Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Turkey Tumble/ Kay's first Gymnastics Meet

As you all know Kay has joined a new gymnastics team and has been training quite hard for the past three months. Her team has been practicing for this meet and the upcoming meets for the past year so she had a bit of catching up to do. She has been practicing 14 hours per week and then on Saturdays has been doing 2 hours of private lessons to get ready, and man oh man she was ready!

There are four events, the beam, the un-even parallel bares, the vault and the floor. The was nervous to say the least, leading up to the trial practice she was crying and worried she wouldn't make the cut and would not be able to participate in all four events, she was a wreak, and for fearless Kay, that is saying something. In the days leading up to the trial all she could do was worry, and when the trial came and went she did awesome. The day before the meet she was on her balance beam for basically the whole day and when she wasn't on the beam she had to do something with all her nervous energy so like all 11 year olds she decided to create make from scratch cream puffs, which were out of bounds good.

First up the un-even parallel bars, she was determined and made the routine look casual and easy, the judges for the meet were very strict and hammered her and her result an 8.1, not her best but she did great and her dismount was spot on!

The beam, which is Kay's second favorite was next. She jump on and did a great job, most importantly she didn't fall off, nailed her back walk over and her dismount, and received a 8.675' She makes the beam look easy and is very graceful with her execution.

The floor was next, which is her favorite routine and as we watched her practice her routine, for the first time, we were all sitting there with our eyes wide opened in awe, Jimmy finally said, when did she learn how to do that? She nailed her backflip into a tuck into a back walk over like she was standing still! The Orvedahl's came to see her and their only comment was wow Kay is awesome! She stuck the backflip and her ending was incredible and a 9.30 was her top score for the day!

The vault which has been her nemesis for the past few years was the final routine. She has been challenged by her size and her speed as she gets going so fast when she hits the vault it acts sort of like a sling shot and she sails way past where she is supposed to land, not today. She did a great approach, jump and handstand, flip and got a 8.325, awesome!!!

This meet it turns out is the last meet in which the girls can qualify for the State meet, so there was a bit of added anxiety, her coach told the girls, do you best focus on what we can do not what we cant and have fun. There we 99 girls competing at Kay's level, which is level 5.  To qualify for State you need to score 32.01 or higher, Kay came in at 34.00 and not only did Kay make the cut to go to State she was the highest ranking on her whole team and placed 9th out of 99, not to shabby for 2 1/2 months if practice!  Samir, the owner of Kay's gymnastics school and the overall head coach was beaming with pride for Kay and even told a mutual friend how proud he was of her and how great she did!

Kay was very happy with her performance, her only comment was, Ok now that's over I am ready for the next meet, when is it ? I can't wait!, Nervous no so much look out girls Kay's gunning for State!
Way to go Kay we love you and are super proud of you!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Date Weekend aka: Mini Vacation

Tom flew up to Toronto for a date weekend with Tracy; see where she lives, get together with friends and eat great food. The perfect combination for a mini-vacation.The flight was a success and after the airport pick up, it was off to Port Credit (where Tracy has a temp apartment) to get settled and look around. Port Credit is SUPER quaint and cute, right on Lake Ontario. We wandered around town, Tom had a burger at The Burgers Priest (famous for burgers in Toronto) and we plodded our plan for dinner. We saw the harbor, an incredible Loblaws (full aged meat locker and cheese cooler) and took a peak in all the little shops.  AND…Tom even got a nap in.  Nice?!

 Then, it was off to boxing. Yep, Tracy dragged him to boxing to show off her new skills (just kidding) but really to show him what a quirky fun family place it is. Boxing is way harder than it looks, it’s a combination of speed, strength, endurance and concentration. We had a killer workout on all fronts and then headed out to find dinner.


Dinner was amazing – Colossus Greek – It’s a family owned restaurant in walking distance of the apartment and seriously in the top 5 of the best Greek meals we’ve ever had. You know its good when conversation takes a break so that you can just enjoy the food.  Post dinner we walked to Lake Effects; a total sailor bar with live music on the harbor. VERY low key, almost a dive bar and super-duper fun.  Its where all the people that live on their boats in the summer hang out and there were a few people ordering gin/tonics, not ready to give up the ghostJ  The crowd was friendly and obviously knew the singer/guitarist. It’s a “local” joint. We love those!!

