Friday, October 31, 2014

Just for Fun - Caramel Apple Day & Knock-Knock Joke Day!

Today is the "day" for two things my grandsons will sure enjoy . . . Caramel Apple Day and Knock-Knock Joke Day! First, let's think about Caramel Apple Day! Of course a simple tub of caramel and sliced apples are an easy . . . and tasty way to enjoy and celebrate this day or the classic apple on a stick, dipped in caramel, but I found a couple additional fun ideas for apple tastiness which would not only be fun to eat and make, but would also make a great gift to give to others! Check these ideas . . . 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Heart is Happy!

The past month has been busy with announcing give-aways for this year's Christmas give-aways, so while I still have one more give-away to announce, today I want to pause and just share some of my joy in being a grandma . . . which is actually why I write grandma's cookie jar in the first place! (All the give-aways just "happened" as I started writing . . . and have become a fun part of this blog without a doubt!)

So, today I want to take a moment to write about my three grandsons - they are the ones who make me a grandma! The other day when Caleb was at my house he told me when Jesus was three years old (Caleb is three!) He had a black and white dog named, "Carl"! When he visited my church this past Sunday, his class was playing musical chairs. On one round, Caleb did not end up with a seat, but, rather than leave the game, he said; "I'll get my own chair!" and added a chair to the game and continued to play! He is a very determined and independent child . . . and so sweet! I love how Caleb prays; he says, "Thank You Jesus for always loving us!" I am so very glad he knows Jesus always loves him! He was looking at a picture I have of him and his two brothers yesterday, pointed at it, smiled at me and said; "These are your 'sweet boys'!" He is absolutely correct!

Two Days Until My 2014 Christmas Give-Aways Begin - Love Letters From God!

Yes, in just two days, on November 1, 2014, my Christmas Give-Aways begin for this year! I have announced 20 give-aways . . . and have one more really great give-away to announce yet, so nearly every day throughout the month of November, I'll be giving something away!

You still have time to get in all the drawings for these prizes, but just two days to enter the drawing for Love Letters from God! You'll find my full review for this book at the following link - please check it out and enter . . . this is a wonderful book for a child you love!

Join in the fun and let the give-aways begin!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - LeapBand!

A couple months ago I was invited to try the new LeapFrog LeapBand and give two away, so I happily said, "Yes!" LeapFrog sent me one of their new LeapBands for me to review for free - they asked me to try it out and write my own opinions of this new activity tracker for children . . . which I did - so I'm sharing it again today, because I have another one from them to give away!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Your Misuse of Literally T-Shirt

Clothes have long been favorite gifts to give and to receive . . . so today I'm very happy to announce a fun give-away of a T-shirt from Signals, but first I want to share with you a couple other gift ideas which Signals sent to me at no cost in exchange for my opinions in my review . . .

Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Andie Under Pressure or How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots!

As I've mentioned a time or two . . . or three or more . . . as a child, I always received books for Christmas and my birthday. As a mom, I carried on this tradition and always gave my children a book or two on their birthdays and for Christmas. So, now as a grandma, one thing my grandsons can count on receiving on their birthdays and for Christmas are books!

So, when I was sent two chapter books from Zonderkidz I was very happy to see the titles . . . Andi Under Pressure and How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots! Happy because I have already read and reviewed the previous books in both series - and loved them! Also happy because I knew they would make wonderful additions to my 2014 Christmas Give-Aways!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

LeapTV - a Huge "Hit" with My Grandchildren; and With This Grandma!

It is extremely common for our grandchildren (children) to enjoy playing video games; and to spend a fair amount of time doing so . . . or at least as much time as we allow them to spend doing so. My grandsons definitely enjoy playing video games, so when I heard about the new LeapTVI was very interested in learning more about it; and I was very happy to agree to review LeapTV and write my own opinions of it when LeapFrog invited me to participate in their review. 

