A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Tag: Grandpa (Page 2 of 2)

4th of July Fun – Keeping it Simple

It’s the eve of July 4th.  If you are a planner, then you have your menu and activities laid out for the family celebration.  However, if you are more of an impromptu person like myself, you are frantically searching through Pinterest and other websites for new and exciting ideas.  I always feel like I have to find the latest and greatest ideas that surface each year.  It’s great to add new and exciting ideas to family events.  But as I get older, I many times ask myself, “What is wrong with some of the simpler foods and activities that we have always had through the years?”

Don’t we all love a good barbecue with hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and watermelon?  Does anyone ever play bocce ball and frisbee anymore?  Remember when we ran through sprinklers after eating big slices of watermelon and having seed spitting contests?    We giggled and laughed, and our parents loved it because because our sticky faces and bodies got cleaned up a bit during the process.  Good memories indeed!

Then everyone puts on the bug spray, grabs their blankets and sits down for the fireworks show!

Unfortunately, many of the fireworks have been cancelled this year due to Coronavirus.  However, this does not have to keep you from celebrating this very special day.  Great memories are made with or without fireworks!

READ THE FOLLOWING AND REMEMBER ABOUT KEEPING IT SIMPLE~

This poem, which was written by Patrick Hall,  went around the internet in a frenzy when the Coronavirus first entered our lives.  Whether you have read it already or not, take a minute to read and absorb:

 

 

My wish for everyone is while we are all going about creating new 4th of July traditions, take some time to enjoy the simple fun of the old family fun.  Take some frisbees to your family gathering.  Teach the little ones to play jacks.  Have a coloring contest.  Throw up a net and play badminton.  Have a water balloon fight!  Play ring toss.  Play Patriotic bingo~who doesn’t love a good game of Bingo?

FREE 4th of JULY COLORING PAGE LINK~

There are many wonderful links on Pinterest for free coloring pages.  Here is an example from chrissiegrace.blogspot.com:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/158540849356925077/

 

Maybe you can quiz everyone on their knowledge of the lyrics in The Star Spangled Banner….😉   Here is a little cheat sheet for ya:

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July!

Family Fun on the 4th of July

July 4th is right around the corner–it’s time to get the grills cleaned and find all of your red, white & blue apparel!  Let’s have some family fun this 4th of July!

We, like most families, always get together to celebrate Independence Day!  Recipes, new and old are made, fireworks are purchased, and fun family crafts are decided upon.  As I get older though, I realize I may not have done a great job instilling in my children “why” we celebrate this great day.  Don’t get me wrong, they knew the importance of the day, I just don’t think I took the opportunity to teach some historical facts like I could have.  If I had it to do over, I would have used this time to create fun ways to teach the kids more about our history.  This is truly a great time to have family fun AND teach some history about why we are celebrating.

Did You Know???
    1. Two of our presidents (who also were signatories of the Declaration of Independence), died on July 4, 1826.  Literally the same year!!!  Do you know which presidents they are?
    2. Another president (who was not a signatory of the Declaration of Independence) died on July 4, 1831.
    3. We also have a president who was born July 4, 1872.

Do you know the answers?  Follow this link to check your knowledge:  https://mimiblog.org/2020/06/30/fun-facts-page/

 

Sooo, how did you do?          Don’t get upset if you didn’t know all of them.  I must admit that I learned some new facts today too.  See, I told you I should have taken the time when my kids were younger…I guess you are never to old!

July 4, 2020

So what’s in store for this year?  We have decided to do some tie dye shirts now that the kids are getting a little older.  I’m sure it will be messy, but it will be fun.  After all, that is  what makes good memories.  This is the tutorial (by Happiness is Homemade) that I am going to follow.  I did not create this pin, but I like the way it walks you through step by step if you have not tie dyed before:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/730709108282309018/

I am also including this link (by Leigha Doran) as I love the way this one turned out (this is an image only pin):  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/730709108282308707/

The girls and I are working on the rest of the details….I will share them with you when they are finalized.  Until then, I hope you are inspired to add some new fun to your family celebration, and I look forward to hearing about your ideas!

