Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Home Sweet Home

We made it home safe and sound last night, arriving at our school right on schedule!

All the hype about long lines and less security in the airports is a bust.  We flew out a smaller airport on Friday, landing in Orlando International Airport.  We flew out of Orlando on Monday & had no problem getting all 25 of us through security with not hitches or glitches.  If they were short staffed - you certainly didn't see it anywhere that we were!

I am still trying to recover from my go-go-go agenda for the last 4 days and will most likely be in the bed earlier than last night.  It always seems to really hit me about 2-3 days after we return from the trip.  But I wouldn't trade it for anything!

So I put together this little collage of our weekend - hope you enjoy!

Then there's these little diddies I created with some of my kids' in the photo booth at Dave & Buster's Sunday night....

 You "chose" your photographer who then gave you the pose for each shot.

Can you tell how much fun I had???

Now - the sun is still shining, the birds are singing & the forsythia is blooming across the street.  I'm off with Lucy to try & get some close ups of spring!!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

Our weekend of great fun is over.  Today we are on a jet plane heading home again.
These are my kids - I have the best time with them every single year.  Every year is totally different than the one before it.  
I have done this trip every year since 2003.  I've had as many as 52 seniors and as little as 22.  This year is 23.  
We spend 4 day sin Florida - literally running from event to park to wave pool to dinner out to a plane ride home.  Totally & completely exhausted, but so happy.
On Friday we left school at 9am & headed to the airport.  At least 10 of these kids' had never flown before.  Not sure how many have never left Michigan until now either, but I'm sure there are a few.
Friday night we went to Tampa for the 2013 Grad Nite event, returning to our hotel at 3:30am Saturday morning.  We were back up & out the door at 11am & spent the day with Shamu in Sea World.  
Saturday night I bought the kids' pizza & they had some free time to go play miniature golf and shopping.
Sunday we spent the whole day at the water park and then came back, cleaned up & had dinner at Dave & Buster's and spent the rest of the night playing video games.
A good's night sleep & then off to the airport for our flight home.  
I love this time with the senior's every year.  There are those I know pretty well, but then those I don't - I get to know them even better by the end of the weekend.
I must be honest though, I do miss my Dream Boy & Libbi The Wonder Dog.  it will be good to be back home with them & sleep in my own bed.
Thanks for stopping by today.  Until next time......have a wonderful week!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I'm in Orlando, FL with 23 high school seniors for our annual Senior Class Trip.  So I am bringing my hunt to you from our fun filled adventure.

My dogs have covered a lot of ground this weekend walking around Busch Gardens, Sea World, Aquatica & airports.

Yummy To My Tummy
With less than 5 hours sleep in over 21 hours - this was a yummy to my tummy happiness drink!

Favorite Toy
How do I take a picture of my favorite toy when I'm using it all the time?  Lucy, my camera, is most definitely what I love playing with.  I have had so much fun this weekend testing my "manual" skills.

What I Did This Week
What I did this week was make all the final arrangements, checked my lists twice, searched 23 suitcases & as many purses & backpacks, took 23 kids through airport security & flew them to Florida for a weekend they will never forget!

While this shot might be just a bit fuzzy, I still love it - one of my favorites this week.  He was quite vocal about the fish being given to him & only him!

So there ya have it.  Big day tomorrow as we're off to the water park for the day so I can read my book & recover while the 23 "youngsters" waterlog themselves on the all the slides, wave pool & lazy river.......

Be sure to stop by Ashley's blog & check out all the other great shots!

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Another Happy Grad Nite Celebration!

Class of 2013

I have been honored to bring the senior class from our high school to a Grad Nite event since 2003.  We started with the Disney Grad Nite Event.  When they shut that down 2 years ago, we were forced to attend the Grad Nite Event at Universal last year.  

Hated it.

This year we decided to try the new Busch Garden's Grad Nite.  They started it last year, so we thought - what the hey?

It was a blast!

There are 6 roller coaster in this park, Sheikra is by far my favorite & THEE only ride I ride all weekend.  Heck, I've been on them all over the last 10 years.  The kids' were able to ride every.single.one of them!  The longest wait any of them had on any given ride was 30 minutes.  Can't beat that, especially when the waits were 2 - 3 hours on any given ride at Universal last year.  

So when we climbed aboard our bus at 2am today & headed back to the hotel I am confident when I say they were all happy with their Grad Nite.

Today?   We're off to see Shamu at Sea World!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Prepping For Senior Trip #11

Here I go again!  I have butterflies in my stomach as I prep & get ready for my 11th annual Senior Class Trip to Florida.

I'm not sure who gets more excited, me or the kids????  I have an absolute blast every single year & can't wait for the next.  A lot of our kids' have never been out of the state of Michigan, some have never flown, some have never ridden a roller coaster.  I get goosebumps thinking about all the memories the kids' have made over the years - myself included.

I am so thankful that my school district supports this great adventure & entrusts me to take our kids on the fantastic trip.

Every year we attend a Grad Nite event.  It used to be at Disney World every year, but they stopped hosting them 2 years ago.  We've done Universal Studios twice, but this year we are going to try the Grad Nite at Busch Gardens.  It's their 2nd year hosting one.

The parks, all 3 of them, have very strict dress codes for the Grad Nite events. I always seem to get a few kids' who think I personally make the rules.  Not!
So tonight I've been putting together some "visuals" to post on our G-A Senior Trip Facebook Page so they no what's appropriate and what isn't.

Like this:

or this:

So think of me as I chase after 23 high school seniors all over Orlando this weekend.  I love this trip & will never tire of it.  Never.ever.ever.

If you're on facebook & you want to follow our travels this weekend & what we're doing, be sure to "like" our facebook page, G-A Senior Trip.  I'll be posting pics all weekend long!

Oh......and I'm pretty certain that my Sunday Scavenger Hunt will be found in Florida!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Crooked Smile

Do you remember this nursery rhyme?

"There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house."

Well - this was me after my appointment for my emergency root canal yesterday~~~

There was a lady who once was in great pain,
She went all weekend thinking she would surely go insane.
So on Monday she drove for much more than a mile,
To get her tooth fixed and receive this crooked smile.

The end.

I am feeling sooooooooooo much better, thank you very much!  Now I can fly out this Friday to Florida for my 11th Senior Class Trip!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

Hi there.
It's gonna be a short & sweet morning today.  Actually, I don't know how sweet - I have another bad tooth & the pain is beyond a 10!
I suffered through it all weekend, even after going to the dentist on Friday.  The x-ray showed n.o.t.h.i.n.g., but he put me on antibiotics anyways.  By late last night the pain started to centralize in the said tooth.
I've been awake since 4 a.m.-ish?  Just watching the clock tick til the dentist opens.
I'll be back later when I can focus more clearly (I hope).

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

A new week is beginning.

Put the past behind you and move forward.  Let us never forget the events of this past week, but let us make the future better because of it!

I'm joining up again this week Ashley Sisk over at Ramblings & Photos for another hunt.  Without further adieu......

This moment with my boys' = happiness

Spring in Black & White
Through a rainy window overlooking a city street you can start to see the little buds starting to pop on the tree.

My church where I celebrate my faith every week and where my son will wed his beautiful bride in September.

The fuzzy Wonder Dog messing up the bed when she thinks no one is looking.

Every Sunday morning after worship we all gather in the Gold Room for coffee & fellowship.

Now, be sure to head over to Ramblings & Photos to see more interpretations.

And again - celebrate a new week & enjoy the new day!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Random 5 Friday

Dear World:

My heart has broken many times this week as I think of the extreme tragedies surrounding us.  From the bombing in Boston, the fires/explosions in Texas and the rains & flooding in areas too close to home, I lift it all up in prayer.  It is all I can do.

Dear Store Bought Tulips:

You are the closest thing to spring I have seen in or around my home.  The buds on the trees have finally started to peek out this week, but it is still so brown & dreary.  I'm ready for a blanket of color to cover this part of our world  - sooner, rather than later.

Dear Students:

Thank you for your ability to always make me laugh, even when I'm trying to be mad at you.

