Foto Friday. . .What is it?

tyrrellOkay Agents, here’s your next Foto Friday assignment, “What is It?”. Here’s this week’s close-up. Can you DISCOVER what it is? Can you DECIDE if it’s a snack or a craft or Hulk hands? Will you DEFEND your choice?

Give me your best, craziest, funniest responses!



Foto Friday…What is it? Revealed!

tyrrellIn last week’s Foto Friday, I tried to stump you all! We had some good guesses. Thank you to Skipper, Christine, Karen, Joyce, Deborah, Susen, Brett, and Mary for your guesses. Several of you got it right! Hulk Keith SMASH!!! The Hulk hands are just one of the toys in my office, and I love toys!

Jeni had an extremely funny comment, “Allergic reaction to the snack of the day!” LOL!

Stay tuned later today for your next assignment in. . .  “What is it?”.





Foto Friday. . .What is it?

tyrrellOkay Agents, here’s your next Foto Friday assignment, “What is It?”. Here’s this week’s close-up. Can you DISCOVER what it is? Can you DECIDE if it’s a snack or a craft or something else? Will you DEFEND your choice?

Give me your best, craziest, funniest responses! I think you all will like this one! heh heh heh!!!


Foto Friday. . .What is it? Revealed!

KeithWell, it’s that time of the week again. . .Foto Friday!

You all had some good guesses! But I mustache you a question! Who all said it was a craft? Raise your hands. . .higher! Okay, I can’t see you all. It is a craft! It’s our “Agent in Disguise” craft!



Agent in Disguise



Stay tuned later today for your next assignment of. . .”What is It?”!

 “The Kids Ministry 101 blog today is about the importance of teaching kids apologetics. Check it out here.”

Thrift Store Challenge Results!

A few weeks ago, we posted a challenge to those out there that love VBS. Your mission? To create a gadget out of thrift store finds. We received many entries that blend seamlessly with our Agency D3 theme for 2014! You did an amazing job! Here’s a few of our favorites:

VBS Thrift Store GadgetDana Whittaker created this gadget, complete with high tech monitor, out of an easy bake oven, a few toys, PVC pipe, a Blokus game board, and some silver spray paint. Don’t you love it?!

VBS Thrift Store Gadget This lab analyzing machine came from Bethany Johnson. An old popcorn maker, spray paint, Tinker Toys, and a glow stick combined to make this final product. We’re positive the kids are going to be thrilled!

1149720_10201860190096214_833467647_o Lisa Moore shows us her skill with a metal bowl, toy microscope complete with a screen, and a light. By the time Agency D3 starts in her church, she’ll have this light flashing off of all the walls! Follow Lisa’s example for some of your own gizmos!

VBS Thrift Store Gadget One more outstanding entry came in the form of  a thrift store purchased beverage dispenser and a plastic water bottle filled with oil, water, and food coloring. Add on a few crazy straws and you’re ready for the lab!

Remember when we said we’d randomly select a winner from all of our participants? Of course you do! Well, our lucky winner of a VBS 2014 Starter Kit is Lisa Moore. Congratulations Lisa! (We used to determine who would receive the prize.)

We were overwhelmed with the amazing gimmicks we received through email and Facebook posts. Thank you so much for participating! Decorating for Agency D3, as you’ve seen in prior videos and posts, can be easy and inexpensive. We hope you’ve found some inspiration today!


Foto Friday. . .What is it? Revealed!

tyrrellIn last week’s Foto Friday, I started a new feature titled, “What is It?”. We had some good guesses. Thank you to Ukulelegirl, Joyce and Sue for your guesses. You all were close. It’s a craft that you can eat! It’s one of our preschool crafts called, “Slice Specimens”. It’s vanilla pudding with food coloring made to look like a slide specimen! Stay tuned later today for your next assignment in. . .  “What is it?”.








Foto Friday…What is it?

tyrrellHi everyone! How have you all been? Life at LifeWay has been busy. VBS 2014 production is quickly wrapping up.

In honor of Agency D3, I wanted to start a new feature for Foto Friday. I wanted to give you an extreme close-up of one of our snacks or a craft and see if you can guess what it is. Can you “Discover” what the item is? Is it a craft or snack, and what is it? Is it even one of those or something else? It’s your job to “Decide” what it is and to “Defend” your choice. (see what I did? I sneaked the motto in there! LOL!).

Here’s this week’s “What is it?”. I’ll reveal the item next Friday and also give you a new one. Have fun!




