Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Birthday TOM!!!

Yesterday was Tom's birthday and it was ALL ABOUT TOM:)

The universe collaborated to give Tom a great "me" day. after dropping the kids off at school, he was able to get in a good work out, 90 minute massage and even signed up for Chef School.

Yep, Tom is going back to school. We are really excited about this opportunity for him. Not only is he following his passion, but we get the benefits too:)  He'll start on Saturday. There is a 12 week compulsory course that he needs to take before he can get into his other courses. He visits the school today to pick up his books, chef outfit and cooking "tools". We are all thrilled for him!

Monday birthdays are hard with work, school, etc but we managed to make it a little special with fondue (steak, veggies, bread, fruit, cheese, chocolate) and even a "baby" cake. The cake here is SO GOOD. I cant believe it!

Then, it was presents:)  The kids got him the (typical) dad gift of new clothes/jacket. My sister gave him Costa Rican coffee, my parents took us out for dinner while they were here, I got him a wine making class that comes with a case of wine you make, but...the best gift of all was from the dog. The new Jack Reacher and Lee Child book. I cant wait until he finishes it:)

He had many many facebook greetings, phone calls, emails and virtual hugs. Thank you ALL for that. He loves hearing from all of you!

It was so fun to celebrate Tom and thank him for all he does for us. The kids said things like "I love Daddy because he's fun" "I love Daddy because hes nice to everyone" etc. Hope you know how much to love you Tom. You are really special and make our lives SO rich in experience, fun and thoughtfulness.

We love you!!

(I would be remiss if I didnt do a "shout out" to Wade and Rica - they all share the same day and we were able to Skype with Wade over the laptop. It was a gas. And, we facebooked with Rica, Happy Birthday and big hugs to you both!! )        

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Grandma & Grandpa Bunny & Jim Visit

This past weekend was full fun and adventure with Grandpa Jim and Grandma Bunny stopping on their way back to South Carolina. The arrived on Friday afternoon just as the kids wandered home from school.

We spent Friday night catching up and hanging around the house as Tracy was in Minneapolis all week for work and we had a busy weekend planned. Challupas have become the dinner of choice and as always they did not let us down.! Saturday we have a  rather hectic default schedule, Jimmy has football from 10:00-12:00 which Grandpa went a long to watch and check out the stadium before the game. Meanwhile Billy has Tae kwon Do and Tracy and Bunny took Nikki for her daily walk then Jimmy has piano and drum lessons from 1:30-3:00, so before we can do anything it was 3:00. The group cleaned up and we headed downtown to the harbor front area for an Asian Festival and Fashion Show, exciting! we played on a huge chess board and were shocked that Billy knew how to play from watching a game on the iPhone, technology ain't it grand?!! It was a close match and Billy had Jimmy on the ropes however Jimmy was able to barely pull out the checkmate. The Blue Jay's had a home game and we got to see all the over served fans wandering around after the game. Jack Astor's is a local sports bar and the food they have is great. Dinner was a loud event being the Canadians seem to have a stereo system that goes to 11 and that is where they leave it, visiting during dinner was more like a yelling match, but fun!

Sunday, as usual, is all about football. We had a nice breakfast after we dropped Jimmy at the stadium and were able to have some down time. Grandpa Jim, Tom thing 1 and 2 headed over to the game early as Tracy and Grandma Bunny did the dog walk thing. We were a bit worried they were going to miss the game as the Grizzlies came out of the den roaring away and scored three touchdowns in their first three possessions! Yes the den was rocking and Tracy and Grandma Bunny were on time to watch the grizzlies get their 3rd win of the year! Jimmy was all smiles as he came over after the game and we were all smiles when we sat down at Wimpy's for lunch. Yes the saying " I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" was over used but why not?! the food was great. Grandma and Tracy took thing 1 and 2 off to the Zoo as Grandpa and Jimmy headed into the man cave for football on the big screen. They were very cute sitting on the couch commenting back and forth on football,, past, present and future, two peas in a pod! That night we had a fish fry and gave Jim and Bunny their Christmas/Birthday's present a bit early. They both turned 70 this year and we will all be getting together for Christmas so we gave them a signed flag from this years Masters signed by Bubba Watson, they were thrilled.

All good things must come to an end so on Monday Grandma and Grandpa walked the kids to school said their goodbyes and then headed off to South Carolina, it was great to see them and we look forward to Christmas.
Peace to all, more to come.....

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Football Update

We are at the halfway point of the season and Jimmy and the North York Grizzlies are playing their hearts out, their current mid-season record is 3 wins and  2 losses.

The August games were all away games with us dropping Jimmy off at he home stadium, he catches the bus with his team, which is awesome, and we meet up at the game. The whole team then gets back on the bus and we pick him up back at the stadium. This is a great way for players of Jimmy's enthusiasm and all in personality to decompress before taking all the angst out of the innocent family members. The 1st  loss came in week three to Scarborough, which was a 14 to 12 loss with the Grizzlies missing the point after with 20 seconds to go. In this league to encourage point after kicking, the point after is worth 2,not 1 and if you run or pass the ball for the point after it is only 1 point, great idea.

Thank god the September gaems have all been at home! 

Jimmy has been playing both middle linebacker and tight end, which he really loves. He is playing against boys that are 11-12 and some of them are twice his size, to which he reports, " Dad they may be big but their not strong. or quick". He also has been playing on a full size field with all the NFL rules in place and there is no weight limit as far as carrying the ball, which means there are no black striped kids. The entire game plan is centered around the offence and the defense is second, however the defense has only given up  30 points and is pretty darn good.
Jimmy has a great attitude and shows up to practice and the games ready to give his all. His new motto " There is no free ride in football". The boys have been practicing three days a week and are in every game. This week Jimmy was completely amped up and the Grizzlies beat Hampton Hills 37 to 0. Now this is the first season for Hampton and the kids have been playing for only 6 weeks, however it is nice to see that the kids played to their ability and did not get to cocky. Next week be warned we play the dreaded  team from,Burlington, winner in the past three years in AAA football.

