Monday, September 22, 2008

Homemade Soup and Bread Bowls

Homemade bread bowls, two or three different homemade soups and a big salad are the makings for a family gathering that we enjoy. Sometimes we share this meal when we are celebrating another occasion but most of the time it's just another opportunity to share in a family tradition.

We all contribute in the cooking and preparations. It is a fresh and hearty meal that is enjoyed by everyone.

Pajama Watermelon Bust?

Every once in a while I will do an impromptu  family gathering. On this night I had just cut open an ice cold watermelon that was very sweet and absolutely perfect for a hot Arizona night. It needed to be shared. I called my kids who live nearby and asked if it would work for their families to have an impromptu tailgate watermelon bust. Everyone was in, so we loaded  the truck with the watermelon, cutting board, and napkins and headed down the street. (I have two sets of kids and 7 grandchildren that live just down the street from me.)

In the headlights on our way down we could already see the little ones running out into their yards and driveways anxious for our arrival. To our surprise they were all in their pajamas. We lowered the tailgate and served the watermelon. Everyone had their fill of the cold juicy treat. The party only lasted about 20 minutes but it created one more very sweet memory for all of us!

Ice Cream Balls

This is a really easy recipe that is delicious and fun to make. I created the recipe myself and it has become a family favorite. It is a good dessert to follow mexican food. 

Recipe:  Ice Cream Balls     yields 3 dozen

8 Cups Frosted Flakes, 4 Cups Honey Bunches of Oats with almonds, 1/2 C. brown sugar, 3 tsp. cinnamon, 14 oz. sweeted coconut, 1 & 1/2 gallons vanilla ice cream.

In a large mixing bowl place cereals, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Crush mixture with hands to a rough crumble and mix ingredients well. Add coconut and toss to blend.

Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper and make room in the freezer for them to sit flat.

Allow Ice Cream to slightly soften.  Make scoops (rough scoops okay) of ice cream and set 3 or 4 in the bowl of cereal mixture. Use your hands to pat coating onto the scoops and round the scoops with your hands. Place on cookies sheets. Repeat working quickly until first pan is filled. Place in freezer to freeze. Fill the second sheet the same way.

Allow to freeze at least 3 hours before serving. 

To serve:  Place the ice cream ball in a bowl. Top with a nice drizzle of honey, top with whipped cream and sliced almonds. You can garnish with a triangle of deep fried flour tortilla coated in cinnamon sugar.

Once the balls are frozen hard you can store them in  plastic ice cream buckets or any other freezer safe container. They keep for about 6 weeks in the freezer.

It is hard to mess this recipe up. You can easily make any size batch you would like.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Survivor Grandma

I am relating very well to the reality TV show Survivorman this week. For those of you that have never seen the show it is about a man who is dropped off in a remote area to live among wild animals and extreme elements to survive on his own for a number of days. He may be left with a few items to help in his survival such as a knife, one or two matches, and maybe something like a small piece of plastic tubing. He is left to his own resourcefulness to survive until he is rescued at the end of his time.

I began my own challenge of survival on Monday morning. The territory was my 4200 s.f. home and the one acre of land that I live on. I was left with a few survival provisions such as diapers, baby wipes, a sippy cup, school uniforms, Tonka trucks, and a few snacks. 

My challenge was to survive until Friday morning with three very active, and seemingly starving  little boys ages two, five, and seven.

Day one: On the first day the conditions were quite favorable with the 2 year old and myself home alone. At about 3:30 p.m. a big yellow roar approached the edge of our territory and dropped off two more survivalists. The elements quickly changed as shoes and backpacks where dumped in the entryway and the forage for food began. After a twenty minute feeding frenzy we moved on to homework. The evening routine of a hot meal, outdoor playtime, showers, and bedtimes were executed perfectly in an effort to reserve my energy.  I know that the only guarantee in a survival situation is that nothing is guaranteed. Because of this, It was vital to get myself to bed as quickly as possible. Fatigue is an enemy to survival and a good nights sleep was not guaranteed.

Day two:  This day began at 1:30 a.m. when the little one woke up and was ready to start his day with grandma. He and I  hung out in front of the TV and watched recordings of Signing Time, Barney, and Clifford. The rest of the group awoke at sun up and began the chore of food procurement. They found a box of Lucky Charms in the provisions. They were as happy as squirrells in an acorn tree with their find. After filling their bellies they got dressed for the day. I then unexpectedly encountered hostile territory when it was time to brush teeth. The oldest survivalist protested: "I just brushed my teeth last night! I hate having braces, before braces I only had to brush my teeth like every 5 days, now I have to brush them 2 times a day!" My skills were being tested. I quickly reacted with a skill that I had acquired years before. I went into a well rehearsed speech of the consequences of not brushing your teeth after eating such things as Lucky Charms. When I was finished I think he may have thought his teeth would be rotting and falling out before he got home from school that day. It worked like a charm!

