Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy Birthday Tracy!

In the middle of yet another awesome summer being a kid we take a moment to pause and say Happy Birthday to Tracy, our mom, wife, friend and main deck fun enthusiast on the cruise of life!

Last year due to circumstances beyond our control all of Tracy's gifts were from the Toronto airport, an event that was not going to be repeated, ever. So we planned ahead and were ready for the big day upon our return from Toronto. We prepared her current favorite meal, Hearts of Palm Salad, Salsa Verdi Pork, Lemon and Garlic Green Beans, and Cilantro Lime Rice and we followed that with Rhubarb Crumble with Strawberry smoothies, yum!

Tracy was in heaven, then Kay prepared a Spa Day Basket for her and all the kids got Mom a new throw pillow with some of her favorite sayings on them, I love you to the moon and back, always give me a kiss me good night and love. She is now also sporting a new tie dyed roots hoodie that is soft and cuddly!

Tracy has been very busy this year pushing limits, trying new ideas and pursuing her dreams, which is an unbelievable role model to us all. We are proud of all that she has done, her drive to get more involved in non-profit/ charity work and pushing others to be passionate and live their dreams.

Happy Birthday we are blessed to be on their awesome adventure with you!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Annual West Lansing Father/ Kid Camping

Thing 1 & Thing 2 and Tom packed and headed off to Toronto for their third Father Kid camping adventure. The dads of West  Lansing, a small bedroom community off the 401 and Yonge near North York Ontario, lead by the Mayor Glen Marshal and his highly questionable cabinet members provide a no nonsense trip into the woods complete with vigorous excesses for both body and soul.

Thursday the abbreviated Loudamericans arrived to the old neighborhood and immediately  hooked yup with our friends. Kim graciously offered Kay and Billy a room to stay on the front and back end of the trip and even went so far as to make us dinner. Maddie, Ryan and Adam were at school so Kim and T1&2 walked over to school to get hem and the smiles and hugs were priceless. The kids ran into some of their other friends on the way home and even Jimmy's old pal Eli was out and about saw Billy and Kay and immediately sent a snap chat to Jimmy wondering where he was! We all had dinner then Tom treated the bunch to Yogurty's the most expensive yogurt place on the planet. All the parents complain about the cost, however we continue to go there :) The kids settled in with Kim and her kids and Tom headed over to Rod and Peggy's.

 I must state before I continue to be completely transparent here, we have had some problems in the past with noise and some irrational behavior, the Mayor decided in a council meeting which was approved 6-4 to bring a security consultant for the weekend to handle any complaints , Officer Cryne was chosen to provide this service. I am happy to report that no citations were written, however several time- outs did occur.

Friday am we loaded Rods Truck with gear dropped Kay off with Tim and Lindsay and head east for the park. Cottage on Wheels completes the wilderness experience by dropping off our 28' motor home complete with linens, bedding and a/c! The day is spent getting the camp organized, the bonfire going and basically chilling out. Several new games,, all of which are heavily bet made an appearance this year. The biggest hit was the frisbee toss. Where you  have a 3 foot tall cylinder with an opening in the top and a long slit type opening in the front. The object of the game is while drinking beer you and your partner must somehow reach 21 points before the other team. The points are awarded as follows:
1 point for simply hit the cylinder with the Frisbee.
2 points if your partner guides the frisbee into the cylinder,it is important to note that guiding does not mean holding.
3 points if your partner can slam the frisbee into the top opening, slamming with swag is very important.
Finally in the very unlikely event one can get the frisbee into the slit like opening on the cylinder,, game over.

Saturday is a full out sports full contact day. First up carb loading with pancakes and sausage coffee and Koolaide, there are some food allergies so the menu id highly supervised. Then it is straight into baseball where the kids are thrown pitching until they hit the ball or the Mayor Glen decided he's pitched enough pitches and declares a bases on ball. Then as the kids destroyed any image the Dads had at a victory the sides change and the Dads are up, where they must bat opposite handed and with one hand,the Dad's get three pitches and thats it, The Mayor makes the rules. It was noted this year that the existing rules were based upon the kids being between the ages of 4-7 and now the kids are 6-14, a rules committee for 2017 was formed, Kids 14 Dads 6. Then it was off to the beach where a square off ring is drawn in the sand, Luke ceremoniously dons his 12 official NFL Brady Jersey and sides are complicatedly chosen and touch football begins. At the request of the park there are no shots allowed. Again under a cloud of controversy one side emerged the victor, due to league rules the victor can not be reveled, you know which team you were on. Admits this spectacular display of athletic prowess the rest of the constituents were hard at the beer drinking Frisbee game, no rest for the weary here! OH, just to note the kids were highly supervised while skiing and wind surfing,, the former with life jackets, we did have a couple of attorneys on retainer just incase.

