Grandma Christmas crafts matter

Grandma Christmas crafts matter

The year my husband and I were married, his stepmom, Diane, whom I had never met and Jim hadn’t seen in years, sent us a lovely joint Christmas stocking she had made for us. She also sent an adorable handmade one for baby Brianna, who was born soon after we married.

Diane sent another precious stocking the following year, when Megan was born. And another two years after that for our baby Andie.

When Megan and Preston married and…

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Baby shower, with Pinterest upgrades! Plus, GRAND Social No. 320 link party for grandparents

Baby shower, with Pinterest upgrades! Plus, GRAND Social No. 320 link party for grandparents

Baby shower… with Pinterest upgrades!

In the preamble to last week’s GRAND Social link party, I noted that I’d had a busy day the day before. The reason for the busy-ness was Brianna’s baby shower! It turned out to be a lovely baby shower—thanks in large part to all the pinning Brianna (and I, admittedly) had done pre-party planning.

I hosted Megan’s baby shower more than 10 years ago—long before Pinterest appeared and upped the ante on entertaining. Megan’s shower was nice. But, gee whiz, thanks to Pinterest, the bar has been raised since those long-gone days of simply serving up punch, cake, shower decor, and a few silly shower games.

Here are a few of the Pinterest-inspired creations I (with help from Andrea and Megan, who flew in for the weekend) managed to pull off for Brianna’s fall-themed affair…

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Brain drain... On lo mein, cracked pots, and other loves

Brain drain... On lo mein, cracked pots, and other loves

Wherein I ramble on...

Brianna is starting to show. And that's pretty darn awesome. She and Patrick find out next week if their first baby is a boy or a girl. I'm hoping for a girl... yet wonder if it's wrong to even consider hoping for one gender over another considering what they've gone through to get this far. Of course I'll be thrilled with another grandson but as this is likely my final grandchild, adding a girl to the grand group seems fitting. (Don't tell anyone, but I do think it's a girl.)

The life God intended. Conversations and situations

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6 topics on which I could speak with ease... even if drunk


I belong to several online writing groups. As a freelance writer, the gathering spots of like-minded wordsmiths are where I most often find support, advice, inspiration.

One tidbit I recently gleaned from such a group was instruction on how to determine the topics that one might determine — and promote to publishers — as his or her areas of expertise. The simple solution offered was to consider...

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Prayers and a post somewhere else

As a blogger, knowing how much private story to share with readers and how much to keep shuttered away for only those one knows in person can be a challenge. I sincerely want to share myself and be transparent with those who take the time to read Grandma's Briefs. If I shared here each and every personal struggle I face, though, I'm pretty darn sure you'd get sick and tired of reading about them. I know for a fact I would get sick and tired of sharing them.

So I've not yet shared the hell of the past 10 days with you. But today I will. I'm sharing today because I need to request healing thoughts and prayers from you and I need to explain why I'm sending you elsewhere — when bloggers are supposed to do all they can to keep visitors on their blog — to read a post written by me but published on another site. (Chalk it up to that whole "freelancer" thing I so want to be when I grow up.)

One of my favorite photos of my sister Debbie as a young girl. She still has that smile, that light in her eyes.See, my younger sister Debbie — the second youngest of my four sisters — has been in and out of ICU since a week ago Monday... August 26. To make a long story a teensy bit shorter, Debbie was rushed by ambulance to the hospital when her lungs and heart went into distress early Monday morning. Things haven't been good ever since, at least not for very long. She'd get stable, then have a coughing fit that would stop her heart. Lifesaving measures have been instituted a time or two.

Yesterday Debbie was transported by ambulance to the ICU at a hospital in Denver. Today she faces a heart procedure to try and figure out what's happening and how to stop it.

My sister just turned 45 August 22. This is crazy. And scary.

So today I'm asking you to please send healing prayers for my sister and for all of us who love and adore the wacky woman. Thank you so very, very much.

Because of the situation with my sister, I'm unable to gather my wits enough to write a decent post of any sort for you today. That said, though, I did recently publish a decent post on another site. On, to be precise. So I'm sharing that with you here today in hopes you'll read it there. It's about sharing family stories with the grandchildren, and it begins like this:

My daughter, mother of my two grandsons, is an early childhood educator. Each school year, my daughter hosts a Grandparents Day celebration and encourages her students to invite a grandparent (or two) to attend school with them. One highlight of Grandparents Day is when the students "interview" their grandparents on what school was like for them at their grandchild’s age. The anecdotes shared by the grandparents, my daughter says, never fail to dazzle and often downright befuddle the rapt grandchildren.

There’s no need to wait until Grandparents Day to amaze and entertain – as well as enlighten and educate – grandchildren with stories of not only your past, but of their past, too. Children of all ages...Click here to continue reading 6 FAMILY STORIES TO TELL YOUR GRANDCHILDREN AGAIN AND AGAIN on

Thank you for reading. More importantly, thank you for your healing thoughts and prayers for my sister.

Silly sisters, plus GRAND Social No. 57

Welcome back! I hope your weekend warmed your heart.

I wanted to share with you a heartwarming moment from my weekend. The funeral for my cousin on Friday was a difficult affair filled with many tears. Fortunately, the gathering of friends and family afterward included hugs, smiles and unexpected moments to help the healing begin.

I enjoyed one special moment of levity with two of my four sisters — the two who bookend me in birth order, by three years on each side — as Brianna attempted to get a nice photo of the three of us together for the first time in far too long:

adult sisters 

Sometimes you just gotta smile through the tears. It felt especially good to do exactly that with these two; it would have been even better if our other two sisters had been able to join us. Someday, I hope.

Also today is GRAND Social No. 57. Thank you for joining me. I'm trying out a new link party program, so please let me know if you have any problems with it. Link up, read up, enjoy!

link party

How it works:

  • All grandparent bloggers are invited to add a link. You don't have to blog specifically about grandparenting, just be a grandparent who blogs.
  • To link up a post, copy the direct URL to the specific post — new or old — that you want to share, not the link to your blog's home page. Then click the blue button marked with "Add your link" below and follow the directions.
  • You can add up to three posts, but no duplicates, contests, giveaways, or Etsy sites, please.
  • Adding a mention such as This post linked to the GRAND Social to your linked posts is appreciated. Or, you can post the GRAND Social button anywhere on your page using the following code:


<a href="/" target="_blank"><img src=" " alt="Grandma’" width="125" height="125" /></a>


  • The GRAND Social linky is open for new posts through Wednesday evening, so please come back to see those added after your first visit.
  • If you're not a blogger, you have the pleasure of being a reader. Bloggers who link up would be honored to have one and all — other bloggers as well as readers — visit, read and, if so moved, comment, even if just a "Hey, stopping by from the GRAND Social."