Sunday, July 29, 2012

Korean Food- Some of our favorite recipes


We love Korean food. For our entire marriage we sought out Korean restaurants when we traveled (there are none around here).  A few years ago, a light bulb finally came on in my head and I realized I could cook it myself...duh.  I have eaten enough to know how it should taste and with the internet there are recipes and instructions for everything.  So, here are our favorites.

Serious advice:
1-Here is what I do...makes it a lot easier.  First and foundationally, I whine about how much work it is so that Bob will be willing to do anything for me to cook it.  He then volunteers to help by chopping garlic, onions, all that stuff.  It really helps a lot!
2-If you notice,  the dishes use a lot of the same ingredients - garlic, green onions, ginger, etc.  I get several "sauce" bowls (label it or you will forget which is which).  Chop and measure for all the sauces at once.  I do it usually the day before when we are doing the bulgogi and kimchee.  Then stick them all in the refrigerator and the next day when you cook, a very large part of the work is done.
3-When you serve the meal, you definitely want rice with it. The sticky rice from an Asian food store is the best.
4-Chop sticks make it definitely better.  


(This is a beef dish that is absolutely wonderful and I've never meet anyone that dislikes bulgogi. The only problem is getting the meat very thinly sliced.  It needs to be about the thickeness of a slice of cheese.  We have a meat slicer, so we buy a roast and Bob slices it. Buy a boneless roast.  You might luck out get the butcher to cut it up for you. A lot will be eaten!)

6 cloves chopped garlic -can't have too much
1 cup soy sauce ( I use reduced sodium)
4 T sugar
2 T honey 
3 T Japanese rice wine -or anything close like dry white wine.
1/2 cup sesame oil
6  green onions, chopped finely -including white part
2 T fresh ginger 
2 tsp pepper salt
If it seems like you need more sauce, just dump in a little more of everything for covering the meat well.  Seriously don't worry too much about measuring exactly!

I put the meat in a very large bowl and pour the sauce over a little at a time as I separate the slices of meat and make sure it gets distributed over all the slices..  Then I put it in a very large zip-lock bag and let it set overnight in the refrigerator to marinate.

Cook the meat on the the time you get the grill covered with slices, it will probably be time to start taking the first ones off.  It doesn't take long at all to cook.

Kimchee  serves about 10, but it just gets better leftove
(Cabbage dish-though it tastes nothing like cabbage, traditionally fermented, but I do a quickie version and we like it much better. You will love it or hate it.  It is typically very hot, but I make it mild.  If you want it hot, use more red pepper flakes.  Also, some brands of flakes are a lot hotter than others.)

2 lbs (one stalk) napa cabbage
1 T salt
2 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 T crushed red pepper flakes (amount to taste)
1 T minced ginger
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 t sugar

Chop cabbage coarsely and place in a large bowl
Sprinkle cabbage with salt and let stand 3 hours (if you don't have time, rush this step)
Squeeze cabbage dry with paper towels and dry out bowl or put cabbage in another bowl
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  
Taste and see if it is hot enough, and add more pepper flakes if it isn't.
Refrigerate overnight (24 hours is recommended)  I have rushed this and let it refrigerate only a few hours before-if you do, it isn't as flavorful, but is more crisp.
I use a very large ziplock bag for this also, and turn it over a time or so while it is refrigerating to make sure the juice gets to all the cabbage. ( I do that with the bulgogi also.)

Sesame Spinach (Serves 4)
(This is one that even non-spinach lovers do like.  You will be amazed at the finished product, a very tasty, extremely tender dish.  You start with a LOT of greens and end up with a ball of spinach the size of a softball)

2 lb fresh spinach (2 large bags or bunches)

Sauce mixture:
6 T soy sauce
4 T sesame oil
1-2 T sesame seed
2 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 T sugar
dash pepper

Bring pot of lightly salted water to boil.
Add washed spinach (leave the stems on), remove as soon as leaves turn bright green.
Immediately rinse with cold water.
Drain and squeeze out as much water as possible (best to grab handfuls and squeeze like a ball...I actually form a ball and keep squeezing and squeezing.) 
Place spinach in bowl with sauce mixture and toss well.
Serve at room temperature.

Spicy Cucumbers (serves 4)
1 English cucumber (you can use regular cucumbers, but they get a little mushy)
1 t soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
1/4 t salt
1 t sugar
1/4 t chili powder or red pepper flakes
1 t sesame oil
1 t toasted sesame seeds

Slice cucumbers (unpeeled)
Sprinkle with salt, stir, and let set for 20 minutes.
Drain moisture from cucumbers by layering them on a paper towel and squeezing another piece of paper towel over the top.
Place cucumbers into a mixing bowl and mix with rest of the ingredients.
Serve chilled.!

Above are the dishes I always make when we have Korean food.  Below are a couple more that I sometimes do.  I just did this potato salad recipe recently and we really liked it!

Sesame Bean Sprouts (serves 4-6)
(very good dish, a little hot)
1/2 lb bean sprouts
2 T toasted sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1-2 green onion, chopped
1 pinch salt
2 T crushed red pepper flakes
2 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil

Clean sprouts and discard any brown pieces.
Place in boiling water. 
Allow to boil 5-8 minutes.
Drain well
In bowl, toss ingredients
Can be served warm or cold.

Korean Potato Salad (serves 6-8)
(This stuff could be habit forming.)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 hard boiled eggs, yolks removed and cut in to small chunks
1  carrot, cut into small chunks
1/2 small cucumber, thinly sliced or cut into small chunks
1/2 small yellow or sweet onion, diced
1 small apple, cut into small chunks
3/4 cup Kewpie mayonnaise (I just use regular mayo and add a little rice vinegar and sugar)
salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes and carrot until tender, about 10-15 minutes (not mushy)
While the potatoes are cooking, sprinkle salt on the cucumber and onion and let sweat.
Remove potatoes and carrots and let cool a little.
Rinse cucumber and onion lightly and squeeze out excess water with paper towels
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together gently with mayonnaise.

I have done vegetable pancakes, mandu (dumplings), potatoes, and a few others, but they were either so much trouble, or not well-eaten. These I included are not really hard dishes and are the ones most liked.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Raising Cinderella...or an Evil Stepsister (5 easy steps)

      Raising Cinderella...or an Evil Stepsister (5 easy steps)

If you ask, most people would hope they are raising a Cinderella. 
Let's look at reality.  
Go to Walmart and look around you...or go on the cruise I just finished.  
On that ship were more ugly, middle-aged, totally uninhibited stepsisters than I have ever seen. I suspect there might have been a middle-aged-white-woman-fool convention on board.  It was obvious these women don't possess a mirror or they would cover that old flab and wear their own clothes instead of their grandchildren's finest, but evil stepsisters are never taught to deal with their flaws or use discretion, or the importance of purity and modesty...and it just grows worse with age! Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming to be as feminine or modest as I should, but, well, you've seen them too.

Raising Cinderellas:

1- Let her be Cinderella-
Creative outfit...

Come on, forget your pride and let the kid go out of the house dressed as Cinderella if she wants to...or even Pippi Longstockings.  She will grow out of it way to soon.  The worst that will happen is you will be asked if you're going to a costume party.  Just smile and answer "no", as though there's nothing unusual. I remember, though,  going into the local jewelry store (back when they had it all set up with china and crystal displays)  and feeling the air being sucked out of the room as I entered with a 3 year old daughter in a full bride dress with train and veil - and on roller skates, but air returned and breathing resumed when I sat her beside the door as soon as soon as we entered. Have fun!

2- Yep, Cinderella did learn a lot of character from working hard.  So work that kid!  She is a valuable, contributing member of the family.  Cinderellas don't develop from sitting on pedestals or fluffy beds...but from the  humble ashes. We could study the evil stepmother to learn how to do this, but since we don't really like her or hold her as the parent-example to follow, we might change the strategy a little teach the little cinder child by example- just start early to make work a normal part of life. This is SO important for a Cinderella!

3-Don't let her out of the house until the prince comes looking for her and bring her shoes...and then if the shoe fits, let her wear it.  Enough said.

