Kevin and Cindy go to Boston

July 31, 2016 on 2:38 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Due to the willingness of my mom to watch my boys, Kevin and I were able to take a 3 day trip to Boston in May.  Kevin had finished his Masters of Information Technology Management degree from Brandeis University and we flew out so he could walk in the ceremony.  We did some sight seeing as well.

In order to get the most out of our trip, we flew out about midnight on Friday night.  Trying to sleep on the plane stunk, but it did land us in Boston bright and early.  We were able to enjoy wandering around downtown while everyone else slept in!

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We started in Boston Commons and followed the Freedom Trail to many historical sights throughout Boston.

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I may have occasionally sung “follow the red brick road … follow the red brick road”

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We saw several old cemeteries during our three days.  The engravings and the words were creepy to me.  This one has a skeleton lounging on top!  “here lyes buried the bonz of …”

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Cobblestone streets sound poetic and look pretty, but they are really hard to walk on!  I can’t imagine trying to do it in something with heels!  There were places where you drove down the cobblestones – very bumpy!

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Paul Revere … I mean Kevin … I mean Paul Revere …

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Kevin was trying to get the best angle for a picture of the Old North Church (someday I’ll post pictures from his camera).  The apartment buildings were very different from our spacious Hooper!

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I loved the old cemeteries!

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Breakfast on Saturday was pastries at Mike’s Pastry in the North End of Boston.

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Boston Cream Pie can’t taste any better!

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A drive by of the Cheers bar sign.  Looks almost exactly like it did on the tv show!

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After a lot of debate, we decided a tour of Fenway Park was a better use of our time than actually attending a Red Sox baseball game.

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I had never really thought about there being history behind a ballpark, but there was a lot of interesting facts that I learned.  These are the oldest seats in an American ballpark …

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This is us standing on top of the “Green Monster” which was built to block the view of games from nearby building tops and to keep balls in the park.  It is a big, green wall.

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After all that walking (several miles) in Boston and all around Fenway Park, we took the back roads towards our hotel in Salem.  We found a lovely little beach right off the road.  If we’d had more time, I would have loved to spend a few hours enjoying the ocean and relaxing.  But, we didn’t have much time, so a quick dip of my toes and gathering some big seashells for the boys and off we went again.

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By taking the back roads, we saw a lot of interesting towns and signs.

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I kind of wanted to stop here for dinner …

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I wonder how they pronounce this street … 🙂

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Our back roads led us to Herreshoff Castle in Marblehead.  It wasn’t very big, but it was very quaint and had a great view of the ocean off some rocky cliffs.

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We sat and enjoyed the ocean breeze for a little while.  Very picturesque!

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We stayed in Salem, MA and after cleaning up, we went to dinner at Victoria’s Station.


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It was a cute little seafood place off the harbor.  We had clam chowder, fish tacos, and Kevin ordered swordfish.  We don’t get a lot of that in Utah.

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After a Field Day the day before and flying all night long, we welcomed a soft bed and early bedtime on Saturday night!

Sunday we were up early so we could be on time for Kevin’s commencement ceremonies. 
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It took him 4 1/2 years from beginning to end (with a few breaks in between), taking 10 classes, to complete his Masters program.  He was able to do it without a huge strain on our family life and with his employers paying for almost all of it.  Kevin knows how to take care of us!

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He was happy to be finished!

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Getting that diploma!

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So proud of him!

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He deserved a smooch!

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There were two ceremonies.  The first one was just with his college and the speakers were great and it wasn’t too long – perfect!  The other one was the entire university and was a big political agenda display.  It was way too long and way too liberal for my tastes.  We hurried out afterwards because we were meeting a potential employer for lunch in a nearby town.

We couldn’t drive too quickly because the roads weren’t exactly level …


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The potential employer was from EMC and didn’t currently have a position open, but wanted to meet us anyway.  It was good for Kevin to see him face to face after interacting with him via phone previously.  Who knows if a job will come from it, but the cafe was adorable!  It was in Concorde.

