Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Tray Haven Is an Answer to the "Uh-Ohs"

Tray haven wrapped around a high chair
When a baby is first ready to sit up in a high chair and pick up Puffs, Cheerios, small toys or a sippy cup from the tray, parents are all excited at this new skill and independence.  The euphoria is usually quickly dissipated if they are spending a lot of time picking things up off the floor.  The same thing is true with the tray on a stroller.

Tray Haven is a new product that deals with this problem.  I don't think this will work with a toddler who is used to more freedom to move around, but it can be a huge help with a baby who is just beginning to sit up.  Tray Haven is basically a breathable mesh netting in sections which can clip behind a high chair or stroller and creates a see through barrier keeping food, toys and whatever else is on the tray off the floor.

It is very easy to set up and this video demonstrates just how easy it is:

Babies get frustrated too when their food and toys fall, so the Tray Haven may help keep them contented. This product may also be helpful with special needs children and adults with motor control difficulties.

Tray Haven
 Tray Haven retails for $39.99 and is available in pink and blue at Amazon.  You can also buy it directly from Tray Haven at their website


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Great Books to Share at Bedtime

There is no better way to end an evening for a child, a parent or a grandchild than by reading together.  Even older children enjoy this ritual.  My grandson is in second grade and he enjoys reading series books and there are plenty of them.  But these books which feature fun stories have simple illustrations and don’t cut it as far as I am concerned for developing imagination or appreciation for literature.

There are many excellent books that fit this bill.  And rather than an excitement filled series book, the beautifully illustrated books on this list can be the perfect prescription for a bedtime read.  Here are some of my favorites and some new ones that come highly recommended and have parent/grandparent positive reviews at Amazon.

For Younger Children….

Good Night Owl written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
This book was named a Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor book yesterday morning by the American Library Association. It is a beautifully illustrated picture book describing an owl who can’t sleep until he finds out what is making a noise.  Great reviews – especially for bedtime.  To quote one – “warm colored illustrations set the perfect mood for this bedtime story.”

When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Lann  Illustrated by Susan Gaber

With beautiful illustrations this book quietly asks the questions we all have…  When winter comes what happens to fish, animals, mice, etc. and to a little boy (gets tucked in and goes to bed).  This book is one of my favorites.  It is a perfect go to sleep read.  An early reader can read it to herself as you read in a soothing quiet voice.  Before you know it, you will both be nodding off.

Time for Bed by Mem Fox  Illustrated by Jane Dyer

Each page features an animal parent and child and bedtime with two short rhythmic written lines and ends with a mother tucking in a young child.  I have a hardcover copy of this book but it is a popular board book also.


For older children...  

Even once children can read for themselves, it is a good idea for adults to read with them.  This is often the best way to introduce children to books that would otherwise go unnoticed.  I must say that I am unimpressed with the books my grandson brings home from the school library.  Yes he is getting experience with reading himself but he is not being introduced to literature, history, ideas, artistic beauty, etc.  These two books are ones we shared with our children and I have kept them to share with our grandchildren.

Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  Illustrated by Susan Jeffers

Longfellow’s classic poem is complimented with captivating, stunning illustrations.  Older children can read this themselves but it is a an outstanding book for an adult to introduce to and enjoy with an older child.  Check out all the books illustrated by Susan Jeffers including Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening, All the Pretty Horses (my favorite for young children), Silent Night (my personal favorite) and Brother Eagle, Sister Sky. Susan Jeffers is a talented illustrator who adds to the pleasure of reading beloved poems and songs.

D’aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d'Aulaire and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire


This book of Greek myths has been the best introduction to Greek myths for generations and it is still in print.  The well told myths are complimented with sophisticated drawings that are enjoyed by children and adults alike.  It is an excellent way for adults to introduce classical literature to a younger generation and enjoy it together.  My husband and I, like many reviewers at Amazon, shared this book with our children and have kept it on our bookshelf ready to share it with grandchildren. This is a great book for bonding with older children.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Grandparents' Role with Martin Luther King, Jr. Message

I usually write a post for Martin Luther King Day but this year I have had a bit of writer’s block.  What is new to say after all, and I hate being preachy.  Then sometimes when I least suspect it, thoughts come together.  That happened for me today.   

First of all, our pastor gave an excellent sermon this morning tying together the scripture of Jesus’ baptism with MLK’s talk in Selma.  Later I was browsing through my Twitter feed, when I came across a tweet by Generations United with an article in the Washington Post first published in 2010 entitled, “Young and old together: Fulfilling Martin Luther King Jr.'s mandate of service.”  

Our pastor talked about our interconnectedness and how even very small things can lead to something bigger and unexpected.  She shared a heartwarming example.  An older man who was visiting our church for the first time when we had the Christmas pageant was moved by the three young children dressed as sheep who crawled down the aisle.  It moved him to donate 3 sheep to someone who needs them somewhere in the world through the Heifer project…… an unexpected, unnoticed and meaningful connection made between the very young and the old. 

Generations United is an organization that connects and provides resources to groups that are working to improve the lives of young and old through intergenerational programs. Sometimes the generations are helping each other by reading together or shoveling snow.  Sometimes they are banding together to help others at a food pantry or just sharing each other’s perspectives.  They are fulfilling Martin Luther King’s mandate of service and understanding.

This article talked about MLK’s grandmother, Jennie Williams, who “cooked his favorite foods, read to him at night and told him stories about the world beyond Auburn Avenue. She told him about places and people he would grow up to see, and about ideas he would one day work to change.”  Sounds like many grandparents to me.
There is an interconnectedness with our grandchildren that will outlive us.  Yes we want to make them happy and enjoy every minute that we contribute to their happiness.  But we have so much more to give.  Our example, involving them in learning values, experiencing helping others, etc.  These are much more important gifts to give our grandchildren.

Well, I hope I wasn’t too preachy.  Sorry about that.  But this MLK Day I want to share the importance of grandparents connecting with our grandchildren on  values.  And since many of us were alive when MLK lived, we can share that living history which always has its own special aura.

I'll end with sharing one of my favorite MLK quotes.  We included this quote with our son's yearbook parents' subscription.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Ultimate Gift Giveaway for the Grownups

Update (1/9/17):  Thanks everyone for entering this giveaway.  The giveaway is now closed.  Saundra is the winner!

This blog features giveaways for children throughout the year but this is my first giveaway for the grownups.  The offer for this giveaway came to me and I smiled and thought how nice to be able to offer this particular gift for the adults who read this blog and my facebook page and who love and care for their children and grandchildren so much.

You may be familiar with the film franchise based on acclaimed author Jim Stovall’s best-selling “Ultimate Gift” book series. THE ULTIMATE LEGACY follows the worldwide hits The Ultimate Gift and The Ultimate Life. It will be available on DVD and Digital HD  on January 3rd, 2017.  The all star cast includes Logan Bartholomew, Lee Meriwether, Brian Dennehy, Myko Olivier, Ali Hillis, Raquel Welch, Doug Jones  and Bill Cobbs.

THE ULTIMATE LEGACY continues the journey of character Jason Stevens (Bartholomew), as he learns firsthand the value of teaching.  Jason provides guidance to a self-absorbed young man, Joey (Olivier), who is forced to run his family’s bed-and-breakfast for a year before earning his inheritance in his late grandmother’s will. Unhappy about these circumstances at the start, Joey learns to appreciate hard work, forgiveness, generosity and the enduring value of family and friends. 

In anticipation of the release of THE ULTIMATE LEGACY on DVD and Digital HD, Cinedign is offering this gift basket as a giveaway.  The basket holds blu-ray copies of The Ultimate Gift and The Ultimate Life, an audiobook, The Ultimate Gift novel, a special The Ultimate Gift experience capture deck and more.

Giveaway Details

It is easy to enter and there are two ways. Both ways count as an entry so you get two entries if you do both.  I need to be able to contact you if you win. If you enter -  email me with your email address at  I will not use your email address for anything except to notify you if you win.  Grandmother’s Honor.

Two ways to win:
Leave a comment here on the blog


You can have two entries by doing both.  Deadline to enter: January 4, 2017 at midnight. This item can be sent to US addresses only.