Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's Miller Time- YAHOOO

Wade, Angel, Caden and Wyatt arrived last Thursday in a sort of planes trains and automobile type fashion, well  planes and automobiles, Holy Sh** data downloading in Canada is expensive, sort of way .

Friday morning, no school for the Loudamericans, found Tracy and Tom at a parent teacher conferences, not three. Seems in the Winter the teacher call the shots and decide if they want to see the parents or not ( see previous blog). Jimmy's teacher was happy to call us in and have a complete review of the previous 5 years of reports cards.

That behind us, we headed to the Science Museum along with the rest of Toronto. It was not quite as packed as we thought it would be and the kids had a blast. There is this interactive creative zone for the kids. It really is a place where the museum dumps most of it's recyclable trash ~  Popsicle sticks, paper cups, paper, and glue and allows the youth's in attendance to create birdhouses and the like to take home so there parents can actually recycle the stuff.  Big cost savings to the Museum, happy to help. The kids were just happy to hang together and play. Back home we just hung out until the 2 "kid sitters" showed up. Wade, Angela, Tracy and I headed out for a much needed date night and catching up session. We are very proud of Angela she was offered and accepted a new job, we will miss her at being at Target but she's still an important part of our our daily lives! Wade is doing great with his consulting gig and we realized how much we miss our monthly family sleep overs and play dates.

Saturday found Angela and Tracy at the spa, well Angela getting a hair cut, and Tracy offering support. She went from shoulder length to short short, its really cute!

Wade and I hit the subway with the kids and headed out to the Hockey Hall of Fame!
It was more than I thought and the interactive broadcasting booth kept the kids ( mostly Jimmy) entertained for hours. Tracy and Angela met up with us in a nick of time as the kids needed to eat. That done back too the HHF, for more one on one with the simulator and guarding the goal. Saturday night after Tracy and Angela returned from a pedicure, found us enjoying some nice wine, the kids had roasted chicken and the adults feasted on Beef Wellington, a new favorite of Chef Tom's.

Sunday Kay went off to gymnastics, Jimmy and Caden to football, Tom and Wade to the gym and Tracy and Angela took Nikki for a long walk to wear off the Wellington, Then it was off to Niagara Falls. As we entered the town, Jimmy proclaimed "Its just like Gatlinburg!! so much to do!! "  I would is definitely a once in a lifetime experience (meaning, something you only want to do once....)  It was the first time we had been to the falls as a family and the first time any of us had been there in the Winter. The falls is a must see place, I suggest the winter as most of the tourist traps, I mean destinations, are outside and therefore closed. That way you can focus on the main attraction, the falls. The Imax theater show is worth going to just to see all the morons, I mean daredevils, who made history going over the falls in a friggin barrel, there are lots of them. The theater comes with an option to view the daredevil memorabilia, totally worth it. One of the highlights is all the "inspirational items" the daredevils took with them. Not to ruin the experience for you but one guy went over the falls in a barrel with antacids and a case of beer, survivor or not? you will have to go to find out!

All good things must come to an end and sadly Monday afternoon the Murphy's headed towards Toronto and the Millers toward Buffalo and their flight home. It was great to see everyone clicking along as always and to re-connect. Thanks for the hugs, laughs and new stories!
We love you we bless you and we are glad you are in our lives.

More to come....

Monday, February 18, 2013

report card time (again)

Its that time again, report cards! Given the teacher union situation up here (see previous blog) we werent sure what to expect on the mid winter report cards. We were pleasantly surprised...

Jimmy - doing really well in science, music, gym and French (B+ to A-) and needs some work on attention to detail in Language and Math (C+ to B-). Overall his behavior is getting better, he's interrupting less and is encouraging kids in gym vs getting frustrated. He's still a little too social and I'm not sure his teacher appreciates when he tries to negotiate for a better grade but...he was given high marks on wanting to do well, completing homework, being engaged and sticking to it until he understands. Hes a hands on learner and isnt afraid to ask questions.  

