Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm Giving Away Some Yankee Candles!

Yankee Candle 22 Oz Jar - Cherries on SnowAs we enter the Fall and Holiday seasons, one thing we often like to do is light candles! I'm sure you are all familiar with the Yankee Candle Company . . . they have been around for quite awhile, but do you know the story of how this company began? Well, allow me to share it with you . . . . "Christmas 1969. Seventeen-year-old Mike Kittredge, too broke to buy his mother a present, melted some crayons to make her a candle. A neighbor saw it and convinced Mike to sell the candle to her. With that small stake, he bought enough wax to make two candles - one for his mom, and another to sell. That was the birth of Yankee Candle."

Yankee Candles are known for their distinctive jar design and for the wide variety of fragrances (more than 150) in which their candles are available. As they do each season, Yankee Candles has released some new Fall and Winter candles . . . 

We Have Three Winners!

Description: LDB_3D_O_rgb (small)I'm delighted to say Melissa Wilson won a Denver and the Mile High Orchestra Groovy CD,  Gailya Proctor won the new VeggieTales the Little Drummer Boy DVD and Annette VandenBerg won a Polygon game! Thank you Melissa, Gailya and Annette for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Denver/Go Fish Guys, VeggieTales and Jax for sending your music, dvd and game for my review and another of each for me to give away to my readers!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Simple Square . . . crafting with grandma

The Simple Square is found in the book, 300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects, is very quick and easy to make and makes a wonderful addition to your afghan!

Directions -

    300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects
  • ch 29
  • Row 1: (RS) dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across turn
  • Row 2: ch 3 (counts as dc) dc in each dc across ending with a dc in 3rd ch of turning ch turn
  • Rep Row 2 until square measures approx 9"
As you work on this afghan project with your grandchildren ask them which square has been their favorite. Ask them about the books they've been reading, talk with them about how things are going with their friends and if they have any special events coming up. As your grandchildren look back on their lives, they are sure to remember the time spent learning to crochet and working on this afghan with their grandma as a time when they were able to connect with their grandma in very special ways!

The Sweetpea Square . . . crafting with grandma!

Christmas is only three months away, so if you've been working on this afghan with your grandchildren, you're almost finished! I especially like the Sweetpea Square from the book, Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs - this square goes together quickly and adds a nice look to the completed afghan!

Directions -

    Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs: 40 Prize-Winning Crocheted Designs
  • ch 28 loosely
  • Row 1: dc in fourth ch from hook * sk next 2 chs 5 dc in next ch (5-dc group) sk next 2 chs dc in next 2 chs (2-dc group) rep from * across to last 3 chs sk next 2 chs 3 dc in last ch
  • Row 2: ch 3 turn dc in sp between first 2 dc * 5 dc in sp between second and third dc of next 5 dc group and in next sp (between third and fourth dc) rep from * across to last 4 sts 3 dc in sp between last dc and turning ch
  • rep row 2 until square measures approx. 9 inches
As you work on this square with your grandchildren lead them in praying for their parents . . . it is a wonderful habit for your grandchildren to take time to pray for the people they make things for!

crafting with grandma . . . Here's Another Square for Your Afghan - the Tall Fans Square!

Five more squares to go and your afghan will be completed! Today's square is from the book, Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs and is a simple shell pattern, but will add a fun texture and look to your afghan!

Directions -

    Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs: 40 Prize-Winning Crocheted Designs
  • ch 28
  • Row 1: 2 dc in fifth ch from hook, ch 1 2dc in next ch * sk next 3 chs 2 dc in next ch ch 1 2 dc in next ch - shell made; rep from * across to last 2 chs sk next ch dc in last ch
  • Row 2: ch 3 turn work shell in each ch 1 sp across dc in top of turning ch
  • Row 3: ch 3 turn work shell in next shell (in ch 1 sp) * ch 2 sc tightly around sp between shells of last 2 rows ch 2 work shell in next shell rep from * across dc in top of turning ch
  • Row 4-5: ch 3 turn work shell in each shell across dc in top of turning ch
  • rep rows 3 - 5 until square measures approx 9" ending by working either row 4 or 5
As always, be sure to talk with your grandchild as you work on this project . . . ask them how school is going, what their favorite classes are and what you can be praying about for them and then take time to pray for them!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

grandma's cookbook - My Sister's Recipe for Pasties!

My sister lives in Northern Wisconsin with her family and they visited us in Michigan last week! My sister made the drive through the UP where Pasties (pronounced PASS-Tees) are a local favorite and shared her recipe with me . . . so I thought I'd share it with you!

Ingredients -

  • 4 c flour
  • 1 1/3 c Crisco
  • 2/3 c cold water
  • 1/2 t salt
  • rutabagas and/or carrots
  • 2 lbs raw steak cubed or ground  chuck
  • 4 c raw potatoes cubed
  • 4 onions diced - can use less
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 T butter per pastie
Directions -
  • Mix flour, Crisco, water and salt as for pie crust
  • combine meat, potatoes, onions, salt and pepper in bowl
  • divide dough into four to six equal parts and roll out as for pie crust
  • place filling on one half of each rolled dough, add 1 heaping T butter to each
  • fold over dough and press edges together
  • cut small slit in top of steam
  • bake on lightly floured cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until done
  • enjoy!
My sister also shared with me the history of the Pasty and I thought you'd enjoy it as well . . . The pasty originated in England by the wife of an underground coal miner. One day her husband who was tired of having sandwiches in his lunch bucket, asked her if she couldn't put something hot to eat in his bucket. She came up with the idea of the potato-meat pie, which became the pasty. The English were the first to do underground mining for coal, so wherever copper, silver, gold, iron, etc, was discovered in North American, the experienced English were brought in to train miners. This is how the Cornish Pasty recipe became very popular in Michigan's UP.

Enjoy these pasties and their history - share them with your grandchildren - they will enjoy helping to make the pasties and can help with the pastry as well as filling them with the potato and meat filling!

Thank you Loretta for sharing this recipe and the history of the pasties with me!

I Have a Winner In My Quiet Bunny & Noisy Puppy Book Give-away!

Quiet Bunny & Noisy PuppyI'm happy to announce TiF Murray is the winner in my Quiet Bunny & Noisy Puppy book give-away! (You'll find the review for this book at this link) Thank you TiF for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Sterling Children's books for sending one for my review and for making another available for give-away!

grandma's bookshelf . . . Amazing X-Rays - Wild Animals

Amazing X-Rays - Wild Animals
By - Jacqueline A. Ball
Publisher - Silver Dolphin
Ages - 8+

Favorite Features -
  • includes 16 real x-rays from a variety of animals and has a built-in light box so you can see the detail of the x-rays
  • book provides excellent information about different types of imaging and how to get animals to cooperate for their x-rays
  • book also includes information and beautiful photos of each of the 16 animals with their x-rays along with interesting factoids!
While this book tends to lean towards evolution . . . it says different animals "developed" characteristics they needed to survive and thrive . . . I believe these characteristics point to them being designed by a loving Creator! As you enjoy this interesting book with your grandchildren, talk with them about how God created each animal and designed them with the "features" they needed! Enjoy this book and the unique opportunity it gives you to take an "inside" look at several unique animals!

A Manners Moment with Maralee McKee and grandma . . . What To Do About The Flu???

header imageIt is the time of year where we all begin to think about the flu, so it is a wonderful time to stop and think about manners as they relate to the flu! I'm so thankful for my friend Maralee, the Manners Mentor . . . she always knows what to do in any situation to help us "discover the manners which matter today: simple, savvy, sincere skills which help you become your best self!" Maralee wrote a post about "Etiquette, You and the Flu: What to Do!" Take a moment to read it and brush up on what to do as we enter another flu season. I especially appreciate Maralee's  "Good, Better and Best" plans for handling sneezes . . . be sure to share these with your grandchildren!

grandma's cookbook - Pork Barbecues!

Last month I shared my Slow-cooker Pork with Fruit recipe . . . so today I'm sharing a tasty, simple and quick way to use some of your left-over pork!

