Sunday, April 30, 2017

Random fun week - for some....

This week was typical nawesome  (Billy's word, a combination of awesome and normal), crazy busy with some notable highlights...

Billy has braces!  At least on the top teeth. So, we officially have 3 kids in glasses and 3 kids in braces.  Can you say ... awkward stage?  We need to start taking more embarrassing photos to show at the graduations and weddings....

Jimmy finally decided to color his hair back to black. (Back in Black!!)  Mainly due to the upcoming semi-dance for 9th graders. He's taking Mary (same last name as us) after a bit of confaluted 9th grade antics (breaking up with Lauren, thinking about asking Lauren, going on a double date with Miles and Mary - who get together and break up frequently- only to have Jimmy ask Mary and Miles ask Lauren.  After which Lauren dumps Miles to go with AJ - same kid she dumped Jimmy for... got it?!   right.)  We colored his hair and he got a stylin' new cut. He does look smart, now I just need to figure out how to get a secret photo of it.  More to come ... (at least he doesnt look like a K Pop star anymore)

Laura and Pete were in town for Ben & Alex's basketball league (they play 11th grade midwest league which travels all over for play, Iowa, Texas, Indiana, MN, Wisconsin, etc).  She's my BFF from high school and its always fun to get to get together even though we dont do it very often.  We had pizza and caught up and then the selfie. No, no one is standing on stools. No, no one is sitting down.  This photo is an accurate depiction of size, hence why Kay didnt want to be in it.  Laura's boys (twins) are 6'9", her husband Pete is 6' 10"  - Context, they are 2 ft taller than Billy and Kay.  Even Jimmy said ... wow, I dont normally feel short ....

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Fun!

Well the weather finally broke and Easter Sunday was gorgeous. The kids (aka Kay) insisted on baskets and an egg hunt (which forth will be referred to as "the hunt") but, they also didnt want to get up early or be otherwise inconvenienced by the holiday so we were a bit on their schedule. The pressure was on as Kay declared that last years Easter was "lame" (not sure her definition of lame but we had Easter at our friends in Chicago as well as at home which means 2 hunts and 2 sets of brunch/dinner - kids.....)

In an attempt to keep them on their toes, we did Easter Bunny Hangman. The answer revealed a clue for where they could find their baskets. Then, the hunt was in the backyard. The Easter Bunny did hide eggs late morning in anticipation of the kids waking up late but ... obviously they were still hidden too soon as the neighborhood squirrels gorged on plastic eggs, Swedish Fish jelly beans and Hersey miniatures.  Billy's comment?  "I bet they all have stomach aches now....". Right.

I was craving a Portuguese egg dish and Tom pulled out all the stops with said dish, cinnamon rolls, hash browns and crusty bread for dipping. Dinner was even more interesting as we had watched a Diners Drive Inns and Dives earlier in the week and had chicken fried steak, gravy and spaetzle on our brains. Marry that with Korean zucchini pancakes and it was a South Koreman (Southern, Korean, German) dinner.  Very brown but tasty.

The gift theme for this year was shorts and underwear.  Very apropos.

I managed to get in 2 dog walks and Tom was nice enough to humor me with a bike ride.

The coup d'gras?  Calling Grandma after dinner and yelling ... Happy Easter Bunny!

All in all a good Easter and we even got a thumbs up from Kay. Whew!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Gotcha Day Jimmy!

Tuesday was Jimmys Gotcha Day, its been 15 years since he joined us and started the Loudamericans.   I thought I'd pull a few flash back posts to see if he's changed (spoiler alert, he hasn't...)

So it is hard to believe our 'little' Jimmy came home 9 years ago and has not stop growing, eating, talking and providing us love, joy and happiness everyday. His inquisitive mind is swirling with questions, insight and observation and his heart is full, of determination, commitment and care for his friends and love for his family.

Its true, he hasn't stopped growing (he's 6'1", in a size 13 shoe and well on his way to 200lbs), eating (he told me today "I'm always hungry Mom", talking (non-stop on FaceTime, in fact last night we had to shut down the conversation at 11:30pm) and proving us love, joy and happiness (he is a good kid, funny, has his priorities straight and takes sports and school seriously).

However, he is 15 and this year brought ...
~ blond flow (i.e.: hair)
~ a weight lifting regime for football
~ a harmonica (to play Billy Joel's piano man)
~ a girlfriend
~ a break up
~ a reconciliation (Kay and I are warning him against making the same mistake twice but its his life...)
~ a drivers permit
~ some serious cool new videos on his youtube channel (jimmy murphy films)
~ an invitation to play in a band that travels to Europe over the summer (not sure we are doing this..)

But, he still loves ...
~ Korean Food (Tom made a special dinner for his Gotcha Day)
~ Ham ( the kids is a ham fanfic)
~ Oranges
~ Sports (the playoffs this year were intense for March Madness and the Super Bowl)
~ The Ocean (our trip to Costa Rica in December was amazing for him, just his type of waves but he wishes it had been colder, like say ... Lake Michigan)

He is a smart, committed and caring kid. He can also be stubborn, pig headed, short sighted and a world class 'douchebag' (his word, not ours).  But, we love him to the moon and back.

