Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Brand New Year

Well, I made it through my first week! Even though it was only a three day week with the kids, I am EXHAUSTED! Just getting up at 5:00 in the morning is enough to kill me. Plus I haven't been sleeping very well since I have had so many things racing through my mind. I hate when you are so tired, but your mind won't settle down and cooperate with you!

My class is precious, just like I knew they would be. I already love them all. They are some of the cutest, most polite children from sweet loving families. They are nice to each other and so respectful to me. I hear lots of "pleases" and "thank-yous" from them. I have so much fun getting to know them and learn about their individual personalities. For example, I was sitting outside with them on the playground one day this week and one little girl said, "So...Mrs. Maddox, do you like spinach and artichoke dip?" That made me laugh, but I told her yes I do! Then she said, "Well, I brought that and tikka masala for lunch today if you'd like to sit with me and share it!" Haha! Really?? Wow...that is a gourmet lunch she had there! Oh my gosh, they are so funny.

Then when we had to think about ideas for a story, I told them sometimes thinking about a memory from long ago is a good start for a story. And one little boy told me he had a memory of chasing a road runner when he lived in Mexico. It was too fast for him, so he couldn't catch it. (Okay...that WOULD be an interesting story!)

Anyway...they are cute and I know it's going to be a good year.

Here are some pictures of my classroom...

This is my reading center...




Of course, I have to have family pictures!




This is my desk...


I had little goody bags for them at our Open House. It was just a new pencil and bookmark and a Tootsie Pop inside.


Mark got his wisdom teeth out this week. He did so well! He got them out on Monday and by Tuesday, he felt perfectly fine! He even went to the gym to work out and was eating kettle cooked chips by the third day! I thought he might be pushing his luck by doing that, but it was fine. He had to wear this bandage with ice packs in it to keep the swelling down.


Lindy got some medicine for her allergic reaction and now her face is all back to normal again and she is so happy about that!

We have a fun weekend planned. It is Steve's Fantasy Football weekend. He has been hanging out with about 10 guys doing his draft and eating steak and playing basketball, etc. So I am planning on getting some errands done today and getting a much needed manicure and pedicure. Mark, Ashley, and I are also getting breakfast at Cracker Barrell this morning. I haven't done that in such a long time! Then tonight Steve and I are meeting my parents for dinner at PF Changs. They wanted to take us out for our anniversary and this was the first chance we have had to do that.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

First Week Back

Well, I made it through my first work week at my new school!


I really didn't know what to expect so I feel like I went in with a pretty open mind...and everything went so well! God answered my prayers that I have been praying all summer. I knew He was sending me on this new adventure and He has been faithful to make this beginning week just wonderful and that has put my mind at rest. I have a great team and everyone was super nice and helpful. I like my classroom and have it almost ready to go. It is bigger than my mobile unit last year and it is so clean and new looking. (And it smells good!) I will try to take some pictures to share maybe tomorrow. By the way, the PTA also brought in Chick-Fil-A to our staff meeting so you know that can't be too bad!!


I got my class roster and I have 19 students. I have a heavily ESL (English As A Second Language) class and I think around 12 out of my 19 students are Hispanic. Oh my goodness...I don't speak a lick of Spanish, but I guess I will learn!! :) They are going to be so precious. I can't wait to meet them.

My mom is coming in two mornings a week to help me so that is going to be great! She already came in one day last week and did so much to help me get everything ready.

One day last week I was working in my classroom when my new principal walked in with a piece of paper in her hand. She told me she wanted to share with me a letter that a parent of one of my students last year had written her. It was such a nice letter about me! I was so shocked and humbled that a parent would take the time to write a letter in my behalf and send it to my new principal.


I almost cried it was so thoughtful. Wasn't that nice?? It makes me want to remember to do those kinds of things for others! It means so much.

Last night Lindy called me so upset because apparently she has had some kind of allergic reaction to something (who knows what??) and her face, neck, and arms have broken out in little red bumps and welps all over. She was in tears about it because it looked so bad and was itching. She even sent me pictures and it did look pretty awful! I felt so bad for her and was so worried that I barely slept at all last night. She went to the doctor and got some medicine today that will hopefully clear it up soon. She starts classes on Tuesday and that is also her birthday so she reeeaallly wants it to be gone by then. Bless her heart!!

And Mark is getting his wisdom teeth out tomorrow! I am praying that it will go well and he won't get dry sockets or be in too much pain!

