When you have grandkids, you find that you have all sorts of presents to buy throughout the year - birthday presents, Christmas presents, gifts for achievements like finishing school, passing exams, and securing places in the school play.
But as they grow up, the things that you can buy for them tend to gradually change. Little kids are pretty easy to buy for. You can pick up teddy bears, dolls, jigsaw puzzles, train sets, and toy cars.
As they begin to approach adulthood and they are reaching their teenage years, they’re going to consider themselves “too grown up” for “little kids toys”. At this age, many kids want to feel grown up.
So, when you get them presents, you should bear this in mind. Here are a few ideas that can get you started in the right direction!
Aftershave or Perfume
Aftershave and perfume are the holy grail of presents for kids. They’ve seen these item adorning their parents and your shelves and cabinets for years, seeing adults spray it on before a day or night out. So, look at brands aimed at teens. They generally come with a lower price tag and packaging that may be endorsed by their favourite artists, models, and bands.
Toiletries and Toiletry Bags
Many kids go on extended trips with their schools around this age. So, you might want to give them a parting gift for the first time that they are away from home without their parents. Toiletries and toiletry bags are a great idea. They’ll be used to using whatever toiletries are available at home. But for this trip, they can have their own for the first time! Choose popular brands amongst teens and fill up a mens toiletry bag or womens toiletry bag. They’ll feel grown up in next to no time!
Vinyl is coming back into fashion, but you want to start your teen off with a low cost turntable, as they can easily break or damage the arms and needles, so you don’t want an expensive piece of tech ruined as they get used to using a traditional record player. Crosleys are a good starter piece when it comes to turntables. They come in a range of appealing colours, so you’re bound to find one that suits their taste. They also come with a lower price tag than other models on the market.
Teens tend to love adorning their walls with photos of them and their friends. Seeing as they tend to take most of their pictures in digital format, this can involve having to wait for extended periods of time for physical prints to be returned from professional printers. Instead, they could access their pictures instantaneously with an at-home photo printer!
These are just a few ideas that you might want to consider for your teen grandkid! Sure, they may seem difficult to buy for, but you just have to adjust yourself to their changing tastes and interests!
It's been a tough year. Added to the general busyness of life have come health concerns, family needs, hospital visits and financial worries. I feel a little like Todd Stocker who said, "I wanted to figure out why I was so busy, but I couldn't find the time to do it.” Yes, that just about sums it up.
And the result? I feel exhausted.. constantly. I feel as though I have no energy, for anything.
If you're like me, your busy lifestyle can make finding more energy a challenge. However, these invigorating tips will boost your energy and keep you going. They're simple.. and healthy so including them each day is a wise decision. Certainly, that's my plan for boosting my dwindling energy levels.
Try these tips to maintain the energy you need for your hectic life:
1. Create a regular exercise schedule and stick to it.
Exercise is one of the easiest ways to find more energy on a daily basis. Exercise boosts metabolism and helps you avoid feeling sluggish.
A regular exercise schedule is essential for seeing results. However, you can try different workouts and classes to keep things interesting.
Walking, for instance, can be done anywhere and requires no special equipment. It increases cardiovascular fitness, strengthens bones, reduces excess body fat, and boosts muscle power and endurance. Some would say that, instead of looking for a caffeine hit when you need some energy, go for a walk.
2. Balance your breakfast with both carbohydrates and protein.
Eating a bagel with coffee may be easy in the morning, but you’ll have more energy if you add peanut butter or meat to the bagel. Balancing carbs with protein gives you more energy throughout the day.
How you begin your day is important.. Breakfast matters in the hunt for more energy.
A combination of carbohydrates and protein is one of the best ways to start the day.
Do you love yogurt? Do you crave toast in the morning? You can combine yogurt with toast for a more balanced meal. Eggs and toast are another common breakfast staple that works.
Check out these foods & breakfast options:
* Oats +yoghurt + sliced banana + sprinkle of nuts and seeds
* Wholegrain toast + peanut butter or avocado or hummus, tomato and baby spinach leaves
* Fruit or vegetable smoothies + oats, yoghurt and nuts or chia seeds
3. Try to catch the sunlight.
Sunlight can be an invigorating force.
The brain relies on light to determine sleep and wakefulness patterns. By spending more time in the sun, you can find more energy. Of course you'd be wise to avoid the time of day when UV rays are most intense. But at least 30 to 40 minutes of sunlight a day can make a big difference in energy levels.
4. Use essential oils. Essential oils have the power to change moods and affect stress levels.
Essential oils can be smelled or used on the skin. They can provide an instant energy boost.
Citrus is a popular aromatherapy choice because it has an uplifting aspect to it. Basil can also help you because it wakes up the mind.
Eucalyptus, mint, and rosemary are also useful aromatherapy oils for more energy.
5. Add sweet potatoes to your meals.
Sweet potatoes offer potassium and keep energy levels balanced. They’re also a good source of other vitamins and minerals. They’re known for having high levels of vitamin A. You'll find many recipes now that include sweet potatoes in breads, muffins, as fries and pancakes.
6. Drink green tea.
Green tea has an important amino acid that is linked to helping people stay more energised. I really struggle with this one. I'm not a fan of green tea but I can tolerate it with peppermint or another flavour to disguise it. :)
7. Mash chia seeds and add them to smoothies.
Chia seeds are high in protein and minerals. Mashing chia seeds can make them easier to drink in your smoothies. You can also add them to your food. Sprinkle the seeds on top of salads or casseroles.
8. Stay hydrated in unique ways.
Water is crucial for giving you the energy to keep going during the day. But, it can be challenging to drink plain water and get the required amount.
Make your own infused water by adding fruit and spice to your water to make it unique. You can combine pieces of lemon with pineapple, apple, or blackberries for a different taste. See below to download your own Infused Water recipes cheatsheet.
Another option is using sachets like Twinings Cold In'Fuse. As the promotion states, 'With no artificial flavours or colours (just natural fruit flavours, spices & botanicals), there’s now a natural way to add flavour to your water!'
I like the watermelon, strawberry and mint flavour.
Add more watermelon to your diet.
If you’re trying to stay hydrated, watermelon can help you achieve the goal. It has high water content and gives you more energy. This a very tasty snack to include in your day. Cut it up into chunks and pop into small containers for an easy snack option.
9. Snack on nuts throughout the day.
Are you looking for a fast way to get more energy? Nuts have protein and vitamins. They’re a fast and convenient way to get an energy boost at work or at home. The nutrients in nuts can create lasting energy that goes on for hours.
Simple tricks can help you discover more energy in your day.
These tips will help you stay alert and focused... with more energy. They are simple changes that can make a big difference to your energy levels and your busy life.
Retirement can be the best time of your life. After working hard for more than 40 years, juggling a job around raising your family and other commitments, it’s finally your time. Time to take for yourself. To do what you want to, to take your time, to enjoy your family, to travel, to learn, and to do those things that you’ve always dreamed of.
Many people, however, chose to use their precious retirement to try an encore career, to go back to school or even to start their own business. They’ve finally got the time they’ve always wanted, and they chose to use it either working or studying. To some, this might seem ridiculous.
But, there are some awesome reasons to go back to school in later life. Here’s a look at some of them.
To Keep Your Mind Young
Retirement isn’t always what we want it to be. We dream of having lots of free time to relax and enjoy. Then, we find that we’re bored, we lack focus and interest. This can start to affect your health. It’s not uncommon to find that shortly after relaxing into retirement, your memory begins to suffer. You may forget little details, find yourself repeating things, or find that you are starting to forget where you’ve put things or people’s names. To some extent, this is a normal part of aging and something that you simply have to deal with. But, there is a lot that you can do to keep your mind young and alert for as long as possible.
Going back to school, perhaps to study an operations management degree online is just one of these things. It gives your mind focus and exercise. Other things that could help include learning a new language, spending time doing new things and going to new places, reading and doing puzzles, or doing simple tasks with your opposite hand. Think of it as exercise for your mind, just like you exercise your body.
To Keep Your Body Young
Speaking of exercise, going back to school can help your body as much as your mind. Many people find that in retirement they start spending much more time sitting at home. Going back to school gets you out of the house and moving more.
To Make New Friends
One of the most significant disadvantages of getting older is that everyone else is too and that it’s only natural that you might lose some friends as they become ill or pass away. Retirement can be terribly lonely, especially if you are used to working around people, or don’t have family nearby. Going back to school, even to do a short course at your local library or community centre gives you a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
To Learn New Skills
Of course, when you go back to school, you’ll learn about your chosen subject. But, that’s not all you’ll learn. You’ll develop computer skills. You’ll learn more about modern technology. You’ll learn how to organise your time, and you’ll improve your writing and communication. There’s a lot to gain by going back to school.
Your home is always a huge part of your life. Where you live really does make a difference to your life.
If you know that you are unhappy in your home right now, then you should definitely start to think about what will make you happy. Sometimes, this all boils down to the style of house that you live in. And that can often feel easier to fix, because you can redecorate or even move into a new place that you know is going to feel more ‘you’. But that won’t always do it. Sometimes, you need to go on a step further from that and make sure that you’re living in the right area too.
1. What You Don’t Like About Where You Live Now
So the very first thing you need to do here, is to really pinpoint what it is that you don’t like about where you live right now. If you don’t do this, and you just start to look for somewhere else, you may find that you end up in the exact same situation. So sit down and really think about what you don’t like or what the issues are, so that you can be very aware of avoiding them in the future.
2. What Areas You’re Interested In
Then, now that you know what you don’t like, you should start to think about what you’re interested in. And it can feel like it’s really hard to find the best place to live. But by thinking about the places that come to mind, and then looking into them a little more, you’ll start to create a list of where might be appropriate.
3. The Local Amenities That Are Important To You
At the same time, you’re going to want to think about the important local amenities that matter the most to you. This can be kind of the flipside of what you don’t want. Because maybe there are so many different things that you could be near, and that will make you so much happier wherever you are. So write them down, and you also have a bit of a checklist of what you’re working towards too.
4. Whether It’s The Area Or The Country
If you really want to break this down even further, it’s going to help you if you can work out whether it’s the area that you live in, or even the country! Now, for a lot of people, this can be a big step that won’t even be on their radar. But there are some people out there that have always wanted to travel or live abroad - and this could be the real reason that you’re unhappy. So really work out if it’s the area of the country that you’re unhappy with, or the country itself.
5. Researching Different Counties
So from here, you’ll then want to think about the different countries that you could live in. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to live in the USA or Asia? Well then, if you’re really serious about relocating, it’s time to do some research into these countries. Or maybe your husband wants to relocate for work - as this can also be something that comes up? Again, research can help you to work out if it’s something that would work for you.
6. As Well As Different Areas & Properties
From here, you also need to be thinking about the different areas and the kind of properties that you like in that country. So whether this is the different HDB estates in Singapore like Tampines, or chose of East or West coasts in the United States. Make sure that you know exactly where you might like to be.
7. Researching Expats & Local Communities
It may also be useful for you to look into local communities of expats so that you can settle in well. Here, sites like InterNations are great options. You can often speak to others before you move so that you can get a good sense of what the area is like.
8. Thinking About Working
If you’re going to get practical about all of this, then you definitely do need to be sure that you’re thinking about work. Whether this is just you, or your husband too. If you’re relocating internationally or across the country and it is not for work, you will want to work out what you want to do about your job or working situation before you jump in.
9. Considering Schools
And, you’ll also want to spend some time looking into local schools too. This could even help you to work out exactly which area you want to be in, based on how good the schools are.
10. Working Out The Cost
Another deciding factor can be the costs. You may want to use point twelve to help you here, but you will want to work out what the cost of relocating will be, to know if you can afford it.
11. Visiting The Different Areas
Then, as you’re really starting to get smart about this, you need to visit the areas that you’re thinking of. And yes, even if they are overseas - especially if they are overseas. Visiting a city before you move there is really useful in terms of allowing you to see if it’s really somewhere that you want to be. Make sure that you book yourself an AirBnB so that you can get a feel for living in a home and what life might be like there.
12. Working Out The Logistics
On a more practical sense, you’re going to want to be sure that you can work out the logistics of moving. Now, this can seem complicated if it’s across the country, but it can be even harder when you’re moving overseas. So be sure that you are looking into movers, what things you can ship and what you can, and how actually doing this will work.
13. Being Mostly Sure
Now, you’re then going to want to make sure that this is what you want. AND what your family wants too. Maybe you want to move to be happier, or your husband wants to move for a job - no matter what the reason is, you all need to agree. This will only ever work, and you’ll all only ever be happy, if you can sure that you’ve make the right decision. So definitely talk about this openly, and be sure that you’re on the same page and ready to do this.
So there you have it! Now that you’ve worked through some of the key things that you need to consider, it’s time to work out whether or not this is something you want to do. Even if it seems scary or being a big change, you’ll know whether this is right for you when you do go through each step.
This article has been updated from a earlier version posted 31 July, 2014.
The book slowly opens and two small people snuggle close and peer at the opened page.
“Start, Nan,” encourages Dakotah impatiently. Her sister just blinks her big, dark eyes and waits quietly. I smile. “Rosie the hen went for a walk.” The small heads bend closer and look intently at the picture on the page.
I love picture storybooks. I think that most people do, not just kids. I love the small number of carefully chosen words, condensed language, that create a simple story that draws in the reader. I love the wonderful illustrations that add so much to the narrative and provide feelings, atmosphere and humour without a word.
(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.)
‘Rosie’s Walk’ is certainly one of my favourites along with many others: Hairy Maclary, Where is the Green Sheep? Edwina the Emu, Harriet, You'll Drive me Wild and many others.
It’s helpful that some of these wonderful picture storybooks, like ‘You’re in the Wrong Book’ are now available at iTunes as storybook apps.
But what about Bible and faith-based picture storybooks? Well.. you'll be pleased to know that there is a growing range of wonderful Bible storybooks for different ages.
So... what do you need to consider when purchasing a Bible storybook for your kids or grandkids?
1. Truth matters. Yes, they are only little but, as parents or grandparents, we are still teaching God's truths to these little ones. These are not just stories. That doesn't mean that we need books that go into great detail and expound concepts and knowledge that are beyond the understanding of small children. The Bible stories still need to be biblically accurate, but age-appropriate .
2. Keep it short and simple. The words in the Bible storybook should be predominantly short, one-syllable words. They should be the sort of words we would use at home when we talk with our small children. The sentences need to be short. And the Bible story itself should be short.
I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that these little ones have a short attention span. As a general rule of thumb, think in terms of one minute for each year of age. If your toddler is 2 years old, he'll probably focus on something for 2 minutes, if you're lucky; 3 years old, you might manage to keep them seated and listening for 3 minutes. Keep it short. :) As your child grows, then the length of the Bible stories can grow, too.
3. Expect, even look, for questions. I know when my children, and my son in particular, were small they constantly asked questions. It was a constant refrain of "Why?" "Why?" "But why?" Questions are good. They need to understand, so they'll ask questions. Some Bible storybooks actually include simple questions with each Bible story. They are a great way to start your kids thinking through the stories. But add your own questions, too, after you've finished reading.
4. Kids love repetition. If your children enjoy the Bible storybooks you're reading, then expect to have to read it again... and again. And that's good! Repetition reinforces both the story itself and the Bible point that is taught through the story. A good picture storybook will often incorporate elements of repetition within the story.
5. Add some variety. A good Bible storybook is great. But a variety of great Bible storybooks is even better, especially as your kids learn and grow. While kids thrive on repetition (I forget how many times I've read 'Where is the Green Sheep') both your kids, and you, will appreciate having a change instead of reading the same Bible storybook over and over again.
Check out some of the quality choices below and check out the movie clips that follow. I'll be adding more book reviews or listing them in my newsletter as I find them. You'll also find reviews on Coffee Stories.
1. Read-Aloud Bible Stories.
This series is probably my favourite and wonderful for children 2 years and up. I know some people will choose a Bible Storybook based on colourful, detailed illustrations and sure- that is important when it's a picture story book. The pictures in this book are big, bright and bold. But it's more than just the illustrations. The stories in these volumes are very well written. There are just a few words on each page- perfect for little ones. Each story ends with a 'What did you learn?' page with just a question or two and a sentence to reinforce the Bible truth from the story.
