Archive for the 'The Kids' Category

3 Gifts That Might Never Have Been

Here are 3 gifts that might never have been, save for the grace of God:

64. my marriage–it’s a long story that I will probably never tell, but God did create beauty from ashes there

65. my son–I was in a head-on car collision when I was eight months pregnant with him, and those were pre-seat-belt days. I had toxemia, and when I went in the hospital to have him, my blood pressure (they told me later) was 210/170.

66. my relationship with my older sister’s family–God worked a LOT there to bring us closer.

3 Things Blue

Today’s JOY DARE was to find 3 things blue, which you might think would be easy, but I had to look all day. Here they are:

1. the English hallway,from which I felt somewhat exiled but where I now spend all of my time

2. my winter jacket, courtesy of the daughter. 3/4 of my winter jackets are hand-me-downs from the daughter. What’s up with that?  And finally,

3. Indiana’s “In God We Trust” license plate. Not every state has these, and I feel fortunate to live in a state that does.

Wrinkled, Smooth, Unfolded

Today’s JOY DARE has to do with graces that are wrinkled, smooth, and unfolded. Here are mine:

1. a grace that is wrinkled–the sheets on the inflatable mattress in the living room that remind me that the daughter slept here last night

2.a smooth grace–baby Maggie, who also spent the night at my house with her mom and her big sister

3. a grace unfolded—instruction given to the daughter twenty years ago that she now thinks are fit to follow.

Hiding Away in My Blog

I haven’t been on my blog for a while because, well–life intervened.I think I’m ready to come back, though, and I’m starting with the JOY DARE. I was listing things on Facebook, but I found that I was spending too much time thinking about how to word them (because of the audience, I think). It gives me joy to (or sometimes a little frustration ) to look for these things in my day, and I think I should just write them down and enjoy them here, where I can be semi-anonymous me. So–here’s what’s up for today:

1. one thing in the sky–the cardinals I saw, so red against all that snow. Cardinals are also the Ohio state bird, but the hubby agrees with me that Indiana cardinals are more brilliantly red than those in Ohio.

2. one thing from my memory–I was talking with the daughter this morning, and we were talking about things that happened before the hubby and I married, things that were not easy and of which I am not particularly proud. However–the point of this conversation was so that I could tell her that I think I had to go through those things to be who I am. Her journey through life has taken a different shape than mine, but the Bible says that things happen so that Jesus can make us more like Him, and I was trying to tell her that those things have a purpose. She never reads my blog, but I’ll say this to her anyway…”You’re getting there, baby. You’re getting there.

3. something that is ugly-beautiful–the snowblower. I am all thumbs when it comes to a lot of equipment, although I use far more than my mother did.  The snowblower looks like a big ugly thing, but the daughter is arriving late tonight, and the hubby used it to clear the drive and sidewalk so that she and the friends she is bringing will walk to the house on dry pavement. That makes the snowblower (and the man who operated it for me) beautiful.

I guess that’s all I need for my first visit in quite a while. Don’t worry, little blog. I’ll be back.

Skimming

The son tells me that the eldest grandson, age eight, needs to pay more attention to his reading.  He is a skimmer.  This is something that doesn’t surprise me or his daddy, and it’s not all bad, but skimming surely does affect how the boy does on standardized tests.

Boy’s daddy and I decided to see if he (the grandson) would work puzzles with grandpa and me when we visit this weekend.  I must say that the grandson did NOT sound thrilled.  His daddy kept talking until he agreed to a 100 piece puzzle.  I am armed with a 100 piece (dinosaurs) and a 300 piece (Cars).   (Aren’t dollar stores nice?)

Especially in this electronic age, I seldom see kids reading for pleasure.  At what point, what age, do kids begin to get lost in books?  Is there any way to trigger it, or is a love of reading something that just clicks at some point?

Reading with Expression

Last weekend, we visited the son and his family, and I started to read a story to the 7-year-old, who stopped me and said, “Grandma, don’t read with expression.  You’re not supposed to read with expression.”

What?!!!

The daughter-in-law says this philosophy comes from his school, and I am a little concerned.  The child reads, but he is quick to inform me that he’s not too thrilled with anything that isn’t a graphic novel or at least has a lot of pictures.

The son has a plan for dealing with this, but the hubby and I have been brainstorming because we pick the 7-year-old up tomorrow to spend a week with us.  The boy knows that his grandpa and I read aloud when we travel, so I rescued a copy of Davy Crockett from my dad’s basement and I have a copy of The Marvelous Land of Oz, too.  The grandpa and I were thinking we might read from these while we’re traveling as well.  This child listened to us read Atlas Shrugged last summer, and he asked questions, too.  I know he’ll at least listen if we read.

The boy has had a hard time in first and second grade, and I think there are some obstacles to be overcome.  I have a bag ready for him in the van with colored pencils, mechanical pencils, and a journal, so that he can record what he sees (a la Diary of a Wimpy Kid).  I made him maps of everywhere we are going, too.

Maybe the 7-year-old was just having a bad day when he asked me not to read with expression, but kids used to be graded on whether they read with expression, didn’t they?  I don’t know how much difference a week can make, but I am hoping the grandpa and I can change his mind.

Reading just ought to be fun, you know?

Adventures in Grandmotherhood

We went to Ohio this weekend to help the son and daughter-in-law as they do some work on their house.  The son and his dad were in the basement.  The daughter-in-law was at class (she’s studying to be a nurse).  My job?  The grandsons, ages 5 and 7.

They had been pretty good all day, but I could tell they were tired of being cooped up and, truth be told, I wanted to get them away from the Wii and the video games.  (They were a lot more fun when they wanted to play with me), so, I told them I would take them shopping, but we weren’t going to buy anything.  My thought was that it was too cold for them to play outside and too cold for me to walk, and I would, at least,  get a little bit of exercise walking through the store.  They were up for it.  I gave them the choice of Wal-Mart or Meijer.  I would have preferred a mall, but there is no mall close to their house.

They wanted Wal-Mart, so that’s where we headed.  I gave my usual lectures before we entered.  Crying?  We’d leave.  Run away from me?  We’d leave.  Et cetera, et cetera.  They got it.   And we had a pretty good time.

Then came the toy department.

The boys were stuck  on one aisle.  They wanted to hula with the hula hoops, and other kids were doing it, so…I let them.

Wal-Mart must hate grandmothers like me.

There were foam swords in the same aisle.  We stopped for a sword fight.  The boys moved politely when someone came down the aisle.

There were bouncy balls.  I let them bounce until RJ noticed that one of them could bounce 17 feet in the air, according to the label, and wound up to demonstrate.

I caught that ball just in time.  Whew!

There were cars on that aisle with buttons for sirens which screamed to the boys because, of course, RJ can read the invitation that says “try me” on each and every label.  There were Tonka toys like their daddy played with, including a fork lift with a lift that really went up and down.  There were…

Well.  You get the picture.

I don’t think I am quite as patient as I was when I was younger because, when we got to the end of that aisle, the boys were ready to go down another and I stopped them.

I told them I wanted to leave the store while I still liked them.

And they got it.

We left without incident and went to Speedway for a treat before returning home.  And we had a lot of fun.  But my advice to any grandmas out there who are thinking of investigating the toy aisle anywhere with their grandchildren is to keep away from the caffeine first.  Unless, of course, you are a much calmer grandma than I am. 🙂