Wednesday, June 24, 2009


That's Kids Bible Kamp, hence "KBK" for short. This is NOT your average Vacation Bible School. Oh no! Quite the contrary!

Last week, we held another fun-filled week of KBK at Metro. Those four days are always so busy and crazy and tiring and FUN!

Really. Driving up the road, one would observe 27 small tents, two large tent-pavilions, sound systems jamming, porta-johns, water games, inflatables....and more than 500 kids and 200 workers. It is amazing! Each morning as I pulled into the parking lot, the sight of it all would bring tears to my eyes.

One of our favorite songs from KBK this year was "O Happy Day!" This became ironic as we faced less than perfect weather conditions each day. On Monday as the day began thunderstorms and hard rain also began. We were drenched "to the bone." But we didn't call parents; we didn't send kids home. KBK must go on!

Did the kids loose heart? No! Did the parents lose heart? No! They came back for more the second day! And Tuesday proved to be more of the same.....rain and thunderstorms. But we had fun anyway! We just took off our shoes and splashed through the puddles. I shouldn't fail to mention that the property is on old the dirt, well, is really fertilized. This makes for really green grass....but it also makes for really stinky mud! By Tuesday, the ground was completely saturated as we tromped through the muddy, stinky grass.

Day three was a completely different story. The sun came out and so did the heat. It was hot and humid....and still muddy! But the kids still came....even more on Wednesday!

WHY? Why did the kids keep coming? KBK is more than just a day camp for the parents to have a place to take their kids who are out of school for the summer. At KBK, we teach the kids about Jesus--his LOVE for us and how we should love others. It is FUN inspite of the heat or rain or thunderstorms or humidity! Really, who wouldn't love jumping on inflatables, eating snowcones, getting candy, playing fun games....all while learning about Jesus?!

This year, I worked with fifth graders; we were the BLUE group! Elisabeth worked with Kindergartners in purple and Grant sporting his pink t-shirt worked with 4-year olds while Elaine and Gavin enjoyed being participants. We left our home each day at 8:15 am and returned around 12:45. But it was so worth it!

At the end of the week, on Thursday, we had a "Splashtacular WaterDay!" Now to me, this is truly amazing, and I (again) fight back tears each year as the water fight draws near. It has become KBK tradition for local fire trucks to come out, for Pastor Paul to climb up on the fire truck and officially begin the water fight as the firetruck squirts water out onto the field full of children. The kids (and adults, as much if not more) begin squirting, dumping, spraying water on one another. NO ONE GOES HOME DRY!!!! (Except possibly those quiet observers and parents under the "dry tent" who don't venture out to get a closer look.)

KBK is the most tiring, yet fun, week of our entire year! And we do it so the kids can learn about Christ....and have fun while doing it!
Can't wait to do it again next year!!!!

Grant--cool even in pink

Elaine--our silly girl

Gavin squirts up at the firetruck

Elisabeth with friend, Graham

Monday, June 8, 2009

Frogs anyone??

During the first two weeks of May, every night from dusk to the time we fell asleep, we were serenaded by a frog out in our back yard. With the windows open, this frog's song drifted up into our windows quite loudly. This happened every night...just like clockwork. After a few days, it began to get unnerving especially as it dawned on me that the frog sounded like it was in the pool. With the winter cover still on the pool, I was concerned it would get underneath and die. I would go outside and try to see it, but never could because the pool cover is black.

Then we left for our 12-day vacation with no frogs to keep us awake at night.

The day after we returned from vacation, we began working on opening the pool. It didn't take long to realize that our singing frog must have actually been two singing frogs as our pool cover had atleast 200 tadpoles swimming around on top of it. (Elaine, of course, wanted to "save" them so we let her scoop out 20 or so and they are now swimming around in an aquarium on the deck.) So the frog story is completed. Right?

No. A few days ago, as Mark called us out to see an unusual looking gray frog that was perched on the underside of the grill cover which is also gray. Elaine scooped it up to examine it while Elisabeth and I came into the computer to look it up. We discovered that it was a gray tree frog and that it was also, more than likely, the mother of all of our tadpoles. We had Elaine take it to the woods in hopes that it would find a new place to call home.

But, last night as dusk set in, we began hearing our frog singing again. We all stopped and looked at one another as the singing was clearly coming from the pool deck. We went outside with the flashlight and found two frogs and one toad IN our pool. It was almost as if they were waiting for us to clean up and go inside so they could start their own party. Elaine and I scooped them up and carried them to the ditch out front near the road--again hoping they would find a new home.

However, it wasn't an hour later, and we heard two distinct frogs singing to one another just outside our back windows. Will this frog saga ever end?

Now honestly, I'm not opposed to sharing our pool with a few frogs. I rather like the sound of their singing--tree frogs don't croak like bullfrogs do, they actually make a higher-pitched trilling sound that is kind of fun to listen to. As long as the frogs swim at night and let us swim during the day, I'm okay with this. However, I do have a huge problem with two things: 1) finding dead, bloated frogs in the pool skimmer and 2) having hundreds of tadpoles hatching in my pool as a result of the frog parties.

So, since I don't believe the frogs can party responsibly in my pool, I am on a mission to relocate them. But that brings me to the next generation...the 20 tadpoles living on my back deck.......

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On the Road Again

12 days.
6 people.
1 van.
3800 miles.

7 hotels.
11 tanks of gas.
11 picnic lunches.
Many, many, many bathroom breaks.

So many sites:
A building made of corn--Corn Palace, SD
Climbing and hiking on big, striped rock formations--the Badlands of SD
A sod house--SD
A mountain tribute to 4 great presidents--Mt. Rushmore
The beauties of a state park and animal refuge--Custer, SD
A rock tribute to an Indian chief--Crazy Horse
An old gold mine--Big Thunder Mt, SD
Hiking around a huge rock with an interesting story--Devil's Tower, WY
Snow-covered mountains climbing to an elevation of 11,000 feet--Beartooth Highway, MT
Geysers, fumaroles, lakes, waterfalls, springs, canyons--and the smell of sulphur--Yellowstone
Beautiful mountain views, waterfalls, and hikes--Teton NP and Rocky Mountain NP
Western shoot out and fun shopping--Jackson Hole, WY
Discipline and beauty--Air Force Academy, CO
Cowboy town with a chuckwagon dinner and cowboy show--Flying W Ranch, CO
Amazing red rocks jutting up out of the ground--Garden of the Gods, CO
Focus on the Family visitor center and children's play area--Colorado Springs, CO
Cograil ride to the top of Pike's Peak where it was snowing and 27 degrees F--Manitou Springs, CO

Several surprises, too:
Being stopped in a traffic jam caused by a herd of bison blocking the road
Eating the biggest burgers we've ever eaten at a fun little restaurant
Playing in a mountain spring while stopped for a picnic lunch
Watching real-life cowboys herd their cattle
Seeing a grizzly bear its breakfast of berries from across a river
Watching a moose on the lakeside from a footbridge
Skipping stones at lake in the Tetons
Getting to pan for gold--and finding some!
Feeding prairie dogs peanuts
Burrows sticking their heads in the car windows making Elisabeth cry ;-)
Watching a newborn elk and its mother
Seeing tons of elk, many bison, pronghorn, whitetail deer, a grizzly bear, a moose, yellow-bellied marmots, gold-headed blackbirds, magpies, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, mountain bluejays, ospreys nesting---all in the wild (not in a zoo)

Oh! And lest I forget---our biggest souvenir-----the dent and antler marks on the side of the van from a deer that ran into our car.... ($3500 damage)

Ahhh! You've got to love a road trip!