Archives for May 2012

The Power of Stories – From Guideposts.org And Weekly Scriptures

 

 

Hi there, 🙂

 

 

I wanted to share with you today of some of what I get in my inbox weekly from Guideposts. I enjoy their website and also their magazine subscription very much. They offer a ton of inspirational stories. They also have available free inspirational ebooks. Great resource for Christian moms and grandmothers. =)

 

 

How a small-town experience and a love of scrapbooking inspired a Christian fiction series.

 

By Courtney Walsh

 

 

A couple of years ago, some very sweet friends gifted us with a long weekend in their cottage in a place much like Sweethaven. A com­munity where the houses are passed down through the generations, rich with history and filled with stories. I began to imagine the women of this small town scrapbooking together while the summer sun waned and their children caught lightning bugs.

 

 

Suddenly, I wanted to live in this place. With these women. And I wanted to uncover their secrets.

 

 

Read More

 

 

 

 

 

About OurPrayer

 

 

A Prayer Service of Guideposts

 

 

OurPrayer is a Christ-centered ministry that embraces people of all faiths and all ages from all over the world. We believe in the power of prayer which lifts the problems of our daily lives, our families and our communities directly to God.

 

Guideposts is the spiritual ally that helps people connect faith-filled values with their daily lives.

 

Read More

 

 

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.

Psalm 86:6

In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

Psalm 86:7

 

 

Have an awesome week! =)

New Photos – Playing In The Dirt and Memorial Weekend :)

 

 

Hi there,

 

 

Finally! I have new photos up on the blog. I really like these! My grandson is growing up into a little man. =) I love him!

 

 

 

These first ones are from my son and daughter-in-law’s place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He and Grandma were playing in the dirt! lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Weekend he and Papa were fetching some warm water to fill his pool up at Grandma’s house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial weekend in pool Grandson, Papa  and Mommy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the  fudgesicle in his hand LOL 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Domain For Sale — Real-WAH-Jobs

 

 

Hi there,

 

Just letting the online world know that one of my domains Real Work At Home Jobs is up for sale. Any interested parties can contact me here on this blog and also through the contact on the site that’s for sale. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have an awesome day! =)

Monthly Food Column – How to Make Skillet Cornbread

How to Make Skillet Cornbread

 

 

 

 

 

By Dennis Weaver of The Prepared Pantry

 

 

My favorite cornbread is skillet cornbread. And Merri Ann can’t eat gluten so skillet cornbread is perfect for her—it relies on eggs for the structure, not flour. We’ve made it so often that it has evolved from a series of recipes to a technique. Using a ratio of ingredients, we use this technique to make both sweet and savory cornbread—whatever we are in the mood for—from Jalapeño Cheese Cornbread to Banana Nut Cornbread.

 

 

Today we’ll tell you how to make your own cornbread and give you several recipes to get you started.

 

 

 

 

Apple and Bacon Cornbread

 

 

 

 

 

 

At first glance, this is similar to our Cheddar and Bacon Cornbread but it is really quite different, a sweeter cornbread with a different texture. Apple and bacon are a wonderful combination. Instead of cheese, it’s made with melted butter and with maple syrup, it is a little sweeter. Again, it is an egg-rich, skillet cornbread and a flourless recipe.

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 melted butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 pound bacon
1 1/2 medium sized apples, finely diced or shredded with peel

 

 

Directions

 

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

 

1. Fry the bacon to a crisp, pat the grease from the bacon with paper towels, and crumble or chop the bacon.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, baking powder, salt and spices.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs then stir in the milk, melted butter, and maple syrup plus the bacon and apples.
4. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a spatula until well combined.
5. Bake in a ten-inch, nonstick skillet for 20 minutes or until all but the center of the cornbread is set. Remove the cornbread from the oven and immediately sprinkle the reserved cheese over the cornbread to melt. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.

 

 

Pepper Jack Cornbread

 

 

This is great cornbread. It is best eaten on a plate with a fork, maybe drizzled with maple syrup.

 

You will need a heavy, ovenproof skillet for this cornbread. This recipe was designed for a ten-inch skillet.

