December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas to All! ShareTheGift

May we never lose sight of what is most important at this Christmastime, and each and every day thereafter. I am grateful for Jesus Christ, for his love for me during this difficult year when I first lost my mother-in-law in August and then my mother on Thanksgiving Day.

I am thankful for my knowledge of a life after this one. The separation from loved ones is short. It is comforting to know that my mother is now with my sister on the other side, not far from me. And that they continue to watch over me and my family.

I look forward to the return of my missionary daughter from Chile on January 1 (Yay!), and the time I will spend with my beautiful family.

May you each reach out to those you love at this time of year, give big hugs, and joyfully celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. For he brings comfort to all who sorrow and joy to our lives.

Love to all!


December 1, 2014

December Emergency Preparedness Goals - Baking Basics, Power and Light

December is a busy month and a difficult time for most to focus on emergency preparedness, but I still remember the Great Wind Storm here in Farmington on December 1, 2011. And the Indian Ocean Tsunami on December 26, 2004 that killed 230,000 people, and the Haiti earthquake on January 12, 2010 that killed 159,000 people. We can never put preparedness aside, even with the busy holiday season. So take some time this month to stock up on something as simple as basic baking ingredients while you shop for holiday foods, and a few power and light emergency supplies.

The food storage items I like to gather this month are inexpensive baking ingredients you can buy in one shopping trip. Things like vanilla, cooking spray, brownie or cake mix, frosting, cornstarch, salt, baking powder or baking soda. It's super easy to stock up on those items! And they all store well and have at least a 1 year shelf life. You may already have enough of these on hand for a 3-month food storage supply or more.

I have a complete printable food storage list including amounts, preparedness goals and other suggestions I use for the month of December right here:

(you are free to print and share with others including wards, but please refer them to my site)

My emergency focus this month is power and light items such as batteries, matches or lighters, flashlights and lanterns. During the winter we could experience a power outage, so having these items on hand is a blessing. Add a flashlight to your child's stocking so they have one to keep in a drawer by their bed. And you will probably be buying batteries for toys or electronics anyway, right? Just pick up some extra for emergenices. Or put a gift basket together for your college student, married children or other relatives, and toss in a food storage or emergency preparedness book from my Resources Page.

I also like to buy a more expensive preparedness item each year for Christmas. I usually have more success convincing my husband to get something around Christmas-time than any other time of the year. :-) Some suggestions might be a chain saw, a snow blower, a solar phone charger, a bread machine or that wheat grinder (grain mill) you've had your eye on. I have some grain mill suggestions listed on the Resources Page.

So, print the December Emergency Prep list and hang it on your refrigerator, or jot a few ideas down on your Christmas list. You will be glad you did. Anything you do is one step forward. "I think I can, I think I can, I know I CAN!"

I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and for his never-ending love and encouragement in my life. I know he is watching over each of us. May we each focus on his birth and desire to become more like him.

Best wishes and Merry Christmas!

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” 

October 31, 2014

November Emergency Preparedness Goals - Holiday Baking, Heat and Clothing

November and December are great months to gather holiday baking and baking basic foods into your food storage. Because of the expense of Christmas gifts and the busyness of the season, I gather inexpensive items these months. Most of them have a long shelf life, which is awesome. In November the foods I gather look exactly like items you might want for part of your Thanksgiving meal. Bingo! A great time to get two things done at once. Just buy a few extra to keep on hand to use in your favorite recipes at other times of the year. 

Living close to Idaho is a blessing for us. A neighbor gets 50 lb. bags of potatoes from Idaho and hauls them back to sell in the neighborhood each year so we can store them in our cold storage rooms. 

To see my complete monthly list with suggested amounts to gather for 1 adult including emergency supplies and preparation goals, go to this link:

(you are free to print and share with others, but please refer them to my site)

In November I might gather:
  • Pumpkin, canned (2 - 5 year shelf life )
  • Broth, chicken or beef (2 - 5 year shelf life)
  • Brown Sugar (indefinite shelf life)
  • Powdered Sugar (indefinite shelf life)
  • Stuffing (12 - 18 month shelf life)
  • Yams (2 - 5 year shelf life)
  • Flour (1 year shelf life, but a 10 year shelf life in #10 cans) 
  • Sugar (indefinite shelf life)
So how much do I keep of each item?
  • Pumpkin - 2 year supply
  • Broth  - 1 year supply
  • Brown sugar - 1 year supply
  • Powdered sugar - 1 year supply
  • Stuffing - 3-month supply
  • Yams - no yams, been there, done that
  • Flour - 1 year supply (I found some bread flour at Costco and store in my freezer)
  • Sugar - 1 year supply
My emergency preparedness focus in November is heating and winter clothing. What would you do if you were without power for a week and had no heat? Do you have adequate blankets, coats, boots, hats, or mittens? Preparing for emergencies in mind will help our families during these difficult times. Living hear in a colder climate we naturally gather items like these every year.

