VBS Day 5

It’s over now. I’m riding in the car on the way to Augusta to see my family. Kids are in back watching a movie with their own headsets on, which makes for a beautifully silent car.

No doubt I’m exhausted and glad tomorrow is Saturday, but also I am still so thankful for such a fun week with the kids. They were all soooo sweet and got along very well. They listened to the Bible lessons quite attentively, too.

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Here is my buddy who was just adorable. He even chose to bring water to other kids instead of jumping on the inflatables outside today.

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Here are a few more pictures I snapped today:

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Fun times! I hope each child remembers that they can”FACE FEAR” and “TRUST GOD!”

VBS Day 4

Wow.  We just finished day four of Vacation Bible School, and I must say it was the best day so far!  I didn’t snap any of my own pictures, but I did steal this one of off Facebook.

1003820_10201457216657433_65984940_nThis crazy man was a special guest, and he did a great job entertaining all of us.  My favorite was the “Drive the Bus” song.  He was quite the character.

We had several kids who brought a friend today, which was the theme!  I even had a friend come and help me with the class…I meant to snap a picture with her.  She was sooooo sweet and soooo helpful.  I’m going to miss her tomorrow!!!  I think she had a fun time with all of the kids.

And my sweet little guy who made my morning yesterday with his, “This is the greatest day ever!” comment was back and didn’t fail to boost my spirits.  He wanted me to watch him go down the big slide during rec time, and he also appeared before me with sweaty, warm socks in hand and a big ol smile on his face, too.  Of course, I gladly held them for him.  He is precious.

And oh my goodness.  I just glanced up at that picture up there and realized that the big afro hair in the middle left is ME!!  Poor kids that had to sit behind me.  Oh my goodness.  Get that girl a straightener.

Last but not least, I got to share the gospel with 27 sweet little Kindergarteners, and I prayed that each one of them would one day (if they hadn’t already) come to a knowledge of how great a love the Father has for them and that their faith would grow strong and bold for Jesus.

Yep, it’s been worth it.

 

VBS Day 3!

Well, we have made it over half-way through our Vacation Bible School week, and we are still having fun.  Today was crazy hat and glasses day:
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The hats came in handy…we didn’t have to fix our hair today at all!  Just stuck it under the hat and left.  The baby bottles are for the offering to support Cobb Pregnancy Center.  Each child gets to go up front and empty the bottles  at the altar each morning after a video showing all the ways the money will be used.  It is a very moving part of the Worship Rally.

photo copy 6Mack and his buddies continue to participate in all the crazy themes, which I think is so cute!  Mack has enjoyed playing with boys all week.  They made a ferris wheel during craft time and drew pictures of different things they were afraid of.  The boy table was naming anything that had to do with a girl….”girl video games,” “girl phones,” “pink stuff.”  It was funny.

photo copy 5And then there was this enormous bunny!  How cool is that?  It was adorable.  And that big hunk of skin (aka double chin), was called a dunlap.  If only double chins were so cute on us humans.

It was a little bit of an interesting day for various reasons, but one little boy looked right at me as they gathered for story time and said as clear as can be, “This is the greatest day ever!”  And I knew God meant that to encourage me.  I very much needed it.

 

 

VBS Day Two!

photo copy 3We started our morning with some fun hair spray to get ready for “Cotton Candy Hair Day” at VBS.  The kids were sure that they needed some crazy colored hair, and so Josh and I took a trip to Sally’s Beauty Supply last night to get them some.  (I include this detail so that they know one day that their parents were sort of fun and let them have fun.)

I went a different route with a green wig someone had given us at Halloween.  On the way in to the church Molly and I were walking side by side when Molly said, “Oh, Mom, they are all staring at me….I’m nervous.”

photo copy 4I told her that if it was any consolation, I didn’t really think they were staring at HER, but rather ME and the green wig.  She didn’t believe me.

photo copy 2Mack has been able to be with his best buddy this week.  I chose the letter “R” as my Kindergarten classroom because this little guy’s name starts with an “R.”  They both wore Spider-Man shirts and each had their own crazy hair.  I love a boy who isn’t afraid to participate in stuff like this.  I’m sure one day he will be too cool, but I hope not!

