Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Picking up from where I left off last week, I was able to visit North Dover Elementary School in Dover for their Super Science Day! Being a Biology major and science nerd, I was really excited to have fun with the kids for an event like Super Science Day. My duties for the day revolved mainly around my Dental Presentations, something I absolutely love doing. I was presenting to the kindergarteners and the 2nd grade! The classes were great audiences and the kids seemed to have a good time.

The following day, I embarked on countless stops around Kent County with Bob. We were looking for Door Prize donations and Hole Sponsors for our Miss Delaware Golf Tournament, and were very successful! If you're a golfer, or know one, we are having a Miss Delaware Golf Tournament on May 20 at Jonathans Landing in Magnolia. All proceeds benefit our scholarship fund!!! I might even be playing (oh boy..). Sadly, I worked at a golf course for years and still don't know how to golf! I'm working on it though..

This past weekend brought a whole slew of pageant outings! I was at the Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen (AKA my little sister :D ) rehearsal in the afternoon, and then shot up to Philadelphia with George to attend the Miss Philadelphia pageant! Their director, Kevin, was one of my judges at Miss Delaware so I must say, I'm a fan!! Congratulations to Ryan, the new Miss Philadelphia! She and the other 15 contestants did a great job and offered a high level of entertainment with their talent presentations!! I was also able to reunite with Kendria, Miss Pennsylvania, and Julia Rae, Miss Pennsylvania's Outstanding Teen! Both are beautiful ladies and I always enjoy bumping into them!! We got to sit next to eachother down in the front row and updated eachother on our travels. Kendria had just been vacationing in Florida!..SO jealous!!!

I also got to meet John Bolaris!! He is a four-time Emmy Award Winner for his work as a Meteorologist and show host! He was very friendly, and was kind enough to take a picture with me. Along with John is the owner of Bec-Fin, the epitome of "fine dining." The restaurant is located in Philadelphia and holds long-standing awards from Mobil Five Star and AAA’s Five Diamond. Georges Perrier was very nice and invited me to come dine at his well-known Bec-Fin. Hopefully I'll be able to head up there sometime soon!!!

Sunday morning came way to soon!..seeing as I got home very late the night before from the Miss Philadelphia pageant. Regardless, I was up early, loaded up my car with gowns and cocktail dress, curling irons, hairspray, various lipsticks, jewelry to match each dress, my crown and sash, and many other "necessities" for the evening, stopped for the usual Some Guy's whole-wheat-double-toasted-with-a-little-bit-of-butter-bagel, and was on my way down to Georgetown for the Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen 2009 pageant!..the crowning of my new little sister!

The morning was much less stressful for me than for the 19 contestants, as they had interviews very early, and anticipation of the pageant all day! I was so excited for them! and to perform with MY teen, Mandie Debus. I performed the "Feather Theme" from Forest Gump as she danced effortlessly across the stage. I can't wait to see the dvd of the performance! However, I must admit that my desire to never watch the dvd of the rest of the night may prevent me from ever seeing our joint performance. I will explain. Aimee and I were co-emcees for the evening and in our dressing room beforehand, we talked about how we always plan our filler when we have to emcee. We both stated that we always prepare more filler than we could ever need and then we proceeded to coordinate our filler so we would have seamless transitions if time needed to be (bought?) purchased? hah. The whole pageant went very smoothly with filler being needed only when the piano had to be moved on and off the stage. Later in the evening, I came back-stage early after a dress-change and heard Aimee talking about something semi-random, will you. I asked Kyle if she was buying time and he said "Yes, I think the computer crashed." I decided to help a Miss Delaware Sister out and go buy time with her..trying to keep the attention of the audience as they anxiously awaited the results of the entire competition, all the while the contestants smiling (probably painfully at this point) endlessly on stage. Aimee and I were blowing through our planned filler topics pretty quickly, and then noticed that the contestants were now exiting the stage (not supposed to happen since we were supposed to be announcing the Top 5). Time was passing ever so slowing as the audiences eyes stared into ours, the spot light shining down like a heated beam illuminating only the two of us, and the auditors scrambling down below the stage as they tried to resolve whatever problem/glitch had occured. Well as you know, the pageant community is very tight-knit and so talking about myself or my platform is almost like playing a broken record..they've already heard it!! I just kept thinking..calm, cool, and collective..just chat with Aimee..but we continued to run out of things to talk about. Mandie joined us, but again, we had already used our fillers, talked about Miss Delaware, Miss America, Countdown to the Crown, couldn't think of any jokes, advertised for our upcoming events, recognized the titleholders in the audience, announced the 50/50 winner, announced the Silent Auction Winners..and still..STILL, no Top 5!
Finally, at some point, I saw someone walking toward the stage with what appeared to be an envelope, so we talked for a couple more mintues while the contestants came back out onto the stage and..ON WITH THE SHOW! Whew!! Do you see why I may never watch that dvd?..my most dreadful and embarassing emceeing job. At least I wasn't alone, I suppose.
The end result?..Danielle Marshall is my new Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!

