Fun With Our Grandchildren

Last summer Barbara and I wanted to spend a day with each of our four grandchildren. We set the following guidelines—one day only, one child only, and suited to the child’s interests. At that time Dane and Luke were twelve; Hope and Mark were nine. They live within three miles of our home.

Hope, our little drama queen, has acted in two plays at the local Stained Glass Theatre. We went to a Disney Cinderella play performed in a classic theatre in Springfield, Missouri, about eighty miles away. One hundred fifty young people made up the cast. Hope identified one of the step-sisters as the part she would like to play. We also visited the Springfield Zoo for a couple of hours in the morning and ate lunch in a quaint café before attending the play.

Mark loves animals. We spent a couple hours at the Tulsa Zoo in the morning. We drove across town, grabbed a sandwich, and spent the afternoon enjoying the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, Oklahoma. We found it interesting to see what caught his attention. He entertained us with his comments and descriptions of the marine creatures. The amazing diversity in the animal world declares the creative wisdom of God.

Dane, Hope’s brother, expressed interest in flight. We arranged to meet a flight instructor at the Joplin Regional Airport who graciously showed us the trainer he used in training pilots and the other planes in the hanger. He answered Dane’s questions. Then we went to Tulsa Museum and Planetarium. We learned about constellations, saw many airplanes (including the F-14A “Tomcat” Fighter Jet), and participated in the interactive exhibits (including the Space Shuttle Robotic Arm and Space Maneuvering Unit).

Luke, Mark’s brother likes science. We went to Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri, which has a special program in solar energy. The director of the program met us in their house powered by solar energy. He explained solar panels and the value of solar energy. After lunch we went to the Kansas Technology Center at Pittsburg State University. A professor guided Luke in designing a 3-D frying pan using engineering software and gave us a walking tour of their facility. We also stopped by the Chemistry and Biology Departments.

I quipped to someone, “How else would we get to do these fun things if we didn’t take our grandkids.”  The best part of our outings was spending time with each grandchild individually and hearing what they think. Watching them mature has been a blessing. Connecting with grandchildren keeps the family legacy alive and well and keeps grandparents young.

Grandpa’s Bible Club

005_5Today is Grandparents Day. For Christians who are grandparents here are some practical ways to lead our grandchildren in the ways of the Lord.

While at a recent concert a former coworker asked, “What are you doing for fun since you retired?”

Without hesitation I replied, “Teaching our grandchildren.”

In the summer of 2006, I retired from teaching at Ozark Christian College, having taught 40 years in Bible college. I had two primary goals I wanted to achieve in retirement: spending more time with family (especially teaching my grandchildren) and writing books and articles.

My maternal grandfather, John Gilson, had a significant impact on my life. I wanted to follow his example. My wife and I are blessed to have our four grandchildren live within three miles of our home. While we have had some health challenges, we want to make sure we spend time with our grandchildren and contribute to their lives. Continue reading