Grilled Grandma: Mary

What is a Grilled Grandma? A Grilled Grandma is a grandma whom I've grilled with some grandma-related questions, and she's graciously responded with answers and photos. Here is Grilled Grandma Mary:

How many children do you have? I have three children and eight grandchildren.

Daughter Lorrie has been married to Bruce for 19 years. They have two sons Jacob, 14, and Matthew, 9. They live just a few blocks away, so we see then all the time.

Jacob is now in the 8th grade. He has been in the gifted program since the 1st grade .He shares my love of art, but surpassed me in skill many years ago. He plays the trumpet, guitar, and piano. He is on a summer swim team and almost has his black belt in karate.

Matthew is at our house almost as much as he’s home. He loves having sleepovers. He likes going to the lake with us where we have our travel trailer. We also go to Silver Dollar City at least once a year. This year he finally was tall enough to ride all the big roller coasters.

Son Larry has been married to Laurie for 20 years. They live in San Antonio. They have 3 children: Eric, 20; Malia, 7; and Garrison, 5.

Eric is a sophomore in collage. After his mom, Malia, and Garrison moved to Texas in April, he moved in with Papa and I. We love going to the lake and Branson with him and his girlfriend Kayla. Eric’s favorite thing to do with us is to eat dinner together. His loves my tuna casserole and homemade chicken and dumplings, and about anything else I put on the table. .

Malia is a real girly girl, but comes home from school looking like a little rag muffin. We love putting makeup on and her fixing my hair together. We also have spa day when we get manicures and pedicures at the mall. We also do scrap booking together. Each child has their own scrapbooks they have been working on for several years.

Garrison is the most loving little boy. He always greets me with the biggest smile and hugs and kisses. He loves dancing and singing on the Wii for me. He cracks up when old grandma sings and dances with him. He loves having story books read to him and would sit on your lap for hours.

Son Rick has been married to Melissa for 10 years. They live at Fort Riley Kansas. They have three children: Kalep, 9; Riley, 6; and Jazzy, 2.

Grandpa and I recently drove to Fort Riley to see Kalep in a talent show. He performed “Baby Baby” by Justin Bieber. It wouldn’t surprise me if someday he’ll be a famous singer. Whatever he decides to do I know he will be great.

Riley is the spiting image of his dad. He is very soft spoken, and very well behaved. This summer he spent several days at the lake with just Papa and me. It was great having him all to ourselves. He caught his first fish that weekend, and a fisherman was born.

Last but not least is Jazzy girl. She is a real doll baby. She is full of love and is so happy. She thinks she’s as big as her brothers. I don’t think she’s afraid to try anything. She has her Daddy and Grandpa’s wrapped around her little fingers already.

What do your grandchildren call you? When Malia and Garrison were very young they called me Nana, but now I’m Grandma to all eight grandchildren.

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? When I was stationed at Anderson Air Force Guam, I received a call from my son Larry telling me Laurie was going to have a baby. I was so excited, but we were in Guam and they were in Germany so I knew it would be a long time before I would see my first grandchild. Eric was 13 months old when we met him for the first time. Laurie always showed him pictures of grandma and Papa, so he knew who we were.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? The best thing about being a grandma is watching them grow into happy well adjusted children and young adults. Each child has his or her own unique gifts. I encourage them to develop their own individual personalities and talents.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? I’m back to work part time, so we won’t be able to visit as often.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? Today we keep in touch with the grandkids that live out of town by phone and Skype. We also visit them every few months.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? The one word the grandkids think of when they think of me is love. They know I love them unconditionally. I may not like everything they do, but I will always love them.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting with your grandchildren? Watching the grandchildren play, dance, sing, or just being lazy watching T.V brings so much joy and happiness into my life. I hope to have many more wonderful memories of the grandkids to fill my heart with.

Do you have a website or blog? I am very new at writing, but have enjoyed writing about my childhood and life’s experiences: Babe's World.

Dear Readers: If you'd like to nominate a grandma for grilling—even if it's yourself—please e-mail me her first name and e-mail address and I'll take care of the rest. Thank you!