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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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    Grandma's Briefs, Grilled Grandma and all content unless otherwise noted Copyright © 2009-2017, Lisa Carpenter. All rights reserved.
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    Grilled Grandmas

    Wednesday
    Jun272012

    Grilled Grandma: Kimberly

    How many children do you have? I have three children Adam is 31 and married to Courtney and currently deployed to Afghanistan. Not quite two years later brought a set of twins. Tim is married to Gwen and Raechel is married to Michael.

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages? Conner (7), Lilli (5), Elsie Gray (3), Benjamin...

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jun202012

    Grilled Grandma: Debra

    How many children do you have? I have three sons.

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I have 1 grandson by birth ( my middle son’s child ) and his older sister became part of our family as well. So….two. Brent and Kate.
    My son has joked in the past that it was the ‘buy one get one free’ program!

    What do your grandchildren call you? Sometimes...

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jun132012

    Grilled Grandma: Judy

    How many children do you have? I have one exceptional daughter who is a great wife and mother, gourmet chef, writer, and animal tender and gardener. She was a child to be proud of and is now an adult that I respect immensely.

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I have two grandchildren. My granddaughter is a beautiful eleven-year old young lady who loves animals especially...

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jun062012

    Grilled Grandma: Laurie

    How many children do you have? I have two wonderful boys and the greatest daughters-in-law...Adam, 38 (wife, Jenny), and Jeffrey, 35 (wife, Janet)!
     
    How many grandchildren? What are their ages? 4 grandchildren: Owen, 5; Audrey, 3; Celia, 3; and Dylan, 19 mos.

    Any great grandchildren? No...not yet! It is way too soon for that! : )

    What do your grandchildren call you? "Grammie"...

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    May302012

    Grilled Grandma: Linda

    How many children do you have? I have 3 children—a son and 2 daughters.

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I have 8 grandchildren, including my partner's 5 grandchildren. They range from 22 months to 15 years old.

    What do your grandchildren call you?
    They call me Grandma, or GrandmaLinda.

    After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? My biggest concern at first, was not being able to afford the things I wanted to give them, and that I didn't have a nice place for them to come and stay with me. But I've learned from the children that those things don't matter one bit.

    How often do you get to see your grandchildren? I'm so lucky to be with the baby 3-4 days a week, because I'm his Grannny-Nanny, and I see the other kids at least a couple times a month.

    What is the best thing about being a grandma? The best part of being a grandmother, besides having precious, adorable little people to dote on, who adore you, is being able to be an important family symbol of both the past and the future. I can give them roots, sharing stories of the past. And for their future: I'm providing a model, by the way I live my life, and by my acceptance, I'm teaching them to believe in themselves, so they can do anything!

    What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? The most challenging thing for me, is on holidays, or special occasions, showing grace and consideration for the exes and the extended family. Relatives are often a little uncomfortable because we are divorced grandparents, and so are other family members. Sometimes, I just have to use discretion and wisdom about what I say, or where I seat people or sit myself. Other times we don't get invited, and I must not be sensitive, because it's part of the natural fallout of divorce in families. I have to be careful not to be defensive or hurt by things others may say unwittingly, and I have to be a peacemaker. I want to show grace and dignity, and I pray about this. It's really important to me to be a wise, strong, positive model to my kids, and my sisters, and everyone in the family. I take being the "family matriarch " very seriously!

    Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud.
    I laugh out loud all the time, the children say and do such funny things. Yesterday, the baby ate a handful of sand from his brand new sandbox, I swooped it out and I started spitting in the yard, telling him to spit, but he just giggled and crunched his little teeth on the grit.

    What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? At my house, we do art projects, or make cookies.

    What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? At their homes, we have tea parties, watch funny movies, or sing karaoke.

    How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? The older ones keep in touch by texting me or calling me, and I (spy on) watch them on Facebook. The best way to bond with the little ones is to make sure to be a support to the parents, make sure they know I'll always be there when they need me.

    What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? I want to pass along a legacy of love; self-love, God's love and love for each other.

    What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? One word that will remind them of me—I hope it's " love.”

    What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? I wish I'd learned earlier to have serenity, not to worry about anything, for things usually work out okay after all.

    What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma?
    If I was to give any advice to a new grandma, I would say, don't worry about material things that you are unable to give, or compare yourself to other grandmothers. Just be yourself—give yourself, it's you they want and need.
    Accept the grandchildren, just as they are. Don't compare them or boast to one parent about the other's child.
    There are inexpensive and free, inspirational and fun things to do with your grandkids. Buy used books to give and read to them,
    Dollar stores, thrift shops, yard sales have good stuff, when you really must buy something. Bubbles, homemade playdough, flower seeds, any paper---- these are all resources for activities to do with your grandchild. Take them to a park, play, sing and dance with them, tell them about when you were young, and listen to them!  Remember that the little things are really the big things.

    Do you have a website or blog? What is it about? I have a website about my work, www.selectiveresidentialservices.blogspot.com, and two business pages on Facebook, for Selective Residential Services, and Vintage Treasures, and an Etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/grandmalay. My blog is www.grandmalay.blogspot.com, and it's about being a grandma, vintage decorating, gardening, family and home life, and my adventures. I want to do some painted furniture project demos next. I like to share lots of great quotes and affirmations on my blog, too.

    This is an archived version of Linda's Grilled Grandma feature. See her original grilling—including reader comments—by clicking HERE.

    Wednesday
    May232012

    Grilled Grandma: Margaret

    How many children do you have? I have 3 sons; my husband has 3 daughters. (The Brady Bunch...without an Alice.)

