Santa brought me five ceramic stepping stones for Christmas, a DIY craft project for me to paint with my grandchildren. Well, at least the oldest three of five grandchildren, the youngest two are not yet into DIY projects.
We have added their names and the year they were born to the stones too. They are now decorating a fence in Gardens4me as they are much too beautiful to step on. These colourful masterpieces will brighten up the area I refer to as my ICU where plants or cuttings I remove from clients’ gardens get rejuvenated.
My oldest granddaughter painted hers and I painted her baby brother’s right after Christmas when she was still coming here for her online school lessons.
My youngest granddaughter painted hers this past week as I painted her baby brother’s while the latter was napping.
I also painted my eldest grandson’s as he had no interest in painting indoors, was keener to go on an outdoor adventure. Appropriately, I had reserved the turtle for him…
I have been promising my grandchildren to take them to the farm where my mother grew up for months. I have also been promising my uncle we would visit, but due to the social distancing rules of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been putting the trip off. My uncle convinced me we could arrange a socially distanced, outdoor visit though, so I packed us a kid-friendly picnic lunch and off we went.
My uncle (my mom’s younger brother) now owns and looks after the property with his wife and daughter. They have done an awesome job renovating and keeping it thriving. It has always been one of my favourite places to visit, although I don’t get there nearly as often as I would like to.
Enjoy this slideshow of just a few of the pictures…
In the very last picture you can see writing in the cement where the girls are standing. My mother engraved her name (Eva) way back in 1941 when she was just twelve years old! I tried to explain the connection to the children, but they are too young to understand yet. Someday though I hope they will appreciate and marvel their great grandmother’s autograph as much as I do.
The kids loved their farm visit, in fact when my uncle told us to come back soon, my grandson said “See you tomorrow!”
Because I am a nature lover, I assume that my grandchildren will automatically be nature lovers too. What I have come to realize is that teaching children to love nature is all about immersing them in it. This practice does not have to be an expensive endeavour, more of a shared life style, that can and should begin very early in life. One of my fondest memories of both of my grandmothers is their love of gardening.
I love all things garden related, so I make sure my grandchildren tour my gardens, patio and veranda plantings when they visit. I have added a few whimsical features throughout my yard to pique their interest, my way of teaching children. I love their sweet reactions!
I also have a few nature inspired features in my home décor that the kids love…
Teaching children has to be age appropriate or your students quickly lose interest. As my grand kids get older, the teaching or mentoring gets easier. In the spring they help me plant some decorations on my back deck. Then they water them throughout the summer to keep them thriving. I haven’t met a child yet that does not like to water flowers! Morning glories and sunflowers are easy to plant and grow quickly…
A word of caution when teaching children though, make sure you don’t care if they break your touches of nature. For example, the resin bunny has a broken tail and foot from two separate, accidental drops. And, one of my birdies cracked after my grandson threw it on a hard floor attempting to make it fly. I have to keep a close eye on the elephant as it is a sentimental (and very old) souvenir their great-grandpa brought their grandfather back from a trip to Africa.
I have to admit patience is a virtue I do not possess, but I’m working on it. That’s because I’m learning that grandchildren are great teachers, but require unlimited patience.
This morning was another lesson learned in the patience department. My two year old grandson and five year old granddaughter slept over last night and although she slept well, he did not. He was up several times during the night and then up for good, bouncing around with a seemingly endless supply of energy at 6am.
“Grumble, grumble, ok Grandma is up, but I won’t be dancing with Elmo or to Baby Shark within the next few hours, at least until I have a cup of coffee.”
Checking out his choices for breakfast, this (always adorable) grandson grabbed a box of Cheerios and promptly dumped (most of) its contents onto the kitchen floor. Luckily the box was not full. After I grabbed the broom and swept up the mess (with him helping of course) he repeated the process. Dump, scatter, sweep….at least five more times. After the second sequence, I realized he was having fun. No real harm done, and other than relocating breakable objects within the swinging radius of the broom handle as he “tidied up,” it was fun to watch his concentration. The cheerios were going in the garbage anyway; each time I threw some out (without him noticing of course) so there were fewer to clean up each time.
Encouraging kids to develop green thumbs is a great outdoor activity, especially for this garden loving Grandma. Recently I taught my two oldest grandchildren (1.5 and 4.8 yrs old) the fine (very simple) art of planting seeds. I filled some large pots with soil and added bamboo trellises shaped like teepees for the plantings to climb on. I chose pole beans and morning glories to plant as they are both fast growing seeds, perfect for impatient children. In fact, our seeds sprouted within a few days and in less than three weeks their tendrils had started to climb the teepees…
A few weeks after that and the beans have climbed up, around and through the teepee shaped trellis, producing purple pole beans. No sign of the morning glories yet…
Now, if I could only get the kids to eat the pole beans. Grandma certainly will…
I must admit that I have never planted purple pole beans before and did not realize they turn green when they are cooked….
You can entice children to enjoy gardening by getting them their own gloves, tools and watering can. My grandson loves the little “critters” I have on my back deck too…
A few months ago (four to be exact) I shared the joyous news that we had welcomed another grandchild into our family. After spending a lovely Father’s Day dinner with my family tonight, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have my three precious grandchildren nearby.
They are all growing up so fast! This picture was taken a month ago already, on Mother’s Day, just as the gang was leaving our home, exhausted from their busy weekend. That’s one happy Grandma!
Last year at this time I became agrandmotherfor the first time. We have been enjoying the presence of my son’s precocious, now four year old step-daughter in our lives and could not have been more thrilled to welcome her little brother. A few days ago this Grandma was equally thrilled to add another babyto this new generation of our family. As promised, (by ultrasound) she is a beautiful baby girl. The proud parents are my son and his wife that you heard about in all my wedding posts last spring.
There are no words special enough to express the emotions of being a grandparent although love, joy and pride might be a start. We are so fortunate to have all three grandchildren to love and spoil. With them all living close by, I hope to do so as often as their parents let me!
Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca
It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. We celebrate the second Monday in October, while other countries celebrate in November. I believe the reason for that is the fact that our winters arrive sooner here, so our harvests are earlier. Afterall, Thanksgiving did originate as a celebration after harvest was complete.
Regardless of when you celebrate Thanksgiving, be sure to remember all the things you are grateful for. This previous postlisted the things I was grateful for two years ago. All of these still apply, with the wonderful addition of my sons’ significant others and two (with a third one on the way) grandchildren.
With the arrival of grandchildren comes a new addition to my dining room furniture, just in time for Thanksgiving…
I have always claimed that my greatest accomplishments in life are my three sons. Now that I am a Grandma too, I am discovering that this experience is right up there with being a mom, although I cannot claim it as an accomplishment.
I so envy the current generation having children with their parents willing and able to help with their grandchildren. And, I admire the grandparents willing to spend the quality time with their grandchildren. I am also very grateful that my two eldest sons have settled close to home, so any grandchildren they produce will be close by. In my generation, we went to visit our grandparents once in a while, but always as a family (mine had 8 members) and usually for special occasions where the house was full of cousins and other relatives.
Spending the last few days with my grandson I am reminded of how miraculous a new baby is. From the moment they are conceived to the time they are full grown, their progress is an amazing accomplishment, one we as humans should be incredibly proud of and grateful for.
It is such a joy to spend quality time with a grandchild, even a tiny one that spends most of the day eating, sleeping, spitting up and pooping with bouts of unexplained wailing. Even my gardens have taken a back seat this week as I babysit (that’s what the parents call it, I call it bonding with) my grandson.