4-Ok, we don't want her going to find a fairy godmother to replace us, so again, we should differ in strategy from the stepmother because evil stepmother in the story doesn't end up with the mother/daughter relationship we desire. Treat her like Cinderella the princess- a special, beautiful, gracious child. You can't praise a child too can brag, gloat, and focus on appearance too much, but genuine praise builds her up.  Make special nights just for her...have a "Sarah" night for your Sarah.  Make her favorite meal, let her choose the activity, have a cape and crown and make her chair look like a throne...maybe Dad can bring her flowers.  Everyone share good things about her.  Later, she can help plan a special night for other family members.  And when she is older, she will probably plan a "Mom" night.  Cinderellas do learn to give back.

Abby teaching the girls about mud masks
5-Let her have mice-friends.  Take it how you want it. I think kids and animals go well together-but that certainly isn't a necessity  But, girls need nice, humble friends-and those that live within the same walls are great ones for them to have.  True, Cindy didn't have friendships with her sisters, but just think of how wonderful it could have been if she had!  There is so much for kids to learn from the humble settings of home and woods or yards.  No, my girls never had pet mice...dogs, raccoons, oppossums, rabbits, deer, pig, guinea pig, horses, goats, geese, ducks, cats, snakes, birds...but no mice that I can remember. Kacie did have a woodland fairy wedding and we asked the birds to make her wedding dress, but we had to redo it...they just weren't that good without the mice helping.

Raising evil step-sisters:

1- Make sure she is always dressed well -the very best attire available and frown upon those who don't. It may cost you more now, but that's ok, you will be used to it as spending on her will continue...forever.

2- Leave the cleaning to don't want those nails messed up or her hands to be wrinkled. Prince Charming won't like is all about beauty.  The brain doesn't matter, just the bod!

3- Don't try to fix any of her flaws...she might become aware that her foot WON'T FIT IN THE SHOE!

4-Constantly brag on her even if it isn't sincere...and never let her fail.  If she doesn't think she is the perfect 10 and God's gift to man, she might be inhibited.  You do want her noticed don't you?  Remember my cruise.

5-It's all about reputation...make one up for her if you have too
 ...might be better than the one she makes for herself.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Parables From the Barnyard: The Good Shepherd

I do believe that all creation praises God...and the very rocks and trees cannot help but shout and reflect His majesty...that the Master Artist, Master Gardener, Master Shepherd, THE MASTER OF ALL hid His Truths and Gems of Wisdom in plain sight within all of creation.  Just look for it...He used a lot of it in His parables He told while He walked the earth.  (And while you are at it, notice the fragrance, textures, colors, and sounds around you!)
I am going to attempt to share some stories or ramblings I have written over the years that came from looking ever so slightly for those truths and those wisdoms in the woods, fields, and garden. They are just stories of our family and farm and flawed observances from a human heart.  I had family time with kids in mind when I started these.  Also, obviously some are only meant to be taken light-heartedly.

