Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Break Catch Up

Well it's April 1st, which means it's my first day back to work after one of the most relaxing Spring Breaks of my life! How it came and went so fast, I'll never know, but it absolutely was enjoyed!!

My roommate/BFF was gone most of the Spring Break- so I had the apartment to myself. (My roommate and I are FINE as roommates and don't have issues-it's just kind of a treat for this firstborn child to enjoy some complete independence! Haha) At the beginning of March when I realized I didn't have any finalized, official Spring Break plans, I decided I would enjoy a Spring Break staycation in the comfort of my own home! I quickly began to think about what my week at home (alone) would be like...and Pinterest suddenly popped into my head. So- there was my plan. A Spring Break Staycation with Pinterest Projects galore. (Well not really "galore" but you get the idea.) I managed to completely clean out my den and make it into a "functional" den. I've only lived here going on 3 years. Haha! I also cleaned my room and was able to take a box of give-away stuff to a local ministry. It was such a relaxing Spring Break and it's left me longing for summer!! Only 2 months plus a few days and summer it will be! :)

Anyway...I plan to do a seperate post with the few Pinterest-inspired crafts/projects I made. For now- I'll post some other random pics from Spring Break, as well as Easter.

Saturday, March 23rd, one of the girls I teach with got married! I went with 2 other co-workers and photo booth was the form of guestbook! So fun!

And THEN I caught the bouquet!!!! I was totally out of my element being in front of all those people and then having the attention solely on me once I caught it, but it was a fun/awkward few moments! Perhaps this could mean something?!?!

The bride and me!

Monday night I babysat for my friend. This is little Liam who didn't want to sleep in his crib. But do you really think I minded holding him? Not at all! :)

On Tuesday, I had plans for lunch and pedicures with an old friend from my hometown. My mom had certainly made it clear she wanted me to stop by to meet her class, which I didn't mind. I also enjoy going to her school because I get to see many of my old teachers who still work with my mom! My dad also works there, so I posed for a pic with both parents!

Look at this amazing piece of chocolate peanut butter pie from my lunch at Yoder's! Mmmm mmmm mmmm! :)

Thursday night, late, I drove to Tampa International Airport to pick up Dayna and her mom from the airport. Then on Friday, Dayna and I got free tickets to go to a spring training game for the Tigers vs. Rays. It has been YEARS since I've been to a baseball game, and I'm certainly not athletically knowledgeable, so Dayna got a kick out of my many questions!

On Friday night, Dayna, me, and some old friends went out to dinner in Sarasota. It was sooo chilly! Here I am looking for sea life!

Here's Dayna.....being Dayna....ha!

On Saturday, I went to a 50th Surprise Birthday Party which was really fun! The guest of honor was totally surprised! Mission accomplished for the host, right?! :)

Later Saturday night, around midnight to be exact, Dayna and I colored Easter eggs! It's tradition! So much fun, as usual. I think the hour of the night in which we did this contributed to the amount of silliness there was. Good memories!

This was my last egg to dye, and this is all I could come up with! Ha!

Then on Easter Sunday, I went to church (favorite part of Easter, for real!!) and then met my family in Brandon for lunch. My mom and sister had a function to attend late Saturday and the best thing for all of our schedules was to meet up for lunch. It's not the norm, but it's what worked this year and it was fine. I sometimes struggle with change in tradition...but this was fine.

The Easter Bunny gives out Chick-Fil-A gift cards! He must know me well! ;)

So that was my Spring Break week in a nutshell! I hope you enjoyed your Easter Sunday. If you don't personally know the Risen King, I hope that someday soon you will! He changes lives! Following Him brings immeasurable joy.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

ALS Walk 2013

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is the reason my amazing grandma died at a young age of only 69. It was absolutely horrible to watch her suffer- losing her ability to talk, losing her ability to chew and eat the foods she liked, eventually needing to be put on a feeding tube, and not to mention- the emotional heartache of it all. Let me mention though, she always trusted God's plan through her whole battle. And now she lives with Him.
The Happy Ending to a not-so-happy battle.

Each year since my grandma's passing in 2006, our family has participated in the ALS Benefit Walk, to raise awareness and money which could lead to a cure. Right now, there is no cure for ALS. My heart breaks for the people battling the nasty disease, as well as the families who suffer through watching their loved one slowly deteriorate. I'm telling you, it's hard.

Last night was the 2013 ALS Walk in Orlando around a beautiful lake. The family was there and we enjoyed each other's company as we walked in memory of an amazing woman; our grandma, mom, mother 'n law, sister, and friend.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gone Fishin'

I'm not sure you could actually say I went fishing today considering the location and my inability to cast the line...but since fishing was the goal, the title will remain as is. Ha!

I went to Sarasota today to hang out with my family. Mom and I got pedicures, then we went to my favorite sub shop, Jersey Mike's, with my sister, Korinne, and after dinner Korinne and I met up with our sister, Keleigh, at Orange Leaf (self-serve ice cream).

I know my dad likes to casually fish in the small lake in their backyard. I rushed my mom out of the nail salon so that I could do some fishing with my dad before dark. {By the way...I'm so ready to set the clocks forward because I'm ready for the extra hour of daylight!} We had just about 15 minutes of attempted fishing.

My dad mentioned several times during my attempted fishing efforts, "I taught you to fish!" To which I replied, while laughing, "Yeah...about 20 years ago with a very small Barbie fishing pole."

