Archive for the ‘middle schoool’ Category

Our final Christmas event for the kids in our ministry was the “Happy Birthday, Jesus” party. We played Christmas games, acted out the Christmas story complete with costumes, had a surprise visit from Vicki the puppet; aka, my daughter Amanda, passed out treat bags, sang Christmas carols, ate cupcakes and sang “Happy Birthday.” See how Miss Kristen arranged our cupcakes into the name of Jesus:

Click here to see a few more photos of kids in “Nativity costumes.”

Following the party, Miss Kristen and I took our middle schoolers to Caribou Coffee for a Christmas treat. Here are a few of them:


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It’s always good to have your camera cords! Since I found the case and cords, here are a couple of images from the last week or so:

Jason and Brandy hosted a Community Kids Fall Party for their neighborhood. They had games, treats, singing, outdoor play, cookie decorating and a “Glow Party.” Of course, we especially loved watching “Dorothy” and “The Cook.”

Brandy explains the Fishing Booth.

Lydia the Cook, Jason the artsy Tin Man and Nora as Dorothy.

Lydia at the Glow Party!

Cookie Decorating Fun


A couple of days later, Lydia spent the night with Grandmama and Papa. The next morning, Papa went to work and Lydia and I had some fun!

Lydia was in love with this movie; “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” She watched every song and dance routine in it.

Yummy breakfast!

Sunshine streamed through our front door window and Lydia was fascinated by the rainbow it cast on the floor.

Lydia loves Charmin. Here she is brushing her with MY brush!

It’s already time to go home? Isn’t Lydia cute in her new coat and purse?


I think the last time we did anything with Trick or Treating was when Jason was about in 3rd grade which is about 20 years ago! However, my sister Sheila invited us all over to her very family oriented, safe neighborhood- and the girls had a blast. 

 Lydia and David

Lydia’s stash!


Middle School Mealtime at Cagle’s Dairy Farm

Jason, Brandy, Kristen and I took the kids on their monthly outing and went on a hayride, roasted hot dogs, made s’mores, got lost in the Corn Maize and had fun on the Jumping Pillow!



Then, I told the kids to all get in a line and run up onto the Jumping Pillow. Ummm…listen to all the comments as our kids are running up there. Oops!



If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me! I hope I can buy one of those wireless camera cards pretty soon so I don’t get so far behind on posting pictures! 🙂


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Lydia and monarch butterfly

Lydia loves nature: dogs, leaves, birds, bugs and exploring. We spied this beautiful monarch butterfly in the backyard. Lydia was a little leery of holding the butterfly, so we put it on her foot.  I haven’t seen anything much more adorable than that little baby foot adorned by God’s colorful creation!

Amanda's candy sushi

Amanda had a Survivor party, to celebrate the first show of this season of Survivor. The show is set in China this year, so Amanda made some “faux” sushi out of fun, sweet ingredients. The round ones are slices of Twinkies wrapped in Fruit Rollups with a fruit -shaped candy on top. The larger piece is a Rice Krispie treat, topped with a Swedish fish candy, also wrapped with a Fruit Rollup. Isn’t Amanda clever?!

A couple of comments about Survivor: This is still one of my favorite shows. I love to watch the unfolding of the group and individual dynamics in forming a Survivor community. I would LOVE to be on the show, but I don’t think I would last past one or two tribal councils. “Too bossy.” Kristen, Amanda and I watched the season premiere together.


Enjoy some highlights from Jason’s 27th Birthday:


A couple of shots from Kids Club this week:


Here’s a peek at our middle schoolers playing games, then getting together for Bible Study and prayer:


Our ministry night this week ended up with Jason calling the police. A big fight broke out at the back of our ministry apartment. People were being thrown against our back wall and our back porch. It seemed to be instigated by “The Bloods”; a gang in our complex…with outside interference by moms and/or wives wielding pipes and sticks. Four police cars eventually responded, and we were able to let our kids go home. Yikes!

This video from my phone is not at all clear, but it might give you a bit of an idea. I was filming through our sliding glass door, between the slats of the blinds!!



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Friday was our first regular ministry afternoon of the new school year. We had a wonderful time. There was excitement and expectancy in the air. The kids were cooperative. We had put in a couple of days of cleaning, organizing and preparing…and it was well worth it!

