Chickadee Thursday

We stopped by church today, so the children could get a chance to help fold the bulletins. While we were there, Chickadee got to help Ladybug put the numbers on the hymn board for Sunday!

And a bonus picture from yesterday. Since Moose had a 1/2 day of school, we all went to visit IKEA in St. Louis. Chickadee and I had been there once in June, but the rest of the children were waiting to get their turn. So we made an afternoon of it, and walked around the whole store before having an early dinner of Swedish meatballs. Chickadee saw this picture of elephants while we were exploring, and made a beeline for it…after all this time, elephants are still her favorite animal, and she loved it!

Chickadee Thursday

It’s Vacation Bible School week at our church! Chickadee has been having a great time with her Sunday school friends…and with Hubert the Hound, who has been making appearances during the lessons. Today she got to paint a clay cross she made earlier in the week, which was a lot of fun…she’s been looking forward to getting into the paints ever since she found about them!

She also loves learning all the songs and the signs that go with them…she’s really good at remembering and doing the signs!

Kantorei Kamp 2017

For the third summer in a row, “The Bigs” attended Kantorei Kamp at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis. It is definitely the highlight of June!

The sang for three different services at three different locations for camp. On Thursday, they assisted with chapel at Concordia Seminary St. Louis, where they sang a verse of “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word,” in addition to other pieces:

On Friday, they assisted with chapel at the LC-MS International Center, where they sang some  of the pieces they had done at the Seminary, and some they hadn’t. My favorite of these was “Lord, Thee I Love With All My Heart.”

Another of their pieces, “For You, O Lord, Have Delivered My Soul From Death,” is based on Psalm 116.

They also sang Cantate Domino, which they have sung in the past:

They worked on a sung version of the Choristers’ Prayer at camp, although they didn’t sing it publicly. I got to hear it while I was waiting for them to finish up one day, though!

They sang all of the pieces they did for both chapel services for the Divine Service at Hope this morning, and they also sang a verse of Hope’s 100th anniversary hymn, “As Stone on Living Stone Is Set.”

And they even got to play “Lord of All Hopefulness” on handbells!

It was a fun week for everybody, even Chickadee, who got to spend a lot of time with just me this week. And she turned into something of the camp mascot…she even got her own T-shirt!

This is the last year all four of “The Bigs” will get to participate in Kantorei Kamp, because Turkey has aged (and voice-changed) out of it. The rest of the children are already looking forward to next year’s camp, though!

Three Churches

During the course of Holy Week, we had the opportunity to worships at three different LC-MS churches. Palm Sunday and Good Friday found us at our own church, Trinity, Millstadt, which is where we attend the Divine Service most of the time. On Holy Thursday, the children sang with their choir, as they do about once a month, at Hope, St. Louis. And we celebrated the Great Vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday at Bethany, Fairview Heights, a church we visit exactly once a year for that specific service.

I was struck by how different the three churches are architecturally. Built at different times and in different styles, there is no mistaking one for the other. Despite the differences in their appearance, however, I can count on each church to have a pastor(s) who faithfully preaches the Word and rightly administers the Sacraments. We are blessed indeed not only to have a home church that preaches Christ crucified and offers us the means of grace, but also churches that we visit regularly that do the same!

Blessed Easter!

Every Easter, I take pictures of the children by the baptismal font at our church…either they’re getting taller, or the font is shrinking! I can’t believe how different these pictures look from when I started taking them!

Easter 2017

Blessed Easter!

Our Easter observance really began last night. As we do every year, we made our family Paschal candle:

And took it with us to one of our sister congregations, where we lit it for the first time during the Great Vigil of Easter. This is my favorite service of the church year…I love how it begins with firelight outside at sunset, and ends with the full lights on inside the church as we celebrate the Resurrection!

We were at our church very early in the morning today, for the sunrise service. Bunny, Moose, and Ladybug participated in the outdoor reenactment prior to the service…the rain stayed away, and it was a beautiful morning!

After the first service, and a delicious breakfast of biscuits and gravy, we took pictures (much to my family’s chagrin), and attended the Easter Divine Service, which is probably my second favorite service of the church year. I love the abundance of Alleluias!

We’ve had a low-key afternoon at home since church, but the big Easter dinner feast is yet to come!