Summer's simple pleasures: When did you last...

summer simple pleasures

Summer is the season of simple pleasures. A time for sweet, spontaneous — often spectacularly serendipitous — silliness such as those moments we remember from childhood. Our own childhood, possibly the childhoods of our children.

Simple pleasures we've set aside — perhaps even forgotten — in our ongoing pursuit of grand adventures, grand outings, grand activities to share with our grand kids. Simple stuff we've likely not done in far too long.

When did you last...

• jump rope?

• skip down the sidewalk?

• play freeze tag?

• sip root beer floats from a frosty mug?

• run through the sprinkler?

• have a water fight — with the garden hose, buckets...

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7 benefits of being a long-distance grandparent

I am a long-distance grandma. Have been from the beginning of my grandma gig.

The first few years I moaned and groaned ceaselessly about the miles separating me and my sweeties.

I'm now nearly nine years into grandmahood. In that time I've thankfully learned there is indeed — unbelievable as I first thought it might be — a bright side to my grandbabies living so far from me.

Following are a few such perks on which fellow long-distance grandparents just might agree.

long-distance grandparent 

 

ONE
Bathroom breaks at my house are a breeze.
I never need straddle a step stool when using the toilet. Nor do I have to question who left the seat up as only two...

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5 reasons I like to play games with my grandkids

My grandmothers never played games with me. My daughters' grandmothers never played games with them, either.

Considering the grandmas who came before me, the ones from whom I most learned what grandmothering looks like, I'm unsure how I became a game-playing grandma. But I am.

And I love it. Here's why:

 

I enjoy watching them learn.
Kids learn so much from playing games. They improve motor skills and ...

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7 things long-distance grandparents do that local grandparents don't

My name is Lisa and I'm a long-distance grandparent.

My grandsons live more than 800 miles away.

Following are a smattering of things — seven, to be exact — that I and other long-distance grandparents do that grandparents who live near their grandkiddos likely don't.

(Featuring photos from my grandsons' most recent visit in November.)

long-distance grandparents

SEVEN
Stock up on Priority Mail Flat-Rate shipping boxes.

The mailman delivers empty boxes to my house. Free...

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Creating kindness in your life (Guest post)

Dear readers: This guest post was written by Kay and Leslie of GrandparentsLink, my fellow members in the GRANDparent Network. Considering the lack of kindness and compassion across our country the last far too many months thanks to the hostile political climate and anxiety following the election, the wisdom Kay and Leslie offer here is particularly worthy of reading, sharing, putting into practice.

heart

Creating kindness in your life

As grandparents, we want to inspire our grandchildren, and one of the best ways to do this is by "doing" simple acts of kindness. The old adage about "setting an example" certainly...

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5 BEs from a grandma on composing meaningful gift cards and inscriptions

The gift-giving season is upon us, and many grandparents like to include a meaningful, memorable message with the gifts they give their loved ones.

Whether you plan on crafting quips for gift cards or unforgettable inscriptions in gift books, here are my top five tips for meaningful and memorable — as well as short and sweet — sentiments for your sweeties.

tips for writing to grandchildren 

ONE

Be yourself. Use words and phrases you...

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7 solaces in my sucky, stress-filled season

hope versus despair

My husband was laid off at the end of September. Again. It's been less than a year since we were in the same boat. Once again, we're worrying about paying for PLUS loans, prescriptions, and more. All because "the company chose to go in a different direction with the department."

Such circumstances stink. Even more so when additional stinky stuff was packed into the months between Jim's layoff last year and this year's job loss.

What stuff? you may wonder. Well, soon after my husband found a new job last fall — yeah, the job he just lost — one of my dogs was diagnosed with...

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10 rituals and rules I read by

Every avid reader has a favorite genre as well as a favorite reading spot for snuggling up with a book.

Every avid reader likely also has a few personal (private, perhaps) rituals and rules by which they read. The following are mine — some of which I hope you won't hold against me.

 

ONE
Printed books beat digital.
I get the attraction of books you can download and read anytime, anywhere. I actually own a...

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2016 Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop: 13 things I loved plus a few me-loved-nots

Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop 2016 recap

I've long dreamed of attending the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop presented by the University of Dayton every two years. The revered place writers of various formats — books, blogs, screenplays and more — gather to glean insider tips and load up on laughter and love from folks in their field. Attendance is capped at 200 each year, and I've never made the cut at registration... nor, to be honest, had the money for travel and hotel if I had.

This year, though, I clicked the Register button in time to obtain a coveted Golden Ticket for the event that sold out in six hours, and I eeked out the funds to make attendance at my dream conference a reality.

Unlike many dreams that eventually come true yet pale in comparison to one's expectations, the Erma...

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What's so great about a Disney Grand Adventure: Multiple generations weigh in

My daughter, grandsons, and I all agree that Walt Disney World just may be the most magical place on the planet. We all have different reasons for believing so, though, especially as it relates to our recent visit there together.

disney grand adventure

Here, a quick — and far from complete — list of what each of us thought most made our Disney Grand Adventure as magical, memorable, and grand as could possibly be:

Mac, age 4

  • The not-too-scary rides, especially The...
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9 people you'll meet as a grandparent

people grandparents meet

NINE
Co-grandparents.
Otherwise known as the in-laws, or the other grandparents. These folks are now your partners for life in this grand gig called grandparenting. Partners in loving your grandchildren as only grandparents can. Hold them close. Have their back and they'll...

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