Needless to say, I didn't do too well fishing in the short amount of time we had before dark. But I want to get better at fishing. It seems as though there's a feeling of excitement to be had when you catch a fish! Ha. I'm also at a stage in life where I think I need to be trying new things and creating new experiences and memories for myself. My life can't just revolve around my job- even though most days I like it! Haha.

All photos captured in this event are credited to Korinne...haha.

I'm probably too girly for fishing- who poses with a fishing pole? Ha!

A little father-daughter activity (He LOVED that I asked him to fish with me) :)

When you mess up the line each time you cast, this is what it looks like, in case you were curious. Ha!

This is what I looked like the whole time basically...confused.

Maybe this summer I'll have another "Gone Fishin'" post with some actual photos of me and a fish or two I was able to catch! First, though, I have some fundamental fishing techniques to brush-up on.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Glow Sticks

Happy Valentine's Day!

One of the fun parts of being a teacher is getting to re-live childhood grade-school memories with your own Valentine's Day, for example.

I remember setting up shop in my bedroom with the list of my classmates' names, colorful pens, valentine cards and of course the coordinating stickers that sealed the card closed. It should be noted that all of my Valentine's-card-making happened on one of those prop-up dinner trays. I would go pull it out of the garage and carry it into my bedroom for this event.

Then of course on Valentine's Day, there was a little class party to look forward to, cards to exchange and see which boy gave you which card with that "special" saying.

{please reassure me and tell me you can relate? Or was that just me?}

And you can't forget the candy. The best part! a teacher now, I get to re-live the fun through my students. We aren't allowed to do parties in our district except twice a year, and Valentine's isn't one of those times, so we simply just exchanged cards and did a math activity with candy hearts.

Last weekend, I browsed Pinterest and found some cute ideas for student valentines. I decided to go with the glow stick idea. Take a look at how they came out...

It was a simple project that took about an hour, start to finish. It's affordable, too! I spent a total of $5 and it all was purchased at the Dollar Tree. I have 18 students so I bought 4 packs of glow sticks, with 5 in each package.

I used a pair of scissors, a pen to trace the heart, and a sharpie to write with on the foam.

Once I traced and cut a heart that I was satisfied with (I'm quite the perfectionist) I used it to trace and cut the rest. Ta-da!

It was fun and simple to make these Valentines, and it's something different than the normal store-bought card. I posted a picture on Instagram and for the caption I wrote, "Glow stick valentines- a teacher's way to avoid a mass sugar high." Haha!

Hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sister Sunday

Rewind with me to October 2012, will you? My birthday fell on a Sunday, and my family had planned to drive up to go to my church with me before we celebrated at a restaurant for lunch.

I was thrilled to have their company at church, not because I don't have company there, but because there have been some bumps in the road in their church life since around the time I went off to college. There's nothing I want more for them to get reconnected with God and to find His purpose in their daily living. So anyway...they came for my birthday, and God moved. He moved into my sister Keleigh's life.

Since that weekend, she's made the hour and 15 minute drive most Sunday mornings to come to church with me. She works Saturday nights at a restaurant and gets up early enough on Sunday so that she can be here for church. I told her recently that her coming weekly now is like a birthday gift that keeps on giving. It all started on my birthday when she felt God's call- and since then, she's grown so much in her relationship with Him. What more could a big sister want, right? :)

There have been a few times my other sister, Korinne, has been able to come. Today was one of those days. And we had the best time! Keleigh and I have made a habit out of Olive Garden for lunch..but due to my being there so often lately, we switched it up and went to Longhorn today.

Then I drove them back to church to get their car and we ended up standing in the parking lot for over an hour just chatting and having a mini photo shoot. Call me cheesy or whatever, but it was such a precious moment! We were literally standing in the parking lot at church just switching from one conversation to the next and laughing. It's just a sweet memory that will probably always be with me.

Each week I look forward to my "Sister Sunday" and I'm thankful for what God is doing in my sister's life. He is so good!

Here are some of our mini photo shoot gems:

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Been a Simple January

One thing can be said of January.

It is LONG!

Coming back to work after the holiday season, 31 full days, haven't been paid since before get the idea.

Because of that last little fact I just mentioned...about not having been paid in over a month...January tends to be pretty simple, because the budget demands it! Ha! Payday is this Thursday and it's such a refreshing thought!

So...let's take a look at my simple January, shall we?

Cookies and milk for dinner.

Donating blood while my students were at Music. The Bloodmobile comes and sits in our parking lot every few months, and I like to take advantage of the opportuity. I've been blessed with good veins and it takes me about 5 minutes to give my donation!

On Saturday, I went to visit my aunt in Orlando and we ended the day with some of the best Italian Ice at Jeremiah's! We also saw the movie Parental Guidance. Have you seen it?? If not, you should! It's a clean, feel-good movie, with a good message! I loved it.

My sister, Keleigh, came with me to work in my classroom Sunday afternoon, after we went to church and had lunch. She worked on a paper while I did some things to get ready for this week.

Last week, my BFF and I went to a little hole-in-the-wall pizza joint and we each ordered two slices. Well...the guy made it into a heart for us. It was kinda sweet, but then at the same time...I wasn't sure what he was insinuating? Ha.

Only few days left of this long, long month...and I've got some fun dinner plans lined up with fabulous college friends, as well as a much needed hair appointment on Saturday!