"About every true mother there is a sancity of martyrdom-
and when she is no more in the body, her children see her with
the ring of light around her head."

Godey's Lady's Book, 1867

THE ART OF DOMESTIC BLISS a time lacking in certainty and filled with anguish and despair, no woman should be shamefaced in attempting to give back to the world, through her work, a portion of it's lost heart. -Louise Bogan
“And there are my children!
My darling, precious children!
For their sakes I am continually constrained
to seek after an amended, a sanctified life;
what I want them to become
I must become myself”.

~ Elizabeth Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


This is a devotion not only for the children, but for mom and dad, too.

Martha and Mary were friends of Jesus. Their brother Lazarus was the man that Jesus raised from the dead. They wanted to give Jesus a special dinner to celebrate and give thanks. The dinner was held at the home of Simon, a leper that Jesus had healed. This was a night for celebration. Lazarus was alive! Simon was healed! What the guests did not realize was that in just a few short days Jesus would die.

The story tells about one woman who gave of the best that she had.

Go over the scripture about Mary's gift to Jesus during your family devotions. Some of these questions are geared toward children and some of the questions are harder ones for moms and dads to think about and answer.

12:1 Six days before Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Meaning: Jesus once again goes to visit Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

How close and dear these people must have been to him. He is comfortable in their home. He considers them his friends.

Ques: How comfortable is Jesus in our home? Do all of our activities include him? Is there anything you would not do that you normally do if Jesus were visiting in our home?

12:2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Meaning: This dinner may have been a celebration of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Jesus would have been the guest of honor, but a close second would have been Lazarus. While Lazarus has just been raised from the dead, in just a few short days, Jesus would be put to death on the cross.

Ques: What are most of the guests thinking about at this dinner? What do you think Jesus is thinking about as he attends this dinner?

12:3 Then Mary took a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume, and poured it on Jesus feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. Meaning: The perfume that Mary used was very expensive—worth about a year's wages. It was bought as an investment … possibly to be included in her dowry. This was her most prized possession, the best she had to give.

She assumes the position of a slave. It was a slave's job to wash the guests feet. No woman would be seen with her hair uncovered and down, she assumes the position of humility. Mary took a pint of perfume worth a year's wages and poured it on the feet of her Lord. Then she wiped his feet with her hair.

1) Her offering was sincere and pure in motives.
Sometimes our own offerings come from motives that are not so pure. We wish to receive recognition for our beautiful voice or grand piano playing. We get irritated when no one thanks us for teaching faithfully week after week in Sunday School.

We want others to notice what we give to the Lord.

But Mary's offering was done out of a heart of humility. She uncovered her head. She took the position of a servant. She risked the ridicule of those around her to give to her Savior her very best.

What gifts are you able to give to Jesus?
What should be our attitude when we give of our best to the Savior?
2) Her offering was costly
Mary took the little box that represented her investment, her dowry, her most prized possession and gave it to Jesus. Sometimes we think we have given the Savior our best, when really it is our least or perhaps our leftovers. We hold back from Him those things that we cherish most. Our children. Ourtime. Our resources. Our fellowship.

Not only was Mary's gift expensive, but it was costly to her reputation. The disciples all rebuked her for giving her gift to Jesus. Judas said, "This should have been sold and the money given to the poor!"

What is the best that you have that you can give to Jesus?

What are your reasons for keeping some things from Jesus?

Are there opinions of people, criticism or careless comments that may be keeping you from giving your best?

Who should we do our best for—the people or for Jesus?

When it's done for Him does it matter what others say?

3) Her offering left a sweet smelling fragrance.
Mary did not want to wait until Jesus' death to honor him with her offering. She wanted to give him her best while he was there to enjoy it.

When Mary gave Jesus her best it left a sweet smelling fragrance throughout the house. That fragrance has come down through the centuries to us today, as Jesus said all that hear the gospel will know of what Mary did for me. Jesus was touched by her offering. The perfume of her unselfish act still lingers with us today.

What fragrance do you leave as you give unto the Lord?

Is it a fragrant sacrifice that is pleasing to Him?

Or is it spoiled by an attitude of pride or bitterness?

