The North Dakota Level 5 All Around Gold Medalist! Gym Dad and I couldn't be more proud!

225 girls competed this weekend in the North Dakota State Gymnastics Championships. It was a weekend full of excitement and celebration. After watching Miss J compete nearly every weekend this season you would think that I would have nerves of steel. That is certainly not the case, I wish it was, for my own sanity if for nothing else. I was a wreck. My mom was a wreck. Sister K was a wreck. Miss J, on the other hand, continually amazes me with her calm demeanor.

In her age bracket there were 17 gymnasts. The competition was very tight. Miss J scored her season's best on vault, bars and floor. On vault she scored at 8.925, her floor performance earned her a 9.2, on bars she scored a 8.9, and on beam she turned in a 8.6. This resulted in an all around score of 35.625. Enough to earn the gold medal and the State All Around Title. To top off the excitement, the Red River Valley Level 5 girls won the State Team Title. This was in credit to their hard work and dedication throughout the season! Way to go ladies!!


Home Sweet Home...

This past weekend we were at home for our club's Lucky Chance gymnastics meet. I realize from time to time, I've complained a little about the driving. I even recall making a comparison of our gymnastics travel to that of a road trip to Alaska. After all of that, I have to say that driving all over the state doesn't compare to having to host a home meet. Working topped with losing a hour of sleep to the time change, equals total exhaustion! I am still exhausted!

Miss J had another great meet. Even though she had quite the crowd to cheer her on, she was able to focus and do her best. She placed third all around out of 57 gymnasts and the team placed 2nd. They had a great time competing on their home turf!


Welcome to Minnesota.....

The North Star State, The Gopher State and Land of 10,000 Lakes!

Minnesota was once part of the Minnesota Territory which was formed in 1849. It was admitted into the union on May 11, 1858 as it's 32nd state. The word Minnesota originated from the Dakota Sioux, it's meaning is "sky-tinted water."

Commonly known as the Land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota boasts more the 90,000 miles of shoreline; more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. Lakes are widely used by residents as summer recreational areas. One such recreation area is Itasca State Park, located in northern Minnesota. It is the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River.

The official state bird is the common loon, a bird that is graceful and whose call is hauntingly enchanting.

Minnesota is the birthplace of the snowmobile. Northern Minnesota is home to two of the major snowmobile manufacturers in the Nation. Roseau, Minnesota is home to Polaris Industries and Arctic Cat resides in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Both companies manufacture snowmobiles (or snowcats as us northerners say), ATVs and other recreational vehicles.

My Grandpa still rides one of Arctic Cat's first snowcats while my Uncle Rick rides beside him on a much more modern machine. This antique is still in running condition with it's original engine!

Minnesota's climate is one of extremes. Winter temperatures often dip below freezing with a record low of -60 °. Alternatively, summer temperatures can be rather sauna like at 90° with humidity nearing 100%.

Winter snowfall can total upwards of 150 inches. Over Christmas this winter, we were pummeled with 27.5 inches of snow in a two day period.

This massive amount of snow has caused severe flooding in recent years. In 1997 our fair city of East Grand Forks was completely inundated by the Red River of the North. It was the most severe flood since 1826.

After the river crested at 54 feet, 26 feet above flood stage, and the water receded, a wake of $3.5 billion in damages was left behind. 1000s lost homes, but thankfully not one life was lost. Through all of this, our community has rebuilt and been reborn.

Our community of East Grand Forks, Minnesota sits on the border of Minnesota and North Dakota in northern Minnesota. EGF's population is only 8,355, but with our sister city across the border, the entire metro area hosts a population of 97,478.

Thanks for taking my tour of Minnesota and my community! We love it here! Also, thank you to Carabee from Blogtrotting for choosing my as your tour guide for today!


Dakota Star Gymnastics Club

Once again we trekked across the state of North Dakota for the Dakota Star Gymnastics meet. Joel, Rhonda and company hosted Miss J, Gym Dad, Sister K and myself for yet another weekend. Thanks again!!!

Miss J had a meet of highs and lows. She had a rare fall on bars, but scored a personal best 8.55 on vault. She fell off of the beam, however the remainder of her routine was beautiful and she still scored a 8.6. Last but not least, she had a 9.0 on floor which seems to be her score on that apparatus this season. Miss J finished 5th All Around and the team won 2nd place.


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