So after a very long weekend, and nightmare of an emceeing situation, I got to sleep in on Monday!..ha ha ha NOT!!! hehe I was down in Georgetown by 9am to travel all around Sussex County with Melanie collecting more Hole Sponsors for our Golf Tournament. We were very successful, but Sussex County is much more spread out than the other two counties in Delaware, so it took longer to reach less businesses. It was so much fun getting to know her though!..oh the stories!!

Today? Very similar to yesterday. I was with Bob traveling all over Kent County again getting my sponsors for the Golf Tournament. As usual, we started getting pretty tired after lunch but continued until we had reached all 35-40 businesses that we had planned on approaching today!

I'm just getting ready for a busy day tomorrow. Piano performances and Children's Miracle Network Telecasts..should be fun!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"..and we can't slow down, 'cause more is best, it's all an endless process.." Rascal Flatts

Since the last time I posted, I've seen everything from local pageants to St. Patrick's day and much in between. From the busy weeks, which I love by the way (I function better when I'm busy and almost overwhelmed), I started wondering when everything started being such a race, competition, and a sacrifice of much-needed rest. There is a song that perfectly describes this.."Mayberry" by Rascal Flatts:

"Sometimes it feels like this world is spinning faster
Than it did in the old days
So naturally, we have more natural disasters
From the strain of a fast pace
Sunday was a day of rest
Now, it’s one more day for progress
And we can’t slow down ‘cause more is best
It’s all an endless process."

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about striving to be the best and reaching for full potential, but I just wonder at what point we started thinking that slowing down will only put us behind. I guess this goes to explain that when you drive a lot by yourself, you get to thinkin'.

Once the snow melted a few weeks ago, I was back on the road, back into schools, and back to being Miss Delaware, however I must say that I enjoyed the few days off. My brother may not agree because 1) I was stuck in the house with him and I get cabin fever pretty easily so the poor guy had to deal with me and 2) I was the reason that the four-wheeler got stuck in the snow and had to be pushed out because it stalled w/ a low battery (hehe). What would I do without my litte (bigger) brother!?

Friday (Mar. 6) welcomed me with classrooms of young children at The Little School in Dover. I made a few more dental presentations to the classes that had missed Dr. Sean and I the first time. The morning went well, but the attention span of 3 year olds is much shorter than I could have anticipated. You live and learn....and..skip lots of pages in the dental cartoon book!!
That evening I was in Georgetown and was the opening performer for Chelsea Betts' Alzheimers Awareness recital. I unpacked the piano, set it up, performed, thanked the audience, packed up the piano, and booked it back up to Milford for the local pageant! I thought I would be late, but somehow, some way, I was early, and was able to emcee the whole night! The local pageant went very well; great talent, great gals, and a beautiful new 2009 titleholder! Congrats Stephanie Bailey!!!!
I wasn't sorry to see my bed that night!

