Gross!

So I was tired and headed to bed last night at 1:00 a.m….Yes, I can be a night owl.  I was just about to sign off on my computer when I see a message pop up from my daughter.  They just arrived last night with their five kids to move into their new home.  They are renting a home since they will only be living there for a year and a half.  They walk into the home only to be greeted by this lovely sight.

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A dead squirrel!   GROSS!  He ate the carpet!
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AAAAAAHHH!  GROSS!

Now, how would you like that to be the last site you see right before you head to bed?  Not me, the dead rodent.  Needless to say, I did not sleep very well.  The thought of them moving my grand-kids into a home with dead squirrel cooties floating about, just does me in!  I frantically start throwing one message after another at her.  DO NOT MOVE in until it gets cleaned up and completely sanitized…and carpet removed and replaced!  DO NOT let my grand-kids move in there!  Stay at a hotel.  Get another place to live!  Reschedule the movers bringing your furniture over!

 

When I was growing up there was a cartoon called, ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle.’  Rocky was a squirrel and was kind of cute and I enjoyed watching this cartoon.  A cartoon squirrel is okay…But a dead squirrel in your house is NOT OKAY!  That is roadkill!

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So what would you do after traveling 1,200 miles with five kids to an unknown place only to land in the house of horrors?  And the landlord is in Europe and the movers will be there the next day.  Please give my daughter advice as she probably won’t listen to me.  LOL  Am I the only one who thinks this is a health hazard?  Especially when you have five kids who spend a lot of time playing on the floor and one of them is an almost six month-old baby who will be crawling soon.  I can’t even think about it…It completely grosses me out!

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That’s a no gouda!

Can you imagine traveling all that way, weary and tired and finally relieved to arrive at your destination only to discover roadkill on your stairs?  Now that’s a bad day!  We all know the unexpected happens, sometimes the unexpected is good and sometimes the unexpected is bad.  This is definitely a BAD unexpected!  Very BAD!

This daughter is the daughter whom I always say, “Can you PLEEEEASE just have one BORING day!”  Crazy just seems to follow her and her family.  Sometimes it is fun crazy.  Sometimes it is exciting crazy.  Sometimes it is not so good crazy.  And sometimes it is insane crazy.  This would fall under bad, insane and gross crazy!  Just so you know, 80% of any gray hair I have has come from this daughter and some of her CRAZY and INSANE adventures.  Most of the time when she calls me I say a quick prayer before I answer the phone, “Oh sweet Jesus, please don’t let it be anything crazy.”  And then I  and sweetly answer, “hello” and hold my breath and wait for any insane news.  And once in a while I get a normal uneventful phone call.

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Does anyone else have a kid like this?  She’s a great kid and a great mama but she just has a lot of crazy things happen to her!  Can you all just join me in PRAYER for my daughter and her family?  Lift them up in prayer to have safe and boring days!  And for guidance on how to handle this situation in order to keep their family safe.  Jesus take the wheel…

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One thing I guess we have learned from this post.  Eating carpet can be hazardous to your health.  DO NOT EAT THE CARPET!  I’ve always hated carpet!  Wood floors people!

I am going to spend the rest of the day trying to get visions of dead squirrels out of my head.  If you have any helpful suggestions on how my daughter and her husband can quickly rectify this situation please post in comments below.  Any helpful tips will be appreciated.  BTW daughter, I do not think I will be visiting anytime soon.  I will need to see receipts from a cleaning company first!  #grammy’sgrossedout   #roadkill  #savemy grandkids  #iloveboringdays  #crazylife  #imighthavethrownupalittleinmymouth

 

Have a fun flippin’ boring day,

Deb McLennon, the Fun Flippin’ Grammy

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A True King of a Man

I went to bed last night with the thoughts of the amazing and beautiful blood moon that my husband and I had spent the evening viewing, and I woke up this morning with the thought of an amazing and great man who heroically bled for his country and for his beliefs…Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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A photo of the blood moon last night taken with our phone

Happy Martin Luther King Day!  I hope you all will not look at this day as just a bonus day off.  It is so much more than that.  I pray you will celebrate the day and honor this brave man who was only 39 years-old and left behind a wife and four young children when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 for standing up for justice, for standing up for his beliefs, for standing up for equality, for standing up for freedom…

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968

I am sure you have already been inundated with MLK articles and quotes that are being posted all over the internet today…so I am sorry for one more…but how could I ignore this day and this man?  How could I let the day go by without acknowledging and honoring this man and the movement he led, and the important part he played in American history?  To have posted a recipe, a funny grand-kid story, or a creative idea instead would have felt shameful.  So here is to you Dr. King…a true King of a man!

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I love this quote!  I grew up in a military family so my entire life I was surrounded by people of just about every nationality and every color.  I love that I grew up this way.  I love that my mom and dad raised us to believe that skin color did not matter and that we were to treat everyone equally.  They taught us to look at a person’s heart and character.  Thanks mom and dad for raising us this way.  In turn, I also raised my kids this way and they are raising my grand-kids this way.  Love.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”   MLK

Following is a little Eggology.  Racism and Equality explained just like that!

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EGGOLOGY CONCEPT:   We may have different skin colors and look different on the outside just like these eggs, but on the inside we are all the same, just like these eggs.  We are equal…no differences.  Boom!

I don’t know if you have ever experienced racism, but it is ugly!  If I have, I wasn’t really aware of it at the time.  But my dad has and it is hurtful.  I always admired my dad because he never let other people get him down.  He just smiled and treated everyone very nice and hospitable.  And many people who had ever discriminated against him were won over by his personality, hard work, and character.  My dad lived by the concepts of the three MLK quotes below.

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“I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.”   MLK

 

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I encourage you to spend this day honoring this great man.  If you were taught hate and racism make every effort to change.  Take the time today to discuss racism and equality with your kids or grand-kids.  Educate them so they will not foster an attitude of racism and hate.  Do the above egg demonstration with them in order to give them a great visual.  This is also a good time to ask them what their dreams are.

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Dr. King has so many great quotes I wish I could share them all, but I have to get out the door soon so I will just list a few more.

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“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”   MLK

 

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”   MLK

I hope you enjoyed this post honoring a great man who made an incredible impact on our nation.  If you have never read his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech or haven’t read it since high school I encourage you to do so.  It is so good.  I have typed it out and attached the link below.  Please read it, you will be glad you did!  Thank you Dr. King!

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Have a fun flippin’ day,

Deb McLennon, the Fun Flippin’ Grammy

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Fruits of the Spirit

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You can read all the self-help and self-improvement books in the world, but if you consistently practice and apply the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ as described in Galatians 5:22-23 you will see improvement beyond your wildest imagination!  Please share this with someone you know who needs to hear this today…

Have a blessed Sunday,

Deb McLennon, the Fun Flippin’ Grammy

Amazing Cinnamon Eggnog French Toast

Happy Saturday!  I hope you all have a fun and relaxing weekend.  Saturday morning is the perfect time to make today’s recipe.  This recipe happened around 15 years ago.  It was right after Christmas.  I always bought eggnog for Christmas because my daughter Brandess loves it.  But even though she loves eggnog she could not drink the whole half-gallon I had bought.  So we had quite a bit left over.

I was already planning on making a breakfast favorite of my daughters, my yummy French Toast.  Being a frugal and resourceful person I decided to make my French Toast just like I always did but instead of using whole milk, I used our left over eggnog.  Now I am not even an eggnog fan, but it was delicious!  The main reason I do not care for eggnog is because it is too rich and thick for my drinking palette.  But using the rich and thick eggnog for French Toast worked beautifully.  It was as though this is what it was meant for!  It was so delicious and a great way to use our left over eggnog.  Depending on the brand of eggnog you buy will determine how strong the eggnog flavor is.  This one was milder than other brands I have used.

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This is the best recipe possible to use up that left over eggnog.  When I pulled out this carton this morning and saw ‘Southern Comfort’  I thought we were going to end up with some ‘happy’ French Toast, but it is the non-alcohol version so that is good otherwise who knows how this post would have turned out!  LOL

Since Brandess was at our house for Christmas this year, of course I bought eggnog for her.  But then I forgot to serve it to her so I have an entire quart of eggnog left.  I assumed it was probably outdated and would not be usable but the eggnog gods are with me today because I just checked and the expiration date is in February (see above).  Yay!  And that my friends is why you are getting my recipe for ‘Amazing Cinnamon Eggnog French Toast’.  I think you’re going to love it and if you read this post in time, you still might have time to make this for breakfast this morning.  If not, there’s always tomorrow…

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Just thought I’d get in the mood for our French Toast and get my Frenchy on.  Me wearing a beret in Paris, France.  ~July 2017~  Now I’m ready to make French Toast…

Amazing Cinnamon Eggnog French Toast

Makes:  8-10 pieces (double or triple recipe to make for more people)

3 eggs

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1 c. eggnog

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1 tsp. vanilla

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1 T. Maple Syrup

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1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

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1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

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1 loaf cinnamon bread or cinnamon raisin bread or make your own

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Brown Sugar

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Powdered Sugar

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Butter

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DIRECTIONS:   Get a wide shallow bowl and whisk in eggs

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DIRECTIONS:   Pour in eggnog and whisk

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DIRECTIONS:   Pour in vanilla and whisk.

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Even the vanilla is giving this French Toast a thumbs up! LOL

 

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Whisk in the vanilla

DIRECTIONS:   Sprinkle in nutmeg, and cinnamon and whisk together with egg mixture

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Whisk in spices

DIRECTIONS:  Add in 1 T. of maple syrup and whisk

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The maple syrup gives the French Toast a great flavor and helps to make the outside crunchier

DIRECTIONS:   After whisking everything together, sprinkle additional cinnamon over the top of the egg mixture, but don’t stir in.  I like cinnamon!

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You can omit this step if you aren’t as big of a fan of cinnamon as I am!

DIRECTIONS:   Melt 2 T. butter in skillet or on griddle over medium low heat.

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When it is just the hub and I, I use my cast iron skillet but if I am cooking for the grand-kids I use my griddle in order to produce faster and keep up with their voracious appetites.  I know this seems like a lot of butter but it really adds flavor and helps crisp up the outside of the toast.

DIRECTIONS:  While butter is melting get out your bread.  If it is not already sliced, cut into thick 1″ slices.

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I use my husband’s delicious homemade cinnamon bread.  I will post his recipe soon.  Make your own cinnamon bread or just use store-bought cinnamon bread or cinnamon raisin bread.

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DIRECTIONS:   Then dip thick slices of cinnamon bread into the egg batter and place in skillet or on griddle after butter is melted.

 

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Immerse bread into the egg batter on both sides
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Sprinkle a little brown sugar on top of French Toast.  If you look closely you can see the brown sugar crumbles.  This also makes the outside crunchier.  Cook on medium low heat until golden brown on each side.
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Starting to look good.  My mouth is watering.  It should be a bit crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle but not soggy.  Soggy is a no gouda!
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With this thick bread I will even cook the edges if I have time
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When they are finished cooking place on a plate
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Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar
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Now doesn’t that look good?  You have no idea!
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Serve hot with butter and warm syrup, and a big glass of milk and enjoy!  And yes I do have a giant ice cube in my milk.  I am a freak.  Just something else you know about me now…I always drink my milk with ice.  I like it cold…really cold!  My sister Teresa does this too.  So I am not the only freak!

I took 304 photos and they still do not do justice to this ‘to die for’ French Toast.  Because I use my husband’s homemade cinnamon bread, your store-bought bread will not taste quite the same because believe me you, his bread takes it up to a whole new level!  It’s almost like eating a big giant cinnamon roll!  You will find his bread recipe on my blog real soon…so watch for it!  Even though you are not using his bread this will still be delicious…I promise!

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Yum!
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I wish you all could taste this.  I think this was my best batch ever…probably because I took my time rather than rushing like I usually do.  Patience might not be my thing…but boy was it worth it!

So, if you still have some left over eggnog from the holidays I hope you will try this extra yummy Amazing Cinnamon Eggnog French Toast.  It is so yummy to my tummy!  In fact, this morning I just made enough French Toast for my husband because I was trying to be a good girl…But then I made the mistake of taking one bite just to make sure it turned out okay.  And that was it.  I turned the skillet back on and made some more.  I had one delicious piece and hubby had five!  Oink! Oink! Hub!  Let me know how yours turns out.  By the way, the next overnight guests that come to our house, you will get this for breakfast…so come on over!

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This is not something you want to make every day, but what a special treat for your guests or grand-kids!

 

Bonjour and have a fun flippin’ day,

Deb McLennon, the Fun French Toast Flippin’ Grammy

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Smile, You’re on Candid Camera!

Hey, I just realized it’s Friday!  Actually, what do I care?  Every day is Friday to me.  LOL  Well, for those of you that do care…HAPPY FRIDAY!

Photos are so important to me.  A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

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I love to take photos to capture a special moment and to preserve memories.  I love to look back at old photos and cackle my head off at some of the memories.  I cherish the photos of my children and grandchildren.  I love to see photos of my parents in high school.  I love to see photos of me and my siblings in our childhood.  I love to look at photos of my kids and grand-kids when I am missing them.  I love to look at photos from college and my old camp days.  I love to look at wedding photos and baby’s birth photos.  And I think we all love to look at photos of ourselves when we are young, smooth and wrinkle-free…aaahh, the pre-cellulite years!

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A photo from my childhood, circa 1965.  Unfortunately I am the fuzzy headed one.  Why mom, why would you make my hair like that?  At least I didn’t get the Mother Teresa scarf.  But I did get the ‘Little Debbie’ bonnet.  Yay me!
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I look just like Little Debbie and my name is even the same and I’m little.  Seriously, those folks owe me some money!
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Well, Will Ferrell is giving me a run for my money!  LOL

But oh how photography has changed!  It is so much easier to take photos today compared to any time in history.  Today’s children get photographs of themselves doing every little thing.  A tooth is coming in…Click!  A new haircut…Snap!  A boo boo…Shoot!  Just this past Christmas when my grand-kids were visiting I took 250 photos on Christmas Eve alone.  And another 254 on Christmas day…and there would have been more but my phone died.  I am not sure I took that many photos of my daughters their entire childhood!  My granddaughter Esme who is only 5 months old probably already has more photos of herself than my daughter’s childhood photos combined.

 

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My sweet little thumb-sucking Esme   ~January 2019~

Today, photos are taken of every blessed little thing…And I gotta admit I am so jealous!  I would kill to have photos of every tooth my girls lost, of all their haircuts, of all their boo boos, and of so many more every day life moments.  It grieves me that I have very few every day life photos.  Young parents today (like our 5 kids) must wonder why they do not have photos of all those special mundane moments.  And even some of the bigger happenings I do not have photos of.  I do not have photos of every birthday celebration or of every Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter.  And the photos I do have…so many from the 70’s and 80’s are ORANGE.  First of all orange should not even be a color…but especially not a color for photos…unless it is a sunset or a Denver Bronco!

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Not the best picture of either one of us but a perfect example of a classic orange photo.  Sara once asked me, “Mom, why was I always so orange?”  LOL  ~1979~

In my defense and probably every other parent who took photos in the 70’s and 80’s…Camera’s sucked back then.  This has to be the worst season of photography since photography began.  Or was it just me that ended up with orange photos?  Grrrrrrr!  All the photos from my childhood turned out clear and NOT ORANGE.  In the nineties and beyond they are not orange…so what in tarnation went wrong with film processing in the 1970’s and 1980’s?  I want to know!