This school year we decided to to our best to begin with a time of praise and worship with the kids altogether, no matter how crowded we are. And we did it! We crowded approximately 35 kids and five leaders into a tiny living room/dining room combination and started to sing. The instant we had the kids up and singing, I was just overcome with emotion. Not negative emotion! Instead, a sense of jubilation, gratitude to the Lord, excitement, sense of accomplished purpose, and more. I looked up and saw Julie had tears in her eyes, too. Later, all the leaders said they were feeling the same thing at that time. I guess we were all just experiencing the sense of our partner and leader, the Holy Spirit, as he settled in that room!

The pictures don’t do it justice, but here we are at Kids Club on Friday:

“This is My Bible!”

Here are some of our Middle Schoolers who are too old to come to Kids Club- but they couldn’t stand not being involved. We will begin to incorporate them in a “Leadership Program” this school year on a rotating basis. We also have specific Middle School Ministry for them every week immediately after Kids Club.


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Here’s what I’m working on right now:

Concepts 21 Kids Club (see Square Peg Ministries tab above)- this is the last week of Superbook Olympics. We’ve been studying the book of Mark. We’re only going to finish through Chapter 5. However, we did learn a lot of Bible stories and where to find them. Most importantly, we learned how kids can tap into the same Jesus of the Bible stories to help in their own everyday lives. Tomorrow, we’re going to end this season with ice cream sundaes. Yum!

Royal Family Kids Camp– the three of us who are starting the Cherokee County camp next summer are e-mailing back and forth with follow-up details from our meeting last week. We’re working towards an Open House/Informational Reception next month for folks we hope will be interested in joining this ministry next year.

M&M Puppeteers’ 20th Anniversary Reunion/Performance: It’s hard to believe we’ve been in ministry for 20 years- but we’ve got the videos and the hairstyles to prove it! We’re planning to do an anniversary performance at the Atlanta Puppet Festival next month. Sooo, we’ve been meeting and planning for two weeks already. Working practices begin next Tuesday. Seven more weeks to go!! We’ve identified approximately 75+ people who have served on the puppet team through the years!

N. GA Church of God Children’s Leaders’ Committee: Since I fulfilled my 12 years of service on the national team, the local group asked me to join them to help put on the annual North Georgia conference. I am helping find and contact exhibitors for the conference. We’re beginning to get some response. However, the event is only 5 weeks away- so we’re hoping and praying for the best.

Atlanta Puppet Festival: I mentioned the M&M Puppeteers performance- but on top of that, there’s an entire festival to put together! We’re expecting 700 people. This year we’re hosting it at Crabapple First Baptist Church. The festival is an exciting ministry training event- but it’s a lot of work. However, the benefits of rubbing shoulders with like-minded people and the resources we receive make it worth the effort.

Square Peg Ministries: putting together an effective board to help govern the direction of the ministry. ‘Nuf said on that one. Getting out our newsletter with details about fall: school-year Kids Club format begins, middle school Bible Study and activities, we’re starting a new Hispanic puppet team, Homework Help/Tutoring begins after Labor Day, Open House/Sign Ups for our ministry programs. Getting our Compassion In Action project together. It’s a bunch of stuff to think about and do!

Summerfest/Mobile, AL: I’ll be teaching at this one day ministry training event. However, I’m driving to it- so it becomes at least a two day event. And I’ve got to prepare my workshops pretty soon. It’s next week!

Camp Rocks (see tab above): I know it’s done, but I’ve still got thank yous to get out. No small task!

Trying to keep up a blog: mixed results! Yikes!!!

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Today we kicked off our summer program, Superbook Olympics, at the apartment complex where we hold our weekly outreach ministries. We had approximately 35 elementary kids, 3 middle school assistants and 5 adults. It was really, really fun; even though we were outside and the weather got a little threatening! The kids were excited by the new summer format: snacks when they arrive, fun team time to review the questions and answers that are part of the upcoming competition; Bible trivia questions, funny physical challenges and prizes. Today, though, the highlight was the balloon launch. Each child received a balloon with a card attached on which they wrote their names. It looked like this: 


Well, lo and behold, I have already gotten an e-mail from someone who found a balloon today at her home approximately 25 miles away! Our little girl, Danelli, who launched the balloon, will receive 100 points for her Superbook team next week. Will she be excited! Here’s a glimpse of all the excitement!

