Saturday, 5 October 2013

What's in a name?

  Names have meanings. Some cultures wait a length of time before naming a new child, in order to match the name to the child. I, on the other hand, knew long before I had children what I wanted to name them. 

Though I've never watched a lot of TV, as a teen I had a crush on Roger Moore's, Simon Templar, "The Saint." Thus I determined that if I ever had a son, his name would be Simon.
Roger Moore in "The Saint"
Originally I wanted my son's second name to be James, just because I like the name, but my husband wasn't so keen on it. Together we decided to call him Simon Nathaniel, because Nathaniel means, "A gift from God," and that is what our baby boy was (and is)!

One day in the early seventies I watched just a snippet of a movie in which the mother was an alien from outer space. The woman's name was Petrina, and I thought it the most beautiful name I'd ever heard. Thus did my daughter acquire her name. 
Simon and Petrina, 2010
Many children are named for someone who went before. I am named for my two grandmothers: Barbara for my mother's mother and Ann for my father's mother. These two women were very different, but I loved them both!
Grandma Barbara Roth with my sisters, 1973
Grandma Annie Gingerich with my Dad, 1971
Some years before she died, Grandma Roth showed me a plate in her china cabinet and told me that she wanted me to have that plate when she was gone because she got it from her Grandmother who was also named Barbara. It is one of my treasured possessions! I, too, will pass this plate on to a granddaughter.
The "Barbara" plate
My daughter has named both her children for their grandfather -- her dad died when Trina was seven years old. Her newborn son was named Volker directly after his grandpa. Wilhelmina's name is also in honour of him -- read that story here: In addition, both children carry their same sex parent's middle name.
Trina with her father, 1985
How about you? Is there a story behind your name? The name(s) you gave your child(ren)? Telling these stories helps our kids to know who they are and where they've come from.

Friday, 4 October 2013

McDonalds a Time Out Spot for Grandparents

Sometimes McDonalds Is the Healthiest Place to Go

I apologize as the last two posts have not been entertaining and that the topic has been stress.  

I have moved to a new office and have a new group of people to get to know along with all of their work.   They are a great group and welcomed me with an assortment of gluten free desserts.  Change however is exhausting even positive change.

My work stress has an impact on my grandparenting abilities and to think otherwise would be to deliberately grandparent outside my limits.   

It is at times like this that I appreciate the McDonalds play area and coffee.
When I am providing care for our grandchildren alone and I have reached that point where I need a time out we go to McDonalds.  I could set the children in front of the TV or send them to their room for quiet time but these seem like punishments and I do not like them watching too much TV.

I get some time with my handcrafts and a good cup of coffee while the girls get to play in a safe space away from me.  
I used to feel guilty about using McDonalds this way until the day that I came upon a mother nursing her infant and silently crying.  I asked if I could help and she said no that being here, at McDonalds was the help she needed: sometime away from her other children to feed the baby and have an uninterrupted cup of tea.

Sure enough 15 minutes later this same mother restored and smiling, bundled all her children up and went home.  As she passed me she smiled and said “now they will sleep for another 30 minutes”.

Thank you McDonalds for your playrooms, coffee, tea and seating so that we can see our children/supervise and be away from the noise.

Grandma Snyder

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Know Your Limits.

Know your limit and Grandparent within it!

Keep Combustibles away from heat know your limit and grandparent within it
 This summer I am ashamed to say I lost my temper with my youngest granddaughter.  

Losing your temper is very different from having expectations around behaviour and following through.

An example would be telling your grandchildren that they are to clean up their play toys before watching T.V. and then holding to this expectation.
Grandchild, “But Grandma we're missing Dora! (tears)”
Grandma, “I am sorry about that and when you pick up your toys you can watch Dora”
Grandchild, “But Grandma”
Grandma, “I am saying yes, you can watch Dora when your toys are picked up” and so on.  
In this scenario I am in control of my emotions.  I am neither angry nor frustrated.  Arguably if this goes on for longer than 15 minutes I would have to change my tactic.  I  would try making a game of picking up the toys and do it with them.  

The agenda there is teaching my grandchildren a sense of personal autonomy and responsibility.  When I am well rested and within the safety of my own home, the worst thing that could happen is I might have to pick up the toys myself.

The situation over the summer was very different.  My granddaughter had done absolutely nothing wrong or out of character, if truth-be-told she did something that on other days I had laughed at.   

On this particular day I had gone beyond my limit.  I had set expectations both on myself to provide a wonderful experience and on my grandchildren to have the same. 
  • My personality and ego were engaged in the success of this activity.  
  • I was out of my personal comfort zone and in an environment I was unfamiliar with.   
  • It was very hot and I was tired.
The result was that I lashed out.

Resilience now comes into play.  My grandchild shocked as she was turned to me and said “I love you Grandma”.  My heart melted because she was giving me unconditional love and I apologized for my hurtful behaviour.

I learned a very important lesson that day.  I learned where my limits are and if I want a positive grandmother grandchild relationship then I have to grandparent within them. 

Children are resilient and will forgive us as long as we do not repeat the unacceptable behaviour too often.  If children learn to expect disrespectful behaviour from us, then they stop forgiving and they start replicating our behaviour with their friends and family and this we do not want.

On September 20th, 2013 I wrote on grandparents providing child care in this post I present some research on the different styles of grandparenting.  I have provide the link if you want to go back and look at it.

Grandma Snyder

©2013-2014 twosnydergirls

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Chemo Caps


“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”
Dr. Seuss ~ The Lorax

Last night was the monthly meeting of our local Sewing Club and at the beginning of each year we pick a charity that we can sew for and this year it is the Cancer Society. 

On the registration table there were six different patterns for Chemo Caps, five sewing patterns and one crochet pattern.  I was collecting for the 50/50 draw, $2.00 a ticket and so I was in a position to observe the women look at and then choose which pattern they would make.
Click Here for pattern

Many of the women had a story to tell about a friend, family member or their experience with cancer.  I felt profoundly grateful and guilty at the same time, survivor guilt. 

Click here for pattern

Today during moments of quiet the comments from last night and the faces of the women I know who live with cancer today and those whose lives were cut short came back to me.

Click here for pattern
I have to do something and so I am setting the personal goal of one Chemo Cap a month between now and the May 2014 Sewing Club meeting, eight caps at a minimum and I do this for, Jenny, Kristi, Aunt Audrey, Aunt Adela, Audrey, Karen, Veronica, Margaret, Elsie, Mary, Eunice, Terry … 

Will you join me in this task.  If you do not like any of these cap Google Free Online Chemo Cap and pick from the many patterns available.  I would welcome hearing if you are taking on this challenge and goal you have set for yourself.  You can take them to your local Cancer Society.  

To the world each of these women are but a 

single person, 

and to one person each of these women 

means the world

 Volunteerism is an activity that one person engages in to improve the quality of life of another person in the absence of personal gain.   

As grandparents one of the life lessons ~ assets we can help our grandchild learn is to volunteer.  Talk about the importance of giving back to your community, include them in some of your volunteer activities: make it fun.  Then when they experiment with volunteering themselves support and encourage them.
 Service to Others – child has opportunities to serve in the community with adult support and approval.  This is an external asset that builds the skill of empowerment. Search Institute.

Grandma Snyder

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Gluten Free Apple Custard Cake

Gluten Free Apple Custard Cake

This is the time of year when apples are abundant and so we went looking for a new gluten free apple recipe and where did we start Pinterest. 

On my Gluten Free Board I found a pin for a German Apple Pancake by Civilized Caveman. 

 We did not want to make individual servings so we prepared ours in a large pie plate.  The German Apple Pancake had a quiche taste that our granddaughters did not like.  Paul and I enjoyed the German Apple Pancake and wanted to adapt the recipe to our granddaughters tastes.  We have called our recipe Gluten Free Apple Custard Cake, we had it for breakfast with turkey bacon and I am ashamed to say maple syrup and ice cream.

We started by peeling and chopping 4 large apples.  Two that we picked at Farmer's Pantry and two from our own tree.

