Praying For...all my children and grandchildren through this blessed season of Jesus Christ's birth...and for families everywhere that they will find the gospel and find the true joy it offers...and for leaders of nations that they will cease to follow the father of all lies and soften their hearts toward the Savior of All Men.
Jesus Word..."For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you," John 13:15. Everyone on Earth seems confused and spend their energy in pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, many don't know where to look. Jesus told us were to find and how to achieve happiness in the Scriptures.
Bibliophilia...I have to say my favorite store of all time is Amazon. Back in the day, Christmas shopping took days with exposure to all manner of germs and obnoxious holiday anti-cheer. With amazon, I can browse a bit, purchase all my gifts, and enjoy the reason for the season without subjecting myself to germs, rude people, running all over town, inconvenient hours, or dangerous mall shootings. I shopped on Friday at 3:30 AM. I couldn't sleep so why not! Some of my gifts arrived by the next day. Last month I sent Oakley a beginner origami book. Continuing on that theme, we sent her Snowflakes for all Seasons, some small fiskar scissors, and Plastic Origami Paper Box Case Plus 180 Sheets Origami Paper. On another note, I read Inside the Secret Garden: A Treasury of Crafts, Recipes, and Activities Hardcover
by Carolyn Strom Collins. In the fourth grade, my teacher read aloud the Secret Garden. All these years later, it remains one of my favorite books. This Treasury added to my love of the book.
Cucina Fresca...I achieved cake-ness. Making vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and oil-free cake is a snap. Basically, combine garbanzo flour, sorghum flour, brown rice flour with a bit of potato or tapioca starch to equal 2 c. Stir in energy egg replacer or flax meal plus spices, baking soda, dried fruits, citrus zest, and a bit of salt. In another bowl, combine mashed bananas or apple sauce, honey (or maple syrup or molasses or pureed dried fruit), vanilla, vinegar, and some water to make about 1 1/2 c. Stir gently to combine as with muffins. It should be quite thick. Chop or slice fruit (apples, pears, pineapple, raspberries, etc), mixing with more sweet spices and arranging on the bottom of a parchment lined 7-8 inch tart or quiche pan. Spread batter over fruit. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Turn out onto cake platter. Although this is still junk food, it is quite removed from cholesterol laden, nutrient stripped cakes of my past. Plus, it's quite delicious and satisfies my pastry cravings.
Sound of Music...Although my success would have been greater with pain-free, young hands, I'm having a blast learning the harmony method on the piano with Piano For Life and Let's Improvise Christmas (Ralph Hedges). Making music instead of playing notes is the philosophy behind these methods. Even so, I still like to memorize pieces. My memory piece for December/January is He Sent His Son. On the violin, it will be easy as will singing the English version. Piano and singing Spanish will be the challenges here.
Teaching Little Children..."It is not by the whip or the rod that we can make obedient children; but it is by faith and by prayer, and by setting a good example before them," Brigham Young, Deseret News Weekly, 9 Aug. 1865, 3. Oh, how I wish I had understood this principle at the beginning of my childrearing days, although I am grateful to have finally learned it with my younger ones. When teaching my sweet Primary class, I bring this principle with me. I've witnessed miracles with two little children. In the beginning, they were angry and sought negative reinforcement for poor behaviors. With gentleness and a lot of long-suffering, they have learned to keep their hands to themselves, to speak in turn, and to respect others around them. No, I don't think I created any magic. Following true principles of charity has made the change. The world is wrong when they say children don't come with instruction manuals. The scriptures and the words of modern prophets will help us know the right way to help them become civilized, charitable Christian children and future citizens of society.
Herbal Apothecary...Because I'm trying to heal my injuries and lift my spirits, I'm making and drinking lots more carrot and green juices again. As always, I'm amazed at the healing properties of plants.