Friday, February 26, 2010

Ben's Missionary Experience

Interesting experience Ben had on his mission. We got a call from Ben and he said "I was in a boat and we had to jump into the ocean but I'm o.k." and then the phone went dead. I wanted to know how o.k. he was. It seemed like days but it was about 15-30 minutes before he was able to call back. Then we were told the story that is in the March Ensign. If you would like to read the story Click Here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Exercises Fo The Soul

I am using the 1983 Family Home Evening Resource Manuel which we used when our family was growing up. I don't know if the church still publishes it. As I have said before, this is merely for ideas as your family will have unique needs.


Object Lesson to build interest: Show a healthy houseplant and ask family to offer ideas as to what the plant needs to be healthy and strong. ("happy")
Show a member of family household and ask what this person needs to be healthy and strong. ("happy")
Show the suggestion box you have made and ask each member of the family to put suggestions in the box with ideas for making your family grow healthy and strong ("happy") eternally.

The objective here is 1. to empower family members and 2. to find out what their needs and wishes are.

Suggested Hymn or song: 'Love At Home" or "Families Can Be Together Forever" .

PERSON OF THE WEEK: Jay Hill He tended all the kids while Sara and Emily went shopping without kids, something only someone distracted with kids while shopping can appreciate.

Skillet Scalloped Potatoes

This is an easy recipe that fills everyone up and uses things you on hand. Serve with a vegetable (I like green beans.) and some fruit and you have a meal.


Peel and slice potatoes about 1/16 in. thick. (I fill a large skillet about 1/2 full.) Brown potato slices in hot oil like you would for fried potatoes. I use about enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add diced ham (according to your taste) and grated cheese. (Again according to your taste.) Add also 1 can of evaporated milk.
Cocer with lid and cook on low until potatoes are cooked through and tender. (about 1 to 2 hours).

This my style of cooking - easy, fast, and cheap.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Swiss Steak

This is what my family called it but I don't know if this is the name or "Swissed Steak". At any rate, I thought it was time to make something that was not a sweet dessert. It was our alternative to hamburger and uses an inexpensive cut of steak which doesn't cost much more than hamburger when it is on sale.

Swiss Steak

2 lbs. rump or round steak cut 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 T. fat
1 bayleaf (I don't always have it and leave it out often.)
1 minced clove of garlic
2 c. tomatoes
2 c. sliced onion
1 c. diced celery

Rinse or use a damp cloth to wipe off meat. Trim off excess fat if desired. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish and stir to mix. Dredge or pound into steak on both sides. Heat fat in skillet Brown meat quickly on both sides. Combine remaining ingredieandients and pour over meat. Cover. Cook on high until steaming then turn down to low and cook about 1 1/2 hours or until steak is tender. Remove steak when done. Remaining ingredients can be thickened with flour,water and spices to make a sauce that can be poured over the meat. (You might be temped to use the leftover flour mixture from dredging the meat but DON'T. Bacteria can be in this mixture after it has been sitting out for a couple of hours It is best to mix up some new flour and spices and throw out the other.
It makes about six servings. (I like to serve it with fluffly mashed potatoes.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day

This year Valentine's Day and President's Day come on the same weekend. So I am going to post a variety of thoughts. This weekend we are going to the cabin in Island Park with Sara and Emily's families. The kids were a little disappointed they would miss their school Valentine Parties so I said we would have a Valentine Party at the cabin. We are just going to decorate heart-shaped sugar cookies and make paper valentines with stickers. I hope no one is too disappointed. Hailey helped me make sugar cookies yesterday. At first we were going to make my sister's recipe which includes sour cream but decided to use a different recipe, the one I have always used because it doesn't require any special ingredients that I don't already have on hand. We are going to use store-bought frosting for decorating but you can make your own by mixing powdered sugar, a little butter or margarine, a small amount of milk and flavoring. (Vanilla tends to turn the frosting a brownish color.)


