Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday-Beautiful Ride

Life ain't always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

I really enjoy taking the time each week to sit down and truly acknowledge what I am thankful for. It's amazing how easy it is for us to complain about the difficult things in life and completely forget to thank God for the blessings he has bestowed upon us. Today was especially difficult. We are entering a very stressful season in schools-testing season. In a few short weeks, our children will be tested on the knowledge they have gained over the course of the year. As a preparation, and way of measuring our teaching, the students complete assessments at the end of each quarter. We are in the midst of that right now. I was fortunate enough to have my subject tested first and already know my students' results. I've noticed that I go through a cycle of emotions each quarter. It goes like this:

excited to be done!
pleased with growth
recognition of the weaknesses
stress as I compare to other scores/classes
freak-out as to how to fix what I originally thought was great
game plan of how to get more growth
enact game plan

The order may change/repeat itself (depression seems to jump in between almost every step), but you get the general idea. I experienced the freak-out this afternoon, and am currently working towards creating the game plan. This is why today was especially difficult. I felt like I was at my rope's end. It was after a long walk and talk with God that I realized what I needed to do-whatever my students need me to do. It doesn't matter how stressed I get or how much rides on this, what matters is whatever my students need for me to do to help them! 

Here is this week's thankful thoughts:

*my Community Group*
*the weekend and my sisters' impending visit!*
*the feeling that comes from finishing a good book*
*cookies with M&M's inside*
*leftovers that get better after a day or two in the fridge*

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You Know You're a Teacher When. . .

I saw some of these and couldn't resist sharing with all my teacher friends!
  1. You want to slap the next person who says, "Must be nice to work from 8:00 to 3:20 and have summers free."
  2. You also want to scream whenever someone says, "Teaching? That's just about learning how to write on a whiteboard right?"
  3. You can tell if it's a full moon without ever looking outside.
  4. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
  5. You have perfected "the look" which turns any child to stone.
  6. You realize some names you will never name your own children, due to experiences with children who have that name!
  7. You can sense misbehavior without actually seeing it.
  8. You say things once, then repeat them, then ask if everyone understands what you are saying, before repeating again.
  9. You know that secretaries and custodians run the school.
  10. When you meet someone else who is a teacher, you have an immediate bond.
  11. You know you teach students, not subjects!
  12. Everything I just listed makes perfect sense, and you wouldn't have it any other way!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just Got Started Lovin' You

I'm thankful for the weekend
But two days in heaven just ain't gonna do
Those lyrics have never felt more true than today. I was blessed enough to have my wonderful hubby in town this weekend, and I had no interest in letting him return to Alabama! The outage is finally over, but he still has loose ends to tie up and work to do until the end of April. The scheduled return in Easter weekend, and we're praying it stays there! I have no idea how military wives do this on a regular basis, for even longer periods of time. After four weeks of no visits, you better believe we're going to do everything in power not to be separated again! 

Our weekend together was positively wonderful. With no serious plans, we made sure to enjoy every moment together that we could. Friday afternoon found us poking around Concord with the pup. A few pictures from our adventure.

 It's rough being the princess
 Both of them were pretty annoyed at the yappy dog!
How high can Daddy throw the monkey?!

Due to the exhausting nature of exploring, we felt it necessary to be bums the rest of the afternoon. Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute were out entertainment while we dozed.

That evening we rented "The Fighter" staring Markie Mark and Christian Bale. Two thumbs way up!! I highly suggest you put this on your Netflix queue or reserve it at Redbox. They did a phenomenal job portraying brothers in a fame driven family. (I'm still trying to figure out how I can claim them as family. How popular is the name Ward anyway?!)

Saturday morning found us going in separate directions. I headed to Winston to walk to Get Your Rear in Gear 5K with my mom in honor of my Grandad who died of colon cancer. David was able to help out at his brother, John's Eagle Scout project. We debated for a bit, but decided that Daisy would probably have more fun playing with her cousin, Hank, than she would walking with me. She didn't think so when she was out in a backyard "jail".
Look closely at her paws. They are filthy from her attempt at escaping.

Saturday afternoon included more napping (can you tell we were a little tired?!?) and bumming around the house. We decided that we should probably stop being 80 years old so we went out to a local place to watch the Florida game. Great food, great time with family and friends, not such a great game.
 So glad we got to visit with these two!
Trying to figure out the boxing game. Too many engineers in one place if you ask me!

We started Sunday by worshiping with our Hope Church Charlotte family before braving Super Double Coupon Week at the Harris Teeter. And I truly mean it when I say, braving. People get crazy about their coups! Sunday afternoon was filled with episodes of Modern Family and more basketball!

