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

Oranges in the Trees

“What are we doing today at Mimi’s?” This is a question I hear often from Rowan and Eden and also, the neighborhood children. School is finished and summertime activities have begun at Mimi’s house. Warm weather is here and that means bubbles, water balloons, splash pads, science experiments, and more ways to have fun.

Last week, I found instructions on how to make a bird feeder with oranges, granola, popcorn, and peanut butter. You may wonder why I would choose such a sticky and messy activity. The laughter that filled the house and the smiles of Rowan and Eden were great prizes even as we made a huge mess in the kitchen.

Bop had purchased two oranges at the grocery store. One for our project and one to eat. Always being safe first, I cut the orange in the middle which gave a half for each child. With paper towels ready for clean-up and the kids standing where they could see everything happening with our project, we were ready for the activity to begin.

“Mimi, what are you doing? Why do you have an orange?” Five and ¾ years old Rowan spoke first.
“Mimi, orange?” Two years old Eden spoke next.

I began to explain how we would make granola from the ingredients and then, fill the orange halves. But, first I had to scoop the “pulp” out of the orange. What an experience! This particular orange was filled with major pulp. The more I scooped with the spoon, the more juice squirted all over the kitchen counter and onto our clothes and hands.

Giggles started. We all laughed at the mess Mimi was making.

Next, we needed granola bites and popcorn to be ground up a little bit smaller. Bringing out the blender, Rowan immediately asked if he could push the button. Eden knows blenders are loud. “It’s too loud, Mimi.” She spoke before I had plugged in the machine.

“No worries Eden. Rowan can push the button. We’ll cover our ears.” Eden instantly placed her little hands over her ears even though the machine wasn’t turned on yet.

When I added a couple of granola bites to the blender and secured the top, I told Rowan to push the button. He smiled and placed his finger on the pulser. With a few taps, we had granola to mix with the peanut butter.

All ears were uncovered and the blender was put in the sink to wash at a later time. Now we could mix the rest of the ingredients to make our homemade meal for the birds.
Reaching our hands into the bowl, we mushed and squeezed the peanut butter and granola together.

The giggles started as we noticed the icky and gooey mess sticking to our fingers. “Mimi, how are we going to get this stuff off?” Rowan inquired.

Eden looked at me and started to stick a little finger in her mouth so she could taste the bird treats. “Wait, Eden, wait. I’ll get you another snack. This one is for the birds.”
With a grin, she proceeded to wipe her messy fingers on her shirt.

The bird feeder treat was ready to spoon and place in the oranges. Bop had prepared the oranges with teeny holes in each side. We filled the oranges and gave them to Bop to hang in the tree.

A fun and simple, or maybe not so simple, activity that brought laughter and joy. A bit of a mess, but sometimes fun involves making a mess.

Later in the day, after the new bird feeders were filled and hung, Rowan, Eden, and I looked out of the playroom/office window. Downy woodpeckers enjoying the treats we had made for them.

Every day, we look for the birds. We’ve also had bluebirds visiting our homemade feeders.

What a joy to have fun projects! We learn and laugh together. Sometimes we get messy and that’s okay.

Have you enjoyed any homemade creations lately? Share with us. You may inspire others.

Blessings and giggles,
Mimi aka Melissa Henderson

  • Carol Souders
    Posted at 11:32h, 13 June Reply

    What a sweet story. Brings memories of times in the kitchen with my own grandchildren and making space ships out of cardboard boxes on the deck. Lots of giggles – good for the soul.

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 13:33h, 13 June Reply

      Thank you so much Carol. Yes, those are precious memories. The simplest things can bring great joy. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  • JD Wininger
    Posted at 11:38h, 13 June Reply

    I smiled, laughed a few times, and even thanked God for the intentional ways you shower His love onto your grandchildren. Thank you for bringing a smile this morning ma’am.

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 13:34h, 13 June Reply

      Thank you dear friend. I’m glad to provide some smiles this morning. Rowan and Eden will be here tomorrow and I’m looking forward to new projects. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  • Laurie Larsen
    Posted at 12:01h, 13 June Reply

    I’m taking grandma lessons from you!

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 13:35h, 13 June Reply

      Love this! I know your little grand will be happy to have projects with you and Norm. 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  • Jill Weatherholt
    Posted at 13:46h, 13 June Reply

    This is wonderful, Melissa. I’m happy you’re able to create these beautiful memories with your grandchildren. Enjoy the summer!❤️

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 14:23h, 13 June Reply

      Thank you so much Jill. Life is good with the grandkids. 🙂 Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • Diana Derringer
    Posted at 14:30h, 13 June Reply

    What fun! I could see it as you described it.

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 19:58h, 13 June Reply

      Thank you. Tomorrow will be another day filled with fun activities. I’m not sure which activity we’ll choose, but I know there will be giggles. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • Robin Lee
    Posted at 14:31h, 13 June Reply

    You’re the best Mimi!! Thanks for sharing this delightful story.

