Sunday, August 31, 2014

crafting with grandma - Dr. Who Hats!

Last year I crocheted Perry the Platypus Agent Perry hatsMinion hats and purple Minion hats for my grandsons for Christmas; so I have been wondering what hats I'll make for them this year. I was leaning towards monster hats; which I still may do, but my grandsons have just recently become "fans" of Dr. Who, so I guess this answers my question. I'm going to be making them Dr. Who hats this year!

Please Pray

Photo: Home is with these 3! And then also in Illinois and Goias!Please keep the Guy Burkhead family in your prayers. Guy is the son of a friend - he and his wife and their two young children are missionaries with New Tribes in Dakar, Senegal, Africa and Ebola has been diagnosed in Dakar. Please pray as they decide what to do and for my friend, Brad and his wife and family. It has to be frightening on many levels, even when you trust God for your son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, when they are in a city where they have discovered Ebola. Thank you for your prayers.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce Jessica B is the winner of Dinosaur Farm! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Jessica for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by September 6, 2014 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Sterling Children's Books for sending this cute book for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Family Pictures!

My in-laws are celebrating their 60th Anniversary this Saturday, so since they live in Northern California (the MOST beautiful place on the face of the earth!) and we live in West Michigan (also a very beautiful place, but just needs a mountain or two!!!) only my husband is flying out for the celebration. Since the rest of us can not make the trip this year, we thought it would be nice to get a new family photo and have a nice picture made to give them for their Anniversary. (I had actually been wanting to get a new picture taken, but this just gave me a good excuse to do so!!!)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Only Two Days Until I Give Away Dinosaur Farm!

I recently shared my opinions about a new book from Sterling Children's Books which
they sent me for review; Dinosaur Farm. I said; "Every year I have the opportunity to review a lot of books - most are good books, but I was recently invited to review an adorable book, a book which is fun and unexpected - and I get to give one away as well! Dinosaur Farm is a very fun idea for a book . . . Josiah and Caleb gave it their "seal of approval", so I'm happy to share it with you today! This book is sure to be a favorite! I love how it made Josiah and Caleb laugh as we read through the story and I love how Josiah was surprised by how the farm is a farm for dinos! Dinosaur Farm is definitely on my "favorite books" list and I'm delighted for the opportunity to give one away (USA only)." (You'll find my full review at this link.)

So, today I want to remind you about this adorable book and encourage you to enter the drawing for Dinosaur Farm - there are still two days for you to do so! (You'll find all the specifics for entering the drawing at the link above as well!) Please pass the word and let the people you know in on the news about this fun give-away! Thank you!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fit Made Fun Day - & an Interview with Mia Hamm!

If you live in Southern California, mark your calendars for September 6th and head for
Santa Monica Beach for Fit Made Fun Day! What is, "Fit Made Fun Day"? It is an event, hosted by LeapFrog and Mia Hamm from 1-4 p.m., and will include more than 300 children attempting to become GUINNESS WORLD RECORD holders for three active play records: Most people hopping on one foot simultaneously, Most people creating sand angels simultaneously, and the Largest swim dance. Definitely sounds like fun!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

crafting with grandma - Fingerprint Snowman Ornament!

I know it feels like Christmas is a ways away since it still August, but in just four months, Christmas will be over! So, if you are looking for an idea for an ornament which your grandchildren can actually make, look at this great idea I found on Pinterest!

Monday, August 25, 2014

He Loves Them Even More Than I Do!

When I look at this world I wonder, and even feel afraid, about what it is going to be like for my grandsons to grow up. When I was a child pretty much everyone went to church. Family values actually meant something and there was still a sense of, "right and wrong" in the world. The world seemed like a more peaceful place; even with the Vietnam war. 

While it is certainly possible I was just sheltered and not really aware of what was really going on in the world around me, it still was not like it is today. We didn't have terrorists killing and threatening to kill. We didn't have such hostility to faith and values. We didn't have such open flaunting of sin.

But, the world is what it is today and it is where my grandsons are growing up. I don't want to face this world with fear, so I find 2 Timothy 1:7 to be a great encouragement . . .

Sunday, August 24, 2014

grandma's cookbook - Apple Pie Cookies

Fall is just around the corner. Today we drove through the area around where I live and
saw hundreds - possibly even thousands of apple trees filled with apples! This put me in the mood for apple pie. So, when I browsed on Pinterest and saw a recipe for Apple Pie Cookies, I knew I was going to have to make some and share the recipe with you!

