Saturday, January 11, 2014


2 MAJOR Milestones at the loudamericans household yesterday.... Kay = braces - She's hanging in there but the 1st few days have been really sore. This is going to be a long process. They can only put braces on adult teeth so as she loses teeth and the new ones grow in, they'll add braces. Sort of a painful add a pearl necklace. Lots and lots of ice cream for her so far this week:) Tom is OFFICIALLY a Chef - please call him 'Chef' from now on - as in "yes - Chef" :) He has worked so hard over the last 18 months and is so incredibly passionate about food. Its so fun to see him excel in his passion. To celebrate (show off?:)) he made dinner for my team this weekend. It was crazy good. Duck Terrian Chicken galantine, Spanish paella, beef wellington, momofuko brussel sprouts, roast radishes, candied fennel and roast parsnip salad and pavlova for dessert (not to mention wine, champagne and pizza for the kids:) Really an incredible night and great way to ring in 2014 and celebrate all the hard work and accomplishments of 2013. THANK YOU Tom!! Super duper proud of both of them:) Love you both - you are amazing people and we are so lucky to have you in our lives

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Over the Hills and through the ice to Michigan we go....

The GTA finally gave up the power ghost and everyone had power and the roads )although full of snow and ice) were manageable as we headed west to Michigan to Grandma & Grandpas along with the Basil's to hang out ski and generally enjoy the winter wonderland that is Little Glen. The first leg of the trip was somewhat uneventful... if you call kids screaming in the back of the Pilot that sparks are flying... well not the car as much as our trailer hitch mounted cargo rack gave way and was dragging along at 70 plus miles an hour! We used some of the knowledge we acquired watching late 80's early 90's TV and MacGyver would have been proud of our short term fix! We made into Midland a bit late and with dinner options at a minimum we went to where all the cars were, the Bowling Alley Sports Bar.

The following morning Tracy took the kids to the hotel pool while Tom went in search of a new cargo rack which proved to be a side track of several hours. Then local Tractor Supply had the item in stock however it required assembly and listening to the store manager lamenting about the first litter of baby pigs his sow had while the store manager, Mike and his son, Dave dealt with the baby pigs. Seems that a pig usually has 5 piglet's however this sow had 15 and was totally freaked out as were Mike and Dave and the fiasco was still going on when Tom wandered in to get the cargo rack - needless to say we did not make it to Grandma and Grandpa's for lunch, early, late or otherwise.

The rack installed, the grocery shopping done, a walk for Nikki, the Arby's drive through for lunch and we were on the way! The kids and Nikki did a great job, we got off track at the same place we always do, in fact when we got back home to Toronto we pulled out our file from last year and sure enough we made a note don't take the turn in Cadillac, which we did, well maybe next year, in any event we rolled into the cottage around 5:00 in the afternoon and a roaring fire greeted us along with several hugs big smiles and the warm feeling that being together brings!

The week was full of great times, fun adventures and cousins playing. The kids went skiing on Sunday and they along with the adults had a blast. We had to take a minor break on Sunday night as Jeff needed to go back home for neck surgery, which went great and he was back on Tuesday afternoon a bit sore, with a neck brace and a great attitude. We watched football basically non-stop and all of us (secretly Jimmy too) were happy the Packers pulled out the victory.

Crystal Mountain offered us a day of skiing in bitter cold temps but 'if Santa could do it then so could we'. The kids had this one run that they did over and over and over, which was straight into the 25 mile an hour wind, kids.... Sleeping bear dunes had the kids paired off into teams of three to try and tackle the dunes on their sleds, final score Dunes 3 kids 0, the wind bitter cold and ice was to much for two sleds (which broke) and the kids vowed " You ain't seen the last of us".

We went through several trees keeping the fire going and hot chocolate keeping the kids going. Dance fever, trash can, ( a super fun card game), charades, double solitaire, books, rainbow looms, a spellig bee, yarn and a few other games kept us laughing and playing the nights away. The food was comfort food, the company awesome and trying to find the best is impossible to pick, however we all did agree that the 'secret" that Grandpa and Grandma had, and were able to keep right up until we turned off the old country road in the driveway of the Belgium Horse and Sleigh Company ...was the top of the list. The pair of horses hooked up to the sleigh to pull us through the forest in the light snow bundled together with blankets and looks of awe sent chills through the adults!

Georgia, Tammy & Jeff's oldest was born on New Years Eve so we have a double celebration every year! Last year she wanted lobster, which you can't get in the North wood's in the winter or any other time for that matter. This year she gave up on gourmand food and went for something more tangible, The Circus. They don't have that in the North wood's either, so we went to the movie Frozen, and ate $20.00 popcorn and had a blast. The it was back to the cottage for make your own pizza's , movies, games and build your own sundae's! Happy Birthday Georgia!

Hope your Holiday's were bright your Christmas Merry and your New Year prosperous!
TTJKB & Nikki