grandkids

Have you ever noticed how the Sandwich Generation seasons can ebb and flow as time goes by.

The Sandwich Generation issues are tough but love can see us through

The Sandwich Generation Issues Began Early

I first entered the Sandwich Generation when helping with my elderly grandmother while my mom was working full-time. So I spent many days out overseeing grandma with my 1 year – mostly at home, but sometimes in hospital waiting room when grandpa was sick.

Sandwich Generation Issues with Neighbor

Later, I was kinda sorta in the Sandwich Generation for a couple of years while helping an adopted grandma (our next-door neighbor) after her husband died while raising 3 kids under 6. We loved her mightily and enjoyed helping her, bringing her home-made bread and taking her to the grocery store, doctor’s and the occasional bridge game.

Long-Distance Sandwich Generation Caregiving

Next on the list of Sandwich Generation issues? It was my step-mom-in-law in Southern California when we were in Northern California. Distance does add to the challenge. We were able to match her up with another senior relative – and they lived together for a few years, with us just overseeing them. It was a true blessing for both as they literally saved each other’s lives at least once each! (Not quite a Golden Girls scenario, but similar.)

One of the many tools of the Sandwich Generation caregiver along with elastic waist pants canes and more

Sandwich Generation to the Max

My dad and mom and I rejoined the Sandwich Generation when they moved closer to us just as my first grandkid was born. First it was just helping a bit here and there, then walking daily and supervising regularly as my senior dad‘s Parkinson’s Disease progressed. And finally, they moved in with us for the last six months of my dad’s life. Since then, mom and I have made a “good team” as we like to say, helping each other while I helped with many more sweet grandkids. Her health is not as great as before along with other issues, but we’re doing ok.

More Long Distance Sandwich Generation Issues

The latest Sandwich Generation chapter has begun with a sweet elderly relative several states away while I am currently enjoying helping with my newest grandbaby. She has been having major health woes and will most likely be moving into assisted living or a skilled nursing facility. Those will entail new challenges for both of us. And new learning opportunities to share with y’all. I’ll keep you posted. (And YES – any advice and suggestions are welcome as well – either in the comments or at our Facebook page – @SandwichINKforTheSandwichGeneration.)

Kaye

I was going to title this “Fun Valentines, Free Printables and More for the Grandkids” but stopped. I just sent out a boatload of Valentines to grandkids, friends, and neighbors. My senior mom has been sending Valentines and other holiday cards faithfully until just the past year or so (hence my boatload, as I step up to help her with that 🙂 ).

One of my elderly moms greeting cards for grandkids

Greeting Card Joys

Fun Valentines and other cards are sweet joys for all ages. Whether you send them via email, snail mail, or even create them on the computer but then send them in the mail, they are fun to prepare and even more fun to receive.

Fun Valentines and More

Thanks to Tiny Prints, I have a special surprise for you! Free printables and adorable Valentine ideas galore!

They have a post with a ton of Valentine coloring pages. You can use them at home for the grandkids to decorate and hang up. Or wouldn’t they be a cute way to send a letter to an elderly relative or two. They can color one side and write a short note on the other. For that matter, you could print out two – one for them to decorate and one to include for the recipient to have fun coloring. Hmmmm, my college beloveds would love something like that, I bet!  They’ve commented coloring pages can be a good stress relief after the finals are done!  🙂

Fun Valentines and Coloring Pages via Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR and TinyPrints

Tiny Prints also has a fun post all about making Valentine boxes. But they don’t have to be JUST for Valentines. Wouldn’t this cute Monster Valentine box be fun to some of the grandkids toys, cars, dinosaurs, etc. in?  So fun to use and from the looks of it, very easy to make too!

Kaye Swain Roseville Real Estate Agent Grandmother Caregiver sharing adorable Monster Valentine Box

 

Be sure to take lots of photos – while you’re having fun creating, and once you’ve got the fun Valentines and the Valentine box done. And be sure to visit Tiny Prints’ post, Free Valentine’s Day Printables For Kids, where you can download cute props for fun photos along with pencil top Valentines, coloring pages, bookmarks and more.

Fun Valentines and photo props for grandkids via Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR

 

However you decide to use these fun and FREE printables from TinyPrints.com, you and your grandkids are bound to have fun. Bet you and your senior parents might as well. 🙂  And many thanks to TinyPrints for graciously sharing these with us. A sweet delight indeed!

Encouraging Love

Christian blogger Kaye Swain shares Encouraging Scripture pictures

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU

Spring is COMING via Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! And for those spring and autumn fans like me, take courage – SPRING IS COMING (as this coloring book reminded me) and so is the time change (on March 12).   🙂

Kaye

P.S. Get free SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation updates directly in your email box. Just click here. 🙂

 

Christmas Tree Grove Fun in Roseville

Oh me! Oh my! Oh Happy Christmas Tree Fun! Roseville Real Estate Agent Kaye Swain sharing Roseville Christmas Tree Downtown Square Last year, I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas Tree Grove my sweet city of Roseville CA hosts every year as part of their multi-day holiday celebration fun that also includes the lighting of our majestic Downtown Square Christmas Tree.  I decided then that I wanted to do a Christmas tree for 2016 to celebrate the many grand joys of Roseville (can you tell I love my city! 🙂 ).

Kaye Swain Roseville real estate agent sharing Roseville California Joys Christmas Grove Tree

Christmas Tree Ornament Fun

While visiting one set of grandkids who had come to see me a few months earlier, I asked if they would like to help me and they gleefully said “YES!” Thanks to Michaels Craft Store, I was able to find a ton of adorable wooden ornaments. Some reflected the many things we love about Roseville – birds, children and grandchildren, dogs and granddogs, cats and grandcats, homes and keys to homes, and more. Others were chalkboard tags that let us write even more fun things like the great parks we have here – TONS – over 70!!!!! Walking trails! Cute critters like egrets, turkeys, coyotes, skunks, cows, horses…. So many fun things to love.

