Valentine Banquet

Part of last week’s busyness included taking this crazy crew of kids…youth group…and pulling off a Valentine’s banquet for the entire church.

The kids did everything!

They set up the tables…

Valentine tablescape

…using wedding pictures to decorate – as well as candles, streamers, M&M’s and conversation hearts.

 

They did the cooking.

kitvchen crew

And with my own Dagmar (in the black apron) in charge of the kitchen, everything ran smoothly.

Or – close enough.

And serving.

servingWhich also went surprising well. (Oh yes – that is a tuxedo! Only the best for our guests!)

Then – following the delicious three course meal – the kids provided some world class entertainment!

Valentine skitsWell – okay – it was actually a series of skits that the kids wrote full of inside jokes and some wigs that left the audience in stitches. (That’s my Pedro in the center!)

And when our guests – of all ages – left, the kids cleaned up.

I was so proud of how hard those kids worked and what a good job they did!

And I’m tired.

Very tired.

Working with teenagers is not for the faint of heart!

Mystery in the Miracles

Once again we pulled off a one day – all day – Vacation Bible School – and had a great time doing it!

The youth group kids and the entire church family jumped in to help create a day of mysteries.

VBS DagmarI had some seriously wonderful help from start to finish.

VBS detectiveWe learned who Jesus is by studied the mysteries in His miracles.  (Yes – that is my oldest son Matt and yes – he is growing a beard. gulp)

VBS puppetsWe had hilarious puppet shows with an Australian goat and a hillbilly donkey.

VBSAnd we went around the world gathering clues to solve the mystery. Miss Dorothy really rocked the Bolivian look!

VBS PedroWhile Pedro took the kids to the Antarctic to go iceberg bobbing.

VBS water slideAnd we had water. Lots of water. Lots and lots of water. Which was good – because it was a hot day. So hot that the Australian waterfall was a big hit.

We sent the kids home soaking wet but grinning from ear to ear.

They heard the gospel, learned about the Savior, and had a wonderful time!

Mission accomplished.

Vacation Bible School – Country Style!

What happens when you take a bus load of kids, one big piece of property, and a slightly crazy Vacation Bible School director? (that would be me!)

A whole lot of fun – with a whole lot of Bible teaching!

Sign

We’ve been working for months now to prepare to host our church’s one-day Vacation Bible School here at Windy Ridge.   My sister-in-law Julie and her two sons came from Chicago the week before to help us transform our property into the Amazon.

I think almost half the church was here on Saturday to help!

Puppet

Pedro and Jan built a puppet theater and Julie sewed the curtains for it. The youth group kids manned the puppets for us.

Boat

We had 3 different outposts set up on the property – each with a different Bible story and emphasis. When you do everything outside you have the unique opportunity to make things real. At each outpost we set up a tent and instead of a cardboard canoe – we used our real one.

slip

You also have the opportunity to use water – real water – and lots of it! We had relays with squirt guns and even a slip and slide water fall.

We played with slime, dug in quick sand, caught piranhas, found buried treasure, and made some crafts – all while learning how much God loves each of us.

We sent the kids home exhausted but grinning from ear to ear!

I was exhausted too – but so thankful that after all the hard work by so many people – an entire bus load of kids heard the plan of salvation clearly presented.

And that, my friends, makes it all worth while.

A New Wet & Wild Twist to VBS

Our church took a slightly different approach to a traditional week-long Vacation Bible School this year.

We attend a small country church about 30 miles away and we’re not the only ones that drive that far! The church is centrally located with people driving in from all directions.

With the price of gas so high, it was just too expensive for everyone to drive back and forth all week. Not to mention the gas the church bus would eat up transporting the kids nightly!

So it was time to think outside the box. We decided to do a one day, all day, VBS, at our place.

We advertised heavily, planned carefully and had a wet and wildly fun Saturday of VBS. We had 34 kids attend (amazing since there are only 12 kids in the church!) and focused the day on water.

We studied Bible stories that dealt with water, launched water balloons, had squirt gun fights and took a nature walk out to our ponds. We made beaded fish and sailor hats, had silly skits and ate hot dogs for lunch.

The kids were all over our large farmyard, chasing the chickens, watching the Amish neighbors drive by in buggies, and playing!

We set up a screened-in tent as our main meeting area and used our walk-out basement for crafts.

It was a very busy and exhausting day! But at the end, the kids all loaded the bus wet and tired but very happy! They kept saying, “This was the best Bible School ever!”

We might just have to do it again next year!