Mar 5, 2013 by


Last week was Purim, which is a Jewish Festival celebrating the story of Esther. Ever since we first read All-Of-A-Kind Family about ten years ago we have wanted to celebrate Purim. But, we have never done it. I have never felt like we had anyone else to do it with, which, now that we have done it, I realize is not important, but it sure seemed important at the time. It seemed like we needed others to know what we are doing and it to be a community event just like it is in All-Of-A-Kind Family.

But it doesn’t need to be. We brought Purim gifts to four neighbor families and only one of them had any idea what we were doing. They all loved it and it was a wonderful opportunity for us to explain our love for Jewish stuff.

We made Hamantaschen cookies. I handed Keziah the recipe during afternoon project time and she made the dough all by herself. I have no idea if she did it right or not, but one of our recipients loved them enough to ask for the recipe so they must have turned out somewhat okay. Unfortunately I didn’t even get to try one! After the dough had chilled for several hours we started rolling it out and cutting out the circles. Annes and Fisher were pretty much experts at this task. Then fruit preserves into the center, fold up the circles into triangles, transfer cookies to a greased cookie sheet and bake.

If you are wondering if I felt like death warmed over, yes, I was in a lot of pain that day…and it shows in this pic.


The cookies I folded up ended up looking a bit lot homeless, but Blythe’s were beautiful. I don’t know how that girl does it, but she creates beauty wherever she goes. Look at mine.


Look at hers. Pretty amazing, eh? She is such an artist.


Part of Purim is dressing up and Annesley was all over that idea. How do you like her outfit?


There are four mitzvahs to observing Purim. This year we did all four (except the first one – we only listened to the entire Book of Esther once) and are super proud of ourselves.

1. Hear the Megillah! Listen or read the entire Book of Esther two times, once at night and once in the day. You must hear or read every single word and make noise whenever Haman’s name is said.

2. Give Gifts of Food! Purim is a day we show extra special friendship to our friends. Send your friends gifts of food that include at least two different types of food ready-to-eat foods. For example: fruits and candies; cookies and a bottle of juice; etc. We gave Hamantashen and Sparkling Cider.


3. Give Tzedakah (Charity)! Give some money to two poor people (or more), or put at least two coins in your favorite charity box. We rolled up dollar bills and took them to two different families. I don’t think our Tzedakah did much for their bottom lines, but it was fun to surprise them with a little gift.

4. Eat and Rejoice! Participate in a festive meal on Purim afternoon. Sit together with your family and friends, sing Jewish songs, tell the story of Purim, and be merry! Our meal wasn’t as merry as it could have been and we didn’t invite friends over, but we still had a good time making noise makers, listening to the ten chapters of the Book of Esther, and drinking our Sparkling Cider.

Even though I was hurting a lot that night, I am so glad we celebrated our first Purim. We were also Purimed (surely that must be a word?) by one of my Sheva & Shalom students. Thanks Sheri! It was super fun!


  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange or pineapple juice
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 TB. oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 5 1/2 C. flour
  • Fruit preserves. You can also use Nutella.

Mix butter and sugar. Cream well. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide the dough into three sections and chill several hours or overnight. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick and cut with a 3-inch round cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a teaspoon of filling each circle and fold over the edges to create a triangle shape. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes (until golden) at 350 degrees. You can brush the cookies with egg before baking, if desired. They will come out browner if you do.

What did I learn from Purim?

  • Festivals, special days, or celebrations of any kind are so fun for my little children and I need remember that it is worth the work it takes to create this magic in their lives.
  • Esther walked forward with faith without knowing the end result. She had no promise of safety or success in her endeavor. So it is often with us and especially with me and my hip…remember Esther!
  • Inviting friends into our traditions is met with gratitude.
  • Esther learned the culture of the kingdom and used those customs to find favor with the King. She did not force her ways onto the palace.
  • Esther fasted and invited others to join her. I need to remember the power of fasting to strengthen my spirit and my reliance on my Savior.

Happy Purim!

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lds holistic living conference giveaway

Jun 9, 2011 by

By the way, this post is set to stay at the top, so to read newer thoughts, scroll down…


On June 25th, in Salt Lake City, there is going to be an absolutely fabulous gathering of people striving to live healthier, happier, simpler, and more Christ-like lives.

It is going to be amaaaaaaazing!!

There are classes on beekeeping, bio-dynamic gardening, balancing hormones (ya think I should go to that one?), goat keeping, chickens, acupuncture, allergies, stress reduction, heirloom seeds, ditching debt, colon cleansing, the Closet (magical homeschool secret!), depression, family reading time, emotional healing from a gospel perspective, essential oils, fermenting foods, healing your DNA, hypothyroidism, aging well, homeschooling from a relationship perspective, living your mission, and so much more!

Doesn’t that sound fabulous?

Go to the LDS Holistic Living Conference site to sign up and register for all your favorite classes today. It is sure to be a soul-filling, relationship-building, health-creating event and I, for one, can’t wait to attend!

Are you ready for the good news?

I get to giveaway a free ticket to one of my blog readers! Yippee! My first official giveaway, unless you count my Joy Pillow as an official giveaway!

For this giveaway, I want you to write to me and let me know why you need to attend this conference and what you are hoping to gain from it. Just tell me the truth about why you want to attend and I will pick one of you on Monday, June 13th to receive a free ticket.