Dear Tooth:

Really?  Another tooth issue?  I don't appreciate you waking me up in the middle of the night.  I don't appreciate the dentist finding NOTHING on the x-ray to explain the pain you are causing.  May the antibiotics take care of whatever it is you are trying to hide from me and the pain may go away.

Dear Dream Boy:

Thank you for the date night last.  For trying something new with me.  The dinner out at our favorite pub was fabulous.  The Modern Dance Performance turned out to be amazing.  The movements, the feeling, the music, the choreography was just divine.  

Linking up with:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Whatever Wednesday

I am sucked into a book that I am loving.  
It's a similar story to Gone With The Wind, but I think I might like this one a little bit more.
I have so many things I should be doing, but with the rainy weather as of the last 2 weeks, reading is at the top of my "to do" list.

Also, I told you Monday that I would share pictures of a very surprised Dream Boy.
He is a bike rider - road bike.  If you've been reading my blog for a while you already know this.  He has a group of buddies that he rides with all the time.  He's so proud of the fact that he's ridden on the road, outside, every month for at least 18 months now!   Yep, we live in Michigan, but he & his best bud have managed to get in a road ride every.single.month.  
He's had his eye on this bike frame for a while now at the local little bike shop. He asked me about 3 weeks ago if it would be all right to buy it.  I knew that our boys' were talking about getting it for him, so I kind of stalled him off & then immediately let #1 & #2 know he was itching for it.
Last Saturday he had to run down to the bike shop & asked if he could get it before he left.  Imagine his disappointment when it was no longer there.  Dan, the shop owner, told him some guy from Grand Rapids had come in earlier in the week & bought it.
1.  I laughed that Dream Boy NEVER put it together that Son #2 lives in Grand Rapids.
2.  We, my sister & his buddy, were laughing at how he was trying to tell himself that it was okay.  The bike was "really too fast for him, wasn't really that good of a deal, he would probably feel every single bump in the road due to the lightness of this frame" and on & on.
3.  Sunday the son's came home & I followed them into Dream Boy's work space in the basement.  Son #1 walked up to Dream Boy, held out the bike frame & says, "So, I hear you've been wanting this?"
Oh the joy!
Dream Boy says, and I quote, "oh you dogs you".  
The moment was extra special because his riding buddy, who stepped out of the picture, was there to see this moment.
I have never seen Dream Boy deeply moved by such a gesture.  It brought tears to my eyes to see this special moment & the bond that my boys' have with their dad.
I love my boys - all 3 of them.
God has so richly blessed me and I am ever so thankful for this family of mine.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

Happy Monday morning to you all!  
Did you have a nice weekend?  Mine was very, very low key & it was just what I needed.
Last week was an emotional roller coaster as I watched & helped where I could with Dream Boy & his parents.  It's so hard to watch our parents age, especially when it seems as though it literally happens over night.
Dream Boy was a rock for me when my sisters and I cared for our mom during the last 5 month's of her life.  Our dad tried, but he could not do it alone.  Then when my dad died suddenly 2 years after our mom, he was again was there to love & support me through that difficult time.
So now it's my turn to be his rock.  Being the oldest of 4 siblings, most of the work falls on his shoulders.  It doesn't help that his sister lives in Florida either, but she's done what she can via phone calls to doctors & insurance companies.  
Day by day his mom sees small glimpses of improvement and his dad becomes less & less dependent on her & finds he IS able to do more for himself.
Then there's the issue of a verbal assault on me by a coworker.  Totally out of the blue, but in the presence of other coworkers.  I have witnesses to her harassment and have reported it.  No one has the right to treat anyone in the manner that she treated me.  Absolutely no one.
So on to our weekend.  We laid pretty low all weekend.  I read and worked mostly in my creative corner on copying pics to disks that I've recovered from my external hard drive.  
I pulled out one of my mom's old church cookbooks and made home made pot of bean w/ ham soup.  I used the ham bone leftover from Easter dinner.  It simmered on the stove all day & after watching that white crap fall from the sky all day, it was a pleasant meal to share with my Dream Boy.
We went & visited his parents & got them set up for the week with their medication & then we came home.
Sunday we started the morning at church & I brought Lucy with me.  I've been asked to take the pictures for a brochure they want to put together to present to prospective pastors.  Our minister is retiring in September, so our search has begun for his replacement.
Both my boys' were home for dinner.  They have been plotting & planning for two weeks or more to buy this bike frame that Dream Boy has had his eye on in the local bike shop.  On Saturday Dream Boy went down there to pick up some parts for bike he's fixing for our friend's son & he asked before he left if he could buy the bike.  I said if he wanted too - go ahead.
Well imagine his disappointment when the shop owner told him someone had come in from Grand Rapids this past week & bought it.
Now imagine his utter shock when they walk into the house with it on Sunday afternoon!  He was literally taken back.  He broke out into a sweat & was on the verge of tears.  The boy's had surprised him completely and he was not expecting it at all.  
Yes, I was in tears as I stood there with Lucy taking pictures of the touching scene.  Pictures to come later this week.
So today is Monday, a new start to a new week.  We have lots of planning to do as Son #2 is wanting to move the last week of May to Seattle.  We are deciding if it will be me or Dream Boy who travels with him in the U-Haul towing his car for 3 days to move him out there.
But for now, I must go meet my Monday Morning Prayer partners as we begin our school week as we have all year.  In prayer for each other, our jobs & our school district.
Have a blessed week and thank you so much for stopping by.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It's another week of Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  

