Category: Family Matters

There are many definitions of family in this country, but the ones that are consistent and long-lasting are: 1. a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.
2. all the descendants of a common ancestor. Family matters has a double meaning:1. the family matters to society 2. the things that happen in our families.

Rosemary Cookies and the Importance of Family

Rosemary Cookies and the Importance of Family

 Once a month my little grandson comes to spend a couple of days with Grandma and Grandpa. Dante and I always do a project or two while he is here, something we can enjoy doing together.

It is our way of building a family bond that will last through eternity.

Families can be forever, and I want Dante to know how important he is in my life today, and throughout all eternity. I do that by spending time with him.

Today Dante would like to share with you his recipe for ‘Dante’s Rosemary Cookies.

He is fascinated by the idea of people in other countries reading about his cooking project! Made from a honey cookie recipe with rosemary, whole wheat flour, and applesauce, they are a very tasty and healthy snack. I developed this nutritious cookie especially for him when he was just a year old- along with his special ‘Super Dante Juice’….which will be a post for another time 🙂


Step 1(Dante likes to break every job into ‘steps’): Cut the rosemary into tiny pieces. 



Step 2: Grind the wheat to make flour. Fresh-ground flour tastes so much better and retains more vitamins than what we buy in the store. White flour also works in this recipe, but  has very little nutrition.


Step 3: Get honey from the store room and be sure to smile for Grandma’s camera!


Step 4: Measure all the ingredients into the bowl and mix it up.


Step 5: Scoop out the dough and place it on parchment paper. Bake it in the oven. It takes a l…o…n…g time (10 minutes is a long time to a 5 year old!) to bake, so don’t forget step 6:


…Enjoy a spoonful of cookie dough! 


And of course, what is better to go with fresh-baked cookies than a glass of milk and a board game?!

Spending time with family is one of the most important things we do.

It often means putting other important things off until later, but the ties that we develop with our families can last for eternity.

“The family is the basic unit of society. Countries can be no healthier than its families. No government can long endure without strong families.” ~ Spencer W. Kimball

Is there anything more important than spending time, and building strong bonds, with your family? We have so many important activities that pull us in every direction, and especially away from our families. Despite the importance of everything we have to do each day, the answer to that question is still  a resounding “No!”

“Never before have there been so many insidious influences threatening the family as today, around the world. Many of these evil influences come right into the home—through television, movies,radio, magazines, newspapers, <and social media>.”  Spencer W Kimball

The most important quote

 Dante’s Rosemary Cookies

 Recipe Type: Healthy Desserts
Cuisine: American
Author: Margo
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 dozen


  • ¼ c real butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tblsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 tsp dried or fresh rosemary, chopped small
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg


  1. Mix butter and sugar together until creamy. Add egg and mix well. Add the applesauce, honey and lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Mix dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet, or on parchment paper for easy clean-up. Bake at 325 F (165 degrees C) 10-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on a rack before storing.

 What have you done to increase love in your Family today?

The moments that matter most….

We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most.



Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?

There is a verse (Proverbs 13:24) in the Bible that reads : “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” That verse has been used to justify physically punishing children with fists, sticks and belts.

Stop! Just don’t!

The ‘rod’ the verse refers to is a shepherds rod, one that is used to guide sheep and protect the flock from predators.Shepherd guiding sheep Those that have raised sheep know that sheep are followers. They will trust and follow a good shepherd anywhere- just as we desire our children to trust and follow us.

If a shepherd hurts or scares his sheep, however, those sheep will scatter when he comes near.

Hitting sheep with a stick will not get sheep to go where you want them to go- they will run instead of follow. Violence scares a child, and causes resentment. It does not encourage a child to follow out of understanding and love, but to obey out of fear. Just as the rod or staff is used to gently guide a wayward sheep and protect the flock, we must guide our children. Not with pain, but with love and

Saying no to beating a child does not mean that discipline can be ignored

Those that ignore a child’s bad behavior, justify it, or allow it to continue, are not showing love, but are showing ignorance, laziness and lack of respect.

He (and she) that loves their children will teach, and chasten when needed. 

Boyd K. Packer has observed that “When a person in a position to correct another fails to do so, he is thinking of himself. Remember that reproof should be timely, with sharpness or clarity…and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy” (D&C 121:43).Christ and the sheep

Discipline is necessary. It is how we keep our children safe, teach them to be productive members of society, and give them the knowledge and habits to be successful and happy throughout their life.

Let me be clear about one thing: when one of my children puts himself or others in danger, I have found that a quick swat on the bottom gets his attention- and gets it fast. I had a two year old child that ran away from me towards a vicious dog and refused to come to me. I quickly chased him down, and he fought me taking him out of danger. He got a very swift swat on the bottom which distracted him enough to quit the tantrum, allowing me to get us both out of danger. That does not happen often, but there are times when unusual circumstances require unusual responses.

The word discipline is closely related to the word disciple, sharing the same root word. A disciple is one who follows. Follow the example of the Good Shepard, and lead so that your little disciples will want to follow. Never cause fear in those who love you.

Remember in your disciplining to LEAD with love.


Potty Training- best tips for success

Potty Training- best tips for success

As a professional nanny, as well as a mother and grandmother, I have some advice for those embarking on the important milestone of potty training.

Are you ready for the ‘Big Step’?       More importantly, is your CHILD ready? Beginning too soon just causes frustration to the child as well as all the adults in her life. Starting too soon will make the process last a lot longer. Children gain physical control of bladder and bowels at different ages. There is no ‘right’ age– and don’t let anyone convince you that your child ‘should be potty trained already’! Your child is unique, as all children are, and each child reaches readiness at a different rate, even within families. Pay attention to the signs, and be patient. Very few children are physically and emotionally ready before 2 years of age, and  even fewer are not potty trained by age 5. Most children fall somewhere in between, with the average being 2 1/2 -3 years of age.

Before we go any further, I want to express the most important tip for successful potty training: NEVER punish a child for an accident. Praise, support and uplifting encouragement will speed the process up, but punishment, belittling, or anger will cause long-term problems. If things are not going well, back off and try again in a few weeks. Be mentally prepared for accidents, and think ahead how you are going to react when (when, not if!) they happen.

Here are some of the signs that your child is ready to ditch the diapers:

  1. Wakes up dry in the morning, and after naps.
  2. Can sit still for at least 2 minutes
  3.  Is in a cooperative stage
  4. Is interested in bathroom behavior- wants to watch you ‘go potty’
  5. Can follow simple instructions
  6. Understands consequences- “when I do this, that happens”

If you begin potty training, and it becomes obvious that your child is just not ‘getting it’, or obviously does not want to cooperate, it is a clear signal that he or she is just not ready. Done at the right time, Potty training will happen in a matter of a few days, without mess or fuss. It is worth the wait.

Two year olds reading books
Day one of potty-training: one twin was ready, the other twin was not ready for two more weeks.

Preparation for Success:

  1. Start when you know you can be home for as many days as possible. 4-5 days in a row without having to leave the house is ideal, 2 days is the bare minimum. Choose a time when your focus can be on the child most of the time.
  2. Buy several packages of underwear- and let your little one help pick them out at the store. You will need at least 10 pair, and they will need to be washed several times during the first few days.
  3. Pull-ups are for nighttime and naps only– no matter what the cute advertisements say, pull-ups are counter productive. Your child needs to feel what is happening, and YOU need to be able to immediately see what is happening. If you are concerned about rugs or other flooring, keep the action in the kitchen or other room with washable flooring. Cover couches if necessary. Remember, this is only going to be for a few days. Using pull-ups can extend potty training for weeks or even longer. Buy a can of rug spot-cleaner, and have paper towels and rags ready.
  4. Stock up on juices or other healthy drinks that your toddler likes. You are going to be encouraging LOTS of drinking in the mornings and early afternoons, for the first couple of days. The more drinking, the faster the toddler understands.
  5. Choose small treats that are tempting to your toddler. I have used small jelly beans, sweet cereal, dried strawberries, and yogurt chips, depending on the child and the family preferences. It must be something that is special to the child, not something that is normally available. Alternately, you can use a sticker chart if that is sufficiently motivating.
  6. Prepare your potty spot. I prefer using a potty chair- it can be brought into whichever rooms you and your child are going to be in during the first couple of days. Expecting a child to run downstairs or across the house and get there without an accident isn’t practical. As soon as you ‘see the pee’, you need to immediately get him onto the potty- that means the potty needs to be close. Don’t worry, you will be able to transition to the bathroom after just a few days. Have books or small toys ready for her to be distracted with while you ask her to sit. I happened to find a potty chair at a garage sale that ‘cheers’ every time liquid hits the bowl. It makes the process even easier, as I can hear and react as soon as there is success- the quicker the reinforcement, the quicker the connection is made for the child.
  7. If the weather is cool, prepare several sets of leggings: use adult size socks and cut the foot out of each. Slip them on each leg.This gives the child some warmth on the legs without having the problem of having to pull down pants during training. After several days, put on loose pants that are easy to get up and down. Here is a great post from hobomama explaining how to make leggings out of socks.

    Potty training bear
    Potty training the bear… ready for the next step!
  8. Build the excitement! For 2 or 3 days ahead, talk about using the potty, read potty books, and ‘potty train’ a doll or favorite stuffed animal. 3 or 4 times a day, have the doll sit on the potty, slip a little water in the potty and make it a fun game. Give the doll a treat each time…but after the treat is ‘offered’ to the doll, allow the child to enjoy it. The day before you begin, get out the under-pants, put the treats in view (but out of reach!), and show excitement as you explain that tomorrow it will be HER turn.
Using boy underwear for training- they were easy to pull down
Success! An hour into the first day, she had had one accident, and then shortly afterwards, she earned her first jelly bean. That jelly bean was a huge motivator, and after the 2nd day she rarely had an accident. By the 3rd day, potty training was complete.

The big day has arrived!

  1. As soon as your child wakes up, it’s time to begin. Make a big deal about removing the diaper and putting on the undies. The undies are so much more comfortable!  Remove pants and use the leggings if the house is cool.
  2.  Start with the special drinks, and put your child on the potty with a book or small toy every 20 minutes- set the timer! If there is an accident in between times, reassure your child, and put on dry undies without making a fuss about it. Each time there is pee in the potty, make a big deal about it and give a small treat. Remember that it will take time for your child to figure out when the pee is coming, and how to get on  the potty. Be patient, reassuring, and positive.
  3. The idea is to have as many opportunities to practice as possible- make sure your child is drinking frequently throughout the day- the more, the better during the first two days. As the training period ends, go back to a normal drinking schedule, without the special drinks that encouraged him to drink more.
  4. By the end of the first day, there should have been at least a few times when your child successfully got to the potty before having an accident. If there is no improvement by the end of the second day, or the child is resisting sitting on the potty, it is a sign that the child is not yet ready- try again in two or three weeks. Remember, no matter what YOUR schedule is, if a child is not ready, it is a disservice to everyone to try and force it.
  5. If you have to leave the house in the first few days, be prepared with a water proof seat cover and spare clothes. Avoid giving drinks for at least an hour before leaving, and while away from the house. Avoid using pull-ups unless absolutely necessary in emergency situations. There will be a few accidents at first, just as each of us did when we learned ourselves. If you follow these steps, the accidents should end soon.



” Once you start venturing outside of the home how do you minimize accidents and get them used to going in other environments?” 

Great question! Once the initial training period is over, your child will not need to use the potty as frequently. Before leaving the house, model the behavior you desire- visit the toilet together before leaving. At the beginning, asking if a child needs to ‘go’ is not always successful- he may not recognize the feeling yet. After an hour or so, go into the public restroom with your child and again model what you want your child to do before you put her on the toilet. Hold her so she feels supported and at ease. If you use a removable potty seat at home, bring it with you for the first couple of weeks. Be prepared with your potty treats :). Restrict liquids an hour before leaving the house.

My child is afraid of public toilets- they are so noisy!”

Those noisy toilets can be a scary thing. This is one problem that you can solve even before starting toilet training. Go into several public toilets and talk with your child about what it is.  Flush the toilets together several times and watch the water swirl around until your child is comfortable with the noise and the sights. Your child may have seen you use the toilet many times, but has never understood what you are doing unless you have discussed it- the connection between what is in the diaper and what is in the toilet has not been made yet. Now is the time to flush the contents of a poopy diaper and say “bye-bye, poop!” so she understands what the toilet is for.  Fear is eliminated by education, whether we are adults or children.

“What about those automatic flushing toilets that sometimes flush while you are still sitting??”

Bring post-it notes and cover the sensor so that it does not flush unexpectedly.


Do YOU have a question or suggestion? Leave a reply below and I will answer.




Harvest Day in the Corn Patch

Harvest Day in the Corn Patch


We have been helping our neighbor with his corn patch for the past couple of years, and this year the corn looked tremendous- tall and healthy despite the strange weather we have had this year. There was a lot of cool, rainy weather followed by above-average temperatures, then more cool… Idaho is famous for having unpredictable weather, but this summer has been the whopper of unpredictability.

Thursday was harvest day, and we were unhappily surprised by the results- despite the months of planting, watering, weeding and caring for the corn patch, we harvested a third of what we had expected. Sometimes things happen that are not what we expect. How we react when the unexpected happens is a measure of our personality. Can we see the ‘silver lining’* despite our disappointments?

I am happy to say that, though disappointed in the harvest, we enjoyed our harvest party- and enjoyed the fact that it only took two hours instead of the five or six that it took last year (there is one silver lining!). I also have no doubt that God will provide for us- we will have enough to eat without a freezer full of corn. This means we will have room in the freezer for other tasty foods (silver lining #2)!IMG_8997


The whole family gets involved in the corn harvest- Grandma and I  shuck the corn before the rest of the family show up.IMG_9004


Once the rest of the family arrives, a son boils the corn for just a minute to stop the ripening process.IMG_9005

The corn is then put in front of a fan to cool it quickly.

Even the young grandchildren are able to help. Here, Dante is counting the empty corn cobs to keep track of how many dozen we have grown.IMG_9007

Grandma had an accident a few years ago and is unable to do much, but the family is careful to include her so she feels useful. Her job is to write the year on the freezer bags. One of the grandchildren then helps her put a quart of corn in each bag

At the end of the evening, each member of the family takes home corn for the freezer. We appreciate the bounty of the earth, the space for a garden, the ability to grow a garden, and the water to keep it green. Yes, we were a bit disappointed in the amount, but there is so much to be grateful for!IMG_9030

Even the horses are happy today- the corn husks are a tasty treat!

The only unhappy creatures are the wild turkeys- their free corn supply has ended for the year. 🙂

Now that the corn is finished, it is time to harvest the apples again- make apple cider, apple cider vinegar, apple pies, dehydrated apples… and then the tomatoes, potatoes, beans and squash. What a blessing to have a garden and to be able to appreciate all we grow, throughout the coming winter. No matter how the price of food goes up because of strange weather patterns around the world, my family will eat healthy and well. I am truly thankful!



Corn Fritters
Author: Margo
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 patties
A tasty addition to breakfast, lunch or dinner!
  • Ingredients:
  • ⅓ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup flour (white or whole wheat)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup milk (I use non fat)
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • Vegetable oil
  1. Instructions:
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Add milk and chopped parsley, and mix together with a wooden spoon until thick and thoroughly mixed through.
  4. Add the cooked corn (boiled or grilled) and mix well with the flour mixture.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan.
  6. Using a ⅓ cup measuring cup, scoop corn mixture out and place into the skillet, gently
  7. pressing the mound down so it’s flattened.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes on one side, or until it’s browned, turn it over and cook another 5 minutes, or until it’s browned.
  9. Serve immediately with sour cream

Corrn patties blog post



















*A silver lining is a metaphor for optimism in the common English-language idiom “Every cloud has a silver lining.” ex: “The silver lining to not harvesting much corn is that we will have room in the freezer for more ice cream!”


A Weighty Problem in the USA

A Weighty Problem in the USA

I have become a ‘dieter’. Ugh. Я занялась диетами. Эх. Weight-loss is a big business in the United States. Похудение это большое дело в США. An estimated 45 million Americans diet each year and spend $33 billion annually on weight loss products. Most of the women I know have been on a diet of some sort in the past year. Some use diet aids, others like me just change eating habits or start exercising and hope for the best. I am not at an unhealthy weight, but I am not physically fit, and must lose several more pounds to take pressure off my knees and legs. vericose veins Over the past 2 years, as life got busier and more complicated,  I put on 15 pounds- just enough extra pressure on my legs that my veins are working too hard, and causing excruciating leg cramps. I need to lose the extra weight- and keep it off.  Приблизительно 45 миллионов американцев на диете каждый год и тратят 33 миллиона доларов на препараты для похудения. Большинство женщин, которых я знаю, были на какой-то диете за последний год. Некоторые используют препараты для походения, другие, такие как я, просто меняют привычки в питании или начинают делать упражнения и надеются на чудо. У меня нет ожирения, но и не спортивное сложение, и мне нужно сбросить несколько фунтов, чтоб снять давление с моих ног и колен.  За последние 2 года, моя жизнь стала более занятой и более сложной, я набрала 15 фунтов – как раз сколько нужно, чтоб добавить давление на мои ноги и перегрузить мои вены, что привело к невыносимой боли из-за судорог в ногах. Мне нужно сбросить лишний вес и не набрать его снова.

