Friday, April 30, 2010

Celebration of Family History

I was given tickets to A Celebration of Family History at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. It was beautifully done. A ball of purple yarn served as a metaphor for the family ties that bind us together. I came away from the meeting wanting to further my own family history. The spirit was strong, touching our hearts. It was a call to remember those have gone before… David McCullough refuted the saying, “Gone but not forgotten.” He said the truth is that “If not forgotten, they are not gone. We remember them. We honor them. We must not ever lose sight of them.”
McCullough reminded us to “Read the classics. They stand the test of time. Each book is a journey, a hunt, an adventure.” He stated we are doing an inadequate job of teaching, educating our children. He asked, “How can we claim to love our county and not know its history?” He stated education belongs at home. “Teach History: The history of family, of county, of the world and of music. History is about life and time. History isn’t boring. Take kids to historic sites. Let them see you get excited about history. Share what you love. Attitudes aren’t taught—they are caught.”
He also urged us to keep a personal journal. He is the loss of journal writing is “a shame. It is a loss of working out our thoughts on paper. As we sit down to write, we get a thought, an idea, we would not have gotten otherwise.” He discussed the journal of John Adams—and other great men of history.
I send my gratitude to all who sang, who put together the beautiful videos and who spoke or helped in every way for a memorable evening. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


We are not always given the knowledge of what will happen. Graciously, we are given inspiration and the gift of choice is ours.
Lately, I’ve been praying to be more open to promptings from the Spirit – and for enough awareness of those promptings to follow through and do what I should. 
Recently it was snowing like crazy just when it was time to go to work. I knew it was snowing and was ready to leave early, when my husband called to say there were cars off the side of the road and an accident, all within two miles of my house. I took a deep breath, said a prayer and asked what I should do. It came to me that I should call and see if I could get the night off. Now, I’m not one to call in every time there is a storm. Instead, I rely on my God to get me to and from work safely. Tonight was different. I wasn’t told what would happen if I went, but was given the inspiration and the choice. I feel I was being kept safe in a different way. I called work and they said to stay home. It surprised me, though it shouldn’t have. God prepared the way and the means.
May He continue to do so, for me and my family, and for all of you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Teaching our Children

The April LDS conference seemed to emphasize families. I want to focus for a minute on L. Tom Perry’s Talk on Mothers Teaching Children in the Home.
I love his discussion of the role of mothers. It is sweet when he talks of his own mother and the things she taught. “My mother understood the value of teaching her children about standards, values, and doctrine while they were young. While she was grateful to others who taught her children outside the home at either school or church, she recognized that parents are entrusted with the education of their children and, ultimately, parents must ensure that their children are being taught what their Heavenly Father would have them learn.”
Elder Perry says: “Teaching in the home is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread and he is attacking, attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society, even the family. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility.”
How often do we get frustrated with our children? Are they hearing anything we are saying? Are they listening? Some days may be difficult, but we can do it, even when we think we can’t. We must be consistent and patient. For, as Elder Perry says: “Parents must bring light and truth into their homes by one family prayer, one scripture study session, one family home evening, one book read aloud, one song, and one family meal at a time. They know that the influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily parenting is among the most powerful and sustaining forces for good in the world. The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find common roots in the teaching of children in the home.”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Recipe 1: Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe has never failed. I found it in a church cookbook, called Second Helpin’s, that was given to me when I got married. The contributor of this recipe is Pat Wayment. Thanks, Pat!

Pat’s Banana Walnut Bread
1 cup sugar
½ cup shortening
1 cup mashed bananas
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¾ cups regular flour or 2 cups cake flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips
Cream sugar, shortening, add eggs one at a time, then bananas (Pam’s note: I mash bananas with a potato masher). Add baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla and then flour. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. (I also sprinkled some on top of one of the loafs in the picture.) Bake at 350* for 50-60 minutes in greased and floured loaf pan. When done, if not eaten immediately – cool and wrap in plastic bag while warm. Keep refrigerated. (Pam’s note: this step is never necessary at my house, it gets eaten fast!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Homeschool 1: K'Nex

A little while back, John researched different contests for a homeschool assignment. He wondered if K’Nex had a contest. We looked it up and found they did, but the real news was that they had educational kits to aid learning about physical science. We’ve been holding a class once a week and it has been a blast! The first kit was wheels, axles and inclined planes. We are now working on Gears. These kits are fun, whether you homeschool or not, they are a good thing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Healthy Living Tip 3: Celiac and Gluten

For years I thought, if I ever end up with some horrible disease, I’ll go vegetarian. A few months ago I decided this was really self-defeating—after all, eating well can keep bad diseases and problems away, so why wait for them to show up?
So I’ve been trying harder. Only it wasn’t enough. I was having some problems and decided to check a few things. The diagnosis is in: I have Celiac Disease. This means I need to cut out all gluten from my diet. Insert evil laughter.
As much as I love sweet things, I love breads even more. Nothing beats a warm roll with honey butter on it or a pineapple upside down cake with melting ice cream. Or a wide cinnamon roll. They say I can still have those things, just as soon as I learn how to bake them. I’ll do that as soon as I decide what kind of flour I want to use: almond? Rice? Potato? And what is Xanthan Gum?
I’m sure I’ll figure it out one day. Until then, I think I’ll stick to meals and foods I do know, tweaking them a little if I need to. I do want to have some comfort foods around, so if I am feeling deprived, I can treat myself. I found a great list, made to go with your kid to school, but it works for me. I hope it helps you, too.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Song 1

I'm going to start posting a link to a song each Sunday. My hope is to share my testimony and faith.
Today at church, we had a great lesson on taking care of our spiritual hearts. I'm certainly grateful for all the blessings God has given me. He has done much to turn my heart toward Him and I pray He will continue to bless me with His tender mercies.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings "You Can Make the Pathway Bright"

Friday, April 16, 2010

Stuff, stuff, stuff

I attended a class this week on “Closing the Headgates” (see for an article and a free ebook). This relates specifically to Thomas Jefferson Education homeschooling model. We talked about how we have so many distractions and toys that do not educate our children. All of these need to be removed so our kids can learn. It isn’t enough to simply adopt a model of education and hope our kids follow along and learn something. Is it enough to restrict kids from TV and video games during certain hours of the day? According to this, it isn’t. The electronics need to be removed altogether. Card and board games, puzzles, legos, and any toy that works harder than the kids should not be available to children. I’m not sure I can go that far. I’m not sure whether my kids can or not. I do know as I look around at the things in my house, I see things that we don’t need and that waste our time. They distract us from doing more important things. Interestingly, today one of the early morning ‘news’ shows had a spot about “The Story of Stuff.” I think we will be going through our things, seeing what we can give away, sell or recycle.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My son turns seventeen today!

Today is my oldest son’s birthday. Seventeen years ago I became a mother and a little baby entered the world. Thank you, Jared, for helping me grow and learn.
I was in for a routine check when my ob stated he was worried because my blood pressure was going up. He asked me to come in the next day so we could check it again. On that day, he said it would be better to get baby out. My first son was born at 38 weeks by scheduled cesarean, weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces.
Six years later, I requested a copy of my hospital records of Jared’s arrival and found the “Justification for Surgery” Form which stated the cesarean was done for the following reasons:
1.       Patient Choice Elective
2.       Mild pregnancy-induced hypertension
3.       Recent herpes outbreak
Obviously, I didn’t “choose” an elective cesarean. I was told there was a medical reason for it. Even ACOG states that mild hypertension is not a reason for a cesarean, it needs to be moderate or severe. In addition, at the end of a normal pregnancy, a woman’s blood pressure can increase, as her blood volume increases, and in preparation for labor and birth. As for the herpes outbreak, yes, I do have a history of it, but do not remember an outbreak at that time. Also many obs were prescribing  medicine to prevent outbreaks (which my ob never mentioned).
My reasons the cesarean was really done:
1.       Physician Choice Elective
2.       Physician Impatience
3.       Physician Fear
4.       Patient Ignorance
I’ve learned so much since then. I hope I can share with you some of the things I’ve learned. Top three for pregnancy:
1.       Listen to your intuition.
2.       Ask questions and listen to their answers.
3.       Carefully choose your careprovider.  

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Original Dust Paw

Are you bored with your chores? Try The Original Dust Paw. My friend gave me this great duster and I had to share it with you! It is handmade by Gems by Rochelle in Portland, Oregon. She can be reached at 503.245.7297. I love it! Just for fun, I took it to work!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

LDS Conference

I enjoyed listening to the LDS General Conference April 3rd and 4th. It was wonderful to hear the inspired words of a living prophet. All the talks were uplifting and strengthening. Many focused on the importance of families.
I plan to download them and listen to them again, on my Zune, in the car to and from work, which seems to be the only time it is quiet enough for me to hear anything. I also plan to read the talks when the Ensign comes. To get to this and earlier conferences, click here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Healthy Living Tip 2: Colonoscopy

If you are over 50 or have a family history, a colonoscopy is a must. I also believe in listening to your body: if you think it might be a good idea, go do it. My niece is a nurse in this field. She tells how she just found advanced colon cancer in a woman and had to tell her she only had a few weeks to live. Colon cancer has only a few vague symptoms, which are often ignored or mistaken for something else. A colonoscopy is the best way to find and remove polyps, which often grow into cancer. I’m having mine tomorrow!

Monthly Rotating Menu

Several ladies in my neighborhood got together for lunch the other day. Two hours later, we decided we’d like to get together monthly, but for more than lunch. We made it our goal to work on our food storage. To do my part, I’ve been researching food storage options. For me, one of the biggest questions has always been, “Do we have a year’s supply of food or not?” It is hard to look at 10 pound cans of wheat, beans and oatmeal and feel you could eat that for a year. If I really had to live off this food, how long would it last? What could I make with it? So here is my plan: I’m going to make a list of a month’s worth of meals and what it would take to make them, then rotate that menu. I found one online here, as an example and here is a blank one in excel format for you to fill in. Their whole website is great! Just think what it would mean to be able to say with confidence, “Yes, we have a year’s supply of food. Normal food, food we like to eat!” Who’s with me?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cesarean Awareness Month

April is Cesarean Awareness Month. People often ask me, "Are you for cesareans or against them?" Think cancer, it's not about being for or against, it is being aware, it is about prevention and recovery. It is about reducing your chance of getting a preventable, unnecessary surgery that could have life-long consequences. I’m tired of discussions that pretend the risks of cesareans are negligible, when the reality is that cesareans have very real risks that are probable, not just vaguely possible. Being aware of cesareans means being aware of what it takes to have healthy moms and babies. Read the ICAN Blog to read stories of women, their cesareans and their VBACs.

Friday, April 2, 2010

UDA session: Jiggling Babies

Use of the Rebozo in Pregnancy and Labor
Celeste R. Thomas, CNM and Susanna Cohen, CNM (both work at the U of U in Salt Lake City) did a great job showing us the history of the Rebozo, traditional uses of the Rebozo and different techniques regarding the Rebozo. They also showed us a youtube video of Angelina Martinez Miranda, a traditional Mexican midwife. Follow the link here to view.
Some things to remember if using the Rebozo:
Watch your posture and balance
Bend your knees
Hold the Rebozo ends like you are “milking a cow”
Always greet baby
Have faith babies know what to do, you are just encouraging them into position
Remember: Intention and Attention
After trying this a few times, I believe using the Rebozo requires trust
Linked References:
Blake, C & Blake D Abdominal Sacral Massage: Rebozo
Sotelo, D.I. & Vinaver, N. The Rebozo: A transcription of the Rebozo workshop given by dona Irene Sotelo and Naoli Vinaver. Midwifery Today, Inc.
Tully, G. Rebozo Sifting or Jiggling