Cooking for a Family in Need

This week we are faced with the desire to do some cooking for a family in need. I did a quick meal plan for a few meals plus snacks and quick items. When I added it all up and included disposable packaging, the total cost was more than $125, which is higher than our weekly grocery bill. That would be a blow to our budget, so I made a few changes to allow us to provide hearty, nutritious meals that could be prepared and delivered the same day. I got up very early this morning and got to work putting … Continue reading

Is Your Child a Born Giver?

  Does giving come naturally to your child? Headaches, anxiety and gray hair don’t count. Rather, consider whether or not your child is innately predisposed to be generous with his possessions without being prompted? As we countdown to Christmas, we’d all like our children to remember that it is better to give than receive.  However, a new study found that most kids tend to be selfish with material items, unless they know their generosity will be seen by others. The research, recently published in the journal PLoSOne, suggests that children as young as five years old strategize ways to advertise … Continue reading

Finding the True Meaning of Christmas

My 8-year-old has a severe case of the Christmas gimmies.  Unfortunately, I have myself to blame for her very unmerry malady. Whereas I am by no means showering the kid with pre-holiday presents, I haven’t been doing a very good job focusing on the “reason for the season” either. I’ve been swept into the chaotic tsunami that is the month of December.  Gifts to buy, wrap and mail; cookies to bake, decorate and distribute; cards to take photos for, write and stamp; and the list goes on and on. As a parent, it’s easy to get caught up in the … Continue reading

When Parents Succeed

When death is knocking at your door, and you’re forced to review your life, what will you consider your single most important success? I know that I will be able to embrace dying much more, provided my daughter has grown up to be a loving, caring, selfless individual. Society is quick to point its collective finger at parents whose children turn into murderers, rapists and thieves, and in some cases, lack of parental supervision is to blame for children who grow up to be criminals. But what about all the kids, who from a very young age, show signs of … Continue reading

Sharing Your Old Shoes

I like it when I stumble upon a story about regular people making a difference, so when read about Greg Woodburn and Jennifer Pierce, I knew I had to blog about them. Greg is a sophomore at the University of Southern California. He ran track in high school, but knee and hip injuries forced him to quit. He wasn’t happy that he had to quit running, but his parents, Woody and Lisa, pointed out that some kids can’t run because they don’t even have running shoes. That point stuck with Greg. He began collecting castoff shoes of family and friends, … Continue reading

Creating a Meaningful Christmas on a Budget

So many families are struggling right now with the economy and are wondering what to do about Christmas and gifts for the kids. The stores are still screaming about deals, deal and deals. The kids see commercials for the latest hot toys that seem to cost more than my first car ever did. Examining the family budget, many of us are deciding to spend less this year, including on Christmas gifts. I think this is a blessing in disguise. What better time is there to make a meaningful Christmas for the kids, and well, for everyone. Participate in Operation Christmas … Continue reading

Bob Hope Auction a Success

Over the years, Bob Hope worked tirelessly for the United Service Organization (USO), showing support for our troops from World War II through the Gulf War. Although the benevolent entertainer passed away five years ago at the age of 100, Bob Hope is still giving. This past weekend, approximately 800 of his personal items were placed up for auction. The entire sale brought in a total of $601,000 for the Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation, which helps U.S. veterans. (This image is a work of a U.S. military or Department of Defense employee, taken or made during the course … Continue reading

General Women’s Conference: Sister Thompson’s Address

Continuing our summary of the general women’s conference broadcast which aired last Saturday night, we take a look at Sister Barbara Thompson’s address, entitled, “Now Let Us Rejoice.” This topic was very appropriate for the second counselor in the general Relief Society presidency, herself being an enthusiastic woman. Sister Thompson began her address by stating that Relief Society is evidence of God’s love for His daughters. She reminds us of Joseph Smith’s declaration that “the Church was never perfect until the women were organized.” These early sisters went from home to home, administering to the needs of the families under … Continue reading

General Women’s Conference: Sister Beck’s Address

I hope you were able to attend the women’s session of general conference that was held this last Saturday night. If you weren’t, here is the first of a four-part summary for you. We began the conference with an opening address by Sister Julie B. Beck, entitled “Fulfilling the Purpose of Relief Society.” She spoke of the history of the Relief Society and how it was divinely ordained of God to be for the good of the sisters and to bring relief to all those who need it. She said, “The purpose of Relief Society as established by the Lord, … Continue reading

Charity and the Preschooler

“Mommy, I thought charity was a girl.” That was my 4-year-old’s response after a man from our local St. Vincent de Paul non-profit thrift store helped unload the last bag of donated goods from our car. For weeks we have been organizing, purging and de-cluttering our home all in the name of charity. After I tackled the kitchen and living room I moved on to my daughter’s room. While she was busy crashing her remote control Jeep into towers of wooden blocks I dumped out a gigantic container of stuffed animals and asked her to help me make two piles. … Continue reading