The Scoop on Granny


Dreaming of the mountains...

Who is Granny?

I'm the incredibly blessed mother of 9, "Granny" to 16, and wife of "The Papa," the knight-in-shining-armor whose loving support has made it possible for me to stay home and give my life to mothering, homemaking, and 26 years of homeschooling. Life at Granny's House is full of laughter, friendship, books, music, lively debate, writing, and good things to eat. My days are made even more meaningful by coming alongside other moms, giving them the support and encouragement that I lacked as a young mother and helping them to network with each other in ways that strengthen homes and families. A few times a year I board a plane to visit my "away" kids, to attend the birth of a grandchild, or to enjoy some lazy days with my best friend, but I always love coming back to...Granny's House.

My Complete Profile

On Granny's Calendar
  • August 15 - SAC Day begins
  • August 16 - Sam is 7!
  • August 20 - Kristen's birthday
  • August 30 - THE WELTYS ARRIVE!
  • Sept 3 - Chris' birthday
  • Sept 5 - Henry is 9!
  • Sept 7 - Isaac is 10!
  • Sept 17 - The Papa's birthday
  • Sept 23-30 - Granny and Papa go to Hawaii
  • Sept 26 - PawPop is 88!
  • Sept 29 - Tim is 15!
  • Oct 2 - Cheyenne's birthday
  • Oct 4 - Liam is 5!
  • Oct 7 - John Caleb is 17!
  • Oct 18 - Tony's birthday

  • Email Granny!

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    Granny Cares
  • Care Calendar
  • Agape Pregnancy Help Center San Antonio
  • World Vision

  • Granny Cooks (and Eats)!

  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks
  • Once a Month Mom
  • $5 Dinners
  • Full Bellies, Happy Kids
  • A Year of Crockpotting

  • Granny's House (and yours!)

  • Simple Mom
  • The Nesting Place
  • Between Naps on the Porch
  • The Inspired Room

  • Granny gets around...
  • A Holy Experience
  • MommyLife
  • Confessions of a Pioneer Woman
  • Preschoolers and Peace
  • Breathing Grace
  • theMangoTimes

  • Granny stays informed...
  • Real Clear Politics
  • Fox News
  • Drudge Report

  • Granny Thinks...
  • Al Mohler
  • Between Two Worlds
  • Blog and Mablog
  • First Importance
  • Equipping the Saints
  • Desiring God

  • Granny says you may go to...
  • PowerLine Blog
  • Michelle Malkin
  • SteynOnline
  • WSJ Opinion Journal Best of the Web
  • GetHuman
  • Home School Legal Defense Association

  • Granny goes to the movies...
  • Netflix
  • Rotten Tomatoes

  • Granny is watching!
  • Blue Pencil Editing
  • Mighty Red Pen
  • Conjugate Visits

  • Granny smiles at...
  • Purgatorio
  • ScrappleFace
  • LarkNews
  • Sacred Sandwich

  • Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Stephanie asked a question a few posts back in the comments, and today I started to answer, but it got to be so long I decided to just make it into a post.

    She asked:

    Which brings me to a question I've been meaning to ask you, as well as mothers of other large families: how do you go about your gift-shopping with such a large family? Does each child get a certain number of gifts? A certain dollar amount? Or are there no rules, so to speak?

    I'm curious how others do it, especially as our family grows...

    Stephanie, unlike my more structured friends (and daughters LOL) we tend to do it a little differently every year. I start buying early as well (though I usually cover the grandchildren first), but I don't do it according to any plan. I take into account the available funds, my energy level, the children's needs, their desires, their natural "bents", etc. and then I begin looking for gifts. The Papa and I talk about what we'd like to be a main gift for each one and then I fill in with books, clothes, toys, whatever. The definition of "fill in" varies widely year to year and I kind of like it that way. I have thought about gift-giving by some sort of formula and then I've realized that it just doesn't fit who we are. I have to do enough in my life according to a grid...don't want to give gifts this way.

    That said, I DO make accurate lists. I use a Word document and list everyone I want to give a gift to, and then I list several ideas, followed by question marks. If/when I buy that item, I take the question mark off. (Some years, when I'm more energetic and have a higher tolerance for detail, I code it with a certain color when it's been ordered and yet another color when it actually arrives.) If I decide against a certain gift, I delete it, and if I find something unexpectedly perfect that wasn't on the list, I add it. Near the end I just remove everything with a question mark, make sure that I'm happy with the proportion / distribution, and save the document for next year. Sometimes I include what I've spent, sometimes not. I also keep track of ornaments I've bought for each child, a calendar for each one, and any "name drawings" I need to purchase.

