Backyard Bible Clubs become Kids Clubs

And we had about 80 kids and about 30 adults participating in the various Bible studies at our site alone.  I think total for all of the different sites was about 300 kids and 90 adults.
What are Kids Clubs you ask?  I’m glad you did.

Okay, stopping to take a break and take a quick bath before heading to the Urgent Care, I think I have Strep, and the doctor isn’t open on Sunday, this is what happens when you do way too much stuff all in one week.


Well, it’s a day later.  I didn’t test positive for strep, but I’m being treated like I have it.  After a while it gets old seeing the doctor sigh, and have to think of a new way to treat me since I can’t take penicillin.   So, I spent most of yesterday comatose, with Jeff keeping the kids out of my hair as much as possible.

So, Kid’s Clubs.  What we do is we take a group of teenagers, and they get trained for a week in another city.  Back when I was in the youth group we went up to Waco, and trained for a week in inner city Waco, and had 3 minutes for showers, and we couldn’t flush the toilet while someone was taking a shower, or there would be very bad results.  But, now they get posh digs, like church sanctuaries to sleep in.  Spoiled I say.


So, after their week of training, learning how to present the gospel, how to tell the story, games to play and the like.  They come back to Austin and do clubs for a week.  We’ve changed it now so that they do two clubs in parks.  One in the morning, where we serve breakfast to the kids, and one in the evening where we serve dinner to them.


The teens teach the lessons, tell the stories, and do all of the “work.”  The adults get the boring stuff, registration, set-up, serving food, taking pictures.  Okay, taking pictures isn’t the end of the world.

I need to go check on the kids, they sound like they’re having too much fun.

Yeah…….  They had added so much bubble bath to their bath water it had turned pink.  Not a light pink, but I think it was almost a jar full.  I bet I could get another bubble bath out of that.


Part of the fun of this for me, aside from reliving memories of my teen years.  Is seeing all of the different kids interacting, and seeing the enjoyment of the kids from the neighborhood.


My kids had a blast with this.  They kept asking when it was time to go back to their kid club.  “Mommy, is it time yet?”


Not too surprisingly the most popular day was Water Day!  We get to play at a park and get wet at the same time?  SCORE!

End results:
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At our site on Friday we had 72 kids, I’d guess about 30 adults present.  I know there were at least 3 adults who came to Christ, I’d guess 10 kids who came to Christ.  Maybe 4 or 5 families who said they were going to be at our church on Sunday.

Total I think there were about 280 kids in clubs with 80 adults across four different clubs.

All in all, it was an awesome event!  And man am I tired.

And here’s the fixed hair cut

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She was nice enough to even it up for me, and still leave the back long.  I almost think I should have cut the back shorter, but Princess likes to play with her air, and I like it long.  So, it all worked out, mostly.


As she was cutting it we discovered all sorts of places where Princess had cut it.  Silly girl.


And a great big shout out to Melissa over at Salon Ciao Bella for doing such an awesome job.  YOU ROCK MELISSA!

Royal Warrior Prince Academy

This past week the boys got to attend Warrior Prince Academy, which was super awesome!  They had a lot of fun, and I did too as I taught a group of older boys (by about a year and a half, they were exiting kindergarten, it’s amazing the difference  a year or so makes).001
The first day we got there WAY early due to a miscommunication between Jeff and I, so I had a lot of fun wandering around with the kids outside and telling them about growing up at this church and their Daddy and I getting married there.  They were suitable impressed.  Especially that they got to run around.  Who cares about that Mom, can I run?

Okay, so Princess cared.  The boys weren’t as impressed.

So, what did they do all day?  They watched a puppet show, and the boys in my class were most concerned about the dog……  Go figure.


I snuck in to get a picture of my boys watching it.  That’s the downside of not being in their class.  Upside, they weren’t expecting me to  pay attention to just them.

