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It was a cold morning the Sunday before Thanksgiving and it was the one day of the season that the All Stars were scheduled to appear on the plaza before the game. It was also the day after our first snowfall. After getting myself mostly ready (my A-team was also scheduled to perform on the plaza) and then finding out that due to the cold the old ladies were staying home. At least the rest of my team stayed home where it was warm. I still had to go out with Anna. I put on some warmer clothes and grabbed a blanket then headed downtown. And it was cold!

The MVC All Star Purple team on the plaza. (Anna’s in the middle.)

Kicks were kept down a bit so as not to get injured in the cold.

Poms in the slush on purpose…really.

Dancing up a storm.

I think the move after this the slush went flying from their shoes into the crowd. The little girls in front of me loved that.

Still smiling despite the cold.

Anna and a friend.

Another friend and old teammate was a pleasant surprise to see.

Do we look cold?

Here is the team performing:


At the end of our fall hike, there was time to play on the playground that Ellie just happened to know about…(she’d been there on a school trip).

There really was a sign next to this slide that encouraged you to “slide like otters” on your belly. So Jeff and Ellie made like an otter…

Last week parents were invited to sit in at dance class. Ellie’s was on Monday. They demonstrated how they stretch at the barre and on the floor. They showed all 5 ballet feet and arm positions and did a number of across the floor exercises. It was also the class where their recital costume is revealed and orders placed. Ellie’s class will be wearing a cute dress that has a white fitted bodice with embroidered flowers and a long, flowing, pink skirt.

I used these photos from dance class as part of a 30 minute challenge last Saturday to make this layout.

Anna’s jazz class was on Tuesday night. At her level they are leaping and turning all over the place. They do much of their work across the floor and it’s good to see that the instructor insists on working both left and right sides. Anna isn’t as thrilled with her costume, a black and red biketard, or maybe it’s the fishnet stockings that go with it. Anyway, I’m sure she’ll look amazing in it as always.

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.

Anna’s team really brought the energy and attitude and did everything they were suppose to do.


I was so proud of my girl and her teammates.


All three teams.  The youngest team took first place in their division. The senior team was there for support but did not participate due to too many injuries.


A third place finish was something to be proud of.

Here’s a layout I made of Anna and her MVC All Star teammates cheering on the participants at last month’s Diabetes Walk.

“Piles of Smiles”

“Peter’s Pumpkins”


“Pumpkin Carving”

“Pretty Panda”

“Halloween Looks”


It was the night before Halloween and pumpkins needed carving in order to be ready to stand vigil outside our door.

Getting ready to work.

Ellie came up with a plan on the way to the pumpkin patch the previous day so out came her drawings to work from as she carved.

Dad supervised the carving. But she really didn’t need much help this year for the first time. I guess for Ellie, 7 is the magic age for pumpkin carving.

The work area. I prepared Anna’s pumpkin since she was out shopping with a classmate for their party.

A pumpkin carved.

See how it matched the plan.

Ellie and Daddy.

Mommy and Ellie and Belle (her doll). The smaller Christmas tree pumpkin was for Belle.

Anna arrived home in time to carve her pumpkin.

I think she is positively in love with her pumpkin man.


Now we are ready for Halloween!

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.

OK, so maybe Anna is a bit big for a wagon ride.

Ellie is a much better size (at least yet this year) for Jeff to pull.

Not so fond of this odd-shaped pumpkin. It went back.

Jeff and Ellie headed one way looking for the perfect pumpkin.

While Anna headed another way.

Here’s the one Ellie liked.

Anna picked this one.

And Ellie needed a second one for her doll this year.

Pumpkin weight lifting.

Girls among the pumpkins.

Jeff and the girls and pumpkins.

Me and girls and pumpkins.


Carmen and Anna. Carmen was Anna’s Spanish teacher for six years.

Another cool crisp fall morning in Minnesota a another chance for the MVC All Stars to support a great cause. This past weekend it was “Stepping Out to Stop Diabetes”.

The girls in their new warm up sure look sharp!

“Madonna” of the St. Paul Saints had to show off her moves to the girls.

A quick jog to keep warm.

Our super coaches: Melissa, Sarah, Krisan and Stephanie.

Anna and Morgan doing what they do best: dancing.

The group got the crowd warmed up with some music by Radio Disney.

At the starting line.

Coercing Madonna into meeting Gordy.

They meet at last…

Posing with Madonna.

TC stopped by for some bear hugs.

He also wanted to pose with the girls.

Gordy of the Minnesota Wild got the kids ready for the fun run.

Cheering the kids on at the start.

And at the finish line.

It was the second weekend in a row for birthday parties for Ellie (not that she minded). This one was for our next door neigbor who turned 3. Ellie loves to play “big sister” to her. The party was held at Chuck E Cheese and it had been years since I had been there. It hasn’t changed: the kids, the noise, the games and the pizza. The birthday girl had about 25 guests and most of their parents celebrating with her. The parents went all out providing food, lots of game tokens for the kids, balloons, treat bags and ice cream cake. All that for a 3-year-old.

There were creatured to bop on the head.

Races to win.

Places to jockey for position.

You can tell what Ellie thought of this ride by her expression–blah!

Dancing up a storm and showing off those moves.

Screaming with the birthday girl on the roller coaster simulator. I think this was Ellie’s favorite since she went on it 6 times.

Ellie and the birthday girl opening some presents.

I was sure worn out after 2.5 hours in this environment, yet somehow the kids still seemed energized.