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

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,

© 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,

© 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,

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.


“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 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

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