Grandparenting Tips and a Wish List From The Heart (Future)

As I sit here at my desk…11:50 AM after, drinking my coffee, paying some bills, doing 3 loads of laundry, and a few other chores for the day, I began to think about my grandchildren; as I often do. <3 <3

I began to contemplate ahead to their future. This thinking pattern had me dwelling about prom, high school, dating, arguments with Mom and Dad, romantic summers and makeup for my granddaughter, girl problems for my grandson, career decisions, car purchases, iPhones, relationships, marriage, bullying,…well, I think you got all those pictures swarming in your heads.??

At least, I hope! lol

 

So, what did all this brainstorming about the (particular) contents above accomplish? What about that (wish list)? And furthermore, those tips??

Well, let’s back up just a bit… Let me tell you something! =)

BOTH my grandkids are as smart as tacks beyond their years!

I strongly believe that (they) are quite secured with powerful wills and fearless spirits.

I also believe that they have spent their share of time thinking about their future and what they will be doing as adults; especially my sweet grandson. My grands are 8 and 5, and growing way too FAST!!! 🙁

Considering (career decisions), I’ve heard my oldest grandchild say, “I want to be a (crop farmer)” and my youngest one say, “I want to be a (vet)”

Both of those choices have a colossal of possibilities, and even MORE aspiring choices in relation to those fields.

Grandma isn’t worried in the least, because she knows they will be good at anything they decide as careers.

However, their choices could change, and change again, and YET, again before they commit! My grandchildren could even spread their wings and explore multiple advancements. They are young and have quite a long time to consider the variables.

Now, getting back to that “wish list” before I lose my train of thought here…

Well, my thoughts are all over the place!! Having said that; it is NOT my intention to make this post essentially on (career picks). 😉

This leads me to consider my health more and more. Yes, Grandma certainly needs to be, and stay healthy in order to be around when all these things take place for sure!!!

So, what’s a wish list have to do with all this?

My wish list is the assorted things that I want to be able to talk about with my grandchildren.

More to the point; I want (them) to WANT to talk about those things (with me). To share tips with them, my thoughts, and my advice.

Important Note: I do realize that I’m not an expert when it comes to grandparenting tips. 😉

*** ~~ While this is ultra important to me; I also realize it may be too tall of an order to become a reality.

In addition, Their parents NEED to be present and have their opinions, their thoughts, their own tips and advice known when discussing those important topics.
=)

All these elements will mold these (2) little people into responsible adults in tomorrow’s society…(whatever that may be). LOL ~~ With how things are going in this world today; it’s hard telling what our society will be like. 😉

Personally, I hope Jesus comes back by then…seriously.

I still have a wish list regardless. My grandkids could talk with me, AND Mom and Dad also!

The Updated List Consists Of: (I want my grands to seek advice, and tips about the following subjects from me).

1) Makeup and skin care advice: My Granddaughter

Well…of course, this would be on top of the list! LOL <3 While, I sure hope she goes to her mom for beauty advice as well. Her Momma is beautiful BTW! <3

2) Girl problems: My Grandson

Now, I can already see him going to his dad for advice about this; that’s for sure! However, I do hope that he will come to me for a tip or two. 🙂

3) Prom: My Granddaughter

I would LOVE to get the chance to make her dress. I used to sew A LOT!! I even made my dress for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party. I still don’t know what happened to that dress! 🙁

4) Bullying: Both My Grandson and Granddaughter

I’m not the bullying expert at all!! However, since I’ve been through it myself, I do hope I get the chance to give some advice…(if the need arises). I certainly hope it doesnt! <3<3

5) Career advice: Both My Grandson and Granddaughter

I do hope they both have their decisions made way ahead of time. With (most) kids, they end up changing their minds a dozen times; and that’s ok. That is the norm. With that being said; I would be ecstatic if they would pop their heads in the house and seek a little advice!

6) Grandchildren: Both My Grandson and Granddaughter

I certainly hope I get the chance to lend some tips and advice along the way. More IMPORTANTLY; <3 I hope I'm still living when my great grandchildren are born. <3

A Grandmother Can Dream Can’t She?!

What are your thoughts?

Thank you for reading!

5 Reasons We Need Grandparents More Than Ever

5 reasons we need grandparents

(Summary:
Here are the reasons why we need our grandpa and grandma more than ever.)