The Good Shepherd
Don’t every four-year old girl dream of a black lamb for her birthday?  That was at the top of our youngest daughter's wish list when she turned four, so we found a little black lamb in Cabot, Arkansas and it rode home snuggled in Kacie’s lap, a unique precious gift for a unique precious little girl.  Belle, as she was named, sucked a baby bottle filled with formula, and though her early home on our little farm was a corner of the stable, she was often found in the house napping on Kacie’s lap.  As Belle grew, her home also enlarge and she enjoyed the full stable and large barnyard where she romped with goats, geese, and Peter the pot-bellied-pig..  She was often allowed to roam in the yard with the family, eating green grass and frolicking with the girls.  She always stayed near; it wasn’t her nature to wander.  She really served no practical, useful purpose - unless being harnessed to the little red wagon and pulling children around the yard counts as usefulness.
Being such a special lamb, and generally obedient, Belle often accompanied the family and dogs on walks in the woods or was put on a leash and taken on neighborhood walks. Lest I only show her good side, I should insert that Belle was a bit stubborn and did have a few minor behavior problems as any overindulged critter would...usually centered on desire for freedom from the barnyard or desire to feast in the grain bin in the barn.  Our community has a large festival which is held the end of April with various activities throughout the long week-end, and shortly after Belle’s first birthday, she accompanied Kacie to her favorite activity of the festival...the children’s pet show.  Belle was dressed in a red ruffled apron and an old hat with ribbons; Kacie was dressed in a pinafore and a red apron that matched Belle's, and cute little red bonnet.  The compliant, well-dressed black sheep and the adorable five-year-old little girl with her braids and bonnet were a storybook picture and won the “judges favorite” award.  
Some time after she was grown, we bought the girls a Welsh pony they named Freckles.  Belle and Freckles lived together  for a short time in the barnyard, and then we moved them to  a small pasture beside the barn. They black sheep and pony became the closest companions, always together grazing or resting. When freckles was saddled and ridden, Belle was usually let out of the pasture to play around in the yard.  When we tied Freckles out to eat tall grasses around the back edge of the yard, Belle would be tethered nearby to also feast.  They became inseparable friends and the little pasture was their own oasis with room to run. A small wooded area with a little stream was nestled in the corner of the pasture and provides wonderful shade and refreshment.  They seemed happy and content and nothing troubled them except for an occasional visit from neighbor dogs.  Freckles hated the neighbor dogs and sent them sailing with one well-place kick as soon as one would slip under the fence.
Life if full of joy, but there are times in life that we must endure that aren’t so joyous.  Our family’s life has certainly been no exception.  Three year’s had passed since Belle joined our family and as Kacie’s seventh birthday approached, at the top of her wish list that year was her father’s release from the hospital.  A strange, undiagnosed disease had suddenly attacked her strong, tough daddy and left him with serious physical disability and tettering on the edge of death.  Though we didn’t know if he would ever recover, he was temporarily released and came home the evening of her birthday. And though a far cry from the carefree, joyous birthday when Belle came into our life, we were all so happy to have daddy home.  The weeks that followed were a struggle, filled with difficult, roller-coaster days and nights of uncertainty  We soon concluded that in order to cope, changes had to be made on our little farm.  Usually a time of great joy and excitement, spring 1994 was subdued and somber.  The arrival of baby chicks, goslings, and other critters accompanied spring on our farm as certainly as the leaves budding on the trees and opening of the blooms on the daffodils and irises.  Caring for Bob in an invalid condition and carrying the extra burden he usually bore made it very difficult for me to juggle a job, the girls, the usual spring additions and even maintain care for our present menagerie.  By summer Bob was some better, but we decided we should cut back as many things as possible to manage more easily.  There was so little time to saddle and ride Freckles and he required considerable care, so along with most goats, he was sold.  Belle had no practical function, but her value as a loving pet kept her from even being considered for elimination.
We hated to see any animals go, but one by one, we whittled down our numbers. Lastly, the day came when the happy new owners came to take Freckles.  With more than a little sadness, but resolute that it must be done, we waved our final good-by to our dear pony.  We would all miss riding, hugging, and brushing her.  Poor Belle; we knew she would especially miss her dear friend.  What we didn’t know was the truly profound effect it would have on her life!  
The next day after Freckles left, we went to feed Belle, calling for her as we always had, but she didn’t come. We called again and again - no Belle.  Never had Belle failed to come to us. She always came as quickly as a well-trained dog.  We all began to search, hoping against all odds to find her simply tangle in brush.  After quite some time, I found her.  It was a horrible sight of wool, briers, and blood tangled together under vines.  The missing plugs of flesh and wool, along with other physical evidence told the story of being chased and nipped by dogs.  Chased into exhaustion and finally trapped in tangles of briers and vines, dogs had made sport of killing Kacie’s beloved sheep. Those same dogs that had been kept at bay by Freckles sharp eye and accurate, swift hoof, had preyed on the helpless sheep the very first night she was left alone.  
I had never even considered Freckles protective role in Belle’s life.  I had envisioned the dogs as canine nuisances.  Freckles had known them to be deadly enemies.  What an incompetent shepherd I had been not to even recognize the danger. What a poor shepherd to leave the sheep totally unprotected!  As a shepherd, I had overlooked one of the most dire need a sheep has.  I had totally failed! 
Then I thought of our Good in all His wisdom He knows our every need. How glad I am that God is wise and omniscient.  How comforting to know that He doesn’t make mistakes and leave us on our own even for a moment!  He doesn’t just build us a pen, enjoy us, and send us off to play.  He watches carefully over us day and night.  Our Good Shepherd protects and provides for us - and always makes for us a way of escape when our enemies come. He defeats our enemies instead of leaving us in the hands of others.  Oh how thankful I am that I have the Great Wise Shepherd and how I do want to learn from His wisdom and instruction! 
        Psalm 23
  The LORD is my shepherd;
         I shall not want.
  He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
         He leads me beside the still waters.
  He restores my soul;
         He leads me in the paths of righteousness 
         For His name’s sake. 
  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
         I will fear no evil; 
         For You are with me; 
         Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 
  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
         You anoint my head with oil; 
         My cup runs over.
  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
         All the days of my life; 
         And I will dwell[a] in the house of the LORD 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

...Roller Coaster Christmas!

