Sunday, July 17, 2011

Leaving Sundance Behind ~ Reunion #9

It was our day to go home...the carriage was about to turn back into a pumpkin, but not without a surprise party first! Our kids and grandkids planned a little surprise anniversary breakfast for us the morning of June 15th. It really was so sweet of them. Late the night before Lowell had driven down the mountain to town to pick up some balloons! The kids made a gourmet omelet for us and some sausages for their Dad who cannot resist them. The juice and the fresh, red strawberries made it ever so nice!

So pretty and delicious!

43 years!

It was a beautiful morning and I was just really taking my time getting ready for the day and getting out of the master suite. The sun was streaming in the windows and the birds were singing and the fresh mountain air was so invigorating. I felt on top of the world and just so happy that our reunion far exceeded our wildest expectations. Thoughts of wanting these few days to never end floated through my mind, as I packed up the last few things and then went out into the kitchen... feeling just a little melancholy about it ending.

Most of them were waiting for me, Jim was already out there. Seriously I had no idea and it was the sweetest thing. I wished I hadn't dawdled quite so much savoring each moment. We felt like this whole 'dream come true' reunion was our anniversary celebration and we didn't need another thing. Yet they gave us presents, sang to us and let us eat "alone!" How sweet was that?

We had just one more activity with the pre-teens to do besides cleaning up and packing out. Check out was 11:00 but since no one was renting the house right after us the owners generously let us stay later. I think we finally left around 2:30. Projects were finished up a few more games of pool were played as we rounded up our pre-teens.

Jim and I have worked with the youth of our church for a good part of our time as members of the church. It didn't take us long to figure out that the 10 to 15 years during your teens and young adult life are the crucial ones. This is when you make the most important decisions of your life. Coupling that with our desire as grandparents to love and support our children and grandchildren...we wanted to have this little meeting with Piper, Spencer and Connor. Ayns and Julia landed up coming in too.

Our purpose was to make them aware of the fact that THEY will determine a good part of their own life, success and happiness by starting to think NOW about the future. Things like how important working hard in school is to their education and careers, how important the friends they choose is to their social life and paths they take. We stressed how following their parents' direction and staying in the mainstream of the church will protect and guide them during the questioning times of growing up....that always come.

We talked to them about morality, modesty, dating only after they reach 16, music and movie choices, missions, etc. It didn't take long, but what we hoped they got out of it was that they have lots of choices coming up and we were so in hopes they would make good ones.

We recommended they make lots of those decisions in advance about what they will and will not be doing. Making decisions in advance eliminates the decision making in the weak moments. As an example, if you determine early in your life you will never smoke or drink alcohol, when the moment arrives when someone offers it to you, the dilemma does not exist. You simple say NO!

We wanted them to know that we have strong testimonies of the importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives and how it will influence them to make better decisions and bring them the most happiness.

Lastly we wanted to reinforce to them again how they can rely on the Lord, their parents and us to not lead them astray and to always be there for them. One nice thing, was we held this in the master bedroom, it was very casual and lent itself nicely to an open discussion on many of these topics. It wasn't just us lecturing to them which I am sure they appreciated!

Both Jim and I believe that we cannot assume kids know things. They need to be told and taught and we know that their parents do an excellent job at this. But putting on another layer of reinforcement from us, as their grandparents, can strengthen young people and that was our goal and purpose. It also gave us a moment to separate them out from the little kids and to recognize that they are growing up now and we know it. They seemed to really love that.

It seemed like a really nice way to end our days at Sundance. We were all sad to leave because we had enjoyed our reunion so much. But the memories will keep on in us forever. And I think each one of us will try to be a better petal on Our Family Flower.

The best part of heading down the mountain was that although we were leaving Sundance we were not saying good-bye yet. We still had lots of fun and special times ahead in Nevada, and CA with Robert and Laura's family, and lots to do in Utah before leaving the other kids and grandkids behind.


sistersusiesays said...

Your life and Jim's reminds me so much of Jim and Nellie's lives. They have always worked with children, teens, and older in our church! It is so important to lead our children in the Way of the LORD! Thank you, Bonnie for yours and Jim's work with the children of our GOD!

Love to you and yours,

Marie Rayner said...

What a wonderful time you have had with your family Bonnie! I have enjoyed reading about every moment. I like to think that had Todd and I been given the chance to have a family we would be as nearly as good at it as you and Jim are. You are shining examples to us all of how very rich and full, and happy life can be, having made righteous choices. XXOO

LA Adams said...

What great kids that come from such great parents. This is really nice!