Blog Archives

#1 – Why a Grandma?


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


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!


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:

For a list of all our skits, click here:

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:

More of our free Bible lessons are found here:

I am very thankful for great friends and wonderful neighbors!

#2 – Lion Hunt


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.




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:

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.



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





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



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


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:

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



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.




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


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:

#5 Draw with Grandma


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:
and scroll down to find free samples of Draw with Grandma and pictures that kids have drawn with me.



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



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


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:



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.

#9 Bible Songs


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.” –

#10 Fish Friends


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:

Tell Stories


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:

New Book The Mysterious Thing

The Mysterious Thing

Sometimes EXPECTATIONS need to change


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.



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?



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:

There is so much to discover!  Enjoy discovering together!



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?


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:

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.



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:

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:

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


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


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:

Or, use hot crayon art for your picture:


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


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!


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:
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.


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.


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!


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:

Want more?  All of Grandma’s DRAW videos are available either on DVD or on Grandma’s Membership website, which is $1/month or $30/lifetime.

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

Tell a story

July 8, 2019

Being able to tell a story is an important communication skill.  Although some people seem to come by storytelling naturally, most of us develop the skill through reading and practice.  When our grandchildren were young, our daughter-in-law encouraged our family’s storytelling tradition by writing a simple story, using props and costumes that were available to act it out.  We were able to record that as a video.  Since then, we have done two more videos of stories that our family has put together.  If you watch them in order, you will be watching our grandchildren grow up.  Our 3 videos are here:

Practicing storytelling can be as simple as asking a child who cannot read to tell you the story in a book while looking at the pictures.  It can be asking a person to tell something about their day.  As we grow in skill and anticipation of telling a story, we look at the world around us in a different way.  We also learn about cause and effect when we think about how a story ends.  So, if you want to improve communication of your values, work together on storytelling skills.

saying “goodbye”

June 24, 2019

Saying goodbye for a long time is hard, even in this digital age.  One part of our family finally moved on, following a long transition, and that brought tears.  As a part of our “goodbyes”, our daughter brought a stack of pillowcases and a bag of permanent markers.  The kids spent most of 2 days drawing pictures on the pillowcases.  Everyone did something on each one.  We worked hard to build some good memories before they left.  The pillowcases help to bring those memories back as we wish each other “sweet dreams”.

Seeing each other on a computer or phone just isn’t quite the same, although we are very glad for that option.  Make the most of the time that you do have together!

recycle AGAIN

June 10, 2019
We have plenty of things to clean up and recycle at our house.  When we were cleaning out the garage, our oldest grandson found some smaller plywood circles that were leftover from cutting out the bases for our jigsaw puzzle wreaths.  He asked if he could do a project with them.  We agreed, IF he would do some planning and show it to us on paper.  Then, he could have whatever supplies from the garage and whatever help he might need from us.  He did all the planning and sanding himself.  He used up several old cans of spray paint and dipped his brush into some other leftover paint.  I made him a “circle brush” out of an old sponge.  Grandpa helped him secure the pieces together and put a hanger on the back.  Between paint and “elbow grease”, it took him about 3 days of work.  We now have a lovely custom sculpture that hangs in our garage.  What do you think it looks like?

Our granddaughter wanted to get some work in too, so she drew out several designs on paper, found and cleaned rocks, primed them, and then drew her designs on the rocks.  Those are now “hidden jewels” that I find when I go out to weed and water.

We have been working on house cleaning/updating and are currently still working through the garage.  Our grandson and granddaughter did these projects while one or both of us were out there working along side of them, but not on their projects.  It was a great way to bond, encourage, AND clean.  What wonderful project awaits you in your garage/shed?


April 27, 2019

What do you do when a 7 year old asks you to teach him how to knit a hat?  I’m rather crafty and I have done some (very little!) knitting, so this is something I could do myself.  But I wanted to be sure that my grandson could be successful, so I looked for a simpler option.  With a little research, I found that you can “loom” a knit hat.  After getting a set (4) of looms and the materials needed, I made a sample of each size of hat to be sure I knew how to do it.  The 4 looms worked out perfectly for me as I was staying with 4 grandchildren at the time and, of course, they all wanted to participate.  Even the 4 year old was able to loom!  I did have to do the finish work for all of them.  That was 2 years ago.  One of our grandchildren who didn’t get a chance to make a hat back then recently made his first one.  He was so excited about doing it that he taught his mom to make one for herself.

You can find the looms we used here:

Here are the video instructions that I found most helpful:

Our grandchildren ask us all the time to do things that they are not quite capable of doing successfully on their own.  It is our job to know when they need a challenge or when we need to find a simpler solution.  Our answer to their request does not always need to be “wait until you are older”.


May 13, 2019

Many of our fun family memories come from playing together.  We recently played “FISH BOWL” together.  We liked it so much that we kept requesting to play it again.  Our youngest grandchild is 6 and the oldest ones are 12.  (The only problem we had with this game was in interpreting some of the handwriting and spelling!)  The first time we played it, someone wrote “wiggly octopus” on one of the draw cards.  I got that clue for the pantomime round and also for the “sheet” round, and the kids are still talking about it.  Every game since there were several “wiggly octopus” draw cards written by grandchildren, and all anyone had to do was to either say “grandma” or point to me to get the whole group to say “wiggly octopus”.  FISH BOWL also gives you an opportunity to discover what is going on in your family’s world.  The latest fad, book, movie, job, etc., usually shows up in what is written on the draw cards, so you will have opportunities to ask questions that deepen your understanding of each other’s lives.  Fish bowl doesn’t require that you purchase anything.  You only need pencils, paper, a sheet, and a timer.

You will find instructions on how to play fish bowl here:

Don’t laugh too hard!

And, speaking of fish, try out this DRAW WITH GRANDMA picture – f is for five fish:

There are 4 dvds in the DRAW WITH GRANDMA series, with a 5th on it’s way to being completed.  What a fun way to learn to draw!


April 29, 2019

We recently talked to a “grandpa” who gave us some new ideas about treasure boxes.  Each time he visits his grandchildren he takes along a “treasure box”.  (Between visits he refills the treasure box.)  What goes into his box?….mementos from the past.  During each visit he tells the story behind his mementos.  Sometimes he lets each grandchild choose a memento to keep.  Sometimes he hides things in the mementos for a surprise.

I always recommend that grandparents have a treasure box or treasure drawer.  It should be kept filled with things that are precious as well as things that are “junk”.  When you have a moment with your grandchildren, either in person or via technology, the treasure box gives you an option of pulling something out and talking about it.  What is it?  What is it made of?  What shapes/colors do you see?  Where did it come from?  Does it have personal meaning?  What could/should we do with it?  Too often we don’t interact because we don’t have anything to talk or think about.  Having a filled treasure box around helps fill that need.

The “TREASURE BOX” in Grandma’s book is used a bit differently.  It is filled with things that once were lost, but now are found.  The story takes place in a school classroom, so it makes a great “thank you” present for a teacher.  It can also be used as a springboard for a discussion on taking better care of your “stuff”.  You can find “Treasure Box” here:


April 15, 2019

When our kids were little, Daddy brought home a HUGE cardboard box from work. It was about 4’X6’, about 1” thick, and the bottom edge was reinforced with wood slats. It had protected something really big and heavy. We weren’t very creative with it. A little folding and duct-taping of the top and a bit of cutting on the sides and we had a really neat playhouse. The kids helped us paint it and it lasted a whole season of backyard neighborhood play. I’m sharing this memory because our neighbors recently asked if we had any big boxes. They have since made a rocket ship for their son to enjoy. What a creative treat!

For younger kids, your creative work will provide hours of creative play. For older kids, being challenged to make something out of boxes can provide hours of creative thought and practice working together. Older kids can also be challenged to share their creation/s with younger kids. It is not that long before you will need a great summer project, so begin saving and asking for boxes now. You can usually fold them flat until needed.

Make a plan for family visits

April 1, 2019

Sharing responsibilities is good for leadership, character, and skill development.  We recently spent a long time with our whole family together.  This wasn’t a brief vacation but was a much longer transition situation.  During this time we could have spoiled some of us while overworking others.  Instead, we organized our days so that we each participated.  The form we used is below.  Most days it worked well and the kids were eager to take on their chosen responsibilities.  Your list may look different than this one.  Ours changes too because of time and place situations.

Yes, vacations and together times should include some “spoiling” for each of us.  But, take the time and forethought to build more teamwork with those around you.

Family Activities Chart

Grandma’s latest book highlights how a family with young children can organize and share their day together.  You can find “Two-zle Day” here:


Another Family Project

April 1, 2019

This video began as an English assignment for our oldest grandson. It was a lot of fun for us to put it together!
What school project can you take a step further by including your family? Be sure it is okay with the teacher and doesn’t reduce the learning goal for your child. You will find our latest family video at:

Education is important! We regularly volunteer in school classrooms. Here is one activity that the kids love that is also great for their education: