Becoming Jesse – Celebrating The Everyday Magic Of Childhood Review

Becoming Jesse As you know, I’m always delighted to have a fan of my blog get in touch with me about a review. This time, it was a (book review) about childhood, magic and grandmothers. Tom McCandless; (the author’s spouse), was kind enough to email me and invite me to do the review. At the end of his emails was a very small phrase that read, “Light Onthat had me guessing <3

I’ll tell you about the author of this wonderful novel in just a bit. In the meantime, keep the phrase I told you about (above) in your mind as I begin to tell you about Becoming Jesse. 😉

I was so excited when I finally had the package and opened it. I love doing book reviews. Although, this was (sort of) a long book. (317 pages to be exact). I let myself go into a little bit of an overwhelm mode of how I was going to have the time to actually read it. Well, let me tell you that after I dove into it, I MADE TIME to read because I literally could not put it down. LOL

 

Becoming Jesse Was That Good!!

 

We've become a plugged world with our eyes and ears glued to our iPhones, tablets, or what have we; (me included). Why not take a refreshing day from it all and indulge in this delightful gem of a book?!

 

Patsie McCandless

Celebrating The Everyday Magic Of Childhood ~~ Becoming Jesse, was fictionally set in New York City in the 1950s. This charming story borders on five main characters; a six-year-old, orphaned, shiner boy named Jesse, his grandmother Dearie, Billy, Conor, and Jessica.

Early on, determined Jesse set out on a journey of questions. A journey with turns, and sometimes, disappointment. Charm, warmth, Light, thrill-digging imagination, love, kindness and hope takes place as this little boy embraces the unknown.

Becoming Jesse

Jesse follows his grandmother’s life lessons and (Rule Of Tongue) with a loving attitude as the story unfolds. Through sparklers, circles and spirals, mourning, and the spirit of Christmas; and (with) the help of Dearie, he surprises himself with a wonderful, childhood magic and a message-filled guiding light for him AND for everyone around him.

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This book of fiction is not ONLY for grandmothers; but for everyone that reads it. It is a true stepping stone on how to go about life positively and to deal with today’s hardships. All through a 6-year-old boy.
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Not long after production, Becoming Jesse was found on the best seller list and currently has a five-star rating on Amazon.

 

Becoming Jesse

About The Author: Patsie McCandless successfully wrote and self-published a beautiful, fictional storybook/novel at the age of 70. Patsie is also an award-winning artist and musical composer. In the media, she is featured in TEDx Talk, Saving The Magic of Childhood that focuses on cell phone addiction in children and provides tips on rising above it. Patsie McCandless has also been featured on Positive Talk Radio — Healthy Life.net. (where positive people and radio unite); among other media.

You can find Patsie’s exquisite art on her YouTube Channel and subscribe HERE

You can also find out more about Patsie HERE

Quoted Content From The Book

A snow fall, much like your life, is made up of billions upon billions of glitters

Love and hope often take pleasure in each other

Mad unplugs your energy, your light

Humor and Fun lift the corners of your mouth as they lift the corners of your heart

A bend in a road is never the end of the road, unless you don’t make the turn

You will surely come to know what the above (5) sentences mean if you read the book. <3

 

A Thanksgiving Reading From Patsie

I’ll leave you with one final thought today…

Before You Speak, Let Your Words Pass Through Three Remarkable Gates:

Is it kind? ~~ Is it true? ~~ Is it necessary? (K-T-N)

 

Thank you for reading! =)

Family Organization Task Tips For Mothers and Grandmothers For 2019

organization tips I’ve been trying to organize my life, work, home, office, etc…for (let’s just say) awhile! 😉

I keep telling myself that I’m just like my mom <3 ~~ My Sis agrees with me. 🙂 Mom always had (small) piles of paper everywhere in the house; as far back as I can remember.

That’s certainly WAS NOT a (bad) reflection on Mom’s character!
She was a beautiful, pleasant, (and the most patient) lady I’ve ever met, with so many other good qualities.

I miss her every day! 🙁

So, what’s my point??

My point is: I’m NOT an organized lady. However, that’s not to say I can’t offer YOU tips and advice on becoming organized, grandparenting tips, frugal living tips, OR, anything else I put my mind to. 😉 I’m a writer by trade. I made a portion of my income by doing just that…writing. Notice I said, “Made.” 😉 lol

I’m also kind, pleasant to be around, funny at times, an awesome grandmother, proud of my grands, a little shy at times, married to the best, learning more and more about live streaming on Facebook, AND…having a blast with My Avon Business while doing it!

So, maybe organization and making lists/task sheets are labeled as overrated?? Well, maybe so. Although, I DO happen to think the information offered in this blog post is valuable.

So, back to The Topic at hand. Organization Tips For Mothers and Grandmothers

Grandmothers: There are quite a few grandmas that provide childcare, and actually have their grandkids living with them permanently. There are also some that have them staying with them a (portion) of the time; over a year, month, or week. Well, the same goes for grandmothers. This organization task list works for and applies to them as well.

 

Organize Tasks/Chores List For Each of Your Children/Grandchildren

 

What Is Required?

There are a few ways to organize family tasks that can be adjusted and readjusted. If you’re not a mom or grandma that does spreadsheets, you can delegate with simple, large, desktop or hanging calendars. Another idea would be magnetic erase boards that could be displayed on the fridge or just a simple one to hang on a wall. Actually, there are all kinds of ways to organize your life, home, and family.

It's your choice, and how important (you think) organization is to you. 😉

 

For tech and app-friendly mothers and grandmothers, there are all types of apps and excellent programs available. It’s really a matter of preference and ease, and whatever method that you feel most comfortable.

 

Work Up a Points Journal or Spreadsheet For Each Child

 

You could virtually do the same with a points system for your kids. A calendar, journal, spreadsheet, or erase board would also be ideal for calculating points. Really, you could use a simple, (large or small) notebook to do this.

Although, it is best to display a point system for behavior-challenged or young children. 😉 There is something about them seeing actual points tallied for THEM! It helps with a sense of accomplishment and also, helps to establish a feeling of “usefulness” and well being.

For Starters – Delegate For Basic Clutter – Have each child put away their toys, clothing, computers, tablets, and other personal things at the end of the day. After the kids are all tucked in for the night and asleep, inspect the house and their rooms for belongings that are not in their designated places. Reward with points accordingly. For things that are left out by one of your children, take those items away for a week or so, and make them work for getting them back. Don’t make this too hard on them; however, just enough to get the message across.

For the younger kiddos, encourage help, and always go through a nightly routine (with them). They need to be guided and praised for their self-esteem and learning capabilities.

 

Delegate For a Hand With Food and Meal Preparation

Healthy Snacks in Baggies – The awesome thing about this idea is that they are all “self serve foods.”

Small Pretzel Twists – Purchase a large bag of pretzels and divide them up in plastic bags. This snack choice is easy, healthy, and doesn’t include extra sugar.

Grapes: They are an awesome fruit that is also a healthy choice. Do the same with these.

Trail Mix: Trail mixes are a top pick for deciding what is good for you and your family. This snack is loaded with vitamins and minerals our bodies need. Divide them out in the baggies for quick access.

Encourage Eating Veggies With Baby Carrots and Cherry Tomatoes

Fresh Carrots – Your local grocery store usually provides packaged, baby carrots, so no need for cutting.

Cherry Tomatoes – These are tiny tomatoes that are excellent for portioning out.

Choose between your children to help fill these goody bags. 😉 This will also encourage healthy eating habits.

Have Your Kids Take Turns With Setting The Table – Choose between your little ones that are best suited for this task.

 

Older Kid’s Chores

 

Large Ingredient Meals…Such as Vegetable Soup, or Big Salads – Select older children to help cut up ingredients for these type of meals. A good idea is to let the younger ones observe to help teach them.

* Doing Dishes – This is also a task for the older ones; however, an ideal chore to delegate.

* Neat and Tidy Bedrooms – To encourage your children to keep their rooms clean, you can maybe pick the weekends to help each child to get into the habit of doing just that; clean and tidy (their own) rooms. For example: Have them empty all trash, pick up all dirty clothing, make sure all toys and tech-type items are in their appropriate places.

