Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Five-O #51 {An Old Friend, Dear Friends, and New Friends...oh! And Coffee!}

Good Evening, Lovelies!
I hope this finds you doing well!

I myself am exhausted...
Spring Break 2015 has begun at the YMCA
and for me that means more work
(how come I don't get a break on Spring Break?).

Here at the YMCA, we always say,
"When School is OUT, the Y is IN!"
So, basically, I will have kids all day everyday 
today and all next week.
Feel free to spontaneously bring me coffee and ice cream.

Anyway, enough about that!
It's now time for today's:

Last Friday night, my College & Career group 
had a coffee and game night at 3030 Coffee House.
This was the first time I had ever been in the place,
so imagine my surprise when I walked through the door
to find an old friend from my childhood.
Okay, it wasn't a person friend...
it was a large (as in VERY LARGE) stuffed black bear.
Let me explain...
when I was a kid, there was a small restaurant/hotel chain
in the area that my family frequented. 
It was called Jumer's. 
It was a very quiet, elegant place with dark, moody lighting,
a dining room complete with high-backed chairs
and curtains around booths that could be closed for private dining.
Jumer's served the most amazing cinnamon rolls
known to mankind along with a bread basket that included
homemade sliced white, wheat, and rye breads.
I always felt very grown-up when I visited there.
After we ate, my family would always walk through the meandering hallways
(did I forget to mention that Jumer's was a castle?
Complete with a locked tower 
that I'm sure Rapunzel lived in at one time!)
until we found The BIG Bear.
Apparently, Mr. Jumer was an avid hunter 
when he wasn't opening restaurants and hotels,
and had shot the giant bear and liked it so much he decided to keep it.
He had the bear stuffed and mounted in his Peoria hotel.
Jumer's closed down several years ago
and the castle was bought and turned into a home for Senior Citizens.
I always wondered what happened to the bear
that was such a fond memory from my childhood.
Well, I found him at 3030 Coffee House last week.
There he was guarding the doorway.
I'm not kidding when I say I nearly cried.
It felt like coming home.

Anyway, the coffee was amazing and everyone in our group had a great time!

I'm very excited to visit there again! :)

Saturday was CRAZY!
But it was crazy because LOTS of photography was done
so that made it fun!
First I was privileged to photograph a 1st Birthday
Mickey Mouse style for this adorable little guy!

The Birthday Boy was sweet as can be
and loved every minute he had in the spotlight!

After the birthday party,
I took several of my dear cousins out to Eureka Lake
to shoot their photos for ACTS Convention.
They did a GREAT job!
And I took the opportunity to snap some photos of them :). COOL are they?!

Sunday my very own pink Grandma and my wonderful Grandpa
hand-delivered this hand-made pineapple/coconut masterpiece
to me as a belated birthday gift.

OOOOHHHH the Scrumptiousness!!!!

On Monday, I made my weekly trek to the Library
and checked out some Spring books for my little TJ darlings.
And am I glad I did!
I "discovered" the book "series" by Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long:
A Seed is Sleepy, A Rock is Lively, A Butterfly is Patient, and An Egg is Quiet.
These books contain amazing facts about nature
accompanied by Sylvia Long's gorgeous illustrations.
After flipping through these books,
I knew I was going to have a winner on my hands:
My TJ lovelies cannot get enough of these books!
So far, every child that has picked up one of these books
has poured over it for at least ten minutes
(and that's saying something with my wild bunch!).
I didn't hear a peep out of this little guy for nearly 30 minutes!

What am I talking about?!

And, finally, I think it's official!
My little darlings and I have been bitten by the Spring Bug!
Despite rather chilly temperatures on Thursday,
we spent a good portion of the afternoon outside.

It was just a Blue Skies, Sunshine, and Bubbles kind of day! :)

How was your week?
Have you been getting out and enjoying Spring weather in your area yet?
Have you and your kids discovered any new books
I just HAVE to read?

I would love to hear your stories!

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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Five-O #50 {I believe Spring is on it's way!}

Happy Friday, Loves!
I hope this finds you doing well!

I myself am doing very well indeed...
yesterday was my 20-none-of-your-business birthday
and I basically have been celebrating it all week! :)

Come along with me and I'll tell you all about it on today's:

Last Friday was picture day at TJ...
so, obviously, this means that all the little children
were dressed in their best!
But that didn't stop us from going outside 
and enjoying the nice weather that afternoon!

In case you're wondering...
Lulabelle and Louise are making a Fairy Ring
to welcome the Springtime fairies! :)

Saturday my cousins and I went on a photo shoot
(will share the pics from that shoot soon!)...
I love capturing pics of other people shooting!

Isn't that the cutest lil' photographer you've ever seen in your life?!

Sunday after church Mom surprised me by taking me to dinner at Lorena's:
my favorite authentic Mexican restaurant in the area.


On Monday I had to temporarily abandon my little TJ darlings
and go help out at another YMCA school site: Charter Oak.
It was not a pleasant experience...enough said.
However, I did manage to capture this lovely image
which helped my outlook immensely!

It was 70 degrees that day!
*sigh* Spring...

On Tuesday I initiated a new "program" at TJ:
The Tattle Bear.
Her name is Miss Benedict, but her title is the Tattle Bear.
Basically, I instructed the TJ that only if someone is hurt
or being bullied should they tell on one another.
Otherwise, they should take their complaints 
(She's looking at me! He took my block! They're copying me!) to Miss Benedict.
This allows them to express their feelings about what is going on
but at the same time frees me up to handle more important matters.

