Lost Art of Relationships

Relationships with others are the most important thing in your life. Really! It’s critical to your well-being, your health, your source of joy, your way to impact others for good, a support system and actually the only thing that really matters in the end are our relationships!

Two types of family trees to choose from to fill-in

EASY Way to Fill In YOUR Family Tree!

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Two types of family trees to choose from to fill-in

FREE Fill-in Family Tree for anyone of all ages and stages of life

FREE Fill-In Family History Tree Templates to Download

We all need roots to feel we have a foundation to grow from.  A base, such as a solid stem or trunk, to gain strength as we face challenges in life.  Branches to reach for lofty heights and extend to do good.  Our family tree helps us individually see the many talents, abilities and life-lessons we can gain as we learn about our family.

That’s why in our Learn-Practice-Become we are filling our a Family Tree for our self.  Then with our children and grandchildren if we have them. 

 

LEARN

Do you know many of the details about your family?

What they look like, maybe when they were younger?

Do you resemble them physically?

Do you know where they were born?

 

WHY is this even important? 

Because as we learn about our family, we practice one of the most important responsibilities we have. That of connecting our past to the present and the future.  It helps us become our very best as we understand more about our relationships, our culture and more about the people we are related to. 

 

HOW can we accomplish this, or even begin?

It’s very simple!

I have created two FREE Fill In Family History Tree templates for you to choose from so you can easily ‘see’ your family!

If you choose the template with pictures, you begin by putting in your picture, name and birth date.

Then your mom’s picture and her name and birth date.

Next your dad’s picture and his birth date.

On to your mom’s mother’s picture – which would be your grandmother’s picture and her information, and so on.

See how straightforward!

One Family Tree template includes pictures as a download, one is to be pasted in or drawn in, and both are Editable/Fill-In. 

 

What is the purpose of a Family Tree?

It helps us learn about those who are related to us in a visual way; putting people together like a puzzle with faces, dates and understanding how we are related.

Such as these questions: 

  • Do you know your grandparents? 
  • Do you have pictures of them?
  • What information do you have for your parents?
  • Do you know when they were born or how did they meet?
  • What are your great-grandparents like? 
  • Where they are from?

These are all important bits of information that add up and can help you become a better person and understand more about yourself.

 

How does filling out a Family Tree help your family? 

As your children understand their relationships with the present, they feel a foundation in their life.  They connect with the past, which most often brings a stronger identity, resulting in more self confidence and resilience in their present attitude and outlook.

 

PRACTICE

 Two Easy FREE Fill-In Family Tree with or without Pictures Template

Now to choose from two different Free Family Trees that I have created for you.  Each begins with the child, to the parents and then the grandparents on both sides so it isn’t overwhelming, but gets the information started and the curiosity going.

Though it shows a child in the example, it is intended for any age, and every stage of life.

 

A little more before getting started of  WHY family history is so important for your kids, teens and you.

I really like these quotes to help us understand why learning about our family is worthwhile and significant:

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” —Marcus Garvey

  • Eighty families (were interviewed), including both parents and children, to see how much they knew about their own family’s history. Among the questions: Do you know where some of your grandparents grew up? Do you know the source of your name? Do you know some of the illnesses and injuries that your parents experienced when they were younger? The result? The more children knew about the previous generations of their family, the higher their self-esteem and basically, the happier they were.  (Source: https://forward.com/opinion/404668/do-your-kids-and-grandkids-know-their-family-history/)

 

  • In the preteen years, children whose families collaboratively discuss everyday events and family history more often have higher self-esteem and stronger self-concepts. And adolescents with a stronger knowledge of family history have more robust identities, better coping skills, and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Family storytelling can help a child grow into a teen who feels connected to the important people in their life.  (Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/12/what-kids-learn-from-hearing-family-stories/282075/)

 

  • Many people desire to know where they come from, but a sense of belonging is especially important for children and youth. A knowledge about their family history gives children of all ages a sense of their place in the world. It can also give young people something to live up to—a legacy to respect. Family history also provides an opportunity for children and teenagers to make a meaningful contribution to something bigger than themselves. This lesson provides ideas about how to involve children and youth in family history activities. Children and youth who develop an interest in family history are more likely to participate in family history throughout their lives.  You will find a great wealth of information on this site (Source: ttps://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Involve_Children_and_Youth_in_Family_History)

 

BECOME better by actually DOING this!:)

FREE FAMILY TREE DOWNLOADS 

1- THIS FREE TEMPLATE is editable and fill-in.  Simply help your child, or do it yourself, to type in the names and dates as you find them using the editable or fill-in feature.  Print it out and glue or draw in the face of the person who’s name is below the circle.  

This can also be printed and written on the lines, without using the editable or fill-in feature. 

Two types of family trees to choose from to fill-in

FREE Fill-in Family Tree for anyone of all ages and stages of life

2-  THIS FREE TEMPLATE WITH PICTURES is also editable and fill-in, done with Canvait does not require a paid account to use this template. 

HERE are the instructions for this 2nd style of Family Tree 

 

Two types of family trees to choose from to fill-in

FREE Fill-in Family Tree for anyone of all ages and stages of life

b) HERE are the very easy detailed instructions for this Free Template with Pictures, along with the Family Tree.  It includes step-by-step instructions and pictures so you can easily make this Family Tree.

 

c) AND you can visit my YouTube Channel HERE where I have a video titled: Family Tree Instructional Video to walk you through these instructions!

Two types of family trees to choose from to fill-in

FREE Fill-in Family Tree instructions for anyone of all ages and stages of life

WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION TO HELP ME FILL IN MY FAMILY TREE?

Steps To EASILY Search Your Family Tree

 

Step 1 –

Click HERE to go to FamilySearch.org and you will find  the area titled: FAMILY TREE

 

Step 2 –

Click on the title: FAMILY TREE  or HERE

 

Step 3 –

Type in your name and information and keep adding to the name of the nearest deceased relative.  FamilySearch will do an automatic search for the deceased person to see if that person has already been added to FamilySearch.  If they have been added previously, you just need to click “add”.  If not, you will need to create a “new” person.

 

Step 4 –

Once that person’s name comes up, click on that person to see information to add to it, or see what’s there!

OR

If nothing appears then you get to start your very own Family Tree right there on Family Search if you’d like!

 

You can read more about Family History in my first of this series: You Learn More About Yourself By Doing This!

Another wonderful resource for Genealogy is Rachel’s beginners guide to Genealogy: https://hobbyhelp.com/genealogy/

 

Family History is truly one of the greatest adventures of self discovery we will set out on.   

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2019

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Caring for Pets, Dogs, in the Summer

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Summer Pet Care 1

Summer Pet care

I’s all about our pets and we have some tips and advice for the dog and a bit about cats to keep them safe this summer.

My daughter-in-law Ashley, who has worked as a veterinarian tech, and LOVES animals, was so kind to prepare this article for us. Thanks Ash!

   Updated with even more very useful information.  Please check with your veterinarian about any questions concerning this post.




 Summer Pet Care

4th of July Pet Safety

More pets are lost on July 4th than on any other day. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe:

  • Be sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date ID tag on its collar at all times.
  • Take a current photo of your pet, just in case you need to locate your animal.
  • Exercise your dog early in the day before the celebrations and parties begin. This will cause the dog to be tired, calm and easier to relax during the noise and commotion that comes with this holiday.
  • Keep fireworks and sparklers away from all pets!!!
  • During cookouts, ask guests to play with pets away from bbq flames.

If your pet is afraid of loud noises:

  • Play a cd or the radio with soft music to drown out the sounds of the fireworks
  • If possible, keep the pet in the basement where the noises cannot penetrate the area as well.
  • Ask your veterinarian for a tranquilizer to help calm your pet if it is severely anxious.
  • Give your pet distractions, such as a frozen treat or chew bone.

 

Tips and Suggestions

Pets can easily get over heated, some breeds more susceptible to heat related problems such as very thick coated cats and dogs (ex: Akitas & Malamutes – long haired cats & dogs) and those with flat faces (boxers, pugs, Persian cats).

  • Leaving a pet in a car during the heat, even with the windows cracked can be dangerous. Even when it is 70-80 degrees outside, it can quickly rise to 100 degrees in the vehicle. Leaving a pet in a car, even for a few minutes can be dangerous for the animal.
  • Use caution when taking your dog while exercising because it is closer to the ground and will get heated much more quickly then you will.
  • To help with the heat, if you have a thick coated pet, trimming its coat will help. However, avoid going to short as the layers in their coat protect them from heat and sunburn.
  • When using bug spray for pets, do not use anything with DEET in it. There are all natural ones, like Burt’s Bee’s (which is what I use for my pups) and some made specially for pets, found at most pet store.
  • For sun screen, find one that does NOT contain Zinc Oxide, it is toxic to animals. Baby Sun screens, and animal specific usually do not have Zinc Oxide.
  • It’s not a good idea to shave your pets hair very short. The hair acts like a barrier to protect again the Sun’s rays. Try thinning your pets hair, by brushing with a hair thinning brush like the Furminato
  • Heart Worms have been an increasing issue passed along to dogs by mosquitoes. Ask your vet for more information and preventative measures
  • When using insecticides and pesticides make sure these are safe for use around pets; otherwise they can be lethal to animals.
  • Check often to make sure your pet has plenty of clean water. When traveling with your pet there are many options for water such as special water bottles to spill-proof water bowls.
  • To cool down your pup of any age, put cool water in a small wading pool and be sure to keep enough water for the dog.
  • When is hot too hot?

IMG_66196259441554_resized (3)


How to tell if your pet is suffering from heat stroke:

Early stages:

  • Heavy panting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Excessive breathing
  • Bright red gums & tongue
  • Hard time keeping balance
  • If your pet has these symptoms and you cannot cool down your pet and advanced signs of heat stroke begin to become apparent, immediately go to the veterinarian.

Advanced stages:

  • White or blue gums
  • Lethargic and unwilling to move
  • Uncontrollable urination or defecation
  • Labored, noisy breathing
  • Shock

If your dog or cat shows any of the signs above, immediately try to cool them down by:

  • Apply rubbing alcohol to paws
  • Apply ice packs to groin area
  • Pour cool water on them
  • Give it ice chips and small amounts of water
  • Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes

***One way to tell if an animal is dehydrating is to pinch the skin on the back of its neck and pull up and let go. If it snaps back into place your pet is fine. If it is slow to go back in place, your pet is dehydrating. If the skin does not go back down, or takes a long time, your pet is severely dehydrated and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.



If you happen to see a pet left in a car when it is hot outside options are:

  • Take note of the vehicle’s make, model and license plate. Ask the store manager or security
  • Help you locate the owner of the car.
  • In many states it is against the law to leave an animal in a hot car. If you live in an area with this law, call animal control or law enforcement.
  • Keep an eye on the pet in the vehicle until help or the owner arrives.

Traveling with pets:

  • Take plenty of water while traveling or hiking.
  • Pack ‘poop’ bags and use them. Be a responsible pet owner.
  • Do your homework and make sure that the location you want to take your pet is a pet-friendly place. Most hiking trails require that your dog is on a leash.
  • A retractable leash allows your dog plenty of room to play, while allowing a tight rein when needed.
  • Take along a dog toy, that way if you wear out before the dog does, you can sit, throw the toy for them to fetch.
  • If hiking or going to a lake, your dog will most likely be very dirty or wet; pack towels to cover your seats for the ride home.
  • If you take your dog on a hike or in the open, there is the potential for an encounter with a rodent or wild animal which could pose potential threat of disease such as rabies. Make sure your pet is up to date on its vaccines.
  • There is a vaccine to help protect against rattle snake venom. It does not stop the venom, but slows it down enough that you have more time to get your pet into the vet.




Taking your dog to the park:

  • Treat this activity with your dog, just as you would a child and do not take eyes off them. Though you may know the temperament of your own pet, you do not know that of other dogs.
  • Make sure your dog is healthy and up to date on vaccines. It only takes one sick puppy for others to catch it. For instance Parvo is a highly contagious and deadly disease that can easily be spread throughout the dog community. It mostly affects young puppies and unvaccinated dogs. It is wise to avoid places like dog parks and pet shops until your dog has been vaccinated at least twice for the Parvo disease. Parvo can live in the soil for many years, making it an easy disease to spread from dog to dog.
  • Please clean up after your dog!!! Keep ‘poop’ bags in your car or with you if walking.
  • Many weeds can also harm your dog, such as fox tails which imbed themselves in a dogs ears, eyes, armpits and toes. Ask your veterinarian which plants and weeds to be cautious of in your area and what to look for if your pet is exposed.

 The Yellow Dog Project

If you own a dog that ‘needs their own space’ while out with other dogs, The Yellow Dog Project is the solution! The concept is this: if you see a dog with a yellow ribbon tied to its leash or collar this signals to give the dog space and not to approach the animal.

