Happy Easter!

We at GTO would like to wish all of our readers and followers a truly blessed Easter. We pray that you will be able to enjoy some quality and joyful time with your family as you celebrate the resurrection of our wonderful Lord.

It can be difficult to focus on the true meaning of Easter, especially if you have younger grandchildren around. Everything that is directed at them during this season seems to be about bunnies and candy! We wanted to help you by providing a couple of simple ideas that will help you stay centered on Jesus as you spend time with your grandchildren this Easter:

~ Do the traditional dying of hard-boiled eggs with your grandkids, but as you do, use that opportunity to share with them how the egg is symbolic of the new life that Jesus has provided for us. Most kids have no idea how the egg came to be associated with Easter, so be sure to use this as a teachable moment for them. Additionally, you can have them write messages, such as “He is risen!” or draw symbols like the cross or a tomb on the eggs in crayon before dying them.

~ Send your grandkids on an Easter egg hunt–but add a twist to it. Type up simple scriptures (ones that your grandkids are somewhat familiar with are best), cut them out into strips of paper, the cut the scriptures into two parts (as close to the middle of the verse as possible). Put the two sections of the scripture into two different plastic eggs. Repeat this process for the total amount of plastic eggs you have.

After hiding the eggs and allowing your grandkids to find them, bring everyone together to open the eggs and match the scripture pieces to create correct verses. If you only have one grandchild, work with him or her yourself to match the scripture pieces together.

~ Let your grandchildren help you make Resurrection Rolls. This is a fun, easy, and delicious way to open up a discussion about Jesus coming out of the grave! Here’s the recipe (this version was found on www.dltk-kids.com) :

Ingredients:

  • 1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 8 large marshmallows
  • Melted butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar

Instructions:

  • Give each child one triangle shaped section of crescent roll. This represents the tomb.
  • Each child takes one marshmallow which represents the body of Christ.
  • Dip the marshmallow in the butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. This represents the oils and spices the body was anointed with upon burial.
  • Lay the marshmallow on the dough and carefully wrap it around the marshmallow.
  • Make sure all seams are pinched together well. (Otherwise the marshmallow will “ooze” out of the seams)
  • Bake according to package directions.
  • Cool.
  • Break open the tomb and the body of Christ is no longer there!!
  • Celebrate God’s love!

This DLTK for Kids site, by the way, has some wonderful seasonal recipes and crafts for children. You might want to check it out for some other fun Easter ideas.

However you decide to spend your Easter, we pray that it will be a wonderful time of celebration!

Please VOTE for Grandparenting Through Obstacles!

If you haven’t VOTED for our book yet, the deadline is approaching fast and Renee and I would sure appreciate your vote!
 
Grandparenting Through Obstacles been nominated for a “Book of the Year” at Christian Small Publishers Association! Renee and I need your vote if our book is going to win.Would you please click through right now and cast your vote for Grandparenting Through Obstacles? You can VOTE here: http://www.christianpublishers.net/13votes/ 

You’ll find our book in the “Family / Relationships” category which is the second category down. The book is on the right (third row of books down) with the blue cover.
If you want to check out the book further, read the reviews on Amazon or check out some pages on Amazon’s “Look Inside the Book” feature.After you vote you can snag a print or an e-copy of the book from Amazon for Kindle or BarnesandNoble.com for Nook.

You have the opportunity to vote for your favorite books in several categories. A Familiar Shore, in the fiction category, is published by the same publisher and I know Jennifer would appreciate your vote too.

It would help us out so much if you’d ask your friends to vote also. To vote, send them to: http://www.christianpublishers.net/13votes/  Let’s see how many votes we can gather up and see if we can’t blow the competition away!

Thank you so much for voting for our book and for all your support. As I’m sure you can imagine, winning “Book of the Year” is great publicity, lets readers know we’ve created a fine book, and would help get the word out about Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ so people who need it will hear about it. 

Fighting for Your Grandkids’ Future

Recently, I had an online magazine for grandparents hit my inbox. The magazine, which will remain unnamed, normally has uplifting, interesting, and helpful articles and resources for grandparents, so I’m typically anxious to look it over when I get it. This time, what I saw on the cover really agitated me as a Christian conservative. This blog post is not going to be so much about what I saw but rather about the questions the cover story led me to ask of our reader grandparents.

