The Golden Birthday

Today, we celebrate Madison’s “Golden Birthday”, she turns “11” on June 11th.

We have talked about this day for a while, along with the fact that she is leaving elementary school to go to the middle school in the fall. A lot of “changes” in our lives, most significantly in Madison’s.

Madison Lynne came into this world with big beautiful eyes, looking at us so quiet and sweet as though we may have just interrupted a nice little nap. (She was delivered emergency c-section) She was calm and perfect in every way. Eleven years later, at 11:59 a.m. we will make her “Golden Day” official!!!!

She is still calm, sweet and perfect in every way.  Madison is quick to love, shy but friendly, kind and gentle in nature. She loves horses, to write, to draw and has a new found love for softball. She is up for a game in the backyard any chance she can.

Madison, as you grow, Dad & Mom hope for you that….

You continue to love your family, friends and your animal-friends in the very unconditional way that you do right now…

That you never doubt how amazing you are, when you smile, when you draw, when you write, when you are helping Mackenzie, when you giggle…

You never, ever lose your passion for drawing or writing…

That you will always listen to your heart and never let fear stop you from doing anything…

And most of all, how much we love you, every minute of every day…

Happy “Golden” Birthday Madison!

Horse Drawing, March 2, 2013

Horse Drawing, March 2, 2013


Proud to be a “Bruiser”

Mother’s Day Weekend, Kalispell hosted a mid-season softball tournament, welcoming teams in the 12U Division from Polson, Columbia Falls and Canada.

We were lucky! The weather was AWESOME! And so were the girls that came to play!

Our “Bruisers” started Friday night off with a win, and knowing the challenges we faced on Saturday would be tough. We were back on the fields by 7:42 am Saturday (thanks Coach Brad for the extra 12 minutes of sleep some of us got!) to meet up with a seasoned team from Polson, MT.

The next two competitors were fierce and tested the “Bruisers”. It’s rumored that one pitcher our team was facing was throwing balls anywhere from 60 to 70 mph, depending on who you were talking to. As each girl stepped into the batters box, I knew the feelings they were experiencing. When I was about the same age, I played against, Edith, the fastest, toughest pitcher in the city of Tucson. Trying to find the courage to swing the bat when Edith was in the circle was a challenge for me. She taught me a lot the years I played with her, something I hope our girls took away from this past weekend.

The bonds and lessons the “Bruisers” had from there will be with them forever. It was a lot of hard work. I know they learned a lot about the sport, the ups and downs as a team, the love for the game, and how much their coaches and parents believe in them!  All our players came into the weekend ready to play, and left with some great experience!

A special WOOT! WOOT! to Kali, who lead our team in the “circle” and pitched every game. You are one amazing young woman and you taught me about endurance and determination! I’m very proud of you and I will be glad to watch you pitch in snow, rain or shine any day any time! Keep up the hard work!

A few highlights… Caitlin’s determination with Kali, stopping the balls and staying behind the plate every pitch… Sophie’s amazing dive catch in the infield and home steal! Ashlynn’s outfield catch and cheer that made us all scream along… Hallie’s HoMe-RuN (I KNOW there will be a few more of those hits out of our girls before the season is over!)… our defense had some great double plays and our girls made some amazing progress batting. Hannah, Cortlynn, Suzanne, Makenna and Ty’s “wheels” … they are all  fast, fearless and base running machines! These girls aren’t afraid to steal! Lauren and Mady were timid in the batters box going into Friday but left the games bunting and swinging away!! Very proud!!!  Our girls cheered each other on from the dugout and on the field just as much when the chips were down as they were when things were perfect! I loved the positive attitude that came from our team, it wasn’t’ the same in every dugout! They knew they depended on and respected each other, and it showed!!!

Bruiser's 2013

Bruiser’s 2013

A shout out to our “fans” who moved in on the right & left field lines, cheered the team, encouraging the girls inning after inning!!!! They couldn’t have done it without you all!!!!

And, one last BIG shout out to our coaches Brad, Bruce, Mike, Justin & Patrick. I know as a parent, I feel incredibly blessed to have Madison playing on a team with not only a great group of girls, but with all of you. Your time, positive encouragement and teaching is something that I wish every girl playing could experience! Thank you!!!!

Our team grew and really had an amazing weekend!!!! We placed 4th in the tournament, the last Kalispell team standing! WAY TO GO BRUISERS! I hope that you are as proud of yourselves as your “fans” are!!!

"Bruiser's" May 2013

“Bruiser’s” May 2013

Humanities Montana Writing Contest

Late last fall, Madison, along with her classmates, submitted an entry into the 2013 Letters About Literature Contest to the Humanities Montana Organization. The contest invites students to write a letter to an author, living or deceased, to express how reading their book impacted them. Madison wrote to Walter Farley, author of the Black Stallion, on how reading his book inspired her to read on about other famous race horses, and how his characters have inspired her not to give up on her dreams.

On Tuesday, Madison received a letter in the mail notifying her that out of the 462 letters submitted from Montana, that hers was among 50 chosen by the national judges in the Honorable Mention category. Madison, and one other classmate were recognized for their submissions.

As I sat late Tuesday afternoon and listened to her teacher read her letter to her classmates I couldn’t have been prouder. Watching her beam from ear to ear as her classmates congratulated her on her achievements was a moment forever etched in my heart.

It has been another amazing year, with an incredible teacher who has tapped into Madison’s creativity. We are watching her blossom, and she continues to inspire us as she steps out of her comfort zone and tries new things while enjoying the things that she loves the most, horses and drawing.

The letter from the Humanities Montana said, “We hope that literature will always be an important part of your life.” I hope so too!

Congratulations Mady! Mom & Dad are very proud of you!

Madison Honorable Mention 2013

Madison Honorable Mention 2013

Madison’s Corner

Madison is 10 and an extremely talented artist and writer. (Yes, I realize that I’m prejudice!) She started drawing as soon as she knew what a crayon was, and her creativity has really blossomed. Recently we have discussed in great lengths how to nurture her passion. Do we put her in any art class we can? Take on-line courses? How can we teach her to use the tools and supplies she has to take her gifts to the next level?

About a week and a half ago, I had the pleasure of talking to local artist, Treg Miller. I was helping him prepare for a lesson he was giving in first grade at our school. We had a great conversation about Madison, and he really helped me understand that we are giving Madison exactly what she needs. It is reassuring to have Treg’s encouragement, and I feel so blessed that we have such a talented resource for Madison to look up to.

Madison loves to draw, and is experimenting with chalk and painting. We spoke to her about sharing her work on my blog, and she gave the go ahead. She is a little shy about the world seeing her art, so we felt this would be a great place to display what she does and I know the positive feedback will boost her confidence.

Today’s drawing was done as a gift for her snowboard instructor. Hope you enjoy!

Horse Drawing, March 2, 2013

Horse Drawing, March 2, 2013