  • Karen Ruhl
    Posted at 15:34h, 13 June Reply

    I love your stories with your grands. I look forward to making bird feeders with GrandDamien when he gets a little older. ❤️

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 19:59h, 13 June Reply

      Thank you Karen. GrandDamien will love making messes. haha! Have a blessed week! 🙂 Hugs!

  • Barbara Harper
    Posted at 17:56h, 13 June Reply

    What a fun project! Sometimes the fun and together time is with the mess. 🙂

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 20:00h, 13 June Reply

      Yes, a fun project! I don’t mind the messes because messes usually mean giggles. 🙂 Have a blessed week!

  • michellekaderlywelsh
    Posted at 21:22h, 13 June Reply

    LOL I enjoyed learning about your fun day with the grandchildren. Your descriptions were wonderful. I could see it happening in my mind. I love how you do projects and learning activities with your inquisitive young people. 🙂

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:01h, 13 June Reply

      Thank you Michelle. Rowan and Eden teach me great lessons. 🙂 Have a blessed week!

  • Melinda Viergever Inman
    Posted at 21:26h, 13 June Reply

    Stories about your grandchildren are always so delightful. You are clearly a wonderful grandmother. They are so blessed to have you, as you are to have them.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:02h, 13 June Reply

      Melinda, I appreciate your kindness. I am blessed to be able to share time with those grandkids and the neighborhood children. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • June Foster
    Posted at 21:41h, 13 June Reply

    I always love your posts about the activities you do with your grandkids. It makes me wish mine were still little. 😉 Making wild bird food sounds great.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:04h, 13 June Reply

      Thank you June. Fun times with Rowan and Eden. They will be here tomorrow and I’m getting supplies ready. Have a blessed week dear friend! 🙂

  • Nancy E. Head
    Posted at 21:56h, 13 June Reply

    Looks like a great activity, Melissa. Your family is blessed through you. Thanks and God bless!

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:05h, 13 June Reply

      Thank you Nancy. My family blesses me in every moment. Lots of fun activities ready for tomorrow. 🙂 Have a blessed week!

  • Jessica Brodie
    Posted at 00:02h, 15 June Reply

    Such a touching story! I know your grandkids are filling up with a treasure of memories about simple joy… all with their sweet Mimi!

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 00:16h, 15 June Reply

      Thank you Jessica. Today, we made homemade puffy paint. Lots of giggles and a big mess. But, the pictures are beautiful. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • Katherine Pasour
    Posted at 02:46h, 15 June Reply

    What fun! Your message gifted me with smiles and a new activity for me to do with my grandchildren. Thank you, Melissa!

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 11:56h, 15 June Reply

      Yes, lots of fun! Yesterday, we made puffy paint. Today, we will find other fun projects that bring smiles and laughter. Have fun with your grandchildren. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  • Lynn J Simpson, PLC
    Posted at 12:29h, 15 June Reply

    I love these homemade bird feeders! I think I’ll have to try making them, too. And your story reminds me that it is in the messiness of life, not the perfection, that brings out the most joy.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 11:49h, 16 June Reply

      I hope you get to make the feeders soon. Lots of fun! Yes, sometimes the messiness of life brings joy. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  • Jeannie Waters
    Posted at 12:48h, 15 June Reply

    Making sweet memories like this one have long-term effects that teach children to laugh, love, and share life with others. Good job, Mimi!

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 11:50h, 16 June Reply

      Thank you Jeannie. Today, we’re going to paint and have a picnic. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  • Karen Jurgens Harrison
    Posted at 06:43h, 21 June Reply

    Sorry to be so late–I have been on vacation. I’m glad I didn’t miss your post here. You and the children will always have good memories to feast on. Memories and messes go together well! You are such a creative Mimi! Have a blessed week! xoxo

    • Melissa G Henderson
      Posted at 11:48h, 21 June Reply

      Thank you Karen. Hope you enjoyed a wonderful vacation. The grandkids will be here today and I’m sure we’ll have a fun project. 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  • Jeanne Takenaka
    Posted at 18:14h, 22 June Reply

    Melissa, I love how intentional you are with your grands. This sounds like it must have been such a fun activity to share together.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 12:32h, 23 June Reply

      Thank you Jeanne. Sharing time with our grands truly blesses Alan and me. Have a blessed weekend! 🙂

  • Chandra
    Posted at 14:12h, 01 July Reply

    Oohhh…you just gave me an idea! Maybe, this type of bird feeder will deter the squirrel–which traveled quite a distance for the bird feed my hubby placed outside my office window.Thanks! Continue the fun times with the little ones!

    • Melissa G Henderson
      Posted at 12:17h, 02 July Reply

      Sorry the squirrel is causing troubles. Hope the orange feeder works. We don’t know until we try. haha! Have a blessed day! 🙂

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