The illustrations are great for young ones, too. But don't limit these books to the very young. I've read these stories to older kids and they enjoy them, too. And as they grow older they will read the books again for themselves.
Check out the start of one of these Bible stories.
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten men were very sick. They were so sick the doctor couldn't make them better."
You'll find more information in the video clips below.
I'd encourage every family with young children to include these Bible storybooks in their libraries and read them often to their little ones.
2. The Read-with-Me Bible
I really love the Bible picture storybooks by Dennis Jones. The ‘See With Me Bible’ (prequel to the Read with Me Bible series) is lovely. The Bible stories are told entirely with pictures. The expressions on the faces of the characters are a more graphic portrayal of what's happening in the story and the feelings and emotions of the characters than any words. Children love them- even your very little ones. So do I. I particularly love the story of the Lost Sheep. His character, emotions and personality shine through the each page.
I've spent many hours with my grandchildren looking at the pictures and telling the stories. As they've grown older, they tell me the stories. Unfortunately, The See with Me Bible is no longer in print (although you might find a second-hand one) but you can also enjoy the Read with Me Bible... equally good with simple text and wonderful illustrations by Dennis Jones. This book would probably suit your 3-5 year olds.
For my older grandchildren, I've now downloaded the Bible picture storybook apps by Dennis Jones. The first, Trouble! On the Road retells the story of the Good Samaritan, with some delightful animations. Joop is travelling to the annual Jericho Arts and Crafts Fair to sell his handmade birdhouses.
There are two versions to choose once you open the app: Read to Me or Read it to Myself. There are colouring pages, too, to involve the kids after the story has been read.
Read these books.. I'm sure you'll enjoy every page.
3. The Jesus Storybook Bible -every story whispers His name.
The stories, the descriptive and almost poetic language used, make this a wonderful book for children who are preschool age to perhaps 6 or 7 years old. Many would say that it's perfect for adults, too, and I wouldn't disagree.
It's been described as 'one of the best resources available to help both children and adults see the Jesus-centered story line of the Bible.' And it does so in a way that encourages children to learn of God's epic love for them and how they are a part of this amazing story, too. Children can understand that each story in the Bible is just a part of the bigger story and God's plan for them.
There are various book editions available as well as online videos of some of the stories. (See below)
4. Friends with God Story Bible I've reviewed the Friends with God Story Bible already here and LifeTree has highlighted part of this article, too. So I've included part of that review below.
“Yes.... another Bible storybook and I guess you're thinking... 'Hey, I have a Bible storybook for my kids or grandkids. Why would I need another one?' So....do your kids need it? I can certainly understand the question. It's one I asked myself initially, too. But then, what if your kids…
1. could actually feel a part of the story? Friends With God Story Bible is written in the first person. So your kids will hear the story from the protagonist's point of view, with all the emotions that go with that. It's not just a story. It's a recount and it will resonate with your kids in a meaningful way. They will feel connected, involved.
2. could hear personal stories of 54+ friends of God? This isn't just a handful of stories. It's enough for a whole year of exciting reading if you read and learn about one friend of God each week. And extra devotional material is included to help you extend each story beyond the pages of a book.
3. could also play Bible games and discover Bible facts? You'll find that this story Bible has an interactive element built in that works in conjunction with an app—IOS or Android. Throughout the story Bible are special icons—a smiling face. Your kids will have fun finding them, too. Simply download the free app. Then scan the page with the icon. You'll come face to face with friends of God plus unlock interactive games.
4. could collect and share digital cards of the friends of God? Not only does this connected app share more information and games, it enables your kids to win virtual collectible character cards. They'll learn even more entertaining facts about these Bible characters. They'll feel they really know them. And they can even add their own image to create their very own card.
5. could grow in their own friendship with God? They'll hear and share in the amazing stories when God stepped into the picture and everything changed. As they read this book they 'face lions, cross rivers, slay giants and stare into a glittering desert sky, awed by God making impossible promises come true.' And they'll realize that this same God wants to be friends with them, too.
