Make your own LEARNING PUZZLES

Are you or your kids having trouble digging into or memorizing a definition, poem, proverb, or Bible passage? Try what our friend did. Make a puzzle board! You can see hers below. Use icons, emojis, or pictures in place of words as you write out your passage. If memorization is your goal, remove words as you learn.

You know I love puzzles and they are wonderful for learning. You can put your own unique puzzle in a card, a homework packet, or use it for a family activity. Wouldn’t it be great to have the clues for a scavenger or treasure hunt done in cryptogram style ? Here’s a website that will help you make your own cryptograms:

https://www.kidzone.ws/puzzles/cryptogram/index.asp


Holiday Fun

12/14/2020

We LOVE volunteering with kids! We learn and experience so much, both at home and in the classroom. Our special ED class is always “hands on!” because they ARE “hands on!” One of the things they love to do is to learn with shaving cream. You can put a bit of shaving cream on a table. (Optional – add a drop or two of food coloring) It is instant finger painting time! Draw a picture! Write a letter or a word. Cleanup is quick with a squeegee or a paper towel. NOTE: NOT FOR MOUTHS/EATING!!!

Why mention this now? Well, kids have been home for school and now they will be home for the holidays. What will be different? Get your whole family into crafting and gifting. If you don’t have any idea of what to do, go online and ask for ideas. You will find plenty of them that do not need a lot of extra supplies.

AND, as long as we are talking about shaving cream, make PUFF PAINT and use it to make some holiday greeting cards or picture gifts. It is amazing when it dries and fun to use. The basic recipe is simple: 1 part glue to 1 part shaving cream (optional food coloring) If you haven’t worked with this before, do an online search for “puff paint” or “glue and shaving cream crafts” for some fantastic, yet simple, recipes and ideas.

Days of fun are ahead, and shaving cream crafts are one of the easiest to clean up after. Finish off this trying year with a wonderful family flourish.


mygrandmatime news!

It wasn’t all that long ago that my mom was the “old” one and I was “young”. I remember when we went to mom’s house for a long visit and spent part of our visit cleaning and painting her laundry room. After we left, my brother came and installed a new back door. My sister lives nearby and regularly does garden work. Another brother made and installed a beautiful trellis. Doing these things with and for my mom were gifts that she appreciated and enjoys to this day. I also value the time and help of family and friends during our recent remodel of our laundry room. (See pics of our “new” laundry room below.) Gifts of time and help are VERY appreciated, especially as we have had such a long time apart due to the virus. As you plan towards Christmas gifts from yourself and your children, please keep that in mind. For a list of ideas go to:

https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/tips-from-grandma/priceless-gifts/

Also, check out Grandma’s latest books. They would be wonderful gifts for your children’s school teachers. Amazon has been really slow with books lately, so order soon if you want books for Christmas!

https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/shop-with-grandma/grandmas-books/

 


HOLIDAY FAMILY ACTIVITIES

11/23/2020

It is November, and holidays are just around the corner. Holidays are times of tradition that help us focus on our blessings, our faith, and our values. One of my family’s traditions is to get reacquainted and to solve the world’s problems while doing a jigsaw puzzle at Grandma’s house. Two years ago, my mother challenged me to make a wreath out of the puzzles that were missing pieces. The first one we worked on together at a family reunion. Since then, I have made a LOT of them, both for gifts and for sale at mygrandmatime events. This year we have made a “how to” video for those of you who would like to try it. Putting together a jigsaw puzzle wreath is as, or more, relaxing as putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You can click on the picture below to see the “how to” video.

What traditions do you have around holidays? Are your traditions accomplishing what you intend? If not, is it time to start some new traditions?


A nice word from a reader

11/17/2020

I just had to share this recent review of SUNSHINE BLUE with you.

“James and I both love the book. By the time we finished it, we could both “sing” the refrain, “What, oh what, can a Blue Whale do when a Blue Whale does not want to be blue?” Children will love this book. But, beyond the story, the art is exquisite. The rainbow of colors on every page is beautiful. I’m no artist so I don’t know the right words, but you somehow blended those colors in a way that made it feel very under-watery.

I love that Sunny’s best friend Remi is so different from Sunny. It’s visually interesting to see this behemoth with a very small buddy. It was especially endearing to see how protective Sunny is of Remi. I also loved the frequently repeated line, “Remi wanted to help his best friend, so…” It’s a great message to children that caring for and helping friends is important.

One of our other favorite things is that there are so many other adorable living creatures on nearly every page. We saw a seahorse, an octopus, a starfish, a crab, a sea turtle, and schools of fish. By the last page, I felt like Sunny and Remi’s friends were my friends! You guys really created a sweet and appealing book. Congratulations!! We’ll be looking forward to the next one!”-Linda

We are always grateful to hear feedback from our friends. Thank you Linda!

If you are interested in ordering this book, you will find it at:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HG8YFP4/


70 years old!

