Saturday, July 31, 2010

SonQuest Rainforest

This year’s VBS theme was Sonquest Rainforest.

We’ve been involved in VBS at our church for the past several years and while I’ll admit it’s a lot of work, it’s also a huge blessing.

I love that lots of our family is involved with Bible school, too, so we get to spend some time working together. DW’s cousin and his wife are the VBS leaders, then among other church members, there are a couple cousins & aunts & even my in-laws who are group leaders, helpers, cooks, etc… and Lauren & Adam lead the music time.

Of course, the setting up comes first, and I love that part, too!!!

A group of us met one night the week before VBS started to work on the decorations. 

Prior to our “work night,”  DW and I had gathered carpet rolls from his cousin’s store (some were 15 feet long and so we decided to drive the farm’s flatbed dump truck to get them!) AB and I rode along, and because I am such a dork, I took pictures, too. DSCN2032 

After gathering our “supplies” I called in “back-up.” There’s not much I do (especially when it comes to constructing something) that I don’t call my parents to help me figure out how to make it work. My mom’s great at coming up with ideas and my Dad’s the best at making them happen. He also keeps us reigned in. For example- when mom and I agreed that we needed to leave some of the palms 15 feet tall, so they’d look “real,” my Daddy replies with, “sounds great, ya’ll can just take the roof off the church, set the trees down, then put it back on.”  We’re a good team, for sure. :)

It didn’t take long for Mom & Dad to help us get it all figured out. They had made “palms” for VBS back when I was a kid a LOOONG time ago, so they remembered what they did back then and we went from there. The main thing was figuring out the “banana trees,” which I think turned out great!

For the past 3 years, we have drawn a backdrop for the sanctuary, and above it is the screen where the words for the songs, bible verses, etc. goes every night, so the kids can read along.

On our work day, we spread out the backdrop on the tables in our fellowship hall and everyone grabs a paintbrush and gets to work. DSC_0732

We got quite a big accomplished the day we met for our “work night.” We made the rest of the trees and leaves, crumpled vines and hot glued leaves on them, painted the backdrop and fluffed flowers. A few of us met the next day to put it all in. The guys installed the backdrop and screen, and moved everything around for us. DSC_0738

VBS actually started on Sunday night, so we had most of our stuff set up Sunday morning at church. The only thing we had to do after church was move the communion table and pulpit.

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Annabelle got rescued a few times by Grammy & Pop, but for the most part, she hung right with us, and considering, did so good. She explored every pew in the sanctuary… and may or may not have even gotten to crawl under a few with her cousins. DSC_0747 

She even went every night (except one) with us to VBS. Here she is sitting the back running the sound and screens with her Uncle Adam & Daddy. DSCN2054

Along with organizing the decorations/setting up, DW and I have done the assembly skit for the past few years. In the past, we’ve played an aunt and uncle on a farm and then camp leaders. But this year, we had REALLY different parts, especially DW. This year I was a “world renowned professor” leading a group of kids on a trip to the rainforest DSC_0778 and DW was “Tarzoto - THE River Man.” DSC_0829 He’s a good sport, that’s for sure. I don’t know many men who will sport a pony tail and bandana, other than Willie Nelson. DSC_0836

When we weren’t doing the skit, DW and I could be found stationed by the 5-gallon Igloo cooler outside with the recreation group. We served up ice cold Kool-Aid. Because it isn’t Vacation Bible School unless you leave with a red Kool-Aid mustache, right? Even Annabelle had her first sip of the “red-syrup” and was so silly afterward, we’re quite sure she was on a sugar-high. She didn’t know what to think of it, except that she needed more. Poor baby is still only getting half “Motts for Tots” juice and half water in her sippy cup! She wasn’t the only kid on a sugar-high, though. We got word that Kool-Aid might not be the best thing to serve the kiddos, the cheapest yes, but not the best for keeping them calm… After the first 2 nights we switched to Gatorade in the Igloo. That watered down orange Gatorade made me think of Elementary school when we’d do those walk-a-thons and jump-a-thons for the March of Dimes and at the end they’d always serve watered down Gatorade in McDonald’s cups. Anybody else with me????

The week went really well, with only a few glitches, and I can say that I think the adults who helped in VBS had the opportunity to get as much, if not more out of it, than the kids who attended. That’s true, for me, anyway. There were times during the week when I’d think to myself, “these kids just aren’t getting it. They aren’t listening and they really don’t even care what we’re trying to teach them…” I’d even go so far as to start feeling like it was a big waste. Then I’d over hear one of the kids talking about the Bible story that particular day, or hear them singing the songs they’d been learning, or just see them being kind to one another and it was obvious they were “getting it.” I’d also have opportunity after opportunity to put into practice the things we were trying to teach. That’s SUCH a hard one!!!

