Monday, September 27, 2010

Tom and the big 5-0

Yep, that's right...Tom turned 50 this past weekend. YIKES! We spent the weekend celebrating his 1st 50 years and sending him good wishes for the next 50:)

We had an action packed weekend. Of course, coming into this big event was the no party? travel? how do you celebrate? We opted for a # of small dinners with family friends (that is, our close friends that our whole family - kids and all -are friends with). Also interspersed in the plan? football and more football:)
Friday night was a family sleep over at Wade/Angelas. In true "the world" is small mode, it just so happens that Tom & Wade share a birthday. To make it even more auspicious, their foreign exchange student, Rica-from Germany, also shares the same big day. so, we celebrated a 17, 38 and 50th with fillet Mignon, crab legs, salad and asparagus (and CAKE!) Rica asked 'what can I do at 17 in the U.S. that I couldnt do at 16?' both thing was disappointed when the only thing we could think of was go to an R rated movie "legally". It was a super fun, relaxing kick off to the weekend and included gifts of beer & wine making kits for all (well all except Rica):)

Sat was Jimmy's 3rd football game and they WON! Jimmy was a monster out there, he was finally "up against" someone his own size and he held his own. Its even more fun that they won and they were short 4 guys. Uncle Pat even showed up and that was a big treat for everyone!

Saturday night was "date night". I told Tom I wanted him to myself and we were going to hit this awesome new foodie restaurant Travail. Little did he know that I had Mike & Libby planted in the restaurant as a surprise. It was amazing. We did a 10 course tasting menu, dinner lasted hours and each dish was better than the last. Travail is a cool concept. They cook whatever shows up from the co-op that day, the decor is local tavern and they dont have waitresses, just the 7 cooks. They greet you and then serve you the dish they made. Every day the menu changes and its definitely a labor of love. The best food I have had out in a long long time.

Sunday Tom took Jimmy to his 1st regular season Vikings game and while it wasnt pretty, the Vikes did win. They had seats in the end zone, 4 rows from the top of the dome and Jimmy thought he was in HEAVEN! They drank soda and ate junk food and basically had a grand old time. This was followed by the HFL (Hopkins Football League) family fund raiser and tug of war. Jimmy and Ben (who was pulling with 1 arm since he broke his other arm in playground football at school) were undefeated against 2 able bodied kids. Not only did the win, Jimmy & Ben literally tipped the other team over. We have a video.

Sunday night we ended the weekend at the Childrens Home Society and Family Services winemakers dinner and fund raising gala. This is a dress up affair with live, silent and pseudo silent auctions. We double dated with Jeff & Karen but ended up reconnected with other friends during the night as well. Of course dinner was steak, shrimp and chocolate cake (and another reason to sing Happy Birthday to Tom:)).

In between all of this, Kay had 2 birthday parties, Billy had a monster playdate with Cole and we managed to fit in a flooded basement and a few workouts to work off all the yummy food.

The voicemails, emails, texts, hugs (both live and virtual) from all of you from around the world were awe inspiring, THANK YOU! Its so great to know that Tom is loved by so many for the same reason we love him - he's kind, engaged, helpful, funny, and the glue that keeps us together.

If this weekend is an indication of Tom's next 50 years, lets get the party started!!

We love you - I love you!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Football Update #2

Monday evening as the fall sun begins to set over Minnetonka Badger Field, Jimmy and The Hopkins Blue Crush take the field, like sentinels casting long shadows over the opposition, Minnetonka #6.

We interrupt this football update to bring to late breaking news updates.....

Update #1:
Gordon is set free! For those who may not know, Gordon is a crayfish that has been the family pet since last June when Jimmy brought him home from a fishing trip. Gordon was known by some as " That creature living in the garage" by others as "the prehistoric animal in the kids room" but to the Loudamericans, Gordon was our pet. Named afterour dearly departed neighbor, the kids decided it was time to release Gordon back to the wild. So as the sound of taps could be gently heard around the local swamp, Gordon, with one powerful twitch of his tail, was free again.

