Thursday, July 31, 2008

Outrigger Island

Last week Mason, Hannah Kate and I attended Vacation Bible School at Grosse Tete Baptist Church in Louisiana. That small country church in the midst of a Catholic community draws over 100 children to VBS each year. I served there when I was a summer missionary in 1999, and I have had the privilege of going back most every summer since then for VBS. I always look forward to it, and this year was no exception. I had such a great time with the kids, and of course Mason and Hannah Kate loved staying at PawPaw and MawMaw's house. I led the Worship Rally and taught the music rotation (Music Falls). I also taught the youth girls' Bible study the last two days of VBS. We're already looking forward to next year!

Creative and artistic I am not! So I have to admit that my least favorite part of VBS is always decorating! For Music Falls, I was determined to transform the sanctuary into a waterfall overlook. So after four hours of hanging paper, twisting vines, placing flowers and making the waterfall, I was pretty happy with the outcome. Okay, so I had a little help from a picture I found on the internet . . .
After I decorated Music Falls, I helped decorate the fellowship hall for the worship rally. It was a long day, but Hannah Kate was such a trooper. She was by my side the whole time. She loved scooting around in the walker. It was a new adventure for her because we don't have a walker with wheels, only a stationary exersaucer. But it finally got the best of her. She "crashed" and took a little nap in the walker.Mason could hardly wait to get up each morning to go to Bible School and play with "the kids." And he was even more thrilled that cousin Abbie was there, too. She was a big helper each morning while I was getting ready for the worship rally. She's a great babysitter!
Mason and Hannah Kate enjoyed their class. Mrs. Freida, Mrs. Rhonda and Mrs. Judy (not my mother-in-law!) were their teachers. Mason had a great time playing with Bryant and Coy while Hannah Kate mostly played with Gavin. She was the only girl in the class, but that didn't bother her. She received plenty of extra attention.
We had Family Night on Thursday evening. All of the kids sat in the front and reviewed their Bible stories and memory verses for their parents. I stood on a platform in the middle of the aisle and led them in all of the new songs they had learned. Mason was sitting in the audience with Abbie and Aunt Ashley. I was so focused on the children that I was not paying attention to where they were sitting. I only knew that as long as I didn't hear either Mason or Hannah Kate, everything was fine. At the end of the program, Ashley's mom and sister asked me how Mason knew all of the sign language to the songs. They said he was standing up in a chair doing the motions with the kids while they sang. I told them that he actually practiced the songs with me while I was learning them, but I didn't realize he remembered them. My mother-in-law took several pictures of him while he was doing the sign language with us. I only wish I would've looked over at him to see him doing it!
The best thing about leading the music rotation is that I have the opportunity to interact with and teach all of the kids, ages kindergarten through 12th grade. All of these kids hold a really special place in my heart. On the last day of VBS, I took pictures of each class (except kindergarten) in front of my waterfall. I also wanted to get a picture of Mason and Hannah Kate in front of the waterfall, but . . . well . . . you can see how that one turned out.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Congratulations Big Sister Caroline!

Caroline is going to be a big sister! Auntie Barbara is having a baby and is due on February 26. We are so excited to be celebrating the birth of another precious baby. Congratulations Ben, Barbara and Caroline!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sweet Love

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Dear Mason

Mason's 3rd birthday celebration began much like it did last year. On Thursday we welcomed Pop, Mimi, Uncle Rob and Aunt Kristi from Georgia. Friday evening we went out to eat and arrived home to a surprise waiting for Mason on the door step. Thank you Marshall, Cindy, Eli and Aaron!
Saturday was the big party. Mason is really into everything cowboy . . . cowboy hats, boots, guns, horses . . . so that was our theme for his birthday party this year. PawPaw, MawMaw, Aunt Ashley and Abbie came for the day from Louisiana. Mason's friends Logan and Ford came also. We enjoyed BBQ and Chic-fil-A nuggets (Mason's favorite) and all the fixin's for lunch. Mason couldn't wait to blow out the candles on his cake. When Seth lit the first one, he immediately blew it out. So we had to explain to him that he couldn't blow them out until all three candles were lit AND we had finished singing Happy Birthday.
And then Mason opened his presents. He received so many fun toys, most of which he specifically asked for and some of which were surprises to him.
One of the things that Mason asked for was a garbage truck. Yes, garbage truck. He has always been fascinated with all kinds of trucks and has several books about trucks. He became interested in the garbage truck over a year ago, especially when he got to see it in action. Every Monday we wait with bated breath for the garbage truck to come through our neighborhood picking up the trash. Mason can hear the truck before it even turns in to our neighborhood. He runs to the window and watches as the workers dump our trash and our neighbors' trash into the big truck. He's very fascinated by the whole process. Several months ago, he spied a Tonka garbage truck at Toys R Us. He begged us to get it for him. I just thought it was a passing fancy so we didn't. Every time we've been back, he wants to go see if the garbage truck is still on the shelf. When he realized his birthday was approaching and that he was going to be getting presents, he started asking for the garbage truck again. I tried to divert his attention to other toys instead. I mean, I really don't want him to grow up to be a sanitation worker. Well, when we were in Louisiana for the 4th of July, his PawPaw asked him what he wanted for his birthday. "A garbage truck!" Mason enthusiastically replied. So, of course, he got the garbage truck.Uncle Rob and Aunt Kristi gave Mason a set of Lincoln Logs. He has already enjoyed building all kinds of things with his new blocks. He also likes to put his logs in his garbage truck. He says, "I'm haulin' a load."Mason did a great job opening his presents this year. He also got a John Deere tractor and trailer, aquadoodle travel kit, barrel of monkeys, matchbox cars, shirt with an "M" aplique from a really cute western themed fabric, shaving kit, monogrammed cup, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, bug box, Cars puzzle and activity coloring book . . .What's a cowboy without a pair of boots and Wranglers?!? Mason absolutely lit up when he opened his cowboy boots. Now he has a pair that are his size so he no longer has to wear Daddy's old cowboy boots that are too big for him.And no self-respecting cowboy wears his Wranglers without a big ol' belt buckle! Of course Mason immediately wanted to wear his new belt and boots . . . never mind he had on shorts.And then there was this really weird shaped present. It was a lot of fun hearing everyone guess as to what was inside.So what's your guess? I'll bet the suspense is killing you . . . The last thing a cowboy needs is his horse!For party favors we gave out cowboy hats. We tried to get everyone to pose for a picture in their hat, but that was nearly impossible. Even little Hannah Kate got into the spirit of the event.After all the presents were opened, we went outside so everyone could take a whack at the pinata. Seth eventually had to help it along a bit, but we finally got all of the candy and little toys out of it.
It was a really fun day, and Mason enjoyed playing with all of his new toys the rest of the afternoon. He also insisted on wearing his blue jeans.
Sunday was Mason's actual birthday. He wanted to wear his blue jeans to church. Thank goodness I had a really good excuse why he couldn't . . . they needed to be washed. But then he wanted to wear his cowboy boots with his Sunday outfit. That was a major DISCUSSION. After church, I stopped by Mc-Happy-Donald's (that's what Mason calls it) to get him a happy meal for his birthday lunch. I know, I know . . . but Chic-fil-A is closed on Sundays!

HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY my dear, sweet Mason!