Thursday, January 31, 2013

grandma's bookshelf - What Will You Be, Grandma? - I'm Giving One Away!

I'm so happy for the opportunity to share a book with you which is charming and delightful . . . and imaginative! It is sure to make you smile! As I read this I could just picture some of the ideas Josiah might come up with for the things I could "grow up to be"!!!

14 Days of Love - Countdown to Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day 14 days of love. You can print the tags from the website too!Last night as I browsed on Pinterest I found an idea I LOVE for sharing love with people you love with a countdown to Valentine's Day! It could easily be "tweaked" for you to use with your grandchildren . . . for example, on Day 14 the "tag" says, "You make my heart "bubble" over!" and the item you attach it to is supposed to be a bottle of sparkling cider. They give suggestions of also using any carbonated beverage, Bubble Tape or Bubble Yum, but I'd use a bottle of bubbles!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

grandma's cookbook - Best Chocolate Cake Ever!

Black Magic Cake (Best Chocolate Cake Ever!) RecipeOkay. I admit it. I am a fan of cake. Make that a HUGE fan of cake! And, when the cake is chocolate . . . well, I personally see nothing wrong with having a slice for breakfast!!! :-) After all, chocolate IS good for you! :-)

So, when I was browsing on Pinterest and found this cake recipe, well I knew two things. First, I had to share it with you and secondly, I HAD to try it! I have the ingredients I need on my shopping list and will be making this cake . . . I have no doubt I will absolutely LOVE it! I do plan to make a couple substitutions or "tweaks" . . . I plan to substitute milk for the buttermilk and cut it to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup of sour cream . . . I'll let you know how it turns out. 

grandma's bookshelf - the Berenstain Bears The Trouble with Things - I'm Giving One Away!

It is very easy for children . . . and for grown-ups . . . to see things they want and think they are things they need. This new Berenstain Bears book talks about the "Trouble with Things" as it looks at things the bears want, things they need and the things God blessed them with. It is a powerful, and oftentimes much needed, message for us all to take to heart.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

grandma's "chuckles" - He Drives Like a Mad-Man!

I made my husband laugh the other day! I don't mean just a smile or a "chuckle", but rather an out-and-out belly-laugh! How, you ask? Well, I told him the following: "Caleb drives the dump-truck like a 'mad-man'!" He out-and-out laughed at this! 

grandma's bookshelf - Curious George Three Tales For a Winters Night - I'm Giving One Away!

If you have grandchildren like mine who are most certainly "fans" of a curious little monkey named George, then this book is one they are sure to love! Curious George Three Tales For a Winter's Night is exactly as the name implies - three books in one!

Monday, January 28, 2013

grandma's challenge - "Bless" Your Grandchildren!

How did you do with last week's "grandma's challenge"? (Check the challenge at this linkGreeting those we love with a hug and an, "I love you!" is definitely something to continue!

So for this week I thought I'd challenge you to "bless" your grandchildren whenever they leave your home. The Bible has many blessings in it and giving a blessing to your grandchildren is a really powerful thing. You can choose your own blessing to give from a favorite Bible verse or use this one from Psalm 86 to try . . . 

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce Jennifer Mays is the winner of Curious George Says Thank You (you'll find the review at this link)! Thank you Jennifer for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by February 4, 2013 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sending one for me to review and for making another available to give away.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

grandma's bookshelf - the Berenstain Bears God Made the Colors - I'm Giving One Away!

I love Berenstain Bears books and I love "I Can Read" books, so, when you put the two together . . . well, there is surely a lot to love! Over the years the Berenstain bears have taught children so many things, so when I saw this new book where they teach about colors I knew I wanted to share it with you!

I Have Four Winners!

I'm happy to announce Melinda Klein, Larry Fasig, Ashley Osborn and Cy Maddux are the winners in my Go Fish Kids Music give-away (you'll find the review at this link)! Thank you Melinda, Larry, Ashley and Cy for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by Feburary 3, 2013 so I can send them to you) and thak you Go Fish for sending one for me to review and additional copies for me to give away!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

101 FREE Photos - Yes, I said, 101!!!

Go to the Shutterfly home page.Do you have photos from Christmas in your camera? Do you have photos on your computer which you planned to have printed so you could add them to photo books or frames? Well, if you are like me, you answered both questions with, "yes"! 