If anyone is wondering, I did make it through the pledges without bawling again.  Only three more mornings to hold it together.

I will add this last fun fact…during the Rec time the kids got to go in the Gym and jump on four different very large inflatables.  A kids dream come true!  One boy in our class had his socks on and was slipping around everywhere on the floor, so I told him he could take his socks off if they were bothering him.  He took me up on it and snatched off his socks quickly and handed them to me….the warm, sweaty, little boy feet socks.  Then, a couple other of our boys saw the transaction and made a quick move over to pass their socks off to me as well.  So I reached a new level of teacher love and dedication as I held the four pair of warm, sweaty, little boy feet socks.

So clearly, as a VBS teacher you never know what you might find yourself wearing or what acts of service you might find yourself doing.  🙂  Exhausted, but loving our week.

 

 

 

 

VBS Day One

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Today was the first day of Vacation Bible School at my church, and I had such a fun time.  I am teaching Kindergarteners.  Each one was so very sweet.  Tomorrow we get nine more kids because, evidently, ours was the smallest class…which could have played a big role in why I had such a fun time.  🙂

We start out in the room getting everyone’s name tag on and playing together.  Then, we head over to the Chapel to have Worship Rally.  There is a drama and music and offering time.  The part that actually makes me want to cry is the pledge to the American and Christian Flags and the pledge to the Bible.  It’s like a flood of memories begin to wash over me.  

I grew up in a small, small church in a small town.  My grandma was THE Toddlers Teacher.   Mrs.  Pharr was THE Baby Teacher. And those two sweet ladies took care of the nursery.  Small church.  I’m really not good with numbers, and I am sure my memory doesn’t serve me well, but it seems like if we had 50 total kids at VBS, then it was considered packed.  I distinctly remember the general assembly when all of us would first line up outside as classes and then walk into the sanctuary.  One year my mom was the VBS Director.  I remember that very well.  We always took the pledges very seriously, and I always wanted to hold the Bible up front during pledge time.  The flags made me nervous; they were heavy.  But as an adult (especially when I am a teacher), it’s like the Lord allows my heart to be raw during the large VBS gathering.  He allows me to remember those fun-filled VBS days and somehow helps me connect it to who I am today. (I would bawl my eyes out right there if I didn’t think the kids would wonder about the mental state of their teacher.) It mattered that those teachers were there to teach.  It mattered that my mom chose to direct the whole program that year.  It mattered that people gave offerings to help the church function so that we could even have VBS.  It mattered that someone got those Butter Cookies ready and poured the Cherry Kool-Aid.  It mattered that someone taught the gospel and loved on each kid.  Even when those in charge couldn’t see right then that it mattered…even if they were tired…even if they didn’t know how to teach kids perfectly…even if there were only a few kids in the class…it mattered.

In my daily Bible reading I am  in I Kings and I Chronicles, as well as studying Gideon’s life in the book of Judges.  I have been reminded that leaders matter.  I have been reminded that poor decisions by those in charge affect those under his or her influence.  I have been more aware that seemingly small decisions or insignificant moments affect so much more than we are able to be aware of.  So I am thankful that even though I don’t see specifics of how it matters that I am teacher, I trust that it does.  I’m thankful that the Lord makes me super sensitive to Him during the Worship Rally when hundreds and hundreds of kids are gathered to sing, dance, pray, give, laugh…and pledge together.  I’m thankful for a memory that includes fun weeks of VBS in my small childhood church.  We didn’t even know what a jumpy was back then, but I always had a blast!  

Dear Lord Jesus, 
Thank you for the opportunity to serve You at Vacation Bible School.  Thank you for the many leaders that are serving this year.  Thank you for each and every leader that ever served at Bayvale Baptist Church when I was there.  Thank you for keeping me aware that so much of who I am today is because of Your work in the lives of someone else that led me, taught me, encouraged me, served me, loved me and loved You.  Help me be poured out for You in ways that bring You glory this week at Vacation Bible School.  You are so worthy.

