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The weekend after our birthdays was absolutely gorgeous. We decided to spend the afternoon hiking at the Lowry Nature Center. Jeff had fun testing out his new video camera. I had fun taking photographs. And Ellie had fun exploring.
I’ve also made a few layouts already using some of the photographs from that day.
Anna recently started participating on a competitive cheer team in the area and a week ago her team had their first competition. It was an exciting event with many good teams.
Two days before Halloween and the girls ask, “Are we going to get pumpkins?” Of course we are! And of course we headed to our favorite spot: Peter’s Pumpkins and Carmen’s Corn. Jeff passes this place on his way to and from work daily and we love seeing Anna’s former Spanish teacher, Carmen when we visit.
After enjoying the morning hiking around Gooseberry Falls, we headed back to Duluth, picked up Brandon and went to Canal Park for the afternoon. It’s a great place to look at the boats and ships, eat, shop and people watch.
Watching the activity on the water.
Canal Park is famous for the Lift Bridge. We arrived in time for the raising of the bridge to let a large ore ship out to the open water of Lake Superior.
Aren’t we a cute couple. I wonder how many pictures we have like this from other years with the Lift Bridge in the background?
Our college kid in his new town.
Our beautiful daughter overlooking the beautiful City of Duluth.
Ellie enjoying the ride. It won’t be too much longer that Daddy will be able to carry her.
Throwing rocks in the lake.
Jeff giving advice for picking out the perfect skipping rock.
The men hanging out (as shot from the hip).
Another photograph shot from the hip, but I still like the line of her body.
Love her cute feet.
Ellie had a blast feeding and chasing the gulls.
Gooseberry Falls is a favorite stop among Minnesotans. As it’s name implies there are waterfalls. There are also lots of rock to climb over as you cross the river, trails to hike and just places to sit and enjoy the beauty.
After our dinner with Brandon in Duluth the night before we headed north into Two Harbors to our hotel and some swimming. Gooseberry was only a short drive away the next morning.
It was Anna’s 5th year participating as an MVC Jr. Cheerleader. It has given her an opportunity to perform on the field at the Dome during a Vikings home game many times. The first few years they held two camps each year–one during the summer for a preseason game and the other in the winter. Lately however, this has changed to be a once a year opportunity early in the regular season. After three days of practice the girls were ready to try out the field. It was only about 8:30 in the morning, but boy those kids had a lot of energy. As an alumni of the MVC I usually have the opportunity to help out. That means unlike the other parents, I get to hang out on the field.
After the Jr. practice we headed outside for my A-Team practice and performance on the Plaza (more on that later). Some of the other activities on the Plaza include a round of “Fan Feud” pitting fans from each team against each other. Anna got selected to represent the Vikings fans.
Anna waiting her turn to represent the Viking fans.
I think she got the toughest question!
Back to the game and on the field during the second quarter waiting for the other girls to arrive in anticipation of their half time performance. My job was to keep 200 girls corralled and away from the Detroit Lion’s bench while shooing their parents down to the corner.
I did get a good view of Anna performing. The only bad thing was that it was mostly of her back. I choose to stay on the back side of the field to have a better view rather than from the front of the routine where I’d only catch a glimpse of her. Even from the back, her kicks are still amazing!
(The video stops about 10 seconds before the end.) It was a great performance and a program that she’s enjoyed for years now. I know it has made many wonderful memories for both of us.
Our town’s annual celebration, Steamboat Days, was just last weekend. One of the highlights is always the fireworks display. This year did not disappoint us. Jeff and Ellie and I arrived about an hour before the show so Ellie had time to try out the inflatable toys:
I ran into one of Anna’s new teachers, Deb, while waiting for our kids at the jumper.
It’s marching band season, some people might call it football season, but in this household we go to the games to watch the band. Austin is once again in marching band. This year he switched to the baritone saxophone. The group started practicing just three weeks ago (2 weeks before school started) and they are sounding and looking great already. It was a wonderful night to be at the game.
Last Tuesday was the first day of school for my three children still at home and for my one at college. Both my girls were going back to the same teacher they had the previous year. Actually for Anna it’s her 5th year with the same teacher (she moved from being an upper elementary teacher to the middle school class). I think the girls were mostly excited to see their friends. Ellie was the first one ready to go.
Next up was Anna. She seemed much less concerned about what she was going to wear this year (a sign of maturity), but still managed to look awesome.
Although Austin usually leaves earlier than the girls,this first day the upper classmen didn’t have to start until 11! He did leave a bit earlier than that to go out to breakfast with his friend, Teddy.