Monday, October 31, 2011

Thanksgiving and Being Truly Thankful People!

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away . . . so of course, we all tend to think and talk about being thankful. Thankfulness; however; should be more than something we just think and talk about. What does a thankful life look like? We want our grandchildren to be people who are truly thankful, so we need to be sure to help them to understand what a truly thankful life looks like when it is lived in their every day lives. Consider the following . . . 
  • first of all, a thankful person will voice their appreciation. When we are thankful, we do remember to take the time to say, "thank you!" My husband and I took our three year old grandson shopping. One of our stops was Sam's Club. As Josiah sampled some ice cream, he told the sample lady, "Thank you!". She said, "Wow! This little boy is the only person today who has said thank you!" Sadly, all too often, people do not say thank you. A thankful person will tell others "Thank you". If your grandchildren have not learned to say "thank you", be sure to help them learn this most basic way to really be a thankful person. Showing good manners by saying "thank you" is more than just having good etiquette . . . it is about living and showing a "grace-filled" life! Check the Manners Mentor Blog for great information and resources for all you could ever need to know about manners!
  • a thankful person will also show their appreciation. If you only "say" you are thankful, but never "show" your appreciation, your "thanks" will not seem real. As just mentioned, be sure to say "thank you", but pay attention. Watch to see if there are opportunities for you to "show" your appreciation as well. If someone has helped you in the past and you see an opportunity to help them, it gives you the chance to show your appreciation when you do so. Plan opportunities for your grandchildren to show their appreciation to others. For example, if a neighbor or friend is ill, have your grandchildren plan a way to do something for them - make cards, write notes, make soup, go to their home to rake leaves, shovel snow or even do the dishes. Help them learn to be people who not only "say" they are thankful, but rather are people who "show" they are thankful!
  • a thankful person will also become a giving person. When we are truly thankful for the many ways God blesses us, our thankfulness will overflow into the lives of others! Look for opportunities to "Put Feet to Their Faith" and equip your grandchildren so they are people whose thankfulness overflows out of their lives and into the lives of others! When you involve your grandchilden in projects to gather food for those in your church and community who are hungry or raise money so children around the world are able to have clean, safe water or any other service project, you are providing them opportunities to let their thankfulness flow into the lives of others!
A truly thankful life is one where saying and showing appreciation becomes second nature. As you enter this "thanksgiving season", be sure to focus on helping your grandchildren understand what a truly thankful life looks like!

Remember, I'm Giving Away American Girl Dolls . . . Kanani in 21 Days!



As you know, if you've been reading grandma's cookie jar, I'm giving away two American Girl Dolls! I'm giving away a Marie-Grace doll and a Kanani doll, so . . . what do you have to do to enter these drawings??? There seems to be a little confusion on the specifics for getting entries in my drawings, so let's see if I can do a better job at explaining this time!


First, if you "like" grandma's cookie jar using the tab in the "find us on facebook" box ON THE BLOG, you'll receive one entry in each drawing. You only need to do this one time. The "like  "box" looks like this . . . 


The second thing you can do to get entries is to "share" my posts. There are two ways to do this and you are welcome to "share" each post I write between now and the drawing dates - November 20th for the Kanani doll and December 1st for the Marie-Grace doll - and each time you share, you will receive an additional entry in the drawings. The "share" tabs look like this - on facebook . . .  ·  ·  · 20 hours ago and on the blog . . . 



(use the one with the "facebook" "f") And, for the Kanani doll, please tell me who you will give the doll to if you win - do you know a little girl who otherwise would not be able to have an American Girl doll?
I hope this helps! :^)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sesame Street "B" is for Baking

Sesame Street "B" is for Baking Sesame Street "B" is for Baking
Publisher - Wiley
Ages  - 2+
Favorite Features -
  • Includes 50 recipes with steps children are able to help with
  • information on "kids in the kitchen" to help parents and grandparents understand how children of different ages can really help in the kitchen
  • info on safe baking, tips and techniques, baking how-to's, substitutions and decorating tips
  • recipes for breakfast, quick breads and biscuits, main dishes and sides, puddings and pies, cookies and bars and celebration cupcakes and cakes
  • each recipe includes a photo of the finished dish, ingredients, equipment and steps to prepare each recipe along with prep/baking times and number of people it will serve
  • illustrations and photos of Sesame Street friends throughout add to the fun
  • children are encouraged to count, identify shapes, colors and engaged in other learning activities as well
Most little children are fans of Sesame Street and most little children enjoy helping . . . especially when it comes to baking! So, it only seems logical the combination of Sesame Street and a baking cookbook is one which should be an excellent combination . . . and it is! This is a great and fun first cookbook for children - with recipes even children as young as two can help with! Use this book to involve your grandchildren in baking and . . . enjoy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

grandma's movie reviews - Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides!

