Friday, September 28, 2012

Home-made Buttermilk Syrup with Waffles

This has become a new favorite at our house lately.

 Buttermilk Syrup

I found this recipe on, and it was a good find.
Ohhhh!  just that the thought of it...makes me all giddy inside.  It is so delicious.  I would even call it      Sin-fully Delicious!
Of coarse, the waffles are just the avenue to get the Buttermilk Syrup into your mouth, because it would be wrong to just eat it by the spoonful...


1  1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
Bring to a boil and cook for 7 minutes, then add the vanilla
You will get a delightful product that looks like this:

  If I had to describe the taste to you...I would say it closely resembles caramel.  The same ingredients are there..only tweaked slightly.  It is really good!

A word of precaution:  This is what happened when I cooked it today because I chose the wrong size pan. This really foams and rises a lot during the cooking time.  Make sure you choose a 4 1/2 qt. pan.


Print the recipes: 

Buttermilk Syrup



You know you want this

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Motherhood Paydays


Update to Mother's Day...

I know what you are thinking..."Mother's Day was over 4 months ago."

Isn't that the joy of it all?  It is one of the holidays that keeps on giving sometimes all year long...

Lindsey one of my 18 year old daughters threw a piece of folded up paper in my lap and  said, "Hey Mom, I forgot to give you this on Mother's Day.  Happy Mother's Day Mom!" [4 months late]

Expecting to see the tender but usual.."you're the best mom ever" note we moms receive quite often...

I was quite taken back by the depth of her note. It was a much needed motherhood payday that we don't get  too often.

Dear Mom,
Thank-you for everything you've ever done for me! Thank-you for being my best friend and being so willing to listen to me talk about boys.  Thank-you for letting me make my own decisions.  That lets me know you trust me.  But most importantly, thank-you for being so strong in the church!  Thank you for teaching us in the church!  I always feel comfortable coming to talk to you about everything!! Thanks for being the best listener!! {she likes exclamation marks}  {then for the mom-moment...} I want to be a mom  exactly like you!  You are the Best Mom EVER!

Excuse my while I wipe the tears away and clear my throat...

Wow!  OK!  Well...

My most important goal in life is to be a Mother Who Knows. I am still working on it.  By having all daughters, who will hopefully be mothers themselves someday, who will shape little souls of their own...I do feel this great responsibility-- to get it right.

To be an example.... the good kind, so there will be more tender tearful moments of joy in the future.

For now, I am basking in the light, that I did OK for today.

Now if you'll excuse me,  my 7 year old daughter is throwing a temper tantrum on the carpet behind me because she wanted me to buy her fruit snacks at the store, and I forgot.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Come Listen to a Living Prophet


Meet Todays Prophets and Apostles

“Because Heavenly Father loves His children, He has not left them to walk through this mortal life without direction and guidance,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said. “That is why He pleads so earnestly with us through His prophets. Just as we want what is best for our loved ones, Heavenly Father wants what is best for us.”
Prophets and apostles who speak today represent and carry out the Lord’s will as they lead His children in this dispensation. President Uchtdorf said, “Our fate and the fate of our world hinge on our hearing and heeding the revealed word of God to His children.” We Need Living Prophets

Special Witnesses of Christ


Prophets of the Restoration 


Monday, September 24, 2012

Being Free from Addiction

As I am approaching my 45th Birthday....I can't help but think back over my life...and all those experiences that have had long lasting affects upon me.  A few stand out.

One in particular comes to mind...with a lesson attached to it.

When I was nine years old, we lived in Bemidji, Minnesota.

If you are unfamiliar with where this is...this is in northern Minnesota . COLD country!  The Land of 10,000 Lakes, 10,000 mosquitoes and the best childhood you could ask for.

 We had a Paul Bunyan Amusement Park in our hometown...everyday!  We were a short distance from Lake Itasca State Park, the place where the Mississippi River begins.

Our lives revolved around the lakes that literally dot  that area.  In each town you will find many lakes, some right in your back-yard. We floated down canals, fished, swam in the lakes, skied, ice-skated, and ice-fished.

