Grandparents and Summer Fun

WHY Should I Spend Time With MY Grand-kids?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Grandparents and Summer Fun

What to do with your Grandkids this summer

Strengthening bonds between grandparents and grandchildren of all ages is not just a good idea, but it’s critical to family stability.  

Your children will find strength in the foundation of family (even more so, as teens and adults) as they know their grandparent(s) on a personal level.

Summer is a GREAT time to take advantage of this opportunity to nurture this relationship with grand kids of ALL ages because there are so many inexpensive and free things to do.  Also, being out in nature instantly brings a relaxed and open atmosphere which is perfect for communication – whether it’s the first time you talk, or  you chat every day, the outdoors lends a natural setting for open dialogue. 

Have you considered that Grandparents have a unique position from that of parents or friends?



This is For Parents:

  • Parents who let their children, older kids and teens spend time with grandparents* are wise to promote this connection in anyway possible.


  • As a parent, don’t you need a break is sometimes? Having a grandparent(s) for the kids to go visit for even an hour; where the homework battles, the daily duties and necessary responsibilities are set aside for awhile, there is a healthy environment they can thrive in. The reason for this, is they can focus on the relationship, which will prove incredibly valuable as the years go on. Studies show that cognitive and social behavior is greatly improved the more time children, older kids and teens spend with grandparents. 


  • Grandparent(s) are a pillar of support to you, as a parent, to reinforce the values and guide in the morals you are teaching.  In stories and in other ways, give wisdom and tidbits of advice, which balances what you are doing in the home.


  • In this day and age of busyness and often living far from relatives, it is vital with the disintegration of the family in our society today, that you do not allow that in your family.  By promoting communication with grandparent(s)* the abundance of love, care and attention, that only they can give will pay off immensely as the years roll on.*
Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

This Is For Grandparents:

  • Make time for ALL of your grand kids. They are a treasure beyond any gems on the earth! No amount of money can compensate for the cherished time you will spend together.


  • I know it can be difficult to deal with the noise, chaos and a bit of a mess that comes with little ones when they visit.  However, the energy, love and hugs will far outweigh the temporary inconvenience.  They will love you unconditionally and in a way, that no one else can.


  • The older kids will open up to you with their problems if you give them the opportunity.  They may be dealing with small or large challenges that only you can help them with due to your experience, or that they may trust only to you.


  • And teens – they need you! Do not assume that with the changes in technology and life style, that you have nothing in common.  Remember, people are people, and the time in history does not change that.  We all have emotions, feelings, trials and tests to overcome.  They need your wisdom and perspective!  Be there for them, they are listening.  Don’t lecture, but share and have fun together.


  • When they become adults, they will come for to you for advice, look to you as a confidant and a source of comfort.  Be there to let them know that things will get better.  To persevere, always do the right thing, never compromise values and all will be well. 


What do you do if you have grand kids that you do not know as well, or that you don’t ‘connect’ with as easily?

  1. Pray to know what to do and how to reach them.  
  2. Ask the parents for help of what they like to do, what they like to eat, find something you could have in common.
  3. Be persistent, but considerate of the person’s personality, as you work to make the relationship strong.
  4. Don’t be afraid to get out of YOUR comfort zone to open the communication:)  

Now, here’s  some Summer FUN ideas you can do with the Grand Kids!

Summer is one of my very favorite times of the year.  There are so many places to go and tons of FUN to have!  

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

I KNOW it can be difficult to get the family together, with so many schedules, ages and different interests, but I hope you will take on this CHALLENGE –

Which is: 

  • Do something with each and everyone one of your great-grand kids THIS summer
  • Do something with each and everyone of your grand kids THIS summer
  • Do something with each and everyone of your kids, if you have them THIS summer


It may take a lot of effort to accomplish this little challenge, depending on location and availability, but it will be worth all the effort even it it is not apparent at the first. 

Here are a few ideas of things to do:

  • Skype with grand kids. If the children are young, read them a short picture book via Skype.  If they are older have some jokes on hand (check out the local library or bookstore for a good one)
  • Play a board game
  • Have a little party at your house, just simple with one or two of them.  Another grandma I get to share my grandkids with did facepainting!  How fun is that!!!
  • If you can’t get everyone together at one time, still spend time with each one somehow that fits into your budget and health. 
  • Lunch or breakfast at your house, or at a restaurant, with a smaller group gives the opportunity for visiting.
  • Go to the park and feed the ducks and play on the play ground.
  • Visit an outdoor garden or easy trail to walk.
  • Play an internet game at a set time once a week – you can agree on one that is fun and appropriate for both of you.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Visit an aquarium.
  • Take them to a water park, or a splash pad.
  • A museum geared for children, or older, depending on the age of grand kid.  Many are free and afterwards get an ice cream cone or small treat.
  • See a play – serious or fun.
  • Go fishing.
  • Go bowling.
  • Go on a bike ride together.
  • Go on a hike or an easy to walk trail.
  • Play the X-Box/gaming system together for a set time with the condition they walk around the block with you afterwards.  You will have something to talk about, maybe your poor ‘gaming’ skills??  But hey, you can laugh together about it and have that in common.
  • Sports such as tennis, 4-square (does anyone play that anymore?), hop scotch, you can come up with great ideas to ‘challenge’ them with.
  • This list could go on for pages and pages
  • Most important –  do NOT, I repeat, do NOT give up!! 

Some family members are more receptive to strengthening relationships and bonds within the family, and some may be a bit more resistant.   Keep at it, keep inviting, keep loving and be patient.

Picture1Take the opportunity to be with your family of ALL ages. 

We share grand kids with Derek and Donna Jaco. These two are very supportive of all of their grand kids and enjoy being involved in all they do.

Fun With Grandparents

Dinners and get-together s with all the grand kids are cherished events for the Jaco’s. 

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

And, we share a brand new grandson!

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

Another set of grandparents we share with are amazing and so incredibly creative!  They can make anything – seriously –  you can’t believe the elaborate FUN parties!!!

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

One of the events they enjoy doing with the grand kids is – 

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

Face painting for any holiday, or just because!

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

We also share a couple of grand daughters with another set of grandparents who are really fabulous.  That Grandpa enjoys taking them into the garden and picking the delicious produce he grows.  The Grandma is an extremely talented musician and teacher.  She reads to them and sits with them at the piano either playing alongside, or helping move their fingers along the keys as they learn how it sounds. Tremendous people!

I'll Tell You Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll give you ideas on how to plant one, as well as why It’s important

It’s never too early – or too late – to build a strong family foundation.Collage Corn Huskers

Relationships are spending time, talking, laughing and simply being together.  That’s how communication flows, and love deepens.  Enjoy your family today, and everyday!!!

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2017

*Disclaimer: If there are issues with grandparent(s) or any family members, that could harm a marriage or children, you may want to seek professional help, or counsel as needed. 

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Reaching out to help Parents & Grandparents

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Helping Mom and Dad

Helping Mom and Dad

Aaahhhhh, it’s so nice to have it done!

From the time we had kids,  Stan and I would corral the kids to help family members with  yard work, minor repairs or whatever the needs were, from the time our family was young.Helping Mom and Dad 1
Now, we still do all we can to get everyone to help out once a year or so.  Helping Mom and Dad 2
 This time, extended family caravan by vehicles for about 2 1/2 hours to help  mom and dad to get things done in the yard that needed attending to. Helping Mom and Dad 3

It’s work, effort, time and use of resources, that’s true; however, doing these projects as a family is more fun than alone.Helping Mom and Dad 4Even the little ones get involved.  I had them drag small branches to the pile for burning at a later time. Helping Mom and Dad 5
It’s never too early to teach them to help and work at appropriate levels.Helping Mom and Dad 6

Maybe you/your family will take the opportunity to find out who might need a bit of help. Gather them up, plan a potluck and make wonderful memories while accomplishing some good!Helping Mom and Dad 7Helping Mom and Dad 8Working together to help others,  strengthens bonds, create memories, teaches many values, And helps to instill a strong work ethic,Helping Mom and Dad 9

Don’t forget to have a day of FUN too!
Helping Mom and Dad 10
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

100 Dice Game

Game Time of 100

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

100 Dice GameOh, it’s time for some family FUN!     This FUN game is called 100 and will fit the bill perfectly for 3 players  and up.     

It’s for any age that can write their numbers OR roll the dice while a parent writes.     Low prep, easy to play and great for any time and anywhere! 

Stan’s brother and his wife are some of the most fun people I know. They love to play games as a family and taught us this one a few years back. It’s called 100 and is a terrific game to take along anywhere to play anytime. My daughter Delsi kept it in her backpack for downtime at school. (She also cheats at this game by running away with the pen, but do not follow her bad example, heehee).  Now on with the game!!!




2 dice (6 sided dice)

Small pieces of paper, one per player

Pen – one that is smooth such as shown  



Each player takes one piece of paper and rolls ONE die.

The high roll begins the game.

The player to the left of the beginner player gets the pen and at “GO” begins to write 1,2,3,4, etc.

Meanwhile the person with the dice is rolling BOTH dice and if the person rolls anything but double SIX’S after rolling, passes the dice to the next person, skipping the person with the pen.

The next person quickly rolls, also trying to roll DOUBLE SIXES.

If a double six is rolled, the person who rolled it grabs the pen from the person writing and begins to write on their own paper 1,2,3, and on.

The next player grabs the dice and rolls.

If they get a DOUBLE SIX they grab the pen and write their 1,2,3, etc.

If not, the next person gets the dice. I

f a person rolls DOUBLE SIXES and has already begun to write numbers on their paper, they pick up where they left off.

When a player reaches 100, they shout ONE HUNDRED and wins the game.


 Copyright Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Surviving the Holidays

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



 Yes, they ARE coming!!!

The holidays are highly anticipated with visits from family near and far. However, it can be a challenge….ok, even down-right frustrating oftentimes.  The weeks of planning, shopping, wrapping, cooking and preparing for a ‘perfect family time’ can sometimes, actually most of the time, turn out a bit different than planned.  Hopefully this article will help you enjoy and relish your time with family and friends.


