Month: October 2014

3T: Christmas on the road

3T: Christmas on the road

Have you ever tried to take a family somewhere else for Christmas? It really can be a great way to go! (No pun intended.) Here are a few tips for traveling over the holidays: Teach your children to pack. One Christmas we gave each child their 

Mmmm: Peanut butter pie

Mmmm: Peanut butter pie

We had quite a pie-making party here on Saturday night! We made an apple pie (no brown bag this time), a pecan pie, and a peanut butter pie. The peanut butter pie’s name is a bit of a misnomer: it’s really a banana cream pie with 

SOS: God gives the increase

SOS: God gives the increase


There are some things over which we have control and some over which we do not.

Yesterday, Pete was getting dressed for church when I saw how his pants fit. “Whoa!” I thought and told him there was NO way he was going to wear those pants to church because they were so small on him that they might not stay up without the sides splitting. Then we were hard-pressed to find a pair that still fit him amongst his other options.

Seeing this pair of pants this morning reminded me that children’s physical growth isn’t something over which we have total control. We know that how* we nurture our children can assist or stunt their growth, but other issues, such as our children’s genes or any disease, illness, or accident that may arise–things that are mostly out of our control–also can play a very significant part.

This reminded me of my own life. Being a parent often reminds me about being a child of my Heavenly Father. These too-small pants did. There are parts of my life that I have control over and am responsible for, such as how I spend my time, energy, and other resources, and the attitude with which I pursue them. I can do a lot to grow in my life, and then other times, I have to wait upon the Lord. I found this interesting quote while searching for something else this morning:

“What we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity. “For I [said the Lord] will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:9; see also Jer. 17:10). Alma said, “I know that [God] granteth unto men according to their desire, … I know that he allotteth unto men … according to their wills” (Alma 29:4). To reach this equitable end, God’s canopy of mercy is stretched out, including “all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of [the gospel], who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;

“For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:8–9).

God thus takes into merciful account not only our desires and our performance, but also the degrees of difficulty which our varied circumstances impose upon us. No wonder we will not complain at the final judgment, especially since even the telestial kingdom’s glory “surpasses all understanding” (D&C 76:89). God delights in blessing us, especially when we realize “joy in that which [we] have desired” (D&C 7:8)….

It is up to us. God will facilitate, but He will not force.” (“According to the desire of [our] hearts,” October 1996 general conference).

But then there are other parts of life over which I don’t have control, which are in God’s hands.

Learning to trust that God really does have me and my life in his hands and that everything is going to be OK in the short or long run, has been a growth process for me. Motherhood has really helped me gain more perspective on how, like a wise and loving parent, God really does have my best interests in mind, and I really can trust him.

Fear can be so crippling, but motherhood has helped me recognize that if I really want to become like God, He’s going to help me get there, step by step, day by day. I am coming to realize that faith in God, along with my best efforts to accomplish what I desire or to help a family member accomplish his or her goals, helps me overcome the fear and allows me to feel peace. I am learning that God will come through. He always has. He keeps coming through. Growth will happen. It will! I just have to keep trusting that growth and progression and happiness and that beautiful, bright sunshine in life will come. God is in charge of that part. It’s His end of the deal, and He always keeps his promises.

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6; emphasis added).

Just like children grow up and out of their clothing, God will take care of me and my family as we trust and keep trying to do what He asks. I like knowing that. I think I’ll start singing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” (and go for a walk!).

Happy Having Faith, Singing and Handing Down Clothing,

Liz 🙂

*How does our nurturing affect our children’s growth? I’m not an expert, but this seems to me to be somewhat basic factors that affect a child’s growth:

  1. Good dental care. Cavities can affect a child’s weight. If we help our children establish good dental hygiene habits, it will impact their overall health. (If you have a toothache, it probably doesn’t feel very good to eat!)
  2. Good nutrition.  Children can’t grow without sufficient food or grow well or to their potential with food that is not sufficiently nutritious.
  3. Sufficient rest. “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” (Benjamin Franklin)
  4. Clean home environment and good hygiene habits, such as hand-washing, to avoid illness. Certainly preventable chronic illness can affect our growth.
  5. Sunshine and exercise! I need to stop typing and get some!
  6. Love.  I don’t know if love helps you be taller or not, but I do not that being raised in a loving, nurturing environments does affect our health. One  article claims it can affect the brain development of a child.
RTW: Standardized tests

RTW: Standardized tests

Julia* went to take the ACT yesterday. She had prepared using an online prep website, gone over the what-to-bring-to-the-test page, skipped staying out with friends and gone to bed early, gotten up for breakfast, prayer, and scriptures with me and Lane, and headed out on 

Primary grades read-alouds for October, part 3 (Halloween)

Primary grades read-alouds for October, part 3 (Halloween)

  In our elementary school, the second graders always do a Halloween-themed program. I don’t know that this is because Halloween is such a wonderful holiday to celebrate, but perhaps October was the month allotted to that grade, and so this is what they chose 

A “no duh” thing

A “no duh” thing


(This photo really is not related to this post. I just saw it again today and love it so well! I had to share it! It reminds me of a golden moment enjoying an ice cream cone at the Thanksgiving Point ice cream shop years ago!)