It was mandatory for every child to take swimming lessons.  I had  swimming lessons all year long. In the summer we were taught in the lakes, and in the winter as part of our PE coarse we were taught in pool which was a part of our Jr. High. When we weren't in swimming lessons we were just in the water.  I didn't dance, play soccer, or play any sport whatsoever. We swam, and swam, and swam. We didn't have time for all the other extra-curricular activities. We were having too much fun just swimming and being in the water.

When I was nine years old I did something really dumb.  I know, hard to believe.

It was in the late fall, and my younger brother and I were checking to see if the lake behind our house was frozen enough to walk on.  We did this by just looking, but also by walking a certain distance to see how far we could go. 

We were in full Minnesota gear, which was a necessity due to to the cold Minnesota weather.  The average Minnesota day can be 30 below.  Minnesota gear was a full snowmobile suit and boots designed for the temperatures. I remember them being warm, but clunky and heavy.

 As we were walking near the shore of the lake, a neighbor came out, and noticed our precarious activity. He specifically warned us to not walk on the lake because it wasn't frozen yet. {note to nine year old self:  great advice!  Wished I would have listened.} 

You know how WISE  a nine year old can be. They aren't always known for having the best ideas or using the best judgement. They are also beginning to think they know what they are doing and can take or leave certain advice. That would be me that day.

We left the view of the neighbor and walked closer to our home. Being the oldest, I walked out on  the ice the furthest, precariously stepping and getting lucky. 

My luck suddenly wore out. You know where this story is leading... I fell  through the 'not frozen yet lake', into the icy waters.

There was the initial shock of cold icy waters consuming me.

The waters were only chest high, but an overwhelming heighth for a frozen nine year old who is just learning to swim. 

Could I reach the ground?  I remember the tippy-toes of my boots barely being able to touch the bottom of the lake. I was far enough away that that wasn't a leverage I could count on.

So I grasped, splashed, and thrashed for a good amount of time trying to save myself. This was highly unsuccessful.  Each time I tried to get up on the ice around me, it was just break making the area I was in bigger and bigger.

The water seemed very deep and completely overwhelmed me.. The Minnesota gear I was wearing was completely saturated, very heavy, and difficult to move in. My boots were like a dead weight on each foot, pulling me down further and further.

I could see my brother on the shore, and longed to be where he was, safe and sound on solid ground.  Because of the precariousness of the icy lake, he couldn't get close enough to help me.  I can still see him standing on the shore screaming my name.

I honestly don't know how long I was in the water.  It probably wasn't as long as I remember it being. I do remember this: the last thought I had while I was stuck in my predicament- "well, I guess this is how I am going to die"  Very dramatic, but nonetheless, my last thought.

Then, suddenly out of no where, I  miraculously pulled  myself up onto the frozen ice around me.  How I did that, I dont' know. But it was very timely and I was so grateful. 

Why do I tell you this story? What is this all about?

This story has many lessons and has been an experience I have learned countless principles from. Mainly about the Atonement, and how the Savior saves.

Today, this leads me to think about addictions and how consuming and overwhelming they can be to those who struggle to free themselves.  We all know someone or of someone 'stuck' in an addiction. 

It doesn't have to be pornography, although that is destroying a lot of families right now. It could be perscription drugs, food, games, TV, computer time, sugar, or what ever has taken over your ability to stop the behavior and choose for yourself.

There is a feeling of hopelessness, of despair, of I cannot get out, of giving up. 

If you'll allow me to be symbolic for a moment:  in my nine year old story, I  got myself into a terrible situation through my own foolishness.  I got there on my own doing, but now I was stuck somewhere I didn't want to be. And I could not get out by myself.

Try as I might, I could not save myself.  The circumstances were too much. The water was too icy,  my Minnesota gear-too heavy, and I was too inexperienced to know what to do.

Like in an addiction, our options become very narrow, and actually narrow down to only one source: The Savior.

In my situation that is who ultimately saved me, and continues to save me time and time again.

Through the  Atonement of Jesus Christ  we can be freed from the addictions we find ourselves in.

If you are in an addiction, turn to the Lord.  Call upon His name, who is mighty to save. And have patience as this is a long process.

