Memory Christmas Ornaments

Baby and Kids Keepsake Memory Ornaments

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Memory Christmas Ornaments

Keep Sake Baby and Kids Christmas Ornaments

Are you looking for a quick holiday craft,a keepsake or even a present that is economical yet sentimental? Look no further! Here are three ideas that your family can all do, no matter the age.  These would be treasured as baby’s first Christmas, or every year your children could see the growth as their hand covers more and more of the ornament.  A great gift for grandparents too.  These would definitely be appreciated by all. 

Baby and Kids Keepsake Memory Ornaments

Snowman Ornament


For the Snowmen & Foot Ornament:

Shatterproof ornament, color of your choice

Acrylic paint

Sharpie markers

Sponge wedges with handle  


For the Marble Spin Art Ornament:

Clear plastic or shatterproof ornament


Acrylic paint



Step 1 – 

Tickle your kidlets hand by painting them with acrylic paint of your choice with a sponge wedge. Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 1Step 2  –

Have your kid hold their hand flat, place the ornament in the palm and ask them to curl their fingers over the bulb.

Help them press fingers evenly.Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 2Step 3 – 

Place the ornament with the paint on it in an egg carton to hold it while it dries.Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 3Step 4 –

Using the sharpies, draw buttons, hat, face and whatever you would like to bring Frosty to life!Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 4

Baby Foot Print Ornament

Step 1 – 

If you have a baby, you can paint their foot, which is much easier than trying to get them to uncurl their fingers:)Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 5

Step 2- 

Press the painted foot onto the ornamentKids Craft Christmas Ornaments 6Step 3 – Let it dry in egg carton and then write the baby’s name and year.

Marble Painted Ornament

Step 1 – 

Squeeze a small amount, about the size of a dime or less, of acrylic paint into the bottom of a clear ornament, use a shatterproof or plastic one for this craft.Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 7

Step 2-

Drop a marble into the ornament with the paintKids Craft Christmas Ornaments 8

Step 3- 

Now let the kiddos shake, shake, shake, making a pattern inside the ornament with the marble painting the inside.Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 9

Step 4-

Allow the paint to dry and if desired, repeat with a contrasting color, using a tiny bit of paint and a marble.

Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2017

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Grandparents and Summer Fun

WHY Should I Spend Time With MY Grand-kids?

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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.

Grandpa 1

Your Family Stories & History

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Grandpa 1
Grandpa’s saying was: be a help, not a hindrance.  When he almost burned down the chicken coop, he must have forgotten that phrase!
This is my Grandpa Orson (Bob) with his pet chickens. He decided to try his hand at lighting a match…..

 What family stories do you have to share with your children (young or grown), grandchildren, or even great-grand kids?
Next to life itself, family is the most blessed gift given to us as human beings. Learning more about our extended family and those who went before us brings new perspective, understanding and appreciation.
Click HERE for my post on family and the importance of unity.
In my own family I admire so many; their talents, gifts and example have greatly impacted my life.  And there are some funny (a few generations later, ha ha) stories too.  I’ll share an example from my family:
My kids get a kick out of this story of their great grandpa, Orson because they can see him as a boy and get to know his personality a bit more.
Orson’s father wanted to instill a strong work ethic in his children, so he and his son Orson Jr. raised chickens to have eggs to sell. Young Orson would check the eggs to make sure they were good, feed the chickens, clean the coop and other chores.Grandpa 2Unfortunately, Orson decided to play with matches ones day and burned down part of the coop! Grandpa 3

It is amazing we have these pictures in our family.
There is a FREE site to learn more about YOUR family. You can find cousins, pictures of ancestors, family stories, trace your linage and even make easy charts to find and see how your family fits together.  Click HERE ( and spend some time yourself, or as a family, having fun looking around and seeing who is there that you are related to.
Family members have a greater sense of belonging and purpose when they know a bit about their family history. So, set aside some time to do create special memories and SHARE your stories, as well as talking to grandparents, aunts, uncles – your family!
Copyright Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2014
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Send 'em a little Love

Grandparents Corner & Family: Send 'em a little Love

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Send 'em a little Love
It's In The Mail! 3

Send ’em a little Love

Who said we have to wait for a birthday or holiday to send a little something to say, “I’m thinking of you”, “I love you”, “Thank you”, or even a “Hello” to a grandchild, niece, nephew, son, daughter, sister, brother, friend – anyone!!   


I tried an experiment, just for all of you, and it worked! You can send pretty much anything in the mail (careful about too much weight or size if on a budget). I mailed puzzles right in their own box, candy in its own wrapper, balls, a box of fruit snacks and fruit roll ups in the box right from the store,  pringle cans with treats inside (no chips involved here) and lots of fun items.  
I typed up the address of the person I was sending the gift, toy or treat to, along with my return address and took it to the post office.
The postal worker told me that she once had a coconut come through.  A coconut, just as you buy them, with the address taped on the outside sent right through the mail!   It's In The Mail! 14 Another unusual item was a baseball bat.  Just the bat!  The sender had written a little note on the bat with a sharpie marker, then taped the sender and recipients address, all right on the bat itself.
Here’s some ideas for fun things to send in the mail. Just click on the picture!



White Chocolate Shoes - Artist Squiggle


TIP: For the pringles can, I put a little note inside of a sandwich baggie and put it inside with the cookies I sent so it wouldn’t get greasy from the oils of the cookies.Bethany JacoAnother TIP:  I found out the hard way, is that some coatings of balls and toys come off with the tape used to attach the address.

It's In The Mail! 19All ages will appreciate a little show of love, thoughtfulness and kindness by receiving an unexpected gift in their mail box. 

Now, for fun containers to put your little ‘mail-of-love’ in. 

Here are just a few ideas I collected around the house; you probably have quite a few of the same.  Be sure the container is sturdy and tape it securely closed. It's In The Mail! 15

Would you like to send a party in a bottle?

Well, here you go.It's In The Mail! 35
Again click on the image

Rinse out a large pop bottle and allow it to dry thoroughly.
Take off wrapper and make a slit about 4″-6″ where the glue is from the label (you can save yourself the trouble of cleaning it off, it will not matter). It's In The Mail! 33

It's In The Mail! 34Into the slit, stuff confetti, foil shreds, wired ribbon, anything your heart desires.

Then slip in the gift, keep in mind where it is going and will it melt before reaching its destination.It's In The Mail! 32

Type or hand write the name and address of the recipient of your fabulous ‘party’, and be sure to include your return address.

It is best to double layer the paper, then simply tape the address over the slit. 

Everyone will be amazed at how YOU took a minute to send a little MAGIC in the mail, and appreciate your thoughtfulness.It's In The Mail! 36Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Get ready for Grandparents Day


While researching Grandparents Day, it became apparent that it is a day set aside for grandparents to bond with grand and great-grandchildren as well as the reverse.  According to the National Grandparents Day website, the aim of National Grandparents Day is: 

  •   To honor grandparents
  •   To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children
  •   To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

I also read that 4 million children in 3 million households are being raised by grandparents. It also said that more than 5 million children live in a house where a grandparent is also living there, or has the children the greater part of the day. Obviously that indicates that more grandparents are very involved in the responsibility of raising their grandchildren.

To ALL grandparents, we at A Mother’s Shadow, salute you and appreciate your contribution to help this next important generation be their best. As grandparents, we are in a tremendous position to influence for good. If we are involved in our grand children’s life; they will listen to and respect us, as they feel our love and appreciation for their individual personality and interests.

First up: Grandparents. If you happen to live too away far to be physically involved, then have someone come set up Skype for you, if you don’t know how. Learn to Facebook and text. It can seem a foreign language, but it is the way this generation communicates and they desperately need the wisdom and friendship of grandparents – even if they don’t realize it yet.  There may be missed critical opportunities if we don’t learn to use the social media to contact and maintain relationships with our posterity.

So how can we connect? A few ideas include a puzzle I posted about on August 16, 2013. Or, if you live close, take each grandchild, or (if you are up to it multiple grandchildren out for ice cream or to go to a movie. If the distance or your health precludes physical activities, then call, write a letter, text, anything to let EVERY single one of your posterity that you care. The key here is to just make it personal and full of love.

Now for the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and their parents. I have seen time and again, when kindness and devotion are regularly demonstrated, note demonstrated and spoken towards the elderly, particularly members in the family, that same attention and respect comes back to those parents in their later years when they are then the grand or great-grand parents.

The example is set. When the kids are young, you can have them write notes, or even color a picture to send to their grandparents. Show them pictures of their grand and great-grand parents often if they live far away. Regularly mention them in positive tones. When your children are older teens, or on their own, possibly you can gently nudge to call, remember birthdays and such.

Life is busy and things like this can be easily forgotten in the bustle of school, work and young families of their own. Have everyone over to dinner when possible, or if the grandparents are in town, if it is not too difficult on them, have the gang over to say “Hi”. I found a great site with many ideas and printables you may want to check out for your family activity to focus on grandparents.        

Click here for the website for gifts for Grandparents: Crafts, Printables and Ideas

To Grand, Great-Grandparents, Parents, Kids of all ages, make a wonderful, influential memory this year!

A young boy gave this account:  “When we want to see our grandma and grandpa we go to the airport and pick them up.  Then when we are done with them, we just take them back to the airport till we are ready to see them again.”

 Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.