But, I can happily say this is no longer the case for me! In my "in-box" this morning I found an email from Shutterfly with a code for 101 FREE photos! Yes, 101!!!! So, I spent some time . . . well, in all honesty, a fair amount of time . . .  going through those photos which I had intended to have printed, but never did - and did the difficult . . . well, the VERY difficult job of choosing just 101 . . . I actually went over a bit! :-) After all, I'm a grandma so how could I not?!!! :-)

grandma's bookshelf - Spot the Animals

As I've mentioned a number of times :-), I love books! When I was young, my mom made sure I received a book for each birthday and Christmas . . . we went to the local library all summer and participated in the Summer reading program . . . so I guess, reading and valuing books is something I grew up with! When my children were young I did the same things with them and they grew up to be people who valued books and reading as well! So now, as a grandma, I continue to give and read books to my grandsons and am so happy they love books! Regardless of who and what they want to be as they grow up, being people who read is something which will benefit them throughout their lives.

So, I say, encourage a love for books and reading from children's youngest age! The book I'm sharing with you today is a great book to do exactly this with it's lift the flaps, animals and colors . . . all things which little ones are sure to enjoy!

grandma's movie reviews - Madly Madagascar

Get ready for the return of Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria in the new Madly Madagascar short which releases on January 29, 2013! As Fox says, "Your favorite Madagascar pals are back in an all-new adventure! Alex’s favorite holiday, Valentine’s Day, brings hilarious surprises and excitement for the entire gang. Melman plans a big surprise for Gloria, Marty tries to impress a new friend and everyone wants to get their hands on King Julien’s love potion. You'll fall in LOVE with Madly Madagascar!"

Friday, January 25, 2013

grandma's bookshelf - 1-2-3 Dinosaurs Bite! - I'm Giving One Away!

I am a huge fan of books! I love to read them - and I love to write them! One of the best things we can do for our grandchildren is to pass on a love for books and reading. I love to surround my grandsons with books and am so happy they enjoy books . . . and are even starting to write their own! One day I'll have to share with you about some of the "books" Josiah is writing! But for now I thought it would be fun to spend a week highlighting - and giving away - books!

The first book is a fun board book your youngest grandchildren are sure to love . . . 1-2-3 Dinosaurs Bite! Steven Jenkins illustrated five dinos in this book which has "bites" take out of it and engages little ones in learning about dinosaurs and counting! I love the illustrations and I love the "bites" - the number of "bites" on a page matches the counting for the page. If you have a little one who loves dinosaurs and who is learning to count, this book is certainly for them!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

crafting with grandma - Cuddly Bunny

Cuddly BunnyIn light of my previous post, I thought I'd share with you this pattern I found on Pinterest for crocheted Cuddly Bunnies! If you have a new little one on their way in your family, or if you are looking for a simple pattern which you could use to teach a grandchild to crochet or if you are looking for an item you could make for your local pregnancy resource center, or if you might like to involve ladies in your church in making them for families in your community who have babies as a gift from your church . . . check this pattern out!

Wonderful News to Share!

I have such happy news . . . joyful news . . . wonderful news . . . exciting news . . . well, you get the idea . . . I have amazing news to share with you! Just check the video below . . . 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

grandma's cookbook - Valentine's Day Chocolate Covered Rice Krispie Hearts!

rice krispy treats heart shapedI have been a "fan" of rice krispie treats since I was a child. I, of course, have been a "fan" of chocolate . . . probably from birth! :-) So, when I found this recipe on Pinterest for Valentine's Day Chocolate Covered Rice Krispie Hearts . . . well, of course I had to share it with you . . . and make plans for my grandsons to make some, too!

Free Valentine's Day Game!

Cute adjective activityI was browsing on Pinterest and found a Valentine's Day game printable which I thought would be fun to share with you .  .  . so, if you have young grandchildren, this could be a Valentine's Day gift which not only will help your grandchildren learn to identify different animals, but will give you a fun game you can play with them!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I Have a Winner . . .

I'm happy to announce Sarah Yurga is the winner of, Berenstain Bears Good Deed Scouts to the Rescue. (You'll find the review at this link). Thank you Sarah for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by January 29, 2013 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away.

grandma's bookshelf - Etched . . . Upon My Heart - I'm Giving One Away!

Some of you may recognize the name, Jim Kelly. He was a NFL Hall of Famer and the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. What you may not know is he and his wife Jill had a son who was diagnosed with a fatal disease called Krabbe Leukodystrophy when he was only an infant. Jill wrote this book, Etched . . . Upon My Heart and in it she shared her journey to discover what love is and Who it Is. I'm happy to share this book with you today - and give one away.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Who Will You Give Saige To if You Win?

As you likely know, on May 15, 2013 I'm giving away one of the new American Girl of the Year dolls - Saige! This doll is beautiful and is sure to be a loved "friend" for any girl who receives her. American Girl dolls are ones which nearly all little girls would love to have, but due to their cost, not all girls are able to receive one. It is for this reason it is my hope whoever wins this doll will give her to a girl who otherwise might not be able to have an American Girl doll of her own. If you win, who will you give Saige to?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Valentine's Footprint Hearts!

Valentine's cards! By HarperI love hand and foot print crafts, so when I was browsing on Pinterest the other day and saw this cute idea for footprint Valentines, I had to share it with you! All you need is paper, paint and of course, little feet! Have fun making footprint Valentines with your grandchildren!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Go Fish - Kids Music - I'm Giving One Away!

As you may know, on January 27, 2013 I'm giving away some of Go Fish's new CDs - Kids Music (USA only), so I thought today I'd share a video with one of the songs from this new CD - Fruit of the Spirit!

I love the lyrics and "pep" which together will have children - and adults - singing this song with enthusiasm! We absolutely want our grandchildren - and ourselves - to remember even when, "It’s easy to get mad When things don’t your way It’s easy to get angry When you’re having a bad day It’s easy to be mean When others do you wrong It’s easy to complain When you just can’t get along But there’s a better way The Spirit can help you when you pray" There absolutely is a better way - we can pray and ask for help when we are tempted to be angry, mean, complain or not get along with others - I'm so thankful for songs like this which my grandsons love! Not only can they get up and dance to it, but we can talk about the message and it can help them remember what to do when they are having a bad day!

Friday, January 18, 2013

grandma's challenge - Greet with a Hug and an "I Love You!"

Valentine's Day is just a little less than a month away and is a time when we particularly think about the ones we love - and a time when we take time to tell and show them they are loved. I'm all for Valentine's Day expressions of love, but I'd like to challenge you to take time each day of the year to tell and show your family and friends they are loved!

This is the idea behind, "grandma's challenge"! Each week I'll share a challenge for the following week - this challenge will be a "reminder" of sorts to us to remember to speak and show our love to others. Yes, the people we love may know we love them, but it is very important for us to be intentional about taking the time to speak and show our love - not just assume it is known.

Floppets . . . Fun . . . Collectible & a Give-Away!

Kids have always loved to collect things . . . I remember when my kids were young, pogs became collectible. Well, there is a new thing available for kids to collect and your grandchildren are likely to be happy to do so - if they are not already!

Floppets are here! What is a "Floppet", you ask? Well, as Floppet says, "Floppets are 
small collectible toys which can be attached with a velcro loop strap to backpacks, flip flops, fingers, toes, and clothes for young children to exhibit their own sense of style, while also decorating, personalizing and accessorizing their belongings. Floppets are friends who like to cling to most anything, especially other Floppets. They prefer to be close to you, however, as long as they are holding on to something safe, they are usually OK with holding on to other things. Floppets can be attached to Flip Flops, Fingers, Wrists, Necklaces, Pencils, Back Packs, Shoe Laces, Ear Buds, and most any other safe thing."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter Fun - Frozen Ice Balloons!

Fill balloons with water and add food coloring, once frozen cut the balloons off & they look like giant marbles. This is awesome!!!It is finally getting cold enough for some special winter activities . . . yes, here in Michigan it typically is cold enough months ago, but I'm not complaining since I prefer warmer winters! But, I do have a fun idea I found on Pinterest which required colder outdoor temps, so now I'm looking forward to the opportunity to try it with the boys!

grandma's chuckles - "Fortunately, I know what to do!"

Don't you just love it when your young grandchildren say something cute? I love when my grandsons visit for many reasons . . . being able to see the sparkle and twinkle in their eyes when they smile, the hugs and kisses which will be part of their visit and so many other reasons, but one is definitely the anticipation of waiting to hear what cute or funny thing they will say this time! 

Josiah and Caleb were visiting yesterday and Josiah ran up to me and said, "Grandma, there are penguin robots who are going to get you! Don't worry; fabulous, brave Josiah is here and fortunately, I know what to do!" He then began to karate chop and kick the penguin robots and "saved" me! I'm so thankful for fabulous, brave Josiah! Whatever would I do without him? :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

grandma's cookbook - Chocolate, Chocolate-Chip, Peanut Butter, Sour Cream Cookies!

