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, September 30, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Fun

Friday's Grand Connection Fun

In the August 2009 issue of Family Fun magazine, grandparents Patrica and Paul Slaga of North Carolina shared a unique idea. They have "Tricky Treasure Hunts" with their grands.

In either their house or yard, the Slagas hide several wrapped "inexpensive treasures" such as small toys, art supplies, gummy bears, stickers, etc. Their grandkids work together to solve brainteasers to locate each prize (the prizes could also be together at the end of several clues). 

The Slagas give creative clues using verses with missing rhymes, symbols or pictures taking the place of words, or numeric codes.

Here are some examples of possible clues:

Verse: "Jack and Jill went up the _________." Answer: hill. So the next clue or prize will be on whatever your grandchild will know is the "hill."

Picture: Have a picture of a refrigerator and either tape the next clue to your refrigerator door or put a small prize inside your refrigerator.

Numeric code clue: Assign each letter of the alphabet a number such as a = 1; b = 2; c = 3 ... z = 26. If your first clue is: The next clue will be by the 2 12 21 5 chair. Answer: blue. Then, the next clue will be by the blue chair.

Another idea is to send a grandchild on a magazine or newspaper scavenger hunt. Jot down some age-appropriate questions about various articles, words in headlines, photos, etc., and give them to the grands. After they find the answers to the questions, reward them with some type of wrapped prize or treat.

It would be pretty easy for us to prepare these types of scavenger hunts for out-of-town grands. We could send the clues to them in the mail with small wrapped prizes or extra money for an ice cream cone, etc.

Do you have any scavenger hunt ideas? Did you go on scavenger hunts as a child?

Have a great weekend,
Mary May Larmoyeux

© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
© Ilya Genkin / Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Having quiet time ... together

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Tuesday's  Grand Connection Thought

“Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you."     (Jeremiah 32:17)

The past two weekends I've watched grandkids overnight in their own homes. Shortly after I woke up last Saturday morning, I heard the pitter-patter of little feet coming down the stairs. And before I knew it, there were two young guests in my bed.

"I'll play with you when I finish my Bible study," I told the children.

Off the bed they slipped to return with their own Bible storybooks. Then we had a little "quiet time" ... together.

I've heard grown women say that they remember their grandmothers reading their Bibles and praying. I hope that my grandchildren will have that same memory. I hope they'll know that true power comes from God and that absolutely nothing is impossible for Him! I hope that they will all grow into men and women who realize that we are just passing through this life and that they will each become a follower of Jesus Christ.

A couple of years ago some friends and I went through the Sammy Tippet Bible study Praying for Your Family. It is wonderful! Sammy gives specific ways to pray and shares how God answered prayers for his entire family.

I also love using the book While they Were Sleeping as a prayer guide. In the margins of its daily readings, I jot down the dates that I pray specific prayers for specific grandkids.

Do you have any special ways that you pray for your legacy? How do you carve out time during the busy day to read your Bible?

Have a great week,

© 2011 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Lane Erickson / Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Memories are like roses

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Tuesday's  Grand Connection Thought

If you are a regular reader of The Grand Connection, you probably know that Pops and I have been building a house in the country. We spent our first night in the house about a week ago and are busy unpacking boxes and getting settled. Sometimes, it's overwhelming ... boxes seem to be everywhere!

I had not expected to be flooded with memories as I unpacked boxes of pictures, yearbooks, and mementos. But I have been. It just seems like yesterday when our children were small. And now they have children of their own!  Can you identify with this?

Jim and my old high school and college year books had been packed in our old attic for decades, and I really don't think our kids have ever seen them!  But they'll be able to in the new house. That's because we now have some special bookshelves for photo albums and old annuals.

I'm so glad that God allows us to remember and hope that you will enjoy the following quotes about memories. I read them on the website http://www.quotegarden.com/

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~From the television show The Wonder Years

God gave us memories that we might have roses in December. ~J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922

We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand

Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume. ~Jean de Boufflers

Have a great week,


© by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photro © Mary May Larmoyeux

Friday, September 16, 2011

Overnight Grandma

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Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Have you ever spent several days watching your grandchildren while their parents were out of town? I had the privilege of doing this recently and it was a lot of fun!

I now really understand what Mom used to tell me, "Mary, God gave little ones to the young because they have the energy."

My daughter-in-love did something that was a huge help. She went to the dollar store before she and our son left town. She purchased little presents for each of the children for each day that she and our son would be gone. The items were wrapped individually and put into large gift bags (one large gift bag per day that had the individual presents in it).

Before the kids went to bed each night, we would open their special gifts. Of course, the children loved it. But the biggest help was not the presents, it was the tangible sight of four gift bags sitting on a bookshelf in the den. As each bag was removed, the kids seemed to understand how many days it would be until their parents came back home. That was a great help to them and to me!

Years ago when Jim and I went out of town and the kids stayed with grandparents, I remember leaving stickers for the children to put on a calendar (one sticker per day). When the stickers were gone, we would be back.

Do you have any tips for grandmothers who are asked to take care of their grands overnight for several days?

Have a great weekend,
Mary May Larmoyeux

© Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Budda / Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Trusting God in Times of Darkness

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Friday's Grand Connection Fun
Mary May Larmoyeux

What were you doing on the morning of September 11, 2001? I was preparing to leave the house—a beloved foster child's mother had died and we were going to the funeral home. It was a tough morning ... that was going to get much tougher.

Lt. Col. Brian D. Birdwell will never forget September 11; nor will his family.

Birdwell was standing in the Pentagon, about 20 yards from where American Airlines Flight 77 slammed through its outer walls. Engulfed in flames, he was burned over 60% of his body—nearly half of those burns were third degree.

"One minute I'm standing in a very clear corridor and I know what direction I'm walking," he remembers, "and the next moment it's fire, and smoke, and darkness around me."

He spent three long months in the hospital and endured more than 30 excruciating surgeries. His life was changed forever. And not only his life, but also the lives of countless burn survivors and wounded servicemen and women.

You see, Mel and Brian Birdwell turned their tragedy into triumph and began Face the Fire, a ministry to help burn and combat victims. Today they are giving hope as ones who know firsthand what burn victims and their families are going through.

The Birdwells have experienced the meaning of Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (NIV).

The Bible paraphrase The Message says it this way. " ... we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."


Sometimes it's really hard for me to look at a situation and believe in my mind that anything good could come out of it. I imagine that Brian and Mel Birdwell would not only agree, but would also recall times of suffocating doubt.

They may have felt like Job's despairing wife who watched her once honored husband become afflicted with painful sores, scraping himself with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes (Job 2:7).

"Curse God and be done with it!" she said.

"You are talking like a foolish woman." Job replied. "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"

Job chose to trust God in his heart when he could not humanly imagine anything good coming out of his seemingly dismal fate.

The Lord heard Job's cries of anguish. He heard the Birdwells' cries. And he hears ours.

Almighty God is walking with you, and me, and our grandchildren—even when darkness seems to blur our paths.

For me, the message of September 11 includes Romans 8:28. Yes, I can be sure that every single detail of my life, and my loved ones' lives, is eventually worked into something good when I place yesterday, today, and tomorrow into the hands of a loving God.

He is able,

(If you'd like to watch a video of the Birdwells, or read more information about their ministry, go to Remembering September 11, 2001, and Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell.)

© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photograph: Firefighters work to put out the flames moments after a hijacked jetliner crashed into the Pentagon at approximately 0930 on September 11, 2001. Photographer: CPL Jason Ingersoll, USMC