Wednesday, June 29, 2011

AT CAMP

Just a quick note to let you know I'm at camp this week. Helping out at Quartz Mountain Christian Camp.

Have a great day and I'll be blogging again next week!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Forever Friends

For the past month I've been really excited!  My best friends from Kindergarten through 12th grade were planning to get together after almost 20 years!
One of the friends, Gwen, lives in Alaska, so she is not able to come to Oklahoma too often.  We all made plans to meet together some time during this week.  The other two friends and I live within 30-40 minutes from each other, but planning a time to actually get together was really hard.  We had to work around our families' schedules - and with 11 children between the four of us, that's pretty hard to do!
We actually thought it had been 24 years since we had all four been together, but when I found this picture, I realized it hadn't been quite that long. It had been 19 years, though....still way too long! This picture is in 1992.  We were asked (probably by my mom!) to sing at the Junior/Senior banquet that year. Three of us had siblings in those classes, so that's most likely why they thought of us.  We were part of a group that was called the "Teardrops".  We didn't lots of singing during our junior high and high school years!
After our Senior graduation we went to Orlando, Florida.  Walt Disney World was so much fun for us.  Eldorado (at that time) had about 800 people so it didn't take much to excite us! This picture is at our hotel lobby.
This is three of us at our graduation.  Gwen is missing.  She has a picture where someone else is missing.  It was sometimes difficult to get everyone for pictures, so we have several "3 people" pictures!
This is our Freshman Graduation.  Aren't we pretty???! :)
This is one of our many, many slumber parties.  Molly isn't in this picture, but I'm pretty sure she was there somewhere.  Most slumber parties were at her house, but this one was at another friend's house.  This is about the time "Jello Jigglers" were new and very popular.  Kind of an odd memory!
This is my 6th birthday.  I think Pam is to the right of me.  See her elbow??  I really wish that this picture had all of us.  We would have been in Kindergarten at this time.
I found this little note in a memory book tonight.  Such special friends!
It says:  "Molly, Pam, Gwen & I are all best friends.  We always have a great time together."
I'm pretty sure it was written in junior high.

Sitting here thinking about this post made be realize some neat things about our friendship:

All of us lived in the country for almost all of our growing-up years.  Gwen and I were less than a quarter of a mile from each other.

All of our dads were farmers for most all of our growing-up years.

All of our dads graduated from Eldorado - just like we did.  None of our moms did, but all of our moms were from Oklahoma.

All of our dad's parents lived in Eldorado for our growing up years and until they passed away.

Two of us went to church camp together for many years.  Two others went to Germany together for an exchange trip.

All three of them went to OSU after high school.  I stayed at home, went to a junior college and married the next summer.

We have so many fun memories and so many funny memories.  Getting together for those few hours was just like we had never been apart.  That's what it means to be "Forever Friends".  I'm thankful for my "Forever Friends".  Can't wait to get together again! I love you all!

I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians 1:3

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Brotherly Love

Some of the saddest stories in the Bible have to do with brothers.  Sibling rivalry reared its ugly head early on after the creation of man and woman.  Sin entered the world and hatred and jealousy quickly became rampant within the family.  Genesis 4 tells the story of two brothers, Cain and Abel.  Cain became jealous of Abel.  He became angry and because of that anger, he killed his brother, Abel.  Other stories throughout the scriptures tell the same kinds of stories.
I didn't grow up with boys.  I had just one sister - six years younger than me.  I thought it would have been wonderful to have a brother!  I often teased my sister that I wanted her to be a boy (even after she was older!)  So, for me, watching my boys from birth to now has been a totally new and fun experience!
I want my boys, and my one girl, to love each other.  I want them to care for each other and care about each other.  I want them to be friends now, but to also grow up and remain friends.  That's why pictures like these showing our children working together are so special to me.  It also helps to realize that there really are these special times, if it's a day when they seem like they are all aggravating each other!
As I sat and watched Tyler (9) and Zachary (almost 15) water the pumpkin patch a few weeks ago, I was so thankful I had grabbed my camera!  Tyler would let Zachary show him exactly how to water and then he would do it himself.  Zachary was being patient with Tyler....on that particular day, anyway!
When the Lord asked Cain where Abel was, Cain replied, "Am I my brother's keeper?"  The the Lord pointed out Cain's sin of killing his brother.

