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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 Grandmas

    Tuesday
    Dec082009

    Grilled Grandma: Ann

    Ann (center, in green) with most of her grandkids and two great grandchildren in 2001.How many children do you have? I have seven children, ranging in age from "39" to 39 (for real, my youngest).

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I have twenty grandchildren, ages thirty down to the youngest set of twins, who just turned fourteen.

    Any great grandchildren? Ages? My four great-grandchildren range from ten years to eighteen months.

    What do your grandchildren call you? Half my grandchildren call me Gramma, the other half call me Nonnie (due to a beautiful, hard-headed little girl who influenced  everyone younger-- she's now twenty-one).

    How often do you get to see your grandchildren? I get to see my some of my grandchildren every couple of months, others only every few years, due to long distances and family circumstances.

    What is the best thing about being a grandma? The best thing about grandchildren is seeing the faces of my own beautiful babies, only better, and their characteristics displayed and re-born into a new generation is positively glorious.  Besides, now my children will eventually understand just how THEY made me feel, all those years ago.

    What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
    The most challenging parts of grandparenting are those aforementioned long distances and family circumstances.

    Describe a recent time one or more of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. I think I laughed the hardest when, shortly after my stroke, I had a table full of grandchildren for dinner and was trying to cut up chicken for little Ravenn, who was sitting to my left.  I must have pressed too hard with my basically uncontrollable left hand holding the fork and the chicken flew off the plate and bonked Ravenn in the head.  Across the table sat Coltan, Ravenn's twin, and he laughed so hard he fell off his chair and, cackling like a hen, he said, "Let that be a lesson to you; you can't sit close to Nonnie's "Crazy" hand or you'll get hit in the head with a piece of chicken."

    What is your favorite thing to do when your grandchildren visit your house? My favorite thing to do with my grandchildren, either at my home or theirs, is to listen to their recent activities, their plans, and their dreams.

    What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? I would like most to pass on a dependence on God for all things good and an ability to rely on Him and thank him for all good things, large and small.

    What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? There are actually two words I'd like to be remembered with: love and laughter.

    Wednesday
    Dec022009

    Grilled Grandma: Debbie

    How many children do you have? 2

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages?
    1 granddaughter, Makaila, age 8

    Any great grandchildren? No

    What does your grandchild call you?  Grammy

    How often do you get to see your grandchild?
    Almost every weekend.  My daughter works Saturdays so I keep her Friday overnight and take her to her Hula lesson on Saturday then we go shopping!

    What is the best thing about being a grandma?
    I get to laugh and do "kid" stuff again.  She keeps me young!  I get to do things with her that I feel that I missed with my own children.

    What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
    Making sure I do not interfere with the rules that my daughter and her husband set with Makaila.  Also, trying not to spoil her too much.

    Describe a recent time that your grandchild made you laugh out loud.
    Just last weekend we all went bowling. 

    What is your favorite thing to do when your grandchild visits your house?
    I watch "her" movies with her and we talk about what is going on at school.

    What is your favorite thing to do when visiting her house?
    She lives in an apartment right now so I don't really go to her place a lot.  But when I am there, she wants me to play her Wii games with her.

    What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?
    Their Hawaiian culture and heritage that they get from me.  And to treat everyone as they would like to be treated.

    What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Loving.
    Wednesday
    Nov252009

    Grilled Grandma: Nina

    Nina with her mother, daughter Christi and granddaughter Natalie.How many children do you have? 3

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages? Two: Spencer is 1 1/2 years old and
    Natalie is 3 months old.

    Any great grandchildren? No

    What do your grandchildren call you?
    Well, Spencer can almost say 'Grandma'
    and Natalie of course can't speak yet.

    How often do you get to see your grandchildren?
    We see our granddaughter at
    least once a month. Since our grandson lives a little farther away we see
    him about every other month.

    What is the best thing about being a grandma?
    Hugs and kisses from the
    grandchildren.

    What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
    Doing things the way
    their mother wants things done (e.g. Putting them to sleep on their backs,
    being careful to feed them 'approved' food, etc.)

    Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you
    laugh out loud.
    Last week our grandson was playing the drums of our Beatles
    Rock Band. He was so funny as he played them.

    What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house?
    Play with them and read them stories

    What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their
    house?
    Watch them play with their toys and play along with them

    What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? The knowledge that God loves them

    What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you?
    Love -- and then fun!

    Visit Nina on her activity-inspiring blog, Grandma Ideas.

    Wednesday
    Nov182009

    Grilled Grandma: Mae

    How many children do you have? Seven: three daughters, three step-sons and one adopted son.  When I was first married, I had a miscarriage and my doctor told me that I would never be able to have any children, so my first husband and I adopted a little boy.  He passed away on his 21st birthday – he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  My two oldest step-sons are also deceased.  My two oldest girls were born during my second marriage and my youngest daughter from my third.  All three husbands are deceased.

