babysitting grandchildren

Lent and Easter blessings to the Sandwich GenerationHow's your week been? Mine's been full of prayer requests and prayers – some answered, some still on hold, sibling rivalry and sibling love, busy and crazy, busy and quiet, and God's sweet encouragement woven all through it – pretty normal for me, which means nothing normal at all! 🙂  Such is life in my Sandwich Generation family!

One thing that has been an extra special blessing to my heart this past week, as Easter drawers ever closer, was prayerfully considering the number of yeses to prayer that I've been blessed with compared to the number of waits or noes…and yes, though it's hard to say – let alone type, those noes are blessings too. 

Even when it means a dear one's prodigal child still is wandering, a beloved friend's illness has taken a turn for the worse, issues I'm dealing with are still there in full…  How can I say that? 

The Word of God - full of encouraging Bible verses like Romans 8 28   300

Because God reminded me, yet again, of a precious Scripture I learned decades ago. Romans 8:28.  

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

This morning, as I prayed in my prayer closet (translation – the shower), for dear friends living on opposite ends of the country and the common grief they were sharing, I was again reminded of this TRUTH that God has proven to me, time after time. 

When a precious child went home to heaven much too early. 

When financial issues threatened to overwhelm us. 

When my beloved husband joined our little one in heaven.

And the long list goes on….and on…and on…

Through it all, God has been there with me, every step of the way. Holding me, loving me, caring for me, answering every prayer – many with yes, many with no or wait, always with great love. 

Christ endured the cross for all of us - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - through it we can live IN HIM

As I prayed with thanksgiving this morning for this precious reminder and the memories of the past 30+ years of walking hand in hand with my beloved Savior – not always perfectly, but always IN HIS righteousness – I was also reminded of a time in Jesus' life 

When He prayed and received a definitive NO. 

When He walked in sorrow and grief – but all alone. 

When He gave up everything so that we might have everything IN HIM. 

When He did it all so that Romans 8:28 would truly truly be alive and working in the lives of ALL who love Him. 

What a precious gift to each of us. What a joy to pass this gift on to our beloveds, including the generations to come – our children…our grandchildren. And what a blessing if we see Christ's love shining back at us in their faces.

But even if that moment tarries, we can trust the God Who created the world, then loved the world so much He died for it – for us. We can trust Him as we wait on Him. And as we in the Sandwich Generation know well, waiting can become a way of life for months or years to come. Aren't we glad we have our Savior right there with us in the midst of it all? 

A Pause in Lent - Praise and worship music and words of encouragement for the Sandwich Generation elder caregivers and grandparents

Rednesday adds a fun seasoning to the day of the Sandwich Generation caring for elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren

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


Spiritual Sundays are full of devotionals with encouraging Bible verses to bless the Sandwich Generation boomers and seniors busy caring for the elderly parents while babysitting grandchildren

My grandkids enjoyed creating a one room house ala Abraham Lincolns first homeThe online Minecraft game continues to be the most popular thing going in our Sandwich Generation homes this week! My grandkids are currently building tree houses and, WOW! They look GRAND! With the fun, comes new cause for sparring, though. And, as always, that leads this grandma to research educational uses to nudge them in positive play activities.

It's not that easy. They'd rather do free play in their worlds than directed play. But if it's a choice between NO Minecraft time this afternoon or directed, they will usually choose the latter. 

One idea I had this week was to have them listen to their homework, including the timeline they are working on, and pick something from those subject to build online.

Since we are studying the major events preceding the Civil War, with that topic coming next week, one grandchild chose to recreate Abraham Lincoln's one-room home in Kentucky where he was born. Then he and his brother each started working on the much larger home President Lincoln lived in many years later, complete with a three-hole outhouse. He did a great job and we ALL learned new facts about homes back then (I had never heard of an outhouse having multiple seats – had you? 🙂 ).

One of the grandchildren tried to put a "burning fireplace" in his but his house "burned down." That gave us the chance to talk about fire safety in the real world, as well as learn the tricks to building a fireplace that burns safely in a Minecraft world.

After much practice my grandchildren figured out how to make a fireplace that did not burn their Minecraft house down

The youngest grandson decided to work on the various types of an ocean floor. It was very simplistic but we discussed the different types as he worked, and hopefully helped to cement the information into his brain a bit tighter. 

These turned out to be fun projects for all of us, though I doubt we'll do them more than once a week. And frankly, I always prefer one-on-one for something like this. It makes for fewer distractions and getting sidetracked. Still and all, I was quite pleased with our first "educational foray" into the fun world of Minecraft.