I am not an expert in this area, and don't have the answers except to turn to the Lord...He Will Save You.

As we walked back home, frozen, and me wet, we sang the song from the Alka-seltzer commercial of that day: "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz"  We tried to tell our mother of the experience we just had...but how do you describe to your mother an experience so frightening, you came desparetly close to not coming home at all.

After taking off my wet gear, I climbed into  bed with a warm electric blanket covering me. Nothing has ever felt so good.   Like the sweet feelings and power of the Atonement that covers each one of us,  that day, I was delivered and saved.

Other posts I have written on the Atonement:

The Atonement is Like a Blanket
In the Strength of the Lord

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Proclamation FHE Chart

It is the 3rd day of the 3rd Annual Celebration of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.   Have you joined in or checked out the  wonderful blog posts that have been written?  They are all testimonies of how others are applying the principles of the Proclamation into their families!  LOVE it!

Here are the blogs hosting this family celebration:   

Today is a blog-hop sharing any crafts, Family Home Evening ideas, or other creations inspired by the Family Proclamaion. Here is mine, and this comes from a previous post. 

I really wanted a Family Proclamtion FHE Chart

to make  the Proclamation the focus of our Family Home Evenings.

Our previous Family Home Evening board was out-dated and was needing a face-lift.

I am not the most creative crafter out there by any means. I am not a scrap-booker, although I have a thing for buying scrap-book paper. The desire is there, I just don't know what to do with it all.

I knew I wanted the Proclamation on our chart, front and center.
I grabbed my scrapbook paper and pretty much let the creative juices flow.

I used my same FHE board and painted it black. 
My board is 9 X 24 to accomodate our family of 10. 
You will notice my previous hook holes, which I will need to use again.

Grab some Mod Podge and sponge paint brushes. You will notice that I have something under my black board. Don't forget this. Mod Podge is not Elmer's Glue, and will not come off of your wood tablIe. I found  that it does come off of the counter, but why  give yourself another job? If you keep your surfaces covered you are safe.

Your next step, if you haven't already done this, is to pick out the scrapbook paper you want to use on your board. This is the pack I used. I bought it at Wal-Mart for $5.

After you have selected your paper, cut your bottom piece to the right size and set it aside. You want to have it ready. Paint Mod Podge on your board. Work fast because it dries quickly. 
Adhere your bottom piece of paper to your board.

I think I actually did mine the hard way and cut my paper after I "adhered" it.
Craftiness to me is living and learning as I go along.

Mod Podge has a way of bubbling-up. This roller worked extremely well with the bubbles. Mod Podge did get on the roller part, but it came off easily.

Select your contrasting paper and cut your Proclamation into parts.

You will need to cut your contrasting piece in half, and use just one of them.

I like the torn edge look, so next I tore my edges and Mod Podged it (that is a verb) to my paper.

Next you need to decide how you want it to look, so play around with different layouts, then Mod Podge that layer.

You will need to cut some paper for the names of your family. I wanted a border, so
this is how I did mine. Add those to your board along the bottom edge, and
Mod Podge those before you write on them.

When you are done, sand the edges down a little. This gives it a cool antique look and also gets rid of any messy paper edges you may have

Screw small cup hooks in and add your FHE pieces and you are done!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Family Proclamation Celebration Begins

Family Proclamation
Click on the picture
It is time!
The following blogs will be hosting a Family Proclamation Celebration Sept 17-30:

Diapers and Divinity
Come on over to We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ 
and read my post
The Proclamation: A Clarion Call
 Monday September 17th
Please  leave a comment on her blog!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Preparing for the Second Coming

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"

