Sunday, June 24, 2012

VBS 2012

We just spent the last week teaching neighborhood kids about Jesus.  I am going to admit, it is one of the hardest things I do each year.  Not because telling other children about Jesus is hard, but it can be emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting.  A lot goes on in one little week!  Kids from every walk of life come to VBS and this year we were short 30 workers just a few days before the start.  

Our theme was Everything is possible with God.  And He showed Himself faithful in a mighty way this past week.  On Monday morning, we had more than enough workers and things went so, so smoothly.  We had such a great time.  Many of the kids knew about Jesus but there were a few that had never heard His name before.  Or that God loves them no matter what!  It makes it all worthwhile.

My guys had a blast as well.  They enjoyed hanging out with friends and meeting new kids.  I like that they hear, in another setting, what we talk about during the week and in church on Sundays.

The kids had Bible, recreation, science, craft, snack and music.  The following are pictures that were taken during the week.  There were over 1000 pictures taken and the ones I have posted are just from our family and not in any particular order.  

EG in recreation class saying "Butterfly, FLY!"  (It was a game they played.)

EG on the playground.  

Me leading and no one following, hmmm . . . I had entering 1st grade, which was Boop's class.  I had many of the kids the year before and knew at least half.  They were a great group of kids and had really grown up since last year.  It is so great to see familiar faces and to see their smiles when they recognize me.

This year we had a science class as part of the curriculum.  I loved it and I think the kids did too.

Some of the pictures are from my bigger kids on stage.  About a month ago the music leader had asked them to be part of the VBS Praise Team.  So Boop, Little Mama and Nature Girl were up on stage during opening and closing everyday to help lead all the kids in the songs and motions.

Love, love, love this picture of LM.  So beautiful (inside and out.)

NG's VBS teacher (who is a real life 5th grade History teacher) told me she wished she had a classroom full of Nature Girls.

I love being a VBS teacher to one of my kids.  This year Boop was awesome as my "helper."  He did his best to set a good example for the other kids in class.

EG with water balloons.  She was in heaven.  Her regular babysitter was her teacher.  That is always nice for me. ;)

As a surprise for the last day, our VBS director arranged for the kids to see a hot air balloon.  It was really pretty awesome.  Each kid then had a balloon to release that had a Scripture verse on it and our churches website and the card attached asked the person that finds the balloon to go to our website and let us know where they live.  It made for some terrific photos!  The kids think the balloons look like sprinkles in the sky.

No summer would be complete without VBS . . . 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My First Baby Girl

This past weekend, my oldest baby girl and I got the opportunity to sneak away for a night.  A while ago I had asked her where she would like to go and she wanted to go to the beach.  So, I made a one night hotel reservation about an hour and a half away from home.  And this past Friday at about 10AM, she and I headed out for a little big girl time.

Of course, I had all these ideas in my head of what we would do and what we could talk about.  To take advantage of us just being together.  Daddy even gave us the go ahead for a decent seafood dinner at a real restaurant.

On the way to the beach, we had a couple good discussions, that she initiated.  One of which was what she wanted to do on our overnight.  She told me she wanted sub sandwiches for lunch and pizza for dinner!  She also told me she wanted to swim.  All of this sounded great to me.

When we got to the hotel, we realized it was crazy busy!  We checked in and had to park our car in a lot across the street.  Which really wasn't a big deal because I think we decided, that if we didn't have to leave the hotel, that would be just fine.  It was a resort so it really had just about everything we needed for our stay.

Our hotel room was nice and it overlooked the pool and the Gulf.  We immediately got on our suits and headed for the pool.  It took us a little bit to acclimate ourselves to the surroundings.  Lots of people, mostly families, lots of activity.

Nature Girl on our balcony.

Swimming at the pool.

As I mentioned, she wanted pizza poolside for dinner.  So we went to our rooms and changed into our clothes.  And headed back to the pool for some pizza and a walk on the beach at sunset.

Little love note on her bed from me to her.

Picture of our hotel from the beach.  It was huge and was really very cool.  They had a ton of security because random people walking on the beach would come up and try to swim in the pool, relax in the hot tub, and watch the entertainment.

She is soooo pretty.  Just look at those eyes and that smile!  It hardly ever leaves her lips.  She is so happy and so full of life and energy.  So full of ideas and thoughts and dreams.

For some strange reason, she didn't want to hang on the beach (maybe because we have been to the beach quite a lot this year.)  Buy, I made her anyway and I think she was glad I did.  The views were spectacular.  There had been rain showers so the clouds were magnificent.

Visible layers in the sand.

The sun setting.

The sandbar in the Gulf.  And very clear water, yet again.

We saw this roped off section in front of the hotel.  It turned out to be a sea turtle nest.  That was cool!

We spent the majority of our time poolside.  Or in the hot tub.  They even had a swim area for littler kids.  If you don't mind tons of people, the place was really family friendly.

Nature Girl loved the garbage cans that were shaped like dolphin.  She finally allowed me to take a picture of her with it!

After our walk on the beach we went back to the pool and hot tub.  We also saw a really great Polynesia show poolside, with hula dancers and a fire eater.  It was a special treat.  The girls were very talented and so was the fire eating man.  Nature Girl was amazed.  After the dancers, they set up for what they called the Dive in Movie.  They played a movie and we could watch from the pool or the pool chairs.  We watched the movie for a little while and ate ice cream.  

NG decided she wanted to get in her PJs and see if she could see and hear the movie from our balcony.  And we could!  She was happy about that.

Movie watching, in PJs, from our balcony.

The movie and lights from our balcony.

We fell asleep, after the movie, watching the College World Series.  And were up bright and early the next day.  We watched a couple of cute animal shows on Animal Planet and then back to the pool we went until check out.  (We were able to get a later one.)

Every where she goes, she makes friends.  They exchanged info and email addresses.

As I mentioned, I had a couple ideas of what I thought the weekend should be about.  But, it just didn't work out quite that way.  We both just needed time to be together.  Without me expecting her to help and without her having to help me.  We had nothing to do, no where to go and nobody to be responsible to or for.  I think that was huge for us.

Because we are together all day, every day and we have so many opportunities to discuss really important stuff, which we do, we didn't need to make this weekend about learning and growing and having "heavy" conversations.

If she talked, I listened.  But, that was it.  Everyday life provides so many fantastic opportunities for us to discuss important things, that I just wanted us to bond.  And we did.  I very much enjoy being with her.  She is smart and funny and very independent.   She is a great conversationalist and enjoys life.

We are a lot alike in many ways.  And different in just as many.  It was so great just to hang out with her.  We will definitely do it again. . . 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

About a week and a half ago we celebrated Daddy's birthday.  We spent the morning at Costco and had a blast looking at all of the stuff and sampling all of the food.  When we got home we went swimming at the neighbors.

We had the most amazing dinner of Costco's wonderful chicken salad and pretzel rolls (new discovery - dinner rolls made out of pretzel dough - indescribable!).  Of course, birthday cake and presents.  Just a great, relaxing, family day . . . .