Friday, September 30, 2016

Super Free Gift from Shutterfly!

Christmas is just a couple months away, so yesterday when I found another free offer from Shutterfly in my mail, I knew I was going to have to share it with you! This time they are offering you ten free Christmas cards of your choice! This offer is good through Sunday (October 2, 2016), just follow this link and use the code 10FREE.

This year, along with a wide variety of photo Christmas card options, they have a new option - ornament picture cards! I love this option and ordered ten! Which option do you like the best? Order ten free - and get a head-start on your Christmas cards by ordering more if you like!

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

I Have Three Winners!

I'm happy to say Tina, Karen and Carolyn Moon are the winners in my Happy Times Magazine subscription giveaway! (You'll find the review at this link.)

Thank you Tina, Karen and Carolyn for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me - lyndagcj@gmail.com - your mailing address, so I can forward them to Concordia to fulfill your subscriptions) and thank you Concordia Publishing House for making these subscriptions available for me to give away!

Be Intentional & Join Us at the Legacy Grandparenting Summit!

I have been a grandma now for eight years - years filled with an amazing and wonderful joy! Yes, as you can clearly see from my posts on this blog, I love being Josiah's, Caleb's and Shane's grandma! I take being a grandma seriously. Yes, I have lots of fun with my three sweet rascal grandsons, but I know there is far more to being a grandma than just the hugs, snuggles and fun. I have a big responsibility as a grandma to do the following . . .

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Focus Upon Helping Our Grandchildren Be Truly Thankful

As I have said a number of times, one of the most powerful things we can do as grandparents is to pray for our grandchildren. Over and over in Scripture, God promises to hear, listen to and answer our prayers! Many grandparents believe this and are focused prayer warriors for their grandchildren.

There is also another very powerful thing we can do as grandparents and this is to model to our grandchildren what it means and looks like to be people who are thankful. Think about it for a minute. Are you thankful? We tend to be quick to turn to God in prayer - and He wants us to do this, but are we just as quick to thank God when He answers our prayers? Do we thank God for the big and little everyday ways He shows His "fingerprints" in our lives?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

2016 Christmas Reviews & Giveaways!

Three months from today, Christmas will be past. Yes, just three short months. For grandma's cookie jar, this means in just a few short days I'll begin my 2016 Christmas Gift Reviews and will be starting to announce my 2016 Christmas Giveaways! For those of you who have taken the time to read this blog in years past, you know throughout the month of October I review a wide variety of things and announce giveaways for most of them. Then the month of November I hold the giveaways!

I'm very happy to say I have received some really wonderful things I'm looking forward to sharing with you . . . and which will make fun giveaways! So, please plan to join me throughout October for the reviews and as I announce each giveaway and then in November to see who wins! I'd also appreciate it if you shared grandma's cookie jar with the people you know! Just four days until the fun begins!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Use Our Words to Love and Give Hope!

Growing 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 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 sees a child is often the way they will see themselves.

Stop and think about this for a minute. How do you see your grandchildren? More importantly, how do you talk about them? Do you choose your words carefully when they can hear you, so the words they hear from you are ones which build them up? Words which convey how you believe they are amazing people who can do incredible things? Words which give them hope and a positive view of themselves and their future? Or, do your words discourage them? Do your words harm the way they see themselves?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Teach Me Your Way, Lord" . . . Let's Make This Our Prayer

As we go through the coming week, let's draw our thoughts and prayers for our grandchildren to Psalms 86 -
"Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me."

Friday, September 23, 2016

Tasters Welcome!

On the wall by the entry to my kitchen is a sign . . . it says; "Grandma's Kitchen - Tasters Welcome!" My grandsons believe this sign . . . especially when I'm baking homemade cookies!

I'm glad they believe it, because it is true - they are always welcome to, "taste" in my kitchen! It puts a smile on my face when they "taste" and especially when they enjoy what they tasted!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Grannie Ellies" Make a Difference . . . So Do People Grandparents!

Last winter I posted about an article which had been "floating around" the internet where it talked about elephant grandmas and wanted to share it with you again today. Apparently research showed baby elephants are more likely to survive if there is a grandma elephant in their herd. Newsweek Tech and Science reported on this; they said - "Turns out grannies are very important to baby ellies. New research conducted over four decades in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park shows female elephants with a living mother have better chances at reproduction and give birth to babies more likely to survive." They studied 3,000 elephants in Southern Kenya for 42 years and discovered, “having an experienced mother, one who knows how to respond to their calf's demands and how to keep them close by, makes a huge difference in whether a baby elephant survives—having a grandma adds much needed extra help.”

Our grandchildren definitely benefit from having grandmas - "experienced" moms - active in their lives, too! And, unlike with elephants, where they do not have the involvement of grandpas with the little ones, our grandchildren benefit greatly from the involvement of their grandpas as well!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Happy Times Magazine - I'm Giving Subscriptions Away!

One thing we do as grandparents is look for resources we can use to pass faith to the children we love. Concordia Publishing House recently emailed me a couple of their Happy Times Magazine which is designed as a tool for parents/grandparents to use to pass faith to preschool age children. Today I'm happy to let you know about this resource which you could use with your grandchildren - and announce a giveaway as well!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Experience Joy!

How often have you heard grandparents and parents say, when talking about the children they love, the most important thing to them is for their grandchild or child to be happy? Our world chases after happiness. We think more, bigger, better, newer, cooler will all equate to happiness. But it does not. Oh, yes, people may be "happy" for a few moments, until what they have is no longer more, bigger, better, newer or cooler.

Happiness depends on situations, and as we know, situations change - all too fast. What people are really looking for is joy, and it is not found in things. So, where do we find joy? God's Word tells us - look at Psalm 100 . . . 

Monday, September 19, 2016

grandma's cookbook - Six Minute Microwave Caramels!

As I browsed Pinterest this morning I found a fun and easy recipe for tasty caramels! You'll find the full recipe at this link - it is definitely a fun treat I'm going to try for my grandsons - since the recipe says it gets really hot, I'll make them and let my grandsons enjoy them!

Perhaps I'll have them decorate nice containers and then we could take some caramels to share with neighbors or to give to our local police. 

Enjoy!


I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Melody Black is the winner of The Bot That Scott Built (you'll find my review at this link). Thank you Melody for reading grandma's cookie jar (please message me your address by September 26, 2016 - lyndagcj@gmail.com - so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Sterling Children's Books for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

God's Faithful Love to Our Children's Children

Have you looked at Psalm 103:8-18 lately? These verses show us such a clear picture of love, kindness and grace. They describe God as -
- Compassionate- Gracious- Slow to anger- Abounding in love- Patient- Forgiving- A compassionate Father
I'm so thankful God is all these things, and more to us! And, the promise in verse 17 encourages and gives me hope . . .
"But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children
." (NIV)
God promises His love never ends and it is not just for me, but is also for my children's children! If your grandchildren have not yet made the choice to give their lives to God, take heart! God loves them more than anyone and He is patient, compassionate and forgiving!

Grandma + Photos = New Mugs & Mousepad! (And a Great Offer From Shutterfly for You!)

I'm a grandma. This means several things, one of which is, I love photos of my grandchildren - and my entire family. Last weekend we had our pictures taken with my parents - four generations! Then yesterday we had photos taken with just Poppa, myself and the grandsons!

I have new photos, which of course means it is time to get some new things printed up with photos on them! I love the larger photo mugs from Shutterfly . . .  and am thrilled to see they have a new one which is black inside and out . . . looks so sharp! I have all the mugs with colors inside and on the handle - they are a great size for me and I love the designs! No, they did not pay me to say this - I just really love their mugs!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Heritage

When you think back on your grandparents, do you have memories of times spent with them? Are there aromas and tastes you recall? Are there things which once belonged to them and now are small bits of your heritage?

Passing on a heritage involves retelling the family history; telling about the time when you went fishing with your grandpa and then had a fish fry with the day's catch! It is talking about the times when you all went on a vacation together and the car with your grandparents and little brothers missed the exit and they got lost! (On Mother's Day, no less!) It is about sharing a recipe for the most delicious rolls your grandma used to make, and now you are the grandma, you make them for your grandchildren!

It may involve showing your grandchildren something their great-great grandparent used to have . . . in my case I have a bible which belonged to one of my grandmas and a cameo pin which belonged to the other. My one grandma was born more than a hundred years before my oldest grandson. For him to be able to hold in his hands something she held in her hands is powerful.

Friday, September 16, 2016

What Truly Matters!


It is all so easy for life to become busy; too easy. We have family, work, church, places where we volunteer and the list goes on. All of these require time from us, and there is only so much time in a day. It is easy for us to be so focused on these things; things which are important, yet when all is said and done we end up losing sight of those things which truly matter.

As grandparents, we all know how very fast children grow up. It is easy when we are parents; especially when our children are young, for us to feel tired, worn out and wonder if our children will ever grow up. But they do. And they grow up quickly. We grandparents know this, because our children grew up; quickly.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Grandparents & Love

As I was thinking about what to write today, God brought to mind 1 Corinthians 13:4 . . . Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

These verses give us a very clear view of what love is, and shows us how to love our grandchildren in a way which points them to God. Love is not an emotion which comes and goes. It is not something which depends on how others treat us or how our situation looks. Love is a choice. Period. We choose to love others - no matter what, because this is how God loves us; no matter what. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

crafting with grandma - Clay Pot Snowman

Christmas is just three months and eleven days away . . . not very long actually. So, if you like to make gifts for people you love, and like to help your grandchildren do the same, check this idea for clay pot snowmen. It is a fun craft and one you could have your grandchildren make - even smaller ones to give their teachers.

Over the years I've made a number of different types of snowmen to decorate with and give as gifts, but this clay pot snowman is my personal all-time favorite snowman! 

Hold On to God's Faithfulness & Help Your Grandchildren Do the Same

Our lives, and the lives of our grandchildren/children are complicated. There are times of joy; times when we see great things happening in our lives and the lives of those we love and when we look forward to the day and all it will bring. However; there are also times when we feel great sadness; times when we only see pain for those we love and do not see how things will end in a positive way.

During both of these types of times, we need to remember the truth - God is faithful. He always loves us and always does what He says He will do. This is faithfulness and I for one depend upon it, am ever so thankful for it and want my grandchildren/children to know and depend on as well. The Bible is full of true accounts of real people, just like us and how our very real God showed His love, grace and faithfulness to them. These accounts help us understand how He shows His love, grace and faithfulness to us as well; especially in the sad and difficult times where we have a hard time seeing the good.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Praying & My Happy Heart!

I am focused on being intentional about teaching my grandsons to pray. My husband and I are praying through the Psalms for our grandchildren each week, using my book Deeper In 4 Grandparents & Parents, Too! Praying the Scriptures for the Children You Love - Psalms Edition, so when they are at our house, they get to pray the Psalms with us - and hear us pray the Psalms for them as well!

Each week, when they are at my house, I ask my grandsons to draw or write a prayer request for me to pray for them in the coming week - last week Caleb (five years old) drew a heart. I asked him what his prayer request was and he said; "For me to follow God with all my heart!"

I have a happy heart! I will absolutely pray this for him - and did all this past week. I will pray it for him - and his brothers - throughout their lives!

grandma's cookbook & just for fun . . . Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day & Make Apple Pie Bites!

Along with talking about important things like, passing on a heritage of faith to our grandchildren, I like to share fun recipes, crafts and info which is just "fun" on grandma's cookie jar. Today I'm very happy to share something which is just "fun" . . . a "silly holiday" . . . Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day and a tasty and easy recipe for making Apple Pie Bites which I found on Pinterest. First, the silly holiday.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Focus Upon God's Plan for You!

As you think about beginning - or continuing - your retirement, what do you think about? Do you look forward to traveling or downsizing to a smaller condo in a retirement village? Do you look forward to being able to finally do what you want to do, because you will be finished with the job of raising your children?

Our society has done a pretty amazing job of communicating to us how our retirement is a time for us. A time to do the things we always wanted to do. A time to enjoy life. But, when we turn our focus to ourselves in our senior years, we end up missing what really matters.

God's Word is very clear about how our lives are not "over" when we get older and it is not the time to indulge ourselves. God has a very important job for us to do . . . we are part of His plan to pass on a heritage of faith to our children's children. The best part about this is it is not a burdensome thing . . . it is a blessing and joy to influence our grandchildren; and this is something which psychiatrists are able to see and measure!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

You CAN Be the Grandparent Who Sets the Example & Makes a Difference!

2 Timothy 3:1 tells us; "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty." Just a flip through the news channels this week and we see this is true. Whether we are actually in the last days or not, the world around us is experiencing difficulty - floods, storms, earthquakes, unrest, a complete turn away from God's righteousness . . . the list could, and does, go on and on.

When we see what is happening we are reminded of Romans 5, where we learn because of the sin and disobedience of one man, all of us both experience the results of and are contributors to the problem. If Romans 5 stopped here, we would have no hope, but thankfully it goes on to tell us about Jesus and how He not only brings us forgiveness for our sins, but through His obedience we have life!

