Tag Archives: family reunion

Song for a Sunday // The Living Years

I was having this Technicolor dream the other morning –  vivid, rich hues (slightly cross-processed) and warm, strong light. The greens were deep, the reds were pure, the grass was soft. The world was right.

*”There’s a light in the window and the table’s set in splendor, some one’s standing by the open door…” – Dottie Rambo

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In the dream, to my left was a big white house with a wraparound porch. The driveway and street were lined with cars, trunks open, families packing up to leave what had been a loving and happy gathering. All around were my kids and their families. There was much hugging and kissing, so much peace and satisfaction and love flowing like wild water down the mountain in spring. It was going to splash you, love was!

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I was on the front sidewalk playing with Kai, talking to him, singing him songs. Then I actually heard the sound of Rambo’s music coming from the direction of the house, like I would  have heard it from the hi-fi growing up:

*”I can see the family gathered, sweet faces all familiar…”

I asked Malakai, in my dream, “Kai-Kai, wanna dance with me? Let’s dance!” He was wearing a little light-blue suit with a bow tie, barefoot. He wrapped his arms around my neck (he’s only 1 1/2), me on my knees, and I held him tight and we were swaying, laughing.

It was one of those utterly perfect moments.

Inexplicably, in my dream, in this happy, joyous, loving, golden-light space, I looked up while Kai and I were dancing and there was my {Uncle Bill}, smiling at us from across the sidewalk. At the exact moment, I realized my {Aunt Rosie} was on the front porch talking away, hugging people good-bye, passing out travel sandwiches. And then I realized, it wasn’t just Dave and I and our children and theirs, but my parents were there, too and my siblings and nieces and nephews and people I’ve known across the years and loved.

I should mention, specifically, that both my Aunt Rosie (my dad’s older sister) and my Uncle Bill (married to my dad’s younger sister) passed away years ago. So having them so sharply present was this really sweet and surreal moment.

The Rambo’s song was still playing in my ears as I woke up:

*”I can see the crystal river, I must be near forever…”

I must have been near forever, and it was perfect there, in this dream.

kai and amelie july 2014


I am not sure what makes us dream the dreams we do, sometimes; not sure what brings a person or place or thing into such expressive clarity as we sleep. Mulling it over later, I realized it may well have been the result of both missing Kai (he has had a busy summer) and my brother Joe mentioning getting us all together for Thanksgiving this year, a feat of gargantuan proportions, if it could ever, even happen.

silly grands august 2014

But I am also working on the chronicles, the photo books and journals of our family’s lives. I have 33 years worth of pictures and keepsakes I am determined to date and organize. I am in a groove, currently. I pull out a photo box with one child’s name on it and sort them into the years of their living. Then I paste them on to pages with notes about the occasion and in an hour or two, I hold the evidence of one child or another of mine from birth to adulthood and it flies by so fast, my head spins. And yes, I cry sometimes, thinking, “Oh I wish I could have known how fast those fleeting days were going and slowed time down and held that little baby a little longer, cuddled that growing child, kissed those feet, tucked my daughters and son in to bed once more…”

I was a church-busy mommy in the 80s and 90s. And I can tell you that almost nothing else I ever did when my children were young has any meaning, comparatively. I hope that serves as caution to some one who is reading, to some one with babies who are wearing you out. They ARE the Important thing right now (I capitalized Important on purpose). Thirty years later, those grown children are all that matters. And you just hope you instilled what you really meant to instill somehow…

Geez, I didn’t know this was going to be so heavy. Sorry.

Today my parents are celebrating 57 years of marriage. They married at the age of 18 in 1957 and they have made it 57 years. And I can tell you that nothing is as important to them as family, either. They have invested so much of themselves in to churches and people and yet, I know I have a place reserved for me in their hearts. I know my well-being and life take precedence over the busyness of years gone by, God now restoring the years we may have lost along the way.

I am so blessed that I still have both of parents here.  I mean, I am going to be 55 soon – and I still have mom and dad. How fortunate is that???


So, this song, The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics, is the one I wanted to share on this beautiful Sunday. Because life gets busy. Life goes fast. I know when you’re young, you think there is so much more left ahead, and there is, but time doesn’t just fly these days. Time careens at breakneck speed, faster and faster and out of sight before you can get your bearings.

So, I look around and these are my living years. And they’re yours. And I have things to share and tell the people I love. I have conversations I don’t want to let slip by. I want my people to know I love them, even if and especially when we are not seeing eye to eye.

I want to spend my vitality on my children and theirs (thanks to Staci Eldredge for that terminology) and the people God has placed in my path ~ friends who have become family. I want to love and honor my parents for all I am worth because my perspective has been enlarged and as time slips away, so, too, do the demands I once wanted to impose relationally in my more self-absorbed youth.