Favorite Books to Read to Kids

I LOVE READING!

I love reading to my grandchildren, I love reading to myself, I love reading to anyone who will listen!  Reading takes you anywhere you want to be.  In fact, I am known in my family for not enjoying travel very much.  I believe that is because books take me anywhere I want to be while allowing me to stay put  in my own home.  (Plus I don’t have to face that daunting task of packing–yuk!)

There is nothing better than snuggling with the grandkids and listening to them laugh.  You know the kind of laugh I am talking about…that deep down from the belly laugh.  I bet you are smiling right now just thinking about it!

There are so many great books out there, however, I have 3 favorites that I truly enjoy reading to the children.  None of them are particularly new books….just tried and true favorites!  These books require interaction and crazy voices, which make the reading experience even more fun.  They are outlined below (along with a link to check them out):

  1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury & MIchael Rosen – This fun book takes you through several different landscapes all while searching for a bear.  Do they find a bear?  I will leave that for you to find out, but I will tell you it sure is a lot of fun to make all of the landscape noises (stomping through mud and swishing through tall grass)  with the little ones as you journey through the pages.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Classic Board Books)       

 

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2.  The Monster at the End of This Book  by Jon Stone & Michael Smollin – Who doesn’t love Sesame Street characters?  This book completely engages the children by trying to keep you from getting to the end of the book.  The children laugh with delight as they try to quickly turn the pages….even though Grover tries his hardest to stop them!

The Monster at the End of This Book     

 

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3.  Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett – You must buy this one as the kit….it is a MUST!  You wear the fluffy mitts and do lots of tickling as you venture through the pages.  Talk about deep belly laughs!  This one also makes a wonderful gift.

Tickle Monster Laughter Kit — Includes the Tickle Monster book and fluffy mitts for reading aloud and tickling!

 

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If you haven’t already discovered these books, I think they would be a great addition to your bookshelves.  I would also love to hear of any books you recommend as well.

Happy Reading!!!!

 

 

 

 

Let’s Go Camping!

Do you have a favorite camping story?  Maybe you have a story that you would consider more of a camping nightmare?  Regardless of whether it is good or bad~ if you have ever been camping with your family, you have some wonderful memories!

My family grew up camping…every….single….weekend!  You don’t see families camping  as much these days.  Sports and other summer activities have become more popular and occupy most of the summer days.  While I love all of these options for kids today, I sure do miss the family togetherness of a good ‘ole camping trip!

Well, if you are one of those families that has a summer calendar jam packed with summer camps, sports, and family vacations, maybe you can plan a “camping day” with your kiddos like my daughter did.

How to Create Your Own Camping Site:

She set up the kid’s tent along with their camping chairs, added a couple of logs with a battery operated candle nestled in them to create the “fire” and engaged the kids in their own camping experience….right in the middle of their living room!

They enjoyed s’mores (which she toasted over a candle)  and drinking juice from their own canteens.   Their Chuckwagon meal consisted of a frozen breakfast bowl set in a tin tray for the “camping look.”

The kids also enjoyed making their own binoculars (with a little help from mom.)  These were made from toilet paper rolls, construction paper, yarn and a little glue (the glue is definitely where help from mom comes in.)

You can even have a supply of stickers and crayons so they can decorate them to their liking (this can even help with arguments of which ones belong to whom!)

So why not have a little “camping” fun with your kids or grandkids.  A camper or tent is not in your future?  No problem!   Traveling to a lake or mountain does not fit in your calendar?  No problem!   You don’t even have to buy coolers and fill them with all the camping necessities.  You can still give your children the camping experience by setting up a fun-filled day right at your own home!

Tie Breaker ~ Grandbaby #3 ~ Boy or Girl?

The secret is out!  Grandbaby #3 is on it’s way to becoming a part of our little family, and it is due to enter the world on January 1, 2021.  I’m not sure who is more excited…Mom and Dad or Mimi and Pappy.