Saturday we took the Go Train downtown and headed to George Brown to catch up with Tom’s friends/chef professors. It was super fun to catch up and just kibitz.  (Foodies, all they talk about is foodJ)  I think Tom felt a bit homesick as we were leaving. It was such a big part of his live/experience in Toronto and there really isn’t anything like it in Minneapolis :(

Then it was off to meet up with more chef friends at Caplansky’s; a kosher deli that is famous in Toronto for its smoked meat. They did NOT disappoint. Who doesn’t love a diner that serves beer!?!  In fact, there is a barley beer made just for them which is served with a pickle and, I have to admit, goes VERY nicely with a Reuben.  We had all their specialties (fried pickles, latke’s and the final stab to your arteries – homemade cake donut holes with maple syrup and bacon bits) – holy cow was it good!

 After the beer and food, we needed to move around a bit so it was off to Kensington Market, Tracy’s favorite place to people watch and just mill around.  We went to our favorite cookbook store, bakery, Mexican spice shop and a Portuguese flea market.   (are you sensing the foodie vibe for the weekend? J)


Saturday night, we hit the old neighborhood and had dinner with Rod, Peggy, Russ and Kim (our best friends from Toronto) for some steak, veggies, and an 80’s dance party (did I mention the wine and beer? J) It was great to just catch up and it made us realize how much we missed the neighborhood and our friends. BUT…we’ll be back for a few days at New Years and so have made plans already!!

 Sunday was VERY low key, long walk along the lake, late brunch and then Tom needed to get to the airport to head home.

 t was hard to drop him at the airport and know that it’ll be another week until I’m back.  Only 2 more weeks of commuting, so at least the light is at the end of the tunnel. But, in any case, it’s hard to not be home.
It was a really relaxing but too short weekend. A HUGE thanks to Grandma Kay for watching the kids and holding down the fort.

And…Tom got home just in time for the snow.
Lucky himJ


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Happy Hadoween!!

What a fun weekend?! Halloween in all its glory:)  (FYI, Jimmy used to call Halloween, Hadoween - its stuck)

Friday - the kids had a party in class (thanks to Tom for stuffing treat bags and running around getting games/activities set up), came home, but their costumes on and were ready to roll.  Kay went out with Victoria and Carmen (zombie bride, unicorn and Pippy Longstocking) in 3 different neighborhoods.  They RAKED in the candy.  Kay made gift bags for us to hand out, including 4 different types of candy and a can of soda each.  We were THE house, unfortunately only 4 trick or treaters came by to find that out (we live on a small street without lights or sidewalks).

Billy went out with Cole and Zack (skeleton, grim reaper and a mime)  Tom and Niel chaperoned as Thing 2 and Thing 2 (yep, somehow we lost our Thing 1 costume and ended up with 2 Thing 2 costumes - very strange, but again it was Halloween!)   

Jimmy is way too cool for Halloween, being 13 and all. He and 4 of his friends hit the club for 3 hours pick up basketball. I think adding him to Tom's club membership is some of the best money we've every spent. They came home happy and sweaty.

In true neighborhood fashion, we had pizza and beers at the ready. A number of folks came and went it and it was fun to just be really casual and hang out.

Saturday - a REALLY cool experience!! We headed to St Paul (Hidden Falls Regional Park) with Larrie, Allison, Jessi, Ang, Wade, Caden and Wyatt to see the BareBone production of Metomorphosoup. Its a large outdoor theater on the river, after the sun went down, full of oversize puppets, actors, singers, acrobats, stilt walkers etc.   They all had on goulish makeup and there was a life orchestra. It was the story of the creation of the earty, including fire, spirits, dinosaurs, Neanderthals and a remembrance section where people shouted out names of people that had passed.  Allison brought hot chocolate and snacks and it was really cool. The best part was either the ocean scene where they had a huge blue tarp that they waved to sound like waves crashing with floating, glowing jelly fish, shrimp, crabs, fish, etc OR....the HUGE dinosaurs that were crafted on top of these bicycle contraptions. The stegosaurus had probably 4 different people peddling and working the controls. SUPER cooll (of course Billy knew all the names of the dinosaurs and was giving me a running commentary.  Then, it was back to our house for chili and a fire to warm up.  Super interesting and unique thing to do on All Saints Day:)