Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Tag: holidays

10 Ways to Decorate for Valentine’s Day

In a little more than a week, it’s St. Valentine’s Day.  ;-)

Okay, so I’m sorry for the reminder. I think this holiday is a little overrated. But here are some not terrible ideas to celebrate this holiday with a little more style

  1. Coffee Filters. So you don’t drink coffee? You don’t have to in order to make this decor. This wreath is so pretty and simple to make.
  2. Burlap Banner. Burlap. String. Hearts. Banner—ready to hang.
  3. Hearts-on-a-Stick. So the look is much prettier than the sound of it. But add some nature to your sweet space! Hot glue some sparkly (or non-sparkly, whatever you prefer) hearts onto the twigs.
  4. Umbrella Love. Tired of the cliché wreath hanging outside your door? Take some ol’ umbrella. Add a bow. Add some fake flowers. You’re ready to go!
  5. Mason Jars. This craft is hipster-approved. Place a heart on a doily, and then tie it around a jar with some string or ribbon.
  6. String Heart. Probably a little more time intensive. But the result is darling.
  7. Free Printables. Feeling lazy? Just print out some printables. Free ones, of course!
  8. Wall of Hearts. Forget about Jar of Hearts! Try some easy 3D hearts on your walls.
  9. Chain of Hearts. Making chains is no longer reserved only for Christmas. Get out your construction paper, and cut them into stripes. Then fold and staple. Done deal.
  10. Eraser Art. Although the picture below shows this project on a canvas bag, it would be easy to make this decor for a picture or something else cute! :) Grab an old No. 2 pencil, and start stamping.

See pictures of these ideas below. <3

—Katie, Editor-in-Chief Stance: Studies on the Family

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Homemade Marshmallows

Here’s a fun holiday treat that the whole family can help make! These delicious homemade marshmallows will melt in your mouth, but the best part is choosing your favorite toppings to roll them in. Crushed graham crackers, toasted coconut, and cinnamon sugar are some tasty options, but you can use whatever you like! Try crushed candy canes for a festive holiday twist.

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Picture from here.

Recipe courtesy of Analaine’s Home Cooking.

Marshmallows 

3 packages Knox gelatin
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups white Karo
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the gelatin with 1/3 cup water in a small bowl, then add 1/3 cup boiling water. Mix well. Put 1/3 cup water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups sugar, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Then add 1 1/2 cups Karo and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Mix well, then pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in the gelatin mixture and blend together. Let it sit until lukewarm.

Mix on low speed to begin with, add vanilla and beat on high until peaks form and it will hold its shape. Grease a large cookie sheet and spread the marshmallow mixture onto the cookie sheet with a rubber spatula. Let the marshmallows cool in the refrigerator for about an hour. Cut the marshmallows into squares (this is easier if you use a knife dipped in water) and roll in your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Contributed by Melissa Gee

Happy Independence Day

We would like to wish everyone a happy Independence Day! As well as our parties, fireworks, and family time, let us take time to remember and pray for those who continue to fight for and protect the freedoms that we celebrate today.

Happy Father’s Day!

from Dustin Schwanger

I would like to wish all fathers a happy Father’s Day, especially my own dad. He was my first role model, the one that I always wanted be like. Especially when I was a kid, I wanted to do what he did and wear what he wore—or apparently didn’t wear, according to this picture. Most importantly, he loved me and taught me how to be a good Christian. I just want to thank him and my mom, who has been just as influential in shaping who I am, for all the years they have loved and cared for me. If all parents were just like them, the world would be a much better place.

Memorial Day

We would like to thank all the service men and women and their families for the immense sacrifices they perform everyday to protect our nation.

Realizing Love’s Loss

by Laura Nava

The cultural ideals set for love relationships between men and women appear beautiful and enticing. Thousands of books and movies portray the most exquisite romantic situations. Holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the pinnacle of all romantic holidays—Valentine’s Day—suggest the absolute importance of romantic love expressions in modern American society. While celebrating love for each other is wonderful in itself, false expectations and affectation of genuine love are a byproduct of the over-romancing tendencies within the culture. Obsession with these idealized romantic expectations, or romance addiction, and lack of consciousness deteriorate the ability to maintain authentic relationships. Solutions are available to those who choose to change—the addiction can be cured.

In her book Escape from Intimacy, Anne Shaef identifies the dangers of romance addiction. In short, romance addiction is a condition that compels the addict to crave romance and its accoutrements to unhealthy levels. A few of the symptoms found commonly in society include being in love with the idea of romance and moving from one “cause” to another. A cause according to Shaef means going above and beyond what is necessary in romantic scenarios. Moving from one cause to another leads directly into the final symptom of romance addiction—feeling disappointed simply because the setting is not romantic and dreamlike.1 In the end, the romance addict goes from one cause to the next in search of pity and praise but never feels satisfied. Normal life begins to lose its luster.

 In the classic film, A Brief Encounter by Noel Coward, the main character Laura exemplifies these manifestations of romance addiction at various points within the story.2 Laura allows herself to slide into an affair due to her lack-luster marriage and the romantic settings of her extramarital escapades. Near the end of the movie, she appears to break the spell that romance addiction has cast. This movie demonstrates a typical affair showing that romance addiction gradually leads to detrimental characteristics that may have lasting effects.

The highly problematic nature of romance addiction presents itself in low self-esteem, vagueness (i.e. playing games or being hot and cold), and the ability to create a sense of instant intimacy. These characteristics portray an elegant romantic relationship in movies or books, yet they are undesirable in a real and tangible relationship.3 Low self-esteem can create a person who fishes for compliments. The labels witty and coy mask undesirable vagueness. And let us not forget the love-at-first-sight encounters that are highly celebrated but rarely turn into lasting relationships.

As romance addiction progresses the ugliness of the disease shows itself in the destructive effect it has on a person’s love-relationships. Romance addicts are left with little or no moral substance for them to give in a real love relationship. This leads to the destruction of love relationships between the couple, friends, and family.4 Devaluing the opinions of loved ones and purposefully acting in opposition to them are both signs that an individual is losing touch with reality. The fruit of love includes the gift of yourself—or more specifically your self. Self is the innermost genuine portion of an individual. The cankering of the self, which occurs throughout the stages of love addiction disease, leads to the root of the issue—the inability to give deeply to the love relationship.

Love addiction can be cured through consciousness—being aware of how we affect one another. The gift of real love is manifest in day-to-day caring and sacrifice, not in a box of chocolates or a vase on holidays. The book We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love by Robert Johnson delves into the details of how men and women have come to a state of ignorance to self. The book shows that such ignorance creates significant personal and cultural dilemmas. In order to give of one’s self, a person must have the ability to understand and share what they have to offer.

Johnson also exposes the common practice of blaming other people in relationships and the unhealthy emotional environment it creates. “Usually, we blame other people for failing us; it doesn’t occur to us that perhaps it is we who need to change our own unconscious attitudes—the expectations and demands we impose on our relationships and on other people.”5 These unrealistic expectations justify unhappiness, oftentimes leading to the dissolution of a love relationship. Gaining an awareness of and taking responsibility for one’s self creates a more successful love pattern to follow than the romantic ideal of being saved from reality by one’s true love. Remember—every individual has a valid and valuable self to offer. As we come to know our own limitations we won’t set expectations of others that they can’t meet.

Romantic expectations tend to push out rational thinking, which undermines the process of recognizing self and relating to others as equals to our self. Consciousness of self becomes integral to finding and maintaining genuinely loving relationships. “Ultimately, the only enduring relationships will be between couples who consent to see each other as ordinary, imperfect people and who love each other without illusion and without inflated expectations.”6 As individuals, we set realistic expectations for ourselves and recognize our personal limitations. If this is acceptable for the individual self, the question to answer is: why would the same practice not suffice for someone who we profess to love? Deeply caring relationships cannot exist if we continually place divine expectations on regular human beings. As we reject the hero and love goddess fantasies, reality allows a practical version of love to exist.

