Friday, June 6, 2008

We're "Making a Splash" ...

With Backyard Bible Adventures! One of my goals as a mother is to integrate faith into our daily life, so these birthday-party style get-togethers are a great way to help my children move from playing to praying with ease. We alternate homes, and today we met at the home of Tiffany Johnson for a great morning of outdoor fun. At Backyard Bible Adventures, we do a craft or activity together, share a brief devotional, and enjoy a potluck lunch. And we always allow plenty of time for free play and fellowship!

Our theme this year is "Making a Splash," so we are celebrating the summer with cool pool parties. As we move through the summer, we will be talking about making a splash in our homes, church, community and world. For our devotional today, Rob Lyle told the children about a grumpy man who was dissatisfied with his surroundings. He was very rich, so he decided to change the world. He used lots of money to form committees, but all his work was to no avail. So he tried to make his country change, but failed. So he tried to change his state and then his city, but again he was unsuccessful at every level. Then finally, he began to read God's Word. He learned the Golden Rule in passages like Galatians 5:14: "For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " So the grumpy man's heart began to soften. He looked for ways to serve others and found that his kindness had a ripple effect throughout his community. As time passed, his city, state, and country became better. And soon the rich man discovered that he had changed the world by changing himself.

As the children sat around the pool, dangling their feet into the cool water, they listened attentively to Rob's lesson. Several shared ideas about how they could make a difference in their world by being helpful, kind and obedient. During our devotional time, some of the boys led songs and another led prayer. It was heartwarming to look around at the sky and trees while listening to hymns and prayers right along with the usual backyard sounds of children laughing, playing and splashing.

We did not do a craft at this BBA, but party favors included leis and mini-beach balls. Our sweet snack brought a taste of the tropics. I made orange-flavored cupcakes frosted with blue buttercream icing, then piped shells around the outside of the cupcakes and spooned graham cracker crumbs into the center. Paper umbrellas finished off the cupcakes. I hope sending the children home with these little island cupcakes in their tummies will encourage them to make a splash in their world!

Scroll down for more images from our day. My friend Allison captured the fun in vivid detail, so check out her blog for some truly stunning photos.

With our busy summer schedule, we have worked in two more dates for Backyard Bible Adventures: Friday, June 20th; and Tuesday, July 1st. And we may try to work in a trip to SurfSide Water Park in Auburn, Ala., to close out the summer. If you live in the Montgomery area, we would love for you to join us!

I'm sure the boys will come up with some creative sports variations with these mini-beach balls purchased from Oriental Trading for our BBA, and Emma will enjoy tossing her ball around the pool area. But this afternoon Mary Ashley had them all to herself, so they were her babies. She placed four inside their inflatable raft "crib," and enjoyed strolling Love's Kiss, Sleeping Beauty, Ducky and Ball around the pool.

Lunch is Emma's favorite part of Backyard Bible Adventures! She does her part to clean up by eating food off the plates of children who are too busy playing to stop and eat.

Thank you, Tiffany, Everett and Belle for opening your home to us today!

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