The Living Years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

When else can we do these things? We can only do them now, in the days we have.

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4.14 nlt

“…people are like the grass.
    Their beauty fades as quickly
    as the flowers in a field.
The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”  Isaiah 40.6-8 nlt

*Dottie Rambo song lyrics, I’ve Never Been this Homesick Before

Counting down the days

This was the sign on my front porch 2 years ago in late June.

It is almost time again.  26 days or so…give or take a few hours.  Denver to Chicago, that crazy town.

Actually ~ flying in to Chicago, then “Going Back to Indiana,” as the Jackson 5 sang because I lived in NW IN, part of the greater Chicago area.  My nephew Jordan is getting married.  Then we’ll all go to church where last the Moslander crew all lived together before marrying and moving out and away: Ross-the-Boss, Mrs Moss and all the Little-Landers.  Then the beach at Lake Michigan, the Dunes.  Playing and remembering in our old stomping grounds.  Then back to Chicago for a day or two before home.

Mommy-time.  No time like Mommy-time!  And Dad and the sibs and the nieces and nephews and old friends and Vienna Red Hots on steamed Poppyseed buns.

UPDATE 5.31.11:  O I forgot to show you what I have on my iPod!

Scenes from a Good Summer or “Reunited and it Feels So Good”


Ode to the Family of my Summer, for I shan’t and mustn’t acknowledge an autumn which does not truly begin until the September (or Autumnal) Equinox, on the 22nd day of this month ~ yes, just a couple of days from now, but still.  Despite the fact that my sweet daughters, Stephanie first and then Stormie, have brought me a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks each (how sweet are they??),  I won’t purchase my first until it is truly autumn.  I must sing of my love for the summer until the last verse fades softly…
Ross and Norma with grandkids and great-grandkids
Dad and the brothers visit

Press close, bare-bosomed Night! Press close, magnetic,
nourishing Night!
Night of south winds!  Night of the large, few stars!
Still, nodding Night!  Mad, naked, Summer Night!
~Walt Whitman

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 Joe’s wife, Robin with my dad; hanging on “Moslander Mountain”


Ross the Boss, Mrs. Moss, and all the Little Landers (Jeanie, Joey, Timmy, Tami and Danny)…except Tim didn’t come this year, but the rest did – with their spouses and children.

It was a divine time, full of remembering and creating new memories.  Cousins kidded and cajoled.  Siblings sought to reconnect.  Dad told us where we came from and gave us insight for our futures.  Mom cheered us all on and hugged the stuffing out of us.  Love was in the air and in our hearts.
Gerron, Jordan and Austin being dudes
Tredessa, Grandma Moslandr and Uncle Joe

Sister-in-Law, Dawn.

Dawn and Dan Moslander of Hobart, Indiana

Dawn and Dan share family secrets

Just the other morning my sister-in-law, Dawn, whom I have known and loved since she was 14, emailed me these beautiful sentiments about The Moslander Family Reunion:
“I took you all in during our time spent together. Kinda like a wonderful meal!  I feel full, but want to take in some more. Good memories, but missing everyone.”


Cousins Rocky and Corbin having fun at the Phipps farm


Riding horses at the farm.


Brothers telling fish stories, no doubt

So blessed.

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Me with little sister Tami and her husband, Gerron; Jordan and Rocky-best cousins forever!

I love my family.  I am so blessed by wonderful parents and amazing siblings who have married so well.  They have gifted me with extraordinary nephews and nieces.  And everytime we are together, all is right with the world.
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Aunt Tami with her nieces; Aunt Tami pulling me into silliness.

“In every conceiveable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”  Alex Haley


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Mom and Dad. 

Whom I have also sometimes (with great affection) called “Mammogram” and “Pap Smear.”  Not sure how they feel about that!  This is the result of these two people. 


All my love to family, both near and far, both born to us and joined by love. 

Related posts:

Previous posts about the Moslander family reunion:

Family Farm

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Stefanie and Wrex Phipps are just such generous and giving people.  They let us crash their farmland and just became a part of the Moslander family from far and wide as we celebrated and re-unioned together last week.  Thank-you sooooooooo much, Stef and Wrex.  EVERYBODY fell in love with you just like we did when we first met you.  You made us so welcomed and were just a part of us!  We love you and will never forget the great time at the farm!  pictured: the farmer and his drop-dead gorgeous wife; Stef and Dessa


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Aunt Tami-finger licking good; Uncle Gerron saying, “Down boy-Tami is mine.”; Elise-the-Niece and me

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Austin feeding the calf; Dawn and Robin, my beautiful sisters-in-law…and two of the godliest women I know