Sour Cream Chocolate Cookies RecipeJosiah and I were going to make cookies yesterday, so I asked him what kind of cookies we should make. He said, "Chocolate, chocolate-chip!" So, we sat down with my computer to find a recipe. I found one and read the ingredients to him and he said, "That's not the one we want." I thought it could work, but read the next one to him. He said, "Yes! This is the one. It has cocoa and the other one didn't. We need cocoa to make chocolate, chocolate-chip cookies!" He was right! I didn't think he paid all that close attention to the ingredients, but apparently he did! So we made the recipe he chose, with just a couple "tweaks" which I'm sharing with you. The cookies turned out quite delightful - after all, they have cocoa, chocolate-chips, peanut butter and sour cream in them, so how could they be anything but delightful? :-)

I "cut" the white baking chips, "halved" the butter called for in the recipe and substituted peanut butter plus I substituted 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour for 3/4 cup of flour. I also added 1/3 cup of baby oatmeal cereal - these substitutions are an effort to make my cooking - even my baking of cookies - slightly "better" for you. Yes, they are still cookies and yes, they do have butter, sugar and sour cream in them, but the cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate chips, peanut butter, white whole wheat flour and baby oatmeal are all good for you - plus I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup, so when it comes to cookies, since these substitutions only make the cookies taste better, I say, "why not?!!!" :-) Have fun making these with your grandchildren!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

grandma's bookshelf - Kisses from Katie

If you are a grandma, you certainly believe children matter; we believe Jesus when He said, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.” But, in our "world" of "comfort" and "plenty" - at least for most of us here in the USA, how do our lives show this is what we truly believe?

Around the world children are often treated as "unimportant", but nowhere is this more true than in Africa. In the book, "Kisses from Katie" you have the opportunity to see what it looks like when someone takes Jesus at His word and truly values what and who He values; when someone cares for people, "no matter how unimportant they seem" because they believe when they care for those who are deemed "unimportant", they are really caring for Jesus.

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce Carol McDonald is the winner in my Favorite Parables from the Bible: Stories Jesus Told book give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Carol for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by January 22, 2013 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Monday, January 14, 2013

grandma's cookbook - Valentine's Day Smores Pops!

Valentines DayMy sweet grandsons are spending the day today - Josiah was looking at Valentine's Day ideas with me on Pinterest and thought I should share this one with you - Josiah said, "This looks like a good one!" and I think he is right!

crafting with grandma - 101 Free Valentines Printables

101 Valentine’s Day Printables {free}Valentine's Day is just one month away, so I thought today would be a fun day to share a link I found on Pinterest for 101 FREE Valentine's printables! If you follow this link you'll find everything from free printable cards to games, pop-up-cards, cupcake wrappers, bookmarks and more! Check it out and see if you can find something which might be fun for your grandchildren! Enjoy!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kid's Music - Go Fish - I'm Giving Some Away!

My grandsons LOVE Go Fish - they sing and dance to their songs every time I play them! I'm delighted for the opportunity to share Go Fish's new CD with you . . . and give some away!

Go Fish's new CD - Kids Music - has 10 songs on it . . . all of which are sure to get kids dancing, singing and thinking about their walk with God! Check these songs . . . 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

grandma's bookshelf - Curious George Says Thank You - I'm Giving One Away!

I don't know about you, but one of my grandson's favorite characters is Curious George. Both Josiah and Caleb love to watch the "adventures" of this curious little monkey! So, when I had the opportunity to review some Curious George books, well I knew my grandsons would be so happy to "assist"! When the package arrived, the boys were here, so they opened them and found the Curious George books resulting in two happy boys at my house for sure! I'm very happy to share one of them with you today . . . 

Friday, January 11, 2013

crafting with grandma - Animal Scarves!

Crochet Animal ScarvesI made one-eyed monster hats and slippers for my grandsons at Christmas, but didn't make scarves. The other day I was browsing on Pinterest and found a great pattern for scarves . . . I'm thinking about making a one-eyed monster scarf with this pattern, but the animals sure do look fun! If I do make a one-eyed monster scarf, I'll post a photo for you!

Just follow this link and have fun making great scarves for the people in your family! What scarf might you make?

Glow-in the-Dark Silly Putty - Make Your Own!

Glow in the Dark Silly Putty! Simple. Fun. Great Rainy Day Craft!!!If you have grandchildren who will be at your house this weekend, surprise them with the opportunity to make something fun, unexpected and cool . . . glow-in-the-dark silly putty! I found a link on Pinterest - but it took me to a site with crocheted hats. So I looked on-line and found a site with the recipe!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Handprint & Footprint Craft with Extra Meaning!

Love this idea!  Micah 6:8  Neat to do with child while learning verseI LOVE handprint crafts! If you can thrown in a pair of feetprints with it, well, what could be better? I still have a t-shirt with my kid's handprints on it which they made for their dad one year for Father's Day - I love those tiny prints! Hand and foot print crafts are a wonderful way to preserve a "moment" in time and a fun way to make a craft with a unique and personal touch. So, when I was browsing on Pinterest and found a craft with hand and feet prints - and a craft with meaning, I had to share it with you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

grandma's cookbook - Valentine's Day Delight - Donuts!!!