To tell you the truth, Lucy didn't see much action this week, so a few of my selections are from my trip to Chicago the week before.  I don't consider that to be archives as it is still in the same month!  Ha!

Without further ado.....

I posted about these earlier this week - the tips just glow!

 An old sea captain getting directions from a directionally challenged young thing.

 To be a small building in the city of Chicago, is to live among the shadows in today's world.

My daffodils bloomed earlier this week on my back hill.  So nice to see even though it snowed later in the week.

Smile pretty for the camera!

There ya have it - another week done!

Be sure to head over to Ramblings & Photos for some links to other great interpretations this week!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Random 5 Friday

Dear Cute New Shoes:

We may end up having a love/hate relationship.  While I LOVE the looks of you, I'm not so sure I like the feel of you.  You fit so sweetly in the store, but you somehow shrunk between there & here.

Dear Noah:

Please send me a copy of your Ark Plans - Stat!

Dear Big Brother-in-Law:

As you are literally cruising back into port today with my Big Sister - I want to wish you the happiest of birthdays!  Love you bro!

Dear Fellow Staff Member:

Until you've walked a mile in my shoes (preferably those adorable ones above) - shut it.  Until you've done my job for, let's say, 1 week - shut it.  Do NOT ever approach me in the manner in which you did yesterday again.

Dear April Showers:

That had better be one heck of a May Flower carpet you are bringing to Michigan in a couple of weeks!

Hooking up with Nancy and others over at "A Rural Journal" for this week's Random 5 Friday

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Creative title - I know.  Sometimes that's all I got.

I just want to show you what only took me a year to do.  Yes, a year.  Remember last year I spent my WHOLE spring break repainting my bedroom?  I love the colors & how it ended up, and am still in love with it.  But I've had this blank wall staring at me every day since I finished it.  I had grand ideas of doing this or that & I've been collecting pics & frames too.  Finally today after school I did it.  I put up a wall display, complete with most of my own photography.  

Are you like me?  You take tons & tons of pics.  Do lots of editing & you keep them all on file in your computer, but you never print anything to put on your own walls?  I am so guilty of this, but I finally enlarged a few shots and framed them.

I've been hanging on to the "listen" subway art that I won a few years ago from Monika Wright at I Love It All .  I had it displayed in another place for a while, but the frame got knocked off & it broke.  So I tucked it away for a new special place.

I found it.

While most of the shots are of family - it portrays who we are in this house.  


