Ah, Vacation Bible School. One of the highlights of my summer every year from the time I was old enough to attend, until I left for college (and spent a few years not helping with any VBS). It still is a highlight. I'm the director for our church, and I so enjoy the planning and putting together of the before, the enjoying of the during, and the satisfying exhaustion of the after. This year, an added bonus was that Ryan and Allie were old enough to attend!
The water balloon slingshot. A final night favorite.
It ended up that this year was the most difficult year of any I've ever experienced. I lost several volunteers (including a Bible teacher) the day before it started. I lost volunteers during the week (including a last night fiasco where my Bible teacher got stuck 2 hours away in stand-still traffic, and I and my WONDERFUL song leader tag-teamed the Bible story until she got there...while also dealing with the 2 potty accidents and bloody nose that happened in other places in the meantime...).
As the director, I only schedule myself to participate in the opening and closing skit - leaving the rest of my time open to walk around, be available to trouble-shoot any problems, and take pictures that we send to parents. This year, my shy little guy and my overtired (and maybe a wee bit homesick) niece made that difficult. Did I fail to mention H spent part of the week with us so she could attend too? They loved being the "Big Kid Cousins" for the week, but when the time came for VBS, they demanded to have me by their side. So I didn't float, like in previous years. Instead, I learned to relax and be present where I was needed most - with 2 of the most adorable preschoolers that I dearly love!
Lucas and I never did a skit without at least one of our crew with us...we pretended that our characters were babysitting!
Game time (led by Lucas) was one of the few places they would happily leave my arms to get in on the fun!
Swimming around the island (until the "shark" would come and they would all have to crowd on the tarp)!
The balloon game. Ryan and Allie were the first to pop theirs. But the leftover balloons came home with us and they are still playing with them (Allie named hers "Box" and Ryan named his "Booty.")
Crafts! This one was making their own hot/cold pack caterpillars out of socks, rice, and rubber bands. Being huge caterpillar fans (remember beloved Bumble?) these are a hit here. They've slept with them the last 2 nights...
Not being able to roam around, as in past years, I worried that I might not have a good handle on how well VBS was really going. Were kids having fun? What about the leaders? Were things going smoothly? The last night I watched as kids - familiar with all the leaders and volunteers - laughed and ran and gave hugs and high fives. I even had 2 that gave me hugs and thanked me for a wonderful week. And my kids? Ryan told me VBS wasn't fun...it was AWESOME! Success!
With their group
(note: H missed group picture night - the last night - and I blurred the faces of the other kids for privacy)
With VBS over last night, I will confess we are completely exhausted and attempting to regroup and recover before a busy weekend. But it was all worth it. I'm already starting to look forward to and think about next year!!!