I love learning from my children.

A few years ago, we started rotating who leads our morning family scripture study. Last week, we were reading about prayer in Alma 34, and the child who was leading said, “Prayer is a ‘no duh’ thing.” She explained that it’s just one of those things that you should always do, because it makes so much sense, and because Heavenly Father answers prayers. She talked about how she prays before quizzes and tests at school, and how she needs to remember more often to pray before eating lunch. I really appreciated her sincerity and conviction. She knows prayers are answered! That phrase has definitely stayed with me this whole week.

This morning, she led our study again. This time, we were in Alma 37, reading about how small and simple things lead to great things. She shared how her math teacher always tells their class to simplify an equation. She quoted the teacher as saying, “When it doubt, write it out.” Explaining this, she said that when you have an equation, and you write it down in its simplified parts, then it is so much easier to see what you are dealing with, and you can figure it out! What a sage application of this critical principle! I know what she said is true: sometimes simply writing a problem out on paper for me (in my journal) can help me figure out what I am dealing with. (I’m talking life, not just math!)

I love her insights.

I love each of their insights! I’m grateful for the inspiration that came that one morning after sincere prayer to know how to improve our scripture study. That thought to give each child a chance to lead the discussion (instead of parents dominating the discussion every day) has been a wonderful answer leading to feeling the Spirit so much more often in our study time.

Another child came to me this morning to report that she had lost a library book, and so she prayed to find it. And then she found the book. She added that then she said a “thankful prayer.”

My children teach me to remember to give thanks!

I cannot express how grateful I am for my parents teaching me to pray. I have loved being able to pass on that gift by teaching my children to solve problems (and equations) in life through sincere prayer and applying true principles that we learn in the scriptures.

Happy Learning from Your Children,

Liz 🙂

FF: Fall Break

FF: Fall Break

At the end of last week (beginning Thursday), we had fall break. It was a gorgeous weekend with plenty of sunshine and fall colors to brighten our staycation. We had a great time– baking (chicken pot pie! cherry cardamom bread! brown bag apple pie!) using our 

MF: New companion! Dog washes!

MF: New companion! Dog washes!

I was delighted to get these photos today from Elder Livingston. He is such a goof and jokester! He and his companion were washing a dog for someone. Missionaries get all kinds of interesting service opportunities! (And hilarious how he still loves that shirt he 

Mmmm: Back to baking

Mmmm: Back to baking

Brown bag apple pieAfter having a dead oven for over a month, our new oven arrived!

new oven

We were so excited that we couldn’t wait for Lane to come home. Peter unhooked the power cord from the old stove while I cleaned up the very dirty floor where the range had been.

Peter  helping

connecting to the new oven Peter

When we called Lane to ask how to get the cord connected to the new oven (we were running into a snag), he advised us to WAIT PLEASE, because if we attached it incorrectly, we might blow out the new electrical system completely, which none of us wanted to see happen. (We had waited long enough to be patient for a few more hours!)

Lane got home from traveling late that night and stayed up to connect it and move it into place so we could use it the next morning.

It was like Christmas morning, coming into the kitchen to see a working oven in place of the broken one!

pot pie

That night, we had homemade pot pie for dinner.

Last night, we had brown bag apple pie, thanks to one of my daughters who made it for us.



You prepare the pie, stick it in a brown grocery bag, staple it shut, and bake it for 1 hour 45 minutes.

Then you wait with great anticipation after having smelled that lovely pie baking for that long!

Oh, apple pie in fall! An oven to bake it in! Sweet blessings!

Happy Enjoying Fall and Your Oven,

Liz 🙂




LOL: Great lemon taste

LOL: Great lemon taste

Cod liver oil has a great lemon taste? As my children would say, “Yeah, NO.” Today I pulled out the cod liver oil to have a teaspoon for myself. Anna looked up worried and asked, even more anxiously, “I haven’t been bad! Why are you