Showing posts with label grandma's garden party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grandma's garden party. Show all posts

Grandma's Clan 2011


Well folks, that's all from the family reunion! It was a really special week together. Not sure you could have packed one more thing into the week...even had the Grandpa Bredberg Horse Shoe Invitational thrown into the mix (my mom and Rory were a team and made it to the finals!), enjoyed all sorts of crafting all week long and were led in Bible Study by Pastor Jim Bjorge, my favorite storytelling preacher. But honestly, I've got to draw the line somewhere on how many more pictures to post and I think it might just be time to move on.

I did want to mention again that the beauty of this family is not in its perfection but in its foundation. A family who knows Christ knows forgiveness, hope, unconditional love and compassion. We don't have it all together. But we do believe that God holds us all together in his hands. This is what makes all the difference.

After sharing such a special week together it really does make a girl like me reflect on what it is I want the very most out of this life. Grandma spent our week together celebrating the fruits of her time here on earth and it was so crystal clear when we were together that she has spent her life invested in the very most important things. She can pass from this world and onto eternity knowing that she ran a good race, loved her kids with all of her heart, taught them the ways they should go, prayed with might when things got off track, and prayed with thanksgiving all of the days inbetween.

This party was to celebrate Grandma's 93rd birthday. I want to celebrate my 93rd birthday just like this one day. I've got 63 years to make it happen. And I plan on running this race just as hard, and following her example of what a true Jesus follower's life should look like: full of family, food, faith, fun and most importantly, forgiveness.

For a little more Grandma B goodness, check out this blog post that she wrote for me, sharing her wisdom on motherhood.

fun in the sun

Children of the Heavenly Father

When we were planning this family reunion, Grandma told me that she wanted the great grandkids to learn the words to Children of the Heavenly Father.

So every morning the family gathered for morning devotions. Each day we memorized one of the four verses of this swedish hymn learning a bit about what the lyrics meant, tied it into a Bible story that some mornings the grandkids acted out and then played a memory game to help the family learn the words. In this memory game, we sang the song through a few times, and then I had volunteers come forward to take down one or two of the words from the clothesline and then we'd see if we could sing it through without having all of the words in front of us. We did this until there were no words left.

My dad pulled me aside that night and commented, "maybe we wouldn't have to sing that song quite so many times." Ha! Hysterical.

It was a sweet way to begin our days together. We sang other favorite hymns, and throughout the course of the four days heard the entire gospel. In fact, Christmas morning I focused on the fall story and why Jesus had to come in the first place. That night we celebrated Jesus' birth by acting out the nativity. And then the next day was Easter so we learned why Jesus had to die and were able to connect the sin that had been brought into the world during The Fall and how Jesus' love for us was poured out on the cross, dying for our sins so that we can celebrate new life with our Heavenly Father. Thursday was Thanksgiving and we talked about how the only thing left for us to do is to praise our God and thank him for the life and joy and hope we have because of his great love for us. Seriously, it was a lot of ground to cover in four days!

Here are the words to Children of the Heavenly Father
Children of the Heavenly Father
Safely in his bosom gather
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
Such a refuge e'er was given

God his own doth tend and nourish
In his holy courts they flourish
From all evil things he spares them
In his mighty arms he bears them

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord his children sever
Unto them his grace he showeth
And their sorrows all he knoweth

Though he giveth or he taketh
God his children ne'er forsaketh
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy

family talent show

My sister and I hosted the family talent show. Earlier in the day I had added Annika's name to the sign up sheet: Annika Larson, solo dance performance to "If I could turn back time" and then I told her I was excited to see the act she had signed up for. We laughed hard, and then started thinking about our family and imagining other family fake acts.

So in between the real acts we announced things like, "And now Uncle Wayne will clog to Elvira." or "Next up, Cousin Matt will share with us a collection of his own love poems and sonnets." The beauty is that it was hard to know what was an actual act and what was made up. I mean, who knew Ella could hula hoop and twirl a baton at the same time?
And who knew Mark could play the ukulele?
Or that Ryan and Kristina had memorized the entire "Who's on first" routine?
Or that Kevin had signed Ivar and himself up to perform "How big is Ivar? So big!" in front of the whole family...
Or that the Harrington's would perform the kinder classic Tony Chestnut?

cinco de mayo

Just kidding. We didn't really celebrate Cinco de Mayo. But we did have a bee hive pinata that my cousin Elsa made with some great grands at the beginning of the week. The pinata was adorable...it was hard to watch it get beat up.

Easter Egg Hunt

Wednesday was Easter at the family reunion. We had a huge egg hunt, and each kid was given a bag with their name on it in a color that corresponded to their age. This way "everyone with a yellow bag" got to hunt for the eggs first, then the green bags were sent out and after a while everyone was looking for eggs together. It was a great idea, unless you were Sonna and somehow ended up with a green bag. I can't remember which color she really wanted, but it wasn't green!
Sweet Isaiah shared his treat with great Grandma.

a rocket show

After the 4th of July parade we went down to the big field to blast off rockets. My cousins Steve and Richard have always put on a good show, but this year was bigger and better than ever. Steve supplied the rockets and after each blast off all of the kids would run around the field with the hopes of catching it on its descent.

the christmas pageant

Every day of this reunion was a different holiday, and Tuesday was Christmas. We acted out the nativity story, as we do every Christmastime...but not all of the family is able to gather each December so this was a really big cast. This was a special year too...we had a two Mary's, two Joseph's, two Baby Jesus', a chicken, a pig and a mosquito.

4th of July Parade

To celebrate the 4th of July, our family had our own parade. Grandma was the GRANDMArshal and led the way. Everyone was in the parade. The back of the line started first, and the family standing in line got to cheer them on, then when they made it to the front of the family, they took their places along the path to cheer for the family that had just watched them. Does that make sense? It was a pretty great plan and worked so well the first time that grandma ran the whole parade through a second time :)

grandma's garden party, part 2

We began our family reunion with alaskan salmon for 100. That's a great way to start a party. My uncle Wayne catches the fish, ships it and grills it for all of our family gatherings and it is as good as it gets.

After supper all of the younger girls went to their cabins to put their tutu's on for a little dance recital. Sonna got suddenly shy and so Annika was the loving mom who supportively danced for the whole family as well. The dancing was sweet, but it really really picked up when the boys joined in.
My cousin Elsa presented Grandma with the gift of all gifts, a story book that Elsa wrote and illustrated based on The Miracle Moth story that has been told and retold many, many times in our family. For me, this was the highlight of the party. You can see how pleased Grandma was when she opened it, and Elsa filled every page with her stunning art. It is glorious.