December 28, 2013

How To Study The Scriptures With 7 Questions to Ponder

I've been pondering how I want to study my scriptures in 2014 to be more effective. Typically after a long day, I open my scriptures and read right where I left off from the previous night. But I was looking for a new method that is spiritually deeper, yet simple. First, I glanced at Pinterest and found some cute journals and ideas on how to mark your scriptures, but that was only scratching the surface. The thought came to me to look at what Julie B. Beck, former General Relief Society President, has done with her scripture study. I've always admired her as someone who stands for the truth.

I found a talk she gave in 2004 entitled "My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures" and began reading. She said, "One good way to start studying the scriptures is to 'liken' them to ourselves." She shared how she wrote notes in her scriptures and in a separate notebook. She also shared various ways others have studied the scriptures. My mind began spinning and formulating an idea for me. Something realistic and within my grasp.

Julie B. Beck
She said, "Every woman can be a gospel doctrine instructor in her home, and every sister in the Church needs gospel knowledge as a leader and teacher. If you have not already developed the habit of daily scripture study, start now and keep studying in order to be prepared for your responsibilities in this life and in the eternities."

If the scriptures can prepare me for my responsibilities in this life and the eternities, then I should be looking for answers to a few key questions throughout this coming year. So I considered my roles as a daughter of God, a wife, a mother, an emergency preparedness teacher, a preschool teacher, and a missionary. I came up with 7 questions for my roles to focus on each day of the week.

MY 7 QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Sunday: How can I strengthen my children spiritually and emotionally?
Monday: How can I be a more loving wife to my husband?
Tuesday: How can I teach my preschool class who they really are?
Wednesday: How can I fulfill my calling effectively as an Emergency Resource Coordinator?
Thursday: What do others teach me about personal revelation?
Friday: How can I become a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Saturday: How can I be physically and mentally stronger?
    It looks like a bunch of how to's, but one of the best training manuals is the scriptures. Sister Beck keeps a list of questions in the back of her scriptures. Since I use my online scriptures, I typed my 7 questions on a sticky note and placed them on the front my laptop and iPhone. I use the LDS.org app and highlight notes in the Notes and Journal tool.

    Every day I want to read a little bit from the Book of Mormon following the schedule my youngest daughter uses in her Discover the Scriptures workbook. Since each family member in our home does their own personal scripture study, we are not on the same schedule. But I thought being on hers might help me teach her as she is learning. During family prayer we share something we have learned in our personal scripture study. She has an amazing memory and shares the most.

    I also want to study other resources as well. So here is that plan:

    PERSONAL STUDY LIBRARY
    Sunday: The current chapter we are learning in Sunday School from the "Old Testament Class Member Study Guide."
    Monday: One article from the monthly Ensign magazine.
    Tuesday: A motivational book.
    Wednesday: One talk from the most recent General Conference.
    Thursday: One talk from the most recent General Conference.
    Friday: The current chapter we are learning in Relief Society "Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith."
    Saturday: One article from the monthly Ensign magazine.
      It's so easy to access these resources on the LDS Gospel Library app or at DeseretBookshelf. Wow! We have so many great things at our fingertips. We just need to push the time-wasters off the table.
      Update 12/31/13 On my Gmail calendar, I created repeating calendar items for each resource to remind me what to study. For instance, on Sunday and Monday I have "Ensign" as an all day calendar item that repeats each week. Tuesday I have "Mot Book", Wednesday I have "Gen. Conf.," Thursday I have Joseph Fielding Smith, Saturday I have Old Testament. We are so blessed to have wonderful technology!

      I'm excited to find answers to my questions this year! I'm sure I will be tweaking my scripture study as I go. Hope you each find answers to your 7 questions and grow in the Gospel of Jesus Christ the New Year.

      December 27, 2013

      Most Popular Posts at Prepared LDS Family in 2013

      It's always interesting to look back at the posts I've written at Prepared LDS Family and see what others have read. I thought I would share some of your favorites and my thoughts about them.

      Most Popular Posts in 2013
      Make a 72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps: Step 6 - Food
      This post was part of a 12-part series I wrote about items to put in your 72-hour kit. It took longer than I wished to finish the steps, but I finally completed all 12 of them.

      General Conference Activity Notebook for Primary Kids
      I've written several posts about activity notebooks for children to use as they watch the LDS General Conference. It's hard for them to sit still. I like to have something for my youngest to do to help her participate in the experience. She remembers the stories the speakers share almost better than her parents.

      Use a 52-Week Inventory Schedule to Count Food Storage Weekly
      This idea was meant to make counting my food storage easier. I categorize my food storage and only count a small portion of it weekly. Well, that was the plan. I do get behind. I never like to count ALL of our food storage because it takes hours, so counting a small portion is quicker and doable for me.

      February Food Storage Goals - Breakfast Foods
      Each month of this year I wrote a post about items to gather for my food storage. I can only guess this post was popular because my readers either like breakfast foods or were still motivated to gather their food storage at the beginning of the year. Let's hope that the new year will bring new resolutions to get things moving with emergency preparedness.


      December 24, 2013

      Helpful Food Storage Articles by Leslie Probert, Food Storage Essentials writer for the Deseret News

      Over the past several years, Leslie Probert, co-author of one of my favorite emergency preparedness and food storage books, "Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell," has written some very useful articles for the Deseret News newspaper here in Utah. Since some of my readers don't get the Deseret News, my Christmas gift to you is a list I've gathered of the past 3 years of practical  food storage articles written by Leslie.

      When I heard Leslie speak at a BYU Campus Education Week, she changed my life. Well, actually she changed the approach I took to food storage. I don't think I would have moved forward with preparedness like I have, without the insight of Leslie Probert. Reading books by people who actually use the food they store is enlightening.

      Leslie is the mother of 3, and has a degree in Home Economics.

      Take some time over the Christmas break to read some of these great articles. Then set a New Year's resolution to get moving with food storage!

      Articles by Leslie Probert

      Food Storage Essentials: What about storing chocolate?
      December 6, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Why store wheat? What about a grain mill?
      November 1, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Storing grains: What about carbs and gluten intolerance?
      October 11, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Just how nutritious are sprouts?
      September 13, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: 3 planning tips to avoid surprises in an emergency
      August 2, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: How to choose from many dried food options
      July 12, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: What about storing sugars in long-term storage?
      June 6, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Tips for storing, conserving fuels for emergency cooking
      May 3, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Moving? What to do with food storage?
      April 5, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Tips for storing leavening and salt
      March 1, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: 6 reasons to eat the food you have stored
      February 1, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Store non-food items in winter months
      January 11, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Christmas gifts for peace of mind
      December 7, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Building a food storage: How much is peace of mind worth?
      November 2, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Food storage for 1 or 2 people
      October 5, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: 3 steps on how to cook perfect long grain rice and store it, too
      September 7, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Safely store propane; haybox cooking saves fuel
      August 2, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Storing charcoal and baking in an apple box
      July 6, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: The food flavor and seeing the work of your own hands can make bottling very rewarding
      June 1, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: What about storing barley?
      May 4, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: 5 tips for buying food storage on a tight budget
      April 7, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Food storage planning — what's for lunch?
      March 2,2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Food storage can contribute to great-tasting, economical breakfasts
      February 3, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Got a little food storage? Don't stop now
      January 6, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Food storage gifts that make a difference
      December 2, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Four ideas for getting children to eat food storage
      November 4, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: 5 surprising things about basic food storage recipes
      October 7, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Basic food storage vs. gourmet freeze-dried meals
      September 2, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Food storage ideas for those with allergies
      August 5, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Great salad ideas with basic food storage
      July 1, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Food Storage Essentials: Tips, guidelines for safely storing water
      June 3, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: 4 tips to make food storage inventory and rotation easy
      May 6, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Eating the food you store
      April 1, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: 4 reasons to have the basics in your food storage
      March 4, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Best food storage containers extend shelf life and eliminate bugs
      February 4, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Set up a calendar to simplify buying food storage
      January 7, 2011

      December 21, 2013

      Christmas Video - O Come, Emmanuel

      At this special time of year, I want to share one of my favorite Christmas videos, "O Come, Emmanuel," a collaboration of The Mormon Channel and The Piano Guys about the birth and life of Jesus Christ. It is just beautiful.

      Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!

      December 15, 2013

      LDS Church Calling as an Emergency Response Coordinator

      After a hectic month, I wanted to write about my new church calling/civil assignment as an Emergency Response Coordinator here in Farmington. I was caught like a deer in headlights when I was asked to serve in this calling. No, really. It's not that I haven't felt like I could help with emergency preparedness in my ward, but helping a ward and my neighborhood in this manner is like asking me to manage a small community.

      I love my neighborhood and the people who live here, but I also know the types of disasters that could happen here. So, I hope I can do this assignment as effectively as I should.

      I thought I'd share some advice to anyone else who received a similar calling whether it be an Emergency Response Coordinator, a Food Storage Specialist, or an Emergency Preparedness Specialist.
      1. Remember who called you. Though the assignment was extended through a member of the bishopric, it is a calling from the Lord and He wants you to help his children now. He can inspire you to fulfill your assignment. So, get on your knees many times, and ask Him how you can help your ward.
      2. Remember what gifts you have. No one will do this assignment exactly the same way. Everyone has strengths that can help them with this calling. And yours, or mine, may be what is needed at this time in your community. When I first got this calling all I could focus on were my inadequacies. Yes, me. Don't do that. We each have strengths and gifts, so now is the time to use them.
      3. Get debriefed from the last person who had this calling. What has been done? What still needs to be done? What materials do they have? But remember, change is good. You may be inspired to do things differently from the last person. Ask your bishop what his vision is for the ward. Find out what the vision of the stake is as well. I am between the bishop and the city and my focus is emergency communications. But I will also be helping with emergency preparations.
      4. Do your homework. There isn't an official "handbook" for this calling, and that makes it hard because we want to know the 10 Commandments of this calling. Thankfully I was given a guidebook from my stake emergency leaders, so I have some direction. And they are constantly sending emails my way. We are moving in a big direction. If you don't have stake guidance, counsel with your bishop.
      5. Check the Church resources. There is a lot of "stuff" out there on the internet, so go to the lds.org website first for some emergency preparedness information. Create a favorite bookmark on your Google Chrome bar. I like the Emergency Preparedness and Response page, and the Food Storage page. There are other websites like the ones I listed below, but you can get overwhelmed looking at what others have done. So, work with what you have locally first, and then build on it. Remember: you are not building the ark for everyone in your ward. It is not your calling to buy 50 gallon water barrels for everyone. You are sharing a few blueprints and teaching them how to fish.
      6. Identify likely disasters in your area. Every city is different. Some people never think about what could happen close to them. I wrote down some things that could happen in our neck of the woods so I could understand what to prepare for. Disasters such as Earthquakes, Severe Wind Storms, Prolonged Power Outage, Floods, ICE/Snow Storm, Fires, Heat Waves, Hazardous Material Spill. We don't have hurricanes or tsunamis here.
      7. Ask for others to help you. You don't have to be-it-all or do-it-all. I function best when I can delegate or share the blessings. If you need an assistant, don't be afraid to ask the bishop for one. In addition to my calling, my stake asked the bishop to call a Ward Emergency Communications Coordinator and an Emergency Resource Coordinator. I am blessed. But, I also asked for an Emergency Preparedness Specialist to help teach a monthly preparedness classes. 
      8. Remember the organization of the LDS Church. Things are done with wisdom and order. I love that! No need to fear. We can get the job done and be there where we are needed. Examples from the past teach us this. All will be well.
      Lots to do, but I've begun. I hope some of this helps those of you with similar calling.

      Ward and Stake websites I like:
      Gig Harbor Stake Emergency Preparedness
      Highland 19 Ward Emergency & Preparedness
      Orange County Emergency Response
      Gilbert Higley Stake Arizona

      November 26, 2013

      LDS Sister Missionary Christmas Gift Package


      Last week I finished the Christmas gift package for my daughter serving a mission in Chile. Following the tradition of her brothers, each gift had a scripture attached that correlated with the gift. This sister missionary Christmas package had a more feminine touch, but was fun to put together.

      A few tips:
      • Keep the boxes under 4 lbs. so there are no problems with customs fees.
      • Use a postal scale at home before you get to the post office so you don't have any surprises. 
      • Choose gift items that are lightweight. Candy weighs a lot, so if I bought a pound of it, I only sent a few ounces of each kind.
      • Start out with a couple of ideas, but then get imaginative when you get to the store. I had the best luck at Walgreens.
      • I asked for ideas from my missionary in each letter I wrote her for the past month. Because her birthday is in January, I am saving some of the ideas for then.
      • It's best to send things that can be eaten or worn. Missionaries don't have much storage space. Especially these days with four of them in a room. I sent a few inexpensive Christmas decorations, but know they will be left behind in the apartment on transfer day.
      • Search for a correlating scripture using this online LDS Search The Scriptures link. That part was fun! You can get pretty creative. 
      • Remove all cardboard and plastic wrap to help reduce weight for shipping.
      • This year I used clear plastic bags with toppers I printed (see below). But I did warn my missionary that she would see her gifts if she opened the box too much. 
      • Remember a gift for her companion. 
      • I packed a few Christmas decorations in the top of one box (I sent two). And also tucked several smaller gifts in a cute purple glitter stocking so she could not see them. 
      • Missionaries like Santa hats, so hers has glitter. Thanks, Walgreens!
      • I found the cute Minion Whhhhaaa t-shirt in the men's department at Walmart.
      Gift bag topper labels.pdf

      A few of the gifts with the toppers



      Dove Chocolate candy
      Hair straightener
      New toothbrush
      Pictures of Christ
      Mini Christmas balls in "Liahona"
      Christmas lights for the apartment
      Cinnamon, butterscotch and gold candies
      Life Savers
      Stride gum
      Peeps Gingerbread men
      Starburst jelly beans
      Princess candy cane left in its box
      Nail polish
      Our favorite lotion for dry skin
      Lip Balm

      Happy gifting! Do you have any ideas of gifts to send a sister missionary? Please share!

      November 11, 2013

      LDS Church Prepared Members and Missionaries for Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

      Before Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the Philippines, mission presidents prepared their missionaries by moving them to safer locations. According to the online Newsroom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "before Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the Philippines, LDS Church members and missionaries already made necessary preparations."

      "Each missionary also had been provided a 72-hour kit ahead of the storm." see Deseret News. This example of preparation should be a lesson to all of us whether in or out of the Church and cause us to reflect on our own disaster preparations. Are we in a position to care for our family or neighbors? What steps are we taking on a regular basis?

      "Based on latest reports gathered by the Emergency Monitoring Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Philippines Area, a total of 14,000 individuals from different parts of the Visayas, Eastern Mindanao and Sorsogon have taken shelter at 200 Church meetinghouses."

      MANILA —
      UPDATE (12 November 2013 - 9:28 am Philippine Time) "The latest advisory from the Philippines Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints states that ALL missionaries from the Tacloban Mission were found safe. This means that all missionaries from the 21 missions in the Philippines are accounted for. Parents and family have been contacted of the good news. Provision of relief goods in Tacloban and Northern Cebu continues." See MormonNewsroom for more on this story.

      My thoughts and prayers are for those going through difficult times in the Philippines, especially those who have experienced the recent earthquake and Typhoon. So sad to see the pictures of the destroyed homes and lives lost. If you would like to donate to the Humanitarian Aid Fund, go to this link.

      November 10, 2013

      Moving Aging Parents to Another State

      Helping aging parents move from one state to another takes hard work, patience and lots of prayer. You never know exactly when this transition will happen in your parents' lives or your own, but it usually happens. We get so comfortable with our parents caring for us, that when the tables are turned it can leave your head spinning. When we knew the time had come for my parents to move, I felt so lost and went to the library and came home with a stack of nine books on caring for aging parents because. I also talked to several good friends who had gone through this experience for ideas. 

      There are plenty of emotional ups and downs, but I am grateful for family support which has made all the difference. My sister Vickie helped pack up Dad's house over the past few months. Her organizational skills and steady attention to my parents needs over the years was extremely helpful to all of us. I will dub her Pro Parent-Packer, but she has declared her packing days are over. Now that Dad is here, it's my turn to get him settled into his new life, so I'm the Pro Parent-Settler.

      Knowing I wasn't alone in this upheaval has really helped, and we've had several family meetings, emails, phone calls and texts between all of us to work through various challenges helping Mom and Dad.

      Since my father was moving from a house to an apartment, it was necessary to divide his earthly possessions so he could downsize. Because of my mother's dementia, he looked to his three daughters for guidance. Earlier this year my two sisters and I began working on the "clean out." But it was more than a downsize, because he also gave away the family heirlooms. Dad would comment that it was strange to be alive watching that part happen, but because he was alive he had the choice as to who belongings were given to. Nothing went into a storage unit which saved his kids from that fun job after he or Mom passes.

      He loved knowing things went to his kids, grand-kids or friends. Dad had a story about each item and what city or country it came from which meant several late nights. My sister Vivian is also a story teller and gets to organize family pictures, so I dub her Family Historian-In-Waiting because Dad is the Pro Family-Historian.

      My sister Vickie came up with an idea of how to divide the "pretties" or treasures he no longer needed. She took pictures of each item, and then set up a family Facebook auction where siblings and grand-kids could "like" items they wanted. Then she boxed them up because she is the Pro Parent-Packer. It was fun to watch what others were interested in on Facebook and read their humorous comments.

      Last week, the Pod was loaded up, and Vickie and her husband drove Dad to Utah. During the week he stayed with me, we went shopping for items he needed for his new apartment. We made several trips to the bank to handle financial transactions, purchased a cell phone, groceries and other necessities. He's a smart man, and I'm an organized daughter, but I've learned much from my father as he is always the teacher.

      The weight of owning a home has been lifted from his shoulders, and I can already see a difference as he comments on the money he is saving not paying for a gardener, house cleaner, home repairers and the horrendous Oregon property tax. Renting in your later years has its advantages.


      It's hard to envision your parents living in a small apartment after a big home, but the more I visit Dad's apartment complex and talk with the residents in the community dining room, the more I can see him fitting in. He is a friendly person and can talk to just about anyone after serving several international LDS missions. His ability to strike up a conversation with anyone amazes me, and he is a good example to me of reaching out to others. Of course he can do it in English or Spanish.

      After the Pod arrived, with the help of family in the area who came early on a Saturday, we moved him into his apartment. Dad gave directions on unloading the Pod in the parking lot, and I gave directions where to place items in the apartment. Thank goodness for that list!

      My niece Missy helped arrange items in the kitchen and hung his clothes in the closet, so I dub her Pro Apartment-Stager. My grandson and youngest daughter rode on the empty dollies and carts as they went down the elevator for a new load, so I dub them the Pro Dolly-Riders. The other family helpers, or the Pro Furniture-Movers, loaded carts and dollies with boxes and furniture, and brought them up to the apartment. The miracle of the day occurred when they got the 8 foot couch sideways in the elevator, and it now sits in Dad's apartment ready for him to sit and tell stories about family history and his world-wide travels.

      This journey has had its emotional ups and downs, but all is well - our family motto. Before we left Dad alone in the apartment for the first time, we had a family prayer and I thought what a blessing it is to have family. How difficult this transition would be if you were alone.

      Dad and Mom now live at the Crossroads of the West where family can visit them as they travel through Utah. There are weeks and years ahead of us, but we are there for each other in the good times and tough times. Family - it's all about love.

      October 29, 2013

      I Want to Do Food Storage, But I'm Afraid to Begin: Begin With A Leap of Faith


      The number one question I get from readers of my blog is, "I want to do food storage, but I'm overwhelmed. Where do I start?" I wish I could just hold your hand, look into your eyes and say, "Just begin. You CAN do it!" However, I know that's not what you want to hear. You want me to give you some formula.

      I've been reading a book called, "With Winning in Mind," by Lanny Bassham, Olympic World Champion rifle shooter. Because my daughter has been working on preparing for some big running competitions, I have decided to study the mental game for athletes. So, what has that got to do with food storage? Setting goals, visualizing them, and getting to a point where living with food storage becomes as natural as brushing your teeth, is a mental game.

      No matter what you are trying to accomplish whether it is a cross country race or becoming an author of a book about food storage (Mmmm) or building your own food storage, you CAN do just about anything if you set goals and visualize them. If becoming an Olympic Gold medalist takes 90% mental training and 10% physical training, then could succeeding with food storage require some mental training as well?

      Quite frankly if you THINK food storage is going to be hard or overwhelming or impossible, it will be. If you THINK food storage will be possible for your family because you trust in God to help you, it will happen. Whenever we put negative thoughts in our mind, we program ourselves for failure.

      I know that sounds simple to say, but I really believe it. Over the past 20 years I never doubted that I could accomplish my goals with food storage. I wasn't always sure where I was headed and I've questioned my ability to bake a good loaf of bread, but I stepped out into the darkness and began. That is the key. Faith requires taking a risk.

      Sure you will learn along the way like I did that there are some foods that your family doesn't like such as yams. However, I gained from that experience that now I know what not to store. Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

      Start small with your goals. That's why I love the 3-Month Food Storage Supply concept that the LDS Church teaches! It's doable. And you can create it any way you want. Obviously some of you may want to focus on a year's supply of food, but maybe it can't happen in one year. So, perhaps focus on a 3-month supply in 12 months.

      Start with what you already like to eat. Look in your cupboards and find canned, boxed or packaged foods that you repeatedly use. I don't know anyone who only eats fresh foods. Some of you cook with rice and beans. Some of you eat breakfast cereal. Some of you bake with staples like flour, sugar and salt. If you get all your meals from a vending machine, you may be in trouble.

      It's important to teach ourselves how to cook or bake. Becoming self-reliant will help us save money, and teach our children important traditions. Keith B. McMullin said, "Children need parents who instill in them this righteous tradition. They will then do likewise with their children, and their stores will not fail." We must be careful not to become too dependent on the grocery store for everything. There is wisdom in creating a home store that has a supply of food. We are not hoarders, but we choose to prepare for crises in our lives, so we can help others along the way.

      So, if you are discouraged and just mind-boggled with the whole idea of food storage, grab that thought and throw it away. Let's begin with a new beginning.

      I decided to borrow some ideas on goal setting from Lanny, because I think he's got words of wisdom that can apply to food storage:
      1. Determine a goal worth trading your life for - Would I trade my life for food storage? Mmmm. Gathering food storage does take time and commitment. It requires change to make it a natural part of my life. What exactly do you want to do? Gather a 3-month supply of food and then later evaluate if you can store more? Store a year's supply of food and that's it? Is this something you really want to do? If the answer is yes, then move on. 
      2. Decide when you want it - How quickly do you want to get there? If you have limited funds, maybe it is unrealistic to focus on a year's supply of food in a year. Perhaps you can only spend $10 a week extra on food storage. Then set a realistic timetable. I spend about $50 a month for my family of four on food storage, but I have been gathering for years. Maybe you will reach your goal of a 3-month supply in 12 months. That's realistic. 
      3. List the pay-value - Why is it important for you to achieve this goal? Security? Counsel from church leaders? "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." D&C 38:30. Love for your fellow man? Three months from now you may not feel as motivated as you do today, will you lose focus because this really isn't worth it? What will really motivate you to achieve this goal? 
      4. Honestly evaluate the obstacles in your way - Is your husband not on board with you? Are you afraid to bake bread? Are you afraid you will buy the wrong foods? Do you think you don't have enough money? Are you comparing yourself with the woman next door? Do you lack space? Knowledge? If you can use a computer or a cell phone, you can certainly learn how to plant a garden or grind some wheat. Fear immobilizes us. What can you change in yourself to get you to your goal? Spend some time on thinking about this one.
      5. What is your plan to get your goal - Lanny says, "The difference between a wish and a goal is that a goal has a written plan to get it. Wishes usually do not come true. Goals with written plans have a much better chance of being reached." So, have you just been wishing to have food storage in your home? Take some time to write out a plan. Get some ideas at this post.
      6. Evaluate your plan before you proceed - Is the prize worth the price to reach your goal? Do you really believe food storage is worth it? How will gathering food storage affect my family? Is my plan consistent with my values? Listen to this talk by Keith B. McMullin.
      7. Schedule your plan - Get out a calendar and write down what you want to do each month to work towards your food storage goal. Break it into small parts so you can focus. Maybe you also want to gather some emergency supplies as well. Go to my 12-Monthly Food Storage Lists for some ideas on working on it a month at a time.
      8. Start now - You've planned so well, so now is the time to move forward and begin your race.
      9. Prior to reaching your goal always set a new one to take it's place - It's November and a new year is looming before you. Are you done? Do you want to set some new goals? Perhaps you want to purchase a generator the next year or build some more food storage shelves? Or change the order you have been gathering your food storage? Remember to set new goals.
      10. Stay with your plan until it is finished - Don't slack off when you see the end of the year coming. Stay focused and finish the race. As a mother of runners, I've seen many runners slow down just before the finish line. I just want to shout, "Don't do that!" Many races have been lost that way. Continue with your goals until they are finished all the way across the finish line.
      I hope some of these ideas will get you motivated. Don't worry. Don't second guess.

      Concerning hope, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "Isn’t it wonderful to know that we don’t have to be perfect to experience the blessings and gifts of our Heavenly Father? We don’t have to wait to cross the finish line to receive God’s blessings. In fact, the heavens begin to part and the blessings of heaven begin to distill upon us with the very first steps we take toward the light. The perfect place to begin is exactly where you are right now. It doesn't matter how unqualified you may think you are or how far behind others you may feel. The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father, in that moment, the hope of His light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul. The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but as surely as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come."

      Just take a step forward, God will catch you, and your family will be blessed. I know you CAN.

      Best wishes,
      Valerie



      October 27, 2013

      Favorite Quotes from the LDS General Conference, October 2013 - Part 1


      My LDS General Conference weekend began with an unexpected turn: a tummy ache. Gratefully I watched the Saturday sessions comfortably nestled in my bed while taking notes. Luckily I was able to rewind my DVR whenever I dosed off to get caught up. Love that DVR! However, the rest of my family was downstairs watching without me :-( and my college son brought a friend home for the weekend.

      But no fear! I'm on the mend and we are going to the Conference Center for the Sunday afternoon session and sitting on the bottom floor section towards the back because my Oklahoma son was able to send tickets for us from his father-in-law. I will be good-to-go by then. Woot woot!

      So, here are a few of my favorite General Conference quotes from the Saturday Morning and Afternoon Session. So grateful I've had the opportunity to study and review these talks as they have enlightened me and brought purpose to my life. We live in exciting times!

      [This is a repost as I've corrected typos and added links to the talks. I'll be doing another post about the Sunday session.]

      Saturday Morning Session, October 5, 2013

      According to President Thomas S Monson, church membership rose to over 15 million 2 weeks ago and there are now 80,333 missionaries, from 58,500 last October.

      "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him."
      - President Thomas S. Monson, "Welcome to Conference"

      "The greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over. Remember the pattern recorded frequently in scripture: we gather to hear the words of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them."
      - Elder Robert D. Hales, "General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony"

      "I encourage all members to use the resources on the Church’s websites and mobile apps. They are continually being refined so that they are easier to use and more relevant to our lives."
      - Elder Robert D. Hales, "General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony"

      "Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control."
      - Elder Ulisses Soares, "Be Meek and Lowly of Heart"

      "Another important step to becoming meek is learning how to control our temper. Because the natural man dwells within each one of us and because we live in a world full of pressure, controlling our temper may become one of the challenges in our lives."
      - Elder Ulisses Soares, "Be Meek and Lowly of Heart"

      "Sons of God, do you know who you are? Do you know what you have? Are you worthy to exercise the priesthood and receive the power and blessings of the priesthood? Do you embrace your roles and responsibilities to strengthen homes as fathers, grandfathers, sons, brothers, and uncles? Do you show respect for women, womanhood, and motherhood?

      Daughters of God, do we know who we are? Do we know what we have? Are we worthy to receive the power and blessings of the priesthood? Do we receive the gifts given to us with gratitude, grace, and dignity? Do we embrace our roles and responsibilities to strengthen homes as mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, and aunts? Do we show respect for men, manhood, and fatherhood?"
      - Sister Carole M. Stephens, "Do We Know What We Have?"

      "As we look ahead and believe, we need this same teamwork in hastening the work of salvation as we invite others to come unto Christ. In our individual capacities, we need to follow the counsel of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf to 'stand close together and lift where we stand.'"
      - Elder Edward Dube (from Zimbabwe), "Look Ahead and Believe"

      "For decades the Church has taught its membership the principle of setting aside additional food, fuel, and money to take care of emergencies that might arise. The Church as an institution simply follows the same principles that are taught repeatedly to the members."
      - Elder David A. Bednar, "The Windows of Heaven"

      "A grateful person is rich in contentment. An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontentment."
      - Elder David A. Bednar, "The Windows of Heaven"

      "To those of you who pay your tithing, I commend you. To those of you who presently are not obeying the law of tithing, I invite you to consider your ways and repent. I testify that by your obedience to this law of the Lord, the windows of heaven will be opened to you. Please do not procrastinate the day of your repentance."
      - Elder David A. Bednar, "The Windows of Heaven"

      "Please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."
      - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Come, Join with Us"

      "I suppose the Church would be perfect only if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and His doctrine is pure. But He works through us—His imperfect children—and imperfect people make mistakes.”
      - President Dieter F Uchtdorf, "Come, Join with Us"

      Saturday Afternoon Session, October 5, 2013

      "Parents today wonder if there is a safe place to raise children. There is a safe place. It is in a gospel-centered home."
      - Elder Boyd K. Packer, "The Key to Spiritual Protection"

      "Just as chalk can be removed from a blackboard, with sincere repentance the effects of our transgression can be erased through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That promise applies in every case."
      - Elder Boyd K. Packer, "The Key to Spiritual Protection"

      "A woman’s moral influence is nowhere more powerfully felt or more beneficially employed than in the home. There is no better setting for rearing the rising generation than the traditional family, where a father and a mother work in harmony to provide for, teach, and nurture their children. Where this ideal does not exist, people strive to duplicate its benefits as best they can in their particular circumstances."
      - Elder D. Todd Christofferson, "The Moral Force of Women"

      "Former Young Women general president Margaret D. Nadauld taught: 'The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.'"
      - Elder D. Todd Christofferson, "The Moral Force of Women"

      "Sisters, of all your associations, it is your relationship with God, your Heavenly Father, who is the source of your moral power, that you must always put first in your life. Remember that Jesus’s power came through His single-minded devotion to the will of the Father. He never varied from that which pleased His Father. Strive to be that kind of disciple of the Father and the Son, and your influence will never fade."
      - Elder D. Todd Christofferson, "The Moral Force of Women"

      "Since we are all on the Lord’s team, do we each have our own winning game plan? Are we ready to play? If we, as members, really loved our family, friends, and associates, wouldn’t we want to share our testimony of the restored gospel with them? . . .
      First, specifically pray to bring someone closer to the Savior and His gospel every day.
      Second, pray for the missionaries serving in your area and their investigators by name every day.
      Third, invite a friend to an activity in or out of your home. Wherever you go or whatever you do, ponder who would enjoy the occasion and then listen to the Spirit as He directs you.
      - Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, "Hastening the Lord's Game Plan!"

      "I know we each must develop and carry out our own personal game plan to serve with enthusiasm alongside the full-time missionaries—EXCLAMATION POINT!"
      - Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, "Hastening the Lord's Game Plan!"

      "I testify that many of those who need our help are there waiting for us. They are ready for their valiant brothers and sisters to reach out to them and rescue them through small and simple means."
      - Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela, "Small and Simple Things"

      "Jesus Christ heals body, mind, and spirit, and His healing begins with faith."
      - Elder Timothy J. Dyches, "Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?"

      "As we draw near to Him, we realize that mortality is meant to be difficult and that 'opposition in all things' (2 Nephi 2:11) is not a flaw in the plan of salvation. Opposition, rather, is the indispensable element of mortality and strengthens our will and refines our choices. The vicissitudes of life help us fashion an eternal relationship with God—and engrave His image upon our countenance as we yield our hearts to Him."
      - Elder Timothy J. Dyches, "Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?"

      "We sense the complexity of such matters when we hear professionals speak of neuroses and psychoses, of genetic predispositions and chromosome defects, of bipolarity, paranoia, and schizophrenia. However bewildering this all may be, these afflictions are some of the realities of mortal life, and there should be no more shame in acknowledging them than in acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor."
      - Elder Jeffry R. Holland, "Like a Broken Vessel"

      "Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead."
      - Elder Jeffry R. Holland, "Like a Broken Vessel"

      "In preventing illness whenever possible, watch for the stress indicators in yourself and in others you may be able to help. As with your automobile, be alert to rising temperatures, excessive speed, or a tank low on fuel. When you face “depletion depression,” make the requisite adjustments. Fatigue is the common enemy of us all—so slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill. Physicians promise us that if we do not take time to be well, we most assuredly will take time later on to be ill."
      - Elder Jeffry R. Holland, "Like a Broken Vessel"

      "Though we may feel we are 'like a broken vessel,' as the Psalmist says, we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind."
      - Elder Jeffry R. Holland, "Like a Broken Vessel"

      ". . . the Lord is hastening His work. In our day this can be done only when every member of the Church reaches out with love to share the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to work together in partnership with our 80,000 missionaries now serving. Information about this great work, especially the assignments for the stake and ward council leaders, is clearly outlined on the LDS.org website entitled “Hastening the Work of Salvation.”
      - Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Put Your Trust in the Lord"

      "We know from our research that most active members of the Church want the blessings of the gospel to be part of the lives of others whom they love, even those whom they have never met. But we also know that many members hesitate to do missionary work and share the gospel for two basic reasons.
      •The first one is fear. Many members do not even pray for opportunities to share the gospel, fearing that they might receive divine promptings to do something they think they are not capable of doing.
      •The second reason is misunderstanding of what missionary work is."
      - Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Put Your Trust in the Lord"

      "Brothers and sisters, fear will be replaced with faith and confidence when members and the full-time missionaries kneel in prayer and ask the Lord to bless them with missionary opportunities. Then, we must demonstrate our faith and watch for opportunities to introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ to our Heavenly Father’s children, and surely those opportunities will come. These opportunities will never require a forced or a contrived response. They will flow as a natural result of our love for our brothers and sisters. Just be positive, and those whom you speak with will feel your love. They will never forget that feeling, though the timing may not be right for them to embrace the gospel. That too may change in the future when their circumstances change."
      - Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Put Your Trust in the Lord"

      "We are not asking everyone to do everything. We are simply asking all members to pray, knowing that if every member, young and old, will reach out to just 'one' between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful gift to the Savior."
      - Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Put Your Trust in the Lord"

      October 12, 2013

      Weekly Self-Reliance Accomplishments


      I've been following The Prudent Homemaker Blog for quite some time. I love the articles Brandy Simper shares with her weekly frugal accomplishments. At first I thought I could never be as frugal as she is, but this week I decided to keep a list of my own and I'm doing okay!

      She has taught me that waiting to buy makes something more valuable, looking for creative alternatives is possible, waste-not-want-not is a true principle, and that living within our means shows our Heavenly Father that we appreciate all he is given us.

      Here are my weekly self-reliance accomplishments:

      Money Saving Accomplishments
      • I helped my Cub Scouts make Halloween tin-can lanterns from leftover empty cans.
      • We boo-d some neighbors using a mixture of store bought cookies (I was tired that day) and homemade cookies. Do you think my friends will know? :-) I also shared some of the cookies with my cub scouts.
      • I decorated the front porch and front hall table for Halloween using as many old decorations as possible. I spent $2 on a porch pumpkin, $3 on a few mini pumpkins and found a small bail of hay on sale for $6. I bought a black mesh web to put behind our spider, but used a $5 Entertainment coupon and got it for FREE.
      • I took my preschool class on an outdoor fall hunt for leaves, acorns and pine cones. Later they glued their treasures onto a paper plate. Very inexpensive fun!
      • I picked tomatoes for a salad from my own tomato plants. Even with our cooler temperatures, the tomatoes still taste good! My garden was sadly small this year, however there is always next year. 
      • I combined errands to save gas by dropping my daughter off at school, then shopping for groceries at the store near the school. I'm working on not running to the store for "that one thing."
      • I purchased a set of CorningWare on sale from Amazon.com and paid for part of it with a gift card.
      • I adjusted the thermostat in the house for the cooler weather. Nice that the heater doesn't go on much because the windows on the south side of our home heat the house extremely well, so the thermostat believes the whole house is warm. I also squirted a little WD-40 oil on the floor heater vents so they will be easier to open or close this winter.
      • I worked on my college son's T-shirt quilt which I've been promising forever. I ironed the fusible interfacing last week and started sewing the blocks together this week. I will post a picture when it's done.
      • I watched the season opener of Studio C on BYUtv with our Roku. Love that show!
      • I combined errands by visiting my physical therapist, then made a bank deposit, and then returned an item to a store before heading home.
      • I went to a company dinner with my husband. Free food!
      • I replaced 4 light bulbs with energy saver bulbs. Doing this over time because of the upfront expense.
      • I reused old picture frames to hold pictures of my four missionaries.
      • Daddy took my youngest on a quick Daddy-Daughter date for ice cream using a coupon she earned at school.
      • Friday morning is my designated "me" day. I don't schedule appointments, work or volunteer at the school. It's a real perk me up. So this Friday, I combined errands by returning items to 5 stores because they are all in the same shopping center. It gives me great exercise to park the car, run into the store, return the item, and run out. :-) No shopping in the stores allowed.
      • Then I dropped off a load of donations to the Deseret Industries Thrift Store which made my garage cleaner, and of course I had to shop there. Hee hee!
      • At the Centerville Deseret Industries Thrift Store, I bought 2 skirts, 2 jackets, 1 blouse, and 3 sweaters for a total of $32.00. That's 8 items of clothing which average $4 each! Love it! Okay. I did buy 2 tops for my 8 year-old, but I tried hard to focus on me which is not always easy. Shopping Tip: I know the colors that look best on me and coordinate with my wardrobe, so I only look at items in those colors. I also only look for brands I like that have a good "shelf life" such as Christopher & Banks, Eddie Bauer and Land's End. I also know my size in those brands. It gets overwhelming to look at everything in a thrift store, so I flip through the racks looking for my favorite brand labels. Love when I find it! Here's the clincher. I have to get rid of 8 items of clothes I own. Out with the old, in with the new. Or is it out with the old, in with the old. :-)
      • I got a haircut at Great Clips for $6.99. 
      • I colored my own hair with pre-purchased color and developer I mixed myself from the beauty supply store and saved about $50. 
      • We ate out at Costa Vida using two coupons. This is our weakness. However, we always have leftovers for lunch the next day.
      • I looked through our Entertainment coupon book and clipped coupons on items we typically buy and put them in my purse.
      • I looked over Caleb Warnock's blog for ideas on winter gardening. He's the author of "Backyard Winter Gardening" which is my next book to purchase.
      • I spent a total of $75 on groceries/food this week. Woot Woot! Love having food storage on hand!
      Food Storage Cooking
      • I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Used a spice cake mix, a can of pumpkin and chocolate chips from our food storage.
      • I made Chicken Taco Soup. Used canned beans, canned corn and canned tomatoes from our food storage.
      • I made Chicken Alfredo. Used fettuccine pasta from our food storage. 
      • I made Beef Stroganoff. Used frozen ground beef from the side of beef purchased in January, and cream of mushroom soup and rice from our food storage. I emailed my BYU son the recipe, and he made it for 12 friends. Way to go Joe!
      Whew! It's been a long week, but writing these things down has helped me see I am working on self-reliance by finding ways to save money and use my food storage. I know many of you are doing great things too.