A couple days ago a box arrived with a LeapTV system, pre-loaded with seven games for me to review and an extra controller; since my grandsons were coming over Saturday for a sleepover, I planned to let them check it out with me. And check it out they did! It did take us a little bit to get everything working . . . the controllers did not seem to want to do what we wanted them to do at first, but then they kicked in . . . or maybe we figured out what they did and how to get them to do what they did!
At any rate, the LeapFrog LeapTV Ultimate Spider-Man Game was a HUGE hit with Josiah and Caleb loved the LeapFrog LeapTV Disney Jake and The Never Land Pirates Game! They both danced with the LeapFrog LeapTV Dance and Learn Game and they LOVED LeapFrog LeapTV Kart Racing: Supercharged! Game! While the boys were more concerned with if the games were fun . . . and they both enthusiastically told me they are definitely fun, I am very happy to see these games are more than just games. They help children learn math and reading as well as get them moving! Yes, I said, "moving"!

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Scottish Fold Kitten Puppet

For a number of years I've been reviewing and giving away amazing puppets from Folkmanis; I'm happy to say, this year I have four more puppets to review which they sent me in exchange for my reviews . . . and I will be giving one of them away! 

Folkmanis Scottish Fold Kitten Hand Puppet

Folkmanis says; "A newly popular and distinctive breed of cat, the sweet-faced Scottish Fold Kitten puppet features unique folded ears and a rounded face with large, broad-set eyes which convey this kitty's need for affection. Play with the moveable mouth and front paws of this white and blue-grey beauty and you'll see she is a purr-fact companion. Easy to feed and care for, just add lots of love and snuggly fun. This puppet measures 12 x 6 x 10 Inch (LxWxH)."

I love the color, size and softness of this little "kitten"! If you have a person on your gift list who loves kittens, this little one would make a wonderful gift! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Christmas Books from Sterling Children's Books

I was recently sent four Christmas books from Sterling Children's Books in exchange for me writing my opinion of each of them . . . since they are Christmas books, they seem like a fun addition to this year's Christmas Give-Aways! I'm reviewing all four today, and if you are the winner, you may choose two of them . . . which will be no easy choice!

Friday, October 24, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - LeapTV!

As grandmas - and grandpas, moms and dads, we all know our grandchildren/children enjoy playing video games. When we are able to provide opportunities for them to do this with games which help them learn, it is clearly much better than them just playing games which have no educational value. 

Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to review a number of items from LeapFrog; game systems which are engaging, fun, and educational and more recently the LeapBand system. Today I'm very happy to let you know I will be posting a review on Sunday about their new LeapFrog LeapTV . . . and I am giving one away as well!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

I've been very happy this year to review several books which are actually devotionals for children! I strongly believe if we can get children to believe and accept how much God loves them as children, and learn to turn to Him with their questions, troubles, and joys, then they will grow to be teens and then adults who do the same! So, books which help children do this are books I'm strongly in favor of!

I was recently sent another book which does exactly this! This lovely book was written by Sally Lloyd Jones and illustrated by Jago - yes, you may recognize them as the author and illustrator of, "The Jesus Storybook Bible", so, I'm delighted to share this new book from them with you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door!

One of the things I love about writing grandma's cookie jar is I get sent a lot of books for review and many of them are excellent! This is the case with Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door! This has to be one of the cutest books I've reviewed this year - and one of the books with a most solid message!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Christmas Plans!

For the past week or so I've been posting my 2014 Christmas Give-Aways . . . and while I still have more give-aways to announce, I thought I'd pause today and talk about Christmas plans! It may seem too early to be thinking and talking about Christmas, but it actually is just two months and four days away! Just around the corner!

Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship and Fashion Disasters

I was recently sent a book from the Desperate Diva Diaries series, in exchange for a review with my opinion . . . since I always received books for Christmas as a child, I thought it sounded like a fun title to include in my 2014 Christmas Gift Review/Give-Away. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Scrabble Alphabet Scoop!