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Goat says, “Really.  What do you city folk want?”; Cowboy Wrex bringing the horses; Hunter saddled up

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Tredessa swinging the rope and getting her steer; Averi taking control of the bull

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Cousin Corbin roping; Gemma bull-riding; the boys being little cow-pokes

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My mom has always, and I mean always been a cowgirl at heart!; Tristan with his kiddies; Guini and the goat

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Tredessa lassos her cousin Corbin (certainly he deserved it for one ornery thing or another he said); the little ones lasso-ing; Dave and his food

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Hunter and his corn-on-the-cob; Averi and hers; Gavin and the goat

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Corbin; Rocky; Uncle Joe playing horseshoes and losing (to his 71-year-old mother)

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Uncle Gerron with Jordan and Austin; my mama roping again; Stephanie and Tristan

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Uncle Gerron and Uncle Joe; Rocky and Corbin shooting…plastic bottles and stuff

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The bonfire Wrex built; Aunt Dawn and Guini; Wrex and Austin stoking the fire

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The boys roasting marshmallows; Guini and Hunter walking down the road as the sun disappeared; a beautiful summer evening with family around the fire

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above: Our hostess Stef with sisters Tara and Tredessa;  Aunt Dawn and Guini doing sparklers

below: Uncle Gerron is loved by animals and toddlers alike – here with GemGem; Hunter and his fireworks

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It was an unforgettable evening of love on the farm with the fam.

Previous posts about the Moslander family reunion:

It’s a Family Affair

See a more complete report here:  The Moslander Family Reunion…

The Moslanders Came to Denver & here is a glimpse of the time together…

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pictured:  At Mile High Flea Market ~ Jordan, the semi-pro football player; Uncle Gerron innocently shopping for the right pair of jeans; Aunt Tami with Jovan and Averi

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pictured:  me (what the heck with the hair??) and my mama; cousins Tara & Elise; Gerron and Dave, the bro-in-laws (some people think Tami and I married brothers becuz we both went for the hot Latino types)

pictured below: Elise with her daddy and my brother, Joe; Elise at the jeans shop, where unbeknownst to her, there was the inevitable Moslander-booty discussion happening; Tara and her Aunt Tami discussing tank tops

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What on earth did we do?

We gathered, we ate, we Mile-Hi flea marketed, we cooked out at the farm (Stef and Wrex~  Thank-you so much for an unforgettable evening) and roped “cattle” and rode horses and played horseshoes.  We bonfired and sang, we talked and talked and took pictures.  We prayed.   We cried sometimes and laughed a lot.  We ate some more.  Robin cookie-ed us silly!  We shot off fireworks (which may or may not have been illegal from over the Wyoming state line) and BBs and air-soft pellets.  Grandma (or great-grandma) Moslander whipped everybody’s butts in horseshoes at the age of 71-years-young!  Seriously?  If she would color her hair, you’d only think she was 54 by her activity-level.  She also perfected her roping skills after the lesson from Cowboy Wrex.  The woman kills!  We ate some more.   In short, we just hung out together.

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pictured: Dawn and Dan and Grandpa Moslander relaxing; the little ones on the horses; praying before the big steak and corn on the cob and all the other delish food meal

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pictured: Aunt Tami can truly talk to the animals!

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pictured: a horse, of course; Tristan and Gemma riding; Rocky and Guini riding into the sunset

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pictured: Grandpa Moslander reverted to his farm days as a kid and spent a lot of time feeding the mama goat and the albino calf

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pictured: Aunt Tami with her new friend the horse; Guini and Hunter riding by; Grandma Moslander winning at horseshoes

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pictured: Uncle Joe and Grandpa visiting between songs; the calf

Not Pictured:

The giant 3 1/2 foot snake that almost ran right over my feet!  Yes.  It was a giant!

Psalm 34.11  “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”

Moslander Reunion ’09

They began arriving at about 3 pm on Friday, by plane and by car.  6 o’clock there were more.  8:30 pm we increased.  Then more and by 10:30 pm, as Dave and I stood outside in the backyard and looked back at our house, fully lit up and fairly burgeoning with the exuberant noise of love and hugs and kisses and “Oh, you’ve gotten taller,” and “This is Averi!?” and “I am so glad you could come,” we smiled.  It was loud and it was sweet and we were so thankful to have everyone together for a few days.

pictured below: an impromtu baseball game in Nederland; horseback riding at the farm; my little sister talked me into some weird face; the nieces with Aunt Tami ~ Stephanie, Elise, Auntie, Tredessa, Jovan, Stormie, Tara