Chocolate Donuts by Love From The Oven favorite recipe for early 2012
Okay, if the truth be told . . . and I am telling the truth . . . I absolutely, positively LOVE donuts! I could eat them every day, but I don't. In fact, when I'm at the store and see the delightful treats I say, "DONUTS! Donuts, Donuts, Donuts!" and keep walking until they are far behind me! So, when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for Valentine's Day donuts, well, of course I had to share it with you!

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce Lori Layne is the winner in my VeggieTales, Lettuce Love One Another DVD give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Lori for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you VeggieTales for sending one for me to give away!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I'm Giving Two Great Books Away in One Week!

I thought I'd take a moment to remind you of two great books I'm giving away in one week . . . on January 15, 2013 I'm giving away Favorite Parables from the Bible: Stories Jesus Told. This book has eight wonderful Bible stories by Nick Butterworth & Mick Inkpen (the creator of Kipper the dog);  The Lost Sheep, The Precious Pearl, The Two Sons, The House on the Rock, The Ten Silver Coins, The Little Gate, The Good Stranger and The Rich Farmer. 

When my children were young, these were available as individual books and we bought four of them . . . they very quickly became four of our family's favorite books! So, when ZonderKidz let me know they were re-releasing these books all combined in one book, I literally said, "Hooray!" I'm so very thrilled another generation of children will be able to grow up with these stories!

Free Movie & Craft Downloads!

If you are a grandparent - or parent - you are likely familiar with VeggieTales, but do you know the creative mind behind VeggieTales, Phil Vischer, also has a series of DVDs which walk children - and families - through the Bible from Genesis through Revelation? This series is called, "What's in the Bible?" and you can download the first episode, "In the Beginning" for FREE! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

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

I've been writing grandma's cookie jar for a little over one and a half years. In this time I've given away four American Girl dolls, so it seemed like a great way to celebrate the second "birthday/anniversary" of grandma's cookie jar would be with the give-away of another American Girl doll! So, when AG sent me their 2013 Girl of the Year doll, Saige, I decided to give her away during the "Month of Special Birthday Give-aways"! I know May is a few months away, but it is the "birthday" month for grandma's cookie jar!

So, I'm very happy for the opportunity to give away one Saige, American Girl Doll of the Year for 2013 on May 15, 2013! I would like to give her to someone who is giving the doll to a girl who otherwise would not be able to have an American Girl doll, so if you win, who will you give her to?

grandma's book review - Grace by Max Lucado

Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine  -     
        By: Max Lucado
Max Lucado is a husband, father, pastor and he is a story teller. All of these things are very clear when you read any of his books and the combination of these four things, in my opinion, is why his books are definite "must reads" whether you are talking bout a book he wrote on the Bible of one of his many wonderful books for children. He knows how to write words in a way which captures our attention and in a way which helps us understand Who God is and the truth of how much He loves us!

Max's newest book is called Grace - a word which on it's own causes our hearts to have hope! Grace is something we all need and thankfully is something God so richly lavishes on us! As Max says in this book, Grace is, "~ More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine ~" Just reading this was enough to make me want to read the book!

As I read Grace, the following things really stood out for me . . .

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Indoor Fun on Blustery Days!

Of course while we may watch a movie or show with our grandchildren when they are at our homes, we certainly do not want to fall into the trap of just turning on the TV whenever they come over. But, when it is blustery or cold outside, you may find yourself wondering what you can do with your grandchildren inside. So, when I found this link on Pinterest for 10 Indoor Winter Fun Activities for Kids, well, I had to share it with you!

Just follow this link and you'll find ten great ideas; such as . . .

Valentines Day Countdown Craft

counting down the ways I love you
Valentine's Day is traditionally a day for expressing our love for our husband or wife or the person we are dating, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to have fun with expressing our love for our grandchildren! So, when I found a Valentine Count-down printable on Pinterest, well, I had to share it with you!

Just follow this link and you'll find the free printable which you can use to make your own Valentine's Day count-down! Print out your envelopes and then think of fourteen fun things your grandchildren can do as they count down to Valentine's Day! I love ideas like making cookies together, working together to make Valentines for their friends, writing them a personal note as to the things you love about them and ideas for doing things together which they love - painting, drawing, cooking, playing outside, playing a game . . . these are just a few of the ideas you could use!