“A grandparent is a little bit parent, little bit teacher and a little bit best friend.”
 Anonymous

Having grandparents is one of the most blessed things in life. They nurture you with their life experiences and knowledge. Nothing is as encouraging as their kind words during the tough times.

They are the window to your parent’s childhood. They are the perfect companion to play with. Above all, they love you unconditionally.

 

This way, grandparents play the role of a guide, a motivator and a friend in one’s life. However, their role has become more important than ever in today’s scenario. Kids are getting into depression due to the maladjustment between their parents or unpleasant events like divorce and bullying. Adults are prone to drugs and crime.

Here is why we need someone with a grey hair by our side

Grandparents Have a Greater Influence on Their Grandchildren’s Lives

Several studies conclude that adult grandchildren are more likely to be influenced by their grandparent’s beliefs and values. They transmit the values and ethics of social order to their grandchildren. According to a recent AARP survey, 78% grandparents say they have taught values to their grandchildren.

Grandparents are Good Teachers:

From teaching values, good manners to some important skills, grandparents are a great mentor to their grandchildren. Their experience lets you overcome dilemma or stressful events.

 

Grandparents are Encouraging and Supportive:

Grandparents act as an extra layer of support during your tough times. Close relationships with grandparents help kids deal with behavioral and emotional problems occurring during the teenage years. Grandparents listen to their concerns, encouraging kids to open up and share their difficulties with their grandparents.

Grandparents Bridge Generation Gaps:

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When grandparents are involved in the lives of children, it helps create a link between the old and the young.

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This is extremely important because so often it is a misunderstanding that leads to social divisions in society. When young people mix up with their elders, it creates a strong bonding which eliminates the problems occurring due to the difference in attitudes. And it also benefits the society as a whole.

Grandparents Create Family Bonds and Pass On the Traditions:

Grandparents pass on the traditions and values what they have received from their elders. They make family bonds and encourage family reunion. You grow up with those values, traditions, and bonds. They hope that the same things will be instilled in the generation after you.

So you must have understood why grandparents matter more than ever in today’s scenario.

 

They are amazing people and play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren.

However, they need your love, care, affection and time too. If they are living alone and are not able to take care of themselves, consider a good home service for them.

Author Biography:

Sofia Fox is a passionate individual who loves to write about trending topics related to senior’s health and parenting .She is a born traveler. She started her career in 2001 as a freelancer, and now she is working as a General Manager in Affinity Home Care.

Helpful Tips for Staying In Touch With Grandparents

Back in February, I wrote a post talking about tips for staying in touch with grandchildren who live far away. It’s often difficult and sad to not be with family all the time.

Now, I’ve decided to write about some of the best ways to stay in touch with us! The grandparents!

Tip 1: A Phone Call

There’s nothing better than hearing a familiar voice on the phone after a while of not hearing that voice. In this day and age, it’s often hard to grab someone’s attention long enough to talk on the phone. Never underestimate the power of a “how are you?”/check-in phone call. We want to know what’s going on in your life if you’re eating your veggies, and doing your homework.

It goes a long way in our hearts!


Tip 2: Send Flowers

A flower delivery not only makes your grandparents smile, but it also improves our mental health. A recent Rutgers Behavioral Study found that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude.

In fact, 81% of seniors who participated reported a reduction in depression after receiving flowers. =)

Even the colors of flowers can affect our moods! Red is an energy booster, purple is a sleep-aid and stress reliever, while green enhances relaxation.

All could be very beneficial to older people who might be experiencing fatigue and stress.

Next time you’re looking for a gift to give your grandparents or are just looking to send them something, flower delivery are a great idea. 😉

Tip 3: Handmade Card

If there’s one thing grandparents love, it’s handmade items.

It shows you took the time out of your busy day to make something just for us. It makes us feel special and even closer to you, especially from the little ones!

Feel free to send cute drawings, handmade cards, or even just pictures stuffed into a card. All are so fun to receive, and we can hang them up on the fridge so that we can see them every day.

It’s easy to get caught up in your own world and forget about family members you don’t see as often anymore. We understand! But even the little things can make such a big difference to us. Keep that in mind!

