Nazareth and Lauren’s birthday

Brian was in the States on Shabbat (Saturday), so we planned ahead to hold our home-centered church on Sunday instead. He walked in the door late morning and we were out the door early afternoon for a day in Nazareth. We have LOVED learning about the New Testament this year and have tried our very best to find places that correlate to the lesson being taught. Luke 2 and Matthew 2 landed us in Nazareth on a chilly day.


Winter has lasted about a month and our now thin-skinned bodies don’t wear this weather very well. Happy to report that we are back to 80 degree days! We began our day by climbing Mt. Precipice. As recorded in Luke 4, this is where Christ escaped from his fellow Jewish worshippers when they attempted to throw him off. He was able to miraculously escape.


While the west side of the hill faces the old city of Nazareth, the east side has incredible views of the Jezreel Valley, Afula and Mt. Tabor (and on a clear day, the Sea of Galilee). The view was so pretty and the cliffs…slightly scary.


We found a place off the path leading up the mountain to hold our family church. Brian loves to find a peaceful setting, one that may look similar to what Jesus may have seen 2,000 years ago, and this one fit the bill perfectly.


We cannot say enough how much this new church structure has been a massive blessing for us. I’ve loved learning intently about Christ’s life as I study on my own and then learning it again and even better when we all talk together about it. And I really love that we can talk about the birth of Christ, point to where it happened, and then go and visit it.


Lauren was not up for stepping onto this rock, but I assured her it was totally safe and then held her arms for a little added security :)


Picture above and right is the old city of Nazareth. After we left Mt. Precipice, we went to the domed Basilica of the Annunciation, where it is believed the angel Gabriel told Mary she would bear the Son of God. Below, this beautiful depiction is of Christ, as a child, with Mary and Joseph. It is right between the Basilica and St. Joseph’s church, said to be the site of Joseph’s carpentry shop.


The interior of the Basilica is really unique and modern. The walls are adorned with massive artwork from countries all over the world that detail their interpretation of the mother of Jesus. The organ, below, as well as the interior dome were so stunning.


Our last stop in Nazareth was Mary’s Well, where the Catholic church asserts that Mary was actually visited by Gabriel. Chasing these pigeons by the well might have been the highlight of the day for the kids.


LAUREN TURNS TEN!! (same weekend as our visit to Nazareth)


Our sweet Lauren (also known as “Little Lady” in our home) turned 10 on January 5. Brian was out of town for her birthday, so we delayed celebrating until he came back. She really loves gymnastics these days and was set on going to a trampoline park with the family, so we found this place just south of us. It was on a Monday, so the place was almost empty and had all of the bells and whistles any kid would enjoy- zip lines, rock climbing, raised obstacle courses, trampolines and foam pits. Our kids had the BEST time running around and playing and have begged to go back every day since.


Lauren lives for gymnastics. She got this cute leotard for Christmas and was so excited to wear it to the park. She’s been intensely working on her handstand lately.


We love this little lady with our entire hearts and are so so so sad about her entering the world of double-digits. But equally happy we got to celebrate what a great girl she is, in a place as fun as this.