Monday, April 30, 2012

Put Feet to Their Faith . . . Care for Children in Your Community

Throughout communities across the United States there are children who eat at least one meal on school days at their school. According to the USDA over 16 million children lived in "food insecure" households in 2010. During this same time, 20.6 million low-income children received free or reduced-cost meals through the National School Lunch Program. Unfortunately, just 2.3 million of these children participated in the Summer Food Service program the same year. (Feeding America)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Only Ten Days Until grandma's cookie jar's First Birthday! :^)

I've been writing grandma's cookie jar for almost one year now! The year has flown by! In this year I've posted 82 book reviews, shared 60 recipes, shared 120 crafts, reviewed 42 movies, shared 32 stories which made me "chuckle" :^),  shared about 11 of my "favorite things", reviewed 22 music CDs and asked for your prayers for more than a dozen missing children. It has been a busy year!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Super Simple Mother's Day Craft!

Mother's Day is just two weeks away . . . if you are looking for a fun craft you could help your grandchildren make for their mother . . . especially your youngest grandchildren . . .  take a look at this one! It is simple, allows children to show their own unique creativity and involves recycling . . . what could be easier and better? I found this craft on Pinterest, but remember making similar flowers when I was a child! 

All you need to make these egg carton flowers are egg cartons, pipe cleaners and craft supplies! Follow this link for the simple directions and watch as your grandchildren create their own special bouquets for their moms! If you have a "flowery" perfume, you could "mist" the completed flowers to give them a "real" fragrance for some added fun!

Friday, April 27, 2012

grandma's movie review - Love's Everlasting Courage . . . & Give-Away!

I remember reading all of the Love Comes Softly books when I was first married . . . I loved the stories and the characters - Janette Oke sure knows how to tell a story! So, as the books became movies I was delighted for the opportunity to see them. I'm particularly happy for the opportunity to share one of these movies/stories with you! Love's Everlasting Courage releases to DVD on May 8th - in time for Mother's Day!

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce Ron Brooks is the winner of my Hallmark, Moment in Time Mother's Day Gift Pack! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Ron for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by May 2nd so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Hallmark for sending one pack for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

crafting with grandma . . . Granny-Square Bedspread!

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I'm working on a granny-square bedspread for my bed, so I thought I'd take a picture of a few of the completed squares and give you an up-date on my progress . . . so, here's the photo!

As for my "progress", well . . . I still have 343 more squares to go!!! This is a project which will take awhile, but when it is completed I am sure I will be very happy with it!

This is a very easy project . . . you just need to make granny-squares . . . a lot of them! You can use any combination of yarn and colors you like . . . as you can see, I'm going for an "Amish" look with lots of colors and with each square being finished with black. The finished bedspread will give my bedroom a wonderful "splash" of color! Bernat sent me some yarn to review and in the box they sent I found some of their Satin Sparkle Yarn  . . . in twilight (black), ruby and amethyst. I really love this soft yarn with just a bit of sparkle and am looking forward to seeing how this "sparkle" adds a fun touch to the finished bedspread!

What colors would you use if you made a granny-square bedspread?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

grandma's cookbook . . . Strawberries & Cream Pie!

Today, April 25th, is my parent's anniversary! They have been married for 53 years so, on Sunday I'm having them over for dinner. I'm making a honey, raspberry, Yoshida's chicken, red potato salad, homemade bread and for dessert I'm making a strawberries & cream pie! So, I thought I'd share the recipe for the pie with you today!

grandma's bookshelf . . . I Spy Under the Sea

It is lots of fun to play "I Spy With My Little Eye" with our young grandchildren . . . if you have a grandchild who loves to play this game, then they are sure to be delighted with the book, "I Spy Under the Sea!

I Spy Under the Sea  
Author/Illustrator - Edward Gibbs
Publisher - Candlewick Press
Ages - 2-5

grandma's bookshelf . . . Dolphin Baby!

Dolphins are such amazing animals . . . so when I saw a new book from Candlewick Press about dolphin babies, I had to ask for it for review! If you have a grandchild who loves dolphins, this is a book they are sure to enjoy!

Dolphin Baby! 
Author - Nicola Davies
Illustrator - Brita Granstrom
Publisher - Candlewick Press
Ages - 4+

I Have a Winner . . .

