May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day 2011


Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers and grandmothers who are raising or have raised your children. We admire you for the love, care, and devotion you have given in your important role as mother.

It’s such a grand thing to be a mother of a mother—that’s why the world calls her grandmother. ~Anonymous

Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you’re just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric. -Pam Brown

Previous posts about Mother’s Day and Grandmothers:

Happy Mother’s Day!

- Grandpa Shayne & Grammy Tanda

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August 31, 2010

GrandparentsTLC.com named #2 in the 50 Best Blogs By and About Grandparenting

A recent article reviewed “The 50 Best Blogs By and About Grandparenting”. We are honored to be in their list. It is a particular honor to be chosen as the #2 grandparenting blog!

50 Best Blogs-Grandparenting-award

There are many other excellent blogs about grandparenting in the list that I recommend. I visit several of them regularly. Some of the authors have written guest posts here at GrandparentsTLC.

- Grandpa Shayne

Do you have other favorite blogs about grandparenting you’d like to share with us? Fee free to leave a link in a comment below.

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May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Ideas with Grandchildren

I would like to offer some ideas on how grandparents can be more involved with their grandchildren on Memorial Day.

About Memorial Day: Memorial Day is a holiday celebrated in the United States of America to honor those who have given their lives in service to their country. (Other countries also have a memorial day.) Many Americans also honor their ancestors, family, or friends on Memorial Day. Some people also honor veterans that are still living, which I think is cool, although Veterans Day is set apart for honoring all veterans.

Teach your family and grandchildren the significance of Memorial Day. Enjoy time with them. Here are some ideas:

  • Talk to your grandchildren about the meaning and importance of the holiday.
  • Write a letter to them or share a journal entry.
  • Show your respect and appreciation through your example.
  • Go with your grandchildren and family to decorate a grave of a soldier of ancestor.
  • Together, thank a living veteran in person or by letter or email.
  • Attend a parade, concert, or festival. Visit a national cemetery or monument.
  • If you can’t be with your grandkids in person, have a live video chat with them. (See my post “How to Video Chat with Your Grandkids”)

Here are a few websites that offer free Memorial Day activities and craft ideas for children:

Enjoy this Memorial Day with your grandchildren!

- Grandpa Shayne

We’d like to hear from you. Please comment below to tell us how you like to celebrate Memorial Day with your grandkids.

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May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day 2010

We want to honor all you mothers and grandmothers this Mother’s Day. You do an amazing work!

No other success [in life] can compensate for failure in the home. (David O. McKay)

Here’s a fun Mother’s Day video I created with JibJab.com, starring my wife, Tanda.

Click on the Play triangle below.
Personalize funny videos and eCards at JibJab!

Last year, Grammy Tanda wrote a mother’s day post about the lessons she has learned from her Grandmothers.

Happy Mother’s Day!

- Grandpa Shayne

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December 31, 2009

How to Video Chat with Your Grandkids

Grammy Tanda and I love to spend time with our grandchildren in person, but since most of them live in three other time zones, we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like. So some of our most pleasurable moments are when we are chatting “face to face” over the Internet with our grandkids.

If you enjoy talking with your grandchildren on the phone, you will love video chatting even more! It’s video conferencing software you run on your computer that lets you talk with and see your family. It’s just like in the Jetsons cartoon—live audio and video.

What could be worth more than seeing the grin on your grandchild’s face when they see you talking with them on the screen? They’ll be proud to show you how much they’ve grown and to show off their first missing tooth. Even grandbabies will respond to your voice and smiling countenance.

Somethings are just better communicated face to face, where you can see expressions and gestures. Compared to letters, email and even telephone calls, video calls can make conversations much more interesting and intimate. You’ll have more to talk about, and your grandkids will more easily remember you or your face.

Now watch this video. It’s full of examples and cool ideas for you.

A grandparent’s job is to give positive encouragement; to be a cheerleader and a talent scout. ~Grammy Tanda Packer

Fun things you can do on your video chat: read storybooks and show them the pictures, make up stories, sing, dance, play games, help with their homework, be playful, play peek-a-boo, make funny faces, and tell knock-knock jokes.

Ask your grandkids to sing and read to you, and tell you jokes and stories. Have them show you their drawings, crafts, homework, new clothes, acrobatics and somersaults.

Options for free video chat software

Macally WebcamYou’ll need a computer, a webcam with a built-in or separate mic, and a broadband Internet connection. Different programs use their own protocols, so you and your family will need to use the same software. Each of the following programs allow you to make video calls worldwide.

iChat from Apple is an application that comes free with every Macintosh. If you have a Mac, iChat is the best software for video chatting. You can even have a video conference with up to 3 other Macs at once. Since it uses the AIM protocol, iChat works well with AIM on other computers.

AIM is an application you can download to your computer. It uses the same protocol as iChat.

Skype is another popular program for making video calls. Download the program and sign up for a free account. Computer-to-computer calls and video calls are free.

Google voice and video chat is integrated into gmail in your web browser. It’s a great option if you and your family have gmail accounts. Anyone can sign up for a free gmail account.

How to get started

  1. Choose an application and install it. (Consider what your family may be using.)
  2. Launch the program.
  3. Create a screen name and password (first time only).
  4. Share your screen name with your family.
  5. Arrange a time to call.
  6. Turn on your webcam.
  7. Log in to your chat program.
  8. Initiate the video call by clicking the appropriate buttons, or click “Accept” if your family initiates the call.
  9. Click the video icon by their name to see their video. (Note: Some programs make you click a button to allow them to see your video.)
  10. Enjoy!

Videophones are another option for video conferencing. These are special phones with an LCD screen. No computer is needed, but they need a high-speed Internet connection. You and your family both need the same brand of videophone.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then live video is worth ten 10,000 words. ~Grandpa Shayne Packer

We know you’ll love video chatting with your grandkids! So go try it.

Enjoy – Grandpa Shayne

Announcement: This post is part of a blog carnival hosted by Susan Adcox, About.com’s Guide to Grandparents.

We’d like to hear from you. Please comment below to tell us about your videochat. What fun things did you do on the call with your grandkids.

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