Took the family to Bethlehem to be taxed. Okay, not really taxed but this wonderful church in a small small town north of here does the most amazing thing every December. They turn the town square into Bethlehem. The baptist church there turns the town square into Bethlehem. Real bethlehem. There are full sized buildings, a wall around the city, and hundreds of people-- adults and children-- dressed in biblical clothes. And the people stay in character. Bartering for persimmons in the marketplace. Reporting to the romans to pay taxes, and sometimes being thrown in jail for not paying. Making rope, putting kids to bed, having a simple family dinner, it's all fabulous and you feel like you've stepped back in time. There are even camels! And after walking through all the hustle and bustle you pass the over crowded inn, the roman soldier eyeing all the rabble with suspicion, turn the corner and amid the sheep (real ones) and the group of men haggling over something, is a cave where a man, a woman, and a baby sit among the hay, and a star hangs overhead, and people dressed in parkas and gortex stand quietly and reverently. Then people walk silently (there's no rule about this, but it somehow just seems to happen) out of the city walls to where sweet baptists give hot chocolate and cookies to wake us back up. It's amazing. Temple square-like, only earthier. (And with yummy bread to eat. The bethlehem baker does some amazing stuff over a fire. And I love that all the bethlehemites have Texas accents.)
The front gates of Bethlehem
Dell and Lizzy bundled up because it was COLD (for us anyway, it was like 40!)
Henry driving a roman chariot. Look at that grin!
My cute bundled up kids