 

 

If pepper jack cheese is not your thing, cheddar or Monterey jack may be substituted

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 15-ounce can of corn kernels, well drained
11/2 cups grated pepper jack cheese, lightly pressed in a cup for measurement
2 tablespoons butter

 

 

Directions

 

 

1. Place a ten-inch, ovenproof skillet or frying pan on the middle shelf in the oven. (A heavy-duty or cast iron skillet works best.) Set the oven temperature to 400 degrees and let the oven heat while the pan is in the oven.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
3. Add the eggs, milk, and corn kernels and stir until well combined. Fold in the cheese.
4. Remove the hot pan from the oven and place the butter in the hot pan. Place the pan back in the oven for a minute or two to allow it to melt.
5. Remove the pan from the oven and pour in the cornbread mixture.
6. Bake the cornbread for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.

 

Serve warm drizzled with maple syrup.

 

 

Texas Chili Cornbread

 

 

This recipe was adapted from Baking in America by Greg Patent. (We recommend this book.) For our version of this recipe, we used chiles instead of jalapenos, red bell pepper instead of pimentos, and garlic powder instead of clove garlic but feel free to experiment.

 

 

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped and diced
1/2 medium sized onion, chopped and diced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 4-oz can diced green chiles, drained (less if you prefer a less spicy bread)
1 cup corn kernels–fresh, frozen, or canned
11/2 cups grated cheese, cheddar or jack

 

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a ten-inch skillet and place it on the middle shelf in the oven.
In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs then stir in the rest of the ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup of the grated cheese.
Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a spatula until well combined.
Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and immediately pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and return to the oven.
Let bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean. The top will be a rich, golden brown. Let cool for ten minutes before unmolding.

 

 

Here’s How to Make Your Own Cornbread Recipe

 

 

Skillet cornbread is very forgiving. Consider the following as guidelines and a palette for creating your own masterpieces. Build a basic cornbread batter and add whatever you are in the mood for. Here are some suggestions for additions:

 

 

• Bacon snipped into pieces
• Chopped ham
• Diced onions (consider steaming them in the microwave until partially cooked)
• Diced bell peppers
• Jalapeño peppers
• Sun-dried tomatoes
• Herbs
• Pimento
• Chilies
• Fresh or canned corn (one 15-ounce can well drained of one cup fresh or frozen kernels)
• Grated cheese (add up to 1 1/2 cups)
• Dried fruit (cranberries are a favorite)
• Applesauce
• Bananas (up to two ripe bananas)
• Chopped walnuts, (3/4 cup seems about right)
• Chopped apple (one apple finely chopped and unpeeled)

 

What are some of our favorites? We like savory cornbreads with plenty of cheese and onions or bell peppers. Pepper jack cheese is good when you are in the mood for something spicy. When making savory cornbread, we usually add corn kernels. Banana nut cornbread is very good. (The banana taste is even more pronounced the second day.) Try it with a teaspoon of allspice or cinnamon. We made a cranapple nut the other day that was very good. (Made with one apple, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.)

 

 

Be sure and refrigerate any leftovers. Cut the cornbread into wedges and wrap them in plastic wrap.

 

 

Here’s how to make your cornbread:
You will need a ten-inch, ovenproof skillet. A heavy metal skillet is best. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the skillet in the oven.

 

 

1. Cornmeal. Place 1 1/2 cups cornmeal in a medium bowl. If you are going to use corn kernels, reduce the cornmeal to one cup. If you would like a softer grain to your cornbread, add the liquids and eggs to the cornmeal and refrigerate it for an hour so that the cornmeal grains absorb the liquid.

 

 

2. Eggs. Add three large eggs to the cornmeal. It’s the eggs that are going to give your cornmeal structure and hold it together.

 

 

3. Fat. Cornbread tends to be dry and the addition of an oil or fat is essential for a moister cornbread. Without adequate fat, your cornbread will be dry. The eggs provide some of the fat. Bananas or applesauce reduce some of the need for fat. Use melted butter or vegetable oil. If you are using cheese, bananas, or applesauce, 1/4 cup will do. (We suspect that you can leave it out all together with a cheesy cornbread.) Other wise, use 1/2 cup. Add the fat when you add the eggs.

 

4. Spices and salt. Generally use 1/2 teaspoon salt. If you are using cheese, you may reduce it to 1/4 teaspoon. Add whatever spices you choose. One teaspoon of allspice or cinnamon is about right. You can add the salt and spices anytime.

