Free Christmas Printables

Free Christmas printables are just the ticket for keeping young hands busy during this holiday season.  These printable Christmas coloring pages are large enough for young children to enjoy.  You can print the Santa Head or the Snowman head in back and white… or you can print the full color version.

The kids can cut them out and hang them on the fridge…or in their room.  These printable are great for teachers to give to their students.  Because they are large, they are ideal for pre-school.

My grandson Landon, who is 4, loved coloring these Christmas Printables. He choose the snowman right off the bat and took the Santa home to share with his sister.

Look how proud!

Here you go:   Black and white Snowman head.   Full color snowman head.   Black and white Santa head.  Full color Santa head.

Hope your kids enjoy!

Till Later


Insightful Nana

P.S.  Grandmas… print off a bunch of these free Christmas Printables for your Grands when they come over to visit.  It will take some of the Christmas excitement “running around” down to a more tolerable level.  Maybe?


Free Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

Here are a couple of free Thanksgiving coloring pages for your kids to enjoy.  Children love to participate in the Thanksgiving decorating… so here are a couple of projects they can be entertained by.

The pilgrim couple,  “Bless Thee” and “Thank Thee” is the first project. They are door hangers the kids can color and hang on the front door or on their own bedroom doors… to welcome in the Thanksgiving season.

A full colored option is available too. Print them on card stock or photo paper.   All the kids have to do is cut them out… thread a little ribbon in the top and hang them on the door to greet visitors.

The second project is “Old Tom Turkey”  The younger kids can color him and tape him to their wall or post him on the fridge.  Again…. a full colored option is available for those who just want to hang him up and get a little Thanksgiving spirit.

Here are your free printable Thanksgiving Coloring Pages.  Download the links and print them on your printer.

Door Hangers:

Bless Thee and Thank Thee Full Color

Bless Thee and Thank Thee Black and White

Old Tom Turkey:

Old Tom Turkey Full Color

Old Tom Turkey Black and White

Hope your kids will enjoy.

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Watch for your own Thanksgiving treat…it’s coming in a couple of days.


Registering Your Childs’ Domain Name

Registering a child’s domain name is becoming more and more common these days.  Some couples are receiving their baby’s domain name registration as a gift.  At the cost of about $10.00 a year, couples will invest about $160.00 for the domain registration to remain valid until the child reaches sixteen years old.

Not a bad investment, if you consider a domain name for your child’s name to be important. The first web site was put on the web by Tim Berners Lee in 1991. 108 million sites have been added since then and, several thousand sites are added everyday.  Let’s face it… the Internet isn’t going away.

Surprisingly, no government or central authority controls the World Wide Web… thank goodness.  This allows free enterprise and trade to have no barriers.  Private companies such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN regulate their own search engines, putting their own restrictions in place.

Off-line business are joining the World Wide Web as a means of supporting their companies bottom line. Social sites and blogs are growing in popularity as a means of meeting people with like interests and, businesses are using them as a means of networking.  So what does this mean to your child?

Even though your baby will may not use the domain name for several years to come, having your child’s digital identity already established provides an easy-to-remember, personal or business web address, when the time comes.

You may want to consider this important step for yourself too. It makes it possible to have an e-mail address without all the numbers if you have a common name.  Since blogs are becoming more and more popular as a means of communication between friends and family members, having your own domain name will become increasingly more important for those who want to be easily located.

If you’ve ever tried to register a domain name for your business, you probably realize that finding one that’s not already taken can be difficult. Having your own Web business in your name is becoming increasingly vital… as it will be for your child.

If your decide to register your child’s domain name, make sure you put privacy precautions in place. Companies, such as Go Daddy, allow domain buyers to register anonymously. In other words, you don’t have to make your child’s name, address and other contact information accessible to the public.

Often time, free domain registration does not give you this opportunity… therefore, the child’s information is  publicly searchable.  It’s best to pay a little bit for the opportunity to have a privacy policy in place.

The most prized address is “YourChildsName.Com” Next is “YourChildsName.Net” I don’t think “YourChildsName.Gov” is a very good idea unless you know he’s going to be the President of the United States.

Some folks don’t think it’s wise to register their children’s names… but…  I’m giving you this little bit of information so you can at least weigh the consideration.

Till later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Sorry… is already taken… by me!

P.S.S.  When Britney Spears announced the name of her last child, someone registered the name immediately… I’m sure…hoping to cash in on the possibility she’ll pay “big bucks” to buy it back.


School Policies – Are you Watching?

School policies for your children vary from state to state and from district to district.  Are you watching?  In the last several weeks, it has come to my attention that some districts have policies in place that may not be in the best interest of your family.

When you sign your children up for the school each year, the district has documents that parents sign that allow the school certain rights regarding your kids.   Because, each district is different, you need to be aware of the permission you are giving the school during school hours in your particular area.

1.  Immunizations records follow your children through out their entire school career.  Once you give permission to have your child immunized, your child’s health is in the hands of the state.  If your child in not immunized, or you do not keep up with their shots,  they can be denied entrance into school… at any given grade.  However, by law, your child can be exempted from immunization by following the Exempt Procedures on the back of the Record.

Now why do I discourage you from signing this document?  Because, if you do, you have just turned the health of your child over to the state.  At any time… the government can require your child to be immunized for anything they deem appropriate.  Immunization has gone well beyond Polio, Measles, Mumps, etc.  The list now up to 12 vaccinations… which some are repeated several times.  The next immunization that is being pushed to be on the list is the the Gardasil HPV vaccine for young girls for uterine protection.  The push is to immunize girls as young as 9 years old.

Now I’m not going to get into a debate as to whether you should have your children immunized or not.  I just think it needs to be take out of the hands of the state.  If you are exempt from signing the school policy… then you can manage your kids immunizations and health needs with out government interference. By not signing, you can examine each immunization requirement individually and make your own determination. You never know what’s coming down the pike.

2. Be careful of what records you allow to be passed from school to school.  You do have the right not to allow a school to pass on Special Education Records or Psychological Reports.  Are you are aware… in some states you are not allow to ever see your child’s school records? However, some social services can review, or  be given information from them.   So protect your family… don’t give any information you don’t want the school to have.

3.  In some districts, you sign away your parental rights as long as the child is in school.  Your child can be questioned by a councilor, principal, or teacher concerning family matters.  Caution your children about revealing “family matters” that are really family matters.

4.  If you think it’s alright to take your child out of school for a day for a family activity… you could be wrong.  In the State of Utah, the only valid reasons for missing school are: A. Illness.  B. A family death.  C. An approved school activity (field trip).  D. An absence permitted by the school… which is rehabilitation, or individualized education for those who have disabilities.   That’s why they can lower your child’s grade if their absences don’t fall in the above categories.  Schools can be tough on this issue, or lenient.  Know where your school stands.

I realize policies are put into place for a few irresponsible parents.  But…I don’t want to forfeit my rights when I have a choice and can do something about it.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Hmmm.  Does it mean if I don’t immunize my child… and they kick him out of school… they can take him away from me because he is truant?


Welcome Beck Adams Benson

Welcome Beck Adams Benson… born Oct 1, 2008.  7lbs. 4 oz. – 19″ long.  He’s my darling 15th grand baby born to my baby Katie and her husband Mark Benson.

He’s just an hour old here. Isn’t he a doll!  He as two older sisters, Ella and Claire….(I mean two other mom’s).  Ella is 6 and Claire is 4. We all wondered which of the two girls he would look like most… but…he’s as different from the two girls as they are from each other.  He has his own little look.

This little guy was suppose to be born in Sept… but for some reason, in my mind Oct 1 was the day… and so it was.  After Katie’s visit to the doctor, it was decided she should be induced.  She called and I made preparations to leave for the hospital when she entered and was settled.

Some how there was a missed communication and I waited for the call.  It didn’t come.  When I found out she was already in the hospital and in a lot of pain… I jumped in the car with my camera in hand and headed toward the hospital.  Just as I entered the freeway, Mark called and congratulated me…. I had a new grandson.

Of course, I was disappointed I missed the birth… but happy that all went well and everyone was healthy.

It came as a surprise to everyone he was born so fast… only 2 1/2 hours from the time she entered the hospital until he was born.  This time table runs in my side of the family.  Fast labor… fast birth.. two pushes…plop.

Welcome little Beck…you have a family who loves you dearly!

Blessings…blessings everywhere!

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  I think this about does us for awhile anyway… All my kids say, “We are done!”…. We’ll see.  15 grand children is fine with me… such abundance!


Make Chores For Kids Fun

Making chores for kids fun can be a challenge sometimes… especially when the kids would rather be playing. Somehow if you can combine the kids’ chores with a little fun… it make it easier on everyone.

The trees in my backyard needed trimming.  I hated to call in a commercial tree trimmer when most of the limbs were small that hung over my house.  My two grandsons, Wyatt and Braden were staying at my house for a couple of days…  when I mentioned that my trees needed trimming.   (Not usually on the list for chores for kids).

