Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Free Books & Stories From Christa Kinde!

Byways, for the websiteI am often invited to review novels, but usually I decline because most novels are far, far too predictable. Change the name and setting and the stories all end up being the same - girl loses the man she loves, she is sad, she meets another man and ultimately after hardship they fall in love and get married - and live happily ever after. Same story, different names. You can read the first chapter and know how the book will end, so I tend not to read very many fiction books.

However; I love reading stories by Christa Kinde. Her books are anything but predictable! Her characters are unique and the stories engage and delight! So, when Christa emailed me yesterday about an opportunity to get two of her books for Free, I had to share it with you!

Today, June 30, 2015 through Friday, July 3, 2015 you can get the first two books in the Byways series as ebooks for Free! What is the "Byways" series, you ask? Well . . . 

Monday, June 29, 2015

What do You Think?

My book is almost ready to release! So, today I thought I'd share the cover with you and ask for your opinion . . . 

Start My Day With Joy!

I get up each morning, Monday through Friday, at 5:30 am. While this is a horrible time of day to be up for sure :-), my hubby has to be at work at 7 am, so I get up to fix him breakfast. 

This means each morning one of the first things I see is my refrigerator door . . . which is where I have the birthday present Josiah made for me two years ago . . . a book he wrote entitled: "Super Josiah Saves Grandma from All The Robot Spiders in History!" Not just from "a" Robot Spider! Not just from "some" Robot Spiders! Not even just from "all the Robot Spiders he sees on a particular day", but from "all the Robot Spiders in HISTORY!!!!" This makes me smile every time I see it, so I always start my day with joy!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Most Important & Most Valuable Thing!

Image result for clipart for grandparentThis morning at my church I was talking with another grandma and she told me an Arab proverb; "If you do not have a grandparent in your home (or nearby), buy one!" 

It made me smile and I have to say I definitely agree with it! Grandparents are gifts from the hand of God and definitely to be treasured. But, not just because we are "technically" grandparents. We need to be treasured because we offer something of great value . . . a focused and intentional passing on of a heritage of faith!

When we as grandparents spend time with our grandchildren and point them to Jesus, then we are absolutely offering something of great value!

1 Corinthians 13 for Grandmas - and Moms!

In the past I shared things with you which I found in the NIV Mom's Devotional Bible; today I'm sharing another - a Mom's (or Grandma's) Version of I Corinthians 13!
"Thought I lecture and harp at my children and have not love, I will be background noise to rebellious thoughts.  And though I wisely warn them not to use the street as a playground, or they'll be killed; and though I patiently explain why snails live in mobile homes, and I give endless answers to life's other mysteries; and though I have faith which can remove mountains of ignorance - yet never hug my children - I have taught nothing.
And though I slave over a steaming stove with balanced diets and complicated recipes and even burn my fingers - yet never smile as I serve - I have not really fed them.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Being "Edited", Counting & Photos!

Image result for images of the word happyWell, I planned to write this morning, but my grandsons are here and I've been busy snuggling, talking, laughing and enjoying these three sweet boys!

Now, lunch is over, Shane is taking his nap, Josiah is reading a book and I have a few minutes to write before I do something with Caleb. This morning when the boys woke up I said, "How is my boys today?" to which Josiah immediately replied, "It should be 'are', not 'is'." He is absolutely correct. And he is six years old. I was "edited" this morning by a six-year-old! I guess I'll have to hire him to be my copy editor for my book! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Blueberry, Raspberry, Green Iced Tea

Around my house iced tea is a staple - especially in the summer! I love to make my own tea - blueberry, raspberry, green tea, so today I thought I'd share my recipe with you. I especially like this recipe because since I use fruit in it, there is no need for sugar or honey to cover up all the wonderful flavors . . . which makes it a refreshing and healthy drink! 

Try this recipe with your grandchildren . . . it is simple, quick and so delicious! A big added "plus" is the health benefit . . . blueberries, raspberries and green tea are so good for you! My husband never liked tea, until I made fruit tea for him! Now he drinks my tea instead of pop! My grandsons love this tea, too . . . and the only sweetening comes naturally from fruit . . . not sugar!

Children and Common Courtesies

Image result for clip art for opening the door for others
In this day and age, it is not uncommon to see children grow up without an understanding of basic manners. Courtesies such as, opening a door for a lady and pulling out a chair are things many young boys are just not taught; or do not have modeled for them.

When my son was young, about seven years old, we moved from California to Michigan. At one rest stop we were walking to the Courtesy Building when my son noticed a couple elderly women were nearing the door. He ran ahead and opened the door for them. A large, burly truck driver noticed and said, "Way to go!" The ladies smiled and fussed over what a polite, little boy he was. People at that time, were surprised to see a young boy show this courtesy, but they did notice and they did comment.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Terri Conner is the winner of  The Beginner's Bible Come Celebrate Easter Sticker and Activity Book(You'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Terri for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by July 2, 2015, 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!

