Category: This & That

A little bit of this and a tad bit of that

Vacation Bible School was “Out of This World”

Vacation Bible School was “Out of This World”

Vacation Bible School

Oh my goodness, we had another great Vacation Bible School at church last week. I’m never sure who has more fun — me or the kids!! At any rate, we had sixty-one smiling faces come through our doors in five days and that was almost double the number we had last year. We also had over thirty teachers, helpers, and go-to girls and guys help us each day and that isn’t counting the folks behind the scenes praying, canvasing neighborhoods, decorating (and redecorating when items fell to the floor) and attending to all the little things that need to be done to pull off our annual VBS. I like to joke that we only had a few tears. . . and some of the kids cried too.

Our theme this year was Galactic Starveyors from Lifeway, and it’s always so nice to have a Lifeway store in my own backyard. Yay! We gathered at the Galactic Starveyor clubhouse each morning and had an awesome time “Searching the Visible” and “Discovering the Invisible.” We also took an offering to purchase bicycles for children who don’t have a reliable and/or safe way to get to school. Each bike costs $100 through Compassion International, and our VBS kids generously gave enough money to buy three bicycles! We also had a friendly competition between the boys and girls to see who could raise the most money, and this year the victors were the boys. Way to go guys!

It’s always so sad to see the VBS decorations go away and I can hardly believe we were all decked out just two days ago, but I want to share a few photos with you just in case you’re looking for inspiration for your own VBS or just like to see what other churches are creating. Here’s to all you VBS coordinators, I pray that your own VBS was amazing and that you enjoy a little peace after the chaos!

Vacation Bible School

Miss Ruby and I pulled together the stage with props from Oriental Trading, Lifeway and Lowe’s.

Vacation Bible SchoolVacation Bible School

We purchased a large rocket from Oriental Trading for fun photo opps. Here is just one example of my glowing personality all week!

Vacation Bible School

We still do the three pledges during opening ceremonies. The kids love to have a turn at carrying the flags and the Bible.

Vacation Bible SchoolThis was my favorite mode of transportation each morning. With lights down low and the 2010 Space Odyssey music playing, I came riding in on my lighted scooter and pretended to wreck at the stage. My how those kids love a good crash!

“Monster Trucks” is Family Friendly Flick

“Monster Trucks” is Family Friendly Flick

What do you do during your last few hours of what will surely be the last of a string of sick days? Why, see a movie, of course!

My son and I have been housebound this week, but he was feeling well enough to hit the movie theatre for a good old-fashioned kid flick, so I rolled the dice with the PG-rated “Monster Trucks” movie. My son really wanted to see this one and I thought the trailers seemed cute and pretty benign for a six-year-old boy and his mom. We try to stick to G-rated movies as much as possible, but those are few and far between these days and some of that content is still objectionable. My husband and I have exercised our “parental guidance” rights and walked out of movies with our son in the past, but thankfully this movie was fun and pretty light-hearted through the end.


Without the large amounts of gratuitous language and potty jokes that often appear in kid movies today, “Monster Trucks” is truly an entertaining and family friendly flick. The movie has a simple plot and touches on family dynamics and relationships along the way, but the antics of one crazy creature and his big dreaming, truck driving teenage friend dominate most of the movie as they try to beat the evil dealings of a corrupt and greedy oil man.

This parent gives it her approval and she and her son both give it thumbs up for a mid-winter outing (especially when you’ve been cooped up in the house all week).


A Look Back at 2016, Part 2

A Look Back at 2016, Part 2

Okay, so I won’t keep you in excruciating suspense any longer. We’re continuing our look back at 2016 and below you will find the six most visited Small Talk Mama posts for the year. Enjoy reading and may you have a very happy and prosperous new year!


#6 Saturday Sparks – Picnics

Labor Day reminds me of family-friendly picnics full of summer sun, tasty treats and lots of fun. As a nod to this last bastion of summer, I’ve gathered a few ideas and inspiration to help you transform you own family get-together into a weekend to remember.


#5 Thanks a Latte Kind of Day

I recently wanted to say a word of thanks to some ladies with whom I volunteer because they helped see me through a rather rough couple of months. Without their support, I might have just thrown in the towel and walked away from an awesome organization. So as a small token, I bought each of them a coffee gift certificate (just can’t go wrong with that one — if they don’t like coffee, they can order tea or just eat a muffin already). I simply jazzed up the holders with belly bands around the middle and cute little “Thanks a Latte” medallions.


#4 A Real Mom’s Kitchen — Cassandra Creates Eclectic Vibe on a Budget

Other than being a stay-at-home (most of the time) mom, Cassandra is an actor, wedding planner, graphic designer, belly dance instructor and adjunct professor. Makes you tired just reading it, doesn’t it? So where she and her husband had the time to remodel anything, I’ll never know; but this kitchen is testament to the sheer will of a do-it-yourselfer. “My whole kitchen is DIY,” Cassandra admits, and from top to almost bottom (because they haven’t yet tackled the floors) this kitchen has felt her creative touch.


#3 Easter Egg Wreath is Easy and Inexpensive

I know March is not quite finished and the temperature outside is a brisk 30 something degrees, but Easter will be upon us before we hardly blink. Sooo, as I try to get into the creative Spring of things I decided to whip up an Easter wreath this weekend. “Whip” may not be the most accurate word to use because it took about three hours to make this cute little thing, but it was easy and cheap enough to create.


#2 Laurel Wreaths Three Ways

Our Vacation Bible School theme this year is “Escape to Athens with Paul,” so all the children and adults have been donning togas and laurel wreaths for the week — nothing like getting into character. While a friend made the “fancy” wreaths for all the workers, it was just too expensive of a project for all the kids to create. So in the interest of sticking to a budget (it’s VBS after all), I came up with a couple of inexpensive wreath alternatives, one for the older children and another for the youngsters.  I think the kids enjoyed making their own wreaths, but with the everyday use I have noticed a few stray leaves here and there.


#1 Saturday Sparks – Christmas Window Boxes

As we change gears from all things fall into holly and ives, I wanted to share a few ideas for decorating window boxes in the spirit of the season. You know I love window boxes and my beautiful summer box flowers have become a frozen brown mess, so it’s definitely time to swap the contents for something a bit more festive. I’ll let you know what I come up with; but in the meantime, enjoy this bit of inspiration.

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