The other weekend we celebrated my Grandma Bontrager’s 80th birthday!  Eighty years- that’s reason to have a party!!!  And that’s just what we did.  Nearly all her descendants (we missed the two grandchildren who weren’t able to make it) gathered for a weekend reunion.
Of course, we had to take photos to commemorate the occasion.  We don’t have the photo of the entire family from the photographer yet, but above is one of Grandma with her grandchildren.

Aunt Mary, Grandma, Aunt Karen, and Aunt Wanda.

This is the tribe my father grew up with!!!  His father died at the age of 49, so most of us grandchildren have never met him, but we are grateful for the legacy he left.

Grandma and her little boys-grown up.

The siblings and their spouses with Grandma.

The “originals”- my dad and his seven siblings.  Today the clan has grown to include 39 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

Maybe they never quite grew up??!!

Our cousin, Will, and his beautiful bride, Katie.

We loved all hanging out at Grandma’s house- relaxing outside, playing games, taking walks, and eating yummy food.


tree climbing

There was just one piece of Grandma’s chocolate pie left, and there may or may not have been a mad scramble and some good natured sharing of the last crumbs by certain people.:)

One afternoon Grandma did an “interview” for us all.  It was so special to hear her share about memories of her childhood, fun experiences in life, and hard times she has been through.

Sharing about her childhood doll.

gathered around listening to Grandma’s stories and wisdom

One afternoon some of us girl cousins went to the coffee shop.

We played a trivia game that involved everyone writing down random things about themselves and then guessing which things went with which people.  It was rather hilarious.

The score sheets.

Sunday morning we all went with Grandma to the church she attends.  In afternoon, we had an open house party for her.

With everyone working together, set-up went very quickly.

Chels and Victoria

all ready to receive the guests

My grandmother is a blessing.  She faithfully prays for her children and grandchildren, and her doors are always open when we want to stop by to talk, borrow something, or grab a bite to eat (she always has things like home-made bread and pie on hand!)

Me, Hannah, Katie, and Teresa
Carson and Tyler- serving “plain”, “vanilla”, and “regular” ice-cream.:)  gotta keep life interesting….ahem!


This is the dress my Grandmother wore on her wedding day!!!  It was really special to try it on.

Football is a favorite with the guys.

“And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” 
(Isaiah 54:13)
My Grandma has given her children and grandchildren a precious legacy.  She loves the Lord Jesus and has sought to serve Him with her life.  When my father was living in rebellion, she would stay up and kneel by her bed to pray for him until she saw his car lights come in the driveway.  Today, I am grateful that she prayed for my daddy before he knew Jesus, and that she still prays for him and all of us.  
Her amazing cooking skills, hard work ethic, love of reading,  honesty, hospitality, and friendliness are some other traits that my Grandma exemplifies. 
Grandma, thank you for your example.  Thank you for loving Jesus and encouraging us to do the same.  Thank you for always having an open door…….your home is so welcoming!  You are an amazing woman and I’m so blessed to have you as my Grandma and one of my best friends.


family, memories

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Leave a Reply
  1. Such a wonderful legacy she has started for your family.

    And that quilt on the table is absolutely beautiful! What do the State names represent?


  2. That's such a blessing to be able to spend time with your grandma and that almost your whole family got to be there with her on her 80th birthday! I'm sure she truly enjoyed that! Congradualtions to your cousin and his bride to be. When's the wedding or have they not decided on a date? Seems like you all had a fun time with your grandma! Who took the pictures?
    In Christ,

  3. What a wonderful event! What a heritage! I always marvel at the food you all make. If you are ever looking for a way to raise money for church or a mini side-business for yourselves we would definitely benefit from a cooking workshop! We would love to be able to learn some skills to be able to extend hospitality like this ourselves! So – just an idea:) You all always have so many wonderful things going on, but just a thought to add to the mix – I bet there would be so many interested if you offered one!

  4. Very interesting and fun post. It encourages me when u said your dad lived in rebellion….look at him now. Ten kids and a christian life etc…. was he young when that all happened?

  5. Aw, how neat! Looks and sounds like you all had a great time. 🙂

    Alli, I was especially touched that you were able to try on your Grandma's wedding dress — how special!

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