The messiness of these Resurrection Easter Eggs is a reflection of the fun my grandkids and I had with themHappy Easter Week! I had really thought my grandboys had outgrown our fave Easter tradition – the Easter Resurrection Eggs. But when I asked them about that, I was thrilled to hear them all say, “NO! We LOVE those! We want to do them again.” And do them again, we did. Or is that Did them again. :)  Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful Easter treat. I hid the eggs – 24 (since I have two sets). They found them. Then they helped me retell this wonderful and true story of Jesus’ last week on earth, from the ride on the donkey into Jerusalem to the Last Supper to the Prayer at Golgatha to the Resurrection to the last egg – which is empty…because HE’S ALIVE – shouted quite loud by all of us. And we finished just in the nick of time – right as mom and dad walked in from their date. So I bundled all into the egg crates and brought them home.

And now, speaking of “thinking outside the box,” I’ll ask big sis to put them all back properly for me. It’s the kind of thing she is really good at and enjoys. And, hopefully, she will also enjoy fun memories of her younger years when we did this together regularly as well. AND THEN, she can share them with her cousins when they get together. Talk about “the gift goes on!”

The eggs, along with listening to the dramatized version of the Easter story from both their Action Bible and the dramatized version of the book of John in the GoBible, coupled with reading the story together a couple of times this past two weeks were our main Easter preparation this year. Between them AND me being extra busy AND them staying busy playing with friends, our craft project times are rare. But in case y’all are still having fun with them, here’s some grand ideas we ALWAYS enjoyed thoroughly.

  1. Looking for Ways of Leaving a Sweet Spiritual Legacy in Your Grandkids Hearts This Easter?
  2. The Year We Used LEGOs to Make Our Own Easter Resurrection Eggs
  3. Easter Activities Ideas
  4. More Easter Activities Ideas

Have a blessed and beautiful Easter week with your Sandwich Generation family and friends! And Happy 100 to the Grand Social!

P.S. If any of your grandkids like Francesca Battistelli (Several of grandkids love her music – and so do I. She sets a great example and is a terrific musician!), she is releasing her latest album – the first in quite a while – next Tuesday. A wonderful Easter gift !  Click here for details – and be sure to check out the cd/free mp3 “rip” option BUT notice – you can’t order it as a gift to get that. You have to order it regular which means the price will show on the receipt. If you are ok with that (I was) they will get the CD and the mp3 version – a sweet treat for parents, grandparents AND grandkids.   :)


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.

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Learning to think outside the box whether house hunting or caring for elderly parents - its different for each person but vital for all.jpgYesterday I wrote at SandwichINK Real Estate Info for Boomers and Seniors about thinking outside the box when house hunting. I thought of that today when making a flower bouquet for my senior mom. She loves gardening but so far this year, it hasn’t been an option for her. So I “thought outside the box” and started picking up flower bouquets and little pots of plants at the store when I went grocery shopping. The smile on her face each week has been a huge reward. And oh my, she watches over those pots and vases so carefully.

Most of the flowers have been a delight. I was disappointed with this batch. I think they were gladiolus that were SUPPOSED to bloom but never did.

These sad looking gladiolus let my elderly senior mom down

But that’s OK. The camellias in our back yard (that we hadn’t even realized were there) came to the rescue. She’s been enjoying seeing them from her windows each day. And today, I clipped several and popped them into the vase as I tossed the glads.

These lovely pink camellias picked my elderly mom back up and put a smile on this baby boomers face.jpg

Whether we are near or far, there are always ways we can “think outside the box” to lift the spirits of our beloveds. Cute animal cartoons and comforting BIble verses shared with a long distance loved one. Lovely flowers in vases and grandkid photos on their iPad for our nearby parents. These are all simple things that can mean a lot to our loved ones.

Comforting BIble verses against the beautiful Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington near Ruston

This season of life – full of caregiving, elderly aging issues, and special needs – is definitely challenging. But it’s also full of sweet rewards. We just need to keep watching for them to encourage ourselves and to lift the spirits of our beloved seniors who may be facing an uncertain future with some fear. Hopefully, knowing that we are there to love them, and help them as we are able to, will make that future a little brighter each day.


Beverlys Pink Saturday is full of fun things for SandwichINK Real Estate Info - including the occasional pink house


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


Kaye Swain REALTOR® in University Place Wa located in Pierce County WashingtonWoohoo – it’s an extra-special day here at SandwichINK! It’s time for the big grand-daddy blog party of them all – the Ultimate Blog Party 2014. This will be the FIFTH year I’ve joined in and I’m quite excited about it. Not only that, I’m bringing my mulitgenerational BLOG family along with my multigenerational blog, SandwichINK. For the past several years, I’ve been combining caring for my elderly parents with helping big-time with my grandkids and writing all about it here at SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation (defined as those caring for elderly parents while raising children and/or caring for grandkids), along with  SandwichINK Real Estate Info.

This past year, my grandkids have gotten older and – while I am still blessed to spend a lot of time with them, it’s less than past years. Thus, I took the next step I started with an AA in Real Estate and got my State of Washington Real Estate License along with becoming an official REALTOR®. I’m taking all my years of experience with caregiving and real estate investing along with an excellent education and putting it to good work for my real estate clients - near and far.

I’ve always loved real estate which was handy since I was helping my senior parents with their real estate needs, giving advice to my kids, and buying-selling-and renting my own homes. It’s even more fun now that I’m working with Keller Williams Realty Tacoma. And I am thoroughly enjoying continuing my two boomer and senior blogs as well as adding two more. The first is where I focus on Pierce County Washington Real Estate including sharing fun ideas for home decor, frugal home staging tips, finding plenty of pink and blue goodies and more. On top of that, I am always on the lookout for grand homes for aging in place options and multigenerational possibilities which I share at both SandwichINK Real Estate AND at The second new blog is Old Historic Homes. I started that one to help dear ones sell their 100-year-old Victorian Farmhouse. Now I share all the delightful old and often historic homes here in Pierce County - and trust me, there are a ton.

But don’t worry, I’m also still sharing plenty of other resources and ideas of interest to boomers and seniors like great games for grandkids, practical ideas to help our elderly seniors, and Scripture pictures and verses to encourage all of us from our grandkids on up to their great-grandparents.

SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation is again nominated for best boomers resource AND social media rockstar at SeniorHomes

Not only that, I’m even more active online in social media. You can see my tweets in the column on the right and find all my sites by clicking here. And I’m thrilled to announce that I have again been nominated for Best Senior Living Awards 2014 .  SandwichINK has been nominated for Best Boomer Resources and I’ve been nominated for the category of Social Media Rockstars – Individuals – WOOHOO! That’s truly music to my ears and eyes. Wait tell I tell my grandkids. Course, they’ll probably pat me on the back, say, “Good job, grandma. Can we play Trouble now!!!!”  :)  And that’s actually music to my ears too!

Here are some samples of my articles here at SandwichINK:

And what’s a party without some fun gifts?

One of my favorite things are MOBILE APPS! I love them and so do my grandkids. Even my mom has a couple of favorites for her iPad. I pretty much have to help her with them, but she thoroughly enjoys seeing updated photos of her great-grandkids or listening to a favorite book on it. I love to find useful mobile apps to share here and at my other sites.

My best gift to you is a FREE mobile app called AppsGoneFree - every day it tells me about 4-7 FREE apps – but you have to hurry, they might ONLY be free for THAT DAY. It’s a grand resource and it’s how I have found more than a couple of hundred excellent tools and resources including grand games for the grandkids, fun photo apps, and even apps to help me with my real estate business. CLICK HERE to download it, then ENJOY! (It doesn’t appear that Android has the same app but I did find Droid of the Day – with one free app per day and good reviews. :) )

More free gifts! Coloring pages for the grandkids – always a hit with my long-distance grandkids!

My grandson will LOVE this cute truck coloring page - how about your grandkids


And all my grandkids will love this dinosaur coloring page - fun for baby boomer grandparents AND grandkids


A cute frame for grandkids to decorate for a gift

Stationery for grandkids and elderly parents and the boomers and seniors in between


Thank you again for joining in the Ultimate Blog Party 2014. I look forward to chatting with you this week. :)

SandwichINK and SandwichINK Real Estate Info are joining in the fun at the Ultimate Blog Party 2014 at 5 Minutes for Mom which is also open to grandparents boomers and seniors

P.S. And YES, I’d love your votes at - just click here and click here. Then click the like button on each page. And THANK YOU so much! :)


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


My grandkids and I LOVED the new version of Trouble - but you can easily play the simpler version tooIt’s no TROUBLE to find a fun board game to play with your grandkids if you buy the game TROUBLE (Yes, I love silly puns and word games! However did you guess?)

Trouble has been a fave game of my grandkids and me for some time. So much so, that we’ve gone through THREE sets of it over the years. They are made a BIT on the cheap side – then again, they are GRAND for the pocket book. :) . And the last set, while wearing out a bit, also got lost when we moved from Kentucky to Pierce County Washington. But what seemed like a royal pain turned into a royal GAIN.

I ordered the new set from Amazon for a whopping $9.97 and I’m so glad I did. It arrived and sat there…and sat there…and sat there. One of the joys of being an up-close and often babysitter of grandkids is that they start to grow up! Which is a good thing! BUT they start to outgrow some of their past loves…which can be a bit of a bittersweet thing. And lately, between computer game fun and neighbor friends mega fun, our board game time has been dwindling. But finally, this past weekend, my oldest grandson came to spend the night and have some one on one on one with great grandma and me.

He had fun re-discovering Scarecrow, enjoyed making a mini-fort of pillows, and suggested a board game. WOOHOO – I gave him a list of 5, he picked Trouble and we had a lot of fun playing on the new board. As I waited for him to set up the game for a second go round after he beat me handily, I was looking at the fancy new pictures on the board and trying to figure out what they were there for. I finally got smart, picked up the directions, and discovered THEY HAD AMPED THE GAME UP!

My grandkids and I LOVE this new version of Trouble here in Pierce County Washington.jpg

Now, if you land on a spot with two X – you get a second turn. If you land on a spot with those lines – like my grandson is pointing to, you “Slide” to the opposite side of the board where they end up. Which means, you can go from close to the end to back to the beginning OR vice versa.


You no longer need to get into the ending base with an exact count AND instead of having to roll a 1 or a 6 to get out to play, you have to roll a 6 BUT the opponent(s) has to roll a 1. It doesn’t seem like much but it made for a very fun, frenzied and fast game that we both enjoyed – SIX times (he beat me 4 – 2 :) ).

And don’t worry. If you like the original rules, you can easily play those. AND if you have a younger grandchild who can’t handle having to wait several times to get out to play, which can sometimes happen, you could follow our trick and say you only need to roll a 1, 2, 5, 6 to get out. It definitely can help.

There’s a lot of creative options for this game and my grandson and I LOVE these new ones. So much so, he was raving about it to his brothers and it’s now packed in the car for the next time I go over to babysit. Or at least, the next rainy day I go to babysit. I’m pretty sure this will trump the computer games (once anyway). But the friends – probably not. And that’s OK, because I love all their friends and have a blast watching them play together.

Pink Hearts for Pink Saturday from Kaye Swain Grandmother and REALTOR in University Place Washington 250.png

P.S. Just in case not all the versions of Trouble have these updated rules, here’s the link to the game I bought – CLICK HERE. Enjoy!

 SandwichINK and SandwichINK Real Estate Info are joining in the fun at the Ultimate Blog Party 2014 at 5 Minutes for Mom which is also open to grandparents boomers and seniors

Fun for grandparents whether at home or out and about at the Grand Social


University Place Washington REALTOR Kaye Swain loves to visit The Dedicated House for Anything Blue FridayBeverlys Pink Saturday is full of fun things for SandwichINK Real Estate Info - including the occasional pink house



P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


A sweet deer for Kaye Swain real estate broker agent and her senior mom in Washington 250WooHoo! I’m walking around with a HUGE smile on my face. Why, you ask? I had a great day! My senior mom and I enjoyed a lovely a.m. chat and then I went to a very interesting lunch meeting and got tasty Mexican food along with some very educational chat about title insurance. It rained in the morning, but by afternoon, it had cleared up and SPRING was once again smiling from every flower I saw. After doing a spot of real estate work at my home office, I headed over to my granddaughter’s school to pick her up and drop her off at home, giving us a chance to catch up on all the exciting things that have been going on with her including science fair news, good friends update, and more. Plus when I dropped her off, I got sweet hugs from her AND her bros – my local grandsons! Always a delight. I had a really encouraging and helpful chat with my neighborhood banker. AND I was thrilled to find that SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation was once again nominated for the Best Senior Living Awards 2014 in the category of Best Boomer Resources 2014! (Yes, I’d LOVE it if you’d go click LIKE for SandwichINK :) )

I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging here and at SandwichINK Real Estate Info over the past several years. YIKES, I just counted on my fingers and it’s been FIVE AND A HALF YEARS! Where does the time go??? I’ve been blessed to talk to so many fellow baby boomers, seniors, grandparents and caregivers and share ideas back and forth with them. I’ve made some REALLY good friends online who I would love to visit with someday. And I have such a grand resource at these two blogs. Resources for y’all – with a wealth of information to encourage, inform – with resources for caregiving AND grandparenting, and share words of comfort for the tough moments of caregiving we all walk through. PLUS resources for my family and me. I will often blog about things I want to learn about or I want to remember. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve forgotten how to do something and I will go search my own sites to find it – very helpful, indeed! Not to mention the fact that I realized this week that when I page back to find craft or game links to share I am immediately transported back to fun times with my various grandkids here, there and everywhere. I gave my grandkids extra hugs this weekend as I was reminded of some of our fun times we shared in the past. And I’m so looking forward to plenty more of those special times to come.

My kids have another way to share and save sweet memories. They love to use  to make square great quality paperback photo books. Every November, they get together, choose and download all the photos they’ve shared through the year from their computer or from Instagram or Facebook, prepare the books online, and make a one-year family memory book. They then wrap them up and give them as much-anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed Christmas gifts to all us grandparents as well as making a copy for themselves to enjoy and save. Such a fun, fairly easy and grand way to save and share their family memories.

Pretty in reddish pink for the Sandwich GenerationI’ve just started using Instagram for my real estate business and am having such fun sharing photos of spring SPRINGING in Pierce County Washington, as well as fun times with the grandkids, and even the cute deer that occasionally grace our area with their sweet presence. And yes, you’ll definitely be seeing more of those photos here at SandwichINK, along with more posts about caregiving, grandparents, and baby boomering (don’t you love the words I’m creating today. :) ). I’m already looking forward to YEAR ELEVEN. As fast as the past 5.5 years have flown, I can’t begin to imagine how supersonic the next 5.5 will go. :)

Pierce County Washington blue flowers my elderly mom and I enjoyed

In the meantime, if you wouldn’t mind, I really would LOVE it if you would pop over to and click LIKE on SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation along with any of the other grand sites you like that have been nominated. And have a grand spring week full of smiles.


Fun for grandparents whether at home or out and about at the Grand Social

Kaye Swain Keller Williams REALTOR University Place WA visits boomer and grandparent Kathryn Ross The Writers Reverie

University Place Washington REALTOR Kaye Swain loves to visit The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday

Beverly's Got tons of cute pink things each Saturday to put a smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


Church was such a sweet blessing today. The opening hymns were gorgeous, the communion and closing hymns were sweetly thought AND joy-provoking, and the sermon from the book of James was both educational and encouraging in so many ways. It touched on areas I need to work on and other areas I am working on with my grandkids. I love it when God gives me a nudge in the direction He wants me to go in sharing God’s Word with my sweet grandchildren. Here’s my latest iPhone Wallpaper verses:

Spring is bursting out in Pierce County Washington with bright blue skies and trees with gorgeous pink flowers 300.jpg

These will be a great reminder for me for the week as well as a handy way to share these encouraging words the next time I’m babysitting the grandchildren. What’s your favorite way to share encouraging quotes and Scriptures with your grandkids? We’d love to hear!


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


We are blessed to have a lot of geese and ducks and crows in Pierce County Washington - fun for Kaye Swain REALTOR® and my senior mom and YOUHappy Post-Daylight-Savings Time! I hope you’re adjusting to it better than I was this weekend! Between real estate clients, Sandwich Generation family fun, church, etc., it really snuck up on me this time. I did remember a few days ago, then promptly forgot. Saturday night, I thought of it again but by the time I woke up before my alarm rang, I looked at my phone instead of my watch and thought, “7 hours of sleep, that’s not bad.” and got up. Half way through my shower, I realized I had looked at NEW time. OLD time meant I was minus TWO hours of sleep – not great at all. Oyyyyyy!

Even nature seemed caught off guard by the time change! My senior mom and I heard the strangest sound outside about 8 or 9 a.m. My mom thought it was a zillion geese as we see them often around our neck of the woods in Pierce County. We went outside to check it out and found our evergreen trees were being swarmed by black crows all over the place. The noise was awesomely LOUD! I thought of all the stories you hear about animals knowing about earthquakes ahead of time and wondered if we were about to be hit by one. Hooray – no earthquake…THEN! (Hmmmm, maybe they were just a bit early, as there WAS a 6.9 earthquake off the California coast that night about 10 p.m.!!!). We headed back in and I looked online and discovered the bird swarming can be a regular occurrence in some places. Bothell Washington has thousands swarm around their town every night! Check out this video!

From that point on, I never seemed to catch up til lunch.  I was even late to church, but apparently I had plenty of time-change-lag compadres as there were plenty of empty seats down front. :)  In spite of the lack of sleep, I was really glad I went. It was a sweet blessing including grand worship and a thought-provoking sermon on the book of James about the tongue. There were some great things to learn AND to share with my grandchildren as well.

Speaking of sharing with grandkids, have I ever told you about the awesome audio Bible apps I have for them? For years they’ve enjoyed “The Little Kids Adventure Bible – NIrV” – that combines Bible stories, verses, and songs for kids. Here’s a link to the New Testament from Audible via Amazon. I believe I got the old testament from Audible as well. Now, my older grandson has taken a liking to the “Action Bible” audio app that can go with the printed “Action Bible” his younger brother loves, or stand alone – which is good as they each only like their own. Both of these are Bible stories rather than the actual Bible. You can get either from iTunes but be very careful to pick the right one. I got the wrong one first – it’s a reading Bible and I already had the books so we haven’t really used it though probably will eventually. This picture shows the audio version with a picture of Jesus and the all black cover is the reading – book version. They are both based on the same Bible book. :)

Two great Action Bible mobile apps for grandkids for Easter or whenever.jpg

I do read to them from my NIV and NASB Bibles but as they’re getting older I find they’ll listen longer to the audio Bible individually. So I was thrilled when I discovered my fave audio Bible app – the Go Bible – which is the Bible read normally,  also has a dramatized version for both the King James and the NIV. As far as I can tell, it reads the whole Bible – verse by verse (you can pick which book to read) but in the drama version, the quotes by people are spoken by different people with very different and dramatic voices and it’s like listening to a well-done audio book or radio play. It really holds your attention well.

I downloaded the free version of the book of John in NIV for both my grandkids AND my senior mom. She loves audio books and it’s easier for her than reading a book anymore. She has a hard time listening to the regular Bible audio as it is just simply read. I am sure this dramatized version will be great for her as well and I’m adding it to my iPad as I type. That’s definitely one of the advantages of the Sandwich Generation. Many resources overlap nicely for multigenerational use! :)  Do have a grand and peaceful rest of the week, and hopefully we will ALL be used to NEW time SOON!

P.S. Linking to the Grand Social and Spiritual Sunday.

P.P.S. If you wanted to get your own kids or grandkids the Action audio Bible, it also comes on CD. These are all grand ideas for Easter. :)


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


Words of encouragement to share with our loved ones – from the youngest grandkids to the oldest elderly great-grandparent.

Comforting and encouraging Bible Verses to share with our grandkids - elderly parents - clients - friends - and beyond




P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


To those of us in the Sandwich Generation it often seems like Grandkids grow up even faster than kids - driving permit round 2Exciting times for my Sandwich Generation world this last couple of weeks! My oldest grandchild got her DRIVER’S PERMIT !!! I’ve been blessed to be included in helping her practice driving. I wasn’t too sure I was ready to start that whole “student driver” up again but overall, it’s gone quite well. She got a cute smile when I called her Jeeves and explained that was coz she’d probably be “chauffering” me for the next year. :) As you may know, the state of Washington is famous for the rain that keeps us lovely and green (hence its nickname, the evergreen state of Washington!). We thought she’d get a chance to practice rain-driving this week, until a different kind of excitement intervened!

A dead battery!!!!  We came out to the car after lunch today, dripping from the rain falling, turned the key, a tiny blink of lights and then NOTHING. So instead of heading off for more practice driving, she got a grand lesson on how awesome AAA Roadside Assistance Club plans and staff are and how to deal with dead batteries or other car woes. But God is so good. We were running late this morning and had decided to go to third service instead of second service. So we had made good use of the 45 minutes waiting by practice driving then. I didn’t know what was coming, but God did! So she got SOME of her driving practice in today.

Add some colds to the mix and we have definitely had plenty of excitement this week. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a little less excitement next week, but if God has other plans for us, that’s OK too! :) How about you? Have you been practice driving with kids or grandkids lately? Any tips, ideas, or suggestions? We’d love to hear!


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


While visiting homes for sale in Pierce County Washington I shot this photo - perfect for these comforting and encouraging Bible verses for all of us boomers and seniors dealing with grief and loss issues

Life is a series of seasons. And each season of life has plenty of joys but also plenty of woes, though they can vary from other seasons. One thing I’m noticing about the season we boomers and seniors are in is that the woes we are praying for are more multigenerational than they’ve ever been. It makes sense, of course, as we know so many more people than we did in our teens and twenties.

Right now, I’m praying for so many beloveds – in my family, in my friends I’ve met across the states, and in my friends I’ve met online, including ten year olds about to have a minor surgical procedure and fighting a nasty bug, a sweet loved one a bit older than me who is preparing to join her beloved senior, the elderly mom of another friend who is recovering from a fall injury and took yet another tumble, the elderly friend of my own elderly mom who is dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease, friends of my grandkids dealing with friend issues… The list never ends.

It’s a sign of our times and I’m so grateful I know exactly Who to go to with all these issues. I give them to God and praise Him for so many Yeses, along with plenty of Noes and Waits. I’ve spent the last 30+ years taking 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and Proverbs 3:5-6 and Romans 8:28 seriously and God has never let me down in the process. It’s been excellent training for what appears to be even more prayer needs coming up in the coming decades.

And what joy to know that regardless of how long we are here on earth, those of us who have received the awesome gift Jesus Christ offers to ALL the world (John 3:16) will truly be celebrating life and NO MORE WOES for eternity in heaven.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth ; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes ; and there will no longer be any death ; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain ; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.  Revelation 21:1-7

I don’t know about you, but I can NOT wait. Though I WILL wait on HIS perfect timing, knowing that to live is Christ and to die is gain! Have a blessed and beautiful week knowing that no matter how many issues you and/or your loved ones are dealing with including grief and loss, God is powerful, prayer is powerful, and eternity is AWESOME in His hands! :)

Spiritual Sundays are full of encouraging and comforting BIble verses and praise music to lift the hearts of the Sandwich Generation

Fun for grandparents whether at home or out and about at the Grand Social


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


A lovely day full of snow - good sermons - and silent peace for this REALTOR® in Pierce County Washington and her elderly senior momIt’s a beautiful and lushly silent snowy day here in Pierce County, Washington and beyond. I’m hoping our roads will be a bit less slushy and slippery in a couple of hours so my granddaughter and I can go to church together. It’s a bit iffy right now. But my senior mom will be fine as she enjoys church on her iPad, enjoying a modern version of Paul’s words in Romans 10:16-18, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

For many elderly seniors, church on TV has long been a tremendous blessing. It’s harder for them to get out and about. Plus they may not be able to sit for a prolonged period of time. Getting to join in the singing and sermons via TV keeps them close and connected to friends and family plus helps them to continue to grow in the teachings of the Lord.

Of course,nowadays TV has plenty of company – like computers, smart phones, and Tablets like my elderly mom’s iPad. Many times, those are just the sermons. But some churches offer the music as well. And some churches even have a live streaming option at the normal time they have their own services – giving you even more of the feel of “being there.” This can be a special blessing for those sweet elders who have attended their church for years and can no longer attend in person. (It’s also grand for women in the last few days before having a baby who aren’t able to make it, parents and kids who are sick at home with one bug after another, families dealing with special needs, etc.) Hopefully, more and more churches will offer a wide variety of options.

One caution when you are adding a church (or any other app) to your senior parent’s iPad. Make sure you test drive it thoroughly to ensure it works without glitches and hiccups. I put a website on my mom’s iPad – it’s an “app that is coming” so they have you save it to the screen. The only problem – I couldn’t get it to turn off! Very odd. I don’t know if that was a one time thing but I DO know that would totally confuse my mom, so into the trash it went – virtually. There are plenty of other great options for her!

The iPad is a great tool to bless our senior parents. My mom is still not able to do a lot with hers. But she continues to enjoy pictures of her grandkids and great-grandkids, listening to music and audio books, as well as excellent sermons from our two favorite pastors. A sweet blessing, indeed!

P.S. Our Pierce County roads (at least, the ones on my street) are still snowier than I like, so off to my iPhone for my own grand sermon. Happy Sunday to y’all – in AND out of the Sandwich Generation! :)


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


A valentine bookmark for young and old -Have a blessed Valentines DayWOW! Can you believe it’s FEBRUARY!!!! This year has jet skis on! I know, I say that every year! What can I say – time flies when you’re having fun and I am, indeed, having fun. Including with my sweet grandkids, one of whom got to spend the night last night. We had a fun time with Gin Rummy and Crazy Eights, along with talking about the story of Adam and Eve and God’s redeeming love for the whole world. It was AWESOME! He’s pretty much outgrown a lot of the cute Valentine-y cards and bookmarks I made for them to give a few years ago, but if you have grandkids who still enjoy them, click here and enjoy printing and downloading a bigger copy of the cute bookmark pix at top. You’ll find it in my article,  Sunday Smiles: Valentine’s Day Fun To Help With Bible Memory Verses. :)

And not only are we celebrating Valentine’s Day in the next couple of weeks. The OLYMPICS is back! And I have a fun guest post from Leslie Petersen about one of the contestants who has been homeschooling for years. I thought you and your grandkids might enjoy it just for fun – and especially any of you who are also homeschoolers. :)


Sage Kotsenburg Makes 2014 U.S. Olympic Snowboarding Team and Heads to Russia

Rock Rapids, Iowa (February 3, 2014) – Alpha Omega Academy (AOA) congratulates alumnus Sage Kotsenburg on being selected to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Sage, who graduated from AOA in 2011, will represent the U.S.A. on the snowboarding team and compete in slopestyle events at the Olympic Games.

An accredited online academy offering more than 150 Christian courses for students in grades K-12, AOA has been a big part of the Kotsenburg family’s life. Living in Park City, UT with three children who competitively snowboard, AOA offered the flexibility the family needed to help their children accomplish their dreams.

The slopestyle event that Sage will be participating in features a course in which the goal of the competitors is to execute a variety of difficult tricks with style and amplitude. The 2014 Winter Olympics will be the debut of slopestyle in both skiing and snowboarding. Kotsenburg made his U.S. Open debut at the age of 12 and has been placed in a number of prestigious events around the world throughout his career.

“My husband and I are both thankful and thrilled that Sage will be able to share his passion and talent for snowboard slopestyle to the world,” said Carol Ann Kotsenburg. “It has been a wild and wonderful ride that our children have taken us on through snowboarding. We are truly blessed.”

Sage is just one of many alumni who have received a solid Christian education through AOA that fulfilled his academic needs while allowing him the schedule flexibility to follow his professional dreams, including his snowboarding siblings, Blaze (who graduated from AOA in 2009) and Kirra (currently a senior at AOA), who were able to enjoy a Bible-based curriculum that met their educational requirements and aligned with their spiritual beliefs.


UPDATE 2/8/14

Just wanted to let you know that Sage won the very first Gold medal for America on this Snowboard Slopestyle run. HOORAY. :) Here’s a fun video I found of him snowboarding at the age of 14 (he’s now 20). Enjoy!


As I told Leslie, I remember what a grand reputation Alpha and Omega had back when I first started homeschooling and that continues to this day. I have to say, this post brought back such fun memories from when my kids were young. And now I’m looking forward to sharing this with my own grandkids today. Yup, I’m definitely having plenty of fun with grandkids – young and old. And looking forward to the snowboarding and ice skating events in particular. What Olympic sports are you and your grandchildren looking forward to?

P.S. If you’d like more fun Valentine’s Day ideas for young and old, click here, and enjoy many past posts on just that topic, including some with free printables.  Also, I am linking up with the All Things Valentines at Apron Strings as well as Lisa’s Grand Social for Grandparents – both are full of fun Valentine’s Day ideas as well. :)

Fun for grandparents whether at home or out and about at the Grand Social



P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


It’s been a lovely week full of sunny days and I think we are even flirting with a record or two for highs around 50 yesterday in my neck of the Pierce County Washington woods. :)  My senior mom and I have thoroughly enjoyed walks the last three-four days, which is when I snapped this gorgeous photo.

Love the sunshine in Pierce County Washington and love the SONshine in Psalm 108

My grandkids got to show off their bike riding, roller skating, and skate boarding talents to me yesterday and I didn’t even have to wear a second jacket! WOOHOO!

And for those of you reading this who are going through record temps in the opposite direction, thanks to all the awful blizzards, ice storms, and snow upon snow, please know you’re in my prayers. It’s definitely a tough season full of challenges for so many of you!

I enjoyed these verses from Psalm 108 yesterday in my daily Bible study and was so grateful for them!  Whether it’s wild and crazy storms raging outside or wild and crazy personal and/or emotional life storms that many caring for elderly parents know all to well, it’s such a blessing to stay focused on the Word of God and His promises and will for us.

As I shared in my real estate blog at ActiveRain, David wrote this psalm when he was NOT in a place of peace. In verse 12, he prayed, “Oh give us help against the adversary for deliverance by man is vain.” In my daily reading, I have been working through 1 Samuel and just started 2 Samuel where Saul, along with David’s best friend Jonathan, were killed in battle. You would think David would have jumped for joy when his enemy, Saul, died. But instead, he chose to keep his eyes focused on God and His will and truly mourned for Saul and handled that situation with grace and mercy. What a grand example for us all, including grandkids when they get into a bit of a tiff with friends or siblings. :) And what an encouragement for all of us when we are juggling any variety of storms in our lives – real, emotional, or….

Whatever you are dealing with in the midst of your Sandwich Generation journey this week, I pray that you would be encouraged by His Words from Psalm 108:

My heart is steadfast, O God, I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul…Thy lovingkindness is great above the heavens; and Thy truth reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Thy glory above all the earth…THROUGH GOD WE SHALL DO VALIANTLY and it is He Who will tread down our adversaries. 

Talk about good news for all of us – in AND out of the Sandwich Generation.

P.S.  Charlotte at Spiritual Sunday, Barbi at My Freshly Brewed Life and fellow grandma, Janis Cox, of Sunday Stillness have more words (and pictures) of encouragement to share with us. Lisa always has grand posts with fun ideas from and for fellow grandparents at Grandma’s Briefs. And wait til you see the lovely blue ideas from Kathryn and Anything Blue Friday at the Dedicated House. Bet there’s something there to enjoy working on, no matter what the weather is like! Have a TERRIFIC week!


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


Gods comfort when we are grappling with the issues of grief and lossThe Broncos are going to the Super Bowl and many of my friends and family are celebrating while many others are grieving. Of course, that kind of grief is, generally, mild and fleeting. Sadly, in the last several months, I have also had several friends who are grieving for a whole different reason. They have lost a beloved friend or family member. Some of these deaths were expected. Others were out of the blue! I’ve gone through this more than once and in both ways. It’s not fun and it’s not easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things we can ever go through. I lost over 15 pounds in two weeks when my husband died unexpectedly. I just couldn’t handle food. I’d eat a couple of bites here or there to keep me going for the sake of my kids, grandkids, senior parents and friends. But the feeling in my stomach that just wouldn’t go away didn’t let much food in.

It’s been almost ten years since my dad passed away and longer than that since I lost my sweet husband. For those of you just now going through this difficult journey, I can tell you that it DOES get easier. Not quickly. But bit by bit, minute by minute, month by month, and even year by year, it gets better. I’m not the only one to say that either. So please know that’s another part of the grieving process.

Everyone handles grief in different ways. I’ve shared before and am sharing again what I did. It was a blessing for me. You might find different ways. PLEASE KNOW, no matter WHO says WHAT (and there will probably be plenty of whos saying plenty of things :) ), generally speaking, there is NO right or wrong way to grieve. Whether you sit in a chair and weep for days, get up and clean the house five times in a week, work on a photo album of your loved one to remember them OR a photo album with NO pictures of your loved one to take your mind to other places or find some other way to deal with this season of life, those are all OK.

Some of the things I did to help myself during the process were:

  1. I clung harder than ever to God. He has long been my rock and my refuge and never more so than in the midst of these difficult journeys. I made sure I spent time daily in His Word, even when I didn’t feel up to it – even if just for a minute here and a minute there.
  2. Someone brought us a big deli plate of cheese and meat slices the first night. That was such a sweet blessing. As I said, I just couldn’t sit down and eat. But I could grab a piece of cheese or a slice of meat periodically. It kept me going until I could start getting back to my regular routines.
  3. I love to listen to music in the car and occasionally in the house. But for the first six months after losing my husband, I kept all my favorite Christian praise and worship music playing constantly. It kept me centered on Him and filled my heart and mind with His Word throughout the day, whether I was always aware of it or not.
  4. By a miracle, I discovered – I don’t know for sure but I think it was not too long after they started. At the time, as I recall, they just had a simple Bible study on grief that I printed out and worked on every day. It was truly a blessing to me. When my dad passed away, I revisited their site and discovered they now had an awesome and free option of receiving an email every day from them. These emails are devotionals with Scripture, words and verses of encouragement, and books on grief and loss that they recommend. You don’t have to buy them. If you do buy them, you don’t have to buy from them. I have since bought several they have shared and they’ve all been excellent. I cannot recommend highly enough!
  5. Being a reader, I did find several excellent books on grief and loss on my own and through friends’ recommendations. I read many. I learned, cried, applied, and grew in the process.
  6. Whenever someone invited me out for lunch, dinner, or coffee, I said yes. I did that because of the recommendation from a couple of the books I had read. Each time I felt better. Both because of the companionship AND because I was able to comfort each of them over their own situations as I was walking through this time of loss.  As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:2-5, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” That is so true, even when we might be in the midst of suffering, as well as later.
  7. Based on excellent recommendations from several books and friends, I purposed to make no major changes in that first year. Not all can do that. Sometimes a sudden death means you have to move which makes things even more difficult. But God is good and will help us and guide us through that if He has allowed it. In my case, we stayed busy and continued with things we’d already started. But we made no major life changes that first year and I am so grateful for the excellent advice.
  8. Being a writer (and a talker) I’m very big on communication. I felt that it was vital to touch base with all my closest family often to see how they were doing, to talk about our loved one, and to share thoughts of them with each other. For us, it was a blessing and again, I’m so glad I did that.

These were the main things I did during those difficult time periods. I’m sure there were more things, but these are what I remember the most vividly as being a blessing and a help for us. Now, I hope and pray they will be a blessing and a help for you when you may go through a sad and lonely season of grief and loss. Please know that you are never alone. As Hebrews 13:5 reminds us, “God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” He is always there for us and with us. What joy is in that thought! Blessings!

P.S. Another good resource that I didn’t know about back then are all the excellent Christian blogs full of Christian encouragement, including Charlotte’s Spiritual Sunday. Whether you go there just to read posts or to share thoughts, they can be a big help – especially to those who might not be able to get out and about easily! :)



P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.


Who Says You Can’t Teach an Old(er) Grandparent New Games!

It may be chilly outside but there’s plenty of fun games for grandparents and grandkids to enjoy – like Stratego and Gin Rummy.

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