Sorry it has been so long. We got back from our trip Up North and immediately threw ourselves into the final of the summer's whirlwind of activities.
The first up was VBS. Being the director, the week after we returned home was filled with collecting donations, making decorations, filling out pre-registrations, organizing schedules, coordinating with volunteers, and so on. It is always hectic. This year, partly because we weren't borrowing from someone else so ALL of the decorating was on us, we did a lot more with decorations than we ever have before. I can't help but share a picture of my favorite room:
Crafts - otherwise known as the "Butterfly Garden."
Psst! Remember the twins making the butterflies?
For Ryan and Allie, this was their second year attending. This year went much more smoothly than the last. They skipped away from me without a second glance, and didn't seem to need me at all during the week. It was helpful, but in a very bittersweet way. Regardless, they had a BLAST!
Is there any sight that melts your heart more than little children praying?
Choosing prizes at the store (yes, that is me helping...)
Coloring at the Bible Story Station.
One of the new things we added (a week before VBS started), was a store. Kids could earn points throughout the week and then "purchase" items at the store with them. The theme this year was service, so one of the ways kids could earn points was through Acts of Service at home. Each night they were sent home with "Service Cards" their parents could fill out and sign to send back the next evening for points. Group Leaders could also give points for Acts of Service they saw throughout the evening. Volunteers told me this was the best behaved the kids have ever been and parents thanked me for coming up with the idea - kids were cleaning their rooms, doing dishes, even washing their neighbor's car! The last night I taped as many Service Cards as I could collect throughout the week to our wooden cross to show them how many times they had Served Jesus (the last night's theme) throughout the week.
One of the items they could purchase (with the most points) was throwing a pie at a volunteer. This was, as you can imagine, a popular prize. While we will change this up a bit next year, it was fun (especially since Lucas was a popular target!).
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my parents for all of their help. Many people in the church associate them with VBS (because they almost always come for the week), but many people don't know how much they do for this particular ministry. Besides financially helping out, my parents are a huge part of making VBS happen. We start talking VBS in January, and I took the materials with me to talk about it each trip to Nebraska this summer. My Dad (a former VBS director) helped me pick out a curriculum, problem solved station conflicts, picked out crafts, and manned a brand new station (that I LOVED) for the preschoolers that became known as "Papa's Story Time." My mom was planning on hanging out as a floating helper (since I promised her it would be a relaxing week), but gamely jumped in at the last minute to not only run the store but also set up a system of organization that we will probably use forever. On top of that, they watched the kids before and after VBS so I could be there early and stay to close up, they kept my house clean and my laundry caught up, and they ran last-minute errands. They are my VBS angels, and I doubt I could do it without them. It would be a lot more stressful and hectic at the very least!
The week went by so fast, and suddenly we had another year filled with food, faith, and fun under our belts! And that was just the beginning of our end-of-the-summer adventures!