Friday, March 29, 2013

Billy gets his due!

The kids at Cameron, the school Billy and Kay attend, compete on a monthly basis for certain humanitarian awards, last month was Fairness and this month was Honesty.

Last month Billy's teacher submitted the wrong name for the Fairness award and Billy was overlooked. That however did not deter OL' Bill and was plowed ahead, nose to the grindstone, spreading Honesty toward all those who would listen. His hard work paid off and this month he won the Honesty award along with getting his already earned Fairness award, which pun intended is only fair, right!

He was the only kid at assembly that won 2 awards.

Thats our Billy, Fair and Honest:) 

Billy also completed the section on penguin's and made a beautiful rendition of the Erect-Crested Penguin and having his penguin posted in the hall, which if you don't know having something "posted in the hall" is similar to having an article in the New England Journal of Medicine!

Way to go Billy!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Erin Go Braugh has hit in our third country as we geared up for the 12th Annual St. Patrick's Day bash and kegger. Yep 3rd country, and the Grand Marshall is none other then Pam O'Georgeson, being she has attended this event in every country we have tossed the blarney around.

This year was no different aside from the fact that we did not have a parade. We were all set for the parade, route, check, flag, check keg, check, the only thing is all 100 or so people showed up all at the same time and threw our staging into overdrive and by the time we came up for air, well the crew was to far into the beer and blarney to be bothered with donning their boots and coats and setting down their beer for the parade that it went by the wayside so to speak.  It was also damn cold - last year, if you remember, had the paraders in shorts and tshirts. Not so this year! Wellies and toques all around! (if you arent Canadian, look it up!:))  

The group was quite a mix of school friends, neighbors, Tracy's co-workers and Tom's chef buddies and several friends from India who happen to live here in Canada, Claude and his family and Carol and Josh, both very dear friends that lived with us in India were in attendance. Claude is now living in Mississauga (see prior post) and Carol in Montreal (yes!! she flew down for the party:) Gotta love our friends)  It was super fun to see everyone and we all had a blast.

This year instead of the traditional chili ( our tradition), since chili beans are hard to come by, we decided to go with Sloppy Joe's and the like. There were way more kids than adults, basketball games, hide and seek, make-overs, drumming,  you get the drift!

The party took off at the usual feverish pace but being it was on a Sunday ( strategic planning) around 9:30pm those full of the most blarney finally deflated and headed home. We were surprised and blessed at the same time by the number of people who came to the party and the mixing of old and new friends.

Put the date on your calendar for 2014 and come help us celebrate the Wearing O' the Green!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

and the winner is.....

drum roll please....BILLY !!!

Today was Billy's 1st Tae Kwon Do tournament and was he excited! It took place in Kitchener (about an hour from Toronto) and we had to be there at 8:30am. NOT what the rest of the loudamericans wanted to do on a Saturday morning, but we did. Billy has supported every one of Jimmys games and Kay has her 1st gymnastics tournament and since its the right thing to do... all 5 of us were up at 7:00am today and out the door before 7:30. Yikes!

The tourney was at a university campus with a gym on one side of the field house and hockey rink on the other. Its was big and thats when Billy got nervous. I think he expected something similar to our dojo, small and intimate.

We checked in, scouted our seats and settled in. Luckily, I sat by some veterans and they gave me the whole run down. 1st up? their patterns - with scores given by 3 judges with a top score of 10 (which I was promptly informed, no one ever gets).  Then, sparring, which is a tournament style, you keep sparring until you are out or the winner.

They call the kids by age and belt color and then the chaos begins, it took 30 min's to get the kids lined up and paired up properly.  Billy was a trooped but I cant say as much for the other 2.

We got the hang of watching the competition by watching the 5-6 yr old black belts. Yikes, one girl was serciously intense and she won both the pattern and sparring. I wouldnt want to mess with her in a few years. Jimmy was mightily impressed.

Then, Billy was up (yellow belt since he just got his yellow belt with green stripe). He bowed, stood up straight, started his pattern and promptly forgot what he was doing. It was super cute. He stopped, scratched his head, figured out what he was suppose to be doing and started again. judges call? 6-6-6. Not too bad for 1st time nerves.

Then, the long wait to sparring, after a bit of side line practicing, getting geared up in his pads and a pep talk from Master Jeon, he was ready.

Round 1 - Billy was on fire!!! bouncing on his toes, moving fast, fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee... you know the drill. Before we knew it, he was dominating at 11 to 2 (you get points for kicking the other person in the chest pad). Jimmy, Kay, our new friends next to us and I were going nuts!  He did a little fist pumped and looked up at us with a big grin.

Round 2 - The opponent was agressive! coming in tough, taking kicks, knocked Billy over, but Billy didnt back down. He got some good strategic kicks in and played smart, not fast.  final score 4 to 2 - Billy wins again and the crowd goes nuts!!   

Then, a bit of confusion, does he spar again or not?  As he starts to talk with his coach and take off his pads we realize...he won! He won 1st place in sparring in his 1st tournament! Amazing!!

Parents arent allowed on the floor unless your kid has won and is on the podium (photos only please) so Jimmy Kay and I ran down. Billy was over the moon when they announced his name. He jumped up on the podium, started pumping his arms, huge smile and when all 4 winners were on the podium, he started doing the gangum style dance. Everyone cracked up. Hes a star!

Guess who cant wait for his next tournament?

Winning is addictive.