I think the biggest lesson I learned this year is that it’s all about “planting seeds”. We may not see immediate results, but we were “planting seeds” for sure. I was most moved when the oldest group got up to sing the song they had learned that week on the last night. I was almost in tears sitting in the front row as they sang “I’ll follow you” to the tops of their little lungs and knelt down on their knees. I can’t imagine what that must sound like to Jesus. I get chills just thinking about it.

That night, seeing all those groups from the tiniest to the oldest get up in front of the church and say and sing their parts was just precious. I knew WE were ALL leaving with seeds planted in our hearts. And THAT is what makes it all worth it.

 

~amw~

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Little Mermaid

Last Friday, my Mom & I took Annabelle down to Weeki Wachee to see the mermaids. It’s an old Florida attraction that dates back to the 50’s. Momma took my Georgia cousins and I one summer about 20 years ago, around the same time that we had a slight obsession with Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”

We’d heard the park had closed down a few years ago, but that the state bought it and recently re-opened it as a State Park. We wanted to see what it was like now and thought it would be a fun Friday day-trip!

 

We made it to the park around 10:30…perfect timing for the 11:00 show! DSC_0060

The underwater theater was just like I remember it (only MUCH smaller). Things seem so big when you are little. DSCN1956   

It’s basically just a huge aquarium with stadium seats where you sit and watch the mermaids perform. They still have the oxygen tubes that they all carry, which I remember being so disappointed at when I was little. DSCN1926 I don’t know how they breath with those things, though…I’d panic, forget to breath through my mouth and snort water up my nose for sure. ESPECIALLY if I was underwater with a “fin” on… those “mermaids” really do deserve some serious credit for being able to do that! DSCN1937

AB was excited when the curtain finally came up and when she saw a fish swim by. DSCN1968But when the mermaids swam up, she was slightly caught off guard. She was pretty concerned about them. She watched the whole 30 minute show with a puzzled look on her face. DSCN1924She was taking it all in and just trying to figure it out. She did wave at the last mermaid though and even flashed a smile! DSCN1972

Mom and I agreed that the show was pretty cheesy, but we expected that. (we’re the kind of people that like cheesy, anyway, so we enjoyed it). We thought it was worth the ticket price for sure.

The one thing that was REALLY cheesy, though, (even too cheesy for me) was the turtle…DSCN1946 Bless his heart… having that big turtle costume just took it to a whole new level… he was only in one scene though… he was thrown in for the extreme cheesy people that were there, I guess… not just us semi-cheesy peeps…

After the show was over, we had our picture taken with the mermaid.

She had a special chair that she sat in and when the picture time was over, one of the guys came and carried her away. I don’t know why that surprised us, because how else is a girl with a fin going to get around??? “Flipping your fins you don’t get real far…” 

Just beyond the Mermaid Theater is the other part of the property (its two separate parks in one location), called Buccaneer Bay.

AB thought it looked fun…DSC_0094

And we did, too! It’s a spring, so it’s crystal-clear fresh water with those big slides landing in it! How fun is that?

We walked through the park…DSC_0059and stopped at a all the photo-ops… we paid our 13 bucks and did it all…

 

  

except for the “riverboat cruise”---we passed on it.

Before we left, we did have to make a stop at the gift shop, because what trip would be complete without bringing something home?!?!?

On our way out, we asked the ticket lady take our picture, since we didn’t have one of all three of us. It’s blurry, but at least we have one!    

It was a fun little day trip and I can’t wait to take AB back after she really gets into movies and watches “The Little Mermaid”!!!

~amw~

Friday, July 16, 2010

Flag

Last Friday morning, AB was still asleep and I was on the computer in the office. I looked out the window and nearly fell out of the chair when I saw this coming up the walkway.

I have seen deer all my life, but have never seen a baby fawn. He was brand new, too! He had the Bambi walk and everything. It took all I could do not to run out there and grab up that wobbly legged baby and claim him for our own!

His Momma and what we figure is his older brother was watching him from one corner of our yard.

He explored all along the fence line and then made himself a little bed in some tall grass right next to the cattle gap.

I figured he’d be gone the next time I checked on him, but he wasn’t. DSC_0081 In fact, AB and I had somewhere to be later that morning, and when we left, he was STILL laying by the cattle gap. His momma and brother were long gone and I was secretly hoping they wouldn’t come back for him, so I could take him in! (JUST what we need…I know, I know…)

He let me walk right up to him and take some pictures.

Precious, I know…

When we got back later that day, he was gone, and I figured we’d never see him again.

That afternoon, I looked out the window and guess who was back! This time he was laying in the back yard. DW was home this time and got to see him. So did Annabelle! Of course I wanted a picture of her with him, and he did let her get pretty close…

But, when she made one more step, he jumped up and you would have thought the grass he was laying on was on fire! In just a few short hours he’d gone from barley being able to walk to running full speed. He ran all around the yard but couldn’t get through the fence, and he was too short to jump over it like the grown deer. We went around to the front of the house to check on him, and ya’ll he fell in the cattle gap. I was in tears, scared that he’d fallen in and broken a leg and I had no idea how we were going to get him out. DW wasn’t very happy with me (for trying to get so close to him in the first place and then scaring him). He walked over to get him out of the cattle gap and that baby deer looked like a jack russell puppy! He jumped straight up and out of it! It was crazy… thankfully he was able to get out and was okay!