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We took the opportunity to visit some Revolutionary War sights in Concorde and Lexington.  This is the bridge where the war began.

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More cemeteries and famous authors …

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This is Louisa May Alcott’s house.

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We tried visiting the Minute Man visitor center, but we arrived 5 minutes after closing time.  Instead, we gave ourselves a photo shoot on the deserted trail.  It was so green and beautiful – we couldn’t resist!

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Plus, I think Kevin is pretty cute.

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He’s a good sport and we have a lot of fun together!

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Camera timers are a wonderful invention!

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I really loved spending so much time with Kevin and being able to be completely devoted to just him!

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Next we found the Boston Temple, which isn’t in Boston, it is in Belmont.

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Since it was Sunday, all we could do was walk around and take pictures.

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Then we got some Greek food for dinner and found a scenic drive to get us back to the hotel.

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I’m still not sure I know what “live parking” means …

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It had been a long, but rewarding day!

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We slept in a little the next morning before packing up and going to breakfast at Red’s Sandwich Shoppe.  It was big with the locals – a lot of little old men drinking their coffee – but the atmosphere was awesome and the food good.

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Lots of food!

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Plus it was built in a historic location – a pub from the 1600s!  History EVERYWHERE!  I loved it!

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This was our day to tour Salem.  We decided the best use of our time was a trolley tour.  It took us all around past witch stuff and revolutionary stuff and oceanfront stuff.  Our tour guide was a little old man with a thick Boston accent and he talked fast!  There was a couple from the midwest sitting behind us on the trolley.  I heard the wife say to her husband, “I can’t understand a word he’s saying!”

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I’ve been to Waikiki Beach … Hawaii!  This one looked different.

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There were open windows on the the Trolley.

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We had time for one tour, so we chose the Witch Dungeon Museum.  I liked the idea of this one because they reenacted actual transcripts from the Salem Witch Trials.  Less spooky and more factual.

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It was hard to believe how such a thing could happen.  Our tour guide (pictured below) just kept explaining it as a “hysteria.”  Any time the belief system or community become fanatical, she said, you are heading to a hysteria.

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We were able to go down into a recreation of the actual witch dungeons.  It was cold and damp and dark and very tight quarters.  Such a sad piece of history.   So naturally, we had to lighten the mood by sticking Kevin in the stocks.

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Okay, I took my turn too!

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Then my mood improved even more.  We drove back to Boston for some souvenir shopping and an early dinner at Cheers.  I know it wasn’t the actual bar from the show and the menu was kitschy, but I loved it!

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We ate on an outside patio and watched people and pigeons and enjoyed our “Carla Burgers” and Root Beer!

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We wanted one more piece of that delicious Boston Cream Pie before heading home, but it was now rush hour and we were in a car and not on foot.  The North End is a whole different ballgame at 8 am on a Saturday than 5 pm on a Monday!  The roads were tight and one way and finally, I just hopped out, bought the pastries, and caught up with Kevin on the next block!  On this particular road, pictured below, we drove down but our small rental car couldn’t make the turn at the far end – too narrow!  Kevin had to drive in reverse to get us back out.  And YES it was an actual road!

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It was such an amazing trip with Kevin.  I love him.  I love travelling.  I love seeing him accomplish goals.  I loved coming home refreshed (although tired) and ready to take on motherhood again.  I just loved it.

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There you go.

Field Day and Misc May

July 10, 2016 on 12:27 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

It was my last year to be fully in charge of Field Day.  By my choice.  This was my 4th year in a row and I needed to let it go before I claimed too much ownership.  And even then, the Field Day gods couldn’t quite make up their minds about whether we were inside or outside – threat of winds and possible rain forced me to create Plan C, part inside, part outside.  It caused me stress but it still turned out great!

