Monday, December 31, 2012

crafting with grandma - Valentine Heart Window Clings

DIY homemade Window Clings
Christmas is past and aside from New Years Day, the next "big" holiday is Valentines Day, so I thought I'd share some fun Valentines Day crafts with you! I love "window clings" which made these wonderful hearts I found on Pinterest seem like a great place to start! I'm definitely going to make these with the boys so I will be getting some glitter . . . after-all, glitter certainly adds to the fun!

Fun New Years Craft Ideas!

As 2012 comes to an end and 2013 begins, if you are looking for a few fun craft ideas which you can enjoy with your grandchildren, take a look at these ideas I found on Pinterest . . . 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Winter Fun - Amaze Your Grandchildren with Frozen Bubbles!

Next winter, if your area is below 32°, go outside and blow "ice bubbles"  The kids will never forget it!!As I've mentioned a time or two, I live in Michigan - otherwise known as the "Frozen North"! I've never been a person who enjoyed the cold; being warm is so very much more pleasant! But, the other day when I was browsing on Pinterest I found an idea for something really cool which you could do with your grandchildren in the cold . . . make frozen bubbles!

Favorite Parables from the Bible - I'm Giving One Away!

When my children were little - a long time ago, I bought a few books for them by Nick Butterworth & Mick Inkpen (the creator of Kipper the dog);  The Lost Sheep, The Precious Pearl, The Two Sons and The House on the Rock. These books became some of our favorites! I loved the simple way they told Jesus' parables with humor and a flare for storytelling! I loved the simple illustrations. There were excellent reasons these books were some of my family's favorites!

Favorite Parables from the Bible: Stories Jesus Told provides you eight wonderful Bible stories in one book. In addition to the four stories I mentioned, this book also includes The Ten Silver Coins, The Little Gate, The Good Stranger and The Rich Farmer. Children ages 4-7 are going to love this book - and so will grandmas! :-)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stained Glass Art by Bristolworks Glass

You may have noticed the pretty stained glass ad in the right side of this blog. My brother designs and makes amazing stained glass pieces. Last Christmas he gave me a beautiful piece which is hanging in my window (see the photo to the right!)

Top Posts from 2012 - Manners For Our Grandchildren

While I certainly understand - and share - the interest in posts about things like American Girl dolls and other reviews, I'm very happy to see once again this year, one of the most read posts - in the top ten, is a post about manners! As 2012 comes to a close, I'm posting it again for you in case you didn't see it the first time - or just might like to see it again!

Friday, December 28, 2012

American Girl Doll of the Year 2013 - Saige - I'm Giving One Away!

Yes, today is the day I can let you know about the new American Girl Doll of the Year for 2013 . . . she is beautiful! Her name is Saige Copeland, she is 10 years old and she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. American Girl describes her as a girl who, "loves spending time on her grandma Mimi's ranch, riding horses and painting. Her school made the tough choice to cut art classes, which means she's lost her favorite subject. So when Mimi decides to organize a "save the arts" fundraiser and parade to benefit the school, Saige jumps on board. She begins training Mimi's beautiful horse, Picasso, for his appearance in the parade. Then Mimi is injured in an accident, and Saige wonders what she can do to help. Can she ride Picasso in the parade and make her grandma proud? Can she still raise money to protect the arts at school?"

Saige is a beautiful doll with long, auburn hair which is styled in a loose braid. I like the cute dress she is wearing and think the boots are adorable and fun! I'm glad American Girl gave her a "smattering" of freckles and, as you would expect, AG paid attention to all the details as they designed Saige and she reflects the quality you are used to seeing in American Girl dolls.

I Have a Winner . . .

I'm happy to announce Rochel S. is the winner in the Bloco Tiger & Panda building set give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Rochel for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by January 11, 2013 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Bloco for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

crafting with grandma - Snowflakes for National Snowflake Day

Just thinking that these could be made very large, spray painted, glittered then hung from the ceiling-or incorporated in a set design or luncheon space at church. Tinsel Snowflake - Martha Stewart Holiday & Seasonal Crafts #glitterinjuicy & #givemewhatIwant
Apparently today is "National Snowflake Day" . . . I didn't even know there was such a day until I noticed a fb post by someone I know (thanks for the info Mark). So, in honor of National Snowflake Day, I thought it would be fun to share some info about snowflakes and a few snowflake crafts with you all! 

Top Posts for 2012 - Little Tikes Big Adventures Action Fliers

Little Tikes® Big Adventures™ Action Fliers™
While a post about American Girl Dolls was my most read post for 2012, the second-most read post was about the Little Tikes Big Adventures Action Fliers! This makes sense because all of us grandmas with grandsons would be more interested in this than we would be in dolls! :-)

Top Posts for 2012 - American Girl!

