Monday, August 30, 2010

got rules?

well yes we do...This grandma club has rules you must abide by! do the grandmas actually abide by them? well... what can I say except.. they try:)

The rules are...

1. You must have grandchildren or at least one in the oven (not your oven of course!)to be a member of the club.

2. You must promise to allow your fellow granny's to each have enough time to share pics, googles, drooling and puffed out chests with out interruptions.

3. You must be willing to listen to all first's e.g. first smile, first words, first steps, first tooth, etc!

4. You must be good at but not a professional at oohs and awes, pats on the back, and way to gos!

(this is mostly in reference to but not restricted to those times you went a whole week without seeing your grandchildren or you gave the grandchildren back, etc.)

5. You must wait at least one to two days before sending a picture through email that might outdo the person who just sent out their picture to avoid a competitive spirit. (there will be a penalty for this)

6. You must never, never say anything that would insinuate that your grandbaby is "better than". Only use phrases such as "He is so cute" rather than "He is the cutest!"(There will be no penalty for this)

7. And last but not least, be there to support, encourage, pray for and minister to your fellow granny's.

Monday, August 23, 2010

let's make paper beads:)

you will need scissors or straight edge, a magazine, non washable glue, toothpicks or knitting needle and a jar lid

Next cut a long triangle shape out of the pages of your magazine. The size of your bead will be determined by the wider end of your triangle. Approximately 1/2 inch wide or larger on one end and the length of the magazine page. You will find that different prints create different looking beads. Even black and white words on the page are attractive.

Pour a small amount of glue into the jar lid and mix a little bit of water with it to make a modge podge.

Bend the wide end and then pinch between your thumb and pointer finger and start wrapping the paper kind of tightly around and around forming the bead. You can choose to wrap it around a toothpick or knitting needle but I found it simpler to use my fingers.

Toward the end I drag the paper through the glue to help keep it from unraveling.

Put the whole bead in the glue and roll it around to saturate it with glue, then lay it on a piece of wax paper to dry.

String beads on a fishing line or elastic. Remember, these beads cannot get wet because they are paper. Some people put a lacquer over them at the end to make them more durable. Beautiful! Great project for a class room project or just a fun craft to do with your older granchildren or kids! try it! you'll like it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

paper beads

One of my gogo friends in Malawi Africa was a jewelry maker. She enjoyed making necklaces and bracelets and did a good job. Lack of finances and resources in Malawi made it difficult for her to pursue the hobby she loved, so before going back on one of my visits I thought about collecting as many beads and jewelry accessories as I could from my friends here. I was very successful. My friends were very willing to donate beads and money to the cause. I collected a suitcase full! It was heavy, weighing close to the weight limit. When my friend received it in Malawi she was thrilled! She told me she felt like she could fall on the ground and roll around on the floor like a playful puppy! But she didn't, whew!
The gratitude for the simplest things in Malawi made me want to do more. Why couldn't my friend make a living doing what she loved? There are those who can help to make that happen like my friends at . They are helping gogos sew quilts, make tye dye materials and do some bead work to earn their own income. I had a plan.
Beads are heavy to transport and somewhere along the way I heard about an organization who have helped women in Uganda make their beads and jewelry out of paper! They are beautiful and easy to make. I thought this was an easier method in helping the gogos in Malawi. Light weight, easy to transport and beautiful. At one point I did try to teach the gogos how to make paper beads. The problem? This nation is so poor there is no where in their remote villages for them to get scrap paper. They use everything.
Enter....gorgeous grandma club....come one, come all to roll paper beads for gogos in Africa!!
Next entry I'll show you how to make them yourselves.....can't wait?

Monday, August 9, 2010


At first my son didn't really go for the new grandma name I picked. "Mom, Patricks not going to want to say Go Go in front of all his friends when he's 16."
My daughter-in-law commented that we could cross that bridge when we got to it. She's always so diplomatic:)
O sigh....I just wanted something different. I wasn't ready to be called grandma. I didn't feel like a grandma and I certainly didn't look like my grandma did when she was my age: floral print cotton dress snugly fitted around a buxom top, dark black shoes that laced up with thick 2 inch high square heels, short, gray bobbypinned curled hair, a button nose and little wire-rimmed glasses, and a stern "you better not cause me any trouble" look on her face.
Soon after this discussion I was watching Your Life A-Z. There was a young lady,in her 30's, being interviewed. As I listened I heard her saying that every 20 seconds a baby boomer became a grandparent and this generation was not ready to take on the traditional name of grandma and grandpa. How do they graciously accept the role as grandparent without "feeling old". After all,these are the ones who have fought the aging process, with their array of ideas to stay looking younger and feeling better. They wanted to pioneer their way to a new avenue of grandparenting. She went on to say that this was the reason she wrote her book "You Can Call Me Hoppa".
Are you telling me there's a book out there that validates my inner most desires! I had to listen longer to hear what Lauren Charpio had written a book about.
"You Can Call Me Hoppa" is a book that Laruen compiled of all the different names men and women chose to be called for or by their grandchildren. Each name has a story behind it and why it was chosen. Its very cute.
"Hoppa" was the name that came out of her 16 month old baby when the child tried to say grandpa to Lauren's dad. It stuck! One man wanted to be called "chief" because he had once been an executive on wall street for years and just felt too tough to be called grandpa. Another lady played peek a boo with her granddaughter every time she visited. One day her grandbaby called her "boo" assuming that was her name.
There are so many more......
Well, when I told my son about Lauren Charpio and her book, he thought that was pretty cool. He even gave me permission to submit our story to Lauren.
Tell me your story of how you got your name.
Visit Lauren Charpio's website at
By the way, some of my dearest friends and family are called grandma and grandpa. Love it!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

behind every name is a story

o yes I loved the name Gogo. It was cute:) but more importantly I loved who it represented.

One evening when my son and his wife and their adorable, precious, cute as a bugs ear, darling, under a year old son were over for dinner, my son preceded to tell me that our adorable, cute as a bugs ear, precious grandson could say "go go". Now let me clarify that this was not in the same context as my new adopted grandmother name. I had not told my son and daughter-in-law that was the name I wanted to be called. Shawn(my son) said "Patrick, say go go". With a big smile on his face, loving to please his mommy and daddy, Patrick said "go go" Well of course I was excited not only because he shared his new vocabulary word but because ...well you know... he said it!

"Oh! that's what I want to be called" I cried out in delight! My son then continued to tell the story of why Patrick said "go go" in the first place.

It all happened while daddy was doing something in the kitchen when he accidentally broke a glass. Patrick, being a curious little boy, came quickly to the scene. "No , Patrick! Stay away! Go! Go!" Shawn yelled out. Saying it several more times and picking up Patrick to get him away from the glass, Patrick figured out that was a pretty important word and was easy to mimic. He decided to add it to the other wonderful words he had accumulated that he obviously knew delighted his mommy and daddy when he said them.

Well there you have it! I started redirecting the action "go go" to the grandma "Gogo":)

Patrick is 4 now and someday I hope to share with him and my new granddaughter about the Gogos in Africa.

Did my son and daughter-in-law embrace the nontraditional name I chose? Hmmm... What do you think?