The kids all made some very cool shadow boxes.  Inside they put a scroll with the “Warrior Cod of Conduct,” a cross plaque, a flashlight and compass shield, and a little knight figure they colored.  My boys were so proud of their boxes they couldn’t wait to get them open until we got home and had to show them to everyone right then and there.

And finally here’s one clip of my kids from the final show.  It was one of those moments where they just sat there and didn’t really do the stuff, but it was still fun to watch them.

This is Princess. This is Princess with Scissors. Any questions?


This is Princess:



This is what Princess did with scissors:

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This is what her hair looks like now:

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Then she poured most of a bottle of shampoo on her head:

006And got mad when it took a long time to rinse out.


Does that look like an innocent face to you?  That’s what she claims.  Well, I have an appointment to get her hair cut tomorrow, I have no clue how this will be salvaged, but I trust my friend Melissa at Salon Ciao Bella can fix it, if anyone can.  I’ll update you tomorrow with the new do.

Find new park: check

Remember my summer bucket list?

IMG_3068I know it was ages ago that I wrote about it, a whole week ago.  According to my kids that’s ages ago.

Oh, and I can also check off reading Proven Guilty and White Knight, finished those two.

Back, to the topic of this post, my new park.  A friend of ours introduced us to Central Market’s concerts on the weekend.  They play some sort of fun music, this time it was swing (SCORE!), only shame of it was Jeff’s ankle was hurting so we couldn’t dance.  But, the great part for the kids was the playground and IMG_3069the tree.  Oh the tree.  Well, I went back there with a friend of mine who knows a lot more about photography with plans of using her pictures for Jeff’s Father’s Day Present (that plan got messed up by my computer hating every photo website I usually use for editing and ordering stuff, so that’s still being worked on).

But, part of the appeal (for me, the kid who still wants to climb trees), is this awesome tree.  So, we went over to the tree and took lots and lots of pictures.  I mean lots.

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Didn’t she take awesome pictures for me?  I had so much fun hanging out with her.
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One of my favorites however was this one:

I just love the look on Batman’s face.  It’s such a great grin.  Superman is of course there in his Blue Arrow costume, and Princess is there as a princess.

041“But wait,” you ask, “wasn’t there a playground?”  “Why yes, thank you for reminding me.  I’ll stop being distracted by the insane cuteness level of my kids.”

Did I mention there’s also a pond there?  That’s where we discovered ducks eat bamboo.

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The playground isn’t anything you haven’t seen at a dozen other playgrounds.  There’s just a lot of playground there.


But part of the fun of this one is there are a lot of different ones.  When we went there for the concert there was easily 50 or so kids playing on it, and there weren’t any major fights.

Except when Batman, here, got all mad at someone because his name was also “Superman,” and he was very upset because only HIS Superman could have that name.  So, we had to have a long talk about how he couldn’t solve that problem by hitting the other kid.

Ahhhh, the crazy emotions of five-year-olds.

Okay, so when I write these posts in Livewriter they’re not looking the same as when they’re actually published, and I don’t know what’s happening there.

Science Sunday: Caterpillars and Butterflies

I was so tempted to make a reference to one of my favorite songs as a kid, but I don’t think anyone would really get a reference to the song “Bullfrogs and Butterflies.” Oh, the travails of growing up listening to silly Christian music as a kid and getting it stuck in my head.
In case you can’t tell I like to go on the occasional nature walk with the kiddos.  This particular one about two months ago I was sick as could be and was so dizzy I was stopping every few minutes to sit and not pass out.  So, that part I wasn’t enjoying, but the cool part was all the caterpillars we found.  Especially because we were not so patiently waiting for ours to come in the mail.

Our first caterpillar we found was black and pointy and he didn’t look very friendly, and he was fast.  Seriously, I have never seen a caterpillar move that fast.
We took a moment to talk about this caterpillar and why he looks like this.  We decided he looked like that to help him keep birds and other things from eating him.


This guy is a little harder to see, and a lot more blurry.  Partially because I was having a hard time getting a picture of him.  The kids all agreed he looked like that so we would think he was part of the tree.  It was great to see them making connections between what we read and the real world.

