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Until this summer, Madison was a quiet little girl who quietly hung out, sucking her thumb.  We could easily forget that she was underfoot, except that she was a snuggler and quick to find our laps.  People were always amazed at how easy-going she was, a big contrast to her older, louder, assertive older sister.  Yet, once you got to know Madison, you could see her mischievous, adventurous personality shine through.
 
However, beginning at age 3 1/2 she has come into her own.  We're pretty sure that starting a new pre-school in June helped her blossom.  As her teacher, Miss Amanda, said recently, "Madison has really changed since she started here.  I'm not so sure it's good, but there's no chance of her being a wallflower anymore!"
 
Madison has had a busy year.  She went to Vermont in February to see her great-grandmother, before she died.  She spent a fun two months home this spring bonding with her father while he was laid-off.  In June she started at a new pre-school that is co-located at the elementary school, at which her sister Hannah started Kindergarten in August.   The school administrators already know and love Madison and can't wait until she starts Kindergarten.
 
Madison also got to meet two more May kids - Hannah Wells and Sarah Mann!  We had a fun time at Hannah's grandparents' house, meeting parents and children.   I was sore the next day from catching Madison and Sarah as they jumped into the pool for what seemed like forever.  No one could quite believe me when I said that Madison was normally my calm, quiet child :)
 
Madison has learned to ride our 20 year old Arabian, Azi, and even fallen off already.  Ever the brave girl, she got back on and rode again after a few minutes recovering from getting her wind knocked-out.  The experience was harder on her mother than it was on her!
 
She's also learned that our back yard or garage can house poisonous snakes.  We saw a pigmy rattler on the way to feed the horses one morning and that experience left a lasting impression.
 
Madison started gymnastics in August and *LOVES* it.  She's also a natural talent and is making Hannah mad as she's quickly surpassing her sister in many skills!
 
And of course Madison is anxiously awaiting Christmas as I write this.  She wants Santa to bring her a rocking chair...
 
It is with lots of thanks that I reflect on this past year.  Madison brings so much joy to our lives as we watch her grow and experience life.  We can't imagine life without her!
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