Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Were There Cars in Bethlehem?

My church held its annual Living Nativity this past Sunday. It was 50 below. All I know is that I'm thankful, for once, I wasn't pregnant this year and so didn't have to play Mary. As a spectator, I was able to wimp out in the middle of the second performance and run inside for hot chocolate. ;) I'm not sure why it is, but they seem to like casting a pregnant woman as Mary for this reenactment. With big puffy winter coats on under our costumes, we pretty much all look pregnant anyway. So, poor Mary has to navigate the icy patches and hope that she doesn't really go into labor while sitting among the farm animals in the freezing cold.

The first performance ended up being a kind of practice run. Whatever could have gone wrong, went wrong. The CD got stuck about five minutes into the performance. Someone stopped it and started it over from the beginning. There went an extra five minutes in the cold. After the beginning was replayed again, the CD got stuck at the same place. It was determined that the CD player was frozen, so someone pulled their car up to where the Living Nativity was held, opened all their doors, and popped the CD into their player. OK, back to the beginning again.

Having a car drive up in the middle of "Bethlehem" somehow changed the mood a bit, but hey - the show must go on and these guys get kudos for resourcefulness in my book! So, back in the stable, the geese are honking away. (At least a chicken didn't fly out and step on baby Jesus' head this year. You try keeping a straight face when that happens.) The guiding star moved across the lawn before the wise men came out so when the wise men appeared, they looked up at the sky and pointed at umm, well, nothing.

Still, I love to watch The Living Nativity. It's a moving reminder of what it's all about.

After the show, we drove around a little bit, looking at Christmas lights.

And this is the reason I don't have my presents wrapped yet. I seem to have run out of tape.


Heidi said...

Oh, poor baby that got stepped on by a chicken!!

That last picture is AWESOME!! Kids come up with the best things ever.

Lucille said...

Ha, ha, ha! Nice one!

The car would kinda change the "story" a bit now, wouldn't it?

I know that you have a some great places in the Chicago suburbs to check out lights. Ever hear of Candy Cane Lane? I think it is Edgebrook - check it out if you can!

Ummm tape? Thanks for reminding me! I have paper and about 1/2 a roll of tape. Guess I'll start tomorrow after a trip to Walgreen's!

PS_If I am first can I have a prize? Like an autographed copy of your book? Hee, hee, hee.


peach said...

and i was doing so good no coffee spewing over the monitor or out my nose or anything ... loving the living nativity... and then... THE TAPE MONSTERS!!!!!! LOVE IT! reminds me of...well the duct tape kids i had here one time!
too funny kids are fantastic!
thanks for the laughs

suburbancorrespondent said...

If they would just keep it over their mouths for a bit....I mean, that's the way I feel about my kids, anyway. Maybe you like yours better.

Karla said...

Am I first? (just kidding)
LOL about the tape. I have loads of pics of my daughter at 2 like that. She always put it over her mouth for some reason.

ps Is your jaw feeling better?

Anonymous said...

I believe I got the coveted 1st spot. You are such a funny person....keep it up. Merry Christmas.

Val Cox said...

wow, what a nice celebration! Val

Deb in OPKS said...

I've started hiding my tape. Problem is, sometimes I hide it from myself. The other day I think I found about 6 rolls. Guess I'll have to find another excuse for not having any of my presents wrapped yet.

Kila said...

LOL, sounds like a great time.

Do those two have any eyelashes left?!

Karla said...

OMG! I know this refers to yesterday's post, but isn't:

I want my two dollars! (and the newspaper boy on his bike chasing the guy to get the $2)

from the movie Better Off Dead?
I loved that movie!

Donna said...

Dawn, why are people obsessed with posting the first comment? Is there some kind of prize associated with authoring the first comment on a blog that those of us non-first slackers will never know about?

You should hold on to this picture for your daughter when she is going for her first eyebrow waxing and asks you if it hurts...

roseys madhouse said...

I Love the tape monsters how cute!!!! I wrapped all of our presents last night and my 9 yr old son comes running into me (Im in the shower) screaming "Santa has been, Santa has been" and I asked if his santa sack was full and he said "No?"
Now go and look who they are from and he found out that they are from us lol. 6 more sleeps......

Anonymous said...

"And this is the reason I don't have my presents wrapped yet. I seem to have run out of tape."
that is toooooo cute!!!
Love all the picks though!

Rick said...

Very funny - with your family you could pracitcally pull off a live nativity on your own.

We were part of a little church in Tucson one time - had to pull in EVERYONE we could find to try and fill all the spots. Bad idea - one of the shepherds ended up "flipping off" one of the cars that passed through. "Good tiding of great joy?"


Anonymous said...

Seeing the pictures of your Christmas paegant reminds me of the ones we had at our church when I was growing up, and I LOVED them! Thanks for the jog of memories! I'm finding alot of churches are turning Christmas plays into "concerts" or "dramatic proformances" these days, and they're starting to loose the actual meaning in all the hoopla. It looks like you all had a great time, and I'm sure spread some joy to passerbys and watchers! Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Brrrrr!!! The one I went to this year was in Las Vegas, where we were visiting our parents. It was more like 50 above!

Jenn loves Derek said...

I think I am missing something. Why do people ask you if they are first? I don't get what the big deal is, but whatever "floats your boat. I will admit I was tickled to see my "Fondue Wise Choice" in Sunday's Sound off.

THANKS! What for, you say?

First, For being real! I love that! (I am no June Cleaver.)

Second, for standing up for yourself & not worrying if what you are posting is "Politically Correct". Don't get me wrong, I would never want to offend someone. But soe people might be too easily offended & that's hard for those of us who are not blessed with the gift of articulation. I really liked that you said you were not going to let people post such negative responsesand that this was your blog. Way to go!

Last, but not least. You make me smile & laugh at myself. You remind me, that I do not need to take myself so seriously. And that it is Ok to be human and a mother. I could never thank-you enough for that. Thanks for being an Angel to so many of us Mothers. I feel like your message (did you think you had a message?) is, "You do not have to be perfect because you are a mother. You just need, some patients, a sense of humor, too keep trying & Love!"

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, Just wanted to say thanks for posting the picture of your Christmas tree. It looks beautifull. I wonder why the bottom isn't empty or filled with- who knows what- from the little one's! We still would like to see a Christmas eve pic of it and then an after of all the paper and such. By the way...What Time do the kids wake you up on Christmas morning???? Kristine in Michigan!

Kristen & Jason said...

A few years ago a genius friend of mine suggested tape as a stocking stuffer. My son was so excited when he saw he had 3 rolls of tape, all for himself. It's become a little tradition now (so has underwear in the stocking, although my boys prefer the tape.) & for a little while it keeps them out of my supply.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn:

Great looking pictures. I liked the one where you have different animals in a small corral including a llama.

Can you share with us what kind of camera you are using. I'm planning to buy one your seems to meet my expectations.

Merry Xmas.


Rayven said...

Brrr...sounds cold! As much as I dislike living in South Florida during the holidays, I think I would have to appreciate 80 degree weather if I was the pregnant Mary.

Anonymous said...

My kids asked last night why there are no gifts under the tree yet. I told them the truth. "The cat will eat the wrapping paper off of them." My cat has a crazy obsession with shredding wrapping paper. That makes for expensive confetti. Also, I can never find my tape either becuase I have to hide it from my kids & then I forget where I hid it.

Melody-Tx mom

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

I just love getting to read your blog everyday. It's alot like getting my daily dose of vitamin C!! I start my day off with a giggle!

I love all the snow pictures. We have been in San Antonio for just under 2 years with probably no hopes of ever having a white Christmas. So, I savor all those snow pictures. I can say that I don't miss shoveling all that white stuff, though. (We lived in Rhode Island for 2 years... a seriously crazy transplanted Texan couple!)

Quick question: How do you keep up with all those mittens for your kids? In my house with 5 kids, I seem to be on a constant search and rescue mission to find socks. They are always getting lost and I seem to find them under the coach, on the floor, in the Food pantry, in the bed, oh, my favorite: in the bathtub. "Mr. Mom" movie moment: "Honey, what's this? (The Mom character takes a child out of the bathtub only to find he had his slippers on his feet while bathing) Dad responds: ...Oh...I didn't want his feet to get cold."

Thanks for sharing your gift for humor and for sharing your life! :)

Lisa, San Antonio, Texas (lisa.satx.ftm@sbcglobal.net)
Mother to 6 ( 5 kids plus the biggest kid,my husband)

Irishmama said...

I'm so glad that I'm mot the only one that is down and out when I get fillings. I had a crown replacement on Monday and have a bruise on my cheek as if I was punched. It took 6 hours for my smile to come back and for me to be able to drink anything without dribbling on my boobs.

Loved the movie quotes quiz.

I must say, your daughter looks just like you.......that's a compliment :) to both of you.

Have a great day!
Karyn from PA

MaryLu said...

Oh, Look. It's "see no evil" and "speak no evil."
Merry Christmas, now go get some tape and wrap presents for those cute kids!

Manic Mom said...

I still laugh that I was chosen to be the Virgin Mary in our school play when I was in seventh grade!

Love the Live Nativity.

Love the Taped Children too! My brother, before he had his children, wanted to invent a parenting item called the "Five-Strapper"... something that would hold the kid down, hands and feet, and shut them up at the same time. I think you just fool-proofed his invention!

Veggiemomof2 said...

Since you haven't mention winning $100K (America's Funniest Videos,) I'm guessing no one got a video of a chicken stepping on Baby Jesus?

Charming Lizard said...


Too hilarious! Good thing tape is cheap this time of year!

Patty said...

Brr thats awfully cold to do a living nativity! but LOL on having a pregnant Mary to play the part. Have they ever had one go into labor?

Christine said...

We just did a living nativity (smaller scale) with our church using the Primary kids. Luckily it was inside. We had the youngest ones playing the sheep and angels. As I was reading the narration I could hear a commotion coming from the other room. When the angels and sheep came out I noticed that the sheep costumes looked bedraggled. I found out later that they had been in the other room pulling off the cotton balls and hucking them at each other.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn,

A question for your Sunday sound-off: Do you do laundry everyday? If so, how many loads of laundry do you do in a day?

Sounds like a silly question (yep. I know it is..) but I get asked this question ALL the time since I have 5 kids. Why are people sooo curious about my laundry habits? I dunno. I get asked that question as well as the typical question: "Are these ALL your kids?" MY response, "I left the other 5 at home."

Take care,
Lisa, San Antonio, Tx
mother of 5 and 5 imaginary ones at home

healthymomof2 said...

Dawn, while I am not Christian it looks like a wonderful performance and celebration of what is sacred to you this time of year. What a special thing to be able to celebrate the birth of your saviour in such a special way. And that resourcefulness with the car cd player should be applauded! Though DAAANNNG! It looks cold!

Looks like your kids and mine got together with the tape!

Have a wonderful Christmas. I am looking forward to the post holiday tales.

Lizzie's Mom said...

Thought you would enjoy this:
Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket i tems this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, 'Yes, Mommy' to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting 'Don't eat in the living room' and 'Take your hands off your brother,' because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable?

It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime


Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet. (you promised me last year you would lose some weight with me so next year you and I could be a cute size two blonde...ok, some requests go too far, but none the less.....

Yours Always,


P.S. One more thing...you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children, healthy, safe and of course, young enough to always believe in Santa.

Molly in CT said...

This year my seven year old asked me why Mary wasn't pregnant in the nativity scene at chuch. He got a chuckle out of a bunch of adults. Now thanks to your blog I can tell him that some churches have a pregnant Mary. P.S. I never have any tape in my house either and it doesn't matter what time of year it is!

Grandmother Goddess of the Garden said...

It looked like a fun time! When the kids are "grown", gone, come back, gone again...the tape will magically reappear...many years from now you will find rolls of tape long hidden in the recesses of your home...so far, in my Christmas cleaning frenzy I've found 11 rolls!

Terri H said...

Thank you for reminding me I need to but scotch tape for this year. I think mine disappears in the same fashion yours does.

BTW: I have a question to ask you about referencing to your blog. Would you please email me about it. I'm not sure you want to post it in the Sunday Sound Off.

Nurse Heidi said...

Dawn, I've been reading your blog for a while but this is my first comment. I suspect that we'd get along very well if we ever met in person. I have lots of respect for moms of big families - I come from 12 kids myself.

Anyway, I was reading along about the Nativity thing and thinking how nice it was and how we need to do that with our kids in the next few days. Then I got to the picture on the bottom and nearly peed my pants. My dear baby is sleeping on my lap while I type and she lurched awake because of my snorty laugh. Thanks for the giggle!

Kikilia said...

Nice post.

Reminds me of "The Vicar of Dibley" During a living nativity- the woman playing Mary did go into labor. Was quite the re-inactment. Thank goodness that doesn't happen other than the tv.

Cute kids. Where on earth did the idea to scotch tape their faces evolve?

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, rest easy you weary child laden mothers. Your tape will come back to you. My son returned the roll with my personal note taped to the holder "Return this to your mother!" and it only took him 43 years. Some of my bath towels have yet to find their way home, and I'm not sure I even want them at this point.

Katrina said...

Oh man! I can relate to the tape issue. My 5 year old found my stash and somehow made a perfectly round ball of tape..(kind of like a ball of yarn). He's having the best time with it! Maybe I'll just take back his gifts and buy him tape instead! LOL

Aubrey said...

I got this story in an email and had to share it. It's a little long, but I think you'll like it:


My husband and I had been happily married (most of the time) for five years but hadn't been blessed with a baby.

I decided to do some serious praying and promised God that if he would give us a child, I would be a perfect mother, love it with all my heart and raise it with His word as my guide.

God answered my prayers and blessed us with a son.

The next year God blessed us with another son. The following year, He
blessed us with yet another son. The year after that we were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we'd been blessed right into poverty. We now had four children, and the oldest was only four years old.

I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it. As a minister once told me, 'If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella.'

I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs.

I was off to a good start. God had entrusted me with four children and I didn't want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day the children smashed two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks.

I tried to be understanding... when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs.

When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog, I tried to see the humor rather than the mess.

In spite of changing over twenty-five thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn't keep my promise to be a perfect mother - I didn't even come close... I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God.

I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God, and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to 'wash up' Jesus, too. Something was lost in the translation when

I explained that God gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was generous of God to give us his 'last wife.'

My proudest moment came during the children's Christmas pageant.

My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man.

This was their moment to shine.

My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line, 'We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.'

But he was nervous and said, 'The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes.' My four-year-old 'Mary' said, 'That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly.

That's dirty, rotten clothes.' A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost her left wing.

I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll
representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced down the aisle crying, 'Mama-mama.'

Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up and held it tightly as the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced, 'We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts of gold, common sense, and fur.

The congregation dissolved into laughter, and the pageant got a standing ovation.

'I've never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one,' laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes.

'For the rest of my life, I'll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense and fur.'

‘My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest blessing,' I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.

Michelle Hix said...

Love the tape!

Anonymous said...

So, poor Mary has to navigate the icy patches and hope that she doesn't really go into labor while sitting among the farm animals in the freezing cold.

Has that ever happened?

tearese said...

wow, I've been to nativities at church before, but I've never been to one with live animals! What an experience that must be.

Holly said...

Hi Dawn,
The Living Nativity was beautiful. I'm glad you got pictures because I forgot to charge my camera before we left and I got two bad pictures before the battery went dead. Now I can share it with the grandparents through your blog. Thanks!

It was so cold at the Living Nativity two years ago that my toes hurt. I went out and bought really good snow boots the next day. I wore them on Sunday and my toes were toasty warm!!!!

Merry Christmas Dawn!

Shelley said...

Wow, the nativity is nice, but it looks COLD!

I wrote a post a little while back about how I bought a package of four rolls of tape, hoping I'd have some left when I went to wrap presents. I even hid it. When I went to get it? Three of the rolls were gone. The fourth disappeared soon after. I think they eat it.

Dejastar said...

I will never catch up on your blog. I was moving into my new house on December 1st and my dh was in a head on collision. Luckily he is alive and kicking-not literally-but he has plates and screws in both legs-he has to learn to walk again. He won't be home until spring, but your blog made me laugh during my bleak Christmas season. I need laughter daily to keep my spirit up.

Anonymous said...

So I was suprised to see that noone else thought of the movie "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" when seeing the taped up kids! I would always steal my moms tape and try to tape my face to look like Pee Wee's in that movie!! The memories that you bring back are amazing! I am only 25 and already feel like my mind is totally gone!! I have lost soooo many brain cells from having kids!!! I just think its crazy that something so small could bring up such a big memory for me. Thanks, maybe I'm not crazy after all!!

A Moment in the Life of a Mother said...

Your comments brought to mind a place we used to go every year in Ohio called "Rudds Farm." You walked through it and the story starts way before Christ's birth and goes on to His death and resurection. I think every time we went it was "50 below" or so it seemed. But every year was worth the trip. They had somewhere around a million lights. It was awsome.

Now here in FL we do a live nativity with a drama and it is usually warm and humid. Big difference.

I'm glad to hear and see that we haven't forgotten the "Reason for the Season."

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

That baby donkey is the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life.

Korkie said...

So, they have a pregnant woman playing the Mary in the Manger part.

After she gives birth to Jesus, do they then switch her out for an non pregnant look-a-like?

Which by now I'm sure the half frozen pregnant actress is ready to jump into a vat of hot chocolate!

Kathy said...

Wow, I love the pictures. I'm also grateful we don't get snow like that in Kentucky (at least not in the last several years)! The lights are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


Arin said...

That is exactly what my children think tape is for!

Becky said...

I LOVED the drive through pageant! The church I grew up in did those, and we LOVED participating in them. The church we go to now does indoor Christmas cantata/productions, but no live animals. Good memories, good memories.


Anonymous said...

Tape lives in a locked toolbox in the locked workshop and it still disappears before Christmas at least once.

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