Sunday, November 5, 2017

Bridget's Baptism {November 4, 2017}

Yesterday was an incredibly important and special day for our family. Our daughter Bridget made the decision to be baptized. Everything went smoothly and it turned out to be a great day, or as Bridget said, "the best day ever!!".

There was a lot of prep work ahead of her special day. Not things that had to be done, but more things I wanted to be done. Over the past couple of weeks, I've taken Bridget out to get her picture taken. Our first location, or her "practice photo shoot" was out in the country at my parents farm and our old family church. Since I was satisfied with the pictures I got there, the following week we made the trip to the Raleigh temple. Bridget loves it there and picked it as her special spot for baptism pictures. They're closing at the end of the year for renovations so we are fortunate to have made it just in time.

A family picture with Bridget pre-baptism. She's all ready in her white jumper.


My husband, being a worthy priesthood holder, was able to perform the baptism. It was a special moment for the both of them. On the left, pre-baptism. On the right is just after getting into the font but before the baptism prayer. I've always loved pictures of children in the waters of baptism so I was sure to get one of Bridget. Daddy had to pry her fingers off of her nose for the picture, as she went in there prepared. She was extremely nervous because she's never been a fan of getting her face wet and certainly didn't want any water getting in her nose.

 

Just after her baptism, I took her in to change clothes and she was so excited. She said it was so fun and she wanted to do it again (I told her that she needs to only be baptized for herself once but when she turns 12 and can do it again for others). Since it was just her and I alone after her baptism, she was very talkative and kept saying it was the best day ever and how happy she was. 

I made the program for her baptism because I wanted to personalize it with some of the pictures we took at the temple. I also included other special pictures from throughout her life. She also wanted there to be pink, so I added pink flowers. 


(Front and back covers)

I wanted the program to be just what Bridget wanted, so she selected the songs, speakers, those giving prayers, etc. Her 5 year old brother George gave the opening prayer, which he was nervous about and kept very simple, but he did love having that special part in her program (he also handed out programs to those attending). For the talk on baptism, Bridget chose her eldest cousin Zoe, who recently turned 12. She did a fantastic job on the talk. Bridget chose her Sunday School teacher to give the talk on the Holy Ghost. She adores her teacher and we were so pleased she was able to be there. Finally, Bridget's cousin Stella gave the closing prayer. 


After the baptism program, we had refreshments of chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, mini chocolate cupcakes with white frosting and rainbow sprinkles at Bridget's request because of the song "When I Am Baptized". We also had sun-dried tomato and basil Wheat Thins, which are Bridget's favorite, strawberries and grapes, and mango peach Kool-Aid. It was an entire table of her favorite treats.  

After everyone left and we cleaned up, we took family pictures outside. 



 

After the baptism, our out-of-towners joined us at our house for pizza and cousin time. They all had a great time. It was a long and exhausting day for all of us, but a memorable one. To top it off, we all got an extra hour of sleep with the time change. It worked out perfectly. 

We are so proud of Bridget for making this decision in her life and we know it will be the first of many great ones. She is a loving and sweet spirit and we're grateful that she's ours.  

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Week in Review {Week 5}

The week got off to a strange start because of the solar eclipse. We did schoolwork for only a couple of hours in the morning and then took the rest of the day off. Daddy took half the day off from work so that he could take part in the excitement. We each had a pair of protective eclipse glasses but still kept the children from looking up at the sun too often. We allowed them a quick 5-second look every few minutes as the moon slowly moved over the sun.


I was able to take a few pictures, safely, by putting my glasses over my camera lens. The first picture was taken at about 2 p.m. EST and the second picture was taken at 2:47 p.m. EST, when the eclipse was at it's peak for our area. 


After the solar eclipse, we finished our celebration with an eclipse cake, which was a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate fudge frosting.



Third Grade

Bridget is still doing well in math and wants to move forward at a faster pace. I'm still trying to find a happy balance with the extra math work and trying to get her to finish her other subjects. Bridget is also working on reading more. She finds the oddest times and places to open her book and read. Here she is right after we came home from the grocery store and were still putting things away. She grabbed her book and began reading in front of the pantry. She was in the way, but I suppose I should be happy she picked up a book. 


