Friday, September 30, 2011

Just Can It! My "Little House on the Prairie" moments...

There has been a plethora of peaches around here!  I love peaches, and since they have been plentiful and cheap, we stopped and bought a box of them for eating and canning.

I'm not sure why I feel the need to "can".  It might be because I helped my mom and grandma with many-a-batch of applesauce and rhubarb sauce when I was growing up.  It might stem from my love of everything "Little House on the Prairie" and Laura Ingalls' scrumptious descriptions of the food that they grew, ate and preserved.  For the Ingalls family, what they preserved for the winter literally meant survival.  For us, what we preserve is an inexpensive way to add to our food storage and for every day eating.

There are instructions on how to can all over the internet.  If you have never canned before and would like to try, here's an Intro To Canning pdf file from Ball.  I've collected my canning equipment over the years and just have basic enamel canners in a large and small size.  That means I can only can acidic foods since I don't use a pressure canner.  I've been looking for one for a while, and I'm coveting my mom's find of a pressure canner at a garage sale for under $10 since they cost over $70.

The other three canning tools I use are a jar lifter, a magnet on a stick (not sure what it's really called!) for getting the lids and bands out of the hot water, and a jar funnel.  I have a plastic funnel, but found this lovely black enamel one at a thrift store!

Suggested supplies are
  • Sauce pan 
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups 
  • Cutting board
  • Kitchen knives 
  • Ladle
  • Large spoon 
  • Non-metallic spatula
  • Dish rags
  • A water bath canner
  • And of course, your jars, lids and rings.

I fill my sink with cool water and then put the peaches in and give them a quick wash.  Especially since they come straight from the farm they might be a little bit dirty.  Then they go in batches of a few at a time into the boiling water for a minute or two.  This was Natalia's job.  It's nice to have a helper.
The peaches went right from the boiling water into a bowl full of ice water to shock the skins off.
Then I grabbed the peaches suffering from shock and slip or peal the skins, remove the pit, and cut in half.  Then the halves went into another bowl with a mixture of water and FruitFresh to keep the peaches from getting too dark after canning.
We made a simple light syrup with 4-1/2 cups sugar and 10-1/2 cups water and kept it hot, packed the peaches into the jars, then ladled the syrup into them.  This part is Hot, Hot, Hot!
Then we ran the plastic handle from a spatula down the edges of the jars to work out any air bubbles.  No fancy tool needed. The rims are wiped with a clean, damp, towel and the hot lids and rings put on...

Then those beautiful jars are popped into the canner for a little bath. 

Aren't they gorgeous?

Linking here:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Keeping up with the toy clutter...

The thing with having 4 kids is there is clutter .  Times four.  We've tried a lot of different strategies when trying to battle the toy clutter monster, and some have worked for a while and fizzled out, some worked not at all, but here are a few things that have helped us keep the clutter to a minimum:

1.  Go through the toys, every single one, at least twice a year.  Make it a spring and fall cleaning, or during summer break and before the holidays.  Throw away any broken and unrepairable toys, and donate the toys that the kids have grown out of or don't play with anymore.  Get the kids involved in this process and talk about blessing other children with the toys that are donated.

2.  Figure out what toys are played with most.  In our house it is Lego's and board games.  Lego's are my nemesis.  I'm always stepping on them in the middle of the night, or sucking them up in the vacuum.  We started using under-the-bed plastic containers for individual projects or cities or anything else under construction.  Then the whole container can be scooted under the bed and brought out the next day.

3.  Keep some toys portable.  This worked really well when the kids were younger but didn't need diaper bags anymore and I was tired of carting hot wheels cars around in my purse.  We would keep a backpack with some books and small toys always packed in it, then we could grab and go on the way to ball games or appointments.

4.  Keep it simple.  It's not necessary to sort every single toy out, but go with a system that the kids can keep up themselves.  They are not going to want to sort toys by color or alphabetically, but size or type is doable.

