9/16/21 Tree of Life Mama’s Story of the Day: “Rain, a Bedspread, and a Birthday” by Gay Galt

Today, 28 years ago, I became a biological mother by giving birth to my first child. So happy birthday to my oldest son! Providentially, my story for today has to do with a birthday, and also with a principle from the scriptures we are reading for Come, Follow Jesus this week. The lesson is here. The principle for today is “I am a steward over earthly blessings.” It comes from these scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 104:11–18, 78–83.

Just like the day my son was born, this story takes place on a drizzling rainy gray day. I love this story because it shows the principle of being a steward of earthly materials in action. The woman telling the story, Gay Galt, felt inspired to give of her time and things to help an older married couple in need. I’m so impressed that even though Sister Galt said she had a lot of things to do that day, she put them aside to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit to stop and give a frail older gentleman a ride. Then she followed the promptings to give things from her own home, knowing that God had a better use for them. As a result, she totally made two people’s day, week, month, maybe even year. She truly demonstrates in this story what it means to be God’s steward over His blessings. How did she know it was one of her recipient’s birthday? She didn’t, but the Spirit did. You can read the whole story here.

If you want more faith-in -Jesus-Christ-and-His-gospel promoting stories, get my ebook. It’s over here. Use it for family devotionals, or just to tell stories around the dinner table or for your family worship hour on Sundays. The first part is an introduction of the why and how of family devotionals, then starting on p. 55, you can find links to songs, scriptures, and stories to go with monthly topics and seasonal themes.

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9/15/21 Tree of Life Mama’s Podcast of the Week: the Sherlock Holmes of Health on Wise Traditions Podcast #318

I loved this podcast because it shows the possibility of living to old age and still having vitality! The guest being interviewed, Dr. Mary Ruddick, tells of visiting tribes in Africa and seeing people past 100 years old hopping and dancing. Here are the shownotes for the podcast, copied from YouTube:

“There are still people on the earth in perfect health–who don’t know what a headache is, who don’t experience insomnia, period pain, depression, or anxiety. Dr. Mary Ruddick is traveling the globe to find them and learn from their traditional health ways, to see how we might apply the protective mechanisms to our own health. Today, Mary tells stories related to her travels throughout Africa, the Blue Zones, and remote regions of the world. She discusses her observations, both from traditions kept and others, lost. She also tells her own health journey and how the work of WAPF and the GAPS diet helped her recover after years of being bedridden. Finally she tells us about a project she is putting into place to help children stick close to their ancestral diets.

Visit Dr. Mary Ruddick’s website: https://www.enableyourhealing.com and https://www.cows4kids.com

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Easy Freezer Jam

3 c fruit, chopped or processed to desired consistency

1/2 c honey or other sweetener

2 T lemon juice

pinch of mineral salt, or to taste

1/2 to 1 1/2 t glucomannan

It’s that time of year! Fresh fruit abounds, at least in my neck of the woods. Here’s one way to save it to enjoy it later. Process the chopped fruit in a blender or food processor to desired consistency for your jam. Some people like a totally pureed fruit with no identifiable fruit pieces. I guess technically if you puree it all the way you will have jelly. Anyway, ff you have trouble blending, add enough water to allow the machine to process the fruit. Pour processed fruit into pot. Add the rest of the ingredients except for glucomannan and bring to boil. After it boils, add the glucomannan and whisk in thoroughly to avoid clumping. Turn to low setting and let simmer for 15 minutes. Pour into container and put in fridge if you are going to use within a week, or freezer if you will use later than a week from the time of making.

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9/14/21 Tree of Life Mama’s Book of the Week: The Pilgrim Hypothesis

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I finished this book on my Florida second honeymoon. It is fabulous! If you’ve ever wanted to dive deeper into the Christian heritage of the United States of America, this is the book for you. Rather, the whole series of “hypothesis” books by Timothy Ballard.

Chapter 1 is all about Columbus. That’s a bit of a surprise since the title says it’s about Pilgrims. But I guess the author wanted to give the context of the Pilgrims belief in covenants tied back to another person in American history who believed in covenants. So many myths and truths surround this man. Is it true that he brought illness to the natives of Hispainola? Did he treat his men badly? Did he only want to go west to find new trade routes for Europe, or did he have a deeper purpose? Was he a Christian? How much did he know about Israel? Read this chapter to find the answers to all these questions and more.Other chapters talk about the Pilgrims coming to America, why they did it, John Howland, William Bradford, George Washington, John Adams, and the Louisiana Purchase. Mr. Ballard tells of the miracles involves with those people and events.

Here’s the summary from amazon.com:

“America is a country with deep-seated roots of faith planted by pilgrims seeking religious independence. It was these men and women who paved the way for a free nation under God in this promised land but what if those early voyagers were brought here for a much greater purpose? What if their arrival in this new land heralded the fulfillment of ancient prophecy: laying the foundation of a country that would allow for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the beginning of the gathering of scattered Israel? In The Pilgrim Hypothesis readers are presented with a gripping new investigation by best-selling author and historian Timothy Ballard as he uncovers what the early colonists a people who believed themselves to be the ‘New Israel’ may have known about their role in the restoration of the gospel. Delve into a complex history bridging the centuries and spanning the globe, as each clue leads to one compelling conclusion: history and scripture may be far more intertwined than you’ve ever realized.”

If you believe in the Judeo-Christian roots of the USA, you will probably find this book fascinating! It has lots of QR codes so you can watch videos of the author at the places he writes about. I give it 5 out of 5 stars! If you go to the book’s website here, and sign up for the author’s newsletter, you can watch the videos, what he calls webisodes. This is a great book for teens and parents to read together to give more meaning of the upcoming fall holidays of Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. You can also find it in Audible, so hooray for that! The video below is a summary of the book.

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9/15/21 Tree of Life Mama’s Story of the Day: Blessings Come After Afflictions and Trials of Faith

I took the above photo, of the Gulf of Mexico, from a beach in Key West, Florida. (Go here to see more pics of my Florida trip, a vacation to celebrate 30 years of marriage.)

When I look at the ocean, I think of the Hebrew letter “mem,” whose symbol is a zig zag line, symbolizing an ocean’s wave. It represents mystery and depth, chaos, and the unknown. Who knows what lies under the surface of the ocean water?

Life has so many mysteries, so many layers and depths of meaning. So many things happen in our lives that we don’t hold an answer for. Why do some people seemingly sail through life, never even looking rumpled, while others have numerous challenges, even tragedies and heartbreaks? This week in the Come, Follow Jesus reading, one of the principles is, “Blessings come after afflictions and trials of faith.” See this page to see the principle with some associated scriptures, along with the story of Zion’s Camp.

I recently read a story that reminded me of that principle. In it, a woman faced the death of her grandmother, then her father, and then another death in the family. All in one spring and summer period of time! During this time, her husband was also mugged. Talk about a horrible time of tragedy and trials! How did this woman deal with all this devastation? Fortunately, she found increased faith in Jesus Christ to pull her through. Go here to read the whole story.

If you want more faith-in -Jesus-Christ-and-His-gospel promoting stories, get my ebook. It’s over here. Use it for family devotionals, or just to tell stories around the dinner table or for your family worship hour on Sundays. The first part is an introduction of the why and how of family devotionals, then starting on p. 55, you can find links to songs, scriptures, and stories to go with monthly topics and seasonal themes.

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Tree of Life Mama’s Picture Book of the Week: Try It! How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat by Mara Rockliff

Try It!
Image Credit: simonandschuster.com

Have you ever wondered about the history of the produce section of your local grocery store? I mean, has it always had such a wide variety? Have kiwis and coconuts been there as along as apples and bananas?

When you read the above picture book, you will find out the woman behind Americans’ ability to go to the supermarket and pick up starfruit, Shiitake mushrooms, chemoyas, and many more fruits and veggies. The woman is Frieda Caplan. She was a successful businesswoman as owner of a produce company, a wife, and mother of two daughters. The above picture book tells her story. Hopefully after you read it you and your family will be more willing to expand your eating horizons with exotic foods that God has made that are found native to other countries. It just makes me wonder, what else is out there that I don’t know about?

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9/14/21 Out of the Best Books: Classics We’re Reading Lately


So here are some of the books we’ve read lately, besides the scriptures. I have this one on Audible. I choose to listen to it when doing errands on Saturday or weeding with the kiddos in the garden in the cool of the evening. It’s about a family of homeschoolers who homeschooled before the name was invented. As Christians, Arnold Pent and his wife Persis traveled the country with their 8 children, preaching the good news of Jesus to crowds through song, speeches, and memorized scriptures. It really motivates me to get back to helping myself and my children to memorize. (See over here for more motivation for that.)

I heard about the one below from my dear amazing friend Mindy. I wish I had known about it when I mentored the Hero LEMI project class. It’s the true story of a family who were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Berlin during Hitler’s reign of power. It gives me lots of comfort because it increases my vision for what’s possible during times of crisis. Not to be missed! I’ve been reading it to the kiddos while they do the dishes every day. They don’t like it but I’m encouraging them to learn to like it.



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Book Cover

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The one below I got from the list my new Veggie Gal girlfriend recommended. I’m listening to it in scribd.com for a family book club. The author tells some amazing stories from his life and always ties them back to Christian principles.


Then this book below is from a huge box of books that I inherited from my mother-in-law when she moved and downsized. It’s written by a Jewish woman who converted to Christianity by joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The beginning is a bit disjointed but I’m finally starting to see the flow of the story. Fascinating!

I finished the one below while on my second honeymoon Florida trip. The book mentions Hispainola. Since I was visiting Key West I was the closest to Hispainola I’ve ever been. It just felt amazing to be that close to where Columbus walked and talked. The first chapter is all about Columbus. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about Columbus from a Christian perpsective, I highly recommend the book!

Book Cover

Then on the flight home I read the next book below. My husband surprised me by upgrading our tickets to first class. That was nice except we were on the very front row. It was hard not to feel nervous under the steely-eyed glare of the flight attendant sitting a yard away from me, even though she was probably less than half my age. I felt like second grader being watched by a hawk-like school teacher, hovering over my work. She took whatever chance she could get to remind us to keep our masks above our noses. Anyway, the book is great except for the part that recommends a husband and wife look at porn together. If you’ve dealt with a husband who has had an extramarital affair, you’ll want to especially read that chapter. This book is great at showing the science behind married love.

Book Cover
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9/14/21 Tree of Life Mama’s Story of the Day: Service that Comes Full Circle

Last week in the Come, Follow Me (Jesus) reading of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the principles was:

“The Lord takes care of those who serve Him.”

That is so true!!!! I have some stories to illustrate that.

First is the story of a friend of mine, I’ll call Mary. Mary was a faithful wife and mother striving to obey God’s commandments. She paid her tithing. She served in her congregation and neighborhood. She was pregnant with Baby #3. She really wanted a minivan to replace her little compact car that fit 5 people. She could fit all three kids after the baby came, in the backseat of the compact car, technically, but she wanted a bigger car so that the car seats wouldn’t touch. So at a gathering with mutual friends she talked about this. One of the friends, I’ll call Jody, volunteered right then and there to sell Mary her old minivan for $50. The scene is indelibly etched in my mind as they sat on a window seat, laughing and hugging each other for the joy that comes from being a giver and a receiver. I love such times!

Another story that reminds me of this comes from the Liahona, a magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s about two college roommates who visit one of the roommate’s relatives who is sad and lonely. I won’t tell you the rest, go read it here. It does show that the Lord blesses those with service when they serve Him. What we put out, comes back to us!

If you like that story, please go here to get my free devotionals ebook to find links to many more stories to warm your heart! Hint: skip to page 55 to get to the stories, arranged by monthly topics and seasons.

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Corbyn’s Academy Fundraiser

Photo Credit: corbynsacademy.com

What is Corbyn’s Academy? It is a group of classes put together to raise money to provide Christmas gifts for needy families. The money charged as registration fees pays for the Christmas gifts. Corbyn died at 13 months due to vaccine injury. You can read his story here.

Here is Corbyn’s mom telling about the academy in her own words:

“Corbyn’s Academy was started to raise funds for our annual Christmas service project. Every year we find a family or a few families that are in need and we provide Christmas for them. Usually one of the families has a son that is the same age as Corbyn so in a small way we feel, for a minute, that we are buying Christmas for Corbyn. Corbyn’s death has taken us down a health and healing journey that we never knew existed until after he died. Our journey has been such a blessing by healing us mentally, spiritually and physically. For years-we have wracked our brains on what we could do to incorporate the journey that Corbyn has lead us down into our service that we do to thank all of our generous donors that help make our Corbyn’s Christmas possible every year. We have finally found it! We want to gift the knowledge and skills that we have learned and are still learning to bring light, life and healing to everyone that wants it. All while only asking for a small donation in return. We wanted to provide this endless knowledge so it was affordable to everyone! We want to empower you to live a life full of the light and happiness just as Corbyn exuded the short 411 days he was on this earth and allow you to do it with confidence with the skills that you learn here! Welcome and thank you for your support and donations!”

These classes involve holistic living with topics such as natural antibiotics, homeoprophylaxis, whole food nutrition, and all things kombucha. Some are in person, on the Wasatch Front, and some are also online. Go here to learn more and register!

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Elder Bednar on How To Facilitate Learning

If you are a parent, especially a homeschooling parent, you will want to watch this video. In it, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints touches on important points of the process of learning. This is a great video to ask parents in your homeschool group to watch, then get together with them and discuss.

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