So, we just finished our first Christmas as empty-nesters!  Are we ready to fly the coop?  Maybe.  I find that life is kinda like a roller coaster right now-and so was Christmas.  I absolutely love everything about the Christmas season. Of course, defining the holiday is the fact that it is the celebration of the birth of our Savior, and the giving of the greatest gift ever!  But I love the smaller, more frivilous things also- the flickering lights, glowing candles, greenery with red bows and gold and silver ribbons and balls.  I love the music, the cheer, shopping for the perfect gifts, fudge, and stockings hung on the fireplace.  And I love sharing in all that with my family.  This year we had a wonderful time on Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve with the daughters and sons-in-law.  Food is a big incentive to lure the boys, but this year I had some major flops.  It started with the chocolate chip pies I made for the neighbors.  I was talking with a friend at the same time and added sugar twice.  It was pretty amazing to watch them cook.  I knew I had for sure added it twice when a perfect round sugar disc formed over the top of the pie and hardened, causing the pie underneath to ooze out and run over into the bottom of the oven...burning and smelling badly. I did the neighbors a favor and didn't deliver them.  Son-in-law #1 had hinted strongly that if there were sausage balls, he wouldn't turn them down.  They turned into sausage idea why.  I made my wonderful meatballs in sweet chile sauce.  Today I fed the leftover meatballs to the dogs...a sign that something was wrong with them, for I've never had any left over before.  And, though they all said it was perfect, the Christmas Eve prime rib was too rare.  Still, we had a great couple days.  We were all together and had food, lots of gift-giving, and always lots of talking.

Christmas Day was different.  Usually we go to my moms and all have dinner.  This year the kids went to their husbands families on Christmas Day (marrying orphans might have been a good idea), so Bob and I went to Mom's house.  The rest of the family didn't get to come in, so it was just Bob, me, my brother, and Mom.  In true fashion, Mom and I made a large pan of dressing, gravy, ham, turkey, green bean casserole, and candied yams, rolls...and of course, pie. (Mom also made a large pan of lazagne for my brother because he doesn't like any of the other things.) Did we fail to notice there were just four of us?  We will be eating leftovers for a week!

After lunch, Bob took my brother on a four-hour errand, and Mom and I sat and looked at each other, then drank coffee and looked at each other some more.  Finally, I asked her if she wanted me to take her to visit her sister in a town nearby.  She did, so we set off for Dardanelle to visit my Aunt Luna.  We stopped by and visited my Uncle Billy Joe briefly first (he looks like Santa Claus, but smokes way too much, so we didn't visit long), then had a good visit with the aunt in her very warm house.  Afterwards, we had to go to the only gas station in the county to get more gas (Bob had our car, so I was driving Mom's and she hadn't filled up before Christmas).  Between the once-a-decade cold I had caught and the 80 degree house, I was dying of thirst and got a coke in the gas station.  When I went to pay, I opened my wallet and I didn't even have a quarter! You'd thing I would have noticed spending the last dollar I had and is a refillable wallet, you know.  I had to have my poor old mom buy me a coke!  When we left, I asked her if she wanted to visit anyone else, and we decided to visit another aunt...and she suggested that since we were near the cemetary (actually it was another community away), maybe we could drive by there.  I started to say that cemetary visiting wasn't exactly my idea of how to spend Christmas, but decided just to go with her flow, so we drove to the cemetary where all our family on her side is burried.  Their graves were outstandingly adorned with Christmasy decorations.  Leaving the cemetary, it was on to Aunt #2's house for a visit and then home...but wait - Mom's cell phone rings.  She left her purse at Aunt #1's house.  So we drove back to that town and got the purse ... and then back to Mom's house to get dinner ready.  Well, not the most exciting Christmas day I've ever had, but not too bad either...YET.

When we got home Christmas night, my dear Sadie (aka-Wonder Dog) didn't greet us.  "This is bad," said Bob before we even got out of the car, for she is always there.  We called her, looked for her, went to neighbors Sadie.  I was heartbroken...couldn't imagine my walks without her...and all the work I put into training her.  We were both so sad.  We knew she hadn't wandered off or gone visiting.  To make a long story short, we later discovered-quite joyfully- that Bob had accidentally locked her in our closet!  She was very hungry and thirsty and needed to go potty really badly and had chewed up one old flip-flop, but if she had chewed all my leather shoes I don't think I would have cared!

So, like I said, roller-coaster, downs.  May the next one be a little different!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sorta sad...

This Sunday, Dec. 5th is the birthday of my oldest daughter, Sarah- whe would be 26.  She lives in heaven, but some day I will get a chance to spend an eternity with her.  For some reason this year is especially hard for me.  I remember her sweet little face and how unbearable it was when she died in my arms.  Her little damaged heart only beat for five days.   I continued to hold her for an hour after she had died.  The nurses waited patiently, but I couldn't give her to them...seemed as though she would cease to exist if I did, so I just held on to her.  I finally realized that I could give her to her father to hold and he could give her little body to the nurses.  I had wanted to be a mom more than anything in the have a little child call me "mama" and look at me with the all-encompassing love that little children reserve for their mommy.  Going home empty-handed was one of hardest days of my life.  I have lately realized that I don't know what she thinks is funny...don't know if she loves butterflies or what kind of music she likes best. A mom should know those things.  We never got to blow bubbles or walk hand-in-hand, and she never twirled my hair around her little finger as she fell asleep.  I know the most exciting thing about heaven is being with God, but I sure look forward to getting to know my little Sarah Catherin.  Anyway, this is just a really hard, tearful time as her birthday approaches this year...much more than usual.
I don't talk about it to anyone, because I can' I thought I'd just write and see if it helps.  It is so hard to do this, though.  Happy Birthday little Sarah.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How to Train a Husband...and make him happy

When it comes to  husbands, I have so little advice to give. Not that he is bad,  just not really "trained."  I think he is happy, but there is room for improvement as you will see.  I have only one real bit of wisdom to share.  It didn't come from the Bible...there's lots there that is much better, but you all already know all of that.  I picked this one up all by myself - so here it is:
Sadie, the favored one


It came from the husband himself.  He has said it often over the years.  "I wish you treated me like you treat that dog." He wants to be treated like a dog!

He likes pies.
Presently we have a highly intelligent, beautiful, well-mannered young English Shepherd named Sadie.  You can tell already that she is highly favored, can't you.  However, I don't cook Korean food (husband's favorite) or pies for her.

 I don't wash her laundry.  I don't sleep with her or plan vacations with her like I do for Bob.  So what is it that he is wishing for?

Good doggie - that's Tess, not Sadie...
The cows and donkey are also envious.
What DO I do for her?  I put her food in a bowl on the floor...that's one idea I could try, but he wouldn't be able to get back up.  I bathe her every week...actually flea shampoo might be good - husband does get fleas I think.  I take her walking and then get in the rhino and make her run another mile behind it while I speed through the field and woods because she needs lots of exercise.  Ha-that would be a sight...I can hardly keep from laughing envisioning Bob running behind the rhino!  Let's see, I have trained the dog to do sit, stay, and do a few tricks- and reward her with treats - THAT'S IT!  HE WANTS TREATS! Oh, my, I may be on to something. This could be good!
Vacation- for man, not dog

 And, I could scratch behind his ears, and rub his tummy...wonder if his leg would kick if I rubbed his tummy?

Actually, now that I really think about it, it is usually when I am petting the dog and telling her how good she is that he says, " I wish you'd treat me like you treat that dog."  We all know men like stroked-with good words and the wife's touch.  I will try that tonight...stroke his head and say, "good husband, good husband."