5. Have a toy hospital bucket.  Any toys that are broken and can be repaired or need new batteries can have their own bucket or bag, then when there is time to deal with them they are all in one place.  Have the kids do as much of the repairs on the toys as they are able to.  It will give them a sense of pride and accomplishment, and teach them to treat their toys responsibly.

6.  Rotate toys.  If you find that you are just overwhelmed with the number of toys that your kids have, pack some away for a month or so, then pull them back out and pack some of the others away.  This doesn't have to be done with the "favorite" toys, but some that aren't played with as much.

7. Ziplock bags are a mom's best friend.  Use them to corral puzzles, game pieces, crayons, small collections, and anything else you can think of.  Since they're clear and don't take up any extra space, they are a no-brainer when it comes to organizing toys.

8.  Keep board games on a high shelf.  I can't tell you the number of times we've had to go through and pick up all of the little pieces and cards and everything else that comes in the many board games we have.   It's a nightmare!  We keep the boardgames up high so they will survive the toy finding frenzy intact.  This is where tip #7 comes in handy.

9. Label drawers and bins that can't be seen into easily.  The kids can help with this one.  Give them a sheet of labels and a sharpie and have them write or draw a picture of what goes in them, or take pictures of the toys, print, and attach the picture.  Anything to make cleanup that much easier. 

10.  Keep the kids involved.  If they have the responsibility of picking up the toys, they need to be involved in de-cluttering the toys, too. 

These are my ten best strategies for de-cluttering and organizing toys in our kid's rooms. Keeping on top of things definitely helps mom AND the kids enjoy the toys even more.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Grandpa got re-married. For real.

The Bride and Groom.  It's a little bit blurry because the two of them were CONSTANTLY on the move!
Linking here:  5 Minutes for Mom, Seven Clown Circus, Fresh Mommy Blog

Monday, September 26, 2011

What's for Dinner This Week?

This week's menu was a bit of an experiment to figure out exactly how much our dinners actually cost.  I try to make tasty, not too complicated, and thrifty meals.  I cook most everything from scratch because that is usually the cheapest way to cook, and I can control what my family eats; less salt, no MSG, etc. 

I spent a few days with my Aunt when I was back in Missouri the beginning of September, and she wanted more info on how I keep my grocery bill so low...I told her I can feed the family for $100 a week.  Now I have to put my money (and menu!) where my mouth is.
One way I keep my food budget in control is buying my staples in bulk and by alternating weeks for certain purchases.  This takes some organization, of which I'm a bit hit-and-miss in.  I've broken these dinners down by cost.  Most of the prices are what I would buy if it is on sale.  But, a little disclaimer here, I usually spend even less than this per meal because I use coupons and plan my menu with the sale ads, my coupons and other deals.

Roasted Chicken (Costco has whole fryers in a two-pack for 99cents a pound, average price is $8-$10 per 2-pack) Cost of one Chicken: $4-$5
Spinach & Pear Salad Cost of Spinach: $1.00, Cost of 2 pears: 25 cents, Homemade Vinaigrette:  25 cents
Rice with Mushrooms Cost of 3 cups of rice: 30cents, 5 mushrooms: $1.00

Total Cost for Monday's Dinner:  $6.80 to $7.80 to feed a family of 6 (depending on cost of chicken)

Taco Salad Tuesday (This is actually one of my more expensive meals because of the meat and dairy, but sometimes I make it meatless.)
Cost of Taco Salad: 1 lb. Hamburger: $2.00 (Bought in bulk and cooked in bulk) Taco seasoning:  25 cents, Lettuce:  75 cents, 1 cup shredded cheese: $1.00, 1 can corn: 50 cents, 1 can beans: 65 cents, 2 tomatoes: 50 cents, 1/2 onion: 25 cents, salsa: 50 cents, Sour cream:  75 cents, Chips:  $1.00, Ranch Dressing:  50 cents
Total Cost for Tuesday's Dinner:  $8.65 to feed a family of 6

Sausage and Lentil Soup (CrockPot)
Adapted from Sausage and Lentil Soup recipe from Rachael Ray's October 2011 Magazine
1 package Jenny-O Smoked Turkey Sausage (or similar brand) $2.00
1 onion, diced  50 cents
2 large carrots, diced  10 cents
2 cloves garlic, minced  10 cents
1 pound yellow lentils, rinsed  75 cents
4 cups homemade chicken stock (made from the roasted chicken on Monday!)  50 cents
2 tsp. dried rosemary  10 cents
10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed $1.00
Salt and pepper to taste  Freebie
4 cups water  Freebie

Rinse the lentils and put in crockpot.  Add the diced onion and carrot, minced garlic and rosemary.  Add the water and chicken stock.  Slice the sausage in half lengthwise to make a half circle, then slice into 1/2 inch pieces and add into crockpot.  Stir in the spinach, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Bread Sticks with dough made in the Bread Machine  $1.00

Total Cost for Wednesday's Dinner:  $6.05 to feed a family of 6

Chicken Tetrazzini
 Adapted from Turkey Tetrazzini recipe from Rachael Ray's October 2011 Magazine
1 lb. linguine 75 cents
1 lb. chicken  99 cents
4 T. Butter  50 cents
1/2 lb. mushrooms $1.25
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning  10 cents
3 T. flour  5 cents
2 c. milk  40 cents
1 1/2 c. chicken stock  25 cents
1 c. parmesan cheese $1.50

2 c. frozen peas and carrots  50 cents

Spray a 9x13 inch pan and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.  
While past is cooking, cut chicken into bite sized chunks and season, (or use leftover chicken) and cook in a large skillet until browned.  Remove and put in the 9x13 pan.  Dice or quarter mushrooms and cook in skillet with 1 Tablespoon of butter for 3-4 minutes and add into turkey.  
Melt the remaining 3 Tablespoons butter in the skillet.  Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in the milk and chicken stock then bring to a boil and simmer for 2 or three minutes until thickened.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.  
Add the pasta and peas and carrots to the chicken and mushrooms in the 9x13 pan and pour on the sauce, tossing to combine.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan on top and bake until the top starts browning and the sauce is bubbling, 12-15 minutes.

Serve with Green Salad Cost: $1.50

Total Cost for Thursday's Dinner:  $7.80 to feed a family of 6

Homemade Pizza  I haven't figured out the cost for this yet, but will be working on it! With homemade crust and sauce, the big ticket items are the cheese and meat since the veggies aren't all that expensive.  I think I can keep it to my usual $6-$7 for the meal.

Hamburger Stew (CrockPot)
1 lb. hamburger  $2.00
5 carrots, diced 25 cents
5 mushrooms, diced 75 cents
2 stalks celery, diced 10 cents
1/2 large onion, diced  25 cents
1 lb. potatoes, diced 40 cents
1 can condensed tomato soup, 60 cents
3 soup cans of water (or more if it looks too thick)  Freebie
3 Tablespoons flour  5 cents
2 beef boullion cubes 10 cents
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning  10 cents
Salt and Pepper to taste  Freebie

The bluriness is steam because it's so hot!!!
Brown hamburger (can be done in the crockpot in bulk ahead of time and then use some for other meals) and add into the crockpot along with the diced vegetables.  Empty the soup into a medium sized bowl and whisk in the water, flour, boullion, Italian seasoning and a teaspoon of pepper.  Pour over the meat and veggies in the crockpot and stir.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

With Bread Sticks or Bread,
Total Cost for Friday's Dinner:  $5.60 to feed a family of 6

Grand Total Cost for 5 days worth of dinners to feed a family of 6: $34.90 (Pizza night isn't included)

I left out Sunday, because we usually have leftovers on one day and shift the menu accordingly.  I'll also add a dessert or treat one or two nights a week, so that will up the ante a smidge.  And I did not spend that $34.90 this week.  Most of what I used was in the pantry or the freezer, so weekly grocery cost for the dinners was basically spent on the perishables like fresh produce, the whole fryers, and the dairy.  Then when the meat and frozen foods are on sale for a great price I'll put some more in the freezer, and stock up on canned foods as I find them.   

I'm linking here: Gooseberry Patch Recipe Roundup

Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Scones, Glorious Scones...

One day I was in the mood for scones.  Oh, yes, the honest-to-goodness, flaky, biscuity scone.  And I had some limes.  And coconut.  And I sang...

And my kids told me not to.

But they'll eat my scones.

 Lime in the Coconut Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of 2 limes
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cube cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pices
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Cut the mutter into the dry mixture with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add coconut and mix.  Pour in the heavy cream and the 1/4 cup lime juice, stirring only just until dough forms.
Using hands, gently form the dough into ball.  Transfer to a parchment-lined cookie sheet and press into an 8 inch disk.  Cut into 8 wedges and slightly separate scones about 1 inch apart.  Bake until golden and a toothick insrted into the center is clean, 12-14 minutes.  Transfer scones to a cooling rack and cool about 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar with the 1 tablespoon of lime juice and stir until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled scones. Enjoy them with a cup of tea, some milk, or just gobble them down like we did.

I'm linking up here: The Finer Things in Life

Tidy Mom

Nothing But CountryTempt my Tummy Tuesdays 

Our Summer Campouts

Summer and outdoors are pretty much synonymous.  What would summer be without the ability to enjoy playing and camping in the great outdoors?  After going on several camping trips this summer I realized that I needed a checklist; something to help me remember all of the little things that I thought would make sense to bring, but that in the heat of the packing moment got lost in the shuffle.

We have a fairly large family and did tent camping, so our list reflects both of those things.  I broke the list down into these categories:

General Camping Supplies:
  • Tents and Tarps
  • Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Mats, Airbeds and Extra Blankets (for cooler nights)
  • Lanterns
  • Flashlight for each person and extra batteries
  • Firewood
  • Folding Table
  • Camp Chairs
Kitchen and Cooking Supplies:
  • Camp Stove and Propane
  • Matches and/or Lighter
  • Large Kettle, Pans and Griddle
  • Cooking Utensils-Fork, Spoons, Spatula, Tongs, Can Opener
  • Paper Plates, Cups, Plastic Silverware
  • Ziplock bags-Gallon, Quart, Sandwich
  • Coolers For Cold Food at Camp and a Smaller one for Day Trips
  • Large Bowl for serving
  • Foil and Plastic Wrap
  • Small Dish Drainer, Dish Soap and Sponge
  • Garbage Bags
  • Paper Towels and Napkins, Table Cloths
  • 5 Gallon Cooler or container for water
  • Our Must-Have Food Items:
  • Salt/Pepper, Oil/Cooking Spray, Seasoned Salt, Cinnamon and Sugar
  • Marshmallows, Chocolate and Graham Cracker for the ubiquitous and mandatory S'more
  • Breakfast:  Cereal, Instant Oatmeal, PopTarts, Cereal Bars, Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Bread, Pancake Mix, Syrup, Butter, Fresh Fruit, Milk
  • Lunch:  Lunchmeat and cheese, Mayo, Mustard, Catsup, Relish, Baby Carrots, Tuna, Salad Dressing, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Chips, Hummus, Salsa, Bread
  • Dinner:  Hot Dogs and Bratwurst, Hamburgers, Foil Dinners, Chili or Stew
  • Dessert:  S’mores, Brownies, Rice Crispie Treats, Cookies
  • Soap, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Shampoo
  • Insect Repellant, Sunscreen
  • Towels for Showers and Beach Towels
  • Flip Flops for Showers
  • First Aid Kit
  • Toilet Paper (just in case)
  • Small bottle of Laundry Soap
  • Stain fighter for stubborn camping stains like Clorox2
  • Personal Items:  (Each person is in charge of packing their own, or can have help from Mom)
  • Clothes; enough for every day changes and extra socks in case of getting wet
  • Swim trunks or bathing suit
  • Appropriate shoes
  • Extra toiletries, above and beyond the basics
  • Books and games and Outdoor toys
We usually camp with other families and have a potluck or BBQ for our dinner, but I make pasta, macaroni, or potato salad and bring lots of fresh fruit and veggies for salads, too.   Having a list for what to bring has kept it a little bit less hectic and stressful, and allows me to have the kids take charge of some of it, too.

Playing outside together builds the family bonds and shows you what you're really made of.  And being prepared for it makes all the sweeter!  Take the Clorox2 Play 2Day Pledge and play outside today!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

I'm linking here:

If you would like a list to print for yourself, download one here:   Tent Camping Checklist

Monday, September 19, 2011

What's for Dinner, Week who knows what...

Turkey and Rice Casserole in the Crock Pot
Green Salad and Cantaloupe

Taco Salad with corn tortillas
Tuesdays have been Taco Salad Tuesdays, but everyone (except for me!) is getting tired of it, so we'll have a tortilla option tonight.  We're also going meatless tonight, just beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, corn, and toppings.


Tortilla Chicken Chili in the Crock Pot
This will use up the partially eaten and now neglected tortilla chip bags in the cupboard. Plus, Bubs has a swim meet in the afternoon and Cub Scouts at night, so dinner will be done and waiting when we need it.


Just good old pasta and salad for dinner tonight.  Meetings and practices.


Russian Beans-one of my mom's recipes, passed down from her mom:
1/2 lb. hamburger
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced 
1 large can diced tomatoes including juice(or whole and chopped up)
1/2 cup raw rice
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 Tbls. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Brown the hamburger, onion and green pepper and drain.  Add the tomatoes and juice, rice, beans and spices.  Heat and stir, then bake in a 325 oven for 1 1/2 hours.

I'm going to try this in the crock-pot and hope it works out.  I think it might need additional liquid.

Homemade Pizza with a crust recipe here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The temple is a House of God, a place of love and beauty...

The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

Front view of the Nauvoo, IL, Temple.

Nauvoo, IL, Temple

These pictures were taken by Natalia at age 12 when she was in Nauvoo for my cousin's wedding.  She went there with her Grammy, aunts and cousins.

I have a special place in my heart for the Nauvoo temple; my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandparents lived adjacent to the temple. That Grandmother Nancy Naomi Alexander Tracy was present when the cornerstone was laid, and later had to leave behind the temple and her children who had died while they were living in Nauvoo when they were forced to leave and move West.  I know she took great solace in knowing they had an eternal family and that she would see those children again someday.

My sister Monie and her husband Kyle live in Nauvoo and she and my other sister Tara were both married there.  My sister Emily and her family were recently sealed to their adopted son in the Nauvoo temple.

This is the St. Louis temple.  Our family was sealed here in 2010.  It was a wonderful and amazing experience that I thought might never happen.  But it did.

Here are Joe's (the birthday boy!) thoughts about that day:

My brothers and sister and I went to the childrens rooms and played with some toys.  We changed into our white temple clothes  We had a snack and watched a movie about temples.  I explored the hallway, and then we went to the sealing room and met our parents.  There were a lot of people from church and my grammy and grandpa were there, too.  We were sealed as a forever family.  It was very special.

We went back to the childrens rooms to change into our church clothes.  We met a family with 24 kids.  One of the sisters was getting married that day.  They had so many people in their family that they drove a bus instead of a car.  I'm happy that my family can be forever.
There are no words to describe what a special day it was, and I am grateful to my Heavenly Father to have my family gathered close around me for time and all eternity.

I'm linking here: 


Monday, September 12, 2011

Our family mission statement...

Several years ago we decided to write a family mission statement.  I have to admit that at the time I brought this up to my family we were really struggling with finances, jobs, and life in general, and I thought that this would be a morale booster.  It would be a guide to get us through our days and something to draw us closer together.  (Maybe I should have written a personal mission statement.  I'll put that on my to-do list. :) )

I was introduced to the idea of a Family Mission Statement probably 10 years ago by a friend in a Family Home Evening preparation group.  She had read Stephen Covey's book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families" and made up a FHE on how to create a Highly Effective Family which included how to write a family mission statement.

In the book, Stephen Covey suggests that each of us begin with the end in mind and create a clear, compelling vision of what you and your family are all about.  He says,
"A family mission statement is a combined, unified expression from all family members of what your family is all about---what it is you really want to do and be---and the principles you choose to govern your family life."
So we wrote our mission statement:
Our Family works together as a loving family and strives to do our best in all that we do.  We treat others with respect and speak lovingly to each other.  We value each others opinions, and we are patient and tolerant of each other.  We won't demean or be critical of anyone's efforts.
The members of Our Family are Honest, Courteous and Helpful.  We work together until all work is done.  We can be kind by sharing and we don't throw toys.  We are safe by driving safely and going to school safely.
Our Family has family prayers and eats dinner together every night.  We clean up our own messes.  Each member of our family has personal prayers before bed and expresses their thanks to Heavenly Father for their blessings.
We will live to be worthy to go to the temple and to serve missions.
We eat healthy things to keep our bodies strong.
We Choose The Right! (CTR)

Looking back at it I can tell what the dynamics of our daily life and relationships were.  And I distinctly remember there being a toy-throwing incident that day.

We typed our mission statement out, I mounted it on scrapbook paper and hung it on the bulletin board where it stayed gathering dust for a couple of years.  Then we packed the house up to move and the family mission statement was tucked into a scrapbook until I dug it out yesterday for this post.  Not really keeping it a priority.

After reading Anne's post on Chocolate on my Cranium I've realized that our Family Mission Statement needs to be prominently displayed and used in our home.  I love her idea of reciting it every day, maybe before family prayers.  I have noticed that our family has been really critical of each other, and I'm hoping that utilizing Our Family Mission Statement will remind us what it's all about!

"Where there is great love there are always miracles."  Willa Cather
I've always got room for miracles!

I'm linking up here:

Tidy Mom

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The REAL Hope and Change...

You can read last year's post about 9/11 and Joe's birth day here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Celebrate the Family

Does anyone remember the old commercials that ended:  Family--Isn't it about time?  This is one of my favorites, with lots of action and adventure.

Montserrat from Chocolate on My Cranium is co-hosting the 2nd annual celebration on The Family: A Proclamation to the World; Celebrate Family 2011 along with Jocelyn from We Talk of Christ We Rejoice In Christ, Shannon from The Redheaded Hostess (who inspired me to start a real-live Scripture Journal) and JRoberts from Welcome to the Madness.

I'm so excited, because I obviously need some help in keeping the family #1.  I always get bogged down in the everyday stuff--like making sure everyone has clean underwear and showers on a regular basis--and not enough time on what will strengthen the family ties.

I was thinking about families, or more specifically, our family, while delivering stacks of laundry to the kids' rooms, and I saw the poster that Joe has hanging in the boys' room with his name broken down like this:  Joyful, Outstanding, Smart, Enthusiastic, Polite, Heroic.  And believe me, he is all of those things.

But that also got me wondering what words I would use to describe FAMILY.  I'm going with Friendship, Attitude, Marriage, Integrity, Love, You.  So many different words can be used, but I have specific reasons why I chose these for my "acronym".

First is Friendship.  Our family has to be friends with each other, or have a mutual respect for one another, if our family is going to have the strength to hold off Satan and the ways of the world that come creeping into our lives.  You know what they say about the weakest link, and I don't want our family to have friendship be that weak link.

Here are a few quotes to help me in my journey.  I love me some quotes.

Could anyone be more deserving of respect than a literal child of God? Each of us—husband and wife, parent and child—has that marvelous heritage and potential. Sometimes we lose sight of each others true worth. But as we give respect, our love deepens, potential blossoms, and eternal relationships grow stronger.
Our family-centered perspective should make Latter-day Saints strive to be the best parents in the world. It should give us enormous respect for our children, who truly are our spiritual siblings, and it should cause us to devote whatever time is necessary to strengthen our families. Indeed, nothing is more critically connected to happiness—both our own and that of our children—than how well we love and support one another within the family.”

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.

It all boils down to this.  It's one of the most basic things we learn in the Gospel and is the second commandment.

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