Colossal Crafts Tips

carol-2I recently received these awesome craft tips from one of our dedicated VBS craft leaders, Mary Elizabeth Castles.  I love how the VBS community helps each other out and passes along ideas that may save someone else time and money! If you haven’t already conducted your VBS, check out these Colossal Tips.

Tip #1 for the Basket Toss on Day 2

Use applesauce cups instead of water bottles that are cut off. The applesauce cups work fine, fit on the stick, and if you can get people to eat the flavored kinds that come in little cups that look like  bushel baskets even better. We just had regular ones and the kids loved the game. We didn’t use the masking tape on the sides I had the kids glue on a strip about 6″ long of raffia that I had opened up. It was just the right width for the cups.

Tip #2 for the Fear Face Bookmark on Day 5
Use regular large colored paper clips ( pkg. of 80 at the Dollar Tree) and a pkg. of tiny rubber bands for hair (at Dollar Tree) to hold the yarn hair in place. Split a strip of clear scotch tape up the middle to put on to hold the tiny eyes. These were given to all of the staff attached to a bookmark of the books of the Bible. The staff loved it. (The strips of yarn for the hair were 3″ long and it took 4 pieces per clip.)  They were so cute!

Thanks, Mary Elizabeth, for these super tips.

What tips or adaptations worked for you in your crafts rotation? We would love to hear them!

Crafting with a Crowd


For some of us crafting makes our day. We love it, the more glue (or for me glue dots) the better. We see an empty box, a scrap piece of paper, or some leftover fabric, and think, “What can I turn that into?” However, not everyone shares our love of all things crafty. Hand them the Crafts Rotation Leader Guide and tell them they will be leading the crafts rotation, and they break out into hives.  It’s one thing to sit down and complete a craft project on our own, but something else entirely different to sit down with 15-20 kids and complete the project. But never fear (Isn’t that the whole point of VBS 2013? Facing our fears.), you can successfully craft with a crowd. Here are a few pointers to help you when crafting with a crowd:


  1. Plan Your Time:  You may look at a craft and think, “Well, this will take about 5 seconds to do,” but rarely will a child be able to complete their project in the short amount of time that an adult will. You also need to factor in the time it will take to distribute supplies, give instructions, and transition.
  2. Prep Your Supplies: By prepping your supplies before hand, you can keep the session moving at an easy comfortable pace. Think about asking older youth and Sunday School classes to help you prep before VBS starts. They can cut materials, gather items, and sort them into individual ziplock bags. Then once VBS starts all you need to do is give each child a bag of materials and get started.
  3. Prepare Your Samples: The best way to be confident in teaching someone else to do something is to do it yourself. Once you have selected the crafts you want to do, make samples of each one. Note anything you think will need further explanation or changes that can be made that will work better for your group.
  4. Pace Your Lesson: Figure out exactly how much time you have with each rotation. Plan how much time you will spend introducing the project and relating it to the Bible content, giving instructions, and so forth. When working with children it will be best to give one set of instructions at a time. The leader guide shows each craft with step-by-step instructions to help you know how to transition from one step to the next.


Crafting with a crowd can be fearful at times, but when we trust God and are obedient to Him, the blessing will be immeasurable.





Over the River…

img_5318Over the river (Little Pigeon River) and through the woods (Mt. Pisgah National Forrest) to VBS 2013 Events we go! It is going to be a COLOSSAL week!

This is the week we (LifeWay’s VBS Events Team) look forward to all year – the first in a series of awesome fun events – where VBS groupies from all 50 States, Canada, and Mexico (and sometimes even a groupie or two from Great Britain or Korea) join together for two days of exciting VBS sights and sounds!

Over 1200 VBS leaders will be our guests at Ridgecrest Conference Center later this week for worship with Dr. Shane Garrison and Austin Adamic, teaching by some of the best VBS practitioners in the country, inspiration and creativity of LifeWay’s VBS Graphics and Publishing Team, and a performance of the Colossal Coaster World Musical by a great children’s choir. AND if all this is not enough, how about 60 degree weather (we typically have ice) in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

If you are not registered for the Ridgecrest event, there is still time to join us January 18-19 in Fort Worth, January 31-February 1 in Nashville, or February 8-9 in Kissimmee. Like I said before, these events are going to be COLOSSAL so don’t miss out.

To learn how you can be part of a one of these awesome Preview events go to

We’ll be looking for YOU!