This experience of losing weight has given me GREAT compassion for anyone fighting to lose weight- it can be an incredibly difficult process, and it really can feel like a battle with ones self. I have had a hard time losing 15 pounds- what would it be like to have to change an entire lifestyle in order to lose a hundred pounds or more? Этот опыт со сбросом веса помог мне приобрести сострадание к кому-либо, кто борется с лишним весом – это может быть невероятно трудный процес и может действительно чувствоваться, как битва с собой. Мне было трудно сбросить 15 фунтов, а как было бы трудно изменить весь стиль жизни, чтоб сбросить 100 фунтов или больше?

I joined a gym for awhile, hoping to increase the calories I burn each day but finding the time and motivation to get to the gym was difficult. Besides, I IMG_0066REALLY hate exercising! Bike Ride 2013IMG_1458Yes, that is actually me there under the weights…but no, I am not really strong enough to lift them… I had a little help!  🙂

Exercise? This body? 
Упражнения? С таким телом?

It’s apparent that if each of our bodies is a temple (see 1 Cor. 3:16–17), some of us have temples that look as if the maintenance crew retired three years ago; the noble spirits that inhabit them deserve a better place to dwell. And even if we feel that we’re in the same great shape as when we graduated from high school, we can make our lives better and teach our families valuable habits through regular exercise.

“Это очевидно, что если тело каждого это храм (смотри 1 Коринфянам 3:16-17), то у некоторых из нас храмы такие, как-будто те, кто поддерживает в них порядок, ушли на пенсию три года назад; доблестные духи, которые живут в них, заслуживают лучшего места обитания. Даже если нам кажется, что мы в такой же форме, как и когда мы закончили школу, мы все таки можем улучшить наши жизни и привить нашим семьям ценные привычки через регулярные физические упражнения.”

I know that exercise is important, that if I exercise I will not only lose weight, I will also feel better. Knowing it and following through… that is the problem!  Я знаю, что физические упражнения очень важны, и что если я делаю упражнения, я не только сброшу вес, я так же буду лучше чувствовать.  Знать и делать … это в чем проблема!  I like to go on walks and bike rides, and work in the garden, but it is always a struggle to find the time and inclination- especially during the winter months. Мне нравится ходить на прогулки, кататься на велосипеде и работать на огороде, но мне нужно бороться с собой, чтоб найти время и желание, особенно в зимнее время. During the spring, summer and fall, I walk with my grandchildren, go on occasional bike rides, and work in the garden several times a week. That helps, but it still isn’t enough exercise to lose weight without reducing calories.Весной, зимой и осенью я гуляю с моими внуками, иногда катаюсь на велосипеде и работаю на огороде несколько раз в неделю. Это помогает, но этого всетаки не достаточно, чтоб сросить вес без того, чтоб не уменьшать употребляемые калории. 

I also work one day a week at the local Walmart super center, walking over 5 miles through the store at a fast pace each time. I always feel like I have gotten some exercise on that day each week! Я также работаю один день в неделю в местном супермаркете, проходя там каждый раз 5 миль быстрым темпом. Я всегда чувствую там, что сделала мою зарядку! The few calories I burn exercising may add up eventually, but don’t translate down to the bathroom scale.Те несколько калорий после каждого рабочего дня насобираются в конце концов, но не достаточно, чтоб их можно было заметить по напольным весам.

On advice, I learned to count calories- every bite I take, IHamster calories input on an app on my phone. По совету я научилась считать калории (даже за каждый маленький кусочек) – я ввожу их в специальную программу на моем мобильном телефоне. It was a real eye-opener when I began to count calories. I had NO idea how many calories I consumed on a daily basis- I thought that I ate “healthy”.Это открыло мои глаза, когда я начала считать сколько калорий я ем I have  learned that too many ‘healthy’ calories (whole grains, fruits, some vegetables, nuts, etc.) can add on weight almost as quickly as the ‘junk food’ options. Я узнала, что слишком много “поленых” калорий, таких как цельные зерна, фрукты, овощи, орехи, и тому подобное, может превращаться в жир так же быстро, как не полезная еда.  To lose weight, a person has to eat fewer calories than one burns in a day. Easy to say, hard to do. Чтоб сбросить вес, нужно потреблять меньше калорий, чем тратим за один день. Легко сказать, трудно сделать.

“Albert Einstein discovered that a tiny amount of mass is equal to a huge amount of energy, which explains why, as Einstein himself so eloquently put it in a famous 1939 speech to the Physics Department at Princeton, “You have to exercise for a week to work off the thigh fat from a single Snickers.” ~Dave Barry, Dave Barry Turns 50  “Альберт Эйнштейн обнаружил, что даже малейшее количество массы равно огромному количеству энергии, что объясняет почему, как Эйнштейн сам лаконично высказал в его речи в 1939 году перед Департаментом Врачей в Принсетоне “Вам нужно делать упражнения целую неделю, чтоб отработать жир с одного сникерса”. Дэйв Бэрри из книги “Дэйву Бэрри исполняется 50”.

The United States has a problem with weight. These are pretty scary health statistics:

  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are obese: 35.1% (more than 78 million Americans!)(2011-2012)
  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are overweight, including obesity: 69.0% (2011-2012)
    • Percent of adolescents age 12-19 years who are obese: 18.4% (2009-2010)
    • Percent of children age 6-11 years who are obese: 18.0% (2009-2010)
    • Percent of children age 2-5 years who are obese: 12.1% (2009-2010)
В Соединенных Штатах есть проблема с весом. Эти статистические данные очень пугающие:
    – процент взрослых старше 20 лет страдающих от ожирения: 35,1% (это более чем 78 млн Американцев!) (2011-2012)
    – процент взрослых старше 20 лет страдающих от  избыточного веса, включая ожирение: 69,0% (2011-2012)
    – процент подростков от 12 до 19 лет с ожирением: 18,4% (2009-2010)
    – процент детей от 2 до 5 лет с ожирением: 12,1% (2009-2010)

According to the CDC, “Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States.”  “Болезни связанные с ожирением включают в себя сердечные болезни, инсульт, диабет и некоторые виды рака, являются ведущими причинами смертности в США, которые можно было предотвратить”.

Note: The following videos have Russian subtitles available. Примечание: в следующих видео есть русские субтитры.

There are many factors that lead to obesity in the United States. Among the worst is the prevalence of cheap, unhealthy food that tastes great- foods that have been designed by scientists to be instantly addictive. This TED video is entertaining and insightful:

The weight loss industry in The United States is worth $20 Billion dollars a year- selling quick fixes, weight-loss drugs, books, plans, surgery, hopes and dreams. There is a whole industry that is preying on people who are desperate to lose weight without having to work at it or change habits. This ABC news report has a great short video that exposes the tricks of the weight loss industry: (Click Here)    The longer version: ( click Here )

I am trying to lose my extra weight, but I will not use diet products, protein drinks, or expensive weight loss plans…I just try to eat fewer calories than what my body uses each day. I eat very little meat and bread, no white flour, no sodas or other drinks (of course no alcohol), and very few sweets. My diet is mostly made of vegetables and fruit, with milk and eggs for protein, and whole wheat bread.

If I would exercise more, I could lose that weight faster, and eat more. I miss chocolate….  I must find the motivation to exercise as part of my lifestyle.

A friend and I are working together on a challenge to stick to our daily health goals.  We text each other every day, and to help our motivation we have agreed to pay each other $2 each time we miss a goal. Eat to live don't live to eat

She has lost over 50 pounds, with another 50 to go, and is on her way to meeting her goals in the next year. She is changing the way she thinks about food, and is making lifestyle changes that will help her not only lose the weight, but keep it off. Unlike me, she LOVES to exercise, and it shows- she is not only losing weight, but the exercise keeps her stress levels down and helps her feel good all over.

I have lost 8 pounds in the past 3 months- not quite as impressive. Not all of my ‘challenge’ goals are related to weight loss, but each one is something I need to do to be a happier, healthier person: 1. Eat less than 1500 calories per day (eat mainly plants) and don’t eat after 5pm  2.Drink at least 8 cups of water each day 3. Read and study scriptures  4. Turn off electronics after 9 at night so that I get a good night’s sleep 5. Exercise at least 15 minutes per day (I am aiming for 60 minutes daily, eventually) 6. Learn one new word in Russian each day (It helps to keep the brain healthy).

I don’t make all my goals every day- I owe my friend $8 this week. But, having goals keeps me focused on improving myself, step-by-step, little by little. Without goals, I would drift along letting life happen to me. I want to leave life knowing I have done my best each and every day to become the best person I can be.

Losing weight and keeping it off doesn’t happen with magic pills, expensive clinics or  14-day diet plans. There is no short cut for cutting out calories and increasing exercise, despite what the weight loss industry in this country wants to fool us into believing. It takes self-discipline and above all, the strong desire to change. I believe it also takes a community to support us- even if that community is only one other person that we can be accountable to.

“More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.” ~John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent SocietyPeople die from eating too much 

I feel deep compassion on those that are struggling to deal with weight issues. It is so, so difficult, especially for those that have grown up in homes where being overweight has been normal, sometimes for several generations.

The Lord has blessed us with a body, and commanded us to take good care of it. To take care of our bodies, we must eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.

With all this talk of losing weight, let’s not forget the most important thing: “I am NOT my body.” Watch the following video about a young woman, Stephanie Nielson, who knows this in a very personal way

Do you struggle with weight? If I were your friend, what could I do to help support you in your journey?

Sneaky Grandma Trick #43…Уловка хитрой бабушки  №43 …

Sneaky Grandma Trick #43…Уловка хитрой бабушки №43 …

I am very ‘healthy food’ conscious.  As a grandma who has the responsibility of feeding my grandchildren several days a week, I am always scheming ways of getting more whole grains and healthy greens into them. Like many little children, greens and other vegetables are not necessarily their favorite choices- and may be completely rejected once it is on their plate. So, I get ‘sneaky’… Я очень слежу за тем, что я ем. Будучи бабушкой, у меня есть ответственность кормить моих внуков несколько раз в неделю. Поэтому я всегда в поисках разных способов, которые помогут мне накормить их цельными злаками и полезной зеленью. И как для многих маленьких детей, зелень и другие овощи не обязательно являются из любимой едой, поэтому могут быть полностью отвергнутыми, как только это попадет к ним на тарелку. Поэтому мне приходится хитрить…



Into the waffle batter goes microgreens, fresh eggs, fresh-ground whole wheat flour, rolled oats, and for good measure- cooked, pureed squash. Once the batter is blended ( all done in the kitchen , out of the children’s sight) there is no sign left that there is anything but normal store-bought batter going into the waffle iron! В тесто для оладей идут мелкие травы, свежие яйца, свеже-помолотая мука, овсяные хлопья и чтоб уж совсем для здоровья – пюре из печеной тыквы. Как только тесто замешено (на кухне, вдали от взглядов детей), нет никаких признаков того, что в тесте есть что-то кроме того, что обычно идет оладьи!




