Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Five-O #39 {Sickness is Going Around...}

Good Evening, Friends & Family.
Well, unfortunately, it seems that the cold and flu season
 has arrived here in Central IL.
With that being said, I hope that you are able to miss out on it!

Anyway, in spite of sickness,
it was been a rushed, busy ride on the Roller-Coaster this week.
C'mon with me and tell you all about it on today's:

To say the least,
Friday was a multiple coffee day.
And Starbucks helped me out with this,
by having a buy-one-get-one-free deal! :)

I think ideally Starbucks is hoping you will share the free coffee with someone else,
but...I really needed both of them.
I think part of my energy deficiency was that 
that nasty sick bug had finally caught me :(.

So I spent all day Saturday and Sunday in my pajamas
doing nothing exerting and eating comfort food.

My mom was sick too,
but she still decided that homemade veggie soup
would be more beneficial than store-bought.
Who am I to argue?

Monday, I got creative for the TJ Kiddos and made them a cardboard top hat :)
No particular reason...just something I wanted them to have :).

Notice I said "for" and not "with"...
Considering that this hat involved duct tape, staples, and glue,
I wasn't letting those kids anywhere near it 
til everything was securely fastened into place.

Tuesday, the kiddos and I make turkeys
to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday.

I had the children write what they were thankful for around the border of the picture.
I'm not kidding when I say 
that two of them expressed excessive gratefulness for bratwursts.
That's my little darlings...

Wednesday and Thursday were filled with Christmas Program rehearsals.
Anyone who has helped with a children's program before
knows that it isn't always the easiest thing to do.
With that in mind,
I try to go into the practices prayed up and having read the Word of God.

I don't always get it right,
but I'm trying and I guess that's what really matters. :)

How has your week been?
Has your house been visited by the sick bug?
If so, I hope that everyone is recovering quickly!
Have you ever directed a children's holiday program?

I would love to hear your stories!

Thank you so much for visiting today!
Please come back soon!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Five-O #38 {The Fire is Ssssoooo Delightful!}

Good Morning, Dear Ones!
I hope this finds you doing well!

I don't know what kind of weather you're experiencing where you are,
but have pretty much run the gamut around here!
(Just so you know, I had to look up how to spell "gamut"...
you don't wanna know how I spelled it the first time...)
We had chilly over the weekend,
then it warmed up a bit Sunday and Monday
and then we had snow Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday...
Seriously? Can you make up your mind already?
Put on some fuzzy socks and get comfortable
and I'll tell you all about it on today's:

Friday was CHILLY!
When I went to work that morning,
there was a vivid frost covering everything.

But honestly, this didn't bother me much
because I knew I would be spending the evening
around a ROARING bonfire with friends and family :).

Bonfires are definitely a fall favorite of mine!
Even if my toes get so numb I think they're going to fall off! LOL!

Saturday, some of my family and I
made the trek out to Deer Creek, IL
for the Annual Pancake and Sausage Supper.
(You can read more about this event here)

It was SCRUMPTIOUS as usual! :)

When the temperatures start falling
and Jack Frost makes his glistening appearance,
my internal Christmas Spirit
always cranks up a notch or two.
Therefore, on Sunday night 
when the Booklover in me 
decided I NEEDED to take a book photo,
I also decided that Christmas Lights 
in the background were a MUST HAVE!

Okay, so it looks like the Christmas Lights became the main subject...

As I've already mentioned,
Tuesday brought more frigid temperatures and snow flurries.
So that means that the School's Out children and I
were stuck inside at the YMCA ALL DAY LONG.
But we made the most of it
and had a popcorn and movie adventure in the afternoon :).

And, due to the weather, the Dahl House hosted
it's first Fire in the Fireplace of the Season! :)

It was LOVELY!

Thursday was cold...and SNOWY!

And I absolutely LOVED it! :)

How was your week?
Has your weather been usually cold too?
Have you attended a bonfire this fall?

I would love to hear your stories!

Thank you so much for visiting today!
I hope you come back soon!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holiday Traditions #1 {The Annual Deer Creek Pancake & Sausage Dinner}

Hey there, Everyone! The temperatures outside are falling and we are getting into the time of year when a lot of people revive their old family traditions. These traditions could include anything from Christmas shopping on Black Friday to having a bonfire get-together to kick off the Holiday Season. With this in mind, I want to introduce a new blog attraction:

No promises...but I'm going to try to post a least Five of My Favorite Holiday Traditions between now and Christmas. Assuming that I am still an active blogger at this time next year, I will try to do the same, but again, no promises. I can't predict what this next year will throw at me.

Anyway...onto my first Holiday Traditions post :). And let me just apologize in advance for the poor photo quality. I didn't have my nikon with me, so these are all iPhone photos.