How about you? Have you tried using Minecraft for educational purposes? Got any helps, hints, tips, or links to share with us? We'd love to hear! 

Such fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grandparents Say It Saturday Linky Party - Do Join in the fun

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social

Hip Homeschool Hop has great resources for grandparents and grandchildren - especially if you help with their homeschooling

Peaceful Scriptures and Praise music relax my heart and my spiritAs a very busy and involved Sandwich Generation granny nanny and caregiver, I have plenty of good days and bad days. For that matter, I can have good moments followed by bad moments followed by good moments followed by bad moments…. I am constantly having to turn to God and ask Him to keep me going, keep encouraging me, keep lifting my spirits – and He does it so wonderfully! 

This week I was especially blessed twice over. First, I was having a bit of discouragement over something that, in retrospect, was pretty trivial. But boy, the devil loves to rub our noses in those minor things and make us think they're way bigger than they are, doesn't he? I trudged up the stairs, praying specifically for God to keep me going along the path I KNOW He has called me to and to encourage me as I did so. And I prayed for Him to let me see His angel armies in a special way. (Yup, I LOVE the new song, Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin).

Immediately I was so blessed by a sweet sense of His love and encouragement, which was quickly followed by my walking into the room only to be wonderfully greeted at that very moment by just that song! What an intimate love He has for each of us. The God who so perfectly and delicately and delightfully created our wonderful world and filled it with all manner of lush beauty, intriguing (and often downright funny and adorable) animals, and intricate and exciting new mysteries for us like DNA is the same God Who promised He would never leave us or forsake us and that we could bring ALL our cares to Him – always and forever. Talk about awesome love. Not to mention the BEST Valentine's gift ever – all year round! 

What a lovely treat for me. And, I pray, a wonderful encouragement for all of you as well – in AND out of the Sandwich Generation. 

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

My elderly mom loves iPad Netflix apps that allow her to enjoy Magnum again -smDon’t you love it when you find a great tool with plenty of multigenerational uses – perfect for our many Sandwich Generation needs? My senior mom’s iPad is definitely one of those tools I am appreciating more every day!

My mom continues to enjoy her photo app that enables her to look at photos of her many beloved great-grandchildren. And I’ve stuffed it full of some of her favorite audio books. She still struggles with remembering which button does what, particularly since they aren’t always consistent from one program to another. For example, I have an arrow pointing to the button that starts and stops her iTunes audio player. However, if she accidentally hits the button that takes her out of the playlist page, the arrow doesn’t do her any good. Overall, though, she is doing better and really enjoys it.

The arrow pointing down - top left - points to the stop and start button for my elderly moms ipad itunes app   The arrow is not useful for the main page of the iPad but when my senior mom uses her iPad iTunes app - it is great

She has been blessed with a sharing heart in so many ways and that includes the iPad. So we have also loaded it with several of the best kids game apps so the grandkids can sometimes use it when she isn’t. We’ve even added an app of her favorite board game, Chinese Checkers, to play with the grandkids when she gets brave enough. I keep telling her that playing games is one of the best ways to learn a computer. She hasn’t tried it yet, but soon, I hope.

BB Checkers is a fun app for Chinese Checkers - a great game for grandma and grandkids alike

And now, she is doubly thrilled with her iPad. Thanks to Jenn Fowler of Frugal Upstate, I found out that Netflix streaming video has several of the older TV shows our family has enjoyed through the years like MacGyver, Rockford Files, and one that my senior mom had just asked about – Magnum P.I. When I added the Netflix to her iPad, linked to my account, and let her watch Magnum, she was so happy. It reminded her of wonderful vacations she and my dad had enjoyed in Hawaii. What a treat for her!

MacGyver is a new fave for my grandkids and an old fave for this baby boomer and my senior mom

And what a treat for the grandkids and me to occasionally borrow it to watch some educational shows we like as well as test drive MacGyver (while not perfect, it’s better than a lot of things currently available on TV and my oldest grandson and I really enjoyed watching it together).

This Sandwich Generation granny nanny loves educational shows for the grandkids

Multigenerational fun, via the iPad, is a treat for us all and a BIG help for an uber busy Sandwich Generation caregiver. It can often lead to a few minutes of peace and quiet while cuddling a loved one or letting them listen while we’re off working. How about you? Got any special shows you watch on Netflix? We’d love to hear.

Such fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grandparents Say It Saturday Linky Party - Do Join in the fun

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social