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meet the grands!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Awww! Thank you all for the many ways in which you reached out yesterday to support our new adventure here at “Our Grand Lives.” As with any new venture, we are working out a few glitches... especially when it comes to learning and using technology! Our former colleagues are probably shocked that their two favorite (😊) retired kindergarten teachers are not only using technology daily but are building a website and uploading content, too! We have to admit that we're rather shocked at (and secretly pleased with) ourselves, as well, as we've navigated these learning curves! We so appreciate your interest and patience and we are excited to share ideas and learn from each other and our readers as we continue to grow in our new roles as retirees and, most importantly, grandparents!

Today we are excited to provide more of a peek into our lives! Years ago, our paths crossed for the first time when we met at church as young parents. We were quickly drawn to each other as we discovered that we were both elementary teachers in neighboring districts in the western suburbs of Minneapolis.

As we raised our families, we often found our lives paralleling each other. In fact, Laurie was one of Laura’s daughter’s Sunday School teachers (along with her own son), from kindergarten all the way through sixth grade! What a blessing for all involved!! However, other than weekly Sunday School classes and then Confirmation or youth activities, our daily lives rarely crossed paths. Yet, as friends and educators, we’d find ourselves checking in with each other, sharing what fun projects or “aha” moments were taking place in our classrooms or what special family events were currently happening. We worked on the Children’s Ministry team together for years and loved creating stations for Sunday School or projects for church festivals.

As the years went by, our kids graduated high school and then college. We kept in touch primarily through annual Christmas cards and social media. Recently, Laurie retired after 35 years of teaching and then Laura followed a year later with 38 years under her belt! New adventures beckoned!

By pure chance, we ran into each other one day last fall. Laurie was on an autumn walk with her husband and Laura had been visiting her mother-in-law in her care facility. Laurie’s poor husband!! He stood and listened while we spent a loooooong time catching up and we quickly found that our common bonds continued! Laurie had recently become a first time grammy and Laura’s daughter was pregnant with her first child (Laura’s first grandchild), due in early January. We began connecting on a regular basis. During the past year, we’ve had such fun sharing “Grammy “ and “Gramma” moments, as well as our newfound hopes and dreams with each other. And so, the vision for “Our Grand Lives'' began!

As we immersed ourselves in the joys of grandparenthood the idea of creating a platform began to grow. As teachers, we know that rarely is an idea shared with others an original one. Rather, our goal has been to share what we’ve found successful, build a library of resources and offer some ways to tweak or change an idea to meet differing needs. At the same time, we hope to use this blog as a way to document and share our grand lives with our family, friends and readers!

We quickly found ourselves overwhelmed as we learned about the world of blogging, website design, and one of us even learned how to use her camera more effectively! (Can you guess who?)

As two non-techy, crafty, imaginative, patient and loving Grands, we are excited to finally be bringing you Our Grand Lives!

Without further adieu, let's meet the grands!

These days, I totally embrace my status as Gramma Laura but will also happily respond to Mrs. Pederson when I see a former student at the grocery store or Target! My grandma and a favorite aunt would call me Laura Leigh, as would my mom and dad if I found myself in trouble… and a few childhood friends and relatives still call me Laurie. But most often I answer to Laura or Lor! I’ve lived most of my life in the Minneapolis metropolitan area. In fact, I spent my teaching career in the same district I attended as a student from the time I was in sixth grade and beyond! We never ventured far from home, as our two daughters also attended that same district, from kindergarten through twelfth grade! I met my hubby (we will call him Grampa D) in college and we became friends first before romance took over during my sophomore year. We’ve been together ever since! Our two daughters were born five years apart and are very close… for blogging purposes, they will be referred to as Daughter J and Daughter A here.

Daughter J is also an elementary teacher and she was married in 2019 and now lives 4 1/2 hours away, near Madison, WI. We feel so blessed that she found our son-in-law (known as SIL on these pages). He’s definitely a keeper! Our younger child, Daughter A, is a pediatric nurse and she lives nearby. Yippee!

