Tuesday, January 31, 2017

!Day Backwards Is Today

Yes, today is Backwards Day . . . a fun silly day to celebrate with the children you love! For me I think I will celebrate this on Saturday, since my grandsons will not be at my house today, but if you want to celebrate today . . . or Saturday, consider the following fun, “Ideas Backward” which you could try with your grandchildren . . .

Monday, January 30, 2017

grandma's bookshelf - Crocodaddy . . . I'm Giving One Away!

I can always tell if one of the books I receive for review is a big “hit” with my grandsons, because when one is, it usually makes it into their backpacks to go to their house with them! Of course, I’m always happy to send books home with the boys for them to enjoy and one book I recently received for review did not stay at my house for long – I’m happy to let you know about this book today . . . and announce a giveaway for it as well!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Compassion Not Fear

This morning my pastor spoke about compassion and how God is the God of compassion. In Exodus 34 when Moses asked God who He was, God answered by saying he was; “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”

He said the first time God described who He was in the Bible, God chose to do so using the words; compassionate, gracious, love and faithfulness – along with forgiving. Wonderful words. Powerful words. Words for which I’m ever so thankful!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Be Grandparents Who Tell the Truth & Can Be Trusted

As you know, if you have been reading grandma’s cookie jar leading up to Christmas, I love celebrating Christmas with my grandsons. We start celebrating after Thanksgiving dinner and continue for the full month until Christmas. We do fun things – like Candy Cane Hunts, we make ornaments, we build snowmen . . . or snow octopus’ . . . we enjoy the celebrating at Christmastime.

But, along with the celebrating, my husband and I do something which could be considered “controversial”. We tell our grandsons the truth about Santa Claus. They are young – three, five and eight, but we tell them while the original Saint Nick was a real person who loved God and cared for others, Santa Claus is not real . . . he is just pretend.

Our grandsons know why we tell them the truth about Santa, even though they are little. It is because we want them to know we will always tell them the truth. It is because when we tell them there really is a God who created the world, and them; we want them to believe us. When we tell them this God loves them; we want them to believe us. When we tell them they need to make the choice to love, know and walk with this God; we want them to believe us. When we tell them this God hears, listens to and answers their prayers; we want them to believe us. The point is, we want our grandsons to believe us when we tell them the truth about God, so we are focused upon always telling them the truth, so they will grow up knowing they can believe and trust us.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

grandma's cookbook - French Baguettes

My family enjoys homemade bread, so whenever I make it, they are happy! A couple years ago my daughter-in-law gave me a French baguette pan, so I’ve been looking for a recipe I could use with it . . . the other day I found the perfect recipe. Today I’m sharing it with you, because even if you do not have a French baguette pan, you can make this bread in a little over an hour and it is a recipe your family will love!

You will find the recipe at this link – I change it a little in the following ways . . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Brighten Their Day & Help Them Feel Loved!

The other day when my grandsons were at my house, Caleb was sitting next to me when I told him something which had a huge impact on him. I looked at him and said; “Do you know why I know God loves me?

He looked at me and said; “Because of Heaven.”

I smiled and said; “Yes, being able to one day go to Heaven is one way I know God loves me, but do you know another reason I know He loves me?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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

Since it has been awhile since I shared a “silly holiday” with you, I thought I’d take a look and see if there were any fun, silly holidays we could celebrate today . . . and yes, there are! There are actually two which fit together quite nicely.

First, there is the, “Talk like a Grizzled Prospector Day”. Now, the 19th of September,  each year, happens to be, “Talk like a Pirate Day” – I remember this, because the 19th is also one of my grandson’s birthday and each year his parents and brothers dress up with him like pirates and they visit the local Krispy Kreme – they leave with a “booty” of a dozen donuts (each) which they receive for free for dressing and talking like pirates! It is a lot of fun and I receive a great photo of them all each year!

At any rate, “Talk like a Grizzled Prospector Day” is today, and while there are not any free donuts available for you to “discover”, I did find a link online for how you can talk like a grizzled prospector. Here are a few prospector-type words and their definitions . . . and you’ll find the complete list at this link.

It is All About to Change!!!

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

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

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

However; this is all about to change!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Atlas of Oddities - I'm Giving One Away!

My eight-year old grandson loves to read. I mean, he really LOVES to read! A couple weeks ago his dad shared a photo on facebook of the books he found in his son’s bed . . . books he is reading. One of the books was The Lord of the Rings . . . yes, The Lord of the Rings!!! Yes, I said he is eight years old!

This is why when I look for books to review with him in mind, I look for books which will capture his attention. Books which will challenge him to think. So, when I saw Sterling Children’s Books had a new book available titled; Atlas of Oddities, I thought it would interest my grandson . . . it definitely does! Today I’m happy to share this book with you – and announce a giveaway as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Being Intentional

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

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

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

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What Will They Remember?

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

Friday, January 20, 2017

An Inconvenient Truth

Okay, I’m about to share a truth with you which you may not want to think about. Ready??? Here it is . . . you are not getting any younger. No matter how much you try to fool the mirror, the truth is, you are not getting any younger – neither am I.

And, neither are our grandchildren.

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

I Have a Winner!

I’m happy to say Karen is the winner of the NIV Journal the Word Bible Large Print Edition. (You’ll find my full review at this link.) Thank you Karen for reading grandma’s cookie jar (please email me your address at lyndagcj@gmail.com by January 27, 2017, so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Zondervan for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A "Real" Red Elephant, God's Faithful Love & Trust!

Today I want to share something with you once again, which I originally wrote a year ago, and then add a few more thoughts. Last year I wrote . . .
“My three grandsons are young; seven, four and two years old. I love these ages, because they are just the right size for time in grandma’s lap – which of course, just fills my heart with joy! I know when my own children were young, they were the same way, but as they grew up, “lap time” came to an end. So, I treasure these few years when my grandsons are young. I enjoy the things they say and do which make me laugh and I love opportunities to snuggle them in my lap. 
Because they are still young, there are times when this is more clear than others. Today I’m going to share one such time with you. My grandsons typically spend Friday night at their Poppa’s and my house for a sleepover. Last Friday, Caleb (four years old) brought his red elephant toy/pillow with him. It reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit, so I’m quoting a bit for you . . .

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

grandma's cookbook - Potato Soup in the Slow-Cooker

I love cooking with my slow-cooker and I love a nice, hearty, soup – especially on a cold, winter’s evening. It is pretty wonderful when you are able to combine these three things . . . or at least two of them, because this year it is not really so very cold here in Michigan . . . it is 37 as I write this and expected to reach 55 in a couple days.

At any rate, when you can combine these things, it makes for a wonderful meal for family – any time of year! So, when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for a potato soup which you make in the slow-cooker, I had to check it out!

The recipe looks pretty simple (you'll find it at this link) – chop potatoes, veggies and add cubed ham, cook for a few hours, add a little flour, cream and sour cream – cook a bit longer and voila! Soup!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

grandma's cookbook - Pizza!

My grandsons find pizza to be a treat they enjoy . . . no big surprise, but one grandsons in particular; my five-year old grandson, LOVES pizza! On his birthday when he gets to choose the menu, he chooses pizza. When it is not his birthday and he is at my house, he asks – ever so sweetly – if we can have pizza! Yes, he is a big fan of pizza.

Sometimes we order pizza, but other times I like to involve my grandsons in helping me make our own pizza, so last week I decided to make pizza and wanted to try a new recipe I found for the pizza crust. I have to say, the crust recipe is excellent – you’ll find it at this link. It is really easy to prepare and bakes up tender and just perfectly!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Gabriela, the 2017 American Girl Doll Girl of the Year™ - I'm Giving One Away in May!

Friday the delivery truck brought a box to my door – inside was the new American Girl Doll Girl of the Year – Gabriela! So, today I’m very happy to announce, once again on May 24, 2017 I will be giving an American Girl Doll away – this time it is the very lovely Gabriela!

I Have a Winner & Another Giveaway in Five Days

I’m happy to say Leela is the winner of the book; God Made You Nose to Toes! (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 January 24, 2017, so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Choose to Be an Intentional Christian Grandparent who Trusts God

Recently I wrote about trust, and what it looks like for my grandsons to learn to trust God by trusting me and my love for them. But, as I read in 1 and 2 Peter today I was challenged to think about what it looks like for grandparents to trust God. To really, sincerely trust Him.

The world we live in is at times frightening. At other times there is a fair amount of uncertainty - we wonder what things will be like for our grandchildren as they grow up in a world which is increasingly moving farther and farther away from God.

I know there is nothing more important to me than to be able to see my grandsons choose to love, know and walk with God. How could anything else be more important?

It can be too easy for us to think no one cares as much as we do about our grandchildren choosing to love, know and walk with God; and may even think God does not care as much as we do. But nothing can be further from the truth. God does care. He cares the most; even more than we do.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Grandparents Can Make a Difference - By Being Intentional Christian Grandparents

Yes, I originally shared this with you this past November after the first-ever Legacy Grandparenting Summit, but since I've been writing about how grandparents can make a difference in the lives of their grandchildren, I decided I wanted to share the Intentional Christian Grandparenting Declaration with you once again. Larry Fowler challenged us with this in his general session that Tuesday evening (November 15, 2016) - is it not how you feel as an Intentional Christian Grandparent? Watch this video . . . 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Grandparents Can Make a Difference . . . By Helping Their Grandchildren Know God

I’ve been writing about how grandparents absolutely can make a real, significant and important difference in the lives of their grandchildren – they can point them to Jesus and they can regularly and faithfully pray for their grandchildren. Doing these things absolutely makes a real and significant difference in the lives of their grandchildren. Today I want to write about another thing we must do . . . help our grandchildren have open eyes so they are able to identify how God works in their lives, develop a thankful heart and remember all He has done for them.

Throughout the Old Testament we see how generations of Israelites grew up who did not know God or remember what He did for them. When this happened, they fell away and no longer followed God.  Just a casual look at the world around us shows how this is happening once again – generations have come along where they do not know God or remember all He has done for them.

I want my grandchildren to know God. I want them to have open eyes, so they are able to identify how He works in their lives. I want them to have thankful hearts and I want them to remember all God does for them – which is an essential part of them having thankful hearts. So, I’m going to share with you some of the things I’m doing with my grandsons to help them with these things . . .

Thursday, January 12, 2017

just for fun - Let's Have a Heart Hunt!

Valentine’s Day is just about a month away, so if you are looking for a fun idea you could try with your grandchildren; consider holding a “heart hunt”. What is a “heart hunt” you ask? Well . . . think Easter egg hunt, or like I wrote about last month, a Candy Cane hunt, but substitute small paper or foam hearts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Grandparents Can Make a Difference . . . By Praying for Their Grandchildren

Yesterday I wrote about one way grandparents absolutely can make a real, significant and important difference in the lives of their grandchildren – they can point them to Jesus. I shared a simple way we can do this . . . by reading books to and with our grandchildren and let you know about several of my favorite books I like to read with my grandsons.

Today I want to point out another important and essential thing we can do as 
grandparents to make a real, significant and important difference in the lives of our grandchildren . . . we can – and must – pray for and with them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Grandparents Can Make a Difference . . . By Pointing Their Grandchildren to Jesus!

If you read the Legacy Coalition facebook page, you have likely noticed, and probably enjoy, the photos or memes, which are posted, typically, a couple times a week. I have several which are favorites . . . I especially like the one of the grandpa holding a grandchild and says; “Grandparents, the Original Laptop!
 
The other day they posted one of a grandpa holding a baby and it said; “One Grandparent Can Make a Difference”. This is absolutely true. Grandparents absolutely can make a difference, so for the next few days, I’m going to share with you some of the ways we can make a real, lasting and important difference in the lives of our grandchildren; starting with . . . we make a difference in pointing our grandchildren to Jesus!

I Have a Winner & Another Giveaway in Five Days!

I’m happy to say Jessica B is the winner of I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug! (You’ll find my full review at this link). Thank you Jessica for reading grandma’s cookie jar (please email me your address at lyndagcj@gmail.com by January 17, 2017, so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Monday, January 9, 2017

I'm Giving Away a Book Tomorrow

Tomorrow, on January 10, 2017, I’m giving away a fun new book . . . one copy of, I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug! You’ll find my full review at this  link  along with all the details for entering the drawing! You still have time to enter . . . someone will win . . . maybe it will be you! 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Fun with the Boys Which Really Matters

My grandsons were at our house for their weekly sleepover this past Friday night, so Saturday morning, after our usual breakfast of monkey bread, bacon and scrambled cheesy eggs, we spent time doing Science, the Bible & Fun. The boys did a fun experiment with cooking oil, water, food coloring and Alka Seltzer tablets . . . they LOVED the “explosions” – we will do this project again for sure . . . we learned about the eight-year old boy named Josiah who became king so long ago, how he made the choice to obey, what we can learn about obeying from King Josiah and we worked on the boy’s prayer journals.

It was a fun morning – filled with many things which make this grandma’s heart “sing”, but the thing which still has me so happy is when my sweet Caleb (five years old) climbed into my lap, looked at me, smiled his biggest smile and said; “Grandma, I love you and I love Jesus, too!

I love to spend time with my grandsons, but beyond having them over each week 
because I like to be with them, I do this because I want them to be boys who choose to love, know and walk with Jesus - now and throughout their lives. If having them over and spending time with things like Science, the Bible & Fun give me the opportunity to help them learn more about God, then it is well worth the time - there is nothing I could do with my time which matters more.

Friday, January 6, 2017

What Matters Most

My father-in-law died a few days ago; his funeral is today. Understandably, this has 
caused me to think about a couple of things as they relate to my family. First, the legacy of my husband’s dad . . . and his mom who died two years ago. My husband is the most sweet, kind, patient, loving person I have ever known. I am so blessed to be his wife and know he is one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Not only is my husband a wonderful husband, but he is an amazing dad; our two children were blessed with a dad who truly loves them. Plus, he is an incredible Poppa to our three sweet rascal grandsons! Yes, Dave Freeman is all these things, but most importantly, he is someone who loves God with his all! As I think about my husband’s parents, I know they had something to do with who he grew to be. They were both kind, people who loved their family with their all and it shows in their son.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I Have a Winner - and Another Giveaway in Five Days!

I’m happy to say Jan Harpe is the winner of My AlienReturns (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 January 12, 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!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Equipping Grandparents - I'm Giving One Away!

For several years I’ve been talking about how important it is for grandparents to be intentional about passing on a heritage of faith . . . it is actually the reason I started writing this blog in the first place . . . and I’ve been talking about how important it is for churches to be intentional about engaging, equipping and encouraging the grandparents in their ministries to be intentional Christian grandparents. I absolutely do believe Children’s Ministries, Youth Ministries and Family Ministries will be significantly stronger if they engage and involve grandparents in the things they do.

Grandparents have a Biblical mandate to be intentional about passing on their faith to their grandchildren, but most churches do not do anything to mobilize the segment of their church body. If we want grandparents to be focused and intentional about passing on their faith, and being significantly involved in the ministries of the church, then we need to be focused and intentional about engaging and equipping them.

The Legacy Coalition exists to help churches engage and equip grandparents to help and grandparents be intentional about passing on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren. They are moving forward on work for their second International Grandparenting Summit and are beginning to produce resources to help both churches and grandparents. Today I’m very happy to let you know about one such resource (and announce a giveaway for one on my other blog - About the Children's Department as well!) You will find my review and all the details for entering the giveaway at this link.

Book Giveaway Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, on January 5, 2017, I’m giving away a fun new book . . . Your Alien Returns! You’ll find my review and all the details at this link – you have time to enter . . . someone will win . . . could be you! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I Am Loved - & I Have the Old, Dry Brown Leaf to Prove It!

My grandsons were at my home New Year’s Day, and since it was a nice day, they went outside to play for a while. At one point Caleb (five years old) came inside with a big smile on his sweet face and an old, dry brown leaf in his hand – it was for me! He was so happy to have found a leaf for me . . . it had been “warm” out – well, relatively speaking it was “warm” for Michigan (40 degrees) and our snow had melted revealing a "treasure cache" of old, dry leaves. He happily gave me the “treasure” he found and went back outside to play.

This left my husband and me talking and laughing about how Caleb loves to give me old, dry brown leaves. He is absolutely convinced I love these old leaves . . . I do not, but I absolutely love him with all my heart, so when he gives me a “treasure” he found outside, I happily look into his sparkly blue eyes and tell him a very sincere, “Thank you”. Caleb sees my smile, hears my words and knows he is really seeing and hearing love . . . leaving him completely convinced his grandma loves him . . . and these old leaves!

Monday, January 2, 2017

A "New Normal" for 2017

Well, it is 2017 . . . Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and my son’s birthday have all been celebrated at my house! Today I’m taking down the Christmas tree and my husband is taking down the outside Christmas lights. Life is getting back to “normal”.

“Normal” life can be such a wonderful thing – more “normal” schedules, more “normal” activities, more “normal” responsibilities – as long as my “normal” includes being intentional about passing on a heritage of faith to my grandchildren.  It is too easy for our “normal” to be things like work, chores, church, time with family and friends, but not necessarily a focus upon passing on a heritage of faith to our grandchildren.

So, as 2017 begins, let’s commit to a “new” “normal”. One which includes the following . . .