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Of course the kids favorite part came as we were leaving and they got to play in a bit of a marsh type of area and get all wet, much to our chagrin.

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Then they happily had fun pointing out they had left footprints and tracks.

Now, fast forward two weeks, I swear those caterpillars really took their time getting there, it was almost a month after I’d mailed in the coupon.  And our mailman came to the door with this:
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The caterpillars proudly took up a place of prominence on our kitchen table, and we watched in amazement as the caterpillars grew bigger and bigger.  It was a common site during that time to come into the kitchen to see at least one of the kids staring at the caterpillars and trying to touch them.


After A LOT OF patience for a five year old the butterflies finally emerged from their chrysalis. 

Of course they emerged on a morning we had to hurry off and couldn’t spend as much time as they wanted observing the new butterflies, but they happily watched them that night and sat there and poked the butterflies to make them fly.  And of course dragged their Dad over to see the butterflies.

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054And until I was trying to get pictures of them for this post, I had never truly realized how incredibly hard it is to get a picture of a butterfly.  Really and truly hard.

Finally, once all the butterflies had emerged we went outside to let them go.

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Which apparently is super exciting, especially for Superman who convinced one of the butterflies to get on his hand and then fly away. (Superman is in the middle in his “Blue Arrow” shirt).
And we finished it up with feeling what the chrysalis felt like without the butterfly in it.  It reminded me a little bit of paper or maybe onion skin in appearance.  I never got to touch it because the kids were so busy fighting over who got to touch.


I don’t know if you can tell, but we had fun observing the oranges they ate from.  There was little black dots all over the orange.  But, we’re not sure what they are.  We’ll find out soon enough I’m sure.

And here’s some butterfly links I have clipped to Evernote:
Learning Table– book list
The Work Plan– I love her try to eat like a butterfly, and that’s going to be a basis for a future Science Sunday.
Spell Out Loud– compilation of stuff
Along the Way-there’s links to several of her projects specifically, I love her butterfly life cycle craft
Handmade Beginnings– Eric Carle stuff
Silly Eagle Books– book list
Homeschool Creations– she included lots of great links to some fun worksheets

I have a lot more saved, but those are more of craft projects, and I wanted to stick to ones that had some science connection.

As a side note, a cool project that we didn’t end up doing this time, but would be interesting is making a mosaic.  Butterfly wings are like mosaics because their wings have all sorts of little “tiles” on them making up their wings. That is why when you touch their wing you get powder on your finger.

I can’t wait to see what you guys did this past week.

Preschool Corner: preschool on the go



This will probably be my last preschool corner post for a few weeks because we’ll be traveling soon, and so here’s my plans for traveling and learning on the go:


And PS: the pictures have nothing to do with the post, they’re just random pictures I liked because they’re cute.




We’re driving from Texas to Southern California, so we’ll pass through New Mexico and Arizona.  I’ll put pictures up as we go through, but here’s what the kids will be putting together for their geography studies as we travel:

Arizona State Symbols

Information and pictures for this came from this site: Arizona Secretary of State for Kids.  And can I just say I love when states have information for the kids  on their website, and I LOVE it even more when they have coloring pages or anything like that.


New Mexico


006 And information and many of the pictures came from the New Mexico Secretary of State for Kids.  And as a random comment, I’d have to say the Uncle Ben’s Guide to the Federal Government page on the US website is AWESOME!  I used that back when I was teaching second grade for the kids to learn about the U.S. government.


So, they’ll be doing those.  I’m going to look up some books on those states in our public library to find some good ones.  I’ll probably also be picking up some ones on Tombstone and Grand Canyon while we’re going to them.  Maybe one on Santa Fe as well……..  I’m a sucker for a good kid’s book.  If you want to see what we  did on California earlier check here.


