Grandchildren

Grandchildren illuminate and enliven the world for their grandparents. Among the many pleasures of having a grandchild is the chance to see the world as new again, discovering the world's beauty and wonder through fresh eyes. Sharing grandchildren stories with fellow grandparents, friends, and family members is a precious gift.
Child-like faith

Asking with a Child-Like Faith

When we come to God with a question, He will answer it according to what we need.

Enough love for everyone.

Enough Love for Everyone

A grandmother teaches an important lesson to her grandson and reflects on the bounty of God’s love.

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Family vacation

The Best Part of a Family Vacation

A grandmother recounts the moments that really mattered during a recent trip.

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Double rainbow

A Rainbow from Grandma

Proof that a Grandmother’s love is still present even after death.

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The power of telling a story

Let Me Tell You a Story…

How a grandmother instills the love of storytelling in her family

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Handprints of love

Handprints of Love

A lasting impression left on the hearts of adoring grandparents

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Love like a child

A Child-Like Love

Children can offer us the best examples of how to look at the world.

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Simple joy of family time

Simple Joys of Time with Family

After a whirlwind trip, a grandmother returns home tired but with a heart brimming with blessings.

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Queen for a day

When It’s Time to Pause and Play

For a busy grandmother on deadline, it’s important to set aside work for a bit and let her young granddaughter crown her queen for a day.

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Jesus in the Nativity scene

Don’t Lose Jesus!

The most important part of a family’s 30-year-old Nativity scene is well guarded.

Making summer memories.

Making Family Memories During Summer

Don’t let the season slip away without lots of fun times together.

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Fishing with grandkid

Gone Fishing with the Grandkids

A hobby that allows time for grandparents to build memories and offer life lessons

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Why a Change of Plan Can Be a Blessing

Why a Change of Plan Can Be a Blessing

Life is full of upheaval from jobs to health to family, but God’s love never wavers.

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Busy mom

Make Time for What Matters

We’re all busy. But, today, do you have time for family and time for God? Yes.

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The high school basketball game was in full swing when I arrived. I’d been delayed by a doctor’s appointment, but it was important to be there. Not to watch the athletes but the pint-sized cheerleaders on the sidelines—one in particular, my 6-year-old granddaughter, Ava.

As I paid for my ticket, I felt something brush against my leg, little hands patting me for attention. I looked down and my 2-year-old grandson Nolan’s big blue eyes stared back up. He asked me something, but with the noise in the gym, I couldn’t hear. Finally, I leaned down and asked, “What do you need, buddy?”

With a serious expression, he replied, “You got cash?” He led me to the snack bar where he’d been eyeing a pack of candy. I loved that Nolan knew he could come to me for whatever, and if it wouldn’t hurt him and if it was in my power to get it for him, I would. After all, making my grandchildren happy makes me happy.

God loves to give to us as well, and He loves when we come to Him with child-like faith to ask Him for what we need. Sometimes we don’t get what we asked for because He knows it wouldn’t be good for us. 

Other times He makes us wait for an answer because we need to learn patience or to become grateful for what we have. But sometimes He leads us to the snack bar of life and says, “Get whatever you need or want. My resources are limitless.”

I don’t want to be hesitant about bringing my requests to God. I want to wait for Him with faith like Nolan’s, knowing that the Father who loves me will provide what is best.

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When we come to God with a question, He will answer it according to what we need.

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Life with a Southern Grandmother
Michelle CoxFeb 9, 2018

Asking with a Child-Like Faith

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“Grandmama,” my 7-year-old granddaughter said on a recent afternoon at my house, “I’m so glad you let us play with your Nativity set. We have one at home, but my daddy bought it in Israel, so he doesn’t let us play with it.”

Every Christmas, the first thing Ava does when she comes in our house is to head straight to the Nativity set. She sets it up on the floor, the hearth, or on our coffee table, and soon, baby Jesus is carefully placed in the manger, the angel flies through the air, and the camels, donkey and sheep clip-clop their way to the stable.

All six of our grandchildren love playing with it. And before them, their daddies did the same. I purposely bought a set that wasn’t breakable because I wanted my children to be intimately familiar with the Christmas story. It’s beautiful, but the resin figurines have been with our family for more than 30 years now, and they’ve stood the test of time…and lots of little hands. 

