Grumpy the Gator

In Grumpy the Gator, a group of children playing encounter a grumpy alligator. The story teaches children to always keep a safe distance from animals in the wild, and to find an adult if they see an alligator.

Grumpy the Gator

Its Always A Story With The Hendersons

“Mimi…do you see that?

Grandson Rowan and I recently enjoyed a quiet chat on the front porch at his home. He is two years old and has great conversations skills. We had brought toy cars outside and were racing them up and down the railings. “Let’s vroom!” He would shout. “Okay. Let’s vroom!” I answered. He stood behind a chair and asked me to come stand behind the chair, too. “Welcome to our car show!” He announced. I repeated his words.

Approaching the railing on the side of the porch, Rowan asked if I could climb up. I pretended to lift my foot on the bottom of the rail.
Looking at the sky, Rowan pointed and said, “Mimi…do you see that? That’s clouds. That’s rain.” My heart filled with joy as he began listing things for me to see and hear.
“Mimi, do you hear that? Birds singing. They are in the trees. Mimi, do you see those flowers? Mimi, do you see the bushes and the trees?”

The quiet conversation between Rowan and his Mimi. My heart filled with so much joy that tears moistened my eyes. The innocence of a little boy. The excitement of seeing clouds, listening to birds singing, showing me the flowers. What a blessing to be his Mimi!

I couldn’t wait to share with the family about this special time. A conversation I will always remember.

The chat ended with giggles when Rowan looked at the side of the neighbor’s home, grinned and pointed to the water spigot. “Mimi, I can’t play with the hose.”

Trying not to bust out laughing, I understood what he was talking about. Not too long ago, I believe I heard how he liked to point the water hose at his parents and spray them. Or maybe that was my imagination. Either way, he grinned while telling me about not being able to play with the hose.

A special bonding time, lots of giggles and a chance to play “Vroom” with toy cars, pretend to have a car show, listen to birds singing, watch for clouds and rain and best of all, receive hugs from sweet Rowan.

These are simple joys. Times I noted in my journal. Memories I hope to share with Rowan when he is older. I imagine us laughing and sharing more special conversations in the future.

In this time of crisis and stress, I will look for ways to find joy. Sharing time with family is one of the best ways.

Thank you God for giving us ways to find joy.

Can you share some ways you are finding joy? Let us know in the comments.

Blessings and giggles,


  • melonieabenjamins
    Posted at 14:48h, 01 April Reply

    Thanks so much Melissa for your post. Yes. I agree. Taking advantage of the time we have right now, being present in the moment with our family, has been amazing for me too. I have been enjoying taking short walks with hubby around our neighborhood for lunch. A treat I would not have if I was not working from home right now.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 14:57h, 01 April Reply

      Melonie, I love how you recognize the treat of taking short walks with your hubby. Even in the stress of this time, we can find joy in the simple things. Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Bettie G
    Posted at 14:53h, 01 April Reply

    Dear Melissa, I love this story of how you could share such joy with your little Grandson. They really do bring such gifts don’t they? The wonder that they see in the world that God has created is so contagious! I pray that I will listen and keep my heart open to that same wonder also. Blessings and love to you!

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 14:58h, 01 April Reply

      Thank you Bettie. Little ones truly bring joy. Their love for life is very special. Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Jill Weatherholt
    Posted at 15:03h, 01 April Reply

    What a sweet post, Melissa. Little Rowan is blessed to have you as his Mimi. You should print this post and save if for him. I’m thinking I see another children’s book in your future where Rowan makes more discoveries in nature. πŸ™‚ Lately, I’m finding great joy watching all of the new birds coming into the world and relying on their wings for the first time. Stay well! <3

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 15:15h, 01 April Reply

      Jill, thank you so much. I am happy to share with you that the first hummingbird of the season arrived at the feeder this morning. I can’t wait to share with Rowan. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed day!

      • Jill Weatherholt
        Posted at 15:17h, 01 April Reply

        That’s wonderful to hear, Melissa. We are hoping to see our first visitor soon! <3

  • Candice Brown
    Posted at 15:19h, 01 April Reply

    Simple joys: time in worship and prayer, unencumbered by work schedule. Time to tackle the classics I bought at a garage sale. Time to write: I’m 13 chapters into my novel and averaging a chapter a day! The love of my fiance who gives without thought of recourse, especially since I’ve been ill. Attitude is everything; mungu ni mzuri wakati wote (Translation: God is good all the time. )

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 15:22h, 01 April Reply

      The list of ways you are finding joy is wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Amen. God is good all the time. Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Beckie
    Posted at 15:24h, 01 April Reply

    Your post made me smile😊 Lord knows we need to count our many blessings right now!
    I have too many to count.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 17:21h, 01 April Reply

      I am glad the post made you smile. Yes, counting blessings every moment. Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Kimberly Rose Johnson
    Posted at 16:12h, 01 April Reply

    What a sweet story, Melissa. You have such a blessed and special relationship with your grandson. It reminds me of my grandmothers when I was little. Thanks for sharing.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 17:22h, 01 April Reply

      Thank you Kimberly. Hubby and I moved from VA to SC just so we could be near son, daughter-in-love and grandson. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed day!

  • Gail Johnson
    Posted at 17:18h, 01 April Reply

    Rowan sounds like a doll. Spending time with family is the perfect way to find joy. Beautiful post, Melissa! πŸ’—

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 17:22h, 01 April Reply

      Thank you Gail. Yes, spending time with family brings many joy filled moments. Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Eliza
    Posted at 19:51h, 01 April Reply

    He is so lucky to have you, and you, him! My niece is in our house at the moment. She is precious. Nature, birds singing, brings me joy.

    Love, light, and glitter

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 21:05h, 01 April Reply

      What a joy filled list! Have fun with your niece. Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Vickie@Vickie's Kitchen and Garden
    Posted at 23:58h, 01 April Reply

    I love it..grandchildren are such a joy! So, that’s what brings me joy each day,the grandchildren! They keep us busy and laughing. Exactly, what we need right now.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 00:31h, 02 April Reply

      Yes, we do need laughter. Rowan brings joy to us in every moment. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Rachel
    Posted at 00:20h, 02 April Reply

    How special! I’m so glad you’re able to spend time with family during this turbulent time. Also, I adored your picture–redbuds are a treat to the eyes.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 00:32h, 02 April Reply

      Thank you. Yes, redbuds are beautiful. I love God’s creations. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Karen
    Posted at 02:32h, 02 April Reply

    Loved your story about your conversations with Rowan! He sounds absolutely adorable. I agree with him that spending time conversing with family and admiring Gods’ beautiful creation is the ticket to joy. As families, let’s bind our hearts together in God’s perfect love as we enter into Passover, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday. May this year be the best we’ve ever experienced, and may we be refreshed by the love and power of the Holy Spirit. Blessings, dear Mimi, and much love xoxo

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 12:27h, 02 April Reply

      Thank you for your wonderful words. Yes, praying we all will be refreshed by the love and power of the Holy Spirit. Have a blessed day dear friend. Virtual hugs and lots of love. πŸ™‚

  • Yvonne
    Posted at 13:45h, 02 April Reply

    You grandson has provided smiles to many people with your story. It is in these difficult times that we need to focus on those innocent moments of joy. Thanks for for a smile today as I hear the birds singing outside my window b

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 13:53h, 02 April Reply

      Rowan truly provides lots of joy. Have a wonderful day. I will be listening for the birds, too. πŸ™‚

  • June Foster
    Posted at 14:08h, 02 April Reply

    Melissa, thank you for sharing these precious moments with us. What a blessing. You encouraged me to look for the good even in the middle of chaos.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:20h, 02 April Reply

      You are so sweet June. I am looking for ways to find joy in each moment. Have a blessed day dear friend. πŸ™‚

  • Stephen
    Posted at 15:24h, 02 April Reply

    Priceless! Those are truly the moments we cherish, We just were blessed with having our Daughter and Grandson with us for a months and a half before everything happened, as well as our Son came home for my Birthday back in February. Great memories were made and now I find joy in the time with my amazing wife as well as doing Ministry online reaching people all around the world. Sharing the Good News brings me great joy! God Bless and be safe out there….

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:21h, 02 April Reply

      Thank you Stephen. I am thankful for online Ministry that reaches many people. I believe people are drawing closer to God. Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Barb Ready
    Posted at 15:50h, 02 April Reply

    Love this Melissa. Gosh how I miss my grandboys. They moved back to Atlanta first of March. It was such a joy having them near us and we could see them 2-3 times a week. Now our joy comes in short moments of FaceTime. This time is truly hard, but I know God has a plan and a purpose, so I continue in the work He’s called me to!