The cover was a head shot of Al Gore and the text next to him said that he was “fighting for our grandchildren’s futures.” We all know, of course, that Al Gore is the grand champion of global warming, which has now been re-titled to the more politically correct “climate change.” Your opinions on global warming and its destruction of our planet may stand anywhere in the broad spectrum of possibilities. As a Christian, I believe God when He says (in essence), “It’s not over til I say it’s over,” and who are we to think that we can single handedly destroy what God has created? But that’s a blog for a different day, different place.

For now, I’d like to look at the phrase “fighting for our grandchildren’s future.” For Al Gore, our big fight lies in the assumption that the earth is going to burn up and our grandkids won’t be around to see our planet when they’re older adults. Other fights include the trillions of dollars of national debt we are currently in and how that is now squarely resting on our grandkids’ shoulders. Or, for Christians, the fight might (should) lie in the fact that God is being removed from society at a rapid pace and therefore our sense of all morality has been thrown out the window. And there are many, many other fights as well.

So, what is it for you as a grandparent? Is your fight more personal, or can it be found on a national or global scale? Is it financial, spiritual, ethical, environmental, or something else?

What is it that irritates you so much that when you consider how it’s going to affect your grandkids you want to put on the gloves and go fight? Then, ask yourself, “What am I going to do about it?” You can either just stay mad and complain, or you can get moving and start training for your fight.

Our world is not what it used to be when we were growing up. While we’ve had many technological advances, which have positively affected numerous fields and industries, the decay throughout society is rampant. As Christians, we understand that the root of the decay is spiritual, and while, ultimately, we must get at the root, we also need to fight against the fruit that we see in our everyday lives.

And one thing’s for certain: If we don’t start getting in the fight, our grandkids’ future is going to be rather dim. Be intentional about your grandparenting, make the moments you have with your grandkids count, and get in the fight to help make their world a better place.

Vacationing with Grandkids

As the weather begins to warm and the end of the school year draws near, thoughts begin turning to summer vacation. Whether you’re a grandparent who lives near or far from your grandkids, summer is a great time to plan a special getaway for just you and them. Here at GTO, we’d like to help you in your travel plans! We’ve compiled a short list of resources that are geared to intergenerational travel, with many targeting Christian families.

It is our hope that you will take some time this summer to connect in a special way with your grandchildren, and use every opportunity to draw them closer to Christ.

Road Scholar Educational Adventures: www.roadscholar.org

Road Scholar is an educational travel organization for adults 55 and over. In addition to their regular trips for seniors, they also offer vacation packages for grandparents and their grandchildren all over the world.

Sierra Club:  www.sierraclub.org/outings

The Sierra Club has many family outings as well as local outings to choose from. Also, each year they hold a week-long grandparents and grandkids outing in July in Tahoe National Forest, California.

Oceanwood Christian Camp: www.oceanwood.org

Held on a beachfront property in Ocean Park, Maine, Oceanwood camps have something for everyone–including a special Grandparent Camp in July, complete with Bible studies and live music, plus all the usual summer camp activities.

Pilgrim Tours:  www.pilgrimtours.com

A Christian tour company hosting hundreds of tours, including trips to various Bible lands. They have special pricing and packages for grandparents and their grandchildren.

Woodloch Pines Resort:  www.woodloch.com/grandparents

Voted one of the best family resorts in the country by TripAdvisor, Woodloch Pines, nestled in the hills of Pennsylvania, has many options for celebrating family time, including their specially designed G3-Generation Grandparent program.

 GrandCamps: www.grandcamps.org

Grand Camps hosts two camps each summer: one in Colorado in mid-July, and the other in Minnesota in mid-August. Their motto is “building a legacy that matters,” and their goal is to help grandparents connect with their grandkids in a spiritually meaningful and fun environment.

Beaver Camp: www.beavercamp.org

A Christian camp, exclusively for grandparents and their grandkids, held in Lowville, NY for 3 days and 2 nights each summer. The camp includes hiking, crafts, nature study, boating, fishing, swimming, ropes course, group games, as well as Bible studies.

Creation Museum: www.creationmuseum.org

A biblically inspired 70,000 square foot museum that aims to bring Bible to life with exhibits such as a “Dinosaur Den,” planetarium, botanical garden, the Garden of Eden, and much more. Located in northern Kentucky.

Holy Land Experience: www.holylandexperience.com

Located in Orlando, Florida, the HLE is a Christian them park that includes over a dozen exhibits, live shows, and architectural recreations of Bible lands–all aimed to help its guests learn about the Bible and Jesus. Weekly church services and Bible studies are also held at the park.

These are just a few of the many options available to help grandparents and grandkids spend some time together this summer. Whatever you choose, we pray that Jesus will be at the center of your experience.