Being a mom is hard sometimes. I love my kids so much and hate to see them hurting or in pain!

My students are coming on Wednesday, so I have lots of planning and preparing to do over the next two days. I am not worried or stressed though. I have some fun ideas already in mind. I am looking forward to it being a really good week!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

25 Years

First of all, thank you so much for all of your sweet, sweet comments about my exciting news! I have the best blogging friends!

Twenty five years ago today I married the most wonderful guy I know. We have had our ups and downs through the years like all married couples do, but even after all this time together, he is still my best friend and we still have so much fun together. When we got married, it was hard for me to project 25 years into the future and imagine what we would be like after being married that long. But I really believe we love each other even more now than we did that day! (I know that sounds cheesey, but it's true!)

So, anyway...I found our old slide show video that we had made for our wedding and I thought I would share just a little part of it today to help remember what we were like 25 years ago. This kind of thing had just come out when we got married. You had to hold a video camera in your hand and film a photograph, then turn off the camera and put another picture down and then film it, etc. These pictures are super grainy and the music is a little warped sounding, but oh well!! haha This is the way it was back in the day! :)

By the way, we were high school sweethearts, so many of these pictures were from high school.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Big News

Well...after weeks of having to keep this a secret, I am finally able to share some really fun news with y'all!

I am going to be a grandmother!

Oh my gosh, just saying those words makes me feel really old! haha (I feel like I should have gray hair and wrinkly skin and be sitting in a rocking chair and putting my teeth in a glass at night!)

Ashley and John are expecting a baby in late February and we are so excited for them!


They told us back in June and we have had to keep it a secret all this time. I thought Steve might bust because he's been so excited! I think he's called Ashley every other day asking when he can get the "green light" to tell people.

Ashley has felt so great and hasn't been sick at all. They have decided not to find out what it is, but to let it be a surprise. Whatever it is, I can't wait to hold that sweet little thing in my arms! I have heard that being a grandmother is all the joy and fun without all the hard times and hassle, so that sounds good to me. :)

I have no idea what I'm going to be called, so maybe you can help me think of some cute names.

Meanwhile, in other news, we got Lindy moved into her new apartment at ECU, Laura left today to go back to Appalachian, and I have two cars loaded to the hilt with my school stuff. I am moving into my new classroom tomorrow. Thank goodness I have a son and his friends to help me. We moved everything into the cars tonight at 9:30 and almost died from the humidity and heat! I definitely couldn't do this by myself.

Tomorrow is also a big day at our house because it is our 25th anniversary! We already celebrated really when we went to Miami so tomorrow we won't do anything big. I think we may go out to dinner to celebrate this weekend.

Anyway...that is the latest news at the Maddox house! Now I am off to bed since I have to get up early tomorrow.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

8 Random Things

Today is just a list of randomness. There are so many things going on at once right now because it is that time of year when everything is shifting and changing. So we will just hit the high spots today!

1-First of all, I love summer. I really do. It is probably my favorite season. But last night I was out around 10:00 pm, going on a last minute Target run with Lindy, and it was still almost 90 degrees outside! Seriously...this heat and humidity is a little out of control at this point. I went into Bath and Bodyworks yesterday and all their yummy fall candles were out. I was so tempted to get one, but it is still too hot outside to fool myself into thinking it's fall. It won't be long, though, before I am getting one of these...


2-My house is finally getting back to normal. Laura and Lindy have moved their stuff out and I can now see the floor in our guest room again. And the garage only has a few more days until it will be somewhat back to normal. And I will be taking my school stuff back to school next week! Isn't a nice, uncluttered house the best thing? It sure does make me happy.

3-I am almost finished reading Radical. Wow...that is a CONVICTING book! I would challenge you to read it just to get yourself thinking.

4-Poor Rocky. It is really too hot for him to go outside and go for walks or play right now. So every time I sit on the couch, he brings a toy and puts it at my feet. He practically begs people to play with him so he can run off some of his energy!


5-I want to see Eat, Pray, Love. I didn't read the book, but the movie looks really interesting to me.


6-I am so excited about football season starting! The Panthers are playing tonight in their first pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens. (Michael Orr plays for them. You know...the guy from The Blindside?) We are also planning on going to several college football games this fall at NC State, ECU, and Appalachian. Plus we are looking forward to some Friday Night Lights watching my nephew Bryson play football. He will be a senior this year and that is always so much fun. I miss my kids being in high school and going to those games on Friday nights!