Rainy-Day Activities With the Grandkids

Grand Parenting Advice and Tips for Indoor Activities

The sun may be shining today, but rest assured there will be days when the raindrops come down so hard and so fast that spending the day outdoors isn’t an option.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of ways to keep your grandkids engaged even when you’re stuck inside.

Cooking

Cooking is an intergenerational pastime that allows you to bond with your grandchildren while passing down cherished family recipes. But the kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in the home for a child. The risks of burns, food poisoning, and other injuries is high.

However, many of these can be mitigated with a little foresight. The definition of a kid-friendly kitchen won’t be the same for each child and can vary with age. HomeAdvisor offers a host of valuable information including links on how to eliminate eliminate common kitchen dangers and tips on burn prevention.

Science Made Fun

You don’t have to have a degree in biology to instill a love of science in your grandchildren. You likely have plenty of supplies at your fingertips to do a little hands-on science learning—no experience required. A few of the most interesting experiments include constructing a fizzy balloon inflator, building a potato or lemon clock, and making your own electromagnet. EarthScienceJr.com is an excellent resource with many easy-to-follow lesson plans, including how to make your own glass of lava.


Always keep safety equipment, including a fire extinguisher and safety goggles, on hand and open a window if you’ll be working with anything that emits unpleasant or dangerous fumes.

A Little Hobby Goes a Long Way

There’s a good chance that your own children—your grandchildren’s parents—have fallen into a routine that, unfortunately, doesn’t include time for hobbies. But, mounting evidence suggests that exposure to recreational activities has significant benefits. Psychology Today notes that these include stress management and self-concept formation, each of which are valuable skills for children to develop.

Use these rainy days to help your grandchildren identify activities they are not only good at but enjoy as well. Younger kids might delight in coloring, which can transform into a love of art, photography, or graphic design. Older children may find interest in a more hands-on hobby like woodworking, which teaches the concept of mathematics and engineering.

Children involved with hobbies that require the use of hand or power tools should always wear safety gear and only have access to the tools under the supervision of a responsible adult. Keep the garage or workroom locked unless it’s occupied to prevent wandering and curiosity from becoming a trip to the ER.

Take a Look at a Book

If mobility is an issue or you aren’t comfortable working in the kitchen or garage with younger kids, you can always snuggle up together on the couch with a book. Reading is a fundamental skill that is not only learned in the classroom.

Children learn to read by watching how adults follow along with words and listening to rhythmic tones and inflections while being read to. The Washington Post explains that reading out loud is also an opportunity to get silly and enjoy a good laugh together.

Don’t be discouraged if your grandchildren can’t sit through a book or interrupt to ask questions. Part of the journey toward literacy involves taking time to process information and reading deeper into the story by probing for details that aren’t in the text.

No matter the activity, hobbies such as cooking, crafting, and learning about the way the world works are not only fun, they lay a foundation upon which your grandchildren can grow their passions.

Who knows, you might be nurturing the next Mario Batali or Marie Curie. Even more importantly, time spent bonding with your grandchildren creates memories that will last a lifetime.

Grandparenting Tips For Staying In Touch Across The Miles

When thinking about grandparenting tips for this situation, having an open mind and a good attitude is key

As I sat down to blog this morning, I had a horrible thought.

Yep, I sure did! 🙁 I was thinking…

“Wow, I CAN’T (even start to imagine) a long distance relationship with MY grandchildren!!” <3 <3 My two blessings live just (2) houses away from me. I can see their house clearly, and can easily walk to them.

My husband and I share a very close bond with our grands.

Being a grandparent has been an amazing experience! For both of us!

As I continued harboring over long distance grandparenting, I started to think of a few tips on communicating and staying in touch with little ones while miles away.

There are many things that can be done to make communicating easier…AND interesting!


However, let’s face it; there isn’t ANYTHING like giving your grandchild a physical, bear hug, is there? <3

Here Are My (6) Tips

Skype, Facetime, and Hangouts is usually the first thought when staying in touch across the miles. However, grandparents can make it fun and creative. 😉

1. A conversation game may be a good activity choice for ages 5 and up. With this one, there are many ideas to consider. For starters, a question game like… “What’s your favorite book?” Or, it could be colors, foods, cartoons, and so on. Reading stories is also another good option for toddlers. Of course, with younger children; it’s up to the grandma or grandpa to make it fun and exciting.

