Audrey, my environmentalist/violinist granddaughter, made 3rd chair, 2nd violin, in the Duke Medicine Orchestra. She is at Duke University finishing her Master's Degree in Environmental Management. The picture above was taken when she and her mother Carajean went on an adventure to Devil's River this past September. They joined Audrey's former ballet teacher and his wife, and stayed at a beautiful place on the river itself. I thought they would be "camping out", and couldn't feature my daughter Carajean roughing it!
Carajean wrote the following about her son, who, by the way is consistently on the Honor Roll at school. According to Mom, he and his dad enjoy their time together at the monthly tennis tournaments and on bicycle rides, weather permitting. The photo below was on Tanner's 16th birthday in August. Note sister Ashlyn's gerbil Chips hanging out in his pocket. The hat must be for learning to captain their boat on Lake Austin next summer. He certainly looks the part!
"Tanner is playing in what is called a 'Champs' tournament. There are three levels of tournaments (outside of the local tournaments here in Amarillo), ZAT, Champs, and Super Champs. These tennis tournaments take place every month all over the state of Texas. You play within your age group, I think Tanner's is 16-18. Everyone in the Champs tournament has already won the ZAT tournament. If he wins a Champs tournament then he can only play in the Super Champs tournaments thereafter, where everyone else has won as well. So the skill level increases every time he wins a tournament. Private High School tournaments are called TAPPS tournaments. They occur once a year in the spring. He won second place last year, a freshman against a senior. And this past August he won the TriState Area Tennis Tournament with a tie-breaker against an 18-year old. He is good and improving but will never be a professional. The competition is crazy!" (This proud grandmomma said if he kept it up, he might be a professional some day.)
"Booker T. scores out very well on academics. They have to be able to keep their grades up, even with the emphasis on their particular 'major' (Hannah's being theater). Hannah is taking several advanced placement courses - some where she's the only freshman, I think."
My youngest granddaughter, Kelly, has also made the A Honor Roll, and was recently given the Math Assessment test. She scored 100% - the only 100 in her third grade class. Mom Amy sent me the following on her cheer team.
"Her cheer team recently won Showcase at Concordia University. They now go to Regionals the day after Thanksgiving in San Antonio."
Kelly's big brother Travis has been sharing quality time with his dad Matthew (my youngest child), as Tanner does with his dad Branch. Travis has been taking golfing lessons, and playing in frequent PGA Junior Golf tournaments. Last month he won his second one, shooting a 41 on 9-holes. I don't know who was the proudest - Dad or Travis!
He's also on the A and B Honor Roll.. His dad mentioned to me that one of the two Bs was an advanced placement class.
The last I heard from my oldest grandchild Cameron, he had moved into his own apartment in Fort Worth, and his new job at the Unitarian Church was going really well. I just found out why I haven't heard more frequently - he's been a busy, busy guy! Last year he and some friends formed a group of singers who are available for hire during the Christmas season. They have their own website now. Uptown Christmas Carolers Cameron is the handsome dude on the far right!
Besides his church position as Director of Education and planning the upcoming caroling season, Cameron has also recently recorded backup vocals for a Motown revival album sung by Leon Bridges. The new album hasn't come out yet, but he says he will let me know! Here is a sample of Leon Bridges singing: Leon Bridges. From opera to hymns to Simon and Garfunkel, and now some low-down, Motown blues. Cameron, your range is fantastic!
Last, but far from "least" is Carajean's daughter Ashlyn. I haven't heard much out of Ashlyn since she started her first year of college at OSU in September. I know she was very busy at first getting acclimated to her new surroundings, and rushing the sorority she wanted to join. (She made it.) A while back, the whole family got flu shots. I'm not certain if they've had them before, but Carrie said this time everyone except Tanner came down with the flu! (I think they must have been exposed before their shots!) Ashlyn ended up with a bad infection and cough requiring antibiotics, much to her chagrin, and was coming home weekends to be medicated. Her mom said she was extremely upset that the cough medicine contained codeine, causing her to oversleep one morning and miss an important biology exam. I hope to hear more when she comes with her mother and big sister for a visit in December.
This has been so uplifting for me to write about, and to realize how blessed our family is to have such great kids! All healthy, smart, talented, and of course, I think they are all beautiful!
Love and peace,