'This post was originally published in October 2015. It was updated June 10, 2019 to include updated ideas and resources to help you remember those special moments with your family. '
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
We pulled into the darkened driveway and I turned to look at the sleeping children in the back seat. Only Amy was awake, her big eyes shadowed with tiredness.
"Home at last!" I whispered. "Still awake?"
She nodded and I noticed Laura slumped heavily against her shoulder.
"Can you walk or do you need Daddy to carry you?"
I fumbled with the seatbelts and lifted Laura into my arms, surprised at how heavy she felt. I probably wouldn't have managed Ben. They were all growing so fast.
"Watch the step, honey. Here, take my hand."
The scene plays out in my mind, one of the many times I had carried one or other of our children. But, hard as I try, I cannot remember the very last time I held them in my arms and carried them to bed.
There must have been a 'last time.' They are all grown now.
The last time
So, when was that 'last time?' Why didn't trumpets blare and fireworks explode? It should have been a momentous occasion. Why didn't I take note?
Like the last time a sleepy child crept into bed with us.... the last time I searched for missing homework... the last time I checked whether teeth had been brushed... the last time I tucked a small child into bed... so many 'last times' that had slipped by unnoticed.
Time passes so fast and moments are forgotten. And it's often only when they're gone that you realise how much you miss them...even the mess, the wall-to-wall toys.. the fingerprints on the walls.
There are ways to help you remember those special times together, the daily fun stuff that brightened your days and filled your heart.
Here are just a couple of suggestions:
* Keep a daily journal now of your day and your fun with your kids and grandkids . Here's how..
* Take photos, not just photos of family celebrations or holidays. but the little things, too- those things that are a part of family life together. Use the link below to learn more.
* Don't just take photos and forget about them. Organise them and create a photobook- perhaps one each year or a photobook with a particular theme.
* Turn family photos into amazing family clips or movies with simple video creators like Animoto.
And... how about a simple memento to remind you of those small but busy hands? You'll find it below.
A small memento
So here's a little something to help you remember those small, but important moments before they vanish forever.
Print the file below- a page ready for your kids' or grandkids' hand-prints, before they're grown and gone. The small poem below is printed on the page with space for the prints at the top. Use some water-based paints on a sponge.
Ask your kids to press their hand on the sponge and then on the printed page. Depending on the size of your kids' hands, you may only fit one handprint on the page. That's okay. Add your memento page to a scrapbook page, a photobook , frame it, or take a photo of it and save it into your smartphone or tablet's photos.
Let's enjoy these small moments and make them so beautiful that they will be worth remembering.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
Previously published on My Grandma's Place May 13, 2017
“Guess what, Nan? We’re coming to stay at your place..It’s so exciting !”
“I know, I know. I can hardly wait.”
Following hard on the heels of the pleasure and excitement I felt at my granddaughter’s words was the thought, ‘How am I going to make this visit special?’ ‘What can I do that will create lasting memories?’
(Yep… affiliate links are included which means that, at no additional cost to you, if you buy through me I get some coffee money …though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
If, like me, you’ve gone with the whole down-sizing your home you might not have too much space for full-on, energetic kids. Don’t panic! Regardless of the size of your home, or whether it sits on acres of land or has a postage-sized patio, you can still plan non-stop adventures and fun for your pint-sized visitors.
Choose any of the suggestions below to create a shared time with your grandkids that everyone will long remember. Simple activities shared together can become real ‘moments that matter’ in the memories of your grandkids.
When do your grandkids plan to arrive?
Are they going to stay for just one night or more?
Will they arrive morning or afternoon?
No matter how long they plan to stay, you'll find plenty of fun ideas to keep them busy and happy.
So, let's begin with some morning activities.
After dinner fun
The fun doesn’t have to stop just because it’s getting dark and almost time for bed. Check out these ideas:
Where are they going to sleep?
If you have a spare bedroom with sufficient beds, that’s great. If not, inflatable mattresses on the floor can be lots of fun. Add plenty of soft pillows and covers.
A small tent is another option and you can position it inside or on your patio or decking. I’ve found that most kids creep back inside after about an hour of outdoor camping so be prepared.
Don’t feel that you have to attempt everything on the list. Choose those suggestions that appeal to you or your grandkids.
Although these are simple ideas that don’t take too much preparation or planning, you’ll find that they are ‘moments that matter.’ Your grandkids will talk about this time with you often and with enjoyment. And I hope you’ll enjoy their visit, too.
Oh.. and don't forget to take photos!
A free checklist is available to download below…
Your checklist to preparing a wonderful sleepover. Just click on the image to download,.
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Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.