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

By - Disney
Rated - PG-13 - for intense sequences of action/adventure violence. Some frightening images, sensuality and innuendo 


Favorite Features -
  • picks up and builds on the story where it left off in Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, with Captain Jack and the search for the fountain of youth
  • return of pirate favorites . . . of course Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa and Gibbs . . . I would have liked it if this movie had somehow included Will and Elizabeth as it seemed "odd" to have a pirates movie without them
  • all the features we have come to love in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie . . . Jack's great escapes . . . more of them than usual in this movie and you are sure to enjoy each one of them . . . incredible music, lots of action and sword fighting
  • certainly provides opportunities to talk with your children about several important messages included in this movie
Okay, I have been a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies since the first one - Dead Man's Chest. I love the music, the action and the story telling, but I do have to say these movies are not for young children because there are intense and frightening images in them. But for older children, teens and adults, they are fun stories. 


I especially like how this movie made several important - and unexpected - points. First of all; every soul can be saved. This is true because God's grace is so amazing! When you watch this with your grandchildren, be sure to take time to talk about the truth of this statement. This message tied in beautifully with what the Spanish captain told Blackbeard . . . Blackbeard wanted to drink from the fountain of life so he could have eternal life. The Spanish captain ordered the fountain destroyed because he said Blackbeard wanted to, "claim what only faith can give." Only faith in Jesus can bring us eternal life. In and admist all the action, sword fights and all the things we have come to know in the Pirates movies, there are these surprising messages about faith! Very unexpected!

Of course this movie also provides excellent opportunities to talk about the characters and the choices they made - and being pirates there really are not very many choices being made which you could consider "good choices". 


Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides is sure to keep your attention and leave you hoping for a Pirates 5!

Friday, October 28, 2011

grandma's picks - I'm Giving Away the Christmas Lodge DVD!

Do you enjoy stories which point to faith and emphasize family? If so, you will enjoy the Christmas Lodge which "is a heartwarming family drama brought to you by renowned artist Thomas Kincade. This movie follows the story of Mary who works to fulfill her grandfather's wish of reuniting their family for one last Christmas at the Christmas Lodge."

Christmas Lodge



This story has likable characters and while the story is predictable, it is as the package says, a heartwarming family movie! If you watch this with your family, be sure to talk with your grandchildren about the choices people in the story made . . . for example, the young daughter lied to her dad. Talk with them about their family history and share old photographs with them. Tell them stories about your parents, siblings and grandparents. Talk about your family's heritage of faith and how God has answered some of your prayers.


I was sent a copy of this movie to review and I'm happy to say, another is available for me to 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 this drawing which will be on November 4th. If you have not "liked" this blog yet, please take a moment to do so and you will be entered in the drawing! It is this simple! Thank you for reading grandma's cookie jar! Please share with the people you know!

I Have a Winner in My MOGO Give-away!


I'm happy to announce Heather Vogler is the winner in my MOGO bracelet/charm give-away! (You will find the review for MOGO at this link) Thank you Heather for reading grandma's cookie jar - please message me your address so I can send this to you - and thank you MOGO for sending a bracelet/charm for my review and for making an additional set available for give-away!


Please remember to share my post about the missing child Jhessye Shockley and don't forget . . . I'm giving away two American Girl dolls! Check this link for all the details!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

crafting with grandma . . . Let's Make a Basket of Apples!

Fall is apple time . . . especially if you live in West Michigan like I do! But whether you live in an apple-growing area or not, these little apples are fun to make and make a fun decoration for any time of year!


Supplies -
  • styrofoam balls or newspaper
  • strips of fabric
  • unrolled paper ribbon or sticks
  • burlap
  • glue sticks/glue gun
Directions -
  • select your styrofoam balls or wad newspaper into balls the size you want your apples to be
  • cut strips of fabric so they reach from the top of your ball, down, around and back to meet at the top and glue in place, slightly overlapping each strip until your apple is covered.
  • cut burlap into a leaf and glue at the top
  • glue a length of unrolled p aper ribbon or a stick at the top for a stem
  • enjoy!
These are a simple and fun project for your grandchildren make! Help them make a whole bushel of apples and then give some to neighbors and or shut-ins you know to brighten their day! Have fun!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

