For what it's worth: Grandma Handbook

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Grandma Handbook

They call me Nini

I enjoy crafting, gardening, playing, creating, being with the family and blogging about it all.  The blogging began a months before I retired and has become my passion.
I've talked about my "Grandmother Handbook" during lunch at work several times.  I explained that I started writing down grandmother stuff in a tiny little book I bought in a dollar store when my first grand was born.  Whenever my children give me "that look" for pushing the rules or ask me why I do certain things with their kids that I never allowed with them... I simply say, "It's in the grandmother handbook, page..."  Today one of my lunch buddies asked when I was going to put it on my blog?  Answer, today!

Page 1
Spoil your grandchildren every chance you get.  Your time here is short - make the most of it.
When your children ask why you spoil their kids, quote "It's in the grandmother handbook."

Page 2
When your grands ask for ice cream for breakfast, put it on pancakes.

Page 3
If your grand breaks something fragile left whithin their reach - assure them things are expendable, they are not.

Page 4
When grand asks "is chocolate healthy?"  Answer, yes if it's served with oatmeal.

Page 5
Save putting out the holiday decoratins until the grandchildren can do it with you.  Make a particular decoration activity specific for each child an annual tradition.

Page 6
When grand asks to help you cook, give them a spoon and go for it! 
Keep cookie dough in the freezer for a moments notice.
Leave enough cake batter on the beaters and in the bowl for them to lick.

Page 7
When grand calls and says they really miss you, can you come to their house?  Go.  Right now.  Really!  Get in you car and go.
When grand calls and says she performs in a competition in two hours, are you coming?  Go!  Get in your car and go!

Page 8
Put a grandkid "allowance" in your monthly budget.  When grand says they want $50 jeans for Christmas buy them - because you prepared for it!
Keep little treasures in the car or in your bag. 

Page 9
When grand asks for everything in the store, pull out pen and paper and start a list "Stuff I Like".  Assure them it's okay to like it and write it down.  It's almost as good as getting it.  Some day when you can't think of what to get for their birthday, pull out the list.

Page 10
Take time with the grand to smell the flowers and admire shiny rocks, marvel at found feathers, chase butterflies, splash in rain puddles, make mud pies, sip imaginary tea from tiny china cups, try on old jewelry, crawl under a blanket teepee.

Page 11
Buy a cheap digital camera or upgrade to a better one for yourself.  When grand wants to use your camera to take pictures give them the "special grand camera".  Digital cameras are the best invention ever.  Keep and print a few good ones for them to keep, delete the ones of your feet and hiney.
Make a story book with some of the photos and some grand art. 

Page 12
When grand says he wants to go fishing, get out a pole, fishing hat and lawn chair and head out to the backyard wading pool.  It's not about the fish.

Page 13
Keep a bucket handy for those rock collections. Use them to spell out their name and take a photo.
Make a fairy garden trail with rocks.
Paint rocks together.
Throw rocks in a pond.
Do NOT throw away their rocks.  They WILL notice!

Page 14
Save that first pair of little boy cowboy boots in the original box and mark with his name and the year. The pleasure of finding them 20 years later and giving to his little kid is very rewarding for all three of you.

Page 15
When your grand doesn't want to eat lunch before he/she has the mini m&m's you gave him/her earlier, let the child sprinkle them over their spaghetti. 

Page 16
Make chalk angels on the sidewalk.  Trace their shape and let them draw the wings.  Now, lay down on the sidewalk and let them trace your chalk angel shape.

Page 17
When grand doesn't want to stop playing and come in to eat.  Make a picnic, sit in the wagon or on the bench or in the grass and enjoy the moments together.

Page 18
When grand doesn't want to sleep alone in "that scary bedroom", take your pillow to their room, read a book, turn the lights down low, sing soft songs, and slumber together.

Page 19
Talk about angels and God.  It's okay to tell them that when you  get to heaven before them, you will save a place for them so when they are very very old you can make drawings on heaven's sidewalks.

Page 20
When you discover your grand has drawn a sweet portrait of you with her depicting you with a smile on your face and a long lean body that is life size from a 5 year old perspective - on the wall right next to the light switch in her mommy's home office....take a photo to preserve it and blog about it on Face Book.

Page 21
When one of the grands gets injured right before the big Easter Egg Hunt, save some eggs back to have a special hunt just for him when he gets back from the ER.  Have every one count down as he pulls out each egg he found.  Clap and shout "YEAH".

There's always one more page to add one more rule... just write it down.


  1. This is lovely. I anticipate it will be a while before I am a grandmother (though it is on my bucket list, so I hope it happens eventually), but I hope to be able to grand-parent according to such philosophy.

    1. Thank you so much for visiting my sight and leaving your thoughts. It gives me a warmth inside. You sound like a person who will be a fabulouse grandmother when the day comes.

  2. Jeannie, this is a beautiful document. Your grandchildren are lucky to have you in their lives!

    1. Thank you, and I am lucky to have them in my life!

  3. This is so beautiful! Every single item touched me! I had 3 of the grandkids here today and now wish I had done your #5 with them. I am in the process of putting up Halloween things. It would have been fun to have them "help!" I won't make the same mistake at Christmas...and if something does get broken, well, like you said, "so what?" Thanks for some very, very wise advice! This list should be presented to every single new grandma everywhere!

  4. I am pleased you enjoyed my handbook, each page comes from a real event. I know you and your grands will love putting out your Christmas decorations, they won't forget.

  5. This is so wonderful and it brought tears to my eyes. I'm raising my grandchildren which means I'm more "Momma" and less "Mamaw" as we say in our family. But this serves to remind me that I can be both!

  6. Oh, Miss Jeannie, I am so glad I found your blog. It might be the sweetest 'place' I've been in a long time! I've been all over it and it's just too fun! I'm in love with the grandmother handbook. I'm not a grandma yet but you are inspiring!

  7. Jenny, I'm glad you found me and enjoyed what you read.

  8. This is wonderful! I'm a soon to be grandmother and this book is a lovely idea!

  9. Fabulous! So delightful. :)

    Thank you for partying with the Wildly Original Crowd. <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!

  10. Thanks for stopping by today, and I love your book. I couldn't agree more. The thing they want the most is your undivided attention. And, the time you have with them is so short that I drop anything and everything I'm doing if they want to do something. Geez, I played Skylanders Giants yesterday for 3 1/2 hours and today my right thumb is killing me, but I'd do it all over again if he asked. :)

  11. This is wonderful! I'd love for you to share it on Much Ado About Monday at Huckleberry Love.

    I've nominated you for the Leibster Award! Please go to for more information!

    Love your blog :))

    Huckleberry Love

  12. Oh I absolutely love your book! I just emailed my granddaughter and told her we hadn't done page 16 yet and we have to do it next visit! I love your grandparenting style!

  13. What a perfectly beautiful idea! A reminder of why grandparents are important in their grandchildren's lives.

  14. I love this! I've been searching for great Grandma ideas and haven't found much except for crafts. I've pinned this to my Nana Cherry Board and shared it on Google+.

  15. I could not agree more! From one fabulosa granny to another: you rock!

  16. How many times can I like a single page?

    I might steal your idea. This is fabulous.


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