Saturday brought another great day of hanging out with local contestants backstage! We always have so much fun back there finding wigs and making jokes. I only had to perform, so I relaxed and enjoyed the pageant once it started. I spoke with the judges prior to the contestant interviews and had met a few of them before! They were a great panel!! The new titleholders that night were Lorin Walls and Kristina Maynard. Congratulations girls!! We couldn't end the weekend of local pageants without going out to eat! so we all met at AppleBees and enjoyed a delicious dinner. Kristina's mom even treated us all to mini desserts! (woohoo!) I love dessert!

I joined many supports of Locks of Love on Sunday at a large event that even held a fashion show. Many local boutiques including Lady's Image sponsored the outfits, gowns, and tuxedos for the models in the fashion show. They did a great job! and some of the volunteers even had their hair cut off in bob styles right on the runway!..donating their hair to Locks of Love.

Since Dr. Seuss' birthday was snowed out, my appearance at W.B. Simpson Elementary School was rescheduled for Monday. I spoke to the students about why reading was so important and how it has helped me. Then we went over some goals that the students have, and why reading would be essential in reaching those goals. To conclude my appearance, I performed on the piano for the kids, and then handed out signed photopads as the students exited. Many awards were given out for reading accomplishments and we were even treated to performances by the unicycling team at the school!! Now THAT'S talent!!!

As soon as I left the school, I booked it up to Philadelphia to meet a few local titleholders at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. We had a tour of the whole facility, something I had never taken part in even though I've visited the hospital numerous times! The hospital is fantastic, ever-growing, and ever-improving to provide children all over the world with the best possible care. Then we visited with a few patients, and helped out with their Spa Day! The girls loved it!!

I was picked up by Bob Kuhling (my EDs husband) the next day to visit golf courses all over New Castle County (there are tons!). We had many donate foursomes for our Miss Delaware Golf Tournament that will be held on May 20! Lucky for me, Bob drove because I snoozed the WHOLE way home in the passenger seat!..not much of a navigator! Fortunately, once you get to Route 1 in Delaware, you can always find your way home.

I was back on my school territory on Friday to visit the Easter Seals Volleyball Tournament. Easter Seals is and excellent organization that provides care and independence to those with disablities.

Saturday brought yet another baby shower, as promised! We celebrated Tish's baby shower with excellent food, friends, family (well, her family), gifts, and games! It's always nice to see the ladies from the dental office is clothing other than scrubs hehe.

I performed my Miss America piano piece, "El Cumbanchero" in church on Sunday. It was definitely not the type of Prelude they were accustomed too, but I'm pretty sure that they enjoyed it. If nothing else, it spiced up the service with it's spanish inspiration and powerful tune!!

It was time for our Miss Delaware fundraiser on Monday! It was held at the Georgia House in Milford and I'd say it was a success. I, along with other local titleholders, volunteered to "waitress" for the evening while supporters dined in the restaurant. I also performed at various times throughout the night. My mom is originally from Milford so she was able to visit with friends that she grew up with. My Aunt Brooke and cousin, Breck, were even in town from Florida and were able to make it to the dinner!! I was so glad to see everyone and am so fortunate for their support!

Saturday was SO much fun!! I went to the Heart Ball! The local titleholders and I arrived really early, so Kayla and ran out to Wawa to get some food and redbull!! Redbull would not be in business without my support of their products. My recipe for success: big smile and redbull! haha Just kidding..but, it never hurts! The Heart Ball was an event for the America Heart Association and there were all sorts of attractions like silent and live auction items, hors d'oeuvres, DJs, and a dance floor!! Does it get any better?? I had a great time, and plan on going next year!

