Realized I hadn't checked in in a while.  We have been so incredibly busy the last few weeks.  I wanted to update you on a few things.  First of all, got yet another diagnosis on my eye and it was not Shingles - shew! I was told it was either "Pink Eye gone bad" or some sort of cold sore in my eye.  Fun, huh?!  In any case, I did get my 3rd eye drop and it seems to have done the trick!  :)  The real test will be to see if it comes back or not.  So far I've gone the longest without it returning.

Derek has been traveling a lot for work.  He spent a couple of days in New York, came home, and then went back for a week.  He's in Boston today and will be going to Arizona for a few days coming up soon.  We miss him when he's gone, but I'm so grateful for the opportunities that he has.  He truly loves his job.  He also has started the process of re-admittance to UT to finish up his PhD.  He's been so close for so many years.  He just needs to carve out some time and get that dissertation done!  :)  Along with his full time job and request to write 2 books by two different publishers... oh, yeah and the contract work on the side... I'm sure he can find some extra time here and there.  LOL Poor guy!!  I'm so proud of him though!
First public reading =)

The kindergarten class she was reading to

Maddie got to hold the "Old Lady" that swallowed a fly.

Speaking of being proud, Audrey read for a kindergarten class today.  She did soooo well!  Anyone that knows her personally will know what a big deal this is for her.  A dear friend of mine is a music teacher at a local elementary school and she invited us to participate in a special day that they have where everyone wears pajamas to school and read all day.  I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for Audrey.  She has been talking about it for several days and practicing on her reading.  We got to class before any of the kids did and she sat down in the teacher's chair with her books.  She was so excited!  But, you should have seen her face when the kids walked in.  All the color left her face and I could see the terror starting to move through her body.  Mrs. Susan started class by singing some songs and loosened everyone up.  Then she asked Audrey what story she wanted to start with.  She jumped right in and started reading.  Granted, she didn't smile or interact a great deal, but she made it through both books beautifully!  She started to ease up quite a bit by the second book.  Huge step for her!!  I was very proud.  :)  She said she really enjoyed it and wants to find some other classes to read to, so we will absolutely be doing that.  It was a great experience for both girls today.  They both got to participate in the whole music class and had a super time!

Audrey is doing fantastic in cheerleading.  They've won all 3 competitions so far.  They have state championships in December and then we're off to Florida for nationals in January.  I can't wait!!  Audrey is just blossoming.  :)  She is doing perfect cartwheels and round offs.  Her jumps are getting much better.  She has even started working on a front hand spring.  She's trying really hard to do a back walk over.  We're hoping to start tumbling classes as soon as cheer is over.

As for school, I don't feel like we've done as much "traditional" schooling lately just because of all the activities we've had going on.  We've done a lot more real life learning, which I think is extremely important, especially at this age.  We've been to the zoo.  She helped me prepare for a dinner party at church and learned how to properly set a table.  She's been doing a lot of workbooks and reading, which she enjoys.  The math seems to be too easy and she's getting bored, so we're going to have to reassess that.  As I have talked about before, she really dislikes handwriting.  It's not that she can't do it, she just doesn't enjoy it.  She has been asking for several weeks to learn cursive writing.  I bit the bullet and got some material for her.  Experienced homeschooling moms out there, do you think it's ok to start?  I don't want to jump in too early on things, but if it's something she really wants to learn, I'm thinking, "Why not?".   One thing we are doing next semester is a school one day a week at a local church.  She'll be taking some supplemental classes (Science, Art, Spelling, and World Cultures) on Mondays.  I think it will be great (for both of us) to have something a little different.  She'll enjoy being with other kids and I'll get some one on one with Maddie.

Maddie is doing well.  She seems to do wonderfully at school, maybe even a little too well.  She has a few boys that are currently fighting for her hand in marriage.  LOL  She has a few little girls that also argue for her attention.  It so stinking cute, really.  She's such a sweet kid and so happy all the time.  I'm also learning that she's a bit of a perfectionist and gets a little frustrating with herself when she doesn't do things exactly right.  She's starting to write more, but she wants to do it perfectly and gets upset when she can't.  We're working on it though!  My sweet girl will be 4 years old next week.  Hard to believe!  We're going to celebrate at school on her birthday since it is a school day.  Then, we're going to have a big birthday party at Monkey Joe's over the weekend.  She's super excited about that.  =)  She also just finished up her first session of gymnastics.  We're going to start a new session next week, but it is a combo class of dance and gymnastics.  Can't wait to see her do that!

As for me, I'm doing so much better.  I've got a lot of the anxieties I was having under control.  God has been so good, truly.  I feel blessed more than I can possibly express to you through this blog.  The group of friends that He has placed around me are amazing.  They are strong, wise women that I respect and admire greatly.  They have taken me in as though I've known them my entire life. God is so good!  We have also been quite busy with numerous opportunities to sing lately.  What a blessing it has been!  It has been quite time consuming as we rehearse and prepare new music to share, but I love every second of it.  It has really pushed me to do better and taken me out of my comfort zone at times.  I really feel like I'm learning and growing both spiritually and musically as never before. God is so good!

In closing, I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there!  Thanks for hanging around even when it's quiet over here.  Take time to stop and think about what is most important in your life.  Never forget where those blessings came from!


  1. D is finally going to finish it. Wow! I can't wait to tell John. Tell him we're proud of him! =)

    Speaking of proud....GO AUDREY! I know that melted your heart seeing her take a huge step like that in front of a classroom. She really is blossoming.

    Give the birthday girl a hug from Sarah Hazel. Happy Thanksgiving. I'm VERY thankful that I have you as a friend!!!

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