Welcome to a place where we can share ideas about grandparenting, especially ways to pass spiritual values and family stories to the next generation.

Mary is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart.
Visit www.legacyconnection.org
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Co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Family Reunions

Tuesday's Thought

Hope that your week is beginning well.

I went to a genealogy seminar on Saturday and sat next to a man who told me about his family’s annual reunion. The adult family members take turns planning an annual potluck. Some relatives will travel hundreds of miles to attend it while others may live only a few blocks from wherever the reunion is held.

A friend of mine shared that her family has a big reunion every two years—again taking turns planning it. Their reunions last several days. One year each family was sent a quilt square to decorate (by sewing messages, printing a picture, writing in fabric markers, etc.). All of the squares were assembled into a beautiful family quilt that is proudly displayed at each reunion.

This past spring our family had a one-day reunion and it was so much fun that we plan to repeat it every two years in different parts of the country. Our first official reunion was simple—we met in a hotel, ate lunch and spent the afternoon (and the night and next day) visiting with one another. It was great to watch Mom with her great-grandchildren … and to capture this through pictures.

Have you ever had a family reunion? Do you have any tips for newcomers to this wonderful tradition like me?

He is able,

Friday, July 25, 2008

Family Traditions

Friday's Fun

“Recipes, collections, activities—almost anything can become family tradition,” say the Littauers in their book The Blue Plate Special. They say to “start with something that appeals to the majority. Maybe that’s sharing cinnamon rolls together (homemade or store bought, it doesn’t matter) the first Saturday morning of every month.”

I remember my family eating lunch with my grandparents every Sunday after church. We ate in a cafeteria and played a little game called “who can eat for the least amount of money.”

One of Pops' and my traditions when our kids were growing up was regularly marking their heights on a door. We’re continuing this tradition with the grands. They love to see how much they’ve grown! We draw a line for their height, include a date and first name, and sometimes even take pictures when we measure how tall they are.

Would you share a tradition that you have with your grandkids ... or a tradition that your grandparents had with you?

He is able,


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Unconditional Love

Tuesday's Thought

I love what Jean May e-mailed me about being a grandmother! She said:

Grandparenting gives unending pleasure that would be impossible to cover in a few words. …

It means so much to hear that little or not so little voice on the phone calling to tell me of something special that happened at school that day or asking about something that happened in the "old days."

Grandparenting has taught me patience, understanding, and appreciation for my parents and grandparents. So much has become crystal clear to me now. I know my role in my grandchildren's lives is an important piece of their life's puzzle, and they're an important piece in mine.

Everyone has heard that "grandchildren are the reward for having children!" That doesn't quite say it for me. I think grandchildren are a taste of the unconditional love the Father has for us all.

Jean’s wise words remind me of 1 John4:13, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”

He is able,

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cucumber Races

Friday's Fun

Pops and I recently had a weekend getaway with the entire family. We stayed in … well, I don’t really know how to describe it … a big cabin. It was great to pull away from the hectic pace of life and be with our sons, their wives, and our five grands. And it was great to be together in God’s wonderful creation.

While we were visiting, I glanced through a magazine called FamilyFun. It’s packed with creative ideas. One I plan to try with the grands is a cucumber race.

After choosing cucumbers that float (try them out in a tub of water), help the grandkids hollow them out. Then ask each child to make a different colored flag for his/her masterpiece. Stick the flags in the cucumbers with toothpicks. Once the boats are made, let the races begin.

I’d love to post some pictures of cucumber races. Please e-mail yours to mary@marymaywrites.com.


Oh, FamilyFun magazine has a website: http://www.familyfun.com/ .

He is able,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Magic and the Bible and More

Tuesday's Thought

We spent this past weekend with our children and grandchildren at a wonderful weekend getaway. We made some great memories that included fishing (for some of us), eating a great catfish dinner (for all of us), and listening to some genuine Ozark music.

It was such a relaxing weekend smack dab in the midst of a very complicated world. I was reminded of this when we started talking about how to teach kids about witches in a society where the occult is all too real. That conversation made me aware that I need to regularly pray that God will not only protect our grandkids from evil, but also that they will be able to discern good from evil and choose good.

It also made me look into what is available to help a mom, dad, grandmom, or granddad know how to talk with their kids/grandkids about the occult.

Surfing the Internet I discovered some good information from Andre Kole, a Christian illusionist, "Magic and the Bible" -- http://jestkidding.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/magic-and-the-bible.pdf

I also read about a book called Spellbound -- http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/AboutCANA_SpellBound.html. Until tonight, I had never heard about this book, but I think I’ll read it. Author Marcia Montenegro was asked by Cook Publishing to write this book as a guide for parents and other interested adults. It covers what the occult is, how it's being packaged and marketed in our culture, and how to talk to children and teens about the occult.

God gives us some clear direction about the occult in Galatians 5:19-21. It says, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Please share in the comments any ideas that you have on this important topic. Thanks!

He is able,

Friday, July 11, 2008

Homemade Play Dough

Friday's Fun

One of the things our grandkids love to do is make “homemade play dough.” (Okay, I confess, I love playing with this stuff, too.)

Here’s the recipe* that we use:

1 cup flour
½ cup salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring

Mix all dry ingredients. Add oil, water, and food coloring. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Cook until dough becomes one large ball. Empty onto waxed paper, Knead until smooth and cool. Immediately store in an airtight container.

Clear plastic jars make perfect “homemade play dough” containers. The dough stays soft and pliable, and you can tell the color at a quick glance.

Hope that you and your grandkids have many fun hours playing with this stuff! If they live out-of-town, you might want to send them the recipe (or send their moms the recipe) and ask for a picture of them having “homemade play dough” fun.

He is able,

*This recipe can also be found on page 63 of Help for Busy Moms: Purposeful Living to Simplify Life.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Friday’s Fun

Hope that you and your family enjoy the Fourth of July—the day we remember the approval of the Declaration of Independence (on July 4, 1776) by the Continental Congress.

If you have older grands, it might be fun to see how much they know about this national holiday. Depending on where they live, ask them questions in person, on the phone, or by e-mail.

A quick place to find some Independence Day trivia is the U.S. Census Bureau’s website.

You’ll find facts there such as:

  • The current population of our country today (July 4, 2008) is 304 million people.
  • The estimated number of people living in our nation on July 4, 1776, was 2.5 million people.
If you have young grandkids, you may want to have a parade on either Independence Day or later in July. Explain to the grands that an important document was signed more than 200 years ago on July 4, and that it declared our country to be a free nation.

Then give each child a small U.S. flag to wave and a “drum” to beat (empty oatmeal container). Join them in walking around or through the house—thanking God for the freedom that we have in our country.

He is able,


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Making Moments Count

Tuesday’s Thought

One of my favorite books is Let’s Make a Memory by Gloria Gaither and Shirley Dobson. I love what Gloria says, "Special moments don’t just happen; they have to be planned on purpose! In this hectic world when the pace at which we all live is so frantic, we as families must make a covenant with each other to make time for simple things. … We have no guarantees of tomorrows, but we do have this moment."

As a grandmother, I’m so aware that there are no guarantees of tomorrow, and I know how quickly the grands will grow up. I hope that you and I will both heed Gloria’s advice and take time for the simple things with our grands—walking in the rain, picking flowers, looking into the clouds together—marveling at the great God who created everything.

Speaking of making moments count, thanks to everyone who took some moments to leave blog comments. They’ve been fun to read and I’ve gotten some great ideas—hope you have, too.

Elaine shared how she wrote a prayer for each grandchild and sent the prayers to the adult children to pray for each particular child. She also said that on one of her granddaughter’s birthdays, she and husband made a list of "10 Reasons we appreciate Kelli." Elaine added, "She was thrilled. We put it on poster board and then laminated it."

Did you read Angie’s comment when she said, "The Bible says that children are a gift from God. I agree, but I think grandchildren are the ribbons and bows on the gift!" I just love that word picture!

Couldn’t you almost hear Laurie laugh when she wrote that her grands call her "Grandma Doggie." Yep, you guessed it—she's the grandmother with three dogs.

And Jean surely had a smile on her face when she shared in an e-mail that every time her grandkids come over they cook something. "They marveled over things made from 'scratch.' They never knew all things didn’t originate from a box or can," she says. "I hope they will remember the fun times as long as I will."

She later wrote that her daughter told her that she baked from scratch for the girls often. "Kids have short memories," Jean said, "and they [the grands] said, 'Oh, yeah, we forgot.' " :)

Before I forget ... if you leave a comment during the month of July or August, I will enter your name in a drawing for a copy of the book While They Were Sleeping: 12 Character Traits for Moms [Grandmoms] to Pray. I’ll draw a name on September 1 and will announce the winner’s name in the September 2 blog.

He is able,