Thursday, June 30, 2011

crafting with grandma . . . Here's a Bow Tie Square for Your Afghan!

Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs: 40 Prize-Winning Crocheted DesignsI have another square for you to make with your grandchildren if you are helping them learn to crochet! This is the Bow Tie Square and will add a fun look to the afghan they are making for their parents! This square is from the Sweet Baby Afghan Sampler in the book, Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs

Directions -

  • ch 27 loosely
  • Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across (26 sc)
  • Row 2: ch 1 turn sc in first 3 sc ch 8 sk next 7 sc sc in next 6 sc ch 8 sk next 7 sc sc in last 3 sc
  • Rows 3-4: ch 1 turn sc in first 3 sc ch 8 sc in next 6 sc ch 8 sc in last 3 sc
  • Row 5: ch 1 turn sc in first 3 sc sl st around all 3 chain loops below ch 3 sl st in next 7 sc ch 3 sl st around all 3 ch loops below ch 3 sc in last 3 sc
  • Row 6 ch 1 turn sc in first 3 sc ch 8 sc in next 6 sc ch 8 sc in last 3 sc
  • Rows 7-25: rep rows 3-6 four times then rep rows 3-5 once more
  • Row 26: ch 1 turn sc in first 3 sc ch 7 loosely sc in last 3 sc
  • Row 27: ch 1 turn sc in each sc and in each ch across (26 sc)
Crocheting with your grandchildren is a great way to "connect" with them! Not only are teaching them a skill they will be able to use all their lives, but it gives you a wonderful opportunity to be intentional in the conversations you share while you crochet! Ask your grandchildren if they have any prayer requests you could be praying about for them - if they share a request, stop what you are doing and pray for them right then and there - be sure to follow the prayer with a hug! Your grandchildren will always remember you teaching them to crochet, but they will treasure the time you spent praying for and with them!

crafting with grandma - Here's an Upside-Down Pyramid Square for Your Afghan!

300 Classic Blocks for Crochet ProjectsIf you are helping your grandchildren learn to crochet, then here is another square for them to make for the afghan for their parents! This square is from the book 300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects and makes a great addition to your afghan with it's fun look!

Directions -

  • ch 27
  • Row 1: DC in 4th ch from hook, dc in each of the next 4 ch, *ch 1, skip next ch, dc in each of next 5 ch; rep from * across to within last ch, dc in last ch, turn
  • Row 2: ch 3 (counts as dc) dc in first dc *ch 2 skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc ch 2 skip next 2 dc 3 dc in next ch-1 space; rep from * across ending with 2 dc in 3rd ch of turning ch, turn
  • Row 3: ch 3 (counts as dc) dc in next dc *dc in next ch-2 space ch 1 dc in next ch-2 space ** dc in each of next 3 dc rep from * across ending last rep at ** dc in next dc, dc in 3rd ch of turning ch turn
  • Row 4: ch 1 sc in first dc *ch 2 skip next 2 dc 2 dc in next ch-1 space ch 2 skip next 2 dc sc in next dc; rep from * across ending with last sc in 3rd ch of turning ch, turn
  • Row 5: ch 3 (counts as dc) *dc in next ch-2 space dc in each of next 3 dc, dc in next ch-2 space ** ch 1 rep from * across ending last rep at ** dc in last sc turn
  • Rep Rows 2-5 until approx 9"
As your grandchildren work on their afghan talk with them about the things happening in their lives. One big way you can make a huge difference in their lives is by showing interest in them and by helping to connect the things which they are doing and which are happening to them with their relationship with God.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

grandma's cookbook - Red, White & Blue Pies

The Fourth of July is just a few days away and I have a pie recipe for you which you can make with your grandchildren - without heating an oven! A perfect summer-time pie!