 

 

5. Sweetener. For a savory cornbread, one teaspoon of sugar or honey will do. For a sweeter cornbread, we use up to two tablespoons. Add it anytime.

 

6. Leavening. You can get by without any leavening but we prefer to add 1 teaspoon of baking powder. (If you do not use baking powder, increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon since baking powder contains sodium.) Since baking powder looses potency after sitting in the batter, add the leavening just before the “additions” and soon before baking.

 

 

7. “Additions”. Stir in the additions of choice.

 

8. Liquid. You will likely need some liquid to make the batter soft and of the right consistency. It should be barely pourable. The amount of the liquid will be determined by the moisture content of the additions but you will need anywhere from a couple tablespoons to one cup. Stir in the liquids after the additions. We usually use milk but you can use what you want from water to a juice.

 

 

Mix all ingredients well. Notice that this is a one-bowl technique.

 

 

Remove the hot pan from the oven being careful not to burn yourself. Add one tablespoon of butter and tip the pan from side to side until the butter is melted and the bottom and sides of the pan are covered. Add the batter to the pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden. Serve hot and refrigerate any leftovers.

 

 

We often serve our cornbread, even savory cornbread, with hot maple syrup. Our gourmet fruit syrups open up some very nice combinations. Jams Jams or just a pat of butter work well too.

 

 

Dennis Weaver is the founder of The Prepared Pantry. He is the author of How to Bake, a 250 page book about the art and science of baking. You can download a free copy of How to Bake here.

 

 

Copyright © Dennis Weaver :: The Prepared Pantry :: Grandma’s Home Blogger Place :: All Rights Reserved

A Spa Day For Grandmothers

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re a grandmother you know how busy you can be spending time with your grandchildren, working a job or business, and keeping up on your housework. Some days it may seem never ending. There is always so much to do and sometimes it may seem like there is never enough time in the day to get it all done.

 

 

No matter how busy you are, you need to schedule “me time” so you have time to relax and unwind. One way to do that is to plan a spa day for yourself. It would be extra fun to plan a spa day with other Grandmothers along. It’s nice to do this by yourself, however, you’ll have a better time if you bring a few others along. After your spa day, plan to go to dinner or lunch. Just coffee and a special dessert would also give you a chance to chat about whatever.


 

 

When you decide you’re going to plan a spa day it’s important to find the perfect one. You need to find a place that offers everything you want and you need to make sure you’ll feel comfortable while you’re there for the day. The best way to find the right one is to read spa reviews. Most of these have websites, but if they don’t call and ask if they have brochures or other documents that have reviews.

 

 

You use your hands all the time no matter what you do. Whether you use them while you work or while you play with your grandchildren, they’re valuable to your everyday needs. Your nails are visible by all and it’s important they look healthy at all time. Nail care is important because you use your hands all the time so it’s a big deal that they feel good and are in good shape. One of the nicest things you can have done during your spa day is to have a manicure.

 

 

Depending on the spa you go to, they may do different things, but most times they’re done the same way. The technician will massage your arms and hands, she’ll put oil and lotion on your hands, and then she’ll clip, file, and paint your nails. Your hands and arms will feel great when your manicure is complete.

 

 

During the summer sandals are warn or no shoes at all, so it’s important to have your feet look their best at all times as well. One of the best ways to do that is to have a pedicure done. Most places use a foot tub so you’ll get a massage from your knees to your toes and you will melt as the technicians do their thing. You’ll have your toenails cut and filed and paint applied and you’ll have the best looking Grandmother toes in the world. lol

 

 

One last thing you must do during your spa day is to have a massage done. There are several types to consider and several amounts of time, so you’ll need to consider all of those things. Having a massage is a wonderful way to relax and have tense and sore muscles revived. You’ll have more energy and you’ll feel like a brand new woman afterwards.

 

 

It’s important to remember, just because you’re a grandmother doesn’t mean you can’t be busy and have a lot to do. You take care of your children and grandchildren along with your job or business and your home. Don’t let those things stress you out and keep you tense. Take the time to plan a spa day for yourself. You’ll find when you do you’ll feel revived and you’ll feel so much better about yourself.

