I volunteered to assist with Boys and Girls Club (B&G Club) again this school year at the church. The first year we were here, we were kind of hit and miss--Nicolas enjoyed it more than Anna, and Lydia and Seth were too young to attend. Last year I volunteered with the girls and enjoyed getting to know some of the kids in the church better (I am terrible at remembering names!) as well as the other moms that helped out. The night is supposed to involve a Bible lesson and then some sort of craft, but last year I noticed that the Bible lesson was really not that organized. This year Jen took over the Girls Club and since she fondly recalls the days when the lessons and crafts were much more organized and not so scattered she took it upon herself to put a little more work into having a theme for each night and a craft to go along with it--contentment, stewardship, etc. The lessons for the girls have been great--even including homework like memorizing Scripture and looking up or finding Scripture passages on their own that relate to a specific topic that they are studying. The crafts, also, have been really pretty neat. They made aprons out of t-shirts one night, and this week they made paper bead bracelets that are really cool.
Another difference in the Club this year is that a couple in the church volunteered to lead kids in grades K-1. In the past you were able to first attend B&G Club in 2nd grade. Seth is elated that he has another outing to socialize. He reminds me so much of Caleb that way.
|Seth made a chalkboard on club night. It offered a fun, new twist to his spelling test!|
Once a month the FRC has a fellowship meal followed by a speaker on some sort of topic on the same night as B&G Club. The congregation is broken down into districts and each district is responsible for a portion of the meal--dessert, main, side--and the consistory members that oversee a certain district take turns acting as hosts and hostesses for the night. People come to eat around 5:45, then following a quick clean up everyone scatters--the boys and girls to B&G Club, and the adults up to the sanctuary to listen to the speaker. Last month someone spoke about the upcoming election and answered questions about the different people running for office, etc. This month which was this past Wednesday night Russ spoke on "Lessons from Paul on True Thanksgiving." I wasn't able to hear it since I was helping out with the Girls Club, but our older boys said he did a great job. I enjoyed watching the older kids (Nicolas and Caleb's age) who either helped with B&G Club or went to the talk enjoying a time of fellowship afterwards. I sometimes think that youth group should meet on Wednesday nights instead of Sunday afternoons because after youth group they go right into the church service with little time to fellowship.
I had forgotten to mention on the last post that last Friday night we were able to tour the church that Russ was working on when it started on fire. That all happened the summer after our first year here. Bruce Kuiper invited all PRTS students and families to a short family worship seminar led by him and Mike Pitsenberger. Russ and I went to Hospers Reformed occasionally back when we were in college where he was pastor. His wife Gina who is a few years older than us was also at NWC when we were there. Bruce and Mike had gone through seminary together and remained close friends. Mike is now at the Dyer, IN campus of Faith Church (RCA). Anyway, after a short seminar they provided pizza and snacks and then a tour of the church and apartments that are connected to the church. Bruce and his family have moved to live in two of the four-plex apartments. They have been renovated beautifully. I commend them for living in their place of ministry with their daughters as it is in quite a rough part of town. Russ was able to show us the work he did in the short time he was there, where he was when the fire broke out and where the fire started. All this is part of an organization called Grace Legacy Builders and you can read more about them on their website. Here are a few pictures that I borrowed from their website showing the inside of the sanctuary, fellowship area in the basement, and the outside of the church.
Last night I went to a home school mom's coffee. We were each to bring some of our favorite books that we have read to give others a fresh reading list. I came home with about 5 or 6 book ideas that I look forward to reading when I have some "free" time. It is always refreshing to discuss homeschooling cares and concerns with other moms and to realize that many of our home school "bumps" are pretty normal. Russ took the kids swimming at the YMCA while I was gone. This was their last visit as we have decided not to renew our membership. We realized even the 1/2 price membership could no longer be part of our budget. Although the kids are pretty disappointed they understand the situation. I just felt so bad for Lydia. The last time we were at the pool she worked so hard and passed her swim test which gives her tons more freedom in the pool area. She was trying so hard to be brave and not to cry, but she is bummed she won't be able to take advantage of her new freedom.
Since I have been feeling a little overwhelmed the last few weeks, I have decided to give the kids the week of Thanksgiving off from school. Caleb is home on Wednesday anyway so I thought we could do some fun things. The museum has a new exhibit on shipwrecks, Nicolas has always wanted to visit the woodworking store, and if the weather is nice we can hang out at the Blandford Nature Center. Since I don't always get my Saturdays to recover when I work and I have the prep work every week for the BSF children's program, I just need a little break. Hopefully, this will give me more energy to plan and pack for our Thanksgiving trip to Dayton Oaks in a week!