Follow this link for the recipe and photo tutorial . . . it looks pretty simple and like a recipe I could have my grandsons help me make! I wonder how it would work with a crumble top???

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jester's Court - Fun Give-Away!

I had a busy morning this morning; we had pictures taken of our family and then took the boys to Jester's Court to play. If you are not from the West Michigan area, you may not know what Jester's Court is; it is a place where children will have so much fun . . . their little faces will literally shine with delight! They were kind enough to give me passes to bring my family so I could find out all about Jester's Court and let you know about it as well.

Friday, August 22, 2014

grandma's chuckles . . . "I'm NOT Cute! Cute is for Little Boys and I'm Big!"

My grandson Caleb just turned three and he was at my house the other day with his
brothers Josiah (almost six years old and Shane, just turned one). Caleb was playing with Shane when he stopped and hugged Shane. Then he turned to me and said, "Shane is so cute!" I laughed, agreed with him, and told Caleb he was cute, too!

Caleb stood up, got a very serious look on his face and said, "I am NOT cute! Cute is for little boys and I'm BIG!!!" Of course he does not realize just how cute this makes him, but as we talked about this, he decided he could be, "snazzy" instead!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

crafting with grandma - Waxed Fall Leaves!

Leaves dipped in wax to preserve color.I live in West Michigan; which is known for the beauty of it's seasons! We get all four seasons here - although until today it has been difficult to tell Summer actually arrived! Which means, our Falls are spectacular for the color in the trees!

I was browsing on Pinterest and saw a pin with directions for waxing and hanging Fall leaves and thought I'd share it with you! You'll find all the specifics at this link.

Take your grandchildren on a walk in the park, in the country or through the woods this Fall when the leaves turn to bright colors; as you walk, collect a few for waxing when you get home. Spend time making some wax leaves to hang in your homes and as you do, talk about the beautiful world God created! Ask your grandchildren what they think was the most amazing thing they saw on your walk. Ask them which leaf is their favorite. Lead them in popcorn praises to God for the beautiful world He created!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

this grandma's promise

I may not be able to take my sweet grandsons to fancy places. I may not be able to buy
these dear boys the newest, coolest and most awesome toys and gadgets. I may not be able to give them every thing they may want, but I absolutely will be sure the words I say fill their hearts with joy and remind them how ever so much they are loved! 

I will always put aside my computer and make room in my lap for sweet boys to snuggle (after all, a grandma's lap is not a place for a computer; it is a place for a grandson)! I will always greet these three gifts from the hand of God with a smile on my face, in my eyes and filling my heart! I will be certain to be generous with the words, "I love you; forever and for always!" and most importantly; I will be absolutely certain these three boys who fill my heart with love and make it so very happy, know as much as their grandma loves them . . . and it is a whole lot; God loves them even more!

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Rhonda Gales is the winner of Monster Party!! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Rhonda for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by August 27, 2014 so I can send it 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.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Just for Fun - Orkin Back-To-School Scientific Fact or Fake App & Prize Package!

While there are certainly people who like bugs and find them interesting; I am not one of these people. It is, however; possible my grandsons will be as they tend to find bugs interesting. So, when I was invited to participate in the Orkin Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake Back to School Bug Myth App and Give-Away, I thought it sounded like fun!
“Daddy longlegs are poisonous.”
“Mosquitoes prefer adults over children.”
“Ants can survive underwater.”
You’ve heard the myths about bugs before. Do you know what’s fact and what’s fake?
Take Orkin’s Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake™ Quiz to test your knowledge, and be sure to watch every clip for the scoop on these infamous bug myths.
And, while you are at it, enter to win the fun Orkin Scientific Back-to-School PRIZE PACK which includes: 
- Clip-on Fisheye Lens (iPhone, Galaxy, Android compatible) 
- Orkin On-the-Go Drink Tumbler 
- Orkin Drawstring Bag 
- Orkin “Field Notes” Notebook w/ Pen

Monday, August 18, 2014

Birthdays, Snuggles, Laughs . . . I'm SO Thankful!

I think one thing grandmas "have" which we did not necessarily "have" as moms, is "perspective". As moms we are very busy with the day-in-day-out busyness of family life: getting children up, dressed, fed, cared for, constructively engaged, and then back to bed at the end of what often feels like a long day can leave us tired and wondering how long it will take for the children to grow up.

As grandmas we know the answer to this question . . . far faster than we can actually imagine. As moms the pace of life may feel like it drags on; as grandmas we know how fast it flies by. So, as a grandma I truly treasure the time I get to spend with my grandsons . . . yes, they leave me tired because they have more energy than I even think about having, but the memories are SO worth the fatigue!

This past weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to celebrate my grandsons' birthdays - they had a party for all three of them as their birthdays are close together. The boys laughed, smiled and had a lot of fun swimming, breaking a pinata and opening gifts, of course! There were also snuggles and, "I love yous" and lots of joy! I would not have missed being there with them for anything in the world! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

grandma's bookshelf - Calvin, Look Out! - I'm Giving One Away!

As I said yesterday, I get invited to review a LOT of books each year; I have recently been invited to review a cute story about a little bird who gets glasses . . . Josiah really enjoyed this story! I'm very happy to share it with you today - and give one away! (See specifics below!)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

grandma's bookshelf - Dinosaur Farm - I'm Giving One Away!

Every year I have the opportunity to review a lot of books - most are good books, but I was recently invited to review an adorable book, a book which is fun and unexpected - and I get to give one away as well! Dinosaur Farm is a very fun idea for a book . . . Josiah and Caleb gave it their "seal of approval", so I'm happy to share it with you today!

Friday, August 15, 2014

grandma's chuckles - "He Cheats Because He is Three"

Josiah and Caleb were at my house a couple days ago and they wanted me to make a hide-out in the living room for them; so I grabbed some chairs and blankets and made it. They were sitting in their hide-out with Josiah listing all the "rules" for the game he wanted to play, but Caleb was just busy playing. All of a sudden, Josiah hit Caleb on the head, Caleb cried and Josiah said, "He is cheating! He is cheating! He isn't following the rules!"

Caleb came and sat in my lap for snuggling and sympathy and I had Josiah come and sit in a chair next to us. Josiah told me, "Caleb was cheating! He can never play with me again!" I told him Caleb was not cheating; he is just three and he may not have even been listening to the rules and probably did not know them. Josiah said, "But he was cheating! He was cheating!" I told him Caleb was three and was not cheating and he could not hit his brother. I then asked him if he really never wanted to play with Caleb again.

Josiah looked at Caleb, told him he was sorry - Caleb told Josiah he forgave him - and then they ran off to play once again; Josiah stopped, turned back to look at me and said, "Now that I know he cheats because he is three!"

These boys make my heart happy!

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Gailya Proctor is the winner of my ElectroKidz give-away! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Gailya for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by August 22, 2014 so I can send it to you) and thank you WowWee for sending it for me to review.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

grandma's chuckles - Stuck in the Mud!

The boys are at my house and yesterday we were enjoying a fun story . . . the story went like this . . . 
Once upon a time there was a little monster with lots of blue hair and brown eyes. One day this monster went out to play after a rainstorm. As the monster ran around the yard it became stuck in the mud!!! The monster tried to get out of the mud, but it was stuck, stuck, stuck! The monster began to call for help; "Help! Help! Help!", but nobody heard. The monster began to feel afraid and called louder; "HELP! HELP! HELP!", but still nobody heard. The monster was stuck, stuck, stuck and very, very afraid. It was sure it would not only be stuck forever, but it would sink through the mud all the way to China!!!!
This is where Josiah interrupted and said, "It could not really sink all the way to China because there is hot lava in the middle of the earth, so the monster can not sink through to the other side. It would actually burn up in the lava!" I love the intelligence of an almost six-year old!!!! I'm not sure the monster in our story would feel less afraid if it knew it would not sink all the way to China, but would actually burn up in the lava first, but, I told Josiah the monster did not know this and went on with the story!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

crafting with grandma - Super Easy DIY Chalkboard Vase

From time to time situations arise where you might wish you had something you could
give as a gift . . . it is for times such as these where this gift idea I found on Pinterest this morning will absolutely come in handy! Super simple, very inexpensive and yet, personal . . . this chalkboard vase is one which you can make up and then personalize as you need, add some flowers and have a great gift in minutes!

Follow this link for the specifics then stop by the store to pick up mason jars, chalkboard spray paint and chalk markers, paint several jars and store them to have on hand when you need them!

Monday, August 11, 2014

crafting with grandma - Crochet Beard Hat!

My husband and son have beards; while I'd like my son's beard to be less, "bushy", my
grandsons look forward to the day when they will grow beards, too! So, I think it would be fun to make them beard hats for Christmas this year! I can just picture the three sweet grandsons in their beard hats . . . it would make a fun photo with their dad and poppa!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

grandma's cookbook - Caleb's Chocolatiest, Chocolaty, Chocolate Cake!

My grandsons spent the night and this morning Caleb wanted to help me make cake, so we made Caleb's Chocolatiest, Chocolaty, Chocolate Cake (triple chocolate cake)! It is a very tasty cake, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you!

Friday, August 8, 2014

crafting with grandma - Crochet a Batman Hat!

Last year I crocheted Purple Minion hats and Perry the Platypus Agent Perry hats for my
grandsons, so I've been looking for fun hats to crochet for them this year . . . they are going to end up with a lot of fun hats!!! The other day I shared a fun free pattern for monster hats; today I'm sharing a Free pattern for a Batman hat!!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

grandma's bookshelf - The Hope Quotient

On my other blog, About the Children's Department, I reviewed a book this morning
which, while it has a lot to say about finding and holding on to Hope in our lives, work, and ministry, it also has some incredible things to say about Hope as it relates to our children and grandchildren. I reviewed The Hope Quotient: Measure It. Raise It. You'll Never Be the Same - and announced a give-away - on About the Children's Department (you'll find it at this link), but I want to highlight a couple things for you here on grandma's cookie jar as well.

First of all, a shocking piece of information . . . 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Today is National Root Beer Float Day - Enjoy a FREE Float!

Yes, today, August 6th, is National Root Beer Float Day and at A&W Restaurants across the country from 2pm to closing, you will be able to receive a FREE small Root Beer Float! How wonderful . . . and tasty, is that???!!!

Plus, you will be given the opportunity to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project - again, how wonderful is that??!!!

Not that we need more "fun" on a day when Root Beer Floats are available for FREE, but I thought it would be fun to share some interesting Root Beer Trivia with you which I found on-line. Did you know . . . 

Please Make Sure They KNOW You Love Them

Normally I write about happy things . . . such as sparkle kisses and making monster hats, but today my heart is sad. Last night the local news told about a 12 year old boy who stabbed a nine year old boy playing on the playground; the nine year old died. The twelve year old did not know the nine year old; he called the police after he stabbed the other boy and said nobody loved him and he wanted to die.

My heart breaks for the family of the nine year old; their loved son/grandson was just playing at the playground down the street from their home. I can not even begin to imagine their grief and shock; please keep them in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

crafting with grandma - Monster Hats

As I said yesterday, "Around my house when the boys are here there is talk of lasers, monsters, aliens, and at times to my dismay, farts. They are boys." So, with Christmas just four and a half months away . . . yes, I said four and a half months!!! . . . I'm starting to think about the hats I want to crochet for the boys this year. As I thought, I realized it would be fun and perfect to make them new monster hats and found a great, free pattern on Pinterest!

Monday, August 4, 2014

grandma's chuckles - Sparkle Kisses!

I have three grandsons; no granddaughters, so it is not often I get to have fun with glitter
and "sparkles" . . . around my house when the boys are here there is talk of lasers, monsters, aliens, and at times to my dismay, farts. They are boys.

However; they are still young and they are amused by my "sparkle kisses"! What is a, "sparkle kiss" you ask??? My favorite lipstick is a red, glittery lip gloss which when I wear it and give kisses, leaves a "sparkle kiss" behind! The boys will even ask - on occasion - for a, "sparkle kiss" . . . on the back of their hands, NOT on their faces!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

grandma's chuckles - Talking to Toy Story!

The other day when Josiah and Caleb were here, we watched Toy Story 1. This used to
be Josiah's favorite movie - he always wanted to watch it when he was here, but it has been awhile; at least a year or so, since he has watched it, so he had forgotten a lot of what happened in the story and Caleb did not remember it at all. Which made for some very enjoyable moments for this grandma!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

More Fun for This Summer!

Can you believe it??? Summer is two-thirds over! Boy has it flown by! But, there is still a month to go before Summer 2014 is in the past, so if you are looking for some fun ideas you could still try with your grandchildren before summer is over, consider some of the following . . .

Friday, August 1, 2014

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say, Carol McDonald is the winner in my book give-away for The Garden Gate (you'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Carol for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by August 8, 2014 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Christa and Zonderkidz for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!