Sunday, November 30, 2014

grandma's movie reviews - Maleficent

Friday we had to pick up a few groceries and at our local Sam's we saw a special sale - new release Blu-rays for just $8.98 - great buy and they had a title we wanted to buy, so we did. I have to say, when I first heard about Maleficent, I was not interested in seeing the movie. I thought it would be dark with a focus on evil. However; the other day we streamed it and I was extremely surprised! It was not anything like I thought it would be; in fact, it has one of the strongest messages of any move I have ever watched! So, today, I'm very happy to share with you my review of, Maleficent!

I Have a Winner & One more Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to announce Andrea Hamilton is the winner of one Snap Circuits Jr. Kit! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Andrea for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by December 7, 2014 so I can have it sent to you  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Elenco for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tired, but Oh, So, Blessed!

My sweet boys just headed home with their parents - all three spent Thursday night and
then just Josiah and Caleb slept over last night. With Thanksgiving and time with three and then two sweet boys, it has been a busy few days; but days which have left me feeling so very blessed!

First of all, on Thanksgiving I was able to enjoy a tasty meal with my husband, children, daughter-in-law, grandsons and parents; I know so many people across the country are not able to spend special times with family and so I am extremely thankful I am and count them as some of my dearest blessings!

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Tracy Taylor is the winner of one Your Misuse of Literally T-Shirt!! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Tracy for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by December 6, 2014 so I can have it sent to you  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Signals for sending one for me to give away!

Friday, November 28, 2014

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Mary Beth Dawson is the winner of one LeapFrog LeapTV! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Mary Beth for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by December 2, 2014 so I can have it sent to you  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you LeapFrog for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away as well!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all enjoy a wonderful time with your families as you spend time being thankful for your many blessings; big and small! I'm about to get my turkey in the oven - I'm preparing the Turkey, Squash Rolls, Stuffing, Mashed Red Potatoes, Gravy and Squash. My daughter-in-law is bringing Green Beans, my daughter made Applesauce (in the slow-cooker!) and my mom is bringing the Pumpkin Pies! I LOVE Thanksgiving!

After dinner, our Christmas tree will go up - and I'm making M&M cookies - so this will be a fun and busy day! My grandsons are spending the night, which means tomorrow will be a fun day, too!

I'm so thankful for my family, for God's many blessings and for all of you! Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you having for Thanksgiving and how are you celebrating?

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Mary Beth Dawson is the winner of the fun book, How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Mary Beth for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by December 4, 2014 so I can have it sent to you  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away as well!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

crafting with grandma - Crocheted Monster Hats!

Last year I crocheted four hats for each of my grandsons - an Agent Perry hat, a yellow Minion, a purple Minion and a "Gimli" hat (their dog is named Gimli, so I got yarn the color of Gimli and crocheted ears like Gimli!), so this year since the boys have no lack of hats, I decided to just crochet one hat for each of them. Since we have been having great fun making up monster stories, a monster hat seemed like a good "fit"!

I found a fun pattern on esty for a one-eyed monster hat and used a couple new yarns from Red Heart . . . their new Heads Up yarn and Reflective yarn - and have three hats completed for my three sweet boys! These hats are one-eyed monsters with three horns and the little "monsters" are sticking out their tongues! Should be warm - and fun!

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Terri Conner is the winner of one Shutterfly Glass Photo Ornament! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Terri for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by December 2, 2014 so I can connect you with Shutterfly  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Shutterfly for giving me the opportunity to make and review this wonderful ornament and to give one away as well!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Judy S (pookiecat123) is the winner of one LeapBand! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Judy for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by December 2, 2014 so I can send it to you  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you LeapFrog for sending the LeapBand for me to give away!

Special Give-Away - Datevitation!

I know November has been a busy month with Christmas Give-Aways (and there are five more to go which you have time to get entered in if you are not already!), but I am happy to say I have another fun give-away to share with you! I was recently invited by Datevitation to make and review one of their fun Datevitation books . . . and give one away for free to one of my readers . . . and offer a fabulous $10 off coupon with free shipping to everyone!!!! 

