Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pass on the Faith with a Sticky-Note Bible Tool!

My eight-year old grandson recently made the choice to start reading his Bible – this made me so happy! So, I decided to get him some of those narrow  strip sticky notes. I gave them to him and told him to use them when he reads something he does not understand to mark where it is. Then, when he is home, he can ask his parents what the verses mean and when he is at my house, he can ask his poppa or me.

I’m thrilled he has decided to read his Bible, but I want him to understand what he reads and I know there will be many passages he is likely to find confusing. I think the sticky notes will be an easy way for him to engage with his parents and poppa and me with the goal of understanding God’s Word.

This is a simple idea you could use with your grandchildren. Give them sticky note tabs and tell them to mark what they do not understand and then talk about it with their parents and/or you. If our goal is to have them develop a walk with God of their own and for them to read and understand God’s Word on their own, then equipping them with tools to help them do these things is part of what we must do. This is one very easy “tool” we can give them!

I Have a Winner & Another Giveaway in Two Weeks!

I’m happy to say Leann Fraas is the winner of the book; Make Your Own Magic Tricks! (You’ll find my full review at this link.) Thank you Leann for reading grandma’s cookie jar (please email me your address at lyndagcj@gmail.com by March 6, 2017, 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!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Birthday Month Giveaway on May 5, 2017 - Thousand Star Hotel

Over the years I’ve been blessed to be able to review quite  few books from Sterling Children’s Books – they recently invited me to review one of their new releases – and I’m very happy to share it with you today . . . and announce a giveaway for one as well!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

"Stick" With God!

Yesterday, when our grandsons were at our house, we did a simple and fun science project. Each boy received a balloon – this insured the success of the project as they each were very happy to have their own balloon! We had the boys rub their balloons on the floor or their hair and then hold them a little above their hair and a piece of tissue paper. They were quite happy to see how static electricity made their hair and the tissue paper stick to their balloons. We talked about how they could make the choice to “stick” to God . . . and talked about how Daniel chose to stick to God, even when it meant he was going to be fed to lions.

This simple science project gave me the opportunity to talk with my grandsons about their walk with God – it is my hope whenever they see static electricity and/or balloons throughout their lives, they will think about how they can choose to “stick” to God!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Grandma's Brag Book!

When I first became a grandma, a friend gave me a small photo album, so I could fill it with photos - a "grandma's brag book". But, in the past few years, facebook has become the, "new grandma's brag book" as we upload and share our photos with family and friends.
We all have a favorite photo which captures a moment in time with our grandchildren and us . . . or two, or more favorites, so today I'm sharing one of my favorites with you. This is from two years ago. My grandsons had been outside playing in the pool, the sprinkler, with squirt guns, and the garden hose; they came in dripping wet. They walked up on either side of me, and I thought I was going to get a sweet kiss, but my two, sweet rascals raspberried me instead . . . which of course, they found to be extremely funny! I still laugh when I see this photo - it makes my heart happy!
Photos like this are reminders, sweet memories, and we all have our favorites! Please share one of your favorite photos of you and your grandchildren - or if you'd rather not post a photo, please describe one of your favorites!

Friday, February 24, 2017

crafting with grandma - 3-D Hand Rocks!

I wanted to find a fun craft idea to share with you today, so I spent some time browsing on Pinterest. I have to say I’m really happy with the idea I found – I will definitely be trying this with my grandsons!

I have tried drawing 3-D hands on paper before, but never thought about trying it on a rock – I love the way it looks! Simple and the finished product is sure to be noticed!

You’ll find all the info you need to try this with your grandchildren at this link – not only is it fun, but you’ll be able to have another unique way to “capture” their hand size in a memorable way!

Now . . . to find some rocks!


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Making the Most of My Time & 30-Minute Cinnamon Sugar Knots!

I am a very blessed grandma, for several reasons. First, of course, because of the three, sweet, rascal boys who are my grandsons! These three boys make my heart happy with the sweet – and rascally – things they say and do. But the reason above all which reminds me of how very blessed I am is because of all the time I am able to spend with these boys; I know there are many grandparents who do not live close enough to their grandchildren to see them often.

So, because I am so blessed to be able to see my grandsons and spend time with them pretty much every week, I want to make the most of this time I’ve been given. To this end I am sure to read to and with my grandsons, we play games, work on crafts, learn from God’s Word, pray and have fun together.

My grandsons sleepover either on Friday or Saturday night most weeks, so I always fix a good breakfast for my sweet boys – part of my making the most of the time we have together . . . I want them to remember their grandma made a tasty breakfast for them on sleepover mornings. Often their breakfast includes monkey bread (a favorite), cinnamon rolls or cinnamon sprinkle toast and cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon and decaf coffee or cocoa. Yes, my sweet grandsons love cinnamon!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

“Kisses make everything better!”

This past weekend when my grandsons were at my house for a sleepover, my youngest grandson told me; “Kisses make everything better!” I tend to agree without any reason other than it sounds wonderful to me, but I do think there are a few reasons why this little three year old believes this . . . when not too long ago he told me, “Kisses are weird!” (I think he was influenced by his older brothers with this one, as they love to be sweet rascals and say this to me!)

But, back to the reasons why, “Kisses make everything better!” . . .

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Important Truth for Me to Know & Teach My Grandsons

I grew up in an area of the country where there were churches on almost every corner, the streets were tree-lined and the time seemed – by today’s standards – like a much more simple time. My family and I went to church every Sunday – as did most of the families I knew. The church I went to was filled with wonderful, kind people, but while the people were wonderful and kind and God’s Word was taught, so was a “brand” of heresy which we did not see as heresy then . . . and far to often do not see it as such today.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mid-Winter Break, Sleepovers, Church, Non-Boring Grandma, Legos, Cookies & Happiness!

My grandsons have today and tomorrow off from school, because of a mid-winter break . . . so, of course, this means an extra night of sleepover at grandma's house! The boys spent Saturday night and Sunday night here - so I do not have a lot of time to write today.

But, I wanted to let you know about some wonderful things they have said which have made my heart happy . . . yesterday the boys went to church with their Poppa and I. On the way home they said they loved going to church! Caleb (five years old) said he loves God and he loves going to God's house! I'm very happy about this!

Today the boys said their grandma (me) is definitely NOT boring! I, of course, am very happy to hear this!

The boys are now playing with legos - and telling me about all the space ships they are building - and I'm about to make cookies . . . an empty cookie jar is a definite "no-no" - one I plan to remedy with peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!

Mid-winter break is a lot of fun!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Scary Giant Monster

Through the years my grandsons and I have enjoyed making up our own stories. We have had stories about "George the Bear", One-eyed Monsters and Super Josiah, Super Caleb ad Super Shane. As grandma, I love when my grandsons make up a story . . . their imaginations always leave me laughing!

Facebook has a feature I really love - it is the "On this Day" feature where it shows me things I posted on this day in previous years. Apparently, on this day four years ago I shared a story my then four-year-old grandson Josiah made up. When I read it again this morning I knew I had to share it with you - get ready to laugh . . . and grandmas take "warning" . . . this story is, "dangerous for grandmas"!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Believe! God Hears, Listens to & Answers Our Prayers!

For years I have heard people talk about how God has “given” them a word to focus upon for the coming year, but I did not personally feel like I had a “word” from God for me. This changed this year. This year whenever I read the Bible, hear a sermon or just see what God is doing in the lives of the people I know and love, the word which keeps coming to my mind is, “believe”.

We are only half way through the month of February, but so far this year I have been able to see how God is answering prayers! My heart is overflowing with joy at how God is doing what He said He would do . . . look at Jeremiah 29:11-14a . . .

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Help Your Grandchildren Love God's Word with the NIV Investigator's Holy Bible - I'm Giving One Away!

As you have likely gathered from reading just a few of the posts on grandma’s cookie jar, it matters very much to me to be intentional about passing on a heritage of faith to my grandchildren. What will anything else I might do or gain in life matter if my grandchildren do not grow to love, know and walk with God? I know what truly matters in life and this is why I am focused upon passing on a heritage of faith to my grandchildren.

There are several things I do to pass on my faith – I pray for my grandchildren (one resource I use to help me be consistent and focused in praying is my Deeper In books which help me pray through Scripture for my grandchildren. You’ll find out more about them at this link.) I also use Science,the Bible & Fun with my grandchildren – this is a book which gives me 52 weeks of science projects, activities, Bible adventures and time in prayer journals with my grandsons. (I wrote this resource, too and you will find it at this link.) If you want to be intentional in passing on faith to your grandchildren, these resources will help you.

But today I’m writing about another resource which will help you be intentional in passing on a heritage of faith to your grandchildren. This resource is the Bible. Yes, the Bible. As grandparents, we clearly read the Bible to our grandchildren while they are young, but there has to come a point in their lives where they make the choice to read the Bible for themselves. They will not grow in their walk with God, if they do not become people who read God’s Word for themselves.

I have been very intentional about sharing God’s Word with my grandsons. We have been learning about Jehoshaphat, Josiah, Noah and Daniel so far this year during Science, the Bible & Fun – in two weeks we will begin our month of learning about Caleb. We have Scripture blessings which we learn and say at meals and bedtime on sleepovers. My grandsons are able to see how my own Bible is underlined and has notes in the margins (I recently transferred all my notes to my new Bible – the Journal the Word Bible from Zondervan – you’ll find my review of it at this link.)

So, yesterday when my oldest grandson told me he has started reading his Bible I 
could not be happier! He began at Genesis 1:1 (a very good place to begin!) and is up to chapter six. He told me; “I started reading my Bible and it is way more interesting than I thought it would be!” This boy is a reader – he is currently reading Lord of the Rings, several other chapter books and some science project books – he is eight years old! I am SO happy he is reading his Bible and is enjoying it!

I recently was invited by Zonderkid to review a new Bible for children – which I’m 
going to share with you today. If you are looking for a Bible you could give to your grandchildren to help them develop the habit of reading God’s Word, this Bible is an excellent choice!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It Is Bake for Family Fun Month - Let's Bake Some Cookies!

Yes, February is, "Bake for Family Fun Month" . . . and since it is typically a chilly month, it tends to be a wonderful time to "fire up" the oven and bake some, "family fun"! Around this grandma's house, there are few things more "fun" than baking a batch of homemade cookies! So, today I'm happy to share with you one of my grandsons' favorite cookies . . . 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I Have a Winner & Another Giveaway in Two Weeks!

I’m happy to say Jan Harpe is the winner of the book; Crocodaddy! (You’ll find my full review at this link.) Thank you Jan for reading grandma’s cookie jar (please email me your address at lyndagcj@gmail.com by February 21, 2017, 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!

Focusing Upon God's Faithful Love!

At my house we use a Scripture passage as a “blessing” for our grandsons. We say it at meals and bedtime when the boys are here for sleepovers. So far we have used Proverbs 3:5, 6; Jeremiah 29:11-14a, Galatians 5:22 – 24 and now we are focusing on Psalm 92. We use a passage until we believe God would have us focus on something else with the boys . . . which means we might go back and reuse previous passages from time to time. We talk about the passage for our blessing, what it means and how we live it in our lives, so every time the boys hear it, they know exactly what we are talking about.

Today being Valentine's Day, and the day when we think about love, it seems appropriate to share our current passage with you - with the focus on God's faithful love for us – and how I have “paraphrased” it so my young grandsons will understand.

Monday, February 13, 2017

365 Ways to Say "I Love You" to Your Kids

Resources. We are always looking for resources to help us be more effective in raising our grandchildren and in passing on a heritage of faith to them. So, I'm very happy to share one such resource with you today . . . 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

grandma's chuckles - "I'm Not Just Copying You; I Really Mean It!"

Last night Caleb gave me a hug, I smiled and said; "I sure do love you! You make my heart so happy!" Then he got the biggest smile ever on his sweet face gave me another hug and said; "I sure do love you and you make my heart happy, too! I'm not just copying you, I really mean it!" Did I mention this sweet boy makes my heart happy?!! 

This interaction with my sweet grandson reminded me once again of how important our words are. These simple words telling him I love him and he makes my heart happy, put such a big smile on his face – as did his sweet words back to me put a big smile on my face! Words are powerful; this is absolutely the truth. Our words can communicate love and value, or bring pain.

As you go through this day, and the coming days with the focus on “love” with Valentine’s Day, be aware of the power of your words and intentional in how you choose your words.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Special Giveaway on May 1, 2017 - found: Psalm 23

Almost six years ago I began writing a little blog . . . I wanted to share fun things to do with the children you love as well as share how to pass on a heritage of faith to them. For almost six years now I’ve been sharing crafts, recipes, book reviews and ideas for passing faith; how to pray for and with the children you love and how to open God’s Word and engage them in learning how they can know and walk with Jesus.

I’ve also been blessed to be able to review books, toys, pens, and so much more . . . and give many of them away as well! While I have giveaways all year long, my two big giveaways are during the month of November with my Christmas reviews and giveaways (typically I give away 20 – 24 items) and the month of May with my Birthday Month of Giveaways (grandma’s cookie jar began on May 9, 2011). I love being able to give things away, so I enjoy the giveaways!

I have begun the work of lining up items for my Birthday Month of Giveaways – items which work well for Mother’s Day, Graduation, Children’s Day (yes, it is a real holiday the second Sunday in June each year) and Father’s Day. Typically I begin to announce the giveaways in April with the drawings in May, but this year I have a couple items I’ve just received for review which would be wonderful to include in the Birthday Month of Giveaways, so today I’m happy to let you know about one of them . . .

Thursday, February 9, 2017

grandma's bookshelf - Make Your Own Magic Tricks - I'm Giving One Away

A couple weeks ago, when my grandsons were at my house, I received a book from Sterling Children's Books to review. The boys were interested in this book right away . . . for good reason! It is titled; Make Your Own Magic Tricks. 

As we looked through the book we talked about the "rules" for Magicians; especially the "don't tell your secrets" rule. But, then Josiah, eight years old, said; "Well, magicians do not tell how they do their tricks unless they are Penn and Teller . . . then they have to 'tell', because they are Penn and 'Teller'!" He is a funny boy for sure!

At any rate, I'm happy to let you know about Make Your Own Magic Tricks today - and announce a giveaway as well!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Please Make My "Grandma Challenge" Your Own

I admit it. I thought after the elections, this past November, things would settle down. Friends and family would move on from posting so many political posts and memes on facebook and while some of my family and friends would be happy with the election and others would not, everyone would do what we always do and move on with our lives.

But not this time. This time there is no end to political posts and memes on facebook. This time people are posting very angry things – even calling people they love as well as those they do not know terrible names. This time people are protesting. This time we do not seem to be able to move on with our lives.

I’m saddened by this, because it does not help or benefit any of us – and I do believe it damages the children we love for them to sit back and watch and listen as the adults in their lives continue to be so angry and hateful to anyone who does not share their opinions.

So, with these things in mind – and without getting into politics – I would like to share with you my, “Grandma’s Challenge”. What is my, “Grandma’s Challenge”, you ask? Well, it is something I am going to observe in my life and I’d like to encourage you to do the same . . . whether you are a grandma, or not.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I Have a Winner & Another Giveaway in Seven Days

I’m happy to say Leela is the winner of Atlas of Oddities. (You’ll find my full review at this link.) Thank you Leela for reading grandma’s cookie jar (please email me your address at lyndagcj@gmail.com by February 14, 2017, 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!

crafting with grandma . . . Stained Glue Valentines Day Hearts!

From time to time I browse on Pinterest to look for ideas of projects I might try with my grandsons. A few years ago I found a wonderful craft which is perfect for Valentines Day - Stained Glue Valentines Day Hearts - and today I'm happy to share it with you! This craft would be great fun to make with your grandchildren over several days - and would make wonderful gifts for them to give to their parents, teachers or to anyone on their Valentines Day list!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Get Ready for February 15th!

I know I write this every year, but it is a good reminder and, in case you are new to grandma's cookie jar - great info to have as a grandma, for sure! Valentines Day is just eight days away . . . as you know. It is an opportunity to create some special memories with things like giving them Valentine's Day cards, havig a special Heart Hunt (hide hearts in your home or outside - weather permitting - and let the grandchildren find them) giving small gifts or even a Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt - I think I'll do this with my grandsons. Certainly a fun day to celebrate - especially with grandchildren!

But, for all the fun February 14th brings, don't forget the wonderful opportunities which are possible on February 15th . . . yes, February 15th! And what, "opportunities" might these be? Well, the opportunity to stock up on sweet heart-shaped treats, because on February 15th the Valentine's Day candies go on sale!

This year February 14th is on a Tuesday, so mark your calendar for Wednesday, February 15th and plan to visit your favorite store . . . just think of all the fun things you could do over the coming months with heart-shaped lollipops, heart-shaped chocolates, heart-shaped conversation candies, etc!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

just for fun - February is Bird Feeding Month

February is Bird Feeding Month! According to the website, "Days of the Year", "Bird-Feeding Month was established in 1994 by John Porter, a man who so cared about the health and welfare of the birds that he read a resolution into the Congressional record. 'I would like to recognize February, one of the most difficult months in the United States for wild birds, as National Bird-Feeding Month.' These were the words he spoke to the Speaker of the House, recognizing the importance of birds both in our ecology, as well as the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Nothing says spring like the singing voices of our favorite wild birds."

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Most Important Thing I Can Do as a Grandma . . .

As a grandma there are many things I do for and with my grandsons. Of course I bake cookies . . . I do believe a grandma’s cookie jar should never be empty when the boys are in the house! We play games – from hide-and-seek when they were little (it always made me laugh when I’d count and then say; “Ready or not, here I come! Oh where, oh where could my sweet boys be?” and then they would say; “Under the table.”, or “In the closet!” or wherever they were, “hiding”!) to now playing chess with Josiah – he likes to play chess with me, because he nearly always wins!

We make crafts, we cook, we read books, we write our own stories and we do fun things like candy cane hunts. We also read God’s Word together, journal in our prayer/thankful journals, do science projects together and we pray together.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

grandma's chuckles - Josiah, grandma & the Quaker Oats Man

"grandma's chuckles" are the things which make me chuckle . . . you know, the things your children and grandchildren say and do which bring a smile to your face and make your heart happy! These are the things I don't want to forget, so I'm writing them down and sharing them with you . . . I hope they bring a smile to your face, make your heart happy and cause you to chuckle, too . . . whether you are a grandma or not! :^) Enjoy!

So, for my first "chuckles" . . . 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

just for fun . . . A Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt!

I love to have fun with my grandsons – especially when it comes to celebrating anything! So, when I browsed Pinterest today, I saw an idea which absolutely “qualifies” as “fun” . . . it is now on my “list” of “grandma’s fun things to do to celebrate Valentine’s Day”! You may want to add it to your list, too!

grandma's cookbook - French Silk Chocolate Mousse Pie

I love fixing the menu of choice for family members on their birthdays! My daughter-in-law's birthday is a couple weeks away and she has requested a chocolate mousse pie. I have been wanting to try making a French Silk Chocolate Mousse Pie for some time - one without raw eggs, so today I looked on-line and found a recipe, which I'm sharing with you today. You will find it at this link.

I will probably fix this pie for my daughter-in-law's birthday . . . unless any of you know of a better recipe! If you do, please share a link below!