    So while I don't start with a big plan for number of gifts, amount of money, etc., I do keep good records and that always helps me the next year.

    One thing I've done, not every year, but often: I choose a certain kind of wrapping paper for each child and wrap all their gifts in it. None of them are supposed to know which paper I've assigned to them, though there's always a lot of speculation whispered behind my my back: "Oh, come on, she'd never choose rocking horse paper for me." Hee hee. Anyway, this helps eliminate some of the guess by shaking or by the shape of the item and makes it more fun once everything is under the tree.

    Last year I was dealing with lots of leftover paper and didn't seem to have enough paper to do one per child, so I used whatever paper I had and then just labeled them according to one of the reindeer's names. One was Prancer, one was Vixen, etc. and I didn't reveal the "code" until Christmas morning. Again they tried to guess based on what names "fit" them...Nathan was just 100% certain that he wouldn't have been Vixen. ;-) It's fun to see lights go on in the kids' heads after the big reveal..."Oh, maybe that big one with the pointy thing sticking out IS for me!"

    As an aside here, I am now approximately 90% finished with my shopping and still haven't set foot in a store. I'm very happy to be pushing my cart (or my bathtub, if you've followed these posts) around the World Wide Web and getting to know my UPS man. Okay, it does make it harder to stop for a latte, but as long as someone brings me one once in a while through the holidays, I can deal with that (Starbucks Eggnog, Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread or Peppermint Mocha, please).

    Some of you will be disappointed that we don't have some spiritual grand plan for Christmas gift-giving or that I'd dare let Vixen be a part of our celebration, but there you have it. My children grow up understanding Who the real Gift is and this is given plenty of space and celebration in our home all through Advent and the actual holidays. But Granny's House also strives to be a place of fun and variety and even hilarity...I've always seen it as part of my role to foster making this a delightful place to live, so even in the recent years when I've done most everything from a chair, my brain is alive!

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    has spoken at 4:38 PM
    8 Backtalks to Granny

    Granny's Mission Statement
    "...Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done....that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children."
    ~Psalm 78:4-6

    My Focal Passage for 2011...
    Philippians 2:5-11

    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

    6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

    8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

    10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    ~Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)


    "The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it."

    ~Samuel Johnson

    [Oxymoronica, n., A compilation of self-contradictory terms, phrases, or quotations; examples of oxymoronica appear illogical or nonsensical at first, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true.]

    Books on the iPhone, the Kindle, or on the nightstand...

  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander Mccall Smith
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur G. Bennett, editor

  • Books finished in 2011...

  • Oxymoronica, Mardy Grothe
  • Some Sing, Some Cry, Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
  • English Society in the Eighteenth Century, Roy Porter
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
  • His Word in My Heart, Janet Pope
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Piper
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
  • The Confessions of Saint Augustine, St. Augustine
  • Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats, John Keats
  • Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell
  • Words That Work, Frank Luntz
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
  • Poke the Box, Seth Godin
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, Gary Taubes
  • A Patriot's History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
  • Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, Anh Vu Sawyer
  • The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life, Shona Cole
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, Elizabeth Kantor
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough

  • Oh, the thinks you
    can think...
  • Tapestry of Grace
  • Anatomical Charts
  • America's Library
  • George Washington's Mount Vernon - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Thomas Jefferson's Monticello - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Hurricane Demo

  • Oh, the places we'll go...
  • The Alamo
  • Majestic Theater
  • The MAiZE
  • Magik Theatre
  • Sheldon Vexler Children's Theatre

  • Granny always says...
    Uh, no....
    But does she put away the leftovers??
    Retailers Buoyed by Strong Holiday Start Sunday ...
    Here's an interesting perspective on how the Hill...
    Sunday snippets...
    It appears that green is in the eye of the behold...
    While all of you are out there giving thanks for ...
    I hope everyone is having a lovely Thanksgiving, ...
    Having Lots of Kids Helps Dads Live to 100
    There was a time, whether all you X'ers and Y'er...

    Granny used to say...
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    Grace Notes

    "Were the whole realm of nature mine
    That were a present far too small...
    Love so amazing, so divine
    Demands my soul, my life,
    my all!"