As children , both me and my husband were Christened.
We are neither religious people in the respect we read the bible or visit the church on a regular basis , well my husband is not , but me and the children like to visit the local church every week as well as the Messy Church sessions we have each month which we organised with our new Deacon .
The children love attending and its something I have had interest in from afar but never really took that extra step to be apart of so we took it upon ourselves to make the decision to Christen our children .
At first we made the choice to let them decide so we have waited for them all to have the chance to choose but now our Youngest is 2 we knew it was the right time , for all of them to be done together bar one of them whom who lives with his mum and was done last year.
Our new Deacon was amazing , she had literally just been handed over to the church and so I was worried it would be a little rushed especially when we only gave her 2 months and 7 children to Christen, the preparations were put in place and we started immediately but I did not want just a day event , I wanted them to make it an experience and so with the new Deacon , and being a home educator myself I asked if it was possible to do a weekly session where we could attend on our own to discuss the meanings and reasons as to what being Christened was all about and she happily agreed.
Every week we attended the church on a morning for an hour as well as our usual attendance where the Deacon had a full lesson plan all ready for them.
She gave them all a file and workbook to fill in at home and during the hour with her we discussed what it was all about and why being part of the church was important to us .
I wanted them to understand why we were doing it , why it was such a wonderful thing to do and they loved it .
We let the children practice hymns which we allowed the children to pick themselves for their service and enjoyed the run up as much as we could possibly and asked for certain things to be put in place .
We had had a tough few years and being able to unite our family in one final blessing was an amazing opportunity so we really did try to make the very most of it.
The children made their own Invitations, they designed how they wanted them and the words chosen and asked for everyone to attend .
They also chose their own Godparents each and a week before the service , the children all wrote a very special letter to each of them explaining why they thought their godparent was special enough to be chosen , the younger ones drew pictures.
The faces on even the strongest of men who received the letters shed tears , it really was a beautiful thing to see when they read them.
I was a little concerned that being a very small church , that the children would not receive certificate and the godparents would not receive theirs also as I have attended larger churches and not all give them out but I was so surprised when each child and their godparent received their own certificates, a candle and also a bible which each had their own blessing and names inside .
On the 1st October , we held our Christening at the local Church , just a small little Methodist , walking distance from our home where we attended every week and it was absolutely amazing .
Everyone attended and it went even better than we had planned.
The Deacon really did listen to our requests and for an hour we stood singing and dancing to the songs and hymns that the children had personally picked out .
It was no ordinary service where it was quiet but instead it was very upbeat and at one point Toy story's Woody and Buzz light-year came to be included where the Deacon included other children in the service to explain how just like Buzz was accepted into the Woody family , our Children were now being accepted into the Church and it just made everyone enjoy the service even more , especially being that my God daughter was brought up to the front also to have her own little part of the day .
I was not sure how long I would last for the day , we had spent the past week making 100 favor boxes by hand, we designed, printed , cut , folded, filled and wrapped each and every one and as well as other things like blowing up 500 balloons up the night before we were absolutely exhausted but we knew there was a party to attend after , we had it all ready and had been busy making sure it was fun for all so after the service we all walked along the road to the local community center where everything was there waiting for us , including the bar where I most certainly needed a refreshing drink or two .
The day before I had to go and put the banners up, place the tables, favor boxes and table decorations in place so on the day my husband could sort the bouncy castle, face paints and take the last things like the main cake and balloons we spent hours blowing the night before. Although a Sunday , the local florist who I had ordered table balloons from who would normally be closed even offered to blow table top balloons up on the day and place them where needed .
Our mother had gifted us the buffet and she prepared the whole thing on her own with help from dad, even after she had fallen and collapsed giving herself a black eye and arm in a sling , we were very grateful for all the wonderful gifts .
My neighbour who also spends a lot of time on the phone to me usually daily chatting also made some of her wonderful cupcakes which she always makes the children .
My husbands family in Leeds also traveled all the way the night before and made the Main cake too.
I was not allowed to see it , design it , know the flavour , colour or size , I had no idea what it was like until they arrived just a few hours before the big day and wow what a stopper it was.
The food was amazing and the children received many beautiful cards , the day was going lovely , I felt such a relief after all the planning.
Joshua our youngest child had a wonderful time , he especially loved all of the balloons and the face painting .
Family from as far as Leeds came to visit and even stayed for a week to help me with making the favors and banners , it was lovely to have them with us for the day.
Our closest friends stayed with us till the very last minute and we had a wonderful party .
The day was wonderful , it went even better than we had expected and we were all exhausted but so happy that we had finally done it together as a family.