Saturday, September 30, 2017

2017 Christmas Gift Reviews & Giveaways Begin Tomorrow on October 1, 2017!

Yes, tomorrow - October 1st - is the day I begin my 2017 Christmas Gift Reviews & Giveaways! I'm very happy to say I have some wonderful items lined up for this year and look forward to having a lot of fun as I review and hold giveaways for these items.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Being Intentional - On Purpose

What does it mean to be an "intentional Christian grandparent"? The definition on pretty much relate to the idea of doing things on purpose. So, if we are "intentional Christian grandparents", then we do things with our grandchildren, "on purpose" and since we are Christian grandparents, we do these things on purpose to hand down our faith. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

grandma's cookbook - Chocolate, Mini-Chocolate Chip Soft Pretzels

This Saturday my grandsons and I are making soft pretzels - some to enjoy and some to share with neighbors. Our original plan was to make a double batch of pumpkin cinnamon pretzels, but the plan has changed, slightly. We are making one patch of the pumpkin cinnamon pretzels and one batch of chocolate, mini-chocolate chip pretzels! A tasty change for sure!

You'll find the recipe for the chocolate pretzels at this link - we are adding the mini-chocolate chips . . . just for fun!

We will have lots of fun making, sharing and eating soft pretzels this weekend for sure!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Puerto Rico - Pray & a Box Service Project

Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting, table and indoorAs you all know, a week ago a horrible hurricane hit the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico. Today, a week later, 95% of the people in Puerto Rico are still without power, water and so many of the things we take for granted.

A friend with family in Puerto Rico posted to facebook today - he wrote; "No power, no water . . . but still we gather. I love my island, my people and it is great to see this (my home church, the church I grew up in and got married in) gathering together for worship, for fellowship and for seeking/praising the Lord. Circumstances don't change who God is; He is faithful and He is true. Los queremos mi gente! Que Dios los bendiga y les de fuerza!"

How often do we get upset over small things (or even big things) and let them push us from the One Who loves us the most? Look at these dear people - they have lost everything and yet, they gather to praise God! Yes, it is so true - "Circumstances don't change Who God Is! He is faithful and He is true."

I Have a Winner & My 2017 Christmas Reviews & Giveaways Begin in Four Days!

I'm happy to say Latanya is the winner of Maurice the Unbeastly (You'll find my review at this link.) Thank you Layanya for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email your address to me - - by October 4, 2017, so I am able to 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.

In just four days, on October 1, 2017, my 2017 Christmas Reviews & Giveaways begins! Please join me for all the fun!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Visit to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum!

My family is blessed to live in a place where there is a wonderful children's museum nearby. The Grand Rapids Children's Museum is in downtown Grand Rapids, MI and is a place where families are able to touch, explore, experience, learn and have fun! They say they, "celebrate childhood learning and exploration!" and this is absolutely true.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Celebrating with Buckets of Water!

This past weekend we celebrated a milestone in my youngest grandson's life . . . he recently achieved being completely potty trained! A significant happening in the life of children - and a happy day for parents and grandparents for sure!

Since I love celebrating, and this is a big moment in life, we have always held a "Hooray! I'm a Big Boy Now Party" for my grandsons when they became potty trained. This grandson was quite happy to have his special party - and wanted to celebrate by dumping a bucket of water on his dad's head!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Have Fun Handing Down the Faith with Science, the Bible & Fun!

My grandsons love science projects - especially any with big, surprising results . . . like when we combine baking soda and vinegar! So, knowing I could get their attention with science projects, I wrote 52 lessons with the goal of introducing the boys to real people like Josiah, Caleb, John, Jehoshaphat, Daniel and of course, Jesus. I use science projects to introduce the point - and to help my grandsons remember the point. We keep prayer journals. We play silly games. We have fun together - hence the name; Science, the Bible & Fun!

