Friday, October 11, 2019

Five Loves on Friday // Japanese Ambience Festival, Celebrating my Dad, the Zoo at Halloweentime, and the Beauty of Fall!

Happy Friday, friends!  
As I type this (on Thursday evening) I'm super thankful to have electricity to finish this post.  We've experienced a stormy past few days here.  We briefly lost power multiple times over the past 24 hours.  Tonight it went out as we were finishing dinner and remained off for a little over an hour. 

When our girls were small we'd play games by candlelight when the electricity went out.  Tonight we revisited that tradition with several rounds of UNO.  The winner of each round scored a Hershey nugget with almond and toffee bits.  It was a very "sweet" time laughing and playing together while enjoying some good old fashioned family fun!  

Isn't it wonderful how something small like losing electricity can remind us to appreciate the things we may otherwise take for granted?  I'm thankful to have power back and all that entails - the often overlooked blessings of having the means to properly store all the groceries we just bought, and heat to keep our home cozy on a day when the temps are in the 30s right outside our door.  Would you like to hear about a handful of other things that I'm oh so thankful for this week?  Fantastic!  I can't wait to share with you now, and capture them here to look back on with a happy heart!

One  //  Celebrating with & Honoring my Dad

The company my dad works for celebrated their 25th anniversary with a fun and festive Open House last weekend. While they were celebrating a quarter of a century of operation, my dad has actually worked there since before I was born.  He is one of only a dozen employees that have been there beyond this 25 year mark.  He will be retiring before the company will hit its next milestone.  That made being there feel extra special to this daddy's girl.  My late grandpa also worked there for decades and retired under this company as well.  I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to get one last tour, see how well liked my dad is by all his co-workers, and to hear from his boss what I already know, I have a great dad!

It was such a fun celebration!  They had the event catered with BBQ and even hired an ice cream truck for complimentary sweet treats.  There were bouncy houses for the little ones.  They had face paint and balloon artists.  As you can see in the collage above we took advantage of both.  You're never too old for fun, right?  When my youngest requested a balloon cat to match her face paint, the balloon artist insisted that my mom and I get something too.  When she offered us pumpkin bracelets we quickly agreed to that cuteness!  We played several rounds of bingo.  My oldest daughter, my dad, and I each won a round.  My husband won a whopping three times!  Between all of us we brought home a variety of tools, kitchen items, and home decor.  People walking by our table commented, "That's where the party's at!" :)  It was such a fun and memorable afternoon!  I couldn't be more proud of my dad.  He's put in so many years of hard work to provide for those he loves most.  It was wonderful to be there to honor and celebrate him!

Two  //  Japanese Ambience Festival

Last weekend was also our favorite event at the botanical gardens, the Japanese Ambience Festival.  The festival features Japanese music, dance, archery, martial arts, tea ceremony demonstrations, floral and bonsai displays, games, crafts, and more!  Here's a look around at the beauty and fun of this year's festival...

The taiko drummers' performance was hands down our favorite thing at the festival this year!  They were excellent performers!  The Japanese style drumming includes storytelling through choreography.  It was as beautiful to watch as it was to listen to.  It's very similar to drumming we enjoy at the Japan pavilion in Epcot, yet with many more performers involved there seemed to be an added element of grandeur that made it even more entertaining and enjoyable to watch!  We're already looking forward to seeing them again next year!

After the last performance of the day we headed to the booths outdoors.  Each of us girls had our named painted in Japanese calligraphy on beautiful ribbon adorned bookmarks.

I'm so thankful we were able to enjoy another year of attending this event.  Each presentation and performance was so interesting.  We learned many new things about the Japanese culture.  It was definitely a weekend well spent!

Three  //  A Gorgeous Afternoon at the Zoo

We took advantage of the most beautiful day in the foreseeable forecast with a late afternoon family trip to the zoo.  One of my favorite things about visiting the zoo is taking in the awesomeness and creativity of our incredible Creator as we watch a variety of unique animals, large and small, at rest and at play.

Four  //  Halloweentime is Here

The zoo was all decked out for the Halloween season making it all the more fun to explore!  Here's a peek at the some of the darling decor... 

Five  //  Fabulousness Fall Foliage 

The leaves are really starting to put on a spectacular show this week!  The rich colors of fall always leave me marveling at the goodness of God!  He is so wise in the way He created seasons.  He protects the trees that are so important to us as our source of oxygen by having created them to shed their leaves before the weather in the season that follows.  If they didn't lose their leaves in the fall, the heaviness of the ice and snow of winter would potentially damage or destroy the trees.  Not only did God design the changing of seasons so perfectly, He also chose to do it in such a beautiful way!  

What a gift it is to behold the brilliantly colored leaves before they fall.  God didn't have to create them to hold such beauty, yet He did.  He is such a wise, creative, and also incredibly kind God!  All good gifts come from Him, even the beauty of this season as seen through the colors of the changing foliage.  

My heart overflows with gratitude to God as I reflect on this week.  I hope that you find many reasons to give thanks today too!  I'd love to hear your favorite things about this season in the comment section below before you go! :)

Earlier This Week at Chatting Over Chocolate:

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  1. I hope your power stays on, it is so crazy how much you miss it when it goes out! I'd love to get to the zoo, but we are so busy, I'm hoping it won't be too cold before we can get there. You even found a Mickey at your zoo, how great is that?!

  2. Oh I just love a good trip to the zoo! Your pictures remind me of our trip to the zoo last month (though they weren't all decked out for Halloween yet).

  3. What a festive week and glad you got your electricity back! Also, that Japanese festival sounds incredible! xo, Biana-BlovedBoston

  4. I love seeing the fall color in your area. We don't get much of that here in Houston. The trip to the zoo looks like fun, especially with all the pumpkins. Congrats to your dad! It really is rare to stay with a company that long these days. Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. I love fall - for all the foliage and the decor and the celebrations! That Japanese Ambience Festival looks like so much fun! My son loves all things Japan and would LOVE this! Congrats to your dad for over 25 years at the company. Looks like you had a fun time celebrating the company's success! Have a great weekend!


I would love to hear from you today! I enjoy reading each and every comment I receive. (I do moderate them before they're published. Gotta keep it family friendly! ;)) Let's chat! B.Y.O.C. {Bring Your Own Chocolate!}