I was very anxious this morning to hear the big yellow roar approaching our territory. I equipped the boys with backpacks & water bottles and sent them on their way. I was ready to retreat to my cozy king size bed for at least a short nap but the little guy was still going strong. He finally took a 45 minute nap at noon and I too fell quickly asleep.  The nap was way too short and my energy level was low. Extreme elements of change would be rolling in again in just over two hours. I needed to boost my energy. The little one and I secured a bowl of "fishies" to share. He had a cup of juice, and I an extra tall glass of diet Coke.

At 3:30 p.m. the afternoon survival mode began again with the foraging for after school snacks, homework, and outdoor play. We finished up the evening with a home cooked meal, a hot shower, and bed time. The little guy was still awake at 10:30 p.m. and I was exhausted with only getting 2 hours of sleep the night before. When it comes to survival, adaptation is the name of the game. I decided to use a survival technique that had worked for me years, and years before. I put him in his car seat and we went for a late night ride. He was asleep by the time I went around the block. Everyone was finally asleep and I treated myself to a hot shower and retreated to the comfort of my bed.

Day 3: Morning came way too soon. It was sun up and the boys were ready to start their day. My survival skills had really kicked in when I reached for a box of Little Debbie Honey Buns as the main course for breakfast. Before their Papa left for work I arranged for him to bring home pizza for dinner.  The morning routine went smoothly and the boys left for their school day. I had really honed in on my survival skills when I moved the  after school feeding frenzy to the back porch so there was no kitchen floor needing to be swept again. I promised them invention crafts as a reward if they stayed focused on their homework and got it done quickly. Papa arrived with the pizza just as hunger was setting in. Dinner clean up was a breeze. The boys spent the evening outdoors playing in the dirt with their Tonka Trucks. Bath time was "Cowboy Style". I filled a Rubbermaid tub with hose water, brought out their bath towels, and soap and they bathed outdoors on our back patio. Squeaky clean in minutes and no bathroom floor to mop. We had a quick bedtime snack, a little TV, and I put the bigger boys to bed. I know we can strengthen ourselves through repeated failures but remember I was performing at maximum survival efficiency this day. I had the little guy in his car seat and off on our bedtime ride just after 8:00 p.m.. It was only 8:30 when everyone was in bed. I was feeling much like Survivorman must feel upon finding a whole nest of scorpions ready for the roasting!

Day 4:  We were all in the "survivor zone" this morning. The boys snacked on Goldfish crackers and milk for breakfast. (They do have a nutritious breakfast upon arrival at school.) The morning routine went without a hitch. They had so much fun with their "Cowboy Style" bath the night before that I promised them that we'll do the same tonight. I had had a good nights sleep, the provisions were holding out, we hadn't had any injuries, we hadn't encountered anymore hostile areas, and there wouldn't be any homework tonight since there was no school the next day.  I only had to navigate through the next 24 hours and my survival challenge would be a complete success. 

The little one finally caught up on his sleep with a three hour afternoon nap. Survivorman would have probably used that time to get some rest. I used it to prep dinner and had it oven ready, caught up on the  laundry, and picked up the toys that were littering the entire territory.

It was 3:30 before I knew it and the door flew open with excitement to get the next segment of their day going. Knowing that the most important survival tool is the mind and the attitude it takes, I embraced their excitement.  We celebrated their last afternoon with me eating ice cream sundaes and all of the hot fudge and whipped cream they wanted. 

The evening went well as we followed our usual routine. The "Cowboy Style" bath was just as popular as it was the first night. I did encounter a bit of hostility when I imposed the regular bedtime since there was no school the next day. Without incident, I stuck to the bedtime and promised a fun filled morning when we were all rested again. 

I realized something on my third nightly attempt to cruise the neighborhood to get the little one to sleep. He was on to me. I learned first hand that traps are most effective if they're set some distance apart. Once  a trigger is tripped, then everyone and everything is on alert. This little two year old was on mega alert. I aborted my first attempt after the little chatterbox wore me down. We went back home and watched some quiet TV. A later attempt at 10:30 ended in success.