grandma's heartbreak:^( - missing children - Jhessye Shockley


I know where my dear grandsons are, and I thank God for this every moment of every day. There are however; grandmas who have a missing grandchild. My heart would be broken if my grandsons were missing and my heart goes out to all those grandmas . . . and grandpas, moms, dads and other family members . . . who do not know where their loved child is. It is to this end each and every week I will post a photo of a missing child from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. PLEASE share this post and PLEASE make these children - and their dear families - part of your prayers as we pray for the safe return of missing children.
  • JHESSYE SHOCKLEY  - this child is considered an endangered missing child. She is five years old and has been missing since October 11, 20112. She is black, 3'5" weighs 55 pounds, has black hair and brown eyes and is from Glendale, Arizona. Please pray for this sweet child and for her family. PLEASE Share this post!

Cuisinart Cook & Pour Saucepan . . . I'm Giving One Away . . . and Let's Make Soup!


The days are getting shorter . . . and cooler . . . it is the perfect time for soup! I enjoy a nice bowl of soup, particularly in the fall and winter, and homemade soup is not only delicious . . . it is really quite easy to make! But, before I share my recipe for homemade chicken noodle soup, let's talk about a saucepan you could make your soup in! 

Cuisinart sent me one of their 2 quart cook and pour saucepans for review and i love it! I love the clear lid . . . the two sizes of strainer holes in the lid are wonderful for straining pasta, too . . . and I'm very happy with the non-stick interior. . . it makes clean-up so much easier! This sturdy pot is the one which will easily become your "go-to pot" for everyday cooking!

Cusinart not only sent me one for review, but they are also making another available for me to 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 November 2nd. If you have not "liked" this blog yet, please take a moment to do so and you will be entered in the drawing!

So, whether you use this pot or not, consider trying this simple, yet tasty, homemade chicken noodle soup.

Ingredients -
  • five cups broth - or water with five teaspoons of chicken base
  • four chicken tenderloins - cut into small pieces . . . if I do not have leftovers from another meal, I like to fix lemon pepper chicken and then cut it up for the soup
  • 1/2 sweet onion - diced
  • 3 carrots - cut into slices
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • noodles
Combine all ingredients, except the noodles, into your pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 minutes adding noodles and cooking according to the directions on your package of noodles. Serve with crackers or bread and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

grandma's bookshelf - Handa's Hen!

Handa's Hen 
By - Eileen Browne
Publisher - Candlewick Press
Ages - 3-7


Favorite Features -
  • beautiful, colorful illustrations
  • fun counting story
  • encourages counting, numbers, animal/creature recognition and finding something special
  • Notes to Parents and Teachers
What an enjoyable and different counting story! I love the deep, rich colors and the "suspense" in this story and how Handa takes us along on her search for grandma's one, black hen. As you enjoy this book with your grandchildren, be sure to talk about each of the creatures Handa finds, how the creatures move and what sounds they make. Ask the children which creature is their favorite and remind them God created them all! 

grandma's bookshelf - Under the Hood!



Under the Hood
By - Christophe Merlin
Publisher - Candlewick Press
Ages - 3+


Favorite Features -
  • fun  "lift the flaps" add to the enjoyment of this book
  • unexpected and funny illustrations under many of the flaps!
  • fun story about working, figuring out a problem and friends!
  • colorful illustrations
This is a great book to enjoy with your grandchildren! They will love lifting the flaps - and be delighted with the pictures they find under the flaps! They will sympathize with Mr. Bear and be happy to "go along for the ride" as they try to find out what the problem is with his car! This book is great fun - fun story, fun illustrations and fun to read with all the "flaps" to "lift"

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Have a Winner in My Kringle Candle Give-away!


I'm happy to announce Stacie Dawn Muller is the winner in my Blueberry Kringle Candle give-away! (You will find the review at this link) Thank you Stacie for reading grandma's cookie jar! (Please message me your address so I can send this to you) Thank you Kringle candle for sending this candle for me to give-away!

I Have a Winner in My Second-Chance Carlito C. Caterpillar Math House Games Give-Away!

I'm delighted to say Lynn Elias Gallagher is the winner in my second-chance Carlito C. Caterpillar Math House Games give-away! (You will find my review for this at this link) Thank you Lynn for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Math House Games for sending one for my review and for making another available for me to give away!

I Have A Winner . . .

