Saturday afternoon, some of our family joined us as we dedicated our children to God at our church.  R and I firmly believe that a dedication is not significant of salvation or a baptism.  Rather, it is a time to publicly commit to raising our children in the church.  We completed some simple homework prior to this time and invited our parents and grandparents to participate.

I loved preparing our home.  I cut my first roses of the year 
and my azaleas were in full bloom and made a huge splash of color on my kitchen table

 I love setting a formal table...
 as party favors, the kids painted little pots with their handprints.  I wrote the word "remember" on each pot along with the date.

 We planted rosemary in the pots because rosemary signifies remembrance.
I tied a note to each plant with Philippians 1:3 on it:
"I thank my God upon ever remembrance of you."
 The other side of the tag asked the recipient to please "remember" Will and Ellie in their prayers.
 My hydrangeas are not in bloom yet but I couldn't resist these antique ones for the dining room table

 At the ceremony, Ellie & her Honey
 Will & G-Dad
 Will, Mimi, & Great Aunt Lili

 While R shared a verse I have prayed over each of my children (Colossians 1:9-14) and our goals for them, Will provided entertainment with my sunglasses

  I had not told the directors that I was going with the theme of "remember" and using rosemary, so when I saw these on each table, I was thrilled!  I do love a theme!
 Will enjoyed serving each of his guests their cupcake
 The tables were beautiful - antique tablecloths, vases filled with antique baby booties, silver forks, etc.

 We are so thankful that so many from our family from all over Texas could be here for the dedication.

 Will and his Sunday School director.  We adore Mrs. Bolin.
She has him memorizing new verses every week and he knows details from some really obscure Bible stories... and I love how she has taught him to apply the truths and he weaves it into events of his week.
Will & Ellie with Cookie & Lovie
(my parents)
 Will & Ellie with Honey & G-Dad (R's parents)
Afterwards, everyone joined us at our home for dinner.

Will & Cookie played some sort of football game
 G-Dad & Ellie took time to smell the azaleas

 Aunt Lili really wore Will out (or maybe he wore her out!)  She played pretty hard with him while we were busy setting out dinner
 Great Grandmother with Ellie & Will

 My girl and I.
I wore that dress when I was 6 months old for my christening.
It brings me indescribable joy that my daughter can wear it for her baby dedication.
My mom has a picture of her holding me in front of a tree as I wore the dress so we attempted to copy that.

 Enjoying appetizers
(homemade hummus and veggies along with "mango madness")
I kept the menu very simple.  I have learned a lot as I've watched my mom entertain for years.  Both my mom and my mother in law frequently have homes full of friends and family and I've noticed that they don't (typically) try new recipes out on large groups.  They stick with what they are comfortable with and what they know will taste great.  And then they can relax and enjoy themselves at their own parties. So I did this too.  I made several parts of the menu in advance, I chopped my veggies in advance, etc.  This made for a fun Friday afternoon nap time for me.  I love to cook so I put on some music when the kids went down, kicked off my birkenstocks, & got busy chopping.  Because I was doing things I was comfortable with, I wasn't constantly looking at recipes or nervous about the outcome - I enjoyed the cooking part and the entertaining part.
 Great Grandmother brought the kids fun gifts.  She is a very intentional, thoughtful gift giver.  She seems to know exactly what my kids are into and finds them perfect gifts!
Will gave her a hug after every single item he opened.  (She commented she would have given him more had she known he would hug her after each thing!)

 Ellie got a new baby doll - with hair!
 Honey & G-Dad enjoying the spring weather
 Mimi (Great-Grammy) with her two oldest great grandchildren
 Mimi playing baseball with Will.  Mimi loves to play with Will & he adores her for it.

 Cookie & Lovie & Will
 Dinner consisted of steak kabobs with all sorts of yummy veggies, salad, and cous cous.
(Will thinks cous cous comes from 2 animals called "couses.")

R & I gave the kids necklaces to help them remember the day...
Will's is on brown leather and is a silver pendant that says "Yes I can."  The back has Phil. 4:13 on it 
("I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.")

 Ellie's has an "E" on one side and the other side has Isaiah 43:1 on it,
"I have called you by name and you are mine."
 The girl loves jewelry - she was already wearing a cross necklace I had saved for her and her favorite pink pearl bracelet (thanks to Crystal!) along with a new silver butterfly bracelet from her Cookie & Lovie.

 It was such a special evening and we were so thankful to share it with our family.  

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