Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

I feel the earth ~ move ~ under my feet!  

Yeah - livin in the Mitten is never dull.  We actually had a 4.2 earthquake on Saturday! 

So weird.

There was a loud sound, like an explosion or thunder.  My 1st reaction was that the truck I heard coming up the street went crazy & hit my house & that was the reason it was shaking.

But LtWD came running from the kitchen and parked her hiney right next to me as papers were falling off my counter and dishes were falling our of the cupboards.

While it lasted for a very short time, including the small after shock, I couldn't help but think of the people of Nepal and the earthquake they suffered through that was magnitude's more than what we felt.  


So that was my excitement for the weekend!  Dream Boy never felt it as he was out riding his bike.

Friday night we headed into town for Art Hop.  We visited our absolute favorite place - the MRC - which is a small art studio for adult with special needs.  We have a few pieces of "art" from their that we treasure dearly & we were not disappointed this time either.  We actually bought a frame that was painted & decorated with wine corks & beach glass that was made by a girl that goes to our church.  Dream Boy took a pic of it & showed her on Sunday and she was so excited to see what had happened with her art work!

Saturday I tried to focus & work on editing & catching up on emails and such with my photography business, but the sun was shining & I couldn't resist, I had to sit outside on the patio & read & take advantage of the beautiful sunny spring day!  Needless to say, not much photography business was accomplished.  

S&D1 came over after dinner and we enjoyed the evening sitting around the bonfire out back.  It was just a gorgeous day all the way around!
Sunday was a beautiful day as well, but I was stuck inside with a bad sinus headache that was bordering on becoming a migraine.  That doesn't happen too often for me - but I was not productive in any way other than finishing a book I had been reading.

Today - Monday - is the start of a new week with lots of stuff to keep me busy. So, I best get at it.

Thank you for sharing your coffee with me today! Have a beautiful week wherever you may be!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Copious Amounts of Coffee Needed

Returning to the reality and all it entails is not always the most desirable choice. But nonetheless, it's what helps pay the bills and it's what must be done.

Good think I love my job so much. Truly & honestly. I may not always like the politics or the behaviors or the antics of some things it entails, but when it comes down to it ----- I really love what I do.  There is nothing that makes me feel better than when a student realizes they CAN do it!

So I've returned from senior trip #13!  Wow. I am humbled that the kids still line up to sign up. I'm amazed that this crazy, hair brained idea that came from an email in 2002 led to our 1st trip in 2003 and is still going strong! I love when the new chaperones who go on this trip and experience it, see what it means to the seniors.

That's some good stuff.

Our trip began last Friday morning with a bus ride to the airport an hour away with 37 seniors and 4 chaperones. We were in Orlando by 3 and at the Grad Nite event at Busch Gardens in Tampa by 7:30pm.

Lots of screams and lots of laughs until we had no voices left, that is what the 4 chaperones did at least. Not sure of the kids.  

Still going strong at 12:45am......
We left the park at 2am & headed back to Orlando for a few hours sleep.

Saturday was a full day at SeaWorld - more rides, more screaming, but actually a beautiful day with lots of memories made!

Sunday - MY day.  The BEST day, in my opinion, when I get to do this...
Sit on the beach and chaperone!  Yeah baby!  Now we're talking.  It didn't take the other chaperone's long to figure out why I end the trip with this day. The kids are so sunburned and waterlogged by the end of the day - they are barely able to function.  

Yes, there IS a method to my madness! Not my 1st rodeo people, giddy-up!
So I would like you to meet 37 of my newest, closest friends.  Every year is different.  Every class is different. But by the end of the trip I've gotten closer to those I already knew and I've made connections with those I didn't know so well. 

This is what it is all about. Making memories for these kids that will last a lifetime. Rewarding them with this trip to celebrate 13 years of hard work. 

Did I tell you how much I really love my job??

And today ---- back in the trenches, back to the routine, back to "normal" - whatever that may be!

"I began to realize how important it was to be enthusiastic in life.  If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, GO at it full speed!  Embrace it with both arms, Hug it, love it, & above all become passionate about it!  Lukewarm is no good!!"  Roald Dahl

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Meet & Greet with Rachel

I'm here to introduce you to my next senior model - Rachel!
Rachel is currently one of my students at G-A High School.  Home of the Rams. 

