Saturday, 28 December 2013

Joy with Children

Finding Joy in being with our children

Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

This bible verse evokes imagines of a heaven where children and angels play together in pure enjoyment, praise and adoration of God.

Many grandparent blogs describe grand parenting as being able to recapturing the joy of childhood as they experience their inner children with their grandchildren. 

The Australian Department of Health has researched how engaging in activities that we enjoy increases both our physical, emotional and mental health as we age.  What a better way to stay healthy then to enjoy our grandchildren?

There are as many ways to enjoy grandchildren, but most important is that our grandchildren also enjoy being with us.  

We need to choose activities that equally fit into the following three categories:

  1. Activities that we enjoy and are appropriate for children
  2. Activities that our grandchildren enjoy and we enjoy
  3. Activities that your grandchildren enjoy and are appropriate for us.

We enjoy going to Church (category one), our grandchildren enjoy Sunday school (category two) and we all enjoy going out for dinner after church (category three).  We do not bring the girls to Church if Sunday school is cancelled because we want them to enjoy Church as we do.

We enjoy going to the movies and with our granddaughters we only go to those with fit into category two.  With our 18 year old grandson we attend some movies with him if they are category two movies and sometimes we go to the same theatre but attend different movies.

If you are able invite your grandchildren to spend time with you.  As we grow older it is these experiences and their lasting memories that will keep us young at heart and joyful in spirit.

Grandma Snyder

State Government of Victoria, Australia, Department of Health. (2011, May 18). Personal enjoyment: participation and engagement. Retrieved from Victoria Government Health Information :

©2013 -2015 twosnydergirls 

Friday, 27 December 2013

Gift within your limit on Christmas 2015

Know Your Limit and Gift within It

Regardless of my best intentions, the worry over “Did I buy the right gifts?” “Did I buy enough gifts?” has taken hold.

How did this happen - better still why did it happen?

I have what I am going to call ‘Gift Lottery Fever’.   

Did I get the right gift and the right number of gifts for my: husband, children, friends, grandchildren to love me?   

Is Christmas gift giving is like gambling?   Yes it is and advertisers like the lure of slot machine entice us to buy just one more gift for the big WOW on Christmas morning - encouraging us to spend more than we can afford.

I do not get joy out of deciding what gifts to purchase for others - I find it very stressful. Too many of the gifts that I have given over the years have been received with lack of enthusiasm or with the comment “Did you keep the receipt?” 

This gifting gamble also pulls too many families into debt and comes at the cost of family time as paying off the Christmas debt requires extra hours at work or a second job.

Not participating in Christmas gift giving is not the answer.  Watching those I love open a gift that takes them by surprise and floods them with joy also fill me with joy.   
I also get joy out of getting a gift that reveals the givers understanding of me as person: that they have taken the time to know me.

Where is the answer?   

It may be in writing a gifting family rulebook.  Gifting rules that have been discussed by all members and make sense given the families:
  • Income level
  • Values
  • Needs - as just places to start.
With a family gifting rulebook and agreement that everyone will observe the rules there will be no reason to play the ‘gift giving lottery’ in 2014.

Some of the values that should be discussed and incorporated in a gifting rulebook are:
  • a maximum dollar limit per gift and per person
  •  maximum number of gifts per person
  •  purchased gifts or make gifts
  • do all family member get gifts or: 
    • Children under age X only and/or 
    •  Adults do not get gifts or 
    •  Adults draw names 
  • What types of gifts are given 
  •  Are any gifts purchased for community gift drives
and the list will continue from here based on each families unique make up.

Remove yourself and your family from the ‘gift giving lottery’ establish your family’s limits and gift within them.

Grandma Snyder
©2013 -2015 twosnydergirls 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas and God Bless

Winter Readiness Home Survival Kits

The first big ice storm of 2013/2014 has struck Ontario CA.  Coating trees, gardens, fences and snowbanks with ice.  Turning the outdoors into a fantastical place that is both fun to play in and dangerous!
Our grandchildren have found it a magical place to play in with light reflecting off of ice crystals creating rainbows everywhere.  A place where they can run on top of snow banks only to crash through with shouts of laughter.  They proudly announce as them come in to warm up, “we have been to the Antarctic and seen the most amazing things”.   

After hot baths, warm dry clothing and hot chocolate with too many marshmallow they tell us about their adventure to Antarctic.  They saw polar bears, walrus, and penguins.  They also had an adventure as they avoiding falling into a crack in the ice.  
While the girls found the world created by the thick coat of ice fun to play in, for others it was and continues to be a dangerous place with down electrical lines, falling trees and broken limbs from falls on the ice.  A place that is both cold inside and out where getting water to make a hot drink is impossible because there is no electricity.

I have previously written two winter safety blog posts:

now it is time to turn attention to keeping ourselves safe at home in a winter weather disaster.   

FEMA, and the  Canadian Government both have websites dedicated to creating a household Disaster ready kit that will carry the family through 72 hours - Winter Readiness Home Survival Kits.  Please click on the links provided and become informed on what you need to do.

Winter Readiness Home Survival Kits

For every member in your home you need to have enough:

  • food,
  • water, 
  • warm clothing and 
  • personal medication to last 72 hours 
Why 72 hours?  That is the time it takes on average for relief efforts, repair crews, warming centers to mobilize: for help to get to you.

In a winter disaster there is one BIG NEVER! – Never bring a BBQ  gas or charcoal into the house for cooking or heat.  They give off carbon monoxide an odorless killer.

Have in your kit three-days’ worth of non-perishable food with the supplies necessary to open and prepare the food.  Remember having food on hand that your family will not eat is not helpful.  Foods that are high is salt like crackers will make your family thirsty and drain your drinking water supply.  If someone in your home has special dietary needs plan for these as well.

The FEMA website has suggestion on:

  • Emergency Food Supplies
  • Food Safety and Sanitation
  • Cooking
  • Managing Food without Power
Water is going to be the most difficult commodity and most essential element to your survival.  When the electricity fails so do household and municipal pumps.

It is recommended that you have on hand one gallon of water per person per day at a minimum and you need a three day supply.

Other supplies you will  depend on your family personal living circumstances and here is a basic list needed for winter:

  • Candles for light and a fireproof tip resistant container to burn them in
  • Matches
  • Flashlight & extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Warm blankets and clothing
  • Moist hand wipes
  • Cell phone with chargers 
From the Canadian Preparing a Family Emergency Kit here is a short Video

I am not an expert in this area and strongly recommend that you go to the two websites provided to read what the experts have to say.  I pray everyone has a safe and happy winter of 2013/2014

Grandma Snyder
©2013 Twosnydergirls 

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