Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm Afraid Grandmother Is A Bit Near Sighted...

I've noticed over the past few days that the weather is a bit cooler, a bit less humid, the sky is a clearer blue and the leaves at the tips of some nearby branches have begun to change color. This can only mean one thing - summer will slowly come to a close and autumn will start to ease in.

But, Grandmother...
This blog is called "Summer With Grandmother Wren".
What will happen now that summer is ending?

Grandmother Wren Is Moving To Her New Home. Her new blog is called "At Home With Grandmother Wren" and you can find it Here.There will be a new post on my brand new blog tomorrow and it's going to be a Good One, I promise!

Please Come To My New Home -
change your bookmarks and if you have an email subscription here, please resubscribe using the form you'll find "At Home With Grandmother Wren".

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Blog Carnival - Make It From Scratch

The latest edition of the Make It From Scratch blog carnival is published.
The host site this week is Po Moyemu - In My Opinion. Visit her blog to see all the great entries.
My contribution was my post about our visit to the Farmer's Market and the stuffed peppers that we made. Other entries run the gamut from recipes for gnocchi, cream puffs and how to make your own buttermilk to ideas for safe alternatives for common household products. Lots of craft ideas too - kid's fisherman knit sweater pattern, kid's craft recipes, monogrammed lavender bags and ideas for homeschooling - hands on learning.
This carnival is a lot of fun and a treasure trove of great ideas. Don't miss it!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dear Maya - with love, Daddy and Lisa

Good evening Karen, Russ, Rachel & precious Maya,

Today we were blessed with gorgeous weather and the free spirit of a beautiful little girl that placed a smile on many people's faces.
Karen & Russ, we missed you today - I would have loved to have you meet my parents along with my brother, sister in law and the cutest nephew ever, Colin. There were many dynamics today and it was comforting to see everyone mingling and getting to know each other. Maya I am sure was overwhelmed with the amount of people there that she was not familiar with. I am glad Rachel came to give Maya that comfort and security she needed with so many "new people".
Thank you Rachel.
Maya and Colin had a splendid time playing with the "big huge bubble making machine", the multicolored parachute, the camping tent, coloring project with markers and the velvet paper. They each colored a circus theme and dinosaurs. Their artwork came out beautiful. Two talented children we have indeed.
Anyways, enjoy the pictures.
Take care! Ken and I will be there on Thursday.

Click Here Visit Maya's Birthday With Daddy Photo Album

Starting Monday With A Smile

When it was Great Grampy's birthday, Maya wanted to make him a strawberry cake with "all good cream."And so we did.

When it was Great Grammy's birthday, Maya wanted to make her a Sponge Bob cake.
And so we did.

This week it will be my birthday.
Maya told her Mommy that she wants to buy me green olives - enough to share.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

You Can Be a Part of Blogging History.

"On September 27th, join 1,000s of bloggers around the world in BlogCatalog's Blogging for a Great Cause Challenge. This Blogging Challenge will be:

Bloggers Against Abuse
September 27th, 2007
The Outcome we are after is to be part of the largest group of bloggers to ever blog about an important cause, all on the same day.

So how do you participate?

On Sept. 27th, blog about putting an end to some sort of Abuse (you decide what kind of abuse to blog about).

In the meantime though,

* Spread the word among all the bloggers you know. Perhaps even give them a link to this Discussion. "

I'm in - how about you?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Farmer's Market

We have been making an adventure of the Saturday Farmer's Market this summer.
The market is held on the town green - there are animals to visit, honey to taste, home baked cookies to sample and bunches and bunches of vegetables to buy.

This Saturday we arrived in time to watch our favorite farmer unloading her crates of vegetables from the back of her truck.
We chose beets with the greens still attached (washing and then cooking both the greens and the beets was lots of fun). We bought yellow squash and zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers for Grampy and three giant bell peppers to make stuffed peppers for our dinner.

We used the crock pot to cook our stuffed peppers.
Maya used the potato masher to thoroughly blend the ingredients for the stuffing -
a basic meatloaf mixture of:
3 slices of stale bread torn into little pieces and soaked in
3/4 cup of milk combined with one egg
1/4 cup chopped onion
and 3/4 lb. lean ground beef
while I cut the tops off the peppers and cleaned out the insides.

