The first week of summer we had no plans. We lounged around, we ate when we felt like it, we may or may not have been wearing clothes… (well the kids, the grown-ups always have clothes on). Then we spent 2 weeks getting out the door before 9:00 am heading to our second and third dares…. VBS!
Say y-y-y-y-YES to v-v-v-VBS. Gonna say Y-E-S to V-B-S.
Our church did Lifeway’s Agency D3 curriculum. It was fun. I got to get dressed up and act on stage, which was nerve-racking in a fun way. I also told a few Bible Stories and I’m not sure I did a very good job. I left the week feeling very unsure and unsteady, I just could not get a read on the kids. Every day my own kids came home totally stoked about what they had done. The food was fun, the games rocked, the crafts were right up their alley. One neat thing about this curriculum is that it has a CD to listen to on the way home that communicates the main point of the day to the parents and gives you a topic of conversation so you can hear what your kids grasped. I learned a lot about what my kids are learning and it was neat. On Friday we drove home and the CD asked us to pause it and pray for “whatever was in your heart,” I had told the Bible Story that day and really felt like I did a poor job communicating so I wasn’t feeling it. But my lil Buddy offered to pray right away without any prompting and he thanked Jesus for being in his heart. So awesome when God works in spite of me. (And added bonus: I get to light things on fire.)
Everyone gave VBS #1 a 10/10 except for lil Buddy who gave it an 11. (Then everyone wanted to change theirs to 11 and I had to have a quick Executive Meeting with myself wherein I decided that only one person can give a number over 10 per dare, and only if they say it spontaneously without hearing everyone else’s numbers thus wanting to be the highest and forgetting the point. I need to own a gavel.)
We took a weekend to rest, and rest is all we did as a nasty stomach bug thingy attacked the Hubster and I. I honestly do not even remember much of the weekend, or the following week, hazy and not good. The other kiddos were all a bit over tired and so we ate a lot of popsicles, watched copious amounts of Netflix, and hardly ever wore pants. (Again, the kids not the adults.)
During that hazy week our kids went to a church in town that we have never visited before and attended their VBS camp. They did Gospel Light’s SonTreasure Island curriculum. I always enjoy learning from the way that other church approach VBS. We walked into a main sanctuary with a stage full of props and decorations to really set the mood. Adults were decked out in Bible time costumes, lots of youth helpers. Their check-in/out system was organized and efficient, and totally old school (as in no computers anywhere).
At first I wasn’t sure our kids would enjoy the second VBS. Their advertising wasn’t flashy. There weren’t any new T-shirts to identify with. No one handed me a flyer for a production/celebration party at the end, It just felt smaller and like less of a production than some of the VBS programs I’ve been involved in lately and so I wasn’t sure that my tech-obsessed, entertain-me-or-lose-me, constantly-claiming-to-be-bored, go-big-or-go-home kids were going to be positive contributors to the program.
They loved it. Again everyone gave it a 10/10 on our Dare Chart. Now 3 out of 4 of them chose to go somewhere different on Friday, somewhere they deemed more exciting, but each day they came home eager to tell me about the crafts, stories, helpers, and friends they were spending time with. Their craft projects were made out of mostly recycled things and probably won’t last through the summer- but each child was so proud of their creation. They are still singing the songs they learned, many of which are worship songs they will sing again and again at church. And I even caught them doing a pretend story time wherein they mixed the skit from Week 1 VBS with the story from Week 2 VBS, which is enough to make this momma’s heart sing.
Our VBS dares reminded me of the heart of making summer great. There are a lot of days where I want to do nothing more than lay on my couch in the summer. Days where we eat waffles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Days when I put the kids to bed and beat myself up for turning their brains to mush with Nanny TV and hours of unsupervised play. The kids will remember those days with the same fondness as our big production days- as long as I am investing in them, not letting pressures of perfection beat out just being, and laughing more than yelling. Summer memories are made of random moments that give us that feel good feeling, whether planned out or organic.
We’re heading into 3 full weeks of 24/7 Momma led summer, and we are not off to a great start. Hopefully reflecting on our VBS experience and lessons learned will gain me the right perspective to keep summering successfully, with a little less counting down the sleeps and little more looking forward to the mornings.
Anyone else have a review of a VBS their children have attended so far this summer?