Fall Is In the Air

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the cooler temperatures, the colorful leaves, and warm cozy feeling of a fire. But what I really love about fall is all the pumpkin flavored treats that are available. Have you tried a pumpkin spice donut or pumpkin pie flavored ice cream? If not, what are you waiting for? There are a million tasty concoctions out there all waiting for you! Check out our Pinterest board to find just a few. Let us know which ones are keepers!











And if you are looking for some Fall crafts, be sure to check out our craft board, as well!

What are some of your favorite things to do with your kids ministry or family during the Fall?


Foto Friday: Welcome to Fall!

Joyce Frazier

Well, Autumn officially begins tomorrow–September 22. And in Tennessee, that means cooler, shorter days; God’s handiwork manifested in all nature around us; and lots and lots of football. Also, we begin to see the arrival of wonderful homemade delicacies, perfected in the South, that can only be seen at this time of year.  Being in a Fall frame of mind, I decided to poll some of my VBS teammates to determine a few of their favorite things!

Lynne Norris

Lynne Norris

Favorite Fall scene?  A chilly morning in Cades Cove (NOTE: Cades Cove is in the Great Smoky Mountains.)

Favorite Fall sound?  a crackling fire

Favorite Fall scent?  a spiced apple candle 

Favorite Fall treat?  homemade soup


Debbie Ruth

Favorite Fall scene? watching a University of Tennessee football game (It’s football time in Tennessee!)

Favorite Fall sound? a crackling campfire, kids playing outside

Favorite Fall scent? anything cinnamon

Favorite Fall treat? going to an outdoor craft festival; my mom’s homemade apple butter

Rhonda VanCleave

Favorite Fall scene? yellow leaves on a tree against an October blue sky

Favorite Fall sound? the whistle of a football ref to start the game

Favorite Fall scent? cinnamon

Favorite Fall treat? candy corn or anything pumpkin

These are just a few of my favorite things about fall—homemade chili; viewing miles and miles of beautiful leaves; going to the pumpkin patch with my 7-year-old grandson; seeing early-morning or late-afternoon fog lifting from the surrounding hills and mountains; cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin smells all around me; fresh Fall vegetables and fruit; the chill of a cool morning; the sound of kids playing in freshly-raked leaves; the warmth of a roaring fire in the fireplace; and the fact that my mowing days are over until next year!!!!

I don’t know what Fall looks like in your little corner of the world, but I just can’t believe  that it could be any more beautiful than it is here in Tennessee.

Let us hear from you. Feel free to answer our questions about your favorite things and maybe attach a photo or two of you enjoying this time of year.

VBS & Fall Fest

Could there be a more perfect way to reuse VBS decorations than at your church’s fall festival? LifeWay Kids had our own fall festival last week… complete with food, candy, and games. Candace & I put our own spin on the classic “fish for a prize” game and totally decked out Candace’s office door with decorations from the Great Barrier Reef (Amazing Wonders Aviation).

You can check out more of the great games, booths, and decorations from our fall office party on the Kids Ministry 101 blog all this week!

We want to hear from you… Does your church do any kind of fall festival? How have you reused VBS decorations for other church/community events? Give us all some inspiration!

Eye Spy…

Let’s have a little fun this Wednesday, shall we?  We snapped some pictures of old set and prop pieces from our VBS storage area– let’s see if you can figure out what they are and what VBS they’re from!  Leave a comment, numbered 1-6 (right to left, top to bottom) of your guesses!  If you guess them all right, we may even send you a little somethin’ somethin’ in the mail!  Good luck!


National Dog Day

In case you didn’t know, yesterday was National Dog Day. In honor of that, we decided it would be fun to introduce you to our dogs. Now, you will see a lot of pictures of cute dogs who pose real sweet for  a picture, but my dogs are not that cooperative! I had to try and get a shot while they were running around in the yard! Meet Harley and Molly!


 Carol has two dogs, Pumpkin and Penelope. They keep watch over the house when everyone is away!