Ingredients -

  • left-over pork
  • ketchup - or your favorite barbecue sauce
  • brown sugar
  • buns
  • sliced cheese
  • your favorite toppings
Directions -
  • place your left-over pork on a saucepan and "pull" apart
  • cover with ketchup and about 1/4 cup brown sugar - or your favorite barbecue sauce
  • heat thoroughly
  • place on a bun with cheese, pickles, onions . . . whatever you like
  • enjoy! 
These barbecues are very tasty and give you a great way to use some of your left-over pork! Involve your grandchildren in "pulling" the pork, adding ingredients, stirring and making sandwiches. Be sure to thank them for helping and thank God for them - it is a powerful thing for children to hear how the adults in their lives thank God for them!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

About the Children's Department Made Ministry-to-Children's Top 100 Blogs for 2011!

children's ministry blogs top 100I'm honored and thrilled to share today's news with you - my other blog, About the Children's Department - made Ministry-to-Children's Top 100 Children's Ministry Blogs for 2011! THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for reading About the Children's Department! Thank You for sharing this blog with the people you know! Thank you Ministry-to-Children for including About the Children's Department in your Top 100 Blogs for 2011! Check this link for Tony Kummer's post about how he determined the Top 100.

Thank you so much for making About the Children's Department a place you turn to for information, ideas and resources for children's ministry - please share this blog with the people you know! 

Something Serious . . .

I do not typically post about things which are so sad, but with the news of the past week I feel like I need to say something about bullying. First of all, my prayers go out for the family whose son took his life. My heart would be broken if this boy were my son or grandson.

Secondly, we must, MUST be sure our children and grandchildren know it is NEVER okay to bully anyone. Period. Jesus called on us to love God with all our heart, all our soul, with all we are AND to love others as we love ourselves. Matthew 22: 37-40 -Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." (the Message)

Take time, MAKE time to talk with your grandchildren and help them understand bullying involves physically being unkind to another, verbally being unkind to another AND even excluding others. Help them understand what it means to show the love God calls us to show to others and pray for them. Pray they will choose to show God's love to others and pray if they are being bullied, they will share their questions and their pain with others before they do something which can not be undone.

I Have a Winner In My Second-Chance Douglas Flutter Butterfly Wristlet Give-away!

I'm happy to announce Michelle Hady Monahan is the winner in my Second-chance Douglas Flutter Butterfly Wristlet give-away! (You'll find my review of the wristlet at this link) Thank you Michelle for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Douglas for sending a wristlet for my review and another for give-away!

Monday, September 26, 2011

the Grandmother's Bible - Honorary Grandma!

I read a wonderful article in my Grandmother's Bible today . . . all about being "Honorary Grandmas"! Consider the following two ideas for being an "Honorary Grandma" . . . 

  • as mentioned in the Grandmother's Bible - if you know a child whose grandmother lives far away, with this child's parent's permission, get involved in their life! invite them to join you for special activities . . . make cookies together, teach them a new skill or just go to the zoo together! Children can grow and blossom under the special attention a grandma can give, so be generous with this attention and look around you to see if there is a child who needs some "grandma attention" to be "lavished" on them!
  • do you know a lady who never had children of her own, one who does not have grandchildren and/or one whose grandchildren live far away? invite them to become "honorary grandmas" for a child you know who needs this type of grandma-attention! "Matching" children in need of a grandma and ladies who would make wonderful "honorary grandmas" can change both of their lives!
Having a grandma who generously lavishes love and attention on a child changes a child forever! Being an honorary grandma changes ladies forever! This is the kind of "change" we can never get enough of!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Help Your Grandchildren Give So Another Child Receives a Christmas Gift!

Yesterday we took Josiah shopping to buy the gifts for his Christmas for an Orphan box . . . he wanted to fill a second box for his baby brother Caleb to send to another boy, so of course we agreed! Josiah picked out the toothbrush, toothpaste, bandaids, crayons, candy and of course HotWheel cars for his box! I have a few additional toys for him to include and today he will pack his boxes so Poppa can mail them tomorrow! 

We talked with Josiah about making a "bank" so over the coming year as he does special things to help his Poppa and I we will put money in his bank and then next year he will be able to use his own money to buy the things for his boxes so other children will receive gifts for Christmas! We will remind Josiah to pray for the children who receive his and Caleb's boxes so they will learn about how much Jesus loves them . . . this is the best gift they could ever receive!