One of Sadie's jobs was to keep dog (that wouldn't listen) on a leash.
Bob can almost do that now already.
Wish I had some good man-treats!  I might could teach him to fetch!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Parenting a Daughter..learn from the mistakes I made. “How NOT to Raise a Daughter that Gets Married and Leaves Home”

  “How NOT to Raise a Daughter that Gets Married and Leaves Home”

Do NOT allow this!
1.  Don’t allow them to cook and clean with you from early ages.  They will be  making apple pies from scratch by age 9 and by the time they are marrying age boys will love that good food! They will also develop an often overlooked quality of self-esteem and confidence that mysteriously develops if they are functioning members of the household.  

Yep...on a pedestal

Instead, put them on a pedestal and and don’t require work of them. That way they will not only be ignorant of how to run a household, but as a bonus, they will grow up to be self-centered.

Don't even ask

2.  Take parenting really serious.  No ridiculous laughter and nonsense should be allowed - especially at dinner.
  This is the place where you really must set your foot down and require obedience.  Silly jokes, poking fun at mom...all that leads to a well-developed sense of humor and might even put smile lines on their face instead of frown lines later in life.  It may seem like fun now, but remember you have their future to think about.

Dressed up as Mom and Dad

3.  This one is tricky.  Bonding and family closeness can be good or bad.  You want them to bond with the  family in a clingy, timid way so they won’t want to leave you, but use caution because bonding can also give them with stability, a sense of belonging, and help them to identity with something bigger than themselves.  We had a strong family identity and did an awfully lot of things together, and later they went out and did the same things WITHOUT Mom and Dad!  The outcome will greatly be determined by your attitudes and what type activities you do together.  Don’t take them to minister to strangers or the needy, and especially prevent them from being leaders in projects and ministries that do about a sure fire way to instill independence and spirit!  “Even a child is known for his doings,” holds true and they will develop a reputation early if you aren’t careful

Daughter #2 somewhere in China...brilliant
Our biggest mistake might have been in taking them to foreign countries to do missions.  That is a double deal breaker! I can’t even begin to list all the qualities that fostered!  If we had stayed home, they would never have been so comfortable going to China or Philippines by themselves later.  Let me tell you, a little girl that was afraid to leave home might have stayed home a lot longer! 

Good girls...oblivion

4. Watch lots of television and by all means give them video games to play.  We seldom watched tv and never had a video game. Our daughters spent their time reading, rambling outside with each other and animals, practicing musical instruments, and other kinds of other diversive activities that would later contribute to our present grief.  Lots of television and video games for children will occupy their minds easily and you won’t have to deal with all the talking, walking, playing, cooking, laughing, and creating that happens to curious, active minds.  Heed my warning, the results of all those meaningful activities will be obvious as they age...especially when they go to college.

Your child can either dull her little mind and sink into the easy daily oblivion that occurs in from of the electronic babysitters, and just stay in the house basking in her thoughtlessness - or get off her rear and partake in those activities that stimulate, create, and communicate...and possibly lead her down the path to med school or to be a teacher or (horror of horrors - foreign missions).  The choice is yours to make...and the kid will gladly choose the easy route if you let her!

5.  Manners and good behavior are over-rated I was very careful to instill decent manners into our daughters.  Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes we were a little gross, but they do know HOW to have good manners.  They were reminded to chew with their mouths closed and keep elbows off the table.  They said “thank you” and “please”...we’re Southern, so they even mastered “yes, ma'am” and “no, sir”.  They bathed daily and never had a cavity because of good oral hygiene. So what’s the problem?  

I should have encouraged more of 
this meanness...
Would most young men be attracted to a smelly, rotten-toothed woman?  Would he delight in seeing her half-chewed food and having his tea glass knocked over by her elbows before she wipes drool with her sleeve?  Get the picture? Use your own imagination now...a sweet-smelling, well-spoken girl sitting at the table...the only way you know what is in her mouth is seeing what’s on her plate. Sweet pleasant words flow from her mouth -words that provoke thought, words that comfort...but no drool.  I feel that a word of warning must be given here.  True, nice young men wouldn’t give the spoiled, smelly drool girl a second look, but there’s always a badly-behaved smelly drool guy that would, so your drool daughter must have overly high expectations for a husband for this to be effective!

...of course I was lucky enough that some of it just happened anyway... being a poor loser - that is always good!

Hopefully I will be able to help you raise a timid, unattractive daughter that will not be noticed by "that" young man or be motivated to go out and establish her own life.  My goal is for others to be able to learn from my failures. 

TO BE CONTINUED gets worse!