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What is a Grilled Grandma?

A grilled grandma is a grandma on whom I've shone the spotlight, grilling her with some grandma-related questions — and she's graciously responded with answers and photos!

I regularly feature a new Grilled Grandma, so if you are a grandma, have a grandma or know a grandma, I want to hear about it. Just email me a first name and e-mail address and GRILLED GRANDMA in the subject line, and I'll add you/her to the menu of future Grilled Grandmas.

While you're here, get to know the latest Grilled Grandma — and don't be shy in showing her a little love with your comments!

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    Grilled Grandma: Grandma Sharon of Around the Table blog

    Dear readers: A Grilled Grandma is a grandma on whom I've shone the spotlight, grilling her with some grandma-related questions, and she's graciously responded with answers and photos. Today I'm delighted to introduce to you Grandma Sharon!

    grilled grandma

    How many children do you have?
    We have 4 children ranging from 22-31; boy, girl, boy, girl; my plan was to have my children 2-3 years apart but God had other plans. They are 3.5 years, 8 months (one is adopted!), and 4.5 years. I always say if you add them up and divide, you get my plan!

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages?

    We have 4 grandchildren and two on the way. This year we are doubling the number and my oldest son no longer has the corner on the market. Three (soon to be four) live three hours away, one lives in town, and one will be in Germany.

    Any great grandchildren?
    The oldest grand is 5, and we’re still filling the basket with grands…great grands will be here before we know it, though!

    What do your grandchildren call you?

    The two who can talk say “Grandma” (and “Grandpa”) but I speak Spanish to the one here in town. Hopefully she’ll call me “Abuelita”!

    After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother?

    I guess for my “kids”. My son was (and still is) a grad student, and working full-time. We were extremely excited about the first, the time was right. The rest have come so quickly, I wish we lived closer to be able to ease the burden a little, but they are doing a great job! And my daughter-in-law is one busy lady caring for and educating these kids!

    grilled grandma

    How often do you get to see your grandchildren?
    The one in town, at least weekly. Sundays everyone (four generations including both my parents and my husband’s parents) all come for lunch after church. Funny thing is none of us grew up here. We all moved in, some from other continents!

    What is the best thing about being a grandma?

    Playing with these kids. Not being so uptight about their behavior, if they’ll get spoiled like I was with my own. I don’t have to discipline them and my kids are doing a great job! I love coming up with ideas of things to do from crafts, to games, to hide and seek. I love that they get excited to see me!

    What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
    Keeping my mouth shut! Like I said, my kids are doing a great job, but sometimes we have advice that worked for us. I try, really hard, to NOT offer advice unless I’m asked. And then to ask questions first. If my kids only knew how much I held back!

    Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud.
    When the 4 month old laughs, it is so. much. fun. Her laughter gets us laughing. She’s such a sweetheart!

    What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house?

    Have them sleep in in my bedroom on the floor near my bed and wake up and climb in bed with me. Sometimes we pretend to be asleep because it is Saturday morning and 6 a.m. but the three year old boy usually just climbs on up! And that’s okay!

    What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?

    They like to make up games for me to play with them. One time we were monsters, but nice ones and we decided to have a tea party. But monsters give thanks for their food after they eat! Did  you know that?

    grilled grandma

    What/where has been your favorite family vacation?
    We haven’t vacationed with grands yet. When our kids were growing up we lived in South America. The church campsite was available to us when camps weren’t on. We went there with other families, some missionaries, some nationals. It was great fun, cookouts, bonfires, songs, and friends for parents and kids alike!

    How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits?

    My husband and I travel a lot, so I often send them post cards. I’m teaching the out of town ones Spanish via Google Hangouts twice a week, and I send letters.

    What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?

    A love for the Lord.

    What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you?


    grilled grandma

    What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent?
    I’m still pretty new at this…just 5 years into it. I guess not giving their parents advice, ever!

    What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma?

    Love the kids, pay lots of attention to them, play with them, read the same book 100 times if necessary, give hugs, listen. The relationship you develop when they are little will enable you to have one with them when they are older and might seek your advice. Pray, pray, pray for them and their parents.

    Is there anything else you would you like to add about being a grandmother?
    I highly recommend it! :-)

    Do you have a website or blog? What is the URL and what is it about?
    Around the Table Blog — It’s about families connecting at mealtimes through conversation, chores, devotions, manners, and hospitality! (Or you could say fellowship, faith, family, and friends!) My desire is to inspire families to get together around the table more often. We had 2-3 meals a day together for all the years we had children at home. Now that’s the high point of our times together when we can be together. If we hadn’t done it then, we wouldn’t do it now. Our kids are our friends!

    Do you have other published work you'd like to share (books, articles, etc)?
    I also have a book called Around the Table, a book called An Evening in Mingouwee about how to encourage missionaries and foster missions interest, both published by ECS Ministries. I have three children’s true missionary stories published by Everyday Publications in Canada: Alicia, the Story of a Girl in Peru, Goat’s Milk Medicine, and Disguised, as an Angel of Light.

    If you would like to be featured as a Grilled Grandma or know of a grandma whom you'd like to nominate to be grilled, please email me with the subject line GRILLED GRANDMA and include the grandma's name and email address. Thank you!

    Reader Comments (16)

    What a nice opportunity to meet Sharon. Very interesting answers and very inspirational.

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdaylily

    I love this concept: grilling grandparents! I have to agree with Sharon. I too wish I had learned earlier NEVER to give advice on parenting.

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterToni McCloe

    Unfortunately, I do not have either, I do have a wonderful nephew who I love as if he were my very own. I enjoy interacting with my friends grandchildren at times as well.

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Cassara

    Lovely! I adore that she's trying to get families "back around the table." That is sorely missed and underrated '

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Sikorski

    I love this post. What a wonderful family. And I echo everything she said about being a grandparent! How wonderful to have 4 generations together for a Sunday meal!

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Lawdanski

    How lovely to meet you Sharon and I can certainly agree with some of your answers. I just love playing with my grandson and taking life slowly when I'm with him so I enjoy every moment. I'm also guilty of trying to give opinions or help when I should probably just acknowledge that my daughter knows what she is doing and will ask for help if she needs it. Being a grandparent is a wonderful part of life which you don't really appreciate until you become one.

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered Commentersue

    Loved meeting this Abuelita who encourages imagination and joy! Hopping over to read your blog right now Sharon.

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRuth Curran

    I always enjoy reading your blog and was happy to find it thru The Grand Social. Your family sounds wonderful, Sharon, and you are a wonderful grandma. This is so interesting to learn about each other's backgrounds.

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPamela Shank

    That tiny baby, so adorable! This was a fun interview thank you for introducing us to Sharon.
    My grandkids all came in 2's and 3's too.

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDoreen McGettigan

    Reading this I couldn't help but be excited. My son and his wife decided to start planning their family this year. I'm beaming with joy! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCarolann

    Such a cute idea for a post. Being a grandma must be so much fun. Really makes me wish my mom lived closer. One day, she'll give in a buy a condo up here.

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAngela Weight

    Such a sweet post! I look forward to the day I'm lucky enough to be a grandma.

    May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMary

    Hi Sharon,
    What a fun idea! I would be happy to be 'grilled'. It would be from a little different perspective since our three grandchildren live in Italy and we see each other once a year. We thank the Lord for many ways to communicate today and try to take advantage of all of them😎
    I'll look forward to hearing from you!
    PS. I enjoy the blog even though the family is gone I like you host and hospitality ideas. We still do plenty of that.

    May 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMaribeth Cetola

    Wow! Thank you all for your comments. I had a great Mother's Day weekend/graduation weekend. My youngest finished college and I was able to have three of my children and three of my grandchildren here for the weekend. It was busy, but thanks to the wonderful grandpa I'm married to, I got do play with the kids a lot while he washed dishes and cooked on Mother's Day. We just didn't have our youngest (so far) grandson and his VPM (Very Pregnant Mommy) and our faraway daughter (and son-in-law), who is looking forward to becoming a mommy this summer.

    As to advice: when I had a baby someone gave me a book of suggestions from mothers and one said, "Remember, being pregnant and having a baby is like wearing a t-shirt that says, 'Give Me Advice!'" It's just so easy to do. Things that worked for us and that we think are wise just pop out of our mouths! :-)

    May 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

    Welcome to Grilled Grandmas! I love that you are teaching the kids Spanish over Google Hangout! Grampy has taught Amara how to tie a tie over Google Hangouts! We have to stay on top of as much technology as we can! Nice to meet you!

    May 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    I am so glad you featured Sharon! I know her and have followed her blog for quite awhile and I have now added yours to my list as well.

    Sharon's answers were great and spot on!

    May 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSusan O

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