Consider involving your grandchildren in filling Christmas for an Orphan boxes . . . take them shopping for the things to fill their boxes and involve them in praying for the children who receive their boxes! Christmas is about giving . . . Jesus giving us real life and His amazing love and it's about us giving to others!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm a "Sweet" Grandma!

Josiah spent the night last night . . . as I write this I hear Poppa counting while Josiah hides . . . he loves to play hide and seek! I fixed Josiah's favorite breakfast . . . cinnamon toast cut into a big heart and star, scrambled eggs with cheese, pancakes with cherry jam and cocoa. When I gave it to him, he said, "Thank you sweet grandma!" I'll be smiling about this for a very long time! 

When he finished both pieces of his cinnamon toast, he asked for another piece . . . of course I happily made it for him, after all, I am his "sweet" grandma! :^)

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm Giving Away a VeggieTales the Little Drummer Boy DVD!

Description: LDB_3D_O_rgb (small)I'm so delighted for the opportunity to share with you the new VeggieTale DVD which releases October 1st - the Little Drummer Boy! Veggies took the classic story of the Little Drummer Boy and added their "Veggie touch" by adding songs, fun and most importantly, a much-needed lesson we all need to hear!

In this story, Junior is hurt when he thinks his friends "ditched" him when they went caroling. He becomes angry, but Grandpa Grape encourages him with the truth, "sometimes people make mistakes and the best thing you can do is to forgive them." He then shares the story of the Little Drummer Boy with Junior, who learns, "every good story has some bumps along the way" and "when our hearts are filled with joy and love we are able to forgive those who hurt us." Veggies re-tells the story of the Little Drummer Boy with a strong emphasis on forgiving others - a message we all need to hear . . .  "Far more powerful than what any person could take away from him was the gift of love and forgiveness given to him the first Christmas morning! Because God forgives us - we can forgive others!" Talk with your grandchildren about a time when they were hurt by someone. Help them understand when they make the choice to forgive, they are making the choice to show God's love and experience joy! Just as in this story Aaron and Junior made the choice to forgive, we can do the same!

I'm Giving Away a Polygon Game!

Do you enjoy playing games with your grandchildren? If so, I have a game which is fun and encourages strategy and math skills with your grandchildren ages 7 and up!

Made by - Jax
Ages 7+
for 2-4 players

Favorite Features -

  • encourages addition and multiplication skills
  • provides a fun way for elementary age children to practice their math skills
  • encourages strategic thinking and planning
This game can be a bit confusing as you figure out the game play rules but once you have them figured out, you'll find this is a fun game for you to play with your grandchildren! It has components which remind me of Yahtzee - you have to plan to get certain combinations throughout the game - and it reminds me of Triominoes as well. Get one to have at your house so you can play it with your grandchildren and consider it as a Christmas or birthday gift for your grandchildren as well! Polygon combines fun and learning into one game!

I'm happy to say Jax sent me a game for review and another for give-away! 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 September 30th! if you have not "liked" this blog yet, please take a moment to do so and you will be entered in my give-away! Thank you for reading grandma's cookie jar - please share this blog with the people you know!

I Have Three Winners in Three Give-aways on grandma's cookie jar!

 a 20x20 Photo Book from Mixbook and Eric Haynes won Carlito C. Caterpillar Math House Games! Thank you Cindy, Tammy and Eric for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you VeggieTales, Mixbook and Math House Games for sending your product for my review and for making another available for give-away!I'm delighted to announce I have three winners in my give-aways on grandma's cookie jar! Cindy Fleace won the VeggieTales DVD - Larry Learns to Listen, Tammy Hanisch-Jackson won 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm Giving Away a Denver and the Mile High Orchestra Groovy CD!

I'm extremely happy for the opportunity to share a new CD for your grandchildren . . . Denver and the Mile High Orchestra - Groovy! I first saw this group on Go Fish Guy's 2010 VBS and am delighted to learn of their continued collaboration - Denver signed with gfk Records to make this CD. It is as Denver says, “'a really cool marriage,'” noting each group benefited from the other. 'They’re vocally driven; we’re instrumentally driven.' Plus they had more fun than grown men should be allowed to have, choosing songs from their own childhoods and writing new cuts for their new—if slightly shorter—audience." 

crafting with grandma - Plastic Bag Bracelets!

I'm delighted to share with you a pattern I found on-line for an adorable bracelet made from Plarn - obtained from transparent plastic bags! Not only will you be able to help your grandchildren learn to make something new, but they will also be able to recycle at the same time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

grandma's cookbook - Simple and Tasty Goulash!

Goulash is a dish everyone has their own "take" on . . . my recipe is very simple, yet tasty . . . and it is even better when it is warmed up and enjoyed the following day for leftovers!

Ingredients - 

  • pasta - I like using small sea shells - one box
  • spaghetti sauce - use whatever brand you like or make your own
  • ground beef - about 1lb
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm Giving Away the Book Quiet Bunny & Noisy Puppy!

I'm delighted for the opportunity to share an adorable story with you about choosing to make friends with others who may not look and act like you . . . and give one away!

Quiet Bunny & Noisy Puppy
Author/Illustrator - Lisa McCue
Quiet Bunny & Noisy PuppyPublisher - Sterling Children's Books
Ages - 4-7

Favorite Features -

  • beautiful, colorful, charming illustrations
  • great story about choosing to look beyond differences and finding a friend
This book has characters your grandchildren will love - the quiet bunny who dares to make a friend and the noisy puppy who is rambunctious and who wants to play! Ask your grandchildren if they feel more like the quiet bunny or the noisy puppy. Ask them if the bunny made a good choice to listen to the owl and make a new friend, even though they were different. Talk with them about some of their friends and how they are alike and different and take a moment to encourage them to make friends with others - whether they are alike or different! Enjoy this story!

I'm so happy for the opportunity to give one of these books away! 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 give-away! If you have not "liked" this blog yet, please take a moment to do so and you will be entered in the drawing which will be on September 27th. Please share grandma's cookie jar with the people you know!

I Have a Winner In My the Shunning DVD Give-away!

I'm happy to announce Christopher Sykes is the winner in my the Shunning DVD give-away! Thank you Christopher for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by October 20th so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Hallmark Channel for sending one for my review and for making another available for give-away!

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Have a Winner In My Second-Chance Berenstain Bears Bible Give-away!

I'm happy to announce Dawn Twiest is the winner in my Second-Chance Berenstain Bears Bible give-away! Thank you Dawn for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Zonderkidz for sending a Bible for my give-away!

the Grandmother's Bible - God Delights in His Creation!

If you've been reading grandma's cookie jar, you have probably noticed, I love the Grandmother's Bible! It absolutely does what it says, "Nourishes Grandmothers to Nurture their Grandchildren"!

Today's reading was written by Jan Silvious and focused on Psalm 139:1-12. She said, "It's true that it's all about God, but in the long run, he is all about you. He created you, gave breath to your lungs and sustains your life . . . His love for you is without bounds. His interest in you is intense. . . He created you with purpose and ability . . . He is God. he created you and He absolutely adores His creation. Pass that good news on to your grandchildren. They know you love the, but the greater news is God, Who created them, loves them without limit."

Today is my sweet Josiah's third birthday! Three years of incredible joy! I'm so tremendously thankful for this little boy and for the truth God is all about him! God created him, gave him breath in his lungs and sustains his life! God's love for Josiah is without bounds! His interest in Josiah is intense! He created this little boy with purpose and ability . . . great amounts of ability! God created Josiah and He absolutely adores His creation! I will pass this incredible truth on to this little boy - as will his parents and poppa! He knows I love him and he knows God loves him! I want him to know God's love for him is without limit!

I'm so tremendously thankful for my sweet Josiah - he calls me his "sweet grandma"! I tell him he makes my heart happy! And he does! It is his birthday, and while he certainly will be receiving gifts, he is one of God's most incredible gifts I've ever received!


Kidmin1124You may know in addition to writing this blog, I also write a blog for children's ministry - About the Children's Department. I'm honored and delighted to say I'm now also writing for kidmin1124! My first article posted today - you'll find it at this link. I encourage you to add kidmin1124 to your list of favorite children's ministry sites - you will find "information related to and relevant to the target audience - the kidmin community and to volunteers and bi-vocational children’s ministers .  We hope to edify, instruct, teach, share and commiserate on issues important to those who work in children’s ministry and particularly issues relevant to volunteers and volunteering.  Ultimately though, as with all we do, are goal is to bring glory to God and assist in any way we can in reaching kids with the Gospel the Christ." 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm Giving Away "Bob Lends a Helping Hand" DVD on My Other Blog!

