My Family Story

July 20, 2017

Hello, my name is Heidi.  My parents named me after the storybook character known by the same name, who lived in the Swiss Alps with her grandfather.  Unlike the orphaned Heidi, I was blessed to be raised by both a father and a mother, the 5th child in a family of 10 children; 4 boys and 6 girls.  

 

We were raised on a farm in the desert region of "The Evergreen State" - Washington.  On our farm we raised many different crops; corn, wheat, beans, potatoes, alfalfa etc...  Our parents taught us children how to work hard and the principle of The Law of the Harvest: As a man sows, so shall he reap.  We worked with our father to plant, water and harvest our crops.  Every morning and evening in the spring and summers, we children would "change the water" by moving aluminum irrigation pipes or hand-lines across our fields of crops so they could receive the moisture they needed to grow.  We also worked together as a family in planting, weeding and harvesting our large family garden each spring and summer.  During our summer school breaks, our mother taught us, her daughters, how to preserve our abundant harvest each year.  We canned homegrown pickles, salsa, chili sauce, tomatoes, and green beans from our family garden.  We learned how to cut the kernels from the ears of corn and fill our freezer with bags of corn to last for the next year.  My parents would buy bushels of pears, apples and peaches (my favorite) and sometimes cherries and apricots from the local orchards each harvest season. We spent days peeling the sweet ripe fruit and filling hundreds of Mason Jars that we stored in our insulated food storage shed our father and brothers had built.  We also learned how to make wonderful jams and jellies from the over-ripened fruits.  My grandfather, a cattle rancher from Northern Washington, would bring us an abundance of beef that we stocked our freezer with each year.  We also raised pigs that provided delicious pork roasts, sausage and bacon for our large family throughout the year.  We could sustain our family well with the meat and produce that we stored.  We had a beautiful Swiss Jersey milk cow that we named Keri.  Our father would milk her each morning and my brothers would milk her each evening after school.  Our mother would strain the warm milk and skim the cream off the top once it had cooled and separated, then churn the cream to make fresh sweet butter. We often enjoyed homemade whole wheat bread fresh from the oven when we returned home after a long day of school.  How we loved slathering the sweet butter and homemade jellies and jams on the warm slices of freshly baked bread!  We enjoyed homemade rice pudding that our mother would often make from the abundance of Keri's milk.   

 

Our mother taught us, how to be good homemakers.  She taught us how to cook and sew, and the importance of a clean and orderly home.  Every Saturday we each did our part to clean and maintain our home.  We were not allowed to watch Saturday morning cartoons on our twelve inch black and white television until we had finished our Saturday chores.   My Father taught my brothers how to work on the farm, fix our cars and farming equipment, build and repair things around the home, and occasionally he would go hunting with them.  As children, we did often complain about all of our chores, but today, I am so grateful for the life lessons and self-reliance our parents taught us.  They didn't give us fish, they taught us how to fish, so that we could be self-reliant and have a successful, independent and abundant life.  

 

As a child, we didn't have a lot of material wealth, but we had each other and our love and faith in God, our Creator, who always provided for our needs.  Even though we easily qualified for government aid, we chose to be self-reliant, work hard, and trust in God to provide.  We were taught by our parents to obey God's commandments and to love God and our neighbor as ourselves.  We would kneel around our dinner table each morning for family prayer and express gratitude for our many blessings.  We asked for God's assistance and strength to accomplish our work each day, and blessings and protection over our loved ones and country. Then our father would read to us from the scriptures. Our parents were not perfect people, but they did the best that they could.  They worked and sacrificed to provide for our physical, educational, emotional, and spiritual needs.  They taught us and showed us how to serve each other and our friends and neighbors in the small rural community where we lived.  They gave 10% of their income, or tithing, to our church and gave to the poor and needy regularly.  I am so grateful for their great examples in my life.  As Abraham Lincoln said, "“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother"....and I would add... to my good and faithful father, and to my ancestors who came before me, whose sacrifices and faith have blessed my life in so many ways.  Our parents taught us to keep the Sabbath Day holy.  We always went to church on Sunday and we never shopped or did recreational activities on Sunday.  We tried to do things as a family that strengthened our relationships with each other and helped us remember and worship God on this one special day of the week.  Our mother, and some of us older daughters, would always fix a special Sunday dinner, usually with homemade jello, a big roast beef from our grandfather, along with mashed potatoes and gravy and our mother's famous crescent rolls!

 

In 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted and the ash covered and ruined our entire alfalfa crop, so we couldn't sell it.  We were financially devastated!  Our father had to sell our land and farm equipment to provide for our family.  In the meantime, he got a job trucking alfalfa to Seattle.  Me and my sister started a housecleaning business to help our family make ends meet, and our brothers did work for other local farmers.  We pulled together to provide and support our family through this financial crisis.  My entrepreneurial mother started a candy business which is still in operation today.  We all learned how to make pecan logs, fudge, penuche, cranberry almond bark and turtles.  We worked  together early in the morning and late into the night, before and after school during the Christmas season.  This helped to supplement my father's trucking income and provided Christmas gifts for our large family.  Later our mother added catering to her business which helped all of us improve our culinary skills and also supplemented our income.  We never lived on welfare or government assistance because we believed that together and with God's blessings, we could be self-reliant.  After applying for work in various places, my father was blessed to be able to use his college degree in chemistry to get a chemist position at Hanford, a nuclear waste management company.  For the next five years, he went to night school and earned his chemical engineering degree.  This turned out to be better in the long run financially for our family than farming, but I am so grateful for the important lessons I learned in my childhood while living on our farm.  

 

As in all families, there were also health crises occasionally where we had to pull together as a family and care for our loved ones.  When my mother was pregnant with her last child.  My sisters and I cooked and cleaned and took care of the family while my mother was bedridden for months.  Her pelvic bones had separated, so walking became very painful and she had to use a wheelchair to get around.  Women from our church would often provide meals and sometimes our grandmother would bring us meals as well, including ice-cream buckets full of her famous homemade molasses and gumdrop cookies.  This is when me and my older sisters really learned how to cook and clean and take care of our home and family as we filled in for our beloved mother, who had always loved and served us.  When my youngest sister had back surgery during her teenage years, we all took turns caring for her while she lay in a body cast for months.  When my aging grandmother needed care, my parents remodeled their home to accommodate her needs and lovingly cared for her for over 8 years until she died.  

 

I share my story to teach a true and timeless principle: the natural family is the most important, sustainable, and fundamental unit of society, and marriage between and man and a woman creates the needed balance in raising strong, resilient and self-reliant children. Without strong and loving families wherein individuals are loved and nurtured, supported and protected, societies and nations do not prosper and most often struggle or fail to meet the needs of their citizens. According to many studies, societies who value traditional marriage, family and religion, who create and nurture positive relationships within a strong marriage and family are the most stable, resilient, sustainable and successful. Today many people, societies and governments believe that having children is detrimental to our world, that children are a burden, that traditional marriage is outdated, and that families don't matter.  There are troubling trends happening today; fewer people marrying, fewer children being born, and families breaking apart like never before in our world's history.  I recently attended meetings at the United Nations where I learned of disturbing anti-family agendas infiltrating and being promoted throughout our society and governments, in our public policies, and in our laws.  If we do not wake up to our awful situation; the disintegration of the family, and strive to institute policies and measures designed to protect and strengthen family, faith and freedom, we will bring about the destruction of our communities, and nations.  If we want a prosperous and free society for ourselves and for future generations, we need to raise, protect and promote strong, faithful and resilient families!

 

I am now a mother of 7 children; 2 beautiful girls and 5 handsome boys.  My husband and I have been married for 29 years.  We are also the grandparents of three beautiful and precious little boys.  There is nothing in this life that is more important to me, than each of my relationships within my family.  They are what bring me the greatest joy and fulfillment in my life.  The members in my family and extended family have provided love, critical support, mentoring and nurturing throughout my life.  

 

My family is far from perfect and I am fully aware that not all families look like or are similar to mine.  Families come in all shapes and sizes and none of us belong to perfect families.  We all have experienced trials, heartache and sorrows within our families.  But regardless of all of its imperfections and problems, the family is and always will be the most effective and sustainable solution to the the world's problems.  It is where we can experience the greatest joy and happiness in life!  Strong and faithful families are the solution to the societal problem we face today; they are the key to maintaining our strength and freedoms.  

 

My intention in this website is to provide information about what is happening in our world today regarding the family, faith and freedom.  It will provide resources that help to support and sustain strong families; the foundation of our nation.

 

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