Grilled Grandma: Crystal

How many children do you have? We have 4 children - a son,  Darrin, who is 33 and 3 daughters, Heather who is 31, Melinda who is 30 and Naomi who is 28.  They are all married so we also have a daughter-in-law and 3 son-in-laws.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages?
There are 5 grandchildren in our family now. Meadow is almost 4, Helayna is 3 1/2, Silas is 19 months, Samuel will be 1 in 11 days and Blake is 10 1/2 months old. We are thrilled!  The girls brought a whole new dimension to our lives and then within a year, 3 grandsons arrived to really fill our hearts and our lives!

Any great grandchildren? It will be a long time until we are at that stage.

What do your grandchildren call you? We are Gramma Crystal and Grampa Bob to distinguish us from the other grandparents.  But Silas has decided it's "Papa" for Grampa right now.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren?
Meadow and Blake live just half an hour from us so we see them at least once a week - sometimes lots more, if we are lucky.  Helayna and Silas live in Calgary and we try to see them at least once a month.  This week I saw them twice which was a real bonus!  Samuel lives in New York City, which is way too far away, but that's where his Daddy is going to school so I've only seen him 3 times this year.  He's coming to visit here in less than 3 weeks.

What is the best thing about being a grandma?
There are so many things I love about this phase of my life and one of the very best things is the cuddling time that these little ones love.  To have that little head resting on my shoulder with an arm slung possessively around my neck just fills me with love for these precious little ones with whom God has blessed our family.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? It's hard to discipline them when they are just so cute!

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud.
Silas is learning to talk and he repeats so many words in such a cute way.  Today he made the sound of a fire truck after it raced by the playground  - and it sounded just like the real thing!  I had to laugh!

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? I am an avid reader and as a teacher, I believe there is nothing more fun and more important to do with them than to read books.  I could do it all day!  This week I brought out a tub full of Amelia Bedelia books and the girls loved reading them.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?
I enjoy playing pretend and being part of their active imagination play.  Today Helayna served me tea from her Starbucks shop (in her room) and then she had to dash into the closet (her dressing room) and change into hockey clothes!

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? Letter writing, sending cards and packages and phone calls keep us connected.  The power of the internet and digital pictures keep us in touch almost daily.  I love that!

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?
I want them to have a real relationship with their heavenly Father and to know that each one of them is a special child of God, placed in our family according to  God's  plan for their lives.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Love - that I loved them unconditionally with my whole heart - and that I had lots of time to share with them.

Do you have a website or blog? The name of my blog is Be The Change You Want to See and that I started it nearly 1300 posts ago to keep in touch with our family.  With 4 of them, I sometimes forget who I've shared what news with so the blog is a way for us to share the everyday things - and lots of pictures - with each other.  Along the way through the last 4 years of blogging, I've also made wonderful friends around the world and some of them are even inspiring grandmas!