In a Christian family - both a physical family and a spiritual family - we are our brother's keeper.  We're our sister's keeper.  We watch out for one another.  We help one another.  We serve one another.  We love one another. 

Brotherly love between my boys makes me smile.  It makes my heart melt. It makes me happy.  The brotherly love we are to have with our brothers and sisters in Christ makes God smile. It's showing the love to others that Jesus showed by His example.  Brotherly love glorifies God.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Romans 12:10-11 (NIV)

Let brotherly love continue.
Hebrews 13:1 (NKJV)

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Chronicles of Biscuit - "Y'all Talk Too Much"

The Chronicles of Biscuit:  True stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.

Last evening my husband was preaching at a congregation about an hour away.  Biscuit decided to go with him.  My husband preached a sermon that he had actually preached here at Tipton last week, so Biscuit had heard it before, but apparently wasn't listening last week.

This morning Biscuit said, "Mom, Dad said last night that women speak 27,000 words a day and men speak 15,000.  I asked, "What do you think that means?"  He said, "That y'all need to be quiet??"  I said, "Okay....then I won't talk to you the rest of the day, okay???" 

Biscuit didn't like that!  He is the only one of our children home this week, so I guess he decided he needed someone to talk to, but he did go on to remind inform me that I am usually one of the last ones to leave the church building after services and that I had probably already spoken 300 words at that time of the day! 

I told my husband about my morning conversation with Biscuit.  He said that as soon as they got in the car last night after worship Biscuit asked him about it.  He told Biscuit that women spoke more words because they are just more verbal.  They just are made that way.  Biscuit asked him, "So what do we do?"  My husband said, "We just give the 'man nod' ",  and gave him a nod with his head.  :)  From then on they worked on the 'man head nod'.  At lunch today, they still worked on it.  Biscuit's got some work to do on the man "head nod"!

The statistic my husband quoted is right.  I've seen other numbers quoted, but it's always the same ratio:  men speak a lot less that women do.  I don't think that's a statistic we women could ever dispute.  We pretty much know that we talk more than men....although some of actually speak more than others.  I'd like to think I don't talk as much as I used to, but my family would beg to differ I'm sure.  (Hey, maybe writing this blog has helped me!  Maybe I really don't talk as much as I used to.  Now I type more words :) !! )

What is important about use women and our words is what words we actually say.  Do we use our words to help or hurt?  Do we use our words to uplift and encourage or to put down and discourage?  Do we use our words to pray to God about others, or do we use our words to speak gossip about others to others?  Do we use our words to glorify God and to praise His name, or do we use our words in a profane way and misuse and disrespect His name?

On this Gratituesday, I am grateful to God for giving us the ability to speak.  I am grateful that women do have the gift of gab, but I pray that our gift of gab is always used to the glory of God.  I pray that our words will be used in wise ways.

Now back to Biscuit......

I think by the end of the afternoon, Biscuit was really wishing I would keep quiet.  He was straightening up his room - the room he shares with his two brothers.  And, he was having to pick up quite a bit since they're at camp this week. I had to keep him on track from time to time!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
   be pleasing in your sight,
   LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.


Psalm 19:14

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.  You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.  But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:36

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Packing for Camp

June and early July are filled with weeks of camps for our family.  This week our three oldest are at two different camps.  Many years ago, even the youngest and I spent a week helping at camp, so packing for five for a week in a camp setting was sometimes difficult.

