Walking Through Life One Step at a Time

Walking Through Life One Step at a Time

Sunday, January 29, 2012

100's Day, Birthdays, Baby Days and Hockey Days...Oh My!

My favorite day of the week is Friday.  I love going to work on Friday knowing the weekend is coming up.  I love Friday nights knowing that most of the time, I don't have to get up nearly as early as I do during the week.  I love going out on Friday nights and celebrating the end of another productive and good week.  I would almost say that I wish every night was Friday night, but then like all special things, it probably wouldn't be so special anymore if I overdid it.

Friday was a special day at school.  It was our 100th day of school!  We celebrated all day with several different things and the phrase I kept hearing in my classroom over and over again was.."Mrs. Mallery, this is the BEST day of my life!" (they say that every time we have a party..ha!).  Here are a few things we did to celebrate:

We made homemade popcorn the night before for the kids!  Noah is waiting for the popping to begin!

The kids' favorite activity was making a 100th day trail mix with 100 items in it.  YUM!

Practicing filling in their 100's chart while using food...genius!

We did 100's Day Graphs for Math and used paper chains to record the 100 books we read in class that day!

Here are our Snowman Projects...and yes...one on the bottom is made with toilet paper..ha!

Our students teach us something new every day.  Here is why I will probably never eat a Cheeto again.

The Cheese Puff nose grease is slowly taking over the entire Snowman...um...YUCK.

Friday night we went out to celebrate another great week at school and specifically to celebrate Rachel's 29th birthday! 

Yummy Mexican dinner at Abuelo's!

Then we took the little munchkin out for ice cream later that night!  He took 3 bites and then turned his $4 ice cream into a "let's watch it melt" science experiment.  Sheesh.

Saturday morning, I was excited to go celebrate my beautiful friend Kristen at her baby shower!  She is due in March with her 2nd baby...a boy named Parker!

Look at this precious belly cake!  It even has an outy belly button! :)

Love you, Kristen!  Can't wait to love on Baby Parker...or "Porker" ;)

Saturday evening was Hockey Night in Knoxville!  We were pretty excited to have Noah participate in his first hockey night.  He did a great job considering all that was going on that night.  His rink was a different size, there was loud music playing during his game, and about 200 crazy parents (us not included) yelling and beating against the glass.  Needless to say, our little man was a tad nervous and distracted.  We were proud parents none the less!

His name on his "locker room" :)

Proud supporters!!

"Chilly" surprised us from behind...I'm a little wary about mascots.  I mean...who is really in there?  SCARY. ;)

Heading out to our celebratory dinner at Fuddruckers!

Hope you had as good of a weekend as we did!  Back to the grind tomorrow....I'm dreaming of snow in February.  Dream with me!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Greatness....and Nothing Less!

Whew!  This has been a week!  I have been a little more stressed this week than usual, but the week is finally beginning to wind down a little.  Here are my top 5 stresses this week:

1. A massive 12 point unannounced observation at work.

2. Never ending literacy assessments on our children.

3. Noah's big hockey game coming up on Saturday.

4. Pretty much anything to do with parenting.

5. Having to go to Walmart 4 times this week.

As of today, my observation is over with (thank you, Lord!).  I don't know how many of you get "observed" at your job, but it is nerve racking!  I don't mind people watching me teach...I work hard and know I'm a good teacher...but having someone critique everything you say and do is a little unnerving.  I explained it to someone earlier this week:

"Teaching children is kind of like being the one who walks into a wild animal's cage to feed it.  If you have a good day, you have a really good day.  If the "wild children animals" are having a bad day, they could literally bite your hand off.  You just don't know what you are going to get."  Fortunately, my little animals had a pretty good day today. :)

Noah has a big hockey game on Saturday.  We are so proud of him!  His coach told us Monday night that he is "athletically ready" to move to the next level, but he would be the youngest/smallest kid in that level.  We decided to keep him with his peers for this level...AKA...I don't want "Jolly Green Giant" #34 taking out my itty-bitty baby. ;)  Saturday is hockey night in Knoxville, and he will have his name called out over the loudspeaker as he enters the ice.  I'm having visions of "And #9 is NOAH MALLERY!"....and Noah Mallery freezes and refuses to go on the ice.  I don't think it will happen...but you never know.  We have bribed him with a celebration meal afterwards at Fuddruckers...I SO HOPE that is enough!