Possible reasons a dog needs space:

  • Health issues
  • Elderly
  • Dog in training
  • Animal in rehabilitation from surgery
  • Dog is frightened/aggressive toward other dogs or certain types of people (example: children)

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2019

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




FREE Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags

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8 Free download Gifts Tags to choose from

8 Free Tags to help you meet new neighbors in an easy and comfortable way!Use these FREE Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to meet your new neighbors!

Most of us find it a bit uncomfortable to introduce our self to someone we haven’t met before, or hardly know.  It’s….odd, right?

Have you moved and had someone stop by and make you glad you bought in the area?  It makes a huge difference in your attitude!

After 25 years in our home, handsome hubby Stan and I moved to a new-to-us home.

It’s an interesting experience at our age, without young kids to naturally help us meet people, reach out and find new friends.

Those who have invited us into their home, been friendly, dropped by with a treat and a welcome smile, have done more than they probably can imagine.

We feel it’s important to build a new reservoir of friends, as well as keeping a pool of friends that we already know.  

As I’ve thought about WHY helping new move-in’s in our neighborhood feel welcome would be important, here are a few reasons:

  • unity
  • safety
  • harmony
  • people can help each other in countless ways if they know each other

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to take a small gift or treat and say ‘HELLO’. 

After my experience of moving, a little ‘HI’, or a small treat, is truly one of the kindest things we can do.

To help make it easier, less expensive and more creative, I’ve created for you EIGHT FREE WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD TAGS  that are editable/fill-in so you can personalize them!  Download them HERE or free 

I’ve put together some ideas of how to use these tags, along with a few links of where to find a few of the items to check out if you’d like. 

But, most importantly, get out and meet those new neighbors by just saying WELCOME so they can enjoy your friendship! 

It’s important to learn who lives near you, practice meeting new people and you’ll be amazed at what you will become as a result!  A great blessing to many!!!

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

Here I used dish cloths and dish soap.  Keeping some good quality dish cloths on hand like THESE to give a couple with the tag and soap would be a great welcome gift.

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

Making quick bread in disposable pans and attaching with a bright ribbon would make anyone feel welcome.  I made my BEST Poppy Seed Bread for this and it’s always a favorite.

 

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

This little package is not only fancy, but it’s very useful.  Wrapped individually are: 3 pack of toilet paper on the bottom, and on the top are paper towels and a box of tissue.  Not expensive, yet the new-move-in would feel very special as they ‘nest’ with this tag and it’s supplies. 

 

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

Who doesn’t like chocolate right!  A brownie mix, hot pad, oven mitt and spatula round out this welcome gift and tag. The possibilities are endless with a kitchen tag: a whisk, any quick mix, measuring cups, kitchen scissors—the skies the limit with this tag. 

 

 

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

A cleaner and a really good microfiber towel like THIS or kitchen towels with this tag.   Give a one or two of the towels with some cleaner and it would definitely be welcomed by anyone when moving in, since there is always cleaning to be done. 

 

 

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

Any sweet will compliment this tag.  Simply attach a bag of candy, or a jar, or wrap with a ribbon if you’d like and head out to meet the new neighbors. 

 

 

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

This tag is EASY to use with a bag of pre-popped popcorn of any kind, or a box of ready-to-pop.  It doesn’t matter, because you are making the newbies know you are so glad they moved it.

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

Pick up a house plant, vegetable or herb plant and this tag is ready to go.  If the container isn’t quite what you want to show off, trim a craft sack of any color to use as a cover.  HERE is a twine collection that should cover about any need. 

Make sure to download your  FREE Welcome To the Neighborhood Tags that are editable/fill-in to make it quick and relaxed so you get out to welcome your new friends.  

In this post are eight tags to attach to small gifts or homemade goodies

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2019

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

How to get the family talking together

How To Have Meaningful Dinnertime Conversations

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How to get the family talking together

Is it difficult to get your family talking at dinner, or at all?

It was a huge challenge to get five kids to settle down and have meaningful dinnertime conversations.  Just getting dinner on the table and everyone there was a win in my book.  But I felt there was more to just feeding them all quickly and moving on to the next activity…and that it would be worth it if I persisted. 

As my kids were growing up, dinner time was often noisy, chaotic, and, well, ‘busy’ would be a good word to describe the normal nightly scene. 

I realized early on that something had to change or it would be time of missed opportunities if I didn’t make some changes. 

My solution to meaningful dinner conversations was from a list of questions I invented myself. 

Now, years later, as we get together and the memories are shared, they are often focused on food and the mealtimes together.

To show the impact of how this tradition of eating dinner together can affect a family, recently as my kids, grand kids and extended family were gathered at our home,  I had to step into the hall to wipe away tears of joy as I listened to the laughter, the easy conversations, and the fun that is now the norm as we eat together.

So, let me ask you this question.

Is it a challenge to get your family together at meal times?

Do they visit and talk to each other at the dinner table?

Or is everyone with their head down looking at their phone, or electronic device; in their ‘own world’?

Are meaningful conversations happening on a regular basis in your home?

If your answer is that you could use some tips and pointers to help you learn How To Have Meaningful Dinnertime Conversations, I’ve got you covered!

Really, with what I’ve prepared for you, this technique makes it so natural to practice this art of conversations, that you’ll consider it a success and be glad you did it.

As dinner times become exceptional, you’ll be amazed at the changes in each person.  You’ll see how they will become better individually as well as a family unit, all because of eating together and having conversations.

 

WHY?

It will bring a bond and stronger relationships that wouldn’t have been there. 

 

HOW?

I have some tips and tricks on the How’s and Why’s that will benefit you and your family for years to come as you have meaningful dinnertime conversations. 

 

Tips Such As: 

  • When do you meaningful dinnertime conversations?
  • How do you start them?
  • What do you say to make them worthwhile?
  • How do you get your family to eat meals together regularly? 

Let’s be down-to-earth.  If this is new to your family, it may possibly be a challenge, or a pain in the neck, to start something like this; depending on family personalities. BUT it’s worth it!!! 

 

So WHY are meaningful dinnertime conversations worth the trouble?

  • Research has shown that families who eat together have more close-knit relationships.
  • There is a lower number of depression and suicidal tendencies in teens and older kids that have had regular meals as a family.
  • Less substance abuse in teens and adults who eat together and hold meaningful discussions. 
  • Vocabulary and education are higher in children who eat together as a family and have conversations. 
  • Bonding and insight that comes from these times bring fond memories and instill a sense of belonging which strengthen relationships.

As I have pointed out from my own experience having very busy kids, all with strong personalities, yet it is worth taking the time to have dinner conversations.