The season goes through mid  October with the play-offs run through the end of October and the championship game is November 3rd, more to come and Go Grizzlies!!!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

1st week of school

As you can see, the Loud Americans were excited for the 1st day of school!

Jimmy is in Middle School at Willowdale and Grade 6. (long story about age cut offs by class which bascially puts him in 6th grade, skipping 5th grade. when we go back, he'll be go through 7th grade a 2nd time). its a small school of 450 kids and really small class sizes (16) LOVE IT! He's taking french and music/dance as well as singing.  All prerequisite  classes. We dropped him on the 1st day and all the grade 6 kids were in the cafeteria. He marched right in and sat down. Didnt seem bothered a bit that he didnt know a soul. He's made a few friends (Eli, Alexi and Joshua) that live in the neighborhood, but complains about recess at lunch "there is nothing to do". Cant say I blame him, I suspect its a bunch of kids trying to look cool while he just wants to play basketball or football. His other complain? "not enough toliet paper in the bathrooms". Other than that, we dont get much out of him other than he likes his school and is having a good time.

Kay and Billy are in Grade 4 & 2 respectively at Cameron. Another small school of K-5 3 blocks from our house. Class sizes are 18 to 20 and they have been riding their bikes to school every day. They think its SO COOL and it is:)  Kay has all the news/gossip of the school every night at dinner, who's a bully, who's in trouble, how lunch works, alloted playground time, etc. However, when we ask about friends, she says she doesnt have any (?!). Jimmy asked her, "well, does that bother you?" her reply? "not at all!" said with a smile on her face. Thats our Pook a rook.  I'm a little worried about her but she says she likes school and is actually getting more done since doesnt have anyone to chat with during class. Maybe its a blessing in disguise? So far, she loves science and math

Billy has 2-3 new friends; Lucas, Morgan and "I cant remember". He's having the time of his life and loves the reading time. Canada might be Billys time to shine:)

Friday night was their "reward" night for completing their math books over summer (yes, we make them do 5 pages of math every day in summer, brutal, I know). They chose dinner and a movie. The hard part? We made them agree on both.  Their choices? Korean Food and Napolean Dyanmite with tator tots instead of popcorn. It was a really fun night!

Our children are strange and we love it!


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

The final official weekend of the summer was off to a dismal start as we were stuck in traffic on our way to pick up Tracy at her office before heading west to the beautiful bedroom community of Port Huron,MI. We also encountered a accident which prohibited us from exiting the 401, prompting us to make a tour around the airport. I had to retreat to iphone/gps to reconfigure the route causing a breakdown from the number 2 child...

Once we were out of Toronto proper, it was clear sailing all the way to our next traffic delay in downtown Port Huron. It seems that there are several bridges that one can chose from to cross over the St. Clair river and reach the other side, however you have to wait until they can locate the "guy" that knows how to operate the lift. You see, Port Huron has waterway's similar to those found in south Florida, where people have homes on these waterways, gaining access to the main water and screwing up traffic for the land lubbers causing young children to become addicted to mobile electronic devices because the Internet has done away with personal communication, where was I?

We finally reached our destination which was not in Port Huron, which yours truly thought, but about 25 miles south west which caused a wee bit of friction in the vehicle, at a time where electronic devices were banned, Happy Hour yet?

The campground was very nice, our sites were right next to the showers and bathrooms, which were remarkably clean and overall the place was nice. Tammy and Jeff arrived, we got our sites arranged, our tents up and we were off the closest restaurant for dinner., Which...its Murphys law...  was closed when we got there, however 6 complaining kids open a lot 'o doors and in we went and dinner was served!

Saturday was sort of a lazy morning exploring the camp, meeting the other campers and just getting the lay of the land. We did venture out later in the day to the local pool for some exercise and fun in the sun. Georgia and Kay were one team Jimmy, Joey and Billy the other in a very one sided swimming contest with Georgia and Kay winning all 9 matches. The boys have some work to do!
Back at the campground the boys challenged the dads and the girls to a football game, first team to 35 wins. Half way through the boys tried to change the rules when they were down 28 to 7. Proposed new rules... you had to win by 2, no way! The boys took it hard but hey you make the rules, you live by the rules! We had chalupa's for dinner a great campfire and it was early to bed.

Sunday we headed down to the river and into the river we dived, well the kids did. There was a jump off area on the docks where the kids could jump over the side and down about 10 feet to the water and then a ladder to climb back out, they loved it.

Up the dock about 10 feet from us was this guy who looked very similar to Quint ,from the movie Jaws and he was reeling in what turned out to be a big ugly catfish which the kids immediately got down on the dock and began to pet, really.

 Sunday night was a pasta feast complete with real campground drama. Turns out, down the lane from us, one of our fellow campers was VERY over served, got all wound up and while trying to make some point actually stabbed himself in the side. The police, fire and rescue, paramedics and ambulance all roared into the campground, trying to be the first on the scene, meanwhile the kids were all over the place creating new urban myths about the guy who stabbed himself. On a serious note they took him to the hospital and we pray he was alright.

The weekend was a blast (as usual) the cousins had fun, we adults had some down time and planned our next family adventure...skiing in Northern Michigan at Christmas time. Sounds peaceful, right!?!

Happy Labor Day and enjoy the quiet that comes with back to school, more to come.

God Bless