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For the first time in almost a year, Jeff and I had the opportunity to have an entire weekend to ourselves. The weekend was spent up at Papa’s Cabin in northern Minnesota. Besides having time without the kids, we did have the additional motivation of getting our boat winterized. After dropping off the boat we headed to Itasca State Park, home of the Mississippi River headwaters. The tamarack trees were in full color and hadn’t dropped their needles yet. They are one of the few species of conifer trees that are deciduous. The photo of the week is taken right at the headwaters with the gorgeous tamarcks in the background.

week 43 itasca

On our hike we saw this growing on fallen logs:


Swans soaring overhead:


 and colorful leaves:


After a light lunch (spliting the best bbq pork sandwich and snickers sundae), the boat was ready to be picked up. Boat in the garage, tucked in for the winter and it was time to get ready for dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Boulders. I had a wonderful salmon and Jeff had a tasty porkchop. Jeff thought we should do this all again next month..maybe we should.


Ok so I’m behind a week once again.  A week ago Saturday we made our annual trip with Ellie to the pumpkin patch. This one is along the route she and Daddy travel on to pre-K a few times each week. Ellie has been keeping an eye on these pumpkins all fall as they have grown and ripened. Big sister, Anna, joined in the pumpkin hunt. I’m afraid the boys think they are just too old for this sort of thing.


This week’s photo features both Anna and I dancing on the Plaza outside the Metrodome before the Vikings/Ravens game:


It was pretty cool to be perfoming on the same stage (well in this case, cobblestone street) as my daughter.  And the Vikings won their sixth straight game!

May I present the 2009 MVC All Stars (Purple Group) performing  October 18th:

And here is the 2009 MVC Ateam (alumni Minnesota Viking Cheerleaders) on the plaza:

I also got to dance during the game in the end zone with the current Minnesota Viking Cheerleaders during the first quarter break.  It’s good to know that I can still keep up this these young ladies at almost 46 years old–at least for a one minute routine!

I love Anna’s “Go Mom” at the end of the video-no wonder I love being that girl’s Mom–thanks sweetie. The All Star and Ateam families had seats in the upper deck of the endzone together. When my Ateam finally made it to the top of the Metrodome after our endzone performance, we were greeting by lots of applause, cheers and high fives as we made our way back to our seats. Nothing like having your own fan club!



Last Friday night was the big homecoming game at the new highschool. Not much hope for the team since there are no seniors but we weren’t there for the football. We were there for the band. Ellie cheered more for her big brother than for the team, but that was just fine. Brandon was once again a featured soloist for the halftime show. Here he is performing on the sidelines:


Fireworks provided by local businesses capped off the halftime highlights. That was all we took in since it was getting late and it was cold. Brandon and Kaley went to the dance the following night. I had fun directing Brandon on how to iron his shirt. Here are the two of them before setting off to the dance:


Just one week ago, we awoke to the earliest snow in 24 years around here. This is what I saw:




Last Saturday also had Anna’s All Star dance team performing at a local high school dance show. It was the first time the group has performed their routine and I have to say I was impressed (and that’s not just because I am the mother).




Last Sunday we celebrated our nephew, Matt’s, birthday with the family. 

It snowed again on Tuesday, this time enough to have catch snowflakes on our tongues:


have a snowball fight:


and make a snowman:


It snowed again on Thurday, yep three times already this year, but since it was the third time I wasn’t inspired to take snow pictures.

Here is my photo collage of the week:


What was started at the end of August, was inturupted by loss of the hard drive and all that entails getting back up and running, is now completed–my “Beautiful Evidence” Album. The album was created as part of a class at to document stuff about me, right now, that I want to remember and be remembered by. It is photographic proof that my life is beautiful.






And to top it off I was selected in a random drawing to get this album printed in a book format at shutterfly for free!

October started with rain and more rain:


Ellie was busy not only with her dance lessons, but weekly swimming lessons that started the end of September.


Anna’s dance team, the MVC All Stars made a visit to a local nursing home:


They lead a few cheers for their Vikings fans:

Each of the girls made cards that they shared with the residents:


Here is coach Katie visiting with one of the residents:


After our visit the girls and their families gathered for lunch (I should say that the girls ate together and the Moms ate together–they are at that age you know!)


Believe it or not, Jeff and I did something that we’ve never done together before–we went bowling for our date night with some friends! Now the last time I went bowling was with Anna’s class in second grade (she is now in 6th grade).



I was the MRS. on the scoreboard. I won’t devulge my score for either of the two games we bowled. Let’s just say that I improved my score by 24 points and still didn’t break 100. In order to celebrate this unusual occurance, I’ve made this photo of our bowling outing my photo of the week:


It has become an annual event for my Dad, brother and I to do the Headwaters 45-mile bicycle ride. I think I’ve done it 7 or 8 times now, only missing in 2004 having just given birth to my youngest only 3 weeks earlier. Dad always likes to start out early so we were checking in just as daylight was breaking. The morning was perfect for a ride–overcast, no rain and temperatures in the mid to upper 50’s. I did well only getting a sore butt the last 5 or 6 miles. It always feels good to get off the bike, enter the school and claim your “hero” t-shirt for your accomplishment. After a shower and some shopping (and I’ll report that the sun did come out) Dad treats the heros and all their supporters to dinner at La Pasta before they close down for the season. It was the only time all season that I made it to that restaurant. My photo for the week is at the end of the ride (note: we are still smiling!):


Some more pics of the riders at the last pit stop, the group out to dinner and a pooped out pup:


Next year Anna and Justin want to join us for the last part of the ride (doing the last 5-11 miles together). Imagine three generations crossing the finish line together–now that will be awesome!

Only a few weeks behind in my reporting on this blog. Week 38  included the start of the Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class that Ellie and I attend on Wednesday mornings together. This year we are studying the book of John. It’s our third year in the program. I love that the children’s leaders present the same scriptures that I am studying each week and include learning how to have a quiet time with God. I’m treasuring these moments since I know that next year Ellie will be in school all day. Here is what my “fashionable” girl wore the first day of Bible study:


The week also included getting stuck with a flat bicycle tire 10 miles from home. Thanks to my neighbor for coming to my rescue. After telling Ellie of my adventure and rescue she wanted to visit and explore the town where I got stuck. So on our next Mommy day I packed up a picnic lunch for us to enjoy at this scenic spot:


Besides our lunch and exploring I got in a lesson on the concept of subtraction–amazing how fast those animal cookies disappeared!

Jeff, Ellie and I visited a local wetland rehabilitation site. Ellie was facinated with milkweed plants.


I was facinated with these bugs-which is my photo of the week:


Anna was busy this week too, completing her Red Cross babysitting certificate:


Way to go Anna! I am proud of you!