 I reviewed this movie on my other blog - About the Children's Department - and am giving it away on that blog, but want to share it with you, too! If you are helping your grandchildren develop a heart for helping others, consider this new DVD from Big Idea - "Bob Lends a Helping Hand"! This DVD has over 70 minutes of Veggie fun with their classic "Tomato Sawyer & Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue", "Lyle the Friendly Viking" and "Bob Lends a Helping Hand Sing-Along" all on one DVD!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Help Your Grandchildren Make Christmas Memories For Others!

Christmas memories! We all have wonderful Christmas memories from when we were children, when our children were children and are now enjoying all new memories with our grandchildren. It is part of the "wonderfulness" of Christmas! Take some time to talk with your grandchildren and share some of your best memories with them. Ask them what they remember from previous Christmases and then remind them there are children around the world who will have their own Christmas memories because they, and others, are filling boxes with gifts to send for these children. Ask your grandchildren if they have been thinking about the things they want to put in their Christmas for an Orphan boxes and make plans to go shopping with them to get the items they need for their boxes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Giving Away "Larry Learns to Listen" DVD - grandma's pick!

I'm delighted to share with you a new VeggieTales DVD with more than 70 minutes of stories and fun - "Larry Learns to Listen"! I love it when Big Idea/VeggieTales combines stories on one DVD - not only is it a great value for families, but it makes it easier for you to find stories which fit a theme or point you are trying to make with your grandchildren! The stories on this DVD have a strong focus on listening with an all-time favorite of mine, "Pistachio" (one of the best ever Veggie stories!), Josh and the Big Wall and the fun "Listen" singalong song!

All children need to learn to listen from time to time - and adults also need to be reminded to do the same :^) - this DVD does a wonderful job of making the point about how important it is for us to listen to and obey God and for children to listen to and obey their parents as well! As I mentioned above, this DVD includes one of my all-time favorite Veggie stories - Pistachio! Veggies out-did themselves with this story! The animation is amazing - the water in the ocean is so realistic - and the colors and characters are so bright and fun! Most importantly, this story - which is a take on the classic Pinocchio - teaches very clearly how important it is for children to listen to and obey their parents. Gelatto teaches his ducklings and Pistachio he needs to listen to the words he says because, "they go through your ears and into your heart to teach you what is right - listen and your life will turn out right!" He says Pistachio needs to listen to those who love him the most and Pistachio is left needing to choose between what he thought was best and what his father knew was best . . . in the end, after losing his money and being swallowed by a whale, happily he chooses wisely and listens! This is a story all parents and grandparents will want their children and grandchildren to listen to! It is an absolute must-have Veggie story and I'm beyond delighted to see it included on this DVD!

I'm Giving Away a Mixbook!

As Fall begins are you looking over all the wonderful photos you have from this past Summer and are you wondering what to do with them? Did you celebrate a birthday, graduation, take a vacation or just have a great get-together which left you with amazing photos? Well, please allow me to share Mixbook with you - they provide a wonderful way for you to make a photo book with those photos so you will be able to keep and enjoy them for years to come!

I made a photo book of my grandsons - Josiah and Caleb and selected a few of my favorite photos beginning with the arrival of Josiah - I put photos of his first Christmas, birthday, summer fun in the pool, first birthday, second Christmas, playing in the park, hiking and exploring with his parents, bath-time fun, second birthday, another Christmas, his "dream car", a trip to the zoo, the arrival of Caleb, family photos and photos of the "Josiah and Caleb fan club" (which as you might well suspect, I'm a member!) in this book! It has a beautiful hard cover with photos of the boys on the front and the family on the back . . . a truly beautiful book! I loved how I was able to access the photos in my computer as well as the photos on facebook to make this book! I was able to select the style of the book and the designs of the pages as well as the lay out with the number of photos on each page . . . and was delighted to find it was actually easy . . . even for a non-tech person like me! I like the many options and features - and you can involve your friends and family in helping you make your photo book by allowing them to share their photos through facebook! I really love this photo book! It is the perfect way to keep my favorite photos and for me to "tell a story" by designing the book with those favorite photos!