There are still maybe a few things here & there that I might add in between frames, but for now I am satisfied.  I am happy not to be looking at a blank wall every morning when I wake up!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning!
Or is it?
I'm not sure yet as I woke up at around 2 & never really fell into a good sleep again after that.  I can surely tell you it is NOT because I'm going back to school today.
My spring break went by way too fast - as they always do.  But I did have a wonderful time as you can see above.  Just another shot from under "The Bean", aka "Cloud" in Chicago with my nieces.
Ahhhh, memories made.
So, yep.  Back to school today as my sister sets sail to the Bahamas.  Bugger.
How was your weekend?  As usual, the time was not long enough, but it was very nice.
Last Friday I had to shoot up to Grand Rapids to meet with the "genius", Matt, at the Apple Store.  On Thursday while editing photos, my iPhoto decided to, one by one, delete all my pictures and then my program disappeared completely.  I tried to find it in my external hard drive, but then my iPhoto came up as if I had never used it before & I was starting fresh.  ARrrRRRggGGGHHHhhHH!
So off we went on Friday to see what was up.  Matt, the "genius", truly is one.  He found it in my external hard drive AND he found photos from last year that I thought I had lost forever last summer whilst I was cleaning off my computer & taking out my trash!  Oh, I think I even told him I love him.  Don't hate me Dream Boy.
Friday night I sat home & watched a movie while Dream Boy made sure his mom was home from the hospital and that both his parents were set for the night.
Saturday he went back over there to meet with them & his siblings, while I drove back up to Grand Rapids to pick up my computer.
We were both home all afternoon & evening together, but putzed around the house & such - going no where & doing nothing.  It had been a long week running back & forth to the hospital and to his parent's house to take care of his dad.
Sunday found us in church in the morning & out for our weekly breakfast.  Son #2 came home in the afternoon & he & Dream Boy went for a long bike ride.  I stayed home & made home made meat sauce for supper.  
Son #1 came by later in the evening with yet another new car - he buys & flips them so fast I can never remember what he's driving.  This time I think he'll keep it for a while.  He bought a Lexus.  He blows my mind on the deals he finds.
So, yep, back to school this morning.  But not until after I have morning prayer time with my 2 girls.
I hope you have a wonderful Monday.
Till we meet again!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It was my spring break this past week & I was all over the place - literally.  I spent my 1st full day in the hospital (yes, again), but not with Dream Boy this time, but with his mom.  Actually - Dream Boy & I were both were her all day. They finally admitted her late that night & she did not come home until Friday.  You know you've spent too much time in the hospital when doctor's & nurses recognize you.  

But, I did NOT take my SHS shots in the hospital this week, but mostly in the Windy City!  Yes, on Wednesday I was able to surprise my 2 nieces & take them on the commuter train into Chicago for the day.  Oh they were SO surprised & I had tears in my eyes when they started screaming that they were going to get to go to THE BEAN!!!  You know, the one & only Tatum Channing stood on that very ground in "The Vow" and we had to be sure we walked on every tile beneath it to be sure our feet touched where his once did.

Okay, okay - I won't bore you with anymore and will not take you on our little walk about the Windy City.

Outside  (it's a twofer)
We're standing outside in the sun in the reflection of THE Bean!

 We walked over 5 miles that day & made sure we spent time on Navy Pier!

My youngest niece is never at a loss for words - even when carrying on a conversation with a bronze image of Bob Newhart.

So NOT in my comfort zone!!!  You can put me on any roller coaster, but you could never get me to swing with these window washers!!

In the kitchen
Raising 2 boys' they didn't spend much time in the kitchen with me, except to eat!  But my 2 girls' love to play - here they are making Lemon Whoopie Pies!

Barren trees growing in the concrete jungle of Chicago.

It was such a fun adventure for me & my girls.  Now why don't you click on the link below & see what fun adventures everyone else had this past week?

Thanks so much for stopping by - see you again soon!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Random 5 Friday

Dear Friday:

It is my last day of spring break.  I hold close the memories of sitting on the beach in Florida in February as it is a cool 39 degrees here today.  Just like I cat, I sit in the sunshine streaming through my living room window, soaking up the warmth.

