Sunday, August 30, 2015

Preparing for Baptism

This summer we celebrated the baptism of our oldest, Hazel. Since it's our first child to be baptized, I spent quite a bit of time seeking out good ideas to help her prepare for this special day.
So we started early. When she was about six months away from turning eight, we took her on a special date and introduced her to TWO very important things: Preach My Gospel, and sushi.

They sell these compact sized Preach My Gospel manuals now at Deseret book and we got her a mini Book of Mormon to go with it. We challenged her to start reading on her own and on certain nights we allowed her to stay up later and read with Mom and Dad, so we could answer her questions. 
We challenged her to read the section on baptism and the Holy Ghost and asked if she'd be willing to teach a Family Night lesson on those topics. We gave her plenty of time to prepare, and set the date for her lesson about a week or two before her baptism. 
 Before her lesson, we did a quick practice "dip" so that she knew exactly what to do with her hands.
 Then this girl made me a proud mom. She decided to write the promises of baptism on slips of paper and put them in water, symbolizing baptism. Then her siblings got to pull them out one at a time, from the fish bowl, that was clean and did not have a fish...

 This girl had a better handle on things than we usually do! She held their attention and I about died over her enthusiasm and the way she talked with her hands just like her mama...

She decided to put the blessings Heavenly Father promises us in a bowl full of marshmallows, representing the Holy Ghost (duh). I felt like once she could explain in her own words what baptism is and the promises she was about to make with her Heavenly Father, she was ready.

 (This was at the end of our family night when I was trying to say something important and asked, "Is anyone listening to me??" This is what I got.)

As a follow-up, we invited the missionaries to join us for our next Family Night the following week. They did a fun lesson about the Holy Ghost and reviewed the baptismal covenant with Hazel, who was feeling ready and anxious to get in that water.
Go time.
I ordered these from the shop After February on Etsy.

And then it was picture time!
We both decided that a dress with pearls was requisite. After MUCH searching online, we found one. 
She wanted her hair to be like mine when I got married. My goodness this girl has my heart.

 We had quite the crew with us at the temple for these pictures. Charlotte carried the coats, Eloise was the bumble bee, and Ed brought up the rear.
This girl had been wearing this costume all day and waited for her older sister to come home so she could ask her to paint her face like a bumble bee. And I think she did a pretty good job.
We turned a lot of heads at the temple.
 Bumble bee bottom.

 Does anyone else's children have this many bruises on their foreheads at this age??

So far, age eight is a favorite of mine, (along with 18 months). Hazel seems to be at a meeting point between little girl and young woman. Still so innocent, but asserting her own independence and opinions, style and sass. She is getting the hang of jokes and listens in on all of our conversations, asking a thousand questions. She is still so beautifully innocent.

I think eight is just the right time for this big step. 
They know they're doing something special and good.

And I know that all too soon, we will see her standing outside of the temple in white for an entirely different, but very special occasion.
But luckily, for now she's still a kid. 
Mine all mine.

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  1. So perfect. Man that 8 years flew by. What a great girl.

  2. Summer and I loved reading this :) Also, Oliver is pretty good at keeping a bruise or two on his head at all times as well. I think it's a boy thing. Lol

  3. So precious. I love how you prepared her and made sure she could articulate her baptismal promises in her own words. She's a little doll.