March 31, 2013

Case Lot Sales Start April 1st in Utah

Just a heads up, that the Utah case lot sales start tomorrow in some stores. For those of you coming to Utah for General Conference, pick up a few cases to take home with you. This is a great time to save money on items for your food storage. I will post more information after I look over the ads.

April 1st - Maceys, Dick's
April 3rd - Fresh Market, Smith's

How to shop at case lot sales? Click here.

I just posted my April 2013 Utah Case Lot Sale Price Comparison list and you can find it here.

March 30, 2013

Easter Video: "For God So Loved The World"

This beautiful video shares the life of Jesus Christ. I smiled as he visited the children, cried as he suffered in the garden, and rejoiced when he was resurrected. May you each have a wonderful Easter celebration, and center it on Jesus Christ who was sent to heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, and set at liberty them that are bruised. Be of good cheer. He has overcome the world.

Please share this message with others.




March 28, 2013

Mable's Best Sugar Cookies


My friend, Mable, makes the most scrumptious sugar cookies! Our young women at church love them. I'm not the best cook, but she makes me look good, so I made them for my family for Valentine's day. This is also a great recipe for Easter cookies. I use store bought frosting. This recipe is a keeper. They are tender, not crisp. Also, the printable Valentine's in the photo can be found here. And there is a cute Valentine garland here.

Update: We made these for Easter. Still the best recipe ever!

Mable's Sugar Cookies
printable copy
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. butter flavored Crisco
  • 6 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 T. baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix wet ingredients in mixer. Sift dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until dough is easy to handle. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick and cut out on floured counter. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 9 minutes. (I baked them for 11 minutes.)

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 T. butter
  • 2 T. cream cheese
  • 1 t. almond or coconut flavoring extract
  • 3+ c. powdered sugar
  • 1 or 2 T. milk
Soften butter and cream cheese in microwave. Add extract of choice. Stir in powdered sugar. Add milk slowly while stirring until cream.

(This is a repost)

March 27, 2013

Make a 72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps: Step 6 - Food


This past April our family updated our 72-hour kit food pack supplies. Because I've written before about the importance of having the right amount of calories for each person, as I went shopping for food items I knew I wanted to do this again. But this time I made sure the shelf life of most items would be at least a year so we would not have to change so often.

My old post had some items that did NOT last a year, and I don't recommend you do that. Foods like Pop Tarts or crackers DO NOT last very long. But about a 1 year shelf life is a good idea because most of us update our supplies every 2 or 3 years.☺ We are not an MRE family yet, so it took me some time to figure out what would work. However, there are some great MRE bars out there with a longer shelf life.

I like to shop at Sam's Club for my items, because I get it done in one place. Costco or another warehouse store would work just fine. Buying in bulk saves you money when you are shopping for a large family. However, you could probably do something similar at another store if you have a smaller family.

Step 6 - Food
Here are a few suggestions I think will help many of you with the food for your 72-hour kits.
  1. Make sure the food items are things your family will and can eat. Sometimes the food in a purchased kit will not work for your daughter's nut allergy or a son's intolerance to lactose. I prefer to customize the food for each of my children.
  2. Choose items that will have a shelf life of at least 1 year. Actually, one of my items has a 6 month shelf life, but we decided we would eat it even if it was hard; Nature Valley Oats 'N Honey bar. This isn't always easy when you have infants. However, your larger diaper bag could contain 72 hours or more of the current food your baby eats. If I had a baby I would grab this bag if I had to evacuate.
  3. Try to find items that are small, but have the highest calories. Stressful situations burn more calories. For one adult I tried to get up to 2000 calories. Also make sure you have some type of comfort food or candy.
  4. It is difficult for one person to carry 3 gallons of water in a backpack. So you will have to put less than the amount you would store if you had to shelter at home. I put some bottled water in the backpacks, but also store three cases of 24 ct. bottled water on the shelf near the 72-hour kits. If we had to evacuate by car, we could easily grab the cases too. 
  5. Consider the strong odors of the foods you are storing. Even though it is high in protein, beef jerky can make everything smell horrible. If you choose to store it, change it often and double or triple wrap it. Even minty gum can make everything smell/taste minty.
  6. Watch out for items that can go rancid. If some of your foods have nuts, make sure you store them in a cool, dry location such as under your bed or a house closet. The garage is not a great location because of the varying temperatures. Ask your local grocer if he would store his food there.
Ours items are divided into gallon-sized Ziploc bags and labeled with the date we put them together. I made some labels with a different scripture quote for each day. I printed them on full sheet labels and cut apart. We put the same items in each bag for each day. Your items may be totally different, but this list will get you thinking.

The printables below the list have the calorie count. Let me know if my math is wrong or if you can't print. Don't forget to send your college kids a kit as well.

Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3
2 Nature Valley Oats 'N Honey bar (6M)
4 Clif Energy bar (12M)
1 PowerBar Protein Plus bar (12M)
1 Kar's Sweet & Salty (2Y)
6 Arrowhead water bottle 16.9 oz (2Y+)
1 Betty Crocker Fruit roll up (12M?)
Crystal Light on the Go (2Y)
1 Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa packet (2Y)
2 Candy Skittles, Starburst Fun size (18M)
Extra gum 15 pc pack (10M)

72-Hour Kit food packs.pdf
72-Hour Kit food packs.xlsx
72-Hour Kit food pack labels.pdf

Note: Post updated March 2013

72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps

March 25, 2013

Food Storage Goals: March Week 13 - Canned Pasta & Ramen Noodles

It's time for me to get caught up. Sorry I'm a bit behind on posting the weekly food storage items, but my family has needed me. For week 13, gather some canned pasta & ramen noodles.

STEP 1: 3-MONTH SUPPLY (per adult) - Canned pasta 8 cans. AND ramen noodles 12 pkgs.
Why?: In many families with children, canned pasta like spagettios, raviolis or ramen soup noodles are a staple. If you are one of those families, then this week gather some of these items for your food storage. Consider what your child would prefer eating if a disaster happens: a can of whole dry wheat or Spagettios. The choice is yours.
Tip: These items are typically on sale during the April case lot sales in Utah. Or check your grocery ad for a good price to stock up on.
Shelf Life: Check the package of the item for the shelf life.

STEP 2: DRINKING WATER - 14 gallons water
(FEMA) or about 4x24 ct. cases of bottled water per person
Tip: Stock up this month! It's everywhere today, but it may not be tomorrow. Buy more to replenish what you use. Small bottles are for short-term storage, so slowly go through your supply and replenish. More durable containers are for long-term storage, but need to be refilled every 6 months.
Shelf Life: small commercially prepared bottles store indefinitely, see Still Tasty. Store off your cement floor.

STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE (per person) - $2.00 +/- per week
Tip: Add to your fund each week for emergencies. Keep some in the bank and some cash in small bills at home.

STEP 4: LONGER-TERM SUPPLY (per adult) - Nothing this week

OTHER STORAGE ITEMS
FIRST AID GOAL - Thermometer
Tip: Purchase a medical thermometer for your family. Or if you already have one, replace the batteries.

PREPAREDNESS GOAL - CPR or First Aid Class
Tip: Consider taking a class that may save someone's life. If you can't take it this month, sign up for one this summer. Invite your teen children to take it with you.

EQUIPMENT GOAL - Ace bandages
Tip: These are always useful for sprains or other injuries. They can be washed if you put them in a lingerie bag.

WEEKLY INVENTORY - Emergency Kits
How: Go through your 72-Hour kits and write down some goals of what you need to resupply. We like to restock every spring near General Conference time.

Good luck on your weekly goals. You CAN do it! Here is the printout of the March 2013 Food Storage List.

Do you have any tips on gathering the items on this list?