    How many grandchildren and what is the age range? A total of 23 grandchildren. Darlene has 3, Leonard has 1, Raymond has 2, Jane has 6, Bobby has 4, and Ann has 7.  The oldest one is Jeffrey – I think he is 50?  51?  The youngest, Kevin, is 32.

    How many great grandchildren and what is the age range?

    A total of 55 great grandchildren:

    Becky (2 children, 2 step-children: ages 28-35)

    Lisa (3 children: ages 24-27)

    Jennifer (4 children: ages 12-21)

    David (5 children: ages 3-18)

    Susan (5 children: ages 13-24)

    April (5 children: ages 6-16) 

    Jason (2 children: ages 6-9) 

    Kevin (2 children: ages 9-13) 

    Jennifer (2 children: age 15 – one died at age 6) 

    Arthur (4 children: ages 7-29),

    Paul (2 children: ages 9-13),

    Tammy (1 child: age 25) 

    Paula (1 child: age 17)

    Paulette (5 children: ages 4-16) 

    JanieMae (1 child: age 16)

    Connie (1 child: age ?) 

    Jonathan (3 children: ages ?) 

    Joseph Lee  (2 children: ages ?)

    Bobby Leroy, Jr. (?)*

    Charlie Vance, II (?)*

    Vera Lorene (Sissy) (3 children: ages 13- 21)

    *Bobby Leroy, Jr. and Charlie Vance II have been missing from the family tree since 1968.

    And great-great grandchildren? Age range?

    14 great-great grandchildren:

    Becky (6 grandchildren: ages 6-15)

    Lisa (1 grandchild: age 17 months)

    Arthur (3 grandchildren: ages 1-8) 

    Bobby (3 grandchildren)

    Connie (1 grandchild)

    What do your grandchildren call you?

    A variety of things.  When I first became a grandma, I wanted to be called Mammaw.  Now I think that everybody calls me Grandma or Grandma Wiggins, with the exception of my youngest daughter’s grandchildren.  They call her Mema and I’m the Great Mema.

    What is the best thing about being a grandma?  Having grandchildren, of course.

    What has been the most challenging part of being a grandma? Not getting to see them and get to know them because they live so far away.

    What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? A Christian life because it would make their lives happier.

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

    What advice would you give to new grandparents?  Have lots of patience, love and understanding but don’t let them get away with things they shouldn’t do – you’ve got to have discipline, too.

    Is there anything else you'd like to add about being a grandma/great grandma/great-great grandma?  I don’t think that I was very much of a grandma like other grandmas were.  I never asked to be able to keep any of the grandchildren at my house, such as an overnight visit.  I would do things differently if I could do it over and spend more time with all of them.  I guess we all have regrets.

    Wednesday
    Nov112009

    Grilled Grandma: Darlene

    How many children do you have?

    3 – April is 38, Jason is 35 and Kevin will be 32 next month.

    How many grandchildren?  9

    What are their ages?

    Alex – 16          (April)

    Ricky – 13        (Kevin’s stepson)

    Rachel – 10      (April)

    Nathan – 9       (April)

    Tyler – 9           (Kevin)

    Daniel – 9        (Jason)

    Bryan – 6         (Jason)

    Twins:

    Katie – 6          (April)

    Thomas – 6      (April)

    I also have two grandchildren who are little angels and are living with Jesus – Cassandra and Jonathan.  They’re waiting for Mema and Papa to come and play with them.

    Any great grandchildren?

    Lord, no.  I hope they wait a while.

    What do your grandchildren call you?  Mema

    How often do you get to see your grandchildren?

    I get to see Daniel and Bryan probably twice a week, mostly at church.  They live five miles from us.

    My other little darlings I get to see about every 6 to 8 weeks, if I’m lucky.  They live almost 3 hours away and it’s hard to go see them since I’m still working full time and have a second job playing the piano at church on Sundays (morning and evening worship) and for Wednesday night Bible Study.

    What is the best thing about being a grandma?

    There are so many good things about being a grandma, but I think my favorite thing is when I get a hug and I hear a little contented sigh followed by, “I love you, Mema”.  Then my heart melts.  When they all get together at Mema and Papa’s house, I love watching them interact with one another and seeing how much the cousins love each other.  Daniel can hardly wait until Nathan and Tyler get there, but when the three of them are together, it spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

    What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?

    Living so far away from most of them.  I begin to have “grandbabies” withdrawal symptoms and the only thing that can cure it is seeing the excitement on their faces when they see Mema and Papa driving up in the driveway.

    Describe a recent time that one of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud.

    It was this past Tuesday night.  We had to keep Daniel and Bryan until late – Stacy had a class and Jason had to work late.  I was making a pound cake for staff meeting at work the next day and I knew I had better make two cakes – one to keep at home.  Of course both of them wanted to “help” me.  I let Daniel crack the eggs (one of which ran down the cabinet door onto the floor) into two separate bowls, one for each cake while Bryan was using a pastry brush to grease my tube pans.  Daniel was afraid I would be upset about his dropping an egg, but I told him to clean it up and get another egg out of the refrigerator, that it was no big deal – it was just an egg and I had more.  Then I showed him how to crack the eggs by hitting them against each other over the bowl instead of cracking them on the counter top.  Daniel then wanted to sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and Bryan got upset because he wanted to do a second thing.  So I let him add the eggs to the batter, one at a time and he named the eggs as they went in.  One was Mama, one was Daddy, etc. until all 6 had gone into the bowl.