2012 is almost over and 2013 is just waiting to begin, so what were the most read posts on grandma's cookie jar in 2012? Three of the Top Ten posts of the year were related to American Girl Dolls. Tomorrow I'll be able to announce the 2013 American Girl Doll of the year . . . and my next AG give-away as well, so I guess from my top ten posts of 2012, I won't be surprised to see a fair amount of you take the time to read my post tomorrow! :-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Day After Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas with your families. As you go through today remember; "even when Christmas is over the Light of the World is still here!"

grandma's movie review - VeggieTales Lettuce Love One Another - I'm Giving One Away!

If you are a fan of VeggieTales then you will be happy to hear of a new Veggie release with an "eye" towards Valentine's Day . . . Lettuce Love One Another! This new collection includes three popular VeggieTales episodes—Tomato Sawyer & Huckleberry Larry's Big River RescueAbe and the Amazing Promise and King George and the Ducky—in addition to five brand-new 'Bible Bits,' story shorts which demonstrate examples of giving and forgiving, helping, praying and sharing. 

Veggie's says, "Each episode in this collection helps teach a valuable lesson about love, whether it’s through honoring others when we help them, having patience or the importance of putting others first. Our new VeggieTales: Lettuce Love One Another! DVD is an entertaining, humorous and inspiring collection of stories which help kids and families discover ways they can love one another. The stories illustrate in a fun-filled way how love can be shown in practical ways such as being kind, sharing, and forgiving. It’s the perfect title for Valentine’s Day – or any day!”

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's Christmas . . .

Christmas star decoration with blue background and Jesus is the reason for the season lettering clip art of manger picture
It is Christmas - while we did our main "celebrating" with family last night and on Saturday, today I'm fixing a roast in the slow-cooker and all the fixings to go with it. All the celebrating is fun; something I look forward to each year, but the most important thing is taking time to thank God for the reason we are able to celebrate . . . the birth of Jesus!

If you know Jesus, then I'm sure you'll be celebrating one of the most important happenings in all of history, too! If you do not yet know Him, I pray this year you will come to know Him Who loves you so much, He was willing to leave Heaven, be born as a tiny baby in a stable and ultimately grow up and give His life on a cross so we can be forgiven! Talk about the best Gift ever!!!

Merry Christmas everyone, and thank you for reading my blog!

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Chistmas Carol for Today - It's About the Cross

Christmas is NOT about the presents. Christmas is NOT about the tree. Christmas is NOT about the decorations. Christmas is NOT about the cookies. Christmas is NOT about a lot of the things we so easily become distracted by . . . Christmas IS about the Cross. It IS about God's love! It is the reason Jesus came to be born as a baby. He came so we can have new life! I've been saving this song for today, the day before Christmas . . . look at the lyrics . . . 

grandma's DIY Christmas Gift Ideas - Lotion Bars

DIY Lotion BarsTomorrow is Christmas, so I have just one more DIY gift idea to share with you . . . make your own lotion bars! I found this recipe, of course, on Pinterest and when I read what they are - "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!" - well, I just had to share it with you . . . and try them myself, too!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

grandma's DIY Christmas Gift Ideas - Car Ideas for Boys!

I do not have any granddaughters, so doll houses and paper dolls are just not things which will work for me. My grandsons love cars, trucks . . . and of course, one-eyed monsters! So, when I was browsing on Pinterest and found a link for Car ideas, I had to check it out! I'm happy to say there are several great DIY ideas you can use for the boys in your life!

Just check the links and you'll find all the info you need to make the following items . . .

My Christmas Carol for Today - Christmas Offering

My Christmas carol for today is Christmas Offering. It is so easy for us - and for children - to think about Christmas in terms of the gifts we are giving and the gifts we want to receive. This year, lets take time to focus instead of offering our worship to Jesus instead; no one else deserves our praise! Look at the lyrics:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Favorite Parables from the Bible - I'm Giving One Away!

When my children were little - a long time ago, I bought a few books for them by Nick Butterworth & Mick Inkpen (the creator of Kipper the dog);  The Lost Sheep, The Precious Pearl, The Two Sons and The House on the Rock. These books became some of our favorites! I loved the simple way they told Jesus' parables with humor and a flare for storytelling! I loved the simple illustrations. There were excellent reasons these books were some of my family's favorites!

Favorite Parables from the Bible: Stories Jesus Told provides you eight wonderful Bible stories in one book. In addition to the four stories I mentioned, this book also includes The Ten Silver Coins, The Little Gate, The Good Stranger and The Rich Farmer. Children ages 4-7 are going to love this book - and so will grandmas! :-)

My Christmas Carol for Today - Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

My Christmas Carol for today is Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee and this is what Christmas is all about - not the gifts, cookies or "fun" . . . it is about adoring Jesus and the joy He gives! Look at these lyrics . . . 

grandma's DIY Christmas Gifts - American Girl Doll Paper Dolls

Yesterday I found a link where you can download American Girl Doll Paper Dolls - so if you are looking for a last minute gift for a girl you know who loves American Girl, check this link and print out Rebecca along with clothes and backgrounds for her to enjoy!

