Saturday, May 26, 2012


I know I promised to use this blog for Mama, wife, teacher life stuff, but today is a little different.  Whenever I was a girl, I would write.  I kept journals (that I doubt my parents even know about to this day) of happy times, but especially when I had a heavy heart.  This is one of those times.

Yesterday evening, sweet friends of ours lost their 17-year old daughter.  She and 3 other kids were headed out to do some fishing and had a car accident.

Kristen was beautiful.  But, more than that, she was a good girl.  Like the kind of girl you hope your little girl grows up to be when she's seventeen.

When I heard, I was immediately sick to my stomach.  My kids had worn me out yesterday and I'd just finished telling Bill this was going to be a long summer.  And, then, one of my friends loses her baby. Just like that.

Hanna wanted to know what the big deal was that her Daddy and I were whispering about.  I took her in the other room, sat her down and explained what happened.  Oh, my sweet girl! Her innocence and love of the Lord made my heart swell.  She said "Poor Kolby, Mom! He must be heartbroken!" (Kolby is Kristen's younger brother).  "She was so nice to me.  Remember, she told me to put bobby pins in my headband at basketball to keep it on?  I know it's sad, Mom, but we know where she is".  Here I am crying at the loss of this child, and my daughter had to remind me that she was with the Lord and OK.

So, hug yours a little tighter and make a memory today.  Life's too short.  

Kristen and her aunt Staci at this year's prom

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mama Gets Real (part 1)

This post is about "coming clean".  Those who see me, see someone who always seems to be smiling and puts on her "happy face" no matter what.  But, for those who KNOW me, I mean really KNOW me, they know that this gal is definitely not perfect.  Which leads me to my first photo:

Horrible quality, I know...but any guesses as to what this cavern's name may be? Oh, that's right.  That's the Preece family refrigerator.  Holding 3 inches of apple juice and a gigantic bottle of ketchup....and that's pretty much it.  Embarrassing?  Yes, quite.

Which led to this second embarrassment:

You can't see it, but there's also a 40 pound bag of dog food at the seat of the buggy.  
Yep, the dogs were starving, too.  I could hear people behind me cussing me under their breath......

So, these are the facts.  I'm completely and totally not the perfect mother.  Between end of the year stuff at school, ball games for both girls and just life in general, I hadn't bought proper groceries in .....3 weeks.  I would grab a gallon of milk on the way home from the gas station.  Chloe packed crackers and cold pizza in her lunch the other day.  Hanna took Pop Tart Minis to a party at school.  We carried ONE roll of toilet paper between our bathrooms for 2 days.  Yep, complete slacker mom. There, I said it.  

Now, the reason I've been so crazy busy.  Since Thursday, Hanna has had team pictures and played 4 games--2 double headers.  And, Chloe, the t-ball phenom, has had 2.  That's 6 games and 2 sets of pictures in 3 days.  Busted?  Yep, for sure.  But, who couldn't love this face? (No pics of Hanna because she's "too old and it messes with her concentration";)  I will brag and say she is KILLING the ball and doing a fantastic job this year.  Like most RBI's for her team, getting a hit most every time up to bat fantastic.

Chloe at 3rd base...her nickname from her coach is "Dirt Devil".....just guess.

Who wouldn't sit in the sun for hours on end and neglect everything for this face? 

Happy Sunday! :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

They like me! They really like me!