Saturday afternoon was back at camp for more Frisbee and the a delicately prepared dinner where it was said " never has a double cheeseburger tasted so good"!

The the real reason for the trip the 31 tournament,, as quoted by Luke :
Saturday night’s the Dolphin McQueen Presqu’ile 31 Championship with a huge trophy, a massive pot and a year’s worth of bragging rights .  Man vs. Man, Good vs. Evil.  Previous champions include Chris “Lucky Once” Coulter, Luke “ The Real Deal” Brady, Glenn “The Bastard” Brown and 2015 champ Big Eddy Higgs.  Could Glen Marshall collapse at the final table, again?  Is Wayne Downer’s handsome bearded face enough to win it all? Could Jamie Stuart misplay his cards 2 years in a row?  Start sharpening your 31 skills because this is huuuuuge. "ugh said.
This years bragging rights go to Russ Clarke who was last seen with

the trophy bolted to the hood of his car racing off to display to all of Toronto....

Suffice it to say the trip was a blast, the kids and I were welcomed back again in 2017, pending the outcome of the Presidential race that is. In summing up the weekend in his address to the town members Mayor Marshal said these words:

They say it takes a village to raise a child.  Well it only takes West Lansing* to take 51 kids camping and come back with all of them!
Congrats gentlemen!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rock Band Camp!! Jimmys annual time to shine

Check it out - drums and guitar

play list =

Band #1 - death by toaster - covering....
Nirvana I don't have a gun - jimmy on guitar
David Bowie Lets Dance
Allan Brothers  Jessica
Lenard Skynard Sweet Home Alabama

Band #2  Way Intense - covering 
Arctic Monkeys are you mine

Nicer Fish On!!

As school came to an end the summers festivities began in earnest. The annual trip to Lake Vermillion with Carl and his boys is the first event out of the blocks!

Carl arrived on Friday evening in the middle of baseball, gymnastics and Taekwando, having three busy boys of his own he knew exactly what too do, so off to lake Minnetonka to fish until things called down around here. After the dust settled we got our vehicles loaded and ready for the 4 hour journey north which for the most was easy, the 13 mike stretch between Pine City and Hinckley took over an hour, but we made it to our resort, Life of Riley right on time.

Saturday we got the lay of the land and into our boats and headed of for the afternoon/ evening of fishing.
We had decided that we would rely on our fishing skills and have more fish and less store bought food. Of course Kay was all in and got a tad bit upset when out of no-where Jimmy caught the first fish! We as they say in the fishing trade " hammered the fish"! All four of us were catching fish and the kids and I had a blast. We headed in just before dusk to enjoy an awesome smoked pork dinner complete with coleslaw and a spicy mop sauce!

Sunday some of us were up and at em early while others decided to sleep in. The morning fish was as spectacular as the night before and we were all excited for the upcoming shore lunch. The weather was not the best this trip out and we were not able to actually swim or wake board however we had a couple of nice bon-fires. Sunday evening the contingent was back out on the lake hammering the fish once again.  Kay even caught a fish with a fish gummy worm.

We had a great fish dinner and as usual a blast!

Monday was a bit of a bust as far as weather and fishing however on a side note Carl had caught on our way to the resort a rather large snapping turtle that happen to be crossing the road. As Jimmy pointed out " Dad we weren't even checked in and Carl had tied a snapping turtle by it's tail and hung it off our deck, people must think we are rednecks", then Kay chimed in saying that not only was the turtle tied to our deck but it was really pissed off" outdoor fun, hard to beat. So Monday night everyone but Billy and Jimmy who opted for the less adventurous meal of pasta, had roasted turtle with a mushroom cajun cream sauce, and pass the Grey Poupon- of course Kay thought it was awesome and now wants to head down to the local swamp and catch a couple of turtles because, 'Carl taught me how to butcher them', good grief! Ol Bill had no comment as he is an animal lover and future veterinarian - his pacifist nature was offered.

Tuesday Carl, Kay and I headed out in the morning and the fishing was not very good, however no one that we know of has ever caught a fish while sitting in the cabin, just saying. We had another fish meal and around mid-day the Loudamericans were on the way home and to the airport, Toronto was up next!

Thursday early morning we had to retrieve Kay from a sleepover and head off to the airport for the 6th Annual West Lansing Father kid picnic.  Next blog....  (note, the artist photos are ones Jimmy took, talented!!)