Placing ourselves in the mindset of reality can result in change. As with any other addictions, the addiction of divine expectations must be identified, accepted, and proactively eradicated from daily life. This process is, and always will be, a hard thing to accomplish, yet it is where solutions flourish. One of the first steps to eradication is acknowledging that you have a problem. Awareness is the key to finding help. Sometimes help comes in the form of self-education and goal setting. In other cases, helping yourself means seeking professional, psychological intervention. Whether you choose the former, the latter, or somewhere in between—the outcome of a healthier outlook on love will be worth the work.

Love is an integral part of everyone’s lives. Actively partaking of its happy effects is contingent on the ability to take responsibility for self and allow others the same opportunity. The unrealistic expectations of romanticism reject the self and thereby create a negative environment where love will not survive. The skills to engage in genuine love do not come easily in our romantically charged society, but learning how to find the appropriate balance of romance is achievable. The first steps to the process of giving and receiving genuine love are recognizing and then rejecting the pervasive nature of romance and its demands. As a culture we love love. Let’s keep it alive by keeping it real.

Endnotes
1. Anne Wilson Schaef, Escape from Intimacy (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1989), 47.
2. Noel Coward, A Brief Encounter (Universal, 1946).
3. Schaef, Escape from Intimacy, 48.
4. Ibid., 49.
5. Robert A. Johnson, We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love (San Francisco, Harper and Row, 1983), xii.
6. Ibid, 110.


He Is Risen!

“He is risen! He is risen! Tell it out with joyful voice. He has burst his three days’ prison; let the whole wide earth rejoice. Death is conquered; man is free. Christ has won the victory.” Christ has won the victory for us over death. He has also won the victory over sin, pain, and suffering. No matter the issues we face, personally or with our families, they can all be swallowed up in the love of Jesus. We discuss many of the issues facing families today and how we can overcome those issues; however, no matter how ready we are to face those challenges through secular means, Jesus is the only means by which our families can be truly united and at peace.

Have a happy Easter.

General Conference Cinnamon Rolls—Recipe

by Adrienne Anderson

Since before I can remember, my mother has made cinnamon rolls for Christmas, Easter, and LDS General Conference. She gets up around five or six in the morning to make sure everything is ready by the time we wander into the kitchen. My father always takes a cinnamon roll from the center of the pan when my mother isn’t looking—which slightly annoys everyone else. While I do not wake up nearly as early as my mother, my husband does take a cinnamon roll from the center of the pan when I am not looking. I guess every girl really does grow up to marry a man like her father.

This recipe has become a calorie- and memory-laden tradition in my family; I hope you enjoy it, too!

 

Dough – steps 1–9 &amp; 11–16

2 pkgs yeast

2 tbsp sugar

½ cups (very) warm water

2 cups milk

2 eggs

½ cup melted butter

1 tsp salt

1 box instant vanilla pudding mix (~3.5oz)

6 cups (or a little more) flour

 

Filling – steps 10 &amp; 12

3 cups brown sugar

6 tsp ground cinnamon

1½ cups softened butter

 

Frosting – steps 17 &amp; 18

8 oz cream cheese

½ cup butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups powdered sugar

(1 tbsp milk)

 

Also Needed: stand mixer (wire whisk, dough hook and flat beater attachments preferable), spatula, large bowl, dish towel, medium bowl, rolling pin, sewing thread, and baking pans (comparable to at least two 9” x 13” pans—I use a 9” x 13” and loaf pan)

Time Needed: about three hours (including prep and baking)

Space Needed: 34” x 18” area of counter space

Servings: 15–20 rolls

 

Directions:

1. Using a fork, quickly but thoroughly mix 2 packages of yeast, 2 tablespoons of sugar and ½ cup

of warm water in a container that can hold at least two cups of liquid. Set aside.

2. Combine 2 cups of milk, 2 eggs, and ½ cup of melted butter in the stand mixer on medium speed

using the wire whisk attachment until well blended.

3. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 small box of instant vanilla pudding mix, and mix thoroughly,

scraping the sides of the bowl with the spatula as needed.

4. Pour in the water, yeast and sugar mixture. (Note that about a cup’s worth of bubbles should have

formed by this point.) Mix on medium speed until smooth.

