Category Archives: Melinda Brainard

What Happens at Gramma’s, Stays at Gramma’s

You think I would know better.
I began helping raise my five siblings
 when my Mom went back to work
the summer after I finished third grade.
I have been parenting my own children for almost 22 years,
and even though all six aren’t grown up,
they are all still alive, safe and normal…well, kinda’.
It was supposed to just be a nice weekend visit,
where I would dote on my darling granddaughter, hold her,
play with her and not feed her sugar
because her Mommy won’t let me.
How did I forget, in a few short years,
what damage and danger can occur
 if you lose track of a one year old…
for only 15 seconds…
or less?

“Splish, Splash, my hand is taking a little bath.”
I guess she wanted to fish with the Scrabble tile rack….
the toilet WAS flushed…..I didn’t guarantee clean…..
“See, Gramma, I’m playing with your Cabbage Patch dolls now.”
Yea, in my antique DOLL playpen…..
“Oh, so this is what candy tastes like! MMMMM Good!”
Relax, Mom, the cellophane was still on…….
“This lego guy doesn’t taste as good as the candy cane, anyway.”

Besides, I know from YEARS of experience
that most small lego pieces can be pooped out if swallowed….

“I think I better help un-decorate the tree.”
She grabbed my newest ornament,
the one I cherish in my heart,
the most irreplaceable…..
It is the ornament I bought last year that gives my newest title,
 my newest profession
and my newest source of damage, duty and distress.
Oh, yea, it also is the title of my newest source of love, joy and adoration.
The ornament she is clutching in her toilet-splashing, tree-mauling hands says


This blog was originally posted December 18, 2008.

I am reposting to participate in
Homesteader’s Heart Friday Funnies.
Drop by for a few laughs to begin your weekend right.

To follow further adventures of the much grown-up Brookelyn,
and her Chubby Bubby Brother Bradyn
check out my daughter’s blog
The Roli Poli’s.

2008 Christmas Greetings from Peltiers

“Children are a blessing from the Lord,” Psalm 127:3

We are very blessed.

It is always an interesting challenge to get this many people to look at the camera, to stop fidgeting, to stop touching each other and to make a normal face. Every year we take 20 or more pics to try to find the perfect shot. Each previous year, one person ended up looking dorky, because there wasn’t a perfect picture.
This year everyone looked great – little Brookie is a little excited, but her finger wasn’t up her nose in this shot, so it was a keeper.

My guest blogger today is my daughter, Grace, the author of this year’s Christmas letter.

She did a great job.

Greetings from the Peltiers!
Well, another Christmas is upon us, and I, Grace, was bestowed the privilege of writing the wonderful Christmas letter.
To begin with, this coming June we celebrate our fifth year of living in Washington. Scary how time flies. Seattle has done us good, and we now know the difference between showers followed by rain and rain followed by showers. We also are astounded when this big yellow ball comes through the rain clouds and warms us up. I hear the tourists call it the sun.
Mom and Dad
are getting gray hair, wrinkles and are wondering if it is too late to change their minds about having six kids. Mom joined a Writer’s club and loves to get out of the crazy house. Dad still works at a computer company and can’t wait to be home at the end of the day, to get away from the crazy computer geeks.
Aaron and Jana
currently live in a small cozy apartment about two hours away from us. July will be a very special month for them; first they will have another baby and then Aaron gets out of the Navy. Meanwhile, Jana is busy eating pickles and chasing Brookelyn.
is busy drinking coffee, banging on the drums, and fixing his car. Funny, the past two Christmas letters have said, “Dan is planning to go to college next year….” I don’t want to break the tradition, so, Dan is planning on going to college next year in Minnesota for Music Production. Sometimes I wonder if he will go to college at all.
day consists of sleeping in, (because she was up late the night before watching a Cary Grant or John Wayne movie), scrounging around the house, maybe running some errands for mom, cooking, and helping around the house. The evening sets in and she chooses another old movie to fall asleep to. Oh, what a life! Also, she is currently teaching a young girl how to sew and helping Bekah with school.
I, Grace,
am a busy sophomore who misses her sleep. School, the kitchen, my books and babysitting take a lot of my time. Also, I have mastered the art of procrastination, so if you want to learn sometime, just ask. If i ever graduate I want to to to Lake Washington Technical College and get my degree in Baking Arts.
is a typical boy and would rather be with his imagination than his schoolbooks any day. his afternoons consist of making guns, building forts, fighting Nazis (he loves WWII history) and he has become quite a strategist and tactician. When he is not in war, he is off in the NAB playoffs beating the Lakers. When mom forces him into reality, he actually ‘enjoys’ school. Who knows, maybe someday we will all be working for him.
is also best friends with her imagination. She goes to college and coffees with her friends, but her biggest worry is whether to wear her pink dress or jean skirt with a flowered top, and then her purple fuzzy heels or her cowboy boots?? Oh, the decisions of a six year old. In reality, she is in kindergarten and is slowly, but surely, learning how to read.
I hope you will have a most blessed Christmas, and remember, it’s not about the presents, pretty lights, yummy cookies, or decorations; it’s all about the Lord Jesus.
Luke 2:10-14
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; I am bringing you good news of great joy, for all the people; to you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a child wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace goodwill among men!”
Our Family

Anything You Say and Do, Can Be Blogged Against You

I have another new form of punishment and torture for my children – the internet. Now that they know that I know how to blog, and do, they are under constant scrutiny to provide the next fodder for my cyber-soliloquy. I even carry a small notebook in my purse, and doodle random actions and exclamations, and keep a running Word document on my youngest child.

For years I have attempted to journal the comical things they say and do on my daily calendar, or in small notebooks for each child. But, who can keep two decades of calendars? The notebooks were read and re-read so many times the pages fell out. So, now I have the means of chronicling their lives and not only broadcasting it to a much wider audience, I can have it preserved forever

– as long as my hard-drive doesn’t crash (again)
-as long as I remember to backup my computer
-as long as someone doesn’t spill milk on my computer (again)
-as long as I remember yet another password

Now, when I hear bickering, I pull out my notebook, not always so discretely, and begin writing. If I don’t have a notebook, I grab a napkin or a scrap piece of paper. When they notice the writing, they sometimes begin to elevate their diction to a level of acceptability.

Sometimes, I may just casually ask, “What did you just say? I’m not sure I got that right?” with hands posed industriously with pen or keyboard, and they give me THE LOOK. We all know THE LOOK. All kids use THE LOOK on their parents. It is when their eyebrows and lips morph into the expression that quietly shouts both “What are you thinking?” and “Are you really my parent?”

Then I give them the PARENT LOOK back. We all know the PARENT LOOK. All children have seen the PARENT LOOK after they have dared question the superior wisdom and authority of their parental unit. It is the look when the eyebrows raise and the lips barely smirk, and we are quietly and victoriously shouting back,
“Yes, I AM thinking” and
“Yes, I AM your parent” but it adds,
“And if you don’t behave better, I am going to wear leopard stretch pants or a sweater with beads, mirrors and sequins sewed all over it the next time I take you out in public…and THEN I am going to blog you. Because, remember,

Anything you say and do,
can be blogged against you.