Update #2
Kay Marie Jeon Murphy scores her first 100 and excellent rating on her second grade spelling test. Ms. Murphy put in long hours over this past summer studying and perfecting her grammar and mathematics skills and from all signs the budding student is applying that learned knowledge. Well done Kay!

Back to our regularly scheduled program.....

Football, as many know, is a game unto itself, demanding focus and discipline from the disciples of the game. Hard work and perseverance are key factors in the succees of any team. the third graders are no exception. The practice this week was centered around staying home and not letting the opposition run the deadly end around play. It worked. The Blue crush stayed home and lived up to their name besting the lads from Minnetonka 25-20. The first W is big for any team, the parents were so proud they formed a human tunnel for the Crush to run through and one of the Dad's commented that if this keeps up at some point we will have to start our selves on fire and make a flaming tunnel. There is enthusiasm and then there is Rudy like behavior!

Here is Jimmy (#42) running the ball carrier down and preventing the third down conversion.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What I love about Billy

2 quick things I love about Billy and just couldnt pass up posting...
~ he LOVES to get his haircut - #2 with 1/2 sideburns (not full, not shaved). He sits super still and giggles when she trims around his ears.
~ he always picks the mystery sucker at the barber. always, no matter what. I asked him 'why?' "I like guessing what the flavor is, its a good surprise" That's my boy, livin' on the edge!

The boys of Fall

The football season is upon us and over the weekend the Hopkins Royals 3rd graders took the field for the first time. The opponents, the Minnetonka Skippers. Jimmy walked into the stadium and in awe stated, " Dad, do we play here?" Yes son, will ESPN be here, not today Jim.

The games go something like this, for those of us unfamiliar with Football. Each team has two subset teams Jimmy's team is Orange and Crush, Jim plays for Crush. The Coin toss was won, Jimmy is a captain, and the Royals were to start on offense. So The first of the subset team is on the field for 4 plays and then they come off the field and the other subset goes on for four plays and then the sides switch. In the event of a tour over or a touchdown,( there is no kicking of the ball until 5Th grade), the teams stay on the field until they have played four downs.

The game is 4 quarters and two halves and you can not tell one kid from the other. I am sad to report the Royals fell to the Skippers 12 to 6. The game was hard fought and on a high note none of the points were scored against Jimmy and his squad. He plays center and guard on the offense and guard and tackle on defence. The kid hits hard.

The next Game is on Monday the 20Th more after the game.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A new addition to our family

Timmy is a guinea pig. He is a boy guinea pig. I have been BEGGING my parents for a guniea pig for 6 months. I researched them online and checked out books from the library. I even researched if people could be allergic to them because my mom is allergic to anything that poops in the house. She is going to have to wash her hands a lot with Timmy to make sure she doesnt have a reaction. After all this, my parents surprised me with a guinea pig starter kit for my birthday along with a gift certificate to the humane society. We decided not to look for a guinea pig until after our camping trip at Rock Cut State Park. We got home and my mom and I looked online for a pig and the 1st few days, nothing. Then, there was Timmy. He's a little over 2 lbs and has white/black hair that goes sort of crazy all over his body. That's all about Timmy. I will post an update to my facebook. Here are some pictures. From - Jimmy

Friday, September 10, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

The Loudamericans (plus Nikki) set out Friday afternoon to Rock Cut State park outside of Rockford,Ill to meet Tracy's sister Tammy and her husband Jeff and their kids Georgia, Joey and Herbie.

The trip down was uneventful.... if you call screaming kids, kids that are spitting at each other and tickling each other to the "state of pee", a DVD player that doesn't work and constant rain.... uneventful. We had planned to stop at a Chinese Buffet along the way for dinner (if you have noticed it is rare to find a Chinese Buffet along any interstate) however we ended up eating McDonalds in the car (every parents nightmare) due to: traffic, rain and the fact of actually looking at our reservation form (the park closes for admittance at 10:00 Pm - our ETA was 9:55 - we needed to make tracks!). We arrived at 9:45, way ahead of 10:00 deadline, and got to the campsite about a half hour ahead of the Basil's. We got the tents set up and the kids played and had a ball until 12:30 in the morning! It was great fun to see the cousins playing and especially for Kay, having another girl to play with.

Saturday was the Murphy's day for meals. We had sausage, sausage and egg and just egg breakfast sandwiches along with juice, pop, chips,candy and all the other great food items one can justify eating while camping! The boy's were playing football, the girls were in the tents playing dress up, coloring and practicing being interior decorators to the point they were banned from playing in the tents (note: suntan lotion, bug spray and markers are not a good combination with pillows, blankets and sleeping bags). We spent time exploring the park, Tracy and Tam took Nikki for long walks and we were all able to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Lunch was more of the same however there were more fruits and veggies available. The afternoon gave way to fishing from the pier, hiking around the lake and football. Dinner was the world famous Chalupa's with all the fixing and it was an El Grande feast, followed by s'more's and more passing around the old pigskin. It was apparent after only a few minuets that showers would be a waste of time and water. The weather was awesome for sleeping, however the ground was not and we ended up in a bundle at the bottom of the tent... such as camping,.

Sunday was the Basil's food day and pancakes and bacon for everyone! We spent the day hiking around the camp and fishing in the fishing lake. I have never in all our travels experienced a State Park with the rules at Rock Cut. The park has two lakes, a fishing lake and a swimming lake and you can not swim in the fishing lake nor can fish in the swimming lake? The fishing lake rents water crafts including canoes, kayaks and fishing boats so the question is if you rent a water craft and it capsize,s are you forced to drown because you can not swim in the lake? Pass me another beer! The weather was not real helpful, the fish were not biting but that did not stop us from renting a paddle boat and a fishing boat, we had a blast. It was a good thing that Kay paid attention during nature camp earlier in the summer, since there were no fish, she taught us how to eat cattails, and eat them we did! (She was also helpful in identifying what was NOT poison ivy). Sunday night was a burger and hot dog fest followed by more football and a great bonfire and s'mores.

Monday we had a catch as catch can breakfast, broke down camp and readied ourselves for the Long ride home. In preparation for the homeward journey we walked to the park to get some energy out of the kids, I should say some of us walked. For the record from our campsite to the park is 180 cartwheel, just ask Kay, she added 53 (just to be safe) and hit her own personal record of 231 a row. ugghhh I feel sick just thinking about it, but she was fine!

It was an awesome weekend and the cousins had a blast, as did the parents and we are all set to hook up at Tammy and Jeff's for Thanksgiving!

Happy Labor Day.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Sue comes to town, Vikes Game and School starts

Aunt Sue has just returned from a quiet trip (not) to Costa Rica and came over to celebrate her birthday and Jimmy's birthday.
She didnt know what she was in for!

Tracy and I decided that a great birthday present for the two of them would be for Sue to take Jimmy to a Vikings game. Yep we got tickets to a pre-season game and when they opened the tickets, it was hard to tell who was more excited. The long time die hard Packer fan or the long time disappointed in the making Vikings fan? Either way off to the Mall Of America- Hubert Humprey -Metro Dome or whatever.

Jimmy could not even breath he was so excited. He had his Vikings hat, Vikings foam finger, Brett Favre jersey, face paint and the will to sit in his seat and not leave for one single play. Sue had to go up to the hot dog vendor because Jimmy would not miss one play. He was in VIKINGS TERRITORY- bring it on.!

Sue was not here to just watch Jimmy and his obsession, she was her to see the kids off to their first day of school. This is Billy's first year of school. aka, kindergarten and he is so excited that he gets to come home on the bus- that school is cool.

Kay is in second grade and is so looking forward to teaching her teachers, yes she has two, sometimes in the same day, sometimes not. Now you see her, now you don't, the proper way to do cartwheels and to mix paint to obtain the most delicate shade of brown.

The summer has drawn to an end, the kids are back to school, the house is painted and the loudamericans are looking forward to fall.
As stated in an earlier post, it is all about football check this out: