Grilled Grandma: Karen

Karen and SpencerHow many children do you have?  I have three of my own, Seth, Becca, and Emily; and a step-daughter, Becky. They are all in their 30's now.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I have The Fab Sarah, who is 10 and lives with my ex-daughter-in-law in Tennessee. The Fab Michael, who is 13 and The Fab Owen, who is 2. They both live with my son in Maryland. And The Fab Spencer, who is 7, and lives with his mommy in Georgia. And there is one on the way, due in May, a little girl who has not yet been named.

Any great grandchildren? No, I'm not that old yet!

What do your grandchildren call you? They call me Granny, and I just love it!
How often do you get to see your grandchildren? Not very often. My son, who is the father of Sarah, Michael, Owen and the new baby, is in the Air Force. He spent 2 years in Guam and 7 years in England. The first year he was back in the states, my husband and I got a job in Pennsylvania for the summer so we could be close by. We visited with them every week on our days off and had soooo much fun.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? The best thing about being a grandma is that I get to do fun stuff with them and don't have to worry about being the disciplinarian. That job goes to Mom and Dad.

SarahWhat is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Knowing when to keep my mouth shut. And not sticking my nose in where it shouldn't be.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud.
A couple of years ago, all the children met me and my husband in California for a family vacation. We went out for dinner on the pier in Imperial Beach. All the adults ordered shrimp, but Michael, who was 7, said he didn't like shrimp, so his Dad ordered him fish instead. When the food came, my son put one of his shrimp on Michael's plate, and he ate it. He looked at his Dad and said, "what was that, it was GOOD!" and Seth told him it was shrimp. Michael sat there for moment, then looked at my husband and said, "Grandpa, are you going to eat all your shrimp?"

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? Because they live so far away, when they come to visit they are usually here for about a week. On the last day, we sit together with construction paper, glue, pencils, etc., and make a scrapbook of their visit. We glue in pictures of us together that I have printed off, ticket stubs from places we might have visited, brochures they have picked up. They write a little paragraph in their own words about each place we went. It is an all day project, but they have a cool keepsake of their visit with me.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? I love to cook for my children and grandchildren when we go to their house. I call ahead and "take orders" for what they want me to make for them when I arrive. That way, I know I can stay on my gluten free diet, and make them happy, too.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits?  I call, send postcards and books from places we go, and send little gifts when I can."Everyone" in 2007

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? I hope they get my sense of adventure, and love of reading.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Fabulous!

Do you have a website or blog? Yes, I write FabGrandma, the story of living and loving a mobile gluten free life.  And I have recently completed moving my blog to a new website at