Blog Archives

Halloween?

Halloween is not my favorite holiday. The dressing up is fun! But, the potential for greed and vandalism does exist. So, sometimes when our children were young we simply went to dinner and a movie on Halloween. There were other times when we participated in church or neighborhood activities on that night. With those ambivalent feelings, how did I come to write a book that ends with a Halloween celebration?

Well, one positive thing about Halloween is that it has the potential for talking about and building community and relationships. Why does the little bear in Grandma’s story want to wear something special when going out with friends? How do we see ourselves? Are costumes just for fun or is there a deeper meaning in them? The answers to these questions could be important.

In Grandma’s story, Bear has 11 animal friends and each of them wears their own unique costume. The illustrations are line drawings, artfully done in tone on tone, with just a splash of color. It is a beautiful and FUN book, IF you celebrate Halloween.



The Alphabet

I was “surfing” through my computer the other day looking for files that I could save off or delete and ran across a video of our grandchildren watching a video. Their joy was evident as they watched the 3 stooges singing the swinging alphabet. We sang that song over and over again for months! It’s a great way to learn not only the sounds of the consonants, but also some of the vowel sounds.

Did you know that there is more than one way to sing the alphabet? When overseas we learned a different way to sing the alphabet song. Of course, there is still the traditional way to sing it with that curious LMNOP slurred together.

Grandma has put together tracing pages and simple songs that highlight the shapes and sounds of the letters in the alphabet, along with alphabet bingo and match games.

Whether you are helping a child or an adult prepare for reading English, there are many resources that can make learning a fun and memorable experience.



What’s in your attic?

8/6/2021

What’s in your attic? Is it still full of projects and artwork that your children did years ago? Why not revive some of those memories for your grandchildren/family? A neighbor of mine recently decided to turn one of her boy’s elementary projects into a book that she could share with her family. She had a steep learning curve when it came to drawing and formatting a book, but the work was well worth it when the book was completed. You can find her book here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096ZBGS8P

It’s a sweet story about a bear and hibernation. You can use it to learn about animal science. We’ve used Margie’s book in our life group to talk about what community looks like.

We did something similar, but with a book that was custom made within the family. CLYDE will be available free in kindle format through Tuesday, August 10:

https://amazon.com/dp/B00J6065BI

Take a tour of your memory boxes or attic with your children or grandchildren. What letters would be interesting for them to read? What stories can you tell about the pictures or other items that you find? What do you want to throw out before anyone else in the family sees it?
Too often we forget about what we’ve set aside. It is there to help us build for the future.



BASIC SKILL – COUNTING

I do not remember how I learned to count. It was a long time ago! I do know that I was an adult when I learned that my mother is a “counter” just like me. We count in our heads when we walk or when we water or when we whip or stir our recipes. That makes us a little like “Monk”, right? (“Monk” – a TV show from the years 2002-2009) You don’t necessarily want to teach children to count EVERYTHING, but getting an early start on counting is good. Start when they are young by counting their little “piggies” (toes) and their fingers. Several years back we made a song/video about counting to 20 using hands both small and large. Recently, I found some old video footage of a grandchild stacking and counting. These videos are on this page of our website:

How Many Fingers?

If you already know how to count in your native language, try learning to count in another language! You will also find videos on this page of our grandchildren as they count in a foreign language.

Counting can be a challenge, no matter what age you are! May these videos inspire you to have fun learning to count with those around you.



GRANDPARENTING SEMINAR

Grandpa and I have twice had the privilege of attending a grandparenting seminar. We had a sales booth but were also able to attend the seminar sessions. It was a HUGE blessing and an encouragement to be able to talk to others who wanted to grow in their relationships with their children and grandchildren. This year the same organization, Legacy Coalition, is hosting a national seminar in Alabama AND they have local churches around the U.S. who will host the same seminar via “satellite.” The dates are at the end of October. If you are interested, you can find more information here:

https://legacycoalition.com/summit/sites

We have also been watching the GRAND MONDAY NIGHTS that are hosted by Legacy Coalition. These are free zoom sessions that occur weekly on Mondays from 5-6PM in our time zone. They are filled with encouragement and information for those of us who are grandparents. You get an advance email telling you what the topics are and who is the presenter so you can pick topics that are relevant to your situation. Registration is free at:

https://legacycoalition.com/grand-monday-nights

Not interested in these? What is offered locally for you that you could attend or do with your children or grandchildren? Summer is a great time to explore community classes, museums, sporting events, zoos, etc. Or, schedule regular walks, play dates, or zoom visits together. Spend time with them now before their schedule gets as busy or as settled as yours is!



A summer letter to my grandchildren

Dear Grandchildren:

Here’s something to think about if you are bored. We watched this stop motion Lego movie at our life group recently:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geT2AFqfzHo

You could watch more of them….

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=legos+bible+stories

OR, you could make up a story of your own and explore how to do the same thing with your own Legos or objects or clay. Here are some videos that I found that may help you with your ideas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHTQr0kfA98
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRw_rkMwDq4

Such fun ideas! If you decide to try something, keep me posted!

(“Keep me posted” would be an old expression that, I assume, comes from the idea that you would mail or post a letter to let someone know what was happening or to keep them informed. It does not mean that you should somehow put me up on a post and shout at me or leave me there.)



Ed Emberley

June 11, 2021

Stacks! In my old age, I find myself surrounded by stacks! I remember as a child going into the “old” house, which was right next door to my grandparent’s “new” house. The “old” house was filled with stacks!!!…of everything!!! People who lived through the depression knew how to save things. My stacks are not quite so old, after all, we’ve been in this house for under 30 years. But, sometimes I feel like an archeologist who runs across a great discovery. I recently re-found a book that I have used often over the years at home, at school, and at church. This book uses fingerprints as the basis for artwork. Kids, young and old, love to find that their fingerprints can turn into all sorts of animals, plants, things, and people. The artist/author is Ed Emberley. The book that I have was published in 1977 and is called “Ed Emberley’s Great Thumbprint Drawing Book.” Mr. Emberley has authored a lot of books on art and has written and illustrated many children’s books.

Fingerprints are fun! Use them to illustrate stories or make a fun picture. It is a unique way to do something simple together.



SUMMER FAMILY TIME

School will soon be out. As I write this, we still don’t know how “normal” our summer will be. Will we be able to travel? Visit family? Will we need to spend time catching up on things? One thing I do know, we need to continue to do things that grow our relationships with each other. If we are honest, we know where we need to spend some time and effort. I urge you to follow through and make plans to address the needs you are aware of.

For our Bible friends – We often rely on special summer children’s programs or VBS to give our kids more depth in their relationship with God. If you still do not have access to those this summer, please check out our family Bible activities page. You will find lessons that you can share with your family, your neighbors, and your church. Three of our most popular lesson plans are: Beatitudes; Fruit of the Spirit; Ephesians/Armor of God. However, all of the lessons listed have a family component to them.

Most of these lessons are simple enough that your kids could lead them with a little help from you. Perhaps that would be a welcome opportunity this summer…



mygrandmatime news!

Although each of our families are different, we all get into habits of living.  Those habits often change with the times and with needs as they arise.
I am an early riser, but it takes me a while in the morning to want to engage with others.  When our kids were growing up, my husband would be on his way to work when it was time for the rest of us to get up.   After opening doors, turning on lights, and, in general, being the alarm clock, I spent quiet time in the kitchen preparing breakfast while the kids got up.  The wonderful part of that is that we usually had a really good breakfast.  Years later, our “early to rise” grandchildren learned to sit on the couch with Grandpa and read books until breakfast was cooked and everyone was up and ready to eat.  How do you say “good morning”?  With a hug?  A cup of coffee? The news?  With a song?

Make your good habits memorable!

We made a “good morning” video, years ago, with two of our grandchildren.  They are now both teenagers!
Good Morning to You



Mother’s Day is coming!

April 30, 2021

I saw this quote on a t shirt – “having a weird mom builds character!”

While cleaning and sorting I ran across an old neighborhood DVD that was made, years and years ago, as a mother’s day gift to all the mom’s on our street.  We gathered all the girls together and recorded them saying things about mothers.  We found some lists on the net and the girls added their own emotions and choreography.  But, after recording all the complaining and whining about what mothers say and what they make us do, we asked the question, “So, who would you like to have as a mother?”  To a girl, they all said, “MY MOM!”

It was 2 years ago that Grandpa’s mom left us for heaven.  Her influence on my husband still shows, even after our 47 years of marriage.

Make plans to honor your mom for who she is/was and for who you are growing to be.



MAKE A BOOK!

April 18, 2021

If you have ever looked through family pictures with your kids you will know how delighted they are to see themselves in print or on screen. Our children and grandchildren were (and still are!) not any different. One great way to show how much you love them is to put something about who they are and what they are learning into a book. If you need inspiration or help with that you might want to visit a website like this one: https://readwithmekids.com/ Although I have not used their software app, I like that they offer simple free services which you can use to make a simple e-book. There are charges for other services and for ordering both hard cover and soft cover books. Explore the site and see what you think.

I have used this software for some of my books: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201562880 The download is free, but the learning curve is higher. You can make an e-book for free and/or order and pay for a printed softcover book.

With the tools available today, we have come a long way from the cut and paste books we made when our children were small, although that may still be a good place to start. Take advantage special ways to connect with those around you!

For a look at some of our books, many of which were inspired by our grandchildren, go to: https://mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/shop-with-grandma/grandmas-books/



CELEBRATE!

We have much to mourn.  I know that we are not the only ones who have felt the pressures of life during the season that is behind us.  We have family that are no longer with us and our opportunities for service and fellowship have been severely limited.  BUT, we also have much to celebrate.  Do not let spring or Easter pass you by!

Click here to see my reflections on hope lost and hope found:  HOPE

You will find a fun way to celebrate Easter here:
8 Days of Easter



FAMILY MARKERS

3/9/2021

While walking by a neighbor’s front yard we saw this lovely post. They gave us permission to take pictures.

We have a different kind of marker in front of our house. Our mailbox has the handprints of each of our kids and our grandkids.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to make a “marker” that is unique to your family? What would you put on your marker? Making a family marker could lead to some great discussions and crafting times!



MAKE A PUZZLE

2/19/2021

Want to make a learning objective fun? Make a puzzle or game of it! Use today’s software tools to put your ideas into puzzles. After you’ve made a puzzle and shared it, have your kids make their own puzzles to share. They’ll learn by playing AND making puzzles. There are many sites that offer puzzle software free for our use. Here’s one that I have played with: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/  With this software, if you right click on your puzzle you can copy and paste it to whatever word processing product you have. You can then print it or enhance it with other text or pictures.

There are also many puzzle making software options available for purchase. I have used this one for years to make puzzles for church, school, family, and business purposes. Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy to use. Currently it has a “lifetime” price of $30.

https://www.qualint.com/wordsheets.html

Puzzles are great for learning and for fun. You can make them as gifts too! They are a nice addition to any greeting card.

There is always a bit of a learning curve in every software program. Experiment with the software long enough to be able to ask a question in their “help” area and you should be able to master it. If not, ask a child to help you! 😊



Fun way to box a gift!

One of my friends got a package from her daughter’s family this last Christmas. Not only was the gift a delight, but the packaging was as well. When the box was opened, instead of bubble wrap, my friend found crumpled paper. But, not just any paper. The crumpled papers were the result of her grandchildren’s artwork. You know, all those pages and pages that they go through as they use crayons and pencils and markers to explore shapes and colors and ideas in their heads and in their world. My friend spread out each piece of paper to enjoy before she even got to the “real” gift.

You don’t have to save this idea for Christmas. Set a box aside for artwork now and include some with each letter, card, or box you send. You will be enriching the lives of those you love. AND, think of the money you will save on bubble wrap!

I learn so much from my friends!



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

 



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