Personalized puzzles for pre-turkey patience

Personalized puzzles for pre-turkey patience

Savvy restaurant servers know the first task when waiting on customers with kids is to provide puzzles or coloring pages for entertaining the little ones while they wait for their food.

Savvy grandmothers and others can follow the same tack this Thanksgiving by providing personalized puzzles to pint-sized guests gathered at the table, awaiting their turkey.

The personalized part makes pre-turkey puzzles more fun — and it's so easily done.

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Plural magic! Plus, GRAND Social No. 279 link party for grandparents

Plural magic! Plus, GRAND Social No. 279 link party for grandparents

Plural magic!

Welcome to a new week! I'd like to start this week sharing with you a smile, and few folks make me smile as much as my grandson Camden.

Most recently, Camden cracked me up with the following, which Megan posted on...

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Saturday movie briefs: 6 movies for Veterans Day Weekend

Saturday movie briefs: 6 movies for Veterans Day Weekend

I live in a city that survives and thrives in large part due to the numerous military installations located here, those being the United States Air Force Academy, Fort Carson, Peterson Field, Schriever Air Force Base and NORAD.

Despite the strong and unmistakable military presence of my everyday — the patriotic sound of morning Reveille and evening Taps often emanating from Peterson plus eardrum-rattling USAF Thunderbird flyovers directly above my house during football and graduation season, for starters — I unfortunately too often take for granted what veterans of every single military branch have done and continue to do for our country as well as other countries around the world.

Today, Veterans Day, I want to humbly and wholeheartedly...

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Thanksgiving theatrics: Family fun galore courtesy What Happens at Grandma's

Thanksgiving theatrics: Family fun galore courtesy What Happens at Grandma's

My friend Grandma Joyce from What Happens at Grandma's has done it again: crafted a creative and clever holiday activity for kids! This time it's for Thanksgiving, and this time it's unique among Thanksgiving arts and crafts found online because it's performance art — a three-act play for grandkids to perform for friends and family on Turkey Day. Thank you for sharing, Joyce!

The kids don't know it yet, but they're going to superstar in a post-dinner Thanksgiving play at grandma's this year. Considering their love of theatrics, I'm confident they'll gobble up this opportunity right along with savory sweet potatoes served on the rapidly approaching family day of thankful...

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Kudos to Kyra Sedgwick! Plus, GRAND Social No. 278 link party for grandparents

Kudos to Kyra Sedgwick! Plus, GRAND Social No. 278 link party for grandparents

Jim and I attended a film screening and post-screening discussion on Saturday as part of the Denver Film Festival. The importance of the subject compelled me to tell you about it today, pre-GRAND Social (my most visited feature), rather than as a future Saturday movie review.

STORY OF A GIRL is the directorial debut for Kyra Sedgwick, and a powerful film parents, grandparents, and anyone sympathetic to struggles today's girls face should see.

For the film — which aired on Lifetime in July — Sedgwick directs her husband, Kevin Bacon, and Ryann Shane, as well as her daughter, Sosie Bacon. (Her son contributed the score, making it a full family affair.) Shane shines as Deanna, a 16-year-old girl attempting to overcome the repercussions of a sex video featuring her that...

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Saturday movie briefs: My will-see list (so far) for the 40th Denver Film Festival

Saturday movie briefs: My will-see list (so far) for the 40th Denver Film Festival

The 40th Denver Film Festival is in full swing, and today I head to Denver for another screening.

My ride to Denver — with Jim in the passenger seat — is the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium plug-in hybrid Toyota provided me for week one of the film festival. (Coincidentally and completely unrelated to my loaner vehicles, Your Hometown Toyota Stores sponsors several of the festival presentations, including LAST FLAG FLYING and ...

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An open letter to new long-distance grandmas

An open letter to new long-distance grandmas

Dear heartbroken long-distance grandma,

First, let me say congratulations on your grandma status! Whether you just learned you'd soon have a grandchild, a newborn grand recently arrived, or one or more grandkiddos have long been part of your heart, you are a grandmother and that's worth celebrating... again and again.

Today, though, I offer my condolences that your grandmother status carries, or soon will, the long-distance modifier. I know how hard that is on you. I know because I am you — a long-distance grandma.

I've been a long-distance grandma a while, with hundreds of miles separating me from my sweet ones ever since the initial "You're going to be a grandma!" announcement nearly ten years ago. Considering the survival strategies I've learned the hard way...

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A grand monster mash! Plus, GRAND Social No. 277 link party for grandparents

A grand monster mash! Plus, GRAND Social No. 277 link party for grandparents

Hooray for Halloween! And for Halloween fun courtesy JibJab!

Do you make JibJab videos featuring your grandkiddos? I made a fun one for Halloween and hoped to embed it here for all to see. Alas, JibJab no longer allows users to download their videos for embedding (boo!), so here are a few screenshots of my creation.

I'd love for ya'll to see the silliness in full, though, so if you have a sec, click on over to my grand monster mash mixup for ghoulishly goofy Happy Halloween wishes from...

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Saturday movie brief: Boogie men

Saturday movie brief: Boogie men

Halloween puts me, like many folks, in the mood for scary movies. With Tuesday being Halloween, this weekend is the perfect time for feasting on frightful flicks.

Thing is, it's so horrifically hard to find scary movies that don't make me want to puke because of the gore or hide away in a country compound built just for my family and me because the sickos on screen are too close to some real-life psychos — or the possibility of such — in our current society.

I've yet to come up with a horror flick to enjoy with my husband this Halloween weekend, one with a fair share of scare but not so much I have to flick on every light in the house as I head to bed — or dive onto the bed when I reach it so a boogie man doesn't grab me from beneath. (I'm not the only who still does that, am I?)

I did, though, find this fun montage of old-time boogey men, from...

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25 things grandmas supposedly say that I've never heard fellow grandmothers utter

25 things grandmas supposedly say that I've never heard fellow grandmothers utter

My husband's niece delivered a beautiful — and big, 10-plus pounds! — baby boy last week. When I saw photos she'd shared of him on Instagram, I commented, "What a precious little love bug!"

To which I immediately thought to myself, "What a freakin' grandma thing to say."

I considered adding another comment cracking on my initial comment but figured what the heck, I am a grandma, and that's just the kind of thing grandmas say.

Which led me in my ever inquisitive way to soon after google "things grandmas say."

The results were sometimes hilarious, sometimes...

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Halloween candy stats by state, plus GRAND Social No. 276 link party for grandparents

Halloween candy stats by state, plus GRAND Social No. 276 link party for grandparents

We're one week out from trick-or-treat time. Have you stocked up on candy yet?

I recently received an interesting graphic from CandyStore.com on the top treats by state. Scroll over the interactive map for a closer look at the sweet stats.

What's tops in your state? I was surprised to see that M&Ms weren't tops in Colorado, where apparently Milky Ways are king, considering how many pounds of the plain or peanut goodies my husband...

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Saturday movie review: The Bachelors

Saturday movie review: The Bachelors

Coming-of-age films — one of my favorite movie genres — relate a character's transition from childhood to adulthood. Many times, the death of a loved one precipitates the maturing of the young guy or gal featured in the film.

I'd like to propose another category of film: coming-to-terms films. Like coming-age-films, the storyline of coming-to-terms tales feature a person dealing with the death of a loved one. Difference being, though, that the character is far beyond childhood or adolescence coming-of-age doesn't accurately describe the emotional transformation of the guy or gal.

For the purposes of reviewing the dramedy THE BACHELORS, let's just say coming-to-terms films is indeed a recognized film category. Because that's...

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