Traditions

from the porch

A view from my mom’s porch

Traditions have always been near and dear to my heart.  Not sure why, or well, I was never sure why.  I thought is was because I was raised in a home where traditions were not emphasized as being important.  So in 2002, when I spend 9 months living in Michigan attending MOPS, I learned that traditions can be what you want them to be.  You can define what things you want to teach you children, what things you want to pass on.   You can choose from your family traditions and your husband’s to decide which you want to have with your own children.

So I spent a lot of time looking at all sorts of family traditions that others used.  I wanted our family traditions to be centered around our faith.  I wanted them to be more than just something we “do” because we always did.  I wanted them to have depth.  Fun would be good too, I want them to be things that we enjoy – but really wanted to choose ones with meaning.

So for the past nine years or so we have established a number of traditions with our kids, some things from the Cole family, some from other sources, and a few from my childhood.

But this trip to Oregon has given me a new perspective on traditions.  My mom has opened the cedar chest and brought out item after item that her mother or grandmother made.  She found a box of my baby clothes, a very old christening gown, baby shoes, and the list goes on.  It has shown me that my desire for family events to imitate a Norman Rockwell painting was more deeply rooted than I realized. 

My mom values tradition as much as I do.  She cherishes things made by relatives and passed along.  She holds on to items that have sentimental meaning to her.    I obviously had this passion for traditions planted in my heart a long time ago.  Between my mom, my first 5 years of life and God’s design of my heart, I was wired for this time of redemption with my mom.  Seeing things come full circle with her has just been so precious!

One of the neatest items I will be taking home is a Silver Tea Set.  It is a tea pot, coffee pot, sugar bowl, creamer and even a small tea bag holder – that my Grandmother and Grandfather bought on their honeymoon. 

new (old) tea set

Tea has become a very special thing in our family.  As a family we love to have tea time, and now we have a sentimental set to enjoy with our tea!  I am so excited!   We got it out yesterday and I polished it up and have it ready to pack up for the trip back.  But the fun part was watching AG play with it most of the afternoon yesterday!  It was just great to see her sit and play pretend tea party with this precious set, but also  knowing she could not hurt any anything!  I cannot wait to see how much we use it in our home in Texas!!

My mom also found some items my grandmother made – my dad’s mom.  She was a very special woman.  She was like a mom to my mom for many years.  She died when I was a little girl, but I still remember her.  So she has held on to these items for over 30 years – and now they will be mine!  I am just thrilled!

Here are pics of our birthday celebration for our 4 year old!  It was a fun (second celebration) for our little girl!  We sure loved all the Dora items that came in from Michigan! 

cupcakes

b-day girl

eating cupcakes

Here are some pics of our Saturday activities!  We bought several flats of flowers on Friday night and spent several hours of the day on Saturday planting them. 

Many hands make light work!!

planting plants

many hands

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