11/7/2020

This summer I had my 70th birthday, so I am thinking about “years”.
In just one year a child/grandchild can go from a thought to being held in my arms.
In another year they are walking and feeding themselves.
It takes about a year for a non-reader to turn into a reader.
A year of immersion in a new language can go a long way toward making you fluent in it.
In just one year I can build a deep, lasting relationship.
It takes me about a year to write, illustrate and publish a children’s book.

https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/shop-with-grandma/grandmas-books/

I’m old enough that it takes about a year to recover from a surgery. (That’s on my mind because I had 2 surgeries about a year ago.)
But, it doesn’t take long or much effort or thought to undo things. In fact, just leaving someone alone or something undone just makes it harder to address later.

The small, simple things that we do together build and deepen our lives and the lives of those around us. Keep your heart and your eyes and your schedule open for those opportunities.

If you need some ideas, check out Grandma’s “priceless gifts” page:

https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/tips-from-grandma/priceless-gifts/


IFFY RECOMMENDATIONS

10/21/2020

Do you ever feel torn about recommending something? Do you fear that someone might misuse or misunderstand your recommendation? That’s how I feel about the items below. Please look at these recommendations from the standpoint of ways to pass on values and faith in the context of both family and community.

“Front Porch Tales” by Philip Gulley – Although I do not agree theologically with all of Philip Gulley’s views (as noted in some of his books/reviews), this book is a treasure trove of family and community life wrapped up with a humorous bow. Many of the chapters end with a scriptural reference to tie together a Biblical principal or story with the daily lives of those whom Gulley writes about. The copy I have (Multnomah, 1997) is in large print, so it is a perfect gift or daily devotional for older people. Because this book was written when Gully’s children were young, it is also a wonderful book for new parents. The chapters are short and the stories are engaging and insightful.

“The Cosby Show” – Although I am appalled at many of Bill Cosby’s life choices, this old television series is a wonderful view of how to engage as a family. We still enjoy it, along with “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Dee Henderson books – Up until her most recent books, Dee Henderson wrote books that did a great job of combining mystery, romance, family, and practical ways to communicate the Christian faith. I have a complete set of her older books that I regularly reread and often lend out to friends. However, I do not recommend her most recent books.
Why do I take the chance to make these recommendations? Well, there are plenty of people in the Bible who were significant….but still sinners. They often only got things partially right, yet God has given us the challenge to sort through their lives to find and honor Him. And, perhaps also, because I can still hear my Dad saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!”


a banner year for BOOKS

September 20, 2020

What do you do when you find yourself socially limited for 9 months? As 2020 started, I found myself working on one book (The Mysterious Thing that Happened at Our House) while we were overseas with family and anticipating a lot of public events when we returned home. Because of COVID, family outings and events have not been a part of this year. Instead, like many of you, we have spent time working on our house and doing our best to be creative and constructive.

This spring, a dear, artistic friend asked for help formatting one of her books. You can find her work here: https://www.maryjruggles.com

This was the 2nd time I had worked with Mary on one of her books. We enjoyed it so much that Mary volunteered to illustrate one of my books, Sunshine Blue.  The story is about a blue whale who, through a misunderstanding, no longer wants to be blue. Mary’s illustrations are a wonderful mix of watercolor and collage and are full of “I spy” water creatures. The text is engaging, both for information about whales and because of the repetitive phrases that highlight Sunny’s problem and the consequences of her choices. In the back of the book, there is a glossary of words to help with understanding. There is also a challenge to find the various creatures that live in Sunny’s ocean. This is a fun book to read to 3-8-year-old children. It is a great springboard for discussion for older children and adults.

I have had the privilege to work with several very talented illustrators: Jessica, Kira, Eva, Kevin, Sophina, Abira, Shaelin, and now, Mary. They have given me the pleasure of having my texts come alive, and I am grateful. Two more books are “in the works”, one of them being very close to complete. I will be letting you know about that one soon. The other book we are working on is both a story and a recipe book. With COVID, there are fewer opportunities to share what we make in the kitchen, so testing recipes is a slow process that has the potential for a lot of weight gain! We are finding the need for some of the recipe testing to be done by family and friends. 🙂


SCHOOL HAS STARTED

8/23/2020

How can YOU help?

School has begun, and we all want to help our kids/students. Teachers, parents, and grandparents are all working to figure out what students already know and what they need to learn next. We should work together! So here are a few ideas that might help.