Sweet Molly

My Molly, the second-born child, is quite the character.  She always has been.  I truly love how God made her even if I don’t always know exactly how to best respond to some of her antics.  She is usually full of questions.  I believe she is the most persistent person I’ve ever come across.  She is an amazing little care-giver; that topic could take another whole post with her obsessions over all things handicapped and that never-changing #1 Christmas list item—a wheel chair.  She’s serious about that, too.

Anyway, tonight Molly was once again not interested in watching a movie with her brother and sister.  We had been bike riding, swimming at the pool, out to grab lunch and then they even did some math.  It’s not like the child hadn’t been doing plenty all day.  However, she just couldn’t sit still and chill out.  No, instead, she conjured up a plan.  Date Night with Daddy!!  And she was adorable about it.  She secretly told me that she was going to go take a shower, and then she wanted me to come up and help her pick out a dress.  I also got to fix her hair, which is something usually only she does.  She had also let Josh know that they would be going to Olive Garden and then some where else for dessert.

She didn’t want  Josh to see her all dressed up yet.  She said to me, “I wish that he was downstairs looking in the mirror fixing his neck tie and then he would see me come down the stairs and say ‘Oh, Molly!  Wow!'”

Yes, she did say that.  Bless her future husband’s heart.  He better be attentive and ready for little Miss.  She is so funny.

And sure enough, Josh did not disappoint in the “You look so beautiful, Molly” department.  It was precious.

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And off they went to spend some precious time together.  She was over-the-top excited to have him all to herself.  I bet she doesn’t stop talking the entire time.

As I feel a lump welling up in my throat, I will try to hold back the tears….and I’ll end of a funnier note.

I lovingly told Josh to relish this moment because no one in the house wanted to spend time with him as much as she did right then.  I told him I love him so and love being with him, but I wasn’t planning to fix my hair and put on a dress for a date.  I have VBS to prepare for and laundry to do!  He laughed.

Can’t wait to hear what a fun time they have together.  Sweet memories.

Adult Swim is the Devil

I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I’m pretty sure I am on to something.  

Adult Swim is the devil.  You are sitting there in the lounge chair, just getting settled in with your Kindle after lathering three full sized kid bodies with sunscreen, pulling out the goggles, rounding up diving rings, positioning everyone’s towels and then you hear the gosh-awful sound of the whistle and those two words that send all your calm into a tailspin….”Adult Swim!!”

In reality it should be called something else because RARELY do I see any adults take advantage of the empty pool.

Maybe they could holler out, “GO GET YOUR MOM’S AREA SOAKING WET AND EVEN DRIP WATER ON HER KINDLE TIME!”

or, “GO ASK YOUR MOM HOW MANY MINUTES TIL YOU CAN SWIM AGAIN TIME!”

or, “RUN OVER TO YOUR MOM AND TELL HER HOW HUNGRY YOU ARE TIME!”

Yes, that one.  They might as well say, “SNACK TIME!”  I’m more than certain that the snacking industry and the whole concept of “Adult Swim” are absolutely in cahoots.  Seriously, Doritos make a killing solely based on their consumption during the summer months of “Adult Swim.”  Don’t even get me started on Pringles and Barrel Drinks.  

Now, I know a kid gets hungry as a result of all that swimming, but they wouldn’t realize they were so hungry if the blasted whistle hadn’t just blown to remind them that their bellies “need” snacks.  Kind of like the classical conditioning of Pavlov’s dog.

Ruby brought the “Adult Swim” time to an all-time low for me today when she hijacked my Kindle.  How do you tell a sweet 9 year old no when she asks to read and tells me how she really wishes she would have brought her book so that she could lay by me and read in the sun?  I mean, this is a quality I highly value in my young.  I have daydreamed about the day I would have a tanning partner while we enjoy reading, side-by-side.  What a wonderful thing.  I think of days on the beach.  Josh can’t sit still; he must always be in motion unless asleep under an umbrella.  I, however, can sit and soak up sun for hours on end.  Give me a book, and I am all set.  So I am happy that Ruby finds reading and sunning enjoyable even if it does result in me not reading….I don’t really have much time for reading because I’m passing out snacks and answering questions about how many minutes until they can swim again.