5. Switch from the wire whisk attachment to the dough hook attachment on the mixer.

6. Using a pouring shield if possible, add 6 cups of flour—half a cup at a time, using the lowest speed

on the mixer while pouring the flour, then a medium speed while blending the flour. Use the spatula to

scrape the attachment and the sides of the bowl as needed.

[Note: If the dough is sticky, add flour half a cup at a time until there is very little or no dough sticking to your hands after handling—due to the elevation in Provo, Utah I usually need to add an additional cup or so of flour.]

7. Lightly butter the large bowl. Then round the dough and place it in the bowl.

8. Cover the bowl with the clean dishtowel. Set it in a warm place, if possible (e.g. in sunlight from a

window—don’t pre-heat the oven just yet!). Let the dough rise until doubled in size, then punch down and let double again.

9. While the dough is rising, thoroughly clean a 34” x 18” area of counter space. Then sprinkle the area

with flour—three quarters of a cup should be sufficient.

10. In the medium bowl, mix together 3 cups of brown sugar and 6 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

11. After the dough has doubled in size the second time, take it out of the bowl, place it on the floured area and roll it out into a roughly 34” x 18” rectangle.

12. Spread 1 ½ cup of softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough, then evenly sprinkle and

spread the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the surface of the dough.

13. Tightly roll up the dough lengthwise. Cut into 1 ½”-2” sections using sewing thread as illustrated

below.

[Note: If you do not have sewing thread, dental floss can be substituted, though mint flavoring could transfer. Cutting the sections with a knife is also an option, but is not preferable because it will squish the sections. The first and last sections can either be eaten raw or thrown away; they’re usually too small to bake properly.]

[Note: It is important that steps 13–15 be followed only once for each batch of dough—all sections must be placed in the pan at the same time, must rise at the same time, and must bake at the same time. But they may need to bake for different amounts of time.]

14. Dust off the excess flour, then place the cut sections into the 9” x 13” pan.

14a. For connected, softer cinnamon rolls (as pictured by ingredients), put about twelve sections in the pan.

14b. For separate, all-around browned cinnamon rolls, put about nine sections in the pan.

14c. Depending on the number of sections left over, either use a loaf pan or another 9” x 13” pan for the remaining sections.

15. Place the pans on top of or near the oven, cover with the dishtowel, and let the rolls rise while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.

16. When the dough has approximately doubled and the oven is preheated, bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the rolls are a light golden brown.

17. While the rolls are baking, use the flat beater attachment to mix 8 oz of cream cheese, ½ cup of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in the mixer until smooth.

18. Using a pouring shield if possible, add 3 cups of powdered sugar—half a cup at a time, using the lowest speed on the mixer to blend in the powdered sugar (1 tablespoon of milk can also be added).

19. When the rolls are a light golden brown, remove the pan(s) from the oven, and set them aside to cool (because the rolls will continue to slightly “bake” and darken after removal from the oven).

20. Remove a roll (or two!) from the pan, top with a dollop of icing and enjoy with a glass of milk!

What Does It Take to Make a Family

by Kaylyn Johnston

Family. Defined by the dictionary as, “a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.” This definition, however, does little to reflect just what family really means to an individual. Aren’t families more than just social structures, but rather, supportive networks where individuals can feel loved and accepted? 

For some, family can be interpreted according to the dictionary definition: a mother, father, sisters, and brothers. Others think of their extended family members such as grandparents and aunts as family. Others find familial relationships through friendship, companionship, or participation in particular organizations. Whatever the relation, families love each other.

Families support each other.
Families are there for each other even when things go wrong.
Families work together. Play together. Laugh together. Cry together.
Families believe in each other.
Families accept each other for who they are.

This Valentine’s Day season let us remember to express our love for those who we call family in our own lives. Whether mother, brother, boyfriend, or godmother, remember that families love and support each other. Without family, our lives would truly be so much duller indeed.

My Turn on Earth: What Does it Take to Make a Family by Carol Lynn Pearson and Lex de Azevedo

Take Time for Family

by AmberLee Hansen