On January 1, 2022, Daughter J and SIL made us grandparents for the first time when Little L was born! We certainly rang in the new year in the best way possible!

She has brought such joy to our lives and we relish the time we get to spend with their sweet family! When I’m not busy being a gramma, you might find me baking, reading, crafting, taking walks or traveling with my hubby. I love the color green, Law & Order, Hallmark Christmas movies, going to Bible study, spending time at our lake home or entertaining family and friends!

Hello! I’m the other Laura, though I have been called Laurie ever since first grade when my teacher decided I needed a nickname!

I taught Kindergarten (with 2 years of first grade thrown into the middle) for 35 years. My favorite activity has always been reading to kids, and immersing them in a good story.

My husband (Grampy M) and I have been married for 37 years. We have two children - our Daughter A and our Son D. Both are married and my daughter and SIL presented my husband and I with our first granddaughter in July 2021. During this past summer in July 2022, our DIL joined our family. Our children both live close to us, and I am lucky to take care of my Little D one to two days a week. We have a dog and a cat to keep us company in our empty nest.

I love reading, chocolate, crafting, photography, scrapbooking, making lists, planning parties and walking our dog. I volunteer in kindergarten and teach Sunday School each week.

Interesting fact - I took care of a great niece and great nephew a couple of days a week during two summers when they were babies. That’s where I got my first taste of grandparenthood!

And now for a few fun facts about the grands!

our favorite comfort foods...

Gramma Laura - My go to would either be a few slices of mushroom pizza or a big bowl of buttered popcorn! YUM!

Grammy Laurie - I love sweets way too much! I would say homemade chocolate chip cookies bring a lot of comfort to me!

our favorite childhood movies...

Gramma Laura - Every year, I’d look forward to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. It would be broadcast once each year and my mom would make homemade pizza so we could eat while we sat in front of the television. I sang the songs, “In My Own Little Corner” and “Ten Minutes Ago I Met You” all year long!

Grammy Laurie - I waited every year for The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz to come on TV.

our childhood celebrity crushes…

Gramma Laura - My bedroom was filled with Tiger Beat posters of Bobby Sherman! Swoon!

Grammy Laurie - David Cassidy. I would put my Partridge Family records on and sing along with them, alternating playing different family members.

our favorite childhood books…

Gramma Laura - My mom belonged to a children’s book club and I looked forward to the arrival of a new book each month! My favorite was the book, Part Time Dog, by Jane Thayer. It was such a sweet story about sharing and love! Have you heard of it?

Grammy Laurie - I loved my stuffed animals so my favorite book was The Velveteen Rabbit. I always thought my animals were real!

our favorite moments as grandparents (so far)…

Gramma Laura - Golly… that moment is ever changing! Little L is always doing something new to captivate our hearts!

Grammy Laurie - It will always be the first time Little D reached for my face while lying in my arms when I was singing for her. (I’m still waiting to be called Grammy for the first time!)

Thanks so much for taking the time to read today’s post! We’d love to learn more about you, too! If you’d like, please feel free to comment and share 1-2 answers to any of the above questions!! Also, we’d love it if you took the time to subscribe to our site!

We have one more post scheduled for later this week. On Thursday, we’ll be Looking Ahead as we show you what’s coming up during the next month and into the New Year! See you then!


Nov 28, 2023

Dee | wrote: So happy to meet everyone!! Thanks so much for linking up at #AThemedLinkup 173 for Grandbabies and Grandparents. Pinned.


Nov 16, 2022

Loved your first post! It is nice to ”meet” you Laurie. I was a Shaun Cassidy fan and went to see him at “ the civic center” in 1978!

Nov 16, 2022
Replying to

Thank you, Wendy! It's nice to meet you, too! Those Cassidy boys were the best! (Laurie)

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