Let's Have a Fun Family Movie Night Tomorrow with Home!

If you are looking for a fun idea for something you could do with your family tomorrow, Friday, June 26, 2015, check this out! 

Family Movie Night can always be a time for families to just have fun together and the release of the movie, Home, is definitely, "fun". Add to this the opportunity to win prizes, well . . . sounds like all you need is to pop up some pop corn, roll out the pizza and get ready to laugh and enjoy your evening with your family!

In case you are not familiar with the movie, Home, here is a little info for you . . . 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Love You . . . All of the Time; All of the Time!

My grandsons are over - had a sleep-over last night. Caleb went to sleep in my arms and as he was settling down I said, "I love you . . . all of the time!" To which he said; "All of the time!" and I said, "All of the time!"

When I tell the boys I love them - which I do often - I usually follow it up with, "All of the time!" This is the truth. I love them when they are cute, sweet and so much fun to be around! "All of the time!" 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thank You & I'd Sincerely Appreciate Your Help

For four years I've been writing grandma's cookie jar . . . writing about passing on a heritage of faith to our grandchildren along with including fun crafts, recipes, science projects, activities for us to do with our grandchildren and reviews of books, toys, games, candles, pens, appliances, movies and many more things - many of which I've also been able to give away as well! It has been a lot of fun and I look forward to continuing to do this for many more years!

One of the best things from writing is I've been able to get to know so many of you who read grandma's cookie jar when you comment . . . I sincerely believe grandma's cookie jar (and I) have been blessed with amazing readers! I absolutely appreciate all of you and am so grateful you take time out of your day to read my little blog!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day Fun!

I celebrated Father's Day at my house last evening with my parents, my husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and grandsons. We had bacon-wrapped steak, potato salad, sliced avocados, corn on the cob, homemade bread, no-bake cookies and Klondike bars. A tasty menu, but the most fun was after the meal when the boys went outside with their parents and got sopping wet chasing each other with water balloons, the sprinkler and water guns!

Fun, laughter and time together with family . . . what could possibly be a better way to spend Father's Day?

What did you do for Father's Day?

LeapFrog Imagicard

Imagicard PAW PatrolLast week I shared with you my first impressions of the new LeapPad Platinum  from LeapFrog, which I was invited to review in exchange for sharing my opinions with you. One of the new things about the LeapPad Platinum which sets it apart from other learning tablets for children is how it incorporates the new Imagicards. What are, "Imagicards", you ask? Well, today I want to share with you what they are and how the add to the opportunities for children to learn while having quite a lot of fun!

Imagicards are a new "feature" used by the LeapPad Platinum. LeapFrog says; "Exciting, interactive gameplay: LeapFrog Imagicard™ Unlock more gameplay with six bonus LeapFrog Imagicard™ digital game and interactive cards with photo fun, trivia and more. (Game download required.) Use the LeapPad camera to activate 33 character and curricular cards and unlock magical gameplay onscreen."

LeapFrog sent me the Paw Patrol Imagicard game - it comes in a nice tin for storing all the cards and includes a digital code for downloading the game. The first thing you do is, download the game, then the children are ready to play, have fun and learn; in the case of Paw Patrol, they will learn math skills - number recognition, counting, shapes and more!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

This is One Grandma Who Will Trust God to "Light Up This Day!"

Psalm 34:1-15,17-19 - 1I will always praise the LORD. 2With all my heart, I will praise the LORD. Let all who are helpless, listen and be glad. 3Honor the LORD with me! Celebrate his great name. 4I asked the LORD for help, and he saved me from all my fears. 5Keep your eyes on the LORD! You will shine like the sun and never blush with shame. 6I was a nobody, but I prayed, and the LORD saved me from all my troubles. 7If you honor the LORD, his angel will protect you. 8Discover for yourself that the LORD is kind. Come to him for protection, and you will be glad. 9Honor the LORD! You are his special people. No one who honors the LORD will ever be in need.10Young lions may go hungry or even starve, but if you trust the LORD, you will never miss out on anything good.11Come, my children, listen as I teach you to respect the LORD.12Do you want to live and enjoy a long life? 13Then don't say cruel things and don't tell lies.14Do good instead of evil and try to live at peace.15If you obey the LORD, he will watch over you and answer your prayers. 17When his people pray for help, he listens and rescues them from their troubles. 18The LORD is there to rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope. 19The LORD's people may suffer a lot, but he will always bring them safely through. (CEV)

When I see the morning and evening news shows it can cause me to fear. I wonder what kind of world will my grandchildren grow up in? When I see reports about the school system and how it has moved so completely away from teaching our children absolutes, I wonder what will it be like for my grandchildren to grow up in a world where people can believe whatever they want to believe - or not believe. When I see the TV shows, movies, music and books and the messages they promote I wonder how my grandchildren will be able to find their way through all these God-less messages. The world can be a frightening place.

