Wednesday, February 29, 2012

grandma's chuckles :^) - George the Bear and the Snowboy, Josiah!

I love making up stories with Josiah! He is three years old and has such a sense of humor and an imagination perfect for making up his own stories! The other day he was at my house after building a snow bear with his mom at his house. We were going to make up stories - something which must be done while sitting in grandma's lap - of course! He wanted a "scary" story, but I told him I had an idea for a funny story. I said, "Once upon a time there was a bear named George . . ." Josiah said, "And he heard a scary sound!" (can you tell he was still thinking a scary story would be fun??!!!) I said, "No he didn't, he woke up in his bed and looked outside and saw something! Do you know what he saw?" Josiah, "He saw a scary monster!!!" I said, "No, he did not, he saw snow!!!! So after he ate his breakfast . . . " Josiah, "He ate waffles, scrambled eggs and bacon!!!!" I said, "After his breakfast of waffles, scrambled eggs and bacon, he asked his momma if he could go out to play in the snow and she said, yes! George put on his boots, coat, mittens and hat and went outside and built a snowboy! . . . " Josiah, "I didn't know George the bear could build a snowboy!!! That's funny!!!" I said, "Well apparently he could build a snowboy, so he did. After he finished building his snowboy, he decided to name it. Do you know what he named it?" Josiah, "No." I said, "He named it Josiah!" Josiah, "Hahahahaha! That's funny!"

grandma's cookbook - Bear Cookies . . . & I'm Giving Away a Bear Cookie Cutter!

Yesterday I received a box from Wilton . . . inside was a  Comfort Grip Bear Cookie Cutter!!!! I love this cookie cutter! It will be perfect for making cinnamon toast for Josiah! He loves to make up George the Bear stories . . . I'll share his most recent story with you in my next post . . . so I thought a bear cookie cutter would be such great fun! I love the Wilton Comfort Grip cookie cutters because they are big and are fun not only for making cookies, but for making fun sandwiches and of course, cinnamon toast!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

grandma's bookshelf . . . Oh No, George . . . I'm Giving One Away!

I'm going to start this review out by saying, I absolutely LOVE this book! If you only get one new book for your grandchildren this year, make it Oh No, George! (This book releases on March 13th)

I Have a Winner for Every Which Way to Pray . . .

I'm happy to announce Bonnie LeRoy  is the winner in my Every Which Way to Pray book give-away! (You will find the review at this link) Thank you Bonnie for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address so I can have it sent to you) and thank you ZonderKidz for sending one book for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Two Weeks Until My American Girl Doll Give-Away!

Two weeks from tomorrow I will be drawing one name for my American Girl McKenna Doll give-away! Yes, the give-away is only two weeks away!!!! McKenna will be the third American Girl doll I will have been able to give away on grandma's cookie jar . . . I look forward to giving more dolls away in the future!

Let's Join Together and Help Babies!

In the country of Guatemala, half of the children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition. "In rural areas, 80 percent of children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Most malnutrition is caused by water-borne illnesses.
Operation Baby Rescue is an initiative which provides life-saving treatment to thousands of children battling the effects of malnutrition in impoverished communities. Oftentimes the children are brought directly to the Baby Rescue Center where they are treated for malnutrition, parasites, or other life-threatening illnesses. In some cases, the need is so severe the child must be rushed to a nearby medical facility for extensive care. Over 4,000 children have been restored to full health through Operation Baby Rescue."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Decadent, Chocolate Cake . . . It is Quite Enjoyable!

So . . . I fixed the decadent chocolate cake today for my daughter-in-law's birthday dinner and have to say, it is a very enjoyable cake! It is quite an easy recipe to make . . . I did add 1/3 cup cocoa to the recipe, and while it turned out to be moist and soft I think the next time I make it, I'll add one box of instant chocolate pudding as well! I found it took 50 minutes to bake it in a 13x9 inch pan rather than the 35 minutes for two round pans.

crafting with grandma . . . Duck Tape Purse . . . I'm Giving Some Duck Tape Away!

Polda-Dot Duck Tape Purse
There was a day when Duck Tape was used by our husbands and dads to "hold the world together", but now it is used by women and girls to create fun and amazing things! As I browsed on Pinterest a while back, I found a pattern for a cute Duck Tape purse and thought I'd share it with you!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Go Fish - Crazy Dance!

My grandson loves the Go Fish Guys! He particularly loves to dance to the "Crazy Dance" song. He was over today and spent some time dancing to the Go Fish Praise DVD . . . he told me he had "cool moves" . . . and he most certainly did! :^)

crafting with grandma . . . a Cute Giraffe to Crochet!

I know Christmas is quite a ways away, but if you would like to get a head-start on gifts for some of the sweet people in your life . . . or for a birthday or "just because", I have an adorable pattern for a cute giraffe you can crochet! I found it on Pinterest (of course) and am delighted to share it with you!

If you follow the links, you'll see it is quite a simple pattern and makes a very cute little friend for someone you love! The only thing I'd add, is to make "spots" from hearts! You could make your spots all one color, of a rainbow of colors just for more fun! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

More Ideas for Family Reunion Fun!

On my other blog, About the Children's Department, I posted today about Family Ministry on a Shoe-string and shared ideas for having your own church's talent show and Minute to Win It, more Minute to Win It and Summer Minute to Win It . . . you could modify both of these ideas for an unforgettable family reunion! Check these posts and grab a few family members to plan an opportunity for your family to show off their talent and play wacky, fun games!

Do you have family reunions? If so, what do you do to make your family reunions special, fun and unforgettable?

Another Fun Paper Doll - and Don't Forget . . . I'm Giving Away an American Girl Doll!

I really do enjoy browsing on Pinterest . . . today I found another free paper doll you can download and give to your granddaughter . . . and this one is all dressed up in green and shamrocks for Saint Patrick's Day!

These cute paper dolls are available through the blog, Tip Junkie and includes 2 outfits {pajamas and school outfit}, 2 books, a teddy bear and a complete bedroom set including bed, dresser, bedspread and pillows! All of the dolls and accessories in this fantastic Paper Doll series are designed by Tricia-Rennea. Be sure to check these adorable paper dolls out and surprise your granddaughter with fun Saint Patrick's Day paper dolls!

I Have a Winner in My VeggieTales Robin Good Give-Away!

I'm happy to announce Sabrina Smith is the winner of a VeggieTales Robin Good  DVD! (You will find the review at this link) Thank you Sabrina for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by March 9th so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Big Idea for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

crafting with grandma . . . Leap Day, Leap Frog Hats!

Animal hat tutorials (for kids)I was browsing on Pinterest and found an adorable pattern for frog hats . . . and the link provides directions for a lot of other fun hats, too! These hats would be quick and easy to make and could be a fun addition to celebrating Leap Year Day with your grandkids! 

I particularly like the Puppy Dog hat and may make one for each of my grandsons . . . I'll be sure to post a photo for you if I do! 

You'll find a wealth of crochet patterns on this blog . . . I'll be checking it out for sure! If you crochet, which hat would you make for your grandchildren?

Leap Year Fun!

Once every four years we have Leap Year with one extra day in the month of February . . . and this coming Wednesday is the day! So . . . what could you do to have fun with Leap Year with your grandchildren? Well . . . consider the following . . . 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

grandma's cookbook - Decadent, Chocolate Birthday Cake!

Picture of A Gooey, Decadent Chocolate Cake Recipe
This Sunday we are celebrating my daughter-in-law's birthday and I'm making a decadent, chocolate birthday cake for her! I always ask my family for the menu they would like to have for their birthday and then fix their menu for everyone . . . Jackie chose oven-baked/fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, home-baked bread and chocolate cake. I found a recipe on-line which I'm "tweeking" a touch for the cake - so I thought I should share this recipe with you!

grandma's cookbook - St. Patty's Day Chocolate Mint Icebox Dessert!

chocolate mint icebox dessert
I for one enjoy chocolate and mint - whether it is St. Patty's Day or any other day of the year, so when I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I thought it might be one worth sharing with you!

