A grand St. Patrick's Day performance: Get Your Green On!

st. patrick's day jibjab

In preparation for St. Patrick's Day, my grandsons, Jim, and I have been putting in long hours of practice on a special performance for our Grandma's Briefs friends.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Bubby, Mac, Jak, PawDad and Gramma in Get Your Green...

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Yesterday at Gramma's: Beating the heat

Our plan for the day was a picnic at America the Beautiful Park, with time for splashing in the pools. Unfortunately, high temps and smoke from the wildfire spurred us to devise a Plan B—an afternoon at iT'Z Family Food & Fun.

Maybe not so unfortunate after all.

Note: While my grandsons are in town, posts will be short on text and long on photos, with the exception of Monday's GRAND Social linky and Wednesday's Grilled Grandma, which will be featured as always.

Today's question:

What's your favorite way to beat the heat with kids?

National Humor Month: Giggles and grins for kids

April is National Humor Month. Don't let it end without getting in a few giggles, grins, and groans with the grandkids.

Here are a few to get things started:

What does a baby ear of corn call its father?
Pop Corn.

Why are movie stars cool?
Because they have so many fans.

How many months have 28 days?
All of them.

Two snowmen are standing in a meadow. One snowman turns to the other and says, "Do you smell carrots?"

What is the strongest bird?
A crane.

On which side does a leopard have the most spots?
On the outside.

What did the hat say to the hat rack?
“You stay here. I’ll go on ahead.”

How do you find a lost rabbit?
Easy. Just make a sound like a carrot.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Donut who?
Donut ask me any more silly questions.

What kind of tree fits in your hand?
A palm tree.

What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?
“Where’s my tractor?”

How many letters are there in the alphabet?

What is the difference between here and there?
The letter T.

What did the bad chicken lay?
A deviled egg.

Why did the students eat their homework?
Because their teacher said it was a piece of cake.

Why does a flamingo lift up one leg?
Because if he lifted up both legs he would fall over.

Where can everyone always find money when they look for it?
In the dictionary.

Why do male deer need braces?
Because they have buck teeth.

What kind of hair do oceans have?

What kind of car does Mickey Mouse's wife drive?
A Minnie van.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Mayor who?
Mayor days be filled with love and laughter.

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

The last person I shared a joke with was _______________.

Grandma's Game Night

Last night was my monthly game night with some girlfriends. Despite the title of this post, our night o' fun isn't actually called "Grandma's Game Night" seeing's how I'm the only grandma in the group.

As you other grandmas can attest, it's impossible to remove oneself completely from the grandma role, even during game night with the group of gals for whom I once served as boss. (Believe it or not, they do still like me, they really like me.) So in the back of my mind, as dice rolled and beer flowed, my grandma thoughts rumbled now and again.

And what were those random grandma thoughts? Mostly, I considered that the board games my friends and I like to play would make for a grand ol' time with grandkids. Grandkids older than mine, of course, as Candyland and the Goodnight Moon game certainly weren't what we enjoyed last night.

So for all you grandmas (and non-grandmas) who would enjoy a game night with older children and other adults—grandchildren or not—here are five fun games straight from my game cabinet that I'm happy to recommend for you to try out during your very own Grandma Game Night:

Pass the Popcorn Your Ticket to Fast-paced Movie Fun Movie Guessing Game (2-8 players, ages 12+). This is the newest game in my stash, thanks to Megan and Preston at Christmas time, and last night was the first time I played it during our game night. But it was just as fun last night as it was when Jim, Brianna, Andie and I played it for Jim's birthday a few weeks. If you like movies, you'll like this game. And so will the teen grandchildren who will likely know a few of the comedy ones you may have let pass by.

Loaded Questions Expose Your Self (3-6 players, ages teen to adult). Tests how well you know your fellow players—and yourself, in some cases—thanks to hundreds of questions in four categories. There's no right or wrong answers and no need to know trivia.

Trivial Pursuit Team Choose your team/Choose your questions/Fun, faster play (2 teams, adults— though teens can likely answer just as many questions as most adults). I love trivia games—unless they take forever to get done, as regular Trivial Pursuit does. And unless they have far too many history questions (which I really stink at), as Trivial Pursuit does. This version is just like the tagline says: fun, faster play—and you can choose the entertainment category all you want.

(Electronic) Catch Phrase The grab it, guess it, pass it game (4+ players, adults—again, no reason teens can't play and enjoy). Pretty much Hot Potato with a hefty serving of Password involved. Loads of fun as well as lots of flustering and fumbling as you and your teammates struggle to guess the answers as the time bomb, I mean game unit ticks faster and faster before beeping time's up.

Mad Gab ...It's Not What You SAY, It's What You HEAR! (2-12 players, ages 10+). This game has had my friends and me—and family, at other times—laughing harder than any other game we've played. Cards that seem nonsensical are revealed by one time to the others, who try to guess the phrase. For example, Bat Tree Snot Ink Looted is ... Batteries Not Included. Listening to the wacky pronunciations as players guess and guess again (and again and again and again) is hilarious.

Note: Clicking on the game names above takes you to the official websites for more information. They are not affiliate links, and I make nothing by you clicking.

Today's question:

What is your favorite game—board or otherwise—to play with a group of friends or family?

Photo replay: Keep on truckin'

Remember that big orange dump truck Bubby reviewed nearly two years ago? The one he loved to drive really fast around the house?

Well look who gets a turn at it now:

I hope your Sunday's as much fun as a big orange dump truck!

(In the interest of full disclosure—and because Megan will call me out on it in the most embarrassing of manners if I don't admit it first—YES, Baby Mac's shirt is on backwards. And YES, I was babysitting that day and am the one who dressed him. And YES, I thought it was weird the word NIKE would be emblazoned on the back of a baby's shirt, but it seemed logical the buttons would go in the front. That logic got this grandma nowhere but with hundreds of photos of her grandson looking rather silly with his NIKE shirt on backwards. Go ahead...you guys have all the fun you want with that one.)

Counting sticks

I didn't mean to lie to you, dear readers, but I did. In this post right here. Today, though, I plan to set the record straight.

You see, in that post about filling my grandma bag for my trip to the desert, I mentioned an activity that used straws and pony beads for a nifty little activity to encourage counting and fine motor skills. I intended to pack those items in my grandma bag but hadn't yet done so. And once I purchased the straws and attempted sliding a few pony beads on them just to see how easy it would be for Bubby, the cussing and straw-scrunching that ensued made it clear the <cussing> beads didn't fit on the <cussing> straws and Gramma would need to make some adjustments to the craft.

So I did. And here's the skinny on the crafty counting sticks Bubby enjoyed making and counting with—and that garnered high praise from Megan, an early childhood educator who thought the idea was quite creative and useful for even a classroom of kiddos.

What you'll need:

10 extra-long pipecleaners (I used 10 as I figured counting to 10 would be reasonable practice for Bubby, who's three and a half. You could go higher, if desired.)

pony beads

1 or 2 index cards cut into squares an inch or so in size and neatly numbered 1 through 10

clear tape

What you'll do:

Fold up about an 1/8-inch on the end of each pipe cleaner and twist around itself so there's no pokey parts to stab little fingers. On one end of each pipe cleaner, tape a numbered square; laying the pipe cleaner across the back of the number and securing with a single strip of tape works just fine.

Your work is done!

Now give your child the pipe cleaners and a bowl of pony beads with instructions to add as many beads as the number on each end.

Bubby thoroughly enjoyed adding beads—picking out "special" ones—then counting them over and over on their sticks, just to be sure it was right. I enjoyed watching his intense concentration as he threaded beads then carefully counted.

Once all pipe cleaners were filled, we pulled off the beads and started all over again. In fact, these photos were from Bubby's second day of playing with the sticks (just after waking, I might add, hence the jammies and adorable bedhead hairstyle).

There! Record set straight: Straws don't work; pipe cleaners do.

Today's question:

Did you—or your children—use an abacus to help master counting?

October expedition: The North Pole

As you likely deduced if you saw yesterday's photo, our family made the highly anticipated trek to the North Pole last week. What a jolly time it was! So much to see and do, including a ride or two with Bubby down the Peppermint Candy Cane Slide I waxed once upon a time.

This slideshow was a casualty of my site makeover but you can find it in my Brag Book: NORTH POLE — 2011.

After the delightful outing, I've decided October is definitely the best time to visit the North Pole. Not only is the early autumn weather perfect for an afternoon halfway up Pikes Peak, the aspens on the hillsides all around are just beginning to change, lines for the rides are non-existent, and Santa has plenty of time for long visits plus strolls throughout the park during his breaks—which meant we ran into the Big Guy on several occasions, and each time he remembered Bubby by name.


I'm so thankful for the holiday-themed expedition with my very most favorite people. 'Twas a memorably festive occasion, indeed.

Today's question:

What percentage of your holiday shopping have you completed...or considered?

3 ways Pinterest made Gramma awesome

Simple, inexpensive ideas I found on Pinterest that convinced Bubby of Gramma's awesomeness:

Shaving cream bath paints.

Cardboard ramps for his cars.


<photo of Bubby in the tub with glow sticks removed by Lisa because perverts flocked to it>

Glow sticks in the bath tub.

Today's question:

Do you prefer taking baths or taking showers?