Wednesday, August 15, 2012

VBS 2012

You've read all about our exciting Branson vacation.  The reason for the vacation?  We just finished a very busy, fun-filled week of VBS.  When I say finished, I mean I just co-coordinated the entire thing from start to finish.  Here's a look at our 2012 VBS journey.

A lot of people don't know how we come up with the curriculum.  Well, usually we don't.  We buy it instead.  You could easily come up with your own curriculum, but I don't have the time to figure out the theme, coordinating Bible stories and Scriptures, snacks, games, songs, decorations, and the list goes on and on...I prefer getting it already prepared and I just have to organize the volunteers and supplies (and many other things, but it's easier to have the theme and lessons already planned out).

Here are the daily giveaways.  Each child got to take a prize home that coordinated with our Bible Point.  I like to order these types of things in bulk from Oriental Trading Co.

Our curriculum comes from Group Publishing and they provide an online registration page.  You can set it up how you like and share the link with the public so they can register their child online.  I love having all that info in one place.  I handle all the registration so I become very familiar with each child.  I also love the Countdown To VBS ticker, though it tends to give me anxiety when I look at it!

We love to spoil all the wonderful volunteers (60+) and always try to provide some yummy treats throughout the week.  At the beginning of the week, everyone gets a VBS Survival Kit.  We always try our best to match the goodies in the kit to correspond with the theme.  Each year, they get better and better.  A very generous Store Manager at Kroger provided us with the clear deli containers.  They were perfect!

The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before VBS are decorating days.  It takes a small army to get it all done.  I really appreciate those that are able to help set up and tear down.

Our Children's Pastor, and my partner, always comes up with the stage design and various decorations.  He does a great job.  It's all about the details too.  He drew an animal in the clouds.

And made our pigs fly!

I recruited some help.

The Bible stations are always so nicely decorated to fit the Bible stories.  Our volunteers do that themselves and it always looks amazing.

Here's a great photo opp for kids, volunteers, and/or parents.

Look, we're floating!!!

We had some dress up days throughout the week.  One of them was Superhero Day.  My little Superheroes were floating too!

Of course, the whole reason (and only reason) I prepare our VBS from April-July is to share the Salvation message with kids that may have never heard it before.  The Bible station had an awesome visual this year.  Each kid got a black plastic strip to represent their sins.  Then, they all placed their sins upon the cross.  The station leader took all the strips down to show that our sins have been wiped clean and we are forgiven.  The kids really got it!

We always have such an emotional and amazing prayer time during our closing assembly.  Here's Kaitlyn having a tender moment with Jesus.

My kids understand why I spend so much time on this and know there are lots of kids that still have to learn about the love of Jesus.  They also look forward to VBS and I tell them very little of the details to keep it a surprise for them.  They love every day of it.

We always raise money for BGMC and the kids really gave this year.

After 5 days of craziness, we close with our Family Fun Night and invite the whole family to come to close out the week.  I always have to talk and give my special thanks to all that helped.  None of this would be possible without all of the amazing, generous, enthusiastic volunteers.

The night's festivities included a Dunk Tank, inflatables, concessions, kite flying, bubbles, and of course, not one, but two human sundaes!!!!

I was definitely not alone in planning this.  I can't thank my partner in crime enough, Pastor John Cruz.  He puts up with me, I put up with him.  He handles his part of VBS, I handle my part, and it all gets done.  We are a great team.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Reviews Are In

We loved our time spent in Branson and highly encourage anyone to visit this fun little town.  I've reviewed and posted the fun things we did and saw on my inspiration blog.  Here is a quick link to the reviews:
Branson Travel Reviews:  Part 1
Branson Travel Reviews:  Part 2
Branson Travel Reviews:  Part 3
Branson Travel Reviews:  Part 4

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


So, I'm going to start backwards and tell you what we did most recently...VACATION!!!!  We had been looking forward to it for a very long time and was definitely something we needed.  We decided to head back to Branson, MO since we had such a great time a couple years ago.  It's about an 8 hour drive, but it was very scenic.  I will give a summary of our vacation week and have more details soon on my other blog, Cars and Ribbons.

From where we live in Texas, we drove through Oklahoma, Arkansas, and then Missouri.  Lots of lakes, lots of greenery, and lots of curves once we got into the Ozarks (I did start to feel a little nauseated).
Preston had to take a little nap in the car.  Good idea!

We arrived at our resort late afternoon.  This resort is so pretty and has great amenities such as a Splash-a-torium, breakfast buffet and so much more.  Plus, you got to choose a different show to go see each night of your stay.

We saw 4 great shows:  Dixie Stampede, Buckets N Boards, 3 Redneck Tenors (twice), and Showboat Branson Belle.  The first night we went to see 3 Redneck Tenors (my favorite show ever!), the power went out just before intermission.  They did some great ad libbing in the dark for a little bit, but then told everyone that we could come back to see the show, or any other show in that theater, again for free!  So, we eagerly went back the next night to see it again.  LOVED IT!!!

We ate some great food, some during the shows and some on our own.

We did some shopping at Branson Landing and Tanger Outlet center.

We did the tourist thing and took a tour of Branson on Ride the Ducks.  Preston and Craig got to drive the boat in the water for a little bit.

We saw lots of great views of the Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo...

...the kids played at our resort's Splash-A-Torium...

...and we had fun making more memories together.

We spent 5 days away and the weather was partly cloudy with rainstorms in the evening on most days.  The morning after the power outage during the show, the fire alarm went off at our hotel.  It was 8 am.  We weren't dressed for the day.  Or dressed at all.  And we had to go outside!  No worries, we got clothes on and marched outside with the other hotel guests in their pajamas.  Or towels.  It was very interesting.

But as we came back home, and passed through each state (I missed Oklahoma's sign)...

...there's nothing better than home!

Here's a video of our very funny Ride The Ducks guide.  He started playing a song while we were driving in the mountains and everyone was instructed to blow the "Quacker Whistle" they were given.  Hilarious!

Monday, August 6, 2012

I've Got Exciting News

Wow, time has flown by.  I've been on a little longer blogging hiatus than originally planned.  Life has just been so busy and full and I feel extremely blessed.  Be on the lookout for lots of updates on what's been going on with us.

But for now, I have some very exciting news...I feel very blessed to be a guest blogger at New Life Steward!!!  Mary Beth has started a series called When Motherhood Comes Softly.  Several guest bloggers will share their own journey of motherhood and today you can read mine.

Please stop by New Life Steward and read more posts from the series and other wonderful topics.  Thank you for stopping by!  And big THANKS to Mary Beth for including me in this special series!