 

WHAT do I do?

1- It might seem like crickets, you might have a protest, or it might be a cheerful chorus when you announce the FUN new dinner tradition – regardless of the reaction, it will work out, just keep going, and I’ll help you all the way. 

2- Be patient, have a sense of humor and remember the end goal in all of this. Nothing great is accomplished quickly. 

 

HOW do you start this tradition of meaningful dinnertime conversations?   

1- It really helps to have ground rules set up.  I like to have some that are mandatory, and then let my kids, or grand kids also help set them too.  They usually come up with guidelines that I hadn’t thought of that are very helpful. And it makes them feel ownership in the process.  These are a few I would strongly suggest. 

2- Have a set dinnertime that really needs to be accepted by everyone and held to as much as possible.  If breakfast time works better, than by all means, have that be the meaningful conversation time together.  The point is to have a DAILY set time the family, couple or those doing this together participate in. 

3- Have a basket or place that ALL phones and electronic devices are stored during dinner.  That includes parents devices too. No TV or movies on either, except for a rare occasion of a designated movie night by you. 

4- Make it FUN!!!  As you go about this, my opinion here, at the beginning unless laws are broken and the police need to be called, language or action is disrespectful and vulgar, or there is a home rule blatantly broken – let it slide IF you feel you can.  Of course I’m being a tad bit sarcastic, but when something new is instigated people feel awkward and uncomfortable, acting out in uncooperative ways oftentimes not knowing what else to do.  Just my two cents, you do as best suits your family and situation of course. I wouldn’t tell this to the family.  I would set boundaries as I always do, but not so strict that my end-goal couldn’t be accomplished as the process is started.  As it gets going and everyone adjusts to it, the rules can be reset to a higher standard, if necessary; again depending on the personalities of the family members.  

5- Have a reward for having a successful dinner conversation, for example of 5-7 times in a row.  Maybe a special dessert would be appropriate, such as ice cream sundaes, or donuts, or whatever is best for your family.  

 




NOW to the FUN part!!! 

The key to cracking that challenge having meaningful dinnertime conversations are my Dinner Conversation Starters

1- Download my FREE printables here,

2- Cut them out and put them in a family jar, bowl or special container to use.

3- Take turns pulling them out and answering the questions

OR

4- One question can be chosen and everyone takes a turn answering the same question; which would be the most beneficial and enlightening to find out what is going on in their life without prying or being perceived as meddling.  And see the different way each looks at the same question, giving you the opportunity as a parent to help each one recognize how wonderful it is to be unique and see things in their own special way.

5- Keep the time SHORT, unless your family wants to go longer.  This will bring them back for more the next night and the next and the next.  It will be perceived as FUN and not a chore if it’s brief and not expected to take all night. 

 

You will be amazed at the benefits of this small, but very powerful tool to begin the dialogue with your family and have open communication.     Ideas will come for your own questions to add to  the tags I’ve provided.  Your family will have some great suggestions of questions also.  

 

This game is another resource if you want more options: Table Topics HERE

 

I’d love to hear your experiences with your family and how it is going to with dinner conversations.  The most important things we do are never easy.  Keep at it, don’t get discouraged and listen for the remarkable answers you will hear as the questions come up during your meal time chats. It will be extraordinary and worth every minute. 

Copyright Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2019

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




You and Your Mother-In-Law

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  This can be one of the most wonderful bed of roses relationships, 

   OR  one strewn with thorns and barbs,

   OR  one that is abandoned and completely ignored.

  Part 1 in the series of Mother-In-Law

This post is part of a series, and for now I will touch the surface of this very significant relationship with some tips of making it a two-way working connection.  Such as:

  • Is it important?
  • What do you call her?
  • Find something in common.
  • Do you know her?
  • Do you know her likes, her hobbies, her favorite foods?
  • Do you find ways to enjoy her?

Below is a picture of my husband Stan with my mom Connie.  He was trying to figure out my ‘Selfie Stick’ and she was photo bombing.  They tease and laugh with each other quite a bit.  Because they both have a terrific sense of humor, it has made a huge difference in how things have been handled over the years. They share a healthy relationship which is very open; meaning they both can speak freely, yet with consideration for the other person.  Of course there have been some bumpy spots over the years; yet the desire from both for a strong family bond  has prevailed through the trials. Learning and growing is a  natural growing pain -and joy – comes from joining families.  They are great friends as well as in-laws.

mother in lawMy mom is a fundamental part of my blog, and I am so grateful for her support. She has been incredibly generous to help with posts and other details when needed.mother in law 6This is Stan and his mom Meredith, my mother-in-law.  I have focused quite a bit on my mom while blogging and since this post is on mothers-in-law, Meredith is my topic. It IS important

Stan and I have been married for over thirty years now, so there is plenty of ‘water under the bridge’ as they say. I look back and am amazed at the progress and change in myself, actually, in all the relationships I have developed over my life time; with association with my mother-in-law as a vital and very important one.  You see, the relationship I have with my mother-in-law affects my marriage as well as the bond with my own children too; so it is definitely worth working at keeping alive and well fed the best I can.  That’s your best for your situation and circumstances.  I am grateful that she has overlooked my follies, insecurities and stupidities of youth, allowing me to evolve to become closer as friends and family.  We all come into a family from different backgrounds and with dissimilar outlooks on life.  It is best when both will allow the other to stumble, forgive, and help the along so they can become a better more mature person. That is an asset to the family. That’s what friends do.

We must show our children what we hope they will do in similar circumstances when they are later in our situation.  If it is not dangerous or destructive to the family, it is so much better to be open-hearted and believe the other person isn’t trying to harm or be of ill-will. Keep communication open, with kindness always at the forefront. Have as the central thought, that someday you will be the mother-in-law or father-in-law, and will hope that you will be allowed the same lea-way and kindness; with the outcome of open relationships and bonds with your adult children and grand-children.

What do you call her?

I do call call Meredith ‘Mom’.  Stan calls my mom ‘Mom’.  We discussed this when we first married and decided that for us it was right and showed respect.  I was joining Stan’s family.  Meredith was a good mother, a fine woman, and willing to allow me to marry her son.  Out of respect and because I felt she deserved the title and distinction from me, I call her mom, or mother.  Stan feels the same towards my mom.  As the kids came along, they saw that we honored and esteemed them as ‘Mom’.  It helped to solidify family relations also, in good as well as difficult times.

