The girls weren't overly impressed with the church we went to a couple weeks ago (& then the last couple weeks we (or at least they) have been at grandparents' houses on Sabbath) so this week we tried the other church in our town. When we first got there I thought we were in trouble. We found our way to the Kindergarten classroom and there was nobody there (& it was well past starting time so it seemed unlikely that everyone was running late) we stayed there for a few minutes & I started reading in the bulletin (actually looking to see if there was some indication of a kid campout or something that might have taken all the kids away) and I saw that they listed Kindergarten & Primary as the same teachers. So on a hunch, I went hunting for the Primary room, could hear activity in there so peaked inside & asked if K was included there. They said yes, so I went & got the girls and we went to Primary. There were only 2 other kids, both obviously Primary age, and the program was the Primary program. At that point I was still figuring that the girls would decide the other church wasn't SO BAD since it was at least for their age group LOL. But then they had a craft & it was FOOD!! The lesson story was Baby Jesus so the craft was to use graham crackers & pretzel sticks glued together w/ marshmallow cream to make a "manger" then fill it w/ shredded wheat "hay" and add a "baby" made out of one of those orange candy circus peanuts wrapped in a piece of fruit roll up). As we were leaving they handed out the lesson papers & that confirmed what I suspected when the story was Baby Jesus (I found it highly unlikely that Gracelink would put Baby Jesus in July instead of December) they use My Bible First which I've seriously considered getting and using on our own instead of or in addition to the Gracelink that most SDA churches use. I feel rather strongly that the younger kids (Beginners thru Primary) should be learning the Bible Stories chronologically & it's frustrated me greatly to have to try to explain to my kids why their SS lessons jump around so much, I also feel that in some cases, the story was chosen to "make a point" w/o consideration as to whether it's truly one of the most important Bible Stories (my kids are halfway through the Kindergarten curriculum (for Gracelink) and have yet to hear the story of salvation in SS. Too many kids, even kids whose families are church members, ONLY get their Bible instruction for SS, it seems more important to me to make sure the kids are learning about God's great gift to us and our need to accept that gift rather than using the story of Nicodemus to try to represent "true friendship" (I still struggle with how the story of Nicodemus being ashamed to come see Jesus publicly teaches us what true friendship is, and finally stopped asking "do you want to be a friend like Nicodemus" when I read the story each night because MY answer to that question would be NO, I should publicly acknowledge Jesus, not hide it like he did). . . but I digress. So, I was thinking "man, we finally have a nearby church who's using MBF and they don't have a Kindergarten class. BUT the girls were unanimous & adamant that they want to keep going to this SS. I think they liked that they were "big kids" going to Primary. And honestly, I think they'll do fine. I think the smallness of the class means it won't be a huge deal that they can't read (and Primary classes generally assume kids can). And I think having a different part of the lesson story to read each night instead of reading the same story all week will keep their attention much better. Added bonus, at least right now, the extra story in the lesson paper (can't call it the Little Friend or Primary Treasurer, but the MBF equivalent LOL) is a continued story about Ellen White. The girls really enjoy Ellen White stories (my parents have several kids' books with stories of her life & they choose them often). I happened to notice that while we were in church, and that this week's paper had part 2 of the series. So during the Children's story I leaned forward to the teacher (who was sitting ahead of us) and asked if it would be possible to get last week's paper too, so we could have the beginning of the story. We read the first part on the way home from church :)
The downside is, apparently this church doesn't do VBS (or it's already past, anyway there was nothing in the bullatin about it, and if they did it earlier, it was never on their sign out front, since we drive by there w/ some regularity), but the other church IS doing VBS week after next, so if the girls want to do VBS we can go there.
So, at least for the time being, we'll be attending this church (added benefit, it's only a couple miles from our house, whereas the other one is 7 or 8, neither is FAR obviously, but still . . .).
Oh, and one of the members who welcomed us in the parking lot afterwards turns out to be the man who has a garden plot on our property. When he heard we were living here he mentioned that he might have to share some of his extra garden produce with us, since the tomato plants I put in seem to be dying, and I'm missing frequent access to Grandpa's garden that I had when we saw my parents weekly, I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one LOL.