My sweet friend, Casey at (who also named this blog:), nominated me for the Liebster Award, for up and coming bloggers.  The only criteria is that you must have less than 200 followers (which I'd love to change soon!) 
Here's how it works: 
1. Choose 5 blogs to give awards.
2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3. Post the award on your blog.
List the blogs you gave the award to with the links to their sites. Leave them comments or send them e-mails to let them know they received the award.
5. Share five random facts about yourself.
The five blogs that I chose to show a little love to are:
2.  The Donnell fam at (yum-o recipes!)
3.  My sweet neighbors, Bill and Sue, at
I follow all of these blogs for different reasons, and I hope you will too!
Now, my 5 random facts:
1.  I love my job, but I secretly wish I was baker, chef, wedding planner and photographer.:)
2.  One of my favorite words is "busted".  My Grandpa started saying it 30 years ago and I claimed it as my own.  Now my college friends, work friends, etc. use it and reference me.  i.e. I have a million and one things to do and I'm completely busted. ;)
3.  I'm a speed reader.  I just read the entire Shades of Grey series (no judging!) in 4 days.  That's 3 500+ page books in 4 days.  And carried on with my normal life in the process. ;)
4.  I sing LOUD when I'm alone in the car, but NEVER in front of other people.
5.  I'm currently obsessed with Game of Thrones and can't miss watching on Sunday nights. 
Now, there are 5 absolutely random facts! That's a little tougher than what you'd expect it to be!
Alright, now check out these fantasticly random sites that I love!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Best Part of My Day...

Wowzer! I had GREAT intentions of posting everyday last week, but for some reason or another, it never seemed to pan out.  I've got to do better at this "keeping up a blog" business, huh?!  Anyhow, super duper busy busy last week.  We love that our kids are involved in sports, but it can be hectic to say the least.

We spent Friday evening at our county's Relay for Life celebration.  This was my fifth year participating in Relay and I must say it is one of the most memorable, fulfilling opportunities that I've ever experienced.  I first got involved to celebrate the memory of two very important women in my life:  my Aunt, Chloa Tooley, and cousin, Cindy Smith (Chloe is named after both of them:)  They both lost their battles too soon and working with Relay helped keep their memory's alive for me.  Then, two years ago, my grandfather, Roy Ramey, passed away from lung cancer.  So, I have 3 VERY important reasons that I Relay.    Both my school and Bill's school both had Relay teams, as well as our sweet little church.  It was an absolutely wonderful evening spent laughing, crying and celebrating the lives of those influential people in my life.:)

Chloe with our sweet neighbor/friend, Kinley

Chlo getting her face painted by my friend, Rebecca

Not the best quality pic, but my Mama, Hanna, Chlo and my niece, Mom was a caregiver to my grandfather, aunt and cousin during their battles.  She's amazing:)

I enjoyed a super Mother's Day weekend as well.  My husband got me a sweet/funny card with an IOU for a Kindle Fire;)  He's pretty cute, to say the least.  We spent Sunday morning at WUMC with my sweet mother in law, Cassa.  The message was about strong women from the Bible, particularly Pharaoh's daughter who saved Moses.  It was a GREAT message.  We had a big family lunch with the Preece's after church.  Then, we went to Texas Roadhouse with my family for dinner.  It was very sweet and relaxing and I couldn't have enjoyed it more.  I told Bill that I don't need Mother's Day to feel special; I have Mother's Day every day.

Today was a rainy, dreary Monday.  That may sound pretty crummy to most, but it was just what this family needed.  Games were cancelled, so I actually cooked a real dinner and we sat together.  I'm kinda cheesy with the family dinner thing, but I can't think of anything more important we can do as a family than eat and discuss the highlights of our day.  We have this "what's the best thing about your day?" conversation each dinner time, and the answers are never the same, which I love.  The best part of Chlo's day?

Losing tooth #2:)

The best part of my day?  Cards that my kiddos made me for Teacher Appreciation Week.  One hysterical, the other super duper sweet.  

First, the funny one....

Have fun, eh? I couldn't help but bust laughing!:)

Now, the sweetest thing any student could say....