Of course this does not mean YOU need to call your mother-in-law ‘Mom’, but ALWAYS keep your language respectful, particularly in front of your children.  It sets the tone for how you will be treated in not that many years to come, when it is your turn to be the mother-in-law or father-in-law.

mother in law 7

 

Find something you like to do together

Stan and I would love to travel with either of our moms, or take them really nice places and do exciting things, but it is just not in our resources at this time.  So, instead of bemoaning what we can’t do, we figured out what we can do.  Meredith likes to watch movies. She is also a foodie like me, and  she is quite an excellent cook by the way.  So when we can get together, we go to her house and watch a movie.  As often as I am able, I make a dinner and dessert for us to eat together before the movie, giving us a chance to chat and catch up on what’s new.  Sometimes we do grab a pizza or salad when I’m in a time crunch; she is always a great sport about it either way, but I love how she compliments whatever I cook – that is the best! (Remember I said she is a fabulous cook, and she’s just plain nice.)  For a treat she likes good black licorice, popcorn, wonderful bread, a fabulous dessert, special flavored ice cream and fruit. She is a tremendously good sport and never gets offended when we watch a movie that Stan hates, which he is usually vocal about; such as ‘Life of Pi’.  He couldn’t stand it, and she just laughs when he brings it up.  She has set a marvelous example of letting those trivial matters slide off her back, and getting on to the next thing – or movie.

She also enjoys games and recently we had a game night.  We were played a few games, including ‘Reverse Charades’. The picture is fuzzy, but I wanted to share how she gets in and participates making memories for everyone.  One of her very best qualities, if I had to choose, which is difficult to single them out, would be that she can laugh at herself; which is a tremendous talent.Mom & Game NightGet to know her

You can’t appreciate someone you don’t know

Meredith, Mom to me, is quite amazingly skilled in so many areas.  She grew up in a very small town, yet never let that be an excuse for not attaining a higher education, nor making her children speak correctly aka use the English language properly, and strive to be their best.  She married George, a wonderful man and they together they had four children.  Very unexpectedly dad, George, died almost 25 years ago.  She has never remarried.  Though she misses him very much, she keeps herself very busy.  She worked until retirement. Afterwards she has taken yoga and other exercise classes to keep up her health.  She is a naturally shy person, but strives to go out and keep in touch with family and friends, attending plays, concerts, luncheons and other social events. I greatly admire that since I know what a struggle it is for her to reach out when she is naturally an introvert.

She absolutely loves jigsaw puzzles and is fabulous at them; mainly because she is incredibly smart. Really, I mean seriously, she can remember things I can barely recall the basic facts about, and she recounts meticulous details!!!  Anyway, she has a puzzle going most all the time.Mother in Law 8Her craft room is set up with fabric galore, puzzles waiting and other projects to keep her mind occupied, her spirits lifted and her hands busy. I want to be just like her this way the older I get.

Mother in Law 9Reading is another one of her passions, which she is amazingly fast at, going through countless books on her Kindle.

She learned crafts as a girl and is willing to pass them on.  I asked her to teach my girls, which she was happy to do. She taught my girls to cross stitch when they were young and in 4-H.

She also taught them to crochet, and tried to teach me, but I can only crochet one thing which is not her fault.  In fact, I applaud her patience for hanging in there with me until I finally conquered my one project.  She probably needed a bottle of Excedrin by the end of it, but didn’t even complain once.

Sewing for her kids and family was another accomplished skill, but quilting is her love.Mother in Law10She has made a quilt for all of her kids (that includes in-laws), grand kids, a special quilt is gifted when they are married, and she hopes to be able to complete one for each of the great-grandchildren.  They are absolutely stunning and each a unique masterpiece of art.  Through the quilts, we have our own tangible, embraceable piece of Meredith – mom – grandma.Mother in Law11

Mother in Law12These are the quilts Mom made for Stan and me!  They are so beautiful and I am very blessed to have the relationship I do with my Mom (mother-in-law), my Mom (birth mom) and that Stan does also. It truly makes our family a bit of heaven on earth. Mother in Law12I realize the Mother-In-Law relationship can be a precarious one in some situations, but it can also be sweet. It is one that does more often than not, require effort, time, determination, love, understanding, an open-heart and wanting what is best for the family, not just for the  moment.

I will dig deeper into this sometimes complicated relationship as this series continues and hopefully give some helps to bring healing, peace and joy to the mother-in-law and daughter relationship in future installments of this series.   For now, find the good, prayer for guidance if necessary and appreciate her.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a Blessing and Be a Blessing Today

 

 

My son's wedding and the details

I Met My Daughter-In-Law To Be For The First Time Over The Phone

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My son's wedding and the details

Wedding Details of my sons wedding

My head felt a little flush and my stomach got a bit tight. I was nervous, but at the same time I felt calm and happy for my son.  It was all so surreal as my son introduced us to our future daughter-in-law over face-time, a phone app, for the first time.  What would you do?

We chose colors, wedding details, and worked to get to know each other as much as possible over the phone that summer.  It’s been a year since then, and looking back, it was a wedding day of miracles, growing love and much joy.  

Let me share our story with you- it’s quite remarkable.

Dallin decided to leave Utah to attend law school at Creighton in Nebraska.  While he was there, he met Brooke.  

They dated;

Got to know each other;

Became very good friends;

They found they were beginning to love one another, and so they nurtured it with healthy dating.

Continuously working hard to lay a solid foundation of respect, trust and honor as the base; knowing that would make it last- happily.

It was becoming apparent, that both wanted this relationship to be a bond that would last forever.  

On a Sunday, as usual, Stan called to facetime Dallin.  Well, Brooke happened to be sitting next to Dallin. 

Stan, my handsome hubby, asked who the pretty gal was.

Well…. Dallin, who is more private in his social life than some of our other kids…kinda spilled the beans that he was seriously dating Brooke (very serious it turned out), and their love story for us began. 

Luckily for us, WE ADORE HER!!!  She is truly a blessing to our family and we couldn’t be happier to have her as a Groneman.

LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO DALLIN AND BROOKE

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

For me, it was an interesting experience because Brooke was working very hard to finish her schooling, preparing for the Bar Exam in Omaha. and working a part time job.  So, as much as she wanted to be involved, she could only do so much!

Ok, a little mom-in-law brag here: Brooke has a Bachelors Degree in Phycology, an MBA, a Juris Doctorate (specializing in Patent Law), and currently finishing a Masters in Biology as I write this post.

Anyway, back to my story. During that time, Dallin had traveled to Colorado to clerk for a judge as part of his schooling.

Meanwhile, I’m back here in Utah figuring out the details for the wedding and reception, as they decided to have it in Utah, and her family would travel here to participate.

