January 02, 2016

Bible Bee 2015

For the fourth year (not consecutive) our family participated in the Bible Bee program over the summer. The studies have varied from year to year, from 10 weeks to 12 weeks to, this most recent year, 6 weeks from start to finish (which happened to work beautifully with our overseas-move-and-new-baby kind of a summer!). The older 4 kids did independent work on their Bible studies, working their way through the first 6 chapters of the gospel of John and memorizing 12 passages of Scripture (roughly 50 verses total). I would have liked for our family to have done more study time together, but I was just not able to manage it with the tail end of an exhausting pregnancy, trying to finish unpacking and settling in, and then of course having a newborn to care for.

Still...it was a wonderful opportunity to dig into God's Word more, and though 8-year-old Kenna especially could have benefited greatly from some more specific guidance, it was still a growing experience even for her. This year all the contestants tested online--NO local testing centers or oral recitations to be judged. So we were able to set up our laptops in different parts of the kitchen and test our four kids here at home.

We did invite some folks from church and the neighborhood to come over the evening before so that the kids could recite 6 of the 12 passages before an audience, an on-your-honor requirement in order to qualify for Nationals. It was fun to share with others some of the hard work the kids had invested throughout the summer.

A week after the testing date, folks met at their "local host" location for some Bible Bee activities and to learn who had qualified to compete in the National competition, which was to be held in San Antonio in November. When we registered to participate in the Bible Bee, the "local" host we were assigned was from Kansas City!! It was hard to believe that no one closer to us had volunteered to host! (We plan to be hosts ourselves next year!)

But joining with the group in Kansas City for their local celebration event actually worked out really well for us:

1. Our Suburban, which we had shipped in APRIL, finally arrived in the States (delay due to the ship catching fire and having to return to the original port for inspections, etc.--thankfully our vehicle was not affected by the catastrophe).  The pick-up location happened to be in St. Louis.

2. We have very dear friends, Craig & Mimi H, who live in the Kansas City area!

So, due to the timing of retrieving the Suburban, plus the fact that we could stay with the H family, we planned a little road trip and enjoyed visiting with our friends plus being part of the local Bible Bee celebration, where we learned that Charis had qualified for Nationals for the second year in a row!

It was a fun trip, despite Rhema being pretty high maintenance at that time...due to her stalled out weight at the two-week check-up, I had had to focus almost exclusively on feeding the baby and helping her learn to nurse efficiently, a process that took several weeks and had me on an emotional roller coaster as my milk supply went up and down. But we were still able to travel, and it was neat to see the kids get to participate and meet some other Bible Bee folks.

Kenna recites a passage during the primary optional oral round.

Tobin and Arden with the other juniors.

Charis and the seniors.
The event in Kansas City was August 8. Nationals were the week before Thanksgiving. Qualifiers had additional memory passages plus the next 6 chapters in the book of John to study on their own. Since Charis had also qualified last year--when we were still living in Italy--this was her second year to be able to attend. (She and I flew together and met Ted's mom Rhonda in Orlando, where the event was held last year, and it was an amazing experience! Not only did we three "girls" have a blast spending time together, but we also got to meet up with two different sets of missionary friends!) We really wanted our whole family to be able to attend and worked hard on our budgeting and planning to make it happen. I'll write about that in a separate post...

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