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Another orange photo of Sara and 2 week-old Brandess ~June 1981~
I apologize to my children for the small amount of photos from their childhood and that so many of the photos I do have are blurry or orange or both!  I will take the blame for the blurry, but the orange is all on Kodak and the photo industry.  It must be hard for this generation to understand how much harder it was to take photos back then than it is now.  A few years ago my husband bought me an expensive Nikon camera that I had been begging for.  Even though it takes great photos I hardly ever use it because it is not as convenient as taking photos with my cell phone.  We love convenience, don’t we?

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I rarely use my nice camera

What this generation cannot even comprehend is how inconvenient photography used to be back then.  First of all you had to buy film for your camera which I believe came in a 12, 24, or 36 roll, meaning that’s how many pictures you could take.  And you had to buy flashcubes to connect to your camera so you could take photos at nighttime or in dark places.  Then you had to run it into a store to have your film developed…which took about a week.  And then you would FINALLY get your photos.  And then you would excitedly look through your photos only to discover that a third of them were blurry or dark.  So, it was quite different back then.

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Photos today are so easy to take.  You can always get a perfect photo and throw out the rest.  You can see what your photo will look like before you even click.  And the best part, you have them instantly!  So yeah, I’m pretty jealous that you have so many photos of your kids, but please understand why we did not have as many of our kids.  We loved and adored you as much as you love and adore your kids we just don’t have all the photos to show it.  Even though I am jealous, I am so happy for the advancements because no one looks good in ORANGE!

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It is now so easy and convenient to take photos because you always have your camera with you!

One of the greatest photography fads I have seen is re-creating old photos.  I think it is hilarious.  I would love to do that with my siblings.  I promise it is going to happen one of these days!  And I would love to see my daughters re-create this photo.

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Three year-old Sara is trying so hard to look pretty and perfect but every time I’d click the picture 1 year-old Brandess would put her foot in Sara’s face.  LOL 
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This is one of the best re-created photos I have ever seen.  I think it is hilarious!  My cousin Nettie’s seven children gave her this as a gift.  L to R Baby Jimmy, Amy, Robyn, Michael, Mary Beth, Amanda and Nicci.  I love it!  Amy and Jimmy just crack me up!

If you have never tried re-creating a photo you may just want to try it.  What a great gift they make.  I know it is one of Nettie’s favorite gifts ever!

Well there is my rant about photos of the 70’s and 80’s.  Does anyone know if all those orange photos can be restored?  Please comment below.

Orange you glad photography has improved?

 

Have a fun flippin’ day,

Deb McLennon, the Fun Flippin’ Grammy

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Don’t Be a Stinky Fish!

Grammy and Grandpa are visiting!  That can be good news or bad news…LOL…But in most cases it is good news.  I know my kids and grand-kids love it when we visit and get super excited and vice versa…We get sooooooo excited when they visit us.  Most grandparents I know feel this same way.  But I also know quite a few grandparents who will never or rarely ever go visit their kids and grand-kids.  And then whine about how lonely they are or how they never see their kids and grand-kids.  I referred to this in my December 20, 2018 post ‘All I Want is You’.  https://funflippingrammy.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/all-i-want-for-christmas-is/

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We love when our kids and grand-kids come to visit!  ~November 2018~

In that post I encouraged grandparents to be flexible and be willing to go visit their kids and grand-kids rather than waiting for them to always visit them.  If your parents are stubborn and hardly ever or never visit, you may want to try some things in today’s post to encourage them to visit.  The words in bold are taken from the December 20th post.

‘Flexibility is definitely the key to not spending the holidays alone.  I absolutely LOVE to have my kids and grand-kids at my house for Christmas, but the years that they cannot come to us, we definitely go to one of their homes.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.  After all, being together is the most important thing.’

We have spent the last three days at our friends Chuck and Becky’s house and that is what inspired this post.  They are the best hosts ever.  They are the kind of people who make everyone feel special and feel at home.  They are so relaxed that you can’t help but feel relaxed at their house.  They are the ultimate ‘great hosts.’  They have guests all the time.  Their front door needs a revolving door for all the guests coming and going.  In fact, we leave today and their next guests arrive tomorrow.

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The best hosts ever…our friends, Chuck and his beautiful wife Becky  ~June 2010~

So this got me to thinking, “Why do some people attract guests and others do not?”  If your parents will not visit you maybe you need to amp up your hosting game.  If your kids and grand-kids rarely visit, maybe you need to look at your hosting skills and possibly communication skills.  Just sayin’…

We have traveled a lot and have been house guests at many people’s homes and have also hosted many people in our home.  So I feel like we have a pretty good sense of what works and what does not work.  Today I am going to share some ideas that we have experienced at other people’s homes or that we do for our guests to make them feel at home when visiting.  Now I am not saying that your parents or your kids or grand-kids are not visiting because you are not a good host, but I am suggesting that maybe both sides would visit more if you add in some of the suggestions I am about to make.  Worth a shot, right?

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Suggestions for Hosts

  1. Relax.  If you are all tense and acting like having your guests over is stressful, your guests will probably not feel very relaxed and may even feel like a burden.  And will probably not want to visit again.
  2. If you have an extra room for your guests, give them their own room so they can have some privacy.
  3. If you have a room with a bathroom or an extra bathroom close by give them their own bathroom.  If not give them a space in the shared bathroom.
  4. Supply each bedroom with towels and wash cloths, extra blankets and pillows, a nightlight, a power strip, bottled water, writing pad, pen, reading material, and flashlight, if you can.
  5. Set out towels and wash cloths for your guests.
  6. Set a basket in their room or bathroom with extra or travel-size toothpaste, toothbrushes, hairspray, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, brush, mouthwash, soap, floss, Q-tips, razor etc. in case they forgot them.
  7. If possible, have a mirror in the bedroom or space they are staying in.  This is so helpful in getting ready.  (Especially if bathrooms are limited and they can’t get in the bathroom when needed)

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    A mirror in their own space is very nice for guests
  8. Set up sleeping arrangements ahead of time. If you need to borrow a pack –n- play or an air mattress, do so before they arrive.
  9. Give each guest a big trash bag to put their dirty clothes in, otherwise they can end up everywhere.
  10. For guests that you know get hot or cold easily, have a fan, a space heater or an electric blanket available for them.
  11. Some parents like to have music or a fan running for background noise for their kids.  Have available if needed.
  12. If you are able, have a baby monitor for guests with babies or young children that will be staying in a separate room.
  13. Have basic First-Aid supplies available in case someone is sick or injured (Band-aids, bandages, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, eye wash, tweezers, cotton balls, peroxide, coconut oil, essential oils, Neosporin, a medical thermometer etc.)  kisspng-first-aid-kit-clip-art-first-aid-sign-5a7b2eac5968c0.6202210415180223163662
  14. Make meals, snacks, and desserts that are favorites of your guests.  This will really make them feel special.
  15. Have their favorite beverages available.
  16. If they have babies, have extra diapers and wipes on hand.
  17. Write down your internet password so they can have access.
  18. Write down instructions on how to turn on the TV, since they all seem to be different!
  19. Place some playing cards, board games, and puzzles in an accessible place where they can use them if desired.
  20. Show your guests where extra drinks and snacks are that they can help themselves to at any time.
  21. Put a mint on their pillow.  They will get a kick out of this unexpected surprise.
  22. Let your guests sometimes choose the TV shows or movies to watch rather than the host just watching their regular TV routine.
  23. Let guests sit where they want at the table and in the living room.  If you have a favorite chair or place, give it up for a few days so no one has to feel awkward if they sit in your seat.
  24. If you know your guests are allergic to your pets or just aren’t really pet people, don’t allow your pets to climb all over them.  Becky loves her cats, but she knows that I am allergic, not to mention deadly afraid of them so she sequesters them to the basement when I am there.  That is a true act of love and sacrifice for her friend.
  25. Make a book filled with brochures from all the local sites, tourist attractions and favorite restaurants.  This will make it easy for them to know what is available and choose what they and their family might enjoy doing during their stay.  I just pick up brochures whenever I am in town and come home and put them in my notebook.  Super easy!
  26. But most of all just be present with them, make them feel welcomed and have fun!

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    This is a sample of what I keep in my notebook for guests…brochures for attractions within an hour of our home.

Suggestions for Guests

  1. Be courteous and respectful of your host and their home.
  2. Follow your hosts lead…When in Rome…
  3. Sending a thank you note to your hosts is not necessary but always appreciated.
  4. If you will be visiting for more than a couple of days and you have several kids and you know your hosts have a tight budget of their own, help them out by bringing some food to contribute, or offering some money to help with groceries, or take everyone out to eat for one meal.  They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  5. Living out of a suitcase for even a few days can be challenging, but try to keep your space as clean and organized as possible.
  6. Know your hosts.  If you know they are very relaxed and don’t care if your kids take the pillows off the couch and put them on the floor to lay on, then let your kids do that.  But if you see that every time your kids put a pillow on the floor your host picks it up, then tell your children to keep the pillows on the couch.
  7. Eat the food your hosts serve you even if it is not your favorite…and encourage your kids to do the same (unless allergies are involved).  After all, your hosts put a lot of effort into fixing it for you.
  8. Don’t just watch your host cook meals and clean-up afterwards…Help them or at least offer!  I don’t like my guests to help clean-up, but I appreciate that they offer.
  9. Do not bring your pets to someone’s home without asking.  That is the height of rudeness.  Be respectful to your hosts and ask them if it is okay first.  And then only bring your pets if they say it is fine to do so.

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    I’m scared!  This may be the only photo of a cat you will ever see me post!  LOL
  10. If you or your children accidentally break or lose something, let your host know.
  11. If something accidentally ends up in your suitcase, let your host know so they            won’t go crazy hunting for it.
  12. Pick-up your room and make your bed before you leave.
  13. Do not over stay your welcome.

 

“A fish and house guest both begin to stink after three days.”

Benjamin Franklin

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Don’t be a stinky fish!

Good thing we only stayed at Chuck and Becky’s for…you guessed it…three days!  Wheeew!  We just made it this side of ‘not a stinky fish!’

I could probably go on and on but this will do for now.  This is geared more for short-term visits.  Long-term visits are a whole other ball game!  If you want your kids and grand-kids to visit more…Invite them and then make sure they feel relaxed and welcomed.  If you want your parents to visit more…Invite them and then make sure they feel relaxed and welcomed at your house.  And as your parents become more elderly it may mean that you have to book their flight for them.  Remember, they did not grow up in the age of technology like you did.  Booking a flight is simple to you but could be completely overwhelming to them.  It also may mean that you need to pay for their flight if you are in a better financial situation than their limited income provides.  This works both ways.  Often parents are the ones who are in a better position to pay for tickets for their kids and grand-kids to visit.  Do what you have to do!

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Book their flight if necessary

One more thing to both hosts and guests…AVOID HOT TOPICS!  Relationships are more important than being right, winning an argument, expressing an opposing opinion etc.  So if you really want your visit to go smoothly, avoid discussing areas that historically cause friction and cause others to get defensive or hurt.  However, if you can discuss them while still keeping peace, then go for it!

Bottom line…Be Chuck and Becky!  They are the epitome of the best hosts of all-time!  Everyone needs a Chuck and Becky in their life!  I think what makes them the best hosts ever is that they are just so genuine and so relaxed.  When you are at their house they make you feel like they are thrilled that you are there.  They never make you feel like you stink like a fish…even after three days!

Bottom line…Treat your guests as you would want them to treat you when you are the guest in their home.  Do unto others…

Now go plan a trip!  I hear Southwest is having a great sale until January 24th!

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Have a fun flippin’ day,

Deb McLennon, the Fun Flippin’ Grammy

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I Miss My Grandkids!

Good morning everyone.  Well you’re halfway through the week and halfway to the weekend.  Hang in there!  This morning I woke up with my grand-kids on my heart.  I am coming down off of my holiday high when I got to see grand-kids for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and some in between.  My heart is feeling heavy this morning because I miss them!

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My daughter Brandess and her family have been in Albuquerque for the past three months while her husband completed some training.  That was so nice because they were only 6 hours away so we got to see one another quite a bit during that time.  I visited them twice and they visited us 3 times, I think.  They had been living in Germany the past three years so this was quite a treat for this Grammy and Grandpa.  Twice, we even got the kids for lengthy visits (7-10 days).  Now that was heaven!  But in two days they are headed back to Florida, almost 1,500 miles away.  Boo hiss!

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I need more of this in my life!  Caleb making a slime beard.  ~November 2018~
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I love waking up and having breakfast with these cuties, Soraya, Charis, Caleb and Bussy.  ~November 2018~

Over Thanksgiving I delighted in seeing the cousins together.  Let me tell ya…That does a Grammy’s heart good!  And they had so much fun together.  And now it is all quiet on the western front.  And I do not know when I will see them again.  I try really hard to always know when I will see them again.  It makes the goodbyes easier or at least bearable if I can hug them and say, “I will see you again in two months.”  Then we all know what to expect and we also have that to look forward to.  This last goodbye was the first time in a long time that I had to say goodbye to Sara and Brandess’ kids without knowing when we would see each other again…and that is a no gouda!  I do not like that!

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I love to see the cousins hangin’ out together.  They are doing some kind of song and dance here.  ~November 2018~
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Cousins Caleb, Hayley and Claire enjoing hanging out together ~November 2018~
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Saying goodbye to my sweet Bussy.  Hard for a 3 year-old to understand.  ~August 2018~
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Sometimes even hard for big boys to understand.  Giving Caleb hugs goodbye.  ~August 2018~

Goodbyes Suck!

Fortunately we do have a trip planned in March to go to Texas to see the boys and our six grand-kids there.  I am super excited to see them because we have not seen them all for way too long.  I don’t always love Facebook, but thank goodness for Facebook as it helps us long distance grandparents to keep in touch with grand-kids even when you cannot physically be with them.  If it weren’t for Facebook I would not feel as connected to the kiddos as I do.  It is great when their parents post photos of their first day of school, sporting events, concerts, vacations, and just every day life.

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We get to see them in March…Yay!  Kylie, Charlie, Sumar, Brody and Sean  ~December 2018~
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Kylie is growing crystals for a science project…which I know about because of Facebook  ~January 2019~

For example, right now I know that Kylie is working on a science project and I am following her progress on Facebook.  Eden just brought home a book from school and read the whole thing to her mom.  My five grand-kids who have been in Albuquerque just dressed in Nutcracker jammies and went and watched the movie, ‘The Nutcracker’.  When I see these posts on Facebook I feel a part of it and feel more connected to them.  So thank you to my daughters and daughters-in-law for the special and meaningful posts.  They mean a lot to this Grammy.

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Charis, Soraya and baby Esme wearing Nutcracker jammies to go watch the movie, ‘The Nutcracker’  ~January 2018~

i miss my grandkids

As a long-distance Grammy, missing my grand-kids is not new to me.  It is just part of my reality and I have learned to accept and deal with it as best I can.  Typically the best ways I try to combat missing my grand-kids when I cannot be with them is to call and talk to them, Skype them, write a letter, look at photos of them, think of special memories with them, plan a trip to visit them, and much to my husband’s dismay…wake up one morning and give him puppy dog eyes and say, “Let’s go see the grand-kids!”   Yeah, he loves that one!  What are some things you do when you miss your grand-kids?  I would love to hear some new ideas that I can add to my arsenal.