A month ago I gave away a Mixbook photo book. . . when I draw names for my give-aways, I give people 30 days to contact me with their address so their prize can be sent to them. If I do not hear back in 30 days, I have a second-chance drawing and draw a new name for the prize. My voucher for a free Mixbook is only good through November 30th, so for the second-chance give-away for the Mixbook, I chose the name of the person who "likes" my daily posts most often . . . this person is Terri Conner! Thank You Terri for reading - and "liking" - grandma's cookie jar! Thank you Mixbook for allowing me to make and review a photo book and for giving me one to give away!

American Girl Doll Give-Aways! I'm Giving Two Away . . . How Can You Win One???



As you know, if you've been reading grandma's cookie jar, I'm giving away two American Girl Dolls! I'm giving away a Marie-Grace doll and a Kanani doll, so . . . what do you have to do to enter these drawings??? There seems to be a little confusion on the specifics for getting entries in my drawings, so let's see if I can do a better job at explaining this time!


First, if you "like" grandma's cookie jar using the tab in the "find us on facebook" box ON THE BLOG, you'll receive one entry in each drawing. You only need to do this one time. The "like  "box" looks like this . . . 


The second thing you can do to get entries is to "share" my posts. There are two ways to do this and you are welcome to "share" each post I write between now and the drawing dates - November 20th for the Kanani doll and December 1st for the Marie-Grace doll - and each time you share, you will receive an additional entry in the drawings. The "share" tabs look like this - on facebook . . .  ·  ·  · 20 hours ago and on the blog . . . 



(use the one with the "facebook" "f") And, for the Kanani doll, please tell me who you will give the doll to if you win - do you know a little girl who otherwise would not be able to have an American Girl doll?

I hope this helps! :^)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

grandma's chuckles:^) . . . "What Is Delighted?"

Josiah spent the night here last night. As we were eating supper, he asked if he could have some milk. I said, "I'd be delighted to get it for you!" Josiah said, "What is delighted?" I said, "Delighted means you are very, very, very happy . . . so when I say I'd be delighted to get some milk for you, I'm saying, I'd be very, very happy to get it for you." Josiah sat and thought for a moment and said, "I'm delighted with you, grandma!" You can be sure this grandma is tremendously delighted with my sweet Josiah!

grandma's movie reviews - Dumbo!

Dumbo
By - Disney
Rating - G


Favorite Features -
  • digitally restored colors and animation
  • high definition sound
  • wonderful songs 
  • fun characters - this little flying elephant with the big ears and a spunky mouse will be loved by a new generation!
  • strong messages about family, friends, not judging others based on the outside appearance, anti-bullying and not giving up!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

grandma's movie review - Percy Jackson & the Olympians - the Lightening Thief

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Rated PG - for action violence and peril,
some scary images and suggestive material
and mild language

  • Favorite Features -
    • well told story presented with non-stop action and adventure
    • interesting characters
    • well-done special effects add to the story
    This movie has important messages and lessons for grandparents and parents to talk about with their children - for example, in the movie Luke says, "All gods are the same - selfish. They only care about themselves." This is true about gods created by man because men's gods reflect themselves and men can be selfish and only care about themselves. On the "boat" to "Hades" the character says, "All lives end in suffering and tragedy." This also is true; apart from men receiving God amazing grace and forgiveness! Poseidon tells Percy, "Becoming a human is a bad thing . . . if you are a god." Of course Jesus is God and He became a man, but this was an amazingly wonderful expression of God's complete unselfish love! It was through Jesus' unselfish act of becoming a man that God's grace and forgiveness became available for all humans! We are now able to spend eternity in Heaven with our completely unselfish God! As I said, this movie presents a number of very important messages and lessons for us to talk about with our grandchildren! Children, teens and adults will enjoy this movie!

Friday, October 21, 2011

MOGO Charm Bracelets & Charms . . . I'm Giving One Away!

Mogo
By - MOGO


Favorite Features -
  • charm braclet bands available in 14 colors
  • 66 fashion collection charms
  • click flops for more charm fun
If you have a granddaughter who is older than five, she likely loves MOGO! If she doesn't know about MOGO yet, as soon as she does, she is likely to love it! MOGO is a new brand of bracelets and charms . . . available in lots of fun designs and the fun part, is the charms are magnetic! MOGO charms truly, "just click"! These magnetic charms "click" onto bracelets so you can mix and match, change to match your mood, activity or time of year! They are also tremendously fun to trade with your friends . . . girls are sure to fall in love with MOGO, for good reason! They will make fun Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers, too!

In addition to fun bracelets, you can combine bracelets to make headbands and belts, too! Plus, MOGO has click flops and you can add your charms to these to give them your own special touch! MOGOs make a great stocking stuffer, gift exchange and add on gift for the girls on your list!


