Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Jane's Baptism

On Sunday, March 20th, it was Jane's actual birthday and it worked out that we had her baptized that day!

I know for many protestants infant baptism seems strange, but for the vast majority of church history it was the practice and belief of the Christian church.

We are members of a Presbyterian church (PCA) and believe that baptism is the continuation of circumcision.

What I mean is that it is the sign and seal of a child being a part of the Christian community, just like circumcision was the sign of being a part of the Jewish community.

Circumcision didn't mean you were saved. It meant you were part of God's people and received the blessings of being a part of that community (being able to worship in the temple, receive God's teachings etc.)

In the same way baptism doesn't mean you are saved, it means you are part of the church and receive the blessings of being a part of that community and being raised by Christian parents.

Just as in a marriage ceremony, there are vows that we take.

Here is an example of one:

"Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before her a godly example, that you will pray with her and for her, that you will teach her the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring her up int he nurture and admonition of the Lord?"

The congregation also vows to help us in raising Jane.

It is especially meaningful since we are so far from family.

I wasn't sure how Jane would react to the actual baptism. I thought she would squirm but she just laid in pastors arms and stared at everyone.

Alice said to Stephen "He wash her."

So glad my parents could be here for it!

Love this picture I got of Stephen and Jane.  Crazy to think that the next time he is walking down the aisle with her in white will be her wedding!

After church I took some pictures of her in her little dress.

Tiger Lily decided she wanted in on the attention too.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Jane's Rainbow First Birthday Party

This past weekend was Jane's first birthday.

My parents flew out for it and we had a little birthday party.

I decided to do her party rainbow themed because I had been making these toys as her birthday present:

(Yes, she has already lost the red peg doll's pot)

I had Stephen cut the rainbow out of wood and I got the other pieces from and dyed them all with food coloring.

The problem with choosing to do her party as rainbow themed is that I don't use artificial food coloring (for food that is).

But I was able to work it out using God's natural rainbow as well as the help of India Tree food based, food coloring.

As I was planning her party I told myself over and over again "Megan, do not go overboard!"

So this is me not going overboard:

And apparently failing, though trust me, I did reign it in...a little.

My inner Martha Stewart cannot be tamed.

Before I go into the details of the party, let me back up a little.

I hadn't told my mom what the theme was of the party but apparently the mother-daughter telepathic connection must be strong because she came with a bag of rainbow tule to make tutus for Alice and Jane.

Crazy right!

So the day before the party we did this:

And they were PERFECT for the party (thanks Mom!)

Jane didn't mind the tutu at all and the sunshine shirt was a hand-me-down from Alice.

So back to the party, in case you forgot, the table looked like this:

We did a tray of vegetables (with ranch dip on the side):

And a tray of fruit:

We did a DIY lemonade bar:

We filled the cups most of the way with lemonade and people could add whatever fruit juices they wanted to get a custom flavored lemonade!

The juice flavors where Strawberry-Watermelon, Orange, Pineapple, Honeydew and Blueberry.

We used our juicer for most of them.  I bought orange juice so we wouldn't have to peel a bunch of oranges and I bought blueberry because it was cheaper than buying a ton of blueberries.

I made vanilla cupcakes and buttercream frosting and colored it with the India Tree food coloring.

And I made a smash cake for Jane.

For activities I dyed some pasta rainbow colors for the kids to string for necklaces.

I printed out some rainbow coloring pages.

And my mom and I built up our arm muscles making 5 batches of play dough.

The play dough was also the party gift for the kids.

We sat Jane down with her smash cake and everyone stood around waiting in great anticipation for her to make a big mess of it and herself.

She dabbed it with her hand.

"Uh, why are you all looking at me?"

A little taste.

Accidentally got her foot in it a little.

And she was done.  Seriously.  Not interested in it at all.

I was pretty disappointed.

Then my dad blew bubbles for the kids out front.

On a side note, man I got a good lookin' husband!

Also I caught this great picture of him wearing my apron while cleaning up after the party.

If you don't hear from me after this, it's because he killed me for posting it.

The party went really well and we all had a good time!

I still can't believe my baby is 1!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Christmas in Brentwood

The second half of our Christmas trip was spent with Stephen's family.

We went to a family get together at the Lyon Ranch which is Stephen's Aunt's place.

It's a zoo.

No, literally.

They rescue exotic animals and take them to nursing homes and hospitals and such.

They have camels, lamas, emus, a donkey/zebra, all kinds of exotic birds, this fennec fox that Alice pet:

She also got to pet a porcupine and a huge serval.

I was a little nervous that the serval would eat Jane and so I didn't get a picture unfortunately.

It was fun to see everyone, lots of people I only met at our wedding.

Then there was Christmas at Great Grandma's with the cousins.

Trying to get a picture of 6 kids ages 7 and under was not easy, but this is what we got :)

Auntie Michelle.

Then it was Christmas at Nana and Papa Grande's.

As always, Alice blends right into the Edwards family.

I had to keep a close eye on her the day they left to make sure she didn't jump in the van with them!

Or get kidnapped by Auntie Michelle, there were many threats made.

Butterfly wings, fuzzy boots, tutus...I think they know Alice.

One of the most exciting presents was from Grandma Patti, a trip for all the girls (except Jane of course) to go to the San Francisco ballet's Nutcracker.

I knew about it long in advance but decided it was better not to tell Alice until the day before.

I should have waited longer.

All day, non stop, "Mommy, Alice go to The Nun-cracker!?"  (yes she talks in the 3rd person)

"Yes Alice, tomorrow, not right now.  When you wake up we will go to the Nutcracker."

Poor choice of words because she woke up at like 1 AM asking about the Nutcracker and I had to tell her "Alice, it's still dark out, not till it's light out."

So we got dressed up and bundled up and got on the BART to San Francisco.

Alice's cousin Avila is very seriously into ballet and is pretty much the 7 year old version of Alice and so the two were pretty inseparable.

Avila, Emma, Mae and Alice.  It's so tragic we don't live closer.

Alice LOVED the Nutcracker!  She was mesmerized the whole time.  When the curtain went down at intermission she got upset and said "More Nun-cracker!"

I think her favorite was the ribbon dancers, which I haven't ever seen in other performances of the Nutcracker.

The day after we got home she put on a tutu, grabbed a ribbon and said she needed Nutcracker music and proceeded to dance around twirling her ribbon.

We listened to the Nutcracker music and read her Ella Bella Nutcracker book everyday for about a month after we got home!

It was a great day but unfortunately the next morning I woke up at 3am and threw up more times than ever in my life.

I stayed Stephen's dad's house where we were staying and Stephen took the girls over to his mom's with everyone else and I spent all day in bed watching TV.

So I guess if you have to have some stomach bug, it might as well be at your in-laws with cable and free babysitters :)

Though I was super sad to miss out on the outing for that day which was to take all the girls to a dress up play place.

They sent me pictures while they were there and the cuteness almost finished me off.

Alice even got to have her nails done.

Thankfully I was the only one to get sick and other than being a few pounds lighter the next day, I was fine.

We packed up that day and said goodbye to everyone and flew home on a red-eye.

The End :)