Kindergarten

George is also a math freak right now. It's all he wants to do. The first few math lessons he completed involved simply counting the objects and circling the correct number. This week, he had to write the number. This is not George's area of strength so it took a little extra time, but he did not complain at all. He was excited to be learning how to write his numbers. I'm hopeful that the brick wall he's put up with learning to read and write has begun to crumble. Bridget was a big help with George this week. When George wanted to continue his school work but I had to begin preparing lunch, I left Bridget in charge. Whenever George needed help, Bridget put her work down and went over to help him by reading the instructions to him and making sure he was writing the correct numbers. I've been calling her my "teaching assistant".

In other subjects, George learned about Pocahontas this week. I'm really enjoying his study of American history. He's also still enjoying handwriting.


Preschool

I kept Liam happy and busy. That counts, right?


Final Note

Next week will begin our sixth week of school, and then we're off for a week!!! We're all very excited.



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Monday, August 14, 2017

Field Trip: Jamestown, VA

After studying Jamestown in history, we took a trip to visit the location of the first permanent colony. The drive took us about 3.5 hours, and we were able to take the children on their very first ferry ride. They enjoyed it very much! The journey across the James River was only about 10-15 minutes, but the children asked that any time a ferry ride was an option on future trips, they wanted to go that route. George got a little too close to the edge and ended up getting splashed.


Our first stop was Historic Jamestowne. It was so exciting to walk across the bridge and see the fort. This is the actual site of the colony, and while most structures are replicas, a portion of the church is original to the colony. 


The children took part in a Junior Ranger program and had work to do to earn their badges. They had to find various things throughout the site and copy what it said or draw a picture. Bridget did good with all of this, George needed assistance with writing, and Liam was an expert at finding things and having Daddy transcribe for him.


The portion of the church with the large window I believe I read to be the original wall. If I'm wrong, I do know that it is still very old. Below is the interior of the church where excavation and research is ongoing.


My children are familiar with Pocahontas and John Smith, but is was neat to learn more about the real people and their contributions. 


There were so many structures and things to explore. 


Liam's favorite part was the cannon. He didn't want to leave it.


 After touring the original settlement, we ventured into  the museum. Most of the things in here were not too interesting for the children, being as young as they are, but they did love the real skeletons and other bones found throughout Jamestowne.


The museum ended our tour of Jamestowne, so we ventured back to the main building to turn in our booklets, get sworn in as Junior Rangers, and receive our badges. They all took this very seriously.





We then checked into our hotel and went to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Food for Thought. 

The following day, we went to Jamestown Settlement. This is a living museum with lots of fun things for the kids to see and explore. They have a massive museum and had a special exhibit on Pocahontas. The rest of the museum does not allow photography, so the only picture I have is of the boys in a canoe by the entrance to the exhibits. The museum is definitely worth going through. They have miniature houses and an English city street. I loved exploring it just as much as the children did.


After the museum, it was time to go outside. We started in the Powhatan Indian Village. There was a lot to do here and I didn't get a picture of everything. We did, however, get our first family picture of the year. I'm rarely ever in front of the lens. The children were not too thrilled about smiling for a complete stranger, which is why we don't take family pictures.



After the Powhatan village, we toured the ships. George got a feel for what it was like to steer a ship 400 years ago. It wasn't easy!


After leaving the ships, we walked to the fort. We watched a musket demonstration and George got to hold a very real and very heavy sword. 


The last time we were here, I got pictures of Bridget and George in child-sized armour. I'm a traditional type of person, so we did it again. This time, Liam got to be a soldier as well, and he was oh so cute!


I'm a sucker for a gift shop. Even if I don't buy anything, I still like to browse through the mostly useless and overpriced toys and trinkets. The boys really took to the weapons. They tried out the tomahawks but realized the muskets and pistols were more fun.


They didn't get a musket, but they did end up leaving with toy pistols. Bridget selected a book on medieval castles. 


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