Needless to say, we enjoyed every moment of our relaxing weekend together. Saying goodbye was rough, but now the end is in sight!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday-All You Need Is Love

Some things I'm thankful for this Thursday. . .

*Spring and the warm weather it brings!*
*middle schoolers*
*Neighbors who rescue Daisy when she decides to be an escape artist and run away*
*fresh flowers*
*oreo pudding pie*

What are you thankful for right now?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chick Flick List

Every girl loves a good chick flick. Duh. I've seen my fair share, but here is a look at a few (in no particular order) of my favorites!

*Sweet Home Alabama*
(I'd come back to Alabama too if Josh Lucas's blue eyes were waiting for me)
*Life As We Know It*
(A newbie, but it is absolutely precious!)
*You've Got Mail*
(Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are THE perfect chick flick couple)
*Steel Magnolias*
(Any good Southern girl knows just about every word to this one)
*Runaway Bride*
(Who doesn't love the moment Julia Roberts meets him in the field?!)
*August Rush*
(Not really a chick flick, but a favorite anyway!)
*Sleepless in Seattle*
(See "You've Got Mail")
*27 Dresses*
(The scene in the bar is a classic!)
*Walk the Line*
(One of the greatest love stories of all time coupled with an incredible soundtrack)

I'm sure I'm missing a whole bunch more, but what is your favorite chick flick?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party!

The Barbie party was fabulous! I don't know why I expected anything less from a party with such a marvelous theme. The women went all out with their outfits. The dress code was to wear an old bridesmaid's dress that went along with a Barbie. I ended up going as Wedding Barbie, and Mama went as Midge, Barbie's friend. Some of the other women went Diva Barbie, Chocolate Obsession Barbie, Velvet Barbie, and the goes on. They certainly did not disappoint!

We also went on a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood! If anyone was driving around the Huntersville neighborhood of MacAulay last night and saw a bunch of crazily-dressed women. . . guilty as charged! Picture a group of women in 80's bridesmaid's dresses running around at an outrageous pace, or as outrageous as 4 inch heels will take ya! A few of the things on the list: the team in a pyramid, walking someone else's dog, a satellite dish, a catalog pose, hugging a stranger, saluting a flag, a team member doing something unusual, playing on a swing set, etc. Only one group did all 40 items in the time allotted, but it sure was a blast trying!
 Me with my "wedding cake" 
(that is Mama's actual cake topper from her wedding!)
 The shoes I wore at my reception that came in great handy traipsing around the neighborhood! 
(thanks, Grandbobbie!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's a Great Day to be Alive!

Today is shaping up to be a pretty stellar day, and it has only just begun! I woke up at the ridiculously early time of 6am, but scooted my booty over to the gym anyway. My banana must have had kryptonite in it or something because as soon as I hopped on the treadmill, I took off! Either that or my new running shoes are actually worth their salt.
After about 30 minutes on the treadmill, I came home to attack all the dirt that accumulated in our home through the winter. Even though our place is small, we somehow manage to create a shockingly large mess. Though I have noticed that with a certain princess's absence the mess has decreased at an alarming rate, hmmmm. Anywho, the place looks great! I'm hoping that two hours of hard work will buy me at least a week of laziness, though I predict someone who not allow that to happen. . .

The rest of the day looks to be just as wonderful! Later today I am meeting a few fabulous women for lunch. When I say fabulous, I mean out of this world extraordinary! Mama is coming into town to meet my incredible mother-in-law, and David's amazing Aunt Lisa for lunch. And no, I am not exaggerating with all the stunning adjectives:-)

This evening should be just as exciting as Mama and I head to a Barbie themed party. I'm a little scared of what she has gotten me into. She called earlier this week all excited about the party and who I should be. I was hoping to wear the same dress I wore a few years ago when I went as Barbie for Halloween, but noooooooooooo that just won't do. She mentioned old prom dresses or something, I couldn't hear because I had dropped the phone to put my face in both hands. Please say a prayer for me and the situation I seem to have gotten myself into. . . More to come!

