Saturday, December 06, 2014

Ending November with a bang - and a ton of food....

Wow, what a busy but fun few weeks… this is our attempt to get you caught up…
Tracy transitioned back to MPLS from Toronto for her new role and its nice to be “home”.  It came with a WAY overstuffed suitcase and a real lack of enthusiasm from the kids. Either they didn’t notice she was gone each week or they were loving having a bit of extra Daddy time.  In either case, we are now working on what is our “new normal” – but…when you read the rest of this update, you’ll see that “new normal” might be a distant goal…  Tracy is shifting gears into a new role with new partners, team, lingo and a very real sense that things have changed pretty dramatically at work since she last worked in MPLS. That’s good (change is always good!!) but also hard because there are so many questions and its unsettling not to now many (any) of the answers (yet).  She’ll get there but it might take a bit…  She’s trying to be gentle with herself as she gets up to speed.
Kay had her 10th Gotcha Day (the day she came home from Korea to be a part of our forever family) and it was a celebration of us as a family – It was the Packer/Viking game (major event in our house since Tom/Jimmy are Vikings fans and Tracy/Kay are Packer fans) and we invited her godfather Mike (another Packer fan) to the party. We have all the party snacks, attire and energy. She also treated everyone to sundaes from Dairy Queen to celebrate. I SUPER fun day!  So so so so grateful to her birth parents and foster parents for making the unimaginable and incredible decision to love her enough to let her go and thrive with a new family.  Truly the greatest gift of a lifetime (or really, of and for many lifetimesJ). And, you'll notice below, she got her braces off - once her next 9 baby teeth fall out, then they are going to put braces back on - oiy!!
 Next up?  Thanksgiving in Green Bay with Sue!! It was SUCH a mellow weekend and very much needed. 1/2 way through it was like "what?! , 2 whole more days!!??!!".  We drove to GB in a snowstorm, at which it promptly stopped as we passed Wausau, weird. We did the typical Thanksgiving "thing" of football, football, football. Jimmy got us into the W Kentucky/Marshall game, super high scoring and ended in overtime at 67/66. He was crushed as Marshall lost (who knew he was a Marshall fan, but when asked, he reference the movie Marshall, google it) and was cheering his fool head off. Next up, the Wisconsin Minnesota game and bets were placed. If MN won? Sue was going to buy him a Johnny Manzel jersey (more on that later) and if WI won, Jimmy had to wear full Packer attire to Lambeau on game day (again, more on that later). Needless to say, there is a new appreciation and love for the Packers with our 13 yr old (see photo below). ALL topped off by the Packer Patriots game, to which Tracy and Jimmy had tickets.
We had a food filled weekend with Sammies pizza (delicious super thin crust and a family tradition going back to when my dad and sue were in high school) turkey dinner (with 2 homemade pies by Kay - pumpkin and berry with homemade whip cream and chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches for the boys) Friday Night Fish Fry (we were in Wisconsin after all and they had the good salad bar with soup, bacon bits and Thousand Island dressing) and fondue (Kays favorite and fun interactive family dinner). Kay also came upon a killer sea salt caramel pretzel recipe that was to die for!!
We went to the zoo and fed the giraffes, had a sleigh ride through the botanical gardens light display, saw the Packer Hall of Fame and the Green Bay historical museum and hit some serious Black Friday shopping.
Black Friday shopping with 3 kids, that all want different things and don't have any money of their own is not nearly as fun as it sounds... We hit up Dicks Sporting Goods 1st - Jimmy as hoping Nike and a Johnny Manzel jersey would be on sale - alas, it was not to be. Then, off to the 4 sporting goods shops in town for more of the same - again, no dice (not entirely sure why he thought that there would be a Johnnie Manzel jersey in Green Bay NOR why he thought that all Nike would be on sale but...he was getting really crabby, really fast - every time he asked about either, he got a strange look from the clerk).  Then, GameStop for Billy (he had a gift card burning a hole in his pocket and Plants vs Zombies on his mind) as well as Target (Kay needed new clothes/shoes for her choir concert) followed by the mall - Justice, Bed Bath and Beyond, Old Navy, you name it.
Needless to say the kids were disillusioned.  We had to explain (many times) that EVERYTHING isnt on sale on Black Friday. Yes, there are good deals but only if they are things you want. The stuff they wanted wasnt on sale. We headed home crabby and mean....  Lets hope that was enough and  it cures them from wanting to go out next year!!
It all cumulated with the BIG day (nope, not Thanksgiving, but Jimmys 1st trip to Lambeau).  Grandpa Jim and Grandma Bunny  are now the proud owners of season tickets - after 45 years on the waiting list, they got the call. Jimmy was super excited and appropriately in awe when we got  to the stadium, lots of pictures, texts and instagram photos. He cheered SO loud and had so much fun. He really was impressed by the stadium, the fans and the game.   It was a really fun mother/son date night and I think he'll be anxious to go back to Lambeau. THANK YOU Grandma and Grandpa!!!
Then - it was the mad dash back home on Sunday night. We had an easy drive and arrived by 11:30pm, just in time to hit the hay and get ready for a full week of work and school.