 I imagine the next few months as we get closer to the Mayan Calendar  "end date"  of December 21, 2012, we are going to see strange documentaries on  television, tabloid magazines, and in the general they love controversial subjects. 
It shouldn't be, but the Second Coming can be a controversial topic in  Church.  Just go to an adult Sunday School class when the topic of study is the Second Coming, and see what an interesting hour that turns out to be. You have a mix of those who believe we shouldn't even talk about it because it because 'no man knows the hour', those who believe it is at least another 100 years away, those who believe it could be in their life-time, and those who are already living in their storm shelters. 
 In Elder Dallin H. Oak's talk Preparation for the Second Coming he clarifies four undeniable truths about the Second Coming, regardless of where you find yourself on the above Sunday School list:
"Four matters are indisputable to Latter-day Saints: (1) The Savior will return to the earth in power and great glory to reign personally during a millennium of righteousness and peace. (2) At the time of His coming there will be a destruction of the wicked and a resurrection of the righteous. (3) No one knows the time of His coming, but (4) the faithful are taught to study the signs of it and to be prepared for it. "
 This is  a subject we talk about quite a bit in our home. One of our daughters, who is now, 14, is scared of all the destruction that  has been prophesied. Natural disasters scare her, and so any talk of the Second Coming we do so cautiously.  She is genuinely looking forward to that day, but doesn't want to experience any disasters.  I  think we all feel that way.  As the time comes closer and closer, we must remember it is called "The GREAT and dreadful day of the Lord" Great for those who are prepared, dreadful for those who aren't.  We don't know what we will experience as individuals, families, or nations.  We CAN have faith, trust in God, and know He will take care of His people.
Elder Oaks explains, Biblical and modern prophecies give many signs of the Second Coming. These include:
  1. The fulness of the gospel restored and preached in all the world for a witness to all nations.
  2. False Christs and false prophets, deceiving many.
  3. Wars and rumors of wars, with nation rising against nation.
  4. Earthquakes in divers places.
  5. Famine and pestilence.
  6. An overflowing scourge, a desolating sickness covering the land.
  7. Iniquity abounding.
  8. The whole earth in commotion.
  9. Men’s hearts failing them.
Matthew Chapter 24 talks about the calamities that will precede the Second Coming. But ends the chapter with this statement:
36 ¶But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Although we cannot know the hour or day of His coming, can we know when it is close?  

YES!  We can know when The Second Coming is near.  The Savior gave His apostles and us, signs to know, to help us and prepare ourselves and family.  I don't think the Second Coming was meant to be a world-wide blind-side. If it was, then the Lord wouldn't have given us signs to know. 
We can know when it is close if we are watching.  I also believe some of these signs will be so subtle and and so natural in their nature, that if we are not vigilantly looking, we may not notice them as prophecy fulfilled.

The Savior also taught that His coming will be "as a thief in the night" 

What exactly does that mean? 

Let's look at 1Thessalonians 5 :
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a bthief in the night.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief.
We are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
 Therefore let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch  and be sober.
 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
 But let us, who are of the day, be sober putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
 Wherefore  comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
   Here is the list of what we can do to prepare:
  • Rejoice evermore.
  • Pray without ceasing.
  • In every thing give  thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
  • Quench not the Spirit
  • Despise not prophesying.
  • Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
  • Abstain from all appearance of  evil
  • And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  


Look for parallels in the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It contains His covenants, His promises, His teachings, His prophesies, and His coming.  See if you can see the parallels to our day and the Second Coming in   3 Nephi.  It is amazing how similar the Savior's first coming is in comparison to our day while we await His second coming.  Watch how the pages of the Book of Mormon come to life.

Using the Parable of the Ten Virgins to prepare spiritually

The Parable of the Ten Virgins,  teaches us about how to prepare wisely to meet the Lord at His Second Coming.

Five were wise, five were foolish.  What symbols of this parable compare to our day?

Be Not Troubled

The signs of the Second Coming are all around us and are intensifying in frequency. This can be scarey and nerve-racking, and also faith-filled, as we see  prophecies being fulfilled before our eyes.  We have a front row seat to the signs of the Second Coming.

  We do not know when the Savior will return, but we know He will. While we cannot control these events in our lives, we can work on our own spiritual preparations.
"Be not troubled, for, when all these things [the signs] shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled."  Those who are righteous will not be destroyed.."but shall abide the day.  And the earth shall be given unto them as an inheritance..and their children shall grow up without sin...For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them..." (vs. 35, 57-59)



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Celebrating the Family Proclamation

Family Proclamation
Celebrate Family with us!
September 17-30
The following blogs will be hosting a Family Proclamation Celebration:

Diapers and Divinity
Every day for two weeks each of these blogs will have a different guest "host" blogger writing about The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
I will be guest posting for Jocelyn at We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ
I will let you know what day it is on.
I invite you to join in by commenting and you can even join the blog-hop by sharing  YOUR ideas on how you use the Family Proclamation in your family.
For more information go  {Here}

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Modesty Helps

Dressing modestly and teaching young women and my own daughters to dress modestly is HIGH on my list. It never leaves the front burner of my mind.  With fashions and trends always well as the youth and our children growing and getting older, we really have to stay on top of   what is being pushed out there as fashion. 

I was super happy to bump into Jen's Magazine today as I was looking for some ideas on teaching modesty for a young women activity.  This is one of those times that I feel kind of like the last one to know of the good ideas..and this is a good idea!  It is a free on-line magazine about modesty and fashion.

This is LDS based with fashion suggestions, basic staples to have in your closet, and modest fashion fixes.  She has lots of photos and sound advice for the young women.    Did I mention that I love this magazine?

This is a really good thing!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

God's Way/My Way

I know it is tempting sometimes to want to make all of our decisions alone ["My Own Way"] It is interesting though, that the picture depicting  two signs," God's Way" and "My Own Way" are perpendicular signs, not parallel. One denotes pride and the other humility.

Now we don't consciously WANT to do everything alone. We think we know what is best and what we want. There are times when  we don't want anyone getting in the way to tell us different because we know. We forget to turn to the Lord and rely on Him.  In that case, we are doing it alone, or our own way.

I have personally been reminded several times, to rely on the Lord. Which leaves me with the same "a-ha" moment:  "oh, YA!"  It is so easy to forget that there is someone who knows better and more, and we should rely on His wisdom more than our own.

God is our Father in Heaven and has known us before we were born for an infinite amount of time.  Think about that for a moment.  OK here is the next principle:  our Savior Jesus Christ, Atoned for our sins, our pains and sufferings of life. He also knows what it feels like to be us, and what we experience. He has felt it.
 In Doctrine and Covenants 38:1-2  it describes how God has the whole picture before Him at once.  He sees the whole picture from the beginning to the end and knows how to succor us, lead and guide us for our greatest happiness.
1 Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great aI Am, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made.
2 The same which knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes;
God knows all. Sees all.  All at once. This can be difficult for our mortal brains to understand.  'All things are present before His eyes.'   He sees our pre-mortal past, our earthly past, the present, and our future in one view. AND He can do this  without ever touching our free agency to choose.  Mind boggling isn't it!
Let's use this description taught to me by a friend: 
God is standing on top of a mountain where He can see endlessly in all directions. From where He is standing, He has the whole view before Him at once. He sees the past, the present, and the future.
We, on the other hand are at the bottom of the mountain  where all we see is what is directly in front of our eyes:  the rocks, the trees, and part of the pathway.  Our view is extremely limited! 
Sometimes this theory plays tricks with my mind and I get mind boggled over it!  But I know it is true.
The Lord has the whole picture.  He knows us, knows what we are going through, and will go through.  If we turn to Him, and choose His way, He will write a story for our lives that is better than anything we could ever come up with on our own. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Best Crock-Pot Recipes

I am on the hunt for good crock-pot recipes.  I  use my crock-pot probably three times a week as it makes the dinner time hour less chaotic and always means a great family meal.  I have probably four really great crock-pot meals that I use all the time. I have also found some other good ones, that I have tried and my family loves them.  If you have a great crock-pot meal, I would love you to share it in the comment section below.

Apricot Chicken

This was originally a regular oven meal, that I have converted over to the crock-pot.  That is now the only place a cook this recipe. It is one of my standard Sunday meals and company meals.  It is really good and really easy-4 ingredients including the chicken.

1 cup of Apricot jam
1 cup of Russian dressing
1 envelope of dry onion soup mix

Combine those three together and pour on top of your chicken in the crock-pot.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours and serve with rice.