Remembering to pack everything needed was difficult, but I tried to find tips for making it better.  My favorite tip of all was from Family Fun magazine.  There was a reader who suggested putting children's clothing in one gallon plastic storage bags (such as Ziplock).  This system has remained part of our camp packing every year for many, many years.
Now, I can't promise that it will ensure that your child will wear clean clothes every day, but it is more probable that he/she will when they are packed in this way! :)  I say this because one of my middle boys could and has recently worn the same clothes for a few days without bothering to change....much to our dismay!! (He was at his grandparents and they didn't realize he hadn't changed.  He forgot that he had taken more clothes. (And just how does that happen, I wonder????!!!!)

When my children were younger, I would have them tell me which days they wanted to wear each set of clothes.  I would write on the outside of the bag each day of the week they would be at camp and then put their picked clothing into that bag.  Now the oldest packs by herself (still in the bags) and the two middle boys I help.  As a special thing, I also hide a little note in each bag.  I even do this for the older ones when I have the opportunity.   
For each child, as they went to camp for the very first time, I would get an inexpensive pillow case and write on it with markers. The oldest two have kind of grown out of it, but Jacob still wanted his this year.  It would be fun to do a different one each year and have other campers sign it - as a memento from camp.

One more camp packing tip is a Japanese style of folding shirts.  Go to YouTube and search for the phrase Japanese shirt folding.  Watch one of the videos and you'll be amazed!!  I did this a few years, but then forgot and just didn't take the time to re-learn the technique.  It is really neat and efficient, though, and definitely keeps shirts from getting very wrinkled.

What ideas/tips do you have for camp or vacation packing?  Let me know!  I'll be packing all of us pretty soon!

Have a great week, everyone! 


Thursday, June 16, 2011

His Father Never Interfered

Several weeks ago in a women's Bible study, we were reading 1 Kings 1:1.  The chapter deals with King David and his family.  Something struck me as odd in verse six, "(His father had never interfered with him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)".  The verse in the 1984 New International Version has this verse in parentheses.

This whole passage is about King David being old and how a young woman was brought in to help care for him.  One of his sons, Adonijah, decided he wanted to be king, even though his father was still alive, and immediately took on the role of king.  (It appears to be that he wanted to be king because of the young women, but it's not actually said.  Chapter 2 tells more about the woman.) Verse six is put in right after Adonijah takes on that role - the verse is inserted in there by the author (inspired by God, of course) to imply that his father, David, didn't ever question Adonijah about his behavior.  He most likely never rebuked him for his behavior, either, and now that failure to discipline has backfired. 

What Adonijah didn't realize is that his (half) brother, Solomon was to be the king.  That was God's plan.  Later on, in chapter 2, Solomon's mother, Bathsheba, asks the new king for a special favor for her (step) son, Adonijah.  She asks that the young woman, Abishag, be given to Adonijah as a wife.  This makes Solomon very angry and he had Adonijah killed that very day!

This story was interesting to me.  Even though King David was a man after God's own heart, he suffered many terrible consequences in his life because of his own sin and the sins of his children which he refused to address.  (II Samuel 13:21 and 14:33)  Why does it seem that David refused to become involved in his child's discipline?  Maybe David felt he had other more important things to do.  Maybe he felt the king shouldn't have to address problems with children. Maybe he left all of the discipline to his wives?

Oftentimes in today's world, parents 'never interfer' with their children.  They never ask them, "Why are you acting that way?" or "What are you doing?".  Too many parents allow the children to make the rules and set the boundaries with little or no consequences.

Parents - both fathers and mothers - we have a God-given responsibility and obligation to teach, train, and yes, discipline, our children. 

Children don't need parents who want to be friends to their children.  They don't need parents who act immature like their peers do.  They need positive role models who discipline with love.  They need parents who will set limits and discipline in love and because they want the best for their children.

Children need parents who have high expectations for them.  Not unreachable, outlandish expectations, but expectations of goals in life and expectations of their moral character. 