Meet my dog-nephew, Peyton. Is he not the sweetest looking dog ever?! My nephews were young boys when they got him. They knew immediately what his name would be: Peyton Manning Prewitt! (As UT football fans, there was no other option.) Peyton and I had a special bond. When my entire family was together, he would bring his tennis ball or toy straight to me. He knew I adored him. Sadly, Peyton developed cancer. It was a heart-wrenching day when we had to put him to sleep. He will always be my favorite dog!


Our family dog is Lola Coco (her official A.K.A. name). She is a 6-year-old dachshund (that’s 42 in dog years) and is affectionately known by her family as Lolabell. Actually, she is my youngest son’s dog that he brought home with him when he graduated from college. We don’t get to see her very often, but she does come to visit occasionally. Lola is very active and loving, especially with children. When it comes to my son, “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.” Yes, she is spoiled rotten!


Gordon’s family has two dogs, Lucy and Buckley. Buckley is the newest addition to the family. Here’s his picture with Gordon’s son, Evan.


Meet Courtney’s dog Milo. Isn’t he the cutest thing?


Pam’s family has the sweetest dog, Vandy. Named, of course, for Vanderbilt University!

Have you heard about Silver Dollar City?

Well… we’ve got a great partnership going on with them for Colossal Coaster World in 2013.  We’re so thankful that they allowed us to shoot our 2013 video series inside their park in Branson, MO–they were truly the most gracious hosts!

I had the pleasure of traveling out there with our video team and capturing some behind-the-scenes content that I can’t WAIT to share with you.  When our director Bill called it a wrap, we even had time to ride two of the most awesome roller coasters around– Powder Keg and Wildfire!  Some of our videos were even shot with actors ON the rides!  Our whole team had an absolute blast spending a few days inside the park.  You seriously couldn’t ask for a cleaner, more family-friendly theme park!

If you haven’t heard yet, Silver Dollar City put together an INCREDIBLE giveaway EXCLUSIVELY for friends of LifeWay VBS.  We are patiently waiting to hear back from them about who won this amazing trip!

The Getaway of a Lifetime includes 4 days for up to 6 members of your family, including:  

Multiple Days at Silver Dollar City  |  Play all day – and the next, and the next! –  at Silver Dollar City, an award-winning 1880s-style theme park, presenting eight world-class festivals and events, and 30 rides and attractions including thrill rides and roller coasters, 100 demonstrating craftsmen, shows, hearty Ozarks food and even a tour of Marvel Cave. Plus lunch on us!

Multiple Days at White Water water park   |  Take your family on an island adventure at White Water, featuring 13 acres of tropical fun and rides from mild to wild, including the tropical river adventure Aloha River at Hula Hula Bay, the 7-story, 6-slide thrill ride Kalani Towers, and speed slides like Raging River Rapids, plus a 500,000 gallon wave pool and the interactive attraction Splashaway Cay. (Open May 26 – September 3).

Dinner Cruise aboard the Showboat Branson Belle  |  Take your family aboard America’s most entertaining dinner cruise, the 700-seat Showboat Branson Belle, presenting the new show Made in the USA, starring the world’s only violin-playing aerialist, Janice Martin, and the male vocal group, The ShowMen, with comedian and magician Christopher James as emcee. Each cruise aboard the authentic paddle-wheeler includes a 3-course dinner, show and lake cruise on Table Rock Lake.

3 Nights at a luxury Lakeside Resort  |  You’ll relax in style in a secluded lake resort with first-class amenities – a great place to rest after a day of fun!

Tickets to a Branson show of your choice  |  Famous as the Live Entertainment Capital of the US, Branson has 100 shows. The hardest part will be choosing just one!

$500 in travel (redeemable only with trip) to help get you here!  |  Total prize value: $2,500

Are you planning a trip to Silver Dollar City?

"Paint my foot blue!?" VBS Craft Idea Takes Flight!

Adam did not want anything to do with painting his foot blue! It was simply not going to happen—until Sally Cramer showed him that his blue foot would turn into a really cool blue airplane!

His shoes and socks were off in a flash!

Once the foot print dries, it is outlined with fabric paint pen—the kind that bumps up a little.

Every year during VBS, Sally Cramer tries to come up with a hand print or foot print craft for her 2 & 3 year old VBS class. Check out this year’s amazing fleet of little blue feet!