One of my favorite holiday traditions takes place in the beginning of November:
The Deer Creek Pancake & Sausage Dinner. 

This dinner is an annual fundraiser put on by the Deer Creek Intermediate School. According to the photos that line the gym walls during the dinner, this tradition began in 1951 and has continued very successfully every year since. To me, that is AMAZING!

My family (which includes my "adopted" grandparents and their family) has participated in this annual, $8 all-you-can-eat food-fest for as long as I can remember! (The prices have increases over the years.) My mom tells stories of going before I was born as well.

My grandparents live in Eureka which isn't far from Deer Creek. For years, Grandpa would sell tickets for a child who attended the school at that time.

Every time Grandpa announced that he had Pancake & Sausage tickets, I would literally get a thrill down to my toes! :) On the day of, mom would pack up a small container of peanut butter to slather on our pancakes (because that topping is not supplied at the dinner) and then we would jump in the car for the 30 minute drive to the school. Sometimes we would drop our car off at Grandpa & Grandma's house and ride with them. Other times we would just meet them there. No one really cared how we got there as long as we got there in time to eat! :)

In addition to world-class pancakes, other food items served include applesauce and cottage cheese. Once upon a time, carrot sticks were also on the menu, though I never quite understood that. Maybe something to do with the nutritional value of the meal...Traditional breakfast beverages (coffee, milk, chocolate milk) and water make up the liquid portion of the meal.

So, at this point, I think I know what you're thinking. "This Pancake & Sausage Dinner doesn't really sound all that fantastic." And, you're right. It's not the food or the atmosphere (although I think both are at least satisfactory) that makes this a favorite holiday tradition for me, it's who I'm with and how much fun we have with one another.

This tradition permits us to have extra time with near and dear ones in a setting that we have made our own. Beyond 2006 when we attended a wedding, I cannot think of a year that we as a family have missed the Pancake & Sausage Dinner. It's literally something we look forward to every year and try our best not to miss. :)

Do you have any favorite holiday traditions 
that maybe most people wouldn't understand? 
Are you looking to start any new traditions this Holiday Season?
I would LOVE to hear you stories!

Thank you so much for visiting today!
I hope you stop by again soon!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Five-O #37 {This was a VERY Eventful and Exciting Week!}

Good Morning, All!
I hope this finds you doing well!

I don't know about you,
but I had a VERY Busy, Exciting Weekend
followed by a busy, fun week!
Why don't you grab a seat and a cup of coffee
and I'll tell you all about it on today's:

Although, I guess TECHNICALLY it's a Friday Six-O
because I couldn't narrow the week's events down to five...
I just HAD to share all six fun highlights with you! :)

Last Friday, of course, was Halloween.
And, let's just say it was a rather eventful morning at TJ.
Someone -- for unknown reasons -- left a nasty little surprise 
outside of the front doors of the school:
a bag of bullets.
Why, when, how are all questions that I don't have the answers to.
Naturally, rumors have been flying about like crazy,
but it's my personal hope that none of them are true.
After the initial panic had died down,
I concentrated on making the day as fun as it should be.
And, at least I think, I was successful.

But maybe we should check with the children...

Saturday was a day of arts and crafts and generally cool things.
First, my darling cousin, Maranda, came over and spent the day with me.
Together we were able to FINALLY finish a project
that has been in the works for the last three months or so.

I've gotta admit, I'm kind of in love with it!
What do you think?

Next, I broke out my metallic sharpies and doodled my own version
of a really cool Pinterest drawing on a plate:

Far from perfect, I know...
but I still love it and am proud to display it.

It seems that Maranda and I were not the only ones
who felt artistic this particular Saturday...
The spider residing on the front porch got in touch 
with his (or her) creative side 
and designed this gorgeous web.

Now, its common knowledge that I'm generally NOT a fan of spiders...
but even I have to admit...that's a pretty cool web! :)

Sunday was our church Singspiration and it was a rousing success!
These two adorable little people did a GREAT job
belting it out with the Junior Choir.

For more photos AND VIDEOS of the Singspiration,
please click here.

Monday, I was literally THROWN into the Christmas Spirit
by the reappearance of Red Cups at Starbucks!
I couldn't contain myself and had to snap some photos.

Literally...a single, paper, red cup inspired a whole photo shoot
complete with Christmas lights and firewood.
Yeah...I go overboard sometimes...
but, hey, you can't deny that is a pretty cute photo...

Tuesday it seems was the day for hilarious and inspiring quotes.
The morning began with me announcing to the mirror
and anyone else willing to listen (meaning my mother who was in the kitchen),
"I think I'm just going to be ugly today."
Which completely confused my mother causing her to ask,
"You mean like in your attitude?"
"No," I responded, "I meant my hair".