Children need parents who are spiritual giants, whose faith never wavers, who puts their faith in the Lord and who have given their lives to Him. 

Children need parents who are walking in the example of Jesus and who "Shine Like Stars" for him each and every day. 

Children need parents who interfere.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1 (NIV 1984)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 (NLT)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Beautiful Sunset

My friend, Jan, posted this picture on Facebook tonight, along with the following status.  She gave me permission to share it and the status.

I love the westward trip to Lubbock at sunset. God's sky is always so amazing, but one thing I have noticed is that the sunset is so much more spectacular when there are clouds present. The colors reflected and the light that shines through reflect the glory of God in a stunning way. This causes me to wonder, ---Do we allow the clouds in our lives to reflect God's glory to those who are watching? Do we let the love and the grace of God shine through our struggles and our trials to the world around us?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:3-7 (underlined in places for emphasis)

Thank you, Jan, for your thought-provoking status!  Sometimes it's hard to "Shine Like Stars" or like the light in the sunset with those clouds in the way, but we must always remember that, at those times are when our lights are shining the brightest! The world is watching how we react in the storms....and so are our fellow-Christians and our families.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My New Doorbell

For months our doorbell didn't work.  Finally, after several months, and knowing we were having company, my daughter put a sign on the door telling people to knock.  I never read the sign, but noticed when answering the door - people were kind of laughing about the sign.  Finally I read it.  Here's what it said (in her goofy words):  "The doorbell done went off and broke itself.  Please knock."  Okay......now I see why they were laughing!!  The sign stayed put and people kept knocking, but I kept wanting it fixed.

Months went by and finally, on May 7th  my husband fixed the doorbell!  He had actually tried to find the problem once before, but wasn't able to figure it out at that time.  What seemed like should have fixed it, didn't. So time went on and the sign directed visitors to knock so we would know they were there.

On Mother's Day, my husband apologized for not having a gift for me.  I'm not a big Mother's Day fan as I've blogged about before.  To me, I would rather my children just honor me and show me that they love me every day.  (Note to those who might thing this is strange: I also think of those who are hurting on those types of days, so I try to be sensitive to them - both mothers or those who "want" to be mothers, but also to children who may not have mothers or who are not with their mothers because of abuse and neglect.)  So, to my husband's apology I replied, "That's not true.  you fixed my doorbell!  That is better than any gift!"  And, to me, it is.  I would much rather have things fixed that need to be fixed than to receive any type of gift or treat.  Those kinds of things, to me, show love.

Which brings me to another point about marriage.  Some women and men need "me" time.  Some couples need "us" time.  Those things are great in moderation,  but, for me, I try not think too much about "me" or "us". I strive to just think of my role as a wife and mother and I really don't need those things to be happy.  Maybe you do.

Do I like to go out on a date with my husband?  Sure.  That's nice and we do on a very rare occasion, but for us we don't "need" that like some might.  I would rather have us all together as a family because those times are getting fewer and fewer as our children get older and they are going to be gone before too long. We're together at activities, but there are very few times we're just all together relaxing and having fun.  Those are the times I cherish.  I enjoy the activities, too, but especially like the family time playing games or meal times at the table.

Do I need weekend get-aways with my husband?  They're fun!  We've done that a few times, too, but again, for me....for us.....we want to be together on trips together as a family.  We had six years before children to do a lot and we will have many more after they leave home (if it's the Lord's will).  We want to spend time with them while they are here.  For us, that's what we want and it's what we feel is right for our family.  Our trips are usually to stock shows and Rangers games and a few longer vacation times.

So, here's my point:  We're all different.  We all will feel different about our wants and our needs.  What is important is that there is communication in the marriage and in the family.  What is important is "being there" for each other.  Quality time is important, but so is quantity time.  Lots of "things" can get in the way of marriage and family:  work, hobbies, recreation, entertainment, etc.  Marriages take work and families take work.  They won't just "happen" and be good or great without all parties working together. Communication is the key.  That's how you and I will know what our spouse and what our family members need and want.  We won't have to guess what people need or want when we all communicate the way we should.

