Since Sam is out of preschool for the summer, we have endeavored to pad out her social calendar a bit. Last week Geralyn signed her up for a kind of Bible camp held at one of the local churches. Since I grew up a Southern Baptist in America's heartland, I was somewhat familiar with this concept from having attended many backyard vacation Bible schools of my own. Most of these involved sitting around someone's back yard listening to Bible stories, banging the crap out of tambourines while singing about blood and crosses, and roving the neighborhood in small gangs trying to guilt other parents into sending their kids to the camp tomorrow. So, you know, I thought I kinda knew what to expect.
Well, things have changed a bit. Apparently Samantha was sent to something called Powerlab VBS, which is an entirely pre-packaged VBS event with startlingly high production values and a whole science/laboratory theme. It's like a franchise you can purchase. Seriously, it's the Dunkin Donuts of vacation Bible schools, as envisioned by Industrial Light and Magic. Geralyn went and saw for herself, and there were huge productions, LIVE BANDS, games, original movies, activities, pyrotechnics, and a periodic table where all the elements were replaced by books of the Bible (with all the Gospels arranged to correspond with the noble gases, of course). Sam even brought home some little action figures and a CD full of catchy Christian music with what sounds like the Vienna Boys Chior all hopped up on equal parts methamphetamines and the Holy Spirit.
Sam loves to listen to the CD and try to sing along, but the most she can seem to manage is "POWER, POWER, POWER! He's mumblemumblemumble POWER, POWER, POWER!" She has also started to repeatedly ask her if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal lord and savior, to which we reply yes, yes and we actually knew Him before He was all cool and had His own gigantic bubble machine out in the parking lot.
Mandy did not get to partake in the festivities, but instead enjoyed some quality running errands time with Mommy. Mandy continues to get more and more mobile, and has added "climbing on anything she can get a good grip on" to her repertoire. This includes couches, chairs, the cat, me, and several other dangerous things. Her speech also continues to broaden, though the occasional two-word combination still marks the apex of her linguistic prowess. She also seems to have an infatuation with cats. During our nightly book reading the other night turned to a page that had a picture of a kitten and just sat there saying "Cat, cat, cat" over and over again, refusing to let me turn the page. I guess she knows what she likes.