Saturday, October 31, 2009

Forest Lake Church Fall Festival

Tonight we went to the Fall Festival at church as an alternative to Trick-or-Treating through-out the neighborhood. I have to say that for me, growing up in New England, Trick-or-Treating was always a really fun experience. The leaves crunching underfoot, the Unicef boxes jingling with loose change and a cup of hot chocolate waiting back at the house are some of the things I remember most. One of the other things that leaves a lasting memory on me is that we knew all of our neighbors. We always went around the neighborhood with a few other families as a big group. Every few houses, we would be invited to come in for hot cider, fresh donuts or some other yummy treat.
Maybe I just didn't know about all the scary things in this world back then. But I don't remember ever having to wait while my parents "inspected" my candy. Even just this week, the late night news ran a story about how known sex offenders are being reminded that they cannot participate in allowing children to ring their doorbell for candy, because it could be considered "luring" children to their home. Yikes! Come to think of it, we spend so much time teaching our kids about filling our bodies with healthy fuel and the warnings of stranger danger, and yet I was torn about not allowing them to go Trick-or-Treating, which is basically knocking on strangers' doors asking for junk food. :) Now, before anyone thinks otherwise, we "know" most of our neighbors by name, but they are still somewhat "strangers" to us, we don't really know much about them.
Our church planned a fantastic activity tonight - a fall festival.
The evening started off with some contemporary praise songs. And then went into a lesson about homeless people. I was surprised to hear the large number of homeless people in Florida. I guess it makes sense though, since the weather is so mild.
Moving over into the Upper Youth Center, we had a delicious dinner of (veggie) hot dogs, chips and root beer. I should just start labeling these pictures as "Megan and her boys".

A family shot of the 5 of us.
After dinner, we had little passports and had to travel to different countries all over the world (areas of the church), playing games and earning toiletries and snacks for our "homeless packs".

The little guys were too small to participate in the basketball shoot, so the Daddy's jumped in there to help. And here is where the competitive nature between the two families really came out.

Megan and I played against each other, but I had to be on my knees to make it fair.

I loved how she was laughing the whole time she was playing. Megan seems to be struggling with not having enough of my time. I remember 5 1/2 was a really emotional age for Joshua as well.

The Daddies played against each other. The kids were all cheering and going wild. It was really one of the highlights of the night. We were quite the rowdy group. Potato sack racing was another one of our favorite games. I shared a potato sack with Daniel so that we could hop together. I forgot that he's about 40 pounds now, and that's tough to hop with!

For charades, our card was "David and Goliath". This is Joshua using his sling up against "Goliath". The acting skills on both guys was fantastic.

Face painting was another big hit.

Joshua got a guitar on his arm.

Megan got a butterfly on her cheek.

Daniel got some balloons on his arm.

Keith decided that he needed a tattoo.

Our completed Fall Festival passport.

Our completed homeless bags. They have toiletries, food, drinks and a list of community resources.


SoggyToad said...

What a cool event, I love that the treats were for homeless packs... that's awesome!

Rachel H. said...

What an awesome frstival! It looks like a very well thought out event and I am so glad you guys got to participate in leui of regular trick or treating!