Woohoo! It's that time again! Time for the annual ULTIMATE BLOG PARTY hosted each year by 5 Minutes for Mom. For fellow twitter users – it's known as the #UBP13. I started attending a few months after I began SandwichINK (WOW! Can you believe that was almost FIVE YEARS AGO – this August is SandwichINK's FIFTH BIRTHDAY!). So that makes this my fourth time at the par-tay! Each year, I've met fun new-to-me grandparents and caregivers and even some fellow Sandwich Generation-ers, as well as many other great bloggers and writers with wonderful resources and ideas to help us in this Sandwich Generation journey! And I'm sure this year holds even more fun so join us, won't you.
A bit of an introduction to those from the Ultimate Blog Party who are new to SandwichINK. I am a "Sandwich Generation granny nanny." I love to visit my long distance grandkids one-three times during the year as well as frequently babysitting my local grandchildren, helping them with various homeschooling projects, enjoying many fun physical activities inside and out – from tennis to swimming to roller skating, along with plenty of grand inside games and projects including checkers (boy, can they BEAT ME BIG TIME), Carcassonne (I'm better at that ), computer games like Minecraft and Webkinz, and lots and lots and LOTS of reading out loud.
My senior mom lives with me. She enjoys spending brief but delightful quality time with these great-grandkids – especially when she can include them in her beloved gardening activities, as well as keeping in touch with all of her great-grandchildren, writing them and sending them cute greeting cards throughout the year. She has been experiencing some health challenges over the past three years and we work together to help her with those as well as caring for the grandkids. As we love to say, we make a great team.
Combining caregiving my senior mom and other aging relatives long distance with such up-close-and-personal babysitting of grandkids puts me squarely in the Sandwich Generation – which was the term coined by Carol Abaya to describe the various types of multigenerational caregiving that so many of us do throughout our lives (this is my third season of being in the Sandwich Generation).
I love to share resources and ideas to help all of us grandparents and caregivers – in AND out of the Sandwich Generation – as we walk this fun, exhausting, challenging, rewarding journey of life together. Nowadays, I generally write three articles per week – one focusing on caring for aging parents and relatives, one centered around kids and grandkids – usually with a focus on fun and educational ideas, and one full of encouraging Bible verses or praise and worship music – to lift our spirits, encourage our seniors, and be proactive as we work towards leaving a sweet spiritual legacy of God's love in the hearts and minds of our loved ones, including those sweet grandkids!
We'd love to have you join us each week. You can subscribe to the free weekly update of newsletters by clicking here as well as join in the fun at Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter (be sure to join us twice a month on Wednesdays for #ElderCareChat).
Since this is a PARTY, I wanted to share some "party favors" with y'all – some of the fun and new iPhone apps (most are probably available for the Android as well) that my senior mom has on her iPad or that my grandkids and I are currently enjoying on my two iPhones (the second one is an old one that is now full of grandkid games.). Many are free, and all are useful, like:
- Fast Camera – this has been a hit with ALL ages. My grandkids think it's a hoot that they can take a zillion pictures in just a few seconds. My kids and I love that we can take a bunch of pictures at once of a moving object – meaning we are now more likely to get a good smile on the face of a child/grandchild – or a cuter picture of one of my granddogs.
- NewsFlash – being a bit of a news junkie, and with all the crazy things going on in the world, this has been a great addition to my other news apps (Drudge Report, Newser, and Hourly News (a 10 minute verbal news update from NPR – great when driving). I'm going to add these to my senior mom's iPad this week as I get my love of news shows from her.
- AppsGoneFree – I have a TON of grand apps and keep looking for more – enough so, that I've had to put myself on a bit of an app-spending diet. Thanks to this great app, I can now check daily for FREE APPS – have fun, check out the newest offerings and NOT spend a PENNY! I LOVE THAT – as do my kids and grandkids when I give them a heads up on a freeby that is right up their alley. (Yup, I have grand-teens and tweens with their own iTouches!)
- Tic Tac Toe Phonics – two of my local grandkids and I LOVE this app. We have fun playing tic tac toe AND they get good practice in reading, sounding out words, and spelling.
- Sushi Monster – This is a fun and educational Scholastic math app – that even my grand-teen enjoyed one day, though it's probably geared primarily for 1st-5th graders. Another fun math one that my younger grandkids love is Marble Math!
- South Surfers – With mega water and beach lovers, it's not too surprising that my grandsons love this surfing game app!
- IKEA – My senior mom was thrilled when she discovered that IKEA has a catalog app for her iPad. She would love to visit one of the stores but it's several hours away and once there, I doubt she could see much of their HUGE stores. But with this handy little app, she can let her fingers do the walking for her!
- Rail Maze – Got kids or grandkids who love mazes? My grandkids enjoy this app and I bet yours might as well! (I just have the basic version.)
- GoBible – I think this is the most expensive apps I have – but it's well worth it! It's the NIV Bible in audio. I pick where I want to go, and it reads the Bible to me from that point. It's a great addition to my Bible app collection that includes Laridian PocketBible to read and Calvary Chapel Philadelphia's app with the excellent verse by verse Bible studies I love to listen to. With free time a rarity in this Sandwich Generation season of life, I now do most of my Bible studies in the car, listening – learning – growing as I drive to and from grandkids and senior mom. These apps are a huge blessing to me and definitely keep me going, in Him!
- Carcassonne and Words With Friends – Oldies AND goldies for my family and me. They're fun, brain-exercising, and both have message options that help me keep in close and fun contact with some special people in my life, in spite of how busy most of us are! I wish I'd had these a few decades ago when my parents and I were several states away!
Well, those are just SOME of the zillion apps I have and appreciate. How about you? Got any favorites to share with us? We'd love to hear. Enjoy your party favors, have a lovely Ultimate Blog Party 2013, including their Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter linkys, and thank you so much for visiting SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation!
Be sure to leave a comment below to say howdy!
P.S. Don't forget…
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. Thank you.