Summer of Metamorphosis

As we do each summer, Bryan and I have been teaching Sunday School. This year, we were assigned Michael’s class: boys who just finished kindergarten and first grade. They are wild monkeys!!! (But they’re pretty cute.)

Our children’s minister, Mrs. Amy, goes all out every summer. Instead of doing a week of VBS, she picks a theme for the whole summer and decorates the gym to completely transform it. This summer our theme is Metamorphosis which is all about transforming our hearts and minds to be more like Jesus.

This past Sunday, the kids made spiders. Our craft is always insect-related which Michael loves.

It’s always fun seeing Bryan interacting with the kids.

Roughing it at church camp…

The kids spent three nights at church camp – the same camp I attended as a kid! This was Michael’s first time to do “sleep away” camp and it seemed a good fit because my friend Sheri’s husband was going to be in the cabin with his little boy and Michael. I told Michael he could ask Mr. Steve to call me if he got really homesick. Michael said, “What if I’m too embarrassed to tell him?” And I replied, “Then you’re not really homesick.” 🙂 Michael did great.

Take a moment to soak up the natural beauty of this place before I show you the “fine” amenities.

The dock has not been repaired or replaced since I first set foot on it in 1980.

The accomodations are “rustic” to say the least. From what I can see, the only change since I was a camper is that someone painted the walls and ceilings of the cabins so we can’t see that “Kim wuz here” and my friend “Dawnn wuz here” year upon year through the 80’s.

Michael gave me a quick hug and ran away when I dropped them off. Sleep away camp is a big step and I was proud of him for giving it a try. He knew all the boys in his cabin from Sunday School.

Henry came along, of course.

Here’s Leah with her friends. Like her little brother, she knew all her cabin mates already from Sunday School. They were all in the Cherokee cabin – my old cabin.

The kids were both soooo sweaty when Dad and I got there on Monday to pick them up!

The cabins are tucked into the trees and the shade does help, but it was HOT that weekend,

Here’s Michael and Mr. Steve.

I stayed in this same cabin many times! We used to come for a whole week and I loved, loved, loved being here at camp. My kids? Not so much. Not feeling the love. They didn’t hate it, but they didn’t love it either, so I think we’re done with church camp which is fine.

Here’s Michael trying to out-muscle his Paw-Paw for the front seat on the ride home. Guess who won? (Hint: Not Michael.)

He is risen! Hallelujah!

What an uplifting day! I love the thought each year as I try to imagine approximately 2 billion people worldwide reflecting on the resurrection of our Savior. It’s staggering, really.

  

Clean, neatly dressed and at church in time for the Easter breakfast buffet… felt like a small miracle!

  

All 4 grandparents!!! Papa and Mama P, Nana and Paw-Paw.

  

The chorus… That one baritone in front sounds really good!

 

Uncle Stevie and Nana looking sharp!!

   

Bryan and his parents… 

 

Why, yes, I did make them hug each other. Why do you ask?

HAPPY EASTER!!!

My teeny weeny epiphany

Remember “The Church Lady” from Saturday Night Live? A friend of mine swears it’s her mother-in-law. Ha! That skit was hilarious because it was relatable for so many of us. Scary!

In all seriousness, I’ve always felt a bit squirmy in church. There’s something so daunting for me personally in the complexity of the standing up and sitting down, then greet the neighbor, three songs and a prayer, contemporary vs. traditional services, cross-stitched Bible covers, Jesus fish decals, praise teams, choirs, robes, tracts, candles, door knocking, ‘sound doctrine’, church and Church, stained glass windows, auditorium vs worship center vs sanctuary, role of women, VBS, youth group, pastor vs preacher vs minister vs evangelist, WWJD bracelets, the verse in the original Greek or Aramaic, Christian rock, Christian schools, Christian camps, Christian colleges, concordances, finance committee, benevolence committee, missions committee, committees committee (just kidding) and all the special church-y vocab I can never keep straight like hermaneutics, ecumenical, dispensation, eschatological, liturgy…

Bleh! I feel tired.

So, here was my teeny weeny epiphany: It’s noise. Shake it off, sister! 🙂 Jesus is easy. The rest is neither inherently good nor bad, but it can be a distraction from the important stuff. (I linked to two of my favorite verses that help me stay focused on what matters: JUST MORE LOVE.)

OK, I feel better – I’ll go back to blogging about my adorable children and home organization projects now. Thank you and have a great weekend!

Christmas wrap-up…

I meant to post a Christmas wrap-up days ago. Once a new year begins, I like to focus on all things new! But the entire month of December was busy – and fast. Losing a week to Bryan’s MS treatment and my crud compressed our Christmas timeline so I compensated by keeping it simple. We didn’t go crazy with anything. Shopping was mostly online. Decorating was whatever we could get done in one afternoon – and the kids did our outside lights. We didn’t do everything I had hoped but Leah baked us Christmas cookies, the kids and I went to The Nutcracker with Nana, we hosted family several times, cooked a lot, read a little, watched several documentaries and went to the movies twice. Oh, and Santa came! So I’m calling it a successful Christmas season… 🙂

Leah and her daddy have an annual tradition of going to The Nutcracker ballet together, but since he was quarantined, I took both kids and Nana. We loved it! Michael had never seen a ballet and was pleasantly surprised at how much he liked it. A friend of mine who is a dancer took the kids backstage afterwards.

Bryan and I took the kids to Mellow Mushroom to celebrate the anniversary of our first date…

I got so much quality time with my babies over the break – although Michael has enjoyed giving me a hard time saying we just don’t get enough time together!!!

Leah and Michael sang with our children’s choir in the Christmas program – a first!

The first week of choir practice Michael said skeptically, “I don’t recall discussing this.” Dude – we didn’t! I was so proud of both kids for jumping in and even taking a speaking part! They did great!

All four grandparents were there to hear them sing as well as Uncle Hal and Aunt Glenna, Uncle Stevie and our friends Dawn and Andrew!

Two very excited kids on Christmas Eve!

Bryan’s family came to our house for a Christmas dinner on Saturday and of course my father-in-law brought all the fixings for oysters since that is THE annual tradition for the family! I graciously let him and Bryan eat all mine. Ha!!!

Claire’s vibe here pretty well sums up the week after Christmas at our house. It’s all good.

Our friend Dawn told Leah that she likes Bryan’s beard. Leah said, “Well, it began as ‘No Shave November’ and,” with a big sigh, “it turned into ‘No Shave December’.” Folks, it is January!!!