Friday, February 28, 2014

crafting with grandma - St. Patrick's Day Handprint Rainbow . . . and More!

Yesterday I was browsing on Pinterest and came across are really cute idea for making a
handprint rainbow for St. Patrick's Day! Since I love handprint crafts . . . wait, did I say, "love"??? Since this is a significant understatement, allow me, please, to correct . . . since I LOVE handprint crafts, I knew I would have to share this one with you!

Follow this link and you'll find the simple directions for this cute handprint rainbow . . . I would include a photo of my grandchildren in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow because they are my "treasure" for sure!!! 

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce Rita Wilson is the winner in my Adventure Sketchers give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Rita for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by March 6, 2014 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you LeapFrog for sending me one Adventure Sketchers to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

grandma's movie review - VeggieTales Veggies in Space - I'm Giving One Away!

What do you get when you combine several space themes, talking veggies, humor and a solid message? The new VeggieTales story: Veggies in Space, and it does not disappoint!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Today is, "Tell a Fairy Tale Day"

When you were growing up, did you have a favorite Fairy Tale? A story you really loved
and wanted your parents to read to you at bedtime? Or, as you grew up, did you enjoy reading Fairy Tales, such as; Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella or The Cunning Shoemaker? Or, did you enjoy making up your own Fairy Tales? As you became a parent, did you enjoy reading Fairy Tales to your children and now enjoy a good Fairy Tale with your grandchildren? Well, if you answered, "Yes!" to any of these questions, then today is the day for you as it is, "Tell a Fairy Tale Day!"

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sunday is Dr. Seuss Day!

We all grew up with Dr. Seuss books . . . my favorites were, Snow and Ten Apples Up On Top! For the past couple years I posted a Dr. Seuss saying each day throughout March since March is Dr. Seuss Month. This year, I'll put a link to the previous year's post in case you didn't see them last year, but I thought it would be fun to give you some ideas of ways to celebrate Dr. Seuss Day - Sunday, March 2nd!

I found a great site on Pinterest with more than 75 fun ideas for celebrating  Dr. Seuss day with your grandchildren . . . follow this link and you'll be able to pick the ideas which work best for you! I LOVE the following ideas . . . 

grandma's cookbook - Popcorn! Popcorn! Popcorn!

My grandsons - and their parents - were at our house Saturday and we all watched a movie
together . . . which of course, meant popcorn was "needed"! I made my homemade, microwave, non-dairy kettle corn popcorn . . . and none of it was left! (You'll find my recipe for this popcorn at the following link)

So, if your family is like mine and they enjoy a bowl of popcorn and if you are feeling, "bold and brave" and are looking for a way to "jazz" up your popcorn, then check these ideas I found on Pinterest!

Monday, February 24, 2014

grandma's bookshelf - Dinosaur Shapes, Colors, Numbers & Opposites - Plus a Give-Away!

Around this grandma's house there are certain things which are "popular". These "things" include, super heroes, monsters, aliens, giant robot spiders and dinosaurs . . . can you tell my grandchildren are young boys?!!! So, when Sterling Children's Books gave me the opportunity to review four books where the main characters are dinosaurs, well, I was pretty sure they would be "hits" with my grandsons! Not only are the dinosaurs well liked, but I also appreciate how each book teaches the basics . . . one book focuses on shapes, another on colors, another on numbers and still one more on opposites!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

crafting with grandma - Polka-Dot Purse!

If you have been reading grandma's cookie jar for awhile, you have likely noticed I
crochet a bit from time to time! I was pretty busy this past Fall making hats and blankets for my grandsons for Christmas, so once I finished the items I made for them, I made myself a new purse - a granny square purse . . . I was thinking "Amish colors" and used black as the background and then lots of bright, primary colors for the granny squares.

With Spring just around the corner . . . or at least I am sincerely hoping it is just around the corner! I thought I'd make myself another purse . . . this one with colors which make me think of Spring and Polka-Dots . . . they seemed like a fun way to give a purse a unique and cheerful look!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

grandma's cookbook - It is Banana Bread Day!

My grandsons family enjoys banana bread . . . for good reason; banana bread tends to be moist, soft and flavorful . . . in short, it is a tasty treat for sure! So, when I discovered today is "Banana Bread Day", I had to share this bit of news with you! Days of the Year (dot) com says, "Banana bread first started to become popular back in the 1930′s, during the Great Depression. Cultural historians suggest resourceful and creative housewives of the era created the recipe as a way of not wasting over-ripe bananas. In fact, the riper the bananas, the better the taste of the banana bread, so it ended up being a very clever creation! It is traditionally known as a 'quick bread', but is actually more like a cake in both texture and flavor."

I'm happy to share with you my favorite banana bread recipe . . . 

grandma's chuckles - Watching Out for Little Brother!

My grandsons usually spend Friday night at my house and some or all day Saturday . . . I look forward to these days all week long! Not only are hugs, kisses, laps-full-of-love (when I'm holding both of them) and smiles a definite part of these days each week, but the boys say things which leave me laughing for the entire week! I thought it would be fun to share with you, once again, another example of how they make me laugh (I originally posted this almost a year ago) . . .

Friday, February 21, 2014

grandma's chuckles . . . George the Bear and Josiah the Snowboy!

I've been going back and enjoying some of the funny things Josiah has said over the years . . . my memory is terrible, so I decided when he was born, to be sure to write down the cute and funny things he said so I would be able to remember and enjoy them! I highly recommend doing this with your grandchildren . . . it is so much fun to go back and remember these special times!

At any rate, I have shared once again a couple of the funny and cute things he said and thought I'd share another one with you today! This is from two years ago . . . he was three and oh, so cute!!!

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. (Isn't he so cute in the photo!!!) 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 Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce Teresa Maddox is the winner in my Not the Quitting Kind give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Teresa for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by February 28, 2014 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Peter Pauper Press for making this book available for me to review and a copy available for give-away!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

grandma's chuckles - "Watch out for fire-breathing basset hounds!"

I have three grandsons, Josiah is five, Caleb is two and Shane is six months old. These three sweet boys fill my heart with so much joy! They are still all just little . . . but they are growing up so fast! I've been reminiscing and enjoying some of the sweet memories of time spent with them and thought maybe you would enjoy a few of my fun "grandma stories" to help you, "get to know" my sweet grandsons . . . and brighten your day with a smile, too! This story for today is one I've shared before, but in case you didn't see it when I first shared it . . . or just might enjoy laughing at it again, I thought I'd share it again! Enjoy . . .

I Have a Winner . . . & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Lori Layne is the winner in my Go Fish Shine CD give-away (you'll find the review at this link)! Thank you Lori for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you Go Fish for sending this CD for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FREE Resources from What's In the Bible?!!!

I'm delighted for the opportunity to share some links with you from What's in the Bible . .
 . they are offering several FREE resources which you might find a use for with your grandchildren! Check these out . . . 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Being an Intentional Grandma

I love my grandsons! I love to spend time with them, I love to do special things with them and I love to give them surprises from time to time. I take seriously my "job" as grandma! Along with all the "fun" parts of this "job", I also know it is important; extremely important, for me to also take seriously my responsibility to pass on a heritage of faith. I am always looking for opportunities to connect what we are doing with God's Word and how very, very much Jesus loves these three, sweet boys!

Monday, February 17, 2014

crafting with grandma . . . Butterflies!

While it is still a month away, I'm thinking warm thoughts and looking forward to Spring, so I thought I'd find and share a fun idea today with you to help you get in the mood for Spring! I looked on Pinterest and found a couple fun ideas for a butterflies!

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day!

While I think it would be an excellent "policy" to do something kind for someone every day; today is, "Random Acts of Kindness Day"! So, on this day to be kind, do kind things for others! What kind of kind things, you ask? Well, just a few kind things could include . . . 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Today is; "Do a Grouch a Favor Day"!

