Saturday, July 17, 2010


Using my adaptation of a friend's blog, I'll use TWIML (This Week in Moppy's Life) to share our CentriKid experience. You'll note I didn't write anything after Day 2... a couple of reasons for that - too tired to write anything comprehendable late at night and just wanted to take it all in for the last few days.

Sitting... on my bed with my laptop and thinking about the week... listening to CK music from the week.

Eating... nothing at the moment but it's nice to know my food will be hot and my choice not so limited as you find in a cafeteria. I was reminded that I do NOT miss cafeteria food. No chance of a low-carb diet there... but I did not gain any weight so that's a positive. However, I thought I would have lost more with the walking and sweating... that's a bit disappointing.

Drinking... a Diet Pepsi. I drank a lot more water at camp. I figure I couldn't fuss continuously at the kids about it unless I was willing to do it myself. I'm still finding today that I'm very thirsty.

Glad... that I went to CentriKid. Parkway has been going for 10 years and never had I gone along. I would have but there was always an intern and/or volunteer willing to go. This year there was no intern and I felt it was time for me to go. I wanted to see what exactly happens and not just hear it from someone else.

Needing... a way to convince other parents how cool CK is so they will send their kids. Considering all they get while there, the price is certainly not too bad. They really don't have time to get homesick and we can usually deal with it. We have never had to call parents to come get their kids... although I know it has happened with other churches. It's a time in their life that they will NEVER forget. I had a note on Facebook from a recent high school graduate who mentioned that it was the "highlight of my childhood".

Avoiding... anything to do with excessive heat. Much of CK is spent outside. Take a shower in the morning... walk to breakfast... and need another one. Finally just gave up... sweat was gonna happen with heat indexes of over 100 each day. The CK staffers did a good job of having water available for all outside Tracks and activities.

Enjoyed... wow! that list could go on and on. I enjoyed spending a week with 7 girls... who went for different reasons but all came away with something new. We talked on the way home about what they had learned and how God had spoken to them during the week... and everyone had an answer. It was soooo cool. I enjoyed having Chris Grater as my sidekick... and for those who know her, then you know there was a lot of laughter and a lot of fun. God has given her a great sense of humor. I'm so glad she was willing to leave behind her two little boys and husband and spend the week at CK. I know she went because Anne was going... and that was OK because I'm pretty sure God taught her some things, too. I really enjoyed the music. It was so incredibly loud... and I didn't care... I'm not that old yet. We sang... we danced... we jumped... we did motions... and I loved watching the staffers. Their energy level was amazing. Their example of worship was heart-warming.

Preparing... a surprise packet for the girls with music and notes and pictures.

Trying... to catch up on sleep... does one ever really catch up?

Laughed... at the many things that were said throughout the week... most of which will never be written here. :-) But one of the funniest was when some things went missing... like socks, a washcloth, some art work... and the RA (resident assistant at the dorm) was accused of coming in the room and taking them. Chris and I found that very comical... and tried to picture the RA with a young girl's art work on her wall and a mobile made out of socks & washcloths. :-) And then we overheard our girls telling other girls on the hall about it. Oh... the items were found... and not in the RA's room.

Reading... Rescuer by Dee Henderson - the final book in the O'Malley series and also Transformational Church by Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer... more about that on another day.

Thankful... for Lifeway and seeing a need 10 years ago for a camp for older elementary children... Thankful for Carie Guest, the staffer assigned to Parkway for the week. She connected with the girls... was a wonderful example... shared a loving testimony... and obviously loves the Lord with all her heart. Thankful for the freedom to worship with no inhibitions.

Ending... with mixed emotions and personal sadness but reminded that God is in control of all things... and He knows what's best.

Pictures from CentriKid will soon be available on KidZone Children's Ministry Facebook page and on the church's website. I'll let you know when they've been posted.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We have all survived Day 2 of CentriKid Camp. Starting with breakfast at 7:30 is never my idea of fun but I managed to get myself and the girls in my room ready and in the cafeteria by 7:30ish. And breakfast wasn't too bad... scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, bacon. They really weren't too generous with the bacon, though. Some of the girls had cereal and few had donuts... after their cereal or eggs. I'm not guaranteeing that these kids are eating the healthiest of meals... but they are eating. We're doing our best to keep them drinking water... now that is a task.

It was really stinkin' hot down here today... and many afternoon tracks are outside. However, CentriKid is prepared with huge water jugs and breaks for the kids to rehydrate. I'm really impressed with everything I've seen at CentriKid. Parkway has been attending for 10 years but this is my first trip as a sponsor... and everything that every camper and every sponsor has told me is true. It is extremely well-run... much care given to each child... an enormous amount of love shown... and a genuine concern for their spiritual needs.

