The problem with this is getting pictures (because everything like this has to be documented, right?). Pictures must be done before we go to church as you never know what craft project or bathroom accident might befall the poor dress and the fear that the attitude of the little person inside the dress when they are cranky from hunger and in need of a nap may ruin all photo ops after church. Now, I'm going to share with you a secret, that obviously not many have figured out.
...The 9:00am service.
Yes, I know that in most church circles this is considered the more traditional service and so they don't tend to sing the latest praise choruses or whatever, but really those are over-done anyway. Let me introduce you to everything glorious about the 9:00am service.
1. Parking spaces. Near the door. And you don't have to wait for someone else to leave to get one.
2. There are TONS of volunteers in children's church. Yup, everyone, even the volunteers, want to attend the 11:00am service. So, they all serve at 9:00am. This means that the rooms are stocked with a fantastic ratio of workers to kids, meaning your child will get more attention and thus will have less meltdowns and thus you will be less likely to be called out of the service. (and for the record, the 11:00am service is the HARDEST to get volunteers for, so there are typically double the kids and half the workers.)
3. There are no lines. When we leave the 9:00am service we see a line of parents waiting to get into our children's ministry area for the 11:00am service. When they let all these parents in, they then have to stand in ANOTHER line in front of the door to each of their children's room's while each child gets checked in. This doesn't happen at the 9:00am service. There are literally half as many kids (and double the volunteers) so the process is quick.
4. Your kid's friends are better behaved. Want your kid to make friends with other kids from wholesome, disciplined families? You have to be disciplined to make it to the 9:00am family. Those who can do it are typically more disciplined in other areas. They raise kids who are well-behaved, follow the rules and are generally just nice kids all around. I've worked in our children's ministry (as staff) for 6 years and this has remained true the whole time. The 9:00am kids are just better behaved. I know there are probably some very nice kids and families who attend the 11:00am service, but nothing like the ratio of them that attend the 9!
4. The 20 minute date. This isn't my idea, but I love it (click the link to see the full context). But basically if you don't have to stand in line and get your kids into children's church right away, you and your spouse get to go sit in the church sanctuary and have a mini-date for 20 minutes before the service starts. You know, have real adult conversation without the distraction of your kids. It's the best part of my week. This doesn't work as well at the 11:00am service because of the lines.
Convinced? Try it out. You'll love it.
Still with me about the Easter dresses? Well, in order to get to the 9:00am service and have time for the 20 minute mini-date we have to be out the door by 8:30. Which means we have to have everyone ready to go at 8:15. And every Easter I make Resurrection buns (Marshmallows dipped in butter/cinnamon/sugar wrapped in a crescent roll and baked. The marshmallow melts leaving the empty "tomb") for breakfast. Which means I have to be up VERY early. There's totally a reason I don't attend sunrise services. Could you imagine?
Had to be distracted with Mommy's keys
Anyway, know that the pictures in this post are a labour of love. I sacrificed sleep to get them (and we all know how much I LOVE my sleep!). Mark thought we had enough. I would have liked about 20 more just to be sure. Of the 20 we DID take, these are the only ones worthy of showing. Ha!