Monday, November 1, 2010

Watching, Learning, Loving and Celebrating Mom

Mom shared that she has been meditating on a Bible verse from Acts 17:28. For in him we live and move and have our being.

I like this amplified explanation of the verse.

[God] originally formed us, and continually sustains us. No words can better express our constant dependence on God. He is the original fountain of life, and he upholds us each moment. . .

There is no idea of dependence more striking than that we owe to him the ability to perform the slightest motion. . .

That we live at all is his gift; that we have power to move is his gift; and our continued and prolonged existence is his gift also.

Thus, Paul traces our dependence on him from the lowest pulsation of life to the highest powers of action and of continued existence. It would be impossible to express in more emphatic language our entire dependence on God. ~
Albert Barnes

Saturday, we celebrated her 95th birthday. Sweet Veda Rowell, mother of five, grandma of twelve and great grandmother of twenty. Where do I fit in? She is my dear mother-in-law—more than that—she has been Mom to me since my wedding in August of 1971. My husband, her son, Dale died more than twenty years ago but nothing changed in our relationship. She is one of God’s most precious blessings.

A great deal of planning went into this event. Joy did almost all of the hard labor—planning, cooking, and organizing.

Joy asked all of the family to contribute to a book for Mom/Grandma and then she nagged until she got all of the responses and photos and spent many hours putting it all together into a creative and beautiful book.

Some of the rest of us contributed in smaller ways. D’Ann and I made the centerpieces and bought the paper products for the tables.

Others brought breads and muffins.

Nicole, Jackson, Lilly and I enjoyed making a banner.

Notice that Jackson made some tally marks to visually demonstrate the number 95.

He gave the sign some distinction also by adding the Roman numeral for Grandma’s age.

Lilly presented Grandma with a poster that she made. Hannah helped her finish it once we arrived.

Paul and D’Ann ordered and picked up cakes.

Joy cooked all of the food for a brunch with the immediate family and organized a soup and salad supper for the extended family.

It was a very special day of honoring Mom and expressing our love for her.

Not everyone was able to come to the celebration but all of her children and in-laws were there and half of the grandchildren and their spouses and half of the great grands.

Judy wisely got her family picture taken with Grandma before the brunch began.

Mom’s living brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law all came except for one that is hospitalized. Aunt Carol came all the way from Texas.

Aunt Ina celebrated her 95th birthday in June.

Many nieces, nephews, her pastor of many years and other church friends came as well.

Several of the great grandchildren—second cousins—had never met before.

However, there was an immediate rapport.

Within a minute of meeting each other, they were playing together.

They especially had fun at the park . . .

Hannah and Lilly, both six year olds have missing teeth.

We anxiously monitored Grandma's exercise room.

The grands had a great time at the local pumpkin farm . . .

Feeding the goats . . .

But particularly holding the cats and kittens . . .


Jackson with the Halloween black cat



Caleb and Jack

A little kitten this time.

The pumpkin farm turned out to be a great photo op spot

Brad and Lilly

Sarah and Jonathan

I claim this family.

Anne, Geoff and family

With all of the excitement of the day, several needed naps but I only noticed Lilly actually succumbing.

After Mom told me her verse, a song kept ringing through my head. The real words and the thoughts behind them are not fitting. However, I could not get this song to leave me so I altered the words to make them applicable.

Every move you make
Every step you take,
Every joy you create
Every breath you take
He’s been watching you.

Every kindness you share
Every wrong you bear
Every smile you wear
Showing how you care,
He’s been watching you.

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every day you stay,
We’ve never seen you stray.
You always light our way.
We’ve been watching you.

Thank you, Mom, for your example. We have received an extraordinary gift.

We love you!

Happy Birthday and many more!


Rebecca said...

What a wonderful day it must have been! I enjoyed the pictures, your commentary, the verse & the song (I've never heard THAT one.)

Andy Rowell said...

Sad to have missed it but glad to see the pictures and hear about it!

Wanda..... said...

Such a wonderful gathering of family generations, Brenda.

Amy Rowell said...

Yes, it really makes me sad to have missed this special event! The timing was just hard with Andy's exams. We do love Grandma and are glad she was honored in this way!

Diana said...

How lucky you are to have such a cherished woman in your life Brenda. And I hope I look that amazing if I reach 95! What a fun day.
Love Di ♥

Donna's Book Nook said...

What a wonderful day of celebration and family time! Something very special, with memories that "Mom" Rowell and all her family members will cherish.

Dee said...

You are so blessed Brenda to be surrounded with such a loving family...both sides.The cake is adorable and it looks like grandma and the kids had a grand day.