Category Archives: Fall

Welcoming Autumn and Loving Life

I hadn’t realized this but, October is really a busy month!
The trees are busy changing colors and dropping leaves.
The weather is busy getting cooler is some parts of the world.
People are starting to decorate their homes with Mums in warm colors like orange, reds, yellows and browns.
It’s the Month dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary.
Also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
{just, think before you pink as Komen supports Planned Parenthood who is pro-abortion}
It is also ProLife Month.
Found this image on
Our family loves the Autumn season!  Sweaters come out and it’s (like my seven year old calls it): “Hot chocolate season!”  The awesome scent of soups and baked bread fills the house.  The air gets crisp and the smell of burning wood fills the air from running fireplaces.  It’s my favorite season!  I also love decorating the front of the house with Fall items like potted Mums and big, fat, orange pumpkins!  My kids and I also watch for the return of many little creatures big and small that resurface after being super busy all summer with their little ones, teaching them how to fly, hunt, gather – we love nature.  
We noticed that the Robins are back for a visit.

At our home we normally do not carve pumpkins nor decorate with witches and ghosts; it just doesn’t match the rest of our beliefs and what we work so hard to teach the kids but instead like to focus on the beauty that God has given us, nature and what matters the most, LIFE!  October is ProLife Month and I wanted to share that with the world (okay maybe not the world but my neighbors will be enough), so I was reconsidering the whole pumpkin carving idea.  I have secretly loved these and have been collecting these pictures for the past three years (my apologies for those artists that created them as I didn’t keep track of where I found them since I never thought it’d blog about it.)  I totally love the the idea of incorporating the Fall pumpkins and the Pro-Life message!  So here are some that I have found and plan on possibly trying out this year for a first time.  I have created templates for all of them except the middle one.  Click here for the Prolife Pumpkin Templates.  Enjoy!:

Baby in the womb with a heart.

A mother with her baby.
(or as my 4 year old said, “Mary with baby Jesus”)
“Occupy the Womb” with a baby sucking his thumb.
This is one of my favorite ones.  Baby in the womb.
Holding a new born baby.
Many blessings from our family to yours this Fall season!
Click here for the Prolife Pumpkin Templates.
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From Our Home to Yours… Moravian Stew aka Sauerkraut & Pork Stew Recipe

We ate this at a restaurant about two years ago and my DH, Todd, and I love to cook.  We also LOVE to recreate meals we have eaten at restaurants.  So here is our version of  Moravian Stew aka Sauerkraut & Pork Stew:


  • 2 to 2.5 lbs. of stew pork and stew beef (or your favorite cut of each meat — I like stew beef and pork shoulder/Boston butt). Use whatever percent mix you’d like. I like it about 50/50, but Erika and the kids like pork.
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 large carrots, split in half and cut in half inch slices
  • 3-4 large spears of celery, cut similarly
  • 4-8 cloves of garlic — sliced (amount is based on your love of garlic… I like a lot)
  • 1/2 medium to large head of cabbage, sliced to your desired thickness — I like thin sliced like corn-beef and cabbage style
  • 2 15-16 oz cans regular or Bavarian sauerkraut (I prefer the bit of sugar and caraway seeds in the Bavarian style — I used Silver Floss)
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil for braising
  • 1 qt chicken and 1 qt beef stock, boxed premade or homemade. the salt content in the stock is the ONLY salt in the stew… so if you make your own you have to make it sufficiently salty to season a good amount of meat and vegetables. 2 boxes of Rachel Ray, W. Puck’s, Campbells… whatever, has about 4 grams of salt/quart. if you have salt issues, by all means use low salt stock or use Lite Salt (potassium chloride/KCl).
  • traditional recipes call for a teaspoon of caraway seeds… i use just what’s in the sauerkraut
  • 1 pt or more sour cream
  • 2-4 tablespoons flour if you roux the sour cream (you’ll get what I mean in the directions)


Photo Found at Recipes from a German Grandma

The veggie prep takes most of your time in this stew. Cut the cabbage, carrots, celery, onions and garlic. If you are making up stock from bullion or using pre-made stock paste, get the quart of chicken and quart of beef stock ready.

If your meat cuts are too large (from the store) cube it down to your desired size. Get your biggest pot (I have a large copper-bottomed kettle pot) and heat it with oil on HIGH. Drop in the meat and braise it until no longer pink… or cook it browned if you like… your choice. Add garlic and aromatics (celery, carrots and onions) and continue to cook on high. If you are running low on liquid from the meat, pour in the two cans of kraut…otherwise wait until the end. Add the shredded cabbage, pour the two cans of kraut on top, then pour stock over the whole shabang.

Bring it to a boil. Reduce to medium for about a half hour. Lower to simmer for 6 hours. There will be a point when it is well cooked but the cabbage and carrots, etc aren’t starting to fall apart. If you go to 8-10 hours the veggies are likely to go to the consistency almost of baby food. Some like it this far gone, and my first of two pots this week (on Sunday) went that far. Its good, but going six hours is a nice balance and gives the stew some body.

You make a bowl and put a dollop to tablespoon of sour cream in and mix. Eat and enjoy.

The European way is to mix flour into the sour cream and make a sort of roux, then stir it into the stew about 30 minutes before done to thicken. Either way is incredibly good. You can see I have a good deal of variables. Play with the balance and see what you like. More chicken stock than beef, or vice-versa. More carrots, less carrots. More onions. Well braised meat or barely browned, etc etc.

From our home to yours…..enjoy!
Mama Erika (& Papa Todd)

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