Sunday, April 19, 2009

Is the fighting MY fault?

There was an excellent talk in the March Ensign by Marion G. Romney titled "The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance." Such an excellent talk for so many applicable reasons in this political climate. But the phrase that really stuck out to me was, "...despair that comes from enforced idleness..."

How many times have I forced my children to be idle just so they don't get in my way? If my kids are getting crazy or bothering me, I usually plop them in front of a movie. Now, while this method definitely has its place, I'm sure I'm over-using and abusing it.

How many times have I enforced idleness on myself and I become bored and depressed and cranky and short-tempered...and you get the picture.

I also thought of this phrase in relation to the scripture, "They did become an idle people, full of mischief." (2 Nephi 5:24).

I started to mentally connect the dots. How can I expect my children to keep the peace, aka, NOT FIGHT FOR THE LOVE OF PETE! when I'm forcing them to be idle and therefore "full of mishief?"

I'm not planning any radical changes, but maybe suggest coloring instead of a movie. Or asking them to help me make or do whatever it is I'm doing? If I'm cooking or cleaning, I should let them help. My kids are usually willing to help me because they just want to be with me and learn.

I remember President Monson recently talking about children: whatever is put into their heads before they're 8 years old is there to stay, good or bad. Just another motivation to stuff them full of love, sweet life skills, songs, and happy memories making cookies with Mom. Don't you think?
An idyllic Saturday where Jon cleaned out the rain gutters and Sam and I cooked french bread and strawberry jam. The weather was divine and strawberries were 99 cents per pound!
Sam wouldn't let me throw away this apple peel. "Mom, you can't throw that away. Those are the good parts!"

Low-Sugar Jam with Apple, from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

4 cups berries or pitted, peeled, and roughly choped stone fruit, such as peaches, plums, or nectarines
2 cups peeled, cored, and minced apple
2 cups sugar, more or less
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste

1. Place all the fuit in a large saucepan and crush lightly with a fork or potato masher. Add sugar and lemon juice. Turn heat to medium-high.

2. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture liquefies. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.

3. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, unti the fruit has broken down and the mixture is thick, 30 minutes. Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice if necessary, then cool and refrigerate (use within a few days) or freeze.

*Test for gelling by dropping a dollup on a cooled plate. If it is still runny after a few minutes, either cook longer or add a small amount of gelatin.


  1. Love the new blog. Love the new stuff. I meant to post earlier, but then thought I would just call you. I called today and am just realizing that you are in TEXAS! Hope you are having a great time.

  2. I love your thoughts here. Exactly what has been on my mind lately. I know they misbehave because they don't have anything better to do, and that should be my job- giving them something better to do. :) The only problem is, if I give them a crayon, I'd better be around to supervise or else there will be a lot more cleaning to be done...PS- Have you heard of the Duggars? That lady has a lot of great ideas for keeping her kids busy.