Grilled Grandma: Grandma Sharon of Around the Table blog
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Lisa Carpenter in Grilled Grandmas, grandma lifestyle, grandma profile

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!

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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?

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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?

Fun.

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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!

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