Family Legacy

Wednesday has been a non-traditional school day for us this year.  Traditional subjects such as world history, science, English, and math are ditched and replaced with music, art, tea parties, and family history.  It is definitely my favorite school day of the week.

I am very blessed to be a part of the Bandy family legacy.  My grandmother, on my mom’s side was a Bandy.  She was one of 13 children born to John Wesley Bandy and Nora Victoria Bates.  They bought a farm in Flat Rock, near Summersville, MO when my grandma was just a little girl and at that time only one of four kids.  Before my great-grandpa passed away, he left a memoir for his family of his life and adventures. I read this aloud to Christa and Hannah a couple of weeks ago.  We were all amazed by his stories about his hunting, saw mills, and his faith in God.

Many of the 13 children have now passed away as well, including my grandma back when I was 18.  This group of 13 brothers and sisters are unlike any that I have ever seen.  They loved (and still do) getting together with each other, taking care of each other, and serving each other.  This group of godly men and women have served as examples to my mom and all of her many cousins.  They have served as examples to all of us in the third generation, and now my kids also have the privilege of knowing and loving those who are still with us.

This week we read my great Aunt Alene Bandy Fleener’s account of her parents and growing up in Flat Rock/Summersville.  She wrote about her mother,  “Our mom was so much fun, even though she was so burdened down with so many babies, and so much work to do.”  Aunt Alene mentions that their mom would sometimes dress up and try to scare them outside their window at night.  Maybe that is where my Aunt Mabel picked up her practical jokes.  Aunt Alene also mentioned how sweet and kind her mom always was.  My great grandma Nora Victoria passed away far too young, before she was able to see all of her own children grown.  Her death left far too deep of a hole in the hearts of her children.

Sometimes I feel a little (or A LOT) over whelmed by all there is to do in the raising of only 6 kids. I must do more than just hope that I will be remembered as “fun” by my children.  We are working on making memories and traditions within our own family.  Yesterday, we played a little game that Aunt Alene said that her mom used to play with them.  She called it “Twitt, Twitt, Twee, What Do You See?”.  She would choose a letter and the kids would have to guess which item in the room of which she was thinking.  This is a great game, especially for Jett and Callie as they learn their letters and letter sounds.  It is even more fun because it comes from my great grandma.

Of course, my kids love to have tea parties.  They get this from their Grandma Susan, who has been giving tea parties for her grandchildren for several years now.  The last time I was in Summersville, my great Aunt Mary Lou and Uncle Joe had a tea party for my mom and dad, me, and all of my kids.  They treated us like royalty and served with gracious hearts.  It was a delightful time together.

Wednesdays are our tea party day around here.  Yesterday was Christa’s day to prepare.  She made some yummy peanut butter balls.

Chocolate covered peanut butter balls were a definite hit.

I am striving to leave a godly, fun family legacy for my kids.  What other suggestions do you have to help develop a strong family legacy?  I would love to hear what you do with your families!

 

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4 responses

  1. This is really beautiful. Your family is lovely and the content on your site is quite refreshing. I am helping my cousin with her term project in college; she is supposed to build a web site about her family and since we have thirty plus cousins and twelve aunts and uncles, I suggested she dedicate it to our now deceased, but much loved, Grandmom. She treated her grandchildren as if they were all brothers and sisters and somehow managed to be the single person who kept us altogether as one pseudo-immediate family.

    I googled “Family Legacy” and this post came up as the fifth or sixth link in the search results. I was looking for inspiration on this subject and to gain some perspective about how other people might approach the topic. I found myself here and suddenly interested in your blog and smiling while reading about your wonderful family. One part of my family that has been lacking is the connectedness through a relationship with God. In other words, we were raised to believe in God and in Jesus Christ, but no one really ever taught us how to put that belief into practice.

    Our grandmother was incredible and loved her family with an intensity that still amazes me, much like your grandmother and great aunts and uncles, it sounds like from your post. But my grandmother always told us that people did not need church to love God and that she prefered to pray at home. I am not suggesting that people who do not go to church do not love God. I’m not even suggesting they’re better Christians for going to church. It’s just that, I wanted to know about church and God as a kid and I realize how blessed your kids are to have shared that combined faith. I did convince my mom to take me to Sunday School growing up and I went for a few years by myself. As an adult, I continued my own relationship with God because I felt like I needed it to survive in some way. My faith and devotion have not been perfect or even close and although I did go to church a lot in my late teens and through college, I haven’t been in a very long time now. I pray constantly because it is natural and I feel compelled to pray. But I have really lost out on that sense of belonging in my faith and it is so easy to do my own will when I am not surrounded by people who will hold me accountable for my actions…in that sense anyway.

    My family is still very close and it’s awesome to have their unconditional love and support no matter what I do or say. I just know in my heart I need to put myself in a place where I am surrounded by people with the same faith and I haven’t thought about that fact in a long long time. Until I read your blog. Your kids will grow up supporting one another and holding one another to the expectations you have put into place and that’s so incredible. It seems like the best reason for having a family in the first place! My family gets wrapped up in things like the whole idea of “God parents” and denotating a special cousin or aunt/ unlce to act as the God parent to their new child. It’s great that they celebrate a special bond between adult and child and each of us has a mentor and eventually mentors a young person ourselves. But they don’t seem to understand that God parent’s fullfill a much larger purpose than merely buying Christmas gifts and acting as the legal guardian in an emergency situation. A God parent is named to help teach the child about God and to guide them in their faith. It’s hard to do that when so many of my cousins have grown into non-believers. I hope I don’t sound as if I am complaining; I guess I am sort of ranting. Lol.

    I am a certified High School English teacher and I taught in Baltimore City for four years before stopping to finish graduate school. I have stuggled to figure out what God is calling me to do and I had hoped it was teaching but now I don’t know. I just turned thirty and yet I often feel like I am sixteen! Perhaps I feel lost. I don’t know. But somehow, I always seem to find a piece of what I’m looking for when I pray about it and then actually stop to listen for God’s answer. I felt drawn to read your post and I feel like it has given me some much needed inspiration, not only for helping my cousin with her site but for other things in my life that I need to address.

    Your family is beautiful and it’s so awesome that your kids are living in such a mentally and emotionally stimulating and loving environment where they can celebrate diversity and acceptance and learn to love helping other people in need. I feel grateful that my family was able to give me a big part of that as well but somewhere along the way the spiritual element of family and relationships was forgotten about and I still struggle to retain it now. What you’re doing for your family is perhaps the one thing I wish my Grandmom would have done differently; you are creating a bond between them through God and because of that, the platform of their relationship will always be based on faith.
    Thanks so much!

    • Rita Mae,

      Thank you so much for all of your kind words and encouragement! Thank you for sharing your heart with me, too. It sounds like God has been working in your life and most definitely calling you into a closer relationship with Him. How exciting! I would encourage you to find a great Bible believing church in your area and jump in. Grab a sister, cousin, or friend to go with you, if that makes it easier. I am excited to see where God leads you. I hope you will keep in touch. You have just made all of this blogging worth my time and energy!

      Thanks,
      Jennifer

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