Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another year older but forever YOUNG!!

Last Saturday, we celebrated Neil's birthday.  It was a pretty low-key day since it was the day after Mark's eye surgery; nevertheless, we treasure our times at home and had a wonderful birthday celebration for Neil. 

It's a Mystery! Holy Trinity VBS - day 2 and day 3

Day 2....

Snacks - the triangle is a symbol of the Trinity - so Trinity cookies was the chosen snack for day 2!

Games - Trinity baseball

What a fitting base for Trinity baseball! 

Creating the 2nd piece to the banner - a manger for God the Son

A closer look at the second piece to the banner on day 2

Our seminarian teaching the children about Saint Patrick, who brought so much meaning to the Trinity (he used this book)

Crafts - shamrocks to symbolize God in Three Persons
One set of the finished craft for day 2

Day 3...
(this day, we did not do crafts - instead, we took a special trip to the chapel to spend time with God the Son in Adoration and ended with Benediction)

Teens leading the songs during music time
Our wonderful deacon, who came to share with the children about God the Son and his Mother Mary and then took them to the chapel for Adoration and Benediction.  He prayed the Litany of the Sacred Heart and the Litany to Blessed Virgin Mary with the children in the chapel and instead of saying "have mercy on us" or "pray for us", he shared with the kids to say "Jesus, I love you" and "Mary, I love you".  It was SO beautiful!! 

some special time in the chapel getting a Son-tan
Snacks - Trinity sandwiches (PB & J and cheese sandwiches)

Snack time

Games - don't remember the name for sure - I'm thinking "sheet wave".  It was one recommended in the curriculum

 ***  Day 1 and preparations for the "It's a Mystery!  Holy Trinity VBS" can be found here.  ***

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's a Mystery! The Holy Trinity VBS - planning and day 1

Our church has been so blessed to have a wonderful seminarian volunteer his time for the summer months.  After having been here for only a couple days, he started asking about a vbs and really wanted to help get one going since there wasn't one planned.  Funny thing is...  I said "yes" to helping lead one 3 months prior, then after finding out I was pregnant and yucky, I had to step back to focus on what was necessary.  Little did I know that God had in mind to start one back up once I was feeling better.  Of course I said yes (since I didn't really have any excuse at that point - lol!)!  So, the seminarian and I teamed up,with total reliance on God to pull this together, since we had less than four weeks and were starting from scratch.  First off, the Holy Spirit guided me to look at the "exclusives" section from a wonderful homeschooling curriculum provider and I bumped into this lovely retreat titled, It's a Mystery! The Holy Trinity.  Only $20 bucks and I thought this would be at least good enough to look at as a possible choice for VBS and if we didn't choose it, I could use it with my own crew.  Well, after looking at it, Matt and I fell in love with the simplicity, flexibility, and the beautiful Catholic teachings.  It was a winner!  Bulletin announcements, prayer, phone calls, prayer, emails back and forth, and lots of prayer, VBS was ready to begin and God had sent 26 of His children to take part in the week of faith and fun.  

I knew exactly what t-shirts I wanted to use.  Not the normal ones with a Bible buddy or VBS and the year on it.  I wanted something different.  Something beautiful.  Something Catholic. But also a teaching tool.  Thanks to Catholic Icing for all their lovely ideas and having made them a couple years ago with my own crew, I knew these Sacred Heart tie-dye shirts would be perfect!!  Here's a pic of the ones we made a couple years ago...

So, at a volunteer meeting before VBS week, we did the actual tie-dying.  I was so proud of the teens how they ended up taking over the tie-dying part after being shown once how to do it.  They did such a great job!  

drawing the hearts

rubber-banding the hearts

 They turned out SO cute, and I know the kids all loved them!  :)

Like I mentioned earlier, Matt and I were very impressed with the flexibility of the retreat, so the two of us brainstormed quite a bit and wanted to work in some *new* things.  We wanted to work in a visit to the adoration chapel to spend time with God the Son, as well as a field trip to the church to find symbols of the Trinity.  And, then our wonderful pastor's assistant suggested we have a Mass and celebration as the last day.  It was perfect!!  Matt came across a great kids CD that had a Trinity song on it and was going to make a perfect theme song for the week.  The rest of the music would be the hymns the manual suggested and they would be sung at Friday's celebration Mass.  Our very creative crafts volunteer tweaked some of the crafts, which they all turned out beautiful.  Snacks were a huge hit - we used some of the ideas in the manual and some on Catholic Icing.  And, for games, we pretty much stuck to the great ideas in the manual.  We had volunteers stepping up and a TON of willing, generous teens who wanted to help out as well.  It was clear the the Holy Spirit was the main coordinator of the week - everything was just so smooth! 

Another lovely idea that this retreat had was to make a "banner kit".  The banner kit had quite a bit of preparations ahead of time, but starts out very bare at the beginning of Day 1.  The purpose of the "kit" is to be a teaching tool because each day as the children learn more and more about the Trinity, they add a new piece to the banner themselves.  So, by the end of the week, it is a banner that they created day-by-day.  I thought this was a lovely idea and I had a wonderful friend who was willing to prepare the kit for us.

Enough of all the plans.  Let's jump into the actual VBS week.  Here's a peek at day 1....

crafts - learning about the symbols in the Sacred Heart of Jesus image

games - "God says" (like "Simon Says")

snacks - pick 3 of your favorite snack (since 3 is the number of persons in the Trinity)


snacks - tables set and ready

learning and singing the theme song

learning and singing the theme song

decorating the t-shirts with fabric markers

decorating t-shirts

our snack leaders showing off their t-shirts

games - "God says"

adding to the banner - God the Father

God the Father piece to add to the banner
 More to come!!!!   :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

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