Or maybe, on second thought, I should truly take advantage of “Adult Swim.”  Maybe I should jump right in the pool at the sound of the whistle and make my way to the center of the pool, leaving the hungry kids to fend for themselves and figure out the minutes question on their own.

 

Fabulous Father

Father’s Day is fast approaching, and I love thinking about what a fabulous father Josh is to our kids.  I was flipping through some pictures and found so many wonderful memories of Josh with the kids.  I always want them to be very aware of what a treasure they have in him.  He is extremely generous, much more fun than their mom, creative in how he plays with them, and above all, he loves God’s Word and knows that teaching our kids about Who God is and telling them of His Great Wonders is of utmost importance.  He is a good, godly man.  I love how he fulfills his role of Father.  So, let’s start celebrating today!!

Now, on to those pictures I found…..Josh is FUN and ADVENTUROUS.  This includes, but is not limited to, bike rides, Little House on the Prairie at The Fox for the girls, throwing kids way high up in the air, daring them to do things  I would encourage them NOT to do, hula hooping and much more.  Three cheers for a FUN DADDY!!

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He is also LOVING.  These kids just don’t know how good they have it……

DSC_0007We found the girls sneaking a movie after bedtime on their dvd player when they were little….and look what happened.  He ends up just joining them!

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He SHARES food!…usually…

 

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He has done more than his fair share of putting toys together, cutting grass and other fatherly stuff:

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Here is one my favorite pictures……

DSC03102We were at the beach for vacation and wanted a family picture.  Wellllll, we had just snapped a picture when we quickly realized Mack had pooped through his diaper and clothes onto Josh’s shorts.  It was quite hilarious to ME.  To Josh, not so much.  We all get a good laugh about it now.  Gotta love memories.

 

And this next picture cracks me up.  I had passed off the task of teaching Mack his colors to Josh after my frustrations had peaked.  Everything was “Lellow.”  Now I realize it totally doesn’t matter at what age your kid learns colors, but Mack was so carefree about learning that I was concerned…shouldn’t have been, but I was.  So here is what it looked like while Josh and Mack came together for Colors 101:

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Hilarious.

I will end my little blog tribute to Josh with one of my all-time favorite photos:

DSC_0142We were at the hospital, having just welcomed Mack into the world, and Josh is introducing the girls to Mack.  Such a precious memory.

Josh, you are an amazing father!  You are most definitely fun and adventurous.  You are creative and patient and kind and loving.  You work hard and provide for all us and you are the most generous person I know. You are a positive person and a strong leader. More than any of that, you should be proud of how you point our kids to Jesus in all you do and all you say.  They truly have a gift in you, and I intend to make sure they know that til the day I die!

PSALM 128

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to Him.

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.

Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

May you live to see your children’s children–peace be on Israel.

 

 

 

summer fun

Our summer is off to a great start.  We are all thrilled to have a break from the regular routine.  We made a visit to Augusta to celebrate Mother’s Day.  We also went to Tennessee to visit friends and then have some family fun for a few days.  And lately, our days have been filled with sleeping a little later, trips to the library, and slow afternoons at the pool.  My prayer for the summer is that I will ENJOY my family and embrace the slower days!  For I know, fall is a comin’.

Ruby and Molly LOVED all the slides at The Wilderness
Ruby and Molly LOVED all the slides at The Wilderness

Fun little minions Josh won for the kids throwing a football into a hole.

Fun little minions Josh won for the kids throwing a football into a hole.
Sometimes the pool and the library books make for a perfect nap!
Sometimes the pool and the library books make for a perfect nap!
My mom with all seven of her grandkids
My mom with all seven of her grandkids
Kids with Katherine on her back porch, just having lunch and playing
Kids with Katherine on her back porch, just having lunch and playing
Mack has lost two teeth this summer!
Mack has lost two teeth this summer!
The Wilderness was so fun!
The Wilderness was so fun!
Deidre Anderson made this cake for Ruby to have on her birthday!
Deidre Anderson made this cake for Ruby to have on her birthday!
Happy 9th Birthday, Ruby!
Happy 9th Birthday, Ruby!

photo copy 4photoHappy Summer!!!!