All posts by Amanda

Back to the Classroom!

It’s been more than 7 years since I have been in a classroom teaching, but here I go again! Starting this Fall, actually starting way back in May, I will be the new 3 year old teacher at Annunciation Strong Start Early Learning Academy! Many of you know this all ready, but I’m posting more-so because of all the work I forgot there was to teaching!

I have a feeling non-teachers think that we just show up in a classroom and have everything at our fingertips. Or it’s all inside secret manuals that tell us what needs to be done each day in order to have a successful year. While there are manuals out there, that is not always the best way to prepare for your students to ensure their success in your class. It goes way beyond that to make an interesting, inspiring, engaging classroom environment and most of the time – you don’t even know who is in your class yet!!

For the past two months I have been thrust back into reading through State Standards, thinking up activities, going on Pinterest (A LOT!!! Thank GOD for Pinterest!!), selecting themes for the ENTIRE year, writing lesson plans, planning an organizational structure, planning classroom management, shopping for things I think I’ll need, and going through all our girls’ toys in our basement (and garage sales) to see what we can use in our room.

The classroom I’m going into is brand new and had to be built from scratch. There was no walking into a ready-made room and only have to follow what someone else had done. I’ve had to construct my own curriculum for teaching this class and it has been so much fun! This is what I went to school for and I am so extremely thankful that these people have faith in my ability to succeed. I honestly have felt like I was back in college with all the construction I’ve been doing for this class.

At the same time, I am really nervous! When you walk into a room that has all ready been successful, you may find things you want to change but have the opportunity to keep the things that are all ready in place that work. Here, it will be trial and error until we get it right. I have a wonderful aide who will be working with me and I am sure that together we will have many successes, I just hope it’s a short road to get there! Plus, it’s somehow already August!! There’s only a month and a few days until it is really here and I will be teaching again!

I know I’ve been doing a lot of work so far to prepare for the upcoming school year, but I hope I’ve done enough to truly be ready. This is the very first school experience many of these little ones will have had and I want it to be a positive one. Only time will tell, however and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

Focusing on the Good Things

The phrase “When life hands you lemons…” is not always easy to accomplish. When backed into a situation you cannot change it can be difficult not to try and fight back; to defend oneself and one’s character. Sometimes it can backfire. Other times, it can get your point across and turn the situation around.

But sometimes, as difficult as it might be, you have to let go. Let go and move on. Things do not always end the way you expect them to, but focusing on the positive people in your life, the good you have accomplished over time spent and hours worked, can make those deflating moments drift away and not matter.

Of course, there are always lessons to be learned from these seemingly defeating situations. So you take those along with the good memories and move on.

Now is time for family involvement, projects long left to sit on shelves and quality time spent together. I am so happy to be living the life God graciously gave me. I am blessed by all the people in my life and am at peace with my journey so far.

Ariella’s First Day of Kindergarten

My baby: Day 1:





I thought I had all the time in the world. I knew today was coming, everything was ready. There was no crying or fussing at the end of the driveway this morning to catch the bus, a very nice surprise. And just like that, she was gone!




I am amazed that I only have one at home again. It is too quiet, but relaxing in ways I never imagined. I could not be more proud of her and am so blessed to be on this journey with her! Good Luck, Ariella!!

Madly In Love

I have fallen madly in love – again – with my Husband. I’m not sure when it happened exactly, and I’m definitely not saying that I had fallen out of love at any point, but I think somewhere in amidst the typical day to day “stuff” you do start to take for granted what you have been blessed with.

Maybe it has something to do with the two wonderful Weddings we have attended together over the past two months. Seeing each couple so much in love, hearing those Sacred vows spoken so passionately, witnessing two people bound together in mutual joy and harmony, all of these things I remember so clearly from our own Wedding Day. Maybe it was the food and drink we had, or the good friends we were able to spend time with. Perhaps the new job Derek has taken, which could possibly move us away from friends and family that has brought our partnership as Husband and Wife more clearly into focus for me. I know for sure it happened when I saw him holding our tiny, newborn girls in his arms and every time I see him playing with them, teaching them, loving them I swoon a bit to myself.

It really doesn’t matter. I have now realized, after 9 amazing years together, how deeply in love I am with this man. How permanent a place he has in my heart, and how without him I would be lost. How wrong I was to think on our Wedding day that I could never love him more that that. Each day he teaches me something new. He holds nothing back and always guides me to the right path. We have genuine fun together as a couple and as parents. I thank God for him every day.

Just thought you should know. 🙂

My 365 Project

I received a new camera for Christmas. While it is not fancy in any means like Derek’s is – no lenses, built in flash, fits in the palm of your hand – it is very nice and actually takes pretty good pictures. So I wanted to challenge myself to use it, learn about it and actually understand how to take better pictures with it. Therefore, my 365 project. I figure if I do actually use the camera every day to take at least a few pictures, I’m bound to learn something about the camera and how it works! And have a pretty nice photo diary of the year when I’m done!