Pork Barbecoa Salad

If you are a big fan of Cafe Rio's Pork Barbecoa Salad, then you will love this recipe.  My husband and I went out to eat at Cafe Rio, and I ordered this salad, which  I loved  as always, but I felt this recipe here was a touch more tasty than the restaurants.  You will love this.  This is a great meal for a family reunion, Sunday with an extra family over, or just your own little indulgent meal. It is one the whole crowd loves. You can also go into any Cafe Rio and buy their chips. 
Go {Here} for this recipe off of my other blog The Family Kitchen.


Crock-Pot Beef Strogonoff

Click {Here} for the recipe
This is one I found the other day from the blog Five Little Peaches.  Andrea one of the "peaches" is a friend of mine and she is an excellent cook.  I have to admit strogonoff was one of those meals I slightly moaned at as a kid.  My own children also moan when that is "whats for dinner".  So don't be put off by the name...this is really good,using  chunks of beef instead of hamburger.  The fact that you can start it early, and by dinnertime all you need to make is the a great deal.  My whole family loves this recipe. 
I changed it for my own tasted preferences and did not use  real mushrooms, flour and water.  Instead I used cream of mushroom soup.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

By Small and Simple Things

"The family is ordained of God...Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.

I love  The Family: A Proclamation to the World  and everything it stands for!  It's powerful, it's true, it teaches us what families have always been and should be. The paragraph above, I love especially because it teaches us timeless principles we need to have in our families, in order to be happy and successful.

We are reminded  that the family is ordained of God and that our families are our greatest blessing.


  All of my warmest memories are associated with  family. 

Favorite childhood memory:   I had to go back really far, and I saw myself sitting on the couch next to my Dad.  I was maybe 3 or 4 years old.  If you wonder what 3 and 4 year olds think about...I looked over at my Dad  and noticed how the couch cushion sunk down around where he sat...and with all the wishes of 4 year-old girl, I couldn't wait until I was BIG enough to make the couch cushion sink down when I sat.  I love my Dad and have always wanted to be just like he was.  And I am proud to announce, the couch cushion now goes WAAAAY down when I sit!

Food memories...the good, the bad, and the ugly...are also associated with home and my family. Ironically, or not, all of my siblings and I share the same food memories.  We all unanimously detest acorn squash and beets, and remember being forced to eat them as children.We were told that eating these foods would do amazing things to our hair,  eyes, and our growing abilities. We also love the same meal of meatball and scones made classic by our mother. We think of this meal...and we all melt and think of Mom and home. I  can't think of a family meal where we weren't sitting with all of our feet under the same table.  These are warm memories that I cherish.  I have always felt that the greatest way a mother nurtures her family is through food and family meals together.

Memories of  vacations and time together: ...there's many, but the top memory would have to be the year  when we were all grown up and came back home for Christmas.  I was still a single college student, but my older brothers were young marrieds with small children.  As soon as the little ones were all asleep, we "adults" stayed up and video-taped an impromptu version of "A Christmas Carol" complete with costumes and commercials.  We were crazy nuts. However, this has become a family classic that all the grand-kids and big kids love to watch. 

Working together was also time well spent.  We always had Saturday jobs, lots of work outdoors clearing rocks out of our yard, weeding the garden, laying sod for our Dad's landscaping business, as well as cleaning bathrooms and bedrooms.  When straightening up the house, my mother made up the word "razmatazz" which is a quick 15-minute-everyone-help clean-up that we still use in my family  today.  We sometimes forget that not all families use this word.

Memories of faith...were behind everything we lived. Reading scriptures, Family Home Evening, kneeling in prayer before school, attending Church, and preparing for missions and temple marriages.  Watching my parents quietly live the gospel and serve in the church, were all small and simple things for which great things came to pass. Alma 37:6

Elder Oaks in his talk Good, Better, Best, gave us guidelines that parallel the teachings found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  He said,
"The First Presidency has called on parents “to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles. … The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place … in … this God-given responsibility.” The First Presidency has declared that “however worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform.”

"The Family Is Ordained of God and Central to the Creator's Plan for Eternal Destiny of His Children...Happiness in Family Life is Most Likely to be Achieved When Founded Upon The Teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." The Family: A Proclamation to the World