"I feel like you are my mom"

Yep, shed a few tears on that one....:)

Hanna's favorite part?  I made her favorite dinner:

Chili rubbed pork tenderloin, black bean and avocado salad and Mexican rice

I don't know that my sweet husband got to share his favorite part.  Chloe chose that time for her impromptu (yet daily) sing and dance session.  Tonight's selection was "Teach Me How To Dougie"....Yes, I child is weird.  ;)

Now I'll leave you with one of the sweetest sights baby girl is reading! Super pumped! :)

Hopefully we'll meet again much sooner than later! :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sweet Time with my Sweet Girl

This week has been a whirlwind of the good way.  I took a "Mama Day" on Monday and spent the day with Chloe and her KG classmates...all 100 of them:)  We had a killer day at the park, riding the zip line, playing princess with our buddies and feasting on a Mickey D's picnic.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous--a perfect day:)

Heading to school that morning, sporting her superstar shades 
(which only cost 4 million tickets at Billy Bob's)

Chlo and some of her sweet buddies:)

Mr. Preece (aka Daddy) got to sneak out for an hour and hang out with the kiddos.  
He is really a rock star to those kids.  Makes me grin just thinking about it....

Tuesday was a rainy Election Day here in West Virginia, which meant ANOTHER day off!:)  I felt like I'd taken a mini-vacation.  I spent most of the morning reading and just chilling.  It was all kinds of amazing! That NEVER happens! We took the girls to dinner and to see The Avengers later that afternoon.  Um, Robert Downey, Jr..  Yes, please:) 

I know he's a little cuckoo, but I like witty, weird guys:)

It was back to work on Wednesday where I started a HUGE unit on my all time favorite book, Charlotte's Web.  It used to be a huge unit when I taught 4th grade, and I worried that I wouldn't be able to serve it justice in 2nd.  Boy, was I wrong.  I bought Abby Mullins' unit on Teachers Pay Teachers (which is phenomenal! Thanks, Abby!) and then added my own spin on things.  My kiddos are obsessed! We're keeping reading response journals on every chapter, which really gives them a better understanding of what is happening and why.  I'm so tickled that they're loving it as much as I do!  I'm planning on tons of pics tomorrow, so be prepared when Charlotte's Web throws up all over this page. :) 

We have a break in ball game action for the evening, so I'm going to spend it cleaning.  Yes, my kitchen is a wreck, I have super stinky clothes in my washer as we speak and my beautiful peony arrangement has bit the dust all over my buffet.  And I'm updating my blog.  Priorities, baby....:)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Appreciate Yourselves, Teachers! :)

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and there are a million and one giveaways to celebrate us that are usually not so celebrated.  So, I'm kinda in love with these products from a sweet little company called Erin Condren.  If you know me, you know my crazy love for personalized anything AND my love of notebooks, planners, etc.  Well, one of my fellow teacher bloggers, Miss Nelson, at is hosting a super easy giveaway!  You can win a $25 gift certificate to Erin Condren!  This can be applied to next year's desk calendar! (See, me, always thinking ahead!)  So, appreciate yourself and enter this super easy giveaway! And, if I talked you into this and you win, don't forget your friend, Amanda, and the deskpad that she NEEDS for the next school year!:)

Ten kind of exhausted from Chlo's KG picnic today! Pics to come (if I can hold my head up later this evening:)


I typically have one favorite day of the week that stands out from the's never the same day, although weekend days typically win out more often. :)  This week, Sunday takes the cake.....

I started the morning off by doing something I don't do quite often---a huge, greasy, country breakfast.  I picked up a package of pork chops last week for a grilled dinner, but it never happened.  So, for the love of my oldest daughter who adores this breakfast, I decided to whip them up.  I also need to mention that I made the BEST biscuits that I've ever made in the last 12 years.  It's been the one thing I've never seemed to be able to master in the kitchen, so I was pretty tickled with the outcome.

My all of its greasy, flour-filled glory
(ignore the alien face in the background--Chlo is OBSESSED at the moment:)

After that gut-wrenching plate of wonderfulness, we jumped in the shower and headed to church.  This week, we attended Wayne United Methodist, which is Bill's home church.  He hadn't had the opportunity to hear their new pastor, Jake, preach.  Let me just say that the morning was truly blessed.  Jake sang Casting Crown's "The Well" and did an amazing job with it.  It was also Communion Sunday.  His message focused on the different paths God leads you to, and how, at the time, they may seem wrong, but they always have a purpose.  It's funny--I somehow ALWAYS hear exactly what I needed. 

