Sunday, August 23, 2015

Happy Birthday Jimmy and Sue

For the last 14 years we've had a tradition of celebrating Jimmy and Sue's birthdays together. Jimmy's birthday is 8/22 and Sues is 8/23.  Usually we get them tickets to a sporting event (Twins, Blue Jays, etc) this year is no exception - the Vikings were playing a pre-season game at The Bank. Sue was excited because she's never been to that stadium and Jimmy was just excited to see the Vikings.  Unfortunately, they decided not to attend the game because of weather (tornado and thunderstorm) warnings. Probably good they didn't go since the stadium was evacuated 3 times and delayed 90 minutes. BUT...Vikings did prevail and won.   Although, we know from past experience that preseason play is NO predictor of how they'll play in season.  Instead Sue (bless her heart) offered to take Jimmy and 2 of his best friends bowling and for dinner. They bowled 3 games and watched the Vikings game on TV in the sports bar. Overall still a pretty good birthday:)

We started the celebrations Friday night with pasta, meatballs and brownies (Sue's favorites) and then lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch with Grandma Kay and Grandpa Jeremiah (Jimmy's choice). In typical teenage fashion, Jimmy was VERY particular about what he wanted for his birthday and so ended up with 4 Ralph Lauren pocket tee shirts, a Ralph Lauren bucket hat, cash and a Clemson Nike shirt. Overall a pretty sweet birthday.

On the morning of his birthday Kay woke up and said ... is he 14 now?  urghhh....
When we asked why that response, her reply - only 1 year until he's driving and 2 years until he gets his drivers liscence, I'm not ready for that!  (us either Kay, us either)

The festivities also included a sleep over with Miles, James and Anders, pizza, wings, cupcakes and a few gallons of chocolate milk. Teenage boys. They stayed up until 5:30am and Tracy got up for work a mere 30 min's later.  Again ..teenage boys. I think summer has made them nocturnal.         

Jimmy, you are a fun, sweet, smart, kind, passionate, talented and funny person. You are a great friend, good student, coachable athlete and helpful.  Don't change. We love you just the way you are! (and, if you can put off the hard teenage years for a few more years, we'd appreciate it!  A huge thanks to the village that loves and nutures Jimmy ( Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles and cousins, teachers, coaches, birth mom/dad, foster mom/dad, doctors, social workers, friends, godparents, neighbors, his friends parents, the list goes on and on.  THANK YOU! We love you all and are so blessed by each of your in our and Jimmy's life.  We love you Jimmy to the end of the earth and back.

In other news, Kay and Billy both need glasses. Kay is opting for contacts and Billy glasses. Of course Kay has the whole contact thing down in 30 seconds flat and Billy loves wearing his new glasses. They are too cute.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The fun and chaos of family

Our weekend was super fun, and crazy and hectic and loud ... as only it can be when you have 10 people in your house another 2 down the road at the local Super8.
Tracy's parents and sister Tammy's family was in town for 5 days for Georgia's zone swimming meet.  You need to qualify for zones and its a step above state. Georgia qualified in 7 events but swam in 6 since you are limited to 2 events per day. The meet as at the U of M and the facilities were amazing!! A 50 meter pool, impressive. She did really well, shaving time off her best times and even placing 4th and getting to stand on the podium. We are VERY impressed.
Tammy, Jeff and Grandma/Grandpa spent most of the weekend shuttling back and forth from our house to the U. No easy feat with the state of road construction going on in MPLS right now and I think each drive was an adventure in map reading and getting to know the lay out of MPLS back roads. But, they were troopers and there for everyone of Georgias big events.
The rest of (our family and Joey/Herbie) kept busy with lemonade stands, a trip to the ropes course/zip line at the Mall of America, a killer game of "family" outside with the neighborhood kids, 3 games of the world series (again with the neighbors) - played in our backyard and commentated play by play by Jimmy, the movie (& dinner) Inside Out (get ready to cry), bonfires, celebrating Tammy/Jeff's 17th anniversary and full blown sleep overs every night in Billy's room.  (note to self, letting 4 kids ages 10-12 sleep in the same room, 4 nights in a row is a recipe for disaster and a hangover for EVERYONE involved)  
We ate great food (hamburger grill out and lasagna - but not as good as Jim Fellows) and even had a fun "game" of ...finish Grandmas joke (as context, Grandma tells the same jokes over and over so every time she went to tell one, the kids tried to beat her to the punch line),
In the midst of all of this Tom (with math help on angles from Tracy) build the biggest, most sturdy 12 person picnic table you have ever seen. Seriously, if there is a tornado, we are all taking shelter under this thing. It literally weighs more than 2 people can lift and will be a permanent fixture on our deck for a LONG time. We both love it and our happiness is proportional to the pain/frustration in making it and struggling through leg angles and lengths. but... as Dora would say - we did it!!        
By the time Monday rolled around, we were all exhausted but as Joey said when he got home - Wow, that was a fun weekend:)  Another notch in "the perfect summer" for our kids....
Family rocks.
Billy zipline

Herbie zipline

Kay zipline

Ropes course at the ceiling of Mall of America 

The worlds most awesome picnic table

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


Once again the greatest week of the year is upon us and the kids a super ready! Korean Culture Camp, better know as KCC, is a week long Korean love fest. The kids all have friends that they spend the days learning about all things Korean, however the favorite part of the week for most of the campers is the FOOD!

Minnehaha Academy, a Catholic school in Minneapolis is the host for the event. This year sort of like in Hotel rooms, they left some New Testaments laying around and Jimmy "found one". This was his first year of not being a camper but being a Teen Helper, which is the goal of every kid that comes to camp, and he loved it. Every night however he would comment on how different it was being a helper and not a camper.

 He was responsible for a group of 8 Kindergarten kids, and he lucked out because his partner was non other then Shin Bee. So in his downtime in the classroom he began reading Proverbs from the aforementioned, stolen Bible. We informed him that starting out  learning about the Catholic Faith,was probably not a good idea stealing the Bible number one and number two reading Proverbs. His comment was " Highly Detailed and Confusing reading."

Kay enjoyed her final year as a camper, making paper machete masks, doing dance and having a blast. She had several friends she would hang out with during lunch and always was smiling. She had a partner in crime again this year, Lesia, who rode to camp with us everyday and hung out after with Kay. The two of them would talk about boy bands, hair color and the latest in nail polish, girl stuff.

Billy had it all going on this year, and was the center of attention in his classroom, which says quite a bit for our introvert. He was able to show case some of his skills during Taekwondo Camp, and was a tad disappointed in the lack of Pokémon enthusiasts among the 4C homeroom. He was way deep into Pokémon last year and had all his cards with him everyday, just in case.

The kitchen was awesome as ever however this year there was one thing missing, drama! There was no real food related drama, except a small discussion regarding the boiling of Chap Chae noodles which when resolved went Tom's way,, very pleased. The menu each year is pretty much the same, Bulgogi, Chap Chae, chicken wings, chicken Bulgogi, and Mandu, along with a pallet of rice and somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 gallons of Kimchee, the kids flock to the Kitchen like Bee's to Honey, Fabulous!

We ended the week with a family bike ride to a local restaurant and then up to Brook view golf course and lawn bowling to watch a movie, Big Hero Six, outside on a big screen, while eating popcorn and laying on blankets, cozy and fun!

The kids are already counting down until next year, always a fun time ...more to come..