Monday, February 28, 2011

Exercises for the Soul - Self Esteem

Twice in the last month.

I have seen evidences of low self esteem in my grandlids. One actually said, "Grandma, I don't feel very good about myself." While I know struggles with self-esteem continue into adulthood, (in fact, I beleve it is the root of most other problems), it has been on my mind and it is never too early to give your family some coping skills.

Scriptures: That I know of, there is no reference to self-esteem in the scriptures. I discovered that there are lots of scripture on the "worth of a soul" which is essentially the same thing. Look up the worth of a soul in the topical guide and discuss how self-esteem is important.

Adk: What are things we should not do if we are feeling low self--esteem or insecure? ( make fun of others, brag about ourselves whether true or untrue, treat serious issues lightly or jokingly)

Ask: What are some things that will help if we are feeling low self-esteem or insecure? (practicing until we become confident, asking someone with confidence to help us, humbly acting as if we were confident even though we may not feel that way, pray for help).

Many times we feel like everyone else is better than we are. This seems to be especially true about junior high age. This is a time when we have to decide how we are going to deal with it. I am impressed with the great way all of our children are addressing this with our grandchildren. ( giving them opportunities to develop skills and many other ways).
I remember being jr. high age and crying to my mother that I was sure I was the only one in our school that had to take a bath in a wash-tub by the cook stove. To make things worse, my mother would hang a curtain across the kitchen and I was afraid the tall missionaries or someone else would drop in.

Usually, most people don't even notice our insecurities. Here is an example.
True story from MaChel Stimpson: ( I cannot find the copy of the story shee gave me so I will post it later.)

Ask: Each family member to go around the room and list something each person is good at. (These can be intangible qualities too such as always showing gratitude or encouraging others.)

Suggested songs: I Am a child of God in either the LDS Hymnbook or the Primary Children Sing book.

Persons of the week: Jack Manwaring and Tango, the big dog he is helping to babysit while Victor and Virginia are visiting back east. Tango has very good manners and Jack is very nice to the dog.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Stephanie and I made Oven-baked fried chicken this week. I like this recipe because it is not greasy, it is good hot or cold, it doesn't make a "grease splatter mess" in your kitchen, and it is as easy to make for 3 or 23. I think I posted this recipe last year but here it is again in case you missed it.


1 c. flour
1 T. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 cut up chicken
1/4 c. good quality oil

Put flour in a strong paper bag. (I use a gallon-size plastic zip-lock). Add salt, pepper and paprika. Pour oil on cookie sheet and tip to coat pan. Can be heated if desired. Shake rinsed chicken pieces in bag to coat. Put coated chicken pieces in oil skin side down then turn over skin side up. Sprinkle chicken with Savor salt or Season-all. Put in 400 degree oven for 15 min. Then turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake 30 min. longer.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Exercises For The Soul - Honesty

"God commands that we be honest in all things. When we lie,cheat, or steal, we open ourselves wide to Satan's influene and close ourselves to God's influence. If we want to have the Spirit to guide and comfort us, we must be honest with God, with ourselves, and with other people." ( FHE Resource Manuel).

Ask: Each member of your family to give the definition of a lie. Compare it with Marvin J. Ashton's: "A lie is any communication given to another with the intent to deceive" (Conference Report Apr. 1982 p. 10 or Ensign. May 1982, p. 9).

Explain: We can communicate a lie without ever speaking a word. A nod of the head or just keeping silent can deceive.

Ask: What are some ways we can deceive? (Recommending a questionable business investment, pretending not to hear mother call, using flattery to get our way, or withholding immportant facts).

True story: While I taught piano lessons, Sara loved to cook even though she was only about six years old. One day she decided to make cookies. In between piano students I went into the kitchen and saw beautiful, warm cookies on the counter. They were light and fluffy and cooked to perfection so I quickly ate a few. My next piano student came so I began teaching. About half way through the next lesson I began to feel a rumbling in my tummy and I was so thirsty I couldn't get enough to drink. When I asked Sara about the cookies she said,"i couldn't remember whether to add 1/2 teaspoon or 1/2 cup of baking soda." She had added 1/2 cup which is about 50 times more than a recipe usually calls for.
I learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Just because something looks beautiful and good on the outside doesn't mean the inside is good. I wanted my inside to be good too, even though no one could tell for sure what it was like by looking at the outside.
Being honest is like that. You may not be totally honest inside. Even no one will know from the outside, there will always be a bad feeling inside.

Activity: You will need to have asked one family member in advance to answer each question falsely. Ask that member a simple question - for example, "Where were you just before FHE?" As he or she answers falsely wrap a long string or yarn around him once. then ask a follow-up question - or example, "Why were you there? As he answers falsely again, wrap the string around him once more. Continue to ask him follow-up questions, wrapping the string around him each time he gives a false answer. Explain that you asked the person to give false answers to show how one lie leads to another one and how fast we can become trapped by lies.

Discuss: how easy it is to tell a lie. Point out that even the smallest lie is a sin. (See D & C 42:21.) Be sure the members of your family understand they can repent of any lies they may have told.

Persons of the week: Kennedy Oman and her mom who came to visit this weekend and made delicious Valentine's cookies which we are still enjoying.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spinach Soup

This may not sound very good but Ralph and I like it. Also it is a good way to convince your kids to eat healthy vegetables and makes a good recipe when you are trying to use all those haed boiled eggs after Easter. When we first moved to Finland the R.S. Pres. gave me some women's magazines like Finland's version od Good Housekeeping. They had an article and some pictures of this soup. Shortly afterward we went to dinner Nico and Leena's house. She served this soup and called it her "comfort food".

Leena's Spinach Soup

3 T margarine
5 T flour
1 qt. milk
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (150 g.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
white pepper to taste (I don't have this so I skip it)
Melt margarine, add flour and mix with a whisk. Add only half the milk and stir until mixture is smooth and boiling. Gradually add the rest of the milk. Add frozen spinach. Mix all ingredients including seasonings. Cook a couple minutes until everything is heated through.
Serve with hard boiled eggs. ( I used to pour soup over halved lengthwise but Ralph served it with sliced eggs and it worked well.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Exercises for the Soul - Heart Attack

I saw this idea on a BLOG Sara gave me. I have seen variations of this but it was good to be reminded again. Even though this has a valentine theme I think it would be good for a family any time of year A "heart attack" is simply a bunch of hearts cut out and stuck to the wall. On each heart is written a short sentiment about a family member. (e.g. I love _______ because...). I think it would be interessting to see both what is written abouut each family member as well as to learn each's feelings about others. Hearts can be displayed in a bedroom. Who doesn't like reading about themselves over and over. Hearts can also be decorated with stickers, pieces of yarn, colored pencils, or whatever. Refreshments can be valenttine cookies or candy and you have an easy, worthwhile and fun family home evening. There are lots of songs and humns about love like,"Love At Home", "Love One Another", and "Happy Family".

Persons of the Week: All the in-laws who have brought such great love to our children and grandchildren.