Thursday, December 22, 2016

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time!!

It was officially the best Christmas EVER (declared all the kids - especially Ian) and we haven't even gotten to the big part yet - Costa Rica with the whole family (grandma grandpa aunts uncle cousins sue). More on that later:)

Pictures tell the whole story....
Lamb Roast!

Xmas Eve Dinner 

Writing Santa a note

Snacks for Santa the reindeer and our note

Santa's response, he's right,we need more good people in the world right now

Santa came!

Holy Cow!

1st presents

Kay LOVED all her gifts especially all the makeup

Billy got a Virtual Reality and he's thrilled

Jimmy got some seriously cool jackets

Nikki even got some good chew bones

A box within a box within a box within a box... only Kay


Kay's haul

Jimmy chilling

Billys haul

Ian is loving Xmas

Dads gifts and new pjs


Jimmys Santa gift

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Early Christmas, Rogue One and the COLD!!!

Its been a super fun weekend, despite the cold.

Jim, Jen and Grace came over of  our traditional Christmas dinner. This year they brought Jim's famous lasagna and it WAS AMAZING!  Seriously, he makes the best lasagna ever which means its hard to order it at a restaurant or try to make it ourselves. It was a huge treat. And, Jen made a super yummy poached pear dessert with orange and chocolate sauce. Heaven!!

The kids proceeded to challenge each other to a "music-off" its started out with dueling pianos and progressed into the drums, guitar and violin.  Such a talented group (except Kay, Jimmy was heard saying ... you are doing great Kay, just play the right notes now).  Grace just made 1st chair in cello and Ian plans an hour a day on piano, so it was really fun.  Jim kept asking for a reprisal of Give Nikki a Steak but the kids refused to be detracted, they were going to play what they wanted to play.

Ian and Grace totally hit it off. They have all the same interests and talked all night. They like the same food, video games, Korean drama's, movies, etc.  So glad that they both had a good time.  Its hard to be 16.

Then, because of the drop in weather, we had a coat contest, I think Kay wins.

Finally, on Sunday, Tracy braved the cold to take 8 kids (Billy, Kay, Ian and 5 of Billy's friends) to Rogue One for Billys birthday party. It was totally worth it.  Pizza, candy, soda, popcorn and brownies.  Just in time to send all the boys home.  If you do watch, stay to the very end and dont take a bathroom break. There is a fun surprise right as the movie is ending.

All in all, despite the cold, a fun weekend:)

Kay wins


Rogue One

Jim Kay and Jen, present opening

Jimmy dressed up

Kay, Ian, Billy present opening

Placed pear dessert!


Ian kicked us off

Then Grace graced us

Jimmy quickly switched to drums and guitar

Billy soon took up guitar and violin

Kay playing the wrong 2 notes, over and over. She's got the good hair though.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Billy Balou Won Joon Shawny - Happy Birthday!

No matter what we call you, we love you!  Happy 12th birthday Bill!

This year was the year of the ....drum roll .... PHONE!

Billy is now an official part of society with his own Samsung 7 - its a serious kick ass phone.

He's already got it set up in his Otter Box and figuring out how to download his games.  He also got gift cards for more games, a watch and a Target gift card. I'd say the kid is set:)

It was a low key winter birthday for 'ol Bill. Outside sledding, video games and the Vikings game.  All topped off by a Greek feast and brownies. What could be better?!

Bill, you are sweet, kind, calm, funny, smart, generous, thoughtful, helpful and a total squirrel. You a amazing at taekwondo and are becoming a real leader.

We love you and are SO grateful for your birth parents, foster parents, social workers and everyone that brought you into our lives.

Hope your 12th year is the best ever!!

Monday, December 05, 2016

What's Been Going On?

Time seems to slip away when you have 4 kids running in several different direction along with life changing events and a professional football team that is tanking!

Jimmy and Tom were fortunate enough to get tickets to the Vikings game against the Cowboys. It was our first trip into the new stadium. The [place is really huge, and cool but not sure I see the $1.5 billion dollars it took to build the place. It is like any other stadium, big score boards and jumbo TV's, long lines and crazy fans.
It was fun to go with Jimmy as he thought it was the coolest place on earth! The game was great the Vikings actually ended their 5 game losing streak so we got to see the win. It was a nightmare to get out of the place and we had to walk about 1/2 mile to find a cab, however we did have a blast.

It is hard to believe that 13 years ago Kay came home! We celebrated her gotcha day in total Kay style with Fondu complete with chocolate fondu and strawberry's! She was in heaven. Kay continues to excel not only at gymnastics but in school as well. She keeps up her creative side with cooking and recently opening anew business called Kay's Slime Store. Yes she has a cottage industry she is running out of two drawers in the boys bathroom ( why take up space in hers) making custom to order slime. She has made a few teaser packets and has a couple of sales people working at the school- taking orders, so far we are still in the hole trying to recoup the initial investment but the forecast looks strong as the fiscal year winds down so we will see!
Kay we love you and we are blessed everyday that you chose us to be your forever family!

Thanksgiving was a super homey quiet day with lots of resting, relaxing and eating. I think this is the first time that we have made a traditional turkey, so smoking, deep frying, brining we just pulled out the roaster and off we went. Tom made a homemade stuffing, so just to be clear about dressing and stuffing, they are an identical dish the only difference is that it is called stuffing when out is inserted into he cavity of the bird and dressing when it is not. We also had Tracy's favorite side dish, cranberries from a can, mashed potato's, gravy, beans, and fresh tools. Wendy, Annamiek and Lucy made pumpkin and pecan pies and we all had a fantastic evening.

Tom had to be at the Mall of America the next day for a Gift of Adoption event
being that November is National Adoption Day his board had a special walk planed at the mall. There were several grant recipient families that came and we honored by the Gift of Adoption for making the lives of several children complete with a forever family! Kay and Ian came along more for the shopping than the event. Ian in true teenager fashion left to wander around by himself, Kay meanwhile was off and running looking for deals. She is a pretty good shopper, makes good selections and choices so it was fun. Tom and Kay made a pit stop at the new Tim Horton's for double doubles and tidbits all and all a great morning, we got out of the mall just as it was getting super packed and crazy.

For Tom's birthday Tracy gave him a day of Pheasant hunting with Terry, his dog scout and Mike G. The day was beautiful sunny, calm very little wind and our shooting skills were spot on. We had a round of trap then headed into the lodge for lunch which was venison chill and elk burgers, spectacular grub. Then off to the field where we proceed to knock down anything that flew. We put out 10 birds and we came back with 13! Great time, friends and fun. We are planning a pheasant gumbo meal after the holidays to celebrate the hunt!

We also had a brunch with Grandma and Grandpa, Brigid, Dennis, Stacia and Charlotte, Grandma wanted her picture with Jimmy, it was cute.

In addition we know have a 15 year old with a driving permit..more to come...