2. For older grandchildren, help with homework would be an awesome option. This would also, help take some of the load off of the parents. You can do a lot while on Skype, Facetime, and Hangouts.

3. Playing games online is great for learning. Games like, Hangman, Chess, and Scrabble are good for starters. With today’s technology, the options are endless. Monopoly is another choice. For some children, these could be a tad boring. However, as I shared above; it’s the grandparent’s duty to make it fun. 😉

4. Telephone and mail are both imperative when keeping in touch with your grand young ones. Grandparents can schedule phone calls…maybe once or twice per week. Care packages could be fun for mailing. There could be care packages for illness, first day of school, activities for long summer days, holidays, gifts for first communion and confirmation, and finally birthdays.

5. Schedule 3 or 4 visits throughout the year… Or, however many your finances will allow. With long distance relationships, more is always better. With special holidays, graduations, and birthdays, planning a trip is obvious for most grandparents and grandchildren. A planned, (long trip) could also be an option. Of course, this is something that would have to be agreed upon by all family members.

6. Online apps can be a great help with communicating with your grands. The Instagram app is excellent for sharing photos. Adding captions is a lot of fun on Instagram. The Whats App is always a good choice for keeping in touch. It’s a good idea for instant messaging and also, another good photo-sharing app. If you have Wifi, sending instant messages shouldn’t be a problem.

There are also some good music apps to share music interests. Although, grandparents and grandchildren may have different views on music. — LOL — Often times that is the case. However, putting various views on music aside, there are (2) awesome apps for music that come to mind.

Both Spotify and Pandora are excellent. Also, they both have free versions. The free versions are customizable, but with a few ads mixed in. You can listen ad-free for a small fee.

Important Note:I understand that when considering all the above tips for long distance relationships, of course, all parties must agree.

The most important thing of all is to keep all communication open and stay in touch with your grandchildren. <3 <3

Three Ways to Help Your Grandchildren Achieve Career Success

By: Karleen Tauszik

When you look back over your years of employment, how do you feel? Did you enjoy your jobs? Were they a good match for your talents and skills? In retirement, do you find yourself pursuing new interests while wondering Why didn’t I do this sooner? Can you help your grandchildren stay focused on their own individual talents and interests, and help steer them on a more satisfying career path than the one you perhaps had? Fortunately, the answer is yes! 😀

Enthusiasm

First, be open to your grandchildren’s enthusiasm. By age six, children realize that they are a separate entity from their parents. They’re usually eager to show off what they’re good at. Also, by that age, they realize that they will eventually grow up and have some sort of work to do. Adults are often asking them, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, so this is something they often consider as they look around and observe the many jobs that people hold.

But, of course, from a child’s perspective many jobs look fun and glamorous when in fact, they are not. Kids may dream of working as a tightrope walker, or a ballet dancer, or a basketball player, or a counter clerk at their favorite fast food restaurant. They don’t take risk, training, or pay rate into consideration.


Discussion

Second, take time for discussion. Their naivete doesn’t mean you can laugh at their ideas. Responding with, “Don’t be silly!” or “You can’t be that!” will shut down communication, and it tells them there are right and wrong answers to the “What do you want to be?” question. That can steer them away from their true interests and talents.

Instead, ask, “What part of that job do you think you’d like?” When you discover the main attraction of that dream job, you can then discuss it further, talking about how certain talents they have could be a good match, and suggesting other job ideas that would use those talents. Also, in an age-appropriate way, discuss your own career path—what went well, and where you could have done better in your job decisions.

Encouragement

Third, emphasize their interests and areas of giftedness. Make comments such as, “You’re so good at…” or “Not everyone can do that as easily as you do.” Often, we don’t see our own skills as particularly outstanding, but reminders like these can help kids remember what they’re good at. Encourage their talents whenever the opportunity arises. And when it’s time to buy gifts, find books or toys that will reinforce their skills and plant seeds for a future career.

Currently, studies repeatedly show that over half of all Americans dislike their jobs. We certainly don’t want those dismal statistics to continue for our grandchildren. If you stay open to their enthusiasm about jobs, discuss their ideas, and emphasize their talents, you’ll be helping to steer them toward a successful and fulfilling career that’s a great match for their unique talents and interests.