But I always give one warning as the little ones start to move the set off the table where I’ve placed it, “Don’t lose Jesus!”

Three of my grandchildren spent the morning with me today. A little while ago as I walked past the coffee table where Eden had left the manger pieces, God whispered to my heart, “Don’t lose Jesus!”

In the midst of multiple responsibilities, a book deadline, shopping, wrapping, baking, laundry, cleaning (and on and on) it’s easy to lose Jesus—the real reason for the season.

Today is His birthday, a time to celebrate the greatest gift of love that’s ever been given. So I’m sharing God’s message that He impressed on my heart: Don’t lose Jesus. 

Let’s set aside some time today to worship Him. To thank Him for what He’s done for us. To express our gratitude for the blessings He’s given us—family, a home, food on our tables, people who love us, and the list could go on and on. 

And dear God, as the years go by, whenever my precious grandchildren see a Nativity set, whisper that important message from You and from me: Don’t lose Jesus!

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The most important part of a family’s 30-year-old Nativity scene is well guarded.

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Jesus in the Nativity scene
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Life with a Southern Grandmother
Michelle CoxDec 21, 2017

Don’t Lose Jesus!

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Enough Love for Everyone

“Grandmama, you should love me best.” My 7-year-old grandson’s earnest little face looked up at me. Our family was in the middle of a nine-day vacation, a wonderful time for all our sons, daughters-in-law and our six grandchildren (ages 3-8) to laugh, love and be together. 

A couple of times during the week I’d noticed a few traces of jealousy in the grandbabies—not about toys, but about me. If one sat on my leg, another would rush over and jump on the other leg and snuggle in. 

I’d hug on both of them, but later in the week when my grandson uttered those words, I knew I had an opportunity to teach them an important lesson. I said, “I want to tell you something important. Grandmama loves each of you. All of you are special to me for different reasons, but I love ALL of you just as much.”

I continued, “You know how it is when you blow up a balloon? You can blow on it and blow on it again and again, but there’s still room for more air. That’s what Grandmama’s heart is like, there’s always room for enough love for all of you.” They seemed to understand that explanation and I didn’t notice any more instances of jealousy the rest of the week.

They’re children and “enough love for everyone” wasn’t something they just automatically understood—and I suspect that there are many of us adults who could also use a refresher course in that.

Many of us have grown up in homes where we didn’t feel loved and valued. We’ve dealt with issues such as low self-esteem and not feeling wanted…even in our own families. Sometimes those situations can’t be fixed, but there’s one thing we can count on: God has enough love for all of us and there will never be a shortage.

He says it best in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

In I John 3:16, He says, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us.” Yes, friends, not only does He love us, He loved us enough to die for us. There’s no greater love than that.

I’m so grateful for the sweet security of His love—and that there’s enough for everyone. Aren’t you? 

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A grandmother teaches an important lesson to her grandson and reflects on the bounty of God’s love.

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Enough love for everyone.
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Life with a Southern Grandmother
Michelle CoxDec 13, 2017

Enough Love for Everyone

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The Best Part of a Family Vacation

My family—my husband and myself, our three sons and their wives, and our six grandchildren—just returned home from a nine-day vacation that included four days at Disney World. We had a big time riding roller coasters and other attractions, meeting the characters, eating our way around the world in Epcot, and enjoying a variety of shows. My husband and I enjoyed watching our children as they watched their children enjoy the wonders of Disney.

We shopped together at the outlet mall and Disney Springs, knocking some Christmas gifts off our lists. And on one of our days off from the parks at Disney, we hopped on the monorail and toured the various resorts on the property, driving to those we couldn’t reach by the monorail.

It was all wonderful, and we had loads of fun. But the simple joys (that really weren’t so simple) were what made the trip special to me. Things like little hands tucked in mine as we waited in line for rides. Adorable faces looking up at me as they asked to “shop” in Grandmama’s snack bag. Sleepy grandbabies on my lap, their heads snuggled on my shoulder.

There were toddlers fresh from their baths and wrapped in towels. Sweet hugs and kisses at bedtime. Snuggles in the morning with not-quite-awake little ones. And, oh my, the infectious giggles as the six young cousins played and enjoyed their time together.

