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Monday, October 13

A long,long time ago....

....I was a little kid sitting at a table eating with my family. My Mom posted this on her blog. Don't I look calm ,cool, and collected. I was being serious. I am a definate type A from birth!

Can you guess the year this was published? I think you will get a kick out of this. According to this article, we must have been the world's wonder family. I sure come off as "Miracle Mom" in the article! On the other hand, it was great PR for the church.

Mary Blue
Missouian Food Editor

Wholesome food is one of the keys to healthy, happy children in close family ties, is the belief of Mrs. Richard Lewis, North Hills Estate who grows, preserves and prepares food for her family of 10. In this Mormon family there are five girls and three boys, ranging in age from 1 to 19 years, and a ninth child is expected this summer.

With strong religious faith, they have in reserve a year's supply of food to meet with an emergency, and eat mostly natural food, grind their own wheat for flour, can, freeze and dehydrate food for their year around use.

When Mr. Lewis, a manager at the Procter and Gamble Paper Products Co. here, was transferred from Southern California, where both he and Mrs. Lewis had grown up and spent most of their lived, it was the first time they had lived away from California, except during his military duties in the Navy when they were in the east and in Europe. It is their first experience in living away from a city and first in the Midwest. They love their new environment and their home in a lively wooded area several miles out of town.

Not many convenience foods can be found in the kitchen of Barbara Lewis. She prepares most of their foods, the making of lasagna spaghetti, crackers (all from whole wheat) with a pasta maker, grows alfalfa sprouts to be used in salads, and cans, freezes and dehydrates food from their bountiful garden, and preserves other available food for the future.

Imagine the delight of the children when they come home from school (Jackson) to the aroma of freshly baked bread. Bread is made from whole wheat flour, honey, powdered milk and other bread basics several times during the week. Because of the quantity it is made with the kneading arm of an electric mixer.

In cooking and preparing food for her family Barbara cuts corners where possible. She believes whole wheat flour is more healthful.

A food dehydrator has been a good investment, she has found, as it not only dries fruits and vegetables, but she uses it for drying bread to be used for dressing and stuffing to be served with meat and poultry.

A noodle extruder (or pasta maker) was a welcomed Christmas present this year. Even though the making of noodles and spaghetti is time consuming, it is a family project they enjoy, especially he finished products.

Major shopping is done only once each month with a tremendous amount of staples being purchased at that time. A weekly trip to the grocery will take care of most of the other needs as meat is purchased in quantity, milk obtained from a local farmer, and fruits and vegetables obtained locally when in season. They have an abundant garden.

One of the happy times with the children is the preservation of food. Last summer the 12-year-old son was delighted when he could wash and prepare cucumbers to make pickles. Every project is a family affair with the smaller children also participating.

When there was a n excess of fruit last summer, they were allowed to pick apples from a local orchard. With this fruit they made applesauce and dehydrated apples for winter's use. Pears to be canned were obtained in the same manner. Then, all summer they had fresh produce from their own garden.

Besides her own family, Barbara Lewis has 14 active girls in Brownie Troop 179 meeting at her home each Thursday afternoon. In the Youth Division of the Jackson Christmas Parade, this troop won on their float. With this money the troop is looking forward to a great day at Six Flags.

Mr. Lewis, a lay leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, is president of the young men of the church , and is district financial clerk, taking care of the bookkeeping of this area with some of the churches being in Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Monday night is Family Night. This is a special time set aside for family fun, counsel and fellowship in the home. Always it is opened with prayer and then may be followed with a variety of activities with all of the family participating. There are songs, plays, games, such as "Name That Tune," and other forms of challenging events. Because genealogy is important in their religion, some portion of the evening may be devoted to it's study. Sometimes others are invited to share this happy event of "super entertainment with all participating," they commented.