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Karleen Tauszik is a former Human Resources professional who always posted her performance reviews on the refrigerator for her three kids to see. (They all grew up into careers that they love.) She’s also the author of a dozen books, mostly for children, ages 8 to 12. The goal of her latest book, the career possibility journal titled When I Grow Up, I Want To Be… is to change the current dismal job satisfaction statistics for the next generation. The goal of her fiction books is to get kids to LOVE reading. Learn more at KarleenT.com.

Tips On How To Be A Fantastic Grandmother

grandparent_and_grandchild (image credit: boomerhighway.org)

There are great grandmothers, and there are those who, even if their intentions are pure, make life harder for mom and dads. Are you a first-time grandmother who wants to be remembered by the family as the best grandparent ever? Here are some ideas that you may want to consider.

Volunteer as babysitter sometimes

Being a new mom or dad is hard. It takes commitment for 24 hours a day, but that doesn’t mean the parent can’t take a break. If you have time in your hands, visit your new grandson or granddaughter and let the parents have their alone time. Tell them to hit the road and have fun every once in a while or take a long, nice bath without having them worry about the kids crying.

Lead by example

Grandparents should lead by example if they want to teach parents how to do parenting properly. Show them that the kids should always be important no matter how tough times get. In other countries that are ravaged by war, parents always think of their kids first by seeking aid from charities that provide free food and education. If you’re comfortably living in a free country, there’s no reason not to prioritize kids. A child’s education, health, and happiness are very important so don’t forget to provide them this while offering them love and support along the way. Help the child do his or her homework, feed them healthy food, and make them happy by doing little thoughtful things for them.

Give positive encouragement

Being very critical of new parents can be detrimental to their progress. As such, when they do something wrong, don’t correct them by shouting or making them feel like they just did the worst mistake a person can make. Instead, lead by example and suggest ways on how to improve their parenting style. You’ve been there, and you’ve done that so they will listen to you. And when they do something right, praise them. Encouragement and positive feedback goes a long way.

How to Avoid Common Problems When Grandma Provides Childcare

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grandparenting

I very seldom post an entry from an unsolicited source, or from content that has already been posted elsewhere. However, I found this post enlightening on a growing grandparenting issue. More and more grandparents are raising their grandchildren these days. And what a GRAND job! I thought the post would benefit my readers. 🙂

From Nannyjobs.org

For many families, Grandma is the first childcare choice. Parents love the idea of a family member whom they know and trust caring for the kids. But there are challenges that automatically come with this childcare option. Here are some questions parents should think about before having Grandma care for their kids.

What type of relationship do each of you want?

Defining the relationship is the first step in making it work long term. One side may want an informal arrangement, where it feels like the grandparent simply visits often rather than provides formal care. In those cases, the primary relationship doesn’t change, it just expands a bit to include this new way of interacting.


The other side may want a more formal childcare arrangement, where the parent takes on the role of employer and the grandparent takes on the role of employee. Both sides must want the relationship to develop in the same direction, otherwise problems will quickly come up and the arrangement simply won’t work. Having mismatched ideas around this issue can also damage the core relationship, so this is a particularly important issue to tackle early on.

Where will Grandma provide care?

For some parents who want an arrangement close to nanny care, it’s important that the child is cared for in his own home. The parent wants Grandma to….

Read More!

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Fun Things to Do with Your Grandchildren in Chicago

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Whether you’re celebrating National Grandparents Day in September, taking an annual family vacation or just going for a quick weekend trip, Chicago offers plenty of family-friendly attractions, lodging and restaurants. Not sure how to get started planning your trip? Check out this list of the Windy City’s best kid-friendly attractions, places to stay and places to eat.

 

 

 

Where to stay


With so many to choose from, finding the best hotels that are a perfect fit for both kids and grandparents can be a difficult task. Check out this list of great, family friendly Chicago hotels to start your search.

The James Hotel: Located in the heart of the city, the James Hotel joined forces with renowned kid-friendly artist Paul Frank to create a welcome kit around the famous Julius the Monkey. At check-in, kids receive Julius the Monkey themed books, games, pajamas and coloring pages. Rates for the James Hotel start at $180 per night.

The Drake Hotel: Known for its representation of Chicago’s glamorous 1920s era, the Drake Hotel is a national landmark and a great place for grandparents with young granddaughters. The hotel offers an American Girl Place package that comes with a personalized welcome letter, a travel-sized bed for her American Girl doll and free access to the hotel’s entire on-site library of American Girl books. Rates start at $159 per night.

