Sunday, January 31, 2016

Being Intentional & Engaging Them in Prayer

I want my grandsons to grow up to be children, then teens and eventually adults who love, know and follow God, but I know in this world it is becoming ever more difficult for this to happen. So many things and people around them tell them it is okay, and even fun, to do whatever they feel like doing, and it is okay to ignore God's Word.

But this is not the truth. I know the only way my grandsons will experience a life of joy is if they choose to love, know and walk with God. This is the truth and I want them to know and believe it.

Earlier this month I said; "If we are serious about passing on a heritage of faith to our grandchildren, we really need to be intentional. We need to think about it. We need to pray. We need to have conversations we plan, as well as be listening and watching for opportunities to help our grandchildren connect what they are doing/what is happening with God's Word. This may sound difficult, but it is not. It is just about being intentional. About thinking about it. About planning. About watching for those opportunities."

Saturday, January 30, 2016

grandma's bookshelf - Lots of Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids - I'm Giving One Away!

"What do you get when you cross a fly, a car and a dog?" As I sit here writing this review, Josiah (my seven-year old grandson) just asked me a joke from a book I received for review. Since I know a thing or two about this sweet boy (as all grandparents should), I knew he would enjoy the book, so I said I'd be delighted to review it.

Friday, January 29, 2016

just for fun - It's Puzzle Day! Make Your Own!

Image result for images of puzzle day
Yes, today is Puzzle Day . . . which seems to me like the perfect opportunity to make memories and have a lot of fun with grandchildren! While you could certainly pull out boxed puzzles and spend time putting them together with your grandchildren, I think it would be great fun to work with them to make your own puzzles! Consider the following possibilities . . . 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

grandma's challenge - "I Love You!"

Here on grandma's cookie jar, you will find resources, ideas and activities to help you pass on a heritage of faith to your grandchildren. These are presented at times with book/item reviews, crafts, recipes, ideas of things to do with your grandchildren and just opportunities to build memories and your relationship with your grandchildren. So, I thought it would be fun - and fit in very well with the purpose of grandma's cookie jar - to give a monthly "challenge"; something specific for us to focus on in the coming month to pass on our faith and build our relationship with our grandchildren.

Valentine's Day is just a few weeks away and is a time when we particularly think about the ones we love - and a time when we take time to tell and show them they are loved. I'm all for Valentine's Day expressions of love, but I'd like to challenge you to take time each day of the year to tell and show your family and friends they are loved!

So, it seems to me a great way to begin our "grandma's challenge" would be with a challenge to remember to speak and show our love to others! Yes, the people we love may know we love them, but it is very important for us to be intentional about taking the time to speak and show our love - not just assume it is known.

grandma's chuckles - Out of the Mouths of Babes . . .

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Don't you just love it when your sweet grandchildren say something profound? Something which gets your attention and makes you wonder how they ever came up with what they said? Something which you, of course, had to share on facebook?!!! Something which makes you laugh each time you think about it?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2016 American Girl Doll Girl of the Year - Lea . . . I'm Giving One Away!

Yes, on May 30, 2016 I'm giving away one 2016 American Girl Doll Girl of the Year! This year the doll - Lea, is traveling to Brazil with her family to explore the rain-forest and the ocean; so today, I thought it would be fun to look up some information about some of the more unique creatures you might find in a Brazilian rain forest!

just for fun - It Is Chocolate Cake Day - Let's Celebrate!!!

It is cold and snowy outside today, so I am extremely happy to say it is Chocolate Cake Day! What could be a better way to brighten a grey, cold and snowy day, than with a piece of chocolate cake?!!! Even if it was not Chocolate Cake Day, it would still be a great way to brighten this day . . . but it is!!! So, let's celebrate!

I found the following information on punchbowl (dot) com about Chocolate Cake Day . . . "Today is National Chocolate Cake Day! Cakes have a rich culinary history. In Greece, cakes (or “plakous”) were heavy and flat, and people served them with nuts and honey. The Romans made cakes which were more like cheesecake or pastry, and presented them as offerings to the gods. In Medieval England, people used the words 'bread' and 'cake' interchangeably to refer to anything made with flour dough."

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

grandma's cookbook - Toffee Butter Cookies!

You're just six ingredients away from these glorious, melt in your mouth, Toffee Butter Icebox Cookies! Deliciously buttery and perfectly rich, this easy cookie recipe is the perfect dessert for any day! | MomOnTimeout.com | #cookie: Get ready to start gathering ingredients and baking totally delicious cookies . . . this morning I was browsing on Pinterest and found a link to a recipe for Toffee Butter Cookies! Now, my husband - and grandchildren - enjoy toffee and Josiah is particularly a fan of butter cookies . . . after all, what isn't there to LOVE about butter cookies???!!!

Christian Grandparenting Network - It Is For You!

Standing In The Gap Masthead copy
On grandma's cookie jar I talk a lot about being, "intentional", and we tell the parents they need to be, "intentional" as well. But, what is "intentional" when it comes to passing on faith? Yes, I talk a lot about being intentional when it comes to passing on our faith - and will be doing so again today, but being, "intentional" is not just limited to grandparents. I know there are a lot of parents who read grandma's cookie jar, and you also need to be intentional.

So, today I'm very happy to share with you an article on the Christian Grandparenting Network which explains what, "intentional" is and looks like when it comes to passing on a heritage of faith. You will find this article at the following link, but before you check it out - and I most sincerely hope you will take a minute or two to read it - I want to introduce you to the Christian Grandparenting Network.

You may think, and rightly so, the Christian Grandparenting Network is a resource for grandparents . . . after all, it is called the Christian  Grandparenting Network! However; it is not just for grandparents. Parents will also benefit from the posts and resources you'll find on this site. How, you ask? Well, consider the following . . . 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bad Weather, Being Intentional in Prayer & Sharing Soup!

Depending on where you live, you may be experiencing extreme weather - and the clean up/dig out which follows. I know what it is like to receive snow, ice, wind - basically unpleasant weather - and experience no longer having power, warmth and running water in your home when the weather took out your power. I do live in Michigan, and did end up having Christmas dinner at the local iHop when our power went out this past Christmas!

Here in Michigan we did not experience the severe weather many of you did in other parts of the country this past weekend, but those of you who did are in my thoughts and prayers.

Praying Every Day & Million Praying Grandparents

MPG Logo
Yesterday I invited you to become part of the Million Praying Grandparents, and to invite, encourage and challenge your friends to do the same. If you did not take time to do this yesterday, I want to invite, encourage and challenge you to do so right now . . . you can return and finish reading this post after you follow this link and sign up - don't worry, it will only take a moment to sign up!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

just for fun - Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day & Belly Laugh Day!

Since it has been awhile since I shared a "silly holiday" with you, I thought I'd take a look and see if there were any fun, silly holidays we could celebrate today! The answer is, "Yes!" And, even better than one, there are two which actually fit together quite nicely!

First, there is, "Talk like a Grizzled Prospector Day". Now, the 19th of September, each year, happens to be, "Talk like a Pirate Day" - I remember this, because the 19th is also one of my grandson's birthday and each year his entire family dresses like pirates and visits the local Krispy Kreme . . . and walks away with a "booty" of a dozen donuts which they receive for free for dressing and talking like pirates! I love it because not only is it fun, but I always get a great photo of them each year!

So, for "Talk like a Grizzled Prospector Day", while, at least so far, there are not any free donuts available for you to "discover", I did find a link online for how you can talk like a grizzled prospector! Here are a few prospector-type words and their definitions . . . and you'll find the complete list at this link.


Million Praying Grandparents - Sign Up & Spread the News!

One of the blessings I'm experiencing as part of the Legacy Coalition is the opportunity to get to know the other staff; such as Cavin Harper. Today I want to encourage you to get involved in a special opportunity to call grandparents to prayer which Cavin is focusing on through his ministry, the Christian Grandparenting Network.

Cavin is calling grandparents to be prayer warriors for their grandchildren and has a prayer campaign which I want to ask you to join . . . and encourage the grandparents you know to do the same. Cavin describes, "Million Praying Grandparents" in the following way - 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

More Thoughts About a Grandma's "Role"!

Yesterday I posted about a grandma's "role", so today I thought I'd comment about a few of the points in that post! 

The author of the article I quoted in my post said, being a grandparent is a blessing and grandchildren can restore our youth . . . I most certainly agree! I LOVE my grandsons and the time I spend with them, while it may leave me physically tired, it restores my spirit; and as the author of the article wrote, "It is one of the most rewarding forms of fatigue you will ever know."

Friday, January 22, 2016

So, What is a Grandma's Role?

All this week I've been talking about the Legacy Coalition and encouraging your church to begin a Grandparenting Ministry. There are some important reasons why I've been doing this and one is because I am one grandma who absolutely loves her grandchildren (and mom who loves her children and daughter-in-law, too!) I know as a mom my "role" was to raise my children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord" - and this parenting "job" is one my husband and I took seriously. Oh, we most certainly were not perfect parents - there are things I would do differently today, but we did the best we could with what we knew to do and our children, as adults, do love God!

Obviously as grandma I am not "mom", so what is my "job" as "grandma"? I found an excellent post on-line about "grandparents" and want to share a few points this writer, Pastor Pauley, made. You'll find the full post at this link.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hats - Warm & Fun!

Okay . . . I live in Michigan, and so do my grandsons. In Michigan it gets cold . . . and this grandma is serious about wanting my three, sweet rascals to stay warm in the winter. So, each year I crochet hats for these boys, but the hats are not just typical hats. I think if they are going to have to wear a hat . . . which, in Michigan there are times when hats are just not optional . . . then they should at least have the option of wearing a "fun" hat.

What is a Grandparenting Ministry?

While grandma's cookie jar is not a church ministries blog, it is about helping grandparents pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren, so I've been writing all week about teaming up with the Legacy Coalition and starting a Grandparenting Ministry in your church. At this point you may be wondering how might this look in your church, so today I'm going to give you some ideas about what a Grandparenting Ministry might be like in your church.

First of all, let me clarify. A Grandparenting Ministry, while it will encourage grandparents, is not a Grandparent's Ministry. A Grandparent's Ministry is a ministry for grandparents and would include things like Bible studies, get-togethers, and small groups. A Grandparent's Ministry focuses on, and is about, Grandparents.

While there may be Bible studies and get-togethers as part of a Grandparenting Ministry, a Grandparenting Ministry is different, as it focuses on engaging, equipping and encouraging grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren. 

So, what might a Grandparenting Ministry look like? Consider the following -

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

grandma's cookbook - Inside-Out S'mores Bars

Here in Michigan it has been cold . . . today it is 21 . . . a real "heat-wave" compared to what it has been! So, if where you live has been cold . . . or even if it has not . . . and you are looking for a fun idea to "warm" everyone up, check this fun recipe I found this morning as I browsed on Pinterest for Inside-Out S'mores Bars.

The Gap - the Need for Grandparenting Ministry in Our Churches

While this blog, grandma's cookie jar, is about passing our faith on to our grandchildren, it is not particularly a church ministry blog; meaning, I write it for grandparents, and not necessarily for churches. However; the past couple days I've been writing about the Legacy Coalition and about helping churches mobilize grandparents to pass on their faith to their grandchildren. Today I want to look at the need for Grandparenting Ministry.

As I've said, most of our churches serve us as parents of children, teens and maybe even parents who have children in college, but then until we retire and become "senior saints", there really is not much in the church which is focused on helping us understand, prepare for and intentionally engage in passing our faith on to our grandchildren. The unspoken "message" is, once our children are grown, there is nothing for us until we are senior saints, and then we will fellowship and study God's Word together.