There was the joy of having all our children and grandchildren under one roof—a treasure now that our sons are grown and gone. As we sat around the dining room table at dinner one night, I soaked in the scene as everyone talked and laughed. So much love in one room.

Yes, Disney was awesome. But even more wonderful was the time with family…making memories to last a lifetime…deepening the bonds that are already there…and enjoying all the simple joys that are priceless beyond words. 

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A grandmother recounts the moments that really mattered during a recent trip.

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Life with a Southern Grandmother
Michelle CoxDec 8, 2017

The Best Part of a Family Vacation

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A Rainbow from Grandma

Today’s guest blogger is Stephanie LeFante of Manahawkin, New Jersey. When Stephanie’s grandmother passed away in January 2017, she was devastated.

But, as it turned out, her grandmother had a special way of making her presence known to Stephanie even after she passed away.

Here’s Stephanie’s incredible story…

Do you believe in miracles?

Rainbows have always been special to my grandmother and me. Growing up, one of my fondest memories was spending time at Grandma’s house in Staten Island, New York. Grandma would take my brother, Mike, and me outside to her closed-in patio, and we’d make chalk drawings all day long. I always drew a rainbow. Grandma thought it was so funny that I stuck with the same design time and time again. Even years later when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, one of the things she never forgot was my rainbow drawings.

Grandma passed away this past January. Since then, I’ve asked her to send me signs that she’s still with me. On more than one occasion, I asked for a rainbow and Grandma delivered. One appeared on Easter, the first holiday my family celebrated without Grandma. Another appeared after a family barbecue. Yet another on my brother’s wedding day. And, most amazingly, over July 4th weekend. An hour after my husband and I visited her grave, the sky opened up and it started to pour. I saw not just one rainbow, but two. A double rainbow!

I wanted to thank Grandma for the double sign of her love. So I drew a double rainbow and left the drawing on her grave the weekend after July 4th. I stuck it behind a statue so that it was pinned in place. But a storm came and when my aunt returned to the grave that week, she told me that the drawing was gone.

Three months later, I was at the elementary school where I work as a teacher’s assistant. I took my students out to recess. It was a beautiful sunny day, not a cloud in sight. There were about 50 kids running around the playground. I walked to the middle of the field to monitor the kids and stepped onto a wood-chips covered area. I looked down at my feet. And there it was.

It was ripped and a little beat up, but there was no mistaking it. The drawing I’d made Grandma!

I picked it up, stunned. The playground was 30 minutes from Grandma’s grave, more than 20 miles away. It’d been three months since I left it there. We’d had storms, heat waves and rain showers since. How in the world did it survive and end up at my workplace, right at my feet, with all those kids running around?

I miss my grandmother every day and think about her constantly. But I know she’ll never leave me, even if I can’t see she’s there.

I have proof. 

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Proof that a Grandmother’s love is still present even after death.

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Lunch-Break Miracles
Diana AydinOct 24, 2017

A Rainbow from Grandma

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Let Me Tell You a Story…

Did you know that October 6-8 is National Storyteller’s Weekend? I tell stories for a living—stories from my everyday life, stories that hopefully encourage and inspire and, most of all, stories about our amazing God.

But stories were a big part of my life long before I became a writer. I was fascinated by reading or hearing about great things people did, and as a little girl, I loved reading the stories in Guideposts. Even as a child, I recognized that the stories captured in those pages were special. 

Stories are a great way of passing down our family history from generation to generation. They’re a super-glue that can bind our hearts together. And there are no better stories than those that share what God’s done in people’s lives.

Jesus knew the power of stories. He used them often to help people visualize important truths. The imagery of the shepherd hunting for his one lost lamb and of the woman searching for her lost coin sticks in our minds.

God’s given each of us a completely unique story—and He doesn’t want those to be wasted. They’re to be shared so that others can see what a big and awesome God we have.

That’s one reason I want to instill a love of stories in my grandchildren, and I thought I’d share what we’re doing in case it might be helpful for you. 

I want stories to be fun for my little ones (ages almost 8-3), so when we’re in the car together or piled onto the swing on our deck, I’ll say, “Let’s tell a story!” and then I’ll start with something like, “Two friends were in the woods when they saw a BIG bear!” The child sitting closest to me carries on with a line or two and then we work our way around until all of them have contributed to the story. They love doing this—and I love listening as their imaginations come to life. I’ve been amazed at the intricate storylines they’ve come up with. 

