Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Slice of Life Day 2: Time With the Grands



 My life has had many slices that include the grand children. Having a dozen, we seem to be always doing something with someone. Taking care of grand children can be a challenge, especially when they are five and three. Usually, they play together fine, but once in a while its a disaster.  Here's how it went today:

The big container holding all the Legos was pulled from the closet. Graham, five years old, had a project in mind. He got the bag of tires out and began sorting them. Kaelyn, three years old, started hunting for small cars. It all went smoothly for a short time. 

Kaelyn found some cars and thought she needed more, so she began looking in the container again. Graham was not too happy about that. He kept taking whatever she took out. So, to try to deflect a fight, I told Kaelyn to put the Lego road together. Graham jumped up and started working on the road. Right away Kaelyn began to scream. 

FIGHT BEGINS

My first move was to get Kaelyn quiet. She is a real screamer! The rule is: You scream; you get a Time Out in the bedroom.  My threat worked and she just sniffled with hurt feelings. Next, I told Graham to go back to sorting the tires. He pouted but went back to his original project.  Now, it seemed Kaelyn was more interested in finding Legos with numerals. She decided she'd take the ones with a 3 on them home with her. (Since she is three). She searched the tub for more.

Graham was now ready to build a road to race his cars. When it was put together, he told Kaelyn, "Now we can race our cars." She was already off on a project of putting cards from the Sorry game into piles. So Graham worked alone.

Right now peace is in the house. Another major issue solved. It might be a long day!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Slice of Life Day One: Grand Kids

Spending time with grand kids is just the best. Today I went to pick up five year old Graham from preschool. It was pouring down rain when we left. I got his little sister into her car seat and then clicked Graham's seat belt as I leaned over him.  Graham seriously said, "Grandma, you are getting your wetness all over me!"  

Later their dad came to pick them up. Kaelyn had gone with me earlier in the day to take care of a large golden retriever named Ranger. The dog looked huge to her and was very active. She told her dad all about the adventure. She ended her story with this comment, "Ranger is a very dangerous dog, but he's a good dog!"

Being a grandmother is just the best!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: Read Aloud

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 Recently I spent an afternoon in classrooms. That is something I haven't done much lately. In a fourth grade class I had the opportunity to do a Read Aloud.  The students were working on persuasive writing, so I read EARRINGS! by Judy Voirst. The class had talked about strategies to use in persuasion.  They were: promises, flattery, bandwagon, facts, and scare tactics.  As I read, the teacher would ask the students what strategy was being used. It was a powerful lesson and lots of fun to team teach.

Today I had a play date with my three-year-old grand daughter. Before nap time, we read a stack of books. Her favorite was:Where's Spot? by Eric Hill.  It's a flap book and she loves lifting those flaps.  I introduced her to the book: To Market, To Market by Anne Miranda and illustrated by Janet Stevens.  She learned some new words like: market and trout. She really enjoyed the pictures, too.

Doing Read Alouds is so powerful both for teachers and parents. Gone are the days of principals saying: "Oh, you're just reading. I'll come back when you're teaching!"  For example, take the Prairie Heights Elementary principal who spent an entire day reading to each classroom. Mrs. Pfefferkorn had a goal of winning books for students, but she also knew she was teaching!

So, over the thanksgiving break, grab a book and do a Read Aloud!  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: Gramma Day Camp

Today was the first Gramma Day Camp for six of my grand kids. I had been planning this for several months and they have been looking forward to it. We planned to end the day with a pool party. However, the weather here in northern Indiana has been too cold to let that happen.  We made the best of it and still had a great day.

We had three stations that groups of two went to for 15 minutes each. Each station was supervised by one of my neighbor kids. One mother went with each group, too. After finishing a station they would receive a wrist band. One of the stations was Bubbles. They could either blow the bubbles or chase the bubbles. Whatever they did, they had a blast!
Another station was Chalk Art. Each group made all kinds of pictures and designs. They had dinosaurs, flowers, and even a pirate map. They even had a "Hi Granpa" sign since he wasn't too sure about writing on his driveway!  He loved it!
This station is the Game Time. One of the games was to throw two balls hooked to a rope across the bars. Each bar had a value of 3, 2, or 1. They counted to see who won.They also threw bean bags at a board with fish with holes on it. They again counted up the points to see who won the game.
We ended the day with lunch. We had pbj and chicken salad sandwiches, fruit kabobs, chips and Gramma's chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches. Everyone took a beach towel and spread out their goodies.