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEGINNERS:
If you are new around here, check out my START HERE page. Each week, I post various food storage and emergency items to gather. By stocking up year round, you build up your supplies economically, use some, leave some on the shelf, and buy some more. Cycling keeps your items fresh and integrated into your everyday diet. I've incorporated the LDS 4-Step Approach to Home Storage, but with my suggested items to gather.

Work on STEP 1, 2 and 3, before moving to STEP 4: Long-Term Food Supply. It may take you awhile to gather your 3-Month Supply, water and a financial reserve. As long as you are moving forward, that's what matters most. Only gather what you can afford, will eat, and choose goals you have time for. Substitute other foods that work for your family.

Your food storage should consist of shelf-stable foods. What we store in our 3-month supply (STEP 1) is everyday foods or short-term storage foods which have an approximate range of 3 month - 10 year shelf-life. What we store in our long-term supply are foods that have a 20 to 30 year shelf life. Don't consider what's in your refrigerator or freezer as this type of storage, because it could be gone quickly with a 24-hour power outage. However, we all buy perishable foods and can continue to purchase them and inventory them. Hope that all made sense.

March 23, 2013

Saying Goodbye Is So Hard To Do


This post is not about food storage, and is somewhat personal. This past week has been full of beautiful experiences and sorrow for me. My daughter's mission call came and she opened it on Wednesday. She will be going to the Chile Santiago North mission. Our family is very happy for her decision to serve. However, with all of this excitement, I forgot to be concerned about my dog.

I knew something was wrong with Abby earlier in the week because she stopped eating. When she wouldn't rise from her porch pillow to come when I called, I knew something was very wrong. She has always tried to please me, and this was extremely unusual. I tried not to worry hoping she was just dealing with arthritis and age.

By Friday, she wouldn't drink water and she was trembling. Inside I knew that if I took her to the vet, she would not be coming home with me. I just knew. I could tell by looking in her eyes that she did not feel well, and I sensed she was fading. I decided to tell my 8 year-old about my concerns, and she tearfully said goodbye to Abby before I drove her to school on Friday.

All morning I struggled with taking Abby to the vet, but I knew as I looked into her eyes that she was suffering. It is always so difficult to do this as a dog owner, and I didn't want to do it myself. But no one else was home, so I lifted her and put her in the car.

When the vet looked at her, without hesitation he said I needed to put her out of her misery. She had a huge abdominal tumor and her heart rate was twice as fast as normal. He said it would be the best thing for her to let her go. I knew inside that he was right, but it wasn't the best thing for me. I decided to stay with her, and they sedated her. She lay her head against my foot, still needing to be near me. Then they put her to sleep. As she took her last breath, I said goodbye to my friend. It really hurts.

Later that day, when I explained to my youngest that Abby was gone, we just cried and cried. I am surprised how much this hurts me, but she was a good dog. A friend to anyone. Extremely patient and loyal. It is hard to look out on the porch and not have her look up at me. Her dog emergency kit hangs in the closet next to her collar and leash. When I come downstairs to let her out in the morning or in the evening, I feel empty. All of those tedious chores we wish we didn't have to do, are now things I miss.

I know that animals were placed here on earth to teach us how to serve and love. They teach us patience and about true commitment. I am grateful they were created for our benefit. I will always miss my friend.

Valerie

Thank you for your kind thoughts and comments.

March 19, 2013

Mom's 10 Week Mission Preparation Countdown

Life for a mother of 7 is full of good things. I've just experienced a memorable week with my family. My husband baptized my youngest on Saturday, and my third son shared his mission experiences at church on Sunday. 

One of the special treats of my weekend was hearing my 8 year-old daughter play "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus," on the piano in sacrament meeting, while two of her friends sang. Having all of my children together to hear my son speak was the icing on the cake. I love my family!

Later this week my 19 year-old daughter will receive her mission call, so I thought I would share a bit about mission preparation for those of you first time mission moms. But first, you may want to read how mission calls are assigned.

It's comforting to know that an apostle of God is given inspiration to know where these young men or young women are needed in this world. Below is a portion of the talk Elder Rasband gave in 2010 entitled, "The Divine Call of a Missionary," which shares his witness of the inspiration of mission calls. He says,

"At the end of the meeting Elder Eyring bore his witness to me of the love of the Savior, which He has for each missionary assigned to go out into the world and preach the restored gospel. He said that it is by the great love of the Savior that His servants know where these wonderful young men and women, senior missionaries, and senior couple missionaries are to serve. I had a further witness that morning that every missionary called in this Church, and assigned or reassigned to a particular mission, is called by revelation from the Lord God Almighty through one of these, His servants."

The Savior knows where our children should serve. He knows their hearts. He knows the needs of others. He know the experiences our children need to go through to strengthen their own testimonies. He knows that it isn't easy. He knows. I trust the apostles, and I trust Him.

Now on to the preparations. Remember, you can only help your son or daughter depending on how willing they are to have you help them. Each young adult is different, so my organizational ideas are just a guide. They can do this in any order they wish. You can email a copy to your son or daughter or use the list to work right alongside them. Hopefully this list will help them pace themselves, so you won't worry too much.

Best wishes,

Valerie

10 Week Mission Preparation Countdown
Click here for a printable pdf or xls copy

Pre-Mission
- wisdom teeth pulled (usually when 17 or 18)
- get passport (if you can afford it, get one in advance to save time)
- talk to bishop about desire to serve a mission
- start filling out paperwork
- eye exam (ask for 18 mo. or 2 year prescription)
- physical exam
- dental exam
- submit mission papers
- start temple prep class
- start mission prep class
- mission call comes :-)
Week 10 - As Soon As Possible
- review mission papers
- make copy of mission paper for Mom so she can help you
- Mom make a mission binder to store paperwork & letters
- complete mission immunization shots (if needed)
- complete acceptance letter and mail
- get passport-type pics taken for Visa (if needed)
- complete Visa forms & mail
Week 9 - Temple Prep
- contact Bishop for temple recommend interview 
- call temple to make appointment for endowments
Week 8 - Temple Prep
- contact stake pres. for temple recommend interview
- invite family to temple for endowments
- purchase garments; baptismal clothes
- go through temple for first time
Week 7 - Paperwork
- submit college missionary deferment letter (if needed)
- make 2 copies of mission call to take into the mission
- 2 copies black/white of passport. Leave one home, carry other
- print, reduce and laminate 4-generation pedigree chart
- get driving record from DMV
- get driver's license renewed, if needed
- notify bank you will be out of the country or state for 18 mo. or 2 years so they will understand unusual charges.
- order new debit card so doesn't expire during your mission
Week 6 - Purchases
- purchase copy of Book of Mormon in foreign language (if needed)
- purchase mission clothes. Allow time for alterations.
- order contact lenses & glasses if needed
Week 5 - More Purchases
- purchase luggage, backpack, camera, mission supplies, etc.
- purchase approved church music
- finish clothing shopping/sewing
- mark name on all clothing tags with iron-on labels or fabric marker
Week 4 - Photos
- get mission picture taken
- make mini photo album with family pictures
- set up mission site for family to post letters
Week 3 - Religious Items
- decide on favorite scripture for mission plaque
- give scripture and picture to clerk for mission plaque
- reduce and laminate Patriarchal blessing for scriptures
- reduce and laminate Priesthood line of authority for scriptures
- contact bishop about "farewell" talk date & topic
- get baptism pants hemmed
Week 2 - Last Minute Items
- final purchases
- start packing
- have membership record transferred to home ward, if needed
- write authorization letter & sign it so parents have access to medical records
- label luggage. Use brightly colored tag to make yours stand out.
Week 1 - Last Minute Items
- get mission hair cut
- pack up room
- prepare mission "farewell" talk
- give account passwords to parents
- get cash out for MTC
- give up cell phone, computer, etc.
- have stake president set you apart
Day You Leave
- Report to MTC
- bring immunization card, drivers license, driving record
- have parents make mission payment first day of month entering MTC

March 17, 2013

Food Storage Goals: March Week 12 - Dry Pasta


It's time for me to get back to work with my food storage. This post should have happened last week, but it's still important. For week 12, gather some dry pasta and macaroni and cheese.

STEP 1: 3-MONTH SUPPLY (per adult) - Dry pasta 4 lbs. AND macaroni and cheese 2 boxes
Why?: Pasta is a great shelf-stable food. I love pasta! This is one of those foods I store short-term and long-term. With all of the competitive runners in my family, those complex carbs go a long way. I usually serve some type of pasta each week, and there are so many varieties: spaghetti, macaroni, bow ties, rainbow twirls, rotini, fettuccine, penne regate, rigatoni. I just started speaking Italian! If you don't like macaroni and cheese, just substitute another pound of beautiful pasta.
Tip: I love to find American Beauty pasta on sale at Smith's (Kroger) for .50 cents and stock up. Awesome! You might find me gathering 10 or 20 packages at a time. In my basement pantry, I keep packages in plastic containers as you can see in this post. And opened packages in a kitchen cupboard in a air-tight tall container. Best to keep pasta in a cool, dry place.
Shelf Life: stores up to 3 years for regular pasta, but could last longer. See Still Tasty. Whole wheat pasta has a 6 month shelf life. Boxed macaroni and cheese has a 1 year shelf life.

STEP 2: DRINKING WATER - 14 gallons water
(FEMA) or about 4x24 ct. cases of bottled water per person
Tip: Stock up this month! It's everywhere today, but it may not be tomorrow. Buy more to replenish what you use. Small bottles are for short-term storage, so slowly go through your supply and replenish. More durable containers are for long-term storage, but need to be refilled every 6 months.
Shelf Life: small commercially prepared bottles store indefinitely, see Still Tasty. Store off your cement floor.

STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE (per person) - $2.00 +/- per week
Tip: Add to your fund each week for emergencies. Keep some in the bank and some cash in small bills at home.

STEP 4: LONGER-TERM SUPPLY (per adult) - Dry pasta 16 lbs. or 4 #10 cans
Tip: Egg noodles cannot be stored long-term (20 - 30 years), however some may be store 10 - 15 years. Check with your manufacturer. Spaghetti and macaroni store well long-term, and may be canned at the LDS Home Storage Center nearest you.
Shelf Life: If stored properly, spaghetti and macaroni can have a 30 year shelf life. I like to grab one long-term can from our supply every year and use it. This way it is slowly being rotated with the small packages from my 3-month supply.

OTHER STORAGE ITEMS
HOME STORAGE FIRST AID GOAL - Ice packs
Tip: It's always a good idea to have a couple of ice packs in your freezer to grab quickly for injuries. You could also use ice in a baggie. Or you can add an instant ice pack to your emergency kit.

PREPAREDNESS GOAL - Collect pasta recipes
How: Type up some of your favorite pasta recipes for easy access. Or print them from your favorite recipe sites.

EQUIPMENT GOAL - Splints
How: Do you have an old finger or arm splint from a previous injury? Keep them with your first aid supplies. You or a neighbor may need them in an emergency. I remember borrowing crutches from my neighbor when my daughter broke her leg. These medical items are great to hang on to if you have space.

WEEKLY INVENTORY - Oils & Fats
How: Go through your supply of these shelf-stable foods and write down some goals of what you need to resupply. It's especially important to see if your oils are rancid. Olive oil does not have a long shelf life. Read this helpful article, Good Oils Gone Bad, where they describe what rancid is.

Good luck on your weekly goals. You CAN do it! Here is the printout of the March 2013 Food Storage List.

Do you have any tips on gathering the items on this list?

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEGINNERS:
If you are new around here, check out my START HERE page. Each week, I post various food storage and emergency items to gather. By stocking up year round, you build up your supplies economically, use some, leave some on the shelf, and buy some more. Cycling keeps your items fresh and integrated into your everyday diet. I've incorporated the LDS 4-Step Approach to Home Storage, but with my suggested items to gather.