Now, don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with fellowshipping and studying God's Word with other believers, but grandparents have something which is far, far more important for us to do. We are not only ideal people to pass our faith on to our grandchildren, but we are people who God has ordained and designated in His Word to do so.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Are You Mobilized to Influence Your Grandchildren for Jesus?

Yesterday I asked if your church has a, "Senior Saints" ministry or a true Grandparenting Ministry. If you thought about it and realized your church does not actually serve grandparents by helping you focus on passing on your faith, then your church is actually quite typical. Most churches do not actually have ministry which engages, equips and encourages grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.

But, just because it is rather, "typical" for churches to overlook this, it does not mean your church has to continue to do so. They can step up and make a real difference for grandparents of all ages; and in so doing, make a huge difference in the lives of children and families as well!

How you ask? By getting involved with the Legacy Coalition - Grandparenting that Matters! I have been talking about the Legacy Coalition for the past several months, but today I want to introduce you to the people who are part of this new movement and then share how your church can be a church which engages, equips and encourages grandparents.

crafting with grandma - Valentine's Day Countdown!

Valentine's Day is traditionally a day for expressing our love for our husband or wife or the person we are dating, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to have fun with expressing our love for our grandchildren! So, when I found a Valentine Count-down printable on Pinterest, well, I had to share it with you!

Just follow this link and you'll find the free printable which you can use to make your own Valentine's Day count-down! Print out your envelopes and then think of fourteen fun things your grandchildren can do as they count down to Valentine's Day! I love ideas like making cookies together, working together to make Valentines for their friends, writing them a personal note as to the things you love about them, ways you and then can show love to others by serving them and ideas for doing things together which they love - painting, drawing, cooking, playing outside, playing a game . . . these are just a few of the ideas you could use!

Monday, January 18, 2016

grandma's cookbook - Fluffy, Cinnamon Biscuits . . . and Icing!

A few years ago, I shared with you how I always had struggled to make perfect, fluffy biscuits. I said, "My biscuits always turned out resembling a rock more than anything you actually wanted to eat!" This was the truth, but then I found a recipe for making perfect, fluffy, delicious biscuits! You'll find the full post -with the recipe at this link.

Normally, my grandsons spend Friday night at my house for a sleep-over, but this past Friday night I was on a train from Chicago to my home town area - we didn't arrive until 11:30pm, which was a "tad" bit late to pull off a sleep-over. However; my daughter-in-law worked Saturday morning, so she dropped the boys off on her way to work and they were able to have a Saturday night sleep-over instead!

After they arrived - and we spent time hugging and snuggling . . . it seems they missed me as much as I missed them - normally I see them on Wednesdays, but didn't last week since I was in Chicago . . . I made homemade, fluffy, cinnamon biscuits for breakfast! I used my fluffy biscuit recipe, but added sugar and cinnamon each time I folded the dough over to put lots of sweet, cinnamon flavor in every layer of the biscuits! While the biscuits baked, I mixed powder sugar and milk to make an icing and then gave the boys their own little bowls of icing and a spoon, so they could drizzle as much icing as they liked on their biscuits . . . they "liked" a LOT!!!

It is All About to Change!!!

When you think about your church, do you feel like you are truly being engaged as a grandparent? Do you feel like you are really being equipped and encouraged to disciple your grandchildren? Do you feel like the opportunities for you at your church are primarily focused on Bible study classes, get-togethers, luncheons and hymn sings, and is more of a, "Senior Saints" ministry thann it is a Grandparenting Ministry which engages, equips and encourages you to pass your faith on to your grandchildren? 

A Senior Saints ministry primarily functions for those who are retired (over the age of 65) and is mostly focused on fellowship. A Grandparenting Ministry focuses on those who are grandparents (the average age a person first becomes a grandparent is 47) and strives to engage them, equip them and encourage them to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren. Do you see the difference? Does your church truly have a Grandparenting Ministry?

Most churches have ministry to young parents, parents of elementary age children, parents of teens and even possibly parents of college-age children, but once they become grandparents, there tends to be nothing for them until they are old enough to retire; and then it is often focused on fellowship, not passing on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.

However; this is all about to change!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

grandma's movie review - Inside Out

Last year Disney released an animated movie which I was somewhat skeptical about, but after watching it, I am a fan. Today, I'm happy to share with you my thoughts about, Inside Out!

The storyline of this movie is actually difficult to explain, but the main characters are the emotions of a young girl named Riley. The emotions - Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger have a lot to learn about what it means to be balanced and how Sadness is an important part of the way Riley feels. In the end, Riley (and Joy and Sadness) all learn the best way to respond when feeling sad is to turn to those around you.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Happiness!

I've been in Chicago area for the past three days working with an amazing group of people to launch a new ministry which will help churches engage, equip and encourage the grandparents in their churches. I'll tell you all about the Legacy Coalition tomorrow, but today I want to tell about why I am so very happy today.

With being gone for three days, I ended up not seeing my grandsons on Wednesday. By the time I got home Friday night - it was almost midnight, so we planned for my daughter-in-law, Jackie, to drop the boys off on her way to work this morning for a sleep-over. I was soooo happy to see my three, sweet rascal grandsons - I had not been able to see them for a week and I missed them.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Being Intentional

If we are serious about passing on a heritage of faith to our grandchildren, we really need to be intentional. We need to think about it. We need to pray. We need to have conversations we plan, as well as be listening and watching for opportunities to help our grandchildren connect what they are doing/what is happening with God's Word.

This may sound difficult, but it is not. It is just about being intentional. About thinking about it. About planning. About watching for those opportunities.

For example, last month I shared with you about how I had my grandsons help me make Christmas cards for this year. All of them - even two year old Shane, helped with the decorating of the cards . . . yes, Shane's help, and even four-year-old Caleb's help looked like scribbling . . . because it was scribbling, but they had so much fun to be able to help decorate grandma's cards!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

What Will They Remember?

Image result for clipart question markYesterday I shared an, "inconvenient truth" with you - one we may not like to hear, but one which is true for all of us . . . we are not getting any younger. As I think about this, I wonder; "What will my grandsons remember about me?" and "What do I want them to remember?"

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

An Inconvenient Truth

The Miscellaneous Clock Faces ClipArt gallery offers 47 illustrations of different styles of clocks, including pocketwatches and hourglasses, and shows terminology that is used when describing the time, such as "quarter after" and "20 past." The time on the faces of each clock in this gallery can be easily read. To view general illustrations of various timepieces, please see the <a href="http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/galleries/855-clocks-watches-and-sundials/">Clocks, Watches, and Sundials</a> ClipArt gallery.Okay, I'm about to share a truth with you which you may not want to think about. Ready??? Here it is . . . you are not getting any younger. No matter how much you try to fool the mirror, the truth is, you are not getting any younger - neither am I.

And, neither are our grandchildren.

Why do I mention this, you ask? For one reason, because it is the truth. If we do not understand and accept the truth, we can not act upon it. And this is an important truth we must act upon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Year to Grow!

Do you have any plans this year to help your grandchildren learn something? To help them develop and grow their heart for others? To help them learn to know, love and grow closer to God?

I do. In 2016 I want to help my grandsons grow their tender hearts. I want to help them learn to be sensitive to the leading of God when it comes to showing love and care for and to others. And I have a plan to do this.

Monday, January 11, 2016

crafting with grandma - Homemade Harmonicas . . . Fun for Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is just a little over a month away, so I thought it would be fun to find some different ideas our grandchildren could try for unique and memorable Valentines. Of course this meant I started by browsing through Pinterest . . . where I came upon an idea which fit what I was looking for . . . interesting, unique and fun for the boys to make!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

That Which Was Lost Has Been Found & Remembering

Thanksgiving Day, after our meal, my grandsons helped decorate our Christmas Tree. They did a wonderful job, and while, yes, it looked like a two-year old, four-year old and a seven year old decorated the tree (they did), it was perfect! They had so much fun putting all the ornaments on the tree!

Years ago I crocheted a Nativity set with crochet cotton to put in my tree. This year little Shane (two years old) found the camel as we were taking ornaments out of the box to put on the tree. He smiled and said, "Moooo!" I told him it was a camel, not a cow and I was not really sure what a camel said, then was distracted and lost track of what Shane did with the camel. 

Later as we enjoyed the decorated tree with the twinkling lights, I noticed the camel was missing. It seemed to be nowhere to be found. Being only two, Shane did not have much, "light" to shed on the subject as to where the camel could be found.

A couple days ago we took the tree down and yes, the missing camel was found! Apparently, Shane had placed the camel way, way, way back on the back side of the tree.

I'm happy the camel has been found, and I'm enjoying the reminder of how much fun it was for the boys to decorate the tree this year! As the New Year begins, it is nice to be able to enjoy such wonderful memories . . . truly gifts from God. This reminds me of Psalms 78, because remembering and passing on is what Psalms 78 is talking about. It says the people of Israel forgot God. They did not remember, the older generations did not pass on the memories of how God showed Himself to be faithful and the younger generations forgot and did not know God.

Friday, January 8, 2016

just for fun - It is Joy Germ Day!

Yes, today is Joy "Germ" Day! What could, "Joy Germ Day" possibly be, you ask? Well . . . I found it on-line at daysoftheyear and they said'; "Seldom does the word ‘germ’ mean anything remotely positive. The very sound of the word makes your nose curl up in disgust – you really don’t want to be catching any germs! You recoil in horror as your friend says, 'Don’t come too close; I’ve got a cold.' There is one sort of germ you might not be too worried about catching, however: A Joy Germ! A Joy Germ is a little germ of joy which is spread by smiling at people, making people laugh, and generally spreading happiness everywhere you go. Imagine a day where everyone is smiling, laughing and spreading happiness – that’s Joy Germ DayIt’s very easy to participate. The first step is to park your cynicism at home. The second step is to go out into the world. The third step is up to you – just feel the joy, and spread it around!"

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 American Girl Doll Girl of the Year - Lea . . . I'm Giving One Away!

Yesterday a box arrived at my house . . . it was on my step when the boys arrived and Josiah brought it in for me. One look at the rectangular box and I knew exactly what was in the box . . . I said, "Oh! It is an American Girl Doll!" To which Josiah said, "oh." with a total and complete lack of enthusiasm! (How else would a seven year old boy respond to an American Girl Doll???) At any rate, I'm sure many of you are much more interested in the doll than my sweet grandson! 

Once again this year, American Girl Dolls sent me their Girl of the Year Doll . . . this year her name is Lea, and she is truly lovely! Lea is described by American Girl as:
Meet Lea, the 2016 Girl of the Year™! She dives in to new adventures and explores what’s in her heart. The 18" Lea doll has warm hazel eyes which open and close, and long, light-brown wavy hair with sun-kissed highlights. She has a huggable cloth body, and her movable head and limbs are made of smooth vinyl. She comes with the Lea Dives In paperback book, plus her Brazilian festival outfit: 
  • A bright, multicolored dress, featuring an attached braided belt and braided trim on the straps
  • Sandals with crisscrossed laces
  • Underwear
  • An embroidered canvas messenger bag with colorful woven straps
  • A pretend compass necklace
In the book which comes with the doll, we learn Lea and her family take a trip to Brazil to explore the rain-forest and the ocean. Lea makes a new friend, learns to overcome a fear and discovers she enjoys photography . . . sounds like a good story!

I'll let you know more about Lea in the coming months, as I will be giving her away during grandma's cookie jar's birthday month of special giveaways (May). Yes, I know it is several months away, but each time I post between now and then, you will receive additional opportunities to win this lovely doll!

Now for the details about winning Lea . . .