 

MY GIRLS SAVED MY SANITY 

I am so blessed to have two daughters and 2 daughters-in-law, Brooke now joining the clan to make three. 🙂

Ohhhh SO much to do from arranging from what everyone would wear to decorating the reception center, to what to serve for refreshments, to countless other minor details. Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed, particularly not knowing Brooke well and wanting it to be ‘perfect’ for her.

My girls stepped in, and were angels!!! 

For example, one particularly exhausting day, after running from store to store, we finally found blouses to match the skirts I had been made from discount cloth that I found at a local fabric store.

Tawni and Ashley stayed until the very last minute, so we went to grab a bite to eat. We visited, laughed, and it was so nice to just relax. They are so good to me.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

For the refreshments, I had a tight shoestring budget, but I also wanted it to be nice.  Danitra, one of my daughter’s, crunched numbers continually. 🙂 

We chased down donut trucks and other food trucks to try them out, to see if any of those would work— huge sacrifice I know—yummy:) (Isn’t my grand daughter adorable too!)  I look back on that time with fondness.  We always have such fun together. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

As a way to highlight Brookes colors, we settled on a sweet treat.We purchased the candy sticks at the Peppermint Place in American Fork. They have candy sticks in bulk in SO many colors and flavors! They really are the nicest people to work with too.

In American Fork at a candy store that is a dream of a kid – of any age – called The Peppermint Palace, they carry candy sticks in bulk in SO many colors and flavors! They really are the nicest people to work with too. And if you go during certain hours you can watch them decorate candy too!

Candy sticks were sweet additions to the centerpieces making it extra special. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

SHE CAME!

Brooke had been trying to find/make a wedding dress work for weeks back in Omaha.  With her heavy work and school schedule it was very frustrating for me to watch her go through that so far away.  That was one thing I couldn’t fix for her.  We lucked out (actually a miracle happened), and she was able to fly here for 2 1/2 days and boy did I cram in everything!

On our way to the airport, Stan, Delsi and I stopped at the Draper (Utah) Cold Stone Ice Cream Store. These wonderful store owners are who we had chosen to cater Dallin and Brooke’s wedding reception after Danitra and I had looked at all the choices.

Cheryl and Seth were AMAZING, and I would recommend them to everyone for any occasion you have!

We were able to taste so many of the ice creams, if not all off of them!  I mean they didn’t hold back, they were so kind and wanted to make sure we were happy with our choice.  We narrowed it down to 10, including a choice for those who have special dietary needs too! You’ve got to come the Draper store folks! 801-706-5867.  

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

We packed the containers of flavors we chose in dry ice and drove to the airport to pick up Brooke.

However, as the three of us stood there waiting for her, we watched others with their signs waiting for friends and relatives to arrive and realized we hadn’t brought anything to distinguish us.

Remember, she hadn’t met us in person before!  Sssooo, my ever resourceful handsome hubby Stan did this!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

We found each other easily and headed straight for Debbie’s place.

Debbie owns Dessert Edge Cakes, they are DELISH, and extremely affordable too!

You get to taste the cake, choose your design and she is FABULOUS to work with!  www.dessertedgecakes.com  801-485-0354.  Tell her I sent you:) I wish I had a reason to just order a cake to eat it right now!!!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

I ABOUT KILLED HER  IN THE DETAILS

The next day I was so excited to take Brooke to see the venue.  I had made an appointment for us at This Is The Place and we arrived in the morning.  What I didn’t realize is that Brooke hadn’t been to an elevation of 800 feet and we are at 5,500 feet.  So after showing her around some of the park after seeing the reception building, I get a call from my son asking me why I was trying to kill his fiance.  WHAT?  

She was too shy to tell me, but she was getting physically ill from the high altitude….oooppss….lesson learned.  

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

The next day was dress shopping.  We found her PERFECT dress at Petal’s & Promises Bridal in Logan 435-753-8022.  She looked just radiant and it was YES to the dress.

Picking out flower arrangements and many other details were worked out also.

It worked out so perfectly that Dallin was able to drive over from Colorado to join us.

Our family had the best time ‘helping’ pick out the final six flavors of ice cream – yummy!  All the siblings and grandkids sat around the table with spoons in hand as we tried each one of the flavors, some a few times, just to make sure we knew what it tasted like. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

THE BIG DAY ARRIVED

Dallin and Brooke chose to be married in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Brooke with her mom, family and maid of honor. We are SO grateful to have these wonderful people as a part of our family too! 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

I want to give a side note here to all those who have parents involved, namely mom’s who are unable to go into the temple to be with their daughters for the ceremony.  I found out, that day through miraculous events, that there is a special room at the Salt Lake Temple, in the visitor area on the south side. A room where guests wait for the wedding couple.

This dressing room has mirrors, and is really nice. And it CAN be used for brides to come to AFTER the ceremony, to get into her wedding dress, with the help of her mom, sisters, or whomever she would like to help her, so that they can also be apart of this very special occasion.  

The bride can then go out the south doors, or can be taken to where her groom is waiting at the traditional area to exit out the west doors facing the temple usual.  If you have this situation, call ahead and make arrangements for the comfort of all.  It made our day delightful to do this, as I was able to be Brooke’s escort in the temple, and then I was able to leave her with her mom, grandma, twin sister and friends to change into her wedding dress. This made everyone feel as included as possible. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

The couple with me, Stan and my beautiful mother-in-law Meredith.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

WHAT’S A FIRST LOOK?

Brooke wanted the photographer Steve (amazing by the way) and works for James Erick Photography (801-678-6240) to do a ‘First Look’.  Steve was terrific to do anything and everything he could for us and didn’t flinch at the curve ball I tossed at him. Steve took it in stride and made it happen.  He was professional, patient, approachable and just nice the entire day and evening. We loved our pictures like these!

My son's wedding and the details

etails of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Ok, sorry back to the wedding day.

Well, I hadn’t had a chance to explain the ‘First Look’ to Steve, but as I hinted he quickly put it together for us.  Brooke came out one door, she was with her mom, sister and friends at the south door which was convenient. While Dallin had his back to her when he came out the traditional door.  He had not seen her in her wedding dress, so this was the ‘First Time’ or ‘First Look’ – and his reaction was priceless. 

My son's wedding and the details

etails of wedding and reception fr bride and groom.

After family pictures were taken, they had the usual one taken areound Temple Square as a couple…..

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Stan, our kids, a few others and I ran to the reception place to get things ready.  We had chosen The Heritage Building at This Is The Place in Salt Lake City                801-582-1847 (you know how much I love that place if you follow my Instagram, lol).

