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BUILD

BUILD

Another summer, another VBS–some things never change!  However, this was the first year that Nathan was a volunteer instead of a student.  It was the fourth time Than and his staff have created the program in-house, and this year they went with a Lego theme.  The content focused on how Jesus built up His disciples so they could continue the building of God’s Kingdom.  Bible teaching, lots of Lego building, songs, games, snacks, and crafts–that part was my department 🙂  As always, it was humbling to see the passion and dedication of so many volunteers.  And many of the best ones were a lot younger than you might think!!  There were so many different skills and talents serving together in a wide variety of ways.  It is a joy to see the richness of spiritual growth in community, for kids and staff alike.  Here’s a little peek (thanks to other people who shared FB photos!)

Any suggestions for next year?!!

16 Years Ago…

16 Years Ago…

Vacation Bible School week…

Crazy Hair Day for students and leaders…

School board meeting…

And our 16th Anniversary!!

I’m pretty proud of this anniversary photo–the two of us, together, doing things we love.  A cathedral length veil and flamingo shorts just says a lot!  We look forward to celebrating “properly” next weekend with a getaway for just the two of us, but the day didn’t go uncelebrated in spite of the timing!  Than had volunteers bring me flowers throughout the day, and I ended up with a huge pitcher which I displayed next to our wedding photos for anyone who was patient enough to stop and take a peek.

We squeezed in family dinner at Chik-Fil-A, always the height of romantic destinations, and were happy to serve together surrounded by people who care for us well.  It really was a happy anniversary, and who knows what we will be dressed in after 16 more!

GENopoly

GENopoly

Celebrating the Genius of God Through the Generations of Genesis

That’s GENopoly, the theme of our Vacation Bible School  this year.  The church was full of board-game-themed rooms, decorations, games, crafts, snacks, music, and lessons.  All of it was intended to help kids see how God worked in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, and how he continues to work today.

Than headed up an amazing staff of volunteers who helped to create and share the excellence, excitement, and passion for God that was evident throughout the week.  I planned and taught the elementary crafts.  Katya was part of the “Candyland” crew, and Nathan joined a group of 50 5th and 6th graders under the heading “Life.”

Check out the cool take-home pages that Than’s amazing admin designed.  One piece went home each day and by the end of the week each kid could build their own GENopoly board game.

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It is an exhausting but rewarding week, and I am so glad our family can continue to participate together.  (A bonus thank-you is due here to the mystery crew who decorated our driveway with chalk on the last day of VBS.  What a fun encouragement!)

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Another VBS

Another VBS

Once again I am appreciative to my husband and his staff of excellent volunteers for providing a week of fun, friendship, and strong Bible teaching to my children and many others.

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With Than in charge and me directing elementary crafts, it was a typical Vacation Bible School week of busy-ness in our house.  Although it can be tiring and produce some pretty long days, there is also something special about our whole family being involved and excited about the same thing for a week.

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I managed to guide a day of painting indoors without ruining the new carpet, learned that cutting takes way more time than anyone expects, and marveled at the enthusiasm and imagination of my hard-working crafters.

Than taught the Bible lesson each day, kept the whole thing running smoothly, and managed to keep up with the rest of his job as well.

Nathan enjoyed memorizing his verses, being with friends, and following the antics of Than’s junior-high sidekick who helped him each morning.

Katya loved the dancing and singing, appreciated her teacher so much, and was the most disappointed of all of us to see the week end.

I am so grateful to our church for supporting VBS, to the many volunteers that made a difference in my children’s lives, and to a God who is so worthy of our focus and passion!

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School

Whew!  An exhausting few weeks around here!  The week of Nathan’s birthday was also Vacation Bible School (VBS) week at church.  Of course Than oversaw it all, and brought his usual energy and creativity and passion to the proceedings.

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I got to be in charge of crafts for 1st-4th grade again, and Nathan and Katya both were enthusiastic about their involvement too.

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Highlights of the week included authentic Western decor from a real-life cowboy from our church, throwing dodge balls from the back of the mule ride, seeing a real horse inside the building, hearing (and seeing and tasting) a bit of Senegal with our friends who live there, and participating with about 150 kids and nearly 60 volunteers in learning about God’s story for Moses, Jesus, and us.

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It was great!  Yee haw!

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VBS

VBS

Whew!  For the first time ever, our whole family was involved in Vacation Bible School together.  Of course, Than is always in the middle of the action.  Nathan has gone for a few years and continues to enjoy being with his friends and seeing what excitement dad has generated next!

This was Katya’s first time.  She was very excited to be old enough and enjoyed singing songs and doing the motions right along with her brother.

I got to be in charge of crafts every day, a success thanks to some faithful helpers and to my patient children who were dragged to 4 Hobby Lobbies and several Walmarts in the weeks before VBS to gather supplies.  We were all more than ready for some down time in front of the Olympics by the time everything ended, but it was worth the fatigue to be able to serve together and get a fresh perspective on God’s work throughout the Bible.

The curriculum this year came from the Go Fish Guys and every kid got a copy of one of their CDs.  If you haven’t heard of them yet and you have kids, check them out!!  We love their music around here and own all of their fun CDs.

Christmas in Junly

Christmas in Junly

The theme for Vacation Bible School this year was Christmas in Junly.  Than wrote the curriculum with the goal of helping children learn why Christmas matters, hopefully in a more meaningful and lasting way without all the normal December hubub.  Nathan got to attend, I led a group of 3rd/4th graders, and Katya enjoyed mornings at Gran B and Poppy’s house while the rest of us were at church.

The Christmas theme was a fun one, full of great ideas for crafts, games, songs, and decorations.  Our family got to participate in a variety of ways.  My sister donated her drawings of the nativity characters in silhouette, which were used all over the place as logos, decor, and even a craft project.  I used my vinyl cutter to make advertising signs, decorated my classroom, and turn the silhouettes into stickers.  Katya helped me bake 12 dozen gingerbread cookies.  So many ways to be involved!

More important than the Christmasy activities, however, was the way the students learned how the events surrounding Jesus’ birth pointed ahead to the things that were most important about His life and ministry.  It was also nice to watch Than in action, as this is a yearly event that he devotes tons of time and energy to.  He works hard, but he loves it!  We are so grateful for all the people who helped and all the children who came, and we look forward to doing it again next year.