We set the seeds aside on a paper plate to use later on, then stuffed the peppers with the meat mixture.
We poured just enough tomato sauce into the crockpot to cover the bottom of the dish,
put in the stuffed peppers and poured the remainder of the jar of tomato sauce over them.
The peppers stayed in the pot for 6 hours on low heat and then they were done!

While the peppers cooked, we decided to do an art project to remember the fun we had cooking our vegetables from the farmer's market. We got out our paints and painted a couple of sheets of construction paper green, like the peppers.
Once the paint was dry, we drew two large peppers on the green painted paper and cut them out. Then we painted those green peppers with white glue, covering all of the paper peppers. We did that so that the seeds we saved from the insides of our real peppers would stick to the paper. We set the paper peppers aside for the rest of the afternoon to dry. That night we had a super dinner and some new decoration for Grammy's kitchen!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

9 Million Toys Recalled - Lead And Other Hazards (it's getting kind of scary...)

August 2, 2007 - Fisher-Price Recalls Licensed Character Toys Due To Lead Poisoning Hazard
- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firms named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.
Name of Product: Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, and other children's toys
Visit This Link for a complete list of toys recalled along with images to help identify any toys you may have.

These links will take to pages of new recalls, this time because of the danger of small magnets, plus one more lead paint recall

Additional Reports of Magnets Detaching from Polly Pocket Play Sets Prompts Expanded Recall by Mattel (August 14, 2007)

Mattel Recalls Doggie Day Care™ Magnetic Toys Due to Magnets Coming Loose (August 14, 2007)

Mattel Recalls Barbie and Tanner™ Magnetic Toys Due to Magnets Coming Loose (August 14, 2007)

Mattel Recalls "Sarge" Die Cast Toy Cars Due To Violation of Lead Safety Standard (August 14, 2007)

Mattel Recalls Batman™ and One Piece™ Magnetic Action Figure Sets Due To Magnets Coming Loose (August 14, 2007)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Summer Knit and Crochet

It's raining, or maybe it's not, but it's hot and humid and not a good afternoon out of doors. Sometimes Grandmother wants to just sit and knit. Or crochet.
I came across a project today that combines that much needed break from the weather with an idea for giving.

Arkansas Children's Hospital is now conducting it's annual Knitting for Noggins Knit-a-Thon with a goal of 30,000 knit or crochet hats by the end of October.
If you live near the hospital in Arkansas, you can attend the Knit-a-Thon there on October 14th.
Or you may want to host your own Knit-Together with your friends and create hats for the hospital. Go to their website to download a party kit that includes everything you need to host your own Knitting for Noggins party, including a flyer and printable invitation.
And of course, working on hats on your own is the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon.
Visit their website to find guidelines and addresses to send your hats.

Arkansas Children's Hospital, a place of care, love and hope, is a non-profit, private hospital, dedicated to helping children live healthy and productive lives. It is the only pediatric hospital in Arkansas and one of the largest in the country. The staff consists of more than 500 physicians and a 3,500 member support staff. The campus spans 26 city blocks and has a floor space totaling over 1,200,000 square feet. In the last year, the emergency room, outpatient and specialty clinics had more than 250,000 visits from children, not only from Arkansas, but throughout the world. The hospital has many one-of-a-kind pediatric specialists and is licensed for 280 beds.

Arkansas Children's Hospital is a world leader in many areas of care, utilizing leading-edge treatments, state-of-the-art facilities and aggressive research and development.

You'll find a good assortment of free patterns for knit and crochet hats at these sites:

Crystal Palace Yarns


Friday, August 10, 2007

Five For Friday - It's Raining Again!

Instead of complaining about the rain (since it seems we're going to be stuck with it anyway), why not choose projects, crafts and activities to Celebrate the Rain ?

Links to five pages of ideas to get you inspired:

Preschool Educations Arts and Crafts for any weather

A to Z Kid's Stuff - Rain

Preschool Express with Jean Warren (my hero!)
The Magic of Rain

For Older Children (grade school) a unit on Weather and Rainbows

Step by Step Childcare has five pages of their own ideas for a rain and umbrella theme including a related books list!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

About Grandparents

My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday.He asked me how old I was, and I told him, "62." He was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"

************************************************************************************ After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, "Who
was THAT?"