Even though work has been more stressful this week, we at Claxton Elementary ALWAYS find time to celebrate something.  Monday we celebrated Rachel's birthday and today we celebrated one of our Reading Recovery teacher's 50th birthday!  We celebrate with food.  Me like.

We decided to all wear black to support Gladys on her 50th.  Our school theme is "Greatness...and Nothing Less".  Ironically, the front of our shirts simply say "Greatness" in big letters.  I actually feel very confident when I wear this shirt to school...but very arrogant when I wear it to Walmart.  And considering the "Greatness" goes right across our chests....wellllll....pretty sure a man designed this shirt. ;)

Have a great rest of the week!  I can't wait to post all about Noah's hockey game!

Keep Walking Friends....One Step At A Time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fear Factor-A Tale of Some Teeth

My name is Amanda Mallery.

I am 31 years old.

And I have dental-phobia.

This is my story.

I've always had pretty good teeth.  Although some nicknames growing up were "horse teeth", "big white", and my favorite..."Nancy Kerrigan"...I managed to be thankful that I had teeth and they were semi-straight.  I enjoyed going to the dentist as a small child.  I had a beautiful hygienist that I thought hung the moon, and Dr. Archer (the dentist) reminded me of Mr. Rogers.  Everything was good in my neighborhood....

Until this little pleasure entered my life (it actually entered my father's church pants pockets...like piles of them in his pants pockets every Sunday)...

Yes, folks.  The Jolly Rancher.  I like to call them the Cavity Candy.

Every Sunday night, my parents and I led a group called The Happiness Club.  It was basically children's church.  I loved it for 2 reasons:

A.) All you can eat Ritz Crackers (salty goodness in a sleeve)
B.) Endless supply of my Pops' Jolly Ranchers (green apple being my fave)

That next dentist appointment changed my life.  I had not 1, not 2, not even 3, but FOUR cavities people!  FOUR!!!  I blamed the Jolly Ranchers...in essence...blaming my pops...and it totally worked!  I think my mom said something like..."David, you two have got to stop eating those cavity makers!"  Sweet.  I was off the hook.

I had the cavities filled...no biggie.  I had sealants put on my teeth to prevent future problems...no biggie.  Then I got a new dentist...BIGGIE.  Long story short, he was later sued and lost his practice due to physically/verbally abusing his patients.  He definitely did not make my dental experience as a child enjoyable.

I did not see a dentist for 8 years once I graduated high school. (some of you gasped, some of you said "Ewww...")

Fast forward...I meet my best friend, Tiffani, and she just so happened to be a dental hygienist (wink, wink, God).  My 8 year streak was over.  I could visit the dentist again if she would be the only one to clean my teeth.  And amazingly, I still HAD teeth after 8 years of no dentist!

I haven't had a cavity or any teeth problems since the year of the magic 4(about 20 years ago)....until this past visit.  My sealants have all started wearing off and I had a stinkin' cavity.  I cried like a big baby when she told me and have been dreading Monday, January 16th like nothing else.

Well, Monday, January 16th came and went.  I survived and even got a free pen and a chance to visit the treasure box after my appointment.  That Dr. Nations is the sweetest!  Here is my Fear Factor Show in pictures:

I am calm, cool, and collected.  I do not have a look of terror on my face.

Tiffani reminds me to breathe....oh yeah.

The best dentist I've ever hated...Dr. Nations at Cedar Bluff Dental.  I really love him.

Pulling out the Mac-Daddy needle I've been sweating about for weeks.

Insert Best Friend's hand for squeezing.

Needle over...awaiting the horrid drill.

All finished with my lopsided, goofy, I can't feel half of my face grin.
And don't forget to notice my awesome dental chair hair. (this is such a horrible blackmail picture)

Every girl needs a best friend to go to the dentist with them.  I've got mine!

So did I survive?  Yes. (although eating noodles only for dinner tonight)

Did I hate every minute?  Yes.

Did I get my teeth re-sealed to prevent future cavities?  Heck Yes.

Do I eat Jolly Ranchers anymore?  No. (occasionally)

Did I reward myself after?  Yes..with a Starbucks Coffee that I had to sip through a straw using only 1/2 of my face.  TOTALLY WORTH IT.

I made it through one of my biggest fears, and God probably sat up there giggling as He watched the show.  Not because He enjoys seeing me suffer, but because He knows me well enough to know even I think I'm ridiculously childish at times and all we can do is laugh together.  Me and God, that is.  He giggles;  I roll my eyes at Him and laugh when it's over.  We make a good team...but I better NOT be living next to a dentist when I get my mansion in heaven.  Not funny, God....not funny.

Keep Walking...Brushing.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Random Thoughts On a Freezing Friday

So...I've talked about how I love my job.  Have I talked about how I love random snow days?  They help January pass by so much quicker!  Noah and I are enjoying a cold day at home so I thought I'd take a minute to post some random thoughts from this past week.

Noah took this picture after my 1st run of the year.  I. hate. running.  If it wasn't for the booty shakin' music I listen to while running, I'd probably never excercise.  Thank you, Beyonce'.

Although Lola looks as if she has run on the treadmill (or has died), this is not the case.  Typical day for her.

How my son eats this at Froyoz is beyond me. GAG.

I asked Noah why there were finger digs in my butter.  "Oh mom...I wanted a little snack."  DOUBLE GAG.

This is how I used to chop onions...

But say hello to my new Best Friend.  Pre-chopped onions...GLORIOUS.

I made a fancy-shmancy meal for Matt this week and I thought my kitchen looked so beautiful with this on the counter.  I wanted to remember this moment of pure insanity.

We also spent time this week torturing Lola by putting Chuck E. Cheese on her back and watching her give him a piggy-back ride.  She totally looks as if she's saying "Help Me" in this picture.  Sorry Sister.

And finally....Matt and I made the decision of where we will spend our 10 year anniversary.  Drum Roll.....

Some of you were probably totally disappointed because I can tell you I kind of felt the same way at first.  We really thought long and hard about this and it just seemed to be the best choice!

A.) We have worn out our welcome in the Caribbean.

B.) We have already been to Hawaii and would like to go again with our kids.

C.) We dont' want to be gone from Noah for longer than a week-10 days, so Europe was off limits.  We'll do that when our kids are a little bit older.

D.) Alaska seemed to be beautiful, but Matt and I like adventure and we were afraid we'd get bored.

E.) We've NEVER been out West and we figured why not see the beautiful places HERE in the U.S.??

So the plan is to rent a Jeep, and drive the coast of Northern Cali staying in different places each night.  I've already made him promise we can go horseback riding in Napa Valley and I will totally pretend I own it while I'm riding (the horse and the Valley).  I think it's a vacation that fits Matt and I perfectly.  I'm SO looking forward to the summer!

Have a great weekend everyone and remember...

Keep Walking....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Have Yourself a Merry Little (Late) Christmas...

December is such a BUSY month for our family.  School is wrapping up, Noah's birthday is 6 days before Christmas and with family out of town, we are usually traveling at some point during the season.  Most years, we stay home on Christmas.  Our first Christmas with Noah found us coming home from the hospital on the 22nd and before we knew it (or woke up) it was Christmas!  It was hard to travel the first few years with him being little, so we just grew acustomed to staying home.  

This year, my pops bribed us with a little Christmas "bonus"...he had planned a family dinner to The Capital Grille in downtown Charlotte.  It's no secret that I love food.  And 7- course meals???  HECK YES!  We were there.

Nice Candid

My sweet sister-in-law Deana and the Matriarch of the family

Seafood Tower?  Yes please.
My dysfunctional family

Thanks, Pops for a lovely evening!

We spent all day Christmas Eve eating (again) and watching some Panther football.  I guess Santa knew all the Panther fans wanted for Christmas was a win, so he granted us our wish.  We spent the evening ice skating downtown and then came home to make Reindeer food and lay out Santa's treats...

We left Santa a back scratcher to get on his good side ;)

We opened presents, took some awkward family photos, and just enjoyed each other's company...

Christmas morning came...we were tired...but excited to see if Santa delivered.  Noah had begged and begged for roller blades!  We couldn't believe Santa brought them...and the right size no less!  Christmas truly is magic. ;)

We ended the day at the Mallery home watching our sweet Malachi celebrate his first Christmas...

All in all, I would say Christmas was a success.  I am amazed year after year at how the Lord continues to bless our family.  Yes, the presents under the tree seem to grow every year, but the real blessing is that we are still all together, and still all love each other.  I couldn't think of a better way to end the year.

I hope yours was just as Merry!

Keep Walking...