We did two VBS's this summer. I guess we were trying to make up for lost time, since we hadn't attended any at all since Noah was maybe 3 or 4. One was at my parents' church. My parents came up to see Saylor's dance recital (on a Sunday) and then spontaneously decided to take the big kids back with them for the week! Yes, ma'am. That is what is called a "win win" situation. I, the overworked Mommy, desperately needed a moment to breathe, and Mimi and Da must have needed some one-on-one time with their eldest two grandchildren. So that worked out just fine.
Well, they had a blast going to VBS each morning and then fishing, swimming, playing, watching movies, etc. at with Mimi and Da every afternoon. Meanwhile back in Little Rock, the babies and I went shopping at Kroger's for THAT night's supper, and it was pleasant and quiet (remember, no talking around here for the "2 and under" crowd) I just love shopping for fresh ingredients for supper. Never do it, but love it. I even tried out a new recipe, which. was awesome. Woo hoo!!
I really did miss my big 'uns, though, so I headed down to see their closing ceremony Friday night of that week. Got some of it on video. Loved their cute VBS crafts! Aren't they the greatest?! And there's ALWAYS some sort of picture frame. ALWAYS.
There were a few other items, but I've no idea where they've wandered off to.
A couple of my favorites:
Saylor made a drum (out of a peanut can)
Noah made a prayer journal
Token Picture Frame #1
OUR church had a VBS this year, too. It's important to note here that our church, as of this summer, was a mere year and a half old, so the fact that there even WAS a VBS for such a young (and small) church is really saying something. (See the link for Redeemer Community Church on my sidebar? Y'all come on!!) It was also the most well-thought-out, beautifully-decorated, and interesting VBS I've ever attended/helped with, and I've been to MANY a VBS!! I just have to commend all our volunteers for how well it all came off. I wish my camera would have been functional (and not sitting here with a full card and no software for this crazy computer) so I could have shown you how truly awesome it was! Ours was an African Prayer Safari called "Kingdom of the Son," which took us through The Lord's Prayer. Mimi's kid-sized stuffed giraffe made an appearance, along with Noah's tent and various other items...The decor? Well, it was grand.
I taught the 4- and 5-year old kiddos, so Saylor was in my class. She did great with me there. No whining or neediness. She just did her thang. And I even got to use a felt board, which cracked me up! Gabriel and Atticus were the only babies in the nursery, so they really developed a special bond that week, I think.
My kids thought snack time was the best part of each day, and I couldn't have agreed more. Our ladies went all out. No packaged cookies and Kool-aid here! No sir! We're talking "Ants on a Log" (pretzel sticks dipped in peanut butter and then sprinkled with chocolate sprinkles), "Gorilla Grub" (apple slices to dip in yogurt--'cause gorillas like to dip their food. Did you know that?), "Dirt Cups" (you know...the pudding and crumbled cookie stuff), "Critter Crunch" (yummy trail mix complete with M&M's and served in an ice cream cone--how cute is that?!), and I cannot for the life of me remember what the last thing was, but I'm sure it was equally as creative and tasty. And the snack ROOM itself was truly something to behold! They had hung vines from the ceiling and turned the lights down low and there were all sorts of jungly-type animals all around. It was trés cute.
And, oh, the songs they learned! The Hamburg VBS was an Australian theme called "The Boomerang Express," and Noah knows every single word to the main song. Take it from me. We've seen him "perform" it for the family a time or two while standing on our couch. The Redeemer VBS songs were African and extremely catchy. Our favorite? "Harambe," meaning "let's get together" (a.k.a. "Namsifu mungu kwa" which is Swahili for "I praise God"). It had a fun little dance to go along with it. Even the adults couldn't help but jump in there!
All that to say that we (and this does not include Gabriel, who did NOT appreciate being dropped off in the nursery with perfect strangers) thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at VBS this summer. And, may I point out, I successfully showed up ON TIME (even a bit early) five days in a row WITH all four children (under the age of seven) clean, dressed, and fed--and with no help?! It CAN be done, people! It can. But I will admit it was nothing short of crazy, and I was absolutely beat by the time I got home each day. Thank you, Lord, we are (normally) a homeschooling family.
In other somewhat-related (and much more recent) news...
We have been very busy getting our shoe boxes packed for Operation Christmas Child. We did it last year through our church and loved every minute of it!! Something new and exciting about this year is that we are going to make our postage-cost donation online and then print out labels with bar codes. This will enable us to track where our boxes end up!!! Cool, huh? And this year, we will enclose some info. about our family in hopes that we may befriend a pen pal or two. It's not too late to get involved yourself!! Go to the official website linked above and read all about what to do. It's easy. You can find your nearest drop-off location here. The drive is through Monday, November 23. So hurry!! (We'll be dropping ours off at church tomorrow.)
There's a list of gift ideas (and some things to definitely NOT include) on the website. OH!!! And in case you don't have time to get stuff together, you can always simply go to their website and make a donation to defray shipping costs, etc. It's a worthy cause.
Here is what OURS look like. Included are MANY little toys, a plush toy, a pencil pouch full of candy, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a comb or brush, a little pail to keep things in, crayons, a pad of construction and tracing paper, a train whistle, nail clippers, several mechanical pencils, and a bar of soap. (By the way, if you send soap you should put it in a baggy so it won't ruin the taste of any candy you may enclose. We double bagged our soap and put our candy in the pencil pouch--just to be safe.) I still need to put in a washcloth and the little notes about ourselves, but they're mostly done. In fact, we had stuff left over that wouldn't fit, so instead of returning things, we're just going to fill another box.