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Lisa Carpenter
Lisa Carpenter is a freelance writer and blogger specializing in topics related to grandparenting, parenting adult children, the empty nest, and the baby boomer lifestyle. She publishes the Grandma's Briefs website, stressing the vitality and relevance of today's grandmothers, and she contributes regularly to other sites around the web. Lisa and her husband have three adult daughters and three grandsons, children of the middle daughter and her husband. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Entries by Lisa Carpenter

When Grandchildren Move Away: 12 Things to Send With Them

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 12:12 PM

Sometimes, regardless of how much we wish things could be different, grandchildren and their parents move away from Grandma and Grandpa. Perhaps there's a better financial situation for Mom or Dad farther away, or maybe it's a marital split that results in beloved grandbabies being relocated farther from grandparents than...

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Top Spots to Travel Back in Time in the Tawases

(1) Comments | Posted November 18, 2015 | 7:15 PM


Tawas City and East Tawas -- "the Tawases" -- are picturesque sister communities on the east coast of Michigan. The quaint area on the shores of Lake Huron's Tawas Bay offers fun and sea and sand to both the residents and year-round visitors.

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Alpena a Haven for History Buffs and Outdoor Enthusiasts

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2015 | 3:20 PM

History buffs seeking outdoor adventure will believe they've struck gold when visiting the city of Alpena on Michigan's east coast. Alpena is rich with both -- many times in the same activity or attraction.


The perfect description for this quaint community on the...

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Boost Your Bucket List: Be A Lighthouse Keeper, Not Just Lighthouse Visitor

(15) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 6:11 AM

Lighthouse lore and allure is hard to resist, which is why many baby boomers have a lighthouse tour or two on their beloved bucket lists. Few folks know, though, that you can not only tour lighthouses, but that can keep lighthouses, too.

Meaning, you can take a turn as a...

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Weekend With the Grandkids? Turn Your Yard Into a Certified Wildlife Habitat

(1) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 4:17 PM

Grandma and Grandpa's house is a magical place for a grandchild. Having your yard certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation can increase the magical factor tenfold and more.

Certifying your yard, no matter how big or how small, is much easier than one might think. Plus,...

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Oh, the Games We Play: Keep-Away With My Insurance Provider

(1) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 3:18 PM

I like playing games with toddlers as much as the next grandma. Not so much, though, when it's my insurance company playing the part of opponent.

To wit: I recently visited my doctor in search of relief for my overwhelming fatigue, an effect of MS. She prescribed a medication, zapped...

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Why It's Scary Becoming A Grandparent

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 7:58 AM


From the moment I learned my husband and I would be parents up until those three little ones we eventually birthed left our nest, I was a paranoid, overprotective mother. I worried during each of my pregnancies, fretted over growth charts as my newborns grew,...

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15 Words That Belong in Every Grandparent's Vocabulary

(4) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 7:36 AM


AFFLATUSn. A sudden rush of divine or poetic inspiration. Grandchildren are the cause of many a grandparents' afflatus.

BELGARD — n. A kind or loving look. Cookies are nice but it's belgards from Grandma that kiddos crave most.


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8 Ways to Get Grandparents Involved in Your Child's Classroom

(2) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 7:54 PM

School-age children provide parents all sorts of delights, from school programs to projects and parent-teacher conferences. Those delights can be anything but, though, for parents with overfilled plates.

Mom and Dad may be in luck, though, with partners on hand to cover school obligations. I'm talking about Grandma and Grandpa....

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Grandparenting as a Second Chance? 15 Things I'd Do Differently

(8) Comments | Posted June 14, 2014 | 7:14 AM

Some grandmas and grandpas consider being a grandparent their second chance at parenting, their opportunity to do things right, do things forgotten.

Not me. I don't see my time as Gramma being a do-over for my time as Mom. I've already had the headache, hassle, heartache of being a parent....

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The 12 Best Moments In Every Grandparent's Life

(14) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 7:36 AM

Being a grandmother is one of the most surprisingly delightful adventures I've ever experienced. Some moments are grander than others, though, moments such as these:

1. Being told you'll soon be a grandparent for the very first time.

2. Holding a newborn...

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Running Around Naked And 4 Other Ways I Behave Differently In An Empty Nest

(16) Comments | Posted February 22, 2014 | 5:31 AM

My nest was full for a good 20-plus years. Then one by one, my three girlie birds flew away.

It took a while to get used to the empty spaces and absent faces, but I'd say I'm now past the mourning phase and well into appreciating that my husband and...

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10 Things For Grandparents To Quit Fretting About

(14) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 7:09 AM

Grandparents far too often fret and fear that they're somehow not the grandparent they should be. For all you worry-wart grandparents, I suggest you stop fretting about the following when it comes to your grandchildren:

I don't have the budget to give many gifts or clothes.
Kids don't need...

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7 Gifts You Should Never Give To Grandkids

(9) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 6:41 AM


The Christmas my middle daughter was about 4 years old, she received the most adorable, soft-bodied baby doll. We called it “Laughing Baby,” because when the doll’s tummy was pressed, she’d let loose an infectious giggle that would set my daughter into giggle fits galore....

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6 Family Stories To Tell Your Grandchildren Again And Again

(2) Comments | Posted September 8, 2013 | 7:21 AM


My daughter, mother of my two grandsons, is an early childhood educator. Each school year, my daughter hosts a Grandparents Day celebration and encourages her students to invite a grandparent (or two) to attend school with them. One highlight of Grandparents Day is when the...

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Becoming Grandma too Soon: Tips for Navigating an Unplanned Pregnancy

(36) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 2:12 PM

As our children become young adults and we envision our eventual role as Grandma, we all imagine a certain scene, a certain set of events leading up to the glorious title and tasks of family matriarch. The imagined scene doesn't usually include a teen daughter -- or a teen son...

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The Perils of Pauline Multiplied: My Girly Girl Daughter Now Mothers All-Boy Boys

(24) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 11:06 AM

My grandsons live more than 800 miles away from me, so I see them only occasionally. One of the perks of being a long-distance grandma -- and there are a few -- is the obvious growth and maturing of my grandsons from one visit to the next.

I delight...

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Good Riddance, 2012: An Open Letter To One Of The Worst Years Yet

(21) Comments | Posted December 31, 2012 | 1:43 PM

Dear 2012,

I had high hopes for you. After the economic mess 2007 and 2008 left us in, I had heard you'd set things right, bring us back to the normal we citizens all across the globe had grown to know and love -- even though we didn't know how...

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Who Puts Baby In A Corner? Not This Grandma

(28) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 7:07 AM

My favorite grandma never spanked me. She also never yelled at me, reprimanded me or restricted me.

My not-so-favorite grandma? Well, she never spanked me, either. She did, though, once make me drink grape juice I didn't want. I immediately vomited up the purple stuff; grandma immediately yelled at me...

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