I came home from the Savannah trip and went FULL swing into retreat preparation! This was our second year to put together an in-house retreat for our Worship & Arts ministry at the church. We have so many different "arms' to our ministry - choir, praise team, band, orchestra, AVL, KidShape choir directors - it's a great opportunity to bring EVERYONE together for a time of spiritual refreshment, fellowship, training, hearing new upcoming music - and of course some food! :)
I felt more responsibility this year. David's secretary is still out on maternity leave, so I felt a little more responsibility as I helped Alli know what to expect and how to prepare. I was in charge of the food and the arrangements for the kids. We do the weekend for FREE for participants, so to keep costs down, I do most of the food myself so we don't have to pay a caterer. I also like to have a detailed schedule of activities, crafts, games and things for the childcare workers - because that's a LONG time for the kids to be at church too! It was a LOT of planning, cooking, preparing, but it all came together so well!
Friday night I did mexican for dinner for 80! :)
Shredded chicken tacos
Homemade pico de gallo & guacamole (thanks Pioneer Woman - did her recipe x15!)
All the fixings
The BEST cornbread ever!
Was so good just to fellowship with everyone!
(Like the tables? Ugh. Found out an hour before everyone arrived that the maintenance guy had set up the WRONG round tables...he set up these ugly ones that the church had rented for another function going on that Sunday night instead of the white vinyl topped ones. And of course no time to buy tableclothes, so this is what they were! Gotta focus on the major things, right? :)
I was also in charge of games this year. Our only complaint last year was that we needed MORE time for fun and fellowship. So since I have a FABULOUS event planner in the family, Kelli gave us some awesome games that we had a bunch of fun with. This one was the "javelin throw" - we wrapped 4 guys up in duct tape (sticky side OUT) and then a few of their teammates had to blow qtips at them thru a straw - whoever had the most to stick, won! :)
The kids had a GREAT time too. I scheduled their time in 30 minute increments and they had a ton of fun activities and crafts as well as some of the Minute to Win It games that we did. They LOVED it - which was a relief to all of us parents!
We were encouraged and reminded of how AWESOME our God is as we listened to three of Louie Giglio's sessions - "How Great is Our God", "Indescribable", and "Symphony" and reminded of the majesty of creation that is all around us. So incredible.
The little kids' room. I set up my pack&play in the office right next door and was able to put Judah down for his naps in there. It was definitely a little extra crazy to have to run back and forth between retreat stuff and nursing a baby, but it worked!
Another super fun game - "Suck it Up". Told them it was to improve their breath support for singing! :) Moved m&ms from one plate to another relay style.
Hello Bingo game - always a hit.
There were also opportunities for people to attend different workshops taught on a variety of subjects - I taught 2 on sightreading basics and 1 on "Not Too Young to Worship" - about getting kids involved at an early age. There were workshops about music/missions, stage presence, vocal training, worshipping in brokenness, The Old Testament and Worship, AVL training, video production, Spiritual Themes in Broadway productions - all kinds of things! It was great.
Everything went so well. It was such precious time to be together with the wonderful people that make up the Worship & Arts ministry at Northside. The thing about our ministry is that Sunday is ALWAYS coming. So we rarely have "down time" where we get to stop and refocus and recharge - because Sunday is always coming that we have to be prepared and ready for. So this weekend was a great time for us to do that! We are blessed to be surrounded by these amazing people!
Jacob's been telling me about this art project for weeks. He's been SO very excited to finish it and bring it home. Today was the day - he got off the bus just BEAMING - and I knew! He finally finished it and got to bring it home. He was so excited - I told him I wished he could teach me how to sew! He said he wanted to give the "blanket" to Judah because "it's just his size". :) So cute.
What a wonderful weekend we had together! It's not easy to align everyone's schedule, for our husband's to coordinate theirs, but we DID it and we had a wonderful weekend. We LOVE getting together with all of our families too, but this was just a special weekend to celebrate our Mom and how much we LOVE her and to be together as sisters with our awesome Mom!!
When we decided that we were going to Savannah for this trip, I knew that Mrs. Wilkes was another destination we could NOT miss! I told the girls about it, about how it's only open during the week, only for 3 hours for lunch, and how we had to wait in line or it wasn't going to happen. They thought I was nuts, but I assured them the food would be worth it! While the babies had their morning naps, we got all packed up and checked out...so that we could go wait in line for Mrs. Wilkes - what a great "last supper" together! :)
Fed Judah his cereal and squash while waiting in line...
Sam's turn for his cereal and veggies...
We got in line by 10 am (it doesn't open until 11 am). Shortly after we arrived, the line wrapped all the way around the corner!
Finally it was our turn to be seated! You sit family style, the places are already set with sweet tea (and they almost glare at you if you ask for water or unsweet tea :) ), and the food "has already been blessed"! This is the feast that awaited us!
Sam tried mashed potatoes...not his favorite
Judah tried black eyed peas - and loved them!
The aftermath - still looks like there is plenty of food on the table, doesn't there?