Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kay's flash mob "scene"

Kay has been getting HIGHLY involved in Girl Scouts (Brownies) this year. She loves the crafts, learnings, activities, friends and (of course) snacks. This year is a big year for Girl Scouts, they are celebrating 100 years and MANY of the celebration activities have been happening in the Twin Cities.

In late March, the whole Mall of America was taken over for a weekend of celebration activities. The place was packed iwth girls, their mom's and troop leaders, all dressed in green (Girl Scouts), brown (Brownies) or blue (Daisies).
Kay and I joined this feat in an effort to see, close up and personal, a performance by Disney Star China Anne McClain. She sang/danced with her sisters and Kay was thrilled, we even have an autographed copy of her CD.

Last weekend, there was a big celebration conference at the convention center. They were looking for giels to learn a dance routine and perform a "flash mob" at the dinner. Of course, Kay was right in the middle of it. After days of practice, she was ready.  The group was mostly Girl Scouts, Kay and her friend Grace were the only Brownies and Grace's sister Mia was the only Daisy. Needless to say, Grace, Kay and Mia got a LOT of attention. Check out the clip. You need to look a bit for Kay, but when you see her, she's  way too cute.

Go Kay Go!! Rock on!!     

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day Jimmy!

Time seems to keep rolling on and the kids correspondingly get older and even more lovable.
This week we celebrated Jimmy's 10th gotcha day, 10 years ago, he chose us as his forever family and has set out creating memories and  life lessons for us all.

Who knew his love for sports, music, family and friends was going to take us where we are today. Jimmy is now in a boy band, if you hear them sound awesome! He has met and conversed with several sports legends from Joe Kapp to Chuck Foreman and has a pair of Timberwolves tickets signed by Wayne Ellington!

Jimmy has brought us such excitement and joy along with all the madness that goes with a 10 year old boy! He is currently all about baseball and his team the Marlins. Practice has begun, the opening day is set for May 5th and Jimmy said yesterday " Dad, this year, if we loose a game, I am going to take the loss like a man",  we will see. For those of you who do not know Jimmy is a serious competitor and losing is not something he does well, he is hard on himself and very critical of his performance which is good and bad, being passionate and wearing his heart on his sleeve gives young James spirit.

He is a generous and thoughtful friend. He thinks nothing of sharing his toys/electronics/sporting equipment. In fact, at a recent Timberwolves game, he caught one of the "flying" tshirts from Crunch. He turned to Tom and said "I already have one of these tshirts, can I give it to the kid next to me?". Now...if only he were as kind to his brother and sister. Typical, I suppose:)

We celebrated his Gotcha day in typical fashion with stories, his "birth" book and cupcakes. So here's to Jimmy and all the love, laughs and life that you  bring to us and all your family and friends!
We love you, we bless you and we are glad you chose us to be your forever family!

The below is a show Jimmy was on and won a set of tickets, he is at the 28 minute mark

In the craiziness of things we forgot to mention Jimmy and his band was featured in the West Bank School of Music Newsletter:

The Making of a Band at WBSM
Thanks to last summer’s annual Youth Rock and Pop Band Camp, three West Bank students now have their own band led by guitar, dobro, and summer camp instructor, Ryan Kimm.
Will, 14 and Jimmy, 10 met last year at the camp where they rocked out and learned some new tunes. They liked the camp and their experience so much that last October, they decided to start their very own band and were joined by Will’s friend, Isak, also 14. Already their rehearsals of the past five months have paid off as the students had the chance to record their music in a professional recording studio, one of Minneapolis’ best, Creation Audio. They recorded songs like “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People and “Someone Like You” by Adele. You can hear a couple samples from their studio experience at our YouTube channel.
We sat down with the students to learn more about them, their band that has yet to choose a name and why they like WBSM so much. Will says being in band is a lot of fun because “you get to jam with others once your learn to groove.” Well said, Will. Isak likes WBSM because “they have good teachers” and they enjoy learning to play a variety of new music. Their favorite music to play? Jazz standards and music incorporating the foundations of jazz. The students practice together about an hour and a half a week but also practice at home whenever they can. Outside of playing in their band, the young trio enjoys pop, hip-hop and rock. They are also all very involved in sports. Jimmy plays football, baseball and snowboards, just to name a few. Will and Isak like to skateboard and hang out with friends.
This year’s summer Youth Rock and Pop Camp has two sessions that run June 18-22 and June 25-29. The earlier session is filling up fast, so be sure to register your music student(s) soon! For more information on the camp click here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Break 2012

WOW can't believe it is already time for Spring Break, being we hardly had a winter this year. This year we decided it would be fun to visit Grandma and Grandpa in South Carolina and the end our trip in Chicago with the Reagan's for Easter.
The night before we headed out of town, Tom was working with The Gift of Adoption to help promote the upcoming Golf for The Gift tournament and brought Jimmy along to the event to meet the Hall of Fame Quarterback, Joe Kapp! To say Jimmy was in his element is an understatement. Jimmy has a real NFL football given to him by Kyle Rudolph, tight end for the Vikings, and he is collecting signatures. He presented the football to Mr. Kapp for his signature and when asked by Mr. Kapp who has signed this ball Jimmy responded, "Kyle Rudolph!". Joe was taken aback by the sloppy penmanship and told Jimmy that he needed to tell Kyle that he should improve his writing skills to which Jimmy replied " I would, but I don't have his phone number..."
Jimmy also won a drawing for 2 center court Timber wolves tickets signed by Wayne Ellington! He went crazy, I think it was the best tickets Wayne ever gave away:) What a night!

Friday we headed out of town around 1:30 and began the 2 day drive to Gatlinburg Tennessee, where we were meeting Grandma and Grandpa (or as they say down south - Meema and Peepaw) . We made great time and spent the first night in historic, Champagne Illinois. The hotel was somewhere near an Indian restaurant because the kids kept saying it "wow, this hotel smells good, it smells like Namste Plaza and Raj's cooking!" Only our kids.... Saturday was a long day and we headed out after a late breakfast towards Tennessee, we got stopped only a minute or two but of the truckers could do it then we could too! We met up with Grandma and Grandpa around 8:00 that night and headed out to our favorite BBQ joint in Gatlinburg, which is nothing more than the only place we have ever eaten at in Gatlinburg!
Sunday we let the kids decide which tourist trap we would go to and we were prepared to let each of them pick their own. However we ended up at MagiQuest, which is a perfectly timed maze where the kids are sent on a quest to obtain, gold, magic spells, curing spells and the like to prepare them to fight the dragon. It is a timed event and it is timed so that you can not possibly get all the spells you need to battle the dragon on your first trip through and therefore with an additional trip and an additional payment of $10.95 your child can take his or her turn at the dragon. Since we were only there 1 day, left spell less and downhearted.
We then headed off to Keowee Key, where we had a condo and in Grandma and Grandpas community.

We spent the week at the beach, roller blading, playing basket ball and swimming. When we were not out in the sun were we inside teaching the kids parlor games and having a great time. Kay even master sticking a spoon on her nose and both Kay and Bill were able to place an Oreo cookie on the forehead and move from there into their mouth without using their hands, Barnum and Bailey here we come! One of the highlights was going to the Salem County Flea Market. Grandma armed the kids each with $5.00 and it was crazy. You could get anything from a free puppy to a chain saw or fresh caught shrimp, even a stop light! The boy's bought air-pistols and Kay bought make-up and some late 70's hippie art thing-ama-jig that featured plastic sheets, loud pastel permanent markers and a scissors. YIKES! In true southern fashion the Nazis white surpremistics even had a booth. Scary....

Being that Jimmy has done all his college research he insisted that we go to Clemson. We had to tour the campus, get some icecream and attend baseball and volleyball games. As we approached campus he was all excited and starting saying things like: " look Mom there is my dorm", "Look there is the football field where I will be playing", " Hey, look there are some of my classmates", really.... The kids a bit of a freak. The baseball was like fun and the field one of the best in college sports. I think the highlights were...we got in free and we got to hear the totally off key janitor sing " Take me out to the Ballgame". The volleyball on the other hand was insane. These girls are tall, in shape and mean business. The games moves at a super fast pace and Billy was in love, Kay needed a pretzel and Jimmy loved the aggressive action and points being scored on every play. We are now women's volleyball fans! POINT CLEMSON!

We had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa and after a great "final night" dinner with Auntie Lynn and Daduu, and we were off to Chicago, well La Grange to be exact. GPS said 11.5 hours start to finish. So we headed out a 7:30 am with the goal of arriving by 7:00 pm. What the GPS/Smart phone does not take into account is kids throwing up in the car, highway changes and new road designs, also it is not so smart when it comes to 12 hours in the car, 3 kids going stir crazy and a cell phone battery with no long lasting life left. That being said we pulled into the Regan's at 8:00 CST and thank God they had food ready for the kids and us along with an ice cold beer!
We spent Saturday catching up, hanging out and enjoying seeing our friends. The kids picked up where they left off and the whole day was a gas. Carl and Jackie stopped by later in the day and it was great to see them. We had a nice dinner, and got the kids to bed early so was not to miss the Easter Bunny! Easter Sunday was at the Reagan's and their neighbors have a neighborhood Easter egg hunt and fortunately it was a gorgeous day! The hunt was a success and after a late breakfast, it was back in the car and homeward bound. The drive was uneventful in that no one got sick, Samuel Blink found his sister and we hit no traffic delays!
Hope everyone had a great Spring Break and a Happy Easter!