I'm happy to announce Heather Vogler is the winner in my second-chance drawing for the book, A Perfect Pet for Peyton! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Heather for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by May 9th - and thank you Northfield Publishing for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Another Second-Chance Give-Away . . .

Yesterday I announced a second-chance give-away for the book, A Perfect Pet for Peyton and today on my other blog, About the Children's Department, I announced a second-chance give-away for the book, The 5 Love Languages of Children. Check my other blog for the details on how you can get in the drawing for this book - the drawing will be on Thursday, April 26th!

I'm Asking for Your Help!

I've been writing grandma's cookie jar for almost a year now and want to first of all, thank you for taking the time to read my blog! Thank you!!!

I'd like to ask you to consider taking a moment to share grandma's cookie jar with the people you know. Yes, I write it as a grandma for grandmas, but the information, ideas and resources in grandma's cookie jar are things grandpas, moms and dads will also find interesting, helpful and fun, so . . . it is for far more than just grandmas!

I have some wonderful give-aways planned for the coming months and am happy for the opportunity to continue to share good ideas, information, activities and reviews of things to help grandma . . . and grandpa, mom and dad too . . . pass on a heritage of faith to the children in their lives! Please help spread the word!

grandma's cookbook . . . The Best-Ever Chocolate Cake!

Best-Ever Chocolate CakeDon't you just love chocolate cake?!!! Aren't there days when chocolate cake is the best thing you could possibly eat? Well, I do love chocolate cake and there are days when chocolate cake most certainly does put a smile on my face! :^)

So, when I found the recipe I'm sharing with you today and tried it . . . well, I knew I had to share it with you because it is the best chocolate cake I've ever had! (I found the recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book) If you have a special event coming up where a chocolate cake would be the perfect addition . . . or, if you would just like to brighten your family's - and your own - day, bake up this best-ever chocolate cake!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Second-Chance Give-Away . . . A Perfect Pet for Peyton!

I recently reviewed and gave away the book A Perfect Pet for Peyton, but the winner didn't get their address to me, so I'm having a second-chance drawing for this book. (You will find the review at this link) If you would like to be in this second-chance drawing, please comment below and on Wednesday, April 25th I'll draw another name!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

grandma's movie reviews - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

 reviewed Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides when it released last year, so I thought I'd take a few moments to review the three previous Pirate's Movies - ending with Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End . . . 

Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End
By - Disney
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence and some frightening images

grandma's movie reviews . . . Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest

I reviewed Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides when it released last year, so I thought I'd take a few moments to review the three previous Pirate's Movies - this one is about Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest . . .

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 
By - Disney

Rated - PG-13 for intense sequences of adventure violence, including frightening images

grandma's movie reviews - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

reviewed Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides when it released last year, so I thought I'd take a few moments to review the three previous Pirate's Movies - beginning with Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl . . . 

Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
By - Disney
Rated PG-13 for action/adventure violence

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Make Lotion Bars for Mother's Day!

DIY Lotion BarsAs I browsed on Pinterest a couple days ago, I noticed a pin for lotion bars . . . I was curious, so I followed the links to the blog, One Good Thing by Jillee and found a recipe for making your own lotion bars! As Jillee says, "What is a lotion bar you ask? Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t know. :-)  Lotion bars are just what the name implies…they are solid at room temperature, but once you hold them in your hands for a few seconds your body heat will soften it allowing you to rub it on those much needed areas such as hands, elbows, the heels of your feet, and cuticles! Hard lotion bars are also very CONVENIENT!  They fit easily in your pocket, purse, shaving kit, etc." I think lotion bars sound wonderful and can certainly see how they would make a wonderful gift for us to help our grandchildren make for their mothers for Mother's Day! 

A Simple, Must-Do Mother's Day Craft!

perfect for Mother's Day!!!!
I was browsing on Pinterest the other day and saw a craft which is so simple and makes an item any mother - or grandmother, or dad or granddad - would love . . . finger-print charms! All you need is some Sculpey clay, cookie cutters, an oven, jump-rings, permanent ink pens and of course, fingers to make prints with! You can make necklaces, key chains, magnets . . . all kinds of wonderful things with your finished prints and they make amazing gifts to give the moms - or grandmas, dads or granddads - in your life! Just follow the link to the complete directions and have fun making these with your grandchildren to surprise their moms! 

As you make the finger-print charms, be sure to talk with your grandchildren about how no two people have the same finger-print. Lead them in praising God for how He creates each of us to be unique, special people and ask them what some of the unique and special things about them are - be sure to point out some of the unique, special things you have noticed about them, too! Enjoy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

I'm Giving Away One Kapoosh!

As I've been saying, the month of May is grandma's cookie jar's birthday month, so to celebrate I'll be giving away lots of fun things all month long! I absolutely LOVE to give things away, so what better birthday "gift" could grandma's cookie jar have, than being able to give things away?!!! I've already announced the give-away of a Kapoosh Knife Block, but thought I'd say a few more words about this give-away today! 

The Kapoosh blocks they sent for review and for give-away have a bamboo outer side and the inside is filled with "Kapoosh Freedom Rods". These "rods" allow you to, "mix-and-match kitchen knives from different sets and to store practically any utensil easily - anywhere in the block. Plus, the rods keep your knives sharper by eliminating the potential of scraping the blades on the edges
 of traditional knife block slots. Rods are dishwasher safe! Just place the Kapoosh Freedom Rods on the top rack of your dishwasher for cleaning." I have to say the Kapoosh is attractive and functional . . . what more could we want from a knife block?!!! If you have kitchen knives which do not match and did not come with a block, the Kapoosh is for you! The Kapoosh is certainly going to make it on my "favorite things" list!

I Have a Winner . . .

I'm happy to announce Debby Batchelder is the winner in my Creativity for Kids Playful Pets Nesting Dolls give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Debby for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Creativity for Kids for sending one set for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Closer Look at the Moment in Time Gift Pack - Grandma & Me Book!

A couple days ago I announced another fun give-away . . . this one is the Moment in Time Gift Pack from Hallmark, so today I thought I'd take a closer look at one of the things in this great gift pack - the Conversations to Keep Recordable Book! I love this book! Hallmark describes it by saying, "Kids say the funniest things. Don't you wish you could remember them all? This super fun book is filled with questions to spark a child's imagination and records their answers so you never forget the quirky little things they say. Let the child record alone, or make it a fun activity to do together. Either way, you'll end up with a wonderful keepsake to treasure forever." They are absolutely correct . . . it is a "super fun book"! They sent me the Grandma & Me book to review, so I'll share a few things about this book with you . . . 

Only 11 Days Until My Cuisinart Hot Air Popcorn Popper Give-Away!

grandma's picksIn just 11 days I'll be giving away one Cuisinart Hot Air Popcorn Popper to kick off my grandma's cookie jar birthday month of give-aways! There are lots of things I love about this popcorn popper . . . I love the color . . . how fun is a fire-engine red popcorn popper?!!! I also love how quickly it pops the popcorn and the size of this popper - it isn't huge or bulky. I'm so happy for the opportunity to give one away . . . and it is very easy to be included in the drawing - first of all, if you haven't done so already, take a moment to "like" grandma's cookie jar using the tab in the "find us on facebook" box ON THE BLOG. If you do this, then you are entered in the drawing! In addition, if you'd like additional entries, just "share" my daily posts - each post you share will give you an additional entry (please comment to let me know when you share so I'm able to give you your additional entries). This is all there is to it!

crafting with grandma - Pond Friends Stacking Toy

what a fun homemade gift, crocheted stacker.Yesterday i was browsing on Pinterest and found a truly adorable pattern for a Pond Friends Stacking Toy for babies from Lion Yarn . . . I will most certainly be making this one! 

It seems to be a pretty simple crochet pattern and would make a wonderful gift for baby showers! This is a pattern I will share with a couple young girls who I've taught to crochet and is one which would be a fun first crochet pattern if you have a granddaughter who you are going to teach to crochet. I think I'll be making one for Caleb . . . who might you make one for?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Slow-Cooker Mac & Cheese!

If you are like me you have children in your life who love mac & cheese! I have a tried-and-true recipe for making mac & cheese, but it does require a fair amount of standing and stirring . . . not something I am always able to do (I have MS), so when I found a recipe for making mac & cheese in a slow cooker, well I just had to share it with you!

Thank You For Praying - Keegan Has Been Found!

Thank God Keegan has been found and recovered by the police! Please continue to pray for his family as they deal with the death of Keegan's mother and for this little boy as he grows up without his mother. Thank you for praying!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fun, Free Surprises from the Berenstain Bears!