For some great sugar storing tips, check out this article by Leslie Probert, co-author of "Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell. See my Resources page for her book. I have learned so much from Leslie about food storage, so I highly recommend her book.

I have much to be grateful for as a mother of 7 beautiful children, 5 grandchildren, and I'm the wife of a great man. My missionary daughter returns home in January. Yahoo! I love the scriptures and the words of the living prophets, and the strength I receive from them each day. I am thankful for my readers who come to my site for a little inspiration. May you each know that this beautiful earth was created for you. As you look at its beauties remember; you are God's most beautiful creation.

Best wishes,

“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, 
and he will direct thee for good; 
yea, when thou liest down at night 
lie down unto the Lord, 
that he may watch over you in your sleep; 
and when thou risest in the morning 
let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; 
and if ye do these things, 
ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”

October 7, 2014

Fall 2014 Case Lot Sale Price Comparison List for Food Storage

I spent a lot of time this week updating my case lot sale price comparison list. I had knee surgery a few weeks ago, so it wasn't easy. But I found most prices online which helped. I'm highly motivated to get some food storage in this house after I opened up my last powdered sugar bag and my oil is almost gone. That is crazy for me to let it get so low, so it's time to do something about it.

I created my first price comparison in 2011. And I learned that I don't have to buy everything at case lot sales. I only shop for items I really need. I buy the rest during other months of the year at Costco and the LDS Home Storage Center. It pays to compare. I know some of you see the value in keeping a price book. Mine is a bit elaborate, but it works for me.

This time around I didn't have enough energy to visit Walmart, so those prices on my list are from last year. But staples don't change much in price. It's as if they are frozen in time.

It's the last week of Utah case lot sales for Fresh Market & Dick's (ends Oct. 13) and Lees (ends Oct. 11).  Heads up. Auguson Farms is doing a buy 5 get $5.00 off coupon in the Fresh Market, Dick's and Lees ads. So if you want to buy some #10 can items, use the coupon. My goal? Get in and out of the store in 30 min.

While I was comparing prices in Costco, I picked up a few sale items:

  • 72 oz. Nestle Toll House chocolate chips $7.49 (reg. $9.99, that's like $1.24 per 12 oz. bag!)
  • 2x17oz. Kirkland Canola Cooking Spray $3.29 (reg. $4.64)
  • 4 lb. C&H Powdered Sugar $2.69 (always a deal)
  • 64 oz. Craisins $5.89 (reg. $8.89)
  • 2 Kraft Parmesan Cheese $8.59 (reg. $11.39, a year's supply for us)
  • a jug of Orville Redenbacher popcorn $8.99 (reg. $11.99, we've got to get off of microwave popcorn) 
I'm always amazed how much stuff people load into their carts in Costco. I think my cart was the emptiest one in the place. Self control, people. Okay, I splurged on a few things too.

And here are some great case lot deals!

Dick's & Fresh Market Case Lot
Bottled water 24 ct. case 16.9oz - $1.99!
SureSaving Tomato Sauce 8 oz. - $.20
SureSaving Tomato or chicken noodle soup - $.39 ea.
Campbell's Cream of mushroom or chicken soup - R.79 ea.
Campbell's Tomato Soup - $.59 ea.
Western Family Tuna 5 oz. - $.59
Western Family Albacore 5 oz. - $.99
Vegetables 15 oz. - $.50
Wheat 50 lb. bag - $14.99
Western Family Sugar 25 lb. bag - $9.99
Pompeian Olive oil 68 oz. - $9.99! (Great if you use a lot of olive oil)

A few more deals:
Macey's Fall Sale
Western Family Spaghetti sauce 24 oz. - $.88 Crazy!

Harmon's Sale 
Nestle Water 24 ct. case 16.9 oz. - $2.49 Monday 10/6
Progresso Soup $.99 Thursday 10/9

Tip: buy your fruit at the Spring case lot sales.

Follow my emergency food storage shopping lists so you buy and store in season and thus spread the cost out over the year.

*Note: There will be errors. Forgive me. Thanks!

October 1, 2014

October Emergency Preparedness Goals - Oils & Fats, Fire Safety

Fall is my favorite time of year! There is so much to look forward to: the change of colors on the trees, football games, General Conference, the upcoming holidays with my family, and more case lot sales. Yes! I even look forward to that.

This month my food storage focus is oils and fats. There is so much discussion on this. Saturated or unsaturated? What's good? What's bad? I just like to remember the tin man in the Wizard of Oz? "Oil can! My goodness! I can talk again..Oil my arms, please. Oil my elbows." :-) I won't get into all the medical stuff, but suffice it to say our bodies need fats to absorb certain nutrients to help our bodies function. You store your kind and I'll store mine.

As we enter the holiday season, oil and fats such as cooking oil, shortening, chocolate chips and baking chocolate start going on sale at the stores. These items were formally on my December list, but that was way too late. Of course I have to put chocolate in my food storage because it's one of those stress relievers for emergencies, but too bad the cost of chocolate is rising because dark chocolate eaters like myself are using up the cocoa beans. :-)

(Print and hang on your fridge. 
You are free to share with others, but please mention my site.)

This month, I like to pick up some beef: a few cans of roast beef just-in-case, and some beef or turkey jerky for my 3-month supply. These items are too costly for me to store a year supply of, but we snack on the jerky for the protein benefits. There are dehydrated meats out there too, but I don't use them in my every day cooking, so I don't store them. However, if that works for you, go for it.

It's important that we store our oil properly. It should not be stored in a garage where temperatures fluctuate. Unopened vegetable oil has a 1-year shelf life, though it can be stored longer if temperatures are cooler. Once opened the shelf-life is 4 - 6 months, so it's a good idea to write the date you open it on the outside of the bottle.

Oils should be stored in a dark location such as a closed cupboard or pantry. Olive oil has about a 6 month shelf life, but can be stored for a year in a refrigerator. To avoid using rancid oil, always smell before using. Sticks or canned shortening have a shelf life of 2 years. Once opened the canned shortening has a 1 year shelf life, but the sticks have a 6 month shelf life. Many of you are fans of coconut oil for your food storage, and since I'm not an expert on it, all I can say is my friends love it.

Peanut or almond butter is another item I stock up on this month, but remember it has a short shelf life of about 1 year. I usually keep a 6 month supply on hand in the small 18 oz. containers because we use it slowly. If you need help figuring out the shelf life of any food item, visit or look at the expiration date the manufacturer put on the item. And remember to see if the date is truly an expiration date OR a best buy date. Many items can be stored beyond the best buy date, but be careful about oils as they do not smell or taste good when they go rancid. Yuck!

There are no long-term  items (20 to 30 year shelf-life) to gather this month, however continue to put a little bit of money in your emergency fund each week, and keep your emergency supply of drinking water up to date. How much water? At least one gallon per person for 14 days or at least 14 gallons per person. This can be used for cooking. If you live in Utah, cases of bottled water are on sale for about $2.50 at the case lot sales. That's about .10 per bottle for commercially prepared water. You can always get them at warehouse stores as well.

This month's emergency preparedness focus is fire prevention. It's time to trim some trees, get your fire extinguisher tested, have that mock fire drill and install important items such as smoke alarms, a fire extinguisher, a carbon monoxide alarm and rechargeable wall lights. If finances are tight, start small with a few things. Because I teach preschool, the fire Marshall stopped by to check out my school, and now my ABC fire extinguisher is mounted on the wall rather than sitting on the counter. Why? So it does not get accidentally lost like other things in my home.

DISASTER! No one likes that word, but the cleanup afterwards is something we usually aren't prepared for. This month, let's put together a disaster cleanup kit. Many of these supplies can be found at your dollar store. Or you may have some on hand at home - Fantastic! Wouldn't it be nice to be ready to help your family or neighbors? The following video disaster relief cleanup kit by United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is great for anyone! They have this thing figured out, so I included all of their suggestions on the October monthly list except for the insect repellent since I didn't have room for it. If you can't buy everything, then get the bucket and add things over the next few months.

That's it for October. Don't bite off more than you can chew. There is always next month. Decide what you CAN do this month, and do it!

Best Wishes,

"And inasmuch as they are faithful they shall be preserved, and I, the Lord, will be with them."
Go here for my 12 monthly preparedness lists.

September 30, 2014

General Conference Activity Notebook for Primary Kids

Sometimes it's difficult for children to enjoy watching the LDS General Conference twice a year on television. But if you prepare in advance and make this event an important tradition in your family, kids will look forward to it each year. 