We sauteed the apples in , 2 tbsp melted coconut oil, 2 tbsp raw organic honey, 2 tsp cinnamon, lemon juice and 1 tsp nutmeg until the apples were soft.

This mixture was then poured into a large greased pie plate and set aside.

Emily could not figure out how we were going to get lemon juice out of the lemon using the orange thing (I have no idea what to call it).  She watched as Grandpa cut a small piece off the end of the lemon and then screwed the orange piece in.

And when she squeezed the lemon she got fresh lemon juice.

We then mixed the wet ingredients in separate bowls.  Mixing them together at the last to make our  batter.

We then poured the batter over the apples and put it in the oven for 40 minutes.


This resulted in a Breakfast Cake that they liked.

  Gluten Free Apple Custard Cake
4 eggs
1 cup almond milk
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp pure maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp nutmeg
4 apples, cored and diced
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp raw organic honey
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
juice of 1/2 lemon
  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup
  3. In a small bowl, stir coconut flour, nutmeg, and baking soda
  4. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients and beat well to combine, set aside while you prepare the apples
  5. In a small frying pan, heat 2 tbsp coconut oil and raw organic honey
  6. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg and juice of 1/2 Lemon and cook for 1 minute
  7. Add in your apples and sauté until all your apples are nicely coated
  8. Grease a large pie plate and place the apple mixture on the bottom and the egg mixture on top
  9. Place the pie plate on a  baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 425 and then reduce heat to 375 and cook for an additional 20 minutes
  10. Removed from the oven
This recipe has been adapted from Civilized Caveman's German Apple Pancakes

Grandma Snyder
©2013-2014 twosnydergirls

Monday, 30 September 2013

Ancestors Remembered

Mother's  Memories of Her Grandmothers

My Great Grandparents and my Grandfather on the stool
Driving to Jacksonville Ill. this summer I asked mother what memories she had of her grandparents.  She smiled and set the stage for her strongest memory. 

"I would have been about five years old and Grandma (paternal grandmother) was in her late 80's.  We would sit under the cherry tree on canvas lawn chairs and sing hymns together.  Grandma’s favourite song to sing was Count Your Many Blessings.   I loved to sing with Grandma”  
Grandma Etta
Mom becomes quiet and looks out the passenger window for a long time.  

No matter how old you are memories of grandparents are special and this memory took Mom back to her childhood.

Grandma came to visit whenever Aunt Caroline was away. Grandma Etta lived with her daughter Caroline, she was too old to be alone, so she would come and visit with us when Aunt Caroline had to be away.  Grandma as a gentle woman, soft spoken.” 
Aunt Caroline
With real regret in her voice Mom says that she does not remember much else about her paternal Grandmother.
Maternal Grandpa and Grandma

Now my mother parents well every time we went to visit Grandma had homemade cookies for everyone except me.  I got a store bought cookie and that was a real extravagance for the time.  They were like Dads Cookie, you know they may just have been Dads Cookies.  In Grandma’s living room there was a large potbellied stove with a glass window where you could watch the fire and a brass rail so you could and place your feet on the rail to warm them.  I would sit and my feet would get so warm and cozy.  There was also apple cider at Grandma’s house they kept in the cellar stairwell.”  

I can see mother now sitting in a Victorian sitting room full of pictures, furniture and figurines.  Sitting on a straight back wooden chair her feet just able to reach the brass rail around the stove.  

On the table beside her is small glass of apple cider and in her hands the prized cookie.  

She is not part of the adult conversation so she is able to savour the warmth of the stove, the sweetness and decadence of a store bought treat and eavesdrop on the adults around her.
Mom is on the left white blouse dark ribbon at her neck with my Grandparents

Thank you for this window into my Great Grandparent’s Mom.

Grandma Snyder
©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

5 Minutes Of My Day - Jacksonville Ill trip

May 22, 2018 Driving to Hardin Ill and passing 19 white tail deer along the way. 2017 Finding wisteria in bloom in Niagara Falls Ont...