As you add children to your family, you originally wonder how can I possibly have more love for another child when my heart is so full already.  You quickly discover that the love inside of you grows as each child is born.  Then you become a Grandma, and it continues to grow even more.  Isn’t God amazing?  He takes this little organ in your body and somehow makes room for it to expand more and more.

Is it a boy or is it a girl?  It’s so exciting to have that discussion in the early months of the pregnancy, but as it turns out we soon realize it doesn’t matter…it is just another blessing!  Now, you can ask Addi & Max what they think and you get a totally different perspective.  They DO have very definite opinions of having another brother or sister.

Though this is Lauren’s third baby…and she CLEARLY knows about all of the pregnancy woes, somehow I still find it completely necessary to constantly instruct her about what she should and should not be doing to take care of this little bundle of joy.  “Don’t lift that Lauren–Lauren, you do know you should be careful in this heat–Lauren, are you staying hydrated–Lauren, get sleep whenever you can!”–and on and on I go.  What I love about Lauren during all of this craziness is that she stays level headed and just says, “Ok mom,” when I know sometimes she would love to just yell, “I GOT THIS…I’M NO LONGER A ROOKIE AT THIS PREGNANCY THING!”  That’s my girl…an amazing daughter and an amazing mom!

So now we are at the stage of what do we still have around the house for when they visit, and what do we need to buy?  We try to have as many items as possible at our house so they don’t have to carry all of the baby seats, high chair, baby toys, bibs, formula, baby food, etc. with them every time they come to visit.  *Note to new grandparents, this ensures they will come to visit more when you make this process easier! 😉

Interestingly enough, we never made that jump to buying a crib, which I am shocked we haven’t done.  Instead, we use the Pack ‘N Play, and this has truly turned out to be a good substitute.

But as we all know, baby products just keep getting better with time, so I am currently researching to see just what I need to add to the “Mimi arsenal of baby gadgets.”  One item I am completely impressed with is the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock.  Wow, does this make life much easier.  There is room for baby and yet still room for groceries…AMAZING!

So when you offer to give the new mom some quiet time and you take the kids, little junior (or little princess) included, for an outing…Voila!  You will never look at shopping with a baby the same way!  Plenty of room for groceries AND all of those little toys that the other grandkids sneak into the cart.

BINXY BABY Shopping Cart Hammock | The Original | Holds All Car Seat Models | Ergonomic Infant Carrier + Positioner

I’ve provided the link above for you to check it out….something compact to keep in your car and have whenever needed.

It is fun to see what new, trendy items are out there, so I will continue the search and share any fun products I learn of.  After all, us grandparents need to stay in the know!

 

 

Secret Treasures

Evidently there is some secret character that comes and drops coins in the landscape when Addi and Max come to visit.  Even more curious is that it seems they all are found in the general vicinity of Pappy’s grilling area….hmmm!

When the kids first get to our house, there is flurry of activity with very important decisions regarding snacks, drinks, and what toys they want to play with.  Meanwhile, Pappy will scurry off outside to start the firepit and grill for the evening.

Once all decisions have been made, we all head outside, with little hands full of all the goodies they have collected inside.  However, even better treasures await them outside.  Pappy announces, “Addi, Max~get over here quick!  It looks like secret treasures have been left yet again.

They run over by Pappy, already forgetting those items that were oh so important just a few minutes ago…and the search begins!  Quickly, Addi eyes some silver and copper coins (she is the master egg hunter just like her mother!).

However, they know there are still more goods to uncover in the rocky path, so they continue on~each trying to find the most coins to add to their piggy banks (or pockets if we are discussing Max).

This continues on until the every inch of the area has been combed.  They make sure to put their new finds in their own secret areas to save away for a rainy day.  Leave it to Pappy, he has always been the one to help us all understand the importance of saving….all while making it fun!

                               

 

Memory Journals

“Memory Journals you ask?  I have baby books that I many times struggle getting everything recorded in!”

I agree…while the idea of writing down all of the memories is a terrific idea…sometimes it is hard enough just doing life!  However, keeping a journal by the side of your bed makes it easier to keep up with.  Maybe you can set a goal to try to write in it weekly…monthly…or quarterly.  Capturing some of the precious moments is better than none at all.

