On the third day of Christmas... French Butter Cookies to share!

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I partnered with Sweet’N Low® to bring you this special “12 Days of Christmas” recipe.

The Christmas countdown has begun! This year, I’m singing along to “12 Days of Christmas” with Sweet’N Low® and celebrating the holiday season with a new recipe inspired by the classic song.

The makers of America's favorite pink zero-calorie sweetener selected a dozen bloggers—one for each day of the song—and tasked each with sharing a holiday recipe based on our assigned verses. My verse? The third day of Christmas, that of “Three French Hens” fame!

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5 screen-free gift ideas (toys!) for grandkids

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Looking for unique toys that boast no screens?

Check out these goodies reviewed and recommended by my grandsons: a smart MP3 player and a smart top, plus a slap-happy penguin, a “green” doctor’s kit, and an art projector for ages 5 to 105.

Fun stuff!

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Hosting wee holiday guests? 7 safety steps for grandparents

Hosting wee holiday guests? 7 safety steps for grandparents

Family gatherings at Grandma’s house are the stuff seasonal songs are made of. Grandparents delight in hosting extended family for festive events, no doubt. But for grandmothers and others who typically see far less toddler traffic the rest of the year, the increase in visitors can be a bit unsettling… and potentially unsafe.

If you’re one of the fortunate ones hosting a houseful of young’uns for festive fun, consider making the following alterations while putting out seasonal decorations to ensure holiday gatherings at Grandma’s are as merry and bright—and safe—as can be.

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Baby shower gift ideas: 4 for grandmas to give

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This time of year, gift ideas naturally lean toward what to give (and get) for the holidays.

Despite the season, though, there are still babies being born, still showers being thrown. Which means many grandmothers and others seek goodies for giving newborns and new moms.

Here are four of my recent favorite baby shower gifts, perfect for grandmas to give whether they prefer passing along presents of a practical sort or something sweet and sentimental.

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On pneumococcal disease—and vaccination—awareness

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This is a sponsored post in partnership with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

When I was in fourth grade, I was the only one in my class who could spell pneumonia. I clearly recall my teacher standing at the front of the class, carefully writing out P N E U M O N I A on the chalkboard then asking the rapt students who knew what the word was. No one raised a hand… so I did.

I did indeed know the word because I was, in fact, the reason my teacher had written it on the board. He resourcefully used my return from an extended absence—due to pneumonia—as a lesson on a wacky word that not only began with a silent P, but boasted an abundance of vowels.

That wasn’t the first time I’d had pneumonia. I had suffered a serious bout at 18 months, though I naturally don’t recall that time. I do recall the three…

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Goodbye, Mom, plus GRAND Social No. 327 link party for grandparents

Goodbye, Mom, plus GRAND Social No. 327 link party for grandparents

Goodbye, Mom

Yesterday family and friends said a final farewell to my mom — Gramma to my girls, Nonnie to her younger grandkids, Sweet Ann to her sisters and friends, Goofy (or Obnoxious, Opinionated, Absolutely Off The Wall) Ann to others.

Regardless of the many monikers, Patricia Ann Kelly left an impression on all who knew her, an aching heart in those who loved her dearly and lost her too soon.

A mere sketch of my mama, i.e., her obituary:

PATRICIA ANN KELLY
August 25, 1941 ~ November 4, 2018

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No GRAND Social link party

Due to my mom’s passing—and my flight-finding scramble to return early from my visit in the desert with my grandsons before she was gone... and my heartbreaking failure to do so in time; the phone call she had died came as my daughter drove me to the airport—there is no GRAND Social link party this week.

I’m posting this from my phone during a layover in my race to get home, so please excuse funky formatting, if there is any.

I appreciate your understanding. The GRAND Social shall return next week. 

~ Lisa

Big bro bonding! Plus GRAND Social No. 326 link party for grandparents

Big bro bonding! Plus GRAND Social No. 326 link party for grandparents

Big bro bonding!

James has for 10 years lived in the “little brother” position, having two older half brothers who are eight and eleven years his senior. It’s taken him no time at all, though, to settle in as Benjamin’s big brother, tenderly balancing his adored baby bro on the Bobby like a pro.

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Risque rehab

Risque rehab

On Monday I visited my mom in the rehabilitation facility where she’s been staying since an especially difficult setback in her lung cancer journey a few weeks ago.

As I sat on the edge of the bed next to her, we perused the papers left by a CNA which listed various activities meant to get the patients up and about and socializing. I read the options for group entertainment to her.

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Welcome, Benjamin! Plus, GRAND Social No. 325 link party for grandparents

Welcome, Benjamin! Plus, GRAND Social No. 325 link party for grandparents

Welcome, Benjamin!

My long-awaited (local) grandson has arrived! Last Wednesday, in fact. As his entry into the world—and Mama Brianna’s arms—didn’t go quite as planned, I’ve followed Brianna’s and Patrick’s lead in delaying celebratory announcements online and otherwise.

Jim and I did get to meet the amazing bundle of joy while word was still under wraps, though. (A true perk of being local grandparents for the first time!)

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