I was too busy running the show to remember to take pictures, but I had awesome friends/volunteers that captured my kids for me!  This was a new game this year – Sumo Ball…


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Crab Soccer was new this year as well.  For the older grades, they played what the volunteers dubbed “Indiana Jones Ball” instead – running through a tunnel of students being chased by the big ball.  This was also new this year and a BIG hit!

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The group walk is always a challenge and worth a few laughs!

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I was very thankful that Kevin was able to help me out again this year!  He’s my right hand and the best Koob station runner there is!!  I couldn’t have survived 4 years of Field Days without him – we were both pooped by the time it was over!

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A few days later, I helped with the Kindergarten’s Mother Goose Field Day.  It is a cute event and I wasn’t in charge of anything but playing tug-of-war.  I liked that almost as much as watching Tommy play!

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I spent two days in May at the state PTA convention in Provo.  While waiting for my sandwich at the deli the first day, there was suddenly another Cindy Pendleton placing an order!  It was fun to run into my sister-in-law and eat lunch with her (we got the correct sandwiches without any problems).

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The PTA convention was a great time for me to improve me.  I did learn a lot about PTA and making our organization better, but I attended workshops focused on leadership and personal development.  I quite enjoyed the message from Nathan Osmond and LOVED this quote that he shared:

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And I snapped this picture of the books he recommended reading to become a better person and leader:

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But most of all, I loved the message he shared about the 5 levels of leadership.  How anyone can be a level 1 leader – someone who people follow because they HAVE to (the rights of their position), but it takes work and love to become a level 5 leader where people follow you because they respect you and your abilities.  That message gave me a lot to think about in my work in PTA, church, and with my own sons.  How am I leading my boys at home?  Very interesting stuff!

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Bobby hates getting his hair cut.  He cries and it is such a process!  So when he had to tag along with me for my hair cut, I had my stylist cut his, too.  He still didn’t like it … but at least I wasn’t the one cutting it!

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And it turned out so much better than when I do it!

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Sometimes it is necessary to stand on your head before we say prayers at night.

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This is the before picture.  Kevin and I created these arches to grow my squash on this year.  The idea is that they will grow up and over and make a cool green tunnel.  I’m still waiting to see what happens …

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This is a notebook that came home from Ricky’s desk.  I don’t think there was a mouse living in his desk, so I don’t quite know how to explain this …

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One day was apparently “Red Nose Day.”  I’m not sure why or where, but my mom was given red noses for the event and she shared them with the boys.

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These two make my heart happy!

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Kevin’s work hosted a BAE Night at a Bees Baseball game.  The boys were very excited to be at a big baseball field.

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We had hot dogs and burger and watermelon in a reserved box area where we could also see the game.  Some chose to sit on the seats; Bobby preferred to see the game from under the seats.

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After we ate, we moved down to our real seats and enjoyed the game.

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Well, we enjoyed the first half of the game.  After 4 innings and the Bees losing, I was tired and ready to head home.  The boys kept asking for snacks and to go to a playground they could see from our seats, so they were ready, too.

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But the game was great while it lasted!

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And sometimes a person just needs two hats, two toothbrushes, a brother’s cleats, and no clothes.  Really, no explanation is necessary, right?!

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And there you go.

Last Day of School and BBQ

July 9, 2016 on 2:20 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

I had very mixed emotions as the last day of school arrived.  I was tired.  May had been an exhausting month.  The whole school year had been non-stop events and planning and activities and I was SO ready for lazy summer days!  But it was bitter-sweet knowing that my 4 oldest would never be in school together again.  Ricky and Billy won’t be in the same school at the same time again.  Ricky is moving on to Junior High!  So many unknowns – good and scary – and so it was a little sad for this momma bear.

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The kids seemed to take it just fine!

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Last day of 1st grade…

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Last day of 3rd grade …

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Last day of kindergarten …

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Last day of 6th grade…

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AND elementary school!

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We got together with some friends for a Start of Summer BBQ and Fire.  It was actually really chilly and we needed jackets and the fire for warmth – not a very traditional kick-off summer event!

