Archive for August, 2011

Strengthening Families by Increasing Spirituality

August 31, 2011

A Visiting Teaching Message from Sept 2011 Ensign

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president, said: “There has grown in me an overwhelming testimony of the value of daughters of God….I have felt that there has never been a greater need for increased faith and personal righteousness.  There has never been a greater need for strong families and homes.

Sisters can help create strong homes and families as they act on personal revelation.  “The ability to qualify for , receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life,” Sister Beck continued.  “Qualifying for the Lord’s Spirit begins with a desire for that Spirit and implies a certain degree of worthiness.  Keeping the commandments, repenting, and renewing covenants made at baptism lead to the blessing of always having the Lord’s spirit with us.  Making and keeping temple covenants also adds spiritual strength and power to a woman’s life.  Many answers to difficult questions are found by reading the scriptures because the scriptures are an aid to revelation…Daily prayer is also essential to having the Lord’s Spirit with us.”(1)

We also strengthen our family members spiritually as we help them understand Heavenly Father’s eternal plan.  “What can we do to better prepare our children spiritually for their eternal roles?” asked Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  “Perhaps the most inclusive answer is: Teach them how to live the principles of the gospel.”  This teaching comes through daily prayer, scripture study, and family mealtimes as well as weekly family home evening and Church attendance.  Elder Ballard explained: “We prepare each day, right now, for eternal life.  If we are not preparing for eternal life, we are preparing for something else, perhaps something far less.”(2)

Questions to ask ourselves:

1) How can I help my sisters increase in spiritual self-reliance?

2)How can I improve my own ability to recognize and respond to the Holy Spirit?

Reference Notes:

1. Julie B. Beck, “And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2010, 10, 11.

2. M. Russell Ballard, “Spiritual Development,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 65,66.

Tuesdays Tips

August 30, 2011

This is something that I have been meaning to do and now I thought – now is the time!

Every time I am shopping or in a store my 6 yr old daughter starts to beg and plead for a toy that she wants.  There was one in particular that she just loved.  I realized that she is getting older now and should understand that if you want something really bad you need to earn it and work for it.  We already had a separate savings bank and tithing bank for  any money that she has received, i.e. birthday money, monetary gifts, etc.

So I decided to assign a separate piggy bank as her spending bank.  Now she has 3 banks: Spending (for one gift only); savings account bank; tithing bank.  We discussed that if she wants to save her own money for something special that she wants, she will have to earn it by having assigned chores to do around the house.  This has really motivated her to help around the house and it has helped me to get things done! (i.e. 10 cents to groom and play with the dog; 10 cents to clean her room each day).

She is also learning about what employers are looking for: a hard worker with a positive attitude.  Today, I had a negative attitude and shared feedback just like an employer would on her attitude and that in the real world, understanding what are good qualities to have to get a job later in life.  She had 25cents deducted from her earnings that day because of her negative attitude -demoted from her job.  She did not like it but understood.  It was also a good time to assert that she needs to do other chores that are expected of her when she does not get paid.  (We had to draw a line on it somewhere.  These kids are too smart and catch on quick!)

This gave us an opportunity to review the meaning and understanding of tithing and fast offering which we did as a FHE topic.  Each time she earns money we sit down and count the money out  and allocate a portion for tithing.  She does the actual counting and tallying of the money and records it on her “bank sheet” that she made up.   She is learning about percentages, counting the money and understanding the coinage, etc. but also learning to earn money and save for tithing.  We also plan to visit the bank and open a savings account for her.

Eventually when she is older we will have discussions about savings plans for school, how to use and not use a credit card, etc.  but at least this is a beginning of learning to budget, save, and understand the meaning of tithing and why we fast.

Mondays Menus

August 30, 2011

My apologies for submitting this late.  I was a little distracted with things at home.

This is a quick and easy marinade that I had at a recent birthday party.  It was used on chicken but I think it would be very good also with pork .

No Measuring needed:

Add the following:

A couple cups of soy sauce

Crushed Fresh Garlic – 4-5 cloves( I use a garlic press)

A cup of Ketchup


A cup of Lemon Juice

The measurements are approx. per the person who gave the recipe to me because she just throws things together (except the kitchen sink).  Place the chicken in a large 1 gallon Hefty Plastic bag and pour the marinade in with the chicken. Zip it up and leave in refrigerator 4-6 hours or overnight.  Grill on low heat.

Friday Favorites: Fresh Peach Pie

August 26, 2011

We see signs now everywhere for Peaches ready to be picked. Here’s my favorite fresh peach recipe. I am making one for tonight. . .  I hope.

Just waiting for my husband and children to get out there and pick those fresh peaches I saw ready a couple miles away.

Fresh Peach Pie

2 1/2 c. peeled and sliced fresh peaches

1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Stir on the stove until thick. Then remove from heat and add 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 tsp. lemon juice. Cool then cover and refrigerate 3 hours. This is the glaze.

Sprinkle one 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar in a pie shell. (to keep the crust from going soggy)

Just before serving, peel and slice fresh peaches and arrange in pie shell. Top with glaze. Then spread center with whipped cream. I leave about an inch of around the edges so you can see the peaches. Eat right away.

Also another friday favorite I would like to mention is  Fiddlehead Farms on Central Ave in Dover. If you want to buy bargain produce that is the place to go. It is just a small little shop. Meats, Cheese the bakery are high end and too expensive for my budget but the produce is always well below even Market Basket. That’s where the peaches for my glaze came from that is waiting in the fridge now for the fresh peaches for the pie.

Happy Friday!

Thursday Thoughts: Chastity

August 26, 2011

Gospel Principles:  Chapter  39  Chastity

There are many blessings that come in accordance with our keeping the Lord’s law of Chastity.

The lesson teaches,

“When we obey the law of chastity, we can live without guilt or shame. Our lives and our children’s lives are blessed when we keep ourselves pure and spotless before the Lord. Children can look to our example and follow in our footsteps.”

We talked about the important role we have as parents to provide the example and also teach our children these things.

“By the time children reach maturity, parents should have frankly discussed procreation with them. Children should understand that these powers are good and were given to us by the Lord. He expects us to use them within the bounds He has given us.

Little children come to earth pure and innocent from Heavenly Father. As parents pray for guidance, the Lord will inspire them to teach children at the right time and in the right way.”


Wednesday Words: Lifelong Learning

August 24, 2011

I came across this in the August Ensign and thought it was a good reminder of wholesome activities that we can encourage our families to participate in if we are stuck in a rut.

Suggestions for Lifelong Learning

*Read a Good Book.

* Take up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try.

*Attend wholesome cultural events. (UNH has lots of these that are free to the public)

*Study the assigned general conference talk or chapter in the Gospel Principles manual for Sunday lessons.

*Visit Museums and historic sites. (Our local library has lots of free and reduced tickets available for local sites.)

*Observe the world around your neighborhood, stargaze, watch animals in your area.

*Do family history work.

*Learn a new skill or sport.

* Visit the library to research a topic of interest.

So next time you hear from a family member, “I’m bored”, Pull out this list.

Kashann Casper

For more on this topic, see “True to the Faith (2004) “Education,” 50-51.

Tuesday Tips: Stop the naggin

August 23, 2011

(Click on image to enlarge)

Sitting around pregnant on bed rest has turned me into a nagger. I am driving everyone crazy around my house. Begging and pleading everyone to sweep the floor or clean a bathroom. There is always a solution though. For some reason sometimes my brain is slow though and I forgot about the job chart that got lost in the move. So I made a new one. Sitting on my easy chair and with a pen and paper I found next to me. So it’s nothing fancy . .  but it works. This kind of chart has worked for our family for years. They can all easily see their jobs for the day and on the far left I have listed extra jobs, that will get done on Saturday. It hangs on the kitchen fridge. The names are all in pencil in case they need to be shifted around. I listed myself as the permanent dishwasher since everyone in my house agrees it’s a perfect job for Mom sitting on her stool. This has eliminated almost all of my nagging in the last few days. And by the way, I didn’t plan on blog publishing this when I created this sloppy job chart. But I was in a pinch and needed a tip and decided that you all could excuse my crooked lines and handwriting. 🙂


Monday Menus: Rotisserie Chicken

August 22, 2011

Here’s two meals for my family of 7 out of one purchased Rotisserie chicken.

I prefer to skip the lunchmeat and make sandwiches with Rotisserie chicken if we need a picnic lunch.

Spread bread with hummus. Then top with pieces of chicken and your favorite veggies. I like baby spinach, sliced tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Now don’t throw the chicken carcass away. Take off any leftover meat and set aside for soup for your next meal. And the carcass is to make the most delicious broth ever.

Place the whole chicken in boiling water and cook it for a while. Maybe 10 minutes. Then Add carrots, then your choice of broccoli, peas, corn, lima beans and onions and of course noodles and chicken pieces. Tortellini is very good but I usually just use egg noodles. Do not overcook noodles. Sometimes I even cook them separate and add after soup is done. Also if you use broccoli that should be added very late also.  Serve with parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Egg Noodles

If you want to, you can make your own noodles.

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4- 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix in bowl and make a well in the center of the mixture.

Combine 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, and 1 T. melted butter. Pour into well, combine and knead for up to 5 minutes. If you are up to it. Then rest 10 minutes. Roll out on a flour surface into a rectangle. Pretty much as thin as you can. Then slice noodles with pizza cutter into desired lengths.

To cook boil in salt water (or soup) for 5 minutes.

Friday Favorites: Vintage Clothes

August 19, 2011

My husband’s high school reunion was last weekend, which caused me no end of fretting about finding something to wear, which makes me sound incredibly shallow, considering there are real problems in the world. Still. What can I say? It’s incredibly challenging finding a dress these days that’s not too short, too low, too tight, strapless/sleeveless, AND actually fits.

So, as usual, I turned to vintage dresses, or vintage-style dresses from the 50s and 60s. While I’ve occasionally found some true vintage ones online at ebay, the vintage-inspired ones at Shabby Apple and ModCloth are often less expensive, with a more modern fit. If you’re in need of a dress, I recommend perusing these sites.

Happy Friday!




Thursday Thoughts: Eternal Marriage

August 18, 2011

As I am traveling YET AGAIN, I missed Patsy’s (it was Patsy, wasn’t it?) lesson, but if I have figured correctly, the topic was Eternal Marriage, lesson 38. The lesson states the most important basic principles of eternal marriage: 1. It is ordained of God; 2. it is essential for exaltation; 3. it must be performed by the proper authority in the temple; and 4. it must be prepared for. The lesson also lists the benefits of an eternal marriage, which I think bears repeating:

“As Latter-day Saints, we are living with an eternal perspective, not just for the moment. However, we can receive blessings in this life as a result of being married for eternity. Some of those blessings are as follows:

  1. We know that our marriage can last forever. Death can part us from one another only temporarily. Nothing can part us forever except our own disobedience. This knowledge helps us work harder to have a happy, successful marriage.
  2. We know that our family relationships can continue throughout eternity. This knowledge helps us be careful in teaching and training our children. It also helps us show them greater patience and love. As a result, we should have a happier home.
  3. Because we have been married in God’s ordained way, we are entitled to an outpouring of the Spirit on our marriage as we remain worthy.

Some of the blessings we can enjoy for eternity are as follows:

  1. We can live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of God.
  2. We can be exalted as God is and receive a fulness of joy.”-Ginger