Author: Stance Studies on the Family

Nickel City

Nickel City

The bleeps and the bloops. The colors and the high scores. The defeated growls and the triumphant cheers. There is so much to take in when you walk into a classic arcade, and it just makes you want to get started! With the big trend […]

Killer Recipes: Texas Sheet Cake

Killer Recipes: Texas Sheet Cake

Alright y’all, I’m about to share my favorite food secret: Texas Sheet Cake. Being from Texas I feel it is a must to know how to make, and since being in college it has been my go-to for most events. It’s perfect for a party, […]

Dad’s Favorite Gift

Dad’s Favorite Gift

The difficulties of parenting surprise even the best of moms and dads. We begin our parenting life staring into the eyes of our little one, believing that we know the journey that lies ahead. We will teach them all that matters to us, and they will, in turn, grow up into the wonderful adult that we had imagined. Sadly, and surprisingly, time ticks away and the next thing we know, most of what we had hoped for didn’t happen after all.

Disappointment does not escape anyone. The question is, what do we do with this knowledge of reality? I will tell you what I did. When my dad was seventy-five years old and I was forty-one years old, I had had just enough parenting experience to realize something; at this stage of my dad’s life, he did not need to hear anything he did wrong as a parent. He needed to know all the good he did, and he needed to know that I felt only gratitude for him.

With this revelation, I created what I believe is a gift that every parent deserves. I began thinking about how much food was involved in the good memories of life. I began to gather stories of times spent with my dad and the food that helped create those good memories. I wanted to do just a little bit more than simply tell the story of our times together; I decided to add to these stories the lessons I had learned from my dad when we were together. From my gratitude grew a box of memories, associated with food but inspired by the lessons learned from a father.

Because my dad did not live in the same state as I did, my gift would need to be mailed. I drove around gathering up all the food I needed to mail, and then I wrote the stories. I began my gift with a letter of explanation, part of which said, “My gift to you this day is a special way of saying ‘Thanks for the memories.’ In this box is a sampling of foods that I associate with you and the good memory that lingers with them still. Love to you, Amos.”

One of my stories began “All of my memories, at any stage of my life, of going to the movies with you, are wonderful. One important lesson in life stands out thoughhonesty. I remember when I reached the age of twelve and the price of a movie ticket for me went up. Needless to say, I certainly did not look twelve years old, nor did anyone at the movie theatre think so. Every time we’d go to buy my ticket, they would guess me as a “child.” You would always correct them and tell them how old I really was. Your simple and direct honesty set a very strong example of integrity and I desired to be just like you.”

Another story reads “We usually think of a ‘security blanket’ as some kind of tangible object. For me, one of my most treasured ‘security blankets’ was the twelve years that I spent on the ice, looking through the Plexiglass and seeing you in the coffee shop, eating toast and jelly, exactly at the same time every morning. I doubt you knew the value of what you were giving me nor the magnitude of the positive effect it would have on my life. As a mother today, my most important daily goal is to simply be there––always––at the same time––each day––just as my dad was, in the coffee shop.”

If you are fortunate enough to have one or both of your parents still around, I hope you will take the time to share your food memories and maybe a lesson or two that you learned while spending time together. Let them know that they did something right––that their hard work paid off and that you not only appreciate all they did for you, but that you learned from them as well. If your parents are no longer with you, write down the stories anyway for future generations to learn from.

After receiving my gift in the mail and reading all the stories, my dad called to tell me that “this is the best gift I have ever received in my whole life.” At that moment, I realized that my gift to him turned out to be equally as valuable to me; I had made my dad feel like a successful parent, and in turn, I felt like a successful daughter.

A Family Favorite

A Family Favorite

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about family traditions lately, and one that has had a lasting impact on my life keeps coming to my mind. I am the oldest of four girls and have always heard my mom say the exact same thing to […]

March Madness

March Madness

Everyone has a tradition, and every society has traditions. Sometimes they line up with each other, creating a hodge podge of creative ideas, unique perspectives, and stories you can tell over and over, like March Madness! I have been curious about the thousands of different […]

An Easy Start to Family History

An Easy Start to Family History

What is it that makes the world go around? What is the main driving force behind the things that people do? For me, the answer is my family. My family is the most important thing in my life, and I love them. One of the great things about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the knowledge that we can be with our families forever; our family ties are not “until death do you part,” but forever. It is a great comfort for me to know that I can live with both my immediate and my extended family forever.

