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I love Christmas traditions including fun Christmas get-togethers, online and off, with dear friends. From December 6-12, 2015, one of my fave online Christmas parties is held every year at Caregiving.com by the very sweet Denise Brown. I’ve been attending this blog party since Christmas, 2009. That was 1 1/2 years after I started blogging. Denise was one of my first caregiving friends online, along with Carol Marak of SeniorCare.com as well as Gina LaGuardia and, a bit later, Michelle Seitzer of Our Parents. All of whom are still doing a great job online and still dear friends of mine through the years. You surely have to be careful using the internet and making friends. But there are definitely sweet friendships to be made online as well as off and they are such a blessing. Doubly so for caregivers or carees who may not be able to get out much.
I’ve been blogging since 2008 but I’ve been in and out of caregiving since my early 20s. First I helped my parents when they were caring for my mom’s parents, then my dad’s parents, and a few of my dad’s other elderly relatives as well as a couple of neighbors. My parents definitely set a lovely and caring example for me over the years. Later I helped my own elderly neighbors for a few years. Then I went through a season of caring only for my kids and sweet hubby. But the caregiving season returned big time with one of my sweet long distance elderly relatives and my own parents moving nearby which was great since I could more easily help my dad who was dealing with Parkinsons Disease. A few years later, my sweet dad went home to be with the Lord, my grandtwins arrived in this world to join their big bro and big sis, and I was fully in the throes of the Sandwich Generation, helping my senior mom who was now living with me and my grandkids and enjoying it thoroughly.
Now it’s a bit quieter. My senior mom still lives with me but my grandkids are older. I still help with them a lot but not as much as in the past. Though I also help with granddogs near and far. That and my real estate business (which, when you think about it, is another great example of caring for the needs of others – their real estate needs 🙂 ). As you might guess, my real estate business includes a focus on helping boomers and seniors with all the things they may be juggling including aging in place, multigenerational needs, retirement homes, etc.
Through it all, I keep on blogging – both here and at various real estate blogs including KayeSwain.com. I love to help others – readers, clients, family, and more -and enjoy sharing tips, tools and resources at all my blogs including here at SandwichINK along with sweet Christian encouragement. I post at least once a week, occasionally a bit more. And I’d love for you to subscribe to SandwichINK – an easy way to stay updated (see below). Or, guess what, you can also find me on Amazon for the Kindle, though there is a wee fee for that. But do take a peek, just for fun. 🙂
If you’re a regular reader, you’re probably smiling because this is almost as familiar to you as it is to me. If you’re coming from the Caregiving Progressive Holiday Blog Party WELCOME!!! And if you’re new to all of this, WELCOME as well. Any which way, I hope you’ll find interesting info, useful resources, handy tips, and fun and encouraging ideas pictures to give you a sweet smile. So enjoy couple of cute and virtual gingerbread cookies and have a lovely Advent and Christmas time full of God’s joy and peace.
My senior mom gets so frustrated with TV. There are only a few shows out now that she really enjoys. Fortunately some of them are in syndication like NCIS and Blue Bloods. But then again, she doesn’t understand syndication. Thus, while she appreciates them being on a lot, it really confuses her. 🙂 And now that they are splitting shows up between summer shows and regular shows – and time outs for shows til February. Oyyyyy. Very hard for elderly senior parents to follow along, that’s for sure. But thanks to her iPad, we do have a few handy tricks up our sleeves to help.
There are several radio podcast station apps for her iPad that are free that have oldie goldie radio shows she used to love and still enjoys now like:
- OldTime Radio
I also subscribed to Hulu (the version with a few ads – to save money 🙂 ) and that has several, if not all, of some of the less oldie goldie series we both used to love:
- Cagney and Lacey
- Simon and Simon
- Remington Steele
- Ellery Queen
- The Rockford Files
- The Fall Guy
All in all, there are plenty of options for her to pick from. The downside is that she has to watch on the iPad which isn’t as easy for her to use as the TV. We could hook up Roku or Chromecast to her TV but she would NEVER be able to do that on her own (we tried). Either way requires my assistance. So if I’m out and about with real estate clients or helping with grandkids, she sticks with her TV and her clicker.
I don’t know that there are ANY perfect solutions for elderly seniors, for whom technology keeps speeding past them. But I’m very grateful for good options that do work a lot. How about you? Do you have any other suggestions to share? We’d love to hear them!
Advent and Grandkid Smiles
My grandkids and I LOVE Christmas and Advent activities and crafts. I bet yours do too. I just saw a cool list of Advent activities from Half A Hundred Acre Wood – a home schooling mama – and posted it on my Pinterest board with fun activities and craft ideas for kids and grandkids. I’m definitely looking forward to giving this a try with the grandkids later this month or next month. I just updated that board with several new Christmas ideas and some New Years fun crafts as well. Have fun! 🙂
Advent Devotions for Boomers and Seniors
Today is the first Sunday in Advent. In our sermon, the pastor talked about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and what a great example she set for us. Can you imagine it? A young teenage girl, right in between the ages of a couple of my grandchildren, heard from God and fully trusted Him and surrendered herself to Him. After many years of walking with God, I learned about daily surrendering and I strive to do this daily (tho I’ve also told God that if, on any day I forget, He should just take it as a done deal forever! 🙂 ). But at 14-18 years old, no way! Not even in my 20s was I that faithful. She was, indeed, a sweet blessing and example to us all, including her lovely song – The Magnificat. And oh my, this Multimedia Christmas Nativity video featuring the music of Todd Agnew using her beautiful words along with scenes from “The Nativity” and “The Passion of Christ,” was so touching to my heart, and I hope it will be to yours. Very powerful! And it definitely is an encouragement to faithfully join Mary in saying, “I am the “Lord’s servant” and surrender ourselves and our lives to Him daily – no matter our age or circumstances.
The book of John does not cover this particular story but it’s still a sweet lesson for us. (And if you’d like to know more about this particular section of Scripture – Luke 1, Pastor Guzik has also taught on that chapter – just click here.)
Fun Coloring Pages for Kids and Adults
My grandkids enjoy coloring pages, that’s for sure. But many adults, including senior adults, also love coloring pages. So here are some extra coloring pages in honor of the Caregiving Progressive Holiday Blog Party, including one for the Scripture picture above.
I’m so grateful for another passage in Luke 1 – verse 37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible,” or as the Living Bible paraphrase puts it, “For every promise from God shall surely come true.” Either way they both mean the same thing – God has promised never to leave us or forsake us and to bring His children safely home – His Words shall surely come true for with God NOTHING is impossible. Sweet Smiles for all of us caregivers and grandparents, boomers and seniors in the midst of dark news on the front page or on the TV daily.
P.S. Don’t forget to pop over to Caregiving.com and say HELLO from SandwichINK. They are having giveaways to enjoy including a $10 Amazon gift card from me, Kaye Swain of SandwichINK, to use for an adult’s Scripture verse coloring book, caregiving needs, etc. 🙂
P.P.S. Then click here to go to my current post, Fun and Uplifting Encouragement for Grandparents and Caregivers. Then have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas and holiday season. And don’t forget to sign up for the free SandwichINK updates to regularly encourage boomers and seniors, caring for elderly parents, helping with grandkids, and more, just…