Aiming Arrows

Musings of a Mommy

Category: Church

Women’s Ministry Leader’s Retreat

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to get away for 24 hours with about thirty other small group leaders from our church.  Our wonderful women’s ministry pastors, Trish & Stacey, inspired us with possibility from Andy Stanley’s book, The Next Generation Leader. 

I threw my camera in my bag at the last minute as I was anticipating some time outside.  From the deck of our lodge, I looked down over the red, orange leaves of this tree.  It seems that most trees are just turning brown instead of their normal fall beauty, so this was a treat to see. 

Very few things get my blood pumping like freezing a few inches of this beauty on my camera.

We stayed at Shepherd of the Ozarks where we had a very large lodge.  I bet it slept 75 people.  Of course, many of those beds were bunk beds.

I started hyperventilating upon sight; my sweet friends Christy and Kristina let me have the first choice.  I picked the middle.  What would you have picked?  

After making my selection, I began scoping out a non-bunk bed option.  Christy and I found this loft which we accessed through the little hole up this straight ladder. 

Here’s a look at our 2 single beds inside our little cubby.  I think Christy and I would have slept more in our coffins bunks, but instead, we talked until 3 AM!   My friends Allison and Ronni also had the privilege of sleeping in a section of the loft (loft as definied by ladder access only) but they were more reasonable about actually resting on the retreat!  This lodge had so many little nooks and crannies.  There was a double bed tucked away with an openning of, literally, 2 ft x 3 ft.  Aronna slept in there and informed us in the morning she heard the scratching of some other living creature in the walls!  Uh.  No thanks.  I like my nook better.

I also met several new friends.  One new friend, JoBeth,  is into photography and told me about back button focusing.  I’ve done a little research and can’t wait to try it out.

Friday night we played  Apples to Apples which is the perfect game for a large group of people.  Apples to Apples is definitely not a “smart people only need apply” type game which I really appreciated!  (Thanks to whoever brought it!)  Even though I came no where close to winning, it was so fun.  Apples to Apples is definitely going on my Wish List.

There is one character from our retreat that I really wish I had a picture of… the donkey-dog!  You know I love animals; this donkey was the sweetest thing!  He’s retired so doesn’t work anymore.  Instead, he just wandered around camp like the camp dog.  Except, as I mentioned,  he is a donkey. 

We ate our meals in a cafeteria which had the feel of a lodge.

Being with a group of wise, sweet, wonderful women with nothing to do but enjoy each other was so refeshing! 

Refreshment turned to concern while we hunted, for close to an hour, for a set of lost keys.  The keys were found where all of us women would expect to eventually find our “missing” keys!  All retreats and vacations are not complete without a memory of this nature!  Don’t you agree?

Happiness returned with the keys, and we all began to head home.  The wheels on the van went…. round and round, round and round; the wheels on the van went round and round… but we went nowhere.  We were actually losing ground.  Ronni insisted that it was not the heavy load in the back impedeing process up the steep hill, but she finally agreed that maybe we should get out.  As we watch the van drive up the hill we could not stop laughing!  You will be glad to know we made it home without further incident inspite of the Out of Gas light being on for several miles!  Yes, I noticed the light, I am a terrible back seat driver!

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Amazing Grace

I love the hymn, Amazing Grace.  I’ve sung it nearly every night to each of my babies, their eyes trained on my face as they lay in my arms.  Gunnar can sing most of it, but when he can’t find the right words he just makes up his own phrases.  When he sings his own lyrics I realize he understands the meaning in the way only a child can.  This hymn is probably the most personally meaningful to me of all the many hymns I know, and I love hearing the rich history of its origin in this clip.

Vacation Bible School

(Written 7/16/2010)

Gunnar attended Vacation Bible School at a nearby church this week.  It was not at our church but another great one in our town, so I was really excited to send Gunnar.  I was also surprised they invited 4 year olds since most VBS programs start at age 5 or kindergarten. 

I was returned to my own VBS days as I listened to him sing bits and pieces of songs I remember singing at VBS.  I really didn’t get a lot of detail from him about how they spent their time, but I do know they ate M&Ms for snack one day.  Now that’s good to know!  Each morning they all gathered in the santuary.  I bet there were over 1000 kids there.  Here is a picture.  I put a circle around the head that I think is Gunnar’s!

It was amazing to watch several hundred volunteers in bright blue shirts make order out of what could have been chaos.  In addition to hearing about snacks, I also heard about Cooper the dog (a person in a dog costume) who was part of the program each day.  I got confused many times though, because one of his favorite friends from his first year at Mother’s Day Out, Cooper, was also at VBS.  Seeing his friend, Cooper was an unexpected treat.

Today was the last day of VBS and this evening they had a dinner and program for all the attendees and their families and friends (and cousins – Gunnar wanted to make sure it was ok to invite his cousins).  Gunnar came home on Wednesday and told me all about the dinner and program and that they could invite anyone they wanted including their cousins!  Yesterday he told me, “bring your recorder because I’m going to be on the stage and you are going to want to take my picture!”  So cute!  He was so excited. 

Too bad he threw up this morning and then had diarhea.  He didn’t get to go to his last day or to the dinner and program tonight.  Gunnar and I were really sad.

Steve went by the church at noon today, when they were dismissing for the last time, to pick up his crafts.  (I thought it was really a great idea that they kept all the crafts to send home on the last day.)  So, today was the first day I found out the theme for the week.  Superheros!  Can you believe that!  Gunnar loves Superheroes!

Excuse me Mister Superhero, you really shouldn’t look so handsome.  The girls are going to feign drama to entice your rescue!

There were so many crafts.  I couldn’t get Gunnar to explain everything, so I don’t really understand the fish or the angel or the megaphone, but whatever.  Gunnar was so proud showing us his crafts and he’s worn his superhero cape all afternoon.

In lieu of the VBS program tonight, Steve decided to cheer us up with our second ever family movie night.  This time without the carpet picnic due to the… er… stomach problems.  Gunnar is feeling much better though.  Our movie was the much anticipated Buzz Lightyear otherwise known as Toy Story.  Buzz did not disappoint!

Movie Night

Tonight we were hoping to go to movie night at our church.  The movie was going to be projected in the outdoor amphitheater.  Our movie night had been canceled once before due to rain and mud, but we were hopeful for good weather today.   When the sky got dark and the giant drops of rain began to beat on the windows, Gunnar’s looked at me with huge eyes and his chin began to quiver.  I wrapped my arms around him and a few tears leaked out.  Daddy came home and the chin began quivering again.  By that time I had decided we were going to do something special at home.  Inside.  

We were able to rent the movie we were supposed to see at the church.  The Tale of Despereaux.  Also known as The Mouse Movie at our house.

Then, we pulled out a blanket and ate pizza for our carpet picnic /movie night.  Gunnar was pleased.

I just couldn’t face letting Graceanna eat pizza on the carpet even with a protective floor covering, so she and I sat at the kitchen table.

I think she was ok with that plan except for the part about pizza.  Evidenlty, she doesn’t like pizza right now.  I had pitty on her, so she ate PB & J.

Be careful of the camera-smile of a 2 year old.  It might look kind of crazy like this!

Palm Sunday

A Great Celebration of Expectation

watching and hoping

Is this going to be the day He comes

dancing and singing

 He doesn’t look like the One we expected

jumping and hollaring

But He did all the things they said He would

 waving our palm branches

He saved us in ways we didn’t know we needed saving

It Is Him!  He Has Come!

Now I wave my palm branch with hope of salvation fulfilled
and yet, I’m waiting and watching again
for his return

the Edge

Last night, on the way out the door to the Edge band rehearsal I snatched my camera.  I figured I might get in a little fun once I got the lighting ready for Sunday service. 

With no kids, captive subjects, big Christmas trees, lights, lights, and more lights – fun I did have!