Love you Jimmy!!

His new equipment 

hard to see but a sense of his size


pork bone soup

monad, chicken wings

the full meal with rice and kimchi

Kay is hiding behind Jimmy and trying to tickle him, she didnt want to be in the photo

My boys

Now for throw back pictures.... 

ShinBee - our favorite

new hair cut




new threads and new cut

sound asleep

Oh yeah...


The tallest and the smallest cousins

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Busy fun weekend in Brainerd and Sioux Falls

The kids had an amazing weekend...

1st order of business - A taekwondo tournament in Brainerd.  Ace was supposed to go with us but came home from school sick AND Ian choose to stay at a friends the weekend vs driving all over western Minnesota to watch the kids compete.  So, it was just Tracy and Billy's road trip adventure.  We got up to the hotel in time for a yummy Pizza Ranch dinner and then swimming in the mini water park with Lanie and Ashley. The kids had a great time and conked out at 9pm - Yes!!

Saturday Billy competed in Demo, weapons (bow staff), pomsea and sparring.  They did great! Their demo was their best this year and he took home 2 silvers (weapons and sparring) and a bronze in pomsea.  We aren't quite sure what happened in pomsea as he looked great but then again, what do I know...  With his sparring he competed against the kid he won in state an it was another tough match. Tied at 10-10 and sudden death. This time, the other kid got the 1st kick/point and Billy took 2nd. It was fun to watch (see below for all the videos)

We then high tailed it out of Brainerd and started driving south by southwest on HWY 23 to Sioux Falls. At just about the same time, Tom was leaving with Jimmy and Kay. Destination = Sioux Falls for the Region 4 Gymnastics competition.  There were 7 states represented (Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa). Kay was nervous, this was her 1st away meet and I'm pretty sure she packed her entire room for the trip.  They got there in time to swim and we all met up at dinner ~8pm.  We had dinner with her coach (Samir) and her friend Lindsay (level 8 14 yr old) and her Dad.  It was nice that Kay had a friend along and that seemed to help her nerves.

Sunday morning, but EARLY (6am) to get ready (hair, etc). She was too nervous to eat much and was trying to pick a fight but ... thats nerves.  Once we got to the competition she went into "mode". She was focused, determined and (I hope) having fun.  She did amazing! Best all around score of the year (35.42 - best by .55).  She got a 9.05 on floor (stepped on the white line a few times, needs to work on that) a 8.225 on vault  a 8.8 on bars (her warms ups were perfect, her feet didnt hit - but then they lightly hit in the routine - bummer) and the most amazing beam routine with a 9.35.  She placed 3rd on beam and 11th overall. REALLY impressive and she is thrilled with herself! She said she wasn't as nervous this time because it was the last meet of the year and wasn't a qualifier for anything. Plus, she realizes she loves away meets and is really excited to go to level 9. She's already planning the skills she's going to learn in level 9.  She was all smiles and chatting and happiness after the meet.  She stayed the rest of the day to watch Lindsay and really seemed to enjoy herself.

That night she and Billy swam and she was too tired to go out so we headed for dinner with the boys and brought her back fries, spring rolls and soup.  Grease was on TV and we had a great time cuddling and watching movies in the hotel room.

Monday we let everyone sleep and then headed back to MN in a sleet/rain storm.  AND, by the time we got home and everyone to their practices (yes they had football, gymnastics and tkd practice) it had started snowing. It looks like Christmas but I'm sure it'll all melt by tonight. (Its supposed to by 55 degrees by 5pm tonight).

So proud of our kids. They love their sports, work hard, are coachable and compete with all their best.  So fun to know they are doing what they love and working hard at it.

Love you Jimmy Kay and Billy!

See below for photos and videos - Ian had a great weekend too, he went to Como Zoo and the MN History Museum and really seemed to have fun sleeping over at his friends.  We got to see all his photos and .... all is good.   Kay winning 3rd on Beam  Billy one of many sparring videos  Kay Beam  Kay Bars  Kay Vault  Kay Floor  More Billy Sparring  And more Sparring  Again Sparring  Last Sparring video

Brainerd or Bust

One of the crazy demo teams

2nd in weapons

A fruitful day!

Sioux Falls or Bust

After worrying his tooth for 4 full hours, it came out - shocking

Headed into S Dakota from western MN

And, in the other car ....

passed out....

Headed to Sioux Falls

She wouldn't let us take her photo so we had to sneak one

warm ups

more warm ups

are we warm already?

NW Gymnastics!

3rd place!!

11th overall!

Kay and Lindsay!!

Too cute!

Team MN rocks!

Fruitful weekend

Grease!  Proud to say I still know all the words to all the songs

My favorite sparring team - love these kids

April in MN