Monday, December 3, 2007

Slouching towards Bethlehem

On Saturday, the big kids and I went to a local church's Walk Through Bethlehem display. Wow, absolutely amazing. The hall was full of the sights and sounds and, thanks to a lot of spices and a lot of live animals, even the smells of Bethlehem.

My city kids rode a donkey

and a camel, yes a camel, named Larry, yes Larry.

And they got to see Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus close up,
live and in person.
Meeting Joseph and the Christ Child caused Shep to get this new kinda creepy shoulder shrug thing that he does lately for people who are really really neato, like, if you're stepfather to the Messiah, or you play guitar. Equal ranking in his book of coolness.

They even had snow, which only comes via a freezer truck around here.
The whole experience was wonderful,
it will definitely become a tradition for us.

So when I was remembering the experience later,
I had a thought....a brilliant idea! (uh oh).

I have four kids...
I have a Joseph...
I have a Mary...
I have an angel...
and yes - gasp - I have a BABY JESUS!!!
HOW did I not think of this sooner???

I called my mom, and she, the former preschool teacher, was rummaging through 30 years of fabric scraps before she even hung up the phone. Several phone calls, a trip to Joann's and the dollar store, permission requested and graciously granted by Miss Sue at the church, and we were ready to roll. I was so excited.

Holy children are assembled, dressed, placed in position, new camera ready to go and
- jeez scrooging louise.

Trying to get four small, squirmy children to look in the same direction, much less look cute, for the photo op of the year is right up there with untangling Christmas lights in the Joys of the Season category. I admit I was not behaving too Christlike while recreating His birthday. The whole experience made me want to rent my clothes and scream.

Most of them turned out about like this.

The little devil angel caused many of the problems. Some otherwise good photos were ruined by her attempts to take flight. You already knew how angels get their wings - now you know how they lose them.

Also, right at the age three or four, with every child something kicks in called Fake Smile Phenomenon. I don't know how they learn this, but they do. Instead of a pretty smile you get that frozen, I-can't-believe-my-spouse-just-made-that-noise-in-church look.

Even with Shepherd's Jerusalem drug dealer look, this next one might have worked...had the little angel not begun digging for gold for the newborn king.

Here, Mary decides to show a little leg while Joseph contemplates his next terrorist attack. Not really the effect we are going for. Next.

Oy vey! Can't you people get one decent photograph taken??

So here is the best of the worst. This one:

Or this:

I imagine this is the most accurate depiction of what the Nativity truly looked like. An ebullient new mom, a happy but shellshocked new dad, an exhausted new baby who needed a nap, and a beautiful angel who strived to be closer to the glorious King of Kings...which is what I need to go and do right about now.



  1. Oh, Missy! Oh my gosh, girl! I cannot stop LAUGHING! The pictures are sheer hilarity and the captions are priceless.

    Things fall apart, indeed.

    It was a good idea though, I have to give you that!

  2. Ha, ha! What a cute idea! Loved all the commentary along with it. Your "chillins" are adorable and you are hilarious! This would be a great Christmas card.

  3. Oh my goodness, giggling through the whole thing!

    Aunt Weah

  4. Hilarious! You are so funny Missy! I love to read your commentary and your kids are so adorable (even when they are digging for gold).

  5. WOW. This one of my favorite posts I've seen in weeks! I was cracking up from pic to pic. So glad i found you today!

  6. Came over from LInda's blog and loved this post! As a Mom of four boys, I can only imagine how much fun this photo shoot was! My boys HATE my camera sometimes.

    We loved going to the Walk Through Bethlehem when the boys were littler, though. Glad you all had a great time.


  7. oh i love that. what a cute idea and you got some priceless pictures.

    you ought to do several on one page for a christmas card. it would be so cute.

  8. How hystericallly funny!! My favorite is the third one down, where Joseph has rested his chin in his hand and is definitely thinking "Oy! Vey! What is my Mama trying to do to us?"

    Great idea!!

  9. Hi! I was referred here through
    2nd cup of Coffee. This is a great idea. I have 3 little girls and these pictures are remind me of how our session of last years Christmas pictures went.
    I am NOT looking forward to this years.....but next week is my deadline and it is looming large.
    They really are cute pictures, though!
    In HIM -

  10. This is absolutely hilarious! Mardon sent me the link, as I haven't made it over to you yet - or for that matter, to any of my regular blogs! I'm dreading the annual family pic in front of the tree, as our youngest is still in control of whether or not he will cooperate for pictures, and generally does not! I'm hoping that I can get a decent picture of the 3 by themselves this weekend, but I'm not holding my breath that I won't have a moment that will cause me to have to apologize to my children at bedtime... And, I have news for you, my 8 year old still has that 'fake smile' thing going, so good luck on ever getting a good picture of any of your kiddos again :)

  11. That was hilarious and oh so cute captions.I can't stop smiling - you have to send them all.

  12. I've read this before. But I needed a laugh, so I came back.


    Someday I'll show you our Journey Through Bethlehem pictures.

  13. I'm reading through a lot of your old blog posts just because I absolutely love your blog, and my husband is out of town, and I need to know that I'm not the only mom ready to pull her hair out about her children!!!! This post has me laughing so hard I'm crying!!!! I LOVE it!! Oh my gosh! I so need to take more pics of my kids to remember these kinds of frustrating/fun times!

  14. Reading this today, I was thinking of your new Bethlehem, one you hadn't dreamed of in 2007. Slouching towards Bethlehem indeed.

  15. Too funny, but I couldn't help but think of your Bethie when I saw the title. Merry Christmas, my friend.



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