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Hi, I’m Grandma Dottie. Welcome!

A quick bio: I have been married to a wonderful man  for 47 years.  We had six children, and that number doubled, and then quadrupled, and thankfully, the number keeps growing.  There are 32 of us now. We have 17.5 beautiful and brilliant grandchildren and one awesome great grandson, all of whom are brightening the world around them!

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Me and my “Young Ladies Writing Club” (granddaughters): We started writing a novel by brainstorming for a pretty fun book..that needs to be finished.

I Love Being A Grandma!

I love nothing more than creating an environment where happy memories can be made. This site is a way to gather and share my collection of happy memory making events, specifically those created through Grandma Dottie’s CampFamily Reunions, and life in the rural Utah countryside, a.k.a. The Mysterious Beyond.

My Philosophy: Happy Memories Can be Made by Appointment. Happy Memories are such treasures! Our family is scattered, and although we feel so blessed to be living with the instant communication of cellphones, texting, Facetime/Skype, and Instogram, etc.– none of these create happy memories. 

I’ve met many people who have a shortage of happy memories, and it causes problems in their lives! Maybe there should be a diagnosis for it: HMDD–Happy Memory Deficit Disorder.  I think making a lot of  happy memories is the only cure. One of my theories has been, if there are enough happy memories, the bad things in life are easier to deal with and forget. So in my opinion, we need to create more happy, loving memories with our children and grandchildren.

Grandma Dottie’s Camp

This is the vehicle I use to get my grandchildren all together for merry memory making. It has worked for us for 17 years. My grandchildren range from newborn to married. I target Grandma’s Camp to the ages 7-13. The younger ones come and go as their attention span allows, and I get the older ones to help me.  Although my oldest grandson is now 23, he said, “I wouldn’t miss Grandma’s Camp!” I think that’s good proof that it works!

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23 year old and 10 year old grand kids competing in archery. Love it!

Family Reunions

This is another great source for making happy memories, whether it is a big extended family reunion of 100 people, or a more immediate family reunion of 35, it should always be a source of fun!  See some Planning Tips on our most succesful reunions.

We often pick a destination for our reunion. Sometimes it’s camping, sometimes is hotels or cabins or lodges. Sometimes we choose a theme and combine it with Grandma’s Camp, but we always have tons of fun and lots of good memories. Check out my posts on Family Reunion ideas.Go to the homepage and click on Family Reunions to get the drop down menu of ideas.

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A group of second-cousins posing at the Wedge Overlook in the San Rafael Swell at an extended family reunion.

My mother worked hard at keeping our family close!

She used this theory to keep her family close.

Grandma Sammy and Alec

The wonderful, wise Grandma Sammy and great-grandson Alec

Keeping a family close usually falls to the grandmother.

My mother planned lots of events to get the family or grandchildren together to fill our souls with happy memories. As I observed my mother with my own children, I realized how the role of loving grandparent can be a powerfully positive influence on the lives of grandchildren, and should be! And another thing I learned from my mother and watching other families, if the grandma  doesn’t plan things, usually no one else will.  So I use that theory in my life as a grandmother. With our family, we are so scattered and everyone is so busy that it takes a lot of pre-planning and setting dates early to get our family together and who better to do it?

The people we call our “grandchildren” are really giant spirits wrapped in small bundles.

They are each endowed with a special mission, and as they begin to grow, it seems evident that they have been trained for this particular time on earth. They seem smarter and more prepared than generations before them. And often, there seems to be an anxiousness to “get going” with life. I think there are times that we all stand in awe of this next generation.  It is a blessing to be a grandparent to these wonderful children, and as we use our roles to mentor them, we are consequently mentored by them.

Grandchildren

My oldest Grandson at 23 and my 10 year old granddaughter competing at Archery.

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