I just saw this video and it just about made me cry. If you want to get pumped for some fall football, you need to watch it!



7-Tomorrow we are going to Greenville to see Lindy's apartment and say goodbye to her. She and Laura drove up today and unloaded everything by themselves and got it all fixed up. We are just going to see it and say one last goodbye to her. Laura will head back to Appalachian on Sunday and then everyone will be where they need to be and we will be done with college moving (and shopping sprees!)

8-I have had fun reading Babbling Abby's blog this week. She has dedicated the whole week to teachers and getting back to school. My "teacher brain" is starting to kick in right about now so it has been fun getting new ideas. Next Wednesday is my first day at my new school. I have no idea what to expect, but I know it will be an adventure. I am going in with lots of energy and excitement because I know God sent me on this assignment and I know He has it all in His control!

7-I saw THE craziest interview I think I have ever seen this week on the Today Show. Natalie Morales was interviewing this family...


and I have never in my life seen a reporter have this much trouble keeping the interview under control. It will make you laugh and break out in a sweat just watching it! Here is the link.

8-We went to a funeral this past weekend for the sister of a good friend of ours who passed away last week. She was only 29 and was diagnosed with a brain tumor just 11 weeks ago. She had three little children and I have just had her family on my mind all week. She was a sweet, nurturing, fun, bubbly mom, wife, and friend. I know her family is going to miss her so much.




If you can, please remember this family in your prayers. I can't imagine how hard this is going to be on them.

Thank you blogging friends!! :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Early Birthday

Since we've been back from Miami, it has been really busy at our house. We are on the countdown until Laura and Lindy go back to school so we have been trying to get last minute things done and get in some fun time together, too.

Laura and Lindy have been busy making cute things for their apartments and finishing projects. (They are so creative!) They have also been spending time with friends and family. They have been able to get together with their grandparents and cousins and neighbors and girlfriends. Last night it was a rare night when we were all home together. I told them I wanted to get a picture of them while I could!


Since they are leaving soon, we wanted to celebrate their birthdays while they were here. Their birthday is August 24th, but they will be gone. So....today was the day we decided to go out to dinner and open presents, etc.

Ashley and I went shopping for birthday gifts at the mall today. We took Bailey and Brooklyn with us. Bailey was having a great time dressing up while Ashley and I shopped!




Brooklyn was ready for a nap!



Tonight we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants...Cajun Yard Dog. Both sets of grandparents came (except for my dad who was at church.) It was a fun night.














I can't believe Laura and Lindy are about to be 19! They are such sweet girls and I am so proud of them.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Miami

I have not been able to blog any this week because Steve and I have been on a trip to Miami, Florida.

Our 25th anniversary is coming up on August 17th. We debated a long time about how to celebrate. We really wanted to do something big like go to Paris or something. But Mark is going to Spain in September for a study abroad semester and we really want to go see him while he's there. So we decided not to do anything too elaborate and save our frequent flyer miles and our money for a trip to Europe this fall.

Steve's brother lives in south Florida and when we were talking about what we wanted to do, he suggested we go to Miami and stay at the Fontainebleau Hotel. It is supposed to be one of the nicest hotels in Miami and just a fun place to go and relax for the week. So....that's what we decided to do!

This was the view from our balcony...


Our room was so nice and all the rooms have Mac computers in them! (Unfortunately I couldn't upload pictures, though.)





When we got there, they knew it was our 25th anniversary and they sent up a complimentary bottle of wine with some cheese and fruit! So nice!


The Fontainebleau is a famous hotel. It was built in 1954 and it was where Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack stayed and hung out. It was featured in the James Bond film Goldfinger, some Jerry Lewis movies, and some other movies like Scarface, etc. It has been completely restored and it was a fun place to stay. It kind of reminded me of a Las Vegas hotel. Here I am in the lobby...


We didn't have much on the agenda this week other than total relaxation and just spending time together before our busy fall schedule gets going.

Every day we would get up, eat breakfast, then head out to the pool, and that is when social hour would begin! I met so many interesting people this week. There were people from all over the world vacationing there. I really can't explain how diverse that city is. Seriously...does anyone even speak English there?? (Just kidding, but it seemed that way!)