I'm delighted to say MOGO sent me a bracelet and charm pack to review and another to 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 the drawing which will be on October 28th! If you have not "liked" this blog yet, please take a moment to do so and you will be entered in the drawing! It is this simple! Remember, if you "share" this post you will also get an additional entry in my American Girl doll Marie-Grace give-away, so please share this with the people you know! Thank you for reading grandma's cookie jar!

I Have a Winner in My Scrabble Cooking Game Give-away!

I'm happy to announce Allison Davis is the winner of the Scrabble Cooking game! (You will find the review at this link) Thank you Allison for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you USAopoly for sending me a game to review and for making another available for give-away! (Allison, please message me your address so I can send this to you!)


Don't forget, I'm giving away two American Girl Dolls! You can win the Marie-Grace doll by "liking" grandma's cookie jar on facebook using the tab in the "find us on facebook box" ON THE BLOG and by sharing any of my daily posts! I'm also giving away the Girl of the Year, Kanani doll and you can win it by "liking" the blog - the same as for the other doll - and by sharing a post and telling me who you would give the doll to! Thank you for reading grandma's cookie jar and for sharing it with the people you know!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another American Girl Doll Give-away - the Girl of the Year, Kanani! Let's Share With Others!



As you know, I'm giving away an American Girl Doll, Marie-Grace - on December 1st. To enter this drawing you just need to "like" this blog using the tab in the "find us on facebook box" ON THE BLOG (not "liking" a post)! And you can have additional entries each day between now and December 1st by "sharing" each of my daily posts! It is simple - "liking" the blog and "sharing" posts = entries in the drawing!


I have another American Girl doll to give away . . . the Girl of the Year, Kanani! This is a very beautiful doll, with all the quality you would expect from American Girl. Kanani is a cheerful Hawaiian girl who loves to help others and share the "Aloha spirit" of Hawaii! She wears a bright tropical dress, a faux hibiscus flower, a pretend kukui nut necklace, ruffled sandals, and cotton underwear. She’s soft and huggable with long hair for styling. Includes the Aloha, Kanani paperback book. 


So in the spirit of helping and sharing with others, I'd like to give this doll to someone who will in turn give this doll to a girl they know who might otherwise not be able to have an American Girl doll of her own. I'm sure we all know a girl whose family just does not have the budget for an American Girl doll, so this Christmas, let's brighten the day for a special girl! Entering this drawing is very simple . . . first of all, you need to "like" the blog, grandma's cookie jar, using the tab in the "find us on facebook" box ON THE BLOG. (Look to the right side of this blog, you'll see a box with photos of some of the people who have "liked" this blog. In this box you'll see a tab for "like" - click on this tab!) If you have already "liked" my blog, you have one entry! You can get additional entries if you will "share" this post and tell me who you will give the doll to - you don't have to use the girl's name, you could say you'll give it to a neighbor, friend's child, child from your class at church, school, the friend of your child, etc. I have one doll to give away and the drawing for this doll will be on November 20th! You will be able to have additional entries - beyond these two - if you "share" whenever I post about giving this doll away between now and November 20th.


As we enter the time of year where we particularly focus on being thankful and giving to others, let's give this doll to a little girl who might otherwise not have an American Girl doll of her own!

crafting with grandma . . . Beaded Safety Pin Pins!

I love beaded safety pin pins . . . they are so fun to make and fun to wear! My daughter made several pins for me when she was younger . . . I still have and wear them! So, I thought it would be fun to share a couple patterns with you! First though, the basics on making beaded safety pin pins . . . 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

grandma's movie reviews - African Cats!

Disneynature: African Cats
By - Disneynature
Rating - 


Favorite Features -
  • combo pack includes blu-ray and dvd of movie
  • narrated by Samuel L. Jackson
  • takes you through the lives of two cat families - lions and cheetahs
  • amazing video of many African animals - with burchall's zebras, nile crocodiles, spotted hyenas, wildebeests, Masai ostrich, elephants, leopard tortoises, hippos, giraffes, warthogs, tawny eagles, aardvarks, cape buffalo, serval cat, side-striped jackal, black rhinos, topi, Jackson's widowbird, kori bustard, bohor reedbuck, secretary bird, ground hornbill, yellow-billed stork, impala, hooded vulture, cattle egret, thomson's gazelle and of course, lions and cheetahs
  • loved the end credits - they will leave you laughing!
  • would have loved to see a "how it was made" in the bonus features