I love playing Scrabble on-line with my hubby, sister, and mom, so a Scrabble game which young children can enjoy is one which definitely gets my attention!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - RED HEART Medley Yarn!

When I was eight my grandma gave me a, "learn to crochet" kit for Christmas. So, after Christmas I walked down the street to her house so she could teach me to crochet. My hands would not cooperate, so being an obnoxious eight-year old, I told her, "I hate crocheting and crocheting is for old people." This did not make my grandma very happy. I never thought again about crocheting until 20 years later when I saw a cute pattern I wanted to make. So, I asked my sister to show me how to crochet - which she did - and now I crochet a lot! Occasionally my husband asks me; "Now, who did you say crocheting was for?!!!"

So, now I am a person who crochets, I love finding patterns for things I can make. A while back I was browsing on Pinterest when I found a pattern for slippers . . . which you will find at this link!

Friday, October 17, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Dodge Dice

When I was a child my parents always gave me books for Christmas and my birthday and I also received games. I remember the year I received Go For Broke and my sister received Careers . . . we played with those over and over again! Games make wonderful gifts, so I'm very happy to share with you a few fun games which you could give to the children - or adults on your gift list . . . and announce a fun give-away as well!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Beethoven's Treasure Tail

When my children were little, the Beethoven movies came out; my family enjoyed them and found them to be family-friendly and family-enjoyable! So, when I was invited to review a new Beethoven movie in exchange for writing my opinion of the movie, I thought it sounded like fun and hoped for it to once again be family-friendly and family-friendly. I'm happy to say, it is definitely both those and makes a fun option for a stocking stuffer, gift exchange or gift this Christmas - or for a family movie night choice!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Belfry's Christmas Gift

I was recently invited to review a new book for children in exchange for my opinion of the
book . . . it sounded like a story children would enjoy, so I said,"Yes!" After reading it I am certain adults are going to enjoy it as well!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Forever Pearl Fountain Pen from Cross!

I love to write! Yes, I love to write words which make a story, Bible Adventure or blog post, but beyond writing, I love to write . . . the physical action of writing beyond just typing on a keyboard. And, when I write, I love to do so with a fountain pen. Fountain Pens bring such a delight to the act of writing . . . if they are a fountain pen which does not, "spit", "skip" or leave ink everywhere but where you want it.

Over the years I've written with a lot of different fountain pens, but my favorite "brand" is Cross. A Cross Fountain Pen glides over paper and allows you to write while experiencing the actual action of writing. I know it may be old-fashioned . . . and even more so when writing with a fountain pen, but there is such delight in writing with fountain pens.

Plus, Cross puts such attention to the detail, design, and function of their pens you can be sure the pen itself will be beautiful! So, because I love fountain pens and Cross pens in particular, I am absolutely delighted for the opportunity to let you know about one of their newer designs; the Forever Pearl Fountain Pen, and give one away in my 2014 Christmas Gift Review and Give-Away!

Monday, October 13, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Time for a Bath!

Last year I had the opportunity to review - and give away - the delightful book; Time for a Hug, so when I was invited to review a new book by the same author, I was very happy to do so! Time for a Bath is just as delightful and is sure to be a family favorite!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - ElectroKidz

I was recently invited to review a toy from WowWee which I think girls in particular, will enjoy . . . ElectroKidz! What is an, ElectroKidz, you ask? Well, it is a little troll with crazy hair which, "dances" to music! Like I said, it is something I think girls will enjoy in particular.