* Dusting – This isn’t too hard of a task, so all the kids can get into this cleaning chore, with careful supervision. Choose for them specific rooms to dust.

* Cleaning The Basement and Garage – This job could also be a weekend event. Sweeping needs to be done, and, tools and supplies need to be organized. Hand out those jobs according to age and level.

Remember, you are teaching your children and grandchildren to be responsible, clean, and organized adults. <3

Put Yourself on The Task List – This actually shows your little ones what all YOU do to keep an organized house and home. It displays and teaches what all is involved with organized, clean living. It is important to list EVERYTHING that you do, it may take a little time to get it all posted; however, it is worth it for your kids to see. <3

And Finally…

Realize that your children/grandchildren will need some time to learn and adapt to any type of family organization program or schedule, especially if they are young. Also, assigning a task that is too difficult for them will only be burdensome for both you and them. Start small on delegating tasks for each child. As they get older, you can always adjust for various levels and ages.

I certainly hope these tips were helpful! Chime in with your thoughts. 😉

Thank you for reading. <3

Sick Grandparents? How To Make Your Hospital Stay More Comfortable

 Hospital stays are a nightmare. We all know this. However, there are new advances being made every day to make out experience better.
 
If you’re a lucky grandparent, you may have a child or adult grandchild in town that can help navigate your hospital stay. In fact, they may bring many of the items listed below can make your entire life better, not just your time spent in the hospital.

 

Below are just a few pieces of tech that can make your hospital stay less of a pain.

Vein Finder

Nobody likes to have their blood taken. This is especially the case when you’re sick. Many people are hard pokes. This can leave you and the phlebotomist frustrated. If you have veins that easily roll, collapse, are deep or are dehydrated then ask for a Vein Finder. Vein Finders are a new tool that shines infrared light illuminating your veins to the nurse. This helps avoid guesswork. They are equipped in most hospitals, but won’t be taken out unless you ask or once the nurse if frustrated.

Light Control

Patients are in the hospital for a variety of reasons. Some people will be sensitive to light; some will not. However, it is important that every hospital is equipped with adequate light control. It’s hard enough to get a good night’s sleep in the hospital even before considering that the hospital’s bright lights will be shining down on your face. If you want to have a truly comfortable experience in the hospital, you need some form of light control. Certain hospital beds will even feature light control right there on the control panel of the bed. Often times there lighting can be turned off to let you rest, but it has to be done by a nurse. Don’t hesitate to ask about lighting changes to ensure your rest.

Communication Devices

The first item on the list is something that you won’t be able to bring with you. It should be installed in most hospitals already. In fact, most hospital beds have the button right there on the control panel. Being able to directly communicate with the nursing staff is important in maintaining some level of comfort in the hospital. Some hospitals merely have pagers – pagers that let the staff know you need attention. However, many hospitals are making use of two-way radio systems to ensure that the nursing staff can connect to each other and to those radios attached to your bed. Two-way radio installations in NYC, or in a city near you, are going above and beyond to ensure that patients in the hospital are treated properly and swiftly.

If you are having a hard time reaching a nurse when they are out of the room, don’t think twice about asking if they have a radio device that will let you communicate with them. Your voice should always be heard.

If you want to have a comfortable time in the hospital, you need to be able to communicate with your nursing staff directly and quickly.

Air Your Concerns

When one is hospitalized it is a very humbling experience. Not only is one basically unclothed, but you’re in a scary situation and at the mercy of medical professionals. While they are professionals, they are also human. Meaning, they also err. Shifts are long and they are often overworked. If you aren’t being heard by a nurse, or if you have a negative experience you should speak up.

If you are not feeling up to that confrontation, ask an adult grandchild or a child to speak on your behalf

 

It is much better to talk to a supervisor and have a nurse be changed than to feel uncomfortable during your stay and have that affect your healing. Communication is important and you should feel heard. If you have a legitimate complaint with the lack of attention or mistreatment from a staff member know you’re not over reacting. Ask for the nurse change. Chances are the nurse will appreciate it too.