      October 7, 2013

      "I'm On a Low-Income. How Much Food Storage Should I Store?"

      Recently, a reader sent me this question about food storage:

      "Is it ok to mainly work on a 3 month supply rather than a one year supply? I mainly ask this because, as I mentioned, I'm on a low income & can't afford much for food storage, so am working on a 3 month one. I thought I was doing really well & have been buying a few items - or just 1 - on a certain item of food - but then last week I spoke to my friend who has a complete one year supply & I feel really discouraged. She said I should be working on a years supply, not a 3 month one & to check that the dates on the tins etc are a year. I tried to explain about the 1 week/3 month supply ideas in the booklet that the church put out in 2007 but she didn't want to know. I know this is opposition in all things but I really feel like giving up after her negative comments. Please let me know that I'm doing something right in my food storage, even if it is "only" 3 months!"

      Please dear sister, may I reassure you that you are doing everything right! There are no “10 Commandments to Food Storage.” In this post I will share some recent counsel and underline phrases that may help you.

      For years the LDS Church counsel has been to gather a 1 year supply of food, but change is a constant in a worldwide Church which now has 15 million members. To make food storage doable for all Church members, the new guidelines in the "All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage" brochure clearly state:

      “Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others. We encourage members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve. We realize that some of you may not have financial resources or space for such storage. Some of you may be prohibited by law from storing large amounts of food. We encourage you to store as much as circumstances allow."

      I love that last phrase - store as much as circumstances allow. From the current Frequently Asked Questions on ProvidentLiving.org we read:

      What is the most important thing I can do regarding family home storage?
      "Get started! If you have already begun, faithfully continue your efforts. As Bishop H. David Burton taught: 'This new program is within everyone’s grasp. The first step is to begin. The second is to continue. It doesn’t matter how fast we get there so much as that we begin and continue according to our abilities.'"

      What’s new or different in the new pamphlet All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage?
      "It teaches simple basics of home storage and encourages participation. It offers hope by showing that it is possible for all Church members to prepare for adversity by starting modestly and doing what they can according to their individual circumstances. The pamphlet helps eliminate the perceived complexity of home storage." (see ProvidentLiving.org)

      The new guidelines offer hope for all of us! President Gordon B. Hinckley saw the need for change in the program when he said:

      “We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week’s food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months.”

      You may only have two cupboards in your kitchen for canned and boxed foods whereas your neighbor has a large pantry, and the woman down the street has a basement. You are all capable of doing food storage. Some people have the finances and space to store a year supply of food, some a 7 year's supply and some only a 1-month or 3-month supply. Many young married couples, single mothers or fathers, singles, families on limited incomes, or families where one spouse is opposed to using family finances to gather food storage cannot possibly have a year supply of food.

      We are the stewards of our own homes and must make these decisions with careful planning and prayer. After we wisely evaluate our own circumstances, then it is time to move forward.

      I firmly believe, my dear friend, that you have taken the first step and have begun, and you will be blessed as you continue because the Lord will see you are walking in faith and obedience. May you feel His love in everything you do.

      My best wishes to you,

      Valerie

      For more information on getting starting, visit my START HERE page.

      October 3, 2013

      Fall 2013 and 2014 Utah Case Lot Sale Price Comparison


      Several of you have emailed me asking if I will give you a 2014 case lot sale price comparison list. Because of my busy schedule schedule (I am currently in Arizona for a baby blessing) I am unable to create one for you this year. Add to that I have a torn meniscus, so I cannot walk around Costco and Sam's Club. I apologize. However, here is the list from last fall which will be very useful for you. Print a copy and use it to compare your own prices with the ads you find in your newspaper or online. I am sure you will find some great deals this year.


      I recommend you open the document and decide what you want to buy before you head into the store. On the first page of my worksheet I have instructions on how I shop at case lot sales.

      Best wishes on your shopping and stocking endeavors to become self reliant, so you can help your family and neighbors.

      Valerie

      Make a 72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps: Step 9 - Important Papers

      Microsoft Office image

      Because your can't put every important document in your 72-hour kit, decide what is most essential for you to use in an emergency. You can keep copies of many other items online or away from home. I do keep some of our family albums in the emergency closet to grab if needed, but eventually I want to scan those pictures and keep the photos online like my friend Maren is doing.

      My list of important papers below will seem slim to you, but I always think of this scenario:

      "A fire has begun on the mountain and the strong winds are moving it swiftly towards our home. There is an order to evacuate. I'm visiting family in Salt Lake and can't get home to help my family or get my 72-hour kit. However, my school kids are home. What would be the most essential important papers they would need? The deed on the house? No. Auto insurance papers? No. A map? Yes. A list of phone numbers in case their cell phone stops working? Yes!"  

      You get the idea. Check out the resources below for additional guidance.

      Step 9: Important Papers
      • Detailed Area Map - Even though my phone has a great map app, I always consider "what if" I did not have it. So I like to keep a road map of my county in case we need to find an alternate route to a shelter or a different road out of town. You may want to laminate your map, but if you can't do that right away, just put your map inside a plastic zipper bag. Maps can be found at your city hall, local gas stations or AAA.
      • Copy of Medical Prescription and Medical History - These items are crucial for emergencies. You may not have time to grab an existing prescription bottle during an evacuation, but a copy of the prescription would help you get a refill once you are gone. Include current tetanus shot and immunization record dates. 
      • Emergency Contact Phone List - Phone numbers change often, so update this every 6 months. I like to laminate this to protect it from water damage. Even though these numbers are in my cell phone, if I can't access them, a paper copy is necessary. We have the same copy in every kit, and it includes our evacuation plan.
      • Family Photo - Put a current family photo in your kit so you can help identify a family member you may get separated from. The photo may also encourage you while family is separated.
      I've got lots more work to do to get our kits updated. I hope these ideas will encourage you to move forward.

      Resources:
      Utah.gov - 72-hour Kit Checklist
      Ready.gov - Build a Kit

      72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps

      October 1, 2013

      Change In The LDS Home Storage Center Facilities Much Appreciated

      Earlier this year, some changes were announced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints concerning their Home Storage Centers. Some of you may have missed the news article and the flood of speculation surrounding it. Suffice it to say, it's a good idea to do our homework and get our facts straight. Because of the misinformation that circulated on blogs and other web sites (and I don't want to add to it), here is "the" news release on September 25, 2013 from the Church Newsroom that will explain everything. I hope you will read it.

      After reading it and a few other Newsroom releases, I considered what impact these changes would have on my family. Not a whole lot. Frankly my aching back is extremely excited that more pre-canned or prepackaged goods will be available at the Home Storage Centers near me at no additional cost. I love that I can visit the local storage center and purchase what I need "without the additional time and labor that comes with self-packing food items."

      Change is a constant in an every growing church. I'm amazed that there are currently 101 Home Storage Centers in the United States and Canada. Thankfully I will still be able to gather some of my food storage from these centers. I have always appreciated the efficiency of this wonderful resource and the friendly volunteer service missionaries that are there to assist me.

      As I watched our U.S. government shutdown last night, it made me think of the warning and counsel we have been given by our church leaders to be more self-reliant and prepared for possible job loss. This is an example of how food storage and a financial reserve can help us. There is much more we can each do to improve for troubled times like these. I think back to the warning President Gordon B. Hinckley gave to the men in a priesthood meeting in 2005 in his talk entitled, "If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear."

      May you each have hope in your hearts as you face this challenging time. I pray that those of you who have entered a time of job loss will be blessed for your faithfulness to the commandments. As we move forward in faith, we will be blessed. I know this to be true, because I have seen it in my own life.

      September 29, 2013

      Favorite Quotes From The LDS General Relief Society Meeting

      We are so blessed as women! What a great way to start off the week of General Conference by being fed spiritually with the words of our church leaders at the General Relief Society Meeting on September 29, 2013. I'm looking forward to more uplifting words this coming weekend! In case you missed it, here are my favorite quotes:

      "Let us remember the concept of good, better and best as we teach. It is good to teach our children about the temple. It is better to prepare and expect them to make and keep covenants. It is best to show them by example that we cheerfully cleave to our own baptismal and temple covenants."
      - Linda K. Burton, President of the General Relief Society

      "The Savior said, 'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.' He can say that because he kept his covenants with love. The question then is, will we?"
      - Linda K. Burton, President of the General Relief Society

      "The Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones, and maybe our own, figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen? But he doesn't leave us in the ashes. He stands with open arms eagerly inviting us to come to him. He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His spirit can dwell eternally.”
      - Linda S. Reeves, 2nd Counselor of the General Relief Society

      "Many of the challenges we face exist because we live in this mortal world. Populated by all manner of individuals. At times we ask in desperation. How can I keep my sights firmly fixed on the celestial, as I navigate through this telestial world."
      - Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

      “My dear sisters, your Heavenly Father loves you. Each of you! That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad, or happy. Discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you deserve love. It is simply, always there.”
      - Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

      “I promise you that you will one day stand aside and look at your difficult times, you will realize that He was always there beside you. I know this to be true in the passing of my eternal companion, Frances Beverly Johnson Monson.”
      - Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

      As President Monson continues to serve us, let us each resolve to serve him by being the hands that lift others. Have a great day!

      September 25, 2013

      Utah Case Lot Sales Coming Next Week: Fall 2013



      For those of you who missed the Utah case lot sales early this month, no worries. Here are the dates of more case lot sales starting next week. Some sales start on September 30th. These sales usually run for at least two weeks. Compare prices with my price list and stock up on those items you need for your food storage. Gather what you can afford and have space for. Good luck!

      Upcoming Sales
      Monday, September 30th
      Maceys (11 stores in Utah)
      Winegars (Roy, Clearfield and Bountiful)
      Wangsgards Market (Odgen)
      Allen’s Super Save (Springville)

      Tuesday, October 1st 
      Ridley’s (7 stores)

      Wednesday, October 2nd 
      Bowmans Market (Kaysville) (801) 544-4215

      These sales are over
      Monday, September 2nd
      Harmons (for price list click here)
      Dick's Fresh Market (Bountiful and Centerville)
      Lees Marketplace (Logan, North Ogden, Smithfield)

      Wednesday, September 4th
      Smith's (50 stores in Utah)
      Fresh Market (23 stores in Utah)
      Dan's Market (4 stores in Salt Lake City)

      Let me know if you hear of any other sale dates. Thanks!

      Useful Articles
      Tips for Shopping at Case Lot Sales
      Fall 2013 Case Lot Sale Price Comparison (I will update Macey's prices when I get the ad.)

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