Saturday, October 31, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 30, 2015 - Maryellen - American Girl Doll

A couple months ago, I announced I was giving away another American Girl doll again this year in my special Christmas giveaway! This year the BeForever doll is a girl from the 1950's and she is lovely - any girl who receives her will be very happy for sure!

The drawing for the American Girl - Beforever Maryellen Doll & Paperback Book will be on November 30, 2015, so if you live in the USA, are over the age of 18 and would like to be included in this giveaway, please comment below to tell who you will give Maryellen to if you win her!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 29, 2015 - Cross ATX Translucent Blue Pen

I love to write . . . this statement is probably obvious to all of you who read grandma's cookie jar! But, while I do love to write on my computer, I especially love the, "old fashioned" way of writing with pen and paper . . . yes, some of us do still write this way!

But, when writing with an actual pen and real paper, I like to use a nice pen. Over the years I've reviewed a number of pens from many companies, but I have to say, Cross Pens are absolutely my favorites! They are made with attention to details, design and quality and are so very comfortable to hold in my hand and use to write!

Today I'm very happy to share with you one of their pens . . . the ATX Translucent Blue Selectip Rolling Ball Pen . . . and stay tuned, because at the end of my review, I'm going to share details for the giveaway of one of these beautiful pens!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The First Special Christmas Giveaway is in Three Days!!!

I still have more Special Christmas Giveaways to announce, but today I want to remind you the giveaway begins for 2015 in just three days!!! The first giveaway is on November 1, 2015 and I'm giving away one LeapFrog LeapTV Frozen game! You'll find all the details at this link, but the important thing is you still have time to enter the giveaway! Who knows??? Maybe you will win!!!

Lay That Foundation!

Image result for clipart for lay the foundationWhile loving, spending time with and planning special times with our grandchildren are all important things for us to do as grandmas (and grandpas), the most important thing we can do is to pass on a heritage of faith. It is the thing which will last . . . and the thing if we do not do, which makes all the other things mean nothing.

Sometimes we may wonder if our prayers and words are making an impact; if our grandchildren are, "getting it". I have wondered these things, but then, God gives me the opportunity to see how my grandsons are, "getting it"!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 28, 2015 - Photo Catch-all Tray from Shutterfly

Photo Gallery Catch All TrayI love photos of my three, sweet grandsons! What grandma would not???!!!! So, when I have the opportunity to put favorite photos on cups, magnets, photo books . . . or pretty much anything, I'm very happy to do so!

Shutterfly gave me the opportunity to try some of the new products they have in exchange for me writing my opinions about these items . . . I'll be sharing more about them next month, but today I wanted to let you know about their new photo trays, not only because they are beautiful, but because they are making one available for me to give away!

Grandparents - Let's Help Our Grandchildren, "Step Into the Shoes" of Children Around the World

Some of you who read grandma's cookie jar may not know I also write another blog; About the Children's Department where I talk about and review resources for an effective Children's Ministry. Earlier this year, I was invited by INCM (International Network of Children's Ministry) to review a new resource they were making available for Children's Ministries . . . their Dispatch Boxes. Each quarter they send out a box filled with resources churches can use in their Children's Ministry. I receive these boxes and then write about the resources inside each one.

I just received Dispatch Box #3 and had to tell you about one of the resources I found in it . . . the "Step Into My Shoes" kit from Compassion International. Some of you may be familiar with Compassion - they have a child sponsorship program where they help children around the world. This new resource is an amazing tool grandparents/parents could use at home to help their grandchildren/children better understand what lives are like for children around the world.

So, today I'm very happy to share with you my review about the "Step Into My Shoes" kit from Compassion . . . it is absolutely a resource any grandparent/parent could use with the children they love!

At the very bottom of the Dispatch Box #3, you will find another box. On the cover it says; "Step Into My Shoes - See the World through God's eyes - no passport needed." I'm very happy to share with you what I found in this box . . . 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 27, 2015 - Esther

I was recently invited to review a new novel about Esther; since I have always been interested in the account of Esther, I thought I'd enjoy the book and accepted the invitation. Today I'm very happy to share with you what I think about the new novel; Esther.

October 31st - An Opportunity to Share the Love of Jesus! Don't Waste It!

Image result for images for October 31stOkay, I recently wrote about the "dilemma of Halloween" and I absolutely do believe we need to have conversations with our grandchildren/children about who Jesus is and why the focus on evil and gore at Halloween is not something we want to be part of. But, having said this, I do believe Halloween does offer us an unique opportunity to share the love of Jesus with our neighbors and all the children who knock on our doors on October 31st.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 26, 2015 - Jungle Crew Lab Set

Saturday I was busy with my grandsons and Sunday I was busy with church, some remodeling in my kitchen and visiting with my sister who lives in Wisconsin, so I didn't post as I would have. This means today I'm letting you know about another special giveaway . . . this time it is a fun science kit from GeoSafari Jr!

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 25, 2015 - Two More Monster Books!

I have already announced a special giveaway of two Monster books (see the info at this link) for my Special Christmas Giveaways and am very happy to announce another monster book giveaway today!

As I said in the other reviews, Sterling Children's Books asked me if I'd like to review four of their new monster books . . . since my grandsons and I love to make up our own monster stories, I knew they would enjoy new monster books and happily said, "Yes!". I asked Sterling if any of the books might also be available for giveaway and they told me all four were . . . so I'm giving them away in "packs" of two books each, because what is more fun than a new monster story??? Two monster stories!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 24, 2015 - Lift It Deluxe!

When I was a child, I often received board games for Christmas. I remember spending time on Christmas day playing games with my sister and brothers . . . Christmas was the first time I played games like Life, Go For Broke and Careers!

So, when USAopoly told me they were sending a couple games for my 2015 Christmas review, I was very happy for the opportunity to share them with you! Today I'm letting you know about a new game; Lift it! Deluxe . . . which I'm happy to say, is another of my giveaways!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 23, 2015 - The Legend of the Christmas Cookie

It is hard to believe, but Christmas is just two months and two days away! It will be here before we know it. It is so easy to become distracted with all the glitz and glimmer and gifts of Christmas and miss the reason we celebrate in the first place . . . Jesus' birth! So, when Zonderkidz invited me to review one of their new books which focuses on, "Sharing the True Meaning of Christmas", I was very happy to say, "Yes!".

The "Messages" You Send.

Image result for clipart for messagesGrowing up can be difficult. Trying to figure out "who" you are and what you are going to "do" with your life, are not the easiest things to do. Children sometimes receive messages which make this even more difficult. It is one of our greatest responsibilities to be absolutely certain the messages our grandchildren/children receive from us are ones which build them up, encourage them and give them a positive view of themselves for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is because the way a grandparent (and parent) sees a child is often the way they will see themselves.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 22, 2015 - Jackpot Candle

Jackpot Candles Jack Frost Jewelry CandleLast Spring I was invited to review and give-away a candle from Jackpot Candles; which I did. At the end of the review and giveaway, they said they would like to participate in my Christmas reviews and giveaways as well, so I am happy to say I have another Jackpot Candle to share with you . . . and another for giveaway as well

If you are not familiar with Jackpot Candles, check the following things which are special about them . . . 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fun Idea - Free Calendar!

Last year I gave personalized, photo calendars to a number of family members for Christmas . . . and got one for myself, too! I have enjoyed this calendar all year long - every time I look at it, I smile! I love seeing the photos of my family and enjoy the memories!

So, the other day when I received an email from Shutterfly which gave a code for receiving one free photo calendar - and 40% off any other purchases, I knew I'd want to share it with you. 

The code is - FREE40 and is only good through Sunday, November 25, 2015. I'm working on a calendar right now . . . I'll need another one in just a couple months! (You can make your calendar at this link.)