Key Lime Cove Waterpark Resort: If your grandkids love the water and you’d rather stay a little ways outside of the big city, the Key Lime Cove offers the perfect waterpark getaway. With a tropical theme and an indoor water park that features plenty of waterslides to go around, your grandkids can have days of fun at Key Lime Cove.

Where to eat

preparedpantryFull-TurkeySaladSands

Super Dawg Drive-In: Give your grandkids a look into the past with this affordable and delicious family-friendly drive-in. Featured on the Food Network and in the national bestseller 1,000 Places to See Before you Die, this drive-in serves up classics like hot dogs, burgers, shakes and fries right to your car window.

The Rainforest Café: If you could use a break from being in the heart of the big city, you can escape it all without even leaving. Chicago’s Rainforest Café features a restaurant-meets-rainforest wildlife theme that your grandkids are sure to love. The innovative and fun-filled menu offers items like dinosaur-shaped chicken and a volcano dessert.

The Choo-Choo Hamburgers on Wheels: Allow your grandkids the rare opportunity to play with their food when you visit to the Choo-Choo Hamburgers on Wheels restaurant. This kid-friendly favorite serves its hot dogs, cheeseburgers or grilled cheese sandwiches from a toy train set. The customized Kids’ Menu is sure to include all of your grandchildren’s favorite foods.

Where to go and what to see

toddlers

Shedd Aquarium: If your grandkids are fascinated by underwater life, Shedd Aquarium is a must-see. A great venue for all ages, Shedd Aquarium features a breathtaking Aquatic Show with flipping dolphins and dancing belugas. The 4-D experience has special seating designed to maximize the theatrical experience and includes sensory elements like wind, smells and bubbles.

Navy Pier: As one of Chicago’s most famous landmarks, the Navy Pier provides the perfect opportunity to spend a day on Lake Michigan and enjoy attractions like the 15-story tall Ferris wheel, retail shops, the Family Pavilion and even cruises.

Buckingham Fountain: The largest water fountain in the world, Buckingham Fountain is free year-round and puts on scheduled water shows all day long with color-light and water shows several times each evening.

Always be sure to plan your trip and book your hotel well in advance. Create a budget, stick to it and be sure to factor in items like possible cab fare or souvenirs. If you plan to visit a lot of Chicago’s main attractions like the Field Museum, Skydeck, Shedd Aquarium, John Hancock Observatory and more, consider investing in a Chicago City Pass that lets you visit all of the top attractions at discounted rates.

About The Author

Danielle blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she uses. She tries to visit Chicago at least three times a year and has become a professional at finding and booking family friendly Chicago hotels. She loves Chi-town’s food, but hates finding parking.

The Legacy of Grandmothers

babyandgrandmother

I was very fortunate to know my great-grandmother up until I was twelve years old. The memories I have of her are scattered but everything I remember is consistent in that she was a strong and faithful woman. From her belief in our Lord, her work ethics, and the way she cared for those around her my memories attest to her character. As I became an adult I would continue to see the faithfulness and love of my Great-Grandma Susie from the stories that those that loved her would tell me.

I remember as a child going to her home once or twice a week with momma. We would spend a few hours there and while we were there it was as if we had taken a trip into the past. This was in fact in the sixties so when I talk about the past I mean the long past. She was born in eighteen hundred and eighty two. Her house smelled of cinnamon apples which she often cooked up for us when we came over. Her kitchen table was one of those aluminum legged, hard white top tables from perhaps the forties and the chairs were the shiny, plastic covered padded type that made little bare legs stick when you sat too long.


Her house was small and well kept. She had a bird in a cage on her small back porch which my oldest brother would torment. She was tall and always wore homemade aprons with huge pockets and always had a hankie peeking out. My height only came up to her waist and I recall so much more about her aprons and her hands than the etchings of her face. She was stern but you knew how much she loved you. She had a pump sewing machine which was used a great deal because she made most of what she wore, along with things for others including quilts. I also recall a large picture of Jesus on her wall and another of an angel watching over some children.

When we would visit I would carry my dolls with me. When I came into the house with a doll at some point during our visit she would take me to the sewing machine and pull out a swatch of some kind of pretty material. She would then sit down and make me a new dress for my dolly. I was always fascinated when she did this, I was young and it was amazing to watch. When I got much older it was even more amazing to me since I am anything but a seamstress. How someone could do this with just a glance and no pattern is outstanding. The dress always fit dolly perfectly.

She let megive her sewing machine a try but when my brothers began to play with the pump mechanism our sewing time was over. She had jars full of buttons and I loved looking at them and sometimes I would string them up for a necklace. I could play with the buttons and my dollies for many hours, but not the boys.

When my brothers would start to get bored and began to aggravate her bird she never said a word. She lovingly went to the kitchen and started to peel an apple or get out the bread and butter to make a piece of buttered bread with sugar. Sometimes it was a piece of lettuce with sugar or a raw potato with salt. She would make something for each of us and say, “Now, go out on the back porch and eat this.” We would willingly go and begin to play in the back yard.

Out in the yard was what I believe now to be a single car garage separate from the small house. But grandma had turned it into a small apartment to earn extra money. She was very resourceful and frugal; she had to be. She was alone when I knew her and taking care of herself. She was in her seventies when I met her. She had my grandmother later in life because she tried having children for a long time and was not able. They finally decided to adopt a boy and within a few months found out she was pregnant with my grandmother.

The first occupant of the little apartment behind the house I believe was a cousin of my grandma. She was a very unpleasant woman with a wart on her nose and a pointy chin and we truthfully thought she was a witch. Even though mom assured us she was not a witch her behavior told us different and we knew mom had been deceived by this woman! The second occupant was also a relative I believe but a much sweeter woman. She would invite me in and tell me stories and talk to me about my dolls. I loved spending time with my great-grandma and with this lady.

From the stories I have heard from my grandmother (my great-grandma Susie’s daughter) and my mom her life went something like this. Her mother died when she was fourteen and she had a younger sister by the name of ArizonaTerritory. From the stories passed down it seems they were passing through ArizonaTerritory on a covered wagon when she was born, thus the name. We called her Aunt Zoni and she told the most amazing stories. Anyway, Grandma Susie, at fourteen years old, was sent to live with another family and help them with work around the house because her dad could not take care of both of them after the death of her mother. Essentially she was earning her food and board by working for these people.

At one point she started working for Burlington which at the time made overalls and jeans. They had huge sewing machines and needles strong enough to go through thick denim. I can only imagine how strong you had to be in your upper arms to sew jeans eight plus hours a day. The stories go that she ran one of those needles through her finger at some point. *Shudder* As you can see she was accustomed to hard work. At some point she married and got some help but in her later years was again alone and depending on the Lord and His gift of resourcefulness.

My grandma and her three children went to live in great-grandma’s small home for many years when they found themselves homeless because my granddad’s alcoholism had taken over his life. Mom said that great-grandma made it all work in her small home and they always felt safe and were well fed. My mom tells me how great-grandma would heat up bricks, wrap them, and put them at their feet for warmth in the winter because they depended on one wood stove for heating.

In the summer there was one large fan in the window for cooling the house. Mom and I were just talking about this yesterday because it was so hot. I was wondering how they used to do it. Of course she lived in Kansas and not Texas but it was still hot in the summers. I asked Mom how they slept in that heat. She said they would go to bed and lay there until about eleven or eleven thirty before they could sleep; by then it had gotten a little cooler. I can not even imagine.

My own grandma was born in nineteen hundred and fifteen and she was a hard working woman just like great-grandma. Sometime during WWII grandma began working in a factory. It was the Sunshine Biscuit Factory and she was on the cracker assembly lines. They did not have a car so the bus was taken everywhere. Even my own mother, before they went to live with great-grandma, was boarding the bus with bags of laundry to get the clothes washed while grandma was off at the factory.

There are three generations of very strong women in my life that have passed down their strengths and their love for God to me. I am so thankful for these women in my life and the stories from the past that make us who we are. I am doing my best to pass these beliefs, strengths, and stories on to my children. My own daughter was blessed to have known her great-grandma Naomi until she was twelve, my son was only five but he remembers so many things about her. And now they are blessed to have their grandma Darlene, my mother, living with us. My daughter is twenty-eight and my son is twenty-one and she is a huge part of their lives at seventy-seven years old. What a blessing to have this legacy of love passed down through all these years!

About The Author

Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.