I'm glad to have last week DONE! Saturday was a fun and exciting day, but exhausting.
We were up and out early Saturday morning to get down to the church to set up the Moses Maze. Our quarterly primary activity theme was "Scripture Heroes" and I chose Moses. We used The Idea Door as inspiration for the event and then each member of the primary presidency took a hero and created an activity. My maze was fairly complicated to set up so I arrived early to find the building was locked and the basketball players who are normally there every Saturday morning were not there this Saturday morning. While the kids and I waited outside the building a couple of teenagers came by and started playing tag with my kids. They seemed really nice and I was happy to have the kids occupied while I made some last minute notes for Moses (my father-in-law agreed to throw on some robes, carry a staff and say, "Let my people go").
When the doors were finally open, I started grabbing bags and heading inside the gym to set up. Those teenagers didn't hesitate for a second, they grabbed bags and started carrying to. I began directing my family how to be helpful and those teenagers jumped right in, too. The girl was age 16 and named Kayla and her brother was 13 and even though he told me his name, I completely forgot it in the chaos. They are from Richmond and their parents were next door at the temple and the kids didn't have anything to do for 4 hours so they were happy to have a church building to go into.
I started setting up by taping our burning bush to the wall, Connor and Lillee helped me paint it. At the burning bush, Moses is told to remove his shoes for he is standing on holy ground so all the kids take off their shoes and then were commanded to go to Pharaoh. I set up the table where Pharaoh was to rest for the day (he was a picture on an easel). After we visit with Pharaoh, we walk a few feet to begin the hall of plagues, Moses says, "Bring forth hail" and Kayla who is hiding behind a movable board, standing on a chair, with a bucket of mini marshmallows starts tossing them at the kids. After recovering from being pelted with marshmallows, Moses calls for the locusts which are really gummy bears that have been sandwiched between saran wrap on the floor (Kayla put this together! I handed her a roll of saran wrap and a huge bag of gummy bears and she made it happen). The kids walked across the locusts feeling them squish under their toes.
We move on to a table where Moses turned water to blood (food coloring, of course). Then we moved onto the plague of darkness. I meant to make blindfolds, but ran out of time so I took a large piece of fleece from my fabric bucket and a pair of scissors with me to the church. I handed these to Kayla and she made blindfolds...she was amazing! I didn't have to explain, make a sample blindfold....nothing! She took the tools and made it happen. Once the kids were blindfolded, they held onto a rope and Moses led them through a maze.
We went back to Pharaoh where he told us (the Israelites) to get out, he'd had enough. So the happy Israelites headed out of Egypt right into the Red Sea (a king sized blue bed sheet that Kayla and I held onto, rippling it to simulate water while Moses spoke). I split the kids into Israelites and Egyptians and lifted the sheet for the Israelites to go through. Once the Egyptians came through we pulled the sheet (water) down on them.
I asked the Israelites if they were now a happy people since they were free and the Egyptians who were following them were gone. Of course, they were not happy...they were starving in the wilderness. So I made manna bread (sprouted wheat bread) and broke it into small pieces for the kids to try. I was surprised at how many kids actually liked it...it is just sprouted wheat, nothing else! No salt, sugar, honey, nothing!
After having their manna bread I asked if they had everything they needed to survive the wilderness. Well, we needed one more thing. Moses slipped off behind the overflow curtain, a.k.a. Mt. Sinai, and came back with the ten commandments. I was impressed with my cardboard ten commandments. I painted in multiple layers to get a marbled rock effect and then painted the commandments using Hebrew (well, my Hebrew wasn't great and it was hard to do with a paint brush, but the one Jewish man that happened to be on hand at the Mormon church on a Saturday morning said it was passable Hebrew and if I took them to a synagogue no one would have a problem translating them....I felt accomplished).
After the Israelites had a way to feed themselves and law to guide them then Moses sent them to the land of milk and honey....a table with vanilla ice cream (milk) and Honeycombs cereal (honey). While munching their milk and honey, we played Name That Plague. My amazing friend, Kathy, had all the plagues in jars from her days of teaching seminary.
By the time we reached the land of milk and honey, Kayla had all the ice cream scooped for the kids. by the time they had finished eating she had the hail cleaned up and ready to throw again. She dumped the bloody water and had fresh food coloring ready to go, she stacked all the blindfolds and the rope for the darkness, had the sheet folded and ready to be water again and the ice cream bucket back in the freezer. She was amazing!
I wasn't sure how I was going to do all of these things by myself, but I had yet another opportunity to see how Heavenly father always provides. Kayla was an angel sent to me this day! She was self-motivated, happy to help and a pleasure to be around. I kept telling her how wonderful she was and how grateful I was and she would smile and shrug it off as nothing, but it was HUGE. I could not have made it through one group of kids without her, much less 5 groups of kids (yes, we repeated the maze 5 times!!!). You see, Kayla and her brother weren't suppose to be there. Their parents had arranged for their older brother to pick them up and keep them for the day but plans fell through at the last minute so they got up at 6am on Saturday morning to drive 2 hours to Washington DC so their parents could go to the temple. And since they had gotten up so early, they threw on jeans and t-shirts and Kayla was not comfortable going to the temple visitor's center for the day in jeans and a t-shirt so they roamed around until they found the church building and stumbled onto my family stranded outside as I was thinking, "This is not a good start to the day." I was so wrong...it was a truly awesome day!
I'll tell you about my bee adventure on Saturday in the next post.