ElectroKidz come in six color and "move" varieties and are for children ages 6 and up. They also come with batteries - one set in the troll and a spare set to keep your troll dancing for some time! Josiah and Caleb helped me unbox the troll I was sent - they thought it was fun to make noises and watch the hair "dance". 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Shutterfly Freebie - October 11 & 12, 2014

As long as I posted about my Shutterfly reviews and give-away today, I thought I'd pass on a fun Freebie from them as well. Today, October 11th and tomorrow, October 12th, you can choose either free photo mailing labels (could be handy when mailing your Christmas cards), or a free photo magnet (might be a fun stocking stuffer for someone!), or a free 16x20 print (add a frame and you have a great gift!) . . . all you have to do is go to, choose the one you'd like, and use the code FREEBIE when you check out. Simple enough . . . so, which one might you choose? Enjoy!

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Shutterfly Glass Photo Ornament!

Over the years I've had the opportunity to review a number of items from Shutterfly - I love things with photos of my family on them, so I'm a huge fan of Shutterfly. As I thought about this year's Christmas Gift Review I knew I wanted to include something from Shutterfly again, if items were available for review. Happily, Shutterfly made several items available for me to review - and a really great item for a give-away, too!

Friday, October 10, 2014

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce Heather W is the winner in my faiThGirLz! Big Book of Quizzes  and the Best Party Book Ever! give-aways! (You'll find the reviews at this link.) Thank you Heather for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by October 17, 2014 so I can have them sent to you) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending them for me to review and for making additional copies avaialble for me to give away!

2014 Christmas Gift Review - Love Letters from God - I'm Giving One Away!

I love celebrating the "fun" of Christmas! After Thanksgiving dinner we put our tree up and then every time my three grandsons are at my house between then and Christmas, they get to open a gift (the gifts are small: matchbox cars, books, candy, ornaments, handmade crocheted hats, etc). I love making gifts, decorating, baking, reading books, watching specials . . . I love celebrating the "fun" of Christmas! 

But, as much as I love celebrating the "fun" of Christmas, I especially love celebrating the reason for Christmas! My tree decorations are a crocheted set of Nativity ornaments and my main decorations are Precious Moments Nativity set, wise men and shepherds because while I love to decorate, I want the focus to be on Jesus; it is His birthday after all! 

So, when I was sent a lovely book by Glenys Nellist from Zonderkidz entitled, Love Letters from God, I knew I had to save it for my 2014 Christmas Gift Review because Jesus is God's Love Gift to us; a book filled with "love letters" from God seems like a wonderful "fit" for Christmas!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

2014 Christmas Gift Review - Snap Circuits - I'm Giving One Away!

If you have a grandson, they will likely be very excited to find a gift under the tree from Snap Circuits (your granddaughters very well may be as well!)! What is, "Snap Circuits", you ask? Well, first of all, it is far more than a toy, but it is no less fun than the coolest toy on the market! Snap Circuits allows children to wonder, investigate, create, learn, and yes, have a lot of fun all while discovering electronics! Wait! I know, you might be thinking, "How fun can it be to, 'discover' electronics?" Well, when you get to build things like; AM radios, burglar alarms, and doorbells just for starters, the answer is clearly, "great fun"!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

grandma's cookbook - Seven Ingredient Cinnamon Rolls!

Today is, Time-with-my-Sweet-Boys Day; otherwise known as Wednesday! Caleb has become quite a "fan" of cinnamon rolls, so today we are going to see about making some! I looked on-line and found a simple recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls - we are going to try it, but double the recipe!

You'll find the recipe at this link . . . so if you have any "fans" of cinnamon rolls at your house, you can give it a try!


(And, tomorrow I'll start announcing my 2014 Holiday Gift Review and Give-Aways!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Have Two Winners!

I'm happy to say Heather W is the winner of The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen and Theresa N is the winner of Twelve Dancing Unicorns! (You'll find the links for the reviews at this link

Thank you Heather and Theresa for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your addresses by October 14, 2014 so I can have them sent to you) and thank you Howard Publishing and Sterling Children's Books for sending these books for me to review and for making additional copies available for me to give away! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

crafting with grandma - No Sew, No Crochet, No Knit Infinity Scarves!

