Category Archives: Grandchildren

How to get a beautiful, wonderful gift, a word loving grandchild

I finally Got One

I asked my eight year old grandson what his favorite book was and he said my student dictionary. He showed me how well he reads by reading the first word a. Interesting that the word is an article. Hmm that sounds rather archaic.

In this land of such fast changes technology and massive amounts of information, it is hard to imagine teaching English with all the archaic words used to describe words. The language changes so much, so quickly. Where he lives, in apartments, the languages in colloquial southern Ebonics are frequently not familiar to me his older grandmother.
I am a writer and was born to write, so I am thrilled to have a word lover around. It is hard to understan the best way tohep these children learn”proper” English.
The exciting thing is that he loves words. We played a game with letters and he actually worked hard to do the game and enjoyed it.. His brother was not at all interested. He is number 6 grandson but have to say I do have a granddaughter that is a great storyteller and at age 11 is able to read prolifically. She said she wanted to read about the women that slayed the dragon not the same old, knight rescues princess after he slays the dragon. I think she may have to write those stories.
I am very grateful that all my children have taught their children to be avid readers. In this age of technology communication much takes place with reading and writing. Even in many video games in order to play with someone online you must be able to type and read.
I prefer the written word to most audio. I can read a script of the video by skimming it and take half the time that it would take to watch or listen to process the information. I can skim paragraphs lead sentences and decide whether the information is worth spending more time or processing auditorily. It is easy to get addicted to information and on the Internet it’s easy to go down many roads unintentional and distracting.
I read a research project Some were paid for attendance, some were paid for performance, and some were paid to just read and read a lot with comprehension. I have seen others that suggest we should just teach reading up to third grade and then excellent readers can comprehend math in new ways with applications for problem solving not just routines that have rules.
It seems so constant that if we teach youngsters good reading skills then they will be able to access information that they need.
I believe they should learn good research techniques rather young and be able to evaluate who has created the information so they can have validity for what they are listening to.

My own children were not great readers until they had things to read that they were interested in.
I am grateful to watch my own children, who are good readers, pass that on to the next generation.


Grandchildren and the Word of God

Psalm 119:15Amplified Bible (AMP)
15 I will meditate on your precepts and have respect to your ways [the paths of life marked out by your law].

Meditate is a word for ponder. It means to think about. There are several scriptures referring to meditate and almost synonymous with prayer. Gen 24:62-64, Joshua 1:8, 1chronicles 16:9,, psalm 1:2, 2:1, 27:4 , lots of other words about studying or thinking, pondering the word of God. As a child I learned the 23rd psalm so young that I do not remember not knowing it. Memorization sometimes seems like works and often takes scriptures to drudgery. I was praying about a way to make learning and meditating on the word of God in a new way for my grandchildren. (two boys 9 and 7) Our pastor had taught us to learn one verse at a time and ponder it long enough that you are truly ready for more. He actually referred to each verse as an adopted child. That each one became as special as one of your children in the way you “know” the verse. Graham Cooke (prophetic teacher had an experience where the Lord wanted him to spend six months on one psalm until he truly had understood the words. Early Christians meditated on words from the Bible differently than we do in our fast paced world of digital and instant everything.(see lectio divina)
The Lord gave me an idea through one of my prayer minister friends. We were meeting with Jesus and we both had the revelation to write each verse on a card and we made the verses into a scavenger hunt by hiding them all through the house. Then they had to trade and swap until each have the six verses they needed. I started with the new living translation because I felt like it was easy to understand in common language. learning the psalm So each day during Christmas break the boys learn one more verse. I also let them have a dollar for each verse learned that way they could have holiday money for buying presents for others. I heard a teaching about us giving ways to earn money to our children or just giving them money to buy presents for others and it suggested that God gave those inclinations to us because that is how He is to us. He gives us gifts that we cultivate and give back to Him. One is the gift of worship or dance , music and singing. What ever gifts he has given us he allows us to have them to give back to Him in serving others. I find that as I do what we do in prayer ministry, when God heals someone, being present in that moment He always gives me a revelation about who He is that is a gift for me as well as what He is doing for someone else.
Another really exciting thing that I have learned is how to teach kids how to pray for their enemies. My husband had a coworker that had such anger issues at work that people were trying to avoid him. As we prayed for him God somehow made a teaching on the tongue sink into that man’s head and as he became aware of how he sounded he started to change. Only God can do that.
That is the way He is. Continue reading Grandchildren and the Word of God

Recipe adaptations – Brownies as an example

brownies from adapted recipe
chewy almost good for you brownines

Adapted brownie recipe

Here is a good example of adapting a brownies recipe to your own healthy one.
This author wanted ½ cup of butter. Because the consistency of coconut oil is the same I just replaced item for item.
Pretty standard measure for any chewy type of substance cookie or bar.,.
There are all kinds of research about coconut fats.
If you use olive oil need a little less moisture somewhere else.
Want to try rice oil when I can find it at a good cost. Supposed to lower cholesterol.

