Category Archives: The Grandboy

Reading to Learn

My reading has seriously slowed down over the last few months due mostly to the starting of another school year, having a student teacher along with that new school year, and life in general taking off in many different directions.  But I AM reading … but I’m mostly reading to learn right now.

So here are some of the things I’ve been reading and learning about:


The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades, by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. I’m so excited to be putting this system to work in my 2nd grade classroom!

Click here to learn more about The Daily 5.


Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood, by Jim Fay and Charles Fay.  I’m wanting to be an intelligent and informed Grandma!

Click here to learn more about Love and Logic.


Eating Gluten Free, by Shreve Stockton.  My beautiful daughter is now on a gluten free diet…a huge change in her life…and I want to be as knowledgeable and supportive as possible.

Click here to learn more about Celiac Disease and the need to be gluten free.

A Book a Day…

The first week of the new school year is finished, and I’m already in love with this new group of students. They’re a bright bunch, enthusiastic and excited about learning, and they like being together as a class. And even though it’s hard for a beginning-of-the-year second grader to sit on the rug for any extended period of time, they are willing to do so with the least amount of wiggling, in order to listen to a book a day! We are reading all the Strega Nona books, one a day, in anticipation and in celebration of Tomie dePaola’s 75th birthday on September 15th.

And now it’s a 3-day weekend (wahoo!), and I’m off to spend some time with Precious Grandboy!

Links to visit:

Tomie dePaola

Tomie’s Blog

A Special Father

Dear son and precious grandson

Dear son and precious grandson

Today on Father’s Day, I am thinking of a very special father in our lives — our son.  It’s an indescribable feeling, really, seeing your son become a father, and Dan is an exceptional one.  He’s a nurturer who parents with gentleness and humor.  His happiness with this new stage of life is radiant and infectious. We love to visit this little family and spend time with the three of them because the warmth and love in their household would cure anything that ails you. We are so proud of this kind and decent man.  Happy Father’s Day, Dan!

A dad and his boy

A dad and his boy

The Adventures of Manga and the Grandboy

After the sad news at the first of the week, it was nice to spend some joyous time with my grandboy. It was a reminder of just how precious life is…

Now, this post title sounds like a really good book, but Manga and Bunk are actually the names our two-year-old Grandboy has given us. I’m “Manga” and his grandpa is “Bunk.” We have no clue as to where that came from, but we are delighted with the names, and with the Grandboy.

Grandboy’s Mom has come down with Mono, so Manga arrived in Portland early in the week to help out as much as possible. It was Mid-Winter Break from school, and I added 2 personal leave days so I could spend the week with the Grandboy, and it truly has been an adventure.

The week was like one prolonged Play Date, and it was delightful to get to know the Grandboy so well at this new stage. It included, as you can see, learning to talk about oneself in the 3rd person. Manga also needed to learn a new vocabulary and sentence structure, she needed to dust off the singing voice and remember the words to old beloved songs, and she needed to have the patience to read certain books over and over and over. Here’s a sampling of life this week with the Grandboy:

Wonderful Words:
bluebabies (blueberries)
pinemamas (pineapple)
dahmas (airplanes)
choo-choo cars (trains)
digga-diggas (backhoes or frontloaders)

Working on Sentence Structure:
Green go.
Red [s]top.
Dada car, go work.
Mama sick.
No nap. (2nd generation sentence…his Dad said that to me 34 years ago!)

Books Read Over and Over and Over:
The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss
Freight Train, by Donald Crews
Numerous others that I can’t remember the titles, but I’ve now memorized every word!

Outings in Manga’s Car:
To the library, numerous times, for books and for toddler book group
To Starbucks for coffee for Manga and an Hawaiian bagel (untoasted) for the Grandboy
To the toy store that happened to have the giant picture of the Cat in the Hat in the window
To the car wash, just to watch…too scary to go through

It was a wonderful week for Manga, and a happy time for the Grandboy. Back home this weekend, I’ve been thinking (with the utmost respect and admiration) about all the grandparents in the world raising grandchildren. I completely understand why the best time to have children is when you’re young! I watch my son and daughter-in-law work with this little person, and admire their skill and problem-solving abilities, their patience and their unconditional love, and I am so proud of them. What a delightful way to spend my Mid-Winter Break!

The week’s Book Reviews and another Bookstore Visit to be posted soon!


