Foto Friday. . .VBS Logos! ! !

Hi everyone! It’s your fun-loving VBS graphic designer (who happens to love numbers as well. . .I know, I’m weird) and it’s that time of the week. . .Foto Friday!!! Why do I bring up the, “I love numbers” thing? I’m glad you asked! As Carol has stated in her “VBS By the Numbers” post, I like to check the number of views my blog posts receive and I’ve realized that my “Clip Art” post has had a lot of views! I also field a lot of calls, emails, etc about people wanting the past VBS logos.

So, I decided this week will be the VBS logos from 1997 (Good New Stampede) to 2012 (Amazing Wonders Aviation)! By the way, I have worked on every single one except Good News Stampede! My first day at LifeWay was the very first day of writer’s conference for StarQuest.


1997's Good News Stampede

1998's StarQuest

1999 Mt. Extreme


2000's Ocean Odyssey


2001's Truth Trackers


2002's Amazon Outfitters


2003's Kingdom Capers


2004's Rickshaw Rally


2005' Ramblin' Road Trip


2006's Arctic Edge


2007's Game Day Central


2008's Outrigger Island


2009's Boomerang Express


2010's Saddle Ridge Ranch


2011's Big Apple Adventure


2012's Amazing Wonders Aviation

Speaking of Missionaries

Recently I introduced you to North American missionary Andrew Mann and Proof, featured missionaries in LifeWay’s VBS 2011 missions resources. Today I want to challenge you to look at VBS missions from a different perspective.

Instead of just learning about someone else God has called to be a missionary, take a moment to consider if just maybe you are the one being called.

In this video you will be introduced to young adults who accepted the call to serve as short-term summer VBS Missionaries to southern Florida. It is an amazing story of transformed lives, churches, and communities as these everyday missionaries use VBS as the vehicle to share the love of Jesus and the Gospel message. If VBS missionaries can make an impact in over 50,000 lives in Florida could they possible make an impact in your community as well? How about you? Is God calling you to be a VBS Missionary this summer to a church across town or to a neighborhood or segment of your community not typically reached by your church?


Thanks to David Moore and the Florida Baptist Convention for sharing this story and video. To learn more about ministries of the Florida Baptist Convention go to

-the vbsguy

Foto Friday. . .the many faces of Keith

Hi, I’m Keith! The “seemingly quiet and introspective” (Ah ha ha ! ! !) graphic designer of VBS. My first post will be to introduce the “unofficial” foto Friday! Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from VBSI/EXPO/Preview from the past 3 years. Enjoy the photos!







See a pattern? heh heh! !


I got an idea!


I can fly! ! !


A kangaroo’s work is never done!


Get-a-along, little doggie!



TESTIMONY TUESDAYS – a little child will lead them

One of the most rewarding aspects of working on the LifeWay VBS Team is having the opportunity to hear the great stories of lives that have been impacted through the ministry of Vacation Bible School. I’m going to use Testimony Tuesdays to pass some of these stories on to you in the hopes that you too will feel inspired to identify and tell your VBS stories. The following story first appeared in the South Carolina Baptist Convention Childhood Ministry Newsletter ( and is being reprinted with permission.
Our church hosted Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS in June of this year; but last night, it came to fruition.  A young couple visited our church service for the very first time.  Things in their lives seemed to be falling apart.  They had even gone to the extent of consulting with a psychic to gain some insight as to why things were failing so miserably.  Then their young son told them that he had learned about Jesus in Vacation Bible School and that’s what they needed.  Last night, the first time they attended a church service, this couple surrendered their hearts to the Lord.   In a counseling session after the service, it came to light that through the leading of their child, they sought after the Lord.  Isn’t that what scripture teaches?  “…a little child will lead them” (Isaiah 11:6).  Vacation Bible School is worth the effort.   It’s been three months since the last night of VBS, and God is still doing His thing!!
North Greenville Association

(Church name withheld for privacy of persons involved)

Saddle Ridge Ranch – in MOLDOVA???