Dabbs gets a blue pedicure!

“Parents love to have foot prints or hand prints at different stages of their kid’s lives,” Sally said, “so why not bring that idea to VBS every year?”

The Blue Feet Fleet!

It started several years ago when Sally, Sherry Vick and Becky Clay helped their class of little people create hand/foot print tote bags! Sally recalled, “It was pretty cool to see the 4 year olds use their VBS tote bags to carry their stuff in when they promoted to BIG Church in the fall”.

Game Day tote bag!

To mix things up, Sally and friends decided to alternate tote bags with t-shirts. Tote bags on the even years—T-shirts on the odd years. The rest is VBS history!

Arctic Edge! Hands and feet—just don’t paint the toes!

Outrigger Island! Hand print palm trees. William’s hand is still green to this day! jk

Sally and some of the little people!

A bit about Sally: she is married to Steve, has two great kids, Alyson (9), and Lucas (10), owns and operates her own graphic design business Little June Bug Graphics from her home, teaches graphic design at The Art Institute, and loves VBS! (She totally qualifies as a VBS Geek of the Week!) …and she goes to my church, FBC Nashville.

Lance and Sally

Thanks Sally for what you (and all of you reading this blog!) do to make VBS happen for kids everywhere! Teaching kids about Jesus—doesn’t get any better than that!

Bonus: gotta give a little shout out to Lydia (Adam’s mom) who is pretty “crafty” herself. The airplane shirt Adam is wearing? Lydia made it! Also, Patrick (Adam’s dad) works here at LifeWay and led music at VBS this year! Thanks Patrick!

Today on Kids Ministry 101, We’re part of the Family Ministry Blog Tour!!

Monday Inspiration.

This Monday morning, I have been overwhelmed with the thought of how new and fresh this “ordinary” week is.  July turns into August in just a couple of days, and that probably means things are changing within your ministry and within the lives of the children you minister to.  Don’t waste the opportunity to embrace the change for the better!  Challenge the status quo within your ministry, learn from mistakes made, and make famous the name of Jesus!

Today I’m just going to leave you with this quote from Jim Wideman:

It’s never too late to change. It’s never too late to start doing ministry differently. And it’s never too late to learn from the mistakes of others.

How has God been leading you to do things differently?

Awesome and Amazing!

This morning I complete an awesome and amazing week of CentriKid Camp at Ridgecrest Conference Center in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

I say “awesome” and “amazing” because just like VBS, this week we have truly witnessed an Awesome God and His Amazing Power. Last night we celebrated as a child who earlier in the week voiced disbelief in God, made a complete turn around and confessed Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He was one of many life transformations this week!

Can you tell we sang “A-M-A-Z-ING” this week?

I can also say “awesome” and “amazing” about this place – Ridgecrest Conference Center – and the surrounding Black Mountain and Asheville area. This week has afforded me a few hours to explore, both by foot and car, God’s amazing wonders. There may not be a Grand Canyon or Victoria Falls near by, but the majesty of God’s creation is in every stream and mountain peak.

I’m already looking forward to my next visit in October, and I sincerely hope you will join me right here at Ridgecrest October 8 – 10 for LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference. As awesome and amazing as this place is in the summer, I can only imagine the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Fall. I’m usually here in January, so this October will be my first time to experience North Carolina’s Fall wonders.

Sadly, camp ends this morning, but not the fun! For the afternoon I’m thinking about checking out the shops and terrific restaurants of Black Mountain, the Billy Graham exhibit at The Cove, a hike up Chimney Rock (I hear the view is truly one of God’s amazing wonders), a visit to the awesome and amazing Biltmore mansion in Asheville, or maybe just a leisurely drive to take in the sights of the Swannanoa Valley. So much to experience, so little time! I just may have to plan another visit before October!

One thing is for sure, you do not want to miss the awesome and amazing experience of Kids Ministry Conference. The worship leadership of Travis Cottrell, the tremendous speakers and breakout leaders, the terrific relationships, and Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains all combine for one awesome and amazing experience!

Looking forward to seeing you October 8 – 10!