Kay - an "enthusiastic" learner and got her best report card ever! She has only missed about 3 spelling words all year, is kicking butt in math and loves science because she gets to do experiments. Her pronouciation in French is good and shes friends with everyone. Her grades were all in the B+ or higher range and she is also not afraid to ask questions and put herself out there. She is good in groups but sometimes rolls right over people and could use a little work on collaboration (who couldnt?!). Her gym teacher is mightly impressed with her hand eye coordination, speed and strength. She is a natural athelete. She needs to work on neatness and staying organized. (you should see her room - oy!)           

Billy - LOVES science and figuring out how stuff works. He's a natural in math and is a very engaged reader. He fits into the class dynamics nicely and could use a little work on  staying on task when hes in self directed work time. He is also easily distracted by others but doesnt cause trouble, is just social (squirrel). He doesnt seem to put in much effort and easily gets B's or higher. If he even applied himself a bit more, he'd be an easy A student. He adores his teacher and I suspect he's an easy kid to have in class.

So, there you go. Print these off and bring them to their 1st annual review when they are adults and establishing their careers. I swear we have the same conference/report for each of them each year. You are who you area...right?! :)

We are very proud of how they are doing but...more importantly, they were happy with their grades and proud of their accomplishments. They are very self motivated to do it! and them :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Kays creation - a good way to spend 4 hours

Its winter, its cold out, you have a box of cake mix and some frosting? Is there a better way to spend 4 hours? !  Kay doesnt think so:)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mr. & Mrs. James Fellows

What a nice saying and it has a great ring to it!

The Loudamericans headed back to Minneapolis, well Woodbury, this past weekend to be part of Jim and Jens wedding. The beginning of the trip was quite painful as we waited at the airport for several hours for a plane to show up and fly us back home. The old saying " The road to a friends house is never long" was ringing in our ears and finally we were in the car with Uncle Jim.  Tracy was there before us (went in a day early for work) and was already at the hotel, testing the mattress to make sure we could get a good night's sleep, so Jim came to get the rest of us.

Friday was spent running errands and getting ready for the rehearsal dinner. Tux, check, well not really the shoes fit but the rest needed to be changed and we had to wait overnight as the tux parts came from Houston, really?, why is there even a need ahead of time to get measured, just go in the day before try on some random tux, it doesn't fit?, OK we'll send in the real one over night from Houston be here tomorrow to get it...

The rehearsal was fun we all did great well except for one crabby Deacon who shall remain nameless and Tracy who had to read this particularly difficult version of the intentions. Well Tracy did fine it was the wording and giggling that set off the aforementioned Deacon. The rehearsal behind us, the adults headed over to Jim and Jens for some extremely awesome Mexican food and the kids headed elsewhere for pizza. The adults had a blast sharing stories and getting to know each other and Tracy, Tom, Jim and Jen got a kick out of the Groundhog cake and the situation leading up to it. It is and will remain an inside joke but rest assured there were tears of joy and laughter pains shared by all.

Saturday, Ground Hogs Day, and for a moment let me just say that Ground Hog's Day, above all others is Jim's favorite day, so it is fitting that he creates this day into a lifelong memorial day. The wedding party gathered at the church for photo's and more stories and bonding until the time came to turn serious. I will say that standing in the church and seeing the pure joy & happiness that was radiating from both Jim and Jen brought a tear to my eyes. Jim was busy running from here to there but when it was time to walk down the aisle he was more than present. The ceremony was awesome and at one point Jim got up to play guitar with the band ( or I guess you say choir in a church setting) and he did fabulous.

Everyone hit their marks, new their lines and looked wonderful. The Deacon that married them, had them write love letters to each other and then read them to the whole congregation, it was really touching and a great personal, intimate touch to the ceremony.

After the great event, the was more socializing, hugging, photos and kid craziness.  Jim & Jen hosted an incredible meal of the family and wedding party at Bucca and we even had our own room. The kids loved it and the wine flowed:)  Toasts were made, food was shared and the music blared... a great celebration to end an amazing day and start of a new life together.

The newly weds were eager to get home and crash so that they'd be ready for their honeymoon the next day. so.. we all packed it up and headed home.

Sunday was a bit of a slow start, even the kids were hung over from a weekend of partys and people.
Jimmy ended up with a touch of bug and all I'll say is...thank god for the barf bags in your airline seat....

JIm and Jen - Many happy returns of the day, all the best, love each other, be an example of peace in the world and KNOW that you are loved:)