Friday, December 9, 2016

Second-Chance Giveaway on December 11, 2016 - Nefarious: The Mad Scientist Game

Last month I reviewed and gave away 21 things ranging from books, to games to American Girl WellieWisher dolls and Cross pens - lots of fun things! When I have a giveaway - which I do all year long - I give the winner a full week to get their address to me, so I can have their prize sent to them. If someone does not do this in the week they have to do so, then I hold a second-chance giveaway - but with my second-chance giveaways, I only post the giveaway for two days, so if you want to enter this drawing, do not delay! Today I'm announcing a second-chance giveaway for a fun new game from USAopoly - Nefarious: The Mad Scientist Game

When I was a child there were a couple things we could always know we would receive for Christmas . . . books, clothes and at least one board game. Yes, this was "pre-electronic games", but board games were always something we received for Christmas . . . at least for those years we were in elementary school. Board games were a good way to get us playing together as a family . . . they still are today; even with the popularity of electronic games.

So, today I'm very happy to share with you a new board game from USAopoly, which they sent me for review, and to announce another giveaway!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

just for fun - Build a LEGO Nativity Set

I was browsing on Pinterest this morning and saw a link for an activity which I think my grandsons would enjoy - and maybe your grandchildren would as well. All you need are LEGOs - some specific pieces, which if your grandchildren have a lot of LEGOs, they may have the pieces. What is the project? A LEGO Nativity set! Not just fun to build, but timely for this time of year for sure!

Follow this link for complete directions along with photos which show the pieces you need to build Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus in a manger, Shepherds, Sheep and a stable complete with a star.

Enjoy and, of course, use the opportunity as you build to read Luke 2 and talk about how amazing, and wonderful, it is for God to send Jesus as the best Gift ever! This could be the start of a fun family tradition where you build the Nativity each year as you talk about and read from Luke 2 at Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Make 2017 the Year Where You Pray Deeper!

Praying for our grandchildren (and children) is something we all know we need to do, but it is also something many of us struggle with. We may feel like our prayers do not even make it through the ceiling above us and do not know what to say or how to pray. Our lives are busy, so finding the time to pray can be a challenge which we may not overcome and then days go by without us spending time in prayer.

Yet, we know prayer is important. We know, especially in this day and age, we - and our grandchildren (and children) need all the prayer they can get. We want to be people who pray; and people who pray deeply, but are not sure how to be this kind of person.

Well, please allow me to help you. I understand these feelings about prayer and struggled many years to be a person who prayed. Then one Sunday I heard Dr. Ed Dobson preach about how the best way to pray is to pray Scripture. This made sense to me, so being a writer, I started at Genesis and worked my way through the Bible to Revelation. Whenever I came to a passage I could pray, I wrote it out as a personalized Scripture prayer and divided it into seven parts, so I would be able to pray the passage more deeply by praying each portion over a week's time. This allowed me to pray regularly and to pray Scripture more deeply by spending a week praying through each passage!

Let Them Hear It From Us!

The other day I shared with you my notes from when Josh McDowell spoke at the first-ever Legacy Grandparenting Summit. While there were many things he said which stood out for me, things I will be intentional about doing with my grandsons, there is one thing which I believe is the most important thing for me to do. What is it, you ask? It is for me to be sure they hear, know and believe the truth about how no matter what, they are created in the image of God and have infinite value, dignity, worth. Josh said we need to love our grandchildren the way Jesus does and communicating this message is a great place to begin!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Legacy Coalition - Josh McDowell - Make the Time We Have Count!

When it came to the quality of speakers the first-ever Legacy Grandparenting Summit had for grandparents to hear from, they certainly, "hit it out of the park"! Chuck Swindoll (and his wife and grandchildren - a first-ever event in itself!), Crawford Loritts, Larry Fowler, Gary Chapman, John Trent, Valerie Bell, Josh Mulvihill . . . just these speakers would have made for an amazing opportunity to hear from people who had much wisdom to share, but they were not all the general session speakers! No, there were two more and today I'm very happy to share with you what Josh McDowell had to say to us about making the time we have count . . . yes, Josh McDowell! Did I mention how the Legacy Coalition "hit it out of the park" when it came to lining up general session speakers?!

Josh McDowell has ten grandchildren ages 12 and under. He said in the 55 years and the more than 34,000 times he has he has been speaking to people, he had never before spoken to a conference on grandparenting, but he was very happy to be able to do so, as after Jesus, his family was his greatest motivation.

Josh shared two things for us to be aware of as grandparents -

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's Time to Think About Christmas - a Nativity Set for Each Child!

The first year my husband and I were married, he gave me a Precious
Moments Nativity Set . . . this was 35 Christmases ago! 

Twenty years ago, or so, I crocheted a Nativity set with crochet cotton - I wanted to be able to set it in my tree, because it is the reason we celebrate! (This year when the boys decorated my tree, Josiah put the shepherd on it's back looking up, so it could "see" all the lights! He is a funny boy!)

Each year I love setting up my Nativity Sets . . . we have a bay window in our living room and the tree goes in the window; I set the Precious Moments Nativity Set in the window as well with the kings traveling across the living room to the Nativity, because I want the focus to be on the Reason for the Season.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Legacy Grandparenting Summit - John Trent - Be a Blessing Giver!

Over the past couple weeks, I've shared with you about how to set up and engage the grandparents in your ministry in participating in a Prayer Stations where they are able to pray for their grandchildren and themselves, shared with you how Larry Fowler challenged us with the truth of how intentional Christian grandparents make a significant difference in the lives of their grandchildren and led us in the Intentional Christian Grandparent Declaration. I shared with you how Chuck Swindoll, his wife and grandchildren blessed those at the summit by sharing what they do, how and why they do it and the difference it made and continues to make in the lives of their grandchildren and how Crawford Loritts challenged us with the truth of how grandparents are here for a time we can not see - for future generations not yet born!

If these men and women had been all of the general session speakers, everyone at the summit would have left blessed, challenged and excited about all they heard and learned; but they were not all! We heard from Gary Chapman about the greatest gift we can give our grandchildren, from Josh Mulvihill about the Biblical role of grandparents and from Valerie Bell about how being an intentional Christian grandparent makes a big difference. And yet, this was still not all!

We also heard from John Trent and I am very happy to share with you today what he had to tell us about being a blessing giver to our grandchildren! He challenged us to be grandparents who choose to give, not withhold, our blessing and led us in how to write out and give each child a blessing which is tailored to them, how you see God working in their lives and which gives them a view into what He may have for their future. We were able to watch as he had some grandparents give an actual blessing, which they wrote out, to their grandson.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Free Advent Story

halas-spark-of-hope-cover-shotIf you are looking for something to use with your grandchildren to help them count down to Christmas, and most importantly, understand better what it is we are celebrating, take a look at this book which you could download for free! In "Hala's Spark of Hope" you and your grandchildren will be able to join Hala, the little jackhare, on her journey to find the High Chief, in this fun and thoughtful re-imagining of the Christmas Story. The 25 short chapters are perfect for Advent readings (starting Dec. 1), or you could begin today or tomorrow and just read a couple extra chapters to "catch up". You may download the book and discussion guide for FREE at www.itscaptainsun.com/Hala

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fun with the Grandsons - Let's Go on a Candy Cane Hunt!

Yesterday when I looked up my crocheted shark hat pattern on Pinterest (I'm making shark hats for the boys this year) I saw a great idea for Holiday fun which I knew I had to plan to do with my grandsons and share with you . . . the specifics on having a candy cane hunt - which you will find at this link!

What is a candy cane hunt you ask? Well, think Easter Egg hunt and substitute candy canes and you are on the right track! I'm going to wrap eight candy canes for each boy and put them under the tree. When the boys are at my house Saturday, they will be able to open their candy canes, then when their parents come for supper, we will have them hide the candy canes outside - I have lots of trees with branches at the right heights for the boys and since they are candy canes, they will easily hang on the branches. The boys will get to go outside and each will be able to search my yard for eight candy canes.

Then, I will have them each take two of their candy canes to put in a bag with directions for how to have a candy cane hunt and they will be able to give it to their neighbor, so he can have a candy cane hunt, too!

We will also talk about how the candy cane reminds us of the real meaning of Christmas - 

Legacy Grandparenting Summit - Gary Chapman & The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Grandchildren

When you think about conferences, you typically get to hear from one or two or three key  note, general session speakers; but this was not the case for the Legacy Grandparenting Summit! By the middle of the second day we had already heard from Larry Fowler, Josh Mulvihill, Valerie Bell, Chuck Swindoll & family, Michelle Anthony and Crawford Loritts; a full slate for sure, but this was not the end. Not at all!

Today I'm very, very happy for the opportunity to share with you what Gary Chapman had to tell us about the greatest gift grandparents can give their grandchildren. This message is one every grandparent needs to hear and will absolutely benefit from, because it will make a significant difference in the lives of their grandchildren.

So, what is this, "greatest gift", you wonder? Gary Chapman told us the greatest gift we can give our grandchildren is to model what it looks like to be grandparents who love, care for and support one another. Yes, it is the gift of showing them what it looks like to have a strong, solid marriage. He then shared with us the characteristics of marriages which are thriving in the "second half" . . . 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Toy Review from Folkmanis Puppets

Over the years I've had a wonderful opportunity to share with you some of the great puppets from Folkmanis Puppets . . . and I'm so happy to be able to do so again today. I already shared two of them with you (they were giveaways in my 2016 Christmas Month of Giveaways, some will be donated to Caleb's kindergarten classroom, others to a local ministry which helps families in need and little Shane seems quite "taken" by the Corgi!) so, today I'm very happy to let you know about some additional new puppets from Folkmanis - if you are looking for gift ideas for Christmas, think about these!


I Have a Winner!

Today I'm very happy to say, Alicia Anne is the winner of one American Girl - Wellie Wishers Kendall Doll. You will find my review at this link. Thank you Alicia for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me your address by December 7, 2016, so I can send it to you) and thank you American Girl for sending one for me to review and give away.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Legacy Grandparenting Summit - Valerie Bell - Be Intentional & Make a Difference!

Two weeks ago we were getting ready for the start of the first-ever grandparenting conference, the Legacy Grandparenting Summit. More than 800 people participated with speakers such as Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, Gary Chapman, John Trent, Larry Fowler and many more. It was an amazing opportunity for grandparents an church leaders to learn about the Biblical role of grandparents and how they can make a true and lasting difference in the lives of the children they love by being intentional Christian Grandparents.

This matters, because when grandparents are intentional about passing on a heritage of faith, the children are much more likely to grow to be people who love, know and follow God. 

One of the general session speakers was Valerie Bell. Many of you may know her as the CEO of AWANA, but she is also a grandma! Valerie shared with us a powerful account of one of her grandsons and how at his birth he experienced serious medical complications. The doctors did not expect him to survive, but as Valerie said, "We may not always be on the same page with our adult children, but when the big things come along we are together! We pray together. We support one another." Happily, God did a miracle in her grandson's life and he survived - and has thrived in the ensuing five years!

I Have a Winner & Another Giveaway Tomorrow!

Today I'm very happy to say, Tina is the winner of one Peerless Fonderie 47 Collector’s Edition Rollerball Pen. You will find my review at this link. Thank you Tina for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me your address by December 6, 2016, so I can send it to you) and thank you Cross pen for sending one for me to review and give away.