You may be asking; "What is a 'Datevitation'?" I wondered the same thing! It is a, "one-of-a-kind gift book for someone you love filled with fun activities to do together (you pick your cover, choose from over 500 date ideas - 200 date ideas which are specifically child-friendly and can customize the text). Definitely a fun and unique gift for people you love! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Denise Taylor Dennis. is the winner of the Forever Pearl Fountain Pen! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Denise for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by December 1, 2014 so I can send it to you  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Cross for sending this pen for me to give away!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

grandma's cook book - M&M, Chocolate Chip, Peanutbutter Cookies!

My three grandsons spent the night Friday, so Saturday morning we were talking about
how we will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week. Josiah thought we should have cookies on Thanksgiving, so of course, this meant we needed to bake cookies to be sure they would be good enough for Thanksgiving! The cookie he thought we should make? M&M, Chocolate Chip cookies! 

As we made them, he decided he had to test the dough, but one taste was not enough to know if the cookie dough was, "good enough"! After "extended" dough tasting, he said it was, "really good"! Of course, testing the finished cookies was also required to know if the cookies were "good enough" for Thanksgiving!

So, I thought I'd share the recipe with you today - in case you need to make a batch so your grandchildren can test it to see if it is, "good enough"!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I Have a Winner and Another Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to announce Andrea H. is the winner of the very cute book, Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door (The Next Door Series)! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Andrea for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by November 29, 2014 so I can send it to you  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending this book for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!


Friday, November 21, 2014

crafting with grandma - Arm Knit a Scarf in 30 Minutes!

The 52 Easiest And Quickest DIY Projects Of All TimeOver the years I've shared patterns for crocheting/knitting scarves, hats, blankets and other things - often I have people who comment how they like the pattern, but do not know how to crochet/knit. So, this morning when I was browsing on Pinterest, I saw a pattern I knew I had to share with you! If you do not know how to knit - the tutorial which you'll find at this link, shows you step by step how to arm knit a scarf in just 30 minutes!

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Leela is the winner of the very adorable Scottish Fold Kitten Hand Puppet! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Leela for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by November 28, 2014 so I can send it to you  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Folkmanis for sending this puppet for me to give away!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

cooking with grandma - Thanksgiving Menu & Caramel Cake with Cider Whipped Cream!

One week from today is Thanksgiving! I LOVE Thanksgiving! It is such a wonderful
opportunity to stop and focus on all we have to be thankful for and to spend time with family - which is absolutely something I am so extremely thankful for!

I have my Thanksgiving menu all planned - I'm, of course, roasting a turkey, making stuffing, squash, mashed potatoes and gravy and baking homemade squash rolls. My daughter-in-law is bringing her tasty green beans and my mom is bringing her wonderful pumpkin pie. This year I'm asking my daughter to make a special cake . . . Caramel Cake with Cider Whipped Cream! I found the recipe on Pinterest and it sounds like a wonderful addition to Thanksgiving dinner! You'll find the recipe at this link - along with info and tips to make your cake memorable!

I Have A Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Kathy King is the winner of the very adorable book, Belfry's Christmas Gift! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Kathy for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by November 27, 2014 so I can have it sent to you  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Whitestone Media for sending a book for me to review and for making an additional book available for me to give away!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

fun with grandma - Ten Thanksgiving Fun Ideas!

When the boys were here this past Saturday for a sleep-over, Josiah and I were talking. I told him while children usually enjoy coming to their grandparent's when they are young, when they get older, they sometimes think their grandparents are boring and do not want to visit any longer. His eyes got big and he said, "I'll NEVER think THAT! I will ALWAYS want to come and visit you and Poppa!" He made my heart happy!

So, in the interests of remaining, "not boring", I'm happy to share with you an idea for Thanksgiving fun which I found on Pinterest this morning! If you follow this link, you'll find free printables and directions for lots of fun you can have with your family on Thanksgiving! 

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Roxanne Canfield is the winner of Little Things Long Remembered! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Roxanne for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by November 27, 2014 so I can have it sent to you  - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Susan Newman for sending a book for me to review and for making an additional book available for me to give away!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Kelly Tillotson is the winner of her choice of two of Sterling's Christmas books for 2014!! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Kelly for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me to arrange to get it to you by November 25, 2014 - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Sterling Children's Books for sending books for me to review and for making additional books available for me to give away!

