Grilled Grandma: Kaye

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 Kaye:

How many children do you have? 3

How many grandchildren? What are their ages?  11 blessings — They range in age from 1 year on up to 14 with most between 4 and 10.

Any great grandchildren? No

What do your grandchildren call you? Mostly Grandma

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother?  What to have them call me — as they have several grandparents. We ended up with adding our names to differentiate — i.e. Grandma Kaye.

Kaye's mom and oldest grandson gardening.How often do you get to see your grandchildren? I see half several times a week as I am their granny nanny, meaning I babysit them a lot. The other half live several states away so it varies from 1-3 times per year.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? Sharing the love of Jesus with them — not to mention all the hugs and cuddles.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Balancing everything. I am also caring for elderly parents and there can be a lot of appointments, health needs, etc. at both ends of the age spectrum. Juggling is one of the skills I’m constantly utilizing in the Sandwich Generation.

Self portraits made by grandkids.Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. We do a lot of laughing, especially when playing games together. We’ve recently started a new game where they swing and I toss one of their soft plastic balls at their feet. They then try to kick it up and I try to catch it. Those balls can really go in crazy directions and by the end of the game, we’re all laughing our heads off.

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? Lots of games — offline like checkers and chess, as well as online with Webkinz stuffed & virtual animals. We also love easy crafts for the kids (and seniors). These are all great ways to keep little hands busy in a positive way and create lovely and lasting family memories. I also have their Razor scooters in my garage and we enjoy going around the block on those, sometimes with their great-grandmother joining us.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? For both sets of grandkids — I bring the games and easy crafts with me. For the near-by grandkids, we have a great time playing “ball tag” in their back yard (throwing soft plastic balls at each other to “tag” a person. It’s easier than the traditional Tag — nice for them AND me). For the long distance grandkids, we often enjoy fun family field trips like the one we took to an apple orchard this fall.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? Phone calls, email, and keeping them updated with their Webkinz stuffed animals so we can also play games together on the Webkinz website while chatting about it on the phone. It’s a lot of fun.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? To know and love God! One of my primary goals in life is leaving a sweet spiritual legacy in their hearts and lives — and I’m always looking for ways to do that — from singing praise and worship music together to doing fun holiday projects, like Advent activities, for and with the kids with the primary focus on Jesus. I also love sharing encouraging Bible memory verses with them throughout the year — whether we are working on their Awana verses or on the verses and pictures I post at SandwichINK.

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

Tootsie of the youngest.What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent?  I wish I'd taken a practical nursing class — it would definitely come in handy — both as a grandma AND an eldercare giver

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? My best tip for those who have lots of grandparent competition and need more cuddle time is to volunteer to change the diapers. You’ll usually have a bit less competition and get LOTS of extra one-on-one time with the cutie pies. AND it’s a sweet help for the parents so it’s a triple blessing all around.

Do you have a website or blog? What is it about? I do. I write for and about the Sandwich Generation — those juggling the multigenerational issues of caring for the elderly parents and relatives in your family while still raising children or, as in my case, babysitting the grandchildren. My primary site is

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