12:4-6 But one of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray Jesus objected. "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages. He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. Meaning: Judas was the disciple's accountant. And he was a thief. He did not want the money from the perfume to be given to the poor. He wanted the money so he could take some of it. He was a disciple with unpure motives. His whole reason for following Jesus was to get in on the recognition, fame, and wealth that he supposed would be his as treasurer of the kingdom's riches when Jesus became King. He failed to hear Jesus when Jesus said that being his disciple was hard. The way was narrow. And in order to follow him you had to take up your cross.

How is Judas' attitude different from Mary's?

1. His objection was not sincere or pure in motive.

Did Judas really want to give money to the poor?
What was Judas taking from the Lord?
What was the attitude of his heart?
What did Judas plan to do?
When you chose to follow Jesus did you think it would be easy?
Do you get upset when you face hardship as a Christian?
What are your motives in following Jesus?
Mary followed Jesus not hoping to take part of the best of an earthly kingdom, but in order to give of her best to her Lord. She invested her all to be a servant of the King.

12:7 "Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she would save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you; but you will not always have me." Meaning: Mary received Jesus' recognition and praise while Judas received his rebuke.

Who sees and knows our heart and motives as we serve?
How does knowing this affect your attitude in serving?
Read Colossians 3:23. Write down the attitude that we should have as we work for the Lord.
Light a fragrance candle or incense. Talk about our lives being a sweet fragrance and sacrifice for God. Pray asking God to help your family to always give your best to Him.

Tiffany's Strawberry Fest.....All In A Day's Work

Strawberry Farmers in Florida are taking a loss on their Crops. We so kindly befitted by getting to pick strawberries the day before they turned their crops under for a loss. We made the most of it. I herded 3 of my kid's in the car and we picked 2 laundry baskets of strawberries.
Today I spent the entire day preserving them. From Strawberry jam,frozen glazed berries, whole frozen berries, to strawberry pulp. It's my Strawberry Spring delight!
Different Ways to Freeze Strawberries

Making Freezer Jam

Some recipes for freezer jam require cooking others do not. Here's a look at what is typically involved in preparing no-cook freezer jam:

1. Wash, hull and stem the fruit.

2. Place the fruit in a large mixing bowl, and crush with a potato masher.

3. Combine the sugar and pectin in another bowl, and stir until well blended.

4. Add the sugar-pectin mixture to the fruit, and stir for three minutes.

5. Pour the resulting mixture into jars, leaving a half-inch of headspace at the top of each jar.

6. Screw on the lids, and clean up any drips.

7. Let stand for 30 minutes, or until thickened.

8. Freeze or refrigerate immediately.
There are several ways to freeze strawberries: with sugar or syrup and unsweetened or dry.

The sugar is not necessary for a quality freezing of the strawberries, however, most people think, they taste better being frozen with sugar or syrup.

I personally prefer to freeze them without sugar.

Freeze Whole Strawberries Without Sugar

The best suited strawberries to be frozen are berries that are dark red, firm and fully ripe.
Remove stem and caps. Sort, wash and drain the fruit carefully. Do not soak in water, or the strawberry will lose flavor and nutritients. Do not add sugar.

Freeze strawberries individually in a single layer on cookie sheets. After completely frozen (about 24h) place into freezer containers or flexible freezer bags.

Freeze Strawberries With Syrup Pack

Clean strawberries same as above. Use either whole strawberries or slice or crush them. Place in freezer containers, allowing 1/2- inch headspace and cover with syrup. Seal tightly. Preferably for strawberries is Pectin Syrup, but you can also use Basic Syrup .

Pectin Syrup Recipe
Dissolve 1 box powdered pectin in 1 cup of water. Heat til boiling and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and add two more cups of water. Cool down. If desired you can add more water to make the pectin syrup thinner.

Basic Syrup Recipe
Dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water. For easier dissolving you can use hot water, but be sure to let cool down the syrup before using. Use about 1/2 cup of sugar for each pint of strawberries.

Freeze Strawberries With Dry Sugar Pack

This freezing method is especially easy:
Halve or slice strawberries into a bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over each quart of strawberries. Stir gently until the sugar is dissolved. Be careful not to damage the strawberries. Pack into freezer container, seal tightly and freeze.

Freeze Strawberries With Unsweetened Pack

Pack whole, sliced or crushed strawberries in freezer containers and cover with water or strawberry juice. Seal tightly and freeze.
Add ascorbic acid for better color conservation.
Strawberry Pulp

- 3 cups strawberries
- lemon juice
- sugar


Mash strawberries with a little bit of sugar (according to your taste) and a few drops of lemon juice. Squeeze through a fine colander. This way the stones will be kept away, which keeps the pulp fresher.