But, thankfully, even though I may look at the world and sometimes feel helpless, I'm not helpless! I will do as David said and praise the LORD with all my heart! I will honor and celebrate His great name because I know when I pray to Him, He listens and acts! God is there; I do not have to be discouraged and do not have to give up hope! There is nothing more important to me than for my grandchildren to come to know Jesus and then to know and walk with Him all their lives! Nothing matters more. The good news is this matters to God, too! He loves my grandchildren - and your grandchildren as well! He wants them to know and walk with Him, even more than I do!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I Have a Winner!

Special Giveaway on June 9, 2015I'm happy to say Connie Johnson Leuthy is the winner of one Michael W. Smith CD; Sovereign! (You'll find my full review at this link.) Thank you Connie for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me your address by June 22, 2015, so I can have it sent to you - lyndagcj@gmail.com) and thank you Propeller LLC for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Pick a Free Gift from Shutterfly!

Offer ends Sunday - Code: PICKONE
Yes, today or tomorrow (June 20 & 21, 2015) you may pick one gift from Shutterfly . . . your choice of a photo magnet, a 16x20 print or ten free cards! Visit their site (at this link) and choose one of the three which you would like, add your photos then use the code PICKONE and Shutterfly will send it to you. (You will have to pay shipping.)

I have been extremely pleased with the items I've ordered from Shutterfly - their service and quality are excellent!

Enjoy your free gift!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Do Not Be Afraid!

What are you afraid of? Well, if you are like me the first thing you think of is spiders! I do not like those hideous creatures at all! In fact, I firmly believe the only good spider is a completely dead spider; so one of my rules when my children were growing up was, "Kill all spiders until they are dead and then kill them again!" And just so you know, there is no such thing as a "small" spider! 

Well, beyond the obvious things, like spiders, what are you afraid of? More specifically, what are you afraid of when it comes to your family? Are you afraid of the, "what ifs"? What if they get sick? What if they get in an accident? What if the things in this world entice my children/grandchildren and they do not walk with God? What if . . . ? You may say you aren't "afraid" of these things, but how much time to you spend thinking - or even worrying - about them? These are all legitimate things to be concerned about, but we do not have to be afraid.

Science, the Bible & Fun - It is Almost Ready!

When it comes to spending time with your grandchildren, what do you like to do? Do you like to play games? Do you like to make crafts?Do you like to cook together? Do you like to read adventures? Do you like to do science projects? Do you like to go on nature walks? What do you like to do?

When it comes to passing on a heritage of faith, do you find it easy to do, or do you struggle to know what to say and how to engage your grandchildren?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

LeapPad Platinum; An Excellent Learning Resource "Wrapped" in Fun!

I was recently invited to participate in the review of a new release from LeapFrog; and since I have been able to actually see and measure how my grandsons have benefited from using LeapFrog products, I was happy to take a look at their newest release in exchange for sharing my opinions with you. 

My grandsons were at my house Tuesday when the box arrived - much to their immense delight - and due to their parents granting a brief "reprieve" of their grounding from all gaming systems (I won't say what they did, but it did involve an unauthorized use of their mom's phone and the numbers 9, 1 and 1!), I am very happy today to let you know about the new LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum!

The Beginner's Bible Come Celebrate Easter Sticker and Activity Book - I'm Giving One Away!

When I was a child I loved sticker books! Back in those days, sticker books were the, "lick and stick" kind of sticker book and I certainly, "licked and sticked" my share of stickers! So, when I was invited to review a new sticker book from Zonderkidz, I thought it sounded like a book children were sure to enjoy today as well. The book arrived Tuesday, so I'm happy to share with you my opinions today - and announce a giveaway as well!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

crafting with grandma - Family Scrabble Board!

Do you like to make unique, special gifts for the people on your gift list? Do you enjoy helping your grandchildren learn to make unique special gifts for the people on their gift list? Well, if you'd like a great idea for a truly unique gift, try this one! You could help your grandchildren make this gift for their parents!

What is Your Focus?

When I decided to write this blog, along with using it to share resources, reviews, recipes, craft ideas, etc - lots of fun things - I wanted it to have a real purpose . . . real meaning. So, I developed a "reason" - vision - for grandma's cookie jar . . . 
"just as grandma's cookie jar should always be full of good things, this blog will be full of good ideas, information, activities and reviews of things to help grandma . . . and grandpa, mom and dad too . . . pass on a heritage of faith to the children in their lives!" 
I believe a grandma - and grandpa, mom and/or dad - should most certainly enjoy the opportunities they have to "enjoy the good things" with their grandchildren/children, but always be watching for the opportunities to connect those "good things" back to our faith, so we are able to pass on a heritage of faith to our grandchildren/children. There is NOTHING more important to me than to know my children and grandchildren know, love and want to walk with God every day! So, while grandma's cookie jar has - and will continue to have - a lot of "fun" things in it, there is a reason . . . a point . . . a focus for all the "fun" . . . to "pass on a heritage of faith"!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Second Chance Giveaway!

Special Giveaway on June 9, 2015I'm holding a Second Chance Giveaway for one Michael W. Smith CD; Sovereign because the person who initially won it did not get their info to me(You'll find my full review at this link.) If you are over the age of 18, live in the USA and would like to be included in this drawing - which will be on June 20, 2015, please comment below to let me know one of your favorite songs - I really enjoy, "Let it Bring Him Praise" from Matt Hammitt!

Helpful Hal's Treasury of Christian Virtues - a Must-Have Book for grandma's bookshelf!

The Rhyme-Time Book of Christian VirtuesSummer is almost officially here, so while children are enjoying time off from school with plans for swimming, playing, camping, playing, etc, Summer is also a great time for reading books! With this in mind, for the next month, I'll share some book reviews with you - some will include opportunities to win a book and others are just reviews to let you know about some great books for summer reading!

Today I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite books for children. I originally bought these books for my children; now it can be difficult to find, but if you do, you will find it is a book your grandchildren will love!

While Helpful Hal's Treasury of Christian Virtues is an old book, it is absolutely a must-have book for any grandma's bookshelf! When my children were young the stories in this book were individual books, but in 1997 Michael P. Waite's 12 stories were combined into one book. In 1999 it was re-released with the title, The Rhyme-Time Book of Christian Virtues - while they have different titles, they are the same collection of 12 wonderful stories! I love the colorful and fun illustrations and the silly and yet powerful stories . . . each one focuses on a specific theme - 

Endorsed & Your Best Grandparenting/Parenting Tip!

As I said the other day, I've been working on a book; "Why it is Impossible to Spoil Your Grandchildren; and other Important Facts for Grandparents - and Parents, too!". I just found out last night V. Gil Beers is endorsing my book!!! Some of you may know who he is; he has written more than 150 books which have sold more than 13 million copies! I remember as a child, we had a book by V. Gilbert Beers, and now he is endorsing my book! As my husband says, I've been "geeked out" about this since last night when I received his email!
"Every grandparent will want to read Why It Is Impossible to Spoil Your Grandchildren, not because you don't want to spoil them, but because you want to help your grandchildren grow God's way. Grandparenting is a special gift from God, and as a grandparent, I am deeply grateful for this awesome gift. But I also want to maximize the gift, and this book will help me, and you, with this challenge."
Gil Beers, Author 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Free Family Fun!

Image result for images for free family funSummertime is a wonderful time to spend time together as a family just having fun and enjoying the opportunity to be together! And, the good news, is it does not have to cost money to do this! I looked on-line this morning and found a link with ten free family fun ideas from Parents.com.

crafting with grandma - Crocheted Puzzle Afghan

Kara_s_blanket_small2If you are looking for a fun idea which you could use with your older granddaughters over the summer, take a look at this fun, free pattern for a crocheted, puzzle afghan which I found on Pinterest this morning! This pattern would be a great one to use to teach your granddaughter to crochet and use up bits of left-over yarn!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Pass on a Heritage of Faith - Prayer: Focused & Unceasing

Image result for images for Deuteronomy 6I talk a fair amount about passing on a heritage of faith; there are reasons for this. First of all, because I believe it is what God wants me to do based on Deuteronomy 6 . . . 
"The Lord your God has directed me to teach you his commands, rules and laws. Obey them in the land you will take over when you go across the Jordan River. Then you, your children and their children after them will honor the Lord your God as long as you live. Obey all his rules and commands I’m giving you. If you do, you will enjoy long life. Israel, listen to me. Make sure you obey me. Then things will go well with you. The number of your people will increase greatly in a land that has plenty of milk and honey. That’s what the Lord, the God of your parents, promised you. Israel, listen to me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is the one and only God.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength. The commandments I give you today must be in your hearts. Make sure your children learn them. Talk about them when you are at home. Talk about them when you walk along the road. Speak about them when you go to bed. And speak about them when you get up. Write them down and tie them on your hands as a reminder. Also tie them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses. Also write them on your gates."
I believe with all my heart God wants me to make sure my children and grandchildren learn Who God is and come to love Him with their all. I want my grandsons to know, love and walk with God all of their lives. I have a, "job" to do; pass on a heritage of faith by helping them learn about God and His amazing love and grace. I want them to see this in my life and hear about it when I talk with them.