Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Costume Week: Weird Animals

I'm sure I don't have to remind you that the things I post here are just teeny tiny snippets of our big crazy lives. I do try to make them accurate snippets, or at least balance the good and the bad so it never looks like I'm polishing up my Dream Life to show off to the masses. But in any case, so much goes on around here I am lucky if I can document 1/100th of it. Piper is at a stage right now where I want to record every single thing she says. Honestly. Every one. I try to take notes of the very best quips, but sometimes they just come right after another, and I can't keep up. And Fin? Well...she's just awesome. And I could write that a hundred different ways every day and it wouldn't do her justice. (To be clear...she's also a pistol...and so is her sister. The two of them have perfected the adorably mischievous smile, and use them often. I have never been so hopelessly in love, and simultaneously overcome with frustration in my life as I am with these girls every day).

So I know I'm constantly "behind" on blogging- not in a "you guys must be clamoring for more news about me" kind of way- just in a "I can't possibly keep up with the doing AND the documenting" kind of way. And I know that there are tons of things I haven't gotten to write about, but sometimes even I'm surprised at the stuff I never manage to share. I'll look for something in the archives, thinking surely I must have blogged about that (whatever that happens to be) and I'll come up empty. I've got an endless stream of photos saved, but the sorting, and editing, and posting, and writing....well....that typically takes a backseat to more living, and more photo taking (as it should). It's a great problem to have- too much awesome for one blogger!- but it is still a bit of a bummer when I look back on all the fun, important or momentous occasions in our lives that I haven't gotten to formally process or reflect on, or share in this setting.

So for today's #costumeweekspooktacular I'm sharing a throwback to July, when we got to participate in Vacation Bible School. I grew up attending VBS at my parents' church, but that was 20 some years ago, so it was a bit simpler than the fully-marketed, media-integrated, branded, mega shows that go on today. Not to get all crotchety on you, but in my day, we climbed in a creek, sang cheesy songs while we sat on carpet squares, and made a friendship bracelet or two (the red bead is for Jesus' blood...)...and we liked it. So I'm slightly suspicious of the corporate take over of the VBS scene, with the crazy themes and packaged details, and official soundtracks. VBS is a BIG deal these days, and it kind of blows my mind.

But but but. Let me say, that though it's different, and crazy, and not what I'm used to....I also love it.
Last year was our first year to really witness it, when I was in Columbus for a while during my maternity leave. My entire family was mega-involved in it (troop leaders, worship band members etc.) so I tagged along each evening with the girls, even though they were much too young for it. They had a blast though, (Ok, Fin was 6 weeks old....she didn't care a ton...but Piper loved it.) and it was incredible to me to see a church full of elementary schoolers having so much fun, and being loved so well.

So when it came time for this year's event, I was first in line to sign up. The kids are still too young, but again, my parents have the inside track, so the folks in charge humored my crazy self-serving attempts to weasel in on the fun. We put in a donation for the week in exchange for permission to crash the "volunteers only" dinners that preceded each night's events. (No cooking for a week? Yes! I'll pay you!!) Then we would stay for the first portion of VBS (hanging out in the family members zone in the back) watching the skits and video lessons and singing and dancing along to the worship band. The girls LOVED it. They danced, and ran, and sang, and just got all around wild. (fitting, as this year's theme was Weird Animals....)

I adored watching my girls hanging with their cousins, and I can't even describe how it felt to see them be embraced by the entire extended church family. And to know that Piper maybe learned a little about Jesus? All the better.

But.....in all that greatness...you know there was one more teeny tiny motivating factor for me, right?

Oh yes. The costumes. You see...one of the very best parts of VBS, is that every night is a theme night. It's like high school spirit week for little tykes, and there's no way to describe my reaction to this other than ALL IN.

Can I recap? Picnic dinners every night. Tiny kids singing adorable songs. So much Jesus. AND COSTUMES. Heaven, guys. I know what heaven looks like.

There were five nights of themes, all centered around animals...I manged to document "Dress as your favorite animal" and "Crazy Coats" nights. Thanks to $5 clearance costumes, and a bunch of wacky stuff we already owned, the kids were looking pretty fierce.

When you put something on Fin's head, she pretty much turns into a different person. It's the most hilariously bizarre thing. Her personality changes, and she's completely unable to focus on anything but her head. She doesn't even necessarily want it off...she just freezes into a suspicious and confused little creature. It's sort of like putting a costume on a cat. And by that I mean I love it.

The roaring. So much roaring. And paw clapping.

Arguably my biggest parenting accomplishment to date (in my mind) is passing on my love for costumes to Piper, so you can imagine how proud I was when she not only agreed to wear the costume, she begged to wear it. And though this pic doesn't show her enthusiasm, I have to tell you, that even when she was in a full sweat (it was July after all) she refused to remove her mane. Committed, that one. (and for the record, I was coming straight from work each night, but I did manage to get into the dress up action a couple nights. For some reason we don't have that craziness immortalized on film...)

I love these two crazy critters. 

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