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, January 31, 2014

Websites for kids

Friday's Grand Connection Fun

Computers have a lot to offer kids.Here are some websites that my grandchildren enjoy:

Highlights Kids is wonderful. It's filled with puzzles, games, science experiments, crafts, recipes, animated stories, and more. 

Storybird is great for budding writers and encourages creativity. Children not only can create and "illustrate" their own stories on Storybird, but they also can read and hear stories.

How about Poptropica? It's got lots of active games that my grandsons really enjoy.

And Crayola's website is packed with things for kids to do. I especially like the learning coloring pages (language arts, math, science, and social studies), coloring pages for cars and trucks, and puzzles and games pages.

Now, I sure I can't forget Clubhouse Magazine's website. It's especially good for kids who can read.  It's filled with jokes, games, stories, videos, madlibs and more. And for the younger ones, try Clubhouse Junior with its coloring pages, crafts, and Bible stories.

What websites do your grankids enjoy? Please leave a comment below or e-mail me at mary@marymaywrites.com. Thanks!

Have a great weekend!

Article 2012 © Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo Copyright © 2000-2011 Dreamstime. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Homemade dog biscuits

Friday's Grand Connection Thought

Have you ever made homemade dog biscuits? Wouldn't it be fun to bake a batch or two of dog biscuits with the grandkids!

The June 2011 issue of the magazine 501 Life had a wonderful article about making homemade pet treats. The recipe below (by Don Bingham) sounds so easy.

Homemade Dog Milk Bone Biscuits
by Don Bingham

3/4cup hot water
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole-wheat flour

In a large bowl, pour hot water over the margarine. Stir in powdered milk, salt and egg. Add flour, half a cup at a time. Knead for a few minutes to form stiff dough. Pat or roll to half-inch thickness. Cut into bone shapes. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool. They will dry out quite hard. Makes about one pound of biscuits. Costs around 30 cents per pound.

And here are some other recipes for homemade dog treats that I found on the Internet:

Meaty Dog Biscuits

Hypoallergenic Dog Treats

Training Treats

Maxxamillion's Favorite Dog Biscuit Recipe  (after clicking on link, scroll down for this recipe)

Have a great weekend!

© 2011 Mary Mary Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Nikolai Sorokin / Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The little things in life

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Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

by Mary May Larmoyeux

It's amazing how we remember some of the smallest, most seemingly inconsequential things.

The other day one of my granddaughters was helping me make the beds. "I remember making the beds with my own grandmother," I told her. And then my mind raced back decades ago to my "Nana." I could picture us standing side by side and remember her voice, "Tuck in the corners."

Later in the day I told this same granddaughter that she had been making good decisions and that she didn't have to ask me if she wanted something out of the refrigerator. "If you want some juice or fruit, you can just get it yourself."

"Nana," she said before bedtime, "When you said I could get my own snacks, it made me feel so good."

My comment had been such a casual, little thing. But it had made an impression on my granddaughter, and I sensed that she felt very loved.

What seemingly inconsequential things do you remember about your grandmother? Have they become precious memories?

He is able,

Article 2012 © Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
 Picture ©  Lane Erickson / Dreamstime.com

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fun with egg cartons

Our grandkids can have so much fun with simple, everyday objects—like an egg carton. The games kids (and even adults) can play with it are endless!

Today, I'm referring to a empty carton that holds 18 eggs. Here are some ways we could use it. Younger children could go on scavenger hunts and sort their treasures in rows. For example, this could be done by color (i.e., blue objects on first row, yellow objects in second row, etc.), by shape (objects shaped like a circle in one row, like squares in second row .... , or by likeness (smooth objects in first row, rough objects in second row, etc.).

What happens when we cut an 18-count egg carton in half?  Viola! We have two tic-tack-toe "boards," each with three rows of three.  These could provide hours of entertainment on a trip. Instead of x's and o's children could use different values of coins (i.e., pennies and nickles), or squares of paper in two different colors.

We could brainstorm with our grandkids about all of the things that can be done with an egg carton. In addition to the above ideas, how about using them for water colors or to sort change or group rubber bands by similar sizes or colors?

What ideas do you have for using egg cartons?  I almost forgot one—put eggs in it!

Have a great weekend,

Post and Photo Copyright © 2012 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Can you trust God?

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Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

by Mary May Larmoyeux

Life can sure be tough in the 21st century, for us and for our grandkids.

Where can someone go for comfort in a world that seems to be travelling at the speed of life? A world that is filled with much joy, but also much sorrow. A world of war ... and peace, life-long marriages ... and divorce, good health ... and death that comes far too soon.

Thinking about these things brings me to one word: trust. What exactly is it anyway?

I love what James MacDonald says in his Bible study called MasterWork:

"God did not design our DNA with the ability to carry the future. The only place to focus my thought is on today.

