Thursday, December 14, 2017

Chocolate - a Great Christmas - or Anytime - Treat!

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Rainforest Alliance Certified™Christmas and chocolate go together . . . at least in my house! I love celebrating Christmas, so it just seems like it is a nice time of year to enjoy a special treat . . . and chocolate definitely qualifies as a special treat!

Talk About Your Grandchildren!

Let your grandchildren "accidentally" overhear you sharing with others about the things they say/do. When they hear
you telling about the wise choices they have made and/or the accomplishments they've achieved, it will encourage them to continue to make wise choices and to try new things.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Night-time Candy Cane Hunt!

Last night my son brought the boys over and they had their Candy Cane hunt in the dark (6:30 pm is now dark) - with flashlights! The boys had so much fun! Then they came inside to warm up with homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade fresh-baked bread and hot cocoa with whipped cream and sprinkles on top (their aunt's idea!) We had such fun - and lots of happy faces! :-)

What We Say & Do Matters!

We grandparents are able to give our grandchildren a
connection, sense of their past and hope for their future . . . most importantly we are able to give them unconditional love. What we say and do matters!

And, Christmastime is the perfect time to help our grandchildren connect with their culture, understand their family history and see the hope they have for the future because of God's love for them! Plus, it is the perfect time to show our grandchildren how much we love them as well.

Take time to impact the lives of your grandchildren today!

(This photo is from Grandmas with Heart - please check them out at this link and share them with the people you know.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Call Grandma!

We grandmothers have a very important role to play in the lives of our grandchildren - we are there to comfort, encourage and love them - all of the time! And, one of the blessings is we get to hear and enjoy the adorable things they say/do!
Please share something cute/funny your grandchildren have said/done.

Monday, December 11, 2017

"I Do NOT Like That Song!!!"


Do you go caroling at Christmas-time? What is your favorite Christmas carol? 

Thinking about singing at Christmas reminded me of how a couple years ago, on Thanksgiving, my grandsons spent the night - fun time to have a sleep-over! Well, the next morning we were talking about Christmas and how real reindeer do not fly and my husband mentioned the song, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer", so I sang a line of it. My then four-year-old grandson Caleb said . . . with great passion; "I do NOT like that song!!!" Then he came and gave me a big hug!

Pray Your Grandchildren will Hold Firmly to God - Their Rock!

Our grandchildren will not find firm, stable footing in the world for their lives, but they will in God! Share with them how holding to God as your Rock has given your life stability and peace - consider making a journal for you and your grandchildren to record how God has been your Rock!

(This photo is from Grandmas with Heart - please check them out at this link and share them with the people you know.)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Katrina Angele is the winner of The Bear Who Didn't Want to Miss Christmas (You will find the review at this link). Thank you Katrina for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me -  lyndagcj@gmail.com - by December 15, 2017 - so I am able to have your prize 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!

Tell Your Grandchildren About God's Good Plans for Them

God has good plans for our grandchildren which do give them hope and a future - this is the truth! Take time this week to communicate this to your grandchildren - no matter their age or location . . . tell them in person, email, facetime, make a phone call or mail them a letter - be sure to tell them . . . and repeat often!

(This photo is from Grandmas with Heart - please check them out at this link and share them with the people you know.)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Reason for Rules by Sherry Schumann in HomeFront Magazine

reasons for rulesToday I want to share with you a link to an article Sherry Schumann (one of the Grandmas with Heart) wrote for HomeFront Magazine. In "Reason for Rules" she shares how Biblical discipline modeled by our heavenly Father provides a pathway of redemption and restoration.

You'll find the article at this link -  https://homefrontmag.com/reasons-for-rules/

Have a Candy Cane Hunt!

Start a new family tradition - have a candy cane hunt! What is a candy cane hunt? Think Easter egg hunt, but substitute candy canes, and since they hang nicely, you are able to hang them on low branches, bushes, etc outside for a lot of fun and a great way to build a wonderful memory! Share the Legend of the Candy Cane to make it a teaching opportunity to hand down your faith! Enjoy!

(This photo is from Grandmas with Heart - please check them out at this link and share them with the people you know.)

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Week of Fun Christmas Crafts - Handprint Nativity Animals

Are you looking for craft ideas you can use with your grandchildren which celebrate the real Reason for the Season? Well, this is an idea you could use with them which not only celebrates Jesus, but is simple and inexpensive to make!  

What Do Your Grandchildren Call You?

When my grandsons first began talking I was "Ga", then "Gra-ma" and now "Grandma" . . . best names EVER! What do your grandchildren call you?

(This photo is from Grandmas with Heart - please check them out at this link and share them with the people you know.)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

crafting with grandma - Easy Clothespin Snowman Ornament!

A few days ago I shared with you an idea for a fun snowman ornament made from a wooded clothespin - today I'm showing you an even easier way to make this even your youngest grandchildren will be able to do.

West Michigan Grandparents (and Parents, too) Watch for Grandparenting on Purpose!

One thing I want to do is to let you know about resources to help you hand down your faith. If you live in the West Michigan area - stay tuned for information about an opportunity to connect and learn about handing down your faith!

Josh McDowell's 7 Principles for Building Relationships with Our Grandchildren - #7 - Accountability

For the past week I've been sharing on the Grandmas with Heart facebook page - and on here - Josh McDowell's Seven Principles for Building a Relationship with Our Grandchildren. He spoke last year at the Legacy Grandparenting Summit and covered this in his message.

Today is Principle #7 from Josh McDowell for how to build a relationship with our grandchildren - Accountability. Yes we set limits and want to help our grandchildren learn to make wise choices, but we always do so with love Thank you for reading and sharing this series with the people you know!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Week of Fun Christmas Crafts - Handprint Nativity

Handprint nativity. Poem on the back: " I used my hand to make a manger, a place for Jesus to lay. I'll use my heart so full of love, as a place for Jesus to stay.": Today I have another simple, inexpensive and fun idea which you may use with your grandchildren - and it could also make a great parents gift . . . a Handprint Nativity!

Of course I found it on Pinterest; all you need is cardstock, tagboard, wood - whatever you want for the base, a star stencil, paint, a little straw, glue and ribbon. Cut the heart big enough to fit the design and be sure to write this poem on the back, or around the bottom edge on the front might be nice, too; "I used my hand to make a manger, a place for Jesus to lay. I'll use my heart, so full of love, as a place for Jesus to stay."

Josh McDowell's 7 Principles for Building Relationships with Our Grandchildren - #6 - Approach Their World

#6 - Approach Their World - get "techy" - your grandchildren are. My grandchildren are more "techy" than I am and they are just four, six and nine. Get a smart phone, so you will be able to text them. Get on-line so you are able to email - this lets you stay in touch whether you live across the street or around the world. Show interest in what they care about and be able to connect with them in the ways they connect. This matters.

(Please share this series with the grandmas - and grandpas/parents - you know!)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Josh McDowell's 7 Principles for Building Relationships with Our Grandchildren - #5 - Affection

#5 - Affection - speak and show love to our grandchildren! Tell them - often and frequently and show it with appropriate hugs and a kiss on the head or cheek. Leave no doubt in their minds they are loved deeply and without end. Let them hear and see/experience how much we love them - it is essential!

(Please share this series with the grandmas - and grandpas/parents - you know!)

Christmas Book Giveaway - December 10, 2017 - The Bear Who Didn't Want to Miss Christmas

I was recently invited to review a new book with a sweet and fun message for Christmas - so today I'm happy to share with you this new story . . . The Bear Who Didn't Want to Miss Christmas

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Week of Fun Christmas Crafts - Personal Nativity Sets

Nativity Blocks - I could have the boys draw their own when they are older + wood scraps + paint and Mod Podge...an awesome craft to keep the kids busy during Christmas Break: Nativity sets can be a fun way to help children learn, remember and understand the beginning of the story of the Best Gift Ever; Jesus' birth! So, today for our week of Christmas crafts, I'm sharing two more simple, and fun, ideas for how your grandchildren can make their own nativity sets. Sets which will hold up to little hands handling them year after year and which can help children and families start a Christmas tradition of their own, as they set them out each year!

Josh McDowell's 7 Principles for Building Relationships with Our Grandchildren - #4 - Availability

Josh McDowell's Principle #4 for Building Relationships with our Grandchildren - Availability. Be available. The time you spend being available is an investment - it will give you the opportunity to get to know them - and for them to get to know you, which gives you a place from which you will be able to speak truth into their lives - and model it for them to see. (Please share this series with the grandmas - and grandpas/parents - you know!)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

It's Time to Think about Christmas - a Nativity Set for Your Grandchildren!

The first year my husband and I were married (thirty six years ago), he got me the Precious Moments Nativity Set for Christmas. I love setting up my Nativity Set each year - we set it up when we put up our Christmas tree after Thanksgiving dinner. We have a bay window in our living room, which is where we put our tree; I put the Nativity Set in the window as well with the kings traveling across the living room to the Nativity, because I want the focus to be on the Reason for the Season.

Josh McDowell's 7 Principles for Building Relationships with Our Grandchildren - #3 - Appreciation

Principle #3 - Appreciation - is something we knew as
parents . . . and still applies today when we are grandparents. Catch them doing something good and let them know you noticed and appreciate them! Pay attention. Listen. Be grandparents who notice and appreciate! 

(Please share this series with the grandmas - and grandpas/parents - you know!)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

fun with grandma - Let's Have a Candy Cane Hunt!

I shared this idea with you last year - it was a lot of fun, so if you did not try it last year, consider doing so this year; and if you are new to grandma's cookie jar - this is an idea which is "tradition worthy"! What is this great idea? It is for having a candy cane hunt with the children you love - you will find at this link!

What is a candy cane hunt you ask? Well, think Easter Egg hunt and substitute candy canes and you are on the right track! I'm going to wrap eight candy canes for each grandson and put them under the tree. When the boys are at my house next Saturday, they will be able to open their candy canes, then when their parents come for supper, we will have them hide the candy canes outside - I have lots of trees with branches at the right heights for the boys and since they are candy canes, they will easily hang on the branches. The boys will get to go outside and each will be able to search my yard for eight candy canes.


Then, I will have them each take two of their candy canes to put in a bag with directions for how to have a candy cane hunt and they will be able to give it to their neighbor, so he can have a candy cane hunt, too!


We will also talk about how the candy cane reminds us of the real meaning of Christmas - 

Josh McDowell's 7 Principles for Building Relationships with Our Grandchildren - #2 - Acceptance

Acceptance - and let them know they are accepted unconditionally by God and by you - all the time, no matter what! I love how Josh said he is sure his children and grandchildren know they are, "created in the image of God and have infinite value, dignity and worth"! Be sure your grandchildren know this as well. (Please share this series with the grandmas - and grandpas/parents - you know!)

Friday, December 1, 2017

"Eat a Red Apple Day" & my Apple Dessert

Today - December 1st - is "Eat a Red Apple Day", so I thought it would also be a great day to share with you one of my family's favorite apple recipes. 

I live in Michigan . . . otherwise known as Apple Country, so I have to have at least one go-to apple recipe! For me, it is my Apple Dessert . . . I know, not an incredible name, but it does taste incredible! It is very simple to make and if your family likes apples, it is a dessert they are sure to love!

Josh McDowell's 7 Principles for Building Relationships with Our Grandchildren - #1 - Affirmation

A year ago at the first-ever Legacy Coalition Legacy
Grandparenting Summit, Josh McDowell spoke about how to build a relationship with our grandchildren. He shared seven principles for doing this, so each day for the coming seven days, we will share one with you. Today the principle is Affirmation . . . 

(Please share this series with the grandmas - and grandpas/parents - you know!)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Make a Real & Powerful Difference in the Lives of Your Grandchildren!

It truly matters for us to tell our grandchildren - and to show them - how much we love them no matter their age or location. Make it a priority today to call, email or visit your grandchildren just to tell them how much you love them - it will make a real and powerful difference!

(This is from my new facebook page for Grandmas with Heart. A group of grandmas - Linda Ransom Jacobs, Sherry Schumann, Cathy Jacobs, Deb delVillar, Naomi Murray and myself - have joined together to produce resources which will equip and empower grandmas (and grandpas and parents) to hand down a heritage of faith. We are working to find publishers who will "get on-board" with us so this project will be able to move forward - it would be tremendously helpful for as many people as possible to "like/follow" the Grandmas with Heart facebook page  (https://www.facebook.com/Grandmas-with-Heart-130560861034115/and our twitter account (@gm2heart) Please help us spread the news!)

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Shaun is the winner of one photo blanket of their choice from  Collage.com (You will find the review at this link). Thank you Shaun for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me - lyndagcj@gmail.com - by December 5, 2017 - so I am able to send your prize to you) and thank you Collage.com for sending blankets for me to review and give away!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

New Logo!

I thought it might be nice after five years to update grandma's cookie jar's logo . . . so, it is just a bit different . . . what do you think?  
I made it for free and am able to use it for free as long as I give credit to the site where I made it . . . which I'm happy to do. I made this logo at - https://logomakr.com. If you need a logo, not only will you be able to design and make your own logo, but use it as well - as long as you give credit!

By the way - do you like it better in blue or red?

What is Your Favorite Cookie & Please Help Spread the News!

What cookie do you make the most for your grandchildren? At my house the favorites are straight up peanut butter and peanut butter toll house!

This is from my new facebook page for Grandmas with Heart. A group of grandmas - Linda Ransom Jacobs, Sherry Schumann, Cathy Jacobs, Deb delVillar, Naomi Murray and myself - have joined together to produce resources which will equip and empower grandmas (and grandpas and parents) to hand down a heritage of faith. We are working to find publishers who will "get on-board" with us so this project will be able to move forward - it would be tremendously helpful for as many people as possible to "like/follow" the Grandmas with Heart facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Grandmas-with-Heart-130560861034115/) and our twitter account (@gm2heart) Please help us spread the news!

Crafting with grandma - Snowman Ornaments . . . Clothespin Snowman!

Last year my grandsons made a simple, but fun - and very cool - snowman ornament. The only supplies they needed were clothespins, white paint, permanent ink markers, orange felt and scraps of cloth.

They painted the clothespins white and let them dry. Once they were dry, they drew simple faces, glued on a felt carrot nose and then we tied a strip of cloth on them for scarves. Voila! Snowmen ornaments!

These ornaments clip on to the tree branches and make a fun addition to any tree!

I Have A Winner & Another Giveaway Tomorrow on November 30, 2017

I'm happy to say Tina (with a granddaughter) is the winner of  one  Nanea - American Girl Beforever Doll (You will find the review at this link). Thank you Tina for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me -  lyndagcj@gmail.com - by December 4, 2017 - so I am able to send your prize to you) and thank you American Girl for sending one for me to review and give away!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Share God's Word - You Are Able to Depend Upon It!

There are many things in life which we are not able to depend upon, but God's Word is NOT one of those things! It absolutely WILL accomplish what He planned for it; so be intentional and faithful about sharing it with your grandchildren!

(This photo is from Grandmas with Heart - please check them out at this link and share them with the people you know.)

Crafting with grandma - Snowman Ornaments . . . Spool Snowman!

It is reasonably safe to say by now I've established I LOVE Christmas! It is also reasonably safe to say you all likely know I enjoy making ornaments . . . and if there is a snowman involved I will be very happy! So, when I was browsing on Pinterest and saw some cute, easy ornaments with snowmen options, well . . . I had to share them with you!

I Have A Winner & Another Giveaway Tomorrow on November 29, 2017

I'm happy to say Gala is the winner of one Folkmanis Donald Duck Puppet (You will find the review at this link). Thank you Gala for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me -  lyndagcj@gmail.com - by December 3, 2017 - so I am able to send your prize to you) and thank you Folkmanis for sending one for me to review and give away!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Your Example is Powerful & Makes a Real & Lasting Difference

The best gift you will give your grandchildren is the example of what it looks like to live life as someone who loves God with their all and loves others - grandparents are the second-most influential people in the lives of their grandchildren (second only to parents), so your example is powerful and truly does make a real and lasting difference!

(This photo is from Grandmas with Heart - please check them out at this link and share them with the people you know.)

Crafting with grandma - Snowman Ornaments . . . Melted Snowmen!

When it comes to making Christmas ornaments, I love two things - a project which is simple enough for my grandsons to enjoy and a project which results in a fun snowman! Today I'm very happy to share with you one of my favorite ornaments which meets both of these "requirements" . . . melted snowman ornaments!

I Have A Winner & Another Giveaway Tomorrow on November 28, 2017

I'm happy to say Jennifer McLeod is the winner of one Shutterfly 50x60 Sherpa Fleece Photo Blanket (You will find the review at this link). Thank you Jennifer for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me -  lyndagcj@gmail.com - by December 2, 2017 - so I am able to have your prize sent to you) and thank you Shutterfly for sending one for me to review and give away!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Time Spent on a Grandma's Laptop is Time Well Spent!

If you live near your grandchildren make time to spend some "laptime" with them in the coming week - put your arms around them and tell them how much you love them! Tell them how thankful you are God gave them to you and how you know He knew what He was doing when He created them! "Laptime" like this has value which lasts a lifetime.

Crafting with grandma - Snowman Ornaments . . . Knit Snowmen!

Even though we do not yet have snow here in Michigan, I thought it would be fun to share another snowman ornament craft with you. 

Five years ago on grandma's cookie jar I held an ornament contest. Many of you shared your favorite ornament craft with us and one of you was Lori Layne. Lori shared a craft and said, "I made this ornament last Christmas. It is a simple knit and fun to send in the mail to those you love!"

Lori sent me the link for a free Ravelry pattern;  free Ravelry download A fluffy snowman card, knitted in garter stitch using a textured double knitting and oddments of 4 ply. If you would like to knit a gathering of snowmen ornaments, check this link!

I Have A Winner & Another Giveaway Tomorrow on November 27, 2017

I'm happy to say Latanya is the winner of The Twelve Days of Christmas in Michigan or whichever available State you might choose (You will find the review at this link). Thank you Latanya for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email your address -  lyndagcj@gmail.com - by December 1, 2017 - so I am able to have your prize sent to you) and thank you Sterling Children's Books for sending one for me to review and give away!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Beard Hats - the Hat for 2017!

Each year I make a special hat for my grandsons . . . we do live in Michigan and it does get cold here during the winter . . . I want their sweet heads to stay warm! 

Crafting with grandma - Snowman Ornaments . . . Handprint Snowmen!

Christmas is just around the corner - if you, like my six-year-old grandson keep track of the number of days until Christmas - it is 30 to go as of today, November 25th! So, if you are looking for an idea for an ornament which your grandchildren can actually make, I thought I'd go back into my "archives" of ideas and found this fun ornament I originally found on Pinterest!

I Have Two Winners & Another Giveaway Tomorrow on November 26, 2017

I'm happy to say Jan Harpe is the winner of both 
Howard Wallace, P.I and Shadow of a Pug - Howard Wallace,  (You will find the review at this linkand Kellyr78 is the winner of one Minnie Mouse Puppet (You will find the review at this link). Thank you Jan and Kelly for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email your address -  lyndagcj@gmail.com - by November 30, 2017 - so I am able to have your prizes sent to you) and thank you Sterling Children's Books and Folkmanis for sending these for me to review and give away!