Tuesday, March 31, 2015

25 Great Mother's Day Gift Ideas Your Grandchildren Can Make!

Over 25 DIY Gift Ideas for Grandparents howdoesshe.comI was browsing on Pinterest this morning and found a link for some really great ideas for crafts which although they say they are for grandparents, you could definitely have your grandchildren make them for their mom for Mother's Day . . . and of course, extras for you, too! Since Mother's Day is just a little over a month away, it is a great time to start projects with your grandchildren - this link has 25 ideas and nearly all of them are things I think are great ideas!

The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies HD Give-Away is Tomorrow!

Tomorrow I'm giving away one HD (digital) copy of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies  - you still have time to enter this great give-away! You'll find my full review at this link - along with details for entering the give-away . . . who knows??? Maybe you will win!

Recipe for Easy-to-Make Candy & A Request for Help

Do you need any pots, pans, measuring spoons or other items for your kitchen? My daughter-in-law Jackie Freeman, recently hosted a Pampered Chef party and is keeping it open another week, so if you need something you could order on-line at this link - or just look around to see if there is anything you could use -http://www.pamperedchef.com/…/8908456574107;jsessionid=C63B…

Monday, March 30, 2015

We Have a Cookie Recipe Contest Winner!

First of all, thank you to everyone who shared one of their cookie recipes in our cookie recipe contest - all of us "win" by being able to try some new cookie recipes with our families . . . which means, of course, our families, "win", too!

Secondly, thank you to everyone who voted . . . the last 24 hours of voting saw a true surge in the votes, but the winning recipe belongs to (drum-roll) Amy C! Her Seven-Layer Cookies received the most votes, so she will receive 25 additional entries in the American Girl Doll, Girl of the Year 2015 give-away (on May 24, 2015), one Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook, and one Hot & Cheesy cookbook (Amy C., please email me your address - lyndagcj@gmail.com - by April 6, 2015 so I can have these sent to you).

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Terri Conner is the winner in my Whatever Wanda! book give-away! (You'll find the full review at this link.) Thank you Terri for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by April 6, 2015 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Ideals Children's Books for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tomorrow is a Give-Away!!!

Yes, tomorrow I'm giving away one of the Whatever Wanda! books! This is a truly delightful book with wonderful, colorful illustrations and solid message for children - and grandparents/parents about having a positive attitude! 

You'll find my full review at this link - and while the good news is I'm giving one of these excellent books away, the even better news is you still have time to enter the drawing . . . who knows??? Maybe you will win!

grandma's chuckles - I'm Going to Dig All the Way to China!

My grandsons had a sleep-over Friday night so Saturday morning I gave each of the boys a "surprise" - just for the fun of it. Shane (18 months) received a stuffed frog and I greatly enjoyed him running around saying "Ribbit! Ribbit! Ribbit!" Very cute! Josiah and Caleb each received a K'Nex Moto-Bots building set, so for the rest of the morning the boys built and then played with their robots . . . they had motors they build their robots around so they were actually able to walk - definitely adding to the fun!

After lunch, Josiah said he wanted to dig all the way to China with his robot (he was just kidding), but Caleb heard him and decided it was definitely the thing to do with his robot (he was serious about reaching China!). This is the difference between being six and a half and being three and a half!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

grandma's cookbook - Homemade Mini-Pizzas

When you think about cooking with children, choose recipes they can have a real part in helping to prepare . . . one great recipe is homemade unique mini-pizzas! The recipe is pretty straightforward, but it is one your grandchildren can literally "get their hands into" and really help prepare a meal for the family to enjoy!

My grandsons love to help make these pizzas - I mix the dough and then let them shape their own pizza into whatever shape they want. They add the toppings they want and then, when it is baked, they enjoy the pizzas they made! Definitely delicious fun!

You will find the recipe and directions below so you can have fun with your grandchildren making mini pizzas! Enjoy!

Friday, March 27, 2015

just for fun - What Can You Do With A Cardboard Box?

A pirate ship.We all have likely experienced the situation where we shopped for the "perfect" gift for our grandchild, certain they would be happy with it, only to have them be more interested in the box than the toy! Boxes are such wonderful things; they can become most anything a child imagines!

Two More Days to Vote!

You have two more days to vote in our Cookie Recipe Contest - if you have not already done so! Debbie's Brownie Cookies are catching up to Amy's Seven Layer Cookies and Raina's Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies still have time to come from behind for the win! It's all up to you!