1 c. butter (I always have used margarine because that is what I always have on hand.)
2 c. sugar
3 karge eggs, beaten
6 T. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
5 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. (1T.) baking powder

Mix ingredients in order listed. Roll out on floured board or counter and cut with your favorite cookie cutter. Place on cookie sheet. (If desired, can be sprinkled with sugar at this point. I have always preferred to frost them after they are baked.) Bake in a moderate (350 degree) oven until done. (6-8 min.)

We won't be back home monday so I think I will also post my FHM entry also:
Families need some kind of FHE assignment chart. This can range any anywhere from fancy to plain. You might already have something. In our family we had a wooden board shaped like a house and painted in R.S. homemaking meeting. We had each family member's name written on a small wooden heart that was attached to a magnet. Assignments were made each week and each heart was attached to a magnet in a house window. As I have said, there are lots of ways to do this - fancy or as simple as a piece of cardboard. All you need is the name of each family member on a moveable piece and a way to attach it by the FHE assignment. (e.g. Opening song, Opening prayer, Lesson, Refreshments, etc.) Parents will have to help young children with some assignments.

Calendar: I heard that Ben and Emily are moving to Twin Falls about June 1.

PERSON OF THE WEEK: Kennedy Oman is already planning ways to help her new sister even before she is born

Monday, February 8, 2010


Announcing another aspect to my BLOG. Ralph and I still feel like parents and have responsibility for our family (which, by the way, we couldn't be more pleased with the way they are growing up. Yes, growing up. There is a difference between growing up and growing old.) We have tried to have FHE for the two of us but it has not been very successful. I am grateful for the passage of time and nostalgia that makes it seem we had good family home evenings when the kids were growing up. I guess the key is to keep trying and not give up ( By the way, I have attended FHE at a couple of your houses and I am impressed!)
So here's my plan. Each monday morning we will post a FHM (Family Home Morning I am totally wiped out by noon.) It will be a short thought called "Exercises For The Soul". (When I was a child, that's what my father called Family Night Lessons. This was before the Church had any formal program or lesson manuels.
Also we will include "Calendaring". (I can hear Dad's groaning from past FHEs, either audibly or with his facial expressions.) e.g. Sara's and Emily's families are coming up for President's day weekrnd and Valentine's Day which happen to be the same weekend this year. Josie's family is staying home because of Church responsibilities. (By the way, we love to have you visit but totally understand if Church or other responsiibilities take precedent. You are all in the thick of "family life".
Also we will include a feature called "PERSON OF THE WEEK". For example, this week we will feature Emily Manwaring who asked her mother if she could take plates of cookies to each of the neighbors - and she did, This way we can all see some of the good things you all do.
You do not have to incorporate any of this into your Family Home Evenings. You know what is best for your family. Just know that we love all of you and we are grateful for you as well as this technology that makes us feel closer.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


This week Hailey and I made gingersnaps. I got this recipe from a neighbor when we lived on Fair Lane whose name was Elaine Russell. Her son, Sean played with my daughter when they were pre-schoolers. He would come over to our house (three houses away) but was afraid he might meet neighborhood dogs on the way. He resolved this by wearing his He-man (a super-hero at the time) shirt. If he saw a dog, he would solve the problem by ripping open his jacket and exposing the He-man shirt. It must have worked because there was never a dog incident.
I like this recipe for gingersnaps because they are soft and chewy instead of thin and crispy like the ones you can buy in the store. Hailey and I have a new project now. We still cook every Wednesday. Every Thursday we do an art project. Hailey was an art major in college and I have made it cear on a number of occasions that I am no artist. I do have some experience with kindergarten art and how to give children confidence and exposure in this area. Today we started by making line drawings of each animal in Bill Martin Jr.'s Brown Bear Brown Book. At first kindergarten age children tell me in a discouraged voice, "I can't draw!' These young children are proud of their recognizable pictures that they drew all by themselves and parents are impressed.
Following is the Gingersnap recipe:

1 1//2 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. molasses
2 eggs
4 c. flour
pinch of salt
4 tsp. soda
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cloves

Make dough into 1-1 1/2" balls and dip into sugar on one side. Place sugar side up on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 min. Do not over-bake.