Anything in the schedule for this superb day?!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday-St. Patty's Day Edition!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all the "Irish" out there! Whoever invented this holiday knew exactly what they were doing. A full day devoted to wearing green and enjoying delicious drinks? Yes, please!! Sadly, I wasn't able to celebrate today as I have in the past, but the day itself was still fun. Though I could have done without multiple children shouting about being pinched. My response? "Well, why didn't you wear green?" I'm sure the snarl I received in response was one of love. Here is what this Thursday has me thankful for:

*co-workers (mine are the absolute best, especially when they provide much-needed coffee!!)*
*in-laws who take care of a hyper pup!*
*allergy medicine*
*silly jokes (what has four legs and flies? a picnic table! te he he)*
*country music*

What are you thankful for on this St. Patrick's Day?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday [03.16]

Daisy May Mobley

As I'm sure you can figure out, Daisy is a bit spoiled. To put it bluntly, the dog is spoiled rotten to the nth degree. I mentioned to David last week that she is going to go through severe withdrawals when we have children because she will no longer be the star of the show and the model for all my pictures. Despite the extreme levels of pampering she is a very well-behaved dog. Yes, we have the ripped shoe every so often, and yes we have the stolen socks on a daily basis, but she is a very sweet dog for the most part! I will admit that I could do without the incessant whining and discovery of random items in the woods. It can't all be perfect, right?

After perusing the internet today, I stumbled upon an article about dogs. The tag line was "What You Do to Annoy Your Dog", and of course I had to figure out how I was torturing my princess pup. Apparently dogs have tired of teenagers blaming their parents for everything and wanted in on the action. I literally could not stop giggling from the moment I started reading, and by the end I was howling (pun intended!). After reading all the ways I was ruining Daisy's precious puppy life I promptly banished her to the porch for her "I'm dying a very slow death so give me attention now" whine. If the author were here I'm sure I would have been chastised for not listening to her bark and excluding her from the family. She'll survive, I'll throw a little extra peanut butter on her evening treat.

How can you say no to a face like that?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


As many of you know we are in the season of Lent. Every year for as long as I can remember I have given something up. Typically, I pick something that I know I will miss during the 40 days. I always give my reasoning as, Jesus sacrificed His life for us so I will sacrifice something that is important to me. I was under the impression that my worldly sacrifice was equal to the sacrifice He made for us. How much farther could I get from the truth? It wasn't until I attended an Ash Wednesday service at Vintage21 Church in Raleigh, NC that my eyes were really opened to the truth. We should not deprive ourselves of things to make up for anything, instead we should use this season to focus on His sacrifice and His gracious love. This year, over the next 40 days, I am going to silence the world around me and let things be quiet.

I spend a lot of time on my computer or interacting with some form of technology. I am so often caught up in this wonderful tool that I forget just that, that it is a tool. I've always used the thirty minute drive to work as a "quiet time" with God. I turn off all sources of distraction and talk to Him. I am now continuing this, but also taking it to the next level. Whenever I am in my car I am going to turn off the radio and just listen. Instead of doing all the talking, I will be shutting everything else up and letting Him talk to me.

The purpose of the season of Lent is not to become cranky because you're denying yourself caffeine or chocolate. How does that bring you closer to Him? Jesus suffered a trial greater than anything we could ever imagine and we are blessed enough to not have to. What are you doing to draw closer to Him?

Updates to come over the next few weeks!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday folks! How was everyone's weekend? Mine was positively wonderful! I'd like to begin by praising God for this beautiful weather! I think the shining sun combined with it being warm enough to give this pasty skin some air, put me in an awesome place. Weekend Recap:

For starters, I had an awesome day at school. The recent months have been stressful to say the least, so to have a relatively uneventful school day was awesome. One of my favorite parts was talking with some of my kids about the tsunami and ways they could give back. Their hearts are truly golden:-) Friday afternoon I poked around my old stomping grounds, Northlake Mall, for a bit before meeting Kelley Belly for supper! I have known Kelley since we were wee children putting gravel in my mom's pocket as our parents discussed the houses they were building across the street from each other. It's been love ever since. She's an amazing woman who I am lucky to have been touched by! After supper I got to drive back through the old 'hood. While there I may or may not have stopped in front of our old house and reminisced on the 17 years we lived there.
Taking care of me on my wedding day.

Right before the ceremony!
Right after the incredible toast she gave!
(PS-I only have recent pictures because all the old ones are prints!)
What could have been a miserable situation was actually quite stellar! I taught Saturday School with a few other fabulous women on Saturday morning. I was so worried all the kids would be in terrible moods and take it out on us, but they were great! They were even kind enough to laugh at my lame jokes and work on the metaphor poems I assigned. Then, I had the true pleasure of eating lunch with a fantastic woman from church. It was nice to have a girl's lunch with such a strong Christian! Excited about all the possibilities to come!

