School’s Out—AACK!
But I’m not panicking the way I usually do.  The kids are older.  They’re more self-sufficient. I don’t have to lifeguard them when they hang out at the pool.  They’re capable of biking and walking themselves around town. 
Plus, this morning all 3 kids are at Grace Chapel’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) with the 2 girls volunteering and Ren attending for the very last year he’s eligible.  This week’s theme is PandaMania, and Ling even brought the stuffed Panda she bought in China to help set the mood in her classroom.
I’ve enjoyed a decaf iced coffee at Starbucks with my computer all morning.   
I am a VBS parasite.  Over the years, I have sent my kids to VBSs all around the Boston area to churches I don’t attend because: 
1.     I need childcare if I’m going to continue working (which my job says I’m supposed to do).
2.     They’re really cheap (usually $25/kid, no more than $50/week—for 5 mornings of 3 hour childcare!)
3.     They’re all about God, the Bible, and eating fun snacks and doing crafts.
I figured that our kids attend public school all year, they should learn about Jesus all summer.
A problem has been that Grace Chapel’s VBS is the first VBS of the summer, and it’s so awesome that it completely outshines every other VBS out there.  Grace runs a veritable VBS machine with 400 kids, about 200 volunteers, and a worship team complete with drums, guitar, keyboards and wind instruments.  Grace also buys all the great plastic goodies that are available from the VBS supplier, something most churches with smaller budgets can’t afford.
Another problem has been that the main VBS curriculum provider only provides 2 curricula a year, which means that our kids end up repeating the same program at other churches, often with decreasing quality and decreasing goodies.  Several years ago, the final VBS of the summer was so pitiful the leader kept telling the kids to lie down and pretend they were napping.  Sad to say, that was at the church we DO attend.
Because of that experience, as my girls have aged out of VBS, they’ve been pretty happy about it.  But the one place they want to return is Grace Chapel.  They’ve volunteered ever since aging out, and love it so much they sign up on-line, attend orientation meetings and set-up meetings, then work with various folks—all of whom are total strangers!
In several minutes, I’ll pick up my 3 kids, plus 5 extra kids to drive home.  We’ll probably swim this afternoon.
Let the Panda-monium begin!

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