It looks pretty easy to make and like a recipe which could easily become one of your grandchildren's "own signature desserts"! It is also one which you could adapt . . . you could switch the ice cream for one of another flavor; for example, I think it would be amazing with cookies and cream or cookie dough ice cream! I also think you could "simplify" this recipe by substituting chocolate pudding or just chocolate sauce for the chocolate spread, but whatever you decide to do, have fun with it and enjoy the opportunity to spend time with your grandchildren creating a dessert they can share with their family!

If you make this with your family, would you follow the recipe or "tweek" it?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Make Your Next Family Reunion Amazing with the Amazing Race Family Edition!

I posted today on my other blog, About the Children's Department about planning a "Family Amazing Race" event, but I got to thinking and thought it could be a great thing for a family to do for a reunion or other get-together! So . . . I took the basic idea and modified it so a family might be able to use it at their next big get-together! 

grandma's bookshelf - Every Which Way to Pray - I'm Giving One Away!

Prayer . . . it is all about talking with God, but it can be difficult to do. All too often our prayers become "canned" or "robotic" - and may feel like they don't even make it through the roof. If we can help our grandchildren learn to pray from their childhood, then they will know what it is to pray; they will know what it is to talk with God! So, when I learned of a new book from Joyce Meyer with a focus on helping children learn to pray, I had to take a look at it.

I Have a Winner in My Eleanor the Hippo Learns to Tell the Truth Book Give-Away!

I am happy to announce Holly Rush Dean is the winner in my  Eleanor the Hippo Learns to Tell the Truth book give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Holly for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address so I can send it to you) and thank you Harvest House for sending one book for me to review and another for me to give away!

Monday, February 20, 2012

grandma's movie reviews - the Princess & the Frog

Tomorrow, February 21, 2012, is Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans, so I thought it would be a good time to share my review of the movie, the Princess & the Frog.

An Absolute Must-Read Parenting Book! (Great for Grandparents, Too!)

Being a grandma has the potential to put you in a "precarious position" with your daughter or daughter-in-law because when you have an opinion about child rearing which differs with their opinion, they are the mom and you are not so you have to find a way to support and encourage them without being a nagging or "butinski" mother/mother-in-law.  If you are all Christians, then you have the same goal, the same hearts desire . . . this of seeing your dear, sweet grandchildren grow to know, love and walk with God all their lives! if you are able to join with your grandchildren's parents to accomplish this goal, everyone will benefit. There are many things you can do to come alongside the parents, but one very simple one is to recommend resources for them. There certainly is no shortage of books and resources on parenting . . . some are excellent and others are not, so today, I'd like to share one excellent - and common sense - resource with you!

crafting with grandma . . . Dr. Seuss Book Purse!

The other day as I was browsing on Pinterest I saw a very cute idea for a little girl's purse . . . if I had a granddaughter, I'd definitely make one! This pattern is from the blog, A Couple of Craft Addicts and shows how to make a Dr. Seuss book purse! The link includes a photo tutorial and all you need to make your purse is a book - you could find one at a garage sale . . . a very well-used book is perfect for this craft - scissors, glue and felt! You could use any hard-covered book, look for a well-used copy of your granddaughter's favorite story and make a purse for her out of the book! Very cute, very easy and great fun! I love this craft idea!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Three Hearts with Children's Heart Project!

I've been sharing all month with your about Samaritan's Purse's Children's Heart Project and am delighted to let you know they have produced a movie about how Children's Heart Project helped three children from Mongolia . . . and I am going to give one Three Hearts dvd away on my other blog - About the Children's Department! In this DVD Children's Heart Project shares how "graduating college senior, Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of evangelist Billy Graham, takes on an internship at Samaritan’s Purse working with the Children’s Heart Project. This project is dedicated to saving the lives of children by providing medical procedures which are not available in many countries. Cissie is charged with supervising the arrival and surgeries of three Mongolian children suffering from fatal congenital heart defects. But the task is not easy and filled with unexpected challenges.  Cissie balances responsibilities as a newly married wife to a professional football player and her tasks with the internship.  Meanwhile the Children’s Heart team turns to a Texas family who travels to Mongolia for the adventure of a lifetime to help bring the children to San Antonio for their surgeries.  In Texas, two host families make sacrifices to care for these children and their mothers, while a team of doctors and nurses volunteer their time only to stare directly into the face of life and death. How far would you go to save a life? It’s a fight for survival, a fight of faith, and a fight for a new life for these three hearts."

VeggieTales Singalong Cd Player

Yesterday we celebrated a milestone in Josiah's life . . . we had his "Hooray! Josiah is a Big Boy Party!" because he is potty trained! This is a huge milestone in a child's life . . . they move from being a baby/toddler to being a kid as they are able to leave diapers behind them. I believe it is perfectly appropriate to celebrate milestones in the lives of our children; to take a moment to encourage children for the achievement in their lives and help point/focus them on the next step for they to reach. For Josiah, aside from birthdays and Christmas we will celebrate when he gets saved and when he starts school . . . two more milestones!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Today is a Day to Celebrate!

What do you celebrate? Beyond birthdays and Christmas? Don't get me wrong . . . I absolutely believe in celebrating birthdays and Christmas with great enthusiasm, but beyond these days, what do you celebrate? Do you celebrate the "milestones" in your grandchild's life? Today is a special day in my family. We are celebrating Josiah because today is his, "I'm a Big Boy Now Party!" He is fully potty trained . . . and this is well worth celebrating! It is a huge milestone in the life of a child . . . no more diapers! (And this is something all parents celebrate with great enthusiasm!!!)

crafting with grandma . . . Granny Square Cat!

I was browsing on Pinterest this morning and saw a very cute pattern for a granny square cat! If I had a granddaughter, I'd make one for her . . . I might modify it and make a dog or monster for my grandsons . . . if I do, I'll post photos and the modified pattern for you! But for now, I'll share this pattern so if you want to make one, you'll have the links! (If you follow the links you'll find a photo tutorial to help you make your own granny square cat!)

grandma's bookshelf . . . my first Hands-On Bible!

I have had the opportunity over the years to review quite a number of Bibles for children. I'm happy today to share with you a new Bible for preschoolers . . . 

Friday, February 17, 2012

crafting with grandma . . . Blarney Stones!

I am not Irish - I do have an ancestor who was Scottish, and who was shanghaied from Scotland, brought to American and sold as an indentured servant . . . but this is another story entirely! However, Irish or not, I have heard of the Blarney Stone! I went on-line to get the "facts" straight . . . if such a thing is possible for the story of the Blarney Stone!!! . . . and will share them with you . . . 

VeggieTales Robin Good and His Not-So Merry Men . . . I'm Giving One Away!

This new Veggie DVD, Robin Good & His Not So Merry Menreleases on March 3rd and is one your grandchildren are sure to love . . . and you will love the way it gives you so many opportunities to talk with them about important lessons!

It all begins with the short - Lenny and the Lost Birthday, in which Lenny thinks everyone has forgotten his birthday. He doesn't know about Leap Year and how it pushed his birthday back one day and ends up feeling like he is not special to anyone. "Of all of my days, mom, this was the worst. My family, my teacher my friends all agree. There's nothing at all that's special about me." His mom sings, "But this is the day the Lord has made. You're special to me and you'll be okay. Tomorrow will dawn and I'll love you still. Things will get better, I promise they will! When your days been a mess and you feel it intensely, don't forget Whose you are and Who loves you immensely! God made you His child and you're treasured as such. You're precious, you're treasured, He loves you so much! And this is the day the Lord has made. You're special to Him, you'll be okay! Tomorrow will dawn and He'll love you still! Things will get better, I promise they will!"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Craft . . . Crochet a Four-Leaf Clover

I posted earlier today about the story of St Patrick, so if you are going to share this story with your grandchildren and celebrate St. Patrick's Day, you might enjoy making a few covers for them . . . they could add a zipper pull and hang them on their back pack to remind them of how Patrick chose to love and know God - even when bad things happened to him.

