amberdover

The High King Lives

Jesus, Our Precious Gift: An Interactive Christmas Drama 2014 December 17, 2014

Hello dear ones! By God’s grace, I wrote a nativity play for our homeschool group. I also had an Advent craft and goodies for the kiddos. If you read my Easter play post then you know I do my plays a bit differently. No one memorizes lines and the kids/audience interact as they watch the adults perform. My son Michael performs too and again was a big help. Here’s the link for the Easter drama:

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/easter-week-jesus-our-passover-lamb-easter-drama/

Alrighty, onto how this went down :). I played Mary who was the Narrator.

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Here’s the cast list:
Mary/ Narrator- Me
Joseph- Michael, my son
Gabriel- Hannah
Herod- Stacie
Elizabeth- Erin
Zachariah- Michael, my son
Simeon- Stacie
Anna- Rachel

Wise Men, Shepherds, Angels, & Animals~ played by children/audience
Jesus & John~ baby dolls

So the other homeschool moms stepped up nicely to play the main parts. Michael and Stacie played double roles. Β I was very excited to include lesser known characters in the play, like Anna and Simeon.

I didn’t have the time or motivation to make all the props/costumes this year. I bought most of it from Oriental trading.
Setting:
Bethlehem backdrop (used for Nazareth & Jerusalem too)
Cave with manger- made from a cardboard box
Cross backdrop
Altar with incense- We just pretended for this.
Chair for Mary to sit on

I had my audience pretend to go back in time with me. Then the children picked their costumes and watched and waited for their part in the story. We have a small group so this worked well.

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We began our story by meeting Anna and Simeon in the temple. Simeon explains the dark times the Israelites were in but how God has made him a promise. I wanted to follow the Biblical time line. Most Nativity stories smoosh everything together and leave parts out. We of course did not see Simeon’s big moment until after Jesus was born. I wanted the kids to get an idea though of how everyone was waiting for the messiah. Simeon and Anna set that up.

Then we moved on to Zachariah’s encounter with the angel Gabriel and the prophecy of John. John would prepare the way for the Messiah. If you celebrate Advent then you know the Advent wreathe has four main candles (not including the Christ candle that lights them all). The candles represent Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. The scenes in the drama each represented a candle. The prophetic scenes represent Hope.

Michael as Zachariah. You can read about this scene in Luke 1.
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My best buddy Hannah as the angel Gabriel and also her daughter Miriam as an angel in training ;).

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Zachariah loses his voice because he doesn’t believe the angel.
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We head to Nazareth to meet Joseph, and Mary goes from Narrator mode to being in the story. All of the next part is also found in Luke 1.

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Gabriel visits the virgin Mary and tells her that she will have the Son of God, Jesus.

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Scene 2: Love (God prepares the world for His gift of Love)
Mary and the audience travel to Zachariah and Elizabeth’s where John the baptist is born. Zachariah’s voice comes back as he announces John’s name and proclaims the prophecy.

Erin as Elizabeth with the baby John.

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Mary returns to Nazareth and Joseph finds out she’s pregnant. He doesn’t believe the miracle until he has a dream with Gabriel in it. Now he knows Jesus is the Son of God. Mary hasn’t cheated on him.

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Joseph takes Mary as his wife. King Herod (Stacie) announces Caesar Augustus’ decree that everyone should return to their hometown to be registered. Joseph and Mary embark on the journey to Bethlehem. Silent Night played while we walked around the room.

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Scene 3: Joy (Jesus is born) story found in Luke 2 and Matthew 1.

Mary tells Joseph the baby is coming. There is no room for them except with the animals. It was most likely a cave not a stable. We used a box with straw in it for the manger.

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Baby Jesus is born.

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Angels appear to shepherds in the field and announce the baby’s birth. Luke 2: 8-21

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We pause at the manger scene to sing Joy to the World.

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Scene 4: Peace
Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus go to the temple for Jesus to be dedicated. We run into Simeon and Anna again. Simeon holds the baby and makes a big speech (sorry no pics. Rachel the photographer was playing Anna). Luke 2:22-38

Meanwhile, the wise men ask King Herod where the Messiah will be born. Matthew 2:1-12

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He tells them Bethlehem and God sends a star that the wise men follow to Jesus. Mary and Joseph are in a house at this point and Jesus could be as old as 2 yrs. We don’t know. The audience/children used glow sticks to be the Christmas star.

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The wise men (maybe 3 maybe not. We don’t know) give 3 gifts. Mary holds up the gifts and explains them.

Gold, a gift for the King of kings. Frankincense, like the incense the priests burned, to represent the Priests of all priests. Lastly, myrrh, a perfume used in burial, a reminder that Jesus would die to save us from sin.

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Scene 5: Christ, Our Light

The Wise men return home and Herod realizes that they are not coming back to him. King Herod is furious and commands that all baby boys 2 and under should be killed.

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Joseph is warned in a dream. Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus flee to Egypt until King Herod dies.

Everyone exits except Mary. Mary goes to the cross backdrop and explains that Christ brings light to the darkness. Jesus grew up and died on a cross to save the world from sin. Then three days later he arose from the dead. One day Christ will return and destroy all evil. There will be no more sickness or sorrow. We ended the play by singing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. Then we hopped in our time machine to have snacks and crafts.

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Shout out to all the awesome moms who helped make the play possible. All of the pictures were taken by my friend Rachel. She has a cool blog. Right now Rachel and her daughter Maggie are making ornaments for the Jesse tree. Check her out: http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/

Michael and I made Red Velvet Cake Balls for the treat. Recipe here: http://www.bakerella.com/red-velvet-cake-balls/

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I put together treat bags for the kids.
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Nativity stickers

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The craft was a simple Advent wheel that the kids colored. I found it on Oriental Trading too.
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Here’s a link with Nativity facts:
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/my-family-rocks-sunday-nativity-facts-the-end-of-advent

I hope the play inspires you. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Crafty Monday: Happy Birthday, Jesus! Party & Crafty Christmas Gifts December 24, 2012

NOTE: TO MY SISTER JENN, DON’T read this until after Christmas please πŸ˜‰

Hello dear ones, well this may be my last post for this week. It’s almost Christmas Eve! Hard to believe. We had very little work this past week. Mainly we hung out as a family. It’s been SO nice to have Chris home with us.

Chris & Michael put together this foam gingerbread house. It came from Michael’s craft store.

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I attempted to make this apple Christmas tree (apple slices, cheese star, peanut butter, & fruit loops). So it was a fail aesthetically but Michael did gobble it up so yaaa!

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I read several home school books this week and I’m starting to see that hand writing is not easy for boys or at this age. I want to keep the creative juices flowing though. So Michael typed a story instead and then did some easy Christmas themed spelling work. Of course he wrote about Star Wars….of course.

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Michael made a nice necklace for his girl buddy Olivia and he painted her a jewelry box. He painted a bird house for my Granny.

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Our homeschool group had a “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” party. Rachel made the lovely veggie tree. I’ve featured her blog on here before.

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My buddy Hannah, the leader of the group, read a couple of Christmas stories. She talked about how we don’t know exactly when Jesus was born but how we choose to celebrate it now.

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Rachel brought cross cookies to decorate.

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There was birthday cake too!

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Michael got to give Olivia her presents.

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Olivia admiring her jewels :).

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Aren’t they cute together! I’ve mentioned before that they were born on the same day. Who knows what the future holds but I do believe this pair will be good friends always.

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Chris blowing up balloons for the kiddos.

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Liam (Olivia’s brother) & Michael having fun with their balloons ;P.

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Now, onto what I’ve been doing all night and day this weekend. It literally took me eight hours to make 12 ornaments.Β Enjoy…

Belle (Beauty & the Beast) & Darth Vader (Star Wars). This unlikely pair of dolls come together for my sister and her hubby’s gift. Their initial is on the front.

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Fireman– for my step grandpa- his Dad was a fireman when all he had was a pick up truck to use.

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Snow People again- The two are for my Mom and Stepdad. L is their initial. The snow woman with the cardinal is for my Granny.

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Several Nativity ornaments for other family members. I decided not to paint these and I like the look better than my painted Nativity.

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The dolls all lined up for pictures :).

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TinkerBelle, Terrance (the dust fairy), and angels. The angels are presents. The fairies are for me. I had to do something while paint dried. TinkerBelle movies and the My Little Pony show inspired me lol. Yes, I watched those all night while painting. Chris got me the new TinkerBelle movie for Christmas πŸ™‚ yaaaa! I’m a kid at heart…always.

