Friday, June 13, 2008

Strengthening the Family- #1 Home Environment

"No other success in life can compensate for failure in the home"
David O. McKay
I have been doing a lot of thinking about my little family lately and what steps we can take to strengthen it. Shortly after Porter was born we purchased the book "25 mistakes LDS Parents Make and How to Avoid Them" by Randal A. Wright, but only last week did I pick it up and start reading it. It is an excellent book with so many good insights that are applicable not only to LDS parents but all parents looking to strengthen and protect their families.
Not to spoil the book (because I think it is a must read) I am going to give my take on each of the principles taught- The first principle
A persons home is a reflection of who they are and what matters to them-
Several years ago we had a neighbor in a serious accident- He had been the only one home and his family who had been out of time was headed straight to the hospital. We stopped by their home shortly after the accident to check on their pets and make sure everything was ok. One thing in particular stood out to me- a set of scriptures open on the dining room table, with a marking pencil beside them. They were out- being used- showing that they were important to him.
I thought of my own scriptures tucked away neatly in a drawer- all to often pulled out only when I remembered to grab them on my way to church.... What did that say about the value I placed upon them? Our Book of Mormon now sits on our kitchen table- it still doesn't get read every day but we are much more likely to remember to read when it is out and available
What is important to your family?
The things that are most important to me- the things I want to teach my child(ren) to value are
1) Our Family 2) The Gospel 3) Freedom/Our Nation 4) Outdoors 5)Literature/Reading
How does your home reflect what's important to you?
The choice of pictures and artwork in your home reflects much of our values and whats important to you- Just as a member of Peta wouldn't display a gun rack in their back window- we should display that which reflects our values.
Pictures in our home include of our family, Christ, the Sacred Grove, George Washington and other historical leaders, The Proclamation on the Family. We also have pictures of the outdoors, animals, and of course lots of little black bears as well as bookshelves full of good books. Like most things of course there is always room to improve.
Porter's room for example is decorated top to bottom in cute little black bears and pine trees- which is both cute and fits what we value- but does it communicate what we value the most? I am sure that adding a picture of the Savior and/or temple in his room would even further communicate the values that we want him to strive for.
Children seem to readily value that which their parents do- Almost without fail if you find parents who are very involved in sports- or music- their children are too. We learn what we live with. I think that if we start with our children when they are young not only teaching them our values but surrounding them with little reminders they will be much more likely to value those same things in their lives.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Porter Self Feeding

Porter has decided that he needs to feed himself- If I am not really quick pulling the spoon back out he bites down and will not let go. Once he has control of the spoon he wants to dip it in the babyfood just like mom... I let him try it once and although he managed to get some in his mouth most ended up on him- the highchair- the floor- me.....

He has also decided that cheerios and other such foods are blah- he want's stuff with substance. Last night we were putting away groceries so I cut up some pizza and put it on his tray- not long later dad walked by and noticed he had no food and not knowing I had already given him some, gave him some more. When I came back a few minutes later I gave him more- We figure that he must have eaten at least a whole slice!

Another of his favorites is steamed green beans- which really surprises me because they are pretty chewy. It amazes me how well he chews them with those 8 tiny little teeth. Which, YES TESSA, we are brushing with the toothbrush you gave him!

Food Storage

I have a list of blogs in my google reader that I enjoy reading one of my very favorite is Be It Ever So Humble. Mrs. Mordecai has great ideas on so many homemaking related things. Her post today was on food storage- which is one of the few homemaking areas that I feel like I have a really good handle on (I should say WE my husband is a big helper).

When we got married we were fortunate to have family give us some food storage as wedding presents- in the eight years since then we have added a little here and a little there and have finally got to a point where we can work on maintaining and rotating. We are very fortunate to have a large storage room in our basement that stays nice and cool to keep stuff well preserved.

I know when we started it seemed overwhelming but speaking from experience starting was the hardest part- I truly believe with a little planning, some time, and a little faith anyone can follow the wise council to build their food storage up. That is my challenge to all my family and friends this week. Take a mental inventory of where you are with your food storage and take action- even a little step towards getting it to where you want it to be. You can do it!!!