Virginia (Ginger) Irene Jacobson, 9, of Grand Junction, Colorado, is named after her two grandmothers. As you might guess, she comes from a family rich in traditions. One of them is prayer, and it has been a part of Ginger’s life from the day of her birth.
When she was born, Ginger had a broken collar bone and was so sick that her heart was not working correctly. Her dad, Coleman, gave her a priesthood blessing of healing, and she has rarely been ill since. Ginger has known for a long time that prayers are heard and answered.
One summer the Jacobsons—Dad, Mom (Barbara), Ginger, and sisters Kim (21), Melissa (19), Mary (17), Becky (15), Jessica (13), and Jackie (2)—were traveling home from a family vacation to Nauvoo, Illinois. When their car broke down, Ginger immediately suggested that they ask their Heavenly Father for help. They did, and just as they said, “Amen,” a man stopped and towed them first to his home and then to a junkyard where they found what they needed to repair their car.
Ginger is looking forward to her very first date when she is sixteen because she already knows who that special date will be. All her sisters over sixteen have gone out with the same man—Dad. He makes it a wonderful evening that includes a traditional rose.
Summertime is family reunion time. Last year everyone gathered at the Jacobson home. Over forty came, and tents were set up all over the yard. Ginger and a cousin slept on the trampoline. At every reunion the family goes for a bike ride or a walk. This time they went along a nearby river trail. On the path is a large tree with lots of branches. Everyone climbed the “family tree” and a picture was taken that now holds a place of honor in the well-filled family album.
Ginger’s favorite foods are macaroni and cheese and Chinese noodles. But on New Year’s Eve she’s willing to eat lots of different things. On that night, Mom and Dad prepare and serve to family and friends a meal that follows a chosen theme. They have had Mexican, pirate, and cowboy dinners, for example.
Christmas is a time for some special traditions. Throughout the month, Ginger and her sisters put a straw into a small basket each time they do a kind deed. This soft bed then becomes the baby Jesus’ manger, and on the night before Christmas Eve it is placed beneath the tree. That night the entire family sleeps under the tree, or as close to it as they can get. Before they go to sleep, Dad tells them Christmas stories, including the “Cajun Night Before Christmas,” because the family lived in the South for several years.
When the Christmas decorations are put away, Ginger and her sisters each write a record of the holiday happenings and their feelings about them and place the notes in their Christmas stockings. The next year, as the stockings are hung, the previous year’s notes are removed and read.
The family photo album holds the record of another important family tradition. Whenever the family travels in an area where there is a temple, they have their picture taken in front of it. Ginger remembers a day before the dedication of the Denver Temple when her family met together in the celestial room of that temple and promised each other that they would be a forever family and that when each of the sisters married, it would be in the temple.
Ginger is learning to play tennis and to play the piano. She also helps with household chores. The sisters often sing as they work together. And they often perform together for Church and other occasions.
When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Ginger answers, “An artist, a teacher, and a mom.” Of course, she’ll try to create a home full of traditions and faith like the one she comes from.