August 31, 2011

Vacation Bible School and Hurricane Irene

As soon as my birthday weekend was over we jumped right into VBS. The theme this year was Treasure Quest. I did crafts each night and Eric was a pirate who sneaked into the opening service each evening and "stole" something from the pastor. Only the children were supposed to see him, and there were some other pirates running around during the remainder of each evening, visible only to the kids, and the kids LOVED it. On the final day Eric appeared to the pastor and confessed his wrong-doing and promised not to do it anymore. I wish I had a picture of him -- he wore a bandana around his head, and a patch (the location of which he changed up every night, so sometimes over an eye, or maybe on his chin, or up on his forehead), and wore a snazzy mustache that I cut out of black foam, and carried around a stuffed parrot.

We anticipated the Boogie being afraid of the puppets during the puppet show each night. What we did not anticipate was that at her first glimpse of the scary pirate-daddy, she would burst into tears and cling to the nearest adult. For the rest of the first night she cried off and on, especially when she was around me for craft time, pleading to stay with me instead of go back to the classroom or to have me go with her. I think what made it worse was that all of the adults participating had been instructed to ignore the pirates and act like we didn't see them, so to her 4-year-old mind we were denying the existence of the very thing that was terrifying her. Eric and I were unsure of how to help her deal with it -- obviously neither of us could follow her around each evening, and she couldn't stay with us. I tried telling her that she could choose whether or not to be scared. Her answer to that was, "I can't choose." On the third day while we were discussing it once again she said something about "Daddy being the pirate." Aha! So she knew it was just him. That evening she happened to see him in costume before the opening service, so he came over and talked to her and snuggled her for a minute, and then she was fine! Of course then we had to reiterate over and over that she was NOT to tell any of the other children that the pirate was really only Daddy. She did really well keeping the secret; so well, in fact, that when we were writing an email to Lela I encouraged her to tell about Daddy being a pirate, to which she replied with a concerned look, "No, I can't, I'm not supposed to tell anyone!"

The upside to pirate fear was that she wasn't afraid of the puppets this year!

For my own record-keeping, the crafts I put together were:
-Binoculars -- paper cups with the bottoms cut out, stapled together, and decorated with foam letters and stickers
-Hot-air balloon -- paper plates stapled together with scraps of brightly-colored tissue paper glued on, and a dixie cup "basket" attached with yarn
-Treasure map -- I brewed some strong tea and put it in a spray bottle, then spread out legal-sized paper all over the floor of the garage and sprayed each sheet liberally with tea. When it dried it was splotchy and discolored, like old paper! The kids tore the edges, drew a map on it, crumpled it up then smoothed it out, then rolled it up and slid it into a paper towel tube that we covered with construction paper
-Treasure chest -- I copied the template from this website onto brightly-colored cardstock. I cut out and assembled the chests for the youngest group, and cut out the chests for the middle group but had them glue their own, and had the oldest group do the cutting and gluing themselves. Then they decorated them with stick-on jewels. The craft turned out super-cute but was soooooo time-consuming for me! I spent hours cutting out and gluing together ...
-Necklaces -- craft time on the final day was abbreviated so I just had the kids string beads to make a necklace as "treasure" to put in their paper chests. I printed out Matthew 6:19-21 onto cardstock and cut it out and punched a hole so it could hang like a pendant from their necklaces

We changed things up a little this year and did VBS Tuesday-Friday evenings, and then finished up with a fun day on Saturday. After lunch on Saturday the kids played games and I tried some face-painting. I do not have an artistic hand. I can draw a decent stick person but that's about as far as that goes. But after a little practice I was able to paint 5 or 6 little images that somewhat resembled what they were supposed to be, and it was actually really fun! I did all the little kids first. I was stationed outside of the room they were playing games in, and as I finished up with each one and sent them back I would hear the Boogie say, "I don't want to have my face painted." EK was the last one and she requested a ladybug; when she went back in the room the Boogie exclaimed, "I want a ladybug!" So the Boogie FINALLY agreed to have her face painted! What's more, she told us that the next time we go to the zoo she will have her face painted there. We shall see ...

Meanwhile as the week progressed we started hearing more and more about Hurricane Irene working her way up the coast toward us. Between work and VBS we hardly had any time to prepare. By the time the kids left church on Saturday it was starting to rain and get windy. Eric brought the girls home and put all of our outside stuff into the garage and managed to get his car in as well. I helped clean up at church then came home and we did laundry and washed dishes and vacuumed and scrubbed the tub to fill with water and tried to do all we could to prepare for losing power.

The storm was really crazy Saturday night. I have never seen rain like that, and the wind was pretty strong as well. We didn't lose power at all so we were able to watch the news. The scariest part was the tornado warnings for our area. But we made it through the night just fine and by Sunday morning the rain had stopped although the wind seemed worse. By the afternoon it seemed to be settling down some and we thought, wow! We made it through without losing electricity! And then the power went out. It was out from Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon. We were very thankful that it wasn't any longer than that. We lost some refrigerated stuff, although FIL took our freezer food over to the church. However we made out a whole lot better than a lot of people who weathered that storm.

Once the storm passed the weather has been beautiful, warm sunny days and cool nights. It is more comfortable than the humidity of summer ... but it means fall is coming. I'm not ready for fall! I would happily take another month of heat, including humidity! if it meant that fall's arrival would be pushed back just a bit.

And so I don't forget these recent Boogie gems:

While in the car eating french fries she explained the process to make them: "First you take a tomato and you cut it up, and then you put french fry salt on it, then you put it in the box, then you give it to the people in the car, and then they eat it!" It took me a few minutes to realize that she meant a potato, not a tomato.

Yesterday at the store I let her choose some body wash for herself and Peabody. She picked out this Suave berry-scented one (which, not surprisingly, is the exact same kind that H-man and Koto use.)

But I never actually said anything about it being berry-scented, and of course she can't read yet. So I don't know why it surprised me when last night, while being bathed, she asked excitedly, "Do you think it will make me smell like a penguin?"

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