Jo Jo gets baptized

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Easter Weekend 2012 was also the weekend that Joseph was baptized…by his daddy. In our religion, a child can be baptized at the age of eight. Joseph turned eight in March and decided that he would like to be baptized. He received a warm fuzzy blanket (papa penning) and a teddy bear (mary anne thomas) from different people who spoke to him about the Holy Spirit.

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victoria’s baptism

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We drove up to Washington in March for Victoria’s baptism. I try to make it to as many special events as I can. After all, that’s what a Penning does. That’s what my parents taught me to do. And I enjoy doing it. I really really like my family…especially my nieces and nephews! I suppose that being Anutie for so many years before getting married helped solidify their places in my heart. :)

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baptism de ezzy

Ezzy–we participated in your baptism this month. We are so proud of you for making the decision to follow Jesus. Lately, you are consistently the first one to remind the other kids when they have forgotten a prayer at the table. You are maturing before our eyes, physically and mentally, and we are so pleased with what we see. Your face glows with happiness and love. You take your responsibility as the oldest girl very seriously. You are almost always the first to offer assistance and to help me and the other children. We are privileged to have you in our home.

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Ezzy wore my baptism dress. A splish of Oxyclean and a splash of vinegar later….a perfectly white dress that fit her perfectly. It brought me great joy to pull the dress out of my hope chest–like a dream that I never thought would be realized.

I remember standing in my grandmother’s bedroom as she and my mom dressed me for my own baptism some 25 years ago. It was my eighth birthday, and I had just gotten a perm and pierced ears as presents from grandma. Mom worked so hard to sew my dress and to have it ready for me. She also crafted a small box for my new earings. It had a rainbow design across with a blue piece of yarn that secured the box in place. I remember it as though it were yesterday–wishing desperately that Ezzy’s great-grandma was still here. The picture of Grandma Penning doing Ezzy’s hair is that much sweeter to me because of my memories.

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Thank you to everyone who took the time to attend and support this special event in our daughter’s life. It is a day that will stay with her for the rest of her life, as mine has with me. These are the things that matter most to us, and we are so grateful to have such a broad circle of influence around our family.

Thanks for flying, Grandma and Grandpa Penning!

and the gathering begins…

Our weekend of celebration with family and friends started Friday night with Daniel’s baptism. Due to scheduling issues, we held the baptism in our friends’pool. Well, actually in the hottub. (Thank you for heating it, Jeremy) Our guests were very very patient as we waited for my family’s plane to arrive. They were delayed in Seattle for 1.5 hours, which delayed the baptism until 8:30. Thank you, thank you, for being patient and flexible. We fed our guests some yumminess while we waited, which helped. :) Who says you can’t have dessert first?

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The talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost were given in Spanish–thanks Uncles Robert and Seth. Adam baptized Danny (in Spanish), Grandpa McCracken and Uncle Mike were the baptismal witnesses, and Uncle Brian confirmed him. The grandmas said the opening and closing prayers. A special thanks to Mark Stewart for not only conducting the baptism, but also presiding over the children’s blessings on Sunday. My sweet girlfriends, Jaime Lynne, Jena, and Valerie, took care of the music, the program, and the delicious mini cheesecakes and other desserts that night. They outdid themselves as usual!

Danny was ecstatic about the evening!!!

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Daniel, we are so proud of you. You are clever and warm-hearted. You are amiable and sensitive. You try your best at everything you do, and your sweet smile melts my heart. Right now, your favorite things are climbing, baseball, and scouts. Oh, and how can we forget the Wii. Thank you for giving us the chance to be your parents, and to teach you about the Savior.

thank you is a good place to start

It has been an impressive, emotional, unforgettable week here at the McCracken home. It will take a few days for me to sort through all of the pictures and events. For those who didn’t make it this weekend, be prepared for a barrage of pictures and text. So much happened in so little time–I can’t wait to document it all. There might even be some tears on your end. Heaven knows there were many happy tears on ours.

Knowing that sorting pics might take awhile, I don’t want too much time to go by without thanking everyone who did make the effort to attend. From the bottom of our hearts we thank each of you for your participation, support, and hard work. Whether you prepared food, provided supplies, donated time, or simply arranged your schedule to be in attendance….we thank you. We appreciate you. We honor each of your efforts in gracing our family.

Our children feel so much love. I see your patience, your caring and your kindness healing their little wounded hearts. It is unbelievable to me, eight months into this journey, how much gratitude I feel for each person who has stayed the course along side Adam and me. Our love for each of you continues to grow. We know you continue to invest in our children and in us. Sometimes that is not an easy thing. And yet, you continue on. That is why we care so deeply for each of you. That is why sharing this weekend with our close family and friends meant so much to us.

Whether you came from across the street, across town, or across a few states, we are grateful for your investment in our family. Whether you are of our Faith or not, we are grateful for your support. Whether you have known us for decades, or for a few short months, we feel gratitude for your service on our behalf. We would not change our situation for anything in the world. Thank You!!!

in two weeks…

In two weeks, Danny will be baptized in our friends’ pool.

In two weeks, the six of us will be dressed in white looking toward eternity.

In two weeks, the kids will finally meet primos Victoria and Chase.

In two weeks, I get to squeeze newly adopted baby Truxton, and brand new baby Leslie.

In two weeks, we will join with family and friends in great celebration.

……………………..in two weeks


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