August 31, 2014

The End of Summer

This summer flew by so fast.  It felt like it was the last day of school and we were packing up for our first road trip of the summer, and the next thing we knew it was August and we were frantically trying to squeeze in our final summer plans/get ready for school!  Where did the summer go?

The beginning of August was a bit of a blur.  It was mostly spent trying to get ready for VBS.  The preparations were filled with setbacks and pitfalls.  One of the biggest being a church tragedy that took many of us out of the VBS mood.  The other being my parents having all sorts of crazy health problems that kept them from coming to help with VBS, and me having VBS which kept me from being able to go and help them.  Then there were the usual crazy stressful moments of pulling VBS together - last minute volunteer losses, technological failures, falling/failing decorations, etc.  Truthfully, this VBS will forever be marked in my mind as the one where nothing went right.  It will also be marked in my mind as the one full of some of the biggest blessings I have experienced in my Childrens' Ministry career.  Perhaps the biggest being Nana & Poppy packing up and heading down to help.  It doesn't matter how old you get, the presence of parents makes it feel like everything is going to be okay!
Nana at the Registration table.
 Ryan carrying the torch during game time.
 Allie and her group leader hamming it up during closing.
Me (and Lucas behind me) getting pies in the face.
 Twinners hamming it up during a group picture.
After VBS, it was a mad rush to get the twins ready for school.  We did our best to sneak in a few last-minute adventures.
Papa & Gigi gave the Twinners a Highlights magazine subscription for Christmas last year.  They LOVE it, and are excited when it comes every month.  The August magazine had instructions for building a car out of the exact same blocks we happen to have!  They built a car, turned it into a truck, and even fashioned seatbelts for safety!
While decorating for VBS, I noticed Allie had a missing tooth!  It ended up falling out before the week was over (literally just falling out).  In the midst of the chaos I was sewing a Tooth Fairy pillow, discussing Tooth Fairy rates with Lucas, and mourning the literal loss of my baby's last bit of babyhood.  She, however, is thrilled.  The other bottom tooth fell out a couple days later.  Actually, she was scared to let me pull it, and decided to defer until after breakfast...but after breakfast the tooth was gone!  She had accidentally swallowed it with her cereal...
Our library had a summer reading program.  The kids kept track of their reading, and earned prizes for various hour milestones earned.  Every hour after 12, they got an entry slip into a raffle for this giant, inflatable dinosaur.  From the moment he saw it, Ryan was a boy consumed.  He was convinced he would win that dinosaur, and he read zealously to accomplish that goal (which was wonderful!).  I was only half surprised when we got the call from the library that Ryan had won.  The twinners were 2 of only 7 children who made it past the 12 hour goal!
Allie wanted her picture with Rex as well...and in an effort to "keep it real," I'm actually posting the picture.  I could not stop her from pretending to pick the dinosaur's nose...
A friend threw a super hero birthday party for her son.  We missed the party (because we were busy movie Uncle Nic & Aunt Ariel back to Michigan!), but she brought over the homemade capes and super hero masks she had for party favors.  Amazing.  The kids have been playing super hero ever since.
We managed to squeeze in an evening on a nearby lake with friends from church.  Lucas rode the tube (slowly...for tubing) with the kids. 
  I enjoyed riding in the boat with whichever twin wasn't tubing.

 They kept wanting to go faster than I was comfortable.  I have littler daredevils.  Allie was asking why I was nervous, and I said, "Wouldn't you be nervous if your greatest earthly treasure was being dragged behind a boat?"  It took about a second for her to say, "Oh, I understand now.  I would be scared too."
Then it was the first day of school.  The first day of school will be its own post (because it feels big enough to warrant that).