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. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Holiday Guide Part 2: Toys that Grandparents Will Love and a Giveaway

Update: The giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Krystal, winner of the BRIO Family House.

All year long I have been attending toy shows and getting an up close look at new toys that will be on the market this holiday season.  Last week I posted Part 1 of my Holiday Guide -  Grandma's Hot Toys Holiday Guide and Smartscope Giveaway .  This post is the other half of the holiday Guide:

Toys that Grandparents Will Love to Give

Every grandchild will have his or her own wishlist and their parents may even ask you to provide something specific on the list.  All well and good.  Here is a list of items that you may want to give.  Some are pure fun, some are educational and some (my favorites) feature something you can do together with you grandchild.  

Everything on this list is available on Amazon and links are provided below.  You may or may not see them at ToysRUs or the other big box stores but they may be at small stores like Learning Express. 

Of all the thousands –literally- of new toys I looked at this year, these were my favorites.  The pictures are my own so they are not perfect but I prefer them rather than the stock photos provided by the toy companies.  I am not a business - I am just a grandma with a notebook, camera, and curiosity about what may delight a grandparent and a grandchild. I blog because I enjoy it.  I haven't received any compensation for my posts.  I have received some samples and, if age appropriate, my husband and I play with them with my grandson in order to do a real life review. This holiday guide is not just pure advertising as many of them are.  I have given special attention to items I think are a good value.

Both posts feature a giveaway and I am excited to offer the BRIO World Family House as the giveaway for this post.    See the giveaway details at the end of the post.  They are simple and straightforward and don’t require that you do 10 things.

For Infants to Pre-School

Family House by Brio World
My Family House Playset by BRIO

Back Cover of Family House by Brio
BRIO is well known for its high quality wooden train sets and now they are expanding to other themed playsets that are fully compatible with all BRIO wooden railway sets.  You can build the Family House model according to the plan provided or customize it to make your own creation.  This wood and plastic colorful set comes with 46 pieces including 4 people figures.  The pieces include building and furniture pieces so it is complete and ready for imaginative play.  Set it up next to your BRIO railway set for extra fun.  Look for more detail in a later post.  It is gender neutral and both boys and girls will enjoy playing with it. 

Peek-A-Boo Bear by Gund
This bear is soft and cuddly and says 6 phrases when it plays peek-a-boo by holding the blanket up in front of his face and pulling it down.  It is battery operated.  It is well made and Gund is known for its quality. Sure to bring smiles to a baby’s face.

There is also a Spanish language version of this bear.


Miss Grenadine by Corolle

These soft cuddly dolls with a mild vanilla scent are perfect for a baby or toddler.  They are small, washable, beautiful, high quality and reasonably priced.  Corolle, a French company, say that they are “specially designed to be easily cradled in your child's arm.”  I must say my visit to the Corolle booth at Toy Fair NY each year is always one of my favorites.  I gave one of these to my infant granddaughter.

Girl Scout Dolls by Yottoy

These dolls will be loved by any girl who is a Brownie or Girl Scout.  They come with a sash and sticker badges so the doll can earn the same badges as the real scout.  They are multicultural so choose the one that the girl you are buying for will most identify with.  This  is a good quality and reasonably priced item.


Pop and Zach playing Bugaloop
Games by Wonder Forge

That's Me with Wonder Forge Games
Here I am at Toy Fair NY with a display of various games by Wonder Forge.  My husband and I both love playing games with our grandson and we keep a big stack of them at our house.  He is 7 years old and we have enjoyed many Wonder Forge games including superhero matching, Peanuts super slides, Busytown and most recently, Bugaloop with a super hexbug.  The picture on the left is of my husband and grandson playing Bugaloop. Choose ones right for your grandchild’s age and enjoy the wonderful old fashioned joy of playing a board game.

My First Bananagrams

My First Bananagrams by Bananagrams

This game is perfect for preschoolers, early readers/spellers and all Bananagrams lovers.  The letter blocks are larger than the original bananagrams and there are some two letter blocks such as sh and oo.  You will enjoy playing with this game with your grandchildren and it is an excellent learning tool in disguise.

Crafts and Pretend Play

Pretend Play Set by eeboo

Eeboo has 4 Pretend Play sets - It's Showtime, Best Pals Diner, World Traveler and School.  Each set has cardboard and paper props that can be used to give pretend play some professional touches.  This is also an excellent item to have on hand for an extended holiday visit with grandkids that can be used to engage with them in pretend play.

Emoji Maker by Crayola
Emojis are all the rage these days and a wide age range of kids will have fun with this emoji making set. Kids can mix and create their own colors to make 16 emoji stampers.  This is a best seller and can make a good grandparent – grandchild activity.  It will give you the opportunity to learn about emojis and seem “with it” at the same time.  It is a good activity to do with a varied age group of kids and a nice party activity for older kids.

Building Sets

I admit that I love and am always attracted to building toys at the toy shows.  These sets all caught my attention.  Building sets are wonderful opportunities for grandparent and grandchild quality time together. 

Mia's Vet Clinic by LEGO

I like the LEGO Juniors line sized for between DUPLO and LEGO sizes.  This particular set is aimed at the girl’s market in their Friends line.  It has 173 pieces including 2 mini dolls and it is reasonably priced.  Take a look at the whole LEGO Juniors line – you are sure to find a set you like for the 4-6 year olds.

Day at the Beach by Build and Imagine

Children who like magnetic sets will love this storytelling building set.  Build and Imagine sets are made up of magnetic storyboards that can be put together in any way a child would like.  Sets range in price from $35 to $60. Themes include a beach house, a marine rescue center, a pet portrait studio and more.  This small company is the winner of many prestigious awards for this creative new product and is nominated for the New Company Toy of the Year Award from the Toy Industry Association.

Star Wars by Incredibuilds
This wooden model are easy to assemble and snap together to form a 3D model of this favorite Star Wars spacecraft.  It comes with a hardcover book which provides lots of detail about the TIE Fighter.  This will be enjoyed by any Star Wars fan and the final product will be something that a child will want to have on display in their room.  There is a whole line of these models including Harry Potter themes and the Eiffel Tower. This is an excellent grandfather-grandchild building activity – reminiscent of but easier than the model cars he put together as a boy.

Princess Castle by Calafant
The inexpensive cardboard building sets by Calafant come with markers and so a child can personalize them with their favorite color scheme.  The cutout cardboard pieces have an easy interlock system so no glue or scissors are needed.  The buildings are a nice size that can be used with small toy figures that a child already has.  These inexpensive sets are excellent value and grandparent-grandchild working together projects.  Great sleepover project.

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: December 8th, 2016 at midnight. This item can be sent to US addresses only.

 Check out my Hot Toys Holiday Guide here:

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