VBS Wrap up

Another Grace Chapel VBS is in the books!  I was the team lead for the Design Team, and I had one of the best group of volunteers I could ever have hoped for!  We averaged 3 days a week for about 3 months from start to installation and the set blessed over 500 children!  The theme was ‘Shipwrecked, Rescued by Jesus’ and we are still receiving compliments on our work.

Small Hall
Small Hallway

Above is the Small Hallway, or what I call the Ad Hall.  This vignette goes up about a month or so before VBS begins and it basically advertises that VBS registration is open.  As kids register, their names are placed on the net, and they are always thrilled to look through the many names and find theirs.

Waterfall
Waterfall

Each year everyone looks forward to the landing area, where we try to have a scene that fits in with the theme.  It is usually something that is a great backdrop for photos, and the kids love having their pictures taken in front of these vignettes.  This time however, they wanted to be in the waterfall!  We had to reset the Styrofoam rocks after every service!

Hallway to classrooms
Entry to hallway leading to classrooms and Chapel

This hallway we decided to make it feel like the kids were on their way to board the ship, so we created a dock with piers.  I loved seeing the toddlers trying to touch the ‘water’, which was blue crepe-like fabric with clear cellophane and blue puck lights underneath!

Check In Station
Check In Station

Another popular place we create is the 10′ x 20′ Check In Station, where the children check in each morning of VBS.  We install a week or two ahead of time, and people love to mill around with a coffee and read a book in here.

Eight and twelve foot palm trees
Palm trees on stage

These are the 10′ and 14′ palm trees assembled on stage.  I love the paper bag ‘bark’!  Thank you Donna and Linda!

James Working on ship
Disassembling the ship to get it through the doors
Assembling ship on stage
Reassembling the ship on stage

The ship was a 9′ tall large frame with paneling for the sides.  I painted the wood grain to complete the look.  Here, James, the ship builder, top and right, and Kelly are setting it up on stage.  I was amazed at how little time it took him to take it apart and reassemble it.  Awesome!

Stage with palm tree stansions
Stage with the stanchions in the chapel

The photo above shows the Shipwrecked stage in the Chapel area, with a forest of little palm trees where the kids break out into groups to participate.

Stage
Closer view of the stage
Tiki hut
Tiki hut with palm trees, sand, backdrop and the podium
Ship on stage
The completed ship

This is the ship complete with mast, sails and ladder.  The kids went crazy over this piece!

The Design Team
The Design Team for 2018

Donna, myself, Lynley, George, Linda, and Kelly with Jonathon and Daniel.  By the way, Kelly also had an acting part in the skits.  Awesome job everyone and thank you so much for all of your hard work!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing what I have been up to these past few months, and I would love to hear from you!

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VBS Set Construction

Our church’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) is coming up in June, and I am the team lead this year for construction of the set.  Here are a few photos of some of the props we have made so far for the theme, ‘Shipwrecked, Rescued by Jesus’:

Anchors and chains
4′ high anchors made of Styrofoam with chains made of foam pipe insulation
Assembled oar paddle
Close up of an oar paddle created out of Styrofoam and shaped with a hot knife
Liferings ours vs storebought
Our life ring vs. a store bought one:  ours is on the left, and is a Styrofoam disc wrapped in white tape, then red tape and yellow rope
Liferings
More life rings
Lynley with finished oar
Lynley, one of our wonderful team members with a finished 7′ oar.  The paddle is attached to a wooden tree stake with spray foam, then wrapped with rope for a finished look

I will post more photos as we get things done, and I hope you have a blessed day!

Way To Go Bro!

I have to give a shout out to my brother, Alan, who is one of my best friends (hoping it is reciprocal!).  In February, he was able to move into a house, right across the street from us.  He has worked for the past 17 years with an insurance company and has always wanted his own house.  Thanks to our dad, who purchased the house, Alan is able to make payments on a rent to own basis and he knows the landlord pretty well.

So, for the month of February and most of March, we have been busy painting, especially the doors, windows and trim, plus cleaning the house as well as the apartment he moved out of.