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:22h, 02 April Reply

      Barb, I am thankful for video chats with Rowan and his Mom and Dad. πŸ™‚ Yes, God has a plan and a purpose. We don’t know His plan yet, but we can be comforted knowing He is with us. Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Ava Pennington
    Posted at 16:25h, 02 April Reply

    “Look for ways to find joy.”

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:26h, 02 April Reply

      Yes, I am finding joy today. Sun is shining. Birds are singing. Hummingbirds have returned. πŸ™‚ All of these things bring joy. Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Jessica Brodie
    Posted at 16:43h, 02 April Reply

    It’s the little moments that I treasure! Such a sweet grandson you have. xoxo

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:44h, 02 April Reply

      Yes, the little moments are the best. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Lynn J Simpson
    Posted at 15:25h, 04 April Reply

    Oh yes! Finding the joy with children is such a blessing. My joy has been pictures from my 11 year old granddaughter of her baking creations. Baking is something we did often together before this isolation, so it’s been a joy to see the fruit of that time together!

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 15:33h, 04 April Reply

      How sweet and wonderful to be able to see pictures of her baking creations. I am so very thankful for video chats and photos from friends and family. Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  • Janet from FL
    Posted at 20:47h, 04 April Reply

    If your grandson continues finding joy in the simple things, he will be an encouragement to many friends and family. Today I found some joy in putting on some music in the kitchen with an upbeat, and dancing while I made breakfast. A great way to start the day!

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 22:30h, 04 April Reply

      Music is good for the soul. I love listening to music and dancing. I am not a good dancer but that doesn’t stop me. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed weekend!

  • ordinarilyextraordinarymom
    Posted at 18:25h, 06 April Reply

    Such beautiful memories here. I am enjoying all the moments at home with family as well. Stay safe and God bless.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 20:48h, 06 April Reply

      There are definitely ways to find joy even in this strange time. Finding joy in the simple things in life is very special. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • karentfriday
    Posted at 19:39h, 07 April Reply

    Such precious and priceless moments, Mimi. I love how Rowan, like most children, are in awe of the simple pleasures in life and nature. Things we sometimes take for granted as adults and are too busy to stop and notice. This current world situation has us all in a place where we can bring back that child-like awe for God’s beauty around us…if it’s lost.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 19:40h, 07 April Reply

      Yes, the current world situation has everyone looking at things in a different way. I pray we will use this time to grow closer to God. Have a blessed week dear friend. πŸ™‚

  • Jeanne Takenaka
    Posted at 22:19h, 07 April Reply

    Melissa, I loved this post. Little boys are an absolute delight. You are fostering something beautiful with that grandson of yours.

    I’ve been contemplating joy in this time when many in my life are dealing with hard things in addition to COVID-19. I find joy in seeing glimpses of God’s beauty. When I take a morning walk and there’s a beautiful sunrise, or flowers just poking above the ground, or sunlight reflecting in the heads of wheat stalks. Seeing His presence in the small details of my life brings joy.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 00:17h, 08 April Reply

      I believe people are finding joy in the simple things of life. Taking a walk in the neighborhood each evening(and yes, social distancing), my husband and I find joy in seeing beautiful flowers and birds. Knowing how each person must have worked hard to make their flowers beds so beautiful. We make a point to share with the neighbors how much we enjoy their flower beds. Have a wonderful and blessed week. πŸ™‚

  • RobbyeFaye
    Posted at 21:07h, 17 April Reply

    What precious adventures and priceless memories! Rowan sounds delightful. He has such a sharing, caring spirit!
    Thank you for sharing.
    Praying all stay safe and healthy~πŸ™πŸ’–

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 22:58h, 17 April Reply

      Hello dear friend. Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, Rowan is such a joy! He brings smiles and lots of laughter to everyone. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed weekend!

      • RobbyeFaye
        Posted at 19:02h, 18 April Reply

        You are so welcome, Melissa!
        Rowan sounds like a wonderful bundle of joy and blessings!
        You and yours have a wonderfully blessed weekend, too~πŸ™πŸ’–

  • debwilson2
    Posted at 16:06h, 22 April Reply

    What a precious exchange. I don’t have grandchildren, but my puppy shows the same wonder. in life and opens my eyes to things I take for granted.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 17:16h, 22 April Reply

      Puppies and children bring great joy. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed day!

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