You'll find the poll at the top right side of grandma's cookie jar . . . there are three recipes in our finals; please vote for your favorite!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Only a Month to Go Until My Special Month of Birthday Giveaways!

In five days I'll start announcing the special giveaways for this year's Birthday Month of Special Giveaways . . . to be given away throughout the month of May! I have quite a group of special things I'll be reviewing and giving away throughout May . . . of course you already know about the American Girl Doll, but I also have items from Cross pen, USApan, Shutterfly, books, special candles and more! 

I'm looking forward to sharing my reviews of these things with you throughout April and then giving them away in May . . . please plan now to join in the fun and learn about the giveaways in April and possibly win something fun in May!

The Top Five Things I Want to See in My Grandsons' Lives

As grandparents we all have things we hope and pray for in regards to our grandchildren, but if I were to think about the top five things I want to see in my grandsons' lives I'd have to say they are . . . 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's Waffle Day!

Image result for waffle day imagesWhat could be a tastier way to start a day than with a plate of homemade waffles? Well, if you enjoy waffles, today is a day to celebrate as it is Waffle Day! I thought it would be fun to share a few waffle fun facts with you which I found on-line . . . did you know . . .

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

grandma's cookbook - Rock Candy Fun!

ROCK CANDY EXPERIMENT: A beautiful Science experiment & a yummy treat all in one.  My kids loved checking on their jars each day to see if the rock candy had grown!As I was browsing on Pinterest this morning to find ideas for decorating eggs, I found a recipe for making homemade rock candy loliipops . . . and I know my grandsons would have so much fun with this, so I'm planning to have them make some this weekend and share the recipe with you!

crafting with grandma - Decorate those Eggs!

Create colorful EASTER EGGS using Melted Crayons. It's easy to do + KIDS will LOVE it. Read the tutorial now or Pin for Later!Resurrection Sunday is just a week and a half away, so if you are looking for some fun ways to have your grandchildren decorate eggs this year, look at these great ideas I found on Pinterest . . . 

Monday, March 23, 2015

crafting with grandma - DIY Mother's Day Hand-print Cutting Board

Wood Burned Cutting Board-6Mother's Day will be here in a month and a half, so if you are looking for a fun craft which you could help your grandchildren make for their mom, check this idea I found on Pinterest this morning!

I think it would be fun to use this idea, but instead of drawing a house on the cutting board, trace around your grandchildren's hands! You will need to do the wood-burning part - unless you have older grandchildren, but this is a project they can definitely have a part in making and one their mom will use and love!

You'll find all the specifics at this link - what do you think? Is this a project you might make with your grandchildren for Mother's Day?

Time to Vote for the Winner in Our Cookie Recipe Contest!

For the past ten days you have been voting for the recipe you like the best from our cookie recipe contest; today I'm happy to post the top three vote getting recipes and you may now vote for the one you like the best!

There are prizes; the winner of the cookie recipe contest will receive one The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook;  twenty-five extra entries into the American Girl Doll Girl of the Year 2015 give-away and the cookbook - Hot & Cheesy. Surprisingly, even though this cookbook has cheese recipes, it does have some cheesy desserts including cheesecake, torte, cake and several recipes which remind me of pie! With this cookbook you will be able to fix a tasty dinner and then enjoy cookies for dessert!

So . . . the cookie recipes which are in our final three are . . . 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Let's Educate Ourselves About Child Slavery & Act

I recently wrote about child slavery and was asked how we can find out where the things
we buy were made so we do not end up supporting child slavery. I will give you several websites where you can find out more about this, so along with checking labels - look for information about where the item is from, the fair trade label, Rainforest Alliance label - shop the frog - or even if it is listed as "organic" - all these can help you find manufacturers who do not use slaves.

But, please keep in mind, simply boycotting items is not the answer in and of itself. In some cases entire families work to provide a living for the family. In these cases it is important for manufacturers to provide a living wage and to insure safe working conditions along with education for children. In the cases where children are sold as slaves or kidnapped and used as slaves or work in the sex or porn industries, it must be stopped. Where children are exploited we do have to speak very loudly with our dollars as it is often the only language they understand. The following links will help you learn more about this -

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Tina Brake Koenig is the winner in my four-book give-away (you'll find the review at this link). Thank you Tina for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by tomorrow - March 23, 2015 so I can have your books sent to you) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending me these books to review and for making additional books available for me to give away!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

American Girl Doll Give-Away & It's French Bread Day!

Do you enjoy baking? What is your favorite thing to bake? Do you like to bake bread? What is your favorite bread recipe? Today is French Bread Day . . . if you like to bake homemade bread, this is a great day to bake some french bread!

This year the Girl of the Year doll from American Girl has grandparents and an aunt and uncle who are bakers with their own bakeries. Grace, the 2015 Girl of the Year, loves to bake as well and wants to one day have her own bakery - as we learn in the story which comes with Grace. 

In just a little over two months, on May 24, 2015 I am giving away one American Girl Doll and Paperback Book - Grace, the 2015 Girl of the Year doll (USA only)! If you live in the USA, are over the age of 18 and would like to be included in the drawing for Grace - which will be on May 24, 2015 (during my Month of Birthday Give-Aways), please comment below to let me know your favorite homemade bread memory! I actually live in the house my dad was born in. I remember sleep-overs in this house with my grandparents. My grandma often made homemade bread and if I was at her house when a loaf came out of the oven, she would give me a slice of bread with Peter Pan peanut butter on it! So yummy! Now I'm the grandma and my grandsons come here for sleep-overs . . . and they also love t eat a slice of fresh baked homemade bread!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Don't Contribute to Child Slavery

I know this blog is about being a grandma and passing on a heritage of faith to our grandchildren, but after doing some research on Children's MInistry around the world, my eyes were opened to the horror of child slavery. In many places around the world children as young as five years old are forced into dangerous and difficult labor as slaves. I'm confident you all are as horrified by this as I am.

But, are you horrified enough to actually do anything about it? True, there may not be much we can do to physically stop the selling and abuse of children by making them slaves, but we can choose to not purchase things which are a result of child slavery. 

In my research I learned there are so many children in slavery who are forced to work on cocoa farms in Africa and 70% of the cocoa used in this world is from Africa. I love chocolate, but I hate child slavery, so I will no longer buy chocolate which is a result of child slavery. And just so you know, coffee, tea and vanilla are also crops where children are forced to work long and hard as slaves; children as young as five years old.

Just Two Days Until the Special Give-Away of Four Books!

Yes, in two days on March 22, 2015 I'm giving away four books to one person . . . and you still have time to get in on this great give-away! You'll find all the details at this link, so please take a moment to check it out and enter this fun give-away!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

grandma's movie review - The Hobbit; the Battle of the Five Armies - Digital Download Give-Away!

My family has loved Tolkien's stories of Middle Earth . . . we loved The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and have been greatly enjoying the Hobbit Trilogy as well. We have the blu-rays for the entire Lord of the Rings and have been looking forward to the release of the final installment of the Hobbit, so when we learned the digital release of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies was available almost a month before the blu-ray released, we were happy to get the digital download!

This morning as I checked my email I found an invitation to participate in a give-away of one digital down-load of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies - since I loved watching it myself, I am very happy to participate and have one of you win this epic and excellent movie! More about the give-away in a moment, but first some information about the movie!

Please Vote - Just Three Days Left!

Yes, there are just three days left to vote in the semi-finals of our Cookie Recipe Contest! If you have not already voted for the recipe you like the best, please take a moment to do so using the poll at the top right of grandma's cookie jar.

You'll find all the details about the prizes . . . yes, the winner will receive prizes, at this link as well as links to the recipes so you can make them for your families . . . which means we all "win"!

Thank you for voting!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Top Five Things I Want My Grandsons to Learn!

Life truly is a journey; one upon which we are constantly learning, but when it comes to my grandsons, while I certainly want them to learn to read and love learning in general, there are somethings which are at the top of my list of things I want them to learn.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Four Special Books Give-Away & Resurrection Sunday Fun for Everyone!

I was recently invited to participate in a special give-away where one of you will win four books from Zonderkidz! Yes, four books! 

The books arrived for me to review yesterday, but I have to have the winner's information to Zonderkidz in one week, so this will be a short give-away. These books will make great additions to the baskets you give to your grandchildren, children or just as a special surprise! 

I love celebrating Resurrection Sunday, so along with this give-away, I'll include a couple fun crafts which you could include in your baskets - or use with your grandchildren, children or a Sunday School class. Let's begin with the books you will receive if you are the winner!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Resurrection Sunday M&M Project!

Resurrection Sunday is just a few weeks away . . . so, if you are looking for a fun surprise which you can put together for your grandchildren, check this one I found on Pinterest!

All you need are M&M's and a free printable about how M&M's help us remember what Jesus did on Resurrection Sunday - which you will find at this link. The poem goes like this -

grandma's bookshelf - Whatever Wanda! - I'm Giving One Away!

I was recently invited to review a book for children which is focused on helping children choose to have a positive attitude; Whatever Wanda! I thought it sounded like a book which children would both enjoy and learn from, so I said, "Yes! Thank you for thinking of me!" Today I'm delighted to share my opinions of this book with you and let you know about an opportunity for you to win one for your grandchildren/children!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

grandma's chuckles - Snoopy Vulture Scowl, Hiding a Smile & I'm Level "M"!!!

My three grandsons spent Friday night and part of Saturday at my house - I love sleep-overs! We decorated cupcakes, snuggled, built with Legos and had a lot of fun together! But three things stand out as things which made my heart happy, so I'm sharing them with you today!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Am So Very Blessed - Thank You, God!

The past few days I've been thinking quite a lot about the blessings God has given me; no,
I don't live in a big, fancy, new house and I do not have a large bank account. I do not drive a new car and do not have the latest, newest and coolest tech, but the things which really matter I have been oh, so blessed!

On the news yesterday they told about a tiny baby who was born with serious heart issues; he had to have a transplant. The doctors were able to find a heart for this little boy and he is doing very well. I rejoice with the family of this baby, and grieve with the family who donated the heart from their own sweet baby who did not live. My grandsons have healthy, strong hearts. I am oh, so blessed.

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to announce Jan Harpe is the winner in my give-away (you'll find the review at this link). Thank you Jan for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me your address - lyndagcj@gmail.com - by March 21, 2015 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Twentieth Century Fox for sending me one to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Baymax Cupcakes, Lego Movie, Fun and Love at grandma's!

Baymax from Big Hero 6 gets the cupcake treatment with these easy to make birthday party Big Hero 6 Cupcakes! Use cake box mix and jumbo marshmallows!It is Friday and my grandsons are coming over today for a sleep-over! We will be having a lot of fun on this sleep-over as we are going to make Baymax cupcakes (I found them on Pinterest - you'll find them at this link) and we are going to watch the new Lego Movie - LEGO: DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League! Of course there will be cookies and popcorn as well, so like I said, we will be definitely be having fun on this sleep-over!

Ten Days to Vote for Cookie Recipes & One More Prize!

For the past few days you have been voting for the recipe you like the best from our cookie recipe contest. In ten days I'll post the top three vote getting recipes and you will be able to vote for the one you like the best!

There are prizes; the winner of the cookie recipe contest will receive one The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook and twenty-five extra entries into the American Girl Doll Girl of the Year 2015 give-away. I'm happy to say I have one more prize - the cookbook - Hot & Cheesy. Surprisingly, even though this cookbook has cheese recipes, it does have some cheesy desserts including cheesecake, torte, cake and several recipes which remind me of pie! With this cookbook you will be able to fix a tasty dinner and then enjoy cookies for dessert!

So . . . the cookie recipes which have been shared are . . . 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

My Top Five Reasons for Showing Grace to My Grandsons

I have three grandsons; ages six, three and 18 months. While these three boys are as sweet as you can possibly imagine, they are young boys and from time to time they do not obey and they annoy each other and end up arguing or even hitting one another. Yes, I know, this is shocking and almost unbelievable, but from time to time it does happen.

So, when my grandsons do not make a wise choice, what do I do? I give time-outs, we talk about what happened and how even when they are tired or have had a long day, they still have to obey and learn to make wise choices. I lean heavily towards showing my grandsons - and definitely giving them - grace. I do so for the following reasons . . . 

grandma's movie review - Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb - Make it Family Movie Night!

I was recently invited to review and give-away the new movie, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (you'll find the give-away info - which is in two days on the 14th - at this link), so when I said I'd be delighted to do so, 20th Century Fox sent me a blu-ray to review. Today, I'm happy to share my opinion of this movie with you . . . and let you know about some fun, free resources which you can use so your family can watch Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and make it a Family Movie Night! First, my review . . .

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Top Five Reasons I Listen to My Grandsons

Yesterday when the boys were here at my house they were watching a children's show and the topic of not being listened to came up (it was the "title" of the episode). I asked Josiah if he felt that way sometimes and he said; "Yes. Well, except for you, grandma, because you always listen to us." 

As adults it is far too easy to be busy with the things we are doing or with our tech and just not listen to children. Children do tend to talk a lot and it is not always "earth-shattering" things they have to say; but when it comes to my grandsons, I feel like if it is important to them and they want to tell me, I want to hear it! I'm so glad Josiah has noticed this!

So, as I thought about this conversation, I came up with five reasons I listen to my grandsons and today I'm sharing them with you. They are . . . 

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

I'm happy to say Heather Webster is the winner in my The Pirate and the Firefly book give-away! (You'll find my full review at this link.) Thank you Heather for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address at lyndagcj@gmail.com by March 18, 2015 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you BH Kids for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Top Five Ways to Show Love to Grandchildren!

Grandmas - or grandparents - and "love" go hand-in-hand and showing this love to our sweet grandchildren just comes naturally, but today I thought I'd take a minute or two and write about my Top Five Ways to Show Love to My Grandchildren!

Give-Away Tomorrow for The Pirate & the Firefly!

Yes, tomorrow I'm giving away a very cute book - you still have time to get in the drawing for the Pirate and the Firefly! You'll find my full review at this link, but suffice it to say, The Pirate and the Firefly is a fun story with imagination and a solid message - children and grandparents/parents will enjoy it for sure!

So . . . comment below to join in the fun; who knows??? Maybe you will win it!

Monday, March 9, 2015

It is Time to Vote for Your Favorite Cookie Recipe!

For the past month you have been sharing your favorite cookie recipes and today is the day for me to post the recipes which have been shared so you may vote for the recipe you like the best. In two weeks I'll post the top three vote getting recipes and you will be able to vote for the one you like the best!

There are prizes, the winner of the cookie recipe contest will receive one The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook and twenty-five extra entries into the American Girl Doll Girl of the Year 2015 give-away. I'm working on one more prize - if I'm able to get it, I'll let you know!

So . . . the cookie recipes which have been shared are . . . 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

grandma's chuckles - "The Answer to Happiness is Lemonade!"

Most Friday nights my grandsons spend the night at my house. We love sleepovers! This past Friday was a sleepover Friday. On Saturday morning Josiah came over to me with a huge smile on his face and said; "Grandma, the answer to happiness is lemonade!" Of course after laughing, I got the sweet and funny boy a glass of lemonade!

Today, after laughing some more, I got to thinking about the "answer" to happiness. Far to often we think we require "more" and "bigger" and the "newest" and the "best" in order for us to be happy. But this is not true. More,  bigger, newest and best do not mean we will be happy because there is always more to be had, something bigger out there, the next new thing is just around the corner and the "best" is relative. If we seek after these things, we will find happiness eludes us; as will our grandchildren if they seek after these things as well.

Fortunately Matthew 6:25-34 tells us where we will find happiness . . .

Top Five Prayer Requests for My Grandsons

I pray for my grandsons. When I look at this world around me and how God's Word is mocked and disregarded, I am concerned about what it will be like for them to grow up. I most sincerely want my grandsons to grow to be boys and then men who know, love and walk with Jesus, so I pray. I pray for them because while I am limited in what I can actually do, God is not. He is bigger than I think He is and He is able to do ever so much more than I can even begin to imagine!

So, what do I pray about? Certainly the list has a number of things on it and changes depending on the situations they are facing, but the main prayer requests I have for them are as follows . . . 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Busy Saturday Morning & I Love It!

It has been a busy morning here at the Freeman home. Three sweet boys spent the night and at 6am one was ready to get up . . . by 7:30am all of them were up! We snuggled, I fixed breakfast . . . bacon, scrambled cheesy eggs, cinnamon toast and coffee (decaf for the boys) and I made cookies, started the pork loin in the slow cooker and got the homemade bread going in the bread machine. Like I said, a busy morning!

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Five Most Important Things on My Grandma's To-Do List

I am a grandma; I know, this is a pretty obvious statement, but it is true! As a grandma there are things I do because I am a grandma; things I may not otherwise do. But, since I am a grandma, these things are things I do!

It would take all day to list the "grandma things" I do, but of this long list, there are a few which are essential. Things which are the most important things for me to do and today I'm sharing with you my Five Most Important Things on My Grandma's To-Do List. They are . . .