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.
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Co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The First Christmas Morning


Tuesday's Grand ConnectionThought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

As Christmas approaches, my mind seems to be captivated with the picture of Jesus Christ, Almighty God, resting in a simple manger. The creator of all did not even have a real bed for his head. There were no stuffed animals, no Internet announcements, no blue balloons inscribed with “It’s a boy.”

But his birth did not go unnoticed.

We are told in Luke 2: 8-14: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. …”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."


As I was driving home yesterday evening, crimson waves filled the sky and a flock of ducks flew overhead. The sight was magnificent, and I wondered what the sunset looked like on that first Christmas Day.

Surely it was majestic. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, had been born.

Merry Christmas,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com
Grand Connection blog
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© 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux.
Photo © 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux.

Friday, November 20, 2009

7 Ways to Keep Thanks in Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is just a week away! Here are seven ideas that can help us keep Thanks in Thanksgiving.

1. Memorize Philippians 1:3 (“I thank my God every time I remember you.”) Make a special effort as Thanksgiving approaches to tell the grandkids why you thank God for them.

2. Have a “bowl of thanks.” Ask each person in the family to write things they are thankful for on small slips of paper. Drop the slips into the bowl. On Thanksgiving Day read the notes of gratitude and thank God together for His many blessings. (Long-distance grands can either mail you their notes of thanks or write them on Thanksgiving Day.)

3. Talk with the grandkids (in person, on the phone, by e-mail) about the blessing of good health. If possible, with your grandchild, “adopt” someone who does not have this blessing—rake their leaves, walk their dog, go grocery shopping for them ...

4. Discuss Ephesians 5:20 with the grands: "Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

5. When the grandkids come to visit, make a paper chain of thanks: 1) Cut different colors of construction paper into strips. If you want a loose paper chain, cut long strips. Short strips will make small links. 2) Ask family members to write on the links what they are thankful for. 3) Attach the strips together to make a chain.

The chain can be hung in a special place for decoration. The links could be separated on Thanksgiving Day and the family could read the notes of thanks.

6. Deuteronomy 32:7 tells us to "consider the generations long past." Remember deceased loved ones by asking everyone around the Thanksgiving table to share why they are thankful for that special relative or friend.

7. Have a 5 x 7 or 8 x 10 family photo available on Thanksgiving Day. On the back of the picture write the date, who is in it, and one thing that each person was thankful for during the current year.

I read a great article about taking family pictures: 8 tips for great family photos. You might enjoy reading it.

Whenever I give thanks, I am reminded that God has blessed us in so many ways!

Abundant blessings,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com
Grand Connection blog
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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux.
Photo © Photodiane | Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Traditions


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

“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.” Of course, now I understand that game.

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.

When our out-of-town grands visited a week or so ago, one of the first requests was, "Measure us. See how tall we are."

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

Have a great week,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com
Grand Connection blog
Examiner.com column

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© 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux.
Photo © Ragne Kabanova | Dreamstime.com

Friday, November 13, 2009

Let's make a parachute


Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Have you ever thought about making a parachute ... for Colombia? Until the other day, I never had.

Christians in Colombia are often attacked and threatened by Guerrillas. The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) helps support a missionary pilot who flies into guerrilla-controlled areas and drops Bibles and Christian books. These books float to the ground in small parachutes.

A ministry outreach of VOM is Kids of Courage. Its website has complete directions for making small parachutes that can be sent to Colombia. (They request $3 to accompany each chute to help pay for books, shipping costs, and airplane fuel.)

I think that it would be great to make a parachute for Colombia with a grandchild, and also look at a map together, explaining where the parachute will be sent and what it will contain. (Directions could be sent to long-distance grands. Grandparents and grandkids could make their parachutes on the same day and exchange cell phone pictures. Or, they could mail one another pictures of completed chutes.)

We can find other activities, stories, downloads, etc., on Kids of Courage. Here's a link to a children's story written about missionary Gracia Burnham and the power of forgiveness.

How do you encourage your grandchild to help Christians in other countries?

He is able,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com
Grand Connection blog
Examiner.com column

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux.
Photo © Natalia Bratslavsky | Dreamstime.com

Friday, October 30, 2009

Donut Dates to Krispy Kreme



Friday’s Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

A fun thing that Pops and I have done with all of our grands is to take them on a “donut date”—right to the donut factory itself—Krispy Kreme.

There’s a Krispy Kreme not too far from where we live. I think the grandkids and I enjoy watching the donuts being made even more than eating them. Well … almost.

What could be better than a piping hot glazed donut—especially one with all of the calories removed? Of course, there are not just plain donuts at Krispy Kreme. There’s a counter-display filled with donuts of different sizes and shapes—chocolate covered with sprinkles, strawberry filled, cinnamon apple, ...

On a recent trip to Krispy Kreme, did our grands just want glazed donuts? No, they wanted pumpkin donuts. Guess what? They got pumpkin donuts.

Pops and I bring the camera when we take grands on donut dates. We’ve snapped some great pictures and captured some great memories.

Perhaps one day, when Pops and I are no longer on this earth, our grands will be eating donuts with their kids and they’ll say, “I remember when our grandparents took us to the donut shop.” And later they might even take out a tattered scrapbook and point to an old picture—a picture of Pops and me enjoying a Saturday morning with our legacy at Krispy Kreme.

Is it time for you to take your grands on a donut date?

If they live out of town, you could send them a gift card to a donut store and ask the kids' parents to e-mail you a picture of the grands eating donuts. You might respond by e-mailing your own memories of your "donut days."

He is able,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com

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© 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux.
Photo © 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Alphabet and Story Fun


Friday’s Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Would you like to encourage your grandchildren to stretch their imaginations and increase their writing "muscles"?

I was looking at some online articles and read one by Doris Schuchard in the Home Education Magazine that had some great ideas. If you’d like to provide hours of fun for the grands with newspapers and magazines, read on.

Doris suggested:

ABCs—Give each child a page from a newspaper or magazine. Assign them an alphabet letter and see how many words they can circle starting with that letter within a minute. Variation: Can he find a word for each letter of the alphabet?

Pops and I can use this idea with our grands who are just 3 and 4. Although they really don’t know how to spell, they could circle individual letters or highlight each letter of the alphabet.

End ItGive your child a short newspaper or magazine story, but cut off the ending. Have her write her own ending and then compare it to the real one. Variations: Give her endings from three different stories; can she choose the correct one? 2. Match headlines with the correct stories.

Although our small grandkids won’t be able to write endings to articles and stories, Pops or I could read them an article about something that would interest them (such as a story about an animal) and let them tell us the ending.

Older grands could stretch their imaginations as they write their own endings to various articles. It might even be fun to ask several grands to write the ending to the same article. Perhaps they could read them to one another if they all live nearby. Maybe long-distance grands could read them over the phone on a group call, or e-mail them to one another.

I don’t know about you, but I need to get a few newspapers and magazines out of the recycling bin—for the grandkids.

Have a great weekend,
Mary
http://www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com/

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© 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Stanko Mravljak | Dreastime.com

Friday, October 16, 2009


Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

A cold front moved through Arkansas last night and fall is in the air! So today, I thought we'd visit some websites that have printable fall coloring pages, words searches, mazes, and more.

The websites below have coloring pages and mazes that are perfect for the younger crowd (I printed off some for Pops' and my grandkids):

BOZ

Kaboose


Homeschool Helper


Here are a couple of mazes:

Pumpkin Maze

Spider Maze

And we may want to bookmark the following website with its array of puzzles for ages 3 - 12:

Puzzles4Kids

For those of us with out-of-town grands, we could print off some coloring sheets or puzzles and send them by e-mail or snail mail. Or, we could just forward this blog post to their parents.

Have fun,
Mary
http://www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com/

P.S. If you live in the Little Rock area, you may want to check out the Pinnacle Mountain Rendezvous and Fall Festival this weekend (October 17-18).

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sharing Family Stories


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

As a friend and I ate lunch together, we talked about passing down family stories. She referred to a passage in Psalms 78 that tells about the importance of sharing spiritual stories.

Psalm 78:4 (NIV) says: “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

The Bible paraphrase The Message says it this way (verses 1-4): “ … I'll let you in on the sweet old truths, stories we heard from our fathers, counsel we learned at our mother's knee. We're not keeping this to ourselves, we're passing it along to the next generation—God's fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done.”

It is up to us to pass on family stories—especially ones about God intervening in our lives and homes. We can share these stories with the grands while washing dishes together, taking a relaxing walk, or going on a drive. We can record our stories and burn them on CDs, or write them down in notebooks. We can even do something really simple—jot them down in our Bibles.

For years I've written down things I want to remember in my Bible—births, weddings, deaths. Memories such as,“God protected Chris from a terrible wreck when he did a 360 degree turn on a wet freeway and ended up in a ditch,” “God protected Jim when a car burst into flames 3-4 feet from a propane tank by his office,” “God protected John and Bre when they had a gas leak in their house,” and on, and on, and on.

As I’ve once again read the countless ways God has protected and led our family, I’m reminded that He can be trusted for the future.

I have to agree with the Psalmist, “He has done marvelous things!” Things that I want to remember. Things I want my grandchildren to remember.

What are some things that you hope your grandchildren will remember?

Have a great week,
Mary
http://www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com/

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© 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Family Guess Who?


Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

If you've been visiting The Grand Connection for a while, you probably know that I love the magazine Family Fun; it's filled with so many great ideas!
This month's issue is no exception; it has a creative tip that Rebecca Beachy shared. Since Rebecca does not live near her family, she has turned an old Guess Who? game a into a Family Guess Who? game.

In the original Guess Who? game, the board is made of cards that flip up to reveal the faces of different people. The object is to "guess" the identity of an opponent's "Mystery Person." Players ask questions to deduce the identity.

For example, if Susie asks Billy, "Does your person have glasses?" and his answer is "No," then Susie would turn down all of the cards of people wearing glasses. As you can tell, this is a really easy game and Pops' and my grandkids love it. The manufacturer recommends Guess Who? for ages 6-12, but two of my grandkids taught me how to play when they were just 3 and 5.

For Rebecca's Family Guess Who? game, she cropped and printed pictures of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, ... and taped them over the pictures that came with the game. Isn't that creative?

I did something similar to this once and printed off two duplicate stacks of photos of relatives. Then I laminated the pictures and mailed them to long-distance grands, explaining that it was a matching game. On the back of each photo I shared not only the name, but also something about the relative shown.
Hope that you have a great weekend! I may try to make a few garage sales and see if there are any old Guess Who? games out their just begging to be turned into Family Guess Who?

One final note ... the October, November, December issue of Encouraging Women with Hearts for Their Homes is now online. You may want to check it out.

Have a great weekend,
Mary
http://www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com/

P.S. How do you help your grands get to know relatives they seldom see?

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Here's to Praying Grandparents


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

When I look at the world today, I realize how important it is to regularly pray for our grandkids. Only God knows the challenges they will face in tomorrow’s world.

I’ve begun a prayer notebook to help me be intentional about praying for each of our grands on a regular basis. Since we have five grandkids, I pray specifically for each child one day of the week (Monday, Tuesday, etc.) and record specific prayer requests and Bible verses in a three-ring spiral notebook. It has five sections (one section for each of the grands).

There are many wonderful books on prayer. Two that I enjoy using are While They Were Sleeping: 12 Character Traits for Moms to Pray and A Grandmother’s Guide to Praying for Her Family.

While They Were Sleeping gives specific verses to pray for the following character traits: kindness, humility, teachability, forgiveness, obedience, discernment, purity, responsibility, courage, servanthood, contentment, endurance.

A Grandmother's Guide to Praying for her Family has 260 very short devotions, each beginning with a Bible verse and ending with a prayer.

God honors prayers; I’ve seen this in my own life and imagine that you have too. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing.

What a privilege it is to pray for our grands. It’s a gift that money can’t buy. One that will affect not only their lives today, but also their future.

He is able,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com/

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© 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 25, 2009

How to make an easy picture frame, tick-tac-toe board ... and more


Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Popsicle crafts can provide hours of fun. Our grands have made the cutest, one-of-a-kind Popsicle-stick frames. They're so easy to create.

First, ask the grandkids to color plain Popsicle sticks with watercolors or magic markers. When they dry, they can be decorated with stickers, printed words, or designs. Glue the prepared Popsicle sticks into the shape of a square. Attach a piece of artwork or picture to the back of the frame.

I googled “Popsicle crafts” and discovered countless craft possibilities. One clever idea is a “tick-tac-toe” board. It’s so simple to make!

Place and glue four Popsicle sticks onto a piece of heavy construction paper—so that they make the shape of a tic-tac-toe board. Then cut out three identical objects for the “x’s” and “o’s” (these could be slipped into a zip-lock bag for storage). That’s all there is to it—presto… you have a travel game.

Have a great weekend!

He is able,
Mary
http://www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com/

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo: © Monika Adamczyk | Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Great-Grandmothers are Special

Tuesday’s Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Last year our family had a mini family-reunion. A highlight was when my mother entered the room. The children had colored some pictures for her and several held flowers. As the little ones were waiting for their great-grandmother to arrive, you could hear excited echoes spread throughout the room: “She’s coming, she’s coming!"

When Mom joined the family, there was something good and right about showing honor and respect to her—the oldest member of our family. The one who has made countless sacrifices for every one of us. The one who knows the stories of six generations. The one who says over and over, “Things have a way of working out,” because she’s seen God’s faithfulness in the good and bad times.

I want to join Mom and pass on her legacy to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I want them to know that they can always trust God. That He’s there regardless of the circumstances. I want to model a life that lives out the belief in the words of Romans 8:28—that ultimately all things work together for good when we love God and live our life according to His purpose.

What legacy do you want to leave? What legacy did your great-grandparents and grandparents pass on to you?

Is there any specific Bible verse that you’re praying for your grands?

Have a great week,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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Related posts:

Grandparents are Special
What Does Grandparenting Mean
Why are Grandparents Special?


© 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"God must have been sleeping"


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

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. "Let's see what the Bible says about God sleeping," I said and looked up "sleep" in the index. I turned to Psalm 121:4 and read out loud: “He who watches over you will not slumber [sleep].”

“Honey, does God sleep?”

“No,” she said, pausing 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.

Have a great week,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Friday, September 4, 2009

Audio Books


Friday'sGrand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

"You’ve been barreling down the highway for hours. Everyone’s dissolving into a state of terminal crankiness, including you. The kids cry “are we there yet?” each time a highway exit sign comes into view. The healthy snacks are long gone, you’re down to your last package of emergency Gummy Worms, and you’ve still got four more hours in the car ahead of you. You’re tempted to pull over on the highway and dump the entire crew. Don’t. Instead, pop an audio book into your tape or CD player, relax, and listen to a story."
The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance

Have you discovered audio-books? Available in both bookstores and the library, they are a great resource to share with the grands, whether they live nearby or around the world.

When I spoke to a group of grandparents last week, one couple told about recording books for their grandkids, and sending them overseas where they lived with missionary parents. The grandparents rang a bell to indicate when it was time to "turn the page."

Pops and I did the same thing when some grandchildren lived out of state. We mailed them audio-books that we recorded, along with a copy of the books that we read. Their parents said that the kids loved it! (We had a little introductory message before each book or story that we read ... telling the grands how much we love them.)

Here's an idea: We could ask family members of all ages to record a favorite story or small book. How fun it would be to not only listen to these tapes or CDs together, but also to discuss the principles shared in the stories.

A good friend's father loved to tell family stories. One of her favorite possessions is a prized recording of him telling the tales that he so loved to share. Although he is no longer with her, she can still sense his presence as she hears his familiar voice and contagious laugh.

It takes a little time to record a favorite book, Bible passage, or family story, but it's well worth the effort! If you've recorded audio-books, what tips to do have for us?

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Stanko Mravljak | Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Grandparents Are Special


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Children's children are a crown to the aged. (Proverbs 17:6)

Last week I had a wonderful time speaking to the "Keenagers" of Geyer Springs First Baptist Church about grandparenting. What a great group!

I shared with them about how much I loved being with my grandparents. Life just seemed to stop at Nana and Grandpa's home. I remember Nana helping me draw pretend houses on big pieces of brown paper—cutting out the furniture from a Sears Catalog. And what fun it was to try to walk in Nana and Grandpa’s yard on a pair of stilts. I never did master that.

I asked the Keenagers about some of their memories with their grandparents. One of them said that she loves eating sauerkraut and remembers how her grandmother would let her eat a whole jar of sauerkraut when she would visit her.

Another fondly recalls her grandmother always prefacing plans with "the Lord willing."

One special lady is a wealth of family history. She shared how her grandmother, Little Mammy, would tell her stories about the times after the Civil War.

Another said that the "magic of Christmas" began with her grandmother, who lived with her family, asking her on Christmas Eve "Did you hear 'em?" Then her grandmother would say, "Santa Claus and his reindeer are up there [on the roof]!"

What are some of the wonderful memories that you have of your grandparents? Poet Nora Hetrick says grandparents “sprinkle stardust over our lives in all that we do.” I really like that!

Have a great week and sprinkle some star dust,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stone love and remembering jars


Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Karen commented earlier this week that her daughter, Tara, tried to sell painted pet rocks when she was a little girl. "Actually," Karen said, "she was quite good at painting rocks."

I thought about Karen's comment when I opened up the September issue of Family Fun. Guess what one of the articles is called? "Stone Love"!

In this article, Barbara Rowley shares how her family has made a tradition of collecting interesting rocks and how they turn them into jewelry, art, games, mementos. etc. They've also played checkers with the stones, written special messages on them, and made a family hobby of looking for heart-shaped rocks.

I really like Barbara's ideas and would like to begin searching for heart-shaped stones with our grands. It would be fun to decorate and date them to remember special occasions and events, perhaps dropping them into a clear plastic jar.

Long-distance grands could collect and decorate their rocks in their own homes and drop them into "a remembering jar" when they visit "Grandma's house." Doing this could open up conversation and create special memories.

Of course, the idea of writing on rocks and using them to help us remember sure isn't new. Moses wrote the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets (Deuteronomy 4:13).

And "Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, 'In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, What do these stones mean? tell them, Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground...'" (Joshua 4:20-22).

Have a great weekend,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Artsandsoul | Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Really Matters?


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux


Marybeth Curtis wrote in her poem, "The Measure of a Man" that:

The measure of a man is not only measured by feet and inches,
but his ability to encourage others to grow.

The strength of a man is measured not by brawn and muscle,
but by silently suffering in the face of adversity.

The wisdom of a man is measured not in the cost of formal education,
but through priceless advice from years of life's experiences.

The faith of a man is measured not by mighty sermons preached,
but by a humble life of Christ's example.

The love of a man is measured not by costly gifts or earthly treasures,
but by freely giving of himself and his prayers for an eternity with family
and friends.


I think that Marybeth's words are good reminders for all of us ... regardless of age. As grandparents we have an opportunity to invest in the next generation and model what really matters in life.

What do you want to model for your grandkids? What did your grandparents model for you?

He is able,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
"The Measure of a Man" © Marybeth Curtis. All rights reserved.
Photo © Suzanne Tucker/Agency: Dreamstime.com

Friday, August 7, 2009

Playhouses and Forts


Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

I just love playhouses and forts. What about you? Do they bring back any special memories?

My Dad and brother built a wonderful kid-sized log cabin when I was a child. My memory bank was filled with leisurely times in the "perfect cabin"—one built with neatly cut and stacked logs. Well, that picture came crashing down a few years ago when I saw a picture of our fort. Many of the logs didn't even line up. In reality, that didn't matter to a little girl in her make-believe world. It was perfect to me.

Our children used to make forts out of sheet-covered chairs, and they also built a tree house using boards and who knows what. Part of it still remains in our backyard today.

It's funny to think that I had absolutely no problem with the kids climbing high into the trees years ago, hanging on for dear life as they made their tree house. It's a lot harder for me to imagine letting our grandkids do this, but in a few years they just might repeat their fathers' legacy.

On another note, I saw a picture of the cutest "eco-friendly playhouse" in the August 2009 issue of Family Fun. It's not only a recyclable playhouse for toddlers, but also an art canvas for their older brothers and sisters.

And when I googled "make a playhouse," I discovered some directions for a playhouse made of pine (4 feet long by 3 feet wide and 4.5 feet tall). I just printed out the instructions because it looks like a great project for Pops to make. Wonder what he'll think?

Finally, for long-distance grands, we could order a recyclable playhouse and have it mailed directly to their home. Or, we could mail or e-mail directions for a pine playhouse.

Have a great weekend,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Oscarcwill.../Dreamstime.com.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Encouragement: Scribbler Award


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

"Encourage me," said author William Arthur Ward, "and I will not forget you."

Sharon Ball (who writes the wonderful blog A Break from the Norm) sure surprised me last week when she presented The Grand Connection a Superior Scribbler award. Sharon encouraged me ... on a day when I needed some encouraging, I might add.

Before I announce my Superior Scribbler awards, allow me to share the guidelines:

1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Drumroll, please!

I'd like to present the Superior Scribbler award to (in alphabetical order):

Blessed Journal
: I love reading the legacy stories that blogger Karen Jordan and others share.

Culture Watch
: FamilyLife writers blog on what's happening in the world concerning two things that are close to my heart—marriage and family.

Experiencing Each Moment
: Blogger Alica transparently shares her experiences with SPD (sensory processing disorder), Navy Life, great books, Cystic Fibrosis, and her many roles.

FamilyLife Mom Blog: This blog is written by moms, for moms. I love to read about their joys, sorrows, and special "mom" moments.

My Book Therapy: This is a great blog for those learners who love to write. Award-winning authors Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, and Sarah Anne Sumpolec are blogging a book in 2009.

Thanks, again, Sharon, for the encouragement! As William Arthur Ward said, "I will not forget you."

And grandparents, may you and I be intentional about encouraging our grandkids. After all, encouragement is a priceless gift that not only connects hearts, but also legacies.

He is able,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © by US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Baptism of a grandchild

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Our oldest grandchild is getting baptized this Sunday and Pops and I will be at the service. What a wonderful day it will be!

Pops and I wanted to give this granddaughter a gift and decided on a necklace with a small cross. If I get my act together, I'll also write her a special letter from Pops and me. It will encourage her to hold firm in her faith ... to remember that Jesus Christ will never disappoint her ... to know that He is her stronghold, refuge and savior (2 Samuel 22:3).

I googled "baptism gifts" and found some great ideas:

personalized Bibles, crosses, silver baby keepsake

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism - Copper Finish Frame

"Remember Me sterling sliver necklace" - of a lamb

Psalm 23 plaque

Besides giving our grandchild a necklace with a beautiful multicolored cross (which reminds me of a multicolored life), I want to write her a second letter about her decision. It will be sealed in an envelope for her to open when she is 18 years old and put in a keepsake notebook. In this letter will be Pops' and my testimonies and some words that will hopefully encourage her to live a life pleasing to God, regardless of what society says about values and the purpose of life.

Have any of your grandchildren been baptized? Do you have any suggestions for Pops and me? Did you give your grand a gift or write him/her a special letter?

Have a great weekend!

He is able,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Crafts from Popsicle Sticks

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Before we talk about a fun, easy craft, I wanted to give you an update about my visit with a granddaughter last weekend. I asked her to tell me about vacation Bible school and said, "Was it was fun, scary, etc.?" She answered that it was a little scary at the beginning because she didn't know anyone but then it was a lot of fun and that she made a lot of neat things.

Talk about fun ... Here's our Friday's Fun idea—Popsicle crafts. They can provide hours of fun!

A few months ago one of our granddaughters made the cutest picture frame with popsicle sticks. She colored four of them with magic markers, and then we glued them together with wood glue. She added her decorative touch to the frame, and it was ready for a picture (to be glued to the back of the frame).

I googled “Popsicle crafts” and discovered countless ideas. One is a “tick-tac-toe” board. It’s so simple to make! Place and glue four Popsicle sticks onto a piece of heavy construction paper—so that they make the shape of a tic-tac-toe board. Then cut out three identical objects for the “x’s” and “o’s” (these could be slipped into a zip-lock bag for storage). That’s all there is to it—presto… you have a travel game for the car.

You may want to check out the dollar store for Popsicle/craft sticks. I bought a package of multicolored sticks there for ... yep, $1.

Have a great weekend!
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photo by Ami Beyer. © Ami Beyer | Dreamstime.com.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Three Words

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Earlier this week, a friend of mine asked on her blog, "What are three words that best describe you?" And then a couple of days ago at a Toastmasters meeting, a man gave a talk called, "Seven nouns that describe me."

What words would you select to describe yourself? What words would your grandchild choose to describe himself/herself?

It would be fun to answer these questions over lunch with a grandchild. For out-of-town grands, this could be done by phone or e-mail.

We might write down various nouns on a page for the younger crowd, for example: friend, helper, sister, brother, gymnast, soccer player, daughter, son, grandchild, dog owner, complainer, ballet dancer, Boy Scout, Girl Scout, student, tickler, etc.

Or, choose from a list of adjectives such as: joyful, funny, loving, hardworking, studious, friendly, fat, thin, serious, worried, happy, busy, bored, tall, short, patient, kind, mean, scared, trusting, tired, energetic, etc. (This could be done verbally or by circling words.)

We could also ask our grands to choose nouns or adjectives to tell us about their best friends.

After our grandkids share, we could choose words that describe ourselves ... and our friends.

My guess is that this little exercise will open up communication lines.

Two of our little grands are coming over this weekend. I think I'll ask the four year old to choose words to describe herself to me and I'll select some to describe myself. I'll let you know how it goes.

Have a great weekend,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © 2005 by Daniel Wildman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Celebrating the simple things

Tuesday’s Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

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'm realizing how quickly the grandkids 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, I'd like to share some of your wonderful memory-making ideas over the past months. Elaine once commented that 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."

Sharon B. mentioned an age-old favorite memory-maker that I had forgotten about—catching lightning bugs. And Sharon T. reminded us of how much fun it is to take a grandchild to a local parade.

Karen has sweet memories of identifying shapes in the clouds with her grands. She said, "I enjoyed listening to my grandson, Ethan, talk about the shapes he could see in the clouds. We even found Spiderman—can you believe it!"

"With siblings and cousins," Rita said, "we’d take turns, one at a time, climb inside a big rubber tire, roll down cousin’s ten foot high terrace across the entire side yard and crash into the pasture fence, or a tree, get out all wobbly legs and go for more."

When you and I make the effort to capture everyday moments with our grandkids, it's like we're tying our hearts together with a great, big invisible red bow over our priceless gift to one another, unconditional love.

Let's make a memory ... today,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Puzzle fun!

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Two of the grands were at the house last night and they had a great time putting a package of School Zone puzzle cards together to make three-letter words. For example: the entire picture of a dog was on three 4x6 cards (the ears and head were on one card: D; his stomach on another: O; and the third card had his tail: G).

From a stack of cards, the kids had to find the three cards that formed the picture of the dog and put them together. Then the older grandchild spelled the word by looking at the letters.

It would be so easy to make our own sets of puzzle cards. We could do this by printing pictures on cardstock and cutting each picture into pieces. If we wanted to make easy three-word puzzles for the young crowd, we could print a picture (example, family dog) on cardstock, cut it in thirds, and put the individual letters of a word on the separate pieces.

We could make larger printed pictures (on cardstock) for the older crowd, and cut them into many pieces.

Here are some more puzzle ideas. The website Discovery Education has a neat puzzle-making program! In a few minutes we can make a maze, word search, hidden message puzzle, and more. I want to bookmark this site. Wouldn't it be great to mail special, custom-designed puzzles to the long-distance grandkids!

Do you work puzzles with your grands or have special childhood memories of putting puzzles together?

Have fun,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cakes Made With Love

Tuesday’s Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

God sure teaches me through Pops' and my grandkids.

I can still vividly recall a conversation a then 3-year-old granddaughter and I had while baking a cake together. When her parents joined us 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."

Have a great week!

He is able,
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Savoring the Simple Things

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

It was fun reading your comments about last Friday's post. It seems like lots of us have fond memories of not only tadpoles and frogs, but also box turtles and lightening bugs.

I asked one of our sons if it would be okay if Pops and I gave our four-year-old grandson a "Grow a Frog" kit. "You don't need to do that," he answered. "I gave him a tadpole that I found when I went fishing and it's in a bucket in our garage."

Glad I asked. A tadpole in a bucket is just as good as a "Grow a Frog" kit ... maybe a lot better. It's such a simple thing.

It really doesn't take much to make a kid happy, does it?

My childhood memories include not just tadpoles from the neighbor's pond, but also climbing a "slippery" tree, holding squirming puppies, and lying in the warm grass while imagining shapes of animals in the clouds above.

And it seems like yesterday when our sons were jumping through tires and racing to trees in the backyard, and building make-believe forts out of sheets and blankets. When the grands visited last weekend they had so much fun building things with the same blocks that their dads played with years ago.

Do you ever feel like life today is far too complicated? Could it be time to go back and savor the simple things?

What were some of the simple things that you enjoyed as a child. Do you ever stand in the backyard at night with your grandchild, look up at the stars, and just wonder together?

Have a great week!

He is able,
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photo © Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

First-Time Grandma

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

I was visiting with a friend recently who had just found out that she’ll be a first-time grandma. As she told her exciting news, one big smile covered her face.

Her son and his wife had given her a present—a wrapped Willow figure of a grandparent and grandchild. When she opened it, she got the message.

Another friend shared how she and her husband were invited to a picnic by their daughter and son-in-law. When they saw their granddaughter at the park, she had on a T-shirt that said, “I’m going to be a big sister.” That meant ...

One of our sons and his wife gave us a CD with some family pictures on it. In the middle of the CD was a very special picture—of an ultrasound. We were thrilled because we knew another grandbaby was on the way!

How were you told that you were going to be a grandparent? Please post a comments below or e-mail me at mary@marymaywrites.com.

He is able,
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photo © Krasphoto/dreamstime.com

Friday, June 5, 2009

Making the Story of David and Goliath Come Alive

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Thanks to those who left comments and sent e-mails about Tuesday's post. Your words were a good reminder that we all have our Goliaths. "No matter what season of life I'm experiencing," KJ said, "I seem to always have giants to face and conquer."

Whether we are facing the giants of cancer, a lost job, a rebellious loved one, etc., God will never desert us. We are reminded in Isaiah 41:10, "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

For this week's Friday's Fun, let's reenact the story of David and Goliath with our younger grandkids. Make a homemade slingshot from a wishbone-shaped stick and a rubber band, and use wads of paper or cotton balls for stones. You could be Goliath and your grand could be David.

After making "giant sounds," call out "Who will fight me?"

Ask your grandchild to say, "With God's help, I will," and then let him/her shoot you with the paper wads or cotton balls. Be dramatic as you "fall" to the ground. Take some time to discuss with your grand how the boy David was able to take down huge Goliath. (David wasn't focusing on the size of the giant before him. Instead he was focusing and trusting in our all-powerful God.)

For long-distance grandchildren, we could read the story of David and Goliath over the phone (1 Samuel 17) and then talk with them about David's faith. Ask your grandchild if he/she is facing any Goliaths. Depending on your grand's age, you may want to share some Goliaths that you are facing.

Here's another idea: You and your older grandchildren may want to gaze into the night sky together (do this in person or by talking on cell phones at the same time). Try to count the stars. Read Psalm 8:3 (NIV) together: "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place," and talk about the wonderful things that God has created.

Then imagine what David, the shepherd boy, saw when he protected sheep on a hillside thousands of years ago and discuss why he had such faith in God.

Have fun!

He is able,
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Boy Named David

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by May Mary Larmoyeux

It seems like I’ve heard the story of David and Goliath a million times. Yet, no matter how many times I hear it, the faith of the small boy David facing the giant always amazes me. David knew God upfront and personal. He truly believed nothing is impossible with the Lord, and he acted on that belief.

I'll never forget sharing the story of David and Goliath at church to a group of 3-5 year olds. Our out-of-town grandson was visiting that weekend, and when I asked for a volunteer to be David, his hand shot high in the air. So, I chose him to play the part.

Who was Goliath? A high school student who was over 6 feet tall. Seeing my small grandson next to the seemingly huge Goliath gave me a new appreciation for the faith of David.

When Goliath roared, "Who will fight me?” my four-year-old grandson jumped to his feet and shouted in his tiny voice, “I will.”

As I watched my grandchild standing next to Goliath. I thought If this were a real fight, you wouldn’t have a chance—in man’s eyes.

I can’t help but think of the future battles ahead for our grandkids. As they get older and experience more of life’s temptations and struggles, I hope they will be like young David and will rely on God's enabling strength. May they know that when the Lord is on their side, absolutely nothing is impossible.

He is able,
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bowling, Anyone?

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a small plastic bowling set at Wal-Mart for just $5. It's perfect for kids four and under. Pops and I just happen to know and love quite a few little ones who fit into that category.

Our almost two-year-old grandson loves the new bowling set. Now when he comes to see Nana and Pops, he walks up to me with outstretched arms, looks up with his big blue eyes, and pleads, "Bowl?" It's easy to say "yes," because all I have to do is put up a baby gate to keep the ball in a narrow hallway turned bowling alley. Someone taught our little grandson to sit down when he bowls, and that makes it even better. He and I line up the pins and he sits down and rolls the ball. When they fall down he is overjoyed.

Years ago, Pops and I didn't have a plastic bowling set, and the kids used plastic bottles and a plastic ball for a homemade version. It worked great!

If you have older grands, you may want to take them to an actual bowling alley and enjoy a game or two with them. What about our long-distance grands? We could mail them some money for some special time "in the alley." We might even want to go bowling in our hometown at the same time that they'll do this where they live. Wouldn't it would be fun to call one another by cell phone when we are actually bowling!

Do you have any special memories about bowling with your grandkids? Any bowling tips?

Hope to see you "in the alley!"

Have a great weekend
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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Photo Credit:© by Mary May Larmoyeux.

© by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is God Listening?

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Not too long ago, one of our grands was unsuccessfully trying to stop sucking her thumb. “Did you ask God to help you?” I said.

“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 God says about sleeping," I said and looked up "sleep" in the index of my Bible. I turned to Psalm 121:3 and read out loud: “He who watches over you will not slumber [sleep].”

“Honey, does God sleep?” I asked.

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

I wasn’t listening. Somehow her words struck me as quite profound. I wondered about the times when I thought God wasn't speaking to me.

Psalm 81:13a (NIV) says, “If my people would but listen to me. 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 ... and hear what God has to say.

Have a great weekend
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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Photo Credit:© Photographer: Lukasz Fus; Agency: Dreamstime.com

© Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Day with Great-Granddad

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

I read a neat article in an old issue of Family Fun (September 2008) by Shelley Abreu. Her father died when her oldest child was about three. Shelley grieved that her kids would never know this grandfather.

The article tells how she created “A Day with Grampy Rick.” She wrote down favorite memories on cardstock (such as blank index cards) and pasted descriptive pictures on the cards. For example, she says: “I scrawled ‘Tickle Torture’ and pasted on a picture of my dad tickling me. He was famous for his tickle attacks …”

When she completed a stack of “memory” cards, she put them inside one of her father’s old suitcases and tied a card on the outside handle that said, “A Day with Grampy Rick.” Yes, she attached a favorite picture of her dad.

Shelly explains in her article that whenever she opens the suitcase with her children for a “Day with Grampy Rick,” she shows them the pictures and reads the accompanying memories—and then they do some of the activities. Example: After she reads “Tickle Torture” and the memories, she tickles the kids.

Isn’t this a great idea! We could expand this to “A Day with Great-Grandma and Great-Granddad,” “A Day with the Jones Family,” or “A Day on the Family Farm, etc.”

Have fun!

He is able,
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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© Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ideas for long-distance grandparenting



Although long-distance grandparenting is easier in today's electronic world, it's still hard when our legacy lives hundreds or thousands of miles away. E-mails and web cameras are great, but there's nothing like one-on-one visiting with those we love.

I've thought about long-distance grandparenting since I read the comments to last week's Tuesday's Thought , "The Babysitting Investment." So today, I thought we'd focus today on ideas to enrich those so important long-distance relationship!

Let's begin with a comment that Rita made about "The Babysitting Investment" :

"With seventeen grandchildren, we were busy all year remembering birthdays and holidays. Often, we’d send photos of them taken on our last visit or a drawing with a made up story.

Thanks, Rita! Those are some great ideas! Now, let's have a little fun with them:

Take pictures with the grandkids when you visit them or when they visit you. Then mail (or e-mail) the grands the pictures. For an extra touch, you or I could send the pictures with a letter reminiscing about our time with the grands. Or, we could put the pictures in a magnetic frame (that can be displayed on the refrigerator) before dropping them in the mail. We may also want to have a matching photo displayed on our fridge.

Draw a picture of something we did with our grandchild when he/she visited. For the artistically challenged, like me, we could have fun with the drawing by asking our grandchild (over the phone) to answer questions about it until he/she correctly guesses what the picture represents.

It might be fun to ask our grands to also write stories about their visit and compare their stories to to ours.

We could record a made-up story for our grandchild—using his/her name and places that we visited together. For very young children, we could ring a bell at the end of each page.

Here's another idea:

Pizza's on Pops Once Pops and I ordered pizza for our son and his kids who lived what seemed like millions of miles from us. We paid for the pizzas with a credit card and had them delivered to their house. Our children and grandkids thought that was a really special treat.

What are some things that you do to connect with your long-distance grandkids?

Have a great weekend!

He is able,
Mary

http://www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.com/

© Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Babysitting Investment

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

I was visiting with a good friend today who happens to be a grandmother. And guess what she's been doing for the last 8+ hours. If you said babysitting (probably with a smile), you were right.

Before I had grandchildren I used to think that it was a lame excuse if someone said they wouldn't be coming to a party or participate in a meeting because they were "babysitting for the grandkids." I thought, "Surely your kids can find someone else to watch their children."

But after Pops and I had grandchildren, I finally understood.

I now think that babysitting for the grands is right up there with finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But why?

Maybe it's because I think of Pops' and my children as I watch the grands play with toys that once belonged to their parents. Maybe it's because I now understand that time does not stand still and that life is very short. Or maybe it's because I realize that babysitting for the grandkids is a way to invest in my legacy—a way to sow spiritual seeds today for future generations.

The values we model for our grands, the faith that we share, and the family stories we tell when babysitting ... all weave a connection to generations we will never see.

As Proverbs 13:22a says, "A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children."

To me, babysitting for the grands is much more than just watching the kids. It's building an inheritance filled with memories, and family stories, and hugs.

So, what do you think about babysitting for your grandkids?

He is able
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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© Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Praying for the Grandkids

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

When I look at the world today, I realize how important it is to regularly pray for our grandchildren. Only God knows the challenges they will face tomorrow.

About a year ago I started praying through a wonderful book While They Were Sleeping: 12 Character Traits for Moms to Pray. It gives specific verses to pray for the following character traits: kindness, humility, teachability, forgiveness, obedience, discernment, purity, responsibility, courage, servanthood, contentment, endurance.

Since Pops and I have five grandchildren, I have five of these books—yes, one for each grand. I emphasize prayer for one grand on one day a week, and when I pray for him/her I write the date (and sometimes a note) inside While They Were Sleeping.

I've also done a great Bible study by Sammy Tippet, Praying for Your Family. Sammy gives specific ways to pray and shares how God answered prayers for his entire family. It's really encouraging!

What a privilege it is to pray for our grands. It’s a gift that money can’t buy. One that will affect not only their lives today, but also their future.

He is able
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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© Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Birthday Letters

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

"If you could go to lunch with anyone, who would it be?" That question was asked at a Toastmasters meeting I attended this week, and most people said their grandparents. When asked "Why," the common response was "I never really knew them."

Did you know all of your grandparents? I only knew two. Thinking about this has reminded me of the importance of writing our grandkids letters.

A couple of years ago Pops and I started a new tradition with the grands—writing each of them a birthday letter. I read this idea somewhere—I think in the Littauers’ book Making the Blueplate Special. I thought it was a great, very doable idea.

It’s been fun for Pops and me to share in our letters memories of the actual “birth day.” We’ve also included memories during the year and a Bible verse that reminds us of the particular child or a Bible verse that we’ll be praying for that child.

Although some may want to handwrite birthday letters, I type ours on the computer. I include special pictures in the body of the letter, and print the letter in color.

Pops and I not only give each grandchild his/her birthday letter, but also keep a copy into a notebook that we’ll give the grandchild when he/she is 18 or 21. (How I wish I could open up a notebook and read 18 or 21 letters from my grandparents.)

What do you do to make special memories on your grandchildren’s birthdays? How did your grandparents remember your birthday?

He is able
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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© Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Where's God in the Thunderstorms of Life?


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Sometimes I need to be reminded that God is in control. As I look at our world today, I need the reassurance that He is much bigger than evil and will work everything out for good, according to His purpose.

The sermon at church last Sunday was just that reminder. Our pastor said that God does not cause evil ... that He is so much bigger than any evil ... that He does work all things for good according to His purpose.

I think that we can get a peek into this when we look at grandchildren. A friend recently told me that her grandmother was such a comfort to her when she was a little girl. She remembers waking up in the dark at Grandma's house during a thunderstorm, shaking in fear ... until Grandma came.

I can imagine the older woman nestling the frightened child in her arms, kissing the top of her head, and then whispering that everything would be okay in the morning.

Like that grandmother, when fear begins to creep into our lives, God wants us to nestle up to Him and know that everything will be okay. "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love," Psalms 143:8 says, "for I have put my trust in you."

He is able
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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Photo © Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Magnetic Scrapbooks Spell Trouble!

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

The other day, I was showing one of our grandkids some scrapbooks that I made for her dad about 20 years ago. They were in some magnetic photo albums ... seemed great at the time. I was so very proud of those albums!

Well ... our little grand enjoyed seeing the old pictures, but I felt sick as I realized that the pictures, sweet notes, and awards are deteriorating. I have got to do something about this!

So ... the Friday Fun idea this week is to take a stroll down memory lane by looking at your old photo albums and scrapbooks. This would be fun to do with a grandchild or two.

If your grands are school-age, they could be a really big help if you need to put the pictures and memorabilia in photo-safe boxes or new scrapbooks. I can only imagine the rich conversations that grandparents and grandkids could have as they work together to save the family memories.

I did a Google search for "old scrapbooks" and found some really helpful info! I'm especially excited about the online video "Introduction to Fixing Old Scrapbooks" (see link below). When one of the ladies in the video held up her faded brown album pages I thought "There's hope for me."

Here's some info. that I found:

Why should you be concerned about the terms "acid free lignin free buffered?"

Introduction to fixing old scrapbooks


Removing Photos from Old Albums and Scrapbooks

For those smart ones out there who have safely preserved your pictures, do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to share? Maybe words to someone like me who feels like a doofus right now?

Have a great week,
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com

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© Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.