 

THE RECEPTION

The Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Bar was a HIT!  Ice cream of the guests choice, from the six flavors Dallin and Brooke chose – from the ten that we chose (remember they were out of state so we selflessly tasted all the scrumptious ice creams and picked the ten out for them) and they were even labeled with ‘Groom’s’ and ‘Bride’s’ Favorites for fun! They guest could have their ice cream in a delicious waffle bowl with a choice of four syrups such as chocolate, caramel, strawberry, etc.  Then the toppings, and these aren’t all of them!  It really was the best bargain AND we got to take the extra home!!!  

Ice cream of the guests choice, from the six flavors Dallin and Brooke chose – from the ten that we chose (remember they were out of state so we sacrificed and tasted all the scrumptious ice creams and picked the ten for them) and they were even labeled with ‘Groom’s’ and ‘Bride’s’ Favorites for fun! The guest could have their ice cream served in a delicious waffle bowl with a choice of four syrups such as chocolate, caramel, strawberry, etc.  Then the toppings, and these aren’t all of them!  It really was the best bargain AND we got to take the extra home!!!  

What did we do with the extra ice cream and waffle bowls?  If you’ve read about our 2nd Sunday’s, it happened to be one that weekend, and you can read all about how that came together HERE

The Strawberry Mango Banana Sorbet was the Gluten-free, Vegan Free, Dairy Free and AMAZINGLY YUMMY!!!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

In Utah, it’s not unusual to have a traditional receiving line, which we did.  This means the parent(s) of the bride and groom, sometimes siblings and special friends; along with newlyweds, greet guests who come to see them, as they stand in a line for a specific time during the reception.  It’s a wonderful chance to thank those who took the time to come for their kindness, to spend a little time and share their special day.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

SHOW OFF:) 

Stan collected pictures of Brooke and gathered many of Dallin’s to put in a slide show along with music for the guests to watch so they could get to know them a little bit better as they enjoyed the reception. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

KIDS ARE WELCOME

Receptions that have a traditional line, or a dinner, or whatever the case maybe, and involve toddlers or kids can be difficult because they become bored.

We wanted the kids to have something to do, so the parents were comfortable to stay, visit, relax.   To enjoy their time with us, those they met there and each other. 

I LOVE having my grand kids a part of anything possible!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

My daughter-in-law Ashley made all the grand daughter’s girls dresses.  They were just adorable and as sweet as could be- Perfect for the day! She would love to make little girls dresses, and matching items for the boys for your special day.

You will find Ashley here: Aria’s Little Lovely Dresses 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

WHAT DO WE DO WITH THESE KIDS?

So to solve this issue we had a KIDS AREA!  

We had wonderful gals who agreed to stay the length of the reception in the Kids Area so I didn’t need to worry about that at all.  They were there to help them, get out the supplies, food and look after them as need, but the door STAYED OPEN and parents were gotten as children cried or needed anything.

We had a video showing:

Choose one that is very family friendly and that a wide age range would enjoy.

Toys such as:
Lincoln Logs

Cars & Floor Road

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

You gotta feed ’em Food: 

I LOVE these cups!  They have lids, a way to mark the kids names on them and it’s easier to keep from spills which is IMPORTANT for those of us who cannot risk a slip or fall for injury!  Check out these drinking cups for the kiddos HERE

Goldfish Crackers are always a hit with kids of any age.  You can easily find them HERE

Annies Organic Fruit Snacks are a healthy treat to have on hand, they are HERE

Granola Bars are good to have also, check these out HERE 

 

Keep ’em busy with Things to Do:

Clipboards solve the issue of what the kids have to color on for the coloring pages and whatever else. I have a link HERE

HERE is a coloring book for young kids to take out the pages for each child to color for an idea you can see.

Dot-to-dot is always a hit, and pages come out easily for passing out. You might like this one HERE.

HERE are word searches and more.

Oh don’t forget crayons HERE

And lastly for this activity it’s great to have colored pencils, especially if you have coloring pages for olders kids and even adults, I have a link HERE

Adjust for ages and you can have coloring pages for ages up through adult too:)

——————

Back to Dallin & Brooke

THE CAKE CUTTING

Always a fun part of the reception.  I’ll let you guess if they made a mess…:)

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

THE FLOWER TOSS *See more of the flowers below

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

THE GARTER TOSS

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

FIRST DANCE AS A COUPLE

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

And now it’s time to leave for the honeymoon.

I would suggest one thing that I learned from that night. 

I had purchased bubbles with HUGE ratings, ‘perfect’ 5-Star, all of that. Yet you can see here we are without any bubbles :/

May I recommend THIS for your event, in addition to the bottles of BUBBLES.  It’s good to have THIS as a backup to add to the pageantry…. you know….to look marvelous for the pictures.  THIS is what my grand kids love to play with and it really works! I definitely would have had it in addition to the BOTTLES OF BUBBLESif I would have know about it.  Better safe, then…well…without bubbles, lol. 

Regardless of the failing bubbles, the couple looked amazing, and off they went to Italy!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Stan and I can’t tell all the family and friends who helped in countless ways, how grateful we are for making Dallin and Brookes wedding remarkable.  We appreciate all the kindnesses and generosity that were shown in large and small ways; it all made such a difference. 

 

THE FLOWERS

We loved our flower lady who made the most incredible bouquets, Boutonniere’s, mother’s corsages, and all the other arrangements involving flowers.  Her name is Pat and she has a charming shop by her home called Berglund Floral.  You can reach her at (801) 444-2026.  Pat is extremely easy to work with and her prices are very affordable.  I hope you give her a call.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

SMELL THE ROSES, THEN SPREAD THE LOVE

I apologize for the terrible quality of this picture, but it was that important that I share this with you.

At the venue, there was a HUGE fireplace with a ginormous mantle that would show in the pictures behind us.  I needed to do something with it, and since we were decorating, it needed to be on a shoestring budget, but also very attractive and nice.

I started looking for ideas and came across Sam’s Club and that they sold roses in bulk – who knew?  Right!

They were wonderful to work with and they delivered them on the exact day I needed them and they were GORGEOUS!!!!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Pat worked her magic and made a stunning display to put on the mantle using all the roses I purchased.  You can see how talented she is to incorporate inexpensive artificial greenery and flowers with the roses.  It was perfect.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

After the reception, I had dozens and dozens of roses left over—-what to do with them all?

Actually, I had a plan all along.  

See, I had been saving up bottles the few weeks prior to the reception as I emptied them when cooking.  Mayo jars, pickle bottles, fun salad dressing bottles; all sorts of things. I soaked them and cleaned off the labels, having them ready for this event I knew was coming. 