 We are so proud of you Billy! next up, the Canada Open in May - we'll keep you posted on our future Olympic athelete:)  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You must be Jimmy's Parent's

This week is March Break and with that upon us last week was filled with getting our act together for March Break.

The schools here tend to have some type of fanfare before each of the breaks and for the most part the events are explained to the students with the understanding that the student will inform their parents of what is happening at school, right. So it came as no surprise when Jimmy came home last week and announced that there was an all school assembly and that some of the kids in the school received awards. Jim won the Health and Physical Education Award which is no real shock. So when we asked him about the assembly and why we did not know there was going to be one he replied Oh, I forgot, to which I through the baloney flag! The reason he didn't mention anything about this is because he was not sure of he was going to get an award and didn't want us around! So when further quarried about what the other awards were, it was revealed they were mostly academic in nature, Honor Roll, Science, Math and the like you know the things as a parent you want you kid to excel in, not that the physical education is not important, don't get me wrong! So apparently you could win more than 1 award however with further in depth interviewing ( pulling teeth) it was revealed that only 1 girl and 1 boy from each class won the Health and  Physical Education Award, that was awesome. When we ask Jimmy about getting another award in like say, Math or Science he said " Hey don't ruin my moment at least I won an award!" Convicted, no never convicted!
Keep up the good work Jimmy!

Kay has been gearing up for her first competitive gymnastics event coming in early May. She has spent most of the past few weeks bending over backwards, walking on her hands twirling and contorting in ways that make my head hurt. She has been doing great at school  but for the past few days has been focused on her up coming Spring Break camp, which is a week long cooking camp for kids. She came to visit Tom at cooking school and was so inspired she wrote this recipe:
Family Pie:
1 cup caring, 2 cups kindness, 4 cups forgiveness, 1/3 cup honesty, 1 cup teamwork, fairness and intelligence.
Whisk ingredients together in a bowl and pour into 2 pies pans.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until a yellow color forms.
Let stand.
Sprinkle on honesty, fairness and intelligence berries. Serve with empathy whipped cream and taste the fairness and forgiveness.

Not sure what she did, or what she is telling us either way a very insightful recipe!

Ol' Bill continues on his merry way, with his dog, firm grasp on his Lego's and not a care on the world, Oh to be able to get up each day and honestly ask, what day is today? Do I have anything? How many days till I get my next Lego magazine? In that vain Bill and i headed off to the flight simulator, one of Billy's Christmas presents. I hour in the cockpit flying a plane, too cool. He decided he would be the pilot and I would be the co-pilot, so after about 2 minutes of instructions we took off and promptly crashed, not a good beginning. Bill powered up the engines and we were off and a couple of tense moments we were airborne and heading toward the airport and to make a landing, which we did not do! Alas Bill was not swayed and we were off again as co-pilot i said to the Pilot, Let,s try to land this time to which the Pilot responded " Good Plan" and sure enough we did. The whole experience was awesome and the time flew by, pun intended, and Billy and I had a blast.
As soon as we were in the car  on the way home Billy wanted to know how many days till we can do this again! Billy and his class won the Dance a Thon competition this year and were rewarded with a Pizza party and Billy was ecstatic!

Tom and Tracy are a bit worried about this new class Tom is in at school titled, Brunch below you will see why:

I was getting ready too head off to the gym because of the aformentioned class and worries when the door bell rang. There was some random stranger standing there all dressed up and she handed me her business card stating she was in realestate and wanted to let me know that if I was planning on moving anytime soon to give her a call. I politely responded that we are not the home owners and are just living here on a temporary basis, which did not deter her. She said no worries she lived in the neighborhood and when we were ready to buy to let her know. I then went into the elevator speech I keep handy for these situations, telling her that we are here for my wife's job and then would be returning back to the US. She responded where in the US are you from, and I replied, Minnesota to which she said: " Oh,then you must be Jimmy's parents!"

Next up March Break........

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Billy kicks butt - literally!

Billy is now a yellow with green stripe belt! Yeah! 

He tested for the next level of Tae Kwon Do yesterday and did an amazing job. He started sparring this winter and he's gotten really good. Part of the test was sparing and it was really fun to see. The kids wear a ton of pads, can barely move but manage to kick the snot out of each other and love it!

Up next?! His 1st competition in 2 weeks.  We'll head to Kitchner for the day and see how Billy does against his "adversaries".  We are super proud of how hard he works at TKD and how much he loves it.  GO Billy GO!!  check out the video, billy is in the blue helmet ... 


In other Billy news, he's pretty much got it made.  He and Tracy were cuddling and talking after she had a long day at work...  
Billy "I'm sorry you had a hard day"
Tracy "Do you ever have hard days?"
Billy " Umm.... no not really"
Tracy "Really?! Never?"
Billy "Well, maybe one or two"
Tracy "Wow, you have a great life, only 1 or 2 bad days in your whole 8 years?!"
Billy "Yeah, I like being a kid"
Billy "What do you like about being a grown up?"
Tracy "Having kids"
Billy "Not that...not every grown up has kids, whats one thing all grown ups like about being grown ups?"
Tracy "being able to work and buy the people we love things and presents, what do you think you'll like about being a grown up"
Billy "I dont know, I dont really know much about grownups"
Tracy "What about Daddy and I?"
Billy "I really dont have any idea what you do when I'm not around"
We should all be so content and happy with our lot in life.  It was a super good life lesson for Tracy and made a hard day great....