Christian Blogger REALTOR Kaye Swain West Roseville CA

We had a blast coloring, painting, talking, thinking, and more. It was a two or three day project while their parents were away enjoying time alone (a great gift we grandparents can share with our families and a great investment in the health and well-being of our kids marriages and our grandkids families! 😉 )

When we were done, I carefully packed everything up and brought it home and put it in my bookcase. I got the biggest smile every time I’d see those packages.

November finally arrived and it was time to get cracking at finishing the project. I spent several nights tying fish line hangers and gluing cute clothespins to the backs of ornaments to help attach them all. My youngest granddaughter there had finished a delightful red crocheted garland for me and it arrived safely.

Christmas tree ornaments my grandchildren made

Christmas Tree Decorating Fun

Finally December arrived and it was the day to decorate. And what fun. I got to meet new friends and see old friends from Roseville. I had a great time in crisp, chill, sunny weather decorating the tree. Later, it was time to head back for the fun, festivities, judging and awards ceremony. So many cute little and big kids were there. Good friends from our neighborhood to greet. My local beloved family came! I even got to meet fun folks like Mr Grinch, Cindy Lou, and Santa Claus. Too fun!

Kaye Swain Roseville Real Estate Agent meeting the Grinch with Cindy Lou

Christmas Tree Grove Award

And oh my! There were so many lovely trees this year – all were a true delight. So you can imagine my shock, surprise, and joy when they called my name. My grandkids and my tree had won Most Spirited! HOW AWESOME! And how COOL to share the excitement with my sweet grandkids (THANK YOU AGAIN KIDDOS!).

Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR shares Christmas Tree winners

Christmas Tree Future Fun

One of the many sweet memories I shall treasure this year, that’s for sure! Of course, I made sure there were plenty of photos to share with my senior mom on her iPad! And yes! I’m already looking forward to next year – for both the Christmas Tree fun AND for more creative and gaming activities with sweet grandchildren, near and far! Sweet joys, indeed! And I’m so grateful to God for all these sweet gifts!  🙂

Sweet Gifts From God!

Roseville REALTOR Kaye Swain praises God great week great prize

 

Kaye

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Joys


kaye-swain-roseville-real-estate-agent-sharing-honeywell-portable-heater

Happy Thanksgiving! Can you believe it’s here this week! We just enjoyed our Roseville Holiday Parade with both Thanksgiving and Christmas themes throughout. It was a sweet delight in spite of the rain that started just before the parade started! The kids and adults in it were such troupers! Cheery all the way in the midst of falling raindrops – lots of them! And I had fun taking photos of all – though I did stay under an eave for most of it.

Heater Woes

Last weekend started off a bit bumpy. Our heater quit working! It took a while to get if fixed too! With an elderly mom, a cute new grand baby, and winter weather fast approaching (including a cold spell that started that day), that was a definite concern! Unfortunately, it happened over the weekend so I headed out to Walmart and picked up a Honeywell electric heater to tide us over. That had worked well for us a few years ago with a similar situation.

I specifically looked for a heater that:

  • Had an adjustable thermostat
  • Cool touch carry handle
  • 360 degree tip over protection (if it gets tipped, it turns off)
  • Overheat protection

I wound up buying a Honeywell 60 Degree Surround Fan Forced Heater with Surround Heat Output. It is small and has to stay fairly close. But it was a safe and welcome help for my senior mom. And it would have worked well for grandbaby as well (with total supervision, of course) if we’d needed it. But hooray. The next day, we got a great guy out to work on the heater. He quickly discovered the failing part in the heater and was able to have it replaced and back to work the same day!

Thermostat FAIL

Want to know the best part about all this? When the heater stopped working properly,  I first thought it was the thermostat. The existing thermostat was awful. We’d set the temp and it might go 3-5 degrees above what we wanted or below what we wanted. I couldn’t go out and leave it set for the day and count on it keeping my mom comfortable. Just like with Goldilocks and the three bears, it might be too hot or too cold or just right. And for my poor mom, it was a totally confusing pain in the neck! Since I thought it might be the thermostat, I researched new thermostats and discovered some intriguing options.

Easier Honeywell Thermostats

Honeywell non-programmable thermostat via Kaye Swain Roseville Real Estate Agent

As fancy as these programmable thermostats are, there are way too many options for many older seniors. But guess what, there are NON-programmable thermostats, including some by Honeywell.  While our serviceman was there, I asked if he had any of those types and HE DID! I had him switch it out and WOW! It’s been WONDERFUL. I set the new Honeywell thermostat to a specific temperature and it goes to that temp. AND stays at that temp. AND it’s so much easier to operate. I may eventually tape up two of the buttons (for the fan and to select heat/air). That would leave only two up/down buttons to be navigated. Much easier for my senior mom!

Words of Encouragement

Our new Honeywell thermostat is a lovely example of “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.” If the heater hadn’t broken, we’d still be fussing, fighting and fuming (and praying) over that irritating thermostat. But NOW, we’re smiling all through the day!

Kaye Swain Roseville Real Estate Agent shares Honeywell heater

Got More Ideas?

How about you? Are you happy with your thermostat?  Is it a Honeywell too? Got any other suggestions for this kind of situation? We’d love to hear. Pop over to my Facebook page and leave your ideas. 🙂