Thursday, May 9, 2013

Family Pictures

It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it is always fun. My family was in town for Finley's baptism and we were able to have Ryan's step-sister come and snap some pictures of my entire family. Now we can put to rest this 15 year old gem that has been sitting on our bookshelf. 

Here are my favorite ones.

We are in order of birthright from left to right ... 
Julie, Me, Shauna, Ben, Becky, Valerie, Emily. 

I love my family. At every wedding or family gathering requiring group pics, we always bust out the Charlie's Angels. We are pretty awesome. 

Grandma & Grandpa Leach with all the grandkids.

After the family pictures with everyone, we let Ryan's step-sister go (it was killer hot & sunny). I pulled out my camera and snapped individual pictures of each sibling. Val was kind enough to do the same for us.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cousin Time!

My family came up for Finley's Baptism and my sister Emily's graduation from BYU. This meant LOTS of cousin time for the kids. One day we took them to This is the Place Heritage Park to see all the baby animals. It was so much fun. Wish we could have this much cousin time ALL the time!

Berlin and the DBC (Durfee Boys Club) riding the train.

Unlikely friends. These two kept grunting and squawking with each other in a sing-song fashion. 
It was hilarious.


 Finley was at school when we were at the park and he was pretty bummed. But he was able to get a little animal time the next day at my friends house. Their daughter just got 2 bunnies for her birthday. This is Copper. Needless to say, bunnies may be in our future.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Finley's Baptism

This past weekend Finley was baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a very important and very special day in our home. Everyone from my family was able to come up - a feat in and of itself! And we had most of Ryan's family there to support Finley. It was so touching to see all the people in one room together. I hope Finley knows how much he is loved.   With boys, baptism is a bit different. Girls get the pretty white dresses and do their hair all fancy. Ryan and I aren't big on suits on younger boys, so we didn't want to invest in one yet. We figure YM's is soon enough for that. We are much more casual. So I bought him a new white button down Guayabera Shirt (those sweet Mexican cotton shirts), some khakis, and of course, leather flip-flops. That is just how we roll folks. I even trimmed his hair a bit the night before. He looked so sharp and handsome - in a beach bum way :)

Here they are before the baptism:

Berlin was especially sweet and wanted to be by his side the entire time - at least until the girl cousins showed up. She insisted on having a picture with just the two of them. She really looks up to him. She kinda struggled with all the attention Finley had been getting (she wouldn't admit it, but her attitude proved it). So I bought her a special dress for the day as well. I think it helped a little bit.

Here they are in their white baptismal clothes.

Ryan baptized Finley and Oliver (Ryan's brother) and my father, served as the witnesses. Next was the confirmation blessing. Ryan was awake all night, stressing a bit over it. He baptized lots of people of him mission, but it's a little different when it is your own child. It was so sweet to see how tender and emotional Ryan was during the baptism and the confirmation. I really married a great man and the kids are so lucky to have him as their father. I am so grateful that he has always honored his priesthood and is worthy to perform these sacred ordinances.

While we waited for Ryan and Finley to get dry clothes on, we had everyone write down their testimony, thoughts, or feelings on paper. These were collected and put into this journal. Hopefully, as he reads through them now (and down the road), they will be a source of comfort and inspiration to him.

The Baptism Sack he will get during FHE next week. Our lesson will be "I'm Baptized! Now what?" Inside the bag are various treats, each with a little quote or saying to remind him of the promises he made on his Baptism day (keep the commandments, be honest, pay tithing, pray constantly, read the scriptures, etc.)   Click the images below to save the stuff I used.
The poem isn't mine (found it somewhere online), but I made up the tags. 


After the confirmation I asked everyone to gather for a picture. I want Finley to always have a visual of how many people came out to show their love for him that day. It is just a small representation of all the family and friends who pray for him and love him and support him. And not just here on earth, but in Heaven as well. I know that Ryan's parents were smiling down on him and that their love added to the spirit present in the room.

Finley and two of his best buddies. Love that he has such great friends in our ward and neighborhood. 

After the baptism we had our families over for a luncheon of pulled pork sandwiches, chips, coleslaw, fruit & veggies. This is one of Finley's favorite meals (any meal with meat is a fave of his). We put together a cute wall display of pics of him over the past 8 years of his life. So fun to walk down memory lane. 

It was such a wonderful day and a huge thanks to everyone who made it possible!