So, yes.... my grandkids need this beautifully illustrated, interactive book and maybe yours do, too. :)”
- from article and review posted September 7, 2017.
Related products: Friends with God Devotion -Friends with God Sing-along songs - Friends with God Activity Book
5. The Action Bible This book is suitable for kids aged 9 to 12 years. As you've probably realised, it's not your typical picture storybook. But this is what you get when you combine the trusted English Standard Version Bible with the attention-grabbing illustrations from Marvel comic illustrator Sergio Cariello.
There are 215 fast-paced narratives in chronologial order. So it's not the book you'd encourage your child to bring along to a Bible study class or to follow along with in church scripture reading. But it does bring the scripture to life for this action-seeking age group of kids. If you're wanting to get your child into reading the Bible, this is a great way to do so.
There are also other version available for different age-groups: The Action Bible Storybook Bible- The Action Bible Study Bible - The Action Bible Handbook - The Action Bible Devotional
So.. are you looking for another quality Bible storybook for your kids or maybe your grandkids?
I know I've bought many over the years. Some in my bookcase look bright and vibrant, almost as if I'd just bought them yesterday. Others look battered and warn; some have a few pages hanging from the covers.
Those are the ones that we've read and re-read over and over. Their vibrant illustrations have grabbed my kids' (and grandkids') attention and excited their imagination. The pages have held stories of a loving God who knows and deeply cares about each one of those young, captured readers. And the words have continued to live in their young hearts and minds. Yes, some of these Bible storybooks have been special.
I hope you'll find some of these suggestions will excite the hearts and minds of your kids, too, and make them excited to learn more about the amazing God they have read about in these storybook Bibles.
Please take a moment to review some of the suggestions in the vidoe clips below. I hope it will help you decide which books you will buy for your family.
I really hope you enjoyed this family article and that it helps you choose the Bible picture storybook that best suits your kids and family. Don't forget, there are other reviews, updates, exclusive news plus a library of resources for those who join our VIP group and receive my regular newsletter. I'd love to have you join us. Please sign up below.
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.
There is nothing worse than being stuck indoors with nothing to do, especially when you have a child that is nagging you and complaining about the obvious boredom lingering in the air.
This is a scenario that most parents tend to dread because we all know that kids have needs, and when they're bored and aren’t getting the stimulation that they require - they will surely let you know, again, and again, and again. So you're going to want to do all that you can to never find yourself stuck in this situation.
Of course, sometimes plans change or the weather takes a turn for the worst - you can't control that. But what you can control, is the ideas that you have ready in your back pocket for when these days come.
Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
Delve into the virtual world.
If your child enjoys a video game or two, then they may just want to play the highly engaging Final Fantasy mobile game. A lot of parents tend to worry about their child playing games as they aren't always sure what they have access to, but this game in particular is a brilliant way to stimulate their minds and get their creative juices flowing.
They are able to live in a magical kingdom where they can build it up as they go, while trying to protect it from the threats of monsters. They can also go off and explore the lost world and finding hidden treasure to keep. Not only that, but they can even connect with their friends online too, and help one another progress further in the game by working together.
Find a hidden talent.
If you have some paper and pens, then why not have an art session and go wild? The wonderful thing about art is that there are no rules or guidelines to follow, you can create anything you wish, and it doesn't need to make sense in order to be appreciated.
So get out the paints and join in with creating a masterpiece. Doing this will also give you an interesting insight into your child's mind that you may have never seen before. If art isn't their thing, then why not music instead? Don't worry if you haven't got an instrument at home like a guitar - all you need to do is have a look in the kitchen and you'll be greeted with tones of appliances that make noise...
Now you have a couple of ideas, have a think about what more you can do. And if you're still not sure, then one thing that can never disappoint, is a movie marathon. If you haven't got the snacks you need, pop out to the shop and get some popcorn, chocolate, sweets, and whatever other goodies you like. Then stick on your favourite movies and spend your day snuggling with naughty treats to keep you going.
Remember, having fun doesn't mean spending money. Sometimes the best things in life are free.
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.