I discovered this special day on-line where it said, "On Do a Grouch a Favor Day, if you know someone who is always grouchy, then this is the day to go out of your way to turn their frown upside down. Celebrate by trying to make all those people with the 'I-just-sucked-a-lemon-face' or those people who are just mean all the time, happy by going out of your way to do something nice for them. Considering this holiday is immediately following Valentine's Day, the most romantic and loving holiday of the year, you are sure to find plenty of people to do favors for."

I Have a Winner!

I am happy to say, Charlotte David Winters is the winner in my Cherry Republic give-
away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Charlotte for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me your address by February 23, 2014 so I can have it sent to you - and thank you Cherry Republic for sending a gift pack for me to review and for making an additional gift package available for me to give away!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Special Month of Birthday Give-Aways - I'm Giving Away Isabelle, the American Girl Doll Girl of the Year 2014!

As I recently announced, on May 24, 2014 I'm giving away one American Girl Doll of the
Year, 2014 - Isabelle! AG has this to say about this year's doll, "Isabelle Palmer is excited to start the dance program at Anna Hart School of the Arts. Then she realizes how talented her classmates are. Keeping up is a challenge - until Isabelle discovers a unique talent to call her own.

One of the things I like about the Girl of the Year dolls from American Girl, is how they have challenges and obstacles to overcome. In the story which accompanies each doll, girls are likely to find something which they can identify with and learn from.

Isabelle is a lovely 18" doll with hazel eyes which open and close. She has long blond hair styled in double twists with a pink-tipped highlight girls can add for fun! Isabelle is wearing a coral shirt with sequins, metalic denim pants and gold, glittery shoes - I LOVE all the sparkle! Isabelle has a soft, huggable cloth body and moveable arms and legs. As is the case with all American Girl dolls, Isabelle is made with attention to detail and the quality which makes her a heirloom quality doll who is sure to be passed on to future generations!

As I mentioned, I'm giving Isabelle away on May 24, 2014 . . . I know this is a ways away, but it is fun to have special give-aways during my grandma's cookie jar's month of special birthday give-aways (the month of May) and what could be more "fun" than giving away an American Girl doll?!!!

You will receive entries in the following ways . . . 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Don't Forget - Cherry Republic Give-Away Tomorrow!

Yes, tomorrow, February 15, 2014, I'm giving away a tasty gift package from Cherry Republic! You'll find all the specifics at this link, but today I thought it would be fun to share a few more "cherry fun facts" with you! Did you know . . . 

Valentine's Day Celebration!

It is Friday . . . otherwise known around this house as, "sleepover-day" as Josiah and Caleb
will be coming to spend the night! We will be celebrating their mom's birthday tomorrow with her birthday lunch, but I think we will also have some Valentine's Day fun with the boys tonight!

We gave them a couple new apps for their LeapPad Ultras for Valentine's Day, but I think it will also be fun to have a Valentine's Day scavenger hunt! I'm planning to hide books, sweet treats and - if I can get them finished in time, their new "Gimli" hats! The boys have a puppy named Gimli and Caleb thought it would be fun to have "Gimli" hats! So, of course since I'm grandma, I've been working on crocheting new hats for them!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

FREE Valentine's Printables for Boys!

Superhero Valentine Printable for BoysValentines Day can have a lot of "sweetness" to it . . . which is okay if you are talking about candy, cookies or girls, but if you have grandsons, they may "cringe" at the options for Valentine Cards they could give to their classmates.  Well, if this is the case for your grandsons, check these free printables I found on Pinterest!

Just a Reminder - February 15th is Just Two Days Away!

Yes, Saturday is February 15th! You ask why you should mark your calender for this day? Because it is the day after Valentine's Day. Of course you realize this is obvious, so why does this matter? Because . . . it is the day all the heart-shaped candies go on clearance!!!! If you haven't already, make plans to head for your local store first thing and pick up some to have on hand for special surprises from grandma! Just think of all the things you could do with heart-shaped candies . . . if you have them . . .

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love Is . . .

This time of year we tend to think about "love" . . . or at least the "mushy" feeling of love; but what is love, really? Take a look at I Corinthians 13 for a true picture of what love really is . . . 

grandma's cookbook - Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a favorite for so many families . . . and every family probably has their own recipe! At my house it is very simple - and quick to fix - so I thought I'd share my recipe with you today!

Let's begin with the meatballs . . . I use ground beef, an egg, about 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce and 1/2 cup of minute rice. Mix together then use a spoon to make balls and place into a pan which has a can or jar and a half of prepared sauce . . . I like Prego or Hunts. Add a bit more sauce, cover and cook over medium high heat for about 30 minutes, stir then simmer until you are ready to serve. Like I said, very simple!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

grandma's chuckles - Good End!

It is 6:17pm and I have had a busy day with grandsons, but I wanted to take a moment to
post something today . . . before it is tomorrow! I thought I'd share something cute . . . or at least I think it is cute . . . my two and a half year old grandson said. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

grandma's cookbook - Baked Brown Sugar Chicken Wings

Baked Brown Sugar Chicken Wings with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce - Damn Delicious
My grandsons love chicken wings! Did I say, "loves"? It would be more accurate to say they, LOVE chicken wings! I bought some barbecue honey wings which only had to be put in the oven to bake . . . and they ate them right up! But, today as I browsed on Pinterest I found a recipe for Baked Brown Sugar Chicken Wings and thought, since chicken wings typically are extremely inexpensive to buy, it really would not be that difficult - or even difficult at all - to make them from "scratch"!

grandma's chuckles . . . Super Caleb and Monsters!

Yesterday I posted about a time when Josiah and I were making up stories about a dinosaur, rock monster and a boy named Josiah. I LOVE making up stories with Josiah . . . he has such a fun imagination! For about three years we have been making up stories together, so when Caleb started wanting to make up stories with me, I was absolutely thrilled!

When the boys were at my house this past weekend, we made up a couple stories at Caleb's nap-time. His face just lit up with the biggest smile, his eyes twinkled and he happily helped with the stories! His stories are definitely "boy stories"; just like Josiah's . . . there are monsters and it is likely something will want to eat him! No sweet stories about bunnies and butterflies . . . unless they are being chased and eaten by monsters!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

grandma's chuckles:^) . . . Once Upon a Time . . .

I love to read books to to my grandsons . . . it seems to be one of the "grandma requirements", but as much as I enjoy reading books to them, I really love making up stories . . . and am so happy to see Caleb is following in his brother's footsteps and is truly enjoying our times when we make up stories! I love being able to see how their imaginations are growing and of course the "storytelling" of young boys brings at least a few laughs! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

crafting with grandma - Polka Dot Animals . . . & Creatures!

So . . . along with deciding to make a polka dot purse, I found an adorable pattern
for crocheted polka dot bears on Pinterest, too! This bear is sooo cute and would make a great gift for Valentine's Day for grandchildren . . . if you hurry . . . or for a birthday, Children's Day (the second Sunday in June) or just for fun!

crafting with grandma - Polka Dot Purse!

This is such a fun blanket!  Really unique. :)  20 Popular Free Crochet Patterns to Bookmark if You Haven’t Tried Them Yet compiled by Crochet ConcupiscenceLast month, the month of January, we only had four days with no snow here where I live in West Michigan. Yes, only four days. This winter is reminiscent of when I was in high school - '78 and '79 - when we got lots and lots of snow; like we have been getting this year. Cold, grey, cold, snowy, cold, windy and did I mention it has been cold? As much a -30s with the wind chill. Yes, it has been cold.

However; Spring is just around the corner! It is supposed to be warmer in the coming week . . . this is something to celebrate . . . even if "warmer" is only the 30s (above zero)! So, to help me think cheerful, happy, fun and warm thoughts, I have decided to make a new purse. I was browsing on Pinterest and found a pattern for making polka dots . . . what could be more cheerful, happy and fun . . . if not warm . . . than polka dots!!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

grandma's bookshelf - Not the Quitting Kind - I'm Giving One Away!

I was recently invited by Peter Pauper Press to review a new book for children . . . Not the Quitting Kind and I'm delighted to share this book with you today!