A quick pic of the girls and me after church:)  

We spent the afternoon BUSY! Bill mowed and ran the weed eater for 6 hours, no joke.  We've just got a little bit of yard to take care of;) The girls and I spent that time cleaning Chloe's closet, folding 5 zillion loads of laundry and running to the grocery store.  I've been on a serious healthy eating kick since January, but that was all blown away today.  Hanna has BEGGED for grilled burgers for months now, so I obliged.  Pasta salad, homemade onion rings, the works.  And then I felt like I was dying.  This week, back on the wagon! 

My sister stopped by with a little gift from my mom.  They spent the weekend in Columbus for my niece Sabrina's volleyball tournaments.  Which meant plenty of shopping.  Somehow, I think Mom knew my diet was not holding up and I needed some inspiration.  

Can I just say I'm in love with these shoes?  Like I'm excited to go running this afternoon in love with them:)

I ended the evening downloading 14 million freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Teacher Appreciation Day was this weekend, so they had a huge sale, along with a ton of freebies along the way.  I'm surprised that my friends and I didn't crash their site!  I create A LOT of my own stuff, but everyone needs a little help along the way.  I can't WAIT to use all of my new finds in my classroom next year! 

Happy Monday to all! I'm actually taking a "Mama Day" and going on Chloe's KG picnic! YIPPEE! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012


It's true.  I'm officially a "blogger".  This endeavor has been months in the making, but you'd probably never guess that by the looks of this pitiful page...Looks like finding someone to design my blog is next on the list. I've actually put this off, waiting for the "perfect" name.  My former student, sweet friend and super babysitter, Miss Casey, helped me with this one, and I couldn't be more thrilled!   Let's get the formalities out of the way, shall we?  I'm Amanda Preece, an EARLY thirty-something Mama, wife, teacher, daughter, sister, friend from small town West Virginia.  I've lived in the same city my entire life, which I don't find tragic at all. :) I couldn't imagine my life anywhere else.  I adore my family....they are, to sound cliche, number one.  I've been married to my sweet hubby, Bill, for 12 years and we have two gorgeous daughters.  Hanna is 11, knows everything about everything (because she is in middle school, you know) but has the sweetest side.  Chloe is 5, sharp as a tack and wild as a buck! Our kids ALWAYS have something going on, so to say we're busy is the understatement of the year.  

My sweet girls, the morning of our Christmas play at church.  
(I love that they actually like one another in this pic:)

My second most important job in the world is teaching.  My kiddos at school run a very close second to my girls at home.  The Lord really blessed me and knew what he was doing when he put this passion in my heart.  I currently teach 2nd grade at a small, rural school.  I've been there for 6 years, with this being my second year in 2nd grade (I taught 4th before that, and, don't laugh, PE).  We truly are a little family there.  There are only 100 kids in the school and us teachers love one another like sisters.  My husband was actually our principal until this fall, when he took a promotion to the largest elementary school in the county.  While it has been a bittersweet experience to say the least, we have all gotten the nerve to "move on", so to speak.  I'll be at that same, big ol' school this fall, along with three of my absolute dearest friends.  And I'll be teaching first grade.  Wow.  I can't believe I just typed that.  Major changes are coming my way, but I really couldn't be happier.  God never puts more on our plate than we can handle, and He and I both know that I'm ready for this endeavor! 

Bill, Chloe and Hanna after UK girls v. Florida.  Notice my family has eye-contact phobia....

I'll be using this blog to link up with other tired, but inspired, teacher Mamas out there to share ideas and be one another's cheerleaders.  We are a special group, the overworked, underpaid teacher Mama set.  I believe that if we can give one another a little love now and then, our worlds will be a much happier, easier place to live. :) 

OK, I survived my first on to this sad design.......