Thursday, September 18, 2014

You Never Know How Much Good You Do



“Occasionally discouragement may darken our pathway; frustration may be a constant companion. In our ears there may sound the sophistry of Satan as he whispers, ‘you cannot save the world; your small efforts are meaningless. You haven’t time to be concerned for others. Trusting in the Lord, let us turn our heads from such falsehoods and make certain our feet are firmly planted in the path of service and our hearts and souls dedicated to follow the example of the Lord. In moments when the light of resolution dims and when the heart grows faint, we can take comfort from His promise: ‘Be not weary in well-doing. … Out of small things proceedeth that which is great’” 

--Thomas S. Monson


Boy, I needed this reminder today…if you have the time, I hope you'll watch this short video, too.

xo,
jenn

Friday, September 12, 2014

Noah and Ava's baptism

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Forever Young by Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers on Grooveshark

Noah and his cousin, Ava are both August babies and this year they were reaching a special milestone with their birthdays…they were turning 8 years old and reaching the eligible age in our faith to be baptized. A special day they have been learning about since they were really little.  Ava is three weeks older than Noah and ever since they were babies-- they have had a special bond….so it was only natural for us to plan a joint baptism for these two when they turned 8 years old.

They were both so excited about doing their baptisms together.  So my sister-in-law, Katherine and I began planning it earlier this summer.  We decided to do it in Dallas at my brother and sister-in-law's church building--this way it would be convenient for all of our extended family to attend without having to travel too far.

Noah was especially excited that both set of his grandparents would be able to come to his baptism since we were doing it in Dallas instead of McAllen, as well as his cousins and aunts and uncles.

We held the kid's baptism on Saturday, August 30th and what a special day it turned out to be.  Here are some of our special memories from their joint baptism...

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The hubby was so proud and happy to share this special day with Noah…
they have been talking about it for years and Daddy has so been looking forward to baptizing him.

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My sister-in-law, Katherine, had a great idea for us to display the little outfits they wore when they were blessed as babies…

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We had all the guests sign the kid's special baptismal books so when they are older and look back on this day…they can see the family and friends who were there to celebrate their special day with them.

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Notice my kid brother, Brent, in the background…oy!  I cracked up so hard when I loaded all the photos afterwards to my computer and noticed him in the background of these. :-)

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KiKi had these special baptismal towels made for the kids….


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Ava's grandad made this sweet card for her…

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The kids with Ava's sweet grandmother…
bless her heart--she has been having a terrible time with her back (chronic back pain for years) and was not feeling well the day of the baptism--but it meant so much to Ava that she came anyway to be there despite not feeling good.

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My sweet dad, Pops, he was so excited that the kids were doing their baptisms together--
even more special, he performed the confirmation portion of the baptism for both Ava and Noah.

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My brother and sister-in-law, Sheri...I was so grateful for their help with the kids while we were coordinating everything during the baptism ceremony. :-)

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Aunt Jill (my brother, Jeff's wife) she gave a very touching talk about baptism and shared some very special thoughts with Ava and Noah just before they were baptized about the sacred covenants they would be making with their Heavenly Father and the Savior by making the decision to be baptized.  She did such an awesome job and the kids are so blessed to have her as their aunt.  

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My sweet mom, she was awesome and helped me with Gavin during the service while I was busy chasing Tay-Tay around the church.  After the baptism and before the Bishop spoke, my mom gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and shared some special teachings on this gift with Ava and Noah.  She did  wonderful job explaining what the Holy Ghost does for us and how we must stay worthy to have this gift with us at all times.

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The Bishop sharing some special thoughts and teachings about the Savior with the kids and how he led the way and taught the importance of being baptized when he himself was baptized all those years ago by John the Baptist…

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I loved how the programs that my sister-in-law designed turned out…
so precious!

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We were sad Noah's other grandparents weren't able to come--they were missed by all.  But other than that, everything went well and there were no real hiccups--except for when little Miss Tay-Tay decided to attempt a backflip off the stage in the gym of the church and landed on her back on the floor. Thankfully she was okay--but she almost gave her mama a heart attack!!  Oy!!

I am grateful for my sister-in-law, Katherine, who pretty much put this whole shin-dig together…she's awesome like that. Since we were hosting the baptism at their ward in Dallas (and given the fact that we live 10 hours away)--she had to do most of the leg work to put the event together with me just helping from afar.  She is so talented at coordinating and planning things like this and I'm so blessed to have her as my sister.  I also have to give a bit shout out to my baby brother, Jeff, who was so sweet---he walked around with my big camera and took so many of these photos for me while I was busy chasing Taylor around. :-)


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Before we left to fly back home, Noah wanted to take a few more pics with KiKi and Pops…what a blessing they are to him, Gavin and Taylor.  I'm so very thankful for my parents and that they love their grandchildren so much and always make an effort and priority to be involved in our kid's lives. It means so much to the kids and even more so to me and Jody.  

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