Encouragement For The Week

Somehow, in our hurry to steer our children toward accomplishment and independence we see to have forgotten what childhood is all about.

Preoccupied with managing their lives, and our own, it is is so easy to lose sight of our children-their tenderness ad innocence, their joyousness their capacity of wonder their hunger for enchantment. 

A touch of magic can reawaken the chidlike spirit in all of us allowing us to revisit, for a time, the secret realm of childhood. 


Easy Crock Pot Chili

I have been making this once a week-I make a big batch and then freeze smaller meal-sized containers for me for lunch, or a I give a bunch of them to my older two kids so they have a back-up meal in their own freezers.  It's excellent reheated.

It is mild so the kids aren't dying when they're chowing down. If you like SPICY chili, just add some more chili powder!

1 pound of ground beef, browned and drained
1 26 oz. jar of traditional Prego sauce
2 cans of undrained kidney beans
2 cans of chili-seasoned diced tomatoes
(you can use plain diced tomatoes...just add a little more seasoning to chili!)
2 TBS chili powder
2 TBS cumin

Dump all in a crock pot and mix together.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve with chips or crackers, grated cheese and sour cream, sometimes with grilled cheese on the side for non-chili lovers.

PS.  The best thing I ever did was a buy a huge crock pot-well I have every size, but the big one is the one I use the most.


Encouragement For The Week

Our children are fully different creatures than we are, and we are in their lives for a time in order to nurture them, love them, and nudge then in certain directions.

We simply must accept that they are loaned to us for a time and then they are released into adulthood. 

When we believe this, we feel more joy and contentment in parenting them, we simplify our expectations of ourselves regarding parenting, and we experience a welcome levity in our relationships with them.

Meg Meeker


Ten Ways To Raise A Reader

Ten Ways to Raise A Reader
by Gladys Hunt

1. Restrict television watching drastically.

2. Keep the computer under control and where it can be monitored. Don't allow too many hours on the pointless computer games or in chat rooms.

3. Have books and other good reading material within easy reach, an enticement to read.

4. Let your children see you reading.

5. Read books aloud together regardless of age.

6. Talk about books together, play games together.

7. Have well-lit rooms with comfortable chairs that invite reading.

8. Balance activity schedules with reading time. Let your kids know the library is as important as the gymnasium.

9. Encourage reading in bed with good lights to do so.

10.  Visit the library often, and listen to books on tape when traveling. 


Encouragement For The Week

It is impossible to win the great prizes of life without running risks,
and the greatest of all prizes are those connected with the home.

Theodore Roosevelt


Our Favorite Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

3 TBS butter
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2-2 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and the sugar together still fluffy.
Blend in pumpkin, egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon and salt.
Mix flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture.
Drop tablespoonfulls 3 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake the cookie for 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges.
Remove warm cookies and transfer to racks.
Let cool completely for at least one half hour, then frost with glaze.

For glaze:
In a medium sauce pan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat until bubbly.
Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute or until slightly thickened.
Beat in the milk.
Blend in confectioner's sugar until the glaze is smooth and spreadable.
Keep the sauce pan over the stove on the lowest possible heat to keep from hardening.


A Favorite Autumn Children's Book

Janey and I read this book almost every evening.  I love the message behind it, written in form of a poem,  and the illustrations are beautiful.  (Thanks Mom, the world's best book-picker-outer.:)  It's a message of gratitude, appreciation, prayer, and duty.


Encouragement For The Week

Second reading in Mass this weekend-love this verse and so powerful, especially when it comes to mothering.  Noticing the beautiful, the good, the Godly, the things worthy of praise, goes so much farther than doing the opposite.  And when worry about any little thing turns to prayer, it is so much easier to let our hearts be open to notice and praise all the good, from the little tiny things to the big ones.  I think it makes our children glow inside when we do this-truly allows their light to shine.
Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, 
whatever is true, 
whatever is honorable, 
whatever is just, 
whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, 
whatever is gracious, 
if there is any excellence, 
if there is anything worthy of praise, 
think about these things.
Philippians 4:6-8