I came  across a website, People For Education, and read about a study on the concerning decline of reading enjoyment in children. I found this interesting and concerning as well. I recommend reading this study.   http://www.peopleforeducation.ca/document/reading-for-joy/

When I look back over my life I didn't struggle with reading, spelling was another thing, but reading I think I was OK with. I enjoyed books and when needed for home work I researched in encyclopedias, books, magazines and newspapers as
taught by our librarian or teacher. I can't say my parents read with us a lot but they did encourage us to read and the simple fact that resounds loudly to me, we didn't watch endless amounts of TV as there wasn't endless amount of children shows. 

Fast forward to my children.  When my daughter was born, I read to her as a baby.  My mom and especially my Oma thought they saw it all... reading to a baby, ridiculous, but I did it anyways. As she got older I read more books to her and went to the library. I can remember distinctly when she was in the My Little Pony phase there was one My Little Pony book that we
read everyday and many days more then once.  She had memorized each page pretty much completely. We found it funny.  I didn't focus or force her to learn to read, I just read to her.  Come grade one, oddly enough, we found out she was
behind in her reading skills.  I guess in our reading for fun, I missed the point of teaching her.  So we focused on her reading each night and in no time she was up to where she should be.  Reading hasn't been an issue since and she still loves to read, so much we sometimes have to forbid her to read because she stays up at night reading to finish the book.

Now my boys.... this is a different story.  I know I did not read with them as babies, like I did with my daughter. Maybe its because with more kids in the house, they didn't get all that attention I had when it was just one.  Maybe because of having a child with special needs and focusing more attention on other needs like physio therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy,  reading just didn't get in there for them. (Not to forget my daughter still asking for her reading time, I thought/felt like I was getting reading time in.)  Maybe its TV, Internet, etc. Don't get me wrong, I am doing their home reading programs and compared to my daughter, they can read more sight words than she could at the same age.  But that love of reading, the interest to hear the whole page of each page of the story, the wishing that the story would continue when coming to the end of the story is not there.  It seems more task driven than desire....

Until tonight.  I saw my son with Down syndrome, open his home reading book and babble along making up his own story.  At first I thought I need to get him to look at the words and "read" the words, but he quickly told me "No!" and returned to
his reading.  He flipped page by page and read his story and at the end I asked him if he liked the book, "yes".  I did my other son's home reading making him read each word and practise sight words and then we were done.

Now reading this study, I'm taken aback.... I reflect on our home reading program time tonight and compare the two... what use is the ability of reading without the love of reading?  I think I have lost focus, purpose, desire.  Another New Years Resolution has emerged. One that should make a difference to all of us. Time to get back to the Love of Reading.
Not meaning to do it, this week had an international flair. Here is this week menu plan.

Monday - Beefy Baked Ravioli - This was a winner with the family. 

Tuesday - Corned Beef Dinner - First time doing corned beef.  Was OK. Cooked cabbage got a thumbs down. The corned beef was good.

Wednesday - Curried Chicken - I don't often cook with curry, but when I was puting this one together, it smelled wonderful. I couldn't wait to sit down for supper. Sadly I was disappointed as the flavour was so much less than the smell of it. Still overall was a good dinner. I will have to investigate other curry dishes to see what was different. 

Thursday - Spicy Thai Peanut Steak - YES. Big hit (should say I don't really consider my two young ones to say if something is good because if it isn't peanut butter or nutella its next to impossible to get them to eat).  Hubby and my girl gave it 9.5 and buddy boy did eat his so that is really good. Will do this again and soon. The recipe I used is below but I used pad Thai sauce since I couldn't find spicy peanut Thai sauce, which is probably good as the family is not fond of spicy. I add spicy stuff to my food at the table. 
Friday - Crispy Crumbly Fish - Not bad for a fish dinner. Trying to include fish in our diet more but its not exciting to me. I want to stay away from for breaded and fried fish & chips as that seems so contradictory to me. 

Saturday - Southwest Chicken Pasta - Another OK dinner. Next time, instead of pasta, I will try rice. 

So this week we have gone to Italy, Ireland, India, Thailand, Canada and Mexico. This is good.

...Take it or leave it.
(hehe, love that saying.)

There is something that I had done before that I found helpful and I don't know why I didn't continue with it when I returned back to work.  Menu planning is what I am talking about.  A half hour to an hour for a week of knowing what's for dinner and what to buy grocery shopping.  It really did help me with the "what to make for supper" dilemma each day.  So I am trying this again.

I don't use anything fancy, just some cookbooks, www.allrecipes.com, and my list of days of the week.  As well, i just plan for supper, sometimes for breakfast or lunch if there is something special, but for the most part it is supper that is my hang up. 

So here is this weeks menu plan.  I'm trying some new recipes so if they are good I will add the recipes here. 

Monday - Stromboli (baked sandwich/loaf) - This was really good. I'll do it again. Family loved it and I also made this for another family and they loved it  too. 

Tuesday - Tortilla Soup - This was OK. I'll stick with taco soup instead.

Wednesday - Steak and Potatoes - Another good recipe for the crockpot. Tasted more like a roast than steak, but then again you can't beat the BBQ.

Thursday - Chicken Supreme - blech - nuf'said.

Friday - Fish and Rice - Fish had always been a challenge for me. I'll keep trying.

Saturday -  Leftovers

Sunday - Chicken Pasta Bake - ended up trying homemade gnochi instead.  Yummy.