Dear MacBook Pro:

Specifically iPhoto.  Why, oh why, did you send me into a turmoil of emotion yesterday afternoon as I watched, one by one, each & every photo disappear right before my very eyes???  My plan to copy every one of them to CD's this week didn't happen because of this.  My external drive doesn't want to cooperate either in helping me find my back up, nor does Time Machine.  Let's hope the "genius" at the Apple store this afternoon can work some magic & figure out why!

Dear Chicago:

Thank you for the splendid day & wonderful memories you helped me created on Wednesday with my nieces.  While I'd love to show picture here of our adventure, iPhoto won't let me.  But believe me, we had a splendid day - I have the blisters on my feet to prove it from all the walking we did to see all the things we did!

Dear Hotel Bronson Hospital:

Yes, you have once again welcomed me this week with your open doors.  While it isn't Dream Boy this time as our reason for visiting, I appreciate your hospitality and caring staff for my mother-in-law.  But you know, it's becoming an all too familiar place for me to visit, especially when the doctor's in the ER recognize me so quickly.

Dear Weekend:

Please don't be in any rush to pass by.  I'll be happy if the days just drag by, that those 48 hours will stretch out as long as possible.  Monday need not come too quickly.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

Happy Monday!
It is happy as I'm on spring break & plan on enjoying every moment of it.
Tomorrow is Son #2's 23rd birthday, so we are all heading up after all the others get out of work to meet him for dinner.  He's taking us to a place called the "Electric Cheetah".  Hmmmm........Son #2 says Son #1 will be in his element.
How was your weekend?  Mine was nice, thank you for asking.  
Thursday night Dream Boy & I went to the Maundy Thursday service at our church.  It was a small, intimate gathering in our chapel and one that brought me to tears.  Our minister is very powerful in his preaching, but the whole atmosphere, the set up, the reverance, the message of Jesus' last supper with the disciples and of His imminent death on Good Friday brings me to a place in my mind that brings me to tears every time.  To think of the sacrifice made for me, one so humble, one so undeserving, the same sacrifice made for any and each of you too.
Friday I didn't have school and so I slept in.  I then went shopping and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I'm not much of a shopper, but I did enjoy myself this time none the less.  It was a beautiful spring day, with temps in the 50s, so I rolled own my window & treated myself to lunch at The Root Beer Stand!  It's been around forever & is only open in the spring & summer.  You pull up, the car hop comes & takes your order & sets the tray on your window & you eat in your car.  They have a menu of hot dogs, pop corn, chips, root beer, lemonade or orange soda.  I indulged in 2 chili cheese dogs with the works & a large root beer!
We had friend's over for dinner Friday night, grilling pizza's on Dream Boy's new grill.  One a wonderful time we had - I even watched the Michigan game & the game winning 3 point shot that sent them into overtime!
Saturday Dream Boy, Son #2 and their biking buddies hopped on their bikes and took a long 40 something mile ride  taking advantage of the spring temps.
Sunday we were to have Dream Boy's parents & brothers for Easter dinner, but his brother's both bailed on us at the last minute.  My mother-in-law has been suffering with severe back pain for over a month now & it is getting worse every day.  Pain meds are not helping & she can't even stand up straight.  So after church, we went home, packed up the whole dinner & Dream Boy, myself, Son #1 & d2b & Son #2 headed over to their house.  We served up dinner & ate together.   We cleaned up & all headed home for the afternoon.  My father-in-law called around 7:30 to say that mom couldn't even stand up, she was crawling around on her hands & knees the pain was so bad.  He was calling an ambulance, mom wasn't arguing & so Dream Boy headed off to the hospital to meet her there.  Dad is pretty immobile himself, so I stayed home in the event I needed to go over to their house to bring him down to the hospital.
Not exactly how we had hoped to spend our Easter Sunday, but thanking God we are able to help them when they need it.
I have my nieces coming for 3 days this week.  Can't wait to see their faces when I surprise them with a day trip on the train to Chicago!
I'm also planning on getting my Project Life caught up & getting a scrapbook project completed that I was hired to do.
Son #2 is flying out on Thursday to Seattle to spend 2 days looking for his new apartment as he gets closer to the big move in June.
Have a great week everyone, and thank you for stopping by this morning to share a few minutes of your day & spending it with me!