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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Paper Hand-Print Wreath

Friday's Fun

With a little help, the grandkids can have a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving wreath.

· Cut a wreath ring out of poster board or cardboard and set this aside.

· Trace each grandchild’s hands on colored construction paper (choose fall colors).

. Repeat this several times.

· Help the grandkids write something they are thankful for on each leaf. (Of course, older grandchildren could do this by themselves.)

· Now, randomly layer/glue the hands around the wreath until it is covered.

· You may want to decorate the leaves with some pumpkin or turkey stickers.

Here are some examples of various autumn hand-print wreaths:

Handprint Thanksgiving Wreath

Autumn Handprint Wreath “a”

Autumn Handprint Wreath “b”

Thanksgiving Handprint Craft

Have fun!

He is able,

*Photo © Margaret Thompson. Used with permission.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stuck in Traffic

Friday Fun

Have you ever been grateful for waiting in long lines of traffic? I don’t know that I have.

Tina Miller shares a really good idea in her book In the Light of the Dark:

Most car licenses have three letters on them. As you are sitting in traffic or driving about, think about words that describe God or extol Him. My own car tabs [license plate] have GSL, and I’ve chosen Gracious Sovereign Lord. It could just as easily be God, our Savior and Lord or Giver and Supplier of Love. The possibilities are endless. Here are some more:

· HPP: Holy Protector Provider
· DSH: Deliver Savior Helper
· JRF: Jehovah Redeems Faithfully

What a great idea! It could help you and me and our grands exercise our spiritual and mental muscles.

Of course, we could use this same idea to do a little work on those grammar skills. Older grands could name nouns, verbs, or adjectives that begin with the first three letters on license plates:

· HPP: holly, popcorn, pumpkin (nouns)
· DSH: dash, sit, hop (verbs)
· JRF: juicy, red, funny (adjectives)

Hope that you and your grands have a little fun next time you are stuck in traffic together.

He is able,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Does God Sleep?

Tuesday’s Thought

One of our grands is trying to stop sucking her thumb ... trying. The other day I said: “Did you ask God to help you?”

“Yes,” she replied, “But He must have been sleeping.”

A smile crept from my lips as I recognized a perfect opportunity to help a little girl apply life to God’s Word.

"Let's see what the Bible says about God sleeping," I said and looked up "sleep" in the index of my Bible. I turned to Psalm 121:36 and read out loud: “He who watches over you will not slumber [sleep].”

“Honey, does God sleep?”

“No,” she said and paused for about a half of a second. “I guess I wasn’t listening.”

Somehow her words struck me as quite profound: I wasn’t listening. I wonder how many times God speaks to me and I'm not listening.

Psalm 81:13a says, “If my people would but listen to me. (NIV)" The Message, a Bible paraphrase, words this same verse a little differently: "Oh, dear people, will you listen to me now?"

Today, I'm gong to make an effort to be still and listen. Really listen.

He is able,

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Made with Love

Tuesday’s Thought
Our 3-year-old granddaughter and her 1½-year-old brother spent this past weekend with Pops and me. One of the things that we did together was make a cake.When the kids’ parents came over for lunch, they remarked that the cake was especially good.

The three year old cocked her head. “Know why?” she asked.

“Why?” her dad answered.

“I poured the cake mix in with all of my love,” she said. “The goodness you taste is my love.”

Out of the mouths of babes! She captured the real reason why she wanted to help make the cake. And, she expressed why caring grandparent do what we do. We cook meals, baby-sit, go to football games, pray, and read goodnight stories not out of obligation—but out of love.

Love—there’s nothing better, is there?

I’m reminded of 1 Corinthians 13:13,“And now these three remains: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."

He is able,

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fall Fun (Acrylic Paints, Pumpkin Centerpiece, and More)

Friday’s Fun

Well, today is Friday and two of our grands (almost 4 and 1 ½) will be spending the weekend. I’ve already made a trip to the hobby store. We’re going to make the fall placemats that I blogged about on September 26, and we’ll also decorate some plastic cups.

I learned today that you need acrylic paints for plastic … so, we now have acrylic paints. After a trip to the dollar store for the cups, we’ll be all set.

Painting can be messy for kids. If you're looking for an inexpensive “smock,” you could cut holes in an old pillowcase (for the child’s head and arms). I found disposable smocks online at Rex Art. Rex also sells an inexpensive child’s canvas apron with pockets that can be painted. Hummmm ... painting a grand's name on one of the aprons could make a fun Christmas present!

I was looking at Michael’s website and found a neat idea for an Autumn Pumpkin Centerpiece. It could be the perfect centerpiece to go with the kids’ fall placemats. You might want to scroll Michael’s site for the creative craft pumpkins ideas. I especially like Super Pumpkin.

Do you have any ideas for creative ways to decorate a pumpkin this year? Please share it in a comment or e-mail it to me at mary@marymaywrites.com.

Have a great weekend!

He is able,

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just a Little Thing

Tuesday's Thought

Last Tuesday I shared that our three-year-old grand and I were going on a "field trip in honesty." I was going to take her with me to the store and pay money that I owed for incorrectly charged items. I promised to give you an update, so here it is.

Actually, it was a pretty uneventful experience. I explained what happened to the customer service representative (and to our grandchild) and wrote a check for what I owed. Our grand and I talked about why it's always important to be honest. It was just a little thing.

But little things count, don't they? I still remember my dad explaining to me that when I write a check it's a promise—a promise that the money is in the bank.

When someone carries groceries to my car, I remember how Mom would always tip the young man or lady who helped her with her groceries ... and I do the same.

And at times when I look up at the moon on a dark night I remember Dad and I standing in the backyard together decades ago. He pointed up to the moon and said, "A man walked on that moon today." (I'm really dating myself now, aren't I!)

Life is made up of little things. Little moments that transform themselves into days ... and months ... and years.

I love what Gloria Gaither and Shirley Dobson said in their book Let's Make a Memory: "We have this moment to hold in our hand, and to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand. Yesterday's gone and tomorrow may never come, But we have this moment today!"

I hope that the moments that my three-year-old grand and I spent on our "field trip in honesty" made a lasting impression. Yes, it was a little thing.

But little things do count.

He is able,

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Crafty Weekend

Friday’s Fun

Two of our grands will soon be spending the weekend with Pops and me (ages 3 ½ and 1 ½). The three year old and I are going to make leaf placemats and also decorate plastic cups to go with the placemats. If you’ve ever painted plastic cups and have any tips, I’d really appreciate your comment about this.

Speaking of crafts, a friend recently returned from visiting her out-of-town nieces and nephew. She shared that she took them all to a craft store one day and let them each purchase one item. Then she helped them begin making their crafts before she left to return home. She said she's their favorite aunt. I wonder why?

Now, if you have an out-of-town grand and don’t plan to visit soon, you could mail them a craft. Either mail them one as a surprise or call/e-mail and ask the grands what they would like.

If your grandchildren surf the net, ask them to log onto a particular online craft site and help them select an item that they would like to make. You could even talk with them on the phone while both you and your grand are looking at the same website. You may want to purchase an identical craft, and you and your grand could compare your progress via the phone or e-mail. If you're into pictures on the cell phone, you could share your craft progress even though you lives miles from one another.

Have fun!

He is able,