Als house
Alan at home

He wears a leg brace from the hip down due to a birth defect, Klippel-Trenauney-Weber syndrome, and a luxating patella, so he just needs a little extra help.  It will be nice to have him so close.  He truly is an inspiration to others, as the doctors said when he was little that he would never be able to walk very far.  However, in Philippians 4:13 the Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me”.  Amen to that!  Alan is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, has white water rafted and earned the Swimmers merit badge by swimming a mile across a lake in Michigan, plus showed horses in 4-H.  Way to go bro, indeed!

Al and his 2013 Equinox
Alan and his Equinox

Alan has lived in apartments for over 16 years, but he loves the peace and quiet of the country.  We are in the middle of farmland, with cattle on three sides, and he loves it here.  Next door there is a herd of sheep and the man that owns them has asked if he can fence in the back of Alan’s property to extend their pasture.  Of course he said yes, (less mowing for us) and he is looking forward to watching them graze as he sits with a coffee or iced tea out back.  After all, its the Southern thing to do!  Congratulations Alan!

Jonathans new lambs
New lambs at the farm next door

Its Coming, Slow but Sure!

Azalea 2018

It really is coming, even though the calendar said it had arrived about three weeks ago.  I am talking about Spring, and it has had quite a challenge in getting here as Old Man Winter is not giving up without a fight this year.

 

The azalea above is in front of our house and has been adamant about blooming this year.  It started budding about a month ago and once the blooms started opening I covered it up as we were having freeze warnings many nights so far this spring.  If the buds hadn’t opened it would be ok, but as you can see, as of March 31st, it was in full bloom!

Red Tulips 18

I also wanted to share with you the wonderful red and green in this photo of some tulips my parents got us at Easter with a geranium blooming behind them.  It really brightens up the kitchen on these dreary days.  It is raining again here in Middle Tennessee, but like they say,

“April showers bring May flowers”!

Can’t wait!

Hope you have a color filled spring!

Handel’s Messiah in Nashville, Tennessee

Schermerhorn Symphony Center
View of the main lobby at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, TN

For Christmas this year, my husband gave me tickets to see the performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  Being the lover of jazz music that I am, my husband was a little concerned that I would not care to go.  I told him not to worry, I was really looking forward to it, and I really was.  We had not been to anything in the way of performing arts in quite a while, outside of those put on by our church, and had not been to a show in downtown Nashville in a couple of years.

The Nashville Symphony was started in 1945, and made it’s home at the Schermerhorn when they opened their doors in 2006.  Since the year 2000, the orchestra has won 11 GRAMMY awards out of 20 nominations and since 2008 they have been under the leadership of acclaimed conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.  Everything from rock to classical is performed here, and I honestly haven’t heard a bad word about any of it.

 

Schermerhorn Symphony Center Auditorium
View from the Founders Circle balcony inside the Laura Turner Hall at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

I had never been to the Schermerhorn, and upon entering knew the show would be wonderful.  The Neo-Classical architecture is absolutely gorgeous, and the staff are there for your every need.  There is a coat check, two bars, a cafe, which is currently under renovation, as well as plenty of restrooms.  Even if you don’t see a show, it is fun to just check inside the box office or lobby and see if they will let you look around.  Hotels and eateries are nearby as it is only a block off of Broadway, the heart of downtown.  One word of caution:  as with any big city these days, it pays to do your homework and review maps of available parking.

At Handel's Messiah, 2017 Schermerhorn

The performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah by the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Choir was phenomenal.  I really never knew who Handel was, what his composition of the Messiah is other than the bits and pieces that I just happened to see performed by a church choir or heard on the radio.  According to the program we received, titled, In Concert, Handel wrote the original 260 page masterpiece in just over three weeks in 1741.  Consisting of three parts, Messiah was originally written as a musical score for an Easter celebration in Dublin.  The text, written by Charles Jennens, describes in biblical verse the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Cellos at Schermerhorn.jpg

Over the years Handel continued making revisions, even adding new segments to the piece.  After Handel’s death, Messiah evolved from a traditional Easter performance to the beloved piece of music that we look forward to each year at Christmas.  It is believed that during the 1743 premiere of Messiah in London, King George II stood up at the start of the Hallelujiah Chorus, to which the crowd followed suit and it is still a tradition to this very day.

I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!  Be safe and let me know if you have seen Handel’s Messiah and your thoughts.  God bless!

All photos and artwork ©2017 Denny Martindale, All Rights Reserved