Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quick Update

Thought we'd do a quick update on life:0

Tom - chef school is going great and we love the food he brings home on Satruday nights after class. He's excitedly combing through the class lists and has at least 10 more classes he wants to take. Kay continues to be jealous.

Jimmy - He's practically inseparable with his new friend Eli. They started basketball on Monday nights and this weekend is the semifinals of football. Good money is on the Grizzlies and if they win, we have the championship next weekend. If they win THAT, then its an inter-providence game. Yikes! He's going as PSY (Gungyam style) for Halloween and just asked his 1st girl to the halloween dance. he is completely unfased by the whole thing.  He casually mentioned it at dinner one night. Her name is Sloan (thinking her parents are big Ferris Bueller fans) and as he said "she's not terrible at sports and isnt bad looking". I hope thats not how he approached her! She had to think about it and came back 2 days later with a "yes" but only as friends. His reaction? "well...yeah!"  When I asked him "were you nervous?" His response? "no! why would I be?" when asked "what if she says no?" He quickly said, "then I'll just ask someone else". Hes very practical about the whole thing. Given hes a rule follower and team player, we figure the rules are "take a girl to the dance", no questions asked. He is also encouraging all his friends to ask people too.  Too funny.

Kay - She has a posse of new friends and had to learn the Thriller dance for school. They got to dress up as Zombies and perform in front of the whole school. Now she wants to be a zombie witch for Halloween. She as also been asked to the dance by 2 boys and is presently keeping both of them waiting while she "thinks about it".  She's going to be a heartbreaker. 

Billy - Is a scheduling fiend and is constantly planning play dates with his friend William. William had a birthday on Friday and Billy told me "I'm going to ask if I can go to his party"  When I said that was a bit rude and what if he wasnt invited? He repied "but he's my friend and I like him!"  He's still so sweet and innocent. Good news, Williams parents are behind the 8 ball and the party is not until next week AND Billy is most certainly invited.  He's going as a black ninja for Halloween:)        

Tracy - Super busy at work (still) with 2 work trips in October. But, her team is awesome and she's having fun. She loves to be challenged and there are plenty of hard problems to solve right now. No lack of stimulation at work.

Nikki - still sweet and Tracy's daily walking companion. Its been raining all day so she's going a bit stir crazy but we are having people over for dinner so she'll get plenty of attention and love.

Thats it, the quick down and dirty on the LoudAmericans:) 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Time marches on and I thought we better get this post out there before it is the American Thanksgiving! The interesting part of Canadian Thanksgiving is that they call it...Canadian Thanksgiving  "Happy Canadian Thanksgiving" "What are you doing for Canadian Thanksgiving?" "Will you celebrate US and Canadian Thanksgiving?"  Weird, we dont call it American Thanksgiving.  In any case, it did cause us to be home sick for The Only Place (see 2006-8 Thanksgivings in India - cornish turkeys)  

This past week has been somewhat of a blur of activity and downtime all rolled into one. Exactly what you'd expect for Thanksgiving! Lots of visiting and food and football!

Treena her daughter Madison were able to spend a couple of days with us and boy did Kay love that. Madison and Kay were all about make up, outfits and being divas. Oh and cotton candy too! Treena is a dear  friend of Tracy's and her husband Moyo, who was unable to join this time, is a very close friend of Tracy's boss, (following that?!) so in honor of celebrating nepotism day we had John along with his wife Priya, their daughter Sohanna and their son Kiron over for dinner. The adults found time to relax and catch up while the kids found time to burn off energy and be kids. We made a super yummy Portuguese Seafood dish for dinner and Kay has been on a Pavlova kick of late so we made that for dessert along with homemade whipped cream, yes both vanilla and chocolate, super good!

Sunday was a bye day for football however we decided to celebrate Thanksgiving.  John & Priya had us over to their house (seriously, the Loud Americans 2 days in a row, they are brave people! )along with another ex-pat couple (not from Target but from Chicago!) and their 3 kids. Once again it was Kid heaven. John along with Jimmy are huge football fans so the Vikings victory was twice as sweet! We had an awesome herb roasted turkey with all the fixing including Kay's new favorite sweet potato souffle, she is out there food wise. We watched Star Wars and the kids all cuddled into the couch for some serious food coma time. Sohanna was even tucked into Tom. Super cute. We had a great day and took the subway home full, tired and happy. Kay and Billy even had a midnight snack of stuffing, turkey and gravy all mixed together in a bowl. Then, they slept for 12 hours:)

Monday was a day off for Tracy but not Jimm...., football !!!  It was an away game against The Pickering Gators. Hard fought game, however the Grizzlies had a few too many penalties and lost by a touchdown. The last play off the game was a touchdown run by the Grizzlies so the game ended on a high note. Everyone was happy!

We had to hurry home as we (I mean Jimmy) has  wicked social calendar. As we begin to be assimilate (as you know resistance is futile) we let Jimmy (who is 11 along) with his new BFF Eli go the Argonauts CFL game without either of the parental units. Eli's Mom dropped the boys off downtown, at the stadium, about 25 minutes from home and then Tom drove down after the game to pick the lads up. We of coursed worried and texted them constantly. They ignore us for the most part and had a blast. (In case you worry and call social services, the game was an outing for Eli's football team. His coaches sat "near" them, but they didnt escort them to/from the game)  They are turning into "urban/city" kids. Its an interesting phenomom. Jimmy has taken the city bus to school and been to his 1st pro sports event with an immediate adult companion.  2 things neither Tom or Tracy did at the tender age of 11 (grade 6) it that he's just growing up? Yikes!

The middle of October WOW, more to come....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cousin Murray

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I am writing about the passing of our friend/cousin/brother Murray.

He has been battling cancer for several years and it was a hard fought battle. Throughout Murray was forever smiling and living life the way only Murray could. He had a great smile a huge heart and an unmatchable wit. He was always  telling great stores and sharing insights and bringing joy and happiness to all those around him.

Murray was full of life and when you would get a call from him he would say " Hey Tom, you wantta...?' and what ever it was you did because the Murman was that way. There are many stories and antidotes some appropriate and some not but no matter how you look at it, he will be missed.

Murray, I love you and will miss you and until we meet again I know God will hold you in the palm of his hand.

(Photo, from left to right - Murray, Tom, Mike (Murray's brother), Pat (Tom's brother) - ALL family:))

Friday, October 05, 2012

Its a small world...

One of the amazing things about Toronto is how many connections we have here back to India!

Tracy has 2 members of her team that were on her team in India. They both moved to Canada separately from Target for their spouses job and better opportunities.

A good portion of the visitors we have had while here are friends from Bangalore that have frequent travel to Toronto for work. They may not live in Bangalore anymore, but their current owrk brings them to Toronto frequently, giving us time to catch up and see each other (sometimes for the 1st time in 5+ years!)

Carol is one of our dear friends that was our 1st friend in Bangalore, baby sat our kids, threw wonderful parties, was a shoulder to cry on and a great example of  how to embrace India. She is from Montreal and was able to come for dinner. It was a gas and SO much fun to catch up in person and hear about her family and the friends we havent heard from lately around the world.

She also is a great networker and got us in touch with Claude. Now, Claude is originally from Mumbai, but will a long layover in Montreal (do you see where this is going) prior to landing in Bangalore for a short stint. He was one of the bachelors in Palm Meadows and was always great for an impromptu happy hour or Sunday night dinner (check our old blogs thats a VERY popular tradition for the expats).  The adorded him and would yell CLAUDE at the top of their lungs every morning as he was heading to work and they were heading to school.

Well, this blog is titled small world for a reason....
Claude lives in Toronto. WIth his wife and 2 kids (+ 1 on the way). His kids are the same ages our kids were when we were in India. AND, the best part?! They had us over for Sunday dinner.

It was SO great to reconnect and get caught up, meet his wife and kids and basically start up where we left off. We are all older (the wiser part is questionable) but essentially the same.  Here are some "snaps" of the evening, including an oldie from our 1st go round with Claude.

I LOVE that karma "works" - you get what you put out there, what goes around comes around, do unto others, etc. Its true. Its a small world so...put out love and you'll get love:)


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Ah! Billy, Very Good!

Billy was all amped up and ready to go this past week as he stood ready to move up one belt in his Tae Kwon Do class. He was trying to go from a white belt to white belt with yellow stripe.It is a little known fact to those of us outside the Tae Kwon Do inner circle, but in the beginning, there was only one belt and it was white. Then over the years and battles and accomplishments and failures, grime and blood, the belt would turn black, and the second lessor know fact is that you Never wash a belt...

Billy has been is class for a little over a month and was very keen to pass this test. He went to class 4-5 times per week perfecting his craft all while creating a delicate work life balance, as balanced as a second grader can get, I mean he still is short term memory challenged and addicted to Lego's, but that aside he threw himself into his quest with the vigor of a true Warrior.

Bill arrived early and got a couple of last minute practice sessions in and then the clock struck 5:00 and the instructor called them to attention. Billy did three move sequences and 1 no contact sparring and rated 1 A+, 2 A's and 1 A-, outstanding. He was all smiles when his name was called, replied in a loud Billy voice " Yes Sir" strode to the front of the class bowed and received his new belt and certificate of achievement.

Mom and Dad along with Jimmy and Kay were there to cheer him on, some more happily than others,none the less 1 test 1 new belt, Very Good Billy, Very good!

 We love you and are very proud of you!