Blog Archives

The Potential of a TUB

There are things and experiences in our lives that accumulate. As I previously mentioned, we need to decide if those things remain the same, get up-cycled, or get trashed. Recently, Grandpa pointed out that my stack of ice cream tubs, which had ended up on his side of our bed, were about to fall over on him. (I’m not really that much of a packrat! It’s just that we have family in the house right now.) I was faced with the question of “What is the potential of these tubs?” Should I throw them out or is there another option? I was able to figure out something other than throwing them away that also used up some of my fabric scraps. Grandpa liked the result so much that he asked me to make them for neighbors, friends, and family for Christmas.  You will find my project and the poem/s I wrote to accompany it if you click here.

The older I get the more I realize that if I can’t figure out a way to use my stuff and my experience/s for good, then I need to give things away and/or leave the past behind me. Is there something you need to face and make a decision about? Work out your challenges and solutions with those around you! Perhaps they can learn from your example, which is a wonderful way to UP-cycle!



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

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.



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


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

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


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 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!

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”.

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: