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, March 27, 2012

Poet Grandma

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

Last Tuesday I went down memory lane and recalled some of the handpicked wildflower bouquets that I've received over the years. Could there be a more meaningful gift than fresh flowers picked with love by little hands?

If you've read the e-zine Encouraging Women with Hearts for Their Homes, the name Rita Goodgame probably sounds familiar. She's not only a wonderful poet, but also a very dear friend. Over the years, she's received many bouquets from her children and grandchildren, but perhaps none as rare as the one she wrote about in her beautiful poem below. Enjoy!

Fleeting Moment
by Rita Goodgame

In a garden by the porch a
friend sips afternoon
tea with me.
We hear sounds of child play and
watch my two young daughters
flaunt bouquets of wild flowers.
Spring perfume mingles with earth-laden roots
that dangle below the girls' knees.
The dirt tangles do not hamper
their rhythm
high-held-bouquet-chase. We
muse...a new game?

In silence, they approach ...
hands behind backs. Small
fingers merge two
bouquets into one.
For a brief moment of stasis,
in awesome majesty,
Spring's first butterfly
crowns my prize of golden splendor.

My friend speaks.
"Queens have not received a gift so rare."
The vision of my children presenting
wild flowers
topped with a butterfly
is etched
forever in my heart.

Have a great week!
Mary May Larmoyeux
co-author of The Grand Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart

Article  and photo ©  2012 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Easter ideas for grandchildren of all ages

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Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Easter will soon be here ... with its frilly baskets, chocolate-covered Easter eggs, and the Bunny Rabbit himself. 

Of course Easter is much more than these things. Now is a great time to sit down with the grandchildren and talk about the real reason we celebrate this holiday: the crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

One way to do this is by going through a set of FamilyLife's Resurrection Eggs. These plastic eggs contain small objects that represent Christ's crucifixion (the 12th egg is actually empty, representing the empty tomb). Pops and I share these with our grandchildren year after year. As a matter of fact, I just bought a new set today to mail to our out-of-town grandkids.

Of course, are lots of Easter crafts that we can do with our grandchildren. What are your favorite ones? Here are some that I discovered on the Internet (for both the younger and older crowds):

Sheep Eggs: This cute critter will be an Easter favorite.

Egg chickens: These adorable chicks have felt features.

Paper-Napkin Decoupage Eggs: Uses Mod Podge (available from craft stores) and patterns from paper napkins. Includes directions for how to hollow out an egg.

Napkin Applique Easter Eggs: This craft also includes directions for how to hollow out an egg and uses school glue and paper napkins to make beautiful, unique eggs.

For long-distance grands:

Mail younger grandchildren supplies for an Easter craft such as Egg Chickens. Send directions, plastic eggs, and felt. Ask the grandchildren to send you a picture of their completed chicks. It could be fun to make some yourself, and then send a picture of them to your grands.

And we could call, e-mail, or text older long-distance grands with directions for the Paper-Napkin Decoupage Eggs or Napkin Applique Easter Eggs. Again, share photos of the finished product with one another. If these grandchildren will be with you on Easter day, you might ask them to add their creations to small baskets that will decorate the Easter table.

Have a great weekend,
Mary May Larmoyeux

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Handpicked flowers

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

Before my Sunday school class started this week, a little blond-headed girl walked into the room and handed one of the ladies a couple of daffodils. "Miss Barbara," she said, "these are for you."

My mind raced back to years ago when our children were young. One of our sons frequently delighted me with handpicked flowers. A time or two I truly hoped that they weren't from a neighbor's yard!

Last spring a couple of our granddaughters gave me one of the prettiest flower arrangements I had ever gotten—country wildflowers, I think with a little ragweed mixed in. I'm allergic to ragweed, but did I mention that to the grands? Of course not! Any sneezing that I did that day was well worth it.

"The flowers of late winter and early spring," wrote Gertrude S. Wister, "occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size." I have to agree, especially if those flowers were picked by a grandchild.

Do you remember any special bouquet presented to you by a grandchild? Did you pick flowers for your own mother or grandmother?

Have a great week!
Mary May Larmoyeux
co-author of The Grand Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart

Article  and photo ©  2012 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Playing Manger in March

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

When Pops and I were babysitting for some of our grandkids, our little granddaughter brought her stuffed animals into the den and announced that she was going to play Manger. She said that Pops could be Joseph. She would be Mary.

Her little brother started crashing through the animals. "Stop!" she cried. Then she announced to him, "You can be the manger cat."

I've never thought about a manager cat, but I guess there could have been one.

In our little grand's arms she cradled "Baby Jesus"−a stuffed rabbit with long floppy ears. If you pushed its stomach the song "You Are My Sunshine" played. I had to smile to myself. Never saw Baby Jesus pictured like that.

After Pops and I went home, I thought about the manger scene that night ... at the end of February, no less. I had to admit, a stuffed rabbit was a far cry from the Messiah ... Jesus Christ.

It was as though the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, "Mary, like your little grand, you do your best to grasp Almighty God coming in the form of a child. But you cannot possibly comprehend what Jesus gave up to enter this earth as a baby."

Isaiah 9:6 says, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Whether it's December 25 or the middle of March, may we never lose the wonder and awe that Jesus Christ was born. No matter what's happening in the economy or in society, we can be at rest.

One day the government will be on Jesus' shoulders and we will cry out, "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father ... Prince of Peace."

Why, if I'm just a "manger cat" in that Kingdom, I'll be happy.

Perfectly happy.

Have a great week!
Mary May Larmoyeux
co-author of The Grand Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart

Article ©  2009 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Kathryn Cairney