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 25, 2014

What is a home?

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

by Mary May Larmoyeux

Pops and I went to see my mother last weekend. It is always such a joy to see her! When I was growing up, Mom transformed our frame house into a home filled with much love.

Jim and I often drive past the old homeplace when we visit Mom. I so identify with Mary Williams' description of her aging home (originally published in the 1983 edition of Rural Arkansas magazine):

"It has sheltered life. It has seen the joy and laughter of children and the quickness of their running feet. It has seen the tears of those who are no longer young and heard their slowing footsteps. It sighs and sometimes groans with its memories and its years. But it puts its arms around those who come within its walls and comforts them and laughs with them ... It is a reflection of a small bit of heaven. It is home!"

What does home mean to you? What does it mean to your grandchildren?
Have a great week!
Mary May Larmoyeux

Article © 2011 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo ©  Tim Markley / Dreamstime.com

Friday, March 21, 2014

Let's Make Homemade Play Dough

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Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

One of the things our grandkids love to do is make homemade play dough. (Okay, I confess, I love playing with it, too.)

It's really easy to make! Here’s the recipe that we use:

1 cup flour
½ cup salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring

Mix all dry ingredients. Add oil, water, and food coloring. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Cook until dough becomes one large ball. Empty onto waxed paper. Knead (press with your hands, in a rolling motion) until smooth and cool. Immediately store in an airtight container.

Clear plastic jars make perfect homemade play dough containers. The dough stays soft and pliable in them, and you can tell the color at a quick glance.

Hope that you and your grandkids have many fun hours playing with this stuff! If they live out-of-town, you might want to send them the recipe (or send their moms the recipe) and ask for a picture of them having “homemade play dough” fun.

He is able,


Article and picture © by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Potholder fun

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Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

When Pops and I were visiting a son and his family, a granddaughter took my hand and walked me to her bedroom. Scattered on her bed was an assortment of colored loops and a plastic potholder loom. Boy, did that bring back memories!

"Help me, Nana," she said as she bounced onto her bed, ready to work on her homemade creation. We then took turns weaving the loops together.

Our conversation went back to many decades ago. I told her that I made potholders for loved ones and friends when I was her age. We talked about a special one that I made as a child for some neighbors. I had worked so hard weaving the loops back and forth. When it was was finally "finished,"  I carefully removed the ends from the metal frame.

Then I put my special gift on a paper towel and carried it to the neighbors' house. It never dawned on me that the potholder's ragged ends would soon mean that it would fall apart.

As my granddaughter and I worked on her first potholder, she told me that it was fragile. That's when I realized that like her Nana, she didn't know that the ends needed to be woven together.

I'm sure that there's a spiritual application here somewhere. Perhaps how life quickly unravels unless we allow the Lord to hem in its edges (Psalm 139:5). Or maybe that life is made of good times and bad, all woven together like the varied colors of a potholder into something that has a unique purpose (Romans 8:28).

But for today, I'm reminded that some things never change ... like the joy of hearing birds sing on a cool spring morning or watching the sun set at the end of a long day. Like spending time with grandchildren, making potholders together ... recalling life so long ago.

Did you make potholders as a child? Have you made them with your grandkids?

I googled "potholders" and found what appears to be a great online source for them: http://www.liveandlearn.com/classiccrafts.html. Do you know of any good sources for potholders or similar crafts?

Have a great day,

Photo and article © 2010, 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

To all the MeMe’s and Nanas and Papaws of the World

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

Not too long ago, our small-group from church started talking about special names. A good friend of ours, Jim, said that the name BaBa is very special to him. He explains: “It carries with it the honor of being the only BaBa to a little girl that loves, trusts, and respects me. She thinks I can do anything!”

His wife, LaRue, said: “One name that is special to me is MeMe. It’s special because a very special little girl calls me by that name—my granddaughter! And before that her mother called my mother by that name. So it has become a link from the present to the past and to the future. My hope is that it remains as special to me and my granddaughter as it did to my daughter and her grandmother, MeMe.”

Aren’t the many names of grandparents wonderful!

I’m Nana and love that name. Why? Because my grandmother was Nana and I have many, many fond memories of her. I wish I could talk with her now.

What does your grand call you? Does it have a special meaning?

He is able,

©  Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Tasnadi Erika / Dreamstime.com

Friday, March 7, 2014

Connecting with long-distance grandkids

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Friday's Grand Connection Fun
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Some of our grandkids are getting ready to move out of state. Of course, we will miss them greatly!

Yes, long-distance grandparenting is easier in today's electronic world, but it's still hard when our legacy lives hundreds or thousands of miles away. There's just nothing like regular one-on-one visiting with those we love, is there?

Several years ago, a dear friend Rita shared some ways that she has enriched those so important out-of-town relationship with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She said:  "With seventeen grandchildren, we were busy all year remembering birthdays and holidays. Often, we’d send photos of them taken on our last visit or a drawing with a made up story."

I think Rita's idea is great! When she first shared that idea with me, I had just spent some time visiting some of our out-of-town grandkids. Because of Rita's idea, I mailed them a letter with some pictures of our time together and a note reminiscing my visit with them.

Here's another idea:  We could include a magnetic frame for the refrigerator when we mail the grands pictures of our last visit together. Or, we could draw a picture of something we did with our grandchildren when we visited. For the artistically challenged, like me, we could have fun with the drawing by asking our grandkids (over the phone) to answer questions about it until he/she correctly guesses what the picture represents.

What are some things that you do to help your out-of-town grandkids remember your special visits together? And if you have out-of-state grandkids, what are one or two ways that you connect with them?

Have a great weekend,
Mary May Larmoyeux

Photo and article © 2010, 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Funny Things

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought

I can vividly remember when one of our grandsons was about three years old and did not want to take a nap. After he had been in his bed for about two minutes, he came out of his room and announced that he had finished his nap.

"You have to sleep," I told him. "Your body will tell you when it's time to get up."

You can probably guess what he said next, "My body says it's time."

With a smile, I sent him back to his room. Two hours later he woke up.

Kids can say some of the funniest things.

A friend recently sent me an e-mail with amusing things grandkids have said. Here are a couple of my favorites:

A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like: "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire that hung from a tree in our front yard.

We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." 

The little girl was wide-eyed, taking it all in. At last the grandchild said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"


I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!"

What are some funny things that your grandchild said?

He is able,
Mary May Larmoyeux

© 2011, 2014 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © Jason Schulz / Dreamstime.com