"Trust means you anchor your heart in the reality of God's awareness of your situation."

Picture tying an anchor to your heartan anchor to Almighty God. Grasp the fact that He is aware of everything that passes through life. Yes, everything.

A dear friend's little girl has been struggling for life these past few days. I'm reminded that even though it's not easy, when we allow our lives to be anchored on God, we can experience the promise of Isaiah 26:3, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."

Not matter what you or your friends are facing today, no matter what your grandchild is facing, one thing is certain: God is not surprised.

He is able,

© 2012, 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Maa-illustrations / Dreamstime.com

Friday, January 10, 2014

Let's Make a Birdhouse

I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. —Psalm 50:11

Hope that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed New Year's Day!

A couple of years ago Pops gave our grandkids birdhouses (one for each family) at Christmas. Although we thought that the kids would like them, we were surprised at how excited they were about them.

Now, they weren’t just ordinary birdhouses—they were designed for children to custom decorate with outdoor paints. (I purchased the birdhouse kits, complete with paints, from our local Knowledge Tree.) Our out-of-town grandkids decorated their birdhouse the day after Christmas, and our local grands decorated theirs a day or so later. They were all thrilled with their creations.

You may want to decorate a birdhouse with your local grandchildren on a bleak winter day or mail one to those who live out-of-town. Just looking at a birdhouse reminds us that spring will soon be here.

A birdhouse can also provide a great topic for ongoing conversation with the grands. I plan to checkout some library books about our feathery friends to read with the grands who live nearby.

With out-of-town (and local) grandkids we can google “birds” and find all sorts of information and activities that we could send them by e-mail or snail mail. Here are just a few possibilities:

Just color the critters (National Audubon Society—just for kids)

Birds of America (you can search by state—National Audubon Society)

Wild bird treat (National Geographic for Kids)

Have fun!
Mary May Larmoyeux

Post and Photo Copyright © 2009, 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The privilege of praying for the grandkids

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

I call to You for help, LORD; in the morning my prayer meets You.
                                (Psalm 88:13, HCSB)

When I look at the world today, I realize how important it is to regularly pray for our grandchildren. Only God knows the challenges they will face tomorrow.

A few of years ago I started praying through a wonderful book While They Are Sleeping: 12 Character Traits for Moms to Pray. It gives specific verses to pray for the following character traits: kindness, humility, teachability, forgiveness, obedience, discernment, purity, responsibility, courage, servanthood, contentment, endurance. (You can purchase this book from FamilyLife.)

Since Pops and I have seven grandchildren, I have seven of these books—yes, one for each grand. I try to pray for one grand on one day a week, and when I pray for him/her I write the date (and sometimes a note) inside While They Are Sleeping.

I've told the older grandkids that I pray for them and shown them the While They Are Sleeping books.  Two of our grands were at the house recently, and the seven year old seemed very pleased when she saw "her book." 

I've also done a great Bible study by Sammy Tippet, Praying for Your Family. Sammy gives specific ways to pray and shares how God answered prayers for his entire family. It's really encouraging!

What a privilege it is to pray for our grands. It’s a gift that money can’t buy ... one that will affect not only their lives today, but also their future.

Do you have any tips that would help grandparents remember to pray for their grands on a regular basis?

Have a great week,

© 2012, 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sewing made easy

About three years ago, Pops and I started a new tradition: having each grandchild spend a special weekend with us by him/herself. We got the idea from a friend who told me that she did this. 

When my friend suggested this, I couldn't imagine not including all of the grandkids in whatever grandparent fun Pops and I had planned. But now, with seven grandkids, I sure see the wisdom of her words!

Of course it's wonderful to have all of the grands over together, but you just don't get that special one-on-one time. Time when you can really get to know your grandchild's heart.

Not too long ago, our oldest granddaughter came over for one of her special weekends with Nana and Pops.  Knowing that she wanted to sew, and that my sewing skills are limited, I was prepared. I had purchased a couple of dresses that had been marked down ... and marked down again, until they were almost at give-away prices. When selecting them, I didn't look at what the item looked like, but instead wondered what the fabric could become.
When my granddaughter came over, we began with one of the bargain buys, a smocked tube dress. My granddaughter turned it into the cutest apron. Snip here ... snip there, a couple of seams on the side, a ribbon for ties ...  Presto—the apron that you see pictured to your left. 
It was fun to watch my granddaughter sew the seams on the same sewing machine I used when I was a 13-year-old girl. And when her mom saw the apron, she said that she remembered sitting by her own grandmother's side, learning to sew.

Do you have any special sewing memories with your grandchild or with your grandmother?

Have a wonderful weekend,

Post and Photo Copyright © 2012, 2014 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.