The difference one hundred ninety-nine days makes

The difference one hundred ninety-nine days makes

Up until this past weekend, my husband and I last saw our three desert-dwelling grandsons one hundred and ninety-nine days ago. At that time, we flew to their house to celebrate their birthdays — all of which are in June — a few weeks early. At that time, they looked like this:

Last weekend Jim and I flew to their house to celebrate Christmas with them — a few weeks early. In the one hundred and ninety-nine days since our visit in May, Brayden, Camden, and Declan have grown by leaps and bounds — in stature, maturity, conversational prowess, game-playing ability, and more.

Read More

Right to it: GRAND Social No. 283 link party for grandparents

Right to it: GRAND Social No. 283 link party for grandparents

I'm off in the desert finishing up a pre-Christmas visit with my grandsons, so for this week's GRAND Social, I'm just getting right to it! Thank you for linking and reading!

GRAND Social No. 283 link party for grandparents

How it works:

  • All grandparent bloggers are invited to add a link. You don't have to blog about grandparenting, just be a grandparent who blogs.

  • Grandparents who do not blog (or want to share something other than...
Read More

Cooking with grandchildren: Make the kitchen a classroom

Cooking with grandchildren: Make the kitchen a classroom

Each year, families spend a lot of time in the kitchen together during the holidays. These moments not only make happy memories, but can be teachable moments as well, where grandchildren can learn valuable knowledge about the world around them.

Cooking and baking can be enjoyable pastimes for grandkids and grandparents who incorporate science in fun, interactive ways, ranging from the basics of measurements to thermodynamics and beyond. 

Read More

That time I tried the new Signature Collection from Readers.com

lisa getty collage.jpg

Enter nearly any room in my house and you'll likely see a pair of reading glasses somewhere. Kitchen? Check. Bedroom? Check. In the study where I work? Of course. In the bathroom where even my magnifying mirror needs a bit of a boost? Yep.

I have lots of reading glasses because I need them for lots of reasons. I go through them so often — scratching, losing, or tiring of the style — that I buy only inexpensive ones, typically those that come in batches of four or more for a relatively low price.

So when Readers.com invited me to try out their new Signature Collection of handmade yet a smidgen higher priced readers free for review, it didn't take much...

READ MORE

Shingles and shots: On the shingles virus and vaccine

Shingles and shots: On the shingles virus and vaccine

This post sponsored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases through an unrestricted educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc.

What you should know about shingles and getting vaccinated to prevent it

When conversations and considerations turn to vaccinations, immunizations for little ones is most often the focus. Or, for traveling folks, the shots necessary for globe-trotting trips might be what comes to mind.

The shingles vaccination rarely registers in the top shots grandmothers and others consider in relation to must-get vaccinations. Which is a shame considering that, according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), one in three adults will get shingles in their lifetime. In the United States, shingles affects nearly one million people each year — roughly half of them are age 60 years and older.

Which means thousands of grandparents likely suffer the pains and problems associated with shingles.

My older sister happens to be one of those struggling with shingles. Becky, three years older than me, was ...

Read More

Sweet'N Low® Spread Sweet Holiday Cheer sweepstakes

sweet n low holiday sweeps.jpg

Sharing sweets and treats with loved ones tops my list of ways to spread holiday cheer. My traditional Spritz Cookies, loaves of Cranberry Pumpkin Bread, and stockings filled with Confetti Popcorn are the goodies I most often give.

Sweet'N Low®, America's favorite pink zero-calorie sweetener, has gotten into the giving game this year, launching a national sweepstakes to spread holiday cheer. Fans of the brand can enter for the chance to win sweet prizes not only for themselves, but for a friend of their choice, too.

The makers of Sweet'N Low® have shared with me a gift card in exchange for sharing with you the details on their sweet seasonal sweepstakes. Check it out:

READ MORE

Tree trinkets! Plus, GRAND Social No. 282 link party for grandparents

Tree trinkets! Plus, GRAND Social No. 282 link party for grandparents

Tree trinkets!

My halls are decked, my tree is up, my gift-shopping is nearly done. I'm a tad early on all my Christmas tasks this year as Jim and I will be out of town next weekend — sharing Christmas joy with our grandsons! (Woot!)

Because much of my holiday prep is prepped, I've been fortunate to have a few spare moments in the past few days to sit and sip my coffee while adoring my tree. And I do adore it... despite it seeming to look exactly the same each and every year regardless of how many ornaments we put on it, whether sans ribbon or candy canes or a string of cranberry-like beads or not.

As I rocked around, er, nearby the tree Saturday morning, coffee cup in hand, I was compelled to snap a few shots of my tree trinkets to share with you. Because they make my heart smile.

Read More

Saturday movie review: Big Sonia

Saturday movie review: Big Sonia

What the world needs now is love. And tolerance and acceptance and BIG SONIA — both the film as well as Sonia Warshawski on whom the film is based.

Ninety-one-year-old Sonia Warshawski is a Holocaust survivor. She was an eye-witness to genocide, the victim of horrors unknown to all but those who lived and died in concentration camps, one who miraculously made it through six years of hell to the unforgettable day of liberation by allied forces.

Read More

Stars and Cars: Week Two

Stars and Cars: Week Two

When it comes to week two of my film-going, Toyota test-driving gig the first part of November, I'm hard-pressed to say which I was more enthusiastic about: the movies or the mode of transportation. 

Both the festival films and the 2018 Toyota Camry XSE provided numerous delightful experiences on their own. If pushed to narrow my faves of each down to a list of five, though, I'd have to go with the following five for each.

Read More

Cookbook review: 100 Classic Gluten-Free Comfort Food Recipes

I've always been one to express my love to friends and family with food (among other things). Homemade cookies regularly in the cookie jar. Special treats for special folks on special days. Enjoying food crafts and activities with kids. Festive family occasions focus primarily on food.

Enter a grandchild with food allergies. Gluten issues, in particular. James, my bonus grandson courtesy his dad Patrick marrying my daughter Brianna, can't eat the majority of my long-time specialty goodies and holiday favorites. Figuring out how to express food-love to that kiddo has been a challenge. For the most part, food isn't what James and I share.

That's all about to change, courtesy 100 Classic Gluten-Free Comfort Food Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, which I recently received from publisher Robert Rose free for review. The 224-page cookbook takes the mystery out of making savory and sweet dishes without gluten! A lifesaver for this grandma and her gluten-free grandson.

READ MORE

FinalCoverClassicGFComfortFood.jpg

Turkey Day hits! Plus, GRAND Social No. 281 link party for grandparents

Turkey Day hits! Plus, GRAND Social No. 281 link party for grandparents

Turkey Day hits!

Welcome back from the long holiday weekend! I hope your Thanksgiving featured super-sized servings of good food and great times with family.

Our Turkey Day table featured a couple hits sure to make the menu as traditional favorites in Thanksgivings to come. For starters was my Cheesy Turkey cheese ball-and-crackers appetizer:

Read More

From Doggie Doo to Rummikub: Games galore from Pressman Toy and Goliath Games

games galore from pressman and goliath.jpg

The gifting season is upon us, and games never fail to fit the bill. Game gurus Pressman Toy and Goliath Games recently sent me more than a few of their faves for all ages to play and peruse with my local game boy (and grandson), James.

Some of the selections were silly, some challenging, all downright dandy for gift giving to grands.

READ MORE