Grandmas, say hello to Grandma Joi! She is mother to four and grandmother to 10, nine girls and one boy! When Joi learned she was going to become a grandma, she felt it was one of life’s greatest rewards! She said, “Seeing your own child’s traits in another little human is spectacular! There was Jane, my first grand-baby, a baby who looked just like my babies! When she grabbed my finger, after just being alive for minutes, I was deeply in love.” We grandmas get it, Joi!

Grandma Joi feels her grandkids are fortunate to have all they need and more. So, for birthdays she gives them TIME: one on one time with Grandma. Once they turn five, they have a birthday sleepover with Grandma. They bake with Grandma Joi or watch a movie with homemade popcorn. Sometimes a cousin is allowed to join in the fun. When it comes to choosing a birthday activity, her grandkids often choose a simple activity. It’s not about things with Grandma Joi; it’s all about TIME!

For Christmas, Grandma Joi finds a date in December where everyone can be together since they all have another set of grandparents, as well as lots of other cousins to share the holidays with. On their special day, Grandma Joi and the grandkids make crafts or decorate cookies. Then they have a cousin gift exchange, which is done by age since they are buddies with their cousins closest in age. As for the adults, they have a white elephant gift exchange. Even though they aren’t together on the actual holiday, it’s okay. GoodGrandma℠ does the same thing. I make up holidays, like “Fakesgiving” or “Merry Makeshift Christmas.” It’s not about a day, but making memories.

The past couple of years Grandma Joi and Grandpa Lindsey have given a gift through CARE, an organization who “works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice.” Indirectly, Grandma Joi and Grandpa Lindsey gave an animal in their children and grandchildren’s name to those in need in a third world country. The first year, gave a goat! A teacher friend showed Joi the book Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier. The story is about a girl in Africa who’s family is given a goat. This goat transforms her family’s life. Because of the goat, the young girl can purchase a uniform and go to school. Grandma Joi and Grandpa Lindsey gave each of their children’s families this book, as well as a goat ornament for their Christmas tree. Their hope is their kids and grandkids will remember when they see the goat ornament that they gave someone a gift they needed. This year, through CARE, instead of a goat they gave chickens. 🐐🐓 GoodGrandma LOVES this IDEA!

When it comes to storytime, Joi had favorites she read with her kids. They would read All Creatures Great and Small by James Harriot. She loves the story about All Things Bright and Beautiful: The Classic Memoirs of a Yorkshire Country Vet. It’s beautifully illustrated and was a favorite of her children. Each of her children’s families has a hardbound copy for their own. All nine granddaughters love the Little House on the Prairie series and anything American Girl. The older girls love all things Harry Potter

When they all get together, they have simple meals, which leaves more time for games. Uno is a favorite. Recently they discovered Grandpa Beck’s games. They play Karma King and Cover Your Assets. Other favorites are a good game of hot potato or hide the (fill in the blank), which makes for a good hour of fun! But, talk about FUN, they installed a zip line in their backyard. This has given their grandkids hours and hours of F U N!

When it comes to discipline, Grandma Joi said, “I’m lucky to be able to just be Grandma, but we do have rules at our house. They know they can have a good time, but we only eat at the table and we put things back where they belong.” If any grandkids need to earn some money, Grandma Joi has them over to work in the yard, organize cabinets, plant flowers, or work in the garden. Now, that’s a GoodGrandma–discipline and hard work! I believe Joi has a great recipe for successful grandchildren!

When we asked Grandma Joi what she would like her grandkids to remember about her, she said, “I want them to remember being with family is important. Having fun doesn’t have to cost money. And, I hope they remember the hugs and playing at the beach. I also hope they remember how much I love their parents, their grandpa, and each of them.”

Grandma Joi shared another thought about the importance of making memories.

“When my husband and I lost our parents, while we went through their belongings and settled their financial affairs, I thought how strange it was that they worked their entire lives, paid for their homes, and were afraid to spend too much money. I understand we need to plan for the future, but I’d rather spend some now and make memories with those we will leave behind. For example, we knew our kids wouldn’t be able to afford a cruise to Alaska when they were raising kids. We loved our time in Alaska and thought, why not do a big trip and foot the bill? Why not spend now some of what they will receive after our deaths? At least we’d have memories with them. They are eternally grateful for the time together. One daughter commented it was the last time she had a good nap! Then, this past November we rented a place in the mountains. It was a great memory maker. Life is short. Work hard and play hard. Be fast to forgive and slow to criticize and it all usually works out.”

– Grandma Joi

Wow! Grandma Joi, you are a GoodGrandma! Thank you so much for sharing your IDEAS, thoughts, and insights. We are blessed to have had the opportunity to spotlight you!

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