Math and Handwriting


005 I plan to use some leftover preschool workbooks which the kids are mostly beyond to refine some skills and to work on their handwriting.  These should be mostly ones they can do on their own.  I’ve also printed off a bunch from the Learning Page from their insect theme (some of which I’m going to have to reprint because it got all screwy while printing a bunch of them).




008 I’m going to bring some of the books I’ve printed out from Reading A to Z for them to keep practicing on.  My goal is for them to read an “easy” one in the morning and a more difficult one in the afternoon.  We’ll see if I stick to this.






  We plan to go to the  San Diego Zoo (which I am SO stoked about) and an aquarium in Phoenix, AZ (anyone else find an aquarium in the middle of a desert hilarious?)


I’m debating about bringing our science book with us to read more about bugs or just letting that part be.




For more great posts about what kids are learning in pre-school head on over to Homeschool Creations.

Geography: Williamson County Museum


So……..  A friend called me up and asked if I wanted to go with her and the kids she was nannying to a local paint your own pottery studio.  I said “Sure!”  What a chance to let my kids get creative, and I don’t have to clean it, SCORE!

So, we loaded all up.  You know, I’ve just noticed I say “so” too much, I really should work on that.  Continuing on.  We drove up to Georgetown, and went to the address the girl insisted it was at, and saw a Spa……  That was not it.  So, we circled around and found this:

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In case you can’t tell the sign says: “Coming soon 8th Street Art Studio.”
We particularly liked the fresh coffee sign in front of the barbed wire.  So, we thought there is no way we were going to take the kids there even if it was open.  NOT HAPPENING.

So, we wandered around downtown Georgetown and discovered this little museum, The Williamson County Museum, a small little free museum telling the history of the county with a few nice interactive exhibits.


They got to try and figure out how to use a drill from the natives in the area (I didn’t get much chance to read what the signs said, so a lot of this is conjecture).


Try to grind corn.  This was especially hard because it was a true original corn grinder, and made of real rock.  Very heavy for a three year old.


And, we got to talk about the less proud moments in American History.  My kids all agree they didn’t like the ghost man.

And, let me brag for a moment on my college.  Way back in the 20s, when Abilene Christian University, was Abilene Christian College, and still fairly small, a collection of KKK burst into chapel in full costume and walked proudly up to the front, and said “We like what you stand for as a college, and want to give you a donation.”  The president of the college at that time turned to him and said, “We don’t like what you stand for, and we will not accept your donation.”  I’ve always liked that story ever since I heard it back in college, and think it’s a neat story about standing up for what’s right.

After we finished up in the museum we continued around the square and saw a lot of cool historic building and ended up in a local bookshop which had this sign:
Duly noted, not leaving my kids alone.  No matter how much Princess might wish for a dog.

I love little museums like this, they’re fun to find, and I look forward to seeing if we can find any on our trip this summer.

Now, head on over to Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn to see more great geography ideas.

What happens when Princess wears a hair clip

I’ve commented on lots of posts about my jealousy of cute little girl hair dos.  For several reasons:


1.  I can’t style my own hair in anything other than a pony tail or braided, let alone my daughters.


2.  She takes everything out of her hair very quickly.


So, here’s what happened the other day when I FORCED her to wear pig tails.


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She was told she had to keep them on through church.  She did, barely.  By the time we picked her up from Sunday School the ties were half out.  Then by the time we got home she’d pulled it all out.  It took 5 tries to get them in.  And that first picture is what it looked like while I was trying to put them in.

Homeschool Blog Hop: Time for Mom


So, this week the theme is “Time for Mum,” and I totally missed the last one, and the post is sitting in my drafts, but I could never get it to work as a post where it wasn’t feeling forced.
And, I was going to write this big long post about what I like to do to relax and take time for me, but then I decided to go do it.
So, I’m going to:
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and then:
And I leave you with this comic which explains why Jeff and I frequently have backaches:
fox trot father's day
Except, this is more of a several times a day thing, than just Father’s Day at our house.  Really, who ever invented the concept of a jump hug?