Guilt Free Schooling

We are a little over two weeks into school and the girls are loving it.  Audrey is out of bed and dressed before we can even come in to make sure they're up?  Maddie is not so enthusiastic at 6:45 am.  I am switching off carpooling with a neighbor and its really nice.  The kids get to sleep an extra 45 minutes since they're not riding the bus.   Two days a week I have time to make a hot breakfast (and maybe catch a few extra z's when they leave).  One morning a week I help in Maddie's class for an hour then head out for coffee and grocery shopping.  I've also enjoyed having a few lunches and breakfasts with my husband each week.  :)

I thought I would feel very guilty for not homeschooling this year, but honestly, I feel like I'm a better mom and wife right now.  I'm not stressed to the max.  I have more time to stay up with house work, meals, errands, chauffeuring girls around, and all of my volunteer work.  Audrey is thriving in the classroom.  She is taking her homework very seriously.  We've been spending about 30 minutes to an hour together on it each night and she's putting a lot more effort into her work.  I'm really proud of her.  She asked me today if they could go to school there next year, too.  It makes me happy to see her so happy!

Maddie's situation is actually going to be changing.  I got a call yesterday that in an effort to reduce the number of kids per classroom, they are taking a few kids from each class and creating a new kindergarten class.  The new teacher will start Monday.  Maddie was one of the kids pulled.  I'm not crazy about it because she's finally gotten into a routine and I was really happy with her teachers.  I know everything happens for a reason and God is in control.  I'm just praying for a smooth transition next week.

The girls' extra curricular activities are up and going.  We've eliminated a few and think we have a good balance.  Audrey is taking an hour of hip hop and an hour of drama/music each week.  Maddie has her cheer practice twice and tumbling once a week.  Our Wednesday night church activities will start back mid September and then we'll be full swing into our year.  Let's do this!!

On a totally different note, I feel the need to say how blessed I am to have such a great husband.  So many wives struggle to do it all because their husbands don't help or have much to do with their children.  Derek is an amazing dad!  He's tough, no doubt about it!  But, he loves them and enjoys spending time with them EVERY day.  He sings to them each night at bed time.  He cooks for them, plays with them and teaches them.  I am very grateful!

Here's to a relaxing weekend!  Enjoy time with your family!

Updates, Updates, and More Updates!

Hello, Friends!  It may appear that I have slipped off the face of the earth, but in truth, it has just been an amazingly awesome and busy time in our family.  I have so many changes and updates to share.  So, let's get started!

Our summer was amazing.  Truly!  We only had one week of "nothing".  The girls did swim team this year.  That was great!  Audrey amazed me with her growth there.  She went from a flailing sea creature to a graceful mermaid in about 5 weeks time.  They promoted her to the competition team mid season and she did fantastic!  Definitely something we will continue to do.  Maddie has also vastly improved.  I'm very proud of her!

We spent 8 days at a resort in Destin, Florida.  It was a super trip!  Ironically, some of Derek's family from Dallas was in a wedding at the same resort the end of our stay.  It was  fun to see them.  The girls absolutely adore their cousins.


Later in the summer the girls and I spent 8 days in TN for the Pure American Girl National Pageant.  What an amazing opportunity!  Maddie took home the National Talent Award and Runner Up Model of the Year.  I believe she could have placed higher in the Queen division, but she turned into a little monster.  LOL!  After the first day of competition she basically decided she didn't want to do it and was a handful to deal with the rest of the competition.  I can honestly say, I've never seen her act that poorly before.  I'm praying this is just a short phase of life and she'll be out of it very soon.  (I think she's making up for not going through the Terrible 2's or 3's!)  It is breaking my heart right now.  Anyway, Audrey had a phenomenal week.  For those that don't know her personally, it will be hard to understand just what a huge step and growth she went through this summer and in this pageant.  Many firsts happened that week.  She spoke on stage for the first time in her life.  She did forget some of her words and paused to regain her memory once, but I thought that was amazing.  She could have fallen apart and quit right then, but she didn't.  She pulled herself together and kept going.  She also had her first panel interview.  She felt really good about it, so I take that as another success.  Her modeling progressively improved.  By the final day her poise and confidence were clearly evident on stage.  But, the greatest accomplishment was her singing a solo on stage for the first time in her life.  She LOVED it!  That's what she has talked about the most.  She actually came off the stage and told me she was proud of herself.  Money can't buy that, folks!


So, all in all, it was a fabulous experience.  We have learned that Maddie will not be doing any more pageants any time soon.  Audrey has one the end of the month.   And, I am the new State Director for the Pure American Pageant System.  I'm very exited about this opportunity!

We couldn't leave TN without a trip to Dollywood, The Wilderness Water Resort, Hollywood Wax Museum, and Country Tonite musical.  Great trip!

Of course, our summer included a week of VBS and Arts Camp.  There were a few sleep overs and lots of play dates.  Truly a spectacular summer!

The biggest change this year is in our schooling.  Maddie is in Kindergarten and Audrey is in the third grade.  We have decided not to homeschool this year.  It was a huge decision and not one we made lightly.  I struggled with it and will spare you all the details, but in the end I have complete peace about that decision. The girls started last week and are absolutely loving it!  I'm volunteering in both classes and plan to be as involved as I can.

I am coaching cheer again this year.  I'm still with the little ones, which I love.  They are doing fantastic!  Maddie is on the squad, too.  Audrey has decided not to cheer this year.  She is concentrating on singing, dancing, and acting which is turning out to be her love.  I'm totally fine with that and will nurture those gifts as much as I can.  Tonight is her first night of dance - 2 1/2 hours of hip hop, tap, and jazz.  Theater starts Thursday.  Maddie, on the other hand, is all cheer and gymnastics.  She had her first tumbling class on Saturday and loved it!

It is going to be a wonderful year!  I hope you'll join me on this adventure as I recommit to blogging.  :)

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