Over the years I've been writing grandma's cookie jar, I've shared a number of crochet
patterns with you - since I enjoy crocheting! From time to time, some of you have commented about how you like the patterns, but do not crochet; so, this one today is for you! A great idea for making no sew, no knit, no crochet infinity scarves which you can keep and give as gifts!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Two Second-Chance Give-Aways

I recently reviewed two really wonderful books and held give-aways for each of them. The people who won them did not get their addresses to me, so I'm having second chance give-aways . . . which means you get another opportunity to add these wonderful books to your library!

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Mary Beth Dawson is the winner in my Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper give-away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Mary Beth for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by October 12, 2014 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you BH Kids for sending one for me to review (it is a fun book) and for making another available for me to give away!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

grandma's cookbook - Cinnamon-Sugar Soft Pumpkin Pretzels

As I said yesterday, it is Fall! The leaves on my trees are turning the most beautiful shades
of red, orange and yellow! Fall is definitely here!

So, when I was browsing on Pinterest this morning and saw a recipe for Cinnamon-Sugar Soft Pumpkin Pretzels, I was interested. Please let me say here, I have NEVER made homemade, soft pretzels before; and the thought of doing so is at least somewhat intimidating. But, the author of this recipe says this is really simple and only takes 30 minutes! Thirty minutes!!!! It has to be worth trying, because if it turns out (and after reading the recipe, I agree, it does look simple) my family will be enjoying some wonderful, tasty, pumpkin goodness!

Friday, October 3, 2014

grandma's cookbook - Mini-Apple Pie Cookies!

Fall is in full swing here in West Michigan - my maple trees are turning deep red, bright
yellow and orange and the local apple orchard has fresh-picked apples available for sale! Yes, Fall is here!

So, when I saw this recipe for mini-apple pie cookies on Pinterest this morning, I knew I had to share it with you! It looks simple and like a fun recipe to make with grandchildren. Consider baking up a large batch with your grandchildren and then packaging them up for your grandchildren to give to neighbors, shut-ins, the pastors at your church . . . it is Pastor Appreciation Month - or to their teachers or Sunday School teachers! Whomever they give them to are likely to greatly enjoy them!

crafting with grandma - Unique Map Gift Idea!

I was browsing on Pinterest this morning and found one of the funnest ideas I've ever seen
. . . a photo map! What is a, "photo map" you ask? Well . . . it is where you take a photo in every State (or country) you visit and cut it to the shape of the state (or country) then glue it on another map! I LOVE this idea! What a fun gift this could make and what a fun way to show and remember the places you have visited! You'll find all the details for making this at the following link.

This could be a fun and unique gift - gather photos of someone - or possibly your family, make a map then mount it or frame it for a wonderful gift! It is an idea you could involve your grandchildren in . . . have them help gather photos, cut them out and glue them on a map for a gift for their parents which is unique and filled with memories!

Now . . . to find and gather photos . . . Enjoy!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

crafting with grandma - Make a Crocheted/Rope Basket!

I was browsing on Pinterest this morning and found a link for directions for making a rope basket - I thought this might be a great item which you could help your granddaughter make and then fill with special treats for a great gift she could give her mom, parents, or friend this Christmas! Or, you could make a few and then have your grandchildren fill them with treats for their parents, a teacher or an elderly neighbor! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

just for fun - Today is Homemade Cookie Day!

Yes, today is Homemade Cookie Day! Caleb is at my house today, so when he heard me say it is, Homemade Cookie Day, he asked if we could make cookies . . . now we all know what I'm doing this morning!

The question is, what kind of homemade cookies will we be making? I suggested peanut butter, chocolate chip, pumpkin, apple, but Caleb said, "No!" to all of these. He wants us to make homemade Oreo cookies.

So, I looked on-line and found a recipe . . . you'll find it at this link. Now, off to gather ingredients and give these homemade Oreo Cookies a try!

Enjoy Homemade Cookie Day . . . what kind of cookies will you make?