We WILL have FUN, and I mean it….Really, what are your expectations?

Don’t expect perfection from yourself or your family – it’s not reality, nor will it ever be for anyone, unless they are paid actors with a script. People are human beings with their own quirks and personalities.

Try to imagine your family as a sit-com and get a laugh of the oddities that will most certainly come up. The occasional criticism, the annoying comments, the disagreements, is all just a part of being a family. Do not ‘get into it’ with them, or fight or be mean-spirited back; just do your best to forgive, and smile. Of course if there is a serious issue, deal with it as an adult, meaning think it through, count to ten, take a long walk and breath deep to avoid lashing out, or saying something you shouldn’t that will damage relationships. This too shall pass and they will go home.

Show kindness and respect to everyone, not just those you get along with better, or family members who treat you more kindly and are more considerate. If you work on being calm, happy, loving to all,  you’re giving your best, and that makes all the difference.

Don’t over-think or over-prepare.

Over-think means to imagine up all kinds of scenarios that might come, or might not. You cannot control everyone or everything. It is just not possible.

DO think of:

  • Have your house clean before they come. Everything will go much smoother, because clutter adds to the chaos.
  • Have extra basic supplies on hand, such as extra toothbrushes (go to the local dollar store and look at the basic toiletries for ideas and for low cost to you).
  • Have your laundry all caught up and put away so that if family needs to wash clothing due to a baby blow-out, a toddler accident, or their own needs, it will be available and you won’t be stressed trying to squeeze your washing in also.
  • Paper plates, paper cups, disposable utensils will be your best friend!  Do not stress over doing all those dishes, this is a holiday for you too.
  • Have snacks on hand that are more healthy such as cheese sticks, crackers, granola bars, fruit, vegetables, fruit, bread, peanut butter, etc. for family to snack on when they get hungry. Put them in a ‘free zone’ meaning let them know they can have it whenever they would like and they don’t have to ask permission. This is particularly thoughtful for new in-laws or guests who may feel it would impose on your generosity to ask for food other than meals. But a hungry tummy makes any get together not so fun.
  • Speaking of food, it works well to label ‘do not eat’ in masking tape or on the container if it is an necessity for a certain recipe. There is nothing more uncomfortable than finding out your critical ingredient was eaten, the stores are closed or too far away, or the expense of replacing it would be too much. Embarrassing all around.
  • Consider food allergies.
  • Find out dislikes of certain foods and have a few options, such as peanut butter and bread, frozen burritos, anything simple they can prepare on their own, while not making more work for you. You may think this is going a bit overboard, but I will give you my example. I will not eat eggs of any type of preparation, so if I had the option of cereal or instant oatmeal for breakfast when eggs were the planned menu, I would really appreciate that host/hostess the mostest!
  • Do not be militant or overbearing, but do set down rules and boundaries that apply to your home.  Make them clear from the get-go.

So-and-so Drives me crazy!

Some members of the family are more social than others; do not

  • Expect everyone to participate in every single activity being offered, or even to be involved with the family much; that’s just how some are, but love ‘em just the same.
  • Have an escape plan for yourself and spouse IF it does get a bit crazy, just tell them you have to go make sure all the little fish are still in their proper tanks at the local store or that you need to go help arrange the books at the library from tallest to shortest.  It will give them the heads up you need a break, but with a sense of humor.

My Best advice:

Do tell your family of the ONE or two (but NO more than that) what the important activity, or event, to you (and spouse if it applies) that you want everyone involved in, and be clear which one it is. This could be a family picture, a dinner, a visit to see a relative, anything, but just one or two things and that’s the rule you can’t break. It is important that adult children have their own traditions to solidify them as a family unit and they may have the other side of the family who would like to see them also. This makes you happy because your main event will be attended by all, and helps family members know exactly what activity to plan on above all else. Generally they don’t want to disappoint or seem rude, they just may not know what to do to make you happy during the season.

Do NOT over-prepare:

  • Have food that can be prepared simply and quickly so you can participate in the family time and enjoy it as much as everyone else.
  • Try to have food that if it is not used, it can be stored for a future time.
  • Have things prepared to do, such as games, movies, an outing to see the holiday lights or a local attraction. BUT, do not expect everyone/anyone to do all those things. It is nice to have ideas to vote on, or choose from out of a hat.
  • If you are the one visiting relatives, chip in and help with the cooking and clean up. Do not wait to be asked, PLEASE.
  • If it is your house everyone is at, do not be shy about asking for help. It only makes you feel resentful that you are in the kitchen alone while everyone else vegges in front of the tv.

You know how an animal can sense your nervousness? Well, people are the same.   That is why it is vital that you relax, enjoy and savor the time together, whether it is for one hour or a week. Family will want to be with you, IF you enjoy being with them, and it is the most relaxed environment you can make it. Families are made up of complicated individuals, yet the holidays can be simple and fun if you work out the details the best you can ahead of time, then sit back and enjoy the wonderful ride it is.  Just think, after all the festivities, you could possibly write a best seller of all the ‘fun’ – just be sure to change the names.  

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mothers Shadow, 2013, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.