Despite the rough wake-up (daylight savings is always rough), it turned into a great morning. I was able to worship and celebrate with my Hope Church Charlotte family before spending the afternoon enjoying the remarkable weather. Daisy and I ran around and played outside before settling into an afternoon on the porch. Me with school stuff and a sweet tea, her with one of the four thousand twigs she has brought up from the forest. It was also really nice to talk to David whenever I wanted and not worry about work schedules (only two more weeks of the outage!). 
 Resting for a moment after zipping around the field
To sum it up, it was awesome.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

We Solved the Mystery!

We solved the mystery!! You may wonder what mystery I am talking about, but I referring to the bread mystery (please refer back to The Wooded Unknown for the history behind this story). Hokay so, Monday evening I was out back tossing the now decapitated monkey to the princess. All of the sudden I hear a screen door open. Next thing I know, it's raining bread!

This kind of loony, but very nice, older lady who lives near us was throwing bread over her balcony. As she's tossing this I'm standing and staring up in complete disbelief. Then, Daisy looks at me and darts all around trying to catch it! As the woman was throwing it she was shouting, "No, Daisy. It's for the birds! It's for the birds!" and I could just read Daisy's mind, "Yea whatever you say crazy lady, I'm here and the birds aren't! This is all mine!!!!"

I spent the next 15 or so minutes chasing after her as she bounced from flying piece to flying piece. All the while slipping and sliding on the grass thanks to the recent storm. Things are certainly never dull in the casa de Mobley!

Friday, March 11, 2011

(Belated) Thankful Thursday

I wrote this yesterday, but then forgot to post it-whoops!

I've been under what seems like a great deal of stress lately. Many different factors contribute, but the end result is an overwhelming feeling of defeat. I even asked David, "am I a Debbie Downer?" to which he kindly defined Debbie Downer and then told me I wasn't one (yay wonderful husband!). Then he did bring it to my attention that I have been dwelling on a lot of negative issues recently. Instead of seeking the positive in a situation, which my personality lends me to do, I nit pick at the issue. I realized that by allowing these things to overwhelm me, I'm essentially saying I don't need God. I'm saying that I don't believe God can conquer my struggles. I could list excuse after excuse, but the truth is still there.

Following this light bulb moment I took some time to look at the stressors in my life and seek the good. I was reminded by the good Lord, yet again, how truly blessed I am. Here are some things I am thankful for right now:

*solid, Christ-centered conversations*
*my co-workers*
*our crazy/funny families*
*my blog peeps and their support:-)*

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Anyone who knows me knows I love to bake. When I say love, I mean I've been known to bake up a whole batch of cookies, then give them all away just because I wanted to make them. Recently I haven't had anyone to bake for other than me, myself, and I. Not to mention with bathing suit season right around the corner, I've been trying to cut back on the sweets (ask David how well that is going over). Last night I bit the bullet and decided to bake for all my school peeps. I had a particular hankering for strawberry bread that I just could not resist. Once you try it you'll understand why I just had to have it.

Strawberry Bread
3 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1-2 packages frozen strawberries (personal preference of strawberriness!)
1 1/4 cup pecans (optional)

Puree the frozen strawberries in a food processor or blender.
Mix it all up and back in a bundt pan for an hour at 350.

PS-I'm sure there is some magical way to make this healthier, but I'm not that ambitious right now.
PPS-I may or may not sometimes make this so I can just lick the bowl :-)
PPS-Tastes delectable warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rocking the Shamrock 5K

This morning all the fabulous ladies of the Ward family woke up bright and early for the Shamrock 5K in Mocksville, NC. We decided to do the "competitive walk" instead of the run, but I hope to run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in May. Anyone interested in joining us?! Here are a few pictures from the day:
 Ready for the big race!
 All the ladies
Daisy was the star of the show as the only pooch to complete the race!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I'm stealing this idea from a friend's blog. On Wednesdays, I am going to post a picture, and only a picture. Hence the title "Wordless Wednesday"! Far too often we say much more than we ever needed to. Isn't the phrase, "a picture is worth a thousand words"? Well, I am going to let this picture say today's words.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How Wonderful

Every day I try to post a quote on my board. Some days, if there is time, we have a long discussion about it. Other days, I get a volunteer to read it and we discuss what it means to them as students. Here was today's quote:

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
-Anne Frank

My question for you is, what's stopping you from starting to improve the world? When I asked the same thing of my students they gave me excuses, and their classmates disproved them. After talking it out they all decided that every little bit counted. From donating a canned good to volunteering at a shelter, every little bit helps. So I ask again, what's stopping you from starting to improve the world?