Day 5: Our fun filled morning after we were all "well rested"  began at 5:45 a.m.. Mommy and Daddy had returned home sometime during the night and my rescue was scheduled for sometime during the early a.m. hours. I packed up all of the boys provisions and had them ready for the pick up. They were very happy to see their mommy with an 8:00 a.m. reunion. The first story told to mommy was about the "Cowboy Style" baths. 

It is always my goal to make fun memories for my grandchildren.  For these three little dirt loving boys I think I accidently scored BIG with the "Cowboy Style" bath!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

105th Birthday!

If I have done the math correctly we will be celebrating our 105th birthday soon!  My youngest daughter above is turning 19 this month. Her older brother celebrated his first birthday in 1977. Their ages along with their two sisters adds up to 105 birthdays. It is crazy to think of how many hours of party planning, party invitations, party favors, dollars on gifts, pinatas, cupcakes to school, bottles of icing sprinkles, candles,  balloons,  party games, rolls of film,  gift bags,  gift wrap, crete paper, party guests, party plates and napkins, and scoops of ice cream that must be.

Birthdays are a big deal in our family and we celebrate every single one with their own party. The grandkids light up whether it is one of their birthdays or one of the adults. We don't always do birthday cake to hold the birthday candles. Some want brownies, others donuts, some ice cream sundaes, and a few favor ice cream cakes. My youngest daughters treat of choice is what we call Ice Cream Balls. They are a recipe I created that is much like the fried ice cream you can get at mexican food restaurants except for way better! I will share the recipe along with a photo of this year's ice cream balls after we celebrate our 105th birthday party.

Tis the Season

Tis the season to start thinking about the family holiday schedule. Christmas time is a very important and fun filled season for our family. We have a few traditions that we keep every year. I make a print out of our plans on a festive bordered holiday paper after clearing all of the dates and times with my adult children. I give each family their copy on Thanksgiving Day. It is known to our family as the  HO...HO...HO...liday Schedule

Here is a sample of what our schedule includes:

Early December: 12 hour *Grandkids Christmas Day Camp with Grandma. (I will post a schedule for this later.) This day gives moms and dads a kid free day to do some Christmas shopping.

Around Dec.  8-12: All Adult children and their families come to help Decorate Grandma & Papa's Christmas Tree. Donuts and Hot Chocolate are always served.

Other activities we squeeze in before Christmas include:

Progressive Dinner:  We have four homes between us. This activity allows everyone to see one another's homes during the holidays. We serve something different at each home. Appetizer, salad, main dish, and a dessert at the last home.

Adult Night Out: This night is reserved for the adults. My husband and I pick up the entire tab. I hire multiple babysitters and all of the grandkids stay at my home for a party of their own with the sitters. This night includes a nice dinner out and some sort of activity. We have gone to plays, holiday movies, zoo lights, and musical performances.

Grandparents Visit:  We spend an evening with my parents who are in their mid and upper 80's. We help them decorate their tree, take a treat to share, and we have some kind of activity planned.

Extended Family Christmas Party:  This is a huge celebration with my siblings, their children, and their grandchildren. We take turns hosting it. The host home supplies the paper goods and drinks. Everyone else brings a pot luck dish. All of the generations of cousins and aunts and uncles have a wonderful time catching up with one another.

Christmas Eve:  We all gather at my home for a nicely set table and a prime rib dinner. Each family brings sides to complete the meal. Each family is also assigned to bring an activity for the kids to do. We usually have a craft, a story, and a game.

Christmas Day:  All families have their own Christmas morning at home alone. We gather for lunch around 1:00 p.m.. Everyone shares in the food preparation. The menu changes every year but we like to keep it pretty simple with easy clean up. We do our gift exchange after lunch. 

Tips:  Include all needed information on the HO...HO...HO...liday Schedule. This saves confusion and phone calls later. It also lets families know their food and activity assignments well ahead of time so they can start watching the grocery ads and collecting activity ideas. Include where to meet, times, who's driving, suggested attire, what they need to bring, and how many to plan for.

*The grandkids get their own invitation for the Grandkids Christmas Day Camp.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Imagination Warms the Body and Soul

This kid safe fire ring that I created from cardboard, paint, and an electric (pretend) flaming black Halloween caldron is a favorite at the grandkids camp out each year. (The grandkids camp out is an overnight camp out I do each year in April.) The children are allowed to build and rebuild the cardboard logs.  Although the fire ring puts out no heat the children sit by it to warm up after the sun goes down.  Just before bedtime we sit around the fire and sing camp fire songs. Two of the cousins woke up to a chilly morning  and left the warmth of their sleeping bags in the tent to go sit by the camp fire.  