Forgive me for yet another Grandma (and yet another winter weather) post…but due to snowstorms and ice in the Pacific Northwest, our Christmas was postponed until family could safely get together. Yesterday, Christmas finally arrived, and we celebrated with much laughter and joy. It was so worth the wait! Grandboy enjoyed entertaining the Grands, who are his devoted fans. And it was so nice to spend some time with Daughter, Son and Daughter-in-Law. A joyful weekend here before we all head back to work on Monday. Favorite books of the weekend…particularly fascinating to someone who just turned two years old?

Everyone Poops, by Taro Gomi
Bright Baby First Words, by Roger Priddy
Mama, Mama/Papa, Papa, by Jean Marzollo
and, of course, Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown

Cabin Fever

Our car has been parked in the garage for a week — a week of snow and ice in an area that seldom sees that sort of thing. Last Friday, my husband’s bus commute to downtown Seattle took a total of 5 hours (for 8 hours of work), rather than the more usual 1-½ hours total. So we’ve stayed home in the warmth since then, leaving the house only for walks around our neighborhood. We had planned ahead for bad weather…so have had enough food, although we ran out of chips for nachos, darn it, and we’ve watched all the episodes on our current Netflix obsessions. And Christmas was quiet without family members able to join us … their presents still sit under the tree unopened, waiting for the roads to clear enough for travel. Our daughter only lives 4 miles away, but is also snowbound at her place. And our Portland family has had even worse winter conditions than we’ve had, so nobody is going anywhere at the moment and Christmas is on hold until the melt!

So here are a few things that are helping us fend off Cabin Fever…

Playing with our Grandboy on Skype

Watching the extended version of The Lord of the Rings, again for the second time this year.

Going for walks has kept us from going stir crazy, but was difficult until we opened the Christmas presents B had the foresight to order for us:
Have you heard of Stabilicers? And Trekking Poles?
And, of course, we’ve been reading, reading, reading! I’ve finished 3 books this week, and will post reviews before too long. That’s the nice part of being snowbound when there’s no end to the pile of books to draw from!

So we are surviving this extended winter storm. It’s funny how something you read a long time ago can come back to you suddenly with crystal clarity. Watching out the window this morning, I had a sudden “book memory” — descriptions from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s, The Long Winter, came flooding back to me. She described so well this feeling of Cabin Fever that keeps trying to creep in and take over. But we’re fighting it off!

Sunday Stroll

My friend, Nan (Letters From a Hill Farm) has been posting about her Sunday strolls recently, and I’ve loved reading about them. The Sunday Strolls were actually started by Aisling, at The Quiet Country House blog, and everyone is invited to participate and share photos of their gardens and their walks. Both blogs are lovely, and I especially enjoy visiting them every week to read about their Sunday strolls.

B and I spent this weekend in Portland, Oregon, visiting the Grandboy (we hadn’t seen him for 6 weeks!). It was a lovely weekend, and included a wonderful Sunday Stroll today past beautiful homes and gardens and a farmer’s market, so I wanted to share some photos from that walk around Portland with our favorite little person.

Pilgrimage to Powells

B and I just returned from an extended weekend in Portland, a joyous break from the intensity of work. The four days included a family wedding reception, a graduation celebration, and quality time spent with family. Great Grammy even got to meet the Grandboy for the first time! What a lovely weekend!

While in Portland, we also made a group pilgrimage to Powells Bookstore. Powells is an institution in the Portland area, and an incredible experience. It was the first time my mother, almost 89, had been there, and she was overwhelmed, to say the least. She looked around and then turned to me and asked, “Where do I start?” Exactly!

Powells takes up a complete city block in downtown Portland. And you have never seen so many books! To get an idea of how huge it is, click here. They have both new and used books on the shelves, and the genres are housed in different rooms like the Rose Room, (children’s books, education, sciences, natural history) and the Blue Room (literature, poetry, small press, classics), etc. It’s called the City of Books, and be prepared to spend more than just an hour wandering around. It’s a destination all on its own!

My brother went in with a list, which was such a good idea. When we go, however, we usually wander around and serendipitously find books we’ve always wanted but never found, which is also a delightful way to shop there. Purchases? I bought one book (a new world’s record for me at Powells): Hannah Coulter, by Wendell Berry. Brother bought numerous Stephenie Meyer books. Mom bought A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And husband bought three Kundera books that he hadn’t read yet.

Now it’s back to the grind this morning … and my final 2 weeks of school!