We took the white flour and replaced it with whole wheat. You could use quinoa flour instead because we are not really need the rising power of the gluten in this item. Could cook them individually and ended up with a cookie type of dessert. I like the bars because they are quick but not as crunchy. Could use a muffin pan to cook the so they all have a crust. My family likes softer not crunchy. The outside edges are mine, and that is plenty for me that likes the crunchy.
1 cup of butter replace with coconut  oil.
1 cup flour – replace with wwflr
4 eggs instead of 6(I doubled the recipe
Used a little less sugar then called for because I think the raw sugar is very sweet, I wanted cocoa brownies and I added rich chocolate chips and they were sweet.
Vanilla was homemade .+
Leavening aluminum free. (this amount also changes texture could have used half as much.)
Sugar replace with raw sugar, could use honey, again may need a bit more dry ingredient for moisture change.
The sucranat (a very lightly processed cane sugar and raw sugar do not dissolve as well so I had to melt the coconut oil and so I stirred the sugar in to dissolve it better and cool the melted fat,
I use a few less eggs to help make more chewy and less cake like they called for three, I doubled the recipe and used four. This is a cooking pattern to know more eggs give a more cake like texture.
I used pecan pieces cause they were the cheapest nuts I could buy this month and I love pecans.
You know I thought living where they grow they would be cheaper but like a lobster in New England they can get more sending them away. Looking for a producer locally I can score from.

I bet I spent 10 more minutes making these from scratch putting things out and away. The time is to organize your pantry to have the ingredients on hand for all different combinations and you don’t need to run to the store for an expensive box mix full of chemicals.

+Homemade vanilla.
Pour vodka over vanilla beans and wait. I found them at whole foods. They are expensive buy $12 worth of beans lasted me two years. Much cheaper. I poured new vodka over the beans every time it got low and that seemed to do. I had a clear bottle in a dark cabinet but a dark bottle is probably better.

Teaching math to children


rows of pennies demonstrate many math concepts
rows of pennies demonstrate many math concepts

For anyone that is mentoring young(homescholling, parenting, grandparenting) children the finest inexpensive math tool to use is pennies. Now if you have children that puts things in your mouth be warned that it is very much considered dangerous to swallow pennies. I do not know for sure if this is accurate but the make up of the penny with stomach acid is supposedly more likely to cause problems than when the pennies were all copper.
So we coined the phrase penny math with my children and used the pennies as math manipulatives. Thirty years ago a penny had more purchasing power but in lieu of that one can still let the child keep the pennies and as they add up they can roll them and see the act of saving a little at a time and how it grows. The pennies are laid out in patterns to see adding properties and subtracting properties. The most helpful I think is the relationship of the multiplying and dividing methods and to see pattern that will train the brain to see math patterns in many different things.
My children could do drills with pennies at 7 or eight and had the basic math skills in their head with little effort and their own banks of change. As they rolled the coins and got to spend the money on their own they had a great sense of the concept of how “far” money would go. Studies have shown that spending money is a different emotional experience than using cards or checks. I believe that the connection between earning and spending may be important to help minimize living beyond ones means. I still remember the feeling of my first credit card that I gave in exchange for goods. It was surreal and too easy to disconnect from money in and money out. Dave Ramsey (a financial consultant trainer) has a lot to say about the marketing of credit and the effort to disconnect the individual. The marketing makes using credit a subtle temptation that can get someone into trouble financially. Our economy claims we must live on credit and I think we are going in the wrong direction with that one.
Pennies are great math manipulative and I hope we never get “rid” of them. One day we probably will. Then it would be more expensive but dimes would work to teach the decimal type system and multiples of ten. So have fun with coins and kids.+

legos displayed in pieces
any blocks that have sizes that are fractions are a go here.

Here is an update for using common household toys to teach math to kids. Have fun Math is everywhere.penny math

Moms advice re Diapers today

When my kids were babies the disposable diaper just came out(30 years ago.)
In talking to ladies that I know new moms and mothers looking for changes in cost and environmental issues I asked my daughter –in – law, now working with her fifth child what the latest on using non disposable diapers was. It is apparent that they have improved and the savings are enormous to use non disposable. There are many choices. She kindly outlines her experiences and so I thought I would share the wealth of her knowledge. Her email is as follows:


My favorites…

Fuzzi Bunz….I personally prefer the perfect size, but I did like the one size also. This is what I have the most of because I love them. These are pocket diapers meaning the outside is made of PUL(a plastic material), then there is a really soft layer of material inside that stays by babies bottom. You stuff an “insert” in the back of the diaper between these two layers(in the “pocket”). This is great in helping baby sleep all night and preventing rashes because the wetness isn’t on the skin. The downside is you can’t use creams or powders with pocket diapers or it will ruin them.