Spread the word to all your holistic friends and let’s have an Idaho (invite your non-Idaho friends as well!) party down in SLC on the 25th!

LDS Holistic Living

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Jan 13, 2010 by

H.O.P.E. – Holding On to Personal Education

Mt. Moriah Academy is pleased to offer a new course of study for 2010! H.O.P.E is all about learning, growing, and becoming – with the hope that we can be better wives, moms, community leaders, friends and learners. Personal study paired with a community of women to share it is one of the best ways to stay on track, learn new things, build friendships and remain grounded.

The following classes will be offered on the 4th Saturday of the month, except for May and November, which will be on the 3rd Saturday. Classes will be held in the mornings at my home. Most classes will be two hours from 10:00 – 12:00. Some may be three hours from 9:30 – 12:30.

January 23
FEC – Family Executive Council.
How to establish an effective council with your husband to help your family run smoothly, avoid disagreements, accomplish its mission and grow love.

February 27
Commonplace Books
The power of writing your thoughts and inspirations all in one place and how to create a system that works for you! So much more than a journal – having a commonplace book makes your study time effective AND efficient because you research, record and remember.

March 27
Core Phase
We will take an in-depth look at Erikson’s developmental stages and how to help children emerge from childhood having learned trust, autonomy, initiative, and industry. What emotional processes are children going through from birth to age eight? What lessons can they learn at this stage that will help them be psychologically healthy adults? How can we as adults help facilitate that emotional growth for them? What can we do if we need to go back and renegotiate the lessons for ourselves? Family rhythms – how to create them and why they are important. The lessons of work, home, family, truth and why those lessons are paramount.

April 24
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
Parenting is one of the hardest things we do and learning how to parent is an ongoing process. This class will look at strategies, communication skills, emotional perspectives and child development to help you become the best parent you can be.

May 15
Love of Learning Phase
How to inspire? Learn all about strewing, exposure, projects, EPIC adventures, trips, momschools, word of the day, narrations, nature walks, family devotional and read alouds. Learn how to develop the determination and courage to follow your passion to learn new things. These are some keys to falling in love with learning for yourself and your children.

June 26 (Subject to the date of my family reunion schedule. I will find out in February when it is.)
Women’s Cycles
Learn how your menstrual cycle really works, follicular phase, luteal phase, how to know when you are ovulating, how to get pregnant or prevent pregnancy, what time of your cycle to plan creative endeavors and when to slow down and focus on home and calmness, how to chart and why all of this matters.

August 28
Living Math
How can we make math meaningful, alive, and exciting for our families? Does it make a difference if math is alive or is it something that needs learned no matter what? Does is matter how? Games, books, projects and manipulatives will all be available to experience firsthand and will give you ideas for how to create a living math home.

September 25
Scholar Phase
Scholar skills, changes in family structure, depth and breadth, mentors, the four stages of Scholar Phase and how to make time for scholar phase as a mom.

October 23
Cooking from Scratch and Food Storage
What are all these grains and how do I make them into delicious meals my family will eat? How do I get the best deals on food storage? What do I really need? What rotation systems work? How do I use other sweeteners besides sugar? Lots of recipes, samples, websites and take home information you can start using right away.

November 20
Childbirth 101 (or maybe 501?)
How can you help your sisters, daughters and friends during their births? What are the emotional stages of labor? What are some tried and true comfort measures? What do you do if you are the only one attending a women in labor?

Classes are $12 each and you must sign up by the first day of the month the class is being held. You may also sign up for the entire 10 class series by enrolling by January 4th (still can sign up – if you hurry!) at a 40% discount of $72. If you prefer, you can sign up for the entire year at a 20% discount by paying one $50 tuition fee by January 4th and the remaining $45 balance by May 1st. To sign up you need to send me an email with your name, phone number, email address, why you want to take the class(es) and a little bit about you and your family so I can get a good sense of who you are, your needs, and the dynamics of our group.

Although I teach from a Leadership Education perspective, I firmly believe this series of classes will be beneficial to families following a variety of educational paths and all moms are invited to sign up.

After you have signed up, I will send you the recommended reading list for each class you are enrolled in.

A little bit about your instructor:

I am a thirty-something wife of one, mother of four, who loves to read, think, and laugh…hard. I hold a degree in Developmental Psychology and love to figure out how our brains and hearts work together. I am learning how to love homemaking, appreciate afflictions, and go to bed at a decent hour. I adore my husband, cherish my children, delight in my friends, and treasure my books. So how do I spend my time? I teach my children at home using TJED/Thomas Jefferson Education Principles and spend what seems like an enormous amount of time cleaning and doing laundry. I sell a lot of different products, like Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers, Hotslings baby carriers, SOS Solar Ovens, M.O.M. Tai baby carriers, and whatever else strikes my fancy. In my spare time, hah!, I am a doula, childbirth educator, and breastfeeding educator, teach gymnastics to 70 homeschooled children every week as well as a variety of classes for adults on subjects that interest me. I dream of becoming an amazing celloist because the music speaks to my soul and although I have an amazing teacher, I struggle to understand how music works. I thoroughly enjoy camping, hiking, sleeping, playing games, doing back flips and riding my recumbent bike. A midnight bowl of ice cream or a giant bowl of popcorn (olive oil and REAL Salt) along with an hour to savor a book with no interruptions is a welcome addition to any day.

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