Work on STEP 1, 2 and 3, before moving to STEP 4: Long-Term Food Supply. It may take you awhile to gather your 3-Month Supply, water and a financial reserve. As long as you are moving forward, that's what matters most. Only gather what you can afford, will eat, and choose goals you have time for. Substitute other foods that work for your family.

Your food storage should consist of shelf-stable foods. What we store in our 3-month supply (STEP 1) is everyday foods or short-term storage foods which have an approximate range of 3 month - 10 year shelf-life. What we store in our long-term supply are foods that have a 20 to 30 year shelf life. Don't consider what's in your refrigerator or freezer as this type of storage, because it could be gone quickly with a 24-hour power outage. However, we all buy perishable foods and can continue to purchase them and inventory them. Hope that all made sense.

March 10, 2013

Food Storage Goals: Week 11 Tomatoes & Salsa

We are gathering canned tomatoes and salsa this week.

STEP 1: 3-MONTH SUPPLY (per adult) - Tomatoes 6x15 oz. cans AND Salsa 1 jar.
Why?: If you regularly cook with tomatoes and salsa, consider keeping a stock of it in your pantry supply. Some ideas are stewed, whole, diced or crushed tomatoes. You can store any size that works for your family. Look over your favorite recipes and to see how much you might eat in a month and multiply by 3 or use the suggested amounts above. We use canned tomatoes in taco soup, salsa, and blended in spaghetti sauce. (Note: The items in your 3-Month supply are NOT long-term foods. Just the foods you normally eat that are shelf-stable.)
Tip: The best way to stock up is when it's on sale or purchase by the case. There are still a few more days to buy tomatoes at the Utah case lot sales. Keep in a cool, dry place.
Shelf Life: both 12 - 18 months or check the label

STEP 2: DRINKING WATER - 14 gallons water (per person) (FEMA) or about 4x24 ct. cases of bottled water (Skip this step if you've already got it.)
Tip: Stock up this month! It's everywhere today, but it may not be tomorrow. Buy more to replenish what you use. Small bottles are for short-term storage because you periodically use them. More durable containers are for long-term storage and need to be refilled every 6 months.
Shelf Life: small bottles see Still Tasty.com

STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE (per person) - $2.00 +/- per week
(Skip this if you've already accumulated your goal.)
Tip: Start your fund this month! Decide on an amount you want for emergencies and put aside weekly amounts until you build up your reserve. Keep some in the bank and some cash at home.

STEP 4: LONGER-TERM SUPPLY (per adult) - Nothing this week

OTHER GOALS
HOME STORAGE FIRST AID GOAL - Pain medicines
Tip: It's always a good idea to have some pain medications in your medical supplies. Use your best judgement to figure out how much to stock for your family.

PREPAREDNESS GOAL - Give blood
How: Set a goal to give blood this week. Call the Red Cross for a location near you to donate.

EQUIPMENT GOAL - First Aid Kit
How: Do you have a good first aid kit? Make sure you have one in your home.

WEEKLY INVENTORY - Grains, pasta, potatoes
How: Go through your supply of these shelf-stable foods and write down some goals of what you need to resupply. You don't have to buy everything, but you do want to be aware of what you are missing.

Good luck on your weekly goals. You CAN do it! Here is the printout of the March 2013 Food Storage List.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEGINNERS:
If you are new around here, check out my START HERE page. Each week, I post various food storage and emergency items to gather. By stocking up year round, you build up your supplies economically, use some, leave some on the shelf, and buy some more. Cycling keeps your items fresh and integrated into your everyday diet. I've incorporated the LDS 4-Step Approach to Home Storage, but with my suggested items to gather.

Work on STEP 1, 2 and 3, before moving to STEP 4: Long-Term Food Supply. It may take you awhile to gather your 3-Month Supply, water and a financial reserve. As long as you are moving forward, that's what matters most. Only gather what you can afford, will eat, and choose goals you have time for. Substitute other foods that work for your family.