My grandpa died just a few weeks after I was born; I never met him. My older brothers and cousins have so many stories and great memories of him, and I wish that I had gotten a chance to know him. I know that one day I will meet him and will have the opportunity to get to know him, because we are sealed together as a family.

Our family ties go back further than just our grandparents. By doing my family history, I have learned about many generations of my ancestors. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a website specifically designed for family history: familysearch.org. It’s free and super easy to use! When you first open the webpage, in the top right-hand corner, there is a button that says, “Sign In” and another one that says, “Free Account.” If this is your first time using Family Search, click “Free Account” to make your account. (It asks you to make a username and password and to provide a little bit of information about yourself.) If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you can enter your “Membership Number” (you can ask your ward clerk what it is if you don’t know it), and you will be linked into your family tree. After making your account, you can view your family tree by clicking “Family Tree” at the top of the page. From there, you can start to explore your family tree! You can click on the names of your ancestors to view information about them or to add more information. If you know of an ancestor who is missing from your tree, you can add them in, as long as you know a few basic details about them. You can view memories and pictures of your ancestors, and some ancestors will have sources attached to their profile, such as birth certificates or a picture of their gravestones.

Family Search is a great tool to get to know your ancestors better, but it’s even more than that. With Family Search, we can find our ancestors so that we can perform sealing ordinances for them in the temple of God, by the priesthood, which is the power of God. We can seal them to their spouse and their children, linking generations together through the centuries. We will create eternal ties that will allow them to be with us, and all of our family, forever. What a blessing to have Family Search and the opportunity to be with our family forever!

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness: Why it’s Important, and How to Begin Assembling Your Own 72-Hour Kit While I was in Brazil serving an LDS mission, I spent four and a half months in an area called Manaíra. In this city,  there was a slum built right along […]

“Special Time” – Balancing Time Between Children

“Special Time” – Balancing Time Between Children

This is the story of how I learned to balance time between my children.  The year is 1991, my husband and I just had our fifth child, and the oldest is only seven. In the next seven years, we would add four more children to […]

The Whole “Keeping Track of Money” Thing

The Whole “Keeping Track of Money” Thing

My mom has always been fantastic at money management. She’ll sit down in front of the computer with all the receipts for an entire month and keep track of where any money was spent. She makes a grocery list and looks for coupons. She shops sales so that she can get the best deals. She has a budget with an amount set aside for everything that we might spend money on. Ever since my siblings and I were little and first started earning money, my mom has had us set aside some money every month to save to go to college and to serve missions. When my dad changed jobs and started getting a smaller paycheck, my parents went through the budget and decided what to cut. We got rid of most of our channels on TV, my mom started making homemade bread, and we stopped buying a lot of unnecessary items.

My mom is excellent at the whole “keeping track of money” thing. I, on the other hand, am not. There was one time when I was in high school that I had to keep a budget for three months for a project. Of course, I went to my mom for help, and she told me all sorts of things about money management, but I mostly just rolled my eyes and did the bare minimum to complete the project. Back then, I didn’t worry much about money. I didn’t make very much in a month, but I also had very few expenses, so it just wasn’t a big deal! But now I’ve moved on to a different story. Now I have to pay rent, buy my own groceries, pay for myself at restaurants, and pay for my own gas. Life is expensive! So this month, I decided to make a budget. I wrote down everything I could think of where I might spend money, and then I called my mom (of course) to see if I missed anything. But then came the hard part: staying within my budget!

I haven’t had a budget for long, but I’ve learned a few things already:

1) There are always unexpected expenses!
2) Some of those unexpected expenses can be controlled but some can’t be controlled.
3) It’s a lot of work to keep track of all my expenses; it’s easy to lose those receipts or forget that I bought something.
4) It takes a lot of self-control to stay in a budget, especially when I really want to buy ice cream at the grocery store!

Hopefully, I’ll get better at the whole “keeping track of money” thing. Maybe one of these months I’ll even manage to spend less than I earn! But until then, at least I’ve taken the first few steps towards successful money management.

BY LAURA BUSHMAN

Killer Recipes: Fixed-Up Cake from a Box

Killer Recipes: Fixed-Up Cake from a Box

This is a super easy and cheap recipe that will impress anyone! Be creative with flavors and frostings; you can even throw in marshmallow fluff or Nutella. Professional cake without the effort, just don’t tell anyone (it will be your secret that it is box […]