My husband, Ray has been the AWANA* Commander for our church's program for 4 years now. In addition to helping him out with the behind the scenes stuff, I started out helping with the Cubbies, (3 and 4 year olds), for a year and then moved next door to the nursery 3 years ago. My favorite age of kids has always been from about 18 mos. up to 3 years old. They're just sooooo cute and lovable at that age! And now, as a grandma...I really enjoy giving them back to their parents when our time together is through for the night too ;).
This last Fall, AWANA clubs started a new program for pre-Cubbies, called "Puggles". We didn't want to completely open it up to the public, since we have a rather small nursery, and just two of us also need to watch the babies that are in there. We decided that we'd try out the Puggles program on our toddlers that were already going to be in the nursery on Wed nights, (due to their parents helping out with the older AWANA kids). We had a fun year, and the kids learned about 4 simple precepts: 1) God made all things, 2) God saw that it was good, 3) God loves us, and 4) We thank God. The little ones don't have a very long attention span...but we tried to get at least a few "teaching moments" in each night. We had anywhere from 2 to 7 "Puggles" throughout the year, but ended up with just two of them there for our awards ceremony last night. Here they are:My dd, Molly just finished her very last year of AWANA. She loved it when she was younger, but the last couple of years, we pretty much had to drag her there. After all, we figured if we were going to volunteer our time and energy to this great program, it wouldn't kill her to stick it out and maybe even "accidentally" learn a few bible verses ...whether she wanted to or not. I think she actually did have fun there most of the time...but she'll never admit to that...she's waaaaayyy too cool for that! She did look pretty excited to finally, (after 3 yrs), get her 1st T&T book award though...but she'd never admit to that one either. Our annual awards ceremony was followed by ice cream, cookies and lemonade for all. (I had one M & M cookie and black coffee).
Here are a couple of pictures of Molly accepting her award from her leader, Yevette:And look-- there's our friend, Sarah, (Sassyfrazz), behind Yevette too! She's our T & T director. As you can see by this picture, Molly is at least a head taller than most of the other girls in her class. My "baby" is now 5' 7" at 11 years of age! I've still got about 3/4 of an inch on her, but she's bound to pass me up by 6th grade.
Yevette told her twelve 5th grade girls last Fall, that if they collectively learned 500 verses throughout the year, she would take them to a movie and buy them candy. It worked, they did...in fact they exceeded the 500! Rumor has it, they even got Molly to contribute a few of them here and there. Thank you, Yevette for putting up with my daughter for the last 3 years, even when she didn't want to be there. We never really gave her a choice in the matter, and appreciate what you were able to do with her. She's very excited about youth group next year!
I get to go along to help chaperone and drive them to the movie this Sunday. We're going to The Chronicles of Narnia~Prince Caspian! WooHoo! I'm as excited as the kids are I think. I've wanted to see that one ever since I heard they were going to do it. I'm reading the book again, just to refresh my memory about what happens in that one.
*Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed