The Summer of Theatre

Madison is about to start her Senior year in high school.  She’s long wanted to pursue a life in the theatre and this summer she took a big step towards learning what that is like.

She auditioned for summer intensive programs and was accepted at both the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Columbia University in New York.

At UCCM she acted, danced, and sang every day in a physically demanding 2 week program.  From there, Carie picked her up and they turned and burned to New York for the start of a 3 week program in writing & directing at Columbia University.

In short, she loved both experiences and has made new friends that share her passion and have the same goals.

Here are a few shots of Madison’s experience and links to both albums over at Flickr.

UCCM Album

Columbia University Album – (Carie & Mackenzie spent a little time in the city as Madison finished up, so there’s a mix of photos in this album.)






Baby You Can Drive My Car

That’s my baby girl, and now she can drive my car.  As promised, here’s the final installment of the series of posts about Madison’s 16th birthday.  This morning, we were at the DMV when they opened for her to take her driving test.  Suffice to say, she passed.







Yes Madison’s birthday was a couple of days ago, but we continue to celebrate her Sweet 16.  On Friday night, she had friends over and they hung out in my basement.

One of Madison’s current “likes” is the Disney movie, Frozen.  We have a friends who makes amazing sugar cookies and we asked her if she would bake some for Madison’s party with the Frozen theme.  She graciously agreed, and the result is these amazing cookies.


Okay, I think I’ll only have one more birthday update to make and that will be when Madison finally gets her driver’s license next week.





Sweet 16!

Madison turned 16 yesterday.  It’s been a wonderful couple of weeks celebrating this milestone.  Last weekend, we honored her birthday tradition and had dinner at the Melting Pot in St. Louis.



Then we celebrated her actual birthday on Wednesday night with dinner, balloons, cake, and a few presents. Katy Perry tickets took the cake!


Friday, she’s having friends over and in a few days, we’ll head down to the DMV to get her driver’s license. In the mean time, here’s a link to a few more photos.


2014 Seussical

This week, Madison performed in her first production at Belleville East, Seussical.  This is reprise for us as she performed in the junior version of this show in middle school.  Still, she really enjoys the rehearsals, the songs, the choreography, and most of all the performances.

They performed this show during the school day for area elementary/middle school students.  So, there were 2 performances during the day on both Thursday and Friday and then evening performances on both nights as well.  Six performances in 2 days!

Here are a few shots from the production and a link to the rest as usual.


Madison & her friend Erin


The Bird Girls take a bow


2013 Homecoming

Madison attended the Homecoming dance last weekend. It’s her first big High School dance. She had a friend over to get ready. The girls took over the basement for hair, makeup, and dressing. Then Madison’s date, Patrick, arrived and we had the obligatory photo shoot.

A little twist to the Homecoming festivities was a surprise birthday party for Patrick. Madison, Carie, and Patrick’s parents conspired to surprise him. It looks like they had a good time.

Here are a couple of shots and, as usual, a link to the rest.





Pip, Pip, Cheerio, and All That!

The school year had hardly begun when Madison came home excited about the possibility of traveling abroad at the end of the year.  It sounded like a great time and we’re blessed enough to be able to give her that experience.  So, she, Carie, and Carie’s niece, Natasha signed up for a trip to the UK for the first week of June.

For weeks, we’ve been preparing, sizing up our luggage (the tour group demanded all bags be carried on, no checked luggage), arranging for all of our services (cellular, banking,etc.) to work in London, and generally gearing up for the grip.

My mother-in-law came to stay with Mackenzie as she has an active calendar of summer camps and the like and needed an adult present while I worked.  That worked out well as it gave them some time together that they don’t have very often.
The travel day came, and immediately we ran into a problem with airlines and connecting flights.  Suffice to say, spending the night in Atlanta and being split across 2 international flights wasn’t exactly what anyone had in mind.  But, after 36 hours of travel they finally stepped onto British soil.

They had the opportunity to see Shakespeare’s home, Oxford, Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, and then return to London.  There they saw Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, toured the city on a double-decker bus, saw the Tower of London, rode the London Eye, visited the wax museum, and got to spend the day at the studio where much of Harry Potter was filmed.  I’m sure I missed a lot of the trip in this recap, but these things seemed to be the highlight.

Finally, they headed home on Saturday.  Once again split across 2 international flights, one flight ran into a snag in NY that had them changing airports and flights in order to get home.  But by 9:00pm Saturday night, everyone was present and accounted for.

The girls are still adjusting to the time difference, but I don’t think they’ll ever be the same after this experience.

Here’s a link to the entire Flickr set if you’ve got the time.  😎