Each of us - and each of our grandchildren - have the opportunity to turn away from our disobedience and to make the choice to obey and follow Jesus' example; when we do, we are able to experience how obedience is more powerful than disobedience! The disobedience of one man brought sin and it's penalty to us all, but the obedience of One brought us grace AND life!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Just a "Peek" Through the Window!

Just a "Peek" Through the Window . . .

I have heard it said, the most exhausted people are grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. And, if it is a single grandparent who is raising their grandchildren, they are even more exhausted.

I am not a single grandparent and my husband and I are not raising our grandchildren, but over the past three months we've been able to experience, on an ever so small level, what it is like to care for your grandchildren more than just when they visit in the day or for a sleepover. And yes, I am exhausted! But, if I'm going to be exhausted and tired, I want it to be for something which matters and my three sweet grandsons absolutely matter!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Five Important Things to Remember . . .

Five important things to remember when it comes to passing on your faith to your grandchildren . . .

1. You have to get their attention . . .
2. If they are going to remember what God's Word says . . .
3. So they will be able to understand God's Word . . .
4. So they will be able to live God's Word . . . 
5. And have lives which are changed!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thursdays = Science, the Bible & Fun!

My husband and I are members at a large church (about 6000 people). Our church is in the middle of a major building and renovation project. Since April we have been meeting at a local college (Calvin College) on Sundays in their sports arena, as our own auditorium is being renovated (balcony removed, roof raised a few inches, back wall pushed back to make more room). We are hoping to return to our newly renovated auditorium in December.

The Children's Ministry area is also being made new with a new addition, but it will not be ready until August 2017. So, due to available space issues on Wednesdays (the old Children's Ministry area) they had to limit registration in our mid-week ministry this year. I knew this was going to be the "plan" while the new area was being built, so a year ago I wrote, Science, the Bible & Fun to use with my grandsons while the new children's area was being built. (My grandsons attend my church's mid-week ministry.)

Today is the first day of our Science, the Bible & Fun! We decided to have it on Thursday nights this year, so their poppa is picking them up from school and we will have supper together. After supper we will spend time discovering more about God through fun science projects, work on crafts or bake something tasty and most importantly, learn about real Bible people who chose to love, know and follow God. We will talk about how we can do the same and spend time learning to pray the Psalms back to God. The boys will learn how to keep a prayer journal . . . it is my prayer at the end of our year of Science, the Bible & Fun, they will be boys who are serious about talking to and with God!

So, tonight we will be having fun with a science project where we combine yeast, dish soap and peroxide . . . we will learn about obeying from this project. We will make our prayer journals, play some fun games and spend time talking about Jeremiah 29 and 33 and how God promises to listen to and answer our prayers! Over the coming months we will learn about Noah, Jehoshaphat, Josiah, Jesus, Daniel, Caleb, John and the Judges - and have a lot of fun doing so!

As I mentioned, I wrote Science, the Bible & Fun to use with my grandsons, but it is available for you to use with your grandchildren/children, too! You'll find all the details at this link . . . check it out and try this free lesson, too! This is one tool you can use as a grandparent to pass faith to your grandchildren!

grandma's chuckles - Stuck in the Mud!

One day a couple years ago when the boys were at my house we were enjoying a fun story . . . which went like this . . . 
Once upon a time there was a little monster with lots of blue hair and brown eyes. One day this monster went out to play after a rainstorm. As the monster ran around the yard it became stuck in the mud!!! The monster tried to get out of the mud, but it was stuck, stuck, stuck! The monster began to call for help; "Help! Help! Help!", but nobody heard him. The monster began to feel afraid and called louder; "HELP! HELP! HELP!", but still nobody heard. The monster was stuck, stuck, stuck and very, very, very afraid. It was sure it would not only be stuck forever, but it would sink through the mud all the way to China!!!!
This is where Josiah interrupted and said, "It could not really sink all the way to China because there is hot lava in the middle of the earth, so the monster can not sink through to the other side. It would actually burn up in the lava!" I love the intelligence of an almost six-year old!!!! I'm not sure the monster in our story would feel less afraid if it knew it would not sink all the way to China, but instead would actually burn up in the lava first, but, I told Josiah the monster did not know this and went on with the story!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

grandma's cookbook - Caramel Apple Toppings

If you are looking for a tasty, fresh and fun dessert to enjoy with your grandchildren - and entire family - this Fall, check this idea I found this morning on Pinterest for a Caramel Apple Bar! Yes, apples, caramel dip and an entire selection of tasty items in which you may dip these slices! I know! Tasty and fun!

You'll find the pinterest post at this link - but I think for my grandsons I'd have the apple slices, caramel dip and then a variety of toppings including chocolate sprinkles, M&M baking chips, mini chocolate chips, cinnamon and sugar sprinkles, crushed cookies and marshmallows.

What might you include as toppings for your caramel apple slices? Enjoy!



Live God's Perfect Peace & Pass It On!

I grew up in a time when each Sunday in church we sang the old hymns; It Is Well With My Soul, The Old Rugged Cross, Amazing Grace, Just As I Am - old songs where the lyrics were sound and they challenged and encouraged us in our walk with God. I loved these songs then - and still love them today.

I also love the newer praise songs, but today I want to share one of my favorite hymns with you, and some thoughts about how these lyrics encourage grandparents; but first some background on the author – Frances Havergal. She lived in the mid to late 1800's and wrote a number of hymns. In 1876 she became quite ill; many thought she would die, but she was not upset or afraid. Instead she had great peace and wrote the song, "Like a River Glorious" - one of my favorites!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pray for Godly Friends this School Year

I know I posted this just a few weeks ago, but with my grandsons beginning school today (Third grade for Josiah and Kindergarten for Caleb), it is on my mind and heart for them to build friendships with children who know, love and follow God, so they will be able to support and encourage one another through school and life. This is one of the most important things for me to pray about for my grandsons.

Monday, September 5, 2016

grandma's bookshelf . . . The Bot That Scott Built . . . I'm Giving One Away!

As you know, if you read grandma's cookie jar, I am often asked to review new books for children . . . and often invited to hold a giveaway for the book as well. Such was the case for a new book with the title of, The Bot That Scott Built. Since my grandsons like robots . . . well, "love" robots would be more accurate . . . and they like science projects . . . once again, "love" science projects would be more accurate . . . I thought a book which combined these things would be a book they would enjoy . . . which they did!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Pray for Eyes Which See . . .

Proverbs 14:26 says; “Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.” In the week to come, as you think about your grandchildren, consider making this your prayer . . .

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Grandparenting - a Marathon!

If look at grandparenting as a relay race rather than a marathon, we put our grandchildren's eternity at risk. Larry Fowler helps us understand why grandparenting matters - please share the video at this link with the grandparents, pastors and church leaders you know. 

Join us at the Legacy Grandparenting Summit to hear more from Larry and many more speakers including Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, Jay Kessler, John Trent, Tim Kimmel, Wayne Rice, Gary Chapman and many more! (Use my code - Lynda16 - to save $40!)

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Mud Run & Our "Job"

Last weekend my son and his oldest son (Josiah) participated in the Mud Run (children's version was 1.5 k). It was the first time my grandson did anything like this and he was not sure what to expect . . . other than knowing he was going to get really muddy!

The morning of the mud run was chilly - it was only about 64 degrees and was rainy . . . making it not the warmest day for a mud run. Josiah was not sure if he really wanted to participate . . . he was cold and wet and cold before the run even began. But, his dad told him they should at least give it a try. So they did.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

I Have a Winner!


I'm happy to say Lillian Penner is the winner of It is Impossible to Spoil Grandchildren; and Other Important Facts for Grandparents & Parents, Too!. (You will find my review at the following link) Lillian, please email me your address by September 8, 2016, so I can send it to you - lyndagcj@gmail.com

Thank you for reading grandma's cookie jar!

Depend On & Trust God for What Matters Most!

We can not give to others what we do not have for ourselves. If we are not growing spiritually, we will not be equipped to help our grandchildren/children grow spiritually. Sometimes it is easy - too easy - to focus on the "things" we need to do every day and lose sight of the thing we really need to be focused on . . . knowing and walking with Jesus.

So . . . what are some of the things which we need to depend on and trust God for? Well, we each have to answer this in regards to our personal lives, as we are all facing and dealing with our own unique situations, but when it comes to our grandchildren, let's think about depending on and trusting God for the most important things . . . for them to make the decision to turn to Jesus for forgiveness and to know, love and walk with Him every day in their everyday lives. There is absolutely NOTHING more important than these two things.