Celebrating a Friend and Good Cook

A few weeks ago a friend and good cook passed away. Henry Klumper peacefully passed away Tuesday, February 18th, 2020. Over the last 11 years, Henry and I have many cooking “chit-chats” Most of these conversations centered around cooking.

Henry was easy to talk with, a good listener and could carry on meaningful conversations about life, religion, politics, people, dogs, and cooking. Henry’s ability to adapt to person and place was one of my favorite things I enjoyed about him.

Holidays with Henry

We celebrated most holidays together and he always liked to bring something to add to our feasts. There were times he was not feeling well, and so would decline the need to bring something. But when he did it was always appropriate and was a great addition to the main course.

Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2019 Henry wasn’t unable to join us for our usual holiday feast. The last meal we celebrated together was Mother’s Day 2019. We smoked a pork loin, made cheesy potatoes, roasted asparagus and had chocolate pie for dessert.

Henry loved chocolate pie and would often tell me about his mother’s homemade chocolate pie. Why I didn’t catch on years previous that he was hinting he would like me to make it. DUH!

From the beginning

Henry Klumper
Photo by a friend of Henry

Most people ask me “How in the world did you meet Henry Klumper?” My response is, “I was asked to help paint Henry’s newly remodeled bedroom and closet.” That’s how I met Henry.

Back to my painting for Henry. We began painting around 9:30 am. Periodically Henry would come and check how we were getting along. I am sure all us gals painting had quite a conversation going and he was probably concerned there was more conversation than painting going on.

About 11:00 am Henry told us to stop painting and come eat. We agreed, washed our hands and sat down at the table. Henry placed a bowl of beef vegetable soup before each of us, along with a spoon and a glass of water.

This old guy cooks?

I looked up to the rest of the group for some guidance as to how we were going to proceed. Henry interjected a prayer for our food and gave thanks for our painting efforts and we all closed the prayer with “Amen”.

Being a “type A” person I was needing details on this guy. First, how are his dishwashing skills? Second, I see he had a dog. Did the dog participate in the dishwashing? Third, has anyone ever eaten his cooking? Lastly, just for confidence’s sake, is he a bachelor or a widower? I figured if he was a bachelor and lived this long food had to be involved. If he was a widower we could be in for some gastronomical trouble.

Curiously, I looked up once again looking for any signs of hesitation and no one said anything, they just picked up their spoons and began to eat. I drew my breath, muttering internally words of courage, picked up my spoon and took my first spoonful. Hmm. Not bad. Pretty tasty. This guy is a good cook.

I finished my bowl of soup and a glass of water in record time. My parents taught me that I needed to eat first, then talk. As I enjoyed talking so much, I simply inhaled my food and thus, began to talk. This rule was made to serve as a deterrent but backfired on my parents. Basically it just gave everyone five extra minutes of oxygen before I started talking.

The rest is history

Over the next few years, we forged a friendship through painting, cooking, canning and good conversation. We enjoyed the holidays together, an occasional Sunday evening dinner, games of Mexican Train dominos and lots of coffee. Anytime we had a remodeling project going on, he would pop over to see how things were going and of course drink some more coffee.

One of the very last recipes he shared with me was probably the most different combination of food items but certainly the best. He called my phone and I answered. “Hello, its Henry. Say, I made a recipe and I’d like you to try it.”

It was about two in the afternoon, so I jumped into my car and drove over to check out this new recipe. Henry was a good cook. I always enjoyed his cooking adventures. Letting myself in I shouted out that I was in the house, sometimes he would reply “Thanks for the warning!” Ha… always a sense of humor. I could hear him busy in the kitchen so he didn’t respond.

This is a recipe?

Rounding the corner into the kitchen my eyes about bugged out of my head. “Holey Moley Henry!” I said. I stood next to him staring at a huge bowl of noodles, diced ham, and cabbage. “What is all this?!”

Henry chuckled and told me he didn’t realize that the recipe made so much. Being a good cook, he grabbed me a bowl and filled it up with the noodle concoction. I grimaced a little, to which he said: “Aww, come on!”. I smirked and grabbed the fork from his hand.

Digging the fork into the bowl, I pulled up a good helping and gave it a try. Henry grinned as I chewed and chewed. All I could manage was to nod my head and continue chewing.

As the mouthful of noodles and company found their way into my stomach, I spoke briefly out of the corner of my mouth giving a “chew by chew” of the “salad”. It had great taste. The cabbage and ham together were interesting but delicious. The noodles, well… it was good too. Great salad.

Quite seriously, he shook his head and said it was not a salad, that it was the main meal. Dumbfounded I just sat and stared at him. I went on to laugh and said that I hoped he had a large family reunion to go to or two church picnics because this recipe made a heap of food. He smiled and gave me a wink and said that he had no family reunion or church picnic to go to.

Where are you going to put this all?

pile of delicious bacon
Image by Pearl Vaj from Pixabay

Reaching into his cupboard Henry pulled out some gallon zip lock baggies. We filled up three bags and had about 4 cups left. He wanted me to take two bags home. I declined and took one and told him to call another friend. I washed up the dishes for him and then headed for home.

That night and three lunchtimes later, we dined on this recipe. We decided that it was great warm the first time and needed to be eaten cold thereafter. It was certainly unique, but a good cook always likes variety and Henry never shied away from trying new and different recipes.

Saying goodbye

I watched Henry transition from his own home to assisted living and then to the Luverne Veterans Home. There were a few stints at the nursing home for rehabilitation and the comebacks he made were notable.

I enjoyed Henry’s attitude that he shared with me. “This is just all part of my journey Michele, its God preparing me.” I smiled with tears as I recognized that was a good and important way of viewing life. Just part of the journey.

I was grateful for a phone call from his nephew Ron informing me Henry was not well and was not expected to live long. I hopped into the car and drove right to the VA nursing home. As I drove I cried and gave myself pep talks. I remembered all the great memories of holidays and dinners together. Drinking lots of coffee, laughing and talking.

I entered Henry’s room to find him eating his supper. I greeted him and he smiled. We talked as he finished eating. He had trouble breathing but was making an effort to keep with the conversation. We sang several hymns and he did his best to harmonize. I paused occasionally to cry and apologized for my tears, but he told me it was good to grieve and he appreciated me.

See you later

After a few hours, I could see he was tired and that I should let him rest. I told him how much we as a family appreciated his friendship and company and that as a fellow believer I would be seeing him again. He smiled and said he was not afraid to go home. He asked me to take care of his Norfolk pine tree and I said I would. We said our final goodbyes- I hate goodbye. I prefer “see you later”. I picked up his pine and he waved goodbye to us both.

In honor of my good friend and good cook Henry Klumper, I give you this adapted recipe of the cabbage, noodles, and ham. It has a name and it is called Haluski. It is a Czech comfort food. Enjoy!

Haluski

Ingredients

  • 2 oz of pancetta or bacon- diced small
  • 1 1/2 pounds green cabbage- cored, and rough chopped
  • 6 tablespoons butter divided
  • 2 cups white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 6 oz. of egg noodles- choose your desired size

Instructions

In a medium fry pan melt 2 tablespoons butter and fry pancetta or bacon till crisp. Add the onions and sauté for two minutes. Taking 2 more tablespoons of butter, as well as the cabbage, salt, pepper and on medium-high, cover waiting till the mixture is hot. Then reduce to medium and cook for 10 minutes. You can get your water boiling for the noodles and cook according to your package directions when finished drain the noodles.  Once your cabbage is tender you will add the cooked and drained noodles, as well as the remaining butter- cook, bring to serving temperature. Enjoy!

Michele
Celebrating JEsus this Christmas

Celebrating Jesus at Christmas

I finished wrapping gifts at 3 am that Christmas morning.

too much christmas
image credit:Gerard Gellinger at Pixabay

I looked around somewhat in disgust as I realized that I had gone overboard once again… really overboard. There were gifts everywhere. And we only have two little ones. There has to be a better way to celebrate Christmas without making it all about the gifts.

Who’s birthday is it anyway?

We are supposed to be celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the World. But we are teaching greediness and debt. How can we find our way to Christ in the midst of this materialized world? I shared earlier that family advent devotions are one way that we can turn our attention to the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.

How to Celebrate Jesus This Christmas

Celebrating Jesus
Celebrating Christmas ~ image credit: Jo at Pixabay

When I was small, I learned a little acronym for joy – Jesus, Others, You. We can find real joy if we serve Jesus first, then others, and then yourself. Let’s consider this acronym for celebrating Jesus this Christmas. 

This week I’m writing over on Lullaby Lark. It’s a short and sweet devotion to Finding JOY in Jesus this Christmas. Join me there today on her Cultivate Joy Series.

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curleque by Coffee at pixabay
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There’s still time to share your Christmas thoughts on our Holiday Legacy Link-up

How do you create a legacy during the holidays? Link-up below.

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Prepare for The Coming of the Lord

Is your heart prepared?

“Live by the Spirit . . . The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:16,22-23

It seems that once we have finished with Thanksgiving, we are suddenly barreling headlong toward Christmas. At times it can feel like we’re on a runaway train and can’t find the emergency brake.

photo image credit pixabay

Stop.

Breathe.

Close your eyes.

Sit for a moment in quietness.

Give thanks to God once again for His many blessings. Now, think on the blessings yet to come.

Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord.

As we get all the physical preparations tackled for Christmas… the decorations, the shopping, the parties, the gifts and wrapping, the food, the programs… let us not forget to prepare our hearts!

Approach this Christmas with a heart already full of the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus came to earth so long ago, the tiny Prince of Peace, so that we could live lives full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Be thankful for the Coming of our Lord and Savior this Christmas, and let your life glow like a Christmas tree with the fruit of the Spirit!

Are you ready for the coming of the Lord?

Glenae Atchison

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Christmas Baked Goods, Candy, and Confections: Part 1


I like to watch Food Network as time allows, but mostly I listen to Food Network as I hover around the house. All the holiday food shows and competitions making Christmas baked goods, candy and confections piqued my interest. So, to my recipe drawer, I went.

I know you probably have a recipe box, drawer, binder… closet! Ha- that would be something, a recipe closet. I would like to see your recipe closet if you have one! Anyway… I was reminiscing about Christmas baked goods, candy and confections that I have made over the years and I would like to share them with you. Please enjoy!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

My favorite item to bake is Festive Fruitcake. This recipe I cut off the box of a Pillsbury Date Bread Mix. My Grandma Syens used this recipe religiously for her Christmas Fruitcake for better than 30 years. I wrote to you last year about Fruitcake. Making fruitcake is part of my celebrating Christmas and remembering family members who have gone home.

All credit is given to SMUCKERS (they own Pillsbury) for this delicious recipe. It is important to note that the Date Bread Mix sells out quickly so get ahead of the rush and order it in September- you’ll thank me later. Last year I waited till Thanksgiving to order the Date Bread Mix and it was back-ordered. GASP!

FESTIVE FRUITCAKE

INGREDIENTS

  • Pillsbury™ Baking Spray with Flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 (16.6 oz.) packages Pillsbury™ Date Quick Bread & Muffin Mix
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cups candied cherries, halved
  • 1 cup cut-up candied pineapple
  • 1/4 cup Smucker’s® Apple Jelly*
  •  Smucker’s® Red Raspberry Syrup*
  • Additional cherries and pecans

DIRECTIONS

  1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Coat 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. WHISK water, oil, and eggs in an extra-large bowl until blended. Add a quick bread mix. Stir until evenly moistened. Stir in pecans, raisins, cherries, and pineapple. Spoon into prepared pan.
  3. BAKE 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool 1 hour longer or until completely cooled.
  4. WRAP tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Chill at least 8 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  5. HEAT jelly or syrup* in a microwave on HIGH 10 to 20 seconds or until melted and smooth. Brush over fruitcake. Garnish with additional cherries and pecans, if desired.
  • *These are all new editions to the recipe compared to the early 90’s recipe that I cut off the box. I do not do the jelly or the corn syrup… instead, I like to soak the loaves in brandy. After baking and you have the loaves cooling on the counter( still IN the bread tin), while they are still warm, take your favorite brandy and pour some over top your loaf. Let them sit for 24 hours covered. The brandy really gives the loaves a nice flavor. They freeze well. A nice slice of cheddar cheese or some co-jack on top of a buttered piece of fruitcake is great as well. Enjoy!

This next recipe is like a Pay-Day candy bar crossed with a Nut Goodie. But whatever the mix… it is delicious.

Bon Bars

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Ingredients for Base and Top layer mixture

  • 12 oz. chocolate chips
  • 12 oz. butterscotch chips
  • 18 oz. creamy peanut butter

Melt these 3 ingredients together. Spread HALF the mixture on the bottom of a jelly roll pan. Chill.

Middle Filling

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 REGULAR size (sm) cooked vanilla pudding, COOKED not instant
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar

Boil for one minute the butter, milk, and vanilla pudding. Add to it the 2 lbs of powdered sugar, stirring together well and cool. Then spread cooled middle filling over the chilled base from above.

Top layer

  • 16 oz dry roasted peanuts
  • the remaining mixture of the base

Then add the dry roasted peanuts to the remaining base/top mixture and spread it over the middle filling layer. Chill again and then cut into small squares. This recipe is another great addition to your Christmas baked goods, candy, and confections recipe collection.

Michele

4 Gift-Giving Ideas for Christmas


image credit:Gerhard-Gellinger at Pixabay

Christmastime with littles can be so exciting. It’s so much fun to watch them opening gifts with glee. We want to do so much and it’s easy to spend too much and buy too many gifts. Yes, sometimes, we go a little overboard with it. That is why we must be careful about the traditions that we are setting into place.

Be sure to talk with your spouse about your dreams and expectations of celebrating Christmas (actually all holidays.) Trust me it is tough to pull the reins in once you start the overindulgence of gift-giving and celebrating. It’s also too easy to end up in debt up to your gills. Placing Jesus first at Christmas needs to be our main goal.

In all truthfulness, those first few years are more for the parents and grandparents than for the child. The child really has no idea what is happening but overindulgence leads to spoiled children who will always expect large amounts of gifts which become more and more expensive.

What are you giving to Jesus for Christmas?

After all, it is His birthday. We seem to more concerned about whatever it is WE want for Christmas. I think we have it all backward. We might find if we focus on doing something for Jesus during the season He may bless us beyond our imagination

Consider these Gifts

Free photos at Pixabay

As a family, select a project you can do together as an offering to Jesus. There are many established projects you can do as an offering to God and to serve the community. Check your community for ways to reach out or give some of your time. If you can’t find a local project, select one of the wonderful nationwide projects such as The Shoebox Ministry, The Heifer Project, Angel Tree Project, or check with your pastor. Your church may have projects of this type. My own church has lists of projects that need support (like digging wells, building homes) or child sponsorship.

Invite friends to a birthday party for Jesus. Select one of the above-mentioned projects and raise the money and have each donate the gifts to fulfill the need. It would be a wonderful party and you would be helping someone out at the same time.

There is no better time than during the Christmas season to teach about caring for others. The excitement of giving can be wonderful to watch as it grows year after year in the hearts of our children.

Santa or No Santa?

I personally don’t have an opinion on this one. I don’t see a problem with it other than when and how you tell them that it’s all a fantasy. Our culture is so inundated with Santa that it’s a bit hard to remove it completely from your family. If we talk about the truth about Santa from the beginning, I believe you can include Santa with a rewarding end.

Patsy over at Insta-Encouragements linked up this “Explaining Santa to your Kids” Idea on the Legacy Linkup last month. You might want to check out what she says.

Here are a couple of other suggestions:

Book Reading and Discussion

There is a day some may not be aware of… St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 5th or 6th in the US. This would be a great time to read a book about the tradition of Santa and have a discussion with the family. A few books that might be helpful. {affiliate links}

One note, if you do not want to celebrate with Santa, be sure to explain the reasoning to your children. Also, encourage them to be understanding and to NOT spoil the tradition for those who do.

We are the Real Santa

I loved the idea I heard just last year… You and I are Santa Claus. Have each person in the family select a person and be their Secret Santa. Chose a person who has a need and then YOU secretly give them a gift without them knowing who it was from. Read the sweet story that I read here.

Three Gifts Just like Jesus

I recently heard that some families participate in this tradition. If Jesus received 3 gifts then we should only receive 3 gifts. The three gifts are based on the gifts given to Jesus from the Wise Men, a child receives:

  1. Gold (something valuable, their greatly desired gift)
  2. Frankincense (something spiritual to help them spiritually: a Bible, a devotional, worship CD, etc), and
  3. Myrrh (something for the body: clothes, perfume, etc)

See Keeper of the Home for more explanation. If I had learned of this tradition when my children were small, we might have worked toward making this a tradition.

Mandy Farmer

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Holiday Traditions Is Now Open

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The Joy Of Including Jesus In Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and if we blink our eyes we will find ourselves enjoying Christmas Day. But all our plans to include Jesus in Christmas will have been thrown out with the wrappings.

The way to have success is to plan ahead. My family always razzed at me because I was planning the next holiday before the present one was barely over. But the fact of the matter is that, if we don’t plan ahead, it ain’t gonna happen. So let’s talk about the joy of including Jesus in Christmas. After all, it IS HIS BIRTHDAY.

If you don't plan ahead, it ain't gonna happen. #preparingforChristmas Click To Tweet

Keeping Jesus in Christmas

Family advent devotions every night in December confirms that Jesus will not be left out of the celebration. As a child on the farm, each night before bed, we all sat around the coffee table which held our cardboard nativity set. Mom or Dad would read the devotion and we would learn and discuss one little portion of the Christmas story. It might have been about one character or maybe about a prophet from long before. We took turns being the one to add a new piece of the nativity each night until Christmas morning when we added baby Jesus.

Advent Devotions appeared a simple thing to do when I was growing up but as a parent, it seemed to be a huge struggle to make it happen. Possibly, you find it a challenge as well. Thanksgiving preparations can keep us very busy; we never think about the fact that the first Sunday of Advent happens just three days later. All of a sudden, it’s Advent and we haven’t found the creche nor the devotions to go with it.

Start Now, even if you’re late

First, let me say, “so what if you are late”. Get started and you will find it really doesn’t matter. Your children won’t remember that you missed the first week or a day or two in between. (I’m pretty sure it happened in my family.) Remember the saying, “better late than never”?

Include Jesus in your own way

Also, remember that you don’t have to do it just like your parents did. It’s a different age and a different world. Life is much faster and crazier. Try a different time of day. Enjoy the lesson during a meal. Breakfast could be the only time the family congregates together. Time management sources so do the most important things first in your day. So many Advent lessons should be done at breakfast rather than bedtime.

Possibly, it is just too difficult to get the entire family together at the same time every. Just select a time that the majority of the family is together and start. Make it clear that you want everyone to participate as much as possible and go forward from there.

Find a Way to Include Jesus

My greatest desire for the Christmas season is to be sure I have included Jesus in the season. The first way to do this is through your family devotion time. We need to find ways to include the Lord in all our activities of the season; however, Advent devotions keep Christ forefront and center every day.

Find a Creche Now

Once you have purchased one, you are set forever. Though you may want to change it up as your children grow. Start with something non-breakable and work yourself up to the beautiful porcelain display. Here’s a thought, once you have one, maybe you should store it with the Thanksgiving decorations instead of the Christmas decorations.

If you are creative and plan way ahead, you can go to a ceramics class and make your own pieces. Then purchase just the stable. I did this for my mother and we added pieces each year. Of course, this is for once your children are old enough to understand not to touch them. 🙂


For your preschoolers, purchase a toy set that they can play with. If you want the pretty set, go for it. Just purchase the playset for your toddler to enjoy.

Here are a few you might like:


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The Advent Devotions

Some nativity sets will come with a booklet of devotions. However, you may need to find something appropriate for the ages of the children. Of course, you could certainly just read scriptures and have a discussion. Here’s a Bible Reading Plan from a friend of mine.

Many free advent devotions can be found online. Or search out the myriads of books you can use. If your children are small, select a few Christmas Bible storybooks.

Children love hearing the stories over and over and that would be fine. For years, I purchased a new Christmas book every year. My children had their favorites from the collection which they still seek out when they are home for the holidays.

Advent Devotions for Families

My good friend and blogger, Bettie Gilbert, offered this free Advent devotional for families on her blog this year. She said I could offer here as well.

US Advent Devotions

Otherwise, a bit of goo-gling will certainly turn up many other possibilities. Here are a few others I have enjoyed.




Other Advent Alternatives

1) Jesse Tree Devotionals – The Jesse tree is based on Isaiah 11 where the prophet foretells the coming of Christ through the “stump of Jesse”. The lessons are the genealogy of Christ beginning in Genesis through Jesse and King David and on up to Mary and Joseph. Ann Voskamp has a wonderful book your family will enjoy, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. {see above link}

2) Mary and Joseph’s Journey to Bethlehem – an alternative to the Elf on the Shelf using Mary and Joseph. I just learned of this idea the other day. But it sounds wonderful to me. Check it out here.

Some Favorite Christmas Books

Must Have Christmas Books
Photo credit Sobima at Pixabay

I made a habit of purchasing a new Christmas book every year. Some of these became favorites which we were sure to read every year. Others make beautiful coffee table decor. Find my list of Christmas books here.

The Best Way to Include Jesus in Christmas

Keeping Jesus in Christmas makes all the difference in how the season turns out. Focusing on Jesus during the season also keeps our hearts and minds set straight.

Actually, it’s something we should be doing all year long. As God instructed the Israelites long ago…

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

I encourage you to start an Advent devotion tradition this year of including Jesus in Christmas and then continue into the New Year, focusing on Jesus every day. You will find joy in the journey.

Mandy Farmer

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What are some of your favorite traditions and recipes at Christmas? Share the joy and link up below!

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Pixar’s Movie Coco – Review & Biblical Lessons

Disney’s Movie Coco

I have never been a fan of scary movies or movies about beliefs different from my own. But I do believe that things can be learned from nearly anything. My parents always took the opportunity to discuss movies together with us. We would talk about differences in beliefs. The Bible often became our favorite reference when it came to deciding if Hollywood had the story right. This taught us discernment throughout life. We learned to not always take things at face value.

So, I decided to try to do the same for you and offer some help on how to discuss “family movies” with your family. November 2nd is the traditional Mexican celebration of The Day of the Dead. Let’s talk about the 2017 Disney release of Coco.

Coco Movie Synopsis

This film tells of a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who dreamed of becoming a famous musician like his long-dead idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. He attempted to visit the idol’s funeral and play the de la Cruz heritage guitar on his tombstone.Unfortunately, his actions even took him to a place called Land of the Dead, where the dead are. Poor again, there he will meet with his ancestors who forbid the presence of music in the middle of their family.

https://synopsismovie7.blogspot.com/2018/01/coco-2017-synopsis.html

What did I think of the movie?

I was hesitant to watch the movie because of the premise. But I did watch it. Once I got past the going to the Land of the Dead and skeletons and such, I found many valuable lessons that can be learned. I felt plenty of emotions from sadness to joy. Overall, the movie was enjoyable. And I did like the theme of the importance of family.

Sadly, Disney Pixar promotes a lot of “other” religions in their recent films for families. This is dangerous because these ideas and beliefs can find their way into what are children believe as truth. This is an underhanded way that society promotes its “tolerance” world values.

On the other hand, if we use these movies as tools to teach our children, it can be a very good thing. It’s important to have enough openness to listen and learn. When we discuss our beliefs in contrast to the movie, we can teach the truths of our own faith.

Some Questions to Inspire Discussion

The Afterlife

  1. Talk about your ancestors. Who they were/ What they did.
  2. Is it ok to remember your ancestors?
  3. Where do people go when they die? Talk about Heaven and Hell.
  4. Can people really come back to life?
  5. Discuss Jesus’ resurrection/ The rapture/second coming/ Lazarus

The Day of the Dead

  1. Should we build a shrine to our ancestors? Can dead people come back to life and talk with us.
  2. Discuss Jesus’ Parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31)
  3. Is it ok to have memorials?
  4. Discuss Joshua building a memorial after crossing the Jordan. (Joshua 3 & 4) How is this memorial different than building a shrine.

Forgiveness/Unforgiveness

  1. Who was unforgiving in the story of Coco?
  2. What kind of problems did it cause in the family?
  3. Discuss these problems and how they could be resolved.
  4. Are there problems in our own life caused by unforgiveness?
  5. Discuss the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. (Matthew 18:21-35)

Other points on the movie

If you would like other pros and cons about the movie, Focus on the Family has a terrific blog called Plugged-in where you can get a Biblical worldview of movies and other media being offered to our children.

Hope this is helpful. If you would like to see more of these, please comment below.

Mandy Farmer
Disney Pixar Movie review with discussion questions.
Lessons from Movies