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

Friday, March 26, 2010

Walking in the rain

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Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

April is just around the corner, and as the saying goes, "April showers bring May flowers."

A fun thing that we could do with our grands—regardless of their ages—is to buy each of them a new spring umbrella.

For a grandchild who lives nearby, we may even want to have a special outing that not only includes shopping, but also lunch or a visit to a local park. We might even decide to buy matching umbrellas!

Of course, we could mail a long-distance grand a new umbrella with a special note. If we do this, we could ask our grandchildren to e-mail/mail us a picture when they actually are "walking in the rain" (of course, when there's no lightning).

Here’s a cute song that young children will enjoy that I found on the Internet:

April Showers Song

(to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot")

Pitter patter rain drops (wiggle fingers to imitate rain)
Falling from the sky (wiggle fingers downward)
Here's my umbrella (action of opening an umbrella)
Hold it high! (hands over head)
When the rain is over (bring hands down slowly)
and the sun begins to glow (make sun with arms)
Little flowers start to bud (Kneel down)
then grow, grow, grow!!! (slowly stand up)

Have a great weekend,
Mary's Examiner.com column

Article and picture © by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Celebrating Spring with the Grandkids

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

On the side of our house, what recently appeared to be lifeless bushes are now covered with young leaves and the promise of gorgeous roses. God truly gives us a wonderful gift in the seasons, and spring is here!

For those of us who have grandkids who live nearby, this would be a great weekend to celebrate spring by going on a nature walk together around the neighborhood or in a park. Our grandkids could join us in writing (or drawing, for those too young to write) what we see that's "new"—buds on trees, baby birds, spring flowers ...

You may want to print off some spring coloring pages and give them to your grand after the walk. I think that the Early Bird Gets the Worm coloring page is really cute for a young child. Spring coloring pages would be great to send to long-distance grands. And we can always follow that with a phone call or e-mail.

You may want to ask an older grandchild what is being made new in his/her life ... and share something that's being made new in your life (this can be done in person or by phone/e-mail). For example, if you are experiencing the pinch of tough financial times, you could share how you now have new opportunities to put your trust in God.

What ideas do you have for celebrating spring with the grandkids?

Have a great weekend,
Mary's Examiner.com column

© by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Homemade bubbles

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Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Our little grands just love bubbles, do yours? Or did your grands enjoy playing with them when they were small?

When I found two plastic bottles of bubbles on sale for a dollar, I thought What a deal! That is … until I surfed the Internet and discovered countless recipes for bubbles.

Did you know that bubbles can be made with everyday dishwashing soap, water and either glycerin or Karo syrup? (Yep, Karo syrup.)

Some of the Internet recipes call for liquid Joy, others say Dawn is the best to use, and a few suggest baby shampoo. I mixed and matched some ingredients, and this is the mixture one of our grands and I used:

  • 1/3 cup Ultra Concentrated Liquid Joy
  • 1 tablespoon Karo syrup (I used dark Karo syrup and it worked just fine.)
  • Water (I put it into an empty 18 oz. jar.)
I read that combining the ingredients the evening before makes bigger bubbles, so I did that it. I also put the lid on the jar filled with the bubble mixture—didn’t want the concoction to attract any thirsty ants.

For bubble wands, I cut two straws in half and taped the halves together, side-by-side. Then my grand and I went outside where she dipped her wand into the homemade bubble mixture and watched her creations float into the sky.

As they drifted towards the clouds, we talked about how God made everything (Acts 17:24)—the clouds, birds, sun … and, yes, bubbles.

If you have older grands with younger siblings, "big brother or sister" could make the bubbles for their younger siblings. Of course, depending on their ages, they may need a little help from you.

Here's some more information about making homemade bubbles: Homemade Bubble Recipes

And "Living the Better Life" has some great ideas for homemade wands, such as using:

  • Pipe cleaners shaped into circles or other shapes
  • A wire coat hanger, cut and/or shaped into circles or other shapes
  • Plastic or wooden hoops used for cross-stitch, quilting or embroidery
  • Summer berry baskets
Do you have any hints about making homemade bubbles or bubble wands?

Have a great weekend,
Mary's Examiner.com column

© by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sharing the secrets of the universe

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Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

by Mary May Larmoyeux

Last Tuesday I wrote about sharing family stories and a couple of weeks ago the Tuesday Grand Connection blog was about grandparents being gifts from God. Many thanks to those of you who sent me your memories of your grandparents! I'd like to share some of your stories over the next couple of weeks.

My friend Sharon, who writes a wonderful blog A Break from the Norm, said: "I miss my grandfather. He died over twenty years ago, but I think about him often. He especially came to mind a few weeks ago when my husband and I were having breakfast at a restaurant near our home. We were seated across the aisle from a man who was sitting at a table with a little girl. At first, I thought the man was the little girl’s father, but when she called him, 'Pa-pa,' I figured out that he was in fact her grandfather. The thing that struck me about watching them was how sweet and gentle he was with this little girl, who was obviously his little princess. As she yammered on in her little-girl voice he listened as if she were sharing the secrets of the universe."

I wonder if Sharon just expressed one of the reasons that grandparents are so special. Like the little girl Sharon mentioned, grandparents are quick to stop the hectic pace of life and exchange it for precious time with a grandchild. They care. They love. They listen.

Could that be why grandchildren seem to really hear their grandparents' words?

When I look into the eyes of our grands, I thank God for them and often recall a time long ago when their parents were young. I've seen firsthand how quickly time goes by.

Why do you think grandkids often listen to their grandparents as though they share the secrets of the universe?

Have a great week,

Mary's Examiner.com column

© 2010 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
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