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It also took me eight hours the next day (which was yesterday) to make a gazillion sweets for family and neighbors. Praise the Lord Chris helped or I would still be making them. He did a lot of chocolate dipping. Bless you Honey!

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So we have sugar cookies, ginger bread cookies, Oreo cake balls, red velvet cake balls, chocolate covered peanuts, chocolate covered almonds, & chocolate covered peanut butter crackers.

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So it’s 5 am and I haven’t slept. I only have one more thing to cook tomorrow (I mean today)Β  for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner. I come from a split home so I have a lot of people to visit. And our nephew is getting married this coming weekend. I’m going to sleep cause in an hour or two I’m heading to see family. Little man had a nightmare so he’s got to get back to sleep too. I sure hope everyone eats all this & that I don’t fall asleep in the turkey ;).

Merry Christmas & God bless! Remember the High King lives~Amber Dover

 

Nativity Machinima with the Music of Randy Granger December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas! I hope you are all well :). I know it’s not Media Saturday but I couldn’t wait to share this with you guys.

Here is the video I promised you, my first Machinima and it’s of the Nativity :). Remember email subscribers to go to my page to be able to see the video & links. This video was made with The Sims 3.

I got the music from Sound Cloud under the Creative Commons section. Randy Granger plays Native American Flutes. I wanted to use his song below but there wasn’t a download. You can still listen to it here though.

God bless & remember the High King lives!~Amber Dover

 

Virtual Friday: Biblical Explorations in SecondLife May 11, 2012

Hello dear ones and welcome to another Virtual Friday where I take you into the world of SecondLife.

I found an interesting place in the virtual realm the other day. It’s a place full of Biblical exhibits. One thing I didn’t like was how a certain doctrine was pushed in one of their signs. I can’t and don’t agree with the Seventh Day Adventist beliefs. So just know up front that this place does have that doctrine and I don’t support it.

Moving on, I did like a majority of their exhibits though and I think they did a great job artistically. So enjoy the pictures πŸ™‚ Remember you can click on them to see them larger.

Biblical Explorations in SecondLife

Visit Great Controversy Island (162, 13, 22)

There were a few pictures of creation and inside this pyramid they had a theater but I was unable to get it to work. I do have an older viewer.

I loved the Moses exhibit. It begins with Moses as a baby and goes through him helping to deliver Israel. My one wish is that they would’ve shown the burning bush.

They did a good job with the plagues.

The plague of darkness was particularly clever. I didn’t think they’d show this plague but as I began walking this dark cloud covered me and I couldn’t see for a bit.

The blood on the door post for Passover….

And once we all made it out of Egypt we danced with Miriam πŸ™‚

There was the temple with the ark and the priests lighting incense

Also there was a replica of Daniel’s lions den

beautiful nativity

Well, God bless and remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover

PS: I got carried away with a bubble toy….hopefully the neighbors won’t say anything lol

 

My Family Rocks! Sunday: Archaeology and Our trip back to Bible Days (Green Smoothie recipe too!) May 6, 2012

Hi friends :). Recently my son and I took a trip back in time….to Antiquity. Our Homeschool group visited a replica of an ancient city. We learned about archaeology and how things would’ve been in the days of Jesus. I have some awesome pictures so make sure you can see them πŸ˜‰

First, lil man became a junior archaeologist. As much as I wanted to join in….well the adults sat this one out. Our guide broke the kids into teams of two and taught them how to properly dig for artifacts. This particular place actually let the kids dig for REAL artifacts too…many thousands of years old.

They were taught to carefully dig then sift the dirt to find things.

At the end of the dig our guide talked about what everyone found. She showed us how the artifacts let us know what was happening in that area. For instance, Michael found purple cloth in his area. Other kids found shells and pots. It turns out people were making a rare purple dye that was cooked out of a certain sea shell.

Also, there was a replica ofΒ  hidden treasure under the floor. Apparently, in real life the archaeologist that founded this place had indeed found a hidden money pot under a floor in the Holy Land. What a neat discovery!

After the dig, we all took a tour of the “city”. We were shown a replica of an ancient house in Israel. Everything was made of limestone and the houses were small because the beams used to support the roof were made of short trees.