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Yikes, these last couple of days have been crazy. Step into the whirlwind:


Monday: can’t remember it….Oh yeah, it was Memorial Day.

Tuesday morning: worked like crazy on PreCamp Staff Training stuff (see
Camp Rocks tab, above.) There is a lot of detail in a week long camp and the staff training is a big indicator of our success in organization and creativity for the week. In this year, particularly, I am walking by faith, not by sight!

afternoon: Square Peg meeting (see Square Peg Ministries tab, above); for a little-bitty organization, we sure do have lots to decide on, figure out and talk through. Jason was not feeling well during the meeting.

evening: fun celebration dinner for our Upward Basketball and Cheerleading commissioners. I know the season has been done for 13 weeks- but it was the best we could do! Thanks to our anonymous donor who made our get-together possible! We ate at California Pizza Kitchen- loved it!

Wednesday morning: worked like crazy again on PreCamp Staff Training stuff

lunch: great lunch meeting at Roswell United Methodist Church and with Unite! folks. Great panel discussion about the ministry, outreach possibilities and responsibilities regarding immigrants. I personally was very blessed by rubbing shoulders with people doing similar work as Square Peg is doing. More about this in a future blog.

afternoon: I was in the Twilight Zone. More about this in a future blog.

evening: last (678) middle school outing for me at Restoration Church of God. I was late (see Twilight Zone, above). We ate at Cici’s Pizza for supper. Went to Startime Entertainment and actually had a very fun time. We had been assigned an event host who led us in team competition in mini-golf, Daytona 500, skeeball contest, basketball shoot-out and then we all got to ride the go-karts- twice. Plus we had lots of points left on our game cards and the kids got to pick out a bunch of little plastic toys at the prize counter. For a kind of run-down event facility that is pretty uneven in its service and facility upkeep- we actually had a really good time. Way to go Startime!

Later: back to church for a short time of praise and worship, discussion and prayer in our (678) room for the last time ever. It was kind of sad. I have had the best (678) leaders for the past 5 years. Many thanks and lots of heartfelt love to Jen and Ed and Miss Staci. I love you.

Even later: one last moment of doodoodoodoo (that’s supposed to indicate the final credits of my Twilight Zone experience that day.)

Thursday (today): this is why I felt like I’ve been run through a wringer. Morning: shopping for Kids Club supplies. On the phone (like crazy); trying to touch base with folks I am expecting and hoping will be at the PreCamp Staff Training this weekend. Lots of long but good conversations. Noon: finally get to our ministry apartment noon to meet Kristen. She and I spend the next two and a half hours setting up, cleaning and running around (like crazy)- getting ready for our Kids Club (elementary ministry) and Mealtime  (middle school ministry.)

3:30-7:30 PM Kids Club (about 30 kids & 6 leaders jammed into one and a half  small rooms with no A/C in one of the rooms) Take elementary kids home (Jason and Kristen), pick up middle school kids (all of us.) Take middle schoolers to Cici’s Pizza- wasn’t I just here yesterday with another group of middle schoolers? Yes, and this is not even the Twilight Zone anymore! Eat supper and then have a “planning meeting” with our kids about upcoming summer events. Yikes! Can I tell you that Hispanic apartment boys have an EXTREMELY difficult time focusing on anything, much less a meeting on the sidewalk outside Cici’s Pizza??  Finally get the middle schoolers home. I get home at last.

Later: work on PreCamp Staff training stuff like crazy. I am excited about this year’s vision and opportunity for camp. It will be a life-changing week- guaranteed. God has given me a full heart about this year’s ministry. It’s just hard to get busy adults on board. However, God has never let me down- not one time- about staff or finances regarding camp. A lot of times, it is right to the last minute before I see the provision. But guess what, that’s when I needed it anyway- so I just thank Him for already having a full supply available for us at Camp Rocks this summer.

Midnite: Realized I have got to write in my blog. So I did!

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