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Tessa424 is the winner in my Love You More Than Anything book give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Tessa for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by February 14, 2014 so I can have it sent to you - and thank you Sterling Children's Books for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

LeapFrog Adventure Sketchers . . . I'm Giving One Away!

LeapFrog invited me to participate in a web-ex for their new game/app; Adventure Sketchers! . . . so, they sent me the app for the game for Josiah to try out and they are making another game available for me to give away! I am so very happy to let you know about this game!

First of all the details about LeapFrog Adventure Sketchers! Draw, Play, Create Learning Game . . . LeapFrog says, "Create a fantastic universe and get drawn into the action! Design a hero, record sounds and draw game elements. On this epic journey, your child will be challenged to find the magical Pen of Power, reunite the Book of Wonder’s scattered pages and save the Kingdom. Players build storytelling and art skills as they customize the adventure, leading up to a climactic showdown with the evil wizard Grumpus.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

FREE Printable for Valentine's Day!

I just found what I think is likely the BEST Valentine's Day idea EVER . . . and it is a FREE
download! Just yesterday on my way to taking Josiah to school, we were talking about what Valentine's Day is. I told him it was a special day to tell the people we love, that we love them! We started talking about the best "love" gifts ever and agreed God gave the VERY BEST Gift EVER when He gave us Jesus!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

grandma's bookshelf - Who's in the Tree?

My grandsons love lift-the-flap books, so when I received this new book from Sterling Children's Books, I knew it was a book they would love as there are a lot of lift-the-flap surprises in, "Who's in the Tree?"

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

just for fun - It is the Great American Pie Month!

I was looking on-line and found out it is Great American Pie Month! Talk about a tasty month!!! Whether you’re in the mood for a fruit pie with a flaky, golden crust or a sweet crème pie with a crunchy cookie crust, this is a month you can enjoy for sure!

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce Ellie is the winner in my Free Birds give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Ellie for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email your address to me by February 11, 2014 so I can have it sent to you - and thank you Relativity Media for making this available for me to give away.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Shine from Go Fish . . . I'm Giving One CD Away!

On several occasions I've had the opportunity to review and give-away music from Go Fish . . . I'm happy to say today is another occasion for me to do this! Go Fish has a new CD which goes along with their 2014 VBS; Shine! The great thing about this music is it is filled with songs your grandchildren will LOVE and want to sing at your home and at their own!

Just the Way We Are . . .

I was blessed in the last couple days to be reminded of something extremely important; something which we need to remember and hold on to as grandmas - and grandpas, moms and dads - and something which we need to help our grandchildren/children also remember and hold on to as they grow up. What is this extremely important "something"? It is the truth we are loved and have value just the way we are!

Josiah and Caleb were here for a sleepover and we were talking about the color of my hair. Josiah said my hair was brown and white and I told him he was right! I said if I ever dyed my hair, I'd dye it red, to which he said, "NO! Do not dye it red! You should dye it white so it is all white!" Apparently he is quite happy with a grandma who has white hair - or even mostly white hair!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Isabelle - American Girl Doll of the Year for 2014 - I'm Giving One Away & Make a Corn-husk Doll!

Yes, it is true, on May 24, 2014 I'm giving away one Isabelle, American Girl Doll of the
Year for 2014! You will find all the details about the give-away for this doll, at this link.

There are few girls today who would not absolutely love to have an American Girl doll of their own to love, but while American Girl dolls have been around since 1986, it is quite possible the "first" "American girl doll" was made from corn-husks! Native Americans used dried corn husks to make dolls for little girls to play with and when settlers from Europe arrived on this continent, they quickly learned to make these dolls for their own little girls.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

It is National Cherry Month - Cherry Republic Review & Give-Away!

I live in West Michigan; for those of you who do not live here, one of the things we are "known" for is the many amazing, incredible and tasty varieties of fruit which grow here . . . apples, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries just to name a few! February is National Cherry Month, so a fun and tasty cherry give-away from Cherry Republic and interesting cherry facts I found on line sound like great ways to start this "Cherry Month" . . .