This past Monday was spent at the University of Delaware recruiting contestants for Miss Delaware. If we put out the opportunity to compete, maybe we'll have more girls participate. Sometimes a lack of awareness or opportunity reduces the potential of any organization, so I was trying to make the information accessible. It was a fun day and I got to meet new people, but also saw some of my friends that I don't get to see very often =D

I got to spend lunch with members of the Absolam Jones Senior Center in Wilmington. I spoke to them about my year as Miss Delaware, performed for them, and then visited with all of them; chatting with and getting to know them a little better. It was a great afternoon, and some of the ladies are thinking of arranging a bus to take them all to Miss Delaware in June!!

Unfortunately, it was brought to my attention last night that Sue Kuhling my Executive Director, who has been by my side since I won Miss Delaware last June, was resigning. I support her decision, I'm sorry to see her go, but I know that I will always have a friend in her and she will always be a part of my life. I would not have wanted anyone else to accompany my family and I at the Miss America Pageant.

I have a lot to look forward to for the rest of this week and am actually, at this very moment, preparing a dental experiment for the five dental presentations I have in line for tomorrow. It should be a fun day! Anything that deals with dentistry is right up my alley..if only I could get to sleep!

I've also introduced myself to Twitter..if you don't have one, get it! I haven't quite caught on to why it's so enticing, but I'm sure after a few days I'll figure it out! Something tells me that I just don't have enough time to be a successful "tweeter" though..ugh, we'll see! Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Governors Public Safety Award! Congrats!!!

Amanda has been chosen for the Governors Public Safety Award!!!!!!! (this has been changed from the community service award applied for). The award ceremony will be held Thursday, April 23rd at Dover Downs. Registration Begins at 5 pm, award ceremony to begin around 6 pm. There will be heavy hors d'oeuvres and a DJ.
Tickets are $25.00. Congratulations Mandie!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Winter Wonderland in...Spring?

After having a few days off (thank you snow!!), I'm all cozy in my sweatpants, cup of tea in hand, and ready to update you on all that I have been up to! It's hard to believe that yet another month has passed!..we're into March already! St. Patty's Day is just around the corner.

In mid-February, I joined the Governor in celebrating National Salute Week to show our appreciation for the great things that our Veterans have done for our country. We visited the patients in the Veterans Hospital in Elsmere, chatted with the staff about the facility, and even joined some of the Veterans at a little lunch party that they were holding. There just happened to be a piano in the room too, so someone asked me to play. I always have to be prepared for anything..performances inluded! We had a great time visiting and celebrating!

Then I was off to the Corpus Christie School in Wilmington to present for Character Counts. I typically make these presentations to 2nd and 3rd graders, so naturally, when browsing through my planner, I just assumed that the presentations were for those grades. The night before, I happened to notice a line in my agenda that read "5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th" under the headline "Corpus Christie School." I couldn't believe it! That important detail went completely unnoticed until the night before. I couldn't very well speak to 8th graders the way I would speak to a 2nd grade class, so I came up with new ideas and examples. The next day, on very little sleep, I arrived at the school ready to present to the 5th-8th graders! The presentations went very well! and once they got warmed up, I had a great amount of participation from the students..which can be difficult at times with middle-schoolers.

That weekend, the Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen orientation took place. I spoke briefly with the contestants about my experiences at Miss Delaware and Miss America, and I gave them a little advice that I thought would help them feel comfortable at the pageant. I'm so excited to see who my new "little sister" will be, but I will miss having Mandie around!! We are in the process of choosing a song for our joint performance at the pageant (she dances while I play the piano). I can't wait!! We were actually supposed to rehearse today, but the snow kept me from leaving the house! (Can we say CABIN FEVER? hehe). Anyway, we are going to have a fantastic pageant in late March for the Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen contestants!!! They are a great group of girls!! That night, I joined all of the contestants, their families, and the MDOT board members for a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings!! It was so nice to just sit back, relax, chat, and eat with everyone. All of us have such hectic schedules; it isn't too often we all get to be together at once!

The next week, I was greeted by oodles of pre-schoolers and kindergarteners at the Little School for dental presentations. Afterall, February is Children's Dental Health Month!! I actually went there with Dr. Sean, one of my bosses at the dental office, and Jen, a dental assistant who will be a first-year dental student at Temple in the fall!! (So excited for her!!!!)! We had a blast! I always enjoy the responses from all of the children. One little girl said that the dental masks are worn "so that you don't smell the bad breath." haha Normally we get the "germs" answer, but hers was just as good!

Later that week, I went to the Southern Lights of Life event that benefits Breast Cancer Awareness. I had volunteered at the event back in high school, but had not been back since then. I dressed up in my powder pink cocktail dress and sold the "lucky ducks" for $10 a piece (or 3 for $25 hehe). Before the dinner even started, all of the duck-selling teams sold out completely! The silent auction and duck-selling were very successful! Then it was onto the dinner..that's when I got to kick back and relax!! The volunteers had already eaten before the event started, so is was our downtime. Before dinner was even over though, I was pulled backstage to help show the live auction items. These ranged from bikes, to signed footballs, even a mo-ped!! They had it all! I had so much fun walking the runway with all of those prizes. The last time I walked the runway at Dover Downs was when I was crowned Miss Delaware!! Oh, the memories :) After the Live Auction came the Fashion Show. The models were all Breast Cancer Survivors and they looked absolutely stunning!! I could tell that they were having so much fun too! What an experience that was! All of their family members and friends were in the audience cheering them on as they walked down the runway!! One of the models was a teacher of mine in high school; GO MRS. THOMAS!!!!

That weekend, I took off the crown and went to...a Baby Shower!!! It seems like half the ladies in our dental office are pregnant, so what more would you expect than a handful of baby showers? Ashley's shower was so much fun! She looked so happy to see everyone, and her cake was beautiful; Hailey had a great time helping her mom open presents, and everyone got to visit with eachother! I could really get used to these baby showers!..good thing, because I have another one in a couple weeks!

Last week, in the spirit of I love to Read Month, I read to a couple kindergarten classes at Fairview Elementary in Dover. I read "The Rainbow Fish." They seemed to like it and had a bunch of questions for me afterwards. One child asked if my sash had real diamonds...I jokingly said to the teacher "they're real rhinestones!," but I told the student that they were jewels hehe.

The next day brought another dental presentation! I went to Lake Forest North to present to second graders. From dental office items like masks and gloves, to dental-related experiments and games, the kids had a great time learning! We cut into good foods like apples and then cut into bad foods like Carmello Bars to show what is left on the knife afterwards...resembling the amount of food that sticks on your teeth. We brushed hard-boiled eggs, that had soaked in coke, with toothpaste to show what brushing does for your teeth. We even played a question and answer game with my Sandbag Toss!

The next morning came sooner than later! I was up in Wilmington at Darley Road Elementary to participate in the Dr. Seuss event, in honor of his (then) upcoming Birthday. I went in with the idea that I would be reading, but quickly found out that I was actually performing!..again I say, be prepared for anything! It went very well! and after the assembly, I went around with my second grade teacher, Mrs. Aldridge, to visit the classrooms in the school. It was great to see her again!!

After that, I left to go south to the McIllvine Early Child Center to read to the kindergarteners. Because Dr. Seuss' birthday was close, I read "Green Eggs and Ham." I had them share something that they didn't think they would like until they tried it! I got answers like broccoli, cupcakes, carrots, and even brushing teeth! One student asked me how my crown stays on..so I shared my little secret with them hehe. The last class invited me to their room to join them for a birthday party. I ate cupcakes and veggies with them, and somehow managed to fit into their chairs!!

As most of you know, it started snowing on Sunday, so my Monday and Tuesday events were cancelled. The rest of this week should probably get back to normal..as long as the ice melts! As quickly as the snow came though, it will soon dissipate. Our Winter Wonderland in the Spring is just another example of our unpredictable Delaware weather! One of Delaware's many surprises.

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