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Old Fashion Fun

Back to nature and some old fashioned fun was enjoyed last October with a visit to Willcox, Arizona for their annual Rex Allen Days. We watched the parade down main street and visited Apple Annies apple orchard for an afternoon of apple picking. We had our picnic lunch in the apple grove with hot apple cobbler and homemade ice cream for dessert. Before heading home we visited the pumpkin patch. A haywagon took us to the open fields where each child picked their own halloween pumpkin. It was a fun day filled with fresh air and lots of new activities!

If you are interested in attending check

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Littlest Catering Job

These are photos from a tea party/ birthday party I "grandma catered" about a year and a  half ago. It was for my granddaughters 7th birthday. She and her guests felt like royalty! Many of the dress up clothes were one's her own mommy had played in as a little girl.  It was a very sweet occasion.

Hands on Christmas Nativity

I know it is a bit early to be thinking of Christmas but this is a project that will take some time to collect the items you will need to create one for yourself. My grandkids absolutely love this nativity set. I made it for them last Christmas for one of the activities at the 2007 Grandkids Christmas Day Camp. (The Grandkids Christmas Day Camp is a 12 hour camp for all of my grandchildren. I have the entire day scheduled with activities and it allows the mom's and dad's to have a full day to start their Christmas shopping.) The nativity characters are like dolls that they can handle. The children use them to recreate the nativity over and over by each one of them playing their selected parts. I also have a  star on a tall pole that is  a very favorite part of this nativity. The stable is created from cardboard that can be easily folded and stored. 

When the parents returned for pick up last year the kids performed a nativity masterpiece for them!

How to make the nativity characters:

You will need: 

Plastic bottles (I used 64 oz. juice bottles)  My juice bottles were what inspired this project. The shape of them gave me a neck, shoulders, and a waist.

Fill the bottles with something to weight the bottoms. I used about 3 inches of pinto beans. You may want to insert some sort of plug into the bottle just in case you ever lose a head!

Heads: I used foam balls and some hollow plastic baseballs. Cover the heads with a piece of felt bringing it together at the bottom to create the base of the head. Tightly tie with a piece of string or yarn. The face side should be smoothed out by working the felt creases to the back.

The one's I made have no facial features, arms, or feet.

Trim excess felt from base of head. Using plenty of hot glue, glue head to top of bottle.

Baby Jesus was done the same was but using a much smaller bottle.

You can dress them with a variety of fabrics, ribbons, and jewels. There is no sewing. The clothing is securely attached using hot glue.  All of the adornments of trims and jewels were also hot glued on.

I created these on a whim late one night and pulled the materials from what I had on hand. So, save those juice bottles and dig through those closets and drawers. This is a quick and fun project for you to do that your grandkids will love!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Around The World at Home

I am preparing to have three of my grandsons next week for 4 nights while their parents travel on business. They are two, five, and seven years old. I have always enjoyed getting my grandkids occasionally for extended stays. I love the way I get to know them when I share their little lives 24/7. I will be doing diapers, bus schedules, homework, laundry, meals and snacks, baths, and bedtimes. 

A few years ago when there was only two of these boys I had them for over two weeks while their parents traveled through Europe on business and pleasure. In an effort to make their stay more memorable and fun I planned our own activities at home to correlate with mommy and daddy's travel itinerary. 

Ahead of time, I went to the library and checked out books from the children's section on the locations and the landmarks that the parents planned to visit. This gave me great pictures and simple wording to share with them. I had prepared projects and activities that related to the place where mommy and daddy were. I included the animals, the foods, and the special things to that culture that would interest a child.

I placed a world map on my fridge and used yarn and a magnet airplane and  train to show the travel routes and the current destination. Since it was a long stay I created a countdown chain made of construction paper to help them count the days until mommy and daddy returned.

I shared some great learning and bonding times with my grandsons and once the parents were home and spoke of and shared pictures of the places they had been the children were familiar with many of them. The gifts brought back were also meaningful to the little guys because they too had traveled the same route through pictures, words, and activities at home with grandma.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"Grandkids Only"

I host 3 major events each year for the "Grandkids Only". They are scheduled  about four months apart and they are looked forward to with great anticipation each year by both the grandkids and myself! The three events are the "Grandkids Back to School Party", an all day "Grandkids
 Christmas Day Camp", and an overnight "Grandkids Camp Out". 

Our most recent event was our 2008 "Grandkids Back to School Party". This is always scheduled just before school starts. This year I was a bit late having it due to some conflicts in my schedule. You had better believe the grandkids were letting me know that I was behind schedule!

Scheduling the parents: I start out by clearing dates and times for the event with the parents well in advance. I set and reserve a date and time that works for everyone.

Who's Invited:  This event is for "Grandkids Only" who are of school age. This includes any kids enrolled in preschool too. So, it has usually been for ages 4 and up.

Invitations: Each child  receives their own personalized invitation. I don't give the invitation to the kids until about a week before. This eases the parents burden since the grandkids ask their parents multiple times daily "How many more days until the party?".

This year the invitations were made from an item found in the dollar store section for teachers. The packet was meant for a classroom bulletin board. It had several pockets bordered with a pencil design and different classroom assignments printed on the front. The packet I purchased for just a buck also included 25 adorable star topped pocket inserts with a space to write the child's name on them. I used the pockets and wrote each child's name on the front side. On the back I pasted on a computer generated invitation.

The invitation read:  Please come to the Grandkid's Back to School Party with the date, day, and the start and ending times. I teased them with some of the activities and snacks that I had planned. I also listed what they needed to bring and wear.

I enclosed the invitation in an envelope and pasted one of the personalized star topped inserts on the front of the envelope and printed their name on it. The stars  came in multiple colors. I was careful to give different colors to each child in the family to help the non readers know which invitation was theirs. (this year the invitations were hand delivered) I placed a fun school theme sticker where the postage stamp would go for a little extra fluff.

Decorations: I have collected items over the years with a school theme. Pulling out the same decorations each year is a familiar tradition for the kids. I add items each year as the children grow to make the decor appropriate for all ages and school grades. 

My decorations include large classroom posters of abc's, and numbers. I have a variety of flash cards and gift bags for teachers that add color and theme. I fill the gift bags with red, yellow, and blue tissue paper for addition color and fun.

I use a table cloth each year to cover the table that I made from a length of fabric. It is in a fun school theme print.

I create a  personalized welcome sign for the front door for their arrival. The welcome sign is coordinated with the invitation theme and style. This year the event was outdoors on the back patio and courtyard area. I used the long sidewalk they took to reach the back patio area as a chalkboard and used sidewalk chalk to personalize the entire length of sidewalk with their names, math problems, shapes, and the abc's. They thought it was really neat that grandma had been playing with sidewalk chalk and they loved seeing their names on the party entrance!

Party Time:  The time has finally arrived and do they arrive with great excitement, anticipation, and ready to party.  They have waited a whole year after all! Each year the activities are a bit different. 

This year was an outdoor water/beach theme. I decorated the interior windows to be seen from the back patio and courtyard area with my back to school decor that could be damaged if gotten wet. I included left over pockets and star inserts in the decor to follow the invitation theme to the actual party decor. The outdoor set up was all about water which they all love. I had a CD playing with fun and lively beach music to set the tone. (safely away from the water of course)  This year the activities were far less structured than previous years.

The kids arrived wearing their swimsuits, flip flops, and covered in sunscreen with beach towels in hand. (All requested on the invitation.) They were ready to get wet and have some fun with their grandma upon arriving. 

Party Plan: I had multiple stations set up ahead of time for open play and a few structured activities planned.

I had an 8 foot kiddy pool set up filled with squirting toys and swim rings.

In the center of the courtyard I had an ice cream sundae sprinkler going.

Each corner of the courtyard had water activities set up.

1.  A tub filled with water with toy boats, mermaids, and water bombs.

2. A tub filled with water  with kids fishing poles and stocked with plastic fish waiting to be caught.

3. A tub filled with a huge supply of water and a big plastic water cannon for each child.

4. An outdoor kids picnic table filled with a variety of containers, jugs, and bowls filled with water. Measuring cups, strainers, plastic cups, and big plastic kitchen spoons all available for mixing and measuring. I also had a 5 gallon water cooler filled with play water and no one told them to quit playing with it! (Keeping the kids from using the drinking water from water coolers for play is a frequent problem at family gatherings.)

Structured activities included:

Sidewalk chalk time
Water Balloon games
Big Bubble Blowers
The Hokey Pokey Dance: A  yearly tradition of doing the hokey pokey together is expected at the back to school party. This year had a wet twist of course. I brought out more of a water wiggle sprayer and formed a circle with it. We created a circle of kids and grandma around the wiggly madness to "Shake it all about" while staying nice and cool.
Food: This year the food  included bowls of crackers and pretzels that they could help themselves to at any time. I have re-usable plastic back to school cups I use each year with their names on them. (I have purchased extras to have on hand for additional guests as they grow) I had an insulated water jug filled with ice water for thirsty guests to fill their own cups from.