Your food storage should consist of shelf-stable foods. What we store in our 3-month supply (STEP 1) is everyday foods or short-term storage foods which have an approximate range of 3 month - 10 year shelf-life. What we store in our long-term supply are foods that have a 20 to 30 year shelf life. Don't consider what's in your refrigerator or freezer as this type of storage, because it could be gone quickly with a 24-hour power outage. However, we all buy perishable foods and can continue to purchase them and inventory them. Hope that all made sense.

March 9, 2013

A Mother's Thoughts On Sending Children on LDS Missions

No one understands more than a mother the sacrifice it takes to send sons away from home for two years on LDS missions. We bring them into the world, sacrifice sleep and time raising them, stress and worry during their teen years, all the while hoping and wishing they will grow and mature into adults who desire to make a difference in this world.

Perhaps before this life we made promises to each other. Perhaps I made a promise to Jesus Christ that I would do whatever it took as a mother to help my children learn to serve Him. And perhaps my children promised Him they would help their brothers and sisters all over the world no matter what. If only we could remember.

You can probably guess I've been somewhat teary-eyed these past few days as I think about my 7 children. I am so proud of each of them and the choices they have made! Let me share a bit about sending my sons on missions.

My eldest son, Joshua, was called to serve in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar mission. Sending my first to such a far off land was not easy, but I trusted my Father in Heaven completely. Whenever I worried about him I would get on my knees and pray. It was comforting to know that I was praying to the same Heavenly Father that my son could pray to if he needed help.



My gentle giant, Jacob, went to the Bolivia Cochabama mission. Because of political unrest, the missionaries were moved to the Peru Lima South mission. The term "political unrest" does not settle well with a mother's heart, so again, I leaned heavily on my Father in Heaven to keep him safe. Eventually the missionaries returned to Bolivia where he finished his mission.


My youngest son, Joseph, served in the Stockholm Sweden mission. I was happy when he received his call two years ago, because he would be in a more civilized country, but for a time he lived in the cold dark north near the Arctic Circle where the sun hardly shines. Later he lived in the south near the beautiful lands of his ancestors.

No matter where my sons have served, my children have served where God needed them. The numbers of baptisms does not matter. The positions of leadership does not matter. What matters most, is that they served for the right reasons.

In a few weeks, my daughter will receive her mission call to someplace unknown. However, I trust my Heavenly Father because He knows her heart and whose lives she can touch.

I am grateful for the example of my children. Their faithfulness has brought blessings to our family and those they have taught and served in their missions. I am thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who understands what true sacrifice is because he sacrificed his son when he sent him to this earth. I am thankful for Jesus Christ and the wonderful opportunity that is mine to serve as a "mini" missionary for him as I write on this blog. May you each feel his love for you.

Valerie


March 4, 2013

Food Storage Goals: March Week 10 Tomato Sauce & Paste

March 2013 has finally come! My son returns home from his mission in 3 days!!! The two year wait has finally come to an end. Hard to believe. I am overly focused on my family this week, so I hope you understand if my head is not here with my blog. But I did want to post my thoughts on items to gather in your food storage and emergency preparedness this week. If you are new around here, check out my START HERE page.

STEP 1: 3-MONTH SUPPLY (per adult) - Tomato sauce 12x8 oz. cans AND Tomato paste 6x6 oz. cans.
Why?: If you regularly cook with tomato sauce and tomato paste, consider keeping a stock of it in your pantry supply. You can store any size that works for your family. Look over your favorite recipes
and to see how much you might eat in a month and multiply by 3. (Note: The items in your 3-Month supply are NOT long-term foods. Just the foods you normally eat that are shelf-stable.)
Tip: The best way to stock up is when it's on sale or purchase by the case. When you use some of your stock, replenish it. Sam's Club has some reasonably priced cases of tomato sauce and paste. Keep in a cool, dry place.
Shelf Life: 12 - 18 months

