Wednesday, August 12, 2015


The opening ceremonies were done as soon as all the kids had arrived. Each child except the two youngest, represented a country. The two youngest were each paired with an older assistant and represented the same country  the older cousin. Each had a flag (pvc pipe with a plastic flag from a banner purchased from Partyland). We then ran the battery operated torch, also purchased from Partyland. Each cousin passed it off to the next running it around the house  couple of times We ended at the back patio where the flags were posted for the remainder of camp. Since it was raining, we went to the church and did an indoor obstacle course. The older kids were a lot help and made sure that younger ones had fun and got lots of cheers.

After lunch, the sun was shining, so we went to the splash pad and playground. The teens took a nap while the younger ones got wet and then played. Upon returning to the Olympic Village, the athletes, did weight lifting (this was so that the weights could be put out of site and temptation!).
these kids are strong!

 We have great neighbors that let us use their backyard zip-line. We likened this to Alpine sports. Wouldn't you know that the two youngest were not one bit intimidated! It is a fun activity that all ages enjoyed.
 The athletes helped make the breadsticks to go with spaghetti and salad for dinner. Different cuisine from a few different countries were the meals. I have found that if the kids help with the meal preparation, they eat better. Takes time, but worth it!
It was going to rain during the night, so we were not able to sleep in the tent. I don't think the kids were disappointed as long as they got to sleep in their sleeping bags.
Breakfast was French toast sticks and orange juice. It is a winner with the kids since they get to eat with their fingers and dunk it in syrup.
Competition began after everyone was dressed. My assistants were on the ball and took right over. Grandpa was dubbed the scorekeeper, snuggler and medic.
trading "pins"
Each athlete had a lanyard which contained the flag from their country and some very small trading pin sized flags from their country to "trade" with someone who had done something nice for them


Showing lots of patience with his sibling!

The medic was giving massages to keep the athletes loose.

Hurdles! LOVE pool noodles at camp.

The height can be adjusted for the size of the athlete.

Stretching before the next event.

Pole vault, more points if the color of the noodle matches the ring it goes through.


The golf bll relay required some skill!

Friday, July 31, 2015


Finally got together quickly with the assistants! I have four this year and for the next couple years. It sure makes it easier. Grandpa just had a hip replacement surgery, so he is not able to do all that he usually does. He is trying to help as much as possible.
When we got together, I hauled out the scrapbook of Grandma Camps past and had the kids look at the last time we did Olympics to get some ideas. They had fun laughing at how little they were back then. This will be the first year that we have repeated a theme ad I thought for sure that they would want to do entirely new things. To my surprise, they chose to do the same events and a few more! That made it even easier!
I found some medals at the dollar store already on red, white, and blue ribbon. They are all gold though. If I get ambitious, I will paint some silver and bronze. Highly unlikely at this late date.
Once again, my favorite prop to use will be pool noodles!
The athletes will arrive and choose a country to represent from among the flags on a party decoration plastic banner. I will do some Internet surfing to determine which countries these flags are from and a little fun information on each one. Each flag is repeated on the banner which work out great since one flag will be attached to a dowel for the athlete to carry and post during opening ceremonies, and a second one to have pinned to each child's shirt as a uniform.
We will be going to a slash pad to do an obstacle course and have lunch on the first morning. Then back home to do a few events.
We will all cook dinner, the kids eat better if they are in on the prep. Each meal ill be from a different continent. We will emphasize eating well and staying hydrated.
I haven't got a clue as to what movie about athletes would entertain them all (aged 15 to 3). But I will get it figured out soon.
Saturday will be all fun and games! The camp will end with a the parents arrival at the medals ceremony where we will have pot luck dinner and piƱata.
I will put the games and pictures on after camp next weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Usually I have the older grandkids(over 12) join me for a few hours in the Spring to help decide on  theme and plan for Grandma Camp! Can you believe that I have not been able to get 4 teenagers together for that long to plan? I bet you can if you have active grands like I do!
For the last several years, well since he reached the ripe old age of 12, Jakob has wanted to do Grandma Olympics again. He was just 3 or 4 when we last did it as a camp. He was out voted before, so this year we are going to do it!
I know that all the kids will enjoy it, since all of those that participated last time did. Even though the picture is not the best, you can see that they had their own country, uniform (t-shirt), and lots of medals!
Where we live, it has turned really hot, really fast. That will mean that we will have to plan some activities in the shade or perhaps a few indoors.
I am excited to see what these kids will come up with! I just have to keep reminding them that we are on a budget! There are plenty of places and activities that we could do that would require money. I just cannot spend much and I want them to really use their imaginations and be resourceful.
I am getting nervous because nothing is sett including the date!
I will keep you posted.......

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Graduation Gift

A while ago I shared how we do birthdays. The first grandchild that has received enough pillowcases to make a quilt just graduated today! Making the quilt seemed like such  good idea. Except I forgot one thing--I don't know what I am doing! It turned out O.K. but  sure will start earlier for the next one! I backed this one with fleece so I would not have to use batting and it would still be warm.

The pillowcases I started with
The finished product
I think he likes it!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fairy Garden



(how to keep a busy child, busy!)
  1. First you have a wonderful girlie girl come to visit for the afternoon!
  2. Then you drag out a whole bunch of stuff from the McGuyver room (I told you I would need that stuff someday!)
  3. Encourage every idea.
  4. Help with the technical details
  5. And Wallah!

You finish with an interesting and sparkly garden
Fairy Garden

Friday, May 8, 2015

Have you ever considered?......


Last year two days after Christmas, our daughter's family welcomed a 3 month old angel into their family. Her name is Gracie Dru Symone Shipley. While she arrived with beautiful eyes and a captivating smile, she also came with a then undetected liver disorder. This disease is Biliary Atresia.
 Because my daughter is much more eloquent than I, and has written their story so beautifully, I will link you to her blog here. You will captivated by this girl's fight and beautiful spirit. Part of their story, and probably the hardest part, was the wait for a liver transplant. Because of her situation and the severity of the disease, a deceased donor was the only option. That liver never came. No one ever wished that another family would have to suffer the loss of a loved one close to Dru's age and size. In fact the reason I am posting this is because I wanted to make others aware of the need for pediatric donors. I myself would have cringed at the thought of making the choice, in the heat of the most horrific moments in a parents life, to donate a dying or deceased child's organs. But now, on the other side, I know that I would most certainly make that sacrifice.

Halloween in the hospital
Our Dru (aka Little Miss Magic), passed away at the age of 14 months while waiting for a transplant. While it is too late for our little angel, your sacrifice might save more than one life. Please, be aware, and make others aware of the need for pediatric organ donors. We love our little Dru and miss her every day. Her organs were too toxic to be donated, but her parents would have if there had been a possibility.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Bowling and "Chopped"


 This year my daughter had the idea to add a "Chopped" challenge. Everyone brought an assigned food item and then a 'surprise' ingredient was added to the mix. We divided into 3 groups. One group headed downstairs to use the wii, another in the kitchen to start the appetizer, and the third in the garage to use another wii out there.

We use one Wii in the heated garage and one in the basement so everyone can finish.

The first "Chopped" challenge was the appetizer using: bacon,
 green onions and apricot jam. The
surprise ingredient was Ritz crackers.
The main dish was Hawaiian meatballs on rice with asparagus
that was topped with , what else, Ritz cracker crust

The third group (appetizer) is in the kitchen cooking. 

He is convinced he is doing the bowling
Grandpa "plugging in" the power so Boston can bowl

His first trophy!

High series, high game children, children under 12, high game over 12, high game women, high game men.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's in the Book?

The book is meant to be an aid to you as you plan and carry out a great camp for the grandkids! There are several pages of instructions that give you some guidance on things you may not have thought of such as a grab an go bag and medical permission forms. There are planning pages to guide you.
I plan my camps around a different theme each year. I have shared 12 different themes. There are instructions for take home crafts, invitations, meal suggestions and a sample schedule of activities.

There are tons of activities for each theme.

All the ideas can be shortened for a birthday party or added to or stretched out for a reunion or longer camp.
The book is 8 1/2  x 11, with spiral binding so that you can photocopy the patterns for crafts and invitations.
In short, I have planned your camp or you!
The themes are:
  • Actors
  • Candyland and cooking school
  • Cowboys
  • Dinosaurs
  • Olympics
  • Outdoors
  • Pirates
  • Secret Agents
  • Theme Park (Grandma Land)
  • Under The Sea
  • Wild Safari
  • Young Astronaut

How we do Birthdays

Dru got her first baby doll from Grandma
and Grandpa

Aunt Andy read Reese the book that Aunt Bristy
 gave her that is personalized with her name.While Grandpa holds her a she layed on the pillow and pillowcase Grandma made.

 Every grandchild gets a one-of-a-kind homemade pillowcase with a new pillow from Grandma and Grandpa, with a little cash or gift inside. The pillowcases are to be saved and then the usable part will be made into  a quilt for that grandchild when they graduate high school. We will see if Grandma actually follows through!

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Siblings arealways willing to help blow out the candles