Saturday, April 4, 2009

Jessica's Special Day

Today is Jessica's birthday! She is 8 years old and so we celebrated by having her baptized today! It was a very special day! Everything went so smoothly and well. IT was a bit of a miracle, really!

Jessica is a very sweet, sensitive and caring person. She has the spirit of a peacemaker. She has a strong desire to do what is right, even when it's hard. The last couple of weeks, as we have focused on her upcoming baptism, the mood in our home changed a bit. Not a day goes by where someone gets irritated with someone else and gets a bit heated. some days are slightly less than others, but at least once a day, we usually have some sort of drama. I mean, 3 girls? How does that NOT happen?? Anyway, lately, as Jessica has prepared herself mentally and spiritually for her baptism, and as we focused more on that event as a family, I definitely saw a change. When I mentioned it to Jess one night, and complimented her on her obvious change, she said she she was starting to feel different and that she thought it was because of the Holy Ghost. That brought tears to my eyes, as I rejoiced in the fact that my sweet little Jessica could recognize that. Even before she was baptized.

This morning she wanted to open presents first thing in the morning. Since we knew it would be a busy day, we agreed. She opened a bunch of presents that included, but weren't limited to, Jonas Brothers items, including tickets to a summer concert, an MP3 player, and various books and other items. She was thrilled with her gifts. We ate french toast, on which we placed 4 candles, that represented 2 years each (I had run out of candles, so we made it work.)

The girls played with a couple of things that Jessica got for about 30 minutes and then we proceeded to get everyone showered and ready for the baptism. We even had time for little photo shoot outside before leaving. My mom mad this beautiful white dress for Jessica! Another miracle that, even thought Jess wasn't there to be fitted to it, the dress fit her perfectly!!! Thanks mom, for all your hard work on it! It really is a perfect dress!

We had to go early to turn on the font and set up chairs and everything. So for a 2:30 baptism, we thought we'd get there about 11:30 and set up and then get to watch the first session of conference. Well, even though the morning was very smooth and relaxed, when 11:00 hit, I was NOT quite ready and then felt we had to rush. We didn't get out of the house till about 11:20. We still planned to feed kids on the way there, but felt we were running out of time to stop anywhere. It takes 2 1/2-3 hours to fill the font, so getting there early was crucial.

We decided to drop Brian off at the church, so he could do the font and start setting up and I would go with the kids to get something to eat and bring it back. He also needed to look for something to wear. Silly me, I picked a white jumpsuit out last week for Jessica, brought it home, washed it, she tried it on, etc. Didnt' even think about doing the same for Brian! OOPS! anyway, that was one of the reasons to get there early.

Turns out, we didn't get to watch any of conference, although we listened to the last 30 minutes of it.

The baptism was so nice. Many people from our ward came. We even had 2 of our on-member school friends and families (or parts of them) come, which we were thrilled about! Jessica's missionary spirit was jumping for joy with that! Many people helped make this a successful day...Katie Fewkes, Joylyn Brown, Amy Jorgensen, Troy Janes, Bishop Scott Stallings, Rita Ebeling, Nichole Neat, Courtney, Brian, Jessica, etc., all had a part in the program. And many others helped by assisting in the ordinances, helping with food, and others. If you are any of these people, and you are reading this...our heartfelt gratitude goes out to you for your love and service to our family!!

I gave the talk on baptism and I was a mess. I actually hadn't prepared as well as I would have liked to...I got swamped with other aspects of the baptism and other aspects of my life. I wish I had made that the priority. And the fact that I was a bit emotional about the events of the day, didn't help me get through the talk without crying every 2 minutes. Oy, vey!

Courtney and I played a piano/flute duet and Jessica played a piano solo. We all did a very fine job, if I do say so myself.

We wish those of you who weren't there could have been there, but we felt your thoughts and prayers were with us.

Jessica looked beautiful and really enjoyed her day. It was a sweet day, filled with happy feelings, good friends, good weather for picture taking, and yummy refreshments. Unfortunately Jessica started feeling sick in the early evening and 30 minutes after going to sleep, she woke up and vomitted! What a way to end your birthday! At least it didn't ruin her happy day!

We are grateful to have Jessica in our family and want to wish her a very special day today! We love you Jessica!