I found this pattern from Crochet Spot on Pinterest, and I'm going to make some, but I think in addition to making some four-leaf clovers, I'll also make some three-leaf shamrocks because Patrick used the three-leaf version to help the people of Ireland learn about and understand the Trinity of God - He is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - three-in-one! Follow the links for the pattern - it looks pretty simple and quick . . . a fun thing to know how to make!

Saint Patricks Day . . . Get the Story from VeggieTales!

Several years ago VeggieTales told the story of Saint Patrick on their Sumo Of The Opera and Lessons from the Sock Drawer DVDs. I found it very interesting and informative . . . I had never really heard the story of St. Patrick before. So, if your grandchildren ask why people celebrate St. Patrick's Day, pull out VeggieTales and show them the story behind the day! (I've included the clip for you to see - if you haven't already)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hot & Cheesy . . . Mac & Cheese

I just received the new cookbook - Hot and Cheesy, and as the title indicates, it is filled with recipes using cheese! In fact the publisher says this is the "cookbook which will make cheese lovers melt!" This book has more than 250 recipes for everything you can possibly think of to make with cheese with American and International recipes - as it says, "This cookbook covers everything from fritters, pastries, casseroles, pastas, sandwiches to pizzas and almost anything else you could top, stuff or sprinkle with cheese."

American Girl Doll Give-Away . . . and a Little History!

As you know, in less than a month, I'm giving away one American Girl of the Year 2012 McKenna Doll & Book! I thought it might be interesting to look a the history of American Girl dolls and share what I discovered with you!

On the website - Complete Guide to American Girl Doll Collecting, I found the following information -  "In 1986, Pleasant T. Rowland, a former educator and publisher of educational materials, founded Pleasant Company which is headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. Pleasant Company produced and marketed three 18-inch dolls dolls each of which was from a different period in American History. Each of them had an elaborate background story which were told in several professionally-written books. The three girls, Samantha, Kirsten and Molly had a number of historically accurate outfits and accessory sets which tied into and were depicted in the various stories. The American Girl Collection was originally exclusively available only through mail-order catalogs. Over the next several years, five more historical dolls and their stories were added for a total of eight girls spanning periods in U.S. history from 1764 to 1944. All of the accessory items were imaginative, well designed and of the highest quality. In the Fall of 1997, an online store ( was launched. In 1998, Pleasant Company was acquired by Mattel, Inc., the world's leading toy company. Pleasant Rowland took a seat on the Mattel Board as an acting VP for two years, but today she is no longer associated with the company."

grandma's cookbook - Blueberry Cake!

The other day when Josiah was at my house I asked him what he would like me to fix for Sunday dessert (he and his family have Sunday lunch with us after church nearly every week). He said a strawberry dessert. I said I didn't have any strawberries, so he said a blueberry dessert. I told him I do have blueberries and asked if he wanted me to make a blueberry cake . . . he said, "Yes!", so I went on line to look for a blueberry cake recipe. Happily, I found a recipe, fixed it for Sunday dessert and have to say, it really makes a very enjoyable cake . . .  so of course I had to share it with you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

grandma's bookshelf . . . Demolition

If you have a young grandson who enjoys trucks, building and tearing things down, then this is a book they will love!

grandma's bookshelf - Eleanor the Hippo Learns to Tell the Truth - I'm Giving One Away!

If you are looking for a book with lots of animals in it, one which has a cute story, but one which most importantly teaches an important lesson, check this one out . . . 

I Have a Winner in My VeggieTales If I Sang a Silly Song DVD Give-Away!

I'm happy to announce Rebecca Rose Lindsay is the winner in my VeggieTales If I Sang A Silly Song DVD give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Rebecca for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address so I can have it sent to you) and thank you VeggieTales for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!