Every summer for the past four years, I have had the privilege of visiting some of my favorite people in the world, – the kids who live at the school for orphaned and abandoned children in Falesti, Moldova. My church has been doing camp in Falesti for the orphans who have no place to live for the summer for the last 6 or 7 years. This year, when we got to camp, imagine my surprise when I saw this:

I was sooooooooooooo excited to see that my friends had experienced Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS the week before we got there.  One of my favorite things was to hear sweet Catea (pictured below) yell “yeee-haw” in a southern accent. It was so cute!

I’m not 100% sure which church visited Falesti the week before our team did, but I think it was Shearer Hills Baptist Church from San Antonio, Texas. If any of you from Shearer Hills happen to read this blog, thank you for ministering to some of the most wonderful, beautiful kids I know.

Do you use your Vacation Bible School curriculum to minister to kids overseas? I would love for you to share your stories with us in the comments section.

More decorating videos!

Here’s another set of videos taken at our VBS Preview Event at Ridgecrest, NC. These are videos from the popular “Decorating in a Box”  conference.






Decorating Videos!

I’ve added some videos on our youtube channel ( that were taken at the VBS Preview Event at Ridgecrest, North Carolina that show the creators of the sets featured in our VBS catalog talking about how they created the sets.


Bible Study Bunkhouse:


Mustang Mountain:


Campfire Creek:


Blazing Star Stables:


Big Sky Grill:


Firefly Cavern:


Craft tips for 2010

Thanks to Lynn Jordan (our wonderful craft tester – she tests all of our craft suggestions with kids) for sharing these tips that should help as you plan your crafts rotation for 2010!
Day 1
Branded Magnet
Time: 9-11 minutes
♦ Use aluminum cookie sheets.
♦ Use 3 layers of heavy foil in a frame.
♦ Remind the kids to use large, simple designs for their brands.
♦ Make sure self-adhesive magnetic strip is not placed over any holes.
♦ Canning or juice lids may be used with a hammer and nail.
Kids say: “I liked it a lot”, “Hard, but fun”

Wrangler Door Hanger
Time: 9-12 minutes
♦ You might consider a pre-cut foam or wooden door hanger as an option.  Pictures could be attached to the front with rope glued around to frame.
Kids say:  “Love it”, “Easy”,  “Fun”, “This just wasn’t fun to me” (5th grader)

Leather ID Band – Favorite for Day 1
Time: 12-17 minutes
Kids say:  “Fun” “Too hard” (1st grader), “It was a cool craft.”

Day 2
Bible Saddle Bag
Time:  15-20 minutes
♦ Faux leather appointment book covers or wallpaper samples could be less expensive options.
Kids say:” I’ll put this on my Bible.”

Campfire Memo Pad
Time:  19-22 minutes
♦ Red, orange and yellow tissue paper can be used to make the flame on the fire.  You can cut out multiple shapes at a time or just let kids use a 3- by 3-inch square and shape into a flame before gluing.
♦ We also tried real sticks instead of the paper cut outs. They needed tacky glue. Children can paint over their campfire with the Mod Podge® glue to give it the decoupage look.
Kids say:  “Very easy.” “I liked it a lot.” “Cool.”

Buckaroo Bandanna – Favorite for Day 2
Time:  11-18 minutes
♦ When you glue the bubble wrap around the tube leave a little of the tube at each end to provide handles.
♦ Cut squares from inexpensive cloth.
Kids say:  “I loved it!” “Very, very fun.”

Day 3
Hobby Horse Pencil Topper
Time:  9-11 minutes
♦ Be sure the glue is dry before you put the topper on a pencil.
♦ Remind the kids to hold the end of the twine while they pull the needle through.
♦ Use wooly yarn for younger kids.
Kids say: “I love it!” “My Grandmother is the only one in our family who knows how to knit.”  “Tell the teachers to use soft needles.”

ABC Dangler
Time:  15-20 minutes
♦ Use die-cut circles, adjusting the size if necessary.
♦ Remind kids that the holes are top and bottom, not left and right.
NOTE:  This test identified a problem with our craft instructions (incorrect twine length) that was updated in the curriculum – These comments were made about the craft before the twine length was corrected:
Kids say:  “This was the worst craft in the history of the world!!” “I didn’t like this craft at all.”

Starry Switch Cover – Favorite for Day 3
Time:  13-17 minutes
♦ Colored letters are easier to see to peel them off.
♦ Don’t press letters too firmly.
♦ Black switch plates can be ordered if you want to skip the spray paint step. Local electricians can order them wholesale for about 25 cents each.
Kids say:  “Really fun.” “I enjoyed it a lot.”, “Awesome!” “Very, very, very…fun!”

Day 4
Ranch Hand Reminder – Kid’s favorite for Day 4
Time: 7-10 minutes
♦ It was very difficult for the children to make the coils of wire.
♦ Star-shaped paper clips would be another option.
Kids say:  “Easy.”  “OK.”

Belt Buckle Mouse Pad
Time: 14-23 minutes
♦ Each buckle needs a whole sheet of foam.
♦ Foam markers don’t work on the glittered foam.
♦ Remind the children not to pull the cord too tight.
Kids say:  “I liked this a lot.”

Cowboy Confetti Bible Marker
Time: 7-9 minutes
♦ Use clear packing tape instead of contact plastic.
♦ Let the kids put the confetti on the adhesive, then place the bookmark on top.
♦ Trim edges instead of turning excess to the back.
Kids say:  “Awesome!”

Day 5
Cricket Caller  - Kid’s favorite for Day 5
Time:  6-11 minutes
♦ Wooden beads were pretty irregular, and some skewers are thicker than others.  Some beads wouldn’t fit over the skewer.
♦ Pony beads also worked.
Kids said:  “Very, very easy.” “I liked it.” “Easy and I liked it a lot.”

Saddle Ridge Memory Book
Time:  12-15 minutes
♦ The star-shaped brad didn’t work well.
♦ Bind the memory book using a stick and elastic band.
Kids said: “Not the best, but fun.” “Dumb.” (2nd grade boy) “Easy, but not fun.”

Tin Punch Lanterns
Time:  8-10 minutes
♦ Cut before painting.  The pliers and snips scrape the paint off.
♦ Water bottles were really hard for the children to punch & have a bump in the bottom that won’t allow the tea light to sit flat.
♦ We couldn’t get anyone to confirm if the spray paint was flammable or not.
Kids said:  “I liked it.” “I love it!” “Way too hard.” (1st grader)  “Hard, but fun.”

Ideas for making your own milking cow

For the VBS preview events in January, we were able to borrow a wooden milking cow that we used in the VBS Expo.

Our cow was cut from plywood – there were four pieces that were slotted to fit together.

On the inside of the cow, a square wooden brace was screwed to two sides of the calf. Four holes were drilled in the bottom of a pink plastic bucket and 4 calf-feeder teats were rubber cemented into the holes. (Make sure that your rubber cement will glue plastic to rubber!) We filled the bucket with a solution of water and powdered milk, placed the bucket in the brace, and had ourselves a milking cow!

Emilie on our LifeWay VBS facebook page found these directions for making a wooden milking cow.

Sorry we don’t have a pattern or more pictures – mine were lost in a hard drive crash! But many of you got great pictures of the cow – in fact, if you have some pics of how it was put together, could you send them to me at Of if anyone has already made a pattern of the cow that they would like to share with everyone, please send it to me at


Thanks to Allie for sending some pictures of the cow for me to post. I still don’t have a pattern, so if anyone has one to share, send it on!


Here’s a little video I found that might help a bit with making the cow – it was taken at our VBS preview event in January at Ridgecrest!


Fonts used in Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS

Here’s a PDF so you can see what the fonts look like:

[slideshare id=3269097&doc=vbs2010fonts-100224173621-phpapp01&type=d]

And here are links to where you can purchase the fonts:

Corn Dog* –
Hawksmoor –
Holiday Ranch –
Mesquite –
Playbill –
Zebrawood Fill –
Zebrawood Regular –

*Additional Note – Thanks to Ethan Dunham of Fonthead Design for offering a 50% coupon for our blog readers on the Corn Dog font!  Just type “lifewayvbs” into the coupon box on the shopping cart page.