On this Gratituesday, I am grateful - extremely grateful for my fixed door bell!  It's a wonderful gift and has the sweetest sound (it really does!!  I want people to come over, just so I can hear it.  I've asked my children to ring it on occasion.  Weird, I know! :).

What makes you grateful?  You may like dates, getaways, flowers, jewelry....or maybe like me.....a new doorbell!

Join us for GRATITUESDAY at Heavenly Homemakers!

Black, White, and Robin's Egg Blue Wedding Shower

I've been super-excited to write this post and share these pictures with you!  Have I mentioned that one of my favorite things to do is decorate for weddings and showers????  (Probably every time I do a post like this, huh?? :)  This one was especially fun because I did it with a friend what has very elegant taste and also happened to have a lot of the decorative items in her home that worked with the color theme we were doing.
The bride and groom, Krystin and Cesar, are actually only using black and white for their wedding colors, but Linda decided to add a third color to the mix.  It definitely made this shower "pop" by adding in the third color for accent. (I'm a huge black and white fan, though.  My school's colors were black and white!)
The "C" and "K" initial wall hangings were clear, but not showing up too well on the table.  Linda had picked up some scrapbook paper in the robin's egg/black design and I cut it and backed the initials.  I also used a scrapbook frame I had at home to make the black/white photo of the couple match the decor, using the paper as a background and some scrunched up tulle in the bottom.
As a guest register, I took the scrapbook paper, attached it to a piece of cardboard, then topped it with an accent black sheet of paper and a printed piece of lined paper designed on the computer.  To hold it all together, I punched holes and tied a tulle bow.
We didn't have a square white tablecloth for this table, so each corner was tied with tulle.  It made it seem fancier than it was!
I enjoyed working with Linda because she thinks of things I wouldn't have.  For example, I wouldn't have added a new, different color with the fresh flowers.  I would have wanted everything to "match".  She suggested that I buy a different color - something that would stand out.  My children and I went to Wichita Falls and Sam's Club there had a beautiful selection of flowers.  I took her advice and went out on a limb with these orange flowers (though I did buy some white ones....just in case we needed them :).  The orange was BEAUTIFUL and she taught me a lesson in decor!
The white flowers did get used.  A few went for corsages, but the majority went in this black iron tiered basket (I got this on sale at Hobby Lobby the afternoon I went to Wichita Falls...$14.00!)  Cute!
After I got back from Wichita Falls, I walked in and Linda had arranged the gifts and made up a mock bed - just like they do in department stores!  It was sooooo neat!!
The bedding was a gift from the hostesses.  I wondered if the bedding would fit back in the bag after the shower.  It did!!
The shower was in the morning so brunch-type food was served.  Isn't cheesecake a brunch food??? :)  Yum!
I'm not pointing out the cheesecake again, but the pretty serving dishes Linda has in her collection.  Every serving dish was beautiful! 
Some of the serving pieces are in our fellowship building.  They are used for various church events.
As we were working on the shower Friday night, I thought of something that would be really neat for the coffee.  I have an antique silver and glass carafe with a candle warmer that was my grandma Sibyl's.  The only problem was that it was "mine" technically, but it was stored at my parents - in Altus - 30 minutes away.
I called my husband and told him I wanted to go get the carafe.  Guess what?? He volunteered to go get it for me!  Wasn't that sweet??!  It hadn't been used in over 20 years, so it needed some polishing.
One of the other hostesses cleaned it before the shower.  Isn't it beautiful?!  I was so excited to use it.  I remember being at my grandma's house and her having her extension club parties - using the carafe.  I thought it was the neatest thing and it was the one thing I told her I wanted some day.  She passed away in 1990 and wrote that the carafe was to be mine.  I'll be storing it here at home from now on.  I've made room for it and want to use it more in the future.
I made these little filo shell sausage and egg appetizers.  Here is the recipe (on my family recipe blog).
Linda ordered the black and white checked tablecloths.  Aren't they cute?  For showers she and I both like to put two long tables together.  It gives more decorating room.  One just isn't enough to do a whole lot!  Linda had the two lamps from her bedroom.  We both like to use a lot of boxes to make different levels for the decorations.
This wasn't a planned thing, but when I went home late Friday night after decorating, I decided to make this "Blessing Ring".  I had the ring in my craft closet and just happened to have a lot of black and white ribbon.  Each ribbon is looped onto the ring.  If the ribbon is a fraying-type, just knot the ends.  I "stole" these pictures off of the bride-to-be's Facebook page and copied them off...tying them to the ribbons.
This little note was attached to the ring.  I bought the ring at Walmart in the sewing section.  I'm not sure what it's actually for, but I bought it a long time ago with the intention of having my daughter make one of these for the county fair.  Oh, well, this worked out even better! Cards, pictures, and other items can be attached to the ring itself or to the ribbons.  The bride and groom (to be) mentioned taking it to their wedding reception.  I suggested that little blank notes be left on the tables and guests could write blessings for the couple, which could be added to the ring.
My photo of the tables where the guests were seated turned out blurry, but we used these glass vases and placed white candles in each one.  Black tulle bows were tied around the middle sections of the vases.  Each table had a white cloth, two pieces of paper (black and the same robin's egg blue/black print we used throughout the decorations) in the center, topped with the vases holding the candles.
Best wishes, Krystin and Cesar!  May God bless your upcoming marriage!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ladybug Friends

