Friday, May 27, 2016

The craziness persists and expands to include Aunt Sue!!

Aunt Sue came into town since Billy had his final taekwondo competition and Jimmy had a baseball tournament. Its always fun when she's here but I'm sure we wore her out. To give you a bit of a flavor, Billy's tournament was in Coon Rapids from 10-3 on saturday (30 min north of our house) and Jimmy's 1st (of 3 games) was in Eagan at 10am (45 min south of our house)  Tracy logged 60 min of dog walk time, 400 minutes of car time and 140 minutes of bike time (she biked from our house to Jimmys last game as a training ride).  Fortunately (or unfortunately) Jimmys team did not advance to Sunday's games so ... we had a full free day on Sunday. Heaven!!

The weekend in pictures 

Billy got 1st in pomsea (forms) and was able to compete in the championship round (basically any age at the color belt he's at)  Super exciting!!

2 golds and a silver - gold in pomsea, team pomsea and silver in weapons which is awesome since this is the 1st time he's ever competed in weapon. He used a sword.

Bolstered by his success, he dug out all his medals and wore them around the house all day.  Watch out Michael Phelps!!

Kay had her end of the year science fair. She tested what is a cookies diameter, breakability and taste when you follow the recipe, use 1/2 the butter and 2x's the butter. Then, in an act of brilliance made cookies and brought them to school as a taste test for her project.  I wonder who'll win the competition?! (she was the only one with bribes - I mean treats)

Jimmys final band concert (where he plays tenor sax) was also this week. We was able to introduce a song and also had a section of music where he played with the horns vs the wind instruments. He loved it!  Of course ... and looked smart too. Cant wait for 9th grade band!!

Not to be out done - Tracy's been getting tons of training rides in between rain and sweet talking anyone she can into going with her.  Sunday she went on a ride with a neighborhood friend and met an abrupt end to their ride when they "bumped" into each other. It was a mutual accident and you know its bad when people come running. They were troupers and rode the rest of the way home, bleeding and wincing.  Its slowly getting better (after a few sleepless nights) and she's been on 2 more rides since then. As long as she doesn't actually use her arm on the bike (it hurts when she hits bumps) its just fine. good lesson to communicate with your biking partner and wear a helmet.

It was really fun to have Sue with us to enjoy and share our craziness:)

Friday, May 20, 2016

End of school craziness - otherwise known as concerts and science projects

The end of the school year comes fast and furious and the kids are frantically trying to keep up!
Jimmy's first task was to create a solar oven that would be capable of cooking something, most kids opted for the nachos option while the more adventerous  went for the S'more attempt.
Lets just say that with Kay's help the oven was completed, the nacho part not so much! and, it looks like Kay is a ringer for the project next year. 

Next up was Billy and the Meadowbrook Orchestra, Billy playing the 32nd seat violin !
The kids have come a long way since the beginning of the year and were pretty darn good. It was kind of a hoot watching Billy play when you could barely see him behind the music stand!  We don't have any "live" video of this concert for a few reasons ... you cant see Billy, the acoustics were awful, its a 5th grade strings concert - enough said. 
Then came Jimmy and the Jazz Combo, and I must say WOW were they spot on. A very tight group and of course Jimmy led the way. In this group he plays the drums, in the big band he plays the tenor sax ( more on that next week)
The links below are both Billy and Jimmy.  Cut and Paste into the browser
Meanwhile Kay is studying for her 7 course finals, piece of cake according to her:)
The in there middle of all that Tom and Tracy got to sneak out and watch Lucy Kaplinsky and she was awesome, even covered Thunder Road!!

videos of jazz combo

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Womens Event

Yesterday Tracy helped plan and host a fundraising event for Adoption Option Council of MN.  She sits on the board and they are growing by leaps and bounds. They are all about adoption education and support, going into high schools 2-5 times a week with a panel of an adoptive person an adoption parent and a birth parent to help talk about modern adoption and language.  They also host a yearly birth mothers retreat and have even done adoption education for adoption social workers (on birth mother struggles) and abortion clinictians (adoption as an alternative option). Really committed volunteer base of 150+ but a small nonprofit from a funding perspective. Yesterday was a womens brunch to raise $ for the birth mothers retreat. We needed $4,000 and we got $4,700 - HUGE!  Even more impressive, we had about 90  attendees and no one donor gave a big lump sum. In essence, everyone gave and thats the best part.  Especially since 1/2 of those 90 were new to our organization and a new potential funding base. Fist Pump!!!

Here are some photos....