The Treasure Hunt

Our church had an outreach event yesterday that was more than two months in the making. Aside from the countless hours of planning on the part of the leadership team, it had been delayed from its original date of April 23 until June 11. The reason? Rain, rain, and more rain. For those of you that live in Central Kentucky, you may have to stretch back in your minds to remember what rain actually is. After a soggy spring, our precipitation has seemed to have dried up around here–literally. How quickly we forget, however, how wet it really was only a month or two ago. In fact, we couldn’t string two or three dry days together for a long stretch, but now that our weather pattern has become the hot and dry variety, we seem to have forgotten the May of moisture. It’s very similar to those August days when we complain about the heat, only to whine about the cold in February. Is it the human condition to constantly complain about the weather?

No matter. On April 23, our church had planned this amazing Easter Egg Hunt–the hunt to end all Hunts (except the family named Hunt in our congregation; we have no interest in ending them.) with a purported 5,000 eggs to find and inflatables and free food and games. How fun does that sound? Not very if it’s thundering and lightning and there’s a 90% chance of rain for the entire day, and that’s why the tough decision was made to postpone the Hunt. Of course we were all disappointed to hear this news (although I was secretly relieved after seeing the forecast and was not excited about slogging about the mud for eggs, regardless of what chocolatey treat they held within…), but the good news was that it was postponed, not cancelled. After much waiting on the part of the children, we heard that the Hunt was rescheduled for mid-June, which sounded fantastic to them. Then came the waiting….

But as we know, time flies when you’re having fun, and even if you’re not having fun all the time, it seems to just zoom past anyway. And so it was until the day of the Treasure Hunt, complete with pirate decorations and garb. The weather looked to cooperate this time as well. When we arrived, we tried to jump and help out in any way we could, which still allowed the kids to enjoy themselves. And enjoy themselves they did! Between the egg–er, treasure hunts in which they collected a boatload of candy, the snow cones, popcorn, and other yummy food, and the game booths, they had a blast. Although we’d had a string of days where the temperatures were over 90, mercifully this Saturday, though hot, was not as humid as the previous and there was a wonderful breeze to keep everyone semi-comfortable. All in all, it seemed like a healthy turnout from the community and a wonderful time of fellowship.

Brendan seriously scurries for as many treasures as he can find.

Chloe's bag of found treasures...bigger than her head!

The kids rush to gather the chocolates before they melt into a messy goo.

Andrew's first bag o' goodies. The second one was even bigger (oh goody!).

Chloe getting her hand painted. She chose a butterfly.

Chloe showing off her butterfly.

Blake takes a short break from the festivities to smile for Uncle Todd.

Ralph's treasures! He only had to roll three preschoolers to get this cache of candy!

Laura carefully separating the candy from the eggs for future use, being careful to remove all tape. They will be so thankful for that next year!

Helping out with one of the games to spell another worker.

A child who thoroughly enjoyed his blue snow cone!

Cousins Blake, Elise, and Chloe enjoy a healthy lunch of Cheetos, Doritos, snow cones, and lemonade.

Buddies Josiah and Andrew relax on the grass to hear Pastor Jeremy's story.

One thing we didn’t know about beforehand was the raffle at the end of the event, in which there were soccer balls, games and puzzles, toys, and even bikes to be given away. The kids oggled the bikes, but then again, every one of them had one at home except for Chloe. She was a scooter gal, and tried to keep up with the boys as they biked down the sidewalk in front of our house. Wouldn’t you know, though, that the very first prize handed out was the pre-K/K age group for a girl’s bike, and Chloe’s name was chosen! She was extremely excited (once she realized what was happening, that is…) and later told us how fun it was that “all the people cheered for me and my bike!” For the rest of the time we were there and all during the clean-up time, she rode her bike up and down the parking lot. She explained to anyone that would listen that “I’ve never had my very own bike before!” and that “no boys would be allowed to ride her new bike.” After a child who almost exclusively receives hand-me-downs, it was a special treat and a great blessing for her to win the bike.

The happy winner of a new bike as she first tries it out!

At the very end of the giveaway, Pastor Jeremy announced that the last prize was an enormous bunch of balloons. Todd and I surprised each other as we prayed in unison, “Oh please Lord….no…” right before Jeremy exclaimed, “BEN TIGHE! Ben is the winner!!” Ahh well, Ben was overjoyed and somehow they all fit into the back of our van.

When we finally left the church mid-afternoon, we all felt that it had been a fun time and that it had been worth the wait. Our chocolate booty was a little bit melty when we took it out of the eggs–er, pearls, but chocolate is chocolate, right? It was nothing a bit of refrigeration couldn’t handle. And there’s nothing quite like having Easter candy in June…right?

Chloe going for her first bike ride after arriving home.

Chloe rode her bike to the park with her big brothers later in the day.

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