I Have a Winner In My Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit Snowman & Friends Give-away!

I'm happy to announce Michelle Harger King is the winner in my Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit; Snowman & Friends give-away! (You will find my review of this kit at this link) Michelle, please message me your address so I can send this kit to you - Thank you Michelle for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Bucilla for sending a kit for my review and for making another available for give-away!

I'm Giving Away Carlito C. Caterpillar's Math House Games!

As grandmothers we don't need experts to tell us young children are most open to learning when they play as we saw this with our children and watch all over again as our grandchildren learn by playing! We also know how important it is for our grandchildren to learn and understand math for them to be able to excel later in their lives, so I'm delighted to share with you Carlito C. Caterpillar's Math House Games!

"Carlito the Catepillar's Math House Games is based on a 20 step sensory math teaching system, which teaches children math in a fun way! They have created activities and games for parents to play with their children which are presented in 3 stages, with a total of 20 steps and 2 games in each step covering quantity, numeration, and operations. This system utilizes the natural way children learn to teach them math skills."  The set contains

Thursday, September 15, 2011

crafting with grandma - Easy, Fun, Duck Tape Place Mats!

As you know, I have an almost three year old grandson and what you may not know is he loves to make things! So, I'm always looking for crafts an almost three year old can do . . . I am delighted to share with you a really simple and fun craft for a place mat using Duck Tape, plastic zippy bags and your own designs, photos or treasures!

Supplies -

  • Duck Tape
  • zippy bags - six per place mat
  • paper
  • crayons/markers
  • photos
  • stickers
  • ???? :^)
Directions -
  • determine what you want to put in each zippy bag - remember, you will have two sides for each bag. You can draw pictures, use cards, photos, stickers, any flat "treasure", glitter, sequins . . . whatever you like!
  • seal each item you want in your bag - be sure to press out the air so it will lay flat
  • trim the extra plastic above the zip seal on each bag to just above the "zipper"
  • determine what order you want your bags then place them so you have two "rows" of three
  • tape bags together then tape around edges (I found this pattern at the following link - they have photo directions)
  • voila! you have a unique place mat!
You could help your grandchildren make their own designs and then help them wrap them to give as Christmas gifts! As you make these place mats with your grandchildren, talk with them about who they are making them for and then lead your grandchildren in praying for the recipients! Have fun making these place mats!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

grandma's cookbook - Simple Slow-cooker Stew . . . the Perfect Fall Comfort Food!

The leaves are starting to turn and the days are getting shorter and cooler - at least here in Michigan! So . . . it is time for stew! Hooray! Stew is one of my favorite foods . . . it is such a comfort food! I love the aroma as the stew cooks, I love how quick and easy it is to fix it and I love the way it tastes . . . what isn't there to love about stew? :^)

Try this recipe with your grandchildren - there are lots of ways to let them help . . . they can add the cut veggies to the slow cooker (do not let them cut the veggies), they can help you decide which ingredients to use and of course the most important way - they can taste!

Ingredients -

  • potatoes - consider a mix of red, white and purple potatoes or just a russet is fine:^)
  • onions - I love Vidalia onions
  • stew meat
  • carrots
  • any other veggies you like - tomatoes, olives, peppers, celery, mushrooms . . . use what you like to make it your own wonderful recipe
  • water
  • beef base
  • butter - you could leave this out, but just a bit does add to the flavor!
  • garlic, salt and pepper to taste 
Directions -
  • coat 2lbs of stew meat with flour - be sure it is cut into about 1" pieces - and add to slow cooker
  • cut your veggies - I have a 6qt slow cooker so I usually use about six or seven potatoes cut into approx. 1" cubes, I cut one vidalia onion and about four average size carrots for my stew
  • add 1 1/2 cups water, 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons of beef base
  • cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours
  • season to taste and enjoy!
This simple recipe makes a truly enjoyable stew! When you prepare it with your grandchildren be sure to talk with them about how God created the different ingredients. Lead them in thanking God for His amazing and tasty creation! As the fall settles in, enjoy stew with your family!

I Have a Winner In My Theo Presents DVD Give-away!

