Grandmas, say hello to Grandma Judy. Judy is mother to five and grandma to 14 grandchildren or “grandANGELS” as she calls them. Her oldest grandson, Luke, is 22 years old and the youngest, Jordan, is three months old. When Grandma Judy learned she was going to be a grandma, she “burst into happy tears.” She told us it happens every time she learns another little angel is on the way. Her children and grandchildren have grown accustomed to her spontaneous joyful tears!
Grandma Judy has lots of fun traditions with her grandkids. When her grandkids are little and come to visit, she “bounces” with them on an indoor trampoline while singing Tigger’s song, The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers. The grandkids love to play dress-ups with Grandma Judy’s closet full of dress-ups. She also plays and sings yodeling songs for them. Need a ice cream treat? Grandma Judy has a “naughty freezer” for the grandkids to get a treat. Once a week, Grandma Judy picks up her grandkids from school for a visit. As they talk, they earn jelly beans by sharing (1) good things, (2) disappointing things, and (3) things they are thankful for. I love this IDEA!
Grandma Judy loves to celebrate holidays with her family, even if they celebrate on a day other than the holiday to accommodate the in-law‘s families.
- Easter: 🐣 They have an egg-coloring table, as well as several Easter egg hunts, done by age.
- Thanksgiving: 🦃 Grandma Judy hosts a celebration which she usually invites others to join (those who wouldn’t otherwise have a place to go). They’ve enjoyed having long lost cousins, a Hindu family, and several college students join them. Grandma Judy feels it’s just more people to love, and her family always learns something new from their guests.
- Christmas: 🎄As each family arrives, they receive new Christmas pajamas, which they quickly change into. Then they have a family prayer on their special Christmas meal. Next, they gather for a musical program, where they recite Christmas scriptures and sing Christmas carols together. Lastly, the grandkids open one gift from grandma and grandpa and one gift from a cousin exchange.
- Birthdays: 🎂 Once a month, the family gathers for a potluck dinner to celebrate with birthday songs, candles, and dessert. Grandma Judy delivers a birthday gift, with hugs, on the actual birthday.
- Annual Family Vacation: 🏕 Each family group signs up for two or three meals and clean-up. Grandma Judy buys matching tee-shirts for everyone. Venna, Grandma Judy’s daughter, organizes activities for the family. They usually have a family history night, where grandma and grandpa share a story of their own or a story of their ancestors. There’s an annual talent-show where the grandchildren share their talents. One night is devoted to learning more about the grandchildren; they share their accomplishments and experiences from the past year. Watch out Osmond family, Grandma Judy’s family has got talent! Singing together for holidays and birthdays is nothing when it comes to their annual family vacation! One night is devoted to performances from the “Boy Band” and the “Girl Group.” Performing comes naturally to Judy’s family, not just familiar songs, but songs they compose and learn while on family vacation. In addition to singing and playing games, everyone earns a silver coin for scriptures memorized.
“We choose one family scripture for the week and recite it each night together. The kids LOVE earning those silver coins! It’s a wonderful bonding experience.“-Grandma Judy
A favorite book of Grandma Judy’s is Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins and Bright & Early Board Books. Judy loves reading and acting out any book her grandchildren request. As far as games, they have several they love playing: Skull King, Cover your Assets, Catan The Board Game, Authors Card Game, Chess, Ticket to Ride, Telestations, Monopoly, and Seek (an old scripture quiz game).
When it come to discipline, Grandma Judy turns things over to grandchildren’s parents, while she remains supportive and fun. Mainly, she wants to be the loving arms and safe place to fall when needed for her children and grandchildren. When grandchildren are away from home, Grandma Judy sends weekly letters filled with family pictures and uplifting quotes or stories. She also texts and calls when possible. Grandma Judy’s hope is…
“No matter what choices they make or whatever happens to them in their life, they are eternally and unconditionally loved by their grandma. Being a grandma is one of God’s greatest blessings!”-Grandma Judy
Grandma Judy, you are a such a GoodGrandma! Thank you for sharing your stories and IDEAS!
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