How many times have you chuckled softly to yourself when your child says something funny….or maybe even a little naughty (like a cuss word), but it just sounded so cute!  You try to recall that moment (that you thought you would NEVER forget) just a couple of days later….and it has vanished into that vast dark hole in your head that is trying to keep up with everyone’s schedules and activities.

I kept a journal for each of my children.  Sometimes I would journal regularly and then forget for awhile and start back up a couple of months later.  I wrote funny things they said, cute things they did, and times they were mad and were going to run away or threw them selves down in the middle of the mall.  I also described their Halloween outfits each year (those really start running together after years pass).   I wrote of special memories with a friend or family member (i.e. how we would go to “little” Grandma’s house after Halloween and let her empty our coveted goodies in the middle of the floor and let her pick out her favorites).   I added memories of their school involvement and much, much more.

However, I also wrote about the times that I was frustrated as a mother….no one really likes to talk about that~to admit that there are times you are so frustrated that it makes you feel like a bad mom.   The times you need to count to 100 instead of just 10.  It’s important to know that it is normal to feel overwhelmed…and more importantly to not  feel guilty about this.   I want them to read their journals when they have their families and understand you do get overwhelmed, but it doesn’t mean you love your children any less.

I had planned on starting “Mimi” journals early on and failed.  However, as stated earlier, some memories are better than none.  These grandchildren amaze us every day.  In fact, I wish I had a nickel for every time I call Brad at work to tell him something funny the kids have said or done.  So I have now started a journal for Addi & Max.  I plan on trying to write in it more often….this brain is more forgetful now than it was in my younger years.  It’s important to me that they know how very much I cherish being their Mimi!

         

 

Wildlife Feeders

Anyone who knows Mimi knows my love for all animals.  This is something our daughter is instilling in her kids as well.  I truly believe children who are taught to love and care for animals carry that on into how they act with their friends.

This fun little craft requires only 2 items:  pipe cleaners and cheerios.  What a fun activity that benefits wildlife.

   

Start out by making a loop at the end of your pipe cleaner.  Addi & Max had fun trying to slide the cheerios that were stuck together in different formations onto the pipe cleaners without breaking them.  Addi also used her creative side and decided to start forming the pipe cleaners in different shapes.

Once we had several done we went out to hang them.  It’s best to hang them on branches that have others close by for birds (or other wildlife) to munch on more easily.

           

Now we get to sit and anxiously wait for those birds to find them and start feasting!

Let’s Dance!

Dance:  the movement of the body in a rhythmic way, usually to music and within a given space, for the purpose of expressing an idea or emotion, releasing energy, or simply taking delight in the movement itself.

How long has it been since you danced?  Really danced–letting go of all stress and just taking delight in the movement itself?  For Brad and I as a couple it has been a while.  We used to love dancing!  We would go every single weekend when we were dating.  When I sit and reminisce about those days I am filled with pure joy!  So why did we stop?  Life got in the way I suppose.

Enter Addi & Max….they have brought that fun back into our lives!  Every time we have an overnight–after dinner is done, one of the kids yells “Alexa, play <insert their favorite song of the moment>, and we all dance around the kitchen like crazy.  Thus the sign that is now a focal point in our kitchen.  We play new music that they are obsessed with and then we play old music that Brad and I are obsessed with…and we abandon all cares and just have FUN!

           

 

 

 

When the evening is over and jammies are put on and teeth are brushed, we snuggle in with movies.  Only to wake up and…..DANCE AGAIN!  Isn’t it amazing that with all the toys and gadgets out there, that you can have so much fun just dancing.

            

It is a must that all members of the family join in on this family fun!  Afterall, this is a great activity that is sure to bring smiles but also is a great form of keeping active with the whole family.  More fun can be added in with the addition of this awesome game…. Check out this entertaining family dance game!  This will be sure to have the kid’s often saying, “let’s dance!”

I ask again, how long has it been since you danced?

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