    With the first cake, Bryan wanted to lick the spatula and the bowl with Daniel getting the beater.  With the second cake, they switched off.  He was in the chair with his head over the sink, licking the beater and complaining that Daniel was getting more than he got because Daniel was getting the mixing bowl.  I told him that he had gotten the mixing bowl the first time and Daniel had gotten the beater and now he had the beater and Daniel got the mixing bowl, so they were both getting the same amount.  He got a quizzical look on his face and after he thought about it for a few seconds, he realized that they had gotten the same amount.  He said, “Oh!” and grinned sheepishly.  I couldn’t help but laugh at him.

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

    Actually, their favorite thing is getting in the kitchen with me and helping with baking.  My favorite thing is just to have all of them close, no matter what we’re doing.  I re-live my grown children when the little ones are around.

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

    Catching up with what has been going on in their lives.

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

    The love of “family” with Christ as the center of everything and having confidence in themselves and in their capabilities with none of the cockiness that sometimes goes along with that.

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

    Wednesday
    Nov042009

    Grilled Grandma: Kathy

     
    What is your first name? Kathy

    How many children do you have?
    Two awesome girls, Kristen (25) and Kelly (23).

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages?
    I have a five-year-old granddaughter named Mikayla Renee' who is my girl...(I call her G.G. sometimes for Gramma's Girl) and another granddaughter in utero due to craze up our lives next January.  Her name will be Leilah Nicole.  SO COOL having two granddaughers!  I'm psyched!

    Any great grandchildren? If so, how many and what are their ages?
    None yet....hopefully it will be a while!

    What does your grandchild call you? Gramma Kat

    How often do you get to see your grandchild?
    I volunteer at Mikayla's kindergarten one morning a week and I usually go with Kelly to pick her up one day a week too.  I also go to her swimming lessons about every other week.  It's SO GREAT to be in the same town!

    What is the best thing about being a grandma?
    It's like a do-over...like having another child but I don't have to make sure they get vegetables ("sure honey, M&M's and sweet tea for breakfast is GREAT?").  I get the fun stuff and then give her back.

    What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
    Holding back the "mom" in me when Mikayla's mom is there.  She has a mom and I'm not her.  Sometimes it's a challenge to not just react and to let mom handle things

    Describe a recent time your grandchild made you laugh out loud.
    Last night.  With joy.  She said, "I can't believe I got to see you THREE TIMES today gramma!  It was the best day!"
    And then the other day when we were in a family gathering talking with my young niece about baby names and Mikayla piped up with "I don't like black poodles."  Say what?  LOL! Now it's our side joke when someone interrupts off topic. 

    What is your favorite thing to do when your grandchild visits your house?
    Be outside.  Filling up the wading pool, walking the dog, taking her pink Barbie scooter for a walk (since I usually end up carrying it).  Being outside is great because she is a great collector of nature and I always have reminders of her after she's gone. 

     What is your favorite thing to do when visiting your grandchild at her house?

     Play in her room.  It's time for mommy to get some things done and me to have a little one-on-one time with her.  We usually end up reading books.

    What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?
    The love of people.  Taking people as they come, not as you want them to be.  It's hard, but it's one of the most valuable things I can think of.

    What is one word you hope your grandchild(ren) think of when they think of you?
    Unconditional

    Visit Gramma Kat at her blog, What Happens at Gramma's ... stays at Gramma's!, and at her etsy shop, HelloKathy Jewelry.

    Tuesday
    Oct272009

    Grilled Grandma: Liz

    What is your first name?
    Elizabeth, but I'm only called that by my mom when I'm in trouble. The rest of the time it's Liz.

    How many children do you have?
    Three

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages?
    I have seven little darlings - 8, 7, 6, 5, 5, 19 mo, 15 mo.

    Any great grandchildren? If so, how many and what are their ages?
    Maybe in 15 years (I hope I'm still alive).

    What do your grandchildren call you?
    Grandma Liz 

    How often do you get to see your grandchildren?
    1-2 times a month. 

    What is the best thing about being a grandma?
    My grandchildren running to give me loves when I see them.

    What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
    Having individual special time with each one.

    Describe a recent time that one of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud.
    My grandson was sleeping over night with me. In the morning, he told me he woke up in the night and was scared because he heard a bear. He thought it was in the house. IT WAS ME SNORING!

    What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house?
    Sit on the floor and read or play games. I also like to make crafts with them.

    What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?
    Play with them in their rooms with their own toys. 

    What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?
    That they are special and I love them.

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

    Visit Grandma Liz online at Grandma Lizzie's House.
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