Mar 142016
 

When the grandkids have days off from school for Easter vacation, it’s time to get busy on a craft at Camp Grandma.


Making catapults starting with popsicle sticks and hot glue teach engineering skills.  After studying all the pictures, they each created a different type of launching catapult. Many of the items used were scavenged from around the house like baggie clips, bottle caps, and plastic spoons.

Craft with bunny pen

Catapult with String Release
Materials needed:
– Popsicle Sticks
– Hot Glue
– Plastic Spoons
– Rubber bands
– Bottle Caps
– Masking Tape
– Corks
– Baggy Clips
– String
– Nails

The boys decided Easter themed bunnies and chicks would be fun to launch. No animals were harmed in the process. Their creative engineering added a Chicken Coop and Bunny Pen for keeping them safe when stored in the catapults. Grandma loved not having any sticky Easter candy or marshmallow mess to clean up.

Craft pompoms Animals

After the grandkids super glued pompoms together, they added feathers for tails and ears. Puffy paints on the eyes and mouths turned them into wild looking characters and prompted funny names like Humphrey, Puffy, and Smalls.

Catapult distance test
The animals needed a target and hitting an Easter basket proved very challenging.  This gave them an idea to see whose catapult sent their fuzzy animals the farthest. They spent the rest of the afternoon launching at targets outside on the lawn.  A distance of almost 20 feet made this Camp Grandma a success.

What Easter crafts are you planning when the kids are looking for ways to keep from getting bored during their school vacation holiday?

Mar 082016
 

Did you know there are opportunities for life as a Senior that are not available for the young whipper-snappers?  Life after 55+ years doesn’t have to be boring or expensive. These are some of the places I’ve found that offer senior discounts or are free.
Senior Discount

SENIOR DISCOUNTSwww.seniordiscount.com
I’m sharing with you some of our favorite places in Utah, but this website will also show listings for your area.

Businesses rarely offer this information.  I would always ask if they give a discount, so you don’t miss out on these opportunities.
Restaurants: some that we enjoy locally and may consider 55+ years of age for a senior discount.
A & W Restaurant
Carl’s Jr.
Applebee’s
Chili’s

Ski Hills: most of the ski resorts offer a senior discount, but you must show proof of age.  These are a few of our favorite places to ski with the family.

Brighton Ski Resort
Solitude Ski Resort
Snowbasin Resort

Retail: businesses that advertise their discounts, but may offer a better discount not age related.
Ace Hardware
Jo Ann’s Fabrics
Kohl’s Department Store
Rite Aid

Automotive: a few of the auto service businesses that are handy for a needed oil change.
Jiffy Lube
Midas Auto Service

The senior discount website lists many more categories like airlines, golf and other sports. I would recommend contacting a business to find out what you can save a few bucks on and when.
National and State Pass
State Parks – The “Utah Senior Adventure Pass” is valid for one year, starting from the month purchased. Eligibility for the pass is for seniors 62 years and older.

Our favorite State Park is Antelope Island and a great place to visit any time of the year.  Besides seeing where the buffalo (freely) roam, there is a sandy beach for the grandkids and the historical Garr Ranch to learn about ranching a century ago.

National Parks – An “America the Beautiful” pass is a lifetime pass for only $10.  This is a bargain worth purchasing.  We love visiting the national parks during the off-season as a perfect way to relax and take photos when it’s not so crowded.

Seniors on the go

http://slco.org/aging-adult-services/senior-centers
There are 19 Salt Lake area Senior Centers that offer local tours for a small fee and also unique special events. This is a wonderful way to socialize, eat a meal, and learn new crafts from weekly classes and workshops.

My hubby and I have an HO Model Train Room that we manage at the Harman Senior Rec. Center.  Reminiscing about trains seniors rode or played with are a way to share fun stories.  Also, helping seniors who don’t have access to computers is one of the many opportunities for volunteering at the center.

http://www.culturalcelebration.org
Utah Cultural Celebration Center offers free admission to Summer and Winter concert series for everyone from July through December. Their art gallery and artifacts include traveling educational exhibits from the Smithsonian and local artist groups.  Some of our favorites are the Trees of Diversity and Face of Utah Sculpture annual exhibits.

Silver Sneakershttps://www.silversneakers.com
Health plans offer this program at no additional cost and is designed for all levels and abilities. SilverSneakers provides access to fitness equipment, group exercise classes, online education and a chance to meet other healthy seniors.
The locations are conveniently close by, so I don’t have to drive far to enjoy free classes at my local recreation center and my Curves Gym.

There are so many opportunities as a senior for learning, exercising or just being entertained.  I’m interested in learning what other ways you have found to save money through your senior discounts or other freebies.

May 092014
 

A mother’s undying love lives on through future generations.
Mother photo 1943 Journal Entry - Mother Hovercraft with Mother
My mother is holding me while surrounded by my loving dad, sister and grandfather. 

Naturally I don’t remember that day, but I’ll always remember the love she generously gave me and everyone else.

As an only child, she was “over protected” from ever learning how to ride a bicycle, roller skate or even whistle.

She instilled in me her passion for learning how to create things, rather than buy a cheaply made version.

Now as a grandmother, her influencing love for creativity lives on through me to the great-grandchildren she never met.

A school assignment for my grandchildren was to write stories in their journals.

My daughter shared my grandson’s journal entry on the subject, “Tell about an interesting person you have met.”

Nate wrote, “The interesting person I have met is my grama.  She makes cool things like hovercrafts.  The best thing I think she made is the hovercraft.”

The drawing shows a smiling Nate with a hovercraft, we made at Camp Grandma.

A used CD is super glued to the top portion of a plastic bottle.  After blowing up the balloon, it is attached to the bottle’s stopper.

The air from the balloon makes the hovercraft float across the table.

What cool crafts will your kids  remember creating with you?

Mar 182013
 

Lee played with model trains when he was his grandson’s age.  It instilled a love for trains that he still has today.HAYDEN & GRANDPA

We purchased a home for retirement that fits our empty nester life style, which only allowed room for an N Scale size train set.  We found this 2’ by 3’ layout and a rolling table that fits perfectly in a corner of Lee’s office.

0107 copy
After learning about the techniques of remodeling a train layout, Lee changed the scenes to reflect our travels through the Moab, Utah area.  The new mountain has red rock spires with trees, rock climbers and campers, surrounded by city life in miniature.

BEACH SCENE copy

The beach scene has all its available camping sites filled with trailers and tents, boaters, picnickers and swimmers.  This is the kind of camping that we are looking for when we venture into the outdoors.

picnic table 1How small is an N Scale layout? One of the picnic tables that Lee assembled fits on a dime and he made them all without a magnifying glass.  Basically, N scale is half the size of the HO scale.  The HO scale is half the size of the O scale model trains.  All our grandsons begin their love of trains by playing with Thomas the Tank Engine, which is just the perfect scaled down size to fit their precious little hands.

GRANDPAThe youngest of our grandsons are now learning how to become expert train engineers.

Lee has been sharing his love of trains with all seven grandsons and may need to be careful as to how many train sets he promises to build with the grandboys.

 
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