You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2011.

Each year once the recital costumes arrive, it means it’s time for dance pictures. Both girls have such cute costumes this year so it was fun for me to see them all dressed up. For a change, the studio decided to do the photos as part of their regular class time instead of scheduled times. It worked well for Anna’s class on Thursday night, but not so good for Ellie’s class on Saturday morning (about an hour delayed). But I have to say all the girls in Ellie’s class were well behaved during their wait. I did order the individual photos of each girl, but passed on the class photo figuring that they won’t know who was in their class anyway in a few years. Can’t wait to see those. Anna did Ellie’s makeup for her pictures including glitter eyeshadow that all the other girls just loved.


Here’s my awesome one (not that the other isn’t awesome as well).

And here’s my energetic one (not that the other isn’t energetic too).

These templates and their words created by Heather T. fit my two girls perfectly. Get them at Mscraps

This year the Middle School Class chose the theme of “Fairy Tales With a Twist” for their annual play. The students write the scripts, compose the music, make their own sets and props and stage the entire production. The class was divided into four groups, each responsible for one of the four short plays. Anna played Hansel in (you guessed it) “Hansel and Gretel”. I think she had one of the bigger acting challenges in the production, being a girl in a boy’s role. The “twist” in “Hansel and Gretel” came with answering the question, “What if Hansel and Gretel were naughty children instead of nice?”

The town crier announced each play:

In “The Ugly Duckling” the twist involved all but one of the Mama’s chicks starting out ugly.

The third production of the evening, “The Gingerbread Man” had the townspeople tricking both the fox and the Gingerbread Man.

In the final segment of the night, “Cinderella” posed the question, “What if the shoe fit more than one girl?”

“Cinderella” also included the most anticipated scene of the show–where the prince finally does get the right girl and kisses her! (Remember these are 7th and 8th graders).

Their teacher, Beth, was thrilled and proud of her kids.

After only a year and seven months Anna got her braces off. She was both scared and excited. I was amazed how easy they just “popped” off and then amazed at what a beautiful smile emerged as Anna saw herself without braces for the first time.

The orthodontist rewarded her with a bag of formerly forbidden treats such as popcorn, gum and taffy. I also took her to Target to get 5 big packs of gum.

About a week later we got these pictures in the mail from her orthodontist showing her smile and teeth “before and after”.

I think the photos speak for themselves.

Ellie was in heaven staying with Papa Lee and Grandma Jolene and their 5 cats (they do have a big house). Her best buddy was Gunther–Papa made her promise not sneak Gunther in her bags when we were packing to head home.

This layout used Heather T’s new Alpha Stickers available at Mscraps.

Grandma Jolene also treated us to her famous buttermilk pancakes one morning. I was happy with them with a bit of butter and Caribou Cream Maple Syrup (my favorite!), but the girls needed a bit more fun.

Anna being the fashion-conscience teen that she is, was thrilled to learn while shopping in North Dakota, that she can finally fit into ladies sized shoes. This was a big milestone for her.

These last two used Heather’s new Happy Times.

Ellie is a creative little girl. She is always drawing, making things, setting up towns, writing songs, dancing and taking pictures. Recently she and Daddy decided to make sock puppets. They spent an entire afternoon picking out the best supplies to make their puppets. A cat named “Sockella” was born, along with “Socko” the dragon.

She had a lot of fun with her two new friends.

There was a few days of spring earlier this month (although lately I’ve still been wearing my winter jacket in the mornings) that provided the opportunity for Jeff, Ellie and I to get out and fly a kite:

And since this post is all about fun, I recently made a layout using a photo from last fall (that I love) of Ellie and her Daddy having fun:

The girls and I spent their spring break visiting family in North Dakota. It was a week of playing with cats at Papa Lee and Grandma Jolene’s house, eating out, shopping and hanging out with family.

Highlights of the week for each of us:

Ellie loved cuddling and playing with Gunther. I have to admit that he is such a cool and mellow cat.

Anna was thrilled to learn that her feet were now big enough to buy ladies shoes (and Grandma Jolene bought her 2 pairs).

And I was daring enough to eat kangaroo for dinner. It tasted like very lean, tender beef tenderloin.

We should be use to it around here, the third flood event in the past year. Each time the Minnesota River crested well above flood stage causing all the local bridges to close for a time. This flood was 3-inches higher than last spring and 0.85 inches lower than the fall 2010 flood.

Carver Creek near our house.

My little shutterbug.

Three-foot temporary raise to the levee in town constructed in anticipation of the flood.

Temporary levee constructed across Main Street.

Jeff & Ellie overlooking the Minnesota River at the Highway 41 bridge in Chaska.

High waters of the Minnesota River.

Me and Ellie checking out the flood.

Ellie enjoying photographing the flood.

Walking down the closed road. Hopefully this is the last flood we’ll see for awhile.

A few weeks ago we were treated to “Speaking Up A Storm”, a showcase featuring the high school speech team. Brandon has participated for the past two years on the team. This year he competed in the extemporaneous category. Six team members performed their complete speeches in various categories, while the rest of the team highlight their skills in 30 second spots.

Ellie was excited to be going to see her big brother and she made this:

I reminded her that she needed to keep quiet to be respectful of the team (including her brother), but she did hold up her sign when he was on stage.

Here is Brandon’s part:

He also introduced a few of the other categories.