Monday, November 17, 2014

crafting with grandma - Twig Stars

twig ornaments
In a week from Thursday my Christmas tree will be going up! I love celebrating Christmas and while I plan for lots of "fun", I also try to keep the focus on the reason for the season - Jesus! My tree is decorated with a crocheted nativity set, angels, crocheted snowflakes and snowpeople . . . I know, the snow people/flakes have nothing to do with the reason for the season, but I live in Michigan and snow is a given at Christmas!

So,  I'm always looking for things to add which keep with my "theme", which is why I "pinned" a craft I found on Pinterest for making twig stars! I love this craft for a couple reasons - one, I have LOTS of trees in my yard so I have LOTS of twigs! Secondly, it looks fairly simple and I think the boys could enjoy making these stars. Plus, the Star led the wise men to Jesus, so adding stars to my tree "works"!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to announce Merry is the winner of Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Merry for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me to arrange to get it to you by November 23, 2014 - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

crafting with grandma - Photo Ornaments

christmas ornaments - great gift idea!I love things with photos of my sweet grandsons on them . . . necklace, cookie jar, mugs, calendars, it really doesn't matter what it is, if there are photos of the boys on it, I'm going to love it! So, when I was browsing on Pinterest and saw a link for making your own photo ornaments, I knew I'd have to share it with you . . . and try making them myself!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Two Tasty Christmas Gift Ideas You Can Make!

#DIY Hostess Gifts - Seasoned Salt http://dailyfix.co.za/crafts/seasoned-salt/Dip Mix Ornaments! Each Ornament holds spices that when mixed with sour cream become yummy dips!!! Great gift idea!If you are looking for a gift idea which is easy and inexpensive to make, yet ends up being a really great gift, check these two ideas I found on Pinterest this morning!

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to announce Tracy Taylor is the winner of the game, Scrabble Alphabet Scoop! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Tracy for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me to arrange to get it to you by November 21, 2014 - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Hasbro for making it available for me to give away!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Thank You, God, for our world, so we do not float away!"

Last night I was getting the boys into bed and Josiah wanted to pray to thank God for His
day. He said, "Thank You God for Caleb, Shane, Mom, Dad, Poppa and Grandma and thank You for loving us! Amen." I told him it is wonderful to thank God for the people we love, but if I always only said the same words to him when I talked to him, would he like it. He thought for a moment and said he would not really like that, so, then he said, "And thank You God for giving us a world to live on so we do not float away!" Probably one of the most "unique" "Thank You's" to God I have ever heard! It made me smile - and I suspect it put a smile on God's face, too!  When Caleb prays, he always thanks God for loving him, "always"! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to announce Jessica is the winner of the yarn! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Jessica for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by November 19, 2014 so I can have it sent to you - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Red Heart for sending yarn for me to review and for making more available for me to give away!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

crafting with grandma - Bead Ornaments!

Beaded homemade Christmas Tree ornaments for kidsThis week where I live in West Michigan it is getting cold and is supposed to snow . . . personally, I'd rather only have snow December 22nd through December 28th, but at least we do not have lots of huge spiders here in West Michigan . . . fewer bugs is a benefit of cold, snowy winters.

So, with Christmas just over a month away, I thought I'd share with you a cute idea I saw on Pinterest for a fun beaded ornament you could have your grandchildren make . . . it is a fun craft which just needs beads and wire and would make great gifts for your grandchildren to give to teachers, neighbors, pastors, shut-ins . . . the list goes on! Plus, this fun ornament, while it will look amazing on a tree, after Christmas it could be hung in a window for a fun touch of sparkle!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Photo Necklace!!!

I have to share with you something I found on Esty which I ordered for myself (and am not waiting for Christmas to wear!!!) and ordered for my daughter-in-law (and again, did not wait until Christmas to give it to her, which was my original intent)! 

I have a beautiful silver necklace engraved with a photo of my grandsons which my daughter gave me for my birthday - and I love it! So, I thought it would be fun to get another photo necklace with a color photo of my three grandsons which we recently had taken. I looked and looked for a place to order the necklace, but could not find exactly what I wanted. Until I found sugar lane on Esty!