*I met a sweet family from Egypt with two of the cutest little girls you've ever seen.
*We chatted away with a family from England. They had two teenagers and we had fun listening to the stories of their travels all over the world.
*I met a family with four precious children from Chicago and ended up finding out that the dad played for the Chicago Bulls for 6 years with Michael Jordan!
*I talked for hours with a mom from Iran who now lives in Long Island and helped her decide what to do with one of her three adorable kids that was having trouble with reading!
*Steve met a guy from Ohio who is a deejay and trying to help his mom get on The Biggest Loser. (She has made it pretty far!)
*The guy who helped us with our umbrella at the pool was from Ireland and used to work the sound for Shakira for two years.
*All our cab drivers were Haitian.

I'm telling you...it was so much fun. Since people watching is one of my favorite things to do, I had a ball! You could never be bored there, that's for sure.

This is where we spent a lot of time this week...










One night we went down to Lincoln Street where there are lots of shops and restaurants and had dinner there. Here we are on our way out...


We had Italian food that was so good. I got eggplant parmesan and Steve had lobster ravioli. Plus we got bruschetta for an appetizer that was delicious. It was so humid there. I couldn't walk outside for more than 2 minutes without having to put my hair up!


We did lots of reading and rented movies and took naps and pretty much did a whole lot of nothing.

Last night we decided to go down to South Beach. That was pretty crazy! We ate at Bice Restaurant and ordered paella. I have never had it before and have always wanted to try it. They bring it to you in a big cast iron skillet and it has rice with lobster, shrimp, clams, oysters, chorizzo sausage, and vegetables in it. It was very authentic.




When we got back to the hotel we just went walking. We walked on the boardwalk near the beach and around the pool all lit up. I loved these big chairs!


We had such a good time in Miami. It was the perfect way to close out our summer. Now we are back home and ready to get our kids back to school and start focusing on all the things coming our way this fall!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's That Time Again

Well, we had a very busy day today. We spent the day taking Laura back to school and moving her into her new apartment up in Boone, NC. Okay...I'm not sure what happened over the summer, but it seems like her stuff multiplied and expanded somehow and she took back way more today than she came home with in May!

Packing the car was like working a jigsaw puzzle.


We even had to ask Lindy's boyfriend, Sean, to drive his truck up with us just so we could have more room!


I have to say, he was a trooper. Mark helped us load up, but he couldn't go to Boone because he had to work, so Sean helped us out so much with all the heavy lifting, etc.

(By the way, I never told you that Lindy had a great time at the wedding she went to with Sean's family up in New Jersey. Here are a few pictures of them from the rehearsal dinner and reception...)




Anyway...it was very drizzly today and we were afraid it might start raining, so we used a tarp to cover everything in the truck. We had to make several stops to readjust the tarp because it kept blowing and flapping in the wind!

We also drove through extremely dense fog as we got higher up into the mountains. I could barely see the tail lights of the car in front of me and I even accidentally ran a red light because I couldn't see it!

We finally made it safe and sound and there was no fog in Boone, thank goodness!

Steve and I were laughing that this is the 15th time we have moved a college student in or out of a dorm! I think we are pretty much experts by now. It's so funny how our fall ritual has changed over the years. When the kids were in elementary school, it was all about buying a new back-to-school outfit and going to Wal-Mart with our supply list in hand to make sure we got all the folders and wipes and crayons we needed. Our cart was always overflowing. With four kids, I remember thinking how expensive going back to school was!


That makes me laugh now considering how much money college costs in addition to apartment rent and buying decorations and furniture for it! Can you say, "Cha-ching!" ???

We worked all day putting the bed together and hanging things up and running to Wal-Mart for last minute items. When Steve and I left, her room was starting to come together. We ran out of nails so her walls barely had anything on them yet but it is going to be really cute when it's finished!


The second year of dropping kids off at college is so much easier for me. Last year just about killed me with so many sad goodbyes. This year...I'm fine! I know they are happy and I know they do come back! :) Thank you God for the fact that never again in my life will I have to say goodbye to a college freshman. That ranks up there with one of the saddest things I've ever had to do and I HATED it every time! Saying goodbye to a college sophomore? I will miss them, but I can handle it!

PS-Laura isn't gone for good yet. She is coming back home tomorrow to stay for another couple of weeks. We just had to move her in today and sign the lease, etc. So she isn't really gone quite yet. :)