We successfully completed our first night of Experience Bethlehem last night. I didn’t hear how many people came through, but it seemed pretty busy all evening. Luke, Aliyah, and Sarah had official occupations, the school age and preK children were in the angel choir, and I could choose whether to stay home with Adon and Kenan or go. So I went. The booths were set up really nicely this year; I noticed a freshness to the colors and the fabrics and appreciate everybody who puts their minds to and hearts into decorating the ‘little town’. There is a new mural behind the angel choir stage painted by one of the ladies in our church that is absolutely beautiful. Having Kenan in a stroller (with all the coats mounded behind him) and Adon walking beside me from shop to shop worked for about half a block; I kept losing Adon. There were some scary moments, too- but I reminded myself where we were and how many members of our own family were spread out over the gym. Still, I tried my best not to let Adon get out of my sight. The first set the angel choir sang, Adon was content to stand and watch. But when the kids were allowed to take a break, he was off again, too. By this time Kenan was done with the stroller, so I had him on my arm, Adon by the hand, and Anna and Micah ordered to stay close to me, too. This worked for about half a block; Kenan was getting heavy and each kid wanted to go in a different direction. I ran out to the van for my ergo carrier (so glad I forgot it, er, left it in the van a few months ago), and Kenan was settled somewhere he could sleep. He really did great the whole night; I was surprised how well since I had forgotten his pacifier at home. It got removed from its clip and the clip lost, so even if I had brought it, we would likely have lost it in Bethlehem. All in all, I think Experience Bethlehem met and exceeded our children’s expectations this year.
The Proper Care and Feeding of Bella continues. Luke has tried to install a light in her house that gives off a good amount of heat. Problem is the bulb keeps breaking, either from her bumping into it or it giving out. Yesterday morning he awoke at 5:00 worrying how Bella fared the night (it doesn’t help the situation that my mother shared with us a dream she had that Bella froze to death) and if this new bulb was still on. It wasn’t, so after work he bought one of those work lights with the handle and the cage that you hang under a car hood. He installed it in her house right before we were needing to leave for Bethlehem. All evening he feared the light was going to burn down Bella’s house, and ours, so as I got home first, he had me call him to tell him if the houses were on fire. They weren’t, but the work light was hanging down in front of the door, the metal glowing red and the plastic handle melting! Luke’s going to take it back today- a heavy duty work light’s handle shouldn’t melt after only 4 hours! Anyway, back to the drawing board as far as Bella’s concerned. Last night she only had her vest and blankets for warmth in her dog house. This morning it was my turn to wake at 5:00 am, concerned about my dog’s welfare. I figured if she was dead, I should be the one to find her, and we would have time to come up with an appropriate way of disposing of the body and sharing the traumatic news with the children. I went out and called to her through the car-wash plastic door. I heard this lapping, like she had been asleep and drooling, then saw her emerge from her house, shivering but wagging her tail. I think she’ll live another day.