While cleaning up that night, I had everyone keep the longer ribbons attached to the square vases holding the candy sticks and other vases.

Arranging the roses, greenery, and ribbons it turned out like this. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Can you guess what I did?

I took them to a local care center!  They loved them and enjoyed them more than we ever could have.  

If you have left over flowers, corsages, boutonniere’s or any decorations that would be appropriate to cheer someone else up with —PLEASE, don’t hesitate to drop them off. Or better yet, take the family, friends, or just you go on it say HELLO and make some’s day a little better.

 

LET’S BACK UP A LITTLE

The night before the wedding, Brookes family came into town and we were able to meet them and get together for a very casual dinner.  

Derek and Tawni (my son and daughter-in-law) were so gracious to host this event at their home. They made everyone feel very welcome and comfortable.

Because they have a wood burning brick oven on their deck, they chose to make homemade pizzas.  It was so delicious and really a nice evening.  Stan and I are very grateful to Derek, Tawni and everyone who helped make that night so yummy and fun.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

COOKIN

Tawni, and her helper, were prepping in the kitchen – don’t worry, we didn’t leave it all up to those two, we helped too:) Tawni made several flavors of scrumptious pizzas. 

Derek does a fantastic job baking up the works of art that Tawni makes, I mean they are AMAZING – we caught him taste testing.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

We brought salads and sides.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

And PIZZA is Served!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

I hope you have enjoyed this wedding post.  Best wishes for many years of happiness and health to the happy couple.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2017

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Kids with Beans

Playtime with Dry Beans and Small Vehicles

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Kids with Beans

Beans & Car Indoor Playtime

This is the BEST way to help expend energy, use creative juices, and have some entertainment without technology.
It’s so easy to have on hand and quick to pull out any time.
If your grandkidlet is stuck inside and driving the family crazy, has been sick, or maybe had surgery, how about sending one or two of these fun items so they can all have a bit of relaxation and know you are thinking of them!  A bit of chocolate for the mom or dad too wouldn’t be a bad idea also:) See how to send it in a fun way HERE:
 

Playtime with Dry Beans & Small Vehicles

I keep dry beans in a bag, then pull them out and pour them in a shallow box, or containers like these.
I also have construction vehicles and small cars for them to drive through or build in the beans.
When they are done I just pour the beans back into the bag to use again next time. 
I’ve recycled mine for years now!
The cars and construction vehicles are always in used in many other ways too. It’s a fabulous way to keep them entertained for long stretches of time and for all ages. I like to have a variety for color and size because it helps to stimulate creativity and keeps them playing longer also.
 

       Click on titles to see products: 

6 Set Toy Construction Vehicles 

12 Pack Assorted Construction Vehicles Toy, Die Cast Vehicles Truck Mini Car Toy For Kids Toddlers


 
 

For MORE  inside boredom busters that you can take out for easy play here are some more favorites to have on hand-

I absolutely LOVE these noodles as they call them.  They are made from cornstarch and stick together with a bit of water.  They can stick on windows, or to each other! They do not stain, nor do any harm and come off with a bit of water. Great for the entire family for hours and hours of play.  Grab a bunch of them  by clicking on the word or product because once the teenagers and the parents see how much fun the little ones are having – game on! 🙂

 Stikits                          Stikits Eco Friendly Foam Wet and Stick Construction Set (180 Pieces)

         

Another FABULOUS activity!

Kinetic sand.  It is so cool and feels really neat.  Seriously, it’s addicting for anyone who touches it to play and play and play.  It’s reusable, sticks to itself and cleans up easily! 

This one:  Sand Clay for Kids, Kinetic Sand & Molds Activity Set

 
 
Or this National Geographic is a great choice too

 
Add in this Sand Activity Kit and you have tons of extra play time           

 
Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2017
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today



Different ways to wrap and send a gift than just in a regular box or container

Did You Know You Can Mail Holiday Gifts THIS Way?

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Different ways to wrap and send a gift than just in a regular box or container

Unique and creative ways to send presents in the US postal service

There’s a special from 11/19 through 11/24 at Dollar Tree for flat rate shipping! CLICK HERE for this GREAT deal! 

 

It’s coming! Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year and why not make it even more memorable. It’s all about making and keeping relationships and sending a gift in the mail is one way!

How?

Did you know you can send items in the mail just as they are? 

Seriously! 

I’m telling you, things you never thought you could mail in the snail mail — you can!

I have some cute and fun packaging ideas as well as making gift wrapping for family, friends, relatives anything but boring!

Watch my video for unique and creative ways to send presents in the US postal service and bring a smile not only the recipient, but you’ll be smilin too and so excited waiting for them to get their imaginative wrapped gift in the mail.

If you like my suggestions, you can click on any HERE below and it will take you to the section in Dollar Tree’s on-line store that you need.  It’s a flat shipping rate, which is so economical! If more of an item is needed in the order, split it with a coworker, or a friend – Easy- peasy!!!

 

In my YouTube Video, I have TONS of ideas for:

  • WHAT to send
  • awesome ways of HOW to send these gifts and holiday presents
  • and to suggestions of WHO to send them to
  • simply click  HERE

I LOVE sending fun things in the mail and the reaction I see when we SKYPE or WHATSAPP

Or when they call excitedly to tell me ‘what’ they received in the mail – the response is priceless! 

 

Here’s a list of the items I used in the video if you’d like to check them out:

 

  • One of the ideas I show you in my video is a delish unique homemade White Hot Cocoa that is AMAZING and one of the most popular on my blog. I have a free recipe card you can include with the White Hot Cocoa so your family and friends can make their own too!  You’ll find the link in the post along with the super easy recipe HERE

 

  • Another free special recipe card I wanted to provide for you is my own SEASONING SALT.  Then you can include it with the Seasoning Salt as you send it in the mail in a clever way. A fabulous gift for everyday use. You’ll find the recipe and the printable link HERE

 

 

 

  • You’ll find links for all SIX of my SCRUMPTIOUS Popcorn Recipes HERE

 

Plastic and other unique containers HERE

Christmas Kitchen Towel Set HERE

Pencils, Markers, Sticker Pads, Crafts and more HERE

Toys, Games, Arts, more Crafts and other fun things HERE

Christmas containers such as the mailboxes, bags and seasonal items HERE

For more ideas and suggestions see my post: Did You Know You Can Send THAT In the Mail?

 

FTC Disclosure Statement: I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize A Blessing And Be A Blessing Today