Ingredients -

  • 1/2 package of cream cheese - softened
  • one carton of whipping cream
  • fresh berries or canned cherries or blueberries
  • graham cracker or shortbread cookie crust 
Directions -

  • using your mixer, whip cream until it is fluffy - optional, add 1/4c sugar
  • beat your cream cheese until it is light
  • combine whipped cream and cream cheese
  • spoon into pie crust
  • top with fruit
  • refrigerate until ready to serve
  • enjoy :^)
This is a very simple and quick dessert to make - one your grandchildren can help prepare - and one which will be enjoyed by all! As you make your pie, talk with your grandchildren about why we celebrate the fourth of July and what freedom means to you. Talk with your grandchildren about the freedom Jesus gives us and share these verses from Galatians 5 with your grandchildren, "Christ has set us free. He wants us to enjoy freedom. So stand firm. Don't let the chains of slavery hold you again. We expect to be made completely holy because of our faith in Christ. Through the Holy Spirit we wait in hope. The only thing that really counts is faith that shows itself through love." (NIrV) Spend time thanking Jesus for the freedom He gives us!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

grandma's bookshelf - No One But You

I had the opportunity to review a truly lovely book - one you are sure to enjoy reading to your grandchildren . . . No One But You. The text is wonderful, but the illustrations are completely amazing!
No One But You

No One But You
Author - Douglas Wood
Illustrator - P.J. Lynch
Publisher - Candlewick Press
Ages 4-7 - but wonderful to read to any age 

Favorite Features -

  • incredible illustrations!
  • wonderful, affirming text
  • strong messages about how important, unique and special each of us are
I love this book! The illustrations are full of color, show children of all different sizes, ages and races and are so full of incredible details. Just talking with your grandchildren about the things they see in the illustrations will give you a wealth of conversations to enjoy with them! Talk with them about Who made the rain, the red birds the turtles and the bumblebee. Ask them which illustration they like the best and why. Enjoy these illustrations - they are amazing!

And then the text . . . "No one but you can smile just your smile or laugh just your laugh." This book celebrates the incredible wonder of the uniqueness and experiences of each person; "No one but you can feel the rain kiss your skin or the wind ruffle your hair." Rejoice with your grandchild how, "No one else can . . . sing your very own song with your very own voice in your very own way." And most importantly, even though it isn't included in the text of this book, share with your grandchildren the most amazing truth of all from Psalm 139;

Monday, June 27, 2011

Who Am I? I Am His!

Casting CrownsOne of the most important things we can ever do as grandmas is to help our grandchildren know who they really are! This world sends so many conflicting - and flat out wrong - messages about who they are; we need to stand up and help our grandchildren know the truth of who they are . . . they are God's immensely loved, and forgiven, children! If we are going to be successful at helping our grandchildren know this truth, we need to believe it about ourselves, first. Take a few minutes to enjoy this song from Casting Crowns - Who Am I - from their album, Casting Crowns and really pay attention to the lyrics. Make them your prayer. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Being Thankful!

The Grandmother's BibleThis morning my devotion in my Grandmother's Bible was written by Sheila Walsh and was about being a person who will "Say Thank You for Little Things". She wrote, "Giving thanks does wonders for my soul. It refocuses me on what's really important so instead of dwelling on the fact my son just tried to flush my new pale blue suede pumps down the toilet, I can celebrate the gift of a child when so many arms are empty. Marcus Aurelius, a first-century Roman emperor, wrote the most important things a man can choose is how he thinks. We can dwell every day on the things which are not working and let them drag us down, or we can thank God for the simple gifts of grace He gives us every day if we have a heart to see them.  Whether our 'thank you's' are momentary, intentional pauses in the midst of a hectic day, thank you notes to God for His many blessings, or lengthy discourses of His grace, cultivating an attitude of gratitude will remind us of the truth which undergirds our lives: 'For the LORD is good and His love endures forever, His faithfulness continues through all generations.' (Psalm 100:5)"

What are you thankful for? God is Good, His love lasts forever and His faithfulness to me and my family is something I will never cease to be thankful for! I'm thankful for my amazing husband, the wonderful daughter, son and daughter-in-law and incredible grandson - and one on the way - who God has gifted my life with! No matter what else happens in life, I can always stop and be so very thankful for theses gifts . . . what more do I need?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

grandma's chuckles:^) . . . "It's My Dream Car!"

When I was a little girl - many years ago . . . my parents gave me a shiny, blue, convertible pedal car! My parents saved the car and I now have it for my grandson to play with. Yesterday he was over to my house and was playing with the car. He said, "This is my dream car! I saved all my life so I would be able to have it! It is my dream car!" :^D This will make me smile for a very long time!

Friday, June 24, 2011

grandma's picks - Gnomeo & Juliet - I'm Giving One Away!

Gnomeo & JulietI'm happy to announce I have a Gnomeo & Juliet DVD to give away! I recently reviewed this movie and loved it so much, I asked if I could have another one sent to me to give away . . . and happily, they said "Yes!" So, if you have "liked" grandma's cookie jar using the tab in the "find us on facebook" box ON THE BLOG, then you are entered in my drawing which will be on July 1st! If you have not "liked" my blog yet, please take a moment to do so and you will be entered in my drawing! It is this simple! Please share grandma's cookie jar with your friends and family so they can be entered in the drawing, too!

I Have A Winner In My Illustrated Bible New Testament CD Give-Away!

Paul is Shipwrecked
I'm happy to announce Tim and Pam Bruckner are the winners in my Illustrated Bible New Testament CD give-away! Thank you Marie for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Illustrated Bible for giving me a cd for review and another for give-away!

If you haven't had the opportunity to check out the Illustrated Bible, you can do so by checking If you go to this link you will be able to download for free several Bible stories, so be sure to check it out! The Illustrated Bible is a wonderful resource for use with your grandchildren! 
The First Christmas

Next Friday I'll announce another "grandma's pick" give-away, so if you haven't taken a moment too "like" grandma's cookie jar using the tab in the "find us on facebook" box ON THE BLOG, please do so now so you will be entered in my next give-away!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

crafting with grandma - Another Square for Your Afghan, the Simpler Sample Block!

I have another square for your afghan, this one is from the book, 300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects and will make a wonderful addition to your afghan!
300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects

Directions -

  • Ch 29
  • Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook *ch 2 skip next 2 ch, sc in next ch: rep from * across, turn
  • Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc) dc in first sc *skip next ch-2 space, 3 dc in next sc; rep from * across ending with 2dc in last sc, turn
  • Row 3: Ch 1, sc in first dc *ch 2 skip next 2 dc sc in next dc rep from * across ending with last sc in 3rd ch of turning ch, turn
  • Repeat Rows 2-3 until it measures approx 9 inches
This block will go together fairly quickly once your grandchild gets the "hang" of the pattern! Use the time when you are teaching your grandchild how to make this block to talk with them about what they are learning from God's Word and how they are living it in their everyday lives!

crafting with grandma - Here's a Deezer Square for Your Afghan!

Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs: 40 Prize-Winning Crocheted DesignsIf you are teaching your grandchildren to crochet and are working on the afghan made from different squares, I'm going to share another square pattern with you today! Once again, this pattern is from the book, Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs and is found in the Sweet Baby Afghan Sampler pattern. This is the Deezer square -

Directions -

  • Chain 29 loosely
  • Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across (28 sc)
  • Row 2: Ch 2, turn: in first st *hdc in front loop, in next st hdc in back loop, rep from * across (28 hdc)
  • Row 3: Ch 2, turn; alternating from crocheting in the back loop to front loop only, make 28 hdc
  • Repeat rows 2 and 3 until work measures approx. 9 inches
This is a pretty simple square and will give your afghan a unique texture! As you help your grandchild learn to crochet encourage them to develop the habit of praying for the person who they are crocheting for. Crocheting is a fun skill and one which can help your grandchild save money all their lives as they make things for themselves and for others. But if they develop the habit of praying for the person they are giving their crochet projects to, then their crocheting can also make a huge spiritual impact on the lives of others . . . and on the lives of your grandchildren as well!

crafting with grandma - Paperclip and Duck Tape Necklaces!