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 21, 2015 - Galaxy Buck DVD

For quite a few months there has been a countdown going on to the release of the new series from Phil Vischer . . . Galaxy Buck. I was invited to preview the first adventure . . . Galaxy Buck: Mission To Sector 9 and am very happy to share with you my opinion of this new series . . . and announce a fun giveaway as well!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Why 43% Matters

Image result for images for 43%Do you know why the percentage, 43% matters? It truly matters, because according to the Barna Group, 43% of people make the decision to receive God's gift of grace and forgiveness by placing their trust in Jesus before the age of 13. Yes, before the age of 13.

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 19, 2015 - Grandparenting Books!

When it comes to people who are speaking up about the importance of grandparents focusing on passing on a heritage of faith, Tim and Darcy Kimmel and Elmer and Ruth Towns are people who many of us are already familiar with. They have each written a book about doing exactly this . . . and I'm very happy for the opportunity to give these two books away in this year's Special Christmas Giveaway - they would make wonderful gifts for grandparents you know and for the grandparents in your life!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

grandma's chuckles - Fall Leaves & a New Pillow!

Image result for image of Fall Sycamore Tree leavesFriday, when my grandsons arrived for their usual Friday sleepover, Caleb (four years old) found a pretty Fall leaf which he brought in the house and gave to me with a big smile . . . "This is for you, grandma!" Of course I hugged him and said it was very pretty!

At bedtime I had a surprise for the boys. We had purchased new pillows for their beds . . . they were pretty happy about getting brand, new pillows and chose the pillow cases they wanted for their pillows. They liked how soft and comfortable their new pillows felt when they laid down on them.

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 20, 2015 - Sea Lion Pup Puppet

One of the things I enjoy the most with my grandsons, is seeing their imaginations. I love when they tell me a story they made up, or grab a toy and pretend, so I appreciate the opportunity I've had over the years to review puppets from Folkmanis - my grandsons really enjoy the puppets and I get the opportunity to see their imaginations flourish!

Today I'm happy to share with you one of the new puppets in the Folkmanis line-up - and announce it is another of my Special Christmas Giveaways for 2015!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I'm a Very Happy Grandma!

My three sweet grandsons spent the night last night and this morning Josiah was looking for something to read. He is seven and thinks picture storybooks are really too easy for him (he reads at late second grade level). So, he looked around and found The Action Bible. (This Bible presents Bible events in comic book format.)

I'm very happy to see him interested in reading the Bible - The Action Bible is a great first Bible for children to read as with the pictures it is an easier thing for them to do. It is a great way for them to develop an interest in what God's Word has to say and as he has questions about things he reads, we look it up in my Bible to see what the actual full text Bible says.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Halloween Dilemma . . .

Image result for clipart for true falseWhen it comes to Halloween, I have always felt a bit of a dilemma. As a child it was harmless. I dressed up as princess, a Japanese girl in a kimono, etc . . . simple costumes with no focus on gore or evil. My siblings and I trick-or-treated to the neighbor's homes on our street and always felt like we really "scored" with our buckets of candy! After all, it was really all about the candy!!!

When our children were young, my husband and I were concerned with the way the focus of Halloween seemed to be moving to the gore and evil, so we decided to replace Halloween with, "Family Night". We took our two children to the restaurant of their choice, then we went to the store and they both were able to choose two bags of candy, then we went home and played board games or watched a movie together.

Today, the move to the gore and evil is even more pronounced, so I believe we have to have conversations with our grandchildren/children. We need to help them understand there really is no such thing as ghosts, but evil is real. We need to help them understand how real "power" and fulfillment is not found in witchcraft or magic, but in knowing and walking with God.

This requires intentional conversations and focused prayer. With Halloween just a couple weeks away, be sure to make time for these important conversations with your grandchildren/children and especially at this time of year, pray they will understand the truth and not be deceived by Satan's lies.

I'm posting here one of the Scripture prayers from my book; Deeper In 4 Grandparents & Parents, Too! Praying the Scriptures for the Children We Love - Old Testament Edition - consider praying this for your grandchildren/children as well. 

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 18, 2015 - Kilim Purse

I'm very happy today to announce I'm at the point in my Special Christmas giveaways for 2015 where I'll be announcing another giveaway each day for the rest of the month . . . which means when we reach November 16th, we will have a giveaway each day for the rest of the month - before this there is a giveaway every other day! I do love my Special Month of Christmas Giveaways each year! It is so much fun to give things away!!!

I'm also happy today to announce the giveaway for November 18, 2015 . . . a purse! Signals catalog sent me a lovely purse from Kilim . . . their Colorblock Crossbody Bag and I can say for sure, whoever wins it is sure to love it for themselves . . . or be very happy to have a great gift for someone on their Christmas gift list!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 17,2015 - Two Monster Books!

I have always loved books, so I'm very happy to see how much my grandsons enjoy books as well! When I was recently invited by Sterling Publishing to review some new "monster" books they are releasing, I knew my grandsons would enjoy the stories, so I said I'd be happy to take a look at them. 

Today I'm sharing my review of two of the books with you - and announcing a special giveaway for both books!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

grandma's cookbook - Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie

Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie: As I was browsing through Pinterest this morning I saw a recipe which looks interesting . . . fun to make . . . and which is likely to be very tasty! Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie!!!! Even the name is delicious sounding!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

grandma's cookbook - Banana Bread in a Jar!

This traditional banana bread features an ingenious twist: It is baked in a canning jar! Such a fun and unique presentation makes it perfect for gifts. Bakerette.comIf you are looking for ideas to keep on hand for projects you can make with your grandchildren to give to shut-ins, neighbors, their Sunday school/mid-week teacher, the Church secretary, your local fire fighters and police . . . well, the list goes on - then check this idea I found on Pinterest this morning for Banana Bread in a Jar!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hang In There! They Are Likely Listening!

Okay, so you understand how important, how essential it is for you as a grandparent to focus on passing on a heritage of faith to your grandchildren and you are intentional about doing so. How can you tell if your prayers, conversations and planned activities are actually "clicking" with your grandchildren? If it is really "sinking in", so beyond answering specific questions, your grandchildren are really taking it to heart?

Special Christmas Giveaway - November 13, 2015 - Grandparent Goodies Giftpacks

I'm very happy today to announce a special giveaway for grandparents . . . a gift pack which includes two books and a curriculum grandparents can use with their grandchildren to pass on a heritage of faith! I am the author of all of them and am delighted to include them in this year's Christmas giveaway!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

grandma's chuckles - Surprising Grandma!

Image result for clipart for the word surpriseThis past Wednesday was my son and daughter-in-law's ninth anniversary, so yesterday when the boys were at my house, I had them make a gift for their parents. I gave them a natural wood picture frame, permanent ink markers and let them decorate however they liked. Josiah colored and drew hearts and then Caleb drew a heart and asked me how to spell, "mom". I wrote it for him on a piece of paper and then he wrote it himself on the frame! He did the same with "dad"! I was so surprised! I did not know Caleb knew how to write . . . he just turned four! 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Special Christmas Giveaway on November 11, 2015 - Bibles for Children

It is easy for us to become distracted at Christmas from what it is really all about . . . the birth of Jesus and how He is God's gift of love to us - the best Gift we will ever receive! So, Christmas is a great time to give a Bible as a gift to the children you love! I'm very happy to share with you reviews for two Bibles which would make great gifts for the children you love! I'm also doing a giveaway for one of them - if you win, you may pick the one you would like!

Friday, October 9, 2015

grandma's chuckles - "I Look Rediculeeous!"

Image result for clipart for cowboy heartsOn Wednesdays I pick my grandsons up from school, hang out with them and then take them to my church for the mid-week children's program . . . Kids 'N Action. This program has a bit of a Western "flair" and children work through the Book of James in five years (one chapter a year) memorizing each chapter and learning about how they can put their faith into action.

Caleb is four years old, so he is in the "Little Kids 'N Action group; this Wednesday, each of the children in this group were given a cowboy hat. As we walked to our car after I picked him up, I said; "Caleb, you look cool in your cowboy hat!" To which Caleb - in a flat, serious tone - replied; "I do not look cool. I look rediculeeous.