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  1. Gaming with my grandson

    Well, now my grandson is 11years old and in middle school. He still loves to read (huge sigh of relief), but he also LOVES and LIVES to play video games. Especially the kinds that require acute motor skills, quick thinking and multi-tasking. Not the sort of things I’m that great at now that I’m 70 years old. But I do try and he is very encouraging.  He squeals with amusement when I get frustrated because my avatar “dies”. He particularly enjoys playing Geometry Dash which made me shudder (thoughts of barely passing math still haunt me) until he explained that it didn’t really involve math skills. No, this game was far more challenging than doing equations.  ‘It required navigating thru obstacles and collecting strange things that are valuable and pop up out of nowhere, all while avoiding other strange things that will cause your avatar to “die”. Oh, and I must mention that all this happens at the speed of “wait!  What was that?  Did I need that?  Wait, I’m “dead” again?”  This causes Jeffery to drop on the floor in spasms of uncontrollable giggles. I’m left staring at the blank screen. “Try it again, Grammies!”  I told you he was encouraging.  After several attempts with Jeffery coaching me, I still can’t master it. I pass the controls over to him, happy for the break.  ‘He’s through the first three levels before I realize he’s been “coaching” me with the wrong information.....deliberately sabotaging my efforts for his own amusement.  Smart cookie!  He realized early on that these games are not my forte. They move way too fast for me....but, I am still an integral part of our “play-time”.  I’m comic relief!  As a grandma, I am happy and honored to serve!
  2. The tween years, as I think we all know, can be awkward and confusing - for both tweens and their parents. Where socializing is concerned, for example, they may feel "too old" for play dates but "too young" for dating and relationships. How do/did your middle school children/GC socialize? (Or how do you remember socializing at that age?) Does/did it involve any kind of dating? And, if you'd like, what do you think is the best way for this age group to get together/hang out w/ each other?
  3. As "granny nanny" to my DGC, there are some days when I have to supervise HW (homework). And I have to admit that sometimes it seems like there's way too much pressure in the efforts to meet CC (Common Core) standards. They both have way more HW than my girls had when they were the same ages. And... IDK... learning area in 3rd grade? I wonder if most kids even really get what that's for! OTOH, at first, I thought it was "crazy" when I saw that my granddolls were expected to give/write reasons for their opinions at such a young age. Ask a second grader to tell "why" they liked a book? I remember having trouble doing that even in 4th or 5th grade. But now, I notice my DGC almost always, automatically, begin giving their reasons for why they think this/that. It's amazing to me! Years ago, I was a bright student and so were my DDs, but none of us did this till further down the educational road, I still worry about the apparent emphasis on testing though. Last year, in my state, several parents opted their kids out of the standardized tests and I'm guessing, this year, as many or more will do so.  YDD thinks it's a good idea to let your (general) kid take it and see how they do - no pressure - but, clearly, not all parents agree. So I guess my feeling are still mixed if for slightly different reasons. How about you? Are you seeing positive - or negative - changes in how your kid'/GC think/talk/write, due to CC? Or are you concerned about the testing? We've talked about CC in here before, but what are you thinking now about how it impacts your kids/the GC you watch (or even ones you don't watch)?
  4. DGD has a wonderful teacher this year! Fun and creative while still sticking to the curriculum! In fact, DGD enjoys her class so much she says she wishes school were 6 days a week! Now there's a teacher!   DGS's teacher is good, too, but not as inspiring as DGD's (I don't say that to/in front of the kids, of course.)   How about you? Does your child or the GC/relative child you take care of have a teacher you think is really great? Or one you're not so crazy about? Or did they ever?
  5. I never thought I would see "new trends" in lunch boxes, except, perhaps, for which characters were popular to have on them. But even lunch boxes of choice can change, I've learned (since I take my DGC to or from school a few days, I'm aware of these matters). For one thing, neither of my grands has ever had what I can really call a "lunch box." Instead, theirs are made of softer material and, in fact, we've fallen into the habit of calling them "lunch bags." Most of their schoolmates seem to have these now. I've never asked YDD about it, but I'm guessing people either feel they're safer or lighter to carry (or both). Or perhaps there's some other reason for this change?   Also, I remember buying the bookbags and then getting the lunch boxes separately, sometimes not even the same day and not necessarily w/ the same characters. Now I see they come in matching sets! (Perhaps another reason that the lunch box/bag material is just like that of the bookbag?)   I'm also noticing differences in shape! Most of the kids I see still have the traditional horizontal rectangle, true. But an increasing number, including DGS, seem to have a vertical lunch bag. Any point in that? Or is it just a matter of fashion-in-kids'-lunch-bags? (Can't believe I'm saying that but...)   And last year, YDD and DGD had an issue b/c DGD wanted to carry her lunch bag in her book bag (easier) but YDD said "No" (she was afraid it would crush other important items). So this year they picked out a bookbag/lunch bag set in which the lunch bag can be attached to the the back of the bookbag. (A far cry from getting bookbags and lunch bags separately!) Now DGS is envious... sigh... and wants the same kind of thing (won't get it till next year/next bookbag,etc. though, if they can find it w/ characters he likes).   Then again, DGS eschewed the whole matching bookbag/lunch bag thing this year. Got a bookbag w/ a fave character but selected a solid black lunch bag. Says it's "cooler." I've noticed a few boys in his class w/ similar lunch bags. Is this also a trend, I'm wondering? Just among boys? Or is it just a matter of the boys in his class?   Hmmm... when my DDs were in school, there were always one or two kids who still brought their lunch to school "the old fashioned way" - in a brown paper bag. I don't see that, at all, these days, do you?      
  6. Back to School!

