Wednesday, June 26, 2013

VBS 2013

Last week our church was transformed into ancient Athens and our kids visited and spoke with Paul, learning all about how God loves us all, no matter what, even when others don't.

Leading up to VBS involves a lot of planning and preparation. This year I was asked to be the Marketplace Director - the one to organize and coordinate all the crafts the kids do at the various "shops" during the week.

It takes a lot of work and a lot of volunteers - from food and games and music and group leaders and decorations. By the end of the week we are all just completely worn out - even the kids.

But the conversations you get to have with those kids...

comments about God's unconditional love and forgiveness...

and to see them sing and praise God with such excitement and conviction...

to watch as they so happily bring in their donations each night for various missions...

to even hear some of them stand in front of over 200 people and give their testimony...

well I think we would all agree all of the hardwork was well worth it. And what we as volunteers got out of VBS is far beyond what we put into it.

 We're already looking forward to next year...

Wonder where we'll go and who'll we meet then!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Our First Trip of the Summer

School had officially been out for two days when we packed up and headed north for our first trip of the summer. Off to Pennsylvania we went!

Ed's dad met us in PA and he along with Ed's Aunt Louise were our tour guides of sort for the weekend. We stayed with family the entire trip. The hospitality we all received was tremendous. It was so nice to spend that kind of time with family we don't see nearly often enough.

The trip was packed full of activity but while exhausting was such fun!!

Gettysburg, PA - I initially was not sure how much the girls would enjoy this part of the trip. I thought they might get bored by it all. Man, was I wrong! They had a blast. By 4:00 that afternoon they were tired and hungry and we definitely bordering a meltdown. But it was nothing a snack and hour ride in the car didn't cure. By the time we made it to Hanover, where we were staying, they were re-energized and ready to go for another few hours.

This was kind of the trend for the entire trip. We stayed on the go during the day but by the time we finished dinner each night the girls were anxious to do more. I don't think they got to bed before 10:30 the entire trip!

We visited Lancaster County (Amish Country) where we rode the Strasbourg train, ate some of the best pretzels ever,  went on an Amish style horse & buggy ride through an Amish farm.

A couple of nights we walked across the street from where we were staying in order to attend a carnival. The girls rode a bunch of rides, played some games and of course enjoyed some funnel cake and cotton candy.

One day we spent walking through downtown New Oxford for the 57th annual flea/antique market. It was really interesting to look through all of the items and treasures people were collecting and selling. No big purchases for us though. While I found several items - mostly dishes and kitchen items - I would love to own, we certainly don't have space for those types of things right now!

We came home on Father's Day. After unpacking the girls and I took Ed out to one of our fave restaurants Thai Cafe for dinner.

It was a really fun trip and weekend and a great way to start the summer!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Bucket List 2013

Summer is here!

Both girls have been out of school for a week now. The 2012-13 school year could not have passed any quicker and I have a feeling I will be saying the same about the summer before I know it. 

My ideal summer would be plenty of fun, a few trips and cool experiences, and as much relaxation, down time, free time as possible. Summer offers more opportunity to be non-schedule oriented. Notice I said "more opportunity" - our days of being completely non-schedule oriented are behind us but I don't see that as necessarily a bad thing.

Sometimes, however, I have grand ideas at the beginning of the summer. Hundreds of ideas floating in and out of my mind of cool things to do and see. A mental list of all the activities I'm going to do with the girls and all of the projects I'm going to get caught up on around the home. And then August comes and we are shopping for back to school supplies and gearing up for another crazy schedule. And I find myself getting a little disappointed because all of a sudden I remember those things I had wanted to do. I am saddened at the idea of the summer that could have been. 

OK, so maybe I'm being a little dramatic (maybe that's where G gets her theatrical side from!). But summer definitely goes by quickly and there are always things I had really wanted to accomplish or places I wanted to take the girls that never happened. This year, in an attempt to savor the summer and make the most of it, the girls and I created a Summer Bucket List. 

On this piece of paper we have 40+ ideas, activities, things to do, to make, places to go and even foods to eat. The items on this list range from big vacation trips we have planned for a while to simple things that we can do spur of the moment - making s'mores, water balloon fun, star gazing.

The final item on our list is to create a Summer Bucket List photo album/scrapbook together. I hope to capture as much of the fun as I can in photographs and for the girls and I to decide on which pictures to print and include and even have G and Sam draw some pictures and write some captions for the photos. 

I'm making it a goal to also record as much of the fun here on my blog which has sadly been neglected for a long, long time now. 

We may not get everything checked off our list. I certainly want to leave room for spontaneity and unplanned opportunities. But we shouldn't ever wake up and utter the words "I'm bored....there is nothing to do." As long as there are items uncrossed on this list, we have something to do!!

Happy Summer everyone!!