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Hello My Friend~

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You are amazing.

Anyone who has the grit to take on parenting and then who sticks with the demands and learning curve of family life is a hero as far as I’m concerned.

How was your day today? Is everyone well or are you struggling with illness? Do you have some major challenges with family members or are you in a good moment right now? How is your stress level? Are you feeling hopeful about the next stage of your future?

I wish I could hear your voice answer these questions and then I wish we could sit down together and talk about your concerns!

But since I’m sitting here at my computer and you are busy with your work, let me just say, you’re not alone in whatever you are facing right now. And when it all boils down, the only way you’re going to lose at this game is to quit trying!

If someone at your house is ill, know that better days are coming! If relationships are strained, with work and hope, change can come! If you are feeling overwhelmed or taxed, I hope you will take baby steps to ask for and to receive the help and support you want and need. If you are feeling anxious about the future, I pray that you will be able to find words for the gratitude you feel for current blessings and then do what it takes to pour those words through your mind over and over and over again.

The truth is that the world needs you to do what many are not willing or able to do and that is to go about your days with a happy heart, nurturing yourself and your family with focus and determination to be present; to shake off the pseudo-pressures coming at you to be everything you’ve ever wanted to be all at the same time; to refuse to be over-scheduled by the trivial; to do what it takes to heal, so that you can make important connections with your family and friends; to accept the fact that happiness is available to you right now, even if you are in extremity; to prayerfully engineer the workings of your family life to maximize your time with the people who need you most– your children!

Take heart and know that God is able to lift you and carry you in times when you are weary. Just ask for what you need and then hold doggedly to your faith!

Dear friend, I pray for your success in the things that matter most! And for the peace that will follow that achievement.

Love,

Jacque

 

 

Let There Be Light!

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“There is energy in light,” {I heard my husband say as he was giving our grandson a little physics lesson about the sun today…}

Which made me stop and think.

We get more energy as we are closer to seeing things as they really are; as we feed ourselves the positive truth; as we exercise our creative powers; as we make decisions based on clear motives; as we take the gift of life we were given and fully accept our agent-hood; as we are quiet inside; as we choose to submit our will to God; as we stay committed to the greater good; as we forgive ourselves and others; as we gather knowledge by our experiences and by learning from the experiences of others; as we do the work of living; as we learn from children; as we serve and lift our family and friends; as we express ourselves clearly….

In other words, we gain greater energy the closer we are to Light.

Which places, books and music, which people and what activities leave you with a greater feeling of Light-ness?

Go to them! Live in and with them! Surround yourself with their positive energy!

And you will have greater health, understanding, ability, endurance and joy!

All of these I wish for you–

Love,

Jacque

“I am constantly learning new things!”
“I love my life!”
“I am grateful for my chance to be here!”
“I am at one with Light and Love.”
“I am living in the present.”
“I am gracious and kind.”

P.S. Practice declaring these positive truths, and of course those that you write yourself, 3-5 times each day for one week and watch your countenance grow Lighter! Hey, make it every day of December and see a bigger shift in your energy! If you’re creative, make up a song and use declarations as lyrics. If you need reminders to say or sing or shout them, write them on every mirror in your house with a dry erase pen. For real strength, write them on a small piece of paper and carry them with you. Lately, I’ve considered suggesting a Henna design of declarations on the arms of those who struggle to employ this powerful, free gift! I firmly believe that every cell in our bodies is listening and obeying what we are telling ourselves every minute of every day. {Remember Dr. Sarno?}

P.P.S. Why is it that we pine to have things we can’t afford, thinking that more things will bring us the happiness we want, when true change and power come from what is freely available to all?

P.P.P.S. Merry Christmas! Consider this reminder your first gift of the season!

Just Snacky!

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We’ve had our grandkids staying with us this week and they are good little eaters! (Today I got a cheer for a pumpkin smoothie!) Which means a lot of peeling, juicing, slicing, washing and blending. It is amazing to me how little people are attuned to good, whole food when given the chance. They don’t need dumbed-down options at all. In fact, when they are used to whole foods, the processed

food doesn’t go over well at all.

So, here’s another way we can be inspired by our children! Provide them with the best quality food you can afford and then eat it with them. Don’t impose standard American diet bad habits on them, but instead observe them as they lead out in healthy choices.

