This year's VBS theme was Hometown Nazareth. I made the kids' no-sew costumes, and was so thrilled (and surprised) that they actually wore them! They were the only kids dressed up, but with all the volunteer Nazarenes, they thought dressing in character was pretty peachy.
Mommy was on the performing arts team and got to sing & dance at the opening celebration every night. What a blast! The kids were so enthusiastic and even the parents had gone wild. Mommy probably got in about a month's worth of cardio every night between practicing and performing (and REALLY hamming it up, because I roll like that). Can you see how sweaty I am? Here are the kids on stage.
After singing/dancing and a small skit, all the families huddled up in small tribes. Lorelei and Gryffy picked up the cards L's holding during one of these huddle ups with one of those little sticky gummy hands. The cards have directions for the kids to do something to serve:
"Set the table."
"Pour a glass of juice for your mom."
"Tell someone younger than you what they're really good at."
Brilliant ideas, all. Only I'm wondering where the "Clean your room" card is just now...
After the "Hometown Huddle," everyone filed into the atrium to visit Nazareth for Fun & Games and to explore the Ancient Marketplace. The best part was that we could do everything at our own pace.
The church was transformed with stations set up in tents: Synagogue School, Food Market, Dye Shop, Bead Bazaar, Carpentry Shop, Farmer's Field, Olive Oil Shop, Rock Query, Woolery, etc. We would have had just enough time to explore them all during the week, but the kids had so much fun at the ones they did at the beginning that they just kept coming back.
All the volunteers were in character. Some had heard rumors of a man named Jesus, others had met Him. Some believed, others doubted. One little girl Lorelei's age told a Nazarene who'd never heard of Jesus, "But, you've got to learn about Him! He really loves you! You've just got to know Him!" How amazing is that?!
Lorelei's making a skin cream with olive oil, peppermint oil, brown sugar, crushed sweet basil and rosemary. It smelled amazing, and the kids loved concocting their unique beauty blends.
The kids even got to crush their own olives for oil.
If you're wondering, Gryffy didn't break his nose. Lorelei said he had a bloody nose this morning, and so stuck a Spiderman band-aid on him to make it better. There was no such nosebleed, but I had to say I was amused by her creative story (LIE!) and at my boy's stubborn refusal to remove Spiderman. Maybe some of that olive oil will unstick it... Oops, didn't mean to spill that stuff on your face, Buddy... (Kidding-surely it'll fall off by the end of the week??)
We could not get enough of the Food Market: honey, matzah, figs, raisins, grapes, pickles. Yummo!
The kids were like flies to the honey.
This was definitely a favorite. Both the kids made necklaces.
Lorelei insisted on only the smallest, most decorative beads. Daddy spent a good fifteen minutes trying to string them on the thread. Thankfully, Gryffy was happy with the big beads. Good picks, Buddy.
Lorelei is fascinated with little things and collects them to the point of near-obsession. She's always had this little quirk, which drives me crazy sometimes (cleaning) but is also very adorable. She can find the smallest sequin in the middle of a grassy field (how ever does she spot it?!) and will be absolutely convinced she's stumbled upon long-lost treasure. Funny how the quirks that drive us batty can be among the very things we love most about our kids.
These two cannot get enough of beads and pipe cleaners.
Gryffy sticks out his tongue when he's deep in concentration. He's so stinkin' cute.
Here he is at the carpentry shop, tongue out again.
And again. Cutest little guy ever. That boy mushes up my heart. I love watching Mark work with him on their little wooden rolling sheep toy.
And our shining star, Lorelei, just has a way putting the twinkling in my eyes. She gets really intense, just like I did when I was her age. I love how she can focus and become swept away in the flow of what she's doing.
I wanted to make one of these bags, but the kids were so swept away by other things that we never made it to the Dye Shop. I love that the church is giving these away with supplies to kids that need them.
The kids never got around to the games until the very end--we're an artsy-fartsy family--but they loved picking pearls (marbles) out of the sea with their toes. Their friend, Katherine, joined them in the pool.
It's been a really hot week here. VBS always falls on the most stifling week of the year, I swear it.
After the marketplace and games, the kids went to Mary's House for storytime and more songs while the parents heard a speaker and got to discuss how to build our families in faith. On the last night, the kids came in and surprised us by singing "This Little Light of Mine." Yeah, Gryffy's not too happy about being on stage again after his summer drama camp drama.
Big Sister and Little Brother ended their last night of VBS at Orange Leaf. It's one of our favorite summer haunts. Buy stock.
Looking cool with that band-aid, Buddy. Looking cool...