Well I am going to go eat chocolate for breakfast!  Did I mention that chocolate might be another way I cope with missing my grand-kids?  And today Grammy needs chocolate…

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Have a fun flippin’ day,

Deb McLennon, the Fun Flippin’ Grammy

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Camp Silly Willy

Good morning.  After yesterday’s post on ‘You’re Never Too Old To Be Silly’ I am following it up today with an idea I started with my grand-kids years ago, called ‘Camp Silly Willy’.  I have so much fun doing Camp Silly Willy with my grand-kids that I thought I’d share it, in case you want to try ‘Camp Silly Willy’ with your grand-kids.

So how did Camp Silly Willy start?  My daughter Sara and her husband Joe had baby Eden in 2012.  She had a lot of health issues and spent a lot of time in the hospital.  Sara and Joe had to be at the hospital a lot so Grandpa and I were watching their three older girls.  I wanted to do some fun things with them but they all wanted to do something different.  And that is when my inner ‘Camp Counselor’ came out.  Yes, I was a Camp Counselor for many summers back in the day.  Some of the best years of my life!

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Horrible photo quality but me in 1975 as a Camp Counselor

So I told my granddaughters (Hayley, Claire and Keira) that I was going to run a camp for them during the next two days while their parents were gone.  I got shouts of joy after I made that announcement.  Then I said, “We need a name for our camp.”  A few names were thrown out and then almost 3 year-old Keira shouted out, “What about Camp Silly Willy?”  We all agreed and that is how Camp Silly Willy came about.

 

I then put a DVD in for the girls to watch while I took an hour to plan our activities.  Once I had everything set up and ready to go it was time to start Camp Silly Willy.  Over the next couple of days we did a variety of activities.  Each activity lasted one hour.  A day would look something like this:

Camp Silly Willy

7:00 a.m. – Breakfast                                                                                                                            8:00 a.m. – Arts & Crafts Project                                                                                                        9:00 a.m. – Beauty Salon                                                                                                                      10:00 a.m. – Free time Outside & Snack                                                                                          11:00 a.m. – Computers                                                                                                                        12:00 p.m. – Lunch                                                                                                                                1:00 p.m. – Quiet Time or Naps                                                                                                          2:00 p.m. – Reading/Storytime (while waiting for everyone to wake-up                              3:00 p.m. – Swimming                                                                                                                          5:00 p.m. – Free Time (while Grammy cooks dinner)                                                                6:00 p.m. – Dinner                                                                                                                                  7:00 p.m. – Skits                                                                                                                                    8:30 p.m. – Bedtime  (Thank goodness, ’cause Grammy needs a rest!)

 

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The girls making some crafts at the first Camp Silly Willy  ~April 2012~

And then we would get up the next morning and do it all over again…same schedule, just different activities.  It sounds like a lot of work but really it isn’t as much as you’d think.  For example the schedule above…I would have to make breakfast, lunch and dinner and prepare snacks anyway.  An arts and crafts project is not that difficult.  Just decide what you want to do and throw all the supplies onto the table and let them go at it.  Or if they have some existing craft kits you can use those.  (Tons of craft ideas online)  For the beauty salon just gather combs, brushes, bobby pins, barrettes, and throw in Grammy’s make-up and they will have a ball.

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And this is what Grammy looks like after the grand-kids get a hold of me.  I thought I looked more like the Bride of Frankenstein, but they thought I was beautiful.  They asked Grandpa if he would marry me again.   He said, “Oh yeah!”  He’s a keeper!

Free time outside is just playing with them on their playground equipment or with some balls or sports equipment they have on hand.  Computers involved letting one girl use my computer, another used Grandpa’s and one used their parent’s IPad to play games.  For nap time/quiet time you just escort them to their own rooms, give them books to look at, and shut the door.  Once they got up I’d read them stories until everyone was up.  Then we’d go swimming for a couple of hours.  We’d come back and I’d make dinner.  After we were finished eating we entertained each other with funny songs and skits, some I taught them from my old Camp Counselor days and others were just impromptu.  Then it was off to bed.  So as you can see it really does not take that much planning.

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Grandpa playing with Hayley at the pool  ~July 2012~
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Hayley putting on a skit, using her amazing musical talents ~July 2012~
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Caleb making marshmallow toothpick structures during Camp Silly Willy ~2012~

What I also found from running Camp Silly Willy was that it actually made it easier to keep the kids happy so there was less whining, and no “Grammy, I’m bored,” which helped eliminate any need for discipline.  The kids loved Camp Silly Willy and after this first time of doing it would request to do it every time we watched them.  So I would say it was a hit!  So if you want to do your own version of Camp Silly Willy, go for it!  You’ll be glad you did because Camp Silly Willy rocks!  And your grand-kids will be glad for sure.  Every time I announce that we are going to do Camp Silly Willy, I am rewarded with happy shouts from the grands!

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Claire, Keira and Hayley putting on skits during Camp Silly Willy ~April 2014~
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Making Hawaiian lei’s during Camp Silly Willy ~April 2014~
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Computer Camp at Camp Silly Willy ~January 2014~
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At Camp Silly Willy I always serve the meals cafeteria style and let them choose what they want.  They love this!  ~January 2014~
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The girls get a kick out of Grandpa sitting on an egg during a skit at Camp Silly Willy ~January 2014~

Following is a quote Sara put on Facebook after we watched her girls in April 2014:

“A big shout out & thank you to Grammy & Grandpa for going above & beyond the call of duty…not only did they watch our 4 girls all weekend, they held “Camp Silly Willy”! Complete with numerous crafts, activities, songs, skits, a tea party, themed costume days, an obstacle course, and special meals all weekend long. Not only did Joe & I have an amazing weekend, our girls did too!”   

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Claire running the obstacle course at Camp Silly Willy ~April 2014~

Please comment below if you have your own version of Camp Silly Willy.  Now that my grand-kids are getting older I am hoping to change Camp Silly Willy a bit and hold it every summer where all the grand-kids 3 years-old and up will come for a week of Camp at Grammy and Grandpa’s house.  We will run it pretty much the same way except it will last a week (without parents)!  We are hoping to start this, this coming summer.  We shall see!

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Keira performing a skit.  I think she is saying, “Camp Silly Willy Rocks!”  ~January 2014~

Have a fun flippin’ day,

Deb McLennon, the Fun Flippin’ Grammy

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You’re Never Too Old To Be Silly

When I first met my husband he told me he was just an old curmudgeon.  Well call me stupid, but I had no idea what he was talking about because I had never heard of that word.

Definition of curmudgeon 

1crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man

2archaic MISER

Just so you know, he is not crusty or ill-tempered…except when he’s being a butt!  LOL

And then there is the movie ‘Grumpy Old Men’.

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And I am sure you have all heard older women referred to as old biddies.   So why is it that older people are all too often described this way…grumpy old men, old biddies, curmudgeon?  Is that really a thing?  Do people really get grumpier as they get older?  Well, I am sure some do but definitely not everyone.  Well I am not going to take any chances and end up being a grumpy Grammy.  I want to always be a fun flippin’ Grammy!  One way I can do this is by letting loose and acting silly with my grand-kids.

My grand-kids love when Grandpa or I act silly with them.  Sometimes they fall into fits of laughter watching us.  One time maybe about 5 years ago I remember doing skits with Sara’s girls and Hayley was laughing so hard she fell to the ground and screamed, “Aaaaahhh!  I can’t breathe!”  And then we all succumbed to uncontrollable fits of laughter with her.

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Even an old curmudgeon can be silly!  Grandpa acting silly at the beach with seaweed hair and stache ~June 2014~

I am not suggesting you act silly 24/7…Nobody wants that.  But being able to get in touch with your inner-child once in a while delights your grandchildren.  Remember, you are never too old to be silly.

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2 1/2 year-old Charis was delighted when Grandpa acted silly and wore her bonnet.  ~July 2012~

I remember when my kids were little and they would brush my dad’s hair and put vaseline in it and shape it straight up like a mohawk.  He didn’t have to do a thing but he allowed them to be silly with him and they loved it and still laugh about it.  Why I do not have a photo of that I do not know.  Dang it!

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Enjoying an ice cream cone with Claire and Hayley when Hayley got some ice cream on her nose.  I then deliberately put some ice cream on my nose and they were so tickled.  Silliness can be the simplest and most impromptu things.  That’s probably why I’m good at it!

Dressing up and putting on skits is one of my grand-kids’ favorite things for us to do with them.  And when we do, we always get ridiculously silly.  And it ends up being some of our favorite memories together.

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This is what I look like after Hayley, Claire, and Keira get a hold of me.
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In 2014 Caleb and Charis love getting silly with me as we do Mr. Napkin Head!
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Sometimes silly looks like this…when you play silly games with them.  Keira is sure getting a kick out of us playing the game Hedbanz with her.

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And sometimes silly is dressing up like clowns for Soraya’s circus-themed 1st birthday party ~February 2014~
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And sometimes silly is this..  Me and Charis ~2012~  I really have no idea what we are doing…I guess just making silly faces at each other.

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Sometimes silly is being statues at the Louvre in France.  ~2017~

Well, I think you get my point…silly can be just about anything that tickles your grand-kids.  I have the kind of personality where silly comes quite naturally.  I don’t have to really think about it…It just happens.  But if you didn’t get the silly gene then just watch your grand-kids and follow what they do.  They just love when you occasionally act like them.  My grand-kids will hoot and holler over that for days.

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Making silly faces with Kylie and Sean and the gang ~September 2012~

So grandparents, I encourage you to not be an old curmudgeon or biddy and instead to get silly with your grand-kids.  You just may end up loving it as much as they do!  In line with our silly theme, check in with me tomorrow to find out about Camp Silly Willy.  Please comment and share some fun and silly things you do with your grand-kids.  I’d love to hear about them.  And remember, you are never too old to be silly!

Have a fun flippin’ day,

Deb McLennon, the Fun Flippin’ Grammy

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The Best Version of Yourself

Happy Sunday to one and all.  This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  I posted this quote last week in my blog on January 7, 2019 titled ‘Second Chances’.  https://funflippingrammy.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/a-second-chance/ But just in case you did not read that post…Here it is again.  If you agree, please share with every grandma and grandpa you know!

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Have a blessed Sunday,

Deb McLennon, the Fun Flippin’ Grammy