Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reading with Grandma

My mom is an amazing Grandma.  She loves her grandchildren more than everything else in the world except for my Dad.  Because of that and her strong testimony of the Savior, she lives in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with my dad.  Both are wonderful missionaries and are influencing many lives through their examples and interactions.

Frequently, my mom asks how she can continue to stay close to her grandchildren and be of service to our family even though she's thousands of miles away.  Always looking to uplift, to help, to serve.  That's my mom.

This past semester I visited with my mom on the phone about a few struggles of managing the after-school hours, i.e. the bomb that hits our house around 3:08 every day and doesn't end till after 9 PM.  It is a super busy time around here; carpooling home from school, helping with piano practicing, homework, jobs, making after school snacks for famished, starving children, then making dinner, cleaning up. . . all while trying to keep a very determined yet tired 2-year-old happy and a 5-year-old out of trouble.

Another of my worries was that with all the chaos and business, I was struggling to find quiet, uninterrupted time to help EmmaClaire with her homework.  And she's one that needs quiet, uninterrupted time.  Very easily distracted, then very easily frustrated.  Which most always leads to absolute disaster.

So how in the world was I supposed to give her the quiet, uninterrupted time she needed and deserved and craved, and still keep the house in order and keep everyone else happy?

Over that phone call with my mom, she brainstormed about how she could help.  In my mind, I thought. . ."if you lived here, you could come over and take the younger two out from under my feet, you could help practice piano with the older three, you could carpool to and from different activities that interrupt my afternoon, you could make dinner so I wouldn't have to worry about it," . . . and the list goes on.  (Wish I had two of me-I could be sooo productive!)

She suggested that she could read with EmmaClaire at 5pm twice a week.  With awesome technology like Facetime and Skype, we could connect with each other through our ipads.

So that's what has happened this past semester (not every week, but enough to make a lasting impression on my little 7 year old).  Grandma has her issue of the Friend in the Dominican Republic, and EmmaClaire picks out what story she wants to read here in Arizona. And they read together, then visit, then talk about the story, then read some more.

What a HUGE help!  EmmaClaire loved her time with Grandma, and through the process she developed her reading skills.  It allowed me to not stress over her as much, knowing that she was getting all she needed from Grandma. On those special days, EmmaClaire comes in from playing sometimes seven or eight times throughout the afternoon, asking "Mom, is it 5pm yet?"  She doesn't want to miss a minute with Grandma. 

 Thanks Mom!  Miles and miles away, yet still so helpful.  Love you!


  1. This made my heart melt. What a wonderful Mother/Grandma. I hope someday I can be a blessing and influence to my children/grandchildren the way your Mother is. So thoughtful. No wonder you're so awesome!! Love you!

  2. What a GREAT idea!!!!! Love technology for things like this!!!

  3. That is so cute. I totally understand your feelings about afternoons with your kids. I often feel like I am bracing for a tornado once all the kids are home.