Platypus Designer Duct Tape Paisley
Duck Brand 392874 1.88-Inch-by-20-Yard Colored Duct Tape, RedThis morning on the Today Show Bobbie Thomas shared some D.I.Y. simple and fun crafts . . . I thought one would be fun to share with you! You probably made chains and necklaces from paperclips and paper when you were a child, well now you can make them with Duck Tape for fun, easy and colorful crafting!

Supplies -

Directions -
Platypus Designer Duct Tape Polka Dot
    Paper Clip, #1, Good Gripping Action & Corrosion Resistance, Silver, 1 Box, 100/Box ACC72380
  • connect paper clips by making a chain to the length you want for your necklace
  • cut small pieces of tape
  • wrap the tape around the middle of each paperclip
  • enjoy!
This is a great craft for your grandchildren to make on a rainy day at grandma's house! Help your grandchildren make these fun necklaces as gifts for their friends or for their mom! In addition they make a great idea for an activity at a birthday party or slumber party as all the girls are sure to love making these simple and colorful necklaces! Help your grandchildren start a new "trend" with their friends by getting together with some friends to make "friendship" necklaces or bracelets. Have each girl pick a color of duck tape to give their paperclips their own special "look". Have girls make their chains and then take turns covering paperclips so each necklace or bracelet has a variety of colors - each one representing a specific friend! Lead your grandchildren and their friends in thanking God for friends and pray for each child that they will know, love and walk with God all their lives!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

grandma's cookbook - Slow-cooker Chicken with Apples

I love cooking with my slow-cooker! I just put the ingredients in the cooker, turn it on and then I get to enjoy the aroma of the slow cooking food until it is ready . . . and when it is ready I can be sure it will be tender and full of flavor! In the summer when it is hot I especially love cooking with my slow-cooker as I can start it when it is cooler in the morning and know my food will be ready with very little final prep after a hot day! Involve your grandchildren in helping you make and enjoy my Slow-cooker Chicken with Apples!

Ingredients -

  • boneless, skinless, chicken tenderloins - I use the frozen chicken for this recipe
  • three or four apples
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons chicken base
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • pepper to taste
Directions -
  • place your chicken in your slow-cooker - fill it about half full
  • add water and chicken base
  • cut apples in half, core and place cut side down on the chicken
  • add butter and pepper
  • cover
  • cook on high for four or five hours
When your chicken is completed, remove the chicken, set apples aside and make gravy with the drippings - save extra broth to make chicken and rice with the leftovers! This is a tender and tasty chicken dish - add mashed potatoes and salad or veggies for an enjoyable meal!

Be sure to talk with your grandchildren about how thankful you are to God for creating such good things for us to eat and lead them in thanking God for His provision. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

grandma's bookshelf - Sounds of the Wild: Birds

Sounds of the Wild: Birds
If you like birds and pop-up books, Sounds of the Wild: Birds is the book for you! Check this book out with your grandchildren and see how many birds you are able to identify!
Sounds of the Wild: Birds
Author - Maurice Pledger
Paper Engineering by - Jonathan Lambert
and Ruth Wickings
Publisher - Silver Dolphin
Ages 5+
  • Favorite Features -
    • pictures five habitats where you find birds - each one includes amazing pop-ups, bird sounds and descriptions
    • each habitat is followed by a page identifying the birds with info on each bird
    • habitats include - dawn chorus, moors and mountains, wetlands, desert and tropical rain-forest
More than just a book on birds, this is a pop-up book. More than just a pop-up book, this book also has the sounds of the birds making it an enjoyable extravaganza for the eyes and ears! I especially love how it shows God's amazing creativity and imagination in creating each of these different birds! Marvel at God's creation with your grandchildren and consider making a trip to a local aviary or zoo to see some of the incredible birds God created in real life! Just for fun, use paints, markers, crayons, feathers . . . whatever you have, and allow your grandchildren to choose the colors and design to "create" their own unique bird!

grandma's bookshelf - Man Gave Names to All the Animals

I had the opportunity to review the book, Man Gave Names to All the Animals and found it to be absolutely enjoyable! The illustrations are incredible and the ending . . . well, it is one sure to get your grandchildren's attention!
Man Gave Names to All the Animals
Man Gave Names to All the Animals
Author - Bob Dylan
Illustrator - Jim Arnosky
Publisher - Sterling Publishing

Ages - 4-7 

  • Favorite Features -
    • beautiful, incredible illustrations throughout
    • 170 animals to find on the pages in this book
    • includes CD with Bob Dylan singing the song
    • encourages learning about new animals and enjoying a beautiful book with others
Children, parents and grandparents will enjoy this book with it's amazing, beautiful and detailed illustrations! The song is an added bonus! When you read this book with the children in your life, have fun with it! Ask your grandchildren to identify the different animals and to tell you the sound each animal makes. For additional fun use paper plates to make animal masks and then try moving like some of the animals in the book for your own animal parade! Be sure to talk about how God created each of the animals and showed His amazing creativity and imagination in making such different types of creatures! Lead your grandchildren in praising God for creating the animals and thank Him for creating your grandchildren! For your older grandchildren talk with them about the ending of this book, and what happened in the Garden of Eden when Satan temped Adam and Eve. Share with them the sadness of their disobedience and the amazement of God's incredible grace and how it changes all of our lives! This book is one sure to be enjoyed and one which gives opportunity for some very important conversations.

Monday, June 20, 2011

resources for grandma - Make This Your Prayer

This song from Rebecca St. James' new CD, "I Will Praise You" makes an amazing prayer to start your day! Make this your prayer today!

Grant me serenity to accept things
The things I cannot change
Grant me the courage, Lord, to change what I can
Wisdom to know the difference
In my weakness You can shine
In Your strength I can fly and

You make everything, everything beautiful
You make everything, everything new
You make everything, everything beautiful
In its time, in Your time
It’s beautiful

Sunday, June 19, 2011

grandma's chuckles:^) . . . "It Doesn't Have Any Wheels!"

Part of the "fun" of grandchildren is when they say those really cute things which make you smile for weeks! The other day when Josiah was here, he and his daddy brought a steering wheel into the house. Josiah said it is for his playground. I asked him if he would be able to "drive" his playground with the steering wheel. He looked at me like he couldn't believe I'd ask him such a thing and said, ‎"No. I will not be able to drive it. It doesn't have any wheels!" I asked him if he would be able to pretend to drive his playground and he said, "Yes, I can pretend to drive it!" 

We may think the things they say are so cute, but they are probably wondering why we don't know the obvious!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Grandchild in Focus - Prayer" from the Grandmother's Bible

The Grandmother's BibleIf you've been reading grandma's cookie jar, you have probably noticed how much I love the Grandmother's Bible! I love the year of devotions written to "nourish grandmothers to nurture grandchildren" and I love the many features throughout the Bible, but I particularly love the daily "Grandchild in Focus Prayer" and want to share one with you today. "O Sovereign Lord, the world surrounds my grandchild, pressing in and tempting him in so many ways. Help him set appropriate limits. Give him sound judgement to choose wisely. Guard him from temptation; protect him from physical and mental predators; lead him into paths of righteousness and light. And reassure me with Your promise You are holding him in Your hands. Amen." 

Can you see why I love this part of the Grandmother's Bible?!!! Make this your prayer for your grandchildren today!

crafting with grandma . . . Here's an Alternate Square for Your Afghan!

Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs: 40 Prize-Winning Crocheted DesignsIf you are working on an afghan to help your grandchild learn to crochet, here's another square for your project! The idea for this afghan came from the book, Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs and is a modification of the "Sweet Baby Afghan Sampler pattern". If you use a larger hook and heavier yarn you can make bigger squares and end up with a unique and beautiful afghan your grandchild could give to their parents for Christmas!