Posts Tagged ‘VBS’

What happened in June

photo (14)June turned into as crazy a month as May and October. Here’s a little recap of what’s been going on.

– Birthdays: mine came and went and so did Steven’s. Pretty uneventful celebrations, but since we both have birthdays around Mother’s Day (me) and Father’s Day (Steven), we found some clever ways to celebrate for several days, low-key style. Next up, Wes’ 3rd birthday later this month, which will also be low-key. In fact, we aren’t having a party for him, but he doesn’t know any different. I mean, we’ll still celebrate, but it will be conveniently conjoined with other existing family get-togethers. ­čÖé

– Potty training: Ugh. I took a long hiatus after feeling discouraged. We had great success back in the spring, and then it fizzled as we readjusted back into normal school day routine. We started it back up again over our long July 4th weekend, and even though we’ve been home here and there, we’ve had some positive success. I think I found the key to his determination: after 100 stickers (he gets one every time he uses the potty chair, 2 for #2 success), he gets his very own big boy bed. At each 10s level reached, he gets/helps pick out one item toward his bed – decorative pillows, sheets, etc. We’re at 6 stickers, so we’ve got a way to go, which I’m not too upset about…more on this later.

– Family time: We’ve been to Indianapolis Indians games, visited museums, grabbed ice cream on sporadic impulse, taken long walks (and worn out the dogs), played in the store-bought kiddie wading pool until we had to throw it away from its cheapness, visited my parents’ lakehouse, attended a niece’s play, walked along the downtown canal and enjoyed our little trio family very well during our summer beginnings. Wes is in swim lessons again this summer with a great group of friends and neighbors. We all look forward to Saturday mornings for donuts before the walk to the park, where we pick up friends along the way to the 45-minute class. Stroller brigade!

– Jobs: Because June is the end of the fiscal year, we have been busy with work-related events and meetings. I have a personal fundraising goal of $1,250 toward the Walk to End Alzheimer’s this October, and I’ve been trying to find creative ways to reach it. We had our first-ever garage sale a few weekends ago, which was surprisingly stressful, difficult and yet, highly rewarding and successful. Wes was a champ and very generous to “give away” his toys to other families. I’m still very proud. We also hosted YouTube Party 5 (the first since 2011!) last weekend, which was great fun, and it benefited the Alzheimer’s Association.┬áSteven is scheduled to speak at several conventions in the coming months and will be traveling to fun destinations.

– VBS: Vacation Bible School came and went. I typically despise VBS for all the preparations and irritability it causes within our household leading up to the week. However, I’m always pleasantly surprised and blessed during its course, and I was given yet another eye-opener this year. This was Wes’ first year to attend VBS, and he really understood the lessons and learned songs. I still hear snippets of Bible verses and choruses sung around the house or whispered in bed during naptime. We had a record number of children attend, and many new adult volunteers. Of course it was worth it.

– Vacation: It’s fast approaching! We’re leaving for Holland, Michigan, following Wes’ birthday and large family reunion for a 5-day trip along Lake Michigan in Dutch country. In between all the above activities, I’ve been researching and planning out our possible activities; though, I really wouldn’t be surprised if we just lounged and rested most of the time. I’m terribly excited about where we will be staying – I scored a fab historic house on earlier this year, and it looks inviting and close to most things. I’ve also been gathering my book list, knowing that I will actually have TIME to read, given Wes’ summer nap habit. Yesss.

– Wes: Yikes, he’ll be 3! He’s busy, destructive, bossy and just wonderful. I love that guy. He talks a mile a minute, and it’s surprisingly clear, however, he does have some funky terms and phrases. We’ve had several allergy attacks, and I think it’s mostly from Lucy’s abundant shedding. I can’t keep the house free of her presence. Thankfully the asthma hasn’t been too much of a problem lately, but the hives, swelling and itchiness has been moderately bad. Benadryl is still our close friend, but we may need to address some more serious conversations and tests before something big happens.

We have a few things planned for August and September, but mostly, we’re just homebodies enjoying local “stuff” and being together and/or reading. Seems great to me!

Posted: July 6th, 2014
Categories: Leah
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Things I learned from kids at VBS

Disclaimer: This is a gushy, faith-based post. I don’t want this blog site to ever sound too “preachy,” but I had to share this experience.

Over the last few summers, I have led the singing during the opening and closing assemblies at our small little church’s VBS (Vacation Bible School). It’s no secret that I agree to it grudgingly. I am not very confident in my teaching skills, and for some reason, I am just plain awkward around grade school aged kids. I never know how to talk appropriately to kids 5-12. My voice pitch is usually too sing-songy and childish, and I usually don’t know what topics or subjects to discuss. Before and after these ages, though, I seem to do fine. (Maybe this will change once Wes is in this age group!)

So preparing for VBS is always a worry for me. Every year. Even the week of VBS, including last week, I was pretty timid and unsure the first day. The theme was “Kingdom Rock,” where kids stand strong for the Lord! complete with exciting castle displays, costumes and Celtic music. I was Lady Leah, the gal who welcomed the kids to the evening’s program, taught songs and scripture and each day’s Bible point, and then closed up the evening with another round of songs and dramas.

Because I was a Lady, Mom, who is also the VBS director every year, thought it would be fun to bring out all of my former dance and bridesmaid dresses. So hey, if I was in your wedding, know that I probably got another full use out of my dress! The girls especially loved my changing outfits every day. And wouldn’t you know that the theme of “strength” (i.e. pumping arm motions for all songs) looks really bizarre in a fancy dress…

I surprised myself this year. I actually had fun! Yes, the worry carried on somewhat, but our whole theme was about trusting God no matter what. And I did try to do that myself. Funny thing is, God took over and gave me the strength to overcome my awkwardness and gave me the ability to enjoy myself.

Pretty certain that the Holy Spirit did this through the kids themselves. Here’s what I learned from them:

  1. Kids love to be goofs and love it even more when adults are goofy.
  2. Kids have the sweetest voices in the world. They amazed me with their quick learning and ability to hit every note spot on.
  3. Adults connect and grow closer because of kids.
  4. Kids remember verses through song. It’s pretty much the best thing ever to hear a perfect recitation of Proverbs 3:5,6 in unison.
  5. Above all, kids just want to be loved. They need affirmation just as much as I do.

Photo 1(1)Wally, a knight-in-training, interacted with Lady Leah each day on how to trust God in order to accomplish anything – in his case, becoming Sir Wally. Poor Wally was afraid of horses, attacked by a bully and just had a downright awful week. But by Friday, he had indeed been knighted, and as a surprise, the adults coordinated together to have a REAL LIVE (!) horse be Sir Wally’s steed at the closing ceremonies and after party. (It’s a big deal for us city folk.)

The excitement on those kids’ faces just about did me in. They were thrilled at the sight of that horse and the face that Wally had enough courage (you know, God-provided) to get on that thing and ride it around. Call me sentimental and emotional, but that moment made VBS completely worth it for me. Those kids will remember that night. They may not remember all the Bible points 20 years from now, but if they’re anything like me, they will remember, through song,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.

And heck, these kids are Wes’ peers and those he will follow. Let’s lead these kids onward.

PS – And yes, those of you know who Steven know that he is afraid/allergic/terrified of horses. He commanded me to “go directly to the shower” once I got home.

Posted: June 21st, 2013
Categories: Leah
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