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to announce Amy C is the winner of Dodge Dice! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Amy for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by November 17, 2014 so I can have it sent to you - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Gamewright for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

grandma's cookbook - Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies!

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies #cookies #fall #caramelapple #oatmealcookiesOatmeal cookies are one of my personal, favorite kinds of cookies! And, what isn't there to enjoy about caramel and apples??!!! So, combining the two should actually be a simple conclusion, but until this morning when I was browsing on Pinterest, this combination never occurred to me! I now have a pretty good idea of what cookie I'll be making this week!

You'll find the recipe at this link . . . don't you think this cookie would make a wonderful cookie for chilly fall days? And for snowy winter days? And for Spring days when flowers start blooming once again? And for sunny Summer days? Well, pretty much for any day!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to announce Denise Taylor Dennis is the winner of Beethoven's Treasure Tail! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Denise for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by November 15, 2014 so I can send it to you - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Universal Studios for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Friday, November 7, 2014

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away Tomorrow!

I'm happy to announce Leela is the winner of Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship and Fashion Disasters! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Leela for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by November 14, 2014 so I can send it to you - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you BH Kids for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

grandma's cookbook - Cinnamon Almonds

Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds RecipeI realized the other day, in the years I've been writing grandma's cookie jar, I have not yet shared one of my favorite recipes with you! This is my recipe for Cinnamon Almonds! 

Cinnamon almonds are a wonderful treat for any time, but especially during the Holidays, they just add a wonderful, tasty touch to your celebrations! (And, they make a very tasty gift, too!) 

Making cinnamon almonds is very easy - and quick; check this recipe . . . 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christmas Treat - a Free Game!

On my other blog; About the Children's Department, I reviewed - and gave away - two books . . . Can't-Wait Willow!  and Must-Have Marvin! Both of these books were written by Christy Zigler and are excellent books for the children you love! (You'll find the reviews at this link and this link).

Circus Walk Travel Game from Shine Bright KidsCircus Walk Travel Game from Shine Bright KidsYesterday I received an email with news about how you could get a free Circus Walk Game (rolls out for easy play) with ANY purchase this month at ShineBrightKids.com. TO GET THE FREE GAME WITH PURCHASE: visit http://www.shopshinebright.com/products/circus-walk-game and add the game to your cart. At check out, enter discount code "flyby2014" and receive Circus Walk for FREE! Offer valid with any purchase during entire month of November.

Enjoy!

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to announce Janet Watson is the winner of Time for a Bath! (You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Janet for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by November 12, 2014 so I can send it to you - lyndagcj@gmail.com) 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, November 4, 2014

cooking & crafting with grandma - Christmas Cookies!

Old Saran wrap or aluminum foil containers make great boxes for gifting cookies. | 38 Clever Christmas Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier
It is almost the time of year when Christmas cookies fill our homes with some of the aromas and tastes which help us enjoy and celebrate with those we know and love! We all likely have memories of making Christmas cookies with our moms, grandmas, family, friends as we grew up and went on to make the tasty treats with our own children and grandchildren. Christmas cookies are more than just, "cookies". They are "Christmas" cookies . . . a very special cookie for a very special time of year!

Monday, November 3, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Little Things Long Remembered

There are many things we do as grandparents and parents with our grandchildren and children; things which we want them to remember. Things which we hope will be memories which cause them to know how dearly they are loved by us . . . and more importantly, by God. So, when I was invited to review a book all about creating these memories to help the children we love feel loved and special, I was happy to do so!

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to announce Sarah Yurga is the winner of the ElectroKidz  doll! Thank you Sarah for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by November 10, 2014 so I can send it to you - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you WowWee for sending this for me to review and give away!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

crafting with grandma - Cute Snowperson

Christmas is less than two months away - yes, less than two months! So, if you are looking for something cute which you can make inexpensively and still have a wonderful gift for people on your gift list; check this cute snowperson I found on Pinterest!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to announce Patti is the winner of the Love Letters from God! (You'll find the review at this link!) Thank you Patti for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me your address by November 8, 2014 so I can have it sent to you - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

And, in two days, on November 3, 2014 I'm giving away one ElectroKidz! You have time to get in the drawing and will find all the details at this link.