We had a great day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: Book Club Surprise

 Last night we had our monthly book club meeting.  We met at our favorite book club restaurant to discuss the book of the month, catch up with our lives, and have a great Mexican meal, too.  But we had a special project for last night.
The book this month was: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver.  At first, I was a little disappointed in the book.  But then when I got into it and realized what it was really about, I loved it.  This would be a book that a teacher would use in the classroom to teach both writing skills and science. However, it is an adult book, not a children's book. The amount of research this author did was amazing. I learned so much!  To top off reading a great book, we had two experts on Monarch butterflies to share their knowledge. Our book club members, Connie and Sandie, gave us all kinds of extra knowledge about this fascinating subject!
When we got to the restaurant at 6:00, we were welcomed with a sign on the back of one of the seats. The sign said: "Happy 5 De Book Club!! with Cathy (sic) and the Gang! The manager of the restaurant was at it again.  He always makes us feel welcome...even if he does put us in a back booth away from the other customers. We had another visitor to our club last night.  Jim, Julia's husband, dropped by to wait for Julia to show up.  We got to share our thoughts with him, too.  But, when we got serious about our discussion, he was out of there!
But none of that was our special project.  As I have already said, Juan is just the best manager ever. He always joins us for some lively discussion, even if he accuses us of chatting away instead of talking about the book. This week, Juan and his wife were waiting for the arrival of their newest little one. The whole family, including three children at home, were anxious due to the baby taking his time getting here. We wanted to do something for the baby and of course, Juan. So we presented him with a bag of books for the new little guy. We are so happy for Juan and his family.
We told Juan the baby now can start his own book club!  Oh, by the way, our next book is The Girl on the Train!  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: What a Morning

This morning was really crazy. Thought I was losing it!

At about 9:30 I went to tanning bed. I decided I would run to Kroger on the way home. Ramona had said she was going to call me this morning so I sent her an email saying I would be home by around 10:30.

I dashed into Kroger to get a tomato. Thought we could have hamburgers on the grill for supper. While there I saw corn on the cob which would also go with the hamburgers!  I also got a tub of sidewalk chalk for the kids to play with, some Glad plastic bowls and some kid swimmies.  I was ready to check out.

Only two lanes open so I picked the one w one lady in it. Wrong! She had food stamps or something & was taking forever. The other lane was now open. I looked at the checker & said I'll just go over there & he nodded.

I checked out fast. I took my cart & bags to the car. The cart holder was full and running over. I just grabbed my bags and left the cart as close as I could. I left Krogerat 10:30.

When I got home & inside I could feel my phone vibrate and the answering machine was dinging. I thought it was Ramona.

I answered the cell phone. It was Michelle. She needed to tell me some details about the kids staying here in May. We talked for about 20 minutes. When I got done I hit the answering machine & it was my Avon lady wanting to know about delivering my order. I called her to tell her I was home. She said she was close & would be right there.

I started putting the groceries away. I suddenly realized I didn't have the tomato, corn or cauliflower. The Avon lady came. I got my order and she said I'd better check the car for my bag. When she left, I did. No bag.

I called Kroger & they had it. I had left it in the cart in the parking lot. By now it's11:15. I jumped in the car, drove to Kroger & showed them my receipt. They said yes we found it & it's all on the shelf. We walked around the store retrieving my "stuff".

Getting home I called Ramona and talked until 1:00. I then ate lunch.

What a morning!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: Bam and Graham Playdate


Today was the day we had been looking forward to for months. It was not just a Gramma Playdate, it was a Bam/Graham Playdate!  I went to their preschool and picked them up to come to my house.
They colored pictures. There were a pile of them that I had printed from the computer. Things I thought they would like. They went through the pile and each of them picked something they liked.  Bam had horses and Graham had a fast car. They could use crayons or colored pencils. I put the pictures on clipboards and they went to town coloring up a storm.
Next they went to a pile of books that I had made for them. Again, I chose things that I thought they would like.  All non fiction!  Farm books with horses. Books about policemen. Lots of animal books. They looked at pictures and even started to read a few of them.
These boys are masters of legos. They had the track set up just right. Then they began constructing a boat to float on the water or go under like a submarine. They were very proud of that.

You can't come to Gramma's house and not make cookies. After I put them in the oven and they cooled, they told me what frosting to use for each cookie. Then it was their turn. They each had 10 cookies to decorate. The various sprinkles were in bottles or bowls in front of them. They took their time and did a great job.   After tasting one cookie each, the rest were put in containers for them to take home for their families.
This is a close up picture of the Lego boat. Other things we did today were: paint the garage floor with water from small individual buckets, play board games, and last of all share the iPad for some Angry Bird time.

I don't know who has the most fun...Bam and Graham or Gramma!