Our morning began with quiet time... centering on the One who shows us everlasting love. Then the whole group went to the auditorium for "I Can't Wait..." and it was something to get everyone revved up for the day ahead... beach balls, very loud music, and some other craziness. The kids then departed for Bible Study and Recreation. Lunch was edible. Then it was time for their tracks. Each camper chooses 5 tracks... beginning with the one they want the most... and they get 2 of their picks. The girls are doing Splish Splash, Wet 'n Wild, Art Studio, Foot Praise, Cheernastics, Drama, Soccer and probably some others that I'm not thinking about at this time of night and the end of a long day.

After some free time and dinner, it was time for worship... much more subdued... much more a feeling of reverence... a time to listen... to pray... and to allow God to work on their hearts. After Church Group Time, it was back in the auditorium for The Party... and that, my friends, is a LOUD time of games... more beach balls... and t-shirts being thrown everywhere.

Everyone is doing great... one incident today of homesickness but it was worked through and it didn't appear to be contagious. Day 3 will be in a few short hours. Good-night!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Unfortunately, not enough of our Parkway family takes advantage of a really cool camp... CentriKid is for kids who have finished 3rd-6th grade. It is sponsored by Lifeway... is high energy... and will leave a lasting impression on your child.

We are at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO for the a week of CentriKid. Leaving this morning at 10:30 with 7 young girls and 2 sponsors, we arrived to a rousing welcome from the camp pastor, Chris Mize. He directed us to registration when I got us all signed in and Chris G. followed the girls to get t-shirts and pick out their tracks. Pictures of our group and then it was off to find our "home" for the week - Beasley Hall. Three rooms... 9 females... and hope for survival. After settling in, it was time for dinner... and zero choices for a person on a low carb diet so I settled for cold broccoli, rubbery lasagna, a cold breadstick (one bite only) and a decent salad. Gotta love cafeteria food! NOT!!! Next up was Opening Celebration with huge beach balls being tossed all over Pike Auditorium... music so loud you couldn't hear yourself think... and everyone having a great time! A couple of songs of praise to the Father... a word from the camp pastor... and then the kids were off to Bible Study while we had an Adult Meeting... basically a time to go over all the basics - CentriKid 101. And then we had a tough chore... going outside and finding our kids amongst the several hundred who are here this week. We finally managed and then headed back in the auditorium for "The Party". Lindsey Geisz participated in one of the first "boy vs. girl" games. So another time of some fun, raucous behavior and then Church Group Time with Carie, our CentriKid staffer for the week. Basically, we went over everything with the girls... had them write prayer requests... and then I had the privilege of praying before heading back to the dorm. After insisting that the girls take showers, things finally settled down, and all is quiet as I type.

Our verse this week is John 1:12... "But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." Pray with me this week that these kids will receive Him and know that they are His child if they will believe in His name.

Saturday, July 03, 2010


The ratio is just wrong... games & parties are so much more fun than meetings but I must say these were very productive meetings.

CentriKid parents & campers came together for a quick overview of the week - what to bring, what not to bring, participant forms, balance due checks, and new KidZone t-shirts. CentriKid is a camp for 3rd-6th graders sponsored by Lifeway. This year we have 7 girls going... Chris G. and I hope to survive the giggles and everything else that comes with 7 young ladies that age. Usually I don't go because there are always interns or assistants or a daughter who want... or should be going. But this year... it's me and a mom of one of the girls. July 12-16 - mark it on your calendar and pray.

Two meetings on Tuesday... one about the upcoming Fall Kickoff... one to evaluate our recently completed VBS. Once again... productive. There are some very special fun times planned for the Fall Kickoff... but you have to wait for the details. Just mark your calendar... September 1... and pray for good weather. Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS received a positive review from the directors and the volunteers. Work has already begun on next year's The Big Apple. Dates will be announced after they are approved by the staff.

And at the end of the week came the fun. First... tickets to the Cardinal game given by one of Charlie's suppliers. And since he's not as big a Cardinal fan... and had already gone once this week with others from his company, he was glad to pass on the tickets to Sara and me. We invited Teresa (Ty Ty) and Susan (Bug) to go with us. The seats were so much fun. I had never been a bleacher bum but our seats were in the front row of the bleachers... right above the Cardinal bullpen. And the game started with parachute jumpers landing in the stadium... so cool!! And the best part... we won! Jaime Garcia pitched a great game; Tyler Greene hit a homerun so we got fireworks; and we got a Brockabrella.

And then on Saturday it was time for a celebration... a birthday part for a wonderful lady - Etoile Finefrock. Many came out to celebrate her 70th birthday. She is an incredible woman who loves God... loves her family... and loves preschoolers. She taught Sara and Chris in Sunday School when they were 2 or 3 years old. And she is still teaching preschoolers... laying those basic foundations that are so important as children begin to form their worldview.

Have a great 4th! Remember those who are serving to preserve OUR freedom!