Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Too Hot to Play Outside

With several days of dangerous heat levels, it's been too hot to participate in our usual summer activities.  Now what do we do?

For granddaughters age 7 and 9, there have been plenty of things to do.  When you run out of the typical activities that usually keep kids busy, TV (not the best for an all day activity), Barbies (it's fun but for only so long)....look at those skills you can hand down to them.

I found a package of cookie dough in the cupboard.  They were really excited to bake cookies.  So they added water, an egg and took turns stirring the peanut butter cookie dough.  Something went wrong (clearly not my skill level) and the burnt cookies were not everyone's favorite.  Unfortunately, I like burnt cookies and I'm almost finished with them. 

Knitting doesn't sound like a summer sport, but with air conditioning, granddaughter age 7 and I are busy making a blanket for Laura (her pioneer doll from Living History Farms). 

Photographer for the day is still a favorite and a short walk to a wildflower field near their home gave us many subjects.  We not only found flowers, but bugs, homes with beautiful statues, doors with fun wall hangings, and the perfect color for their uncle to paint his new home.  Granddaughter age 7 is learning composition, how to set the focus on the camera, and how far she needs to stand back to get the best picture. 

They are finishing up their velvet pictures from last year.  They had been packed away for so long, it was a brand new exciting activity they had forgotten about.

Writing books is another fun activity and one that hopefully will entertain them for many years to come.  The books are homemade and the stories as well.  They are eager to share as each page progresses.

Don't forget board games.  They never tire of UNO.  We found an old PacMan board game with marbles that they have so much fun with.  Too much to do, too little time.

What skills do you have that you can share with your children or grandchildren?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Garage Sale

Whew, we've finished our three-family three-day garage sale.  Success!  We have things left, although we probably sold half of most items.  Each one of us was able to sell something big we wanted to get rid of and several people got really good deals.  I was busy for all three days with three or four cars showing up at a time.  My son, daughter-in-law, and I all kept busy on Saturday.  I don't normally shop garage sales, although I realize that isn't really smart when I'm trying to live simply and recycle.  My new goal is not to buy new things until I'm rid of the old things.  I'm jealous of those who looked like they knew what they were doing and left happily with their purchases.  Maybe next summer...... 

My favorite sale was the woman who walked up to me and asked if I had any children's life jackets.  I handed her one for a little boy.  She said, "That's great, this will fit my son.  Do you have any for a girl?"  I reached over and handed her one for a little girl.  She looked at me in amazement.  She said, "I just left work, we are going to the lake tonight, and I thought I'd stop by on my way home just in case."  We both laughed and each of us was extremely happy with the sale.

My son told me it looked like I really enjoyed all three days helping them with the sale.  I realized I did for several reasons.  I was able to help my sons with something they weren't able to do (the first night was their volleyball night and with my daughter-in-law the team captain, she and my son had to be there and my other son was working).  Friday was a work day for all.  It was fun to see many of their things go to others who would be able to enjoy them a little longer.  I knew my family would appreciate those items not taking up room in their homes (I even got rid of a few things).  They made much more money than they had the year before.  Last but not least, I hoped I was losing weight using the old sweat it off method (whew it's hot and humid in Iowa in June!) or by not having time to eat.

So what does that have to do with grandchildren?  My two granddaughters age 7 and 9 were great while I was occupied with customers.  They started the first day by putting their artistic talent and chalk to welcoming customers to a "fun" garage sale across the driveway and sidewalk.  They were always eager to watch over the garage sale when I had to run in the house for a minute (or to fix meals and snacks).  A couple of times they would see toys missing a piece and they would run into their rooms to find it and put it out in the garage sale.  Sometimes they would come out just for a hug and kiss and once I had a lovely dressed up sophisticated lady who sat with me to discuss how the sale was going.  When she found out the neighbor girl was selling lemonade, she once again became a 9-year-old with only the wig and dress left in the chair to remind me of our lovely conversation.

Kids are resilient.  Even though I would like to have every day a "fun day", that can't always be the case.  I explained to the children what our garage sale plans were and that we wouldn't be able to do anything fun other than the garage sale for the next three days.  Their response, "That's OK, Grandma."

Being grandma is wonderful!  What have you been up to lately with your children and grandchildren?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  I enjoy watching the parade every year now that I am in Iowa.  We missed that when we lived in Colorado.  As we celebrate our nation's independence I am once again thrilled to see our military honored for their service.  As I watched the jets fly over, I enjoyed the reaction of the crowd as much as the thrill of seeing and hearing the jets.

That is the start of the parade, so we anxiously awaited with excitement.  The parade started with a military band playing.  The crowd stood up as the flags came by and the clapping continued when the crowd saw the band was a military band.  We clapped and clapped and clapped. 

Pretty soon, though, I was the only one clapping.  Not too long after the band went by the crowd sat back down and watched the cars go by representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the other military service organizations.  A few of the older veterans were in wagon pulled by a car or tractor.  About half the crowd clapped when the World War II veterans passed by, then the crowd quieted again.  I was the only one who continued clapping until the last veteran was out of sight.

Whether the veterans are World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm or those who fought in a war that is still going on, they all deserve our respect and appreciation.  A good lesson that we must teach our children, just because the veteran is old, sometimes wearing only a hat with a branch of service on it, they deserve our respect and appreciation for the service they gave and the life they lived to maintain our safety in the United States of America.  If you haven't been to the parade yet, or today's parade is just a memory, please join me at the next parade in clapping for the veterans whether young or old.

I don't tire of thanking men and women for their service when I see them in stores or on the street.  My grandchildren always ask me why, as I patiently explain how much I appreciate what they have to do to keep all of us safe.  I remind them that their grandpa never passed by a veteran without walking over to shake his or her hand and thanking them for their service.

Now go out and enjoy those fireworks!  Don't forget to grab the sparklers to entertain the children waiting for the show to begin.  And don't forget to thank our service men and women and veterans.

How did you celebrate this 4th of July and what are your thoughts regarding appreciation for our veterans?