Happy Hineys (These are great for new borns! I haven’t had any for bigger babies yet.) These are also pockets.
Rumparoos….I have used the covers of this brand and love them. They are a little snug fitting so keep that in mind for chubby babies. Great about not leaking!
Charlie Banana is a brand that a I have heard nothing but good about. They are like a fuzzi bun but more expensive. They also have disposable inserts that can be used if you need them.
Kawaii are very cheap and work great. Not a lot of prints to choose from and a little bulkier but I have had no problems with them and love the price. They run a little small.
Thirsties…I really like this wrap. I have not used there diapers.
I have one Bum Genius pocket diaper. It works fine but I personally prefer my Fuzzi Bunz.
Mommy’s Touch is my favorite wrap. Fits great to any baby and doesn’t leak. I only have one because I felt it was expensive, but I have to say it was worth it and I wish I had more. It is a little overwhelming when you see all those snaps but as soon as you realize how to fit it to your baby it is actually very easy.
Places I like to order from….

Mom’s Milk Boutique is my favorite! Super nice people and they are fast.
Fuzzi Bunz store.
Kelly’s Closet….you can rack up points here.
Green Mountain diapers. They have a lot of diaper info on this site. Their work horse diapers are wonderful. If you want cotton this is the place to get it! This is also where you can get the Mommy’s Touch covers.
On all the diapers and covers you have an option of snaps or velcro. They can both wear out and/or break and the velcro is easier, but I personally like the snaps much better. You can get a more customized fit with the snaps and I had a Bummis velcro cover that for some reason kept folding down and rubbed a horrible raw spot on my baby’s belly. (My others didn’t do this but now they make me nervous). But if you want quick and easy velcro is great.
Hemp and Bamboo inserts are more expensive but they are also more absorbent so keep that in mind if you have heavy wetters. If you are concerned about nighttime leaking buy a wool cover. I don’t have one because they are expensive but everyone I’ve heard of that uses them says you will have NO leaks. Most people just get one or two to have for nighttime. I am considering it myself.
Be sure to order by baby size, not age. I have huge babies and ended up with tight diapers at first. My son actually wore large from 4-12 months and then he fit into his mediums when he started to slim down.
Many of the stores sell seconds. They are often unused returned items from when mom’s buy sample packs and send back what they don’t want.
You can spend lots of money for certain brands and patterns and they are super cute ( like daddy’s diapers) but it is just for looks. They do not function any better.
Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions. I would be glad to help.


November 22, 2011

This is a most intentional time that we have in the United States to give thanks. For those of you that do not know Whom we give thanks to, let me share the truth that there is one true God. He sent His son Jesus to earth to be human, die on a cross so we could be freed from the slavery of sin. You could say we become slaves to Christ. I would suggest you read my other blog on what it means in the Bible days to be a slave.
This week a lot of people will spend a lot of time and money gathering food and people to one place to become a thanksgiving celebration. For many the celebrating with family is painful and a lot of alcohol is mixed with the food and an incredibly difficult time is had by all.
To me the attitude of gratitude is the goal this week. Really this is practice to learn to live a life filled with gratitude. It is only in this place that the peace of the living God can move in our lives. He can teach us how to be grateful. The very first way is to recognize we need a savior. For those of you that don’t need one you may want to check out some of the modern books about hell. Consider, the most recent one about a little boy that visited heaven and met his sister that he did not know existed . She was a miscarriage and when the boy told his parents they were amazed because this child had never been told by them about her. There is heaven, there may be hell. For some of you it is faith to believe, but you have been given enough faith by God to believe, so tap into it.
I am most gratefiul, thankful and appreciative for a true relationship, friendship, and dynamic experiential time with Jesus. The Bible talks about us seeing Jesus and personal time with Him, as well as having the opportunity to hear from the Holy Spirit anytime we have a question.
The next richest thing I have to be grateful for is the friends I have. I am blessed beyond measure because my adopted family of God has some of the richest relationships on the planet. I am also blessed to have friendship amongst my immediate family. Those take work and investment of time, all of them, but I believe God created us to be in relationship with Him and through our relationships with others is how He heals our brokenness.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, and thanks for visiting

Nana’s Ways to Keep in Touch

  I have two grandchildren that live near me. Staying close to them is an easy thing, they come over several times a week. We go to the park and we go swimming and we go many places. I am always searching for things that we can go and do that does not cost us much to do. We live in Atlanta, Ga. area and there are many things to do that cost plenty of money. In the indoor days there are many creative things to do, but that is another topic.

Today I want to talk about the five grandchildren that are about a seven hour drive away.

We make as many trips as we can afford right now and often are taking long weekends to do that. That is great , but in lieu of that we are experimenting with other ways. The oldest son is ten and he is typing and now attempting email through his mom’s email. I am working on getting my son to hook up a camera to do skype. One of my patients said that her grandchild knew her after watching her on skype. The baby knew her voice and face and they actually had a great time when they finally met because of those connections.

 I still believe in snail mail especially when we are trying to make new connections with children. There is nothing like a small hand written note that you could reread time after time or pictures to send and  I like to include stickers that you can buy at a big lots cheap or a dollar type store.

You can have several little things that you could put in the flat envelopes  so you don’t have to spend a lot on shipping. I do know that a small shipping fee may be worth putting a bunch of little trinkets wrapped in a box. When my children were young my Mom always sent so many little things to the kids that often were of less value than the cost of the box mailing. To this day my adult children remember the effort that she made to think of them on holidays.  They knew she did not have much money or spend a lot to let them know she wanted connection with them. With talking, and texting, mail, email, facebook,

Twitter, there are lots of electronic methods to keep in touch. The main thing is to keep in touch. Being a grandma is the best.

Free fun with grandchildren or children

Ok grandmothers and parents alike. It is harvest time and how do you want to teach little ones the beauty of celebrating bounty? The goal for me was to teach thankfulness for food and how we can turn crops into goodies to eat.
I am always looking for opportunities to teach the children the miracle of plants because there is nothing more miraculous than a seed. (Animal seeds too) A tiny thing provides all the directions for a duplicate and multiplying food producer. One tiny tomatoes seed made a one half bushel of tomatoes for us in dry weather and excessive heat conditions. Imagine if the conditions were more perfect, what can happen. So even though we live in a city the project was harvest. The local church had a pumpkin fund raiser. The boys (ages five and three) had as much fun with the wagon as the pumpkin. So we pulled the wagon and compared sizes. The pumpkins were marked so we picked out the pumpkin and pulled the wagon to the place to see what size to figure out what price.(a little math lesson)
When we got home the boys helped me crumple up newspaper and fill some clothes to make a scarecrow. They learned what is a scarecrow and why do you have to scare crows. The pumpkin was hallowed out and about 2 cups of pumpkin came out of the extra inside.
This week we are making pumpkin puree and muffins to see about how this pumpkin turned into food. As we cut a scary face and lit it I taught the boys my understanding of evil and good and how I depend on Jesus when I am afraid , great teaching moment. The large pumpkins cost five dollars. The scarecrow cost nothing. The time together was priceless. So free and cheap ideas boil down to teaching our children what we know and believe. In a survey of many children of all ages the thing they most wanted from the adults in their lives was to spend time with them, imagine that. Most of all spending time with them teaches them that we prize our relationship with them.

Grandchildren are so cool? Why

So Would you ask, Why are grandchildren so cool? A non scientific study, asking various patients of mine, why are they are so special. It is hard to put the finger on it exactly. Partly because grandchildren are not our total responsibility we can see them a little more distantly. When they are born hopefully we are older and little more cognizant of how often kids do not make it. Life in the US is a bit more easily survived but still things happen. Babies do not always make it out after nine months. Babies are born with handicaps. Babies are vulnerable for a long time and take a lot of care. Our three year old grandson was in neonatal ICU for a week. Then we have the fact that we may not be so rushed, or are we. If we are beginning to have wisdom we are not so rushed. We can patiently wait and see how the little ones are sponges and they are absorbing everything around them. We realize in a more profound way that they do what we do not what we say, and more importantly they are our heroes. Because we can be theirs. I had a patient share the other day that the greatest gift in the world is that his three and one half year old grandson thinks grandpa is funny. Grandparents will often take the time for the little ones because as the time continuum marches on we realize how fleeting our life really is, and how as we get older we have realized how fast it all really goes.

We are not so stressed to realize that even if we are not perfect parents our kids can grow up and be wonderful contributing adults, even friends. They are refreshing as spring, a sign of new beginnings like the advice to know that if we forget the past we can begin our day new each day and make all new mistakes.. thank you that God’s mercies are new each day. And as our own children can be forgiving then our grandchildren can forgive us even more and quickly because we have time. Is that not all our children want from us is our time? We can wisely know that the only thing that really matters in life is relationships and that grandkids are worth just spending time with them. So celebrate if you have grandchildren. Celebrate if you have children and could have grandchildren. If you are old enough to have grandchildren and do not, go find some children that also do not have parents or grandparents and just spend time with them. It will bless you .