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The family

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I am the oldest of 5 children born to Ross and Norma Moslander.  We are blessed to still have our parents with us.  They came from Springfield, MO, where, for the second time, they are trying to ditch retirement and are looking for a pastorate.  Anyone want a roomy house in Springfield?  pictured: my dad with the 4 originals who were here at church on Sunday morning ~ Dan, Joe, me and Tami; both my parents with their grandchildren and great-grand-children in Nederland

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My brother Joe and his wife, Robin, came, bringing Corbin-their-youngest with them, joining niece-Elise, who has resided with us here in Colorado for the past year and a half.  Two of their kids couldn’t make it, but we were glad they came all the way from Aberdeen, SD, where their church just held a dedication for their new facilities.  pictured: Robin talking to dad during the bonfire; Robin and Joe dancing in celebration of their 25th anniversary, the rest of us dancing, too; the fam ~ Joe and Robin with Corbin and Elise

Tim and his family from Butte didn’t make it this year and we were very sad about that, but we plan to make him really sorry by super-imposing him into photos from some old 1970s pics we have of him.  That’ll teach him.  Hehehehe…evil laughing

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My sister, Tami, so energetic and lively, and her husband came from Corbin, Kentucky (youth pastors by day).  Gerron-the-husband fancies himself “the great one.”  They are adored by the nieces and nephews and are both natural born animal-whisperers. pictured: T & G at the Mile High Flea Market; later that day at the farm, charming the animals

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My youngest brother, Dan and his wife Dawn (we have known her since she was 14 years old!) got to come from Hobart, IN (very near Chicago) and brought 2 of their 3 handsome sons, a beautiful family.  pictured: Dawn and Dan on the patio one fine summer evening; Dan and Dawn’s youngest son, Austin, Joe and Robin’s son, Corbin, and Dan and Dawn’s firstborn, Jordan (a semi-pro football player) at the flea market.

How we spent the time…

We gathered, we ate, we Mile-Hi flea marketed, we cooked out at the farm (Stef and Wrex?  Thank-you so much for an unforgettable evening) and roped “cattle” and rode horses and played horseshoes.  We bonfired and sang, we talked and talked and took pictures.  We worshiped at church together and on the patio as a family.  Dad told how we got our spiritual start, about his salvation and baptism of the Holy Spirit.  He preached it up.  We prayed for each other, we cried sometimes and laughed a lot.  We ate some more.  Robin cookie-ed us silly!  She brought vats of her unbelievably-delicious cookies (peanut butter, chocolate chip, monster, and oatmeal raisin) omygosh – truly, Mrs, Fields – watch out!   We celebrated Father’s Day late and floated down the Platte River (how are there no pictures of this??!?…especially of Corbin trying to float on a shark and it nearly taking him under as he tried to swim to shore!?  Hahaha!).  We splashed in the pool and sunned a little.  We shot off fireworks (which may or may not have been illegal from over the Wyoming state line) and BBs and air-soft pellets.  We ate some more.  We golfed.  Some of us (*ahem) did all-night video game parties at Rocky and Jovan’s.  We took a picture on what is affectionately known to us as “Moslander Mountain” up Boulder Canyon (since we photographed ourselves there on our very first reunion in 1995).  We picnicked in Nederland and played wiffle ball.  Did I mention there was food?  We came back down the mountain and celebrated Joe and Robin’s 25th anniversary with a dance (how did Dan get so good at that Cha Cha Slide number?…Is it because he is a high school teacher??).  There was coffee in the shade on delectibly cool mornings and rhubarb dessert everyone wants the recipe for (Stormie!).  In short, we just hung out together.

Could it be any sweeter?

The weather was positively perfect: sunny all day, but  not unbearably hot.  Sweet summer evenings outside.  God even held the mosquitos at bay for us.  It was seriously perfect.  All the time.  And romantic lights twinkling around the yard.  It was like, for these precious few days, we were all there, together, safe and secure and all was right with the world.

My kiddos

I am so thankful that my children not only choose to participate in the Moslander-Family-Reunions, but they are catalysts for them.  They want them to keep happening.  They plan for them.  They help me with them.  They love to spend time with their grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins.  They participate in every way (even though it can be hard with young ‘uns), and help with the food and just generally make me so very proud to call them my kids.  

The party is over

Wednesday afternoon at about 3:00, 5 days after it all began, mom and dad, who’d been the first to arrive, were the last to leave.  And my heart is full of together memories, for the moments we shared.  We’ll do it again in 2010 and much will have changed, but the love in my heart for these people will remain…pictured: mom and dad with Elise and with Tara and Hunter on the “good-bye” porch; and below in the yard with the sign and appropriately sad faces

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I miss them already…Jeanie

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NOTE TO SELF:  Am I blessed with a godly heritage, or what??