Theo: God's LoveI'm happy to announce Julie Titus Sanders is the winner in my Theo Presents DVD give-away! (You will find my review of Theo Presents at this link) Julie, please message me your address so I can have this DVD sent to you. ( Thank you Julie for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Whitestone Media for sending a Theo Presents DVD for my review and for making another available for give-away on my blog!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Great Sale on the Grandmother's Bible eBook!

I found this on the Zondervan Blog - "Did you know last Sunday was National Grandparents Day? In honor of Grandmothers, this week The Grandmother's Bible eBook is just $3.99." Then they linked to my review of this amazing Bible! Check it out and if you have an eReader, take advantage of this amazing offer to get your own copy of The Grandmother's Bible!

I'm Giving Away "The Shunning" DVD!

Beverly Lewis' the ShunningMany of you may be familiar with "The Heritage of Lancaster County" book series from Beverly Lewis and the first book, The Shunning. The movie  is based on this book and stars Danielle Panabaker & Sherry Stringfield. The Shunning tells a story of secrets, truth being revealed and choices. "Before she succumbs to cancer, the dying wish of Laura Mayfield-Bennett is to be reunited with the daughter she never knew. Unfortunately, that daughter, Katie Lapp, is a member of the Amish order. Katie is about to be married, but uneasy about the path ahead.  Now she discovers the secret her parents have kept from her: she's adopted."

While the story-line is very predictable, it is a story well told and one which will "tug" at your heart. I would have liked it better if the movie told the story of all three books in the Heritage of Lancaster County series as the movie certainly leaves you "hanging". However; I enjoyed the Shunning and thought the actors did a good job presenting their characters.

If you watch this movie with your grandchildren, be sure to talk with them about what it means to respect your parents. Ask them how they would have responded if they were Katie and what real confession is all about. Share with them how God is so rich in His grace and forgiveness and challenge them to choose to be people who give grace and forgiveness to others in the same way as God gives to them!

I'm delighted to say Hallmark sent me one DVD for review and is making another available for give-away! 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 September 20th. If you have not "liked" this blog yet, please take a moment to do so and you will entered in my give-away! It is this easy. Please share grandma's cookie jar with the people you know!

Monday, September 12, 2011

"My Imagination Car is Broken!" - grandma's chuckles:^)

First, a little "background information" . . . Josiah will be three next week and his daddy is a mechanic.

Josiah and his family were at our house - they almost always come over for Sunday dinner :^) - and he "zoomed" up to me and said, "I'm a race car!" I asked him what color his race car was and he said it was orange - no big surprise as it is one of his favorite colors. Then he told me, "My car is broken. It needs to be fixed." I told him he better go see his dad if he was a broken car, so he "zoomed" over to his dad and said, "My imagination car is broken! It needs to be fixed! It has a hood and an engine." and then he raised his shirt to show his "engine"! His daddy laughed and started asking questions to "diagnose" his car problems. Daddy asked if Josiah's car had problems starting or if the problem was keeping his car going after it started and Josiah said the problems were after it started, so Daddy said it might be spark plugs - of course he "replaced" the spark plugs!

Then we heard, "Zoom, zo-zo-zo . . . my car is still broken!" Daddy laughed and said it might be another part - he said what the part was, but since I'm not a car person, I don't know what the part is. Daddy "replaced" the "broken" part with a new one and we heard, "Zoom, zoom, Zoooooom!" and Josiah the race car zoomed around the table. Then he said, "My steering wheel is broken!" so of course, Daddy helped "repair" Josiah the race car! Then our little race car, zoomed away into the hall, only to return saying he had an accident! Daddy helped give Josiah the car new bumpers and fenders and off he zoomed again. 

This went on for awhile - all the while Daddy, Momma, Poppa and I were laughing! Then Josiah the car "drove" to me and said, "My car is broken again. This time you can fix it grandma!" to which daddy said, "Now we are really talking about an 'imagination car'!" I told Josiah I "fixed" cars with hugs and asked if he thought a hug would fix his car - he said "yes" and I happily hugged him!

Grandchildren are truly a gift from the hand of God . . . and my little Josiah is a complete delight for whom I'm tremendously thankful! Be sure to write down all the delightful things your grandchildren say so you will always be able to remember them!