I want my grandbabies to know about our family and those who came before us, so I weave those stories into little moments. For example, if we pass a canoe, I can tell them about the time my cousin and I were out in the middle of the lake when our canoe overturned. They beg for stories from when I was a little girl and they want to hear them over and over. Looking at old pictures together can also be a great way to lead into family stories.  

Most of all, I want those precious children to know that Grandmama loves God and to hear the stories of what He’s done for me. I’ll never run out of those.

How could you use the power of story to touch the lives of others?

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How a grandmother instills the love of storytelling in her family

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The power of telling a story
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Life with a Southern Grandmother
Michelle CoxOct 4, 2017

Let Me Tell You a Story…

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Handprints of Love

Our grandchildren had made several visits in the span of a few days. They watched movies. They ate. They snuggled. And the glass doors in our kitchen slid open and shut countless times as they zipped in and out to play and to watch the wildlife in our backyard. 

Several nights later, on a muggy summer night, gloom and rain rolled in. I heard my husband walk through the kitchen, and then I heard his footsteps come to a sudden stop. He called out, “Honey, come here! You’ve got to see this.” I knew what he was talking about. I’d seen it moments earlier, but I walked back in so he could show me.

The humidity had made the glass doors fog up a little bit, and there nestled among the glistening raindrops on the glass were perfect little handprints in a variety of sizes. Our grandchildren’s. There was an indescribable beauty in that scene. Precious reminders of the sweet impressions they make not only on our hearts, but also on our home.

That night as Paul and I stood there in our kitchen with his arm wrapped around my shoulder while we looked at those little impressions, we were reminded of how blessed we are to have those children in our lives. Tears filled my eyes as I whispered a prayer, “Lord, please let me leave handprints on their hearts for You.”

I hope I leave handprints of love. An overwhelming love for God and for them. I hope I leave handprints of compassion and kindness, an example of how to love others. I hope I leave handprints of joy and laughter, of moments spent together, of memories to last a lifetime. I hope I leave handprints of prayer. Not only for the days they’re living now, but bottled-up prayers for future days when I’ll no longer be here. I hope the handprints I leave on their hearts will provide a reflection of Jesus.

And you know what? Even though I’ve cleaned my kitchen numerous times since the night of noticing the handprints on the doors, I haven’t cleaned those glass doors. I keep hoping that we’ll get to see those little handprints just one more time. But if not, it’s okay—because it’s for certain that those precious little ones have already left handprints on our hearts.

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A lasting impression left on the hearts of adoring grandparents

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Handprints of love
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Life with a Southern Grandmother
Michelle CoxSep 8, 2017
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Handprints of Love

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A Child-Like Love

One of the things I cherish about my grandchildren is how often they make me laugh. We recently celebrated our grandson Jack’s 7th birthday. He’s reached the age where he enjoys having money to do his own shopping, so we put a fifty-dollar bill in his birthday card and told him we’d go shopping with him the next day. He had no trouble planning our itinerary.

Knowing how much he loves key lime pie (and since that was his choice instead of birthday cake), we stopped at the store to get him one that night. My husband handed Jack’s dad, our son Tim, a twenty to go in and get the pie. As Tim shut the door and walked off, Jack said, “Please tell me that wasn’t my fifty-dollar bill.” Oh my, how we laughed!

And while we were in Florida recently with some of our kids and grandchildren, we planned a day at the beach. Since our other son and daughter-in-law live there, they know all the best places to go where the beaches won’t be crowded, so we drive to a lovely bay near their home.

I put my swimsuit on and then slipped into a pair of jean capris and a shirt. My little granddaughter, Ava, said, “Grandmama, why are you wearing jeans to the beach?” I told her I didn’t have a cover-up and I’d take the capris off once we got there. That’s when she looked up at me with those beautiful blue eyes and said, “My mama probably has one you could borrow.” Her mama is teensy tiny, and I had passed that size by the time I turned two. So sweet of Ava, but hilarious! Ava looks at me and doesn’t see her pudgy grandmamma; she just sees love. That totally melts my heart.