I thought for sure we’d seen the last of “Flag” (If you went to school in Florida then surely you read (or watched the movie) "The Yearling” so you’ll get his name…it was cousin William’s idea to name him that..)--- but just guess who has been in our yard almost every day since?!?!?

On Wednesday afternoon, I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and walked in the pantry to get something. On my way out, I glanced out the window, and look what I saw…

Not ONE, but TWO “Flags”!!! TWINS!!!

(The picture is so bad because it was through the window…I didn’t want to scare them off by going outside…)

I haven’t seen them together again in the yard, but I looked out our bedroom window, Thursday morning, and “Flag-1” and “momma-deer” were in the backyard. That afternoon, they were back and came right up to the glass doors off our sunroom, too!

We’ve had lots of deer in our yard (but never a fawn) and even though we see them all the time, it NEVER gets old! I just love it, and even though they eat our flowers, I hope they always come back…especially with their babies. :)

I’m not sure what kind of impact this is going to have on DW’s hunting season, though.

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know if he gets a deer this year.

~amw~

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

More like “less words” Wednesday…

I came across these pictures on our computer and thought they’d make a perfect wordless Wednesday post.

Annabelle found my glasses a few weeks ago. They were on my night stand, and she’d left a chip in their place. (She almost always leaves a “calling card” when she takes something. Her favorite things to sneak off with are: the remote controls, my ‘diaper bag’ camera, pens, any drink with a straw in it (the big Chick-fil-a sweet tea cups are her fave), and pretty much anything else that she really shouldn’t be playing with…typical toddler!) :)

I didn’t know she’d even gotten my glasses, until I heard her laughing and I walked into the foyer to see what was going on… She was quite proud of herself! Especially when I grabbed the camera!

These pictures make me laugh so hard. She’s just so silly! That mixed with the fact that she really thinks she’s grown makes these pictures even funnier.

And since I can’t post just a silly picture of her, here’s some I found of her that we took a couple weeks ago before we left for church… (We have hardly any pictures of her in church dresses. It’s hard enough to get us all ready and to church on time, so we rarely take pictures before, but a few weeks ago, we were actually early, so we got a few of her before!)

Is it REALLY Wednesday already?!?!!? Is yall’s week going as fast as ours?!?!?

~amw~

Friday, July 9, 2010

Blog Party

Last night I went to my friend, Danielle’s jewelry party. She is a stay-at-home mommy turned Premier Jewelry consultant. Last night was her training show, so Lauren and I went to give our support!

The jewelry party quickly turned into a blog party when we started to recognize each other! (I’ll use initials for those who don’t share their names on their blogs)…

I had the best time! It was so fun to meet Lacy, who occasionally stalks reads my blog (ha! I had to put ‘stalks’, Lacy, since you never comment!). She did email me once after my laundry room remodel post to ask about our cabinets, so I had “meet” her before over email, but never in person!

After we’d been there for a few minutes and were talking with Lacy, ‘M’ came in and looked so familiar. Lacy introduced us to her, and it hit me that I’d read her blog before, too. (Immeasurably More Mama) I’ve not been a follower (until now, that is) and haven’t ever commented, but I’ve ran across “IMM’s” blog before. I had no idea that she lived in the same area! How fun is that???

I LOVED getting to meet some girls who blog from around here! I was telling “IMM” that most of my favorite bloggers (who I don’t know personally) either live in Arkansas or Houston…seems everybody blogs out there, so it was so neat to meet some girls from around here.

I also met “K”, who’s “the pregnant girl who’s so cute it makes you sick” (yall know the ones who are just ADORABLE pregnant? Well, that’s her). After we got to talking we discovered she’d just had her hair cut by my hairdresser, Aubrey! How fun is that? Such a small world…

All of them were so precious!

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L to R: “K”, Lacy, Danielle, Lauren, Me, “IMM”

Stephanie & Grace were there, too, but had already left when we took this pic.

I had to come straight home and pull up Danielle’s blog so that I could find everyone else’s blogs and let me tell you, these girls were just as pretty as they are in their pictures on their posts…so sweet and so much fun… Girls, anytime you want to invite us to something, we are IN! I’m not inviting myself, I’m just sayin… (ha)..and if we didn’t have our Bible Study group today, we might have just crashed ya’ll’s Chick-fil-A date! :) I loved meeting all of you!

On a different note-

I can’t not post about my girl, and since she has a new “trick”, I thought yall might want to see it…

I present our future “Ninjetta”… (sorry about having to hear me…don’t yall hate to hear yourself? Eeck…I do!)

video

Yep, she’s got a mean karate kick. She and her Daddy have been working on it and I’ve been laughing my head off!

Have a great weekend!

~amw~