“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.'” Mark 10:14
Our children are so very blessed to have such a loving family that wants to witness their baptism. Our house was FULL from Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon. My parents and siblings and their new dog, Allie, came into town early under sad circumstances. My great uncle passed away earlier in the week and my parents stayed at our house as a halfway point to his funeral on Friday. We kept Allie on Friday while they were a few hours away for the service. I wish we could have attended the funeral, but the twins would have had a really hard time with almost 8 hours in the car in one day. My family returned to our house, affectionately called “Hotel Christianson,” late Friday night. With two air mattress set up in our playroom, it really did look like a hotel! My grandparents also came Friday night and stayed in a nearby hotel. Tommy’s family and Allie stayed with us Saturday night while my parents stayed at the hotel with my grandparents. Manning LOVED having Allie, my parent’s golden retriever, at our house for the weekend. He has had a bout of doggy depression since she left on Sunday.
We spent the “Day of Love” as one, big, happy family. I made everyone heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast. We all went to lunch at Calhoun’s. Nana and Meema took Noah swimming at the hotel and then for a haircut. Noah loves his new spiked hair! Tommy’s parents, sister and brother-in-law came into town right after lunch on Saturday. They helped us prep food for the next day’s brunch at our house. For Valentine’s Day dinner, we ordered Jet’s pizza and salad for everyone. All 15 of us having dinner together in our home– it was awesome. I really loved having everyone together for a meal. I must get my mom’s sentiments about a full table from her. Full table, full heart. She loves having all four of her children around the dinner table (a rarity) and now I understand how happy it must make her feel. It also was the perfect time to take everyone’s measurements for our new family ruler.
We wanted all of our immediate family’s heights on the ruler, so that as the twins and Noah grow they can compare their height to members of our family. It will not take long for Noah to surpass his Auntie Amy, but it will be a loonnggg time before he catches up to Papa. We even stood the twins up and recorded their heights, just over 2 feet tall.
Sunday was the BIG day of the weekend. Baptism Day!! Meema and Nana came over to help with food prep before getting ready for church, but Nana was not feeling well and offered to tidy the downstairs rooms instead. Uncle Britt was a lifesaver and worked tirelessly getting all the food ready while everyone else got dressed. I rented a dress from Rent the Runway (who has time to shop when you have twins?!) The twins wore coordinating white smocked outfits that my parents-in-law bought them well before they were born. Emry Jane’s had pink crosses in the smocking and Eli had blue crosses. It was touch-and-go whether or not Eli would fit into his outfit because he has grown A LOT recently, but MaMarcia managed to squeeze him in there! Tommy wore his suit and shoes that I bought him for Christmas… and Noah only complained for the first 5 minutes about having to dress up in a “handsome shirt” and navy dress pants!
The ceremony started at 10am and everyone agreed to meet at Cokesbury around 9:40. By some miracle, we all made it on time! If you know my family, you KNOW how much of a miracle it was! Haha. I gave my brother Dalton our camera to take pictures of the ceremony. My father-in-law also recorded it.
At Cokesbury, they put a picture of the child (or in our case, children) being baptized on the projector screens before the baptism begins. We used this picture:
The “ahhhh” from the congregation was so loud that the pastor looked up at the screen, laughed and said “Have your credit cards ready.” Haha.
Both Eli and Emry Jane tried to grab the holy water from the bowl. Noah giving Eli a hug (the third picture) was incredibly sweet and genuine. Tommy and I both held it together long enough to get offstage. During the rest of the service, I thought about how very thankful I was for the opportunity to baptize Elijah and Emry Jane. How thankful I AM to have so many of our dearest loved ones there to witness their baptism and agree to help us lead them in their walk with Christ. We will try our very best as their parents to live out the promises of their baptism until they are older and affirm their faith. I know that our families will help us as well by being great, faithful examples for our children.
After church, we had a brunch at our house to celebrate! Our families, families from our bible study group and close friends joined us.
After brunch, I wanted to get pictures of the twins and Noah with various family before everyone left. Noah wanted to play with his friends that came to brunch, so he was in very few family pictures. I hate that Nana was sick and had to miss the brunch and pictures, but I am thankful that she came to the ceremony at church.