  1. Find out what is expected of your student/child this coming year in an area in which you either are already competent or are willing to learn. One example of how to do that would be to use this website https://www.mathplayground.com which has activities based on grade levels. (I recommend this website because it is a favorite of our grandchildren.) You can use the information you find with your child/student or as a reference for what you can do together.
  2. Make/do things together that support what they are learning. One idea for math would be to use a scrap of wood and some nails to make a math/shape grid like the ones pictured below. Use them to add, subtract, divide, multiply, and do fractions and shapes. (Alert – supervise rubber band use!)
  3. Search online for student/family games and activities that support their learning and do them together. For example, go to: https://mygrandmatime.com/ And type “math” in the search bar.
  4. ASK parents/teachers/students how you can help. Sometimes it is with a “break.” For example: We sometimes fix lunch and set up a favorite TV show for our grandchildren to enjoy between their online classes. We have read a book or, when possible, helped in a classroom on either a regular basis or for a particular function. Sometimes there are before school or after school needs that you might be able to help with.

Ask, be aware, be prepared. These are important times for your child/student. They’ll grow, and you will too!


#1 – Why a Grandma?

1/31/2010

Each video in this series will give you a brief look inside the “why” and “what” of mygrandmatime. I encourage you to watch them in numerical order. Click on the picture below to see the newest video on YouTube. More than anything, keep doing simple things together as you write your own story.

Link to Why Grandma video series episode 1.


Corona Challenge #1

3/22/2020

We have now been through 12 weeks with our grandkids and the corona virus in China. So, we’ll share with you some of the things our friends have done to ease the burden and the boredom. Here’s one for this week – MAKE A FORT! Inside and/or outside, a fort can be a place of play and of comfort and it can be made out of an amazing variety of things. It can be changed every day to adapt to the needs of the family. Share pics of what you do with your friends and family to inspire and entertain them.


Friends add to our lives!

7/27/2020

You know that friends change your life, for better or for worse. You can be challenged, encouraged, and led to goodness by those who are around you. (We’ll leave the “worse” possibilities for your own analysis!) I have a friend that abounds in creative energy and good humor. She is in our life group. She has given me permission to put one of her Bible “skits” up on our website. You will find it here:

https://mygrandmatime.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/prepare-the-way-travel-agency.pdf

For a list of all our skits, click here:

https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/bible-fun-with-grandma/grandmas-skits/

And, I am either very late or very early with another Bible resource. We were all hampered in our Easter celebrations this year because of the virus. In our neighborhood, we were able to have a “non-gathering” in our cul-de-sac. We came up with a lesson plan that actively walked us through the 8 days of Easter week. You may want to use this for a small group, family devotionals, or a class lesson next year. When we did it, each family brought their own props. You will find that lesson here:

https://mygrandmatime.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/8-days-of-EASTER.pdf

More of our free Bible lessons are found here:

https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/bible-fun-with-grandma/family-bible-activities/

I am very thankful for great friends and wonderful neighbors!


#2 – Lion Hunt

3/3/2020

Each video in this series will give you a brief look inside the “why” and “what” of mygrandmatime. I encourage you to watch them in numerical order. Click on the picture below to see the newest video on YouTube. More than anything, keep doing simple things together as you write your own story.

Link to Why Grandma video series episode 2.


CORONA CHALLENGE #2

3/30/2020

MAKE A MASK

Is a mask helpful in reducing your chances of getting sick?  Yes!  But we have found most of the benefit comes from not touching your mouth or nose.  Our hands are constantly on things, including our faces, and it is often our hands that transfer germs.  Wearing a mask on a regular basis can help teach new physical habits.  Do you chew your pencil when you do your homework?  Or, do you chew your fingernails when you watch TV?  A mask can help with that.  If you wear a mask often enough, you may catch yourself trying to eat with it on.  That happened to Grandpa just a few days ago when we were finally able to eat out at the mall.

Grandpa trying to eat a cookie with his mask on.

Your family challenge is to make some kind of mask.  You can see from the photo below (yes, real people on the subway!) that people can get very creative when it comes to safety masks.  Your masks do not have to be safety masks, but if they are you may want to use a pattern like this one which my wonderful neighbor sent me:

https://buttoncounter.com/2018/01/14/facemask-a-picture-tutorial/

On a practical note, I would add a place for a metal twist tie from the kitchen drawer.  Insert it right over where you would put your nose.  This will give shape around the nose and help keep the mask in place.
After you have made your masks, take pictures and share those pictures with friends and family.  You could vote to see whose mask you like the best, or which one is the scariest, or most creative, or….???

Bottle mask in China on the subway.


CORONA CHALLENGE #3

4/5/2020

This video is a result of a family challenge activity that we did during our Corona Virus quarantine. The challenge was to do a 1 shot video commercial, no editing, approximately 1 minute long, and it could be on any topic. We found an OLD jar of bean paste in the refrigerator and wrote the script around it. We practiced before shooting 2 separate videos and voted as to which was the best one before sending it out to friends. Why not make your own family’s commercial to share with friends?

Click on the picture below view to our commercial on YouTube.

Bean Paste Commercial on YouTube

 

 


CORONA CHALLENGE #4

4/13/2020

PLAY “HOTEL BED”!
Either work on your own bed or choose names “out of a hat” to decide whose bed you work on.  Make that bed as creative and comfortable and neat as you can.  Do this once, or do it daily this week.  Each time you do it, offer a ribbon or a certificate or a small prize to the person who made the best bed.  Remember to share your results with family and friends!  Here are two samples for your inspiration:

Hotel Bed Challenge Example 1

Hotel Bed Challenge 2


CORONA CHALLENGE #5

4/19/2020

Write a song together. Here’s one from our family. It even has a dance you can do! Yours does not have to be about the virus. Remember to share your song with family and friends!

Click on the picture below view to our family’s song on YouTube.

Corona Challenge #5


#3 – Sing Together

3/22/2020

Each video in this series will give you a brief look inside the “why” and “what” of mygrandmatime. I encourage you to watch them in numerical order. Click on the picture below to see the newest video on YouTube. More than anything, keep doing simple things together as you write your own story.

We have written a book about the many things we have done with our preschool grandchildren.  This book “We’re Going to Grandma’s House” is available in both paperback and ebook from Amazon.  For the next 5 days it will be available FREE TO DOWNLOAD at this link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019QMKBU6

After reading the book together, you should ask, “Now, what do you want to do with me today?”


CORONA VIRUS CHALLENGE #6

4/26/2020

This is a family challenge activity to do during your Corona Virus quarantine. The challenge is to find as many words as you can using the letters in CORONA VIRUS.  Here’s one way to do it:

Write out the letters in CORONA VIRUS.  Cut them into squares and place them in a spot where everyone can see and use them.  Place a sheet of paper and a pencil/pen next to the letters.  (Each person could have their own paper or you could share.)  As you have time, use the letters to make words then write those words on the paper.  How many different words can you find this week?  For a bonus challenge, see how many of the words that you find can be used in just one sentence or paragraph.

CORONA VIRUS


CORONA CHALLENGE #7

5/3/2020

The challenge this week is to do something that is amazing. Can you get your broom to balance by itself? Can you learn and do a magic trick? Can you do 50 pushups? Be sure to share your amazing feats with your friends and family!

Standing Broom


#4 – Clyde

4/17/2020

Each video in this series will give you a brief look inside the “why” and “what” of mygrandmatime. I encourage you to watch them in numerical order. Click on the picture below to see the newest video on YouTube. More than anything, keep doing simple things together as you write your own story.

A free e-book of CLYDE is available for the next few days.  You will find it at:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J6065BI


#5 Draw with Grandma

5/14/2020

Each video in this series will give you a brief look inside the “why” and “what” of mygrandmatime. I encourage you to watch them in numerical order. Click on the picture below to see the newest video on YouTube. More than anything, keep doing simple things together as you write your own story.

Why mygrandmatime video #5

Go to:
https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/learn-with-grandma/draw-with-grandma/
and scroll down to find free samples of Draw with Grandma and pictures that kids have drawn with me.


CORONA CHALLENGE #8

5/11/2020

The poetry below is a result of a family challenge activity that we did during our Corona Virus quarantine. The challenge was to express ourselves in poetry (Haiku form – 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables).  How do you feel about the virus?  How is it affecting your life?  Can you find both good and bad things that have happened as a result of this virus?  For this challenge, write your responses in either prose or poetry formats.  As an additional challenge, describe in 2 words what the inside of your mask smells like.  Of course, share your thoughts with friends and family!

Corona Challenge Poetry


CORONA CHALLENGE #9

5/17/2020

I pray that you have found the space and the heart to laugh and play during your virus adventure.  Your challenge this week is to find or make up jokes.  They do not have to be about the virus.  Here are some that we found:
What is the Corona Virus’s least favorite fabric?  Damask
What is the Corona Virus’s favorite part of a car?  The transmission
Which president’s name is the least favorite of the virus?  Washington
What happened when the Corona Virus was posted on Facebook?  It went viral
As a bonus challenge, what name would you give the virus?
Share your laughter with friends and family!


What and Why? #6

6/12/2020

Each video in this series will give you a brief look inside the “why” and “what” of mygrandmatime. I encourage you to watch them in numerical order. Click on the picture below to see the newest video on YouTube. More than anything, keep doing simple things together as you write your own story.

Let's Read Together Video Link

For the next few days a free sample of our ebooks in this series is available at:

Sample ebooks

Check out our alphabet tracing pages and alphabet jingles at:

Alphabet Tracing Pages and Jingles


Chirp #7

Each video in this series will give you a brief look inside the “why” and “what” of mygrandmatime. I encourage you to watch them in numerical order. More than anything, keep doing simple things together as you write your own story.  Click on the picture below to see this video on YouTube.

As your little ones explore nature around them, check out rocks!  Here’s one way to look at them:
https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/play-with-grandma/play-with-rocks/


CORONA CHALLENGE FINAL

5/27/2020

So, you have been doing this “shelter in place” thing for quite some time now and I pray that you have figured out how to make each day and each week an adventure in togetherness.  May those habits continue to strengthen your relationships as you begin to venture out and as summertime begins.

Remember that you can ALWAYS clean out another drawer, make up a family dance, have a special dinner/dessert, challenge each other with a bake-off or a creative idea, read a book, or draw the longest picture in the world.  It takes work, planning, spontaneity, and an “eye for opportunity” to see the possibilities that are around you. As the adult, parent, or grandparent, make use of every tool you have to build the relationships around you.  You will be setting an example for generations to come!


#8 Teach Courage

August 10, 2020

Each video in this series will give you a brief look inside the “why” and “what” of mygrandmatime. I encourage you to watch them in numerical order. Click on the picture below to see the newest video on YouTube. More than anything, keep doing simple things together as you write your own story.

Play bingo with farm animals. As you play, learn the sounds they maker or learn how to spell them in English. OR, learn how to say their names in a new language. You will find FARM ANIMALS BINGO on this page of our website. This game is free to print out and use.

https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/play-with-grandma/bingo-games/


#9 Bible Songs

9/4/2020

Each video in this series will give you a brief look inside the “why” and “what” of mygrandmatime. I encourage you to watch them in numerical order. Click on the picture below to see the newest video on YouTube. More than anything, keep doing simple things together as you write your own story.

Use this link to learn the song “12 Men Went to Spy on Canaan.” –
https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/sing-with-grandma/12-men-went-to-spy-on-canaan/


#10 Fish Friends

10/12/2020

Each video in this series will give you a brief look inside the “why” and “what” of mygrandmatime. I encourage you to watch them in numerical order. Click on the picture below to see the newest video on YouTube. More than anything, keep doing simple things together as you write your own story.

Go to this link to draw your own fish friends:
https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/learn-with-grandma/draw-with-grandma/f-draw-with-grandma/


Tell Stories

6/26/2020

Story telling is an art. We all tell stories, but most of us would not consider ourselves artists. Perhaps we should consider story telling along the same lines as the joke about doctors: Doctor’s PRACTICE medicine. We PRACTICE story telling.

My father was a story teller. Some of his stories were parables, stories that have a purpose or moral. Others were purely for entertainment. His “peanut butter” stories were the latter, and he was always ready to tell us one. What is a “peanut butter” story? Well, peanut butter gets stuck in your mouth and you talk funny until you figure out how to get the peanut butter out again. My father was an expert at figuring out different storylines around this premise. He was also an expert talker with a stuck tongue! I do not know where he got the original concept, but I assume that his years in rural America during the depression gave him plenty of experience at telling and listening to stories.

Because of my Dad, I told some “peanut butter” stories to my kids when they were growing up. I do not remember any specific story, it was the premise that was fun. As a Grandma, I wanted to pass on the legacy of “peanut butter” stories, so I began to put one together into a book. I found that putting a “peanut butter” story into book form is a whole lot different than just telling one spontaneously!!!…but the book is finally done. It is called, “The Mysterious Thing that Happened at Our House” and it is a tribute to my father. As you read the story, you are encouraged to put the tip of your tongue between your lower lip and teeth for the text lines that are printed in blue. This “peanut butter” mystery features a boy and his dog and has a subtle, visual resolution. Your children will be talking in “peanut butter” style and making up their own “peanut butter” stories after reading this book. You will find it here:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088T4XTH5

New Book The Mysterious Thing

The Mysterious Thing


Sometimes EXPECTATIONS need to change

5/28/2020

What do your grandchildren expect from you? What do you expect from yourself while you are around them? I often am the “goody” cook. But… recently I was down with a cold when we had a bunch of really ripe bananas that needed to be used. What to do? Well, Grandpa and our 10-year-old grandson got out bowls and I read the recipe as they each made their own batch of banana bread. It was fun for me to hear them chatting away while they worked and shared ideas on their food project and on life in general. I am always amazed at what good can come out of what I cannot do!

The recipe that we used is below. It is more of a banana cake than real bread, but we like this recipe because it is quick and it uses oil instead of butter. That makes it more doable for our overseas family and easier to make too. We love it for breakfast or snack time.

Banana “cake”
Mash together:
3 ripe bananas
1 cup sugar (brown or white)
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil

Mix together:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Nuts, chocolate chips, etc. (optional)

Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Pour into a greased pan – (8×8 for thicker cake or 8×13 for thinner cake)
Bake at 350* for 20-40 minutes depending on oven and thickness of cake.


MANNERS

4/30/2020

I am the lone holdout in a family of adventurous taste buds.  As a “salt and pepper” picky eater, I am thankful that my family works hard to include me in meals.  They get their desire for food adventure from Grandpa, who will try just about anything.  Some of them have even caught their own grasshoppers to deep fry for snacks!  They do, occasionally, come across something that they do not like.  When that happens they have been taught to say, “That is not my favorite.”  That phrase, calmly said, is so much better than the fuss and gagging that usually comes with food we do not like.  They challenge me, as an adult, to do better in how I respond to such food surprises.  What are you learning from your kids?


CURIOSITY BAG

4/3/2020

Long ago, Grandma made the CURIOSITY GAME as a present for her grandchildren. This simple game is fun and can be used to help children understand and discover the world around them.  Best of all, it doesn’t really require anything that you do not already have.  Although you can download and print out DISCOVERY FORMS for free from Grandma’s website, you do not have to use them.

In the CURIOSITY GAME, being the “loader” gets kids involved and helps them learn about “sets”.  Being the “guesser” builds patience as they wait to reveal what they have discovered.

Grandma has made videos about this game to help you learn how to play it.  You will find them at:
https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/play-with-grandma/curiousity-bag

There is so much to discover!  Enjoy discovering together!


EASTER COOKIES

4/12/2020

Our kids just sent us this recipe for RESURRECTION COOKIES.  It is a great activity to do as a family to emphasize the story of and reason for Easter.  Enjoy celebrating together!

Easter Cookie Recipe

Easter Cookie Recipe Page 2

 


Is OLDER better?

2/14/2020

From time to time, we all look back on our lives and the things we have done.  Sometimes we look back with amazement, pride, and gratitude.  More often than not, we look back wishing for a “do-over.”  (Ever notice how kids immediately want a new piece of paper when they feel they have made even a small mistake?)  Sometimes our values have changed, giving way to regret or joy.  Sometimes our abilities and resources have changed, giving us the desire and opportunity to do things differently.

We started a “Draw with Grandma” series 9 years ago when I wanted to learn how to draw and share my growing skills and interests with our grandchildren.  I have learned a lot over those 9 years, but the goal to share and learn with others has not changed.  What has changed are the tools that are available.  Old cameras and living room walls have given way to newer sound equipment, a better camera, lighting, and a green screen.  Much of the content remains the same:  the alphabet, shapes, colors, learning about what we are drawing, and an old grandma.  Newer technology helps put it in a different package.  Here is one of one of our latest “Draw with Grandma” videos:

https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/learn-with-grandma/draw-with-grandma/d-draw-with-grandma/

D is for Duck

(This one, along with many of the other “Draw” pictures, makes a cute T-shirt!)

After viewing, take a look at any of the earlier videos that are samples on our website. (Think early in the alphabet because we went through it in order.)  You should see a big change.  The content in all the “Draw” videos is good and valuable for learning and enjoying.  We will continue to add to the “Draw” collection from time to time, and may even find time to update some of the older ones with newer technology.  But, we have no regrets over the blessing that these videos have been to our family and many others.

“Do-overs” with people are much harder.  Take the time to get things right with people now.


CHANGE

1/18/2020

Ever heard of Dave Ramsey? He’s got some great ways to change money habits. His “baby steps” are intentionally designed for long term change. His focus is on financial issues, but the disciplines you build while working toward financial goals will affect your WHOLE life. He’s also got some excellent materials for use with kids. As a family we have used many of his materials and listened to many of his podcasts. Check his resources out at:

www.daveramsey.com

Here’s another resource for change. This one focuses on participation, cooperation and attitudes within the family unit. If your family is struggling with any of those issues, be sure to check this out:

https://www.breakthroughkid.com

Although we haven’t used this specific program, we have used many similar ideas within our family. This particular program sounds like it is a fun addition to daily family life!

Here’s the thing: CHANGE doesn’t come without….CHANGE! How are you going to choose change, face change, and follow through with change? If you, as an adult, are having problems with change, imagine how hard it is for the rest of your family. Openly setting and sharing goals is a necessary first step. We all need encouragement and accountability if change is going to stick. Pick one thing to change today, then make the effort to do change together!


A New Plan for the New Year

1/3/2020

Our life group at church has been experimenting with a “new” way to learn together.  (It is really probably an “old” way!)  It is a “pattern” that can be used within the family, the neighborhood, and the small group.  When we gather together, we invite/expect everyone to bring something to the gathering.  Sometimes we team up, other times what we bring is individual.  We have a coordinator that sends out a theme and verse, each time including a list of possible delivery methods for our thoughts and reminding us of the time limits we have set.  Before the gathering the coordinator orders and sends out what everyone has said they plan to do.  We have found it valuable in getting to know ourselves, each other, and how we can better communicate.  We also share a meal, so we have another coordinator for that.  With everyone preparing in advance, we also have some great discussions during our meals.

What new thing are you planning on doing that will challenge and grow you and others?

Here is a sample of one of our lesson plans.  Feel free to use this idea!


Another Christmas Idea

12/23/2019

There are things that you would like to give for Christmas that cannot be wrapped in a box, things like love, peace, or a helping hand.  For years, one of the first things we did on Christmas morning was to draw a picture of what we wanted to give Jesus on his birthday.  For those things that you cannot wrap, draw a picture and share it with that special someone.

You could also make a coupon:
https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/tips-from-grandma/priceless-gifts/

Or, use hot crayon art for your picture:
https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/sew-with-grandma-2/hot-crayon-art/

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Christmas idea…

December 9, 2019

Here is an idea for the Christmas holidays:  Ask each person in your family or each person that you meet, “What is your favorite Christmas ornament?  Why is it your favorite?”  You might be surprised at the answers!

Make these tasty granola bars for a holiday treat:
Granola Bar Recipe


Thanksgiving

November 25, 2019

What brings your family JOY?  The answer to this question will be different for each family.  Two things come quickly to mind for our family: doing things together and music.  When our family gets together at Thanksgiving we do games and puzzles and have music “jam” sessions.  We all bring games and puzzles to share.  For music, we try to send music to each other ahead of time (we are partial to southern gospel music) and all bring musical instruments to share.  For some families, gathering to watch a football game may be their “joy”.  For others, it may be a hike.  As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, make note of what your family “joy” is and be thankful for it.  You may even want to make plans to celebrate your family “joy” more often.  Of course, don’t forget the good food!

Here’s one of Grandma’s “thankful” skits:
Ode to my physical therapist

And, if you think you are thankful for “stuff”, check out this prayer:
The Lord’s Prayer


Christmas idea…

November 11, 2019

Christmas idea:  Save your ribbons and wrapping paper and boxes (that you wouldn’t normally save for another gift) for doing something crafty after Christmas.  They could be used for a pre-planned together activity or as an opportunity for a creative person to dive into the “recycle box” on their own.  There are lots of ideas on the net!  Just type “how to use old wrapping paper and ribbons” into the search bar.

For more Christmas ideas go to:
Grandma’s Christmas Ideas

Grandma also writes skits.  Two of her most recent are titled “Grace” and “Application for Discipleship.”  You will find them at:
Grandma’s Skits


English is hard!

October 28, 2019

School has started and by now you should know if your child/grandchild needs help with reading English.  English is hard, but it can be fun!
When our grandchildren were young and overseas we started a “Let’s Read Together” series.  It is designed for both English speaking learners, ages 4+, and non-English speaking learners of all ages.  It is also designed to be a “together” experience that is fun.

Click on the picture below to see one of our “chants”.

In the books there are sentences with pictures to illustrate meaning.  As more words are learned, the sentences turn into short stories.  Resources are available: chants for all the basic sounds; word slides; bingo and match games; picture crossword and word search puzzles for practice and repetition; and challenges to look for smaller words in bigger words.
The first volume, based on the vowel A, was completed several years ago.  The second volume, based on the vowel E, is now available as well.  Both the A series and the E series and the growing resources that go with them can be found here:

Learn to Read with Grandma

We have also upgraded our membership website to include all of the resources that go with Grandma’s reading series, as well as the “Draw with Grandma” video series.  The cost for our membership site is quite reasonable:  $5/month or $30 for a lifetime membership.

Grandma’s Membership Site

Is this something you can use to not only build academics and opportunities, but also relationships with kids or with other adults?
AND…we encourage you to volunteer in a school classroom near you.  You will be amazed at what YOU will learn!


GLAMPING

October 14, 2019

We recently had an electrical outage that lasted 2 days. Because I am not a fan of camping, I can only compare it to “glamping,” or glamorous camping. We had most of the comforts of home: our own bed; running water; a gas stove. We could use nothing that ran on electricity and had to use battery powered items sparingly in case the outage lasted longer than expected. The freezer was not opened at all and the refrigerator was opened as little as possible. We had to choose what we could do and when we could do it based on natural light. Several of our neighbors had generators and offered their resources. Because of the short duration of the outage, we were fine on our own. We were amazed at how many things we found to do that didn’t require electricity. We were also amazed at how we automatically went to flip switches and turn things on. When the electricity did come on, the garbage disposal was the first sound to greet us.

I think I was emotionally prepared for two reasons. First, this outage was announced in advance, although its duration was questionable. Second, I had read the series by author Terri Blackstock that starts with the book “Last Light”. This fictional story walks a modern community through 3 years without electrical power.

This experience prompts me to suggest a family discussion and perhaps a “glamping” experience. How would your lives change if you had no electricity, no phone, no transportation? If nothing else, this would be a good time to count your blessings!


Holidays are here!

September 30, 2019

Believe it or not, multiple holiday celebrations are just around the corner.  Celebrations are a great time to teach kids about preparation and about being generous.  First up is Halloween.  I’m not a big fan of Halloween, but it is a great time to give things away.  Consider giving away craft kits instead of candy.  Here are two ideas for give-away crafts packets:
Pipecleaner puppets – Grandma has instructions that you can print out and include in your craft kit.  I’ve done a lot of these.  They fit nicely into a plastic sandwich bag.  There are small parts, so use them for kids 4+.  Click on the picture to find out how to make them.

Friendship bracelets from nylons – Grandma has done a lot of these too and has instructions that you can print out and include in your craft kit.  They also fit nicely into a plastic sandwich bag.  Kids in our 2nd grade classroom LOVE these!  Click on the picture to find out how to make them.

For more NYLON ideas go to:
https://www.bannermanfamily.com/hose_play.htm
Here is the most recent information from their site on how to get waste nylons:
Send a check or money order for $20 for each box.
Each box has approximately 240 single white hose.
Make check payable to:
HANES BRANDS, INC. and mark it for “WASTE HOSE”Hanes Brands, INC. – WASTE HOSE
ATTN: Nancy Terry
936 Clark Road
Clarksville, ARKANSAS  72830


Boring, sick days

September 16, 2019

Bored, but contagious?  Here’s a challenge!…No hands tower building.  Use your feet (less germs?) to see who can build the tallest tower.

One option for long sick/recovery times is watching TV.  Even that can get boring if it isn’t a good, long story.  One of my favorites to watch is “Anne Of Green Gables”.  During one of my recovery times I even wrote family discussion questions for it.  Click here to use them with your family – Anne of Green Gables Discussion Questions


We have WORDS in our family tree!

September 2, 2019

My Dad, a preacher, loved to play with words.  My Mom, a teacher, is a life-long lover of all kinds of puzzles.  Although I’ve never been a fan of poetry (but thank you, Carlyn, for having me do poetry in the classroom!) my home environment had me using words to communicate and express ideas.  For example, here’s a note that I put on one of Grandpa’s birthday presents early in our family life:

“There is something thin about you, something very thin indeed.
There is something thin about you!  Yes, you really are in need.
So, because we love you so much and we really, really care
we are happy to present you with this box of ___________________.”

I bet you can fill in the blank!  It is fun to see this family trait continued.  Here is one birthday note to me from our family:

“Your plants are thirsty, Grandma, maybe you could buy a hose.
I really like your flowers, maybe you could get one of those.
You could dress yourself to match them and buy a nice new blouse,
or go out to eat with Grandpa to get out of the house.”

Think about what skills/habits/thoughts run in your family tree.  How can you use those to continue to build up the people and relationships around you?

P.S. We often add music to our words too!  Click here to see/hear our family’s MIRROR SONG.
https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/sing-with-grandma/the-mirror-song/


YOU NEED TO BEFORE YOU NEED TO

August 19, 2019

We have “old” friends who are having health issues and are stressed with the daily details and choices involved, yet they hesitate to involve even their local children with their needs.  We have grown far to independent in our culture.  Think about it.  How do you want your grandchildren to take care of their parents (your children) when they are old or sick?  We are setting examples for our children’s children on how to care for others.  We need to live a humble example of both giving and receiving help and living our lives together.  We NEED TO ask and invite others into our lives before our NEEDS become too great for us to handle.  And, of course, we NEED TO be grateful as well.

It has been said that we both begin life and end life dependent on others.  The truth is that we are always dependent, regardless of our age or life circumstances.  It is just easier to be content when we are little tots and life seems simple.  Let’s keep that child’s heart for simplicity to compliment the other life lessons that we have accumulated.


MONEY CHALLENGE

August 5, 2019

Our children/grandchildren don’t stay young for very long!  They grow up fast and we need to make sure they are learning about money as they grow up.  Recently Grandpa thought up a wonderful money challenge for two in our family.  Here’s the scenario:

They had planned to go out to dinner, but couldn’t decide where to go and asked our ideas.

Grandpa suggested that they give EACH person the money (cash) they would have spent at a restaurant and instead go to the grocery store to buy what they wanted for dinner.

After shopping, there was cooking and reheating and sharing, depending on what each person purchased.

They documented each of their purchases and their dinners with pictures.

They had leftovers!

On the other side of the world, another grandson went to the outdoor market and got to choose food he wanted to cook for the whole family for dinner. He bought watermelon, broccoli and live shrimp. Total cost was about 10 dollars. He used a few spices from home and made a very nutritious and yummy dinner. Some of the other grands loved the shrimp and some didn’t.

A great money lesson….with side benefits!  This, or an adaptation of it, can work regardless of what the money budget is.  Great idea, Grandpa!


IT’S SUMMER HERE

July 22, 2019

Are the kids bored yet?  How about some art?  You can find information about and free samples of DRAW WITH GRANDMA here: https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/learn-with-grandma/draw-with-grandma/

Want more?  All of Grandma’s DRAW videos are available either on DVD https://www.ebay.com/itm/174290237815 or on Grandma’s Membership website, which is $1/month or $30/lifetime. https://membership.mygrandmatime.com/

Some of Grandma’s pictures are easy, some are harder. But, all of them are both fun AND educational.  HAPPY SUMMER!