Friday, December 21, 2012

grandma's DIY Christmas Gift Idea - Make a Doll-House!

I do not have any granddaughters, but if I did, I'd be making doll houses for sure! I was browsing on Pinterest and found a link for a pattern to make doll houses so I had to share it with you!

My Christmas Carol for Today - Joy to the World

My Christmas Carol for today is Joy to the World! This song is certainly one of the most well known Christmas songs so I wanted to include it in my Christmas carol songs, but I also wanted to share a fun and new "take" on this song from Go Fish Guys! Look at the lyrics -

In One Week I Can Announce the New American Girl Doll!

Yes, yesterday I received a long, pink box with stars on it . . . inside is the 2013 Girl of the Year doll from American Girl! I can not say any more about this doll until December 28th, other than to say you all are going to love her!

Stay tuned for the review . . . and announcement of a give-away! :-)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

grandma's favorites - Slippers!

I live in Michigan; for any of you who do not, it gets cold in Michigan in the winter. I do not enjoy cold feet, so I especially appreciate slippers . . . particularly when they are warm and cozy! It is for this reason I love Dearfoam slippers! Check out some of the slippers Dearfoam sent me to review . . . 

grandma's DIY Christmas Gift Idea - Pins which "Measure" Up!

Winter craft: DIY snow day pins
I was browsing on Pinterest the other day and found such a cute craft idea - I had to share it with you! I love these little pins - or you could make magnets with them, too. This is a craft which you could involve your grandchildren in making - their little fingerprints would make "snowpeople" to treasure forever!

My Christmas Carol for Today - Silent Night!

My Christmas Carol for you today is a very familiar song, Silent Night. Jesus is the Reason for the Season and we can celebrate because of what happened on the Silent Night so very long ago! Enjoy this song sung by Casting Crowns and Merry Christmas!

crafting with grandma - One-Eyed Monster Slippers!

I have two young grandsons, one of whom is four years old, so we do have "monsters" which "invade" my home from time to time - of course I'm NOT talking about my sweet grandsons, but "monsters"! I was fixing lunch in the kitchen a few weeks ago when Josiah ran into the kitchen and told me there were "monsters in the hall!" I asked him if they were teeny, tiny or ginormous, humongous! He said they were the "most ginormous, humongous, EVER!" I asked him if they were nice or cranky. He said they were "the most cranky monsters, EVER!!!" He said they were going to eat me - I asked him whatever should I do and he said he would protect me! This is one grandma who is so thankful I have such a brave grandson at my house when the most ginormous, humongous and cranky monsters EVER invade my home!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

grandma's DIY Christmas Gift Idea - This Time, One for the Guys!

DIY gifts for menWhen it comes to making gifts, it is fairly easy to find things to make for the girls, but the boys . . . well, other than food, it can be a challenge. So, when I saw the link and tutorial for making a Paracord Lanyard on Pinterest - well, I had to share it with you!

My Christmas Carol for Today - Christmas this Year!

My Christmas Carol for you today is sure to get your toes tapping . . . enjoy this Toby Mac song, Christmas This Year! Join in and, "For Christmas this year/ Gonna make a sound gonna make it loud/ We're gonna make some noise let the world rejoice/ for ChristMas this year", because, "God is coming near/ unto us a saviors born/ on a midnight clear!" Look at the lyrics - (and the video - I used with because it is so fun - just like this song! Enjoy!!)

Great Songs for Your Grandchildren!

In addition to writing this blog, I also write a blog about children's ministry. Each January I focus on Vacation Bible School and one thing I do is pick my top pick for music. I thought I'd share my Top Pick for 2013 with you as it is music which you can enjoy with your grandchildren, too!

I'm very happy to announce my Top Pick for VBS Music for 2013 - Gotta Move from Go Fish Guys! Go Fish's music is a combination of solid lyrics, great harmonies and lots of "spunk" - all combining for songs children - and adults - will want to sing! I know my grandsons absolutely will be singing and dancing to these songs for years!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

grandma's DIY Christmas Gift Idea - Make a Candy Serving Tray

Turn mints into a serving tray!  Just arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Then let completely cool at room temperature.  After your party, break and keep in a candy jar!  Great idea for a plate of cookies you don't have to get back. Love this for delivering Christmas cookies.I found this idea on Pinterest and couldn't believe what it is made from - and how easy it is to make it! Literally a candy tray! How clever and fun!

A Simple, Fun - and Tasty - Last-Minute Christmas Craft!