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages?
    Between us, we have 13.
    I have 8 grandchildren living in Texas, Kansas, and Connecticut. They are 22 (a step-granddaughter), 14, 13, 10, 10, 9, 8, and 7.
    My husband has 5 grandchildren living in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Maryland. They are 24, 20, 11, 3 and 1.

    Any great grandchildren? My step-granddaughter in Kansas just had a baby boy.

    What do your grandchildren call you? Grammie

    After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? I felt worried that I would never be able to see them as often as I wanted to...they live so far away.

    How often do you get to see your grandchildren?
    We try to see all at least twice a year. Some we see more often—especially those who live closer.


    What is the best thing about being a grandma?
    To know these wonderful children. They are funny, loving, energetic, interesting human beings. Our kids are doing a good job.

    What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? To refrain from giving unsolicited advice.

    Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. I was showing pictures of my family to three of my granddaughters. When I showed them a picture of my grandmother, by then an old woman (and never beautiful), I said to the girls, "I used to worry that when I got old my hair would be wispy and thin like hers."
    One granddaughter glanced at the photo critically and said in astonishment, "Weren't you worried about the face?!"

    What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house?
    Our youngest grandchild is an infant, our oldest already graduated from college, so what we do together varies a lot, from peek-a-boo to cooking or knitting lessons, to going out for dinner. I especially love telling stories to my grandkids.

    What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?
    I love to see what their lives are like: go to their games, dance recitals, concerts, etc.

    How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits?
    It's hard; email and the telephone help. Sometimes I need to remember that it’s all about the quality of our connections, not quantity. I only saw my grandmother once after I turned six. Even so, she profoundly affected my life by the stories my parents told about her.

    What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?
    I want them to believe to their heart's core that all the people of the world are worthy of their respect and compassion, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, looks, gender, sexual preference, or religious beliefs.

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

    What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent?
    I wished I’d realized earlier how hard it is for my kids to juggle family obligations, so I wouldn’t have been hurt if I wasn’t going to be with them for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Now we plan to see all of our kids near the holidays, not necessarily for the holidays.

    What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma?
    When you're with one of your kids, lavish all your attention, time, and thoughts to his or her family. Make no comparisons, good or bad, to the grandchildren’s cousins.
    I have a digital photo frame that I load with pictures of the visiting family--only. The grandkids never seem to notice that they are the only kids in the pictures and love to look at the old pictures of themselves.

    Do you have a website or blog? What is it about? I do have a website: the URL is margaretfrench.wordpress.com. On my blog, I post stories I've written. Some are personal stories or stories about family, some are my versions of folktales, others are history-based. Many are stories I've told or will tell. I became a professional storyteller after I retired. It’s pure fun!

    This is an archived version of Margaret's Grilled Grandma feature. See her original grilling—including reader comments—by clicking HERE.

    Wednesday
    May162012

    Grilled Grandma: Debbie

    How many children do you have? Two. My daughter Krista is 30, and my son Tim is 26.

    How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I have four grandkids, with one on the way. Krista has Sara, 4 1/2, Patrick, 3, and Becca, 1 1/2. Their baby brother, Zachary, is expected in July. Tim is the new father of Benson, born March 20.

    Any great grandchildren? No.

    What do your grandchildren call you? They call me “Googie,” a nickname invented by my mother when Sara was born.

    After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? With Krista’s family located first two, and now three, hours away, I was worried that I might not get to be as close to my grandkids as my own children were to their two sets of grandparents.

    How often do you get to see your grandchildren? I see Sara, Patrick, and Becca for multiple days about twice a month. Benson lives in my town, so I get to see him more often. I am looking forward to helping care for him next fall when his mama goes back to her teaching job.

    What is the best thing about being a grandma? I like the fact that I can enjoy my time with them without other responsibilities. I am retired, so I don’t have to juggle job duties anymore. And I can always clean the house when they go home.

    What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Mastering the fine art of saying good-bye.

    Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. Patrick loves to act out scenes from stories and movies. He is hilarious as a dog thief from 101 Dalmatians. He has been playing the part of Jasper since he was two, and his facial expressions and British accent make me laugh out loud every time.

    What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? I love to rock them and sing. We have a vast repertoire that includes kid songs, church songs, folk songs, country-western songs, and rock songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s.

    What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? I always try to take a new book or two when I go to visit. We make a huge dog pile on the couch and read. They also like to show me the books they picked out at the library.

    How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? We have always kept in touch by phone, but several months ago we started Skyping. That is a wonderful way to see them and hear their voices when the days between visits stretch out a little too long. They always want me to read them a story while we are on Skype.

    What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? The sense that they are a vital and much-loved part of our extended family, and a historical record of what their childhood was like through my eyes. That’s why I blog and use my digital camera to take lots of pictures and videos.

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

    What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? I wish I had known earlier how much the kids would like PEZ.

    What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? Hit the garage sales for toys, books, and furnishings. You can set your house up as a kid-friendly place for little or nothing that way. Try to buy things that store easily, and, unless you have a whole lot of space, shy away from the really huge, space-consuming playthings.

    Do you have a website or blog? What is it about? I began my blog, “Googie’s Attic,” in March, 2011. In it, I record and explore my perspectives on the experiences I am blessed to share with the kids in a way that I hope is insightful and entertaining. You can find it at http://googiesattic.blogspot.com.

    This is an archived version of Debbie's Grilled Grandma feature. See her original grilling—including reader comments—by clicking HERE.