I want my grandsons to know, love and walk with God, so to help them with this I'm intentional about doing things with them to help them learn to read their Bibles, pray and walk with God. You can do the same with Science, the Bible & Fun - check it out at this link.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Christmas & Generations Quest

Today, where I live in Michigan, it is expected to be in the 90's . . . yes, I said the 90's in late September in Michigan. No, this is not typical! (In an average year it would be around 70 degrees outside.)

So, while it is very warm out today, my thoughts are going towards Christmas. I'm thinking about the gifts I want to give my family this year. My grandsons are young (nine, six and four) and so to them, not surprisingly, great gifts tend to be tech focused or with a heavy emphasis on super heroes! And since they love rocks and fossils, should they receive any of these, they would be quite happy for sure!

It is likely my grandsons will receive gifts which put a smile on their faces, but along with those smiles I want to give them something which will have lasting value. Something which encourages their walk with God, because while tech, super heroes, rocks and fossils hold meaning for them today, anything I do which helps them grow in their walk with God has the potential to last for their lifetime.

World Alzheimer's Day

Ordinarily when I write on grandma's cookie jar, I write posts to encourage and put a smile on your face. Today is World Alzheimer's Day; this post is to educate.

Consider this fact about Alzheimer's - since 2000 deaths by heart disease have decreased by 20% while death by Alzheimer's has increased by 89% . . . yes, 89%. Few of us have lives which have not been touched by Alzheimer's - my own dear parents are dealing with it as my dad has this disease.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

grandma's cookbook - Pumpkin Soft Pretzels & Serving Others

A couple years ago I shared this recipe for Pumpkin Soft Pretzels when my grandson and I made them. Today I'm sharing it again - next weekend the boys and I are making them again . . . a double batch this time, so they will be able to combine making the pretzels (and eating them) with a service project . . . sharing them with the neighbors!

The recipe is easy to make - only takes 30 minutes - and the end result - pumpkin soft pretzels - are delicious, soft and completely delightful!

If you would like to try it, you'll find the recipe at this link.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Maurice the Unbeastly - I'm Giving One Away!

I have three grandsons - ages four, six and nine, so around this grandma's house, stories about monsters and beasts are not uncommon and are enjoyed. So, when I was invited by Sterling Children's Books to review a new book about a beast, I knew my grandsons were likely to enjoy it. 

Today I'm happy to share my review with you - and let you know my grandsons loved this book!

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Gaye Valle is the winner of Rufus Blasts Off! (You'll find my review at this link.) Thank you Gaye for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me your address at by September 27, 2017, so I am able to 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.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

HomeFront Magazine & Kindness Rocks!

I recently "met" (on-line) and became friends with Debbie Kinne Guinn - the editor of HomeFront magazine. (I was invited to write an article for the November issue.) 

HomeFront magazine is a wonderful resource for parents and grandparents - they describe themselves as; "HomeFront is a monthly magazine and parenting curriculum combined into one – based on the 10 Environments highlighted in the book Spiritual Parenting by Dr. Michelle Anthony. It is filled with recipes, craft ideas, stories, and more to inspire, equip, and support you on your parenting journey. Each magazine is divided into two sections: Family Time and Inspire, Equip, Support.

Monday, September 18, 2017

"God Knows Something We Do Not Know"

As I have mentioned before, I really love the feature on Facebook called, "On This Day". I love seeing the photos from previous years and being reminded of the fun things my grandsons said and did.

Yesterday I was reminded how last year, when my oldest grandson was seven, we were talking about prayer and how sometimes it seems like God does not hear and answer our prayers. My grandson said; "God does hear and answer our prayers, it is just He knows something we do not know, so He does not answer our prayers the way we think He should.

Yes, he was seven at the time!

This is a truth we all need to remember, and one I'm so thankful my grandsons know at this point in their young lives.

No Donuts for Talk Like a Pirate Day This Year

For the past several years, my son, daughter-in-law and grandsons have participated in National Talk Like a Pirate Day, by dressing up like pirates and stopping by their local Krispy Kreme where they were rewarded with free boxes of donuts.

We always remember this fun day, because it is also my oldest grandson's birthday, but this year Kripy Keme is not participating in National Talk Like a Pirate Day.

I will miss the photos of my son and family all dressed up as pirates, but maybe next year!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

2017 Christmas Gift Review & Giveaway!

Just in case you are wondering, yes, I plan to start my 2017 Christmas Gift Reviews October 1st and my 2017 Christmas Gift Giveaways November 1st! And, yes, I have another lovely American Girl doll to give away again this year (Nanea the new Hawaiian doll)! I also have two beautiful photo blankets - and several other great photo gifts which you will be able to personalize should you win, a candle from Yankee Candle, puppets from Folkmanis (wait until you see the big classic Mickey and Minnie puppets!!!) Bibles from Zondervan, a great collection of books and a few other items - all in all, I'm pleased with the gifts I will be able to give away again this year!

So, please be sure to join me throughout October as I review the items in this year's Christmas Gift Review and announce the giveaways - and then throughout the month of November as I give away a lot of wonderful items! It will be a lot of fun for sure.

I Have a Winner & Another Giveaway in Four Days!

I'm happy to say Arlene Cruze is the winner of the the fun book - Amazing Animal Friendships: Odd Couples in Nature  (You'll find my review at this link.) Thank you Arlene for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me your address - - by September 23, 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.

Friday, September 15, 2017

I Have No Greater Joy & the Legacy Coalition

From time-to-time I post memes from the Legacy Coalition - such as yesterday and again today. This is one they posted to their facebook page this morning and I love it so much, I had to share it with you.

If you have not checked out - and better yet, liked/followed - the Legacy Coalition's facebook page, please follow this link and do so today.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


There are many important messages our grandchildren need to receive from us, but one of the most important is the truth about how God moves our sins completely away from us when we ask Him for forgiveness. This world - and sadly, people in it - may hold things against them, but God does not. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I Have a Winner & Another Giveaway in Three Days!

I'm happy to say Gala is the winner of the yarn from Red Heart! (You'll find my review at this link.) Thank you Gala for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email me your address - - by September 21, 2017, so I can send it to you) and thank you Red Heart for sending yarn for me to review and give away.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

just for fun - Kids Take Over the Kitchen and Peanut Day!

Tomorrow - September 13th - is Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day and Peanut Day, so it seems like a great day to grab the children you love and make peanut butter chocolate chip cookie with them!

But first a few fun peanut facts . . . 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Be Intentional Because it Matters

Yesterday was Grandparent's Day - I feel like many days of the year are Grandparent's Day for me as I am blessed to see my grandchildren several times a week. And, now they are getting older I'm able to email them to connect on-line as well . . . which I enjoy!

But, aside from the joy these three boys bring me, I feel like every day is Grandparent's Day as every day I need to be a focused and intentional grandma who prays for and encourages my grandsons. I wear a photo necklace of my grandsons and each time I see it, or reach up and touch it I'm reminded to pray for them. I have a prayer journal which we fill with requests - and how God answers as well. And, I pray for them throughout each day as God brings them to mind.

Yes, every day is Grandparent's Day to be intentional when it comes to handing down the faith, because these children matter; so being intentional matters. 

You might want to consider getting the "My Declaration" art print from the Legacy Coalition to remind you to be an intentional Christian grandparent. You'll find all the details at this link.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I Have Three Winners!

I'm happy to say Tina and Leela are the winners of Deeper In 4 Grandparents & Parents, Too! Praying the Scriptures for the Children You Love - Psalms Edition and Carmen Van Deursen is the winner of two Gamer Squad books (you'll find my reviews at these links - Deeper In/Gamer Squad)

Thank you Tina, Leela and Carmen for reading grandma's cookie jar (please email your mailing address to me - - by September 17, 2017, so I can have them sent to you) and thank you Sterling Children's Books for sending the Gamer Squad books to me for review and for making an additional set available for me to give away.

Happy Grandparent's Day!

Happy Grandparent's Day!

Let's be intentional about passing on our faith throughout the coming year!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

We Are Praying For You

My grandsons had a sleepover last night and spent a good portion of today at my house - we made lots of cookies! 

But, I wanted to let you know - especially if you, or someone you love lives in the West (where there are fires), Texas, Florida, the path of Irma or in Mexico (with the earthquake) - my grandsons, their Poppa and I are praying for you. 

I asked my grandsons if they had any prayer requests for our prayer journal and my almost nine-year-old grandson said his request was for the people experiencing natural disasters.

He makes my heart happy!

We are praying for you.

Friday, September 8, 2017

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.

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.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hand Down Your Faith & Connect with the Children You Love

If you have been reading grandma's cookie jar for very long, you know passing on a heritage faith to my grandsons is something I care very, very much about. I want my grandsons to grow to be boys, then teens and one day young men who love, know and walk with God, faithfully, with all their heart.

This is the reason I wrote a resource I am using with my grandsons . . . and which you will be able to use with the children you love, as well! 
Generations Quest is a tool which will allow you, and the generations which follow you, to connect throughout a month over what matters . . . understanding and living God's Word!

Grandparents, parents and children of all ages - preschool through college age - will all read (or have read to them) one to five verses a day with a simple question to help them think about the verses they read. Families will be able to talk about what they all are reading and learning together

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Prayer for Back to School

I know I posted this last year, but with my grandsons back at school (Fourth and First Grades), 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.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Red Heart Evermore Yarn & Progress on the Hats

A couple days ago I posted a review of some yarn and announced a special early Christmas giveaway (so you would have time to get the yarn and make something or Christmas). Today I want to let you know a bit more about some of the yarn which will be in the prize pack.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Grandparents' Day & a Special Giveaway!

September 10, 2017 is Grandparent's Day . . . a day set aside to, "Honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people are able to offer".

It is also the day for the observance of the Million Praying Grandparents, with the goal of, "Mobilizing Christian grandparents worldwide to regularly and intentionally pray for their grandchildren, families, and the influences in their grandchildren’s lives." (You'll learn more about how you are able to become one of the million praying grandparents at this link.)

So, with Grandparent's Day just around the corner and the focus upon the Million Praying Grandparents, I thought it sounded like the perfect time to have a giveaway . . . I'm giving away one autographed copy of my Deeper In 4 Grandparents & Parents, Too! Praying the Scriptures for the Children You Love - Psalms Edition!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

2017 Christmas Review & Early Giveaway - Yarn!

Typically I begin announcing my Yearly Christmas reviews - and giveaways - throughout the month of October, but this year I have one which I'm announcing today . . . and for which I'm holding the giveaway. It is for yarn! Yes, yarn, because if you - like me - plan to crochet or knit gifts for family members for Christmas, you need to get started now.

Each year I crochet a hat for my grandsons. Last year I crocheted the shark hats and the year before I crocheted a fun three-eyed alien with big noses and spots! Before that I made them one-eyed monster hats, minion hats and Perry the Platypus hats. It is a good thing - a very good thing - my grandsons are not shy as if they were they would never wear the hats I make them . . . pretty much everywhere they go wearing the hats I make them, people stop them and talk to them about their hats!

Hand Me Down Hobby: Mountain Man Beard Hat just a little bigger for me. please.So, this year I'm making another fun hat for them . . . the bearded hat! Their dad has a real beard, so I thought the boys would enjoy having a hat with a beard! I found the pattern on pinterest - at this link.

I contacted Red Heart/Coats yarn and asked to review some of their yarn - they sent me a box full, so today I'm going to write about the yarn they sent and announce a giveaway as well!