It's heeeerrrrre! The day we've been looking forward to for weeks. It's the day of the big Christmas play!
I got up early this morning. Holly and I took Joshua to Little Rock to meet up with his group. We did a little shopping, and then met up with Jim and the rest of the family...and Jim's parents...for lunch before the program. Joshua's group was doing a "dress rehearsal" type of performance right after lunch. We invited Jim's parents to come to that. It's just better when they don't have to drive at night.
After the program, we all came home for a couple of hours to re-charge and rest...and then headed back down to Little Rock for the 2nd show. Where the friends were dressed casually for the early performance this afternoon, they were all gussied up in their Christmas best for the night show.
Both times, the friends did a GREAT job! There was quite a bit of nervousness with all of them before the evening performance. Joshua said that he had everyone hold hands while he led a prayer before they started...and he said it helped calm everyone down.
Not trying to brag or anything, but he is so sweet!
Joshua started off the program by reading the true Christmas story from Luke 2. He did a great job...he was loud enough and used some animation in his voice. I was very proud of him. Two of the friends then did some narrating of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Of course, they had to shorten it quite a bit. Joshua played Bob Crachit. Jenni played his wife. OH HOW CONVENIENT. How else could they get to hug in front of everyone. I mean, it would be totally expected and acceptable for them to show affection if they were playing actors who were married, right? That was their thought process, anyway!
And, side note: Jenni tried to write in a kissing scene for them, and just not tell anyone about it until the middle of the performance, but the leaders found out about it and said an emphatic, "NO!"
There was no talking in the play, other than the narrators. The friends acted out the story as it was being read.
I continue to be impressed with this group of friends...all different levels of physical and mental abilities...but they all worked together, using their strengths for a common goal. One minute, a friend would be telling another friend in no uncertain terms what he/she was supposed to be doing. The next minute, one friend would take the hand of another one...to calm their nerves, or to lead them where they were supposed to go...or to steady a friend who just needed a little extra help for balance.
There were two narrators: one had periods where she was totally overwhelmed and someone else had to take over; the other one is in a wheelchair...the lower half of her body doesn't work. They both read very well. Two other friends recited "The Night Before Christmas" poem, and one friend read the story of the candy cane. There was enthusiastic singing and dancing. My man-child...he has moves that would make Elvis blush! I'm not even kidding. I don't know where he learned them, but he put on quite a show during the songs. They all did.
Breakin' it down to the "First Noel." Hahaha!
The Grinch showed up at the end of the program, and, like last year, stole the entire show! She was awesome! You just have to know this girl. She is typically one of the more quiet friends in this group...not usually involved in any of the drama...AND THERE IS ALWAYS SOME DRAMA. To see her get so into this performance was just hysterical. Not only was she very angry acting and dramatic as she stomped around on stage, and "stole" the presents and decorations...she also used this maniacal laugh. She would periodically throw her head back and go, "MWAHAHAHAHAHA." HI-LARRY-US. Just sayin'.
I didn't know if this year could possibly measure up to the Christmas program from last year, but it did! It was such a sweet and precious time. I am so thankful for people who can see past a person's physical or mental abilities...who can see inside their hearts and work to bring out their best. That's what the workers of this program do each and every day.
"...for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7