We took a short break from the water activities to have ice cream sundaes. I served them in a waffle ice cream bowl topped with hot fudge and whipped cream. For the same buck I spent on the invitations the outside wrapper of the package had a border of one inch apples. I had cut the apples out and reserved them for an ice cream sundae garnish. I served ice cream sundaes with an "apple on the top".  How perfect was that. So much fun!

Gift Bags:  Each year I make each child a gift bag or box as a party favor to take home. The bags or boxes are filled with inexpensive back to school supplies and lunch box treats or drinks. This year I used colorful printed bags that I had found in Big Lots at 20/$1! I attached one of the star inserts with their name printed to the bag.  Same star theme from invite to party favor. Love it!  

Complete Success: Yes, this event was so much fun. It was inexpensive and fun to pull together. EVERYONE did get wet though!

Caution: You must be very organized prior to the party and have everything you need outdoors so not to leave the children unattended with the water activities. I also had a phone outside in case of an emergency. Get an extra adult to help or a hired teenager if you feel too outnumbered.

As an added caution: All of your windows in the water play area will need to be cleaned but the nearby plants or lawn won't need to be watered for a while!

Resource Ideas: The Teacher sections in dollar stores and the dollar bins in local department stores are great places to find materials and ideas for invitations, decorations, and gift bag items. Now is the time of year to stock up for next year as items are marked down once school gets started. I keep a plastic tub "this Grandma's modern day trunk" in my garage labeled "Back to School". As I find things throughout the year I add them to the tub for safe and organized keeping.

The Best Way I Know

  I was just 45 when I joined the ranks of being a grandma. I have had eight years of experience which by no means makes me a veteran or an expert in the skills of being a grandma. My "grandma style" is the best way I know how to fill the role. My experience with my own grandma's was very limited. On my mother's side I had a step-grandma who lived very far away. My interaction with her was very limited. On my father's side my grandmother died of cancer when I was young. I do have a few memories with my grandma's that I will share at a later time. My own mother has been a wonderful example of her own "grandma style" which I will share later with much love and admiration.

I had no idea that being a grandma "the best way I know" would cause so much excitement and interest among other grandmas and the parents of other grandchildren. I have been told so many times that I need to share my ideas with other grandmas. I have decided to finally heed their very strong encouragement and share my ideas and resources on being a grandma the best way I know.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Where the Story Begins

The story begins in May of 1976 with the birth of my first son. I had been married just shy of a year when my full time job became that of mother and homemaker. In April of 1978 I became the mother of my first daughter. After taking nearly a six year break my second daughter was born in October of 1983. I was now the mother of three and had settled into the role of a stay at home mom very well. My two older children were in school and I had full days of one on one time with my new little one which was an absolute joy. In 1989, after my third child had started school my fourth child was born. Once again, I found myself with the opportunity of full days of one on one time with my now nearly 19 year old daughter.

Those years have passed quickly and they were indeed filled with many great memory building experiences and traditions. I have to admit I was the homeroom mom who organized and implemented some pretty grand ideas for class parties, crafts, and activities. Our family vacations were also filled with traveling traditions and activities along the way. Summer breaks were filled with well planned activities and outings. And the holidays .... not to worry, I had those very well covered too!

Three of my adult children have married and they and their spouses have created the next chapter of  this story. I'm a Grandma! I have 6 grandsons and 3 granddaughters raging from six months to eight years old. 

In addition to being a stay at home mom for 32 years I have been very active in volunteer event planning. I love to create, plan, organize, and implement events both big and small. I am very detail oriented and I love to add all of the fluff  I can to create great times and wonderful memories. My family has always been very supportive in the events and traditions I have created as a creative outlet for myself.

Many  friends have told me for years that I need to write a book on family traditions and family event planning. I never did and now they tell me I need to write a book on being a creative grandma!

Grandma's Modern Day Trunks of Treasures are actually well organized rubbermaid tubs in my oversized three car garage. The tubs are filled with resources that help to enrich events and the traditions of our family. Thankfully, the next generation of family is being just as supportive of their event planning grandma as the generation before them.

I will be sharing the ideas and contents of my trunks along with lot's of other ideas and suggestions for making great memories for families with special attention to creating bonds between grandkids and their grandma!