How Children See God

With all the problems in our world, can you imagine how different things might be if we looked at others with eyes of love? God’s given us the best example ever. Instead of looking at me and seeing all my flaws, my failures, and the things I’ve done wrong, He just sees His beloved child. He sees my heart that wants to serve Him—even though I mess up so often.

He says it best in I Samuel 16:7: “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

I’m so grateful that He sees me through a divine lens of love and grace. And just as my beloved granddaughter did, I want to extend that kind of love to others. 

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Children can offer us the best examples of how to look at the world.

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Love like a child
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Life with a Southern Grandmother
Michelle CoxSep 6, 2017

A Child-Like Love

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Simple Joys of Time with Family

My husband and I made a whirlwind trip to Florida this week. It was a 10-hour drive each way, and we were only there for a long weekend, but it was worth it to spend time with family and to celebrate our grandson’s birthday.

I arrived home tired but with a full heart. Our grandbabies range from almost 8 to 3 years old. I know the day will come when they’ll be too old to greet me with excited shouts of “Grandmama!” But for now, I’m loving the feeling of little arms clamped around my neck and heads tucked in close for hugs.

I love still-snuggly-from-sleep little ones crawling in bed with me in the mornings for some cuddle time and then gathering there again to read before bedtime. That’s one of my favorite things ever.

While in Florida, I soaked up the moments of our time on the beach, watching the little ones play and splashing in the water with them. And I enjoyed the sweetness of watching my adult children enjoy their children, making memories to last a lifetime.

It melts my heart how the cousins love each other. Their joy at being together is evident in every moment and every picture. I think they squeeze each moment as much as I do.

My husband Paul and I love sitting with our sons and daughters-in-law at night after the children have gone to bed, talking about what’s going on in their lives, about God and about their babies. That time together is extra precious now that they’re all grown and gone. I cherish those moments when we’re all under one roof.

Simple days filled with life, love and laughter. Each moment is a blessing from a loving God who wove our lives together—and a reminder that family is one of God’s best gifts ever. 

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After a whirlwind trip, a grandmother returns home tired but with a heart brimming with blessings.

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Simple joy of family time
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Life with a Southern Grandmother
Michelle CoxAug 25, 2017
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Simple Joys of Time with Family

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When It’s Time to Pause and Play

I almost missed an opportunity to be queen for the day. My little granddaughter, Ava, had come to spend the afternoon with me. I’d warned her that Grandmama wouldn’t have much time to play since I’m on a super tight deadline for a book.

Ava colored some princess pictures while I wrote. She curled up on the couch (with the heating pad–one of her favorite things at my house) and watched an animated movie, pausing from time to time to come talk to me or to get a snack or drink. We both stopped long enough for a picnic on the deck. I’d been back to work for just a little while when she walked and looked at me with such a precious pleading expression and said, “Grandmama, can you come play with me in the toy room for a little while?”

With the clock ticking for my deadline, there was no way I really had time to do that, but I can’t resist my grandbabies, so I shut the computer down, took her by the hand, and we walked upstairs to play.

That’s when I became a queen. A jeweled crown was placed on my head while royal music played in the background. My new role as “Queen Michelle” was announced as a bell rang. A purple-feathered boa was flung around my neck. I was told about the royal feast that would take place that evening and that Jason Crabb (a Grammy-Winning Southern Gospel musician) would provide the entertainment.

I sat there and enjoyed her imagination and her sunshine personality, soaking in the sweetness of our moments together—I was so glad I’d taken the time to be with her.

My days are super busy, and time is one of my most precious commodities. I think of it like a bank account, and I get to decide how to spend it. When the final accounting is done at the end of my life, I hope it’s evident that I spent it on God, family and good work. I hope that I’ll have touched hearts and lives for Him, and that I will have left behind plenty of cherished memories for those I love.

All of us receive a pre-set bank account of days for our lives. God says it best in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

Friends, let’s spend our minutes wisely, but if you get the chance to be queen for a day, I highly recommend it!

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For a busy grandmother on deadline, it’s important to set aside work for a bit and let her young granddaughter crown her queen for a day.

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Queen for a day
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Life with a Southern Grandmother
Michelle CoxJul 14, 2017

When It’s Time to Pause and Play

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