Another family observance is that each child has a "special night". On about four nights each week, one child is allowed to stay up later with the parents and the child chooses the activity. Because of the age span, it can be reading, playing the piano, or playing with play dough. This special child also gets to plan the breakfast menu and sometimes the menu for the next day.

Robert Lewis, the oldest of the children , who is 19, left home only two weeks ago for a two-year period when he will do missionary work for the church. It is his life-long dream come true. During the summers and after school work he has saved money for this experience. For Christmas, he received the discussions (about a half dozen) which he is to follow, so he was familiar with them when he left for his five day stay at the mission home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Then he was assigned to Southern California. It is ironic that he would be sent right back to the area from which the family moved, when he could have been assigned to anyplace in the world.

These young men must follow stringent rules. They do not smoke or drink coffee, tea or alcohol and must be morally clean. Although they are representatives of their church, they are sustained by their families while they are on this mission. Prior to leaving, Robert visited the two nicely dressed young men who are about town on bicycles, and learned from them on a few days call what to anticipate in his work.

School children take their lunch, which often consists of every child's favorite - Peanut butter, jam or honey on whole wheat bread. then there is a crunchy snack (envied by other children) - popcorn. Fruit leather is made from summer ripe fruit prepared in the blender and then the dehydrator.

The Children take turns with household duties, including washing dishes, setting the table, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, with little ones assisting in picking up toys.

Hot cereal is a favorite wintertime breakfast foo, but whole wheat pancakes are a year around favorite. this is also a favorite winter dinner meal too. A simple syrup is made to be served on the pancakes.

The children like Mexican food, Oriental food, with stir-fry vegetables always popular. Apples and carrots are always available for nibbles and they have fruits and vegetables the whole year. It is possible to have good snack foo, Mrs. Lewis believes, without buying "junk foods." They are especially fond of a cottage cheese dip on baked potatoes and to dip raw vegetables and freshly sliced apples.

To maintain a healthy happy family, she says one must know what is in the food that is served to them. for this reason, she prepares her own foods and submits the following recipes.

Really this paints us as perrrrfect, which we were....not. We did have fun, alot!


Lewismom said...

Laurene, just in case Maryann does not post a comment on this, Maryann was pretty adamant about her reaction to this article! We were FREAKS! She also said this could NOT have been good PR for the church. I guess what I meant was that it was probably arranged by a PR person for the church.
You guys sure were cute little kids!

Maryann said...

We were cute little kids, who were freaks. We could have been the homeschooled kids that Laurene runs into once in a while. This makes us sound like we lived off the land and I'm sure that our dad must have been a master hunter. To bad they didn't add the deer story. And I don't remember stir-fry vegetables as a favorite. I must be blocking alot from my memory.
Shane says we did sound like freaks but that Mom was ahead of the "Natural, Organic" curve.

Maryann said...

By the way "The Freaks" is used in the most loving, non-condescending way. I'm sure this family would never say anything mean, unkind or sarcastic.

Lewismom said...

No, where would you have learned anything like that in our perfect family?

Laurene Ross said...

Look, the whole story is not here. I do recall Mom making her own herb capsules, carrot juice, and hippies singing in our yard. We were not freaks! It was the 70's!

Laurene Ross said...

PS: As for the stir fry what the writer left out were the ingredients, The freshest hamburger{straight from the farmer/butcher at the bottom of the hill.Do you think it was grained fed?} Rice{ I don't think it was wild} Sauteed in Soy sauce with a little tomatoe chutney an the side{ketchup}!YUM

Suzie Soda said...

You guys are too funny. Laurene comes by her "healthy eating" naturally. We have a few newspaper articles about our family ( mine and Greg's) that sound too good to be true. I am sure my kids coudl add some flavor to the articles. Lindsay and Clayton were featured in the New Era with Greg's sourdough pancakes. The other articles were about family.
Very cute pics. My hat is off to Barbara.....all those kids and feeding them healthy. Amazing.

Cristy said...

I love the 30 yrs later picture collage.

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