I didn’t take many pictures (my hands were chilly) but this one of these three men talking and nodding their heads made me laugh.  They didn’t really need to exchange words – just a head nod and half smile and they were having a GREAT conversation!

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I’m not sure about this one.  Our friends have chickens and goats.  So I guess I should be happy that Billy decided to start with the chickens on their heads and not the goats!

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Bobby was actually very concerned that HE didn’t have a chicken on his head.  So concerned that he kept at Kevin until he finally did get his turn.  That picture is on Kevin’s phone and I’ll have to add it later.

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All in all, a great school year and a great way to start our summer!

6th Grade Dance

July 8, 2016 on 9:20 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Ricky had a lot of fun the last week of school.  The 6th grade teachers have great traditions – faculty vs. 6th grade softball, Lagoon Day, overnighter at the Environmental Center, a talent show … but it all starts with the 6th Grade Dance.

The sixth graders had been learning how to dance for the last several months…few line dances, a big circle dance, and some simple swing dance moves.   The room moms get together and decorate for the dance and provide refreshments.  I wasn’t a room mom, but I snuck in on the fun anyway!

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The last several years they have done a neon theme for the dance and this year’s room moms just did the same.  They rent black lights and it does turn out looking pretty cool.  I added some wall posters with year book sayings on them (the one on the right is one of mine).

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Even the food comes in neon!

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No party is complete without balloons (I’m posting this not so much because I think any readers care, but more for reference for the next dance I may be asked to help with!).

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The room did look fun with all the black lights.  There was also a dance light going – one that flashes different colors.
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The kids had dance cards that they filled out before the dance began that morning.  Ten partner dances, ten different partners.

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It may have been the sweetest thing I’ve seen!  The boys went to get their partner for the dance and then lead them by the arm to a spot on the floor and danced.  Ricky brought his first partner right in front of where I was sitting.  He actually brought almost all of them over close to where I was – I was glad I wasn’t an embarrassment to him!

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See 3 minutes of some of his moves … HERE.  (In the last clip, there is a mom shaking her wild thing – she’s our very good friend.  And I may have sent the clip to her husband immediately after the song got over!)

This one is from the circle dance they did.

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Watching him dance was so fun.  He was pretty good at talking to the girls occasionally and even smiled a few times!  Seriously adorable! (and someday he’ll hate that I used that word)

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I wasn’t allowed to take a picture of him dancing with one particular girl … so I sent my friend on a reconnaissance mission!

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Ricky would find me and smile or wave.  I think that was almost as adorable … my son liked having me there!  Several of the other moms told me how surprised they were by that because their kids were practically hiding from them!  
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The teachers did a great job teaching the kids.  These are two of the 6th grade teachers … Mrs. Porter, Ricky’s teacher, is on the right.

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Perhaps even more fun for me, and more endearing, was when Ricky came to get ME!  They were doing a “freestyle dance” and he seemed unsure of his moves.  So I went out and bopped around with him at the end of the song.  I didn’t think it was a big deal, until the Hokey Pokey came on – Ricky caught my eye and started waving me out.  I wasn’t going to stay, but when your 11 year old son wants you to come out and dance with him, you most certainly go out and dance with him!

He also pulled me out for the Chicken Dance.  That one involves some spinning of a partner by the elbow.  A few other boys saw me dancing with Ricky and came and elbowed their way into partnering with me for a few swings too!  Then he had me come out for “Jump Around.”  I jumped and jumped and jumped around!  He smiled, I laughed.  I got high fived by several 6th grade boys afterwards.  And the next day I realized how rusty my jump around had become – I might have had a few sore muscles!

It was such a fun event to not just witness but to participate in with Ricky!  I love that he loves me and that he is okay with me being there and that he WANTS me there!  Junior High is coming and who knows if that will continue.  Someday I may hear, “Moooom! No!” but for now I’m eating it up!

Here are some of these neat kids having their “after dance party” – also known as lunch!

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That was a good day.

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