She comes across kind of quiet and shy, but I'm here to tell ya.  She's anything but that!  In fact, if there were one word to describe her it would be ~~ outgoing!
Rachel has plans to go on to a community college after high school, but in the mean time, she is loving her high school life.

She is on our Varsity Bowling Team.  Did you know she actually qualified for State this year? She was our 1st female bowler to go that far in the season.

She loves to help her class out during homecoming & snowcoming events, whether it be float building or making posters - you'll find her in the middle of it all.

She has a style about her that can go from dress up girl...... down right casual and comfy.

I, personally, had the privilege of doing her family's photo shoot last fall. What an energetic family - and Rachel is right in the middle of it all. She has 3 older sisters & at the time, 3 nephews.  Family means everything to Rachel & it's very apparent that they all feel the same about each other.  They are loyal to the core, no doubt!

Rachel loves being outdoors, whether it be shootin some hoops, fishing or just hanging outside with her nephews, she's happiest in the elements of the world that surround her.
Don't ya love those boots? She couldn't do the photo shoot without them, in fact, she had just gone out THAT very morning to buy them!  Even I fell in love with them & thought about just for a moment, going out & buying a pair.

But then I came to my senses.

In her free time, if she ever has any, she & her friends like to go to the mall, watch movies & go to the park.  I know as well, she loves to hang with her little nephews too.  Did I already mention that?

Oh yeah, I did, but that just tells you how much her family means to her.
Rachel's other hobbies include art & music ------ and eating pineapple.  She likes most fruits, you know, apples & such, but she LOVES pineapple.  This cracks me up.  I have a list of questions I give my senior model to answer to help me introduce them to you.  One of the questions is: "what's your favorite food?"

Pineapple. So random, yet so Rachel. 

Rachel - I wish you well in your final year of high school and as you move on to college. I know with your bubbly personality & strong work ethics, you are going to be a great success!

Thank you for being a senior model for me - for helping be a guinea pig to launch this new endeavor for me!

"Art is you being free from all of the world's heaviness"             unknown

***I am looking for 2 more senior models in the Kalamazoo and/or Battle Creek area.  If you or anyone you know might be interested, please leave a comment below or post a message on my facebook wall @***

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Good rainy Monday morning to you all!

After such a beautiful week last week & amazing weekend, it's kind of hard to face colder temps & gray skies.  But what's the saying?  April showers bring May flowers??
Plus - I'm leaving for Florida on Friday with my high school seniors for our annual senior class trip!

Yes!  Four days in the sun, having fun and making lots of memories with these kiddos is one of the highlight's of every school year for me! All the drama & headaches & planning just wash away when we get on that plane and head south. The memories made & the walls that are broken down while on this trip are amazing. It never ceases to amaze me the "magic" this trip creates between these kids.

This past weekend prepped me for the trip - sunny skies all day Friday & Saturday, with temps reaching into the 70s on both days, gave this mama time to sit out on the patio & soak it all in while reading a good book.

But I did do some work! I had a Baby Bump photo shoot on Saturday afternoon with a great couple who are expecting their 1st baby in about 4 weeks, along with the grandparents & auntie & uncle AND the canine brother & cousin. Too fun. 

This family are good friends of ours from church too - so we all headed to the local mexican restaurant to fill our bellies & then on to our house for the Inaugural 2015 Bonfire and dessert and just time to relax, laugh & enjoy the spring night.

Sunday was spent in church and then home to work on some of my photo's, take my Sunday afternoon nap like all good Dutch girls were taught to do while growing up & then a cook out, albeit in the rain, with D&S1. In spite of the rain, it still tasted good - dogs & brats, fresh cole slaw, pasta salad & corn on the cob. 

D1 & I even experimented with a pin from my Pinterest board that I recently came across:
Oh these were so YUMMY!  Cookie Butter 4 ingredient mug cakes.  Click on that link and give it a try.  You will not regret it, I promise!  Eat it warm with vanilla ice cream, whip cream & a bit of chocolate syrup drizzle.

So here we are - into our final full week of April. Much to do in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by - have an amazing day!