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

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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

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Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought



Merry Christmas!

And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 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 that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

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

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”   (Luke 2:7-15)


Photo © Jim Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Magic and Wonder of Christmas




Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

Not too long ago I was with some grandparents and we were sharing some favorite memories. One of the women said that the "magic of Christmas" began with her grandmother who lived with her family.

She recalled her grandmother asking her on Christmas Eve "Did you hear 'em?"

Then her grandmother would point to the roof and say with a twinkle in her eye, "Santa Claus and his reindeer are up there!"

As you turn the pages of the calendar to December, do you have childhood memories of hearing the tapping of reindeer hooves?

Were you like me on Christmas Eve, watching the weatherman track Santa, knowing that within hours jolly old Saint Nick and his sleigh would somehow arrive at "our" house.

Did you or you kids make special cookies for Santa? Did you leave them for him by the Christmas tree, with a glass of milk? Pops and I did as kids, and so did our children. Now's a good time for us to share some of those memories with loved ones and friends.

Santa used to write our kids notes reminding them of the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. Some of those notes are still tucked away in their scrapbooks.

Ahhhh ... the magic and wonder of Christmas ... the hope and promise of Christ.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
                      (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mary
© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Mary Larmoyeux

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Look to the Light




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Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

by Mary May Larmoyeux


My heart is heavy as I write the post today. With the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, my mind can find rest in only one place—God. As I looked at the moon last night, I was reminded that He still provides light in even the darkest of times.
Isn't that the message of the lighting of Advent candles, that Light came into darkness? As Pops and I lit a candle for the third week of Advent last night, we read Isaiah 35:10: "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
I need to read that verse again and again. A day is coming when there will be no sorrow! Revelation 21:4 says, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
The next time that the grandkids spend the night, I want to point to the moon and remind them that God can light even their darkest times of life.
And may we each celebrate the true meaning of Christmas this year, our Savior Jesus Christ came as a babe to save us from our sins. Our Light ... our Hope ... He will come again in glory, and there will be no more sorrow or tears.

Looking to the Light,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com
 
Post and photo © 2012 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments




Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

In our family’s Christmas ornament collection are a few remaining relics from my childhood—handmade salt dough ornaments. I remember using cookie cutters to form some shapes and then I made others ... Well, let’s just say they’re definitely original.

I've made salt dough ornaments with Pops' and my grandkids. It's fun and very easy to do.

Salt Dough Ornaments (not edible)

2 cups regular flour
1 cup regular salt
3/4 cup warm water

  • Combine flour and salt.
  • Add water.
  • Knead until smooth.
  • Shape ornaments  
You may want to roll out the dough and use cookie-cutters to cut various shapes.

  • Bake in 275 degree oven on foil-lined cookie sheet for two hours.
  • Cool completely.
  • Decorate with acrylic paints.
  • When the ornaments are dry, seal with a coat of varnish or Mod Podge ®.
You can purchase Mod Podge at a craft store. If you don’t want to use acrylic paints, you could add food coloring.

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


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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas traditions


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Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Hope that you had wonderful Thanksgiving holidays!

The day after Thanksgiving my Christmas preparations began. My 8-year-old granddaughter helped me make gingerbread houses. Her 10-year-old cousin will visit in a couple of weeks and we'll also make some gingerbread houses together. With six grandchildren and friends, we have a lot to make!

It takes work to bake and assemble so many gingerbread houses, but they are an important part of our family holiday traditions. Other traditions include making a bed for the nativity figure of Baby Jesus. We put a pile of pine straw by the manger. When someone does a secret act of kindness honoring Jesus, he/she secretly puts a piece of straw in the manger for Jesus' bed. On Christmas morning we put the Christ Child figure on the pine straw bed made to honor our Lord.

Helen Austin, a regular contributor to Encouraging Women with Hearts for their Homes ezine, often makes holiday potpourri (the non-edible type) at this time of year. She shares her recipe in the holiday issue of the free ezine. It also has articles about managing holiday stress, giving exceptional gifts, making wise Christmas choices, and much more.

What are some of your family's Christmas traditions?

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

Photo and post © 2012 by Mary May Larmoyeux.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Autumn Leaves


Friday’s Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

I love autumn! It's my favorite season.

Last week, the Maple Tree on the side of our house was turning brilliant shades of gold. Towering at least 30 feet into the air, as I looked at its branches I remembered Pops planting it decades ago. In my mind I can still see our children posing for pictures by its trunk ... year after year.

Usually this Maple's golden leaves can be enjoyed for weeks, but this year was different. Storms moved through Arkansas at the end of October, and now the hues of yellow and red and orange that painted trees in our neighborhood are virtually gone. Their beauty sure ended far sooner that I anticipated.

Looking at the half-bare limbs reminded me of James 4:14, "... you do not even know what will happen tomorrow."

It makes me think that time moves on ... that like our children, our grands are growing up. Tomorrow is not promised, but we have today.

Well, that's my Tuesday Thought! Do autumn leaves hold any special memories for you?

He is able,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

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© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux.
Photo © 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Honoring our Veterans


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Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

"On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War. Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars." (according to History.com)

On November 11 we will pause to honor U.S. veterans. Because of their courage, we are a free nation. I'm reminded of a quote by Dwight Eisenhower, "In the final choice a soldier's pack is not so heavy as a prisoner's chains."

Now would be a great time to talk with the grandkids about members of the family who served in the Armed Forces. Pops' father and mine served in World War II. Did some in your family serve in the military?

One of the most interesting people I have ever met was Retired Lt. Colonel Roy Kaden. He flew a top secret mission in the 1950s; his family did not know about this until 50 years later. Like to know more? Read "Just Another Day for an American Hero." You and your grandchild might want to read this together, or you could e-mail or text him/her the link.

Here are some other ideas for you and your grandchild to do on Veterans Day:

  • Go to a local Veterans Day parade
  • Research the History of Veterans Day
  • Interview a member of the family who served in the military
  • Display the American flag in front of your home or business
How do you remember the brave men and women who served our country?

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


Photo and post © by Mary May Larmoyeux. All right reserved.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An Election Day thought



Friday’s Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

The first Tuesday in November is finally here —Election Day in the U.S. 

Regardless of who you and I vote for President, the outcome will affect generations to come. Today is a good day to pray that God will have mercy on our nation and guide all of our future leaders.

I find great comfort in the following verses. They remind me that no mater how various elections turn out, God is in control.

"He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them." (Job 12:23)
"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." (Romans 8:28)

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

Article and photo © Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Presidential election



Friday’s Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Regardless of your political party, isn't it wonderful that we live in a free country and can vote!

Do you remember going to the polls to vote with your parents? I do. We waited in line at an elementary school near our house. Somehow at a very young age I realized that voting was a privilege not to be taken lightly.

Today would be a great day to share voting memories with a grandchild by the stroke of the pen, a phone call, or e-mail. How has the voting process changed in your lifetime? (My parents sure didn't vote on computer screens!)

We could also talk with grandchildren about the cost of freedom—the men and women who gave (and are giving) their lives so that we can vote. We might ask our older grandchildren to tell us about their hopes and dreams and pray with them for the future of our nation.

Also, we could jot our grandchildren a note reminding them that regardless of the outcome of any election, God is always in control. As Psalm 103:19 tells us: The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.”

Enjoy the weekend,
Mary
http://www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com/

Article © Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Cameron Collingwood / Dreamstime.com

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall crafts


Friday's Grand Connection Fun

Fall is officially here!  I so look forward to cool autumn days and the changing colors!

How do you connect with your grandkids during the autumn months? One thing that I've done is make fall placemats with them. It's so easy to do:

  •  Snap some pictures of the grands holding pumpkins, sitting in a pile of leaves, or standing by trees that are turning fall colors. Print out the pictures. With the grands, glue or tape the back of each selected picture onto a piece of placemat-size construction paper. 
  • Help your grand write a Bible verse about changing seasons on each placemat, such as Daniel 2:21: “He changes times and seasons.” Discuss the verse and memorize it together.
  • Now, encourage the grands to decorate the placemat with personal drawings, his/her name, stickers, prints of leaves made from a leaf stamp or a homemade “potato leaf stamp” (directions below), words describing things he/she is grateful for, etc.
  •  Date each place mat.
How to Make a Leaf Potato Stamp:

  • Wash several baking potatoes and cut them in half (width). Using a sharp knife, carve out the shape of a leaf (a different shape on each potato).
  • On each potato, cut away the potato surrounding the shape so that the shape of the leaves will be about one-fourth of an inch. Presto—you have your stamp.
  • Pour paints of fall colors into bowls (throw-away bowls are nice to use). Help your grand dip a stamp into a shallow bowl of paint. Now it’s ready for your grand to stamp his/her masterpiece.
As an added touch, the placemats could be laminated.

For long-distance grands: Make and mail some fall placemats to the grands. You may want to send them some stickers of pumpkins and leaves and ask them to create a picture with some of them and mail it back to you.

For older grandkids: Go on a picnic with them (of course, little ones would also enjoy this). Give them a piece of "fall jewelry" such as a necklace with a leaf pendant or a bookmark made in the shape of a leaf.

How do you create fall memories with your grands?

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


© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We will bury you


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

I'm so grateful to live in a free country. Like so many, Pops and I have closely followed this year's Presidential Election. We pray daily for the outcome on November 6. 

For some reason, a statement that former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev made when I was a very young child still haunts me. I recall him saying, "We will bury you from within." Today, his words remind me that nations, families, and individuals can so easily be unraveled by turmoil within their own borders, relationships, and hearts.
As the election approaches, it would be a good time for grandparents to discuss their values and beliefs with school-age grandchildren. And it would also be a good time to pray together for our great nation. God has indeed showered us with abundant blessings ... ones I too often take for granted.
French historian Alexis de Tocqueville gave a message to the 21st century more than 100 years ago. "American is great," he said, "because she is good. If American ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
 
In His name the nations will put their hope.
  —Matthew 12:21
Have a wonderful week,
Mary

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

© 2012 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rice Krispie Ideas for Fall


Friday's Grand Connection Fun

by Mary May Larmoyeux

"Be the special ingredient in their childhood," says Rice Krispies®. I think that's great advice for any parent or grandparent!

Speaking of Rice Krispies, have you visited their website recently? It not only has the recipe for the old favorite marshmallow snack, but also games for children of all ages and ideas for making fun fall snacks such as: Surprise Pumpkin Treats, Colossal Candy Corn, and Pumpkin Head Treats.

It's amazing how a little food coloring, a few pieces of candy, and imagination can create a whole new Rice Krispie experience!

If you and your grand make some creative Rice Krispie treats, please tell us about it. Do you have any special memories of making these treats with your own children?

Have a great weekend!

May we be a special ingredient in our grandkids' lives,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com/


©  by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: © Brian Hendricks / Dreamstime.com

Friday, October 12, 2012

Treasure Hunt Time


Friday's Grand Connection Fun
As the leaves begin to fall, it's a great time to think about having an autumn treasure hunt with the grandkids. What better place to hide a clue than in a toy wheelbarrow filled with leaves, or under a bright orange pumpkin?

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

In either their house or yard, the Slagas hide 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 an example of a possible clue:

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."

I really like the Slagas' idea!

Now, here are possible clues leading to a toy wheelbarrow filled with leaves:

  • For older kids:  "Look for something made with the three primary colors."
  • For little ones:  "It's red, blue, and yellow and filled with leaves for a fella."
Do you have any treasure hunt ideas?

Have a great weekend,
Mary
Mary May Larmoyeux

© 2012  by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
© Photoeuphoria / Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An 11-year-old boy's thoughts about love


Tuesday's  Grand Connection Thought

After my friend Rita read the Grand Connection column Ahhhhh, Love! she told me a precious story about her 11-year old great-grandson, Caleb. He had a class assignment to write about his family, and he wrote about their love. This is what he said:

“Think of love as water. It carries you through the raging torrent, and then becomes peaceful. This proves that love is everlasting like a stream of water. Like the stream turns into a river, love grows larger and larger. Then the stream goes underground and after thousands of years it makes crystal and then ....diamond. An unbreakable jewel most treasured by few, just like love.”

Isn't that beautiful!

Love has sure carried me through the raging torrents of life. What about you?

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

© by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
© Cienpies Design/Illustrations / Dreamstime.com

Friday, October 5, 2012

Yummy Pumpkin Recipes




Friday's Grand Connection Fun
 

Fall is finally here and that makes me think of harvest festivals ... and pumpkins!

After a long, hot summer, I'm looking forward to cooler days, colorful autumn leaves, and eating pumpkin pie cake (recipe below)— one of our family's favorite desserts. You may want to make it with your grandkids, or could mail the recipe to older grandchildren who live out of town. (Ask them to send you a picture of their finished creation ... and you could mail them a picture of yours.)

Pumpkin Pie Cake

4 eggs slightly beaten
1 sixteen-ounce can pumpkin
1 ½ cup sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 13 oz. can evaporated milk
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped nuts
2 sticks baking margarine

Mix the first six ingredients and then pour into ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with cake mix. Melt margarine and pour on top. Add nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Delicious!!!!!!

Here are some other pumpkin recipes that you might want to try:

Pumpkin Cheesecake (Southern Living)

Harvest Pumpkin Bread (Southern Living)

Pumpkin Fudge (My Recipes)

Pumpkin Scones (Cook Eat Share)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle (Cook Eat Share)

Hungry?  I am!

Speaking of pumpkins, is there a pumpkin patch in your area?  Have you ever visited one with your grandchild?

Have a great weekend!
Mary
http://www.marymaywrites.com/


©  2011 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: © Mary May Larmoyeux

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How were you told that you would be a grandparent?



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 did you learn that you were going to be a grandparent?

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

© Mary May Larmoyeux. All Rights Reserved
Photo © Denys Dolnikov / Dreamstime.com

Friday, September 28, 2012

Remembering to Count our Blessings

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A few years ago, when our then three-year-old granddaughter was attempting to go to sleep, she said that she was afraid. I read Psalm 4:8 to her, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord make me dwell in safety.”

As I tucked her into bed, we talked about how God would give her peace and how He would watch over her. Then she said that she couldn’t sleep (yep … she could have been stalling for more time). So we started counting blessings. I left the room as she was remembering all of the ways that God has blessed her.

Recently, this same granddaughter (who is now seven years old) said that she was able to spend the night at a friend's house because she was not afraid. She said that I had taught her to count her blessings. It's amazing how God uses the little things that we do with our grandchildren!

Once I started a blessing book with the grands. We'd jot down in in people and things that they were grateful for. I confess, I haven't been very good at keeping it up. My granddaughter's recent reminder of counting our blessings makes me think that it's time to get once again get the little book out ... and keep it out.

If you haven't started a blessing book with your grandchild, you might want to do this. I'd love to hear your ideas about remembering our blessings.

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

© 2010 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: © Mary May Larmoyeux

Friday, September 21, 2012

Making Memories With Trees



Friday's Grand Connection Fun
 by Mary May Larmoyeux

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Do you have any special memories about trees? I remember playing under two huge Magnolia Trees that stood in the front of our childhood home. We made houses under those trees, crushed the seeds to make "Magnolia Perfume," and even climbed them more than a time or two.

My dad planted a little sprig of a tree in front of my first home. Today, it's gigantic! I drove by the old house not too long ago and took the above picture of it.

Both my father and Jim's enjoyed walking with us in their yards, pointing to trees that they had planted when we were younger. Although my parents moved after I graduated from college, Jim's remained living in his childhood home. I used to think how amazing it was that a towering oak had been planted by his father when Jim was just a young boy.

Now, I don't just think about how amazing it is that acorns become massive shade trees. I have watched this happen with my own eyes.

Often when I walk on the side of our house I glance at a tree that Jim planted when our children were small. I can still envision the kids standing by that tree in their colorful shorts and T-shirts.

Jim and I are taking pictures of our grandkids by those very trees. Now I understand a little more what must have been in my father-in-law's heart when he'd point to a tree and say, "Why, I planted that tree when Jim was a boy."

Our Friday's Fun idea today is to be intentional about making memories with trees. Here are a few possibilities:

•Plant a tree with a grandchild/ren and take a picture. When you print the picture, date the back of it and put it in a special frame. Each year, if possible on the same date, take a picture of your grandchild/ren in front of the same tree and put the new picture on top of the old one in the frame. It could be amazing to see the growth of the child/ren and tree alike!

•A friend of mine said that her grandfather planted a tree for each grandchild and had them carve their initials in "their tree." As the tree would grow, they would each check on their special tree. What a great memory-maker.

•Linda told me that when she planted two small Oriental Crape Myrtle Trees, she intertwined them and that they grew together as one. I think it would be great for a married couple to do this on an anniversary ... with the grandkids present. It would be a visual reminder that "Grandma and Grandpa" are one.

•We could read the following poem to our grandkids and discuss it with them. Why do you think that "only God can make a tree"?

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


—Joyce Kilmer

For long distance grands, we could have a special tree sent to their home and ask their mom or dad to take a picture of a grandchild by it. We could also plant a special tree when the grands visit. We could e-mail or mail grandchildren the poem about trees by Joyce Kilmer, and we could chat with them about it on the phone or Internet.

What ideas do you have about making memories with trees? (I'd really appreciate it if you'd share them in the comment section.)

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


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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why grandparents rock



Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

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Recently I mentioned that Pops and I would be visiting our grandkids' school for its celebration of Grandparents Day.  Well, last Friday was the big day and Pops and I had a great time seeing classrooms and meeting teachers.

The teacher in a grandson's class gave the grandparents a list of things that the children had decided about them. Pops and I really enjoyed what they said, and I hope that you will too.  Here's a sampling:

  • Grandmas and grandpas are older than mothers and father and like to hold grandchildren in their laps and hug them. They especially like to read stories to grandchildren from big books with lots of pictures.
  • Some can take their teeth and gums out.
  • They like to answer questions.
  • When they read to us they don't skip words, and they never care if we ask for the same story over again.
  • A grandfather is a man grandmother.
  • They don't say hurry up.
  • They don't have to do anything except be there when we come see them.
  • They shouldn't play hard or run.
  • They usually have lots of quarters.

As I read the kids' comments, I couldn't help but think of Jesus' words in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 

Children have such an innocent and clear way of expressing things. And they give such unconditional love. The love expressed between a grandparent and grandchild is surely a taste of the kingdom of heaven itself.

What are your favorite sayings about grandparents?

Have a great week,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com


Photo and post © Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © U.S. National Oceanica & Atmospheric Admin.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Garage sales and life

Garage-sailing, anyone?
 

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

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As we pause to remember the events of September 11, 2001, may we consider the value of life itself.

Several years ago, one of my good friends, Karen Jordan shared a very though-provoking article that someone in her family wrote. I wanted to pass the article on to you. It sure made me think about what really matters in this world. After all, we grandparents have only so many years to invest in our legacy.

Enjoy the article!  You'll be glad that you read it.

Sailing

“Garage-sailing” became the best venue to interact with my grown daughter early on Saturday mornings this summer. The only way to get to know her, as an adult, seems to require a loss of sleep on my part. Her menagerie of young children, pets, and strong-willed husband leaves little time for me to ever talk privately with her.

After four or five hours of visiting garage and yard sales ... read more.

Have a great week,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

 
© Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © U.S. National Oceanica & Atmospheric Admin.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Grandparents Day

 



Friday's Grand Connection Fun
 by Mary May Larmoyeux

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This Sunday, September 9, 2012, will mark the 33rd anniversary of national Grandparents Day.
 
It really doesn't seem that long ago when my mom and dad traveled to Arkansas to be at our children's school for Grandparents Day. Well, next week Pops and I will go to our local grandkids' school for their annual celebration.

Do you have any ideas about how we, and other grandparents, can make Grandparents Day a lasting memory not only for ourselves, but also for the grandchildren?

Being amateur photographers, Pops and I will sure have our camera with us when we visit the grands' school. I think that I'll also want to remind our legacy why I am called "Nana" and why "Pops" chose his special name.  Can you guess?

My grandmother was Nana and I have many, many fond memories of her. I wanted to share her special name and think of her often when I'm called Nana. And Pops? He just liked that name.
(Why did you choose your unique grandparent name?)

Some of your grandkids may not be in schools that celebrate Grandparents Day ... or they could live hundreds of miles away. Perhaps you don't even get to see them often. You could write them a letter this week. You could remind them of the day when you first saw them and share the meaning behind your grandparent name.

Happy Grandparents Day,
 
Mary May Larmoyeux
http://www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com/

© 2012 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Pavel Losevsky © dreamstime.com


Friday, August 31, 2012

What does Labor Day mean to our families?



Friday's Grand Connection Fun
 by Mary May Larmoyeux

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On Monday we will celebrate Labor Day in the U.S. It became a federal holiday in 1894 to honor the achievements of American workers. Now's a good time to honor the hard work of those in our own families.

Have you ever talked with your grandchildren about the type of work that you and their great grandparents did? If you are still working, have you taken them to your office? I remember taking some of our grands to my office. They were thrilled to see their pictures on my desk and their artwork hanging above it.

But I don't think that I've ever talked with our grands about the type of work that their great grandparents and great great grandparents did. That discussion is definitely overdue! And now would be a good time for Pops and me to talk with the grands about the hard work that it takes to run a household and to teach values to the next generation.

If you'd like to know a little more about the history of Labor Day, you might want to check out these links:  History.com ; Why do we celebrate Labor Day?

How do you suggest that we teach our grandchildren about Labor Day?

Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings.    
(Proverbs 22:29a)

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

© 2012 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © by Designpicsub / Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The stresses of school


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

by Mary May Larmoyeux

A friend of mine has a little girl who began kindergarten this year. The night before the five year old started school, she asked her mom, "How will I know where the bathroom is? And where is the restaurant in the cafeteria?"

At first her questions brought a smile to my face, but then they reminded me of how stressful the beginning of school can be for children. Some may wonder where the bathroom and "restaurant" are, while others may struggle with deeper questions such as "Will I make a good friend this year?" or "How can I keep my school work organized while living with mom part of the week and with dad the other part of the week?"

Our grandkids always need the assurance of our love, and they also need our prayers. And Psalm 65:2 says: God answers prayer.

What tips do you have about praying for our school-age grandkids?

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

© 2012 Mary Mary Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Steven Pepple/Agency: Dreamstime.com.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Game Time


Friday's Grand Connection Fun
 by Mary May Larmoyeux

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I just returned home after a week of grandsitting. The kids and I had a great time together!

Every evening we played some sort of game: Connect-Four, Guess Who, catch, etc. I had forgotten how to play Checkers, and our six-year-old grandson proudly taught me how to do this.

Old Maid was one of our favorite games. I loved hearing my three-year-old granddaughter cry out "match" in a tone of great satisfaction. It had been a longggg time since I had played Old Maid and I even enjoyed it.

After spending time with the grands, I was reminded of how important it is to just play with them. Nothing could be simpler than tossing a plastic ball to one another or playing a card game. But somehow through laughs and words, hearts are drawn closer together.

Speaking of games, Family Fun has a section on its website with coloring pages, crafts, games and puzzles, and more. I just printed off some "Hidden Picture" and "Find the Difference" pages for the grandkids. They will be great to have at the house for the local grands and to mail to those who live out-of-town.

Of course, older grandchildren love games, too. Monopoly and Scrabble seem to be ageless favorites. And today there are countless online games.

What are your favorite games to play with your grands? Has your grandchild ever taught you how to play a game?

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

© 2010 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trouble in Dogville


Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

by Mary May Larmoyeux

When I was grandsitting for several days recently, God reminded me and a granddaughter about how much He cares about us. We were at the grocery store, and my granddauhter had picked up a bag of rawhide dog bones.

As she was dropping them into the basket, a lady who worked for the store said that we couldn't buy them. I was really surprised by that until she explained the reason.

There had been a recall on the type of rawhide bones that we were about to purchase. If we had gotten them, the kids' dog would have likely gotten very sick.

"Thank you, Lord," I said to myself, and then talked with my granddaughter about how good God was to protect her pet. I was so grateful that I had not bought the tainted bones! Actually, I'm not so sure I was up grandsitting a sick dog and three sad children.

Psalm 32:7 says, "You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."

How have you seen God's hand of protection in action?
He is able,
Mary
http://www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com/

Photo and article © Mary Mary Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No Guarantees


Tuesday's  Grand Connection Thought

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

As grandmothers, we are aware that there are no guarantees of tomorrow and know how quickly the grands will grow up. Are you like me and really enjoy the simple things with your grands—walking in the rain, picking flowers, looking into the clouds together—marveling at the great God who created everything?

How do you make the moments count with your grandkids?

Speaking of making moments count, thanks to those of you who leave comments on The Grand Connection! Here are some of your great ideas: 

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week,
Mary


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

Friday, August 3, 2012

Make school bookmarks

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Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Now is a great time for us to make some special bookmarks for the school-age grands. If they live nearby, we could have fun making them together.

For long-distance grandparenting, we could make the bookmarks ourselves and mail them … or send materials to the grandkids so they can personalize their own bookmarks.

It's easy to make a bookmark. Just:

1) Cut card stock into bookmark size (approximately 1 ½” by 5).
2) Decorate the paper with sketches, pictures, Bible verses, stickers, etc.
3) Cover with clear contact paper or have the bookmarks laminated at a teacher-supply store.
4) Punch a hole in the top and loop a ribbon or tassel through it.

That's all there is to it.

I googled "making bookmarks" and found a great website:  How to Make a Bookmark. It has some very creative ideas! If you scroll down you'll find a video "How to Make Braded Bookmarks."

          "Let the wise listen and add to their learning, 
                  and let the discerning get guidance."
                                                                Proverbs 1:5

Have fun,
Mary
www.marymaywrites.com

© 2012 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Steven Pepple/Agency: Dreamstime.com.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Was God really 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. Turning to Psalm 121:4, I said, “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, says 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,
Mary
http://www.marymaywrites.com/
http://grandconnection.blogspot.com/

© 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Denys Dolnikov / Dreamstime.com

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympics


Well, today is the opening day for the summer Olympics 2012. Pops and I will be glued to the TV tonight. What about you?

The Olympics provide a great topic of conversation between grandparents and their grandchildren. Who are the grands' favorite athletes, favorite competitions, etc. We could text out-of-town grandkids our picks for races and ask about theirs.

And here are some websites that we can share with the grands, and enjoy ourselves:

Official website of Olympics

Great Olympic Stories

Kellogg's Olympic Video


" ... Start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God —he could put up with anything along the way ... "
                                                                   (Hebrews 12:1, The Message)


Have a great weekend!
Mary Larmoyeux
http://www.marymaywrites.com/

Photo and post © 2012 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Picture © Geoarts | Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dueling Grandmas


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Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

The other day I was with a group of friends and suddenly two of them started dueling —with their cell phones. And guess what they were looking at? Pictures of their grandkids, of course.

