$401 Raised for Madilyn’s Class

I’m speechless.

One week ago we decided to turn Madilyn’s creative project into a fundraiser for her classroom. Our hope was to raise $50. You guys gave $401.


Thank you … thank God … we believe God honored the heart of a little 5-year-old girl with giant-sized faith. Not only will she be bringing a check to school for $401, she’s experienced how much fun it is to give, and seen first-hand how God’s math works – He always multiplies doesn’t He?

Thanks again for making this possible and for giving generously. We’ll post updates on what comes of this. So far Madilyn has already been acknowledged for her project in front of the entire school, and been invited to have pizza with her principal and assistant principal. She is so excited.

We are so proud.

Thank you again and again.

Madilyn Writes Her First Book!

Over the course of a week or so, my 5-year-old daughter set off to create her own story (with no input from me). On the iPad, she drew a series of pictures, then asked me to type in the words that went with them. I did, and I know I’m biased, but I was shocked. Her story had a progression. A beginning, middle and end. It was truly a story! And she illustrated it as well. Using an app, we then went back and she recorded her voice reading her creation.

As a writer who has published a book, my heart soared seeing Madilyn create her first book. I hope it’s the first of many. Because this is special to us, we thought we would do something special with it.

Madilyn started Kindergarten this year. Her school’s PTO has asked each child’s family to fundraise $100 to donate toward purchasing Smart Boards for each of their classrooms. They encouraged the kids to get involved and do bake sales, yard sales, asking for donations, etc …. but I think it would be totally cool if we sold Madilyn’s little book as the fundraiser.

So … without further ado, I invite you to purchase Madilyn’s first book, The Growing Up TreeOur goal is to sell 50 books at .99 each, and Jeff and I will match what funds are raised  to make the full $100 donation to the school (I’m purposefully not including the name of the school for privacy/security).

Here’s how to buy:

  • Click here to donate .99 (or whatever you’d like to give). 
  • I’ll email you a link to the book as a PDF (no audio) and an .epub (includes audio), which you can open in iBooks or one of these programs.
  • In addition, we’re offering a printed version (also signed by the author herself) for those who donate $20 or more!

Thanks for checking out Madilyn’s first book. We hope you enjoy hearing her voice as she learns to read (with a little help from me). This will be a sweet keepsake for years to come – and you’ll be helping build a better school for her.

Here are some screenshots from the book as it appears on the iPhone:


A Walk Through the Neighborhood

This afternoon we took a walk to 5 Points, a neat little area with shops and restaurants. On the way home we snapped some pictures so our friends and family can get a feel for our neighborhood.

Jeff snapped some pictures of Ellenor laughing when we ate at the Pied Piper Creamery (ice cream place!).

Some art, antique and vintage style shops.

A tree in front of the shops.

East Nashville mural:

Rumours East (wine, food & art)

A bike parked on the road:

Restaurant that’s the closest to our house: Mad Donna’s – we hear it’s good! We’ll eat there eventually!

The neighborhood is beautiful, but it still has an edge – a little gritty.

Jeff loves this old house – I’m pretty sure it was a boarding house that is probably subdivided into apartments now.

Pine cones in this yard:


Jeff likes the multi-colored brick:

This house is on our street. Love the climbing vines.

This lovely little house is on our street too.

This house is on the corner by our house.

This was our walking destination: I Dream of Weenie! We had cool hot dogs & then walked across the street for ice cream.

Ellenor 3 Months

Our sweet Ellenor is 3 months old today and weighs 14lbs 11 oz. She’s healthy, eating & growing well and happy. She coos and smiles and lights up when she sees Madilyn, Dadda and Mama.