The strawberry pulp can be used as dessert sauce i.e. for ice cream or for cocktails (see recipe below).

Strawberry pulp can be easily frozen, and will thus prolong the strawberry season in your household.

Fancy Strawberry Drink

For a fruity aperitif pour 2 inches of strawberry pulp into a champagne glass and fill up with prosecco (sparkling grape juice). It's perfect to start a summer party.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 3 Christ Teaches in Parables

"I will open my mouth in a parable." (Psalm 78:2)

Read with family: Matt 21:19-26, 26:16,Mark 11:20-14:11; Luke 20:1-22:6; John 12:37-50

Parable of two sons
Parable of wicked husbandman
Parable of the royal marriage feast
Tribute to Ceasar
The great commandment

Condemnation of hypocrisy...and lamentation over Jerusalem
The widow's mite

Parable of the ten virgins( while reading this parable, burn two oil lamps, one with very little oil. one that is full. turn off lights till foolish virgins lamp burns out.)
Parable of the entrusted talents
Parable of the final judgement
Parable of the sower

Discuss the word parable.

Read parable of the bicycle Ensign April 1992 5-9

Act out a parable.

Make up a modern parable.

Play parable Charades.

Make oil lamps out of clay.

You may want to serve fish and bread for dinner representing the miracle "Feeding The Multitudes"

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 2 Cleansing The Temple

Family Activity:

Read Matt 21:12-18; Mark 11:12-19;Luke 19:45-48

Discuss Temple cleansing in our own lives. Purging,learning,receiving blessings (healing), praising (Math 21:12-16

How would you feel if you witnessed the healing in the temple?

Given Jesus' actions in the do you think he would react on a visit to your home? How might he cleanse it? As a family choose one way to purify your home this week.
Talk about how Jesus wants a house of order not chaos and that he wants the temple (and our Homes) to be a house of prayer.

Discuss how are bodies are a temple also. 1Cor 3:16, 6:18, 2 Cor 6:16 Decide on a bad habit to stop or a way to help our body be stronger and healthier.


Choose a service project this week as a family. We are taking an Easter Lily to a widow in our church.The Easter Lily is a symbol of purity and light, and renewed life. Jesus came as a light in the darkness and a pure sacrifice. Through him all men can change at any point and return to him. His hand is ever reaching out after a lost sheep. He will never forsake us.

Read the First Easter Lily in the friend Magazine on under magazines. It is in the April 1988 issue on page 20-21

Have children choose out of a bowl a name of a family member to be a secret pal to this week. Have them treat their pal like Jesus would this week.

Have a repentance box. Let people write down sins they are willing to forsake for the Savior, and put them in the box to be destroyed on Easter.This is to be anonymous, nobody reads them out loud.

Complete the " Easter Story in Eggs"

Number 12 plastic eggs 1-12 with a marker.
Fill each one with a scripture and the an item relating to the last week of Christs life. Open them at dinner and read them in order.

1 Three Dimes Matt 26:14-16

2 a piece of bread or cracker Math 26:26-28

3 A sacrament cup Matt 26:36-37,39,42,44

4 A string math 27:1-2

5 A piece of soap Math 27:22-24

6 Some purple fabric or felt Mark 15-16-19

7 A nail Luke 23: 26-27, 33

8 two sticks (casting lots) Luke 23:34

9 A small bag of rocks and soil Math 27: 50-51, 54

10 Strips of white cloth Luke 23: 50-53, Mathew 27:60

11 Spices ( anise seed , cinnamon, rosemary, tied in a little cloth with string Mark 16: 1-4

12 Leave this egg empty Mark 16: 5-6

Treat Make Homemade pretzels to represent our arms folded in prayer. "My House will be called a house of prayer"


1 pkg yeast
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/3 brown sugar
5 cups of flour

Heat oven to 465

Boil 11/2 cups of water. Mix dry ingredients. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of hot water to dry ingredients and stir. Add only enough to make a soft dough.On a lightly floured surface, kneed the dough for 5 minutes. Cover and let rise 10 minutes.

• Grease 2 cookie sheets. Take about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a *snake.* Shape it into a pretzel and place on the cookie sheet. Let rise one more time for about 5 to 10 minutes.

• Bring to boil in a large pan 6 cups of water. Carefully lower each pretzel into the boiling water. Allow to boil for about 45 seconds. Lift the pretzel out and place on the cookie sheet again. After each pretzel has been boiled,sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 1 Palm Sunday

"Rejoice greatly oh daughter of Zion;Shout, oh daughter of Jerusalem; behold,thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation;lowly, and riding upon an ass,and upon a colt the foal of an ass. " (Zechariah 9:9)

Display some palm branches in a vase on the table.

Read : Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-48, John 12:12-36

Family Discussion:
The meaning of the palm branches to usher in the the Lord to Jerusalem.

The meaning of the word Hosanna!Give them a special handkerchief to use for Temple dedications Hosanna! Shout! And other spiritual times in their life.

How would our family show our Joy if Christ came to visit our Home today.

Upon the cross of Calvary page 184 in LDS Hymnal
He is risen Page 199 in LDS Hymnal

Start week long display of pictures of the Holy Week, starting with the picture of Christ on the Donkey on Palm Sunday.Display in sequence as week unfolds.

Begin this Easter week with a love one another poster. Set it up with a pen and candy jar. Each time someone shares their love for someone on the board they take a candy.

Have family think of someone they can serve this week.

Have the Children perform a Triumphal Entry Skit.

Have each person in the family pray for another member of this family every day this week.

Make faux Palm leaves out of green paper. Line the table for dinner with them. Have each member of the family serve the dinner to one another.

Green Spring Clean Day 8 Wash Outside Windows/Clean Garage

Cleaning Garage
Think of a garage as just a large closet. So clearing out a garage is handled pretty much the same way you would clear out a closet. There are 2 reasons, other than the fact that it is A LOT bigger, that a garage seems more overwhelming than a closet. The first is that the "keep or toss" decisions are not one person's alone. In other words, cleaning the garage usually means it has to be a family affair. The second is that the garage becomes the "final" repository for items we no longer use and thus, faced with something we haven't seen or used for a long time, we are forced to come to grips with our hoarding tendencies.

1. Set aside a Saturday when you are expecting good weather and gather all the assistance possible. There is a lot of lifting, toting and dragging to be done. You need help.

2. Make an appointment for your favorite charity to come on the following Monday to gather wonderful items you will be making available for them.

3. On the appointed day drive all the cars out of the garage (they are parked inside of course) and park them on the street.

4). Have ready several large garbage cans lined and extra garbage bags. Lots of boxes; small, medium and large. Large stick-on labels and a big black pen. Cleaning equipment, broom, dustpan, rags, and, believe it or not, I like a vacuum as well. There is lots less dust filling the air if you use a canister after you have picked up the major stuff with the broom and dustpan.

5. You are ready to begin.

6. Start emptying EVERYTHING out. Just begin removing one thing at a time, As you examine the article decide one of three things: This is Trash - into the garbage can. Believe me there will be plenty of THAT. This is Perfectly Good but I don't use it, need it or want it any more. Start a designated area on the driveway with large boxes where everything for donation will go. This is Something I Will Use, now or in the future. Set this on the opposite side on the driveway.

7. Go through the whole garage making these 3 choices. Start in the middle and work to the outside, start on the right and move around the perimeter to the left, start in the front and move to the back; it doesn't matter as long a you go through EVERYTHING.

8. When you have removed it all, clean the garage. At this point you will probably have several neighbors over wondering what on earth you are doing and several cars stopping to ask if you are having a garage sale. Resist the temptation to chat, you have work to do.

9. Now you are ready to return the contents. This is where the organizing begins. My experience tells me you will find what remains begins to fall into certain categories, sports equipment, general tools, gardening equipment, camping equipment, paper archives, automotive supplies, household maintenance stuff (paint and brushes), etc.

10. If you are determined to keep your garage in order, and you have done some pre-planning, this would be the time when you would install additional shelving or new storage accessories especially made for garages.

11. Determine what part of the garage should contain the areas for the different activities.

12. Now begin returning the "keepers" to the designated locations. Put as much as possible in boxes or containers which you carefully label on the outside as to the contents. If an item does not fit into a box, be sure you put it into a clear plastic bag or other container which can be labeled so that nothing returns to the garage which cannot be easily identified in the months to come. Never put one item in front of another.

13. Leave the contents of donation boxes on the driveway for pickup the next day.

14. Take the many garbage bags to the side to be disposed of on the next garbage pickup day.

Voila. You are done! Take a well earned rest. Have your favorite pizza - delivered.