Then upon arrival at Thomas Jefferson,
one of my fifth grade boys asked me,
"Miss Sarah, have you ever read Red Kayak?"
"No," I replied, "What's it about?"
"It's about these two boys who live on Cheapskate Bay."
"Cheapskate's a real place!" he said enthusiastically.
"Do you mean Chesapeake Bay?"
He responded, "Whatever."

Finally, concerning the subject who's photo I was editing
at the lunch table while nannying (did you get all that?),
I stated in a silly voice, "Oh! He's such a fashion model!"
Causing three-year-old Mr. G to ask, "Um, Sarah, what's a fashion waddle?"
I didn't correct his adorable grammatical error, but instead replied,
"A fashion waddle is someone who is very cute,
and wears very nice clothes, and walks like this."
I demonstrated my best fashion model...uh...waddle
(you gotta admit, some people doing the fashion model walk
do, indeed, appear to be waddling...just sayin'...).
Mr. G thought this was hysterical and asked if he could do it himself.
"Your father will probably kill me," I replied, "but sure! Why not?"
Thus ensued the cutest fashion waddle I've ever seen in my life.
SERIOUSLY! I wish I had a video to share with you! :)

Like I said, it was a quotable day! :)

Lastly on Wednesday I had a GREAT Christmas Practice
with my POP Kiddos.
You know, sometimes I wonder why I put myself
through the stress of a Christmas Program every year.
Well, Wednesday night was why.
I had handed out lyrics and scripts the week before
but this was really the first time we were going to be working on them together.
And let me tell you, these kids blew it out of the water!
I was SSSSOOOO impressed!
They stayed focused and politely critiqued each other.
They listened well and sang out loudly when I asked them to!

I've said it before, and I'm saying it again:

How was your week?
Was it as eventful and exciting as mine?
What crafts have you been working on lately?
Have you ever directed or helped direct a children's program?
I would love to hear your stories!

Thank you so much for visiting today.
I hope you come back soon!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

POP Singspiration 2014 {A Cause for Celebration}

Good Afternoon, Friends & Family! I hope this finds you doing well! I myself have been busy as usual, but for a very good reason :). Two very exciting events have taken place at church in the last week and I was privileged to take part in both of them :). In this post, I shared a few details from our Pastoral Appreciation Service last Wednesday evening. In today's post, I will be sharing some highlights of our church Singspiration yesterday.

Now some of you maybe wondering what exactly a Singspiration is. Well, basically, it's a church service with all music--no separate Sunday School classes and/or preaching/teaching. Honestly, I can't remember the last time our church had one of these services (or if they ever did at all...). But I am so glad that we did yesterday! It was a FANTASTIC time. People who I had no idea could sing, got up and worshiped God with their talents. Also, people who haven't publicly sang in years blessed us with their God-given gifts of song. Young children shared their musical ability and large mass choir was put together. A GREAT time was had by all! :) But instead of me rambling on for hours on end, I thought it would better to just share some of performances with you (some photos, some videos).

The Pentecostals of Peoria (and I) are proud to share our Singspiration 2014!

The Lutz Family Quartet started off the occasion...its totally obvious where the Lutz kids got their talent from! :)

Then, my very own mama got up and sang the song she's known for "Go to the Rock"...and did AWESOME! :)

Don't believe me? Check out the video...:)

Yeah...she brought down the house! :) According to my cousin, Maranda, I was beaming through Mom's whole performance...:)

Other performances of the day included: a solo by a young, up and coming drummer,
Great Job, Landon!

various members of the VERY MUSICALLY INCLINED Grant Family sharing their talents,

the Youth Ensemble doing a FANTASTIC job on their contribution to the Singspiration: Glorious,

our super talented percussion team doing a drum off that ROCKED!,

(Yes, that is a refined church elder standing on the chairs...)

and my personal favorite, the Junior Choir singing "Awesome"...but I might be a bit biased...our very own Miracle Boy proclaimed God's Awesomeness both in body and in song!

Doesn't that just make you want to sob!?!?!?!?
Here is a better videoed version of Taedyn's solo...A BIG Thank You to CJ Photography! :)

The Singspiration was culminated by the Mass Choir. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos or videos of this...:(...but trust me, IT WAS AWESOME! :) In fact, the whole day was awesome. I heard from a reliable source that our Bishop requested that we hold a Singspiration on a weekly basis. Well, I don't see that happening...but hopefully we will have another one sometime in the near future :).

Have you ever held a Singspiration at your church? Did you discovered that people had talents that you never even imagined? Did you participate? I would love to hear your stories!

Thank you so much for visiting today! I hope you come back soon!