 

Relax and enjoy your day, you deserve it! 🙂

 

 

You can find more articles and tips from Tammy at Grandparenting Articles and Tips.

 

Top 10 Coupon Sites For Money Saving Moms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought I’d share with you today a few of the top couponing sites there is available at your fingertips. If you take the time to clip coupons and also take the time to visit the sites below, you may be surprised at how much money you can save. There are tons of additional websites at your disposal as well. Just taking the time to visit and clip! 🙂

 

Also there is an awesome ebook free of charge by The Menu Mom that I’m sharing with you today.

 

 


moneysavingmom.com
SmartSource.com
RetailMeNot.com
Dealnews.com
grocerysmarts.com
coolsavings.com
coupons.com
shortcuts.com
CouponMom.com
SmartSource.com

 

 

 

Also see my article 10 Money Saving Tips – The Frugal Grocery Shopping Trip

 

—–>> Free Ebook on How To Save Money On Groceries — Get It Below….

 

 

 

How to Save Money on Groceries

Remembering Mom and Bible Scriptures For The Week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I opened up my Bible yesterday morning and found my Mother’s memorial prayer card…I have not read that in a long time. =)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what it says on the back…

 

 

 

Safely Home

 

 

I am home in heaven, dear ones,
Oh so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty,
In this everlasting light.

 

All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed;

I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in heaven at last.

 

There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Do it now, while life remaineth;
You shall rest in God’s own land.

 

When that work is completed;
He will gently call you Home:
Oh, the rapture of that meeting;
Oh, the joy to see you come!

 

🙂

 

Here is Mom’s favorite Bible scripture…

 

 

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

 

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

 

Psalm 23

 

 

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Matt 8:11

 

 

And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

 

 

Matt 5:8

 

 

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God

 

 

Matt 18:10

 

 

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven

 

 

 

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I also wanted to mention a Christian website that is owned by Heather Bixler. Christian Stay at Home Moms

 

 

I am signed up for her encouragement newsletters/emails and look forward to these on a weekly basis. Devotions, poems and prayers all designed to uplift and encourage you spiritually! =)

 

 

Members receive regular discounts, freebies, and more.

 

 

Subscribe for FREE : Here

 

Latest Post on the website — I Learned Grace

 

 

Also see: HeatherBixler.com

 

 

You can also find Heather on Facebook

 

Hope you all have a great week! 🙂

 

 

Craft Time with the Kids – Guest Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you live in horse country or just have grandkids that like horses, planning a horse craft afternoon is a great way to spend some quality time with your grandchildren. Stock up on your craft supplies, put on your creative hat and get to work making some fun projects the kids will be proud to display. Of course, you’ll need to tailor the projects to the ages of the kids, but here are some ideas to get you started.

 

 


Shopping for Supplies

Many projects can be made with recycled materials, but you’ll need to plan in advance to stock up on the right materials before craft day. Pick a project and start saving items right away. You can also start a craft supplies collection with cardboard tubes, egg cartons, plastic containers, paper bags, shoe boxes, scraps of fabric, string and whatever else you could see reusing instead of trashing. When you need to purchase supplies, you can often find coupons for craft stores in the Sunday paper to help reduce the cost. Seasonal craft supplies often go on sale after the season is over, so look for potting stuff at the end of the summer or yarn when the weather starts to warm up.

 

Setting up a Craft Area

Regardless of the type of project you pick, the craft is likely to get a little messy, and the grandkids will have more fun if you get to fully engage with them rather than worrying about the mess they’re making. If the weather is nice, the kids would probably enjoy making the craft outside at a patio table. If you’re inside, consider getting a disposable tablecloth so you don’t have to worry about glue, and put down newspaper on the ground if the table is over carpet or a rug.

 

Fun Horse Projects

There are countless horse craft projects you can do, and the best ones will depend on how old the grandkids are and what aspects of horses they’re interested in. You can find tons of ideas for horse craft projects online at sites like Pinterest, but here are a few ideas to get started:

 

 

· Horse Planter: Instead of planting spring herbs in a plain pot, make horse-shaped planters out of peat pots. These make great gifts, too. Use a larger peat pot for the horse’s body and cut a slit in a smaller peat pot to fit it over the rim of the larger one and make the head. Decorate the horse’s head with paper cutout ears, a feather or yarn mane, and googly eyes. Add popsicle stick legs and you’re ready to plant something in the larger peat pot!

 

 

· Stick Horse: It’s always fun to ride a pretend stick horse around the house or yard, and it’s even better if it’s a homemade one. There are plenty of ways to make a stick horse, depending on how durable you want it to be. Older kids will enjoy making a well-crafted horse, perhaps to give to a younger sibling, out of a sock, felt, yarn, stuffing and a dowel. For a quicker craft project with less expensive materials, opt for a horse with a paper bag for the head and a cardboard wrapping paper tube as the stick.

 

 

· Horse Decorations: If you have granddaughters who have horse figurines, one fun idea would be to create accessories for the horses to wear. Girls can create a saddle out of felt and jewels, reins out of beads and string, and braid glittery string into the horse’s tail. Make sure they have their horses there so they know what size to make all of the accessories.

 

 

The most important part with these craft projects is to have fun while you work on them together. Let the kids be creative, and don’t get too held up on making sure they do the project correctly. They’ll probably ask for help when they need it, and as long as they’re enjoying themselves, they should feel free to deviate from the plan. They may even come up with their own ideas to work on after they finish the craft!

 

Danielle loves spending time crafting with children. She’s always on the lookout for coupons for craft supplies and knick-knacks. Her relaxing activities include crafting, gardening and crocheting.

Tips to Help Grandmothers Fight Age Spots and Experimenting With Principal Secret Skin Care

 

If you’re like me you may have thought age spots were from aging, but that’s not the case. From what I’ve researched, most age spots are from the sun. While the sun gives you Vitamin D and is needed for mental health, it can harm your skin in several ways. Too much sun can give you age spots or something worse, so it’s important to take care of your skin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reclaim – Principal Secret Skin Care Line

 

 

I’ve been using Reclaim for 3 months now and I have to say I love it. I was a little skeptical about using it, (just like all the rest of the skin care lines). I was watching the infomercial one afternoon and decided to go for it and I ordered it online. I thought to myself, I’ll use the Reclaim and if I don’t like it, I’ll use the Cindy Crawford skin care products. My Daughter-In-Law is using Cindy Crawford and she just loves it.

 

 

Here is what I’ve seen so far on my skin in using Reclaim for 3 months…

 

 

1. Better over-all skin complexion

 

2. Less red areas and more clarity

 

3. My skin is super soft

 

4. Less visibility of the fine lines around my eyes and mouth

 

5. More Smoothness to my skin – One product that I just love and leaves my face feeling the smoothest I’ve ever felt it ever is Age Breaker Wrinkle Retreat Refirming Mask. These are small capsules that you twist to open and squirt onto your hands, then apply it to the skin before moisturizing.

 

 

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If you’re a grandmother and you’ve found you didn’t take care of your skin or maybe you’re a little younger and didn’t take care of it properly, you need to find a way to make it look and feel better.

 

 

Here are a few suggestions. The best way to prevent age spots is to protect your skin from the sun. The easiest way to do that is to stay inside as much as you can. If that’s not possible, you’ll want to wear clothing that covers your skin and a hat that covers your head. If that’s not possible, keep the time you spend in the sun down to a minimum and wear sun screen at all times.

 

 


If you’re already showing signs of age spots, there are several things you can do to make them lighter or you can get rid of them all together. One of the best ways is to use a cream specifically designed for age spots. These creams can be used as a daily moisturizer and they’ll renew your skin by lightening the dark aging spots. These creams contain Vitamin C and other ingredients that remove spots and help your skin to look healthy and feel great.

 

 

As a grandmother it’s important to have the best looking skin possible so you will always look your best. One way to do that is to use a skin bleaching process. This process will lighten your age spots, but you need to be careful because skin bleach contains Hydroquinone. The reason is because Hydroquinone is dangerous and may cause cancer. You need to read the ingredients and choose a product that doesn’t contain Hydroquinone. When you think of age spots you may only think of your face, but that’s not always the case.

 

 

You can have age spots on your hands as well. Your hands are exposed to the sun just like your face, so you need to be careful with them too. You may find hand creams are expensive, but they’re well worth it when they give you the results you’re looking for and your hands will look great. One of the best hand creams would be one that contains Shea Butter.

 

 

Just because you’re a grandmother doesn’t mean you can’t look your best at all times. When you use these tips to handle age spots you may have, you’ll look your best. These suggestions may help, but you should talk to your doctor or dermatologist before starting any treatment to make sure the plan you have will work for the condition you have whether it’s on your hands, arms, or face.

 

 

You can read more articles on beauty Here.

 

The Best Apps for Grandparents – Guest Post

 

 

5 pieces of technology especially for Nona and Papa

 

No, grandpa, a smart phone is not a phone with a bow tie! It’s a small computer with calling and texting capabilities—but you were just pulling my leg like you always do…

 

If your grandparents are like mine, they were lined up at the Apple store for the newest 4S launch! I’m not kidding one bit, and it surprised me how open my elderly Nona and Papa were to technology—especially when I told them that I could make free long-distance calls and do the NY Times crossword puzzles on mine. It’s true; apps offer a lot for grandparents—be they designed for games, music, keeping in touch with loved ones, spoiling the grandkids, and even excelling at a hobby, like baking.

 

There are thousands of apps available for download, but don’t trust me, trust the experts! Here are my grandparent’s favorite smart phone apps:

 

1 My Convert Lite (Free – for iPhone)

 

If you grandma makes the meanest apple pie this side of the boarder like mine does, then she probably spends a lot of time baking goodies for the grandkids in her kitchen. As much as my grandma likes unveiling a trusted favorite—such as coconut cream pie or her famous caramel brownies—she also likes the challenge of making new desserts for special occasions and holidays. The trouble with baking a new recipe is that it’s not stored in the memory and she must rely on a recipe that often calls for measurement conversions for ingredients like flour, milk, sugar, baking soda, etc. That’s why she uses the myConvert Lite app for various cooking conversions (i.e., mass, weight, time and temperature).

 

2 NYTimes Crosswords (Free – for iPhone)

 

My grandfather does the NY Times every morning while he enjoys his coffee and toast with jam. The only difference from a few years ago is that he now does it using his mobile phone. This app features over 6,000 classic crossword puzzles from The New York Times archive, as well as the same daily puzzles that are printed in the print newspaper. He even competes with his friends using the online leader boards. All archived puzzles are free, and if you can’t live without the new, daily crossword, you can subscribe (after your one-week free trail expires) to keep receiving your daily puzzle on your smart phone. The coolest thing about this app is the settings—choose to write your answers using the pen or pencil tool (which both look genuine), and solve your puzzles on the grid or directly from the clue’s list. And if you’re really stuck, you can even get a little hint from the related clues.

 

3. TuneIn Radio (Free – for Android & iPhone)

 

If you’re jonesing for some Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong, you can always find the right tunes on TuneIn Radio. This app offers live feeds from over 50,000 radio stations from all over the world—including news, sports, talk radio, and your favorite classic music. This app even lets you pause, rewind, and fast forward mid-song within the last 30 minutes of streaming. And you can record the game to play back later if the grandkids come to visit mid-inning. That way you don’t miss a thing!

 

4. Skype (Free – for Android & iPhone)

 

Now when my grandfather found out that he could call me in Texas from New York for free—he almost fell off his recliner! Now he uses the Skype app to phone me for free every single Sunday afternoon. The Skype app is ideal for grandparents and elderly folks on a budget for free long-distance calling worldwide. Plus, if you separated by a great distance it’s great to use the video calling feature to see how big the grandkids are getting between visits. Just get a web cam for your computer or laptop and you’re good to go!

 

5. Baby Tips for Grandparents ($4.99 – for iPhone)

 

You might have done it once, twice, or even three times in your twenties…but caring for a baby in your senior years is a whole different story. The Baby Tips for Grandparents app helps grandparents support their children and grandchildren with loving guidance and tips. Sometimes sitting back and letting your son or daughter do it their way is difficult and it’s hard not to jump in and take over. However, the advice that this app provides will help you flourish in your new role as grandparent, providing support from a respectful distance as you welcome a new generation into your family fold.

 

Bio: Jane Johnson is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news and commentary. It also provides reviews on everything from the latest top Android phones, right down to the services offered by the popular cellphone service providers.