I was browsing through Pinterest and happened to find a great, simple craft idea which would be so much fun to make with grandchildren on Christmas Sunday! All you need are a few simple - and tasty - supplies!  

My Christmas Carol for Today - Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)

Have you ever wondered what it was like for Mary - a young girl - to be chosen as the mother for Jesus? What must she have thought? How might she have felt? Amy Grant's lovely song, Breath of Heaven gives us some possibilities to consider for these questions. Look at the lyrics - 

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Have a Winner . . .

I'm happy to say Lori Layne is the winner in my Warner Brothers Happy Holiday Blu-ray Give-Away! (You'll find the post at this link) Thank you Lori for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Warner Brothers for making this give-away possible!

grandma's DIY Christmas Gift Ideas . . . Chocolate Lip Balm!

DIY Chocolate Chip Lip BalmOkay, this one had me at the very thought of making my own "chocolate" lip balm! What could be better on a cold, dry day when my lips are chapped than to be able to put chocolate balm on them? So, what could possibly make a better gift?

I found this on Pinterest - of course - so if you follow this link you'll find the ingredients and directions along with a photo tutorial . . . it is a pretty simple process and one which you could easily do with your grandchildren. The great thing about chocolate lip balm . . . no, wait; an additional great thing about chocolate lip balm because since it is chocolate, well, obviously there is one great thing covered already! The additional great thing is since it is chocolate, you can make this for the boys and men in your lives too as their lips get chapped in the winter, too!

My Christmas Carol for Today - Christmas Carol of Love!


To see today's Christmas Carol, you need to visit my facebook page . . . you'll find "Christmas Carol of Love and believe me, it is absolutely worth checking it out! It will put a smile on your face for sure! 

Please join me in "caroling" your friends by sharing this post! :-)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

grandma's DIY Christmas Gift Ideas - Solid Perfume!

solid perfume tutorial, natural perfume DIY, make your own perfume, anointment natural skin careI for one, like solid perfumes to carry in my purse. They are easy and quick to use, take up little space and I don't have to be concerned about them breaking! So, when I saw a DIY for making your own solid perfumes on Pinterest, I thought it would be a fun idea to share with you. 

Just follow the link and you'll find a list of ingredients and complete directions - everything you need for making solid perfumes - I couldn't believe how simple the directions are . . . there are only four steps to follow! These would be such wonderful add-on gifts, stocking stuffers or a fun idea for gift exchanges! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

grandma's favorites - Gifts for the Guys - the Dremel Multi-Max

Most of my Christmas gift reviews this year have been items for children, but today I want to let you know about a great gift idea for the guys . . . older, teen grandchildren, grown sons and husbands! Dremel is known for making quality tools which have been well designed with attention given to the details. They have a multi-tasking tool which will give you what you need to repair, remodel or restore . . . the Multi-Max!

There may not be "words", "answers" or "reasons why", but there are things we can do

I believe you are like me, still in shock and horror at the tragedy which happened in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conneticut. There are no words for this type of grief. At this moment I'm so thankful for God's strong arms - they are strong enough to hold the families who lost someone they love. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Please Pray for the Families from Newtown

Please be praying for the families of the children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I can not imagine the sorrow these families face - they will be in my prayers. 

A Fun, Last-Minute Give-Away . . .

Warner Brothers emailed me last night and said, "Ho Ho Ho, it’s the holiday season and part of this involves ... Shopping!  But finding presents for your loved ones can be no easy task!  This is why Warner Bros. has come up with an awesome Happy Holidays Blog App featuring some classic and new movies out on Blu-ray sure to please everyone from your teeny nephew to grandma!" They said they would, "give me a copy of Peanuts Deluxe Holiday CollectionClassic Christmas Favorites or Dr. Seuss’s Deluxe Holiday Collection on Blu-ray to give to my readers! (Prize will be chosen randomly from the above Blu-ray titles!)"

I thought it sounded like fun, so, here goes . . . 

grandma's favorites - Dolls!

Over the past year I've had the opportunity to review and give-away, several dolls. When I review American Girl dolls and a Girl for All Time dolls, I give away the doll I get in for review. In the past year I've reviewed - and given away - four American Girl dolls and two Girl for All Time dolls. These are truly lovely dolls and dolls which are sure to be loved by any little girl who receives them! 


I really love the attention to design and the details - and quality - which American Girl and a Girl for All Time puts into each doll. These dolls are beautiful to the smallest detail and they are dolls which can be tucked away when a girl no longer plays with them and then brought out one day in the future to delight a daughter or granddaughter all over again!

So, the dolls I've reviewed are . . . 

My Christmas Carol for Today - O Little Town of Bethlehem

My Christmas Carol for today is, O, Little Town of Bethlehem. This familiar song was written in 1835. A simple, little town. A normal, everyday night; and yet, something amazing happened! Someone Incredible was born! Look at the lyrics: