Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Grammy's Fall Vitamin Regimen

With the change of season, a grandparent's duty is to help ensure proper nutrition for the little ones. How easy it is to see that autumnal colors remind us of the importance of well-planned meals and snacks. Have you noticed how many healthy food choices are orange?
And this one
The children catch on quickly and enjoy making their own suggestions.
Benjamin noticed immediately that this orange vegetable is made with real honey.
So these are good for you, right Grammy?
Yes, my lad.
And don't forget those autumnally colored festive drinks.
Pop maintains a complete supply of orange, red, yellow and green Fantas.
Just look how the youngsters take great pleasure in maintaining high levels of multivitamins.
Packaging and presentation make all the difference for grandchildren
who struggle with proper vitamin intake.
Here is a fool proof method for making certain your grandchildren
ingest sufficient amounts of
Vitamin C3.
Candy Corn Cones
Assemble the ingredients:
Candy corn, candy pumpkins, Milk Duds, pretzels, mini marshmallows, M&Ms,
perhaps some peanuts, chocolate or white chocolate chips,
waffle cones and chocolate bark.
Mix all ingredients other than chocolate bark in a large bowl.
Stir to incorporate well.
You may wish to break up the pretzels a little as they can prevent proper access
to all items of nutritional value.
Place waffle cones in upright drinking glasses for stability.
Fill waffle cones with mixture.
Make sure you prepare enough for all grandchildren and their friends.
In this age of entitlement we wouldn't want anyone to go without Vitamin C3.
Melt chocolate bark according to package instructions and drizzle over the top of the cone in order to prevent the inadvertent loss of any vitamins.
The chocolate also enables the stacking of additional vitamins for that extra pep in one's step
that is often needed to get through long school days.
We grandparents must do what we can to assist our adult children
in the proper care and nourishment of their young.

Once again, presentation means everything.
Wrap the Vitamin C3 cones in cellophane bags and secure with a festive ribbon.
Just look at these bright, shiny faces.
See those clear, sparkling blue eyes?
Vitamin C3
The way to happy, healthy grandchildren.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Grandparenting: Proper Feeding of Grandchildren

One of the many privileges of grand-parenting is serving as  adjunct advisor concerning the proper feeding and nourishment of little ones. In previous posts we have discussed this topic in depth here and here. Today we will focus on three vital components of a child's diet, protein, carbs, and condiments.
We will be assembling hamburgers and hot dogs, two nutritional mainstays of the younger set.
First, gather together all necessary ingredients:
Candy circus peanuts
Nilla Wafers
One can white ready made icing
One can chocolate ready made icing
Red, yellow, and green coloring for icing
Decorator bag and tips #4, #5, #7, #10, #80
Using white icing and small bowls, tint 1/4 cup icing in each color.

With a paring knife, make a clean slice into the "hot dog bun" about 2/3 of the way down, being careful not to slice all the way through. Gently bend open the bun. 
Carbohydrates are a necessary component for maintaining sufficient energy to enjoy
all activities in the home of grandparents.
With your cake decorating bag, gently squeeze the hot dog onto the bun.
Processed meat products accompanied by red dye are known to be beneficial to the well being of grandchildren.
A swipe of mustard can easily be applied.
Mayo is neither available nor tolerated at Grammy's.
Set aside for serving.
Remove hamburger buns from the package and place on platter for application of the burger and condiments. It is entirely likely that your grandchildren will require a sample of the buns to verify both taste and freshness.
By all means comply.
Any buns that have been chipped or damaged in any way in the packaging process should be immediately consumed.
Pipe the meat onto the bun using the #10 tip.
Be sure to  fill the bun to capacity with the meat, piping  as close to the edge as possible.
Using the #80 tip, add a ruffle of lettuce to the burger.
This is a sure-fire method of introducing green leafy vegetables into little darlin's diet.
Using the #4 or #5 tip apply mustard and ketchup to burger as desired,
making certain that both are visible at the edge of the burger.

Place bun top on burger.
Arrange hot dogs and burgers on a serving platter. 
Serve immediately, encouraging your grandchildren to clean their plates.
Their parents will thank you.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Famous Last Words: I'm Bored

It's a wonder my girls survived to adulthood with me as their mother. I was pretty tough on them. They learned rather early never to say, "I'm bored." Those two words may have slipped out once, but certainly not again. Well, let's see. You could fold laundry, wash windows, write a note to someone who's lonely, OR you could read a book.
We have A LOT of avid readers in our family now.
This reminds me of a story.
One of my darlins who shall remain nameless (except she would have most certainly been chosen "Least Likely to Commit This Crime") threw a tomato at the neighbor boy who just happened
to be wearing his brand new whiter than snow polo shirt. Not any more.
Did you throw a tomato at him?
No ma'am.
How did he get covered with tomato?
He got between the tomato and the ground.
Are you lying to me?
Yes, ma'am.
So let me get this straight. You threw a tomato at him and then lied about it.
Come to think about it, where did you get a tomato?
I STOLE it out of the McHenrys' yard!!
Using my super-advanced parenting skills, I sentenced my child to solitary confinement in her room which probably made her happier than anything in recent history.
Can I read a book?
No, you may not read a book. You're not in there to enjoy yourself.
I promise if you let me read a book, I won't enjoy it.
There's so much to do now with my children's children.
There's no way we can become bored.
We can watch Louie the Lizard who lives at my kitchen window.
Yes, I let the littles stand on the kitchen counter
and on occasion
hang out the window.
Please don't tell their parents.
Or we could play hide and seek with Cannibal, the man-eating cat.
Cannibal, hey man, we're out here!
Last week I asked Mary Kelly to pick up a doll house door for me.
"Sounds like Grammy to me," commented Meg.
Paint the door with craft paint.
Glue the door to the staircase in the kitchen.
Down low where little hands can reach it.
I've got to buy a door knob tomorrow.
It's a fairy door for all manner of little creatures who would like to come in and play.
But they need something to do.
We will make them some three legged stools to sit on.
See what the newspaper says?
Working toward the future.
Yes, we are.
Poor little guy got cramps in his arms and legs
trying to negotiate the three legged stool.
Looks like an itty bitty table for tea parties would work.
Collecting sticks is de rigueur with my grandchildren.
Grandmuvver taught us you never know when you might need a good stick.
These sticks from North Carolina have been living in a grocery sack
under the skirted table in the dining room just waiting for a good project.
We used a maple leaf for the table cloth.
A twig ladder is necessary for climbing the stairs.
How about some cherry pie and a little lemonade?
The little bowl and jug can be bought at Hobby Lobby, too.
They come in little bags on the wood aisle.
It's my favorite aisle.
Gracie found the jug and bowl totally irresistible.
She ate them.
The party was halted prematurely.
And no, we are not bored.
Not one bit.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Remembrance

The following post is excerpted from my travel journal to France.

10/27 Bayeux/Arromanches-les-Bains/Omaha Beach/Pointe du Hoc

I will remember this day for the rest of my life. From the Hotel Tardiff to the English Channel is a distance of only six miles. We had no difficulty finding Arromanches and the landing zone from D-Day. A steep up the road climb to the 360' museum where a film of the Battle of Normandy is shown. The films of the British and American soldiers, the civilians, the ships, gunfire, fires and destruction were incredibly sobering. We saw films of American factory workers building tanks, others of displaced French women and children pushing carts loaded with what remained of their possessions past burning and demolished villages and towns and down country roads.
More videos of wet, wounded, dying or dead soldiers and the voices of Churchill and Eisenhower saying, “ We will never give up-we will never surrender.” I'm always looking for my father in videos or photos of the war. He was a 19 year old soldier that summer of 1944 when he landed at Omaha 94 days after D-Day. I had a hard time holding it together during the 20 minute movie, especially thankful for the sacrifices these men and women gave, many of them the ultimate sacrifice, to give us the life we enjoy each day. Every American should see this place, this hallowed ground.
Sad, too, about what Dad went through, and it would seem changed the course of his life in so many ways. He laughed when I called to thank him after we saw the WWII museum in Paris. I can always be grateful that for whatever has been hard or lacking, God saved his life in Normandy so that I could be born and come to know Jesus Christ as my Savior and God as my Heavenly Father, live in a free country and be given a blessed life.

That was only reinforced as we stood at Omaha Beach and the American cemetery where thousands of American soldiers are buried. Row after row after row of white crosses and stars of David.
The French people gave the land of that cemetery to the United States so that her sons would not be buried on foreign soil. I will never forget.

Pointe du Hoc with its bunkers, craters, and barbed wire. What remains of the batteries that held guns capable of firing over a 24 mile span of shoreline.
The look-out bunkers where enemy soldiers report sighting American ships and soldiers.
Barbed wire lining the edge of sheer rock cliffs is more than one can take in, especially in an afternoon visit. The wind rips across the cliffs---how did these men survive the climb up such a wall of rock with wind tearing at their very being? Many of them sea sick or already injured. Equipment damaged in the crossing of the channel. Ropes too water-logged to be shot to the top edge of the cliff.
After these scenes in cold, cloudy, damp, windy weather (which somehow seemed so appropriate) we had little to say to one another for quite a while as we drove along the coast. Little to say except thanks to God for brave, selfless, ferocious American patriots who died to protect and preserve freedom. We will never, ever forget.



Friday, April 4, 2014

Like a Shepherd Nine: Training Ears and Taming Tongues

Look at these fuzzy pink ears tuned in to your every word. It's not always like this, is it? Good listening and wise use of the gift of speech are commended in scripture. Check out Proverbs 1:5;7:32;8:32 for a few references. Several times this semester we have gone to Deut.6:4 for instruction on teaching our children. Interestingly enough, this verse begins with the word hear, the Shema, the Hebrew word for hear. Hearing, listening, language and speaking are God's appointed means of communicating, both with one another, but especially with Him. He is the Word.
How can we train our children to be good listeners? Beeke says, "Listening involves much more than just hearing. It includes engaging our minds to assess accurately the message given to us and to understand the context in which it is given." Listening requires self control, humility, and diligence in thinking.
1. Self control: How many of us are thinking how we will reply while someone is still speaking? How many of us continue what we're doing instead of stopping to give respectful attention to the person speaking? Junior (and his parents) need to look others in the eye and get down on Junior's level to do so. Gentle but firm hands on Junior's little cheeks can help maintain his concentration and attention.
2. Humility: Phil.2:3,4. Listening is another expression of "my life for yours" Christian living. I care enough about you to enter into your world. Listening is also a matter of humility when correction or criticism is being given.
3. Diligence in thinking: Skilled listening requires understanding of what is being said in the context. Response is secondary to understanding. Think before you speak! We live in a noisy world filled with electronics and gizmos that keep our ears full and our minds rather empty. Bertrand Russell in his essay "Why I am Not a Christian" said, "Most Christians would rather die than think." Ouch. Of ultimate importance in hearing, listening, and thinking is that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. We want our children to be well trained in listening in order that they may hear God's words of saving faith and instructions for living, that they will meditate (chew!) on his word, receiving both its comfort and correction.
How can we train our children to listen to God as He speaks, particularly on the Lord's Day?
1. By preparing them to hear it. Pray with your children that we would all come expecting to hear God speak to us, that God would bless his word, his servants who bring it and that our hearts and minds would receive it.  Have that expectation talk with your little ones about still bodies, but active ears and minds. Our Lord's Day bulletin is accessible on Friday on the FPC website. Read the scripture and sing the hymns. Familiarity with both is a confidence builder for young worshippers.
2. By assisting them to receive it: Perhaps sitting closer to the pulpit will help minimize distractions. Young ones who are participating in Lord's Day worship services should be able to tell you at least one thing they heard, be it from the bible reading, prayers, hymn singing, the sermon, or even an announcement. One of my little girls reported she heard the preacher say, "Today's passage is a difficult one". It was. That's a start! Our children, like Jesus, are growing in wisdom, favor and stature with God and man Luke 2:52.
3. By training them to apply it: James tells us to be not only hearers, but doers of the word (1:22). The scriptures are worth talking, thinking and praying about and then certainly worth applying. This of course requires diligence, time and effort on the part of parents, but doing so is faithfulness to Deut.6. Remember that God's primary school of evangelism is the Christian home.
Christians are not exempt from the battle against the tongue. The book of James is the go-to lesson. Go! God is a speaking God and our speech is a gift from Him to be rightly used to praise Him and to speak wisdom, another concern of parents for children Ps 34:11-14.
James points out the danger of poorly used language. Here are some rather frightening word pictures he uses. The tongue is:
* Destructive...a fire 3:6 A few unguarded words have the power to destroy relationships.
*Defiled and defiling v6. What we say has the power to tempt others to misuse speech.
*Devilish v6. Satan love to discourage, wound and attempt to destroy God's people by the misuse of the very means of communication God has given us.
*Defiant v 7,8. James says it is a restless evil like a tiger pacing in his cage waiting to break through the bars to attack.
*Deadly v8. The tongue is full of deadly poison, able to pierce hearts and minds like a snake bite.
Beeke gives us four kinds of words to restrain ourselves from using:
1. Judgmental or critical words. While God calls us to be discerning, He has not called us to be the critical judge of men. There is an appropriate time and place for redemptive criticism, but habitual tearing down is neither helpful, nor biblical.
2. Profanity, obscenity and vulgarity. No examples given or needed. Our speech should be reflective of the purity and holiness of God. Culturally acceptable language may change, but God's standard for purity, wholesomeness, and holiness is a constant.
3. Outbursts of anger. Anger, while at times most appropriate and righteous, is different from lashing out with words that harm and abuse. Be careful what you say to your children. They remember.
4. Nagging, murmuring and complaining. The Israelites (and we) were highly skilled in using these kinds of words about their lot in life. This kind of language goes back to the garden and a heart that doubts God's goodness and greatness.
What's the antidote? When prone to judgment or criticism, remember the mercy of God. When criticism is needed, it is redemptive and is kindly given in the context of loving parenting. The ultimate goal is to continue to point our children to Jesus. Our words are to be spoken as if they were the very words of God 1 Pet.4:11. Are they truthful? Helpful? Appropriate? Anger needs to be communicated respectfully. If Junior hasn't gotten angry with you yet, he will. Be ready. Help him learn to express his feelings in the safe, secure, and just environment of your home. Rehearsal required! And finally, cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving. Do everything without complaining and grumbling because we belong to and are the beneficiaries of a giving, loving, merciful Heavenly Father.