STEP 2: DRINKING WATER - 14 gallons water (per person) (FEMA) or about 4x24 ct. cases of bottled water (Skip this step if you've already got it.)
Tip: Stock up this month! It's everywhere today, but it may not be tomorrow. Buy more to replenish what you use. Small bottles are for short-term storage because you periodically use them. More durable containers are for long-term storage and need to be refilled every 6 months.
Shelf Life: small bottles see Still Tasty.com

STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE (per person) - $2.00 +/- per week
(Skip this if you've already accumulated your goal.)
Tip: Start your fund this month! Decide on an amount you want for emergencies and put aside weekly amounts until you build up your reserve. Keep some in the bank and some cash at home.

STEP 4: LONGER-TERM SUPPLY (per adult) - Nothing this week

OTHER STORAGE ITEMS
HOME STORAGE FIRST AID GOAL - Cold medicines
Tip: I know, we are at the end of the cold season in some place, but in other parts of the world it could be starting. Use your best judgement to figure out how much to stock for your family. There are many options, so do what is best for your family.

PREPAREDNESS GOAL - Clean out medicines
How: Go through your medicine supply and get rid of outdated items. Check this post for some ideas.

EQUIPMENT GOAL - First Aid Manual
How: Find a good first aid manual at your local Red Cross. I also have a first aid app on my phone.

WEEKLY INVENTORY - First Aid and Medicine
How: Go through your supply and write down some goals of what you want to resupply. You don't have to get everything, but you want to be aware of what you are missing.

Good luck on your weekly goals. You CAN do it! Here is the printout of the March 2013 Food Storage List.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEGINNERS:
Each week, I post various food storage and emergency items to gather. By stocking up year round, you build up your supplies economically, use some, leave some on the shelf, and buy some more. Cycling keeps your items fresh and integrated into your everyday diet. I've incorporated the LDS 4-Step Approach to Home Storage, but with my suggested items to gather.

Work on STEP 1, 2 and 3, before moving to STEP 4: Long-Term Food Supply. It may take you awhile to gather your 3-Month Supply, water and a financial reserve. As long as you are moving forward, that's what matters most. Only gather what you can afford, will eat, and choose goals you have time for. Substitute other foods that work for your family.

Your food storage should consist of shelf-stable foods. What we store in our 3-month supply (STEP 1) is everyday foods or short-term storage foods which have an approximate range of 3 month - 10 year shelf-life. What we store in our long-term supply are foods that have a 20 to 30 year shelf life. Don't consider what's in your refrigerator or freezer as this type of storage, because it could be gone quickly with a 24-hour power outage. However, we all buy perishable foods and can continue to purchase them and inventory them. Hope that all made sense.

Remember, design your food storage for your family, your way. Nothing cookie-cutter about this.

March 3, 2013

2013 Emergency Preparedness Fairs

If you know of an upcoming emergency preparedness fair in 2013, I will be posting them here. In or out of the state of Utah would be great. Here are some:

Saturday, April 13 from 2 - 6 p.m.
City: Newport News, VA
Location: Newport News Stake Center, 902 Denbigh Blvd, Newport News, Virginia 23602
Details: Focus will be on disaster preparedness. Non-members invited.

Saturday, April 13 from 8:30 AM - 5 PM
City: Sandy, UT
Location: South Town Expo Center, 9575 South State Street, Sandy, UT
Workshop Topics: Sheltering in Place, Fuel and Energy Sources, Natural Disasters: The Realities of the Aftermath, Preparing Kids while Preparing Yourself, Cooking with Food Storage, Health and Sanitation, Communication, And more
Website: UtahPrepare.com

March 2, 2013

Video: "We're Still a Family - Plan of Salvation"

The knowledge that we will see those we love again after they die, takes great faith. Our Heavenly Father has a plan; the plan of salvation. It is also called the plan of happiness. We were not placed here on earth to wander or to be comfortless. I am grateful for my family, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the plan Heavenly Father wanted for us so that my family can be together forever.

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