We learned so much. It’s interesting. There were no actual inns/hotels in the days of Jesus. The word for “inn” was actually talking about a guest room. So when Joseph and Mary couldn’t find a place to stay it was because there were no available guest rooms. The guest room would’ve been in the dining area away from the main family.

This room is small but the upper room where Jesus had the last supper would’ve been a bit bigger. Also, notice how the table is on the floor. There were no chairs. Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting is inaccurate. Jesus and his disciples were sitting and reclining on the floor.

There was a gate and a tower where the kids pretended to protect the city.

We also learned the difference between a well and a cistern. A well is a spring of water from underground. A cistern collects rain water….so if there’s drought the cisterns will be dry.

Passage Mark 9:42:
42And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Below is a picture of the millstone Jesus was talking about…..intense huh?

Here is a grain silo.

It was so neat learning about the olive press. Olive’s were considered the most beautiful tree in Bible times. Eastern eyes see the beauty of the tree because of what it can produce not because of how it looks on the outside.

The olive press had several slits to hang heavy stones which would squash the olives and make the oil. The first batch of oil was used for the temple, the 2nd for cooking, the 3rd for lamps, and the 4th for soap. The olive pits were given to the animals. So every part was used.

Do you know why people squish grapes with their bare feet while making wine? I do now :). Grapes have bitter seeds and shoes would crush the seed and make the wine bitter. So they squish bare foot.

I was blown away at the crucifixion trees. It turns out the Romans nailed people to LIVE trees. So the cross Jesus carried would not have been the whole tree because usually the trees were living. He would have carried the cross bar. That makes sense considering Jesus was scourged to near death before he carried it.

we learned that the Israelites did not use wooden stables. The Manger Jesus stayed in as a baby would’ve probably been a cave. People kept their animals there and amazingly the caves stayed about 69 degrees all year. I’ve heard this before and also that Jesus could’ve been born in a sukkah (tent) because he was most likely born in the fall during the Feast of Tabernacles. Either way it’s the thought that counts πŸ™‚

My son’s favorite part was the tombs and learning about the bones. This was also very enlightening. We learned that the swaddling clothes Jesus was wrapped in as a baby would be similar to what he was wrapped in for burial. Swaddling clothes were strips of old clothing that were saved for birth and burial. So a person wore them twice in their lifetime.

You can see two “bodies” above. They’re not real. It’s illegal to display human bones. One has a full body and the other one is just burial clothes in the shape of a body. Why? Because Jesus rose and left his burial clothes in tact. The woman explained that in the Greek it says the head piece was in tact. So He literally rose out of his burial clothes….a very supernatural thing indeed.

Also as you can see from the entrance of the tomb there’s no way Lazarus could’ve bent down and climbed the steps in his burial clothes. He was wound up tight. Lazarus came through the walls and appeared before them. He couldn’t have walked out. So he was probably a scary sight coming back to life….even more so. This info just adds to the supernatural aspect of this miracle. Talk about breathing life into history….wow.

I was really intrigued but the Israelites’ ideas on mourning. They did not wipe away their tears when someone died. They actually kept the first tears of mourning in bottles. Also they would let bodies decay then collect the bones. When the Bible speaks of someone going to their father’s it’s talking about their bones. They would take a person’s bones and drop them in a pit with their family’s bones. Later, bone boxes were made for individuals.

Here is a picture of the catacombs where many Christians hid during intense persecution. One of the pictures shows a Christian “Agape” meal in the catacombs.How creepy to eat with skeletons nearby….. 😦

There’s also Christian symbols on the wall.

This was such a great trip and it was right up my ally. I love stuff like this. Michael had a blast and learned a lot. I encourage you to check out places in your area that may have this same type of hands on learning. It’s one thing to read about archaeology but it’s a whole ‘nother thing actually digging for artifacts yourself.

God bless you and Remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover

PS: I was super courageous and tried my first green smoothie. It was delicious! If I am brave enough to try it I know you can too. I found this recipe in Publix magazine:

In a blender blend:

6 ounces vanilla yogurt

1/4 to 1/3 cup skim milk (I used Almond milk)

1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves

1/2 of a banana

1 handful of ice

2 tsp of lemon or lime juice

Be brave πŸ™‚ You can’t taste the spinach at all!