I hope this has been helpful. Good luck on GETTING ORGANIZED.

Washing Outside Windows
* Don't clean windows in direct sunlight – the window may dry too fast and streak.
* Exterior windows should be first be washed with a hose or clean water to remove grease and grime.
* Wash windows side to side on the inside and up to down on the outside. If there are streaks, you will know which side they are on.
* Change wash and rinse waters often.
* Vacuum screen to remove dust, etc
* Outside screens can be scrubbed with warm water and rinsed with clean water. Allow to air dry.
* Squeegees do not work on textured or stained glass windows.
* Choose a "hard" paper towel (soft ones leave lint) or cotton cloths such as old t-shirt or socks.

The new micro-fiber cloths work well for cleaning windows. Follow the instructions for use of the cloths. When washing micro-fiber cloths or towels do not use fabric softener as it reduces the absorbency.

Homemade Cleaners for Windows:

* Mix two tablespoons of ammonia OR white vinegar with two quarts or warm water.
* Mix one-half cup ammonia, one pint of 70 percent rubbing alcohol and one teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent. Add enough water to make one gallon liquid.
* Mix one tablespoon liquid dishwashing detergent with one quart water.

Choose a time when you feel good and energetic to do windows, you will feel better and the job will go faster.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Green Spring Cleaning Day 7 Kitchen

Cleaning the pantry

* Remove all items and place on counter tops.
* Wipe over canisters and containers.
* Check use-by dates on all food products.
* Write a list of staples and useful pantry basics that need to be restocked.
* Use plastic shelf liners to protect against staining

Clean out the Fridge

* Place perishables in a cooler or a Styrofoam box full of ice.
* Clear out all food items and wash shelves with warm soapy water.
* Remove crisper drawers and other removable storage sections and wash well.
* After drying with paper towel, wipe over shelves, walls and seals with vanilla essence to eliminate fridge odors.
* Check use-by dates on all products before replacing.

Oven and Cook top

Commercial oven cleaners are extremely caustic.

For a more gentle clean, apply a thick coating of baking powder to all surfaces of a warm oven. Allow to stand for 15 minutes to absorb grease, then wipe away with a paper towel. Stubborn stains may require scouring. Wipe over with a cloth soaked in white vinegar.

Ceilings, Walls and Fans

Kitchen walls and ceilings are prone to discoloring due to steam and grease spatters. Exhaust fans and range hoods can be wiped over with removable parts washed with hot soapy water.

Kitchen Appliances
Move out Refrigerator and sweep and mop behind it. Do the same thing with the Range.
Cleaning kitchen appliances will help increase their lifespan and keep them safe for use.

* Remove appliances from cupboards and wipe over to remove dust and grease build up.
* Check that all parts are attached and functioning. Sort removable attachments in plastic containers and store them alongside the appliance to which they belong.
* Empty the crumb tray from the toaster.
* Clean kettle limescale by cutting a lemon into wedges and boiling them twice before removing.

Windows, Curtains and Blinds

* Remove curtains and hand or machine wash.
* Wipe over blinds with a damp cloth. Clean and check mechanism.
* Wash windows with window cleaning product or vinegar, and dry with newspaper.

Kitchen Sink. Scrub around faucet with toothbrush and cleaner. Scour sink, then shine with glass cleaner. Rinse drains with vinegar and baking soda or grind up a lemon in disposal.
Cabinets and Drawers

* Remove the contents of kitchen cabinets and utensil drawers and wipe cabinets, shelves, and drawers with hot soapy water.
* Line drawers with wrapping paper or drawer liners.
* De clutter by sorting through dishes, cutlery and utensils. Only replace those which are used often. Excess items can be sold or donated.

Clean Lighting Fixtures.

Sweep & Mop Kitchen.

An Island of Security....A Mother at Home

Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife.
  • Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere.
  • Her hands fashion its beauty.
  • Her heart makes its love.
And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be . . .

the light,
the joy,
the blessing,
the inspiration,
of a home.

The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.

A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness.

God sends many beautiful things to this world,

many noble gifts;

but no blessing is richer than that which He bestows

in a mother

who has learned love's lessons well,

and has realized something of the meaning

of her sacred calling.

~ J. R. Miller, "Secrets of Happy Home Life, 1894" ~