Here are a few ideas for giving kids better options:

1 Have fresh food available at times when kids are most hungry, like right after school or right before dinner. (It can actually be a great part of dinner, but when offered with no pressure, before a meal, fresh vegetables can be a treat instead of a drag.) A plate of cut up kiwi, grapes, celery with peanut butter, sliced apples, cheese sticks, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, etc. will disappear pretty quickly at the right time of the day!
2 Don’t assume your kids “can’t” eat something different than what they are used to. Cultivate adventure in your cooking and have fun eating foods inspired by different cultures. Chicken Tikka Masala and Pad Thai and Coconut Curry can give your kids a chance to wake up their taste buds to flavors they’ve never experienced before!
3 Plan ahead to have fresh food on hand.
4 Prepare yourself by eating when you need to eat so that you don’t get caught in the snare of “hangry” and out of time to cook! Oftentimes when my kids were small, I ate a small something before launching into cooking dinner to keep myself balanced.
5 Many times dehydration is a problem, and sometimes nausea that keeps you from wanting to eat can be a symptom, so don’t forget to drink your water and have it available to kids all day!
6 Make clean-up a family affair so that you can enjoy cooking and eating in a clean space. Try to have the kitchen back to order each night so that you can start fresh in the morning.
7 Scrub out sinks regularly with soda and lemon juice and freshen disposal with a lemon rind running through it. Make your kitchen a place that is inviting to the senses and a place you want to spend time.

I wish you many happy mealtimes with your favorite people! Food is life and worthy of our time and preparations.

Much love,

Jacque

 

Changing A Culture

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“Our society constantly sends us contradictory messages.  We want to eradicate mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and violence in children and young adults but don’t really want to look too deeply at the root of the problem.  We say we value family, but we work longer hours and take less vacation time than any other country in the world. We still promote having families even when we cannot care for them; working  24/7 is not in harmony with raising healthy children…Changing a culture begins at home, and inside each of us. It begins with accepting that when you have a baby everything changes..”                             Erica Komisar

What can be done today, in our homes and inside us, to make a shift toward our part of creating a more family and child-centric society?

Could we:

Take a minute to slow ourselves down?
Have a priority shifting conversation with our spouse?
Take a walk to the park with our kids or grandkids?
Teach a child to play hopscotch or tether-ball?
Decide to set aside the pressures we may be feeling to do and be everything now?

May you be blessed as you deliberately strengthen yourself, your marriage, your family and our culture.

Godspeed.

Jacque

Proof is in The Pudding!

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I guess it’s the season for recipes!

Ready for a simple pudding that you can use for different flavors of cream pie or just for eating as pudding?

{This is my husband’s mom’s recipe. She has turned pie making into an art form.}

I have turned this recipe into a no-sugar-headache recipe for our family. There really is no need to use a box of artificial flavorings and coloring’s and a lot of sugar when making pudding from scratch is so easy.

It’s so simple and so versatile! I hope it might come in handy for you to use over the holidays!

Pie Filling/Pudding
In a saucepan put:
2 cups of milk, to warm while stirring frequently. Meanwhile, in another dish, combine:
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons cornstarch OR 2 1/2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
Stir until mixed. Then add to the warm milk while stirring with a whisk.
Continue to heat and stir until the mixture starts to thicken, between 5-10 minutes.
When it becomes thick, take off the heat and stir in:
2 tsps vanilla
Then chill before adding to a pie shell.

If you want to make this into chocolate pudding, just add 2 Tablespoons cocoa to the egg mixture. To change up the flavor, substitute rum flavoring or butterscotch for the vanilla.

You can put this pudding in a pie shell with sliced bananas (underneath and on top of the pudding) and then garnish it with real whipped cream. Or, you can layer the pudding in glasses with whipped cream and cut up fruit. Or layer it with cottage cheese and fruit. If you make the pudding chocolate, you could add unsweetened coconut (now available at WalMart!) or strawberries and whipped cream or graham crackers or almonds or use it to fill a graham cracker crust, or whatever you can imagine!

You can use it on top of waffles or pancakes or cake or cupcakes or as a fruit dip or to fill individual eclair shells.

For years, while our kids were little, we had a few small glass dessert dishes that I would fill with this pudding for a special dessert.

I also use this pudding on top of an eclair crust for “Eclair Dessert” (another one of my mother-in-law’s famous treats!) I’ll have to look and see if I have already posted that one!?

I hope you’ve had a good holiday so far. It can be quite a stressful time, so please give yourself some time out, even if it’s short, to regroup and recharge.

Be well my friend,

Jacque