During most of my growing up years, my dad was a farmer.  He farmed wheat and cotton.  Every summer I was the "un-hired" hand...meaning free labor for him!!  I didn't get paid wages, but spending time with him and learning to "farm" taught me a lot.  (In my high school years, when he became our small-town Farmer's Coop manger, he did hire me during the summer wheat harvest and I did get paid to work.) I think about those farming days with great memories (except for the plowing!). 

One thing I remember vividly had to do with lady bugs. Dad purchased thousands and thousands of ladybugs.  They were shipped to us in big crates and were stacked up high in our laundry/mud room.  I remember we had to have a fan blowing in there to keep them extra cool and alive.  I remember they stunk!

The day after the ladybugs arrived, I had the privilege of riding with my dad on his motorcycle.  He was driving, and I rode behind him turned around with my back against his.  He drove the motorcycle up and down the cotton rows, and I scattered those stinky, but very pretty, ladybugs!  I would reach into the burlap bags and pull out handfuls of ladybugs, throwing them as we rode. Why???  Because the ladybugs would eat the boll weevils that were eating the cotton stalks.  Isn't that neat???  I still think that is so cool!  My kids like to hear that story and are even more amazed to hear that their grandpa and I rode the motorcycle.  They think I'm a 'fraidy cat.  They don't know the real me :). (hee hee!)

Sunday morning I taught my 1st and 2nd graders about ladybugs.  It's a lesson I found on Danielle's Place, called "Ladybug Friends".  It's such a cute lesson (and a FREE lesson) that teaches about how we should be friends and help others like ladybugs do.  I especially enjoyed telling the children about how I scattered the ladybugs in my dad's cotton field and how those ladybugs helped us by eating the bad bugs that were eating the cotton plants.  (The Danielle's Place lesson has an interesting story about ladybugs helping with the Florida orange trees, too.)

Ladybug friends. Yet another one of God's amazing and beautiful creatures teaching us a lesson about how to live.....as friends and friends who help each other!

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:13


(NOTE:  And speaking of helping friends, I have a friend needing help to keep their little theatre open in their town.  She is the school drama teacher and asked if I would pass along this info.  Go to http://www.wellingtonritztheatre.com/  and click on the link to vote for the Wellington (Texas) theatre to win $25,000.  Thank you for helping! :)

Army of THE One - VBS (Part 4)

The last day of VBS (Thursday), was on the Armor of God.  I found a really cute coloring page to go with the scriptures (Ephesians 6:10-18) at http://www.ministry-to-children.com/. (Here's the link for the color pages).  Thank you Mandi Groce for the cute artwork!!  I wrote and told her how I was using the color pages for VBS.
I copied the color pages onto transparent paper (as I did for all of my wall art) and put it onto an overhead projector, blowing it up and tracing it with a Sharpie onto the light brown paper.  Her artwork had a scrap-booky (not a word, I'm sure :) feel to it, which I really liked!
I did some gold glitter paint on each of the pieces of armor, just for added sparkle!!
I was really surprised at how well the children listened to these passages about the armor of God.  I wasn't sure it would be as interesting to them, but it was.  I began by talking to them about the first sin and how the devil tempted Eve.  This led into why we need this "spiritual armor".  Verse 11 of Ephesians 6 says, "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes."  I talked to the children about how the devil is trying to get us to follow him and not God and explained to them how each piece of "armor" would help us in that battle. 
We talked about how God's plan for salvation is His plan and how the devil doesn't want us to have that salvation.  We also talked about how we have the choice whether to do right or wrong...that the devil tempts us, but that he doesn't make us do things wrong.  We talked about how if we would look at evil (I probably said "bad things") in the world as being from Satan...the devil....then we would realize that God's power can help us win the battle.  That's good for us to all remember:  The "Battle Belongs to the Lord" as the song says!  I'm thankful that it does, aren't you?!
I looked for a snack that would go along with the "Armor of God", but couldn't find one.  I made this one up and it really turned out cute!  I've posted the "recipe" for this snack craft on our family recipe blog.  (Click here to go there.)
This is one of the children's versions of the "Armor of God" snack craft.
The rest of the time during that last day of VBS we spent making "armor" to help the children remember the story.  I'll admit that this was a little hectic!  I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do about the breastplate and the shoes when we got there.  I should have had a lot more prep work done, but all in all, it worked out and it was just fine.  We finished in time (well, five minutes late :) for meeting back together to sing.  Not too bad!  The five minutes late part was because......
....I wanted a picture of everyone in their armor!  So cute and they seemed to enjoy it, too.  They also seemed to learn more about God, Jesus, and His Word, which is what VBS is all about!
Some people have come to my blog searching for Army VBS shirts.  I realized that I hadn't posted a close up.  Everyone is given a shirt when they come to VBS.  Such a neat keepsake!  I appreciate our elders for allowing us to do that each year!!
I've mentioned that my two oldest children were my helpers and that my youngest was actually in my class.  That is so special!  I only wish that my other middle son could have been in there, too.  He was in his last year of class as a VBS student.  Next year he CAN be my helper, but the youngest will move up.  He's excited, though, because he'll be in my mother-in-law's (Grammy's) class!!  Zachary (oldest son) also served as an unofficial junior VBS director.  He helped the director by making copies of the postcards and handing them out the last week of school, he led singing, and helped with enrollment.  Since he's wanting to be a youth minister when he grows up, this is great experience for him!
Daughter Lauren is such a great help in class every year!  I don't know what I'll do when she graduates in a few years.  Maybe she can still come home for VBS :).  She's great with kids, but also not afraid to get on to them if needed....and thankfully, we didn't need much of that this year! 
I have to thank my husband, Joe, too.  He does A LOT to help me with VBS.  He covers the walls every year just how I want them.  He moves in tables, chairs, etc.....then puts them all back.  The younger two boys help a lot, too, so thank you Jacob & Tyler!
So, a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to my family!  I appreciate you and love you all very much! :)
 
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