Heart Choices: Thankful for Sumstad Family -->

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Thankful for Sumstad Family

It's Thankful Thursday and I am so very thankful for family.  I had the opportunity to meet several of my Sumstad (my maiden name) relatives for the first time.

Here are four generations of Sumstad's.  I am on the left, then Barb, Sandee and Reidar Sumstad.  Sandee was on vacation with her friends. Since they would be staying for a time in Phoenix, we arranged to have a meetup at The Farm at South Mountain.

The weather was perfect for a picnic lunch.  We got to order sandwiches at the Farm Kitchen and take them out to our table in baskets.  Then we spent time getting to know one another.

I brought many old photos I had accumulated.  Reidar has worked diligently on a site called Ancestry, posting photos, documents and even videos of our family.  I can't wait to see the video of my Nana and Grandpa Sumstad visiting his family in Seattle back in the 1940's.  Technology is amazing!

As I was speaking with Sandee, I noticed how many of her features resembled my Aunt Ruth who is my dad's only sister.

Photo taken in Sumstad, Norway
All of these family members trace their roots back to Sumstad, Norway.  It is northwest of Trondheim, Norway.  My grandfather was born on the family farm there.  He came to the US via Ellis Island and settled in Brooklyn, New York in the 1920's.

Here are a few photos of the town of Sumstad, Norway.

I felt right at home with my family.  We were able to share insights into our family, like the love of music, art, and writing.  I grew up with my mom playing the piano and our family singing Norwegian songs together.

Reidar began singing a few Norwegian songs and they came right back to me.  He even recited many Norwegian phrases that had us laughing like "uff da" and "tussen tak".  We all knew the Norwegian prayer before meals.

I began learning about second and third cousins and what it is to be a second cousin twice removed.  However, I must admit I'm still a bit fuzzy on that one.  :)

But I look forward to learning more about my Sumstad family.

How thankful for the wonderful afternoon of meeting my relatives in a beautiful environment.  God is so good!

I'm linking up with Iris of Grace Alone for Thankful Thursday.

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Wow Debbie! Beautiful family and precious memories established I'm sure, as you visited together. Beautiful photos! You have such a beautiful smile and warm heart for the Lord! It always shines through!

    Thanks for sharing a precious part of your thankful heart with us. I too am thankful for my family and all the joys they bring to my heart.

    I'm thankful for YOUR friendship!

    Love you!

  2. Sonja Thompson BasgaardFebruary 23, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    Enjoyed reading your comments and seeing those beautiful pictures! Your grandfather Henry Sumstad was one of the Charter Members of Salem along with my Mother Amalia Sorensen Thompson. But at the 50th Salem Anniversary I believe only three Charter members were living, My Mom, Alvig Hansen & Gunda Braaten. What a blessed Godly heritage we have. I remember your Aunt Ruth very well. Sonja Thompson Basgaard

  3. What a great day this must have been! Visiting with relatives and hearing family history is a joy! I'm so glad you had the opportunity to share this time on such a lovely day! The pots of geraniums made me want to go work in the garden today! Blessings!

  4. That is so exciting for you! I'm glad you had the blessing of getting together with them.

    Happy Thursday!

  5. That is so wonderful. The pictures of Norway are beautiful.

  6. What a blessing for you and your relatives to meet for the first time, AND on a pretty day with beautiful surroundings. The photos are great! :) I had the same opportunity last summer in Dallas,and it was such fun to begin working on a "Family Tree" group on Facebook; now many of us stay in contact. :)

    I hope you have many more joyful opportunities to reunite! :)

    Blessings Debbie!

  7. How fun! I've thought about trying to find more of my relatives on my grandmother's side, but now that she's gone, a lot of that information is gone too. I enjoyed your post!

  8. Dear Debbie,
    That is a wonderful experience, meeting with family, old and new members bonded with common memories and ancestors.
    Reidar, that is a familiar Norwegian name. Is he born in Norway??? The pictures from the farm are lovely. Norway at her very best.
    I'm so happy you had the opportunity to meet with them in old fashioned Norwegian manner;eating open sandwiches outdoors when the weather allows it.
    Thanks for sharing Sumstad history.
    From Felisol

  9. love the fun of being with family!

  10. As you might know Debbie, there are similarities all over the place on this blog! My mom's name was Reidun, and the last words she ever said after her stroke were Uff Da, which all of us still say. I remember my dad talking about Trondheim, and the beauty of your pictures is so familiar. Let's face it sister... you and I LOVE NORWAY :)

  11. This is such a precious post and the photos of your family together are so sweet! Sumstad, Norway is gorgeous!

  12. What a special gift you have received in connecting with relatives you have never met and to be able to share all that family history.....I think it's wonderful. The pictures of Norway are so beautiful.....

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I can sense what a lovely day it was for you.....

  13. I didn't know you had this connection to Sonja. How wonderful that both of your histories contain roots in Norway.

    I've never delved too far into my family's ancestry, but I think I would enjoy it.


  14. Thanks for sharing your wonderful family.

  15. What a great time... Genealogy can be so much fun. God is good!! Have a wonderful weekend.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing your family with us and those photos of Norway...inspiring!

  17. so glad you posted about this reunion - of course, I'm not surprised. You always have your camera, ready to share these beautiful moments with us. I just love hearing about your family. What a rich history to have - don't think I have that. I hope the day will come that you will be posting pics. of you in Sumstad, Norway. What a beautiful place.
    I'm glad you had a nice time.

  18. Oh, what fun! Being with family and having such a rich heritage. Pictures of the area from which your family migrated are treasures as was your sharing and meeting.
    I just love being with family!
    Thank you for your visit, Debbie, and for the Scripture from Isaiah 41.
    Keep praying.

  19. What a wonderful, very special time we had together at The Farm in Phoenix! I know that God brought us all together and what a treasure it was to share memories of our Sumstad, Norway family history. We have a very special christian family which I am so thankful for! It has been so enriching to learn about our family both in Norway and here. In the past this was just a big mystery and now we have come into the light. Thank you so much for making the arrangements for us to meet in such a terrific place as the Farm!
    God Bless,
    Reidar Sumstad

  20. Hi! I just have to give you a shout out from a Sumstad in Minnesota! Your pictures and story are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with everyone.

    Katie Raivala (Sumstad)


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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