Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Udi's Whole Grain Bread Review; Raising Kids by Remembering the String for the Tree

Out of all of the gluten-free bread on the market that we have tasted, we like Udi's Whole Grain bread the best.  Somehow the texture is better than most brands, though the taste is similar to several kinds.  I am rating it at 9 out of 10.  We have had a few loaves with holes in the middle, and the last time it happened, it affected about eight slices of the loaf.  I sent in an email to Udi's with the hope that we might get a coupon for a new loaf.   Sure enough, they worked with us in a kind way, will send a coupon in the mail to us for a new loaf, and reassured us that they are trying to fix the problem.

Of course, the best gluten-free bread is homemade (in my opinion), and you will find several great bread recipes in my cookbook. :)


I have been thinking a lot about parenting lately.  Sometimes parents in society need to take the steps necessary to show love for children by providing the string of supportive rules and guidelines for them.  I haven't been a perfect parent, that is for sure, but I definitely want to improve.  The story below about the cell phone is a good one for me, too.  I am trying to learn to leave my cell phone at a distance when I am interacting with family at dinner time and when I am on a date with my husband.  It is a challenge for me since I am so task-oriented, but I know it is worth trying to do better.

Have you ever thought about the miracle of a tree?  Isn't it amazing how they grow toward the light and often withstand the wind in amazing ways?  We can compare this to raising children in light and truth.  This is a story about a tree that didn't stay straight when the wind blew hard.

Not long after Gordon Hinckley and his wife were married, they built their first home. The landscaping was his responsibility.

The first of many trees that he planted was a thornless honey locust. Envisioning the day when its filtered shade would assist in cooling the house in the summertime, he put it in a place at the corner where the wind from the canyon to the east blew the hardest. He dug a hole, put in the bare root, put soil around it, poured on water, and largely forgot it. It was only a wisp of a tree, perhaps three-quarters of an inch in diameter. He could bend it with ease in any direction. He paid little attention to it as the years passed.

Then one winter day, when the tree was barren of leaves, he chanced to look out the window at it and noticed that it was leaning to the west, misshapen and out of balance. He could scarcely believe it. He went out and braced himself against it as if to push it upright. But the trunk was now nearly a foot in diameter. His strength was as nothing against it.

Gordon Hinckley said:  "I took from my toolshed a block and tackle. Attaching one end to the tree and another to a well-set post, I pulled the rope. The pulleys moved a little, and the trunk of the tree trembled slightly. But that was all. It seemed to say, “You can’t straighten me. It’s too late. I’ve grown this way because of your neglect, and I will not bend.” "

Finally in desperation he took his saw and cut off the great heavy branch on the west side. The saw left an ugly scar, more than eight inches across. He had cut off the major part of the tree, leaving only one branch growing skyward.

He said, "More than half a century has passed since I planted that tree. My daughter and her family live there now. The other day I looked again at the tree. It is large. Its shape is better. It is a great asset to the home. But how serious was the trauma of its youth and how brutal the treatment I used to straighten it.

When it was first planted, a piece of string would have held it in place against the forces of the wind. I could have and should have supplied that string with ever so little effort. But I did not, and it bent to the forces that came against it.

He pointed out:  "I have seen a similar thing, many times, in children whose lives I have observed. The parents who brought them into the world seem almost to have abdicated their responsibility. The results have been tragic. A few simple anchors would have given them the strength to withstand the forces that have shaped their lives.

"Every individual in the world is a child of a mother and a father. Neither can ever escape the consequences of their parenthood.

"Said the writer of Proverbs, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6)."


Rosemary Wixom said, "Unfortunately, the distractions of this world prevent many children from hearing encouraging words that could shape their view of themselves.

"Dr. Neal Halfon, a physician who directs the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities, refers to “parental benign neglect.” One example involved an 18-month-old and his parents:

“‘Their son seemed happy, active and engaged, clearly enjoying time and pizza with his parents. … At the end of dinner, Mom got up to run an errand, handing over care to Dad.’

“Dad … started reading phone messages while the toddler struggled to get his attention by throwing bits of pizza crust. Then the dad re-engaged, facing his child and playing with him. Soon, though, he substituted watching a video on his phone with the toddler until his wife returned.

“… [Dr.] Halfon observed a dimming of the child’s internal light, a lessening of the connection between parent and child.”5

"The answer to our prayer of how to meet our children’s needs may be to more often technologically disconnect. Precious moments of opportunity to interact and converse with our children dissolve when we are occupied with distractions. Why not choose a time each day to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other? Simply turn everything off. When you do this, your home may seem quiet at first; you may even feel at a loss as to what to do or say. Then, as you give full attention to your children, a conversation will begin, and you can enjoy listening to each other.