimmy defying the weather in short sleeves
The moment before you get hit by a snowball from your cousin
Lake Michigan is gorgeous in all seasons - another daily walk

Grandpa and Grandma gave everyone a session at an escape room. It was adults vs kids. Kids in one room, Adults in the other, whoever gets out 1st wins.

The gang

The adults are OUT with 4 minutes to spare! It was hard and we had to ask for clues but it was really fun and we worked well together.

The kids did NOT make it out. But, we could hear them cheering through the wall every time they got a clue right. Billy was voted MVP and Jimmy is convinced that Billy could have done the whole thing himself, without help. Billy says that Jimmy and Joey were no help at all. They probably would have made it out if Georgia and Kay hadn't thrown all the clues, both new and used, into the same pile


Yogi in the snow


We headed to Chicago with Tammy, Jeff, Georgia, Joey and Herbie after Grandma, Grandpa, Sue, Julie, Cedric and Solomon left. We had dinner at Timothy O'Tooles and the worlds 2nd best magician came by with a few tricks. he was amazing and had the kids captivated. 

And now, for my next trick


Michigan Ave shopping with Herbie, Billy, Tammy, Georgia and Kay - The Nike store

Kay (finally) got her ears pierced!  Super cute!

Georgia's 15th birthday dinner was at Dicks Last Resort where the wait staff are rude and the food is amazing. We all wore insulting hats that our waitress made for us - Kay's said = More Annoying than Trumps Tweets - Tom's said = So old I fart dust  Billy's said = Fart here Tracys said something about a sex machine being out of order and Jimmy's said = I found my 1st pube.  Billy commented "Kay should work here"  Then, 10 minutes later Kay said "I should get a job here".  Too much fun.
Quick drop back to Cmas at Brigids with the other cousins

Grandparents and Dennis/Brigid
The cousins!

Again, Charlie got a Baby Alive doll and both she and Kay were in heaven

Cute group

Catching up with cousins

Sue and Julie

The kids table

Snow ball fight mixed with hot tub party

Loser gets snowballs thrown at them.

More action shots

Kay and Georgia

Billy and Sol

A nice fire by the tennis courts

Another snowball fight

We also watched a TON of football - Vikings, Michigan, Clemson.
Had yummy meals - Indian, Chalupas, Smoked Pork, Pizza
And played some pick up basketball, game of Risk and other miscellaneous family fun.

WE love how well the cousins get along, its always a super fun time.

Happy holidays to all!!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Despite a temp of -3 and a windchill of -20, Christmas came. It came just the same.
Santa was extremely generous, even if Tracy and I had a bit of trepidation. The kids are at that tricky age where they dont really "want" anything and anything they DO want is super expensive. But, they still like opening gifts. Plus, they want to sleep in vs be up at the crack of dawn. (They negotiated a 10am wake up, but. ..Kay did succumb and was up at 9:30, chatty Kathy). In fact, last night was the 1st time they didnt write a letter to Santa. Sort of bitter sweet. However, Santa did prevail!

1st up, the stockings ...  this years treasures were a fork, ear buds, favorite gum, Swiss Chalet sauce, favorite candy, pop its and a candle.  Santa note acknowledge that its hard as they get older but that Santa still believes in them....

2nd, presents.  This year, Tracy and I decided to gift each other new bath matts, bath towels, napkins, a table cloth and new dishes (hence the forks in the stockings).  We wrapped them all up and had the kids (mainly Jimmy) open them. He was a good sport and now feels like he'll be ready to move out when he graduates in 3 years.

Kay had a banner year and is thrilled with all her gifts (no sign of the major break down from last year). A new instant printer for photos, sports bras, a robe, Adidas sweatshirt, dip fryer and - the big kahuna - a new iPhone from Santa. Yikes.

Billy didnt have much on his list but he got it all and is thrilled.  It was a gaming themed Xmas, 2 new controllers, a controller charging station, video game, back up memory and gift card.  He's loaded for bear.

Jimmy was our tough one and worry. The only thing he wanted was a MacBook Pro that he can run Final Cut on (video editing software). These are $2k+ new and we werent in the market for that. We did explore refurbished and he gave us a list of required specs. After calling Device PitStop on a daily basis, Tracy did manage to find one that met all this requirement and was in our price range - It was supposed to come in on Friday but was delayed until after Xmas with all the Xmas shipping. We got a box and printed off the specs and wrapped it up.  We also had him open the other gifts (see above) and saved that for last.  He has major mixed emotions and 1st world problems. He's excited that he got what he wanted but he's really crabby that its coming in while we are in Michigan.  He'll be fine, a good life lesson.  He can't use it when we are at our cousins in any case and waiting a week won't kill him. Still feel bad for him though. Its hard to be 16.

Tracy and I love all our new refreshed home items and can't wait to use them when we get back from Michigan. Plus I got 2 new books and new cookbook.  Tracy got new Packer gear and bike shorts, along with jewelry and face masks (courtesy of Kay).

All in all, we are blessed beyond belief.  We have all we need, are able to afford some of the things we want, are healthy, and loved and will be with my family today and Tracy's family the rest of the week. Doesnt get any better then this.  Love and Peace to ALL!! 

The stockings were stuffed and could no longer be hung...

Sunny, cold day!

Reading Santas note, the handwriting is eerily similar to Tracys

More Stockings plus bags for Michigan in the background

Billy's stocking haul

Getting ready for the 1st git



New Dishes!

The MacBook!

New Phone

New Shorts!