A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like: "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this in. At last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my halo while I asked, "No, how are we alike?" "You're both old," he replied.

A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's word processor. She told him she was writing a story. "What's it about?" he asked. "I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."

I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and always she was correct. But it was fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door, saying sagely, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!"

When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use, Grandpa. The mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."

When my grandson asked me how old I was,I teasingly replied,"I'm not sure." "Look in your underwear,Grandma," he advised. "Mine says I'm four to six."

A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, "Grandma , guess what? We learned how to make babies today." The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool."That's interesting," she said, "How do you make babies?" "It's simple," replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'"

Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence about a public servant,"said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant." The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. "Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked. Sure," said the young boy confidently. "It means carrying a child."

A nursery school teacher was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties. They use him to keep crowds back, " said one youngster. "No, said another, "he's just for good luck." A third child brought the argument to a close. "They use the dogs", she said
firmly, "to find the fire hydrant."


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

30 Things To Do Before Summer Ends

From's Guide for Single Parents -

Making the Most of Your Summer
Are you growing tired of hearing, "I'm bored?" I bet there are a lot of things you and the kids had hoped to do this summer. Well, there's still plenty of time!

Print out a copy of this list, talk it over with the kids, and add anything else you want to accomplish before school begins. Then get to it! Make the most of the summer while you can.

And remember, the idea is to have fun! Whatever you don't get to, you can aim for next year.

More Great Ideas for Having Fun Together:

Top 10 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids this Summer

Renewing Your Passion for Board Games

Frugal Ideas for Keeping the Kids Busy

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ultimate Creativity

From The Robert Genn Twice Weekly Newsletter

August 7, 2007

Dear Karen,

We all have a tendency to focus on the daily progress and setbacks of our working lives. The balancing of practical matters and creative joy seem so all-involving that our art can become our main reason for living. Not that there's much wrong with this--without dedication it's pretty well impossible to thrive in the game. I've spent a bit of time in these letters trying to express the necessity of study, application and hard work. I've talked interminably of creative commitment. I've also talked about the values of family and significant life-passages. Over the years I've shared the death of my parents and other personal happenings, and I thank you for your patience.

Perhaps not often enough have I mentioned the ultimate and rather excellent form of creativity that's open to most of us. I'm talking about children. None of us asks to be born. We step out innocent to the world's wiles. We require nurture to approach our potential--to be handled before we can handle. Children are soon enough presented with a puzzling world. "Keep me away," said Kahlil Gibran, "from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children."

Carol and I have been blessed with three terrific kids. David, our oldest, is a musician and music producer. James, one of our twins, is a film director. Sara, our other twin, is a painter and singer-songwriter. How this den of artistry and application happened we never quite figured out. Believe me, we're not disappointed there are no lawyers or accountants in our outfit.
But I digress.

This morning at 8:21 David and his wife Tamara produced our first grandchild. Everybody's doing well. The event makes it even more clear, no matter what else might happen during a short stay on the planet, this sort of creation rises above all else in its profundity. This has been a day of wonders. How David was issued with the genes to stand by in green scrubs and cut the umbilical cord we'll never know. The glow of accomplishment and joy on Tamara's face as she held the newborn was more beautiful than any painting or sculpture could ever be. Who knows what these perfect little hands will do--and where these tiny feet will take him. Please welcome Beckett David Nathaniel Genn.

Best regards,


PS: "Your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but are not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you." (Kahlil Gibran)

Esoterica: Art is life and life is art. Offspring may be the greatest art, but they are also like art. They eventually go into the world and make their own way. They flow from some source that we cannot fully know. Like art they require love and work. David and Tamara will know more of this when they check out of the hospital in a couple of days. "Work is love made visible," said Kahlil Gibran. What a work has now become visible.

Current clickback: If you would like to see selected, illustrated responses to the last letter, "I'm not going anywhere," about working in confined spaces, please go to:
If you would like to comment or add your own opinion, information or observations to this or other letters, please do so. Just click 'reply' on this letter or write

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