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, 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!

© 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,


© 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,

©  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 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,

© 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!

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