“Grandma, these are the best waffles ever!”  He-he… sneaky Grandma mission accomplished! “Бабушка, это самые вкусные оладьи, какие только могут быть!” – ха-ха… миссия хитрой бабушки выполнена!

Next mission: Hide the avocado!  ледущая миссия – спрятать авокадо!





































































Avocado adds fiber and vitamins to an already healthy morning smoothie of kefir and banana , and although these little girls refuse to even consider eating a piece of avocado, the picture says it all: Success!  Авокадо добавляет волокна и витамины к уже очень здоровому утреннему домашнему питьевому йогурту или кефиру с бананами. И хотя эти маленькие девочки отказываются даже допустить идею употребления кусочка авокадо, фотка говорит сама за себя – успех!


And that is how a sneaky grandma helps her much-beloved grandchildren eat just a little bit healthier! Это как хитрая бабушка помогает своим любимым внукам кушать немного полезнее! This is a post I think the children should not see… Этот пост я думаю лучше детям не видеть…

What do you do to help your children or grandchildren eat healthy foods that they do not like? А что вы делаете, чтоб помочь вашим детям или внукам кушать полезные продукты, которые они не любят?


Easter – Because He Lives! Пасха – Потому что Он Живет!

Easter – Because He Lives! Пасха – Потому что Он Живет!

We celebrate Easter because He lives!     Мы празднуем Пасху, потому что Он жив!

Jesus-with-Child-640 Palm-Sunday Easter is a very special time in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), as it is in most Christian churches.

Пасха это особенное время в Церкви Иисуса Христа Святых Последних Дней (Мормоны), так же как и большинстве Христианских церквей.

“Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and the Only Begotten Son of God the Father. We believe that He was born, lived a mortal life, taught and blessed thousands, suffered for our sins in Gethsemane, and died on the cross at Calvary. And, most importantly, we believe that after three days He was resurrected from the dead, and because He rose again—because He lives—we can also be resurrected after we die.   “Мормоны верят в то, что Иисус Христос – наш Спаситель и Искупитель и Единственный Единородный Сын Бога Отца. Мы верим в то, что Он родился, жил земной жизнью, учил и благословлял тысячи людей, пострадал за наши грехи в Гефсиманском саду и умер на кресте на Голгофе. И самое главное, мы верим что через три дня Он был воскрешен из мертвых, и потому что Он воскрес, потому что Он живет, мы тоже воскреснем после смерти.

Elder Russell M. Nelson said: “As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ in these, the latter days, we have also been charged with testifying of the realities of the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection. This Easter season gives each of us a personal opportunity to discover His sacrifice, embrace His teachings, and share His joy.”  Старейшина Рассал М. Нелсон сказал: “Как последователи Господа Иисуса Христа в эти последние дни мы получили ответственность свидетельствовать о реальности Искупления и Воскресения нашего Спасителя. Это Пасхальное время предоставляет каждому из нас возможность открыть для себя Его жертву, объять Его учения и поделиться Его радостью.”

For those that have not read previous blogs, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- I am a ‘Mormon’. I love the Savior. I am grateful for the atonement because I am a very imperfect person. I am grateful for the Easter season because, like Christmas, it is a time to refocus on Christ and on the things that are most important in life. Для тех, кто не читал мои предыдущие блоги, я – член Церкви Иисуса Христа Святых Последних Дней, я – “Мормонка”. Я люблю Спасителя. Я благодарна за Искупление, потому что я очень не совершенный человек. Я благодарна за Пасхальный сезон, потому что,  так же как Рождество, это время чтоб сфокусироваться на Христе и на вещах, которые самые важные в жизни.


But, there are the family and cultural traditions of Easter as well. I often feel ambivalent about these traditions, as I do about Santa Claus at Christmas. Although they represent the fun part of the holiday, in many homes and many places around the country, the Easter bunny is often not connected to Christ and the atonement, including in the homes of some of my family and friends. Есть так же семейные и культурные пасхальные традиции. У меня часто есть смешанные чувства связанные с этими традициями, такие же как с Санта Клаусом во время рождества. Хотя они представляют веселую часть праздников во многих домах по стране, Пасхальный Зайчик часто не имеет ничего общего с Христом и Искуплением, включая дома некоторых моих друзей и членов семьи.

During the month before Easter, every department store in the United States has Easter eggs, Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies, egg dye, toys and candies displayed close to the front. Walmart has had ‘Easter egg supplies’ on the shelves since the day after Valentines day, and hundreds of people every day since then have been buying the chocolate and toys. В течение месяца перед Пасхой каждый магазин по стране продает пасхальные яйца, пасхальные корзины, шоколадных зайцев, красители для яиц, игрушки и конфеты. В Волмарте пасхальные принадлежности были на полках начиная сразу после дня Святого Валентина и тысячи людей покупали шоколад и игрушки с тех пор.

When my children were small- and even when they were quite tall- we would enjoy the ‘Easter bunny’ on Saturday with a a family Easter egg hunt, reserving Sunday for a celebration of Christ. Когда мои дети были маленькими, даже когда они уже были очень высокими, нам нравился Пасхальный зайчик с охотой за яйцами в субботу, чтоб посвятить воскресенье празднованию Воскресения Христова.



Even as teenagers, my children loved the egg-hunt tradition. As they got older, I spread the eggs out and made them more difficult to find.  Даже будучи подростками, мои дети любили традицию охоты на яйца. Чем старше они становились, тем дальше я прятала яйца, чтоб их было труднее найти.

These photos were from 2004- Those teenagers are now grown and off on their own.Это фото 2004 года – эти подростки теперь взрослые люди и живут отдельно.




Saturday is the day that I prefer to reserve for the ‘fun’ part of Easter. However, not all of my children have chosen to follow our traditions. My oldest son and his wife do not identify as Christians and are bringing up their children without any overt religious influences. I respect their wishes and do not talk about our religious beliefs to the children- which can be very difficult when our little 5 year old grandson asks questions about what I believe about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ…  Суббота – это день, который я предпочитаю использовать для “веселой” части Пасхи. Хотя не все мои дети решили поддерживать эту традицию. Мой старший сын и его жена не отождествляют себя с христианами и воспитывают своих детей без религиозного влияния. Я уважаю их желания и не говорю о религии с детьми, хотя это бывает очень трудно когда наш пятилетний внук задает вопросы о том, во что я верю о Небесном Отце и Иисусе Христе…

Although they do not focus on, or discuss religious beliefs, they are also extremely respectful of our beliefs, which is something I am so grateful for. I love them for their willingness to be non-judgmental or to try and force their beliefs on others. I am grateful that all my children are accepting and respectful of others, including their parents who made many mistakes in child-rearing over the years. И хотя мои дети не фокусируются и обсуждают религиозные убеждения, они относятся очень уважительно к нашим религиозным убеждениям, за что я очень благодарна им. Я люблю их за их желание не осуждать и не навязывать свои убеждения на других. Я благодарна, что все мои дети относятся с уважением к другим, включая их родителей, которые совершали много ошибок пока растили своих детей.


My darling daughter-in-law made this Easter-themed  cake a few years ago, before she became a mother of 3 young children, and a full-time nurse as well. Loving, giving, caring- all those traits that you wish to have in your relatives are how I would describe this dear young mother. And, of course I must add- she is a talented cake-maker! Моя любимая невестка сделала этот Пасхальный пирог пару лет назад, до того как она стала мамой троих детей, а так же медсестрой на полную ставку. Любящая, щедрая, заботливая (черты, которые все бы хотели видеть в своих родственниках) – так я бы описала эту молодую маму. И, конечно, мне нужно добавить, что у нее талант делать торты!



During the first weekend of April, the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will be focusing on Jesus Christ and will be tuning in all over the world to General Conference.   The women of the church attend the first session, held on the last Saturday in March. Five more 2-hour sessions are held the first weekend of April. I will be watching the conference on my computer, receiving  inspiration and instruction from Church leaders. Any talks that I must miss because of work or family obligations, I will watch in the coming week.

I wish  all my friends- both those I know and those I have not met yet- a blessed and wonderful Easter celebration. May you focus on Christ and receive all the blessings He has to offer you!

Во время первого выходного апреля, члены Церкви Иисуса Христа Святых Последних Дней сосредотачиваются на Иисусе Христе и настраиваются по всему миру на просмотр Генеральной Конференции. Женщины Церкви посещают первую сесию конференции, которая проводится в последнюю субботу марта. Еще пять двухчасовых сессий проходят в первый выходной апреля. Я буду смотреть конференцию на моем компьютере, получая вдохновение и поучения от руководителей Церкви. Все выступления, которые я пропущу из-за работы или семейных обязанностей, я посмотрю на следующей неделе.
Я желаю всем моим друзям (и тем, кого я знаю и тем, с кем я еще не знакома) благословенного и удивительного празднования Пасхи. Желаю вам сфокусироваться на Христе и получить все благословения, которые есть у Него для вас!пасха



 Он Живет!

What do you do to celebrate Easter? What are your family traditions? Do you think your culture or country is taking Christ out of Easter?

9-1-1, Someone just shot in my window! Мне кажется, кто-то стрелял по нашим окнам!

9-1-1, Someone just shot in my window! Мне кажется, кто-то стрелял по нашим окнам!

November 2014      Ноябрь 2014 г.

Perhaps this was a comment on breaking the Sabbath…I was busy making applesauce after church, justifying it as the only opportunity I would have for the week, when all of a sudden I heard a huge “Boom!” coming from the front room… (by the way, I repent of breaking the Sabbath!

Эта статья – скорее история о том, как я нарушила заповедь (Прим.:В христианских странах воскресный день считается праздником — днём, когда верующие обычно посещают церковь. Во многих христианских конфессиях в этот день христианам нельзя работать или же работа считается нежелательной) … После воскресного собрания в церкви я была занята приготовлением яблочного соуса (оправдывая себя тем, что в любой другой день этой недели такой возможности у меня уже не будет) как вдруг я услышала грохот в гостиной комнате. (к слову, я каюсь в нарушении заповеди!)

Since it is hunting season, my first thought was that someone had shot in our window…by accident or on purpose, either way being scary. 

Первая мысль, которая пришла мне – кто-то стрелял по нашему окну, ведь это было время сезона охоты hunting season. Даже не важно, случайным был выстрел или намеренным, всё равно было страшно…



Glass was everywhere- into the next room, and down the stairs. I have to admit that I was scared. Ron ran outside to see if he could see someone, I called 9-1-1текло было повсюду, даже в соседней комнате и на лестнице. Стоит признать, мне было страшно. Рон выбежал на улицу в надежде увидеть нарушителя, я же позвонила в полицию 9-1-1
911 operator: where is your emergency? ME (in slightly quavering voice): I gave her my address…. 9-1-1: What is the nature of your emergency? ME: (still quavering voice) I think someone just shot in our window. 9-1-1: Do you see anyone? ME: No, we live up a canyon and cannot see through the trees….wait, hold on…it’s a BIRD! 9-1-1: What kind of a bird? ME (in much less quavering voice): A hawk, I think- wait, no, it’s a…a grouse! 9-1-1: Would you still like to have an officer come up? ME: (slightly embarrassed at this point, as the operators voice has a bit of a smile in it now) Uh, no, I think we will be fine on this one…Thanks! 
Оператор на линии: Где произошло происшествие?
Я (немного дрожащим голосом): … (назвала адрес)
Оператор на линии: Что произошло?
Я: (в моём голосе всё ещё была дрожь) Мне кажется, кто-то стрелял по нашим окнам.
Оператор на линии: Вы видите кого-нибудь?
Я: Нет, мы живём в каньоне в верхней его части, сквозь деревья невозможно разглядеть…погодите, секунду, ой, да это же ПТИЦА!Оператор на линии: Что за птица?
Я (уже спокойным тоном): Кажется, это ястреб, но, подождите – нет, это… это.. тетерев grouse!
Оператор на линии: Вам всё ещё нужна помощь офицера полиции?
Я: (немного растерянным голосом, чувствовалась улыбка оператора на другом конце линии) Я думаю, нет, мы справимся…Спасибо!

So, truthfully, I really did not see the bird when I first went into the room- I was on the other side and I was looking to see where the bullet had gone. The bird was still flapping a bit when I found it, so perhaps it flapped it’s way into the middle of the room after initially being stunned. I think it broke it’s neck, as it died pretty fast. Честно говоря, когда я впервые вошла в комнату, я не увидела птицу, я была на другой стороне и искала, куда же отскочила пуля.  Птичка всё ещё барахталась, когда я её нашла. Вероятно, так она добралась до середины комнаты после такого сильного столкновения. Скорее всего, она сломала шею, её смерть была быстрой.


Clean up took almost 3 hours- Ron vacuumed, then again with the shop vac, then I vacuumed twice again, and then again with the shop vac on every surface- every time we thought we had gotten it all, we would find another shard of glass on the ground or furniture. We did not want to take any chances of one of the grandchildren stepping on a piece of glass. Мы потратили на уборку 3 часа: Рон пылесосил обычным пылесосом, потом промышленным, потом я дважды проделала эту процедуру, и затем снова прошлись промышленным пылесосом – каждый раз мы находили осколки стекла на полу или мебели. Мы всеми силами старались уберечь наших внуков,  чтобы они ни в коем случае не наступили на стекло.


Ron taped the window inside and out, then taped plastic over the outside and over the inside. It was cold outside, and because this was just before Thanksgiving, I didn’t want to get the window replaced until after the holiday- especially after I found out how much it was going to cost to get it fixed! Our homeowners insurance has a $1000 deductible, so the cost of replacing the window was our responsibility.Рон заклеил окно изнутри и снаружи плёнкой. На улице было холодно, а так как это произошло прямо перед днём Благодарения, я не хотела менять окно до выходных – особенно, когда я узнала, во сколько мне обойдётся замена окна! Нестрахуемый минимум нашей домовладельческой страховки составляет 1000 долларов, что означало, что оплата расходов падала полностью на наши плечи.


This bird had to have been flying from across the canyon. Flocks of grouse and other birds normally fly across the canyon to spend the nights under the bushes on our hill. Эта птичка, должно быть, летела с той стороны через каньон. Стаи тетеревов, как и стаи других птиц, обычно перелетают через каньон и ночами сидят под кустами на нашем холме.


We had a strong wind at the time, and I suspect that the bird was either being chased by a hawk, or blown off course, through the trees and into the window. See what just a foot or two off course can do…You can end up being quite dead.

Тогда был сильный ветер, я подозреваю, что птицу просто сдуло с намеченного пути и понесло через деревья прямиком в окно, хотя её также мог преследовать ястреб. Только посмотрите, что может произойти, если отступить от курса на фут или два foot or two off courseВсё может закончиться смертью.


So, like manna, the bird fell; I felt a little guilty for wasting it’s little life, so it went downstairs, ‘hanging’ for 3-7 days at 55F or less- per internet instructions. We shall see if ‘window grouse’ tastes good…maybe.

Птица явилась как манна небесная manna; я бы чувствовала себя виноватой, если бы её маленькая жизнь была прожита впустую. Я отнесла её в подвал, и оставила её храниться там на 3-7 дней при температуре примерно в +12 градусов согласно найденной в интернете инструкции. Посмотрим, вкусным ли получится наш «оконный» тетерев…вполне возможно.

And this, my friend, is a $600 tiny-turkey dinner. I appreciate the protein, but I do not like tiny-turkey. It does not taste like turkey. И это, эта мини-индейка мне пришлась не по нраву, до настоящей индейки ей далеко.друзья мои, ужин стоимостью в 600$, с мини-индейкой. Энергетическая ценность данного продукта конечно же важна, но



It was complete with drumsticks and a tiny wishbone…but it still did not make it taste nice. I do not LIKE tiny-turkey, Sam-I-Am!Грудка и ножки… и всё же вкус не тот. Не люблю я мини-индейку, не люблю. (идёт отсылка к песне под названием Sam-I-Am)



And here are photos of the end of the story: A brand new window that is much better than the one that was destroyed. А вот и фотографии окончания этой истории: Новое окно – оно намного лучше своего предшественника.








Several weeks later, my daughter messaged me and said a turkey flew into a window. A REAL turkey. Fortunately, it did not end up on the dinner table, and the both bird and window survived. Спустя несколько недель, моя дочь мне написала, что индейка залетела к нам в окно. НАСТОЯЩАЯ. Только в этом случае она, к счастью, не попала на обеденный стол, да и окно осталось целым.

Have you ever called emergency services…only to find out there was no emergency? Who do you call when an emergency happens? What did you think of my ‘tiny turkey’? А вы хоть раз обращались в службу спасения, чтобы узнать, что вас не нужно ни от кого спасать? Куда вы звоните в случае возникновения чрезвычайной ситуации? И, наконец, что вы думаете о моей мини-индейке?