Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Its That Time of Year Again

Growing up my mother made it a point to can every item in our garden that she possibly could. As a kid I HATED IT. Well, except for the part of eating the yummy bottled peaches. I disliked snapping beans, HATED bottling tomatoes, and the worst was making grape juice. As a mother now I see why my mom took the time to do those things. It was definitely cheaper to can the items from your garden than to buy them in the store... but there were even more important lessons that she was teaching us.

1. The effort of what you put into something is exactly what you get out of it. We worked hard on keeping that garden producing and it was satisfying seeing what we could do. I remember so many late nights with Janice taking our "water irrigation turn" at 12:00 or 2:00 in the morning. I have fond memories of that time spent with Janice and my brother Brian.

2. We learned self reliance.

3. I am convinced now that Mom could have easily done a better job than us if she had just done the work of bottling by herself. I believe that not only did she have us help for the reasons listed above, but because it was a way to spend some quality time with her where we could just talk about whatever and she knew that she had our attention for a 4-6 hour time span.

Julie Beck couldn't have said it better in her Mother's Who Know talk:

Mothers Who Know Are Nurturers
Mothers who know are nurturers. This is their special assignment and role under the plan of happiness.5 To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers who know create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes. Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Working beside children in homemaking tasks creates opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a "house of order," and women should pattern their homes after the Lord's house (see D&C 109). Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women.

Mothers Who Know Are Teachers
Mothers who know are always teachers. Since they are not babysitters, they are never off duty. A well-taught friend told me that he did not learn anything at church that he had not already learned at home. His parents used family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, mealtimes, and other gatherings to teach. Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation. That is influence; that is power.

I know that it was very difficult for my mother to raise 2 daughters (after dealing with 7 other children) by herself after my dad passed away. But she kept at it with faith and diligence. I am selfish in wanting my mom to be here still to keep teaching me, but I know that she is happy with her eternal sweetheart and my sister.

I want to be the kind of mom that I had. The summer after Elisabeth was born mom "retaught" me the art of canning. Since then Jake and I have made it a tradition every year to make jam, bottle tomatoes, bottle spaghetti sauce, bottle salsa... you name it and we like to try it. If I get brave enough I might even make apple butter with the help of my best friend Tammy. (This is your warning Tammy!)

So here is my first attempt at teaching Ellie how to make spaghetti sauce. So far in the past week we have made 41 bottles of spaghetti sauce. I think this weekend we will be brave and do salsa...

Ellie had such a good time. She is a great helper in the kitchen when it comes to cooking. She is so much like her dad... good cook but when its time to clean up she takes off running!


Quinney Family said...

Wow!! Looks like I need to take lessons! Well first I better grow a garden :) Glad you are all doing well

Lisa said...

I do not know how you find the energy and motivation to do that on top of working full time AND being a mom full time! I love canning too, and I know how much work it is! Hats of to you, Stephanie.