After they looked over the situation… they decided they would take on the job if I would let them climb up on the roof rather than stand on a ladder.  Hmmmm.  The question was, “Will they fall off of the roof?”  But… I decided they could handle it… they’re eleven and twelve.

They loved wandering around up on the roof… (you know guys).  Soon they got to work trimming the low limbs that were hanging over my house.  “Hey, while you’re up there… why don’t you clean out the rain gutters?” I shouted from the ground.  Of course.. a little more time on the roof for them.  Two birds with one stone for me!

Soon they were done and reluctantly came down.  They were having a good time up there.  I figured… since they were on a roll and I already had them engaged, I suggested they trim another tree…. which they willing did… this time on ladders.

Now what to do with all of the limbs on the ground?  A tree house of course.  They had a ball drawing up plans on a piece of paper.. lashing together the longest branches and loading the smaller branches on top.  A win…win day for all of us!  Sometimes kid’s chores can be a lot of fun.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  The tree house lasted for several days… until we got a wind storm that blew in.  The tree house toppled over and we cut up the branches and put them in the garbage.  Now that particular kid chore wasn’t as fun as being on the roof.


5 Practical Back To School Ideas

Here’s 5 practical Back To School ideas that will be help you and your kids get back into the swing of things, now that the summer is over.

Going back to school can be stressful. There’s clothes shopping to be done, school supplies to purchase, bus schedules to review, registration forms to fill out, fees to pay, on top of the million other things you need to get behind you before the first day begins.

Kids also can feel a bit of school anxiety… will I like my teacher…will my teacher like me… will my best friends be in my class… what shall I wear on the first day? After the dust settles down… here are 5 tips to consider for making the school year run more smoothly for you and your kids.

Routine: Believe it or not.. kids like a routine. It takes some of the “unknowns” out of their lives. Can you imagine what it would be like to go into work everyday and not know what’s expected of you? What does the boss want me to do…what are my limitations… what is my job… how much freedom to I have within my job description… what can I do to please my boss?

Without a routine or guidelines… you would feel like you were walking on egg shells all the time. Your children have the same feelings when you don’t have a routine or guidelines. Talk about anxiety! Planning a back to school routine will help both of you get back into the groove of going back to school.

Things to consider are: What time do we get up… when will we eat breakfast…who uses the bathroom first… do we bathe in the mornings, or evening? What is the routine after school… do we work on homework before playtime or after playtime…. when do we practice the piano, what time can we plan on dinner… how much T.V. time do we have… what time do we go to bed?

Include them in the planning of the school routine. Of course your plan needs to be flexible but, for the most part, stick to the schedule.

Get Enough Sleep: More and more studies are being released, shouting the importance of children getting enough rest. Elementary children need at least 10 hours of sleep a night to be able to function at the top of their game the next day.

That mean, if a child gets up at 7:00 in the morning, he needs to be in bed by 9:00 in the evening. So, bed preparations need to start early so the lights are turned off by 9:00.

1. Having a set bed time gives them a target to work toward and trains their bodies towards the routine.

2. Turn off the TV and have a winding down period, which may include a bedtime story and a little bedtime song.

3. Get drinks and bathroom duties handled before the lights are turned out.

Believe it or not, studies show that Jr. high and high school students are routinely getting between 6.5 and 7 hours of sleep a night. They need a minimum of 8 hours or more during the puberty years… which can certainly be a challenge because their lives, like ours, is complex.

1. Homework can rob them of precious hours of sleep if they wait too long in the evening to get started. Waiting until bedtime to begin is not the ideal scene. Also, starting late often does not produce the best school work results because they’re tired and in a hurry.

2. Late phone calls and text messaging can infringe on their sleep time. Perhaps you can agree upon a time when phone calls or texting end for the day. It might encourage going to bed and getting enough sleep so they can be at their best in the morning.

3. They, like younger kids, need a winding down period. Perhaps, this might be the time when you can have a quite discussion about their day. I know of one mom, who would give her older kids a 5 minute back rub before they went to bed. I’ll have to say… that’s more dedication than I’ve got.

Lay Out Clothes and Get Backpacks Ready: Laying clothes out the night before and, having backpacks loaded with books and homework at the door, prevents “morning frantic panic.”

Even your young school kids can select their clothes the night before and have them ready to slip on in the morning. Have them place all of their clothes at the foot of the bed then, you can then check to see if their outfits are complete. “Oops, looks like your missing your socks.” Or, “The weather man said that it’s going to snow tomorrow…perhaps you need to select a different shirt.” They’ll soon get the drift of things and you won’t have to supervise as much. (Oh… and than means coats and gloves, boots etc. are also located the night before.)

Encourage your older kids to know what they’ll be wearing the next morning. No running the washer at five in the morning because they didn’t prepare well.

As soon as homework is completed and their reading is done, pack up the backpacks and place them at the door. If your signature needs to be on any papers, or they need money for a field trip, make sure those things are handled and in the pack before it’s placed at the exit. There’s nothing more frustrating than a kid waving a pen in front of your face as you’re driving them to school.

Eat A Healthy Breakfast: The school, a couple of my grandkids attend, sent a note home announcing tests were being given on a particular day and would parents see that their kids eat a healthy breakfast…. a breakfast of protein and grains and not sugared cereals etc. My thinking is… if that request is good enough on test days, it’s good enough for every day.

A child can be over stimulated by a breakfast of sugared products, therefore they can’t perform at their best… plus being a problem for the teacher. Scramble eggs with the addition of a little cheese can boost the protein in their breakfast. A cup of yogurt will give them protein… however, all yogurts aren’t alike. Watch the labels. So many yogurts are full of sugar and don’t contain beneficial enzymes. the labels. Use whole grain foods rather than products that have been striped of natural nutrients. (Oh, and watch the labels on peanut butter…some have a lot of sugar included.)

Keep A Sense Of Humor: Keeping a sense of humor goes along way between the the hours of 3:30 and 9:00. A frustrated mom creates frustrated kids. Keep to the schedule as much a possible but don’t take every little departure too seriously. Laugh a lot and keep things as light as possible.

When your kids get over-whelmed or have social problems, let them in on a few of your school challenges and mishaps. When kids feel you can duplicate their experience….it helps for them to know you understand.

I remember ending up at Jr. High with my P.J. bottoms hanging below my skirt. I would keep my bottom on to keep my legs warm until I walked out the door. This particular morning… I just forgot to take them off. I didn’t catch on until half way into my first period class…. talk about being embarrassed. Or, how about the time in elementary school, when I wet my pants in front of the class because a teacher wouldn’t let me be excused. And… that’s nothing compared to my wetting my pants on a date… but that’s a story for another time.

The experiences were tragic at the time… but I laugh about them now. Help your kids get a long range perspective. Keep them laughing.

Go for it… and good luck!

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

P.S. You can avoid confusion at school by having all of their books and notebooks labeled properly. Take a look at these fun book plates you can put in your kids books… I’m offering them to you for your kids… freeeeee.


The Miracle of Birth – Welcome Rosemary Josephine

The miracle of birth was witness by me when my son, Brad and his wife Martha had their fourth child. I, along with Molly, the other grandma…were invited into the delivery room. Welcome to our family, Rosemary Josephine.

Almost two weeks over due…she arrived at 3:15 yesterday, Aug. 13…bright eyed and bushy tailed. Martha’s past deliveries have been a bit risky…and this baby came into the world easily and healthy. Martha did very well also. No complications. So, I’m especially grateful today. This makes 14 grands… 7 girls and 7 boys and I love it!

I always wonder what babies little minds must thinking, as they are whisk away from their familiar nine month environment to the warming table, where their wiped down, prodded and poked, weighed and measured (7lbs 14 oz….19 1/2″) I do know… what ever this little one may have thought, or experienced in her first few moments of life…she will be dearly loved and well taken care of by her loving immediate and extended family.

Here are the first minutes of Rosemary Josephine’s life. Enjoy these moments with me.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. I will be taking care of family matters tomorrow… I’m on board to watch over Norah, Lu and Abram. Family… What a wonderful institution.

P.P.S. The miracle of birth is an experience that has no words to describe it… You would need to have the tongue of an angel to even begin to try.

Family Gatherings

DiStefano Family Reunion 08

The DiStefano Famiy Reunion was held in Tabiona, Utah. It was the hometown of my grandparents, Girolamo and Kathrine DiStefano, from the 20’s to early 40’s. They moved out to the rural, eastern part of the state to “bootleg” during the prohibition… but that’s another story for another day.

Their children were raised in this quiet little valley… but moved away when they reached adulthood. Wanting to return to their “roots,” five of the nine children purchased property for trailers or cabins on Tabby Mt. overlooking this serene little valley. We have held our three day family reunion here for over 25 years… and that agenda will never change.

Since family members wander in at different times on Friday evening, a casual hot dog roast is held. The family members who show up, gather round the fire and tell stories and slap mosquitoes.

Saturday morning activities begin with the children’s games and water slide. The adult horse shoe competition kicks off… and runs for two days. This year the older kids participated in first family rendition of “The Amazing Race.” (See Video) The kids had a ball! We play and chat until around 2:30… then the crowd scatters to go back to their abodes to prepare the for evening feast.

Around 4:30, a banquet is placed on the table and everyone lines up to chow down. Sometimes a pig is put on a spit and other times, we prepare the meat ahead of time. There is always plenty to eat… and eat..and eat. Did I say there is always plenty to eat?

The dance in the town hall begins around 8:00 but nobody shows up until around 9:00. We have a live band and all. The kids have a great time dancing… bunny hopping and doing the “wipe out” thing. We stop for a bit to raffle off a sleeping bag for the kids. Check the little bitty sleeping bag winner. The bag is bigger than she is.

We then… raffle off a quilt for the adults. You don’t want to win the quilt though… cause if you do… your in charge of the “quilt raffle” the next year. I love quilts… but not so much that I want to win and take on the responsibility of coming up with a suitable quilt. These quilts aren’t shabby!

My son Wade, engraves a hunting knife every year for the men. The guys buy lots of tickets for a chance to win this one. It’s truly a collectors item. We dance until midnight then back up the mountain for a good nights sleep.

Up and running the next morning… cause the “Big raffle” starts at 10:00. Nobody seems to make it on time…. too tired from all that dancing. Raffle tickets are purchased right up until the last minute. Everyone donates prizes and gifts… some for the adults and some for the kids. Can you see by the expression on these faces…this is serious business.

Here’s the kicker… You don’t want to be holding the winning number for the last prize… which are camping chairs. Yep… you guest it… if you win… you are in charge of the raffle then next year. Can you tell by the look on my two boys faces how they feel about winning the chairs?

Home for lunch and back to the general meeting by 2:00. Need to count the money and plan for next year. Yea!… We made our expenses and a few bucks over. Through the years, we’ve built a nice little nest egg. Now that’s away to run a Family Reunion… in the black.

Hmmm… about 52 kids…and 48 adults. A little smaller than last year. Must be those darn gas prices.

Whew!…. it’s over. Are you tired yet? I sure am.

Till Later
Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. I think I’ll take another nap… I still haven’t recovered from our fun Family Reunion.


Pulling A Loose Tooth

Pulling a loose tooth became quite a traumatic deal when my grandson’s front tooth was hanging by a thread.

“It’s my tooth,” Glade wailed, as his Uncle Wade threatened to remove it. Glade has been hanging on to his loose tooth for weeks now. He’s certainly earned the name, Snaggle Tooth, as the tooth is just hanging there by a thread. But… he won’t give it up.

Wade had dropped by my house to visit, when, he spotted Old Snaggle Tooth. He tease Glade about hanging onto it for so long. “Here, let me help you… just one little jerk and it will be gone.” “No, No,” Glade replied, “It’s my tooth!”

As Wade left to get something from his car, he turned to Glade and said, “Well Glade, I’m going out to my car and if you haven’t pulled it out by the time I get back, I’m going to do it for you.”

Glade put his hand over his mouth, lowered his head and his eyes filled with tears. When Wade return, he noticed how up set Glade was. We both looked at each other and realized that this was a much more sensitive subject than we had supposed.

“No Glade, I’m not going to pull your tooth. It’s your tooth and you can decide when you want it to be gone. I’m sorry that I up set you… I was just teasing. ” Wade put his arm around his shoulder to reassured him. Glade brightened up and was off to play, in a flash.

This incident led us to a discussion about choice. When do parents or adult cross the line and make personal decisions for kids and when does a child choose for himself? I have pondered this question for several days. Even though I have written about this subject in my book, “5 Power Tips Moms Use For Raising Fantastic Kids,” the theme fascinates me and always has my attention. It’s a subject that has many twists and turns. (book available on-line soon)

For parents, helping children learn to make healthy decisions is a balancing act, which can be confusing at times.

I also had a lengthy discussion about it with, Sheila, my wise sister. We decided, for the hundredth time, it all comes down to control. There is good control and their is bad control. There is the matter of being self-determined or other-determined… which leads to being responsible or irresponsible. (These are are subjects for later commentary.)

For now… the bottom line is… it’s Glade’s tooth and he should decide when it will be pulled. It’s not dangerous, it’s not immoral nor rude. For what ever reason, this little boy wants his tooth, and he should have control over that decision.

Till Later,

Insightful Nana

P.S. It took another week before he decided to pull his own tooth. As you can see, by his own self portrait, the tooth fairy came… and he’s well on his way to mighty fine choppers.