January 6, 2009
The word “respite” means: breathing space, relaxation, informal, recess, time out, rest. There is probably no greater “respite” for kids than spending the night at grandma’s house. (In my case… “Nana’s” house.) On occasion, I have a grandchild call and say, “Nana, can I spend the night at your house?” “I need a break.” “A break from what?” I reply. “Oh, you know… a break from my brothers (or my sisters)… my folks.”
What this really means is… “I want to come to your house where I can do anything I want… (with in reason). I can lay on the couch and watch TV without being bugged.” “We can go out and get a “bite to eat” and I can order anything I want.” “I can stay up till three and sleep until noon.” “Can we go to the dollar store, get movies at the library and get individual pizzas?”
Some grandkids come one at a time… others want cousins to join them. Whatever!
Obviously, each child has his own set of respite requirements… and I have my limits on what I will allow… but for the most part… the child is “King or Queen” for the day.
I think sometimes we think that kids don’t need a break from school, homework, home chores, parents, friends, and life’s pressures… because they’re kids. But, they need a break… just like we do. For me… I’m glad to provide that kind of respite for my grandkids…. a place that’s safe and fun.
Since my sister, Sheila’s grandkids live in another state… her grands come for a week at a time. They go fishing, camping, and take long walks in the middle of the night… up to a near by cemetery… just to visit and chat. When it’s time to go home… they moan and groan… and shed tears… as they load their gear in the car to go to their own abode.
What wonderful opportunities we grandparents have… to be a “save place or safe person” in the lives of our grand kids. There are so many teaching moments we can offer, in support of their parents… as well as entertain and provide respite. I can’t think of a better place in life to be…. than a “nana.”
This past holiday season, I had lots of grands stay over at different times. In this group we even included my neighbor’s granddaughter…We had a great time. They’re already asking, “When can we come again.” (Got a few more grands to get in before we start the next rotation.)
“Soon,” I say, “Soon!”
P.S. Do you think they have Grandma respite some place?
P.P.S. Lest you think that every visit is respite… it is not. Sometimes they come to work… mow the lawn, rake leaves, clean out the rain gutters and the like. But even then… we try and combine some fun.
December 7, 2008
These vintage bookplates are just the ticket to put in the books you’re planning to give the kids or grands. Books are such a long lasting gift… especially when they’re signed by you.
Book plates seem to be a thing of the past. I used to see them in old vintage books at thrift stores. Now, folks seem to grab them up quickly because they’re such collectors items. Designing these old vintage bookplates from old free domain artwork was fun.
Print these book plates on sticker paper (I use Avery)… or on a nice matte photo paper. If you use photo paper, apply a thin coat of glue to the back of the bookplate and apply it to the inside of the book.
My sister, Sheila, gave me a great idea that I thought I would pass on to you.
Make a memory for your kids or grands by recording yourself reading a book. Then… give the book and recording to your sweethearts. When you long gone… singing with the angels… it will be a prized possession for those left behind. (However, don’t leave anytime too soon.)
If you have a Mac… you can record in Garageband and burn disks. If your on a PC… there is free software at Audacity. This software is for Mac as well as PC. If you need a manual… which I always do… you can get one to help you over the rough spots. Actually… forget the manual and find one computer savy teenager and treat them to a burger for a little help.
Here a a few books my grands love. We read them over and over again. You can click on the book cover and it will take you directly to Amazon.
P.S. Fill in the information below so I can send you the link for the book plates. When you download them, make sure you keep a copy so you can print them over and over again for the books you buy in the future. Books are such a great gift.
P.P.S. Once you’ve joined our group… You’ll never have to sign in again. I’ll just send you all future
goodies and information.
June 28, 2008
To grandparents, news of the birth of a new baby in the family never seems to loose it’s luster and excitement… as was the case of the news of a new granddaughter to Gene and Janet Latta.
I was attending a cooking demonstration being given by Chef Gene Latta when the long awaited call came to announce the arrive of their new grandchild. A little girl… 8lbs. 3oz. – 20.25 inches long… and her name is Navy Marie.
I have two new grandkids coming soon…August and September…. a little granddaugher and a grandson. I never tire of the excitement of getting the news… “We’re in labor.” Off to the hospital I go, to witness the miracle of a new baby. Both my daughter, Katie and my daughter-in-law, Martha are gracious enough include me in the birth.
Of course, I’m the one behind the camera… getting those “private” shots. (I’m going to be more discrete this time…. maybe… I get a little excited.)
P.S. I think this is about it for me… my kids say “We’re Done!” I’m okay with that…15 grandkids is great!
P.P.S. Congats to Gene and Janet. And.. of course to the new parents too!
June 5, 2008
Today was a fun day. Having two of my grandkids over was such a treat. We learned all about Healthy Eating Habits… For Horses of Course!
These little ones… Norah and Abram stayed with me for a few hours while their mom, Martha took Lu Lu to an appointment. We decided we would take a little stroll around the block to visit and feed the horses.
I’m fortunate to live near a horse pasture and barn…for that country life feeling… and still be close enough to Costco (two blocks away…) for the convenience of the city. Plus…I live on a quiet cul-de-sac. What a location!
While I packed my camera along.. Norah pack the horse treats… apples and carrots. (We did snitch a few of the apple treats for ourselves along the way.) She wasted no time in getting to know three new horse friends. She named her favorite horse “Princess.” Abram was a little reluctant at first…but it wasn’t long before he got the hang of things.
“Come on…eat your carrots… you’ll see better.”
“See… it does taste good..doesn’t it?
“Hey Nana… Princess said, “Thank You!”
No kidding… as soon as we left… that darn horse stuck her head out the window and whinnied loudly!
Norah was so thrilled.
P.S. Aren’t kids wonderful… I just love being a Nana!