Do you have any idea how much time Miss Benedict has saved me this week?!

How was your week?
How are you enjoying the lovely Spring weather?
Have you ever used a Tattle Bear or something like that with your kids?

I would love to hear your stories!

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

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Five-O #49 {A Very FULL Week!}

Good Morning!
And Happy Friday to you!
I hope this finds you doing well!

I have had...a week...
It's been awesome at times, 
extremely stressful at others.
Fun and hectic, lovely and depressing.
Like I said, I've had a week.
Why don't you take a seat, grab a cup of tea
(I sure need one right now!)
and I'll tell you all about it on today's:

On Friday I was still recovering 
from the worst sinus infection of my life
and, at my mother's prompting, 
decided that getting out of the house
for a short trip to the library 
and Starbucks might be beneficial to my health.

I'd say my mother was right...

That Tiramisu Frappucino was so delicious, 
it inspired me to (FINALLY!) update my chalkboard art:

LOL...this makes me smile every time I look at it!

Sunday I finally felt well enough to resume normal activities
which, of course, means CHURCH TIME!
It felt so good to be back in the House of God...
seriously...when I'm away for a while;
whether it be due to illness or vacation or whatever,
So I was VERY glad to be back!
Furthermore, I was glad that it was warm enough outside
to go without tights! :)

Anyway, in addition to being happy about returning to my usual activities,
I was also excited because it was International Women's Day.
I had only recently learned that there was even such a thing
and I was really looking forward to celebrating it
with a "selfie" photo shoot :)

To be beautiful is the birthright of every woman. - Elizabeth Arden.

Monday night I spent hanging out with my cousin.
ACTS Student Convention 2015 is coming up soon
and she's been begging me to play ping-pong with her
to help prepare her for the competition.
Of course, I was HAPPY to oblige.
Especially when she offered to pay for Starbucks afterward...:)

Yummy, yummy,  yummy to our tummies! :)
And let me just say, we NEEDED those frappucinos
after our fierce ping-pong battles!
We were completely sweated down
and could barely walk because our leg muscles were so tight!

Tuesday I did a super fun photo shoot with G&G,
the darlings I nanny once a week.
It was a complete success 
and I'm very happy with how the photos turned out.
I will be sharing the full shoot soon
but here is a preview:

Doesn't their darlingness make you just want to swoon?!

Wednesday and Thursday were...uh...interesting days work-wise.
A whole lot of stuff went wrong
and frankly, I felt worn out by 7am on both days.
However, thanks to some Heavenly help,
I kept on truckin'.
And Wednesday evening in Kids' Church,
it paid off!
We had an EXCELLENT class.
Great worship and prayer abounded for nearly two hours!

It was a beautiful, precious time
with the kids pouring their hearts out to the Lord.

How was your week?
Have any new chalkboard art to share?
My birthday is coming up soon
and I have some birthday themed chalkboard art to do! :)
Did you celebrate International Women's Day?
What has been happening in your Sunday School/Junior Church class?

I would love to hear your stories!

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

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Friday Five-O #48 {On a Wednesday?!}

So...I didn't "Friday Five-O" last week...
I'm sorry...
But in my defense,
I was in bed with the worst sinus infection of my life!
Seriously...THAT. Was. Ridiculous!

Anyway, that has all passed and I'm excited to share
the events of last week with you today
on this Wednesday edition of:

Friday (Feb. 27th) was a CRAZY day!
Due to the month ending on a weekend,
I had to make an extra trip to the YMCA
to deliver the monthly paper work.
Extra trips to work are not my favorite thing,
but I was very happy to capture this photo
on my trip home.

If I were to name this photo
(which I sometimes do...),
I would call this "Night Lights".

Sunday (March 1st) was the final service of Youth Week 2015.
It was an awesome week for the young people of POP.
I was particularly excited to capture this video:

I am SO Proud of these guys!
Also on Sunday,
I captured this photo...
if I didn't already know how delicious coffee is,
this photo would convince me! :)


Monday (March 2) I did a little extra Nannying in the evening
and took a pit stop on the way home
to capture this:

(Again with the Night Lights...anyway...)
This is my city...the city I was born and raised in.
I've taken photos of it before,
but I enjoy rephotographing places and things
that mean a lot to my home.

Tuesday (March 3rd...also known as "Ice Day"...)
I ended up leaving work early.
I was feeling terrible, but in spite of that
cheerily told my boss that I would see her the next day
(boy, was I mistaken!).
On the way home, I stopped to pick up my usual
sickness supplies: Ginger Ale and Kleenex.

At the time, I was actually thinking that a good night's rest
would do the trick and I would be just fine the next day...
That didn't happen.
I ended up being off work for the rest of the week.
And for those of you who know me,
that is UNHEARD OF!

Thursday (March 5th) was World Book Day.
And in spite of being sick with a viral plague...
(ok, it was just a sinus infection, but it FELT like a viral plague!)
You KNOW I HAD to get in on that! :)

I celebrated by spending the day in bed with my books.

How was your week?
Have you had the plague at your house?
(I pray that you've been spared,
but I know that a LOT of people have been sick!)
How did you celebrate World Book Day?

Thank you so much for visiting today!
I hope you come back very soon!
Like on Friday...for another: