My faith

I'm a Mormon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good ideas

The Claytons had some good ideas about how to save time in the kitchen, so I thought I'd post the link. Thanks Shalyse.

I have completely neglected this blog because I really didn't think anyone looked at it. Then I looked at the survey, so I guess more people than I thought have looked. So I will try and be more vigilant. Being a mom is hard. But I got a new mop today, so hopefully that will help motivate me to clean. You know, the novelty of new things! :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I have been quite perplexed the last few days in reading the response of the gay community to the passing of Proposition 8. Honestly, it is difficult to see your church, the center of your belief, come under attack. I was feeling very angry at people who, to me, seemed to act in the way they were accusing the entire LDS church of acting. I felt like arguing. I felt like leaving mean comments on blogs defending myself and my religion, as well as my values. I also felt a small worry that somehow these people would undermine the work of the church in helping Heavenly Father's work progress.

Then I remembered something said by Joseph Smith, and all my fears were washed away.
"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny(a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something) may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

With that, and remembering that the Savior commanded us to love our enemies, I am no longer feeling bitter towards people who would falsely accuse me of bigotry just because I want to preserve my freedom of religion. There are a million arguments to counter each argument made by the people who are upset over the passage of this amendment. But I don't need to sit and come up with brilliant arguments. There is work to do. There are people hurting, hungry, cold, in need of a friend. I can spend my time and energy helping instead of hurting others.

I also started to think "why don't we just let them do what they want?" Then I read this interview with Elder Oakes. I highly recommend it.

A recent BYU forum by a Princeton professor also sheds light on the issue.

So anyway, I am not bigoted. I am trying to love everyone. I'm not perfect. I get angry sometimes. But I will continue to stand up for what I believe. That doesn't make me a bigot, that means I have integrity.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Love and Logic Chapter 1

I thought I would summarize each chapter of Parenting with Love and Logic. So here we go.

Chapter 1: Parenting: Joy or Nightmare?

The authors start out with different examples of parenting situations where the child is obviously in control and manipulates to get exactly what they want. In the first scene, a little girls refuses to get in the car to go home until her parents coax and finally bribe her. The second example is a little boy at the airport whose mom keeps yelling at him to stay by her side so he doesn't get lost. He refuses to comply and continues to walk up to strangers. The mom is obviously flustered, and the author asks the little boy "what is your mom going to do if you don't get over there?" To which the boy responds "She's not going to to nothing." And then his eyes twinkle and his grin becomes wider (pp. 18)

The last scene is your classic grocery store scene with two brothers running around, knocking things down, putting treats in the cart when mom isn't looking. "Frazzled, harried, and broken, mom finally surrenders and buys off her precious flesh and blood with candy bars--a cease-fire that guarantees enough peace to finish her rounds."

These stories are examples of "Parenting: the Nightmare."

Before becoming parents, we look forward to it with optimism, picturing the times of tenderness and love, shared joys and disappointments, hugs and encouragement, words of comfort, and soul-filled conversations. (pp.19). "The sublime joys of parenting [in the previous stories] were obliterated by a more immediate concern: survival." Scenes like these happen to the best of us. (pp.19)

Parenting doesn't have to be a drudgery. There is hope. Love and Logic is all about raising responsible kids, and its a win-win philosophy. "Parents win because they love in a healthy way and establish control over their kids without resorting to anger and threats that encourage rebellious teenage behavior. Kids win because they learn responsibility and the logic of life by solving their own problems. Thus, they acquire tools for coping with the real world." (pp. 20)

The goal is to create a relationship built on love and trust. This strategy puts the fun back into parenting.

Crystal's thoughts:
I have seen parents at stores struggling to control their whiny kids. I don't know that "control" is exactly what I'm aiming for, but I don't think the author means authoritarian parenting where :what I says goes, end of story." It is based on establishing a respectful relationship and teaching choices. My friend told me "treat your kids good and they'll be good kids."

Parenting with Love & Logic Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Mission Possible: Raising responsible kids
"All loving parents face essentially the same challenge: raising children who have their heads on straight and will have a good chance to make it in a big world. Every sincere mom and dad strives to attain this goal. We must equip our darling offspring to make the move from total dependence on us to independence, from being controlled by us to controlling themselves." (pp.21)

In the world we live in, responsible kids are the only ones who will be able to handle all the difficult situations and choices. "Many kids arrive at their challenging and life-threatening teenage years with no clue as to how to make decisions. They 'know better' but still try drugs..., ignore good advice, and dabble with sex." (pp.22) Why? They haven't learned to make good choices.

Ineffective parenting styles:
1. Helicopter parents: their lives revolve around their children. They hover and rescue children from bad choices, resulting in children never learning how to deal with consequences. These "loving" parents think they are making it easier for their kids, but their children aren't equipped to deal with the challenges of life. These parents aren't secure in imposing consequences. When their children hurt, they hurt too, so they bail their kids out. The real world is not like this. Normal events of adult life (disease, traffic tickets, bills...) don't disappear because a loving benefactor bails us out. (pp.23)

2. Turbo-attack helicopter model Parents: Parents who no longer recue and defend, but "fly in with guns blazing and missles locked in to attack anyone who held their child responsible for his or her actions." Kids end up blaming others for their lack of success.

3. Drill Sergeant parents: They love their children, but try to control with fierce discipline. They MAKE their kids do the right. (Sound familiar...?) These kids end up never having to think or make decisions. They become very susceptible to peer pressure

Effective parenting style of Love and Logic:

The Consultant Parent
* Especially effective with teenagers
* Kids need guidance and firm, enforceable limits
* Encourage children to think about behavior and help them feel in control of their actions by giving them choices within those limits.
* Important for teens who resent guidelines and rebel at firm limits.
* Let reasonable, real-world consequences do the teaching.
* Parents become advisors and counselors more than police officers.

The Paradox of Success and failure

Crystal's thoughts: Helicopter parents are the bane of any schoolteacher. These parents think their child should get an "A" and a pat on the back no matter what they do! And everything is the teacher's fault!! These parents LOVE No Child Left behind!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How to make a quiet book.

I have seen lots of moms with quiet books at church, and my friend posted this on her blog. I'm going to try and make one for Alana!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fleece Throws

Walmart has oversized fleece throws for $3.97! I was pretty amazed by this and bought 6, figuring I could use them for Christmas gifts. Who doesn't love to cuddle under a big soft blanket and read when it's cold outside?

I realize I have been MIA lately. I have goals to continue with the calendar, but we have had some changes around her lately, and I've been less worried about planning meals in advanced. My only problem with planning ahead is that I often don't want to eat what I planned to make for that night. Oh well. It's a good skill and I should probably just get used to eating what's for dinner. :)

Homemade Cream of Wheat

I really love Cream of Wheat, but it is SO EXPENSIVE! I was shocked when I went to buy a box the other day and found out it cost almost $6 for a tiny box. Sob. So I decided to try my hand at making my own, and it turned out REALLY yummy. It is much creamier and "wheaty" tasting than normal Cream of Wheat, but it was fantastic. I think I am going to try making Cream of Rice next. Here is my recipe:

2 cups water
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups coarsely ground wheat

(I have a Nutrimill grinder and I put it on the low and coarse settings. You want it to be the coarsest you can get it-- but not as coarse as cracked wheat. I think you could do it in the blender, you'd just have to let it blend till it got the right consistency. )

Bring water, milk and salt to a boil. Turn down the heat (or turn it all the way off) and slowly add the wheat while stirring constantly. If you got to fast or don't stir enough you get clumps-- ick. It thickens pretty fast, and then you just stir it until the desired consistency.