Getting into family history usually takes overcoming one of the greatest obstacles around: the sheer difficulty of an unfamiliar, complex endeavor. It can be a little daunting, but here are some ways to ease into family history work. Start by Indexing Indexing is a …
By Phyllis Rosen Before writing this last article on parenting, I want to state something for the record: I HAVE SIX WONDERFUL CHILDREN! But I didn’t always know that. There were times during their upbringing when I wasn’t convinced they were all that …
Thanksgiving is coming up and FOOD is the word. When thinking about Thanksgiving, many of us number turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pie among the many things that we are grateful for. Many of the memories that I personally have surrounding this time of year involve cooking and eating together with my family (especially my grandma’s amazing coconut cream pie).
Isn’t it interesting how the food we eat is such a central part of our culture and identity? Traditions surrounding food can vary widely from family to family, and even wider from culture to culture. Something that does not change between cultures, however, is the fact that food brings people together. Research shows that eating together as a family can make a huge difference in having a healthy family life.
Consider using this holiday season as an excuse to take some time to eat a good meal with your family. Cook together, or even just go out to a restaurant together if cooking isn’t your style. No matter where the food comes from, eating a meal and spending time together will create memories, and bring your family emotionally closer. Now get together and eat up!
P.S. I thought I’d share with you two of my favorite recipes that my mom would always make during the holidays! They’re easy, inexpensive, and delicious! Bon appétit!
Frozen Cranberry Whip
1) Mix in a large bowl: 1 package whole cranberries (ground in a food processor or blender), 2 cups of sugar, and 1 small package mini marshmallows (10 oz package)
2) Cover bowl and let it sit all day or overnight
3) Later: Whip 1 pint of whipping cream until stiff. Add 3 oz cream cheese (chopped into little chunks), and 1 large can crushed pineapple (drained)
4) Mix everything together (including sugar and cranberry mixture)
5) Separate into two bread-loaf pans, cover and freeze
6) To serve: Briefly run warm around the outside of the pan to loosen frozen loaf and slice up servings
I had so much fun analyzing parenting styles in “Arthur” last week that I decided to do another cartoon animal related post. Although the Crosswires and the Barneses are a little bit more dysfunctional than the Reads, the Baxters, and the Frenskys, they still pass …
*This article contains spoilers for the musical “Into the Woods.” Since I’ve joined the Stance crew, I’ve become hyperaware of family relationships in everything I read and watch. So it’s no surprise that I had family on the brain when I watched the movie version …
“I thought it was all post-partum symptoms,” Heather said about her cancer signs. Three months after giving birth to her daughter, Lily, Heather Von St. James was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a relatively rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Heather’s exposure came from the coating of asbestos dust on her father’s work coat. Particles settled in the lining of her lungs, called the pleura, causing a tumor to grow. She experienced extreme fatigue, coughing, and shortness of breath, and she was losing weight rapidly—five to seven pounds a week.
“I didn’t know any different since Lily was my first baby. But when I passed out on the sofa one morning after bringing laundry up from the basement, I knew it was more.”
“It was a very scary time,” Heather admitted. Mesothelioma doesn’t manifest itself until years after exposure, so most patients don’t live more than 15 months after diagnosis. Heather’s first fear was “that I would die and leave my husband and baby. Other fears and concerns were all the financial ones. Would we lose our home? Everything we had worked so hard for? None of it mattered if we could find a way to save my life.”
Despite the exhaustion and the worries, Heather found pockets of hope throughout that time. Her specialist in Boston, Dr. David Sugarbaker, said he would do everything he could for her. “Dr. Sugarbaker gave us the hope that we so desperately needed in facing this disease,” she said.
Another small blessing: “No hair loss! I was pretty happy about that one,” Heather exclaimed.
Other blessings came from her family, who acted as her support system throughout that time. Before her diagnosis, Heather’s parents, brother, and sister-in-law came to stay with her. And when she and Cam made the decision to go to Boston, where she was given chemotherapy, radiation, and an extra pleural pneumonectomy, they left Lily with Heather’s parents.
After surgery, Heather went home to her parents and Lily while Cam worked in Minnesota. Living apart from Cam was hard for both of them, but the support from her family helped everyone.
“It was just what we had to do to get through,” Heather explained. “We knew that. Knowing Lily was going to have consistent care and love by my parents was exactly the peace of mind I needed to make it through surgery. Then, going to live with them after and have the help with Lily was such a weight lifted. It was a huge part of my recovery.”
Even Lily played her part. “All I had to do was look at my daughter,” Heather said. “That sweet little face with those big eyes was all the motivation I needed to keep going in my darkest times. When I wanted to throw in the towel, I would cry out to God, and He carried me through by showing me my daughter.”
To those who know someone struggling with mesothelioma, Heather councils: “There is so much out there that dashes the hopes of people, so being a support and an information gatherer is a great help. Offer to clean, grocery shop, watch kids, or just be with the patient. Be careful of what you say. Think before you ask personal questions, especially about finances. A great way to help is to organize a benefit. I can’t stress how much that helped us with expenses. Praying is always a good thing too. And one last thing . . . stay positive.”
Now, ten years later, Heather is a healthy survivor and an active patient advocate in the mesothelioma community. Her voice reaches out to those looking for answers and encouragement. Mesothelioma brings uncertainty and fear, but Heather’s message offers hope to patients and their families. “If one person is inspired and gets hope and help from my story, I’m happy.”
The last two years of my college life I have spent living at home with my parents and three younger siblings. I moved home after I spent some time—and most of my money—on a study abroad in the British Isles. The thought of moving back …
“[C]hoose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). I’m not sharing this scripture because it is my favorite, or because it changed my life when I memorized it in Seminary. …
President’s Day has come and gone. Maybe you roasted hot dogs on the grill with your family? Maybe you lit a few sparklers? You probably didn’t sit in the library for hours researching why you were celebrating. But learning can actually be fun and can bring your family together. Some of my favorite memories with my family involve us learning together. Whether we were looking at museums in D.C. or reading our favorite stories out loud to each other, learning was always a big part of family time.
Here are a few fun ways you can learn with your family:
Have one person look up interesting holiday facts and while everyone else guesses which facts are true.
There are many types of family traditions. There are religious traditions, seasonal traditions, celebratory traditions or just plain fun traditions. Whatever kind they are, all family traditions have one thing in common—they unite us. The best way to strengthen family relationships is by spending time …