Thursday, May 26, 2011

Grandma's Fitness Class

Well, my little 2 year old grand daughter is going to get me trim yet! Today she and I were out on one of our adventures and boy did I get a workout.

We were at the local library for story time.  What a great librarian they have here, she really gets the kids and the adults up and moving.  Being I am a retired Kindergarten teacher, I prefer being one of the 'moving' adults.  We were doing the bunny hop, marching around the room etc.  That was no problem.  The main challenge is getting one up and down from the floor!   Now you would think that I am used to this since I WAS a Kinde teacher, but my knees are not buying it anymore.  So that was round 1

The second round of fitness, was the chase.  For you see there is a lovely pond outside of the library. We had brought duck food, but couldn't find any ducks today.  For some reason my little one decided to do quick dashes for the water to entertain herself.  Well, as you know, 2 year olds have no idea of the danger they are in.  So as she was dashing, so was I.  You could imagine how this 'game' wore off quickly for me.  But I must say, for a grandma, I am pretty fast, but she can turn really quick. Luckily none of us got wet, but it was too close for my comfort. 

Getting her attention redirected, led us to the areas of construction.  You know, the places where they are doing some sort of improvement and have put up yellow ribbons to keep you 'off the grass or such'.  Well these are just TOOOOO tempting for a 2 year old, and did I mention she was really quick!  You can image how fast she went under those ribbons.   Soooo I had to also follow, for she was not going to listen and come back, as this game was way too much fun.  Picking her up in a football hold, we got out of there quickly.

I feel like I have done my cardio, weight lifting and stretching all in that adventure.  Guess I can cancel my fitness classes for today.  We're all taking naps!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sprinkle Donuts

Well the grand baby is sleeping so I have a few minutes to write. It is a rainy kind of day, so we went out to the park early to feed the ducks and swing.  Always a good time, but then it began to sprinkle!  So back in the car we went to get SPRINKLE DONUTS!  Now these are a real treat as this little one doesn't get many sweets, but it was rainy and the bakery was not far away.

The joys of simple pleasures.  You would have thought that donut was a million dollars!   The way this little one looked it over, smiled with squeals then picked off a few sprinkles.  It took at least 30 plus minutes to get part way through this donut. Savoring each bite,  'clinking' her glass with my coffee cup for 'cheers' ( wonder where she learned that) inbetween the smiles and showing her prize to anyone that walked by. 

Well, the rain stopped so back to the park we went again.  So I wish for you something to enjoy -- a bit of happiness SPRINKLED in your day. 

PS,  when I figure out how to download a picture, you will see that smile.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Grandma's in the Kitchen

This past month, our family lost the best Grandma in the Kitchen.  Aunt Marie, 92,  was the family glue whose life centered in her kitchen.  For her children, I have been putting together a CD  of photos and videos of her in the kitchen doing what she loved- cooking for others.   When you think of her, the setting is always in the kitchen  making some of her best recipes for family and friends.  I would visit with her on my annual trip to ND.  The last few years, I got the idea of video taping her and chatting about her life making some of those family favorites that she used no recipe for.   These clips are priceless! So as I am doing this project, I am thinking how important the role of being in the kitchen really is.

First of all, not all Grandma's cook.  That doesn't mean the kitchen is not a central place for making memories, teaching lessons, having precious family time.   For the non-cooks,  you can set an example of making good food choices, bringing in those 'special' treats,  saying family grace at the table etc.
But for us cooks,  well, the experience can be a lifetime of lessons/memories just like my Aunt Marie's.

Sharing the passion of good food-  I don't know anyone who doesn't like to eat. Granted many of us grew up with the tastiest food of fried chicken, mash potatoes, brownies, lemon bars, pot roast etc.   My mouth is watering as I right this.  Today's grandma's,  can share those wonderful family traditional foods, but also we need to think about creating newer, healthier habits.  For whether we believe it or not, what we prepare, will get remembered.  Grandma's can learn new ways to cook. I am now show casing my grilled salmon, fresh from the garden salads, lots of vegies not slathered in butter, and of COURSE dessert.

Desserts- I believe dessert can be eaten at any point of the meal,  not at the end.  I LOVE dessert.  My sister was the baker in the family, so desserts are not my forte- but I am great at eating them.  My desserts are simple ice cream with interesting fruit sauces, brownies - from a box,  banana bread, and my famous rhubbard crisp!    My birthday cakes are nortorious for the amount of toothpicks in them to hold them together,  so that humor is also a tradition.

Cooking together and sharing tales in the kitchen- priceless.  When I was video taping Aunt Marie,  through our conversation, I learned about her life as a child, learned about my own mom and things they would do, who she made the noodles for etc.  First of all, she was not concerned if her kitchen got messy, this is  important as children get things messy.  Aunt Marie was very tolerant of messes, for it was more important to be involved.  Working with new/inexperienced cooks, you learn HOW to do certain tasks, like whipping air into egg whites,  HOW to measure dry ingredients, HOW cut with a knife etc.  Also learning about your family events and learning about your grandchildren's lives are shared in the process.

 This past year, my daughters, my grandbaby, and I began the tradition of doing a gingerbread house at Christmas.  Now, since I am not a baker, I just bought a kit! We had so much fun putting on the 'stuff'.  Of course I bought extra candy to put on. We were all so proud of our creation. It was the perfect project as my grandbaby was just under 2 years old. It is important to think how the projects are age appropriate.   I look forward to making cookies with my grand daughter, most likely chocolate chip.  I think this will need to happen maybe this week or the next rainy day.   Yum

Growing up in the midwest, there were many community traditions that involved food.  Living away from that area, I have tried to put a few of them into my family's life.  One is making a Norweign bread called lefse!  It is a very time consuming task, so 1 time a year I get out the rolling pins, lefse grill and invite family and friends to join me.  We have such a great time rolling out these flat tortilla like breads that we will share at our Thanksgiving dinner.  Hopefully my little one will join us this year. I am looking for a rolling pin just her size!

So do you cook with your grand children or children?  What is your favorite recipe/project that you do? Do you have a cultural tradition that you are keeping alive like my lefse?  Would love to hear from you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just call me Grandma

Was watching the 'View' yesterday and part of the discussion was about being called Grandma.   It is interesting to hear all the 'new' names for being a grand parent.   Now I already know Nana, Oma   but did you know there is EVEN a website of ALL the different names for being a grandma.  Granted some are just the word for a particular language, but some of them are just artsy!

So what is the deal with being called Grandma?  Just like getting gray hair, which I always teased my students each gray hair had one of their names on it, I suppose it is a sign of getting older.  But is that really a bad thing?  Do you want to be in your 20's again?  I just love being called Grandma.  To me it means someone little is an extension of my family.  A little piece of love that I will now have the priviledge of watching grow up.  It means I have someone to make cookies for; teach how to dig worms in the garden; take on a hike; go to their school events, and more. 

As Grandma, I can teach them the  pieces about our family that make us unique, and share our values.  It also means, that when I get tired, I can give them back to their parents and smile. 

Being a Grandparent is the frosting on the cake of life.  I know of people whose children for many reasons do not have children, and how they wish they could be a Grandma/pa.  Also many children, who grow up without having a grandparent to pass down the traditions/memories.  This position in life is a special place in our family structure.  Too many times, we are so caught up in our lives of trying to get rid of the wrinkles, gray hair, and trying to stay young that we forget the priviledge of growing older.   I want to be the grandma, that I saw in one of the children's books who rides a motorcycle, climbs mountains, reads and tells great stories, digs worms in the garden and pretends she is a lion that can roar!   Boy being a Grandma is GRRRRREAT-- oh that is from Tony the Tiger! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

learning curve

Well, blogging is just a great learning curve.  I love to write, to tell stories, play games etc.  but trying to figure out how to do other tasks other than just posting is being a challenge. 

Being a grandma is also a learning curve.  It is always a challenge when your children 'do things differently'.  I remember when my mom would tell me 'what I should do' and how I cringed.  Even though she never said it in those words, when she would 'suggest' something I would just roll my eyes.  Now I find myself in this position and understand what a challenge it is to sit back and just be an observer. Not easy.   So I pray for patience and for wisdom, to be a better listener, to observe where I can help out without getting too involved, and to provide wisdom when asked. 

Grand parents today have a very different role than what our children's grandparents did.  You may have been lucky to have a hands on grand parent, or maybe your grand parent was one where children were seen and not heard.  Today, I see my fellow grand parents being more of the hands on.  We were with our own children - involved with their developing lives so we have just carried it over to the grand children.  But the challenge is to not be over being, wanting to be overly involved. 

So what are your challenges as a grandparent?  We all have them.  Maybe you are a distant grandparent. Are you the grandparent that is just around the corner and need more of your own space?   Do you want to shower the children with all the darling things you find; or would you like to take them out for donuts- but the parents won't have their children eating 'that stuff'.   Would love to hear what your story is. 

mother's day posting

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To All Mother's and Grandmother's

Hope everyone is enjoying their Mother's day.  I am busy gardening in our first weekend of nice lovely weather with no wind. Then off to my daughter's home to have a barbie with the family.

Blessings,  we are all so very blessed. Last week I wrote a blessing for each year of my life -- it was a pretty long list. :)  But Mother's day is another  opportunity to reflect and give graditude. 

Children,  what a blessing they are and also what a challenge. I love the way they show us the wonder of small things at their sight level.  How simple things can bring them so much joy, and also how some things can just set them off then you are busy trying to figure out WHAT it is.  Love the hugs, the dandylion bouquets, and sloppy kisses.  Love how when they learn something new, they do it again, and again, and again.  Love how when they learn something their eyes just twinkle. The power of knowledge. 

Love it when they take naps!   As even though I consider myself a very active person, their energy always out lasts mine so grandma needs to recharge.

Challenge during the teen years.  Independence is a tough journey.

I love to watch my children care for their little ones.  It makes me think that I did something right. :)

Being a mom, is one of God's blessings.  We don't have to give birth to be a mom, for there are many ways to raise, support, bring up a child.  This day it does take a village for raise a wee one.  I feel for all the lost children in the world.  They deserve to have a mom/parent take care of them, nuture them and give them a home. 

So have a lovely Mother's Day, count your blessings.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day

Just went to Costco and saw all the beautiful flower baskets, bouquets etc for Mother's Day.  As a Grandma, I remember when my little ones would come home from School/day care with their home made gems and the smiles on their faces for having made something special.  This week at my daughter's house I saw some of those very same projects, and the big smile on my grand daughter as she so proudly showed them off to me.  Some things are just priceless.   

So Happy Mother's day to all the moms out there.  Don't let anyone fool you that a cell phone, the latest/greatest tech gadget etc will be better then a gift made from little hands and the pride they feel for offering it to you.   Relax and enjoy these moments that have been set aside for you, as they don't happen too often. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

Grandma and Pops went with our grand daughter to the zoo!  We just love it.  Today was a bit on the chilly side, so the animals were really frisky and outside.  Also there were no crowds -- so just perfect.  These are one of the best times to be a grandparent.  I remember enjoying the zoo with my children, but also I remember that my mind was busy thinking about ALL the work I had to do, places to be, lists growing longer with each moment.  As a grandparent I can be present with this little one and just soak up the moment. 
The gorilla was right by the glass and to see this 2 year old just a glass thickness away saying whoa! precious
Taking the time to watch the hippo submerge then pop up, then do it again and hear giggles is just precious.
Going around and around on the carousel, having a 2 year old smile like she owns the world- you got it precious.  The zoo is a marvelous place and to see it through the eyes of a child is a great experience. 

Now it is nap time, and I can attend to those lists.  See the lists don't totally go away, just the urgency to do something about them does.