Have you ever "visited" the hollow tree at the end of a sunny dirt road in Bear Country were the Berenstain Bears live? Well, if you "visit" them on the web, you'll find their tree house is full of surprises . . . including a link where you can download and print out Brother and Sister Bear paper dolls and a closet full of clothes for them to wear! You'll also find a link where you can download and print your own Berenstain Bears coloring book, links to Berenstain Bears books which you can read to your grandchildren and Berenstain Bears movies you can watch with your grandchildren plus a whole lot more! 

The next time your grandchildren are at your house, take a few minutes to visit the Berenstain Bears and enjoy a book or a movie or a fun activity together!

crafting with grandma . . . Photo Flower Pots for Mother's Day!

Mod Podge photo flower pots - perfect for Grandma :)I was just browsing on Pinterest and found the perfect craft you could help your grandchildren make for their mothers for mother's day . . . a photo flower pot! It is pretty easy to make . . . and, like they say, it is a bit time-consuming as you wait for paint and mod-podge to dry, but this is one craft you can help your grandchildren make which their mom is sure to love and treasure! Get your grandchildren and go through some of your photos of them . . . help them select the photos they want to put on the flower pots, then print them on paper, cut to size, paint the pots, place and mod-podge the photos, add a ribbon bow, a flower and voila! You have an amazing Mother's Day gift which your grandchildren's moms are sure to love! (You could help them make an extra pot for you, too!) :^)

I'm Giving Away Another Berenstain Bears Book on my Other Blog . . .

On my other blog, About the Children's Department, I'm giving away one copy of the Berenstain Bears - God Bless Our Home! Check this link for all the specifics! 

Hallmark's Moment in Time Mother's Day Gift Pack Give-Away!

I am delighted for the opportunity to let you know about some fun gift ideas from Hallmark and another give-away . . . the Moment in Time Gift Pack which is perfect for Mother's Day! You are going to love all the great things in this gift pack!!!

First of all, Hallmark is including their Hallmark Recordable Artwork: Canvas Art Kit. They say, "Kids have drawn pictures for moms for years, but Hallmark’s Recordable Artwork Canvas Art Kit takes a Mother’s Day drawing to the next level by capturing a child’s voice and the story behind his or her artwork. Equipped with a canvas panel, Crayola washable paints and a big imagination, kids can paint mom or grandma a masterpiece that is then inserted into a 9”x9” recordable frame. Then   for a unique and final touch, kids record a 40-second special Mother’s Day message into the frame and share their unique story behind their art. With the Canvas Art Kit, a mom can play back her child’s precious little voice and experience his or her big imagination on Mother’s Day and any day." I'm thinking I'll paint Josiah's and Caleb's hands, make their prints on the canvas and then record a special message from Josiah . . . then they will be able to give their masterpiece to their mom for Mother's Day! It will be so much fun! Older children could paint their "masterpiece" but, by painting hands for younger children this is a gift any age child could give his/her mom! I love it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

blood:water mission - Water Walk

water-walk-small.jpgHow far do you walk each day to have access to clean, safe water? 50 steps? More, less? If you are like me - and I have a feeling most of you are, you measure the distance between you and safe water by steps, not miles. This, however; is not the case for so many of people who live in Africa. As the blood:water mission says, "Every day, thousands of young Africans must hike miles a day just for access to water. Furthermore, children whose daily chore is to collect water, are often left with no time to attend school. On top of the heavy loads and certain risk of illness from drinking contaminated water, it is estimated that over 40 billion work and school hours are lost every year in Africa to the act of fetching clean drinking water." 

The Grandmother's Bible . . . Acting Justly & Loving Mercy!

I love The Grandmother's Bible from Zondervan . . . it is on my "must have" list and one of my favorite things, too! This is all for one very good reason . . . it is one of my favorite must-have things! I love the daily devotionals, the grandchild in focus prayers, all the many extras generously included from cover to cover and especially the way it helps me think about the things which are really important. Today I read the devotional, "Acting Justly and Loving Mercy" by Claudia Arf. In it she said, "If only we could have a pure heart like a child, we would deeply understand Micah 6:8. When we act justly, we live out what we believe by how we treat one another. When we love mercy, we are forgiving, loving and tolerant. And when we walk humbly with God, we develop faithfulness. Then daily, with confidence and calmness, we can live out our commitment to each other and to God - even when we are making cookies with our grandkids." She then had a short prayer - "Dear Father, please help me to live out justice, mercy and a humble walk with You in all my relationships - especially with my grandchildren. And help me to always remember flour on the floor can easily be cleaned up."  Can you see why I LOVE the Grandmother's Bible?!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

crafting with grandma - Handprint jar for Mother's Day!

Pinned ImageI have another idea for a wonderful Mother's Day craft you could help your grandchildren make for their mother . . . of course I found it on Pinterest! Check this handprint flower jar out . . . it is so perfect for mother's day as not only will children be able to put flowers they make, pick or buy in it, but the jar with the handprint is one mom will want to save and use for years to come!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Fun Science Experiment . . . Elephant's Toothpaste!!!

Elephant's Toothpaste - Kid VersionOur dear, sweet grandson Josiah is at our house today, so I thought it would be great fun to try a couple science experiments with him! Of course my two all-time favorite science experiments are making Ivory Soap Clouds and Elephant's Toothpaste! I think we will try them both today! If you try these with your grandchildren be ready for amazed reactions!!! Be sure to talk with them about how when God created the world He created the laws of science and when we do certain things there are certain reactions . . . God is so amazing and the world He created shows this! Enjoy!

I Have a Winner . . .

I'm happy to announce Sheila Myers is the winner in my second-chance drawing for the book, Oh No, George! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Sheila for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Candlewick Press for sending one book for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Don't Forget - I'm Giving Away a Perplexus!

On May 9th I'm giving away one Perplexus Epic game! If you are not familiar with Perplexus, let me tell you it is one of the most challenging, fun, can't-put-it-down games I've ever had the opportunity to review! I'm so happy for the opportunity to give one of these 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. If you have not "liked" grandma's cookie jar yet, please take a moment to do so and you will be entered in the drawing. It is this simple! If you'd like an additional entry, please share this post (please comment to let me know when you share so I'm able to give you your additional entries). You will find my original Perplexus review at this link.

Fun Give-Away - Playful Pets Nesting Dolls!

I am delighted for the opportunity to share a fun craft item with you from Creativity for Kids - the Playful Pets Nesting Dolls. This kit includes everything you need to paint and decorate five animal nesting dolls - a dog, a cat, a bunny a mouse and a piece of cheese! You'll find the dolls which are pre-printed and made from wood, paint, two paintbrushes, marker, stickers, sandpaper and instructions with tips and the history of the nesting doll - did you know they were first crafted in Russia and were known as Matryoshka dolls - Matryoshka is derived from the Russian word for "mother". This craft set is for people ages 6-96 and will not only be fun to paint, but fun to display and play with afterwards!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Second-Chance Give-Away . . . Oh No, George!

I reviewed the book, Oh No, George and had a give-away for one copy of this adorable and fun book, but never heard back from the winner, so I'm having a second-chance drawing on Saturday, April 14th. If you would like to be included in this special drawing, please comment below! You will find my review of the book Oh No, George at this link . . . as I said in my review, "I absolutely LOVE this book! If you only get one new book for your grandchildren this year, make it Oh No, George!" And, be sure to keep watching all through the month of May I'll be giving away all kinds of things for the "birthday" month of grandma's cookie jar!

crafting with grandma - Granny Square Bedspread!

I'm making this as a bedspread - it'll take awhile as I need 400 squares!!!I'm working on a project for myself . . . something I don't do too often :^) - I'm making a crocheted granny square bedspread! I'm using black, red, blue, green, orange, yellow, purple and green yarns - giving it an "Amish" look and I'm using yarn from Bernat and Red Heart - I really love the deep colors and soft feel of their yarn. This project will take awhile as I need 400 squares . . . so far I have 46 squares completed, but I'll keep you up to date with how it is coming along and will post a photo when I finish it! This is a very simple project and one you could use with a grandchild to help them make a throw, an afghan or even a bedspread for their parents for Christmas . . . have them get started on making their squares now so they'll have enough to assemble into their chosen project by Christmas! I posted the pattern to Pinterest if you'd like to make one or help a grandchild make it. So, what do you think? Is this a project you'd make?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

grandma's cookbook - Mother's Day Dessert!

 What could be more enjoyable than chocolate and peanutbutter? So when you can combine these two things - particularly in a dessert which is simple enough for children to make (with some help) - you end up with the perfect Mother's Day Dessert! I found this recipe on Pinterest and thought I'd share it with you!