    By now (9/10/13)  most kids are back at school How does this impact your life, if at all? Please let us know, below, if there are any changes in your schedule and how you feel about that, etc.   Meanwhile, check out GP.Com's "The Ultimate Back to School Guide for Grandparents!" Do any of the items on the list strike a chord with you? Can you use any of the ideas? Have a few of your own? Please let us know below.   You can find the article by going to the following link:   http://www.grandparents.com/grandkids/education-and-school/back-to-school-ideas
  7. Hey everyone,  Sorry to be a downer so early in the morning but I really need help on this subject. I will try to make this as simple as possible.  Hopefully you can follow along and let me know if I am in the right. I am a single Grandma who will be 50 in a few months.    My daughter and her husband have been living with me for about two years.  My grandbaby was born in June (unplanned pregnancy.. Long medical reasons why and too personal to go into).  She is my joy and I love her being in my home.  However, this economy has hit me really hard,  I went from full time to part time, lost all of my benefits and my home is in foreclosure.  I am trying to move from Florida to Texas and I wanted the kids to move with me.  However my son-in-law whom I love very much is driving us crazy by being so undecisive.  His entire family lives in Texas with the exception of his controling drug addicted mother and his dead beat father.  He has a job but has been passed over positions and promised many things but have never come to fruition. Now he says he wants to stay to see if his job will allow him to go to college but my daughter and I think it is because he doesn't want to leave his mom.   Now, they do pay rent, I make them pay 600 a month (which is only the cost of utilities divided by three people, so my half would be 300)  this is due to my daughter being a stay at home mom. (by the way she is my only child)   My daughter and I have always had a super tight relationship but lately it has been strained.  You see, I only have a few months left in my house but I am still covering most of their debt. Although I understand my daughters reasoning behind staying home it is not my responsibility to cover the bills.   Basically I am paying for all of the food and animal care for their 5 animals and my two.  My son in law has been offered a job for $10 an hour to work with his uncle in Texas and learn to be an electrician but he refused.  My daughter wants to be an opthamologist but her hubby said she needs to find a career now.  I see his point but I see hers as well.  I told her to become an assistant then work in a doctors office while she is going to school.  He said she would not make enough that she should become an Medical Assistant as they make about 17 or more an hour.  She doesn't want to do that as she thinks it would be a waste of time to learn all that then it would take her longer to get her degree.  But  thinks she might want to go the route of being an assistant to eye doctor (I think they make about 12 an hour?)   Anyway, they have been back and forth about moving what jobs they want, school etc.  The school thing is being pushed by his grandmother in Texas and my ex.  I agree that they need to go to school but not on my dine.  I need to make a decision... and soon, as I am out of money and out of time.  So I told her last night that they cannot keep telling me they are moving out then they move the date back still only pay me 600.  I am not surviving.  I told them they can either move out by the 1st of September or the rent will be increased to include food and care of the animals plus the car insurance of 120.00 a month that I was paying for my daughter will stop and they will have to get their own.  I told her this will save me about 513 or so a month.  right now I have about 3 to 6 months before the foreclosure is done.  I have no savings, nothing. (the reason I have no savings as I have tried to save my house twice)  There is so much wrong with my home that I cannot afford the repairs anymore.  I feel like such a failure but I have to move on and keep stepping forward and stop looking back.   My daughter is 20 and her husband is 24.  Very young indeed.  But I am not sure how to handle this whole thing.   I don't want my daughter to waste more time on college then she has to and I think that the Assistant to eye doctor would be the best way to go but her husband is pushing her to MA.  Now, he already has an MA degree but got turned down because a woman got the job and hasn't applied for anything else.  I told him that was a womans field, but just like us women, working in corporate america, which is a mans world, that just means you need to be better.  He refuses to try said they didn't teach him billing and insurance so no one will hire him.  Now he wants to go to school for PRN (which is like CNA or LPN) which would take him 18 months to complete the training.  However he has not gone because he is the breadwinner of the family.  I said so work and go to school but apparently at these types of school it is an all day event.   I am afraid I am going to lose my daughter and her family if I am too harsh.  I cry about this nightly, but reality is reality and I cannot support them on a 35k a year salary.  (I used to make 50k)   The economy in this country expecially in Florida has made my life a living nightmare and I thought if I move to another state I might be able to find work. (moving from florida to texas).  I want them to come with me as I think it would be good for him to be away from his mom, his family is willing to help them (his grandmother is an ear doctor) but I don't think he will leave his mother as she told him she would commit suicide or go back on drugs if they left.   I don't have enough funds saved as I keep trying to dig them out of a hole as I don't want my granddaughter and daughter to live on the street or in a getto area but with him only making 10 a hour how can he support them?  If she gets a job and pays 300 a week for infant care how will that help anything.  Were do my financial needs come into play.  Should I raise the rent? Should I kick them out? tell them to skip school? Any suggestions ?  I can give more dynamics of the family if you need further info I was just trying to keep it short. 
  8. Bookworm

    I grew up with a love of books....my Mother was a librarian and when we completed our chores each week, we were able to buy one book. I treasure most of those books still. My daughter grew up loving books, too, and has now instilled a love of reading in my grandson, Jeffery. Jeffery is 6 years old and has been read to his entire life, starting as just a baby. Of course, now he is reading most of them for himself and is a very good reader. What really amazes me is that when he reads aloud, as he likes to do, he reads with the inflictions adults would read with.....sometimes with hysterical consequences. He loves curling up in a corner or special hiding place and reading to his stuffed animals. They are very good listeners and a captive audience! When given a choice of how to spend his meager allowance, his first choice is always to go to the bookstore! Be still, my heart! And he proudly sports his own library card. He was taught to be careful with books and show them the proper respect due these important vehicles to new worlds! Reading is so important to doing well in school and Jeffery seems to have a good foundation!