Well, it didn't take long before I pulled out my cell to show off Pop's and my precious ones! Looks like cell phone pics have replaced the days of Grandma's brag book. Do you remember them?

Have you ever been a dueling grandma yourself?  No wonder Proverbs 17:6 tells us that grandchildren are the crown of their grandparents.
Have a great week!
Mary Larmoyeux
http://www.marymaywrites.com/

Photo and post © 2012 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Granny Camp



Friday's  Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux


Have you ever heard of Granny Camp?

Anne Dierks, grandmother of fourteen grandchildren, has hosted what she calls Granny Camp for more than a decade. In her book Granny Camp! How to Bond with Your Grandchildren she not only explains how to plan a special summer camp for the grandchildren, but also includes menu ideas, possible activities, crafts, and much more.

Granddad Dierks is involved in Granny Camp with Anne. She says that one of the campers' favorite activities is Granddad's G's. She gives examples of Gs that Granddad Dierks teaches such as: Golden rule, Goals, God/Gospel, Grades, Genealogy, etc.

The Dierks' grandchildren live in various states and fly in once a year for the special camp. From the pictures in Anne's book it's obvious that the cousins have made some really special memories together!

Have you ever had a special camp/weekend for all of your grandkids? Or, do you have any thoughts about organizing something like this in the future?

Have a great weekend,
Mary
http://www.marymaywrites.com/
co-author of The Grand Connection: 365 Ways to Connect with Your Grandchild's Heart


© 2011 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Pavel Losevsky © dreamstime.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lessons learned from grandparenting

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Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

I was reading some quotes about grandparents; here are a few of my favorites:

Grandmothers are just antique little girls. (Author Unknown)

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. (Welsh Proverb)

Grandparenting is a wonderful time of life. Finally we can have the ice cream without first eating the vegetables. (Lois Wyse)

Did you get a smile on your face as your read these quotes. I sure did.

Before our first grandchild was born, my friends warned me that there were no words to express the thrill of being a grandparent. Now I understand that it’s impossible to really describe the joy this antique little girl has when she plays tea party with her three-year-old granddaughter.

Before I had grands I thought I knew how to love. Now I know that the mistakes that I made as a parent had a purpose—to mold me into a grandparent who can love with more understanding and patience.

Before I had grandkids I believed children should eat their vegetables before dessert. But now I know the grands can sometimes eat their ice cream at Grandma's house before the veggies. After all, it’s up to their parents to see that they eat right. (smile)

What has grandparenting taught you?

Have a great week,
Mary
co-author of The Grand Connection: 365 Ways to Connect with Your Grandchild's Heart

© 2008 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Man walked on the moon (websites and coloring sheets)


Friday's Grand Connection Fun

by Mary May Larmoyeux

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In last Tuesday's Grand Connection post,  "One Small Step for Man," I recalled a time long ago when my dad and I stood in our backyard. He pointed into the night sky and said, "Mary, a man is on the moon tonight." That memory was somehow etched in my mind ... forever.

Now would be a great time for us to connect with our grandkids and remind them of what happened in July 1969: Neil Armstrong was the first person to ever walk on the moon!  Here are a couple of websites with more information about this.  I'm going to share them with our grandkids.

NASA
You Tube Video of the First Moon Landing
I think the younger ones will enjoy this coloring sheets (I've already mailed copies to our long-distance grands):
Moon and stars

Do you know of any good resources about the moon and Neil Armstrong?  If so, please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail. Thanks!

When I look at the moon this month, I not only want to think of the first man who walked on it, but also the awesome Creator who made it!
 3 Praise him, sun and moon,
 praise him, all you shining stars!
             - Psalm 148:3 (NIV)

Have a great weekend,
Mary

Mary May Larmoyeux
www.marymaywrites.com



Article copyright © Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo courtesy of NASA.