Saturday, October 30, 2010

Three More Ways . . .

How do we let the children in our lives know we love them? Here are three more ways we can demonstrate our feelings to them:
Pray for them. Praying for our grandchildren (and for our own children as they parent our grandchildren) allows us to bring them before our heavenly Father regularly. What greater love could we demonstrate?
As we pray, we can ask for God's protection over them; for His blessing on them; and for Him to shape their character, their opportunities, and their faith in Him. We can pray that their relationships with their parents, their siblings, their friends, and their teachers will be healthy and holy. We can pray that they will meet challenges and adversities with grace, strength, and courage, and that they will be a blessing to those around them. We can pray that they will come to faith in God through Jesus Christ, and that they will experience the joy of the Lord in every area of their lives.
Share your skills, hobbies and interests with your grandchildren. If you like to fish, show them how to bait a hook or set up a tackle box. If you like to bake, share your favorite cookie recipes with them. If you like to hike, take them hiking, or at least on a walk around the neighborhood! Sharing the things that mean something to you is another way of demonstrating love to a child.
Show interest in what interests them. Ask him to tell you about the things he is doing, the books he is reading, the hobbies he participates in. Listen to his answers, then ask more questions. What sports does he participate in? Become a fan: go to a game or a meet. Go to a performance or a contest. Keep up with what he is doing, and talk with him about it.
Demonstrating your love for a child can be fun for both of you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Three Ways to Demonstrate Love . . .

Hugs are good for demonstrating love. And they offer an opportunity to check out how tall a grandchild is growing, which often leads to giggling.
Cookies are good for demonstrating love, especially if the grandchild is allowed to help bake them. If that's not possible, it's fun to receive them in the mail -- wrap each cookie individually to give it the best chance for crumb-free delivery -- or a tea party with freshly baked cookies says “I love you,” especially if you dress up for the occasion -- even if the costumes come from your dress-up box.
Letters and notes are good for demonstrating love, because who doesn't like to get mail? Enclosing a photograph of something you did together is an added bonus. Or you might include a poem, and invite your grandchild to memorize it, too, so that you can say it together when you see one another the next time.
It's not so much what we do to demonstrate our love, it's that we do something. Grandkids respond to love like sponges respond to water: they soak it up.
It's a mutual blessing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ways and Means . . .

How do you show your grandchildren that you love them?
Hugs? Cookies? Letters?
And how do your grandkids respond?
Inquiring minds want to know . . .

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Toad Cottages? Shooting Stars? Yes!

I love good surprises, especially when they come in the mail.
Yesterday's delivery brought a delightful surprise: a book by Sharon Lovejoy, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars. It's subtitled Grandma's Bag of Tricks, so you can imagine how excited I was to sit down and explore its pages.
This is a wonderful book for everyone, full of projects, information, and stories.
You can learn to make firefly lanterns, underwater viewers, critter cakes, and rain sticks, as well as over 125 other projects. All of them look fun -- the hard part will be choosing which ones to try first.
What makes it even better is that this book is child friendly. Projects are explained in enough detail for a novice, but offer challenges to kids and grandparents who know a little more about what they are doing.
If you're looking for projects to do with your kids or grandkids, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars looks like a good place to start.
I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Dish of Treasures

We keep a dish of treasures on the sideboard in the dining room.
There's a buckeye from the timber on the farm where my husband grew up. There are acorns from the big oak down the street from our house.
And there's a flat, grey rock from the creek by our house, courtesy of the four year old who went exploring there with his dad this week.
The creek is dry right now, but it's still exciting, especially if you're four years old. There are all kinds of treasures, including an expired possum hidden away behind a rock; the possum won't make it into the dish of treasures, of course, but it was interesting nonetheless.
The curiosity of a child can complicate the lives of everyone around him, but it is also enriching. It makes us look again at the things that we've grown accustomed to; it makes us pay attention to what is going on all around us.
The four year old has gone home today, but I'll be watching what is going on in the creekbed more carefully, and I'll spend a little time appreciating the flat, grey rock in my dish of treasures.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tell Me a Story . . .

One gift we can give our children and grandchildren is a good story.
Whether it's a fairy tale or a family story, learning how to tell a story is a skill any grandparent can learn and use to encourage, affirm, and entertain.
Check out this column, Once Upon a Time, from Hearts at Home, for tips about telling stories.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ArtsInk -- Fun For All

I had a chance to attend the grand opening of The Children's Discovery Museum's innovative new exhibit, ARTSINK!, and was it ever fun!
This exhibit focuses on the arts, particularly music (and music's relationship to math), puppets and performance, and storytelling. The design is fresh, the activities intriguing, and the experience delightful for everyone who visits.
If you get a chance, be sure to take a small person and visit ARTSINK!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Learning Tips from Grandma's House

A new school year is well underway, and our grandchildren are busy with school assignments, projects, and activities. It's good to remember, though, that children are always learning, and that as grandparents, we are some of the people they are learning from.
This article, Grandma's House: Learning Tips, from the SpringfieldMoms website talks about some of the ways grandparents make good teachers for children of all ages.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Worth Saying Again . . .

Some things are worth saying more than once. Reminding ourselves about why moms matter is worth repeating, and sharing with the moms in our lives. Please check out this post on the Hearts at Home website, Why Moms Matter, and let me know what you think!
And then, think about some ways you can remind the moms you know of all the ways they matter.