Comfort From Home

Obvious examples of technology that make your hospital stay more pleasant are your cellphone and perhaps a pair of earbuds. Kindles can also be useful in the hospital, but the above items are much more necessary than even your cellphone and Kindle so you can read as many books as you want. You can download audiobooks on your cellphone and listen as you rest. You’ll never know how important adequate lighting control is until you’ve had it then forced to go without.

Bring your own pillow from home, or have someone bring it to you. Asking someone to bring you an electric blanket may help you stay warm in the cold hospital. Unless they are controlling your temperature, you don’t want to end up getting sick from the AC. This is something that will greatly increase your rest and result in better healing.

Family Time

A grandma is warm hugs and sweet memories. She remembers all of your accomplishments and forgets all of your mistakes.

 

Hopefully, you will have adult grandchildren and your children that can take turns visiting you. If your grandkids are small ask your children to have them bring pictures. You can even buy a box of colored pencils and a notebook at the gift shop so when grandkids visit they can leave you encouraging messages.

A gloomy hospital room can be lit up with children’s cards and drawings cheering up your spirit during a hard time. If you don’t have grandchildren nearby you can FaceTime with them. Hearing their voices, optimism, and get-well wishes will be a nice comfort during your stay.

Don’t be afraid to ask your family to send you videos and clips to cheer your spirits. Knowing you have a team of cheerleaders will help you fight through your infirmity.

Nobody likes to go to the hospital, but I hope these tips will help your next stay become more comfortable.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

A Grandma’s Tips for Starting Life on Your Own for the First Time

My entire life, my grandmother told me I could do whatever I set my mind to. Tori Bowie ~~ Via Brainy Quotes

Those of you who are young and about to begin the process of building your own life might be experiencing a wide array of emotions right now. In some ways, there is nothing more thrilling than carving your own path through life; in other ways, it’s one of the most terrifying processes you’ll ever take part in. In trying to find your footing, it’s normal to find yourself feeling lost, confused, or discouraged.

 

 

To help you make your way, here are some tips from folks who have had a few decades’ experience with living independent lives as adults.

Build Lifelong Skills to Properly Take Care of Yourself

While you may have built some of these skills (like doing your laundry and cooking basic meals) before moving out of your family home, it’s important that you dedicate some of your time to building other skills that you’ll use for the rest of your adult life. Make it a priority to become good at budgeting; learn how to alter or fix your torn or ill-fitting clothing; teach yourself how to do basic repairs around your home so you don’t have to call your landlord or shell out money for a professional every time something goes wrong. Reach out to people in your life who have skills you don’t, and ask them to teach you. You may not need all of these skills every day while living on your own, but you’ll be immensely grateful for the knowledge if and when problems should arise.

Take Your Finances Seriously

When you get your first full-time job, it might seem like you have more money than you know what to do with. It can feel all too easy to throw a little more cash toward buying new clothes, decorations for your apartment, meals out at restaurants, or tickets to the movies. But if you aren’t careful, and if you don’t allocate your funds properly, those little purchases can add up quickly, and you might find yourself surrounded by all of fun new things you bought as well as a small mountain of debt.

Make sure you’re taking care of your financial necessities first, like contributing to your savings, paying your monthly bills, and purchasing the things you actually need before any of your paycheck goes toward those fun purchases. You should also put a portion of your income each month toward reducing any outstanding debt, like credit card payments, paying off your student loans and, if necessary, refinancing those loans to lower the monthly cost.

Sure, building a financial cushion and consolidating your debt is a bit less exciting than buying Taylor Swift tickets, but practicing responsibility with your money is an essential part of being an adult and building a sustainable future for yourself.

Have Patience

When you’re young, it’s normal to want your life as an adult to begin immediately, to feel as though everything ought to fall into place perfectly and all at once. Unfortunately, as nice as that would be,
that is rarely how life works. It might take more time than you would like to get the apartment you want, to gain momentum in your career, or to meet the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, and that’s okay. While the world we’re living in now is an expectant one, and while people often demand instant gratification, real life doesn’t always meet our expectations or demands.

Life is often chaotic, unpredictable, and unfair, but there is always an opportunity to learn a lesson from your experiences, and every experience brings you one step closer to where you’re ultimately meant to be.

Believe in Yourself

As the Liberace quote goes, “Nobody will believe in you unless you believe in yourself.” And it’s true! You are your own best cheerleader and your own best advocate– to build yourself up in the eyes of others, you need to build confidence from within and make others see the talented, intelligent, self-assured individual that you are.

You have skills and knowledge to offer, and you need to carry yourself in a way that, without arrogance, relays that information to the people you interact with both personally and professionally. You deserve to take up space in this world, and you deserve to succeed in that space. Internalize those facts, and own them.

With hard work, determination, and persistence, you can do whatever you set your mind to!

Do What Makes YOU Happy

This, along with believing in yourself, is arguably the most important thing to keep in mind as you venture into the world on your own. You are your only true lifelong companion, so it’s essential that you
make your own happiness a priority, especially while you’re first starting to build your life.

Having the skills and the self-reliance to keep yourself alive is important, but so is making sure you’re actually living. Pursue your passions, whether as a hobby or a career; sing and dance as often as possible; take a road trip with your favorite people; eat chocolate every day, — do whatever you can, whenever you can, to cultivate joy. You’re young, so make the most of your youth, but don’t ever fully grow up (after all, you’re only as old as you behave).

Leave plenty of room in your world for silliness and laughter– the world is often a dark and serious place, and you must never allow that to consume your view.

Good luck starting out, and enjoy the ride!

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. As for grandparenting tips, I certainly think it’s my duty as a grandmother to think about these things, very carefully. <3

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.

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.

Christmas Connections: 4 Christmas Gift Ideas that Will Strengthen Your Parent-Child Bond

By: Kara Masterson

For Grandparent Bonding Too! 😉

Now that it is that time of year, you are probably wondering what to get your kids for Christmas. If your kids are little, it can be especially hard to find a meaningful Christmas gift, since they tend to circle the entire Christmas toy catalog. However, there are a few presents you can give them that will help you strengthen your parent-child bond.

Board Games

Most everyone has fond memories of playing board games with their friends and family as a child. Children love them, and they can be lots of fun for adults too. This makes board games a great way to strengthen your parent-child bond. Candy land, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and Chutes and Ladders are just a few of the many games out there that are easy enough for even very young children to get the hang of. Choose a similar board game, wrap it up with a pack of popcorn and maybe some hot chocolate, and you’ve got yourself a family game night in a box. It’s a gift your children are sure to love.


Toy Kitchen or Construction Play Sets

Sometimes, despite some of your best efforts to understand, your kids want to be exactly like you and do exactly what you do. This is the time in their lives that they find helping you and copying you to be the best way to play, so take advantage of it! You can get them a playset of whatever task they like to copy you. If they like to help in the kitchen, you can get them toy dishes and food. If they like to help fix things or work on the car, you can get them a toy tool box.

This way, they can be just like mom or dad

Pop-culture Clothing and Toys

Most children have solid likes and dislikes as early as the age of two years old. While these can change over the next couple of years, it gives you material to draw from for Christmas gifts starting from a very young age.

Many children have a favorite movie or T.V. Show that they can watch for hours and hours. Finding toys or clothing that feature characters from your children’s favorite media is usually a sure-fire way to ensure that they will love their Christmas gift. From Dragon Ball Shirts to Adventure Time hoodies, there are plenty of options out there no matter what they’re favorite show is. Your child will love you for knowing who their favorite character’s are.

They’ll be overjoyed when they open their present from you!

Toys from Your Childhood

Another Christmas gift idea to consider is a toy from your childhood. Since your kids usually want to be just like you, they are often curious about you as a kid. They want to know what you wore, what you ate, and what you played with. If you still have your old teddy bear from when you were a kid, you can pass it down.

Many stores also carry the originals or modern versions of popular toys from thirty to fifty years ago. To strengthen your parent-child bond, you can get your kids Legos, Lincoln Logs, or even Lite Brites and Easy Bake Ovens. Your kids will love playing with these, just like you did, and you will have a blast playing along with them.

There are endless options for Christmas gift ideas that will strengthen your parent-child bond. The trick is to take your kids’ interests into consideration and make sure to spend time with them.

Thank you for reading and stopping by. <3