Well yes, it is an exaggeration.. though only a slight one. But life as a grandma is just as busy, even more so, than ever before. Without a planner or a to-do list of tasks, there is no way that I could complete everything I need to get done each day. I'm a planner. I think it must be an hereditary gene.
My daughters and granddaughters have obviously inherited it, too. My granddaughter has been making lists of things as soon as she was old enough to put pen to paper. She would draw pictures on her list before she could actually write.
But for me, without some plan in place, the hours in the day just flash by with nothing accomplished.
My planner is an outline, a blueprint, of the day ahead. It draws a picture of what the day is likely to bring. But after trying many different planners, I've designed by own. You're welcome to use it yourself. See below.
I like to plan out my day the night before. Someone recently commented (I wish I could remember who) that each day of creation is described as 'the evening and morning were the first day' and so on. So.. consider starting and designing your day in the evening. Plan before the day begins. And I do.
I plan my day with time frames and check boxes. It helps me determine whether I'm unrealistically attempting too many activities in my day. The check boxes make me feel like I'm accomplishing something. I love to tick off completed items.
My top 5 goals for the day are at the top of the page. They are the focus for the day. Prayer needs are listed as an ongoing reminder whenever I glance at my planner.
Other important reminders are also listed on the planner: appointments, phone calls to make, emails, things to fix and cook and items to buy. Water intake is important but something I struggle to remember, so I cross off a glass whenever I drink some water.
I note down any websites I need to check out later and add reminders of photos/links/ info that I want to upload to social media. And... there's a small space for notes.. so that I can note down the quaint comments by my grandchildren during the day.
There are many times when my busyness overwhelms me and I wonder about my life and its value- it's impact on my family and others. Chuck Swindoll once said that' God operates from an eternal agenda not a daily planner.' I just need to remind myself that the big picture is in His hands.
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I hope you find that it helps you organise and plan your daily tasks and leaves you with some free time for yourself.
Yesterday, I cooked up a batch of simple Jam Drops and, while still warm, packaged them up for my grandkids. I wasn't certain whether they would appreciate them. After all, the grocery shelves are lined with colourful packs of commercially made biscuits of all shapes, assortments and flavours. And Jam Drops are quite basic.
They're the sort of biscuit that I used to whip up quickly and pop into the oven while the dinner cooked. But that was when my kids were small... and times, and tastes, change.
Apparently, though, kids still like Jam Drops- especially when they're still warm and fragrant. "You know, you're just like a real grandma, Nan... you know, cooking up special treats for their kids," commented one of my grandsons, with his mouth filled with Jam Drop. "How many can I have?"
In case you've misplaced your own family Jam Drop recipe, I've listed my own below. It varies considerably from my own grandmother's vague recipe that included terms like: 'add a good amount of... and pour in some milk until it looks right.'
Jam Drops are great for involving the kids and teaching them some culinary skills, too. If they're old enough, they can measure the ingredients, stir in the egg and flour. They all love to roll the mixture into small balls and it's pretty easy to make and fill the small hole in each one. They don't take long to cook, either, which is great for impatient young cooks.
If you're making them to give to your grandkids, package them up in a special box or container. A small noodle box works well. Add a bit of ribbon or string and a little tag. I've created one for you to download and use if you wish.. see below and click on the link to download the pdf.
You can even buy a 'home made' stamp to press into the base of your biscuits before cooking, if you want a special touch for your creations. The Jam Drops mixture is a little soft for this, unfortunately, but it would be great for shortbread.
Jam Drops Recipe
120gm self-raising flour
1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Add egg and beat well.
3. Add flour and salt and mix well.
4. Roll into small balls and place on a baking tray. ( I use a silicone tray.. they're great!)
5. Dip the end of a wooden spoon into a bit of flour and then press into each ball of mixture to make a small hole in each.
6. Fill the hole with jam.
7. Bake in a moderate oven (180 deg) for 15 mins.
Enjoy your biscuits and share with your grandkids.
Download the special 'Grandma's Bakery' tag.
Previously posted on my earlier blogger site: here
It's wet and miserable today, with sudden downpours of rain that are too heavy for a fun walk in the rain and certainly too cold to take two small boys puddle jumping. But they will be here soon looking for an exciting afternoon adventure with grandma.
Fortunately, I've stocked up on indoor activities for just such a situation. Today's plan?... a wonderful mini vegetable garden.
'Woolworths Fresh Food' store's latest shopping incentive for families and the latest in their range of collectible cards, is Jamie Oliver's Garden.
The collectible cards are very attractive with some textured, embossed and even heat sensitive that change if you hold your finger on the print. There are also some cards that are fragrant.
An optional journal can be purchased to store the cards and stickers or you could also buy a coordinated designer tin.
I noticed that, among other matching items that can be purchased, there were some small aprons, gardening trowels and watering cans. So I stocked up on those items for the boys. You have to look the part.. it's half the fun!
And... I bought the mini-greenhouse. It's really great. There is a shallow rectangular tray as the base ready to fill with the provided potting mix.
The rest of the greenhouse is pre-printed and cut clear plastic ready to be assembled. When finished, it rests on the tray and is easily removed to water the garden. Stickers are provided to decorate the greenhouse and herb seeds are included ready to sprinkle over the tray of potting mix.
It's very simple and lots of fun.
But if you can't obtain one of these little greenhouse kits, you can still create your own.
You will need:
* large clear plastic drinking glass (You can use any container but I used plastic for safety with small boys. A glass or plastic jar, bowl or container would look very attractive. Be imaginative.)
* small amount of gravel for drainage
*filtering charcoal if you have any but it's not essential
* herb seeds or seedlings (chives, cress, mint, oregano,parsley)
*herb labels are optional but look great to pop in amongst your herbs. You can find some to download here..
The instructions are simple: add some gravel in the base of your clear container, then some charcoal, if you have some.
Half-fill the container with potting mix and sprinkle with the herb seeds. If you have seedlings, gently plant these in the potting mix. Don't over-fill your container.
Then add some stickers to the outside of your container. (The boys wanted to addlots to their garden container.)
Don't forget to water your mini-garden; that's a big part of the fun for small boys. It might be better to use a spray bottle of water to avoid drowning the seedlings.
And, once the herbs begin to grow, they can be pinched off to use in cooking, added to butter for a herb spread or sprinkled over salads.
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.