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.

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