Dec 18, 2017

A Family Christmas Tradition

One of our favorite family traditions is a simple gift exchange, dressed up with friendly, family competition, and focusing on the recipient.  This is one of the easiest ways we taught our autistic sons about giving.

Drawing names of family members is an event in itself.  We usually serve sparking apple cider or some kid friendly beverage that is special.  We write our names on a square piece of paper, fold, and put in the hat.  Going from oldest to youngest, or youngest to oldest, or some predetermined order, we draw the names.  We keep it secret for about 30 seconds.  The mystery is part of the fun.

Then we reveal who we drew and try to determine who will go shopping with whom.  We go in teams.  Mom and Dad "captain a team" and each take two boys shopping. The first team to purchase gifts, return home, AND gift wrap said presents and put them under the tree won. The prize is usually the losing team makes hot chocolate for the winning team.

After dinner on the 24th, we open our family gifts. We open the gifts in the opposite order of how we drew names. It is simple fun for just the immediate family.

So we think about the other person.  The boys have tried to buy what they wanted, but we ensured they purchased what the recipient wanted by having a list of what each boy wanted ahead of time.  As the years have progressed, the boys initiate the process now.  Some of the boys have moved out, but they return to continue the tradition.  That is the best present of all.

P.S.  A red bow on a shopping bag counted as wrapped.

Sep 18, 2017

Monday Meme: Positive Attitudes

Dear MOMS,

We may be stressed.  Just thinking of what needs to be done today can be overwhelming.  Sigh.

I have to do this…
I need to do that…

Change that thought!

I want to do this…
I get to do that…

Smile!  😀

Positive attitude can influence so much.

Jul 14, 2017

Instant Pot Recipes

This week, the 8 quart Instant Pot was on sale through the Amazon Prime Day ($40 off!!).  With so many friends (including myself!) taking advantage of this awesome deal, I thought I'd share our Cuppa Catholic Instant Pot recipes (to date) all in one handy dandy post.  Just click on the name of the recipe, and it'll take you to the post that one of our awesome Cuppa Catholic moms shared.

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!!  

Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes and Bacon

Tuscan Chicken Stew

BBQ chicken sandwiches

Baked Potato Soup

Family Favorite Rice Pudding

Tuscan Chicken

Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots

Chicken Fun Bowl 

Potato and Summer Squash Soup

Mexican Beef


These next four recipes weren't written as Instant Pot recipes, but follow the ingredient list and choose the "slow cooker" setting and these will work great too... (I'm a little bit of a fwaidy cat and more liquidy things like the ones listed below, I would not choose the pressure setting - only the slow cooker setting)

Easy Black Bean Chili

“Not My Family's” Spiced Cider

Easy Taco Soup


And, just in case you are like me and you haven't taken the plunge to try desserts in your Instant Pot, here is THE best cookie recipe.  Kim was totally right - it's "a personal thing"!  And she has hit the jackpot with the best recipe I have found.  So, crank up your oven, mix these up and bake away.  Enjoy the deliciousness!!

Please do share and comment what YOUR favorite Instant Pot recipe is!!

Jul 3, 2017

Monday Meme: Love and Honor

"With freedom comes responsibility."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

We have free will.  God lets us choose. Look at how Christ dealt with the people.  He said his peace and then let them choose to follow him or not.  That does not mean the decision is easy.  It is a choice, just like love is.  Love is a choice.  Love of one’s spouse.  Love of one’s family.  Love of one’s country.

What will one do to show his love?

What is a person willing to give to protect?

Christ showed the ultimate love:  giving of His life for others.  

This holiday weekend, we stand in awe of those who chose to love, and showed that love by sacrificing self.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
~John 15:13

Jun 21, 2017



Mainly, it is uninterrupted family time.  I love summer.  Vacation, picnics, movies, outings, swimming, etc.  Until you say bathing suit.  Then dread sets in.

Mammas sometimes have a rough go fitting into those tiny things, and if we are lucky enough to get one on, we become very subconscious of how we look.  We curse that snack or bite of ice cream.  We cringe as we pass the mirror and affirm that we will ditch the extra cream in the coffee.  We tie a towel around and proceed outside.  Then swim?  HA.  Out of the question.  Who wants to hear the snide comment of the extra baby pounds or the years are starting to take their toll?  The body shaming may not be overt, but we feel it.

We sit on the sidelines, vowing to diet and exercise.  That accomplishes nothing but probably hatred for ourselves.

While having good health is good, what should we focus on? What is really important?  The priority is God and souls.  Then everything else falls into place, including our physical beings.  That includes having a healthy view of our bodies.  Keeping them in the best shape, given our calling and obligations is a must, but not with obsession.

1 Corinthians 10:31 states:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

That includes what we see at the movies, where we vacation, what outings we do, not just bathing suits.  What we consume through our senses matter.  So is that ice cream really important?  The Good Lord has given us a body to glorify him, so how we treat it and view it reflects back to God.  We should not be ashamed of our bodies.   We may have produced children, so we carry extra “padding”.  Our age creeps up, so we go “south” a bit.  God created us to love, and that includes our own beings.  Not vanity, but to take care of ourselves.

So, enjoy the ice cream, maybe not as much, but show Glory to God in the sense of taste.  Go see the movie or visit the Grand Canyon, and glorify God through sight.  Maybe pass on the movie with the risqué scenes.  Enjoy the picnic with the family.  The running and jumping, maybe even swimming will be enjoyable as it glorifies God through touch, hearing, and smell.  (My husband always barbeques for a picnic, and the smell is wonderful!!)

And if someone should “suggest” how to lose weight to Mamma, just smile and reply, “You are beautiful too.”  Is there any better way to glorify God?