I taught a Relief Society class in my ward once about helping children enjoy the LDS General Conference. The moms and grandmas put together an activity notebook for children ages 6 - 11, so I am sharing my ideas. The cool thing about this notebook, is once you have your binder made, you can remove and add new pages every 6 months.

There are so many great ideas online, so my notebook has a-bit-of-this and a-bit-of-that. It's easy to customize. Look through the links, then print what you need for your own child.

More ideas can be found on my Pinterest General Conference for Kids board. And there are new April 2013 Notebooks at SugarDoodle for various ages. You can print just the pages you want to add. Have fun creating your notebook!

General Conference Notebook for Primary Kids
  • Use a 1 inch clear-view cover binder for each child.
  • Buy 5 tab divider pages and label them: My Notes, Coloring Pages, Activity Pages, Family Games, For Parents
  • Print any of the copies below that you wish.
  • Hole-punch your copies.
  • Put the copies in the notebook in the suggested sections below or any way you wish.
  • You may need to add some sheet protectors to hold game pieces like Bingo cards.
  • Provide colored markers, crayons, pencils and treats for your child.
Step 1: print Cover page pdf  (Love this picture by Beth Whittaker!) 

or this Jenny Phillips cover page. There are more ideas at that link.
Step 2: print these section title pages or create some of your own.
Step 3: glue stick or staple the section title pages to your 5 tab dividers. You may have to trim them depending on your divider pages.

Step 4: At this link, print Latter-Day Prophets pages 4 - 12 for your child to take notes or draw notes on. You might like that cover instead of mine.

Step 5: Print any of the coloring pages you want:
"God's Prophets and Apostles Speak to Us in General Conference" at
"I Will Follow the Prophet" at or anything else from this link.
"Prophets Teach Me How to Strengthen My Family"
"Jesus Created The Earth for Me" at (It's the same as my cover)
"Prophets Speak For Heavenly Father" at
Conference listen, then color pages at the same link
"The Resurrection" by Harry Anderson at
"Jesus Christ Loves Everyone" at (scroll down)
"Jesus Christ Created The Earth As a Place Where I Can Choose The Right" at
"I Can Show Reverence For Sacred Places and Things" at

Step 6: Print any of the activity pages you want:
"Salt Lake Temple" dot-to-dot or another others from
"Mary at the tomb" dot-to-dot at (scroll down)
"The Gold Plates" dot-to-dot at my
"Liahona" dot-to-dot at (scroll down)
"Noah's Ark" maze at (scroll way down)
"Latter-day Prophet" maze at Food Storage and Beyond page 16. Another packet!
"Mexico City Temple" dot-to-dot at
"Joseph Smith" dot-to-dot at
"We Do Not Doubt" dot-to-dot at
"Easter" crossword puzzle at
"Sacrament" dot-to-dot at
"Missionary" dot-to-dot at
"Latter-Day Prophet" word search at (2 per page)
Current "Prophet and Apostle" word search at (2 per page)
"Article of Faith #5 or #6" word search at (2 per page) or another one.
"I Love My Family" search and find at
"Service Project" search and find at
"The First Easter" story with word pictures (in color)
"Noah's Ark" cut outs at LDSLessonIdeas (scroll down)
"King Benjamin Teaches the People" color-as-you-read page at LDSLessonIdeas (scroll down)
"King Benjamin" color and cut out
"Word of Wisdom" hidden pictures at LDSLessonIdeas (scroll down)
"Jesus Christ Will Come Again" multiplication activity at LDSLessonIdeas (scroll down)
"Remember Jesus During the Sacrament" picture wheel (scroll down)
"Conference Hidden Pictures" Two pictures
"Follow the Prophet" hidden picture. Print in grayscale to save on ink.
"Getting to Know Our Church Leaders" Cut pictures of 15 living apostles and match to name.
"General Conference Word Search"
Tracer Pages at Make your own tracing-the-words pages for younger children. You can create a page for your child to practice their printing of any word you wish. Some examples are your child's name, "Jesus," "Prophet," "Love," "Family," "Temple," etc. Instructions: Go to link. Click "Blank (No pictures)," and then "block" lettering. Put a word (10 letters and spaces or less) in the blank space and copy to all boxes.

Between sessions, play some games as a family.
Print a General Conference Bingo cards for each family member from
Print page 10 Apostles First Name/Last Name match from
Go to and let your child play "Articles of Faith Memory Quest"
After conference activity tree idea here at Food Storage and Beyond
Take a video tour of the Conference Center.

"Helps for Parents" printable handout from my class (see below). Keep this in the binder so you can refer to it again. Or add any other handouts you find helpful. A few weeks before conference, come back to this page and print something new for your child.

Helps for Parents  “It is when children are young that parents must be innovative in helping them develop good habits regarding conference participation. As our children are given opportunities to observe and learn the role of these special witnesses, they will receive a spiritual confirmation of the sacred calling of their Church leaders, and they will feel a deeper love for and interest in these leaders and their message.” Elder Neil L. Andersen

Before Conference
• Make general conference a priority by mark it on your family calendars.
• During family prayer, pray for the speakers several weeks before conference.
• If possible, devote the entire weekend to your family and conference. Take time off work.
• Complete homework, chores and shopping by Friday night.
• Prepare food menus to make food preparation easier.
• Serve a traditional family favorite breakfast or lunch.
• Prepare conference treats in baggies such as yogurt covered raisins, granola, cereal, etc.
• The week before conference, spend a little time every day talking to your children about how exciting it will be to get to hear the prophet talk to us.
• Have a special family home evening lesson about “Following the Prophet.”

Room Set up

• If the goal is to keep everyone in the same room for one or all sessions of general conference, then take some time to set up the room.
• Make sure everyone has a comfortable place to sit. Small children will need floor space to play.
• Bring in a tote with a variety of favorite toys for young children.
• Kids who can’t sit still for long could do an activity at a small table in the same room like play dough or Legos. Or use a kitchen table adjacent to the room where the T.V. will be on.
• One family set their room up to look like a tent imagining they lived in the days of King Benjamin.
• Put a bowl of fruit on the sofa table and some drinks.
• Have notebooks and pencils ready. Older children can take notes in a special spiral notebook purchased just for conference.
• Fill small buckets or bowls with candy or snack on your fireplace mantle. As children hear words on the containers, such as “temple,” “family prayer,” etc., let them enjoy a small treat.

During Conference

• Tell children to remember the stories by drawing a picture or writing words or a sentence about what they hear. Be an example by taking notes yourself.
• Reverence is a worthy goal, but not always realistic with young children in the room. Quiet voices may be the best you can get.

Between Sessions
• Spend time between conference sessions showing old family movies, playing games, or taking a walk.
• Play general conference bingo. (See
• Have a family picnic indoors or outdoors
• On Saturday, go out for frozen yogurt
• Or while Dad is at the priesthood session on Saturday, start a tradition by taking kids for ice cream, or going to the park.

After Conference

• During family home evening the week after conference, let family members share stories, pictures or messages they learned from their notebooks.

Family Recipes
List a few family recipes you may want to become a tradition during general conference weekend. Breakfast Ideas 
Lunch Ideas
Snack Ideas 

You may also want to read "Preparing Our Children for General Conference" at

I'm getting excited for General Conference! Hope you are too. 

(New items added to this post!)

September 1, 2014

September Emergency Preparedness Goals - Meat & Potatoes, Earthquake Prep

September is a great month to get back on track with your food storage and emergency supply gathering. I've been working on a very detailed inventory of my supplies to get me back on track.

My spiritual theme for this month is Be Hopeful. We are so blessed in this nation. I believe that as we continue to be hopeful and believe that God does exist, we can accomplish the impossible. Never give up hope.

A lot of big projects happened at the same time this month for me. A new job part-time job at the elementary school, a new calling as 2nd counselor in the Primary just after our stake was redivided, and a huge PTO safety week I'm planning for the elementary school. I take a lot of deep breaths every day and pray constantly. And I feel so supported by my Heavenly Father and his angels that surround me. I'm never alone.

I have to tell you that the Green Ribbon Week at the elementary school is all about pedestrian safety, however I threw in a day about earthquake safety too. And some of the PTO ladies will be going into the classrooms reviewing "Drop, Cover, Hold" with the kids! I'm so excited for that. And the computer teacher will let the kids play "Beat the Quake." So awesome!

I'm down to one child at home as child number 6 just left for BYU, but thankfully her older brother is there too. So fun to have siblings! She is on the cross-country team, and we are so excited for her. My youngest is now in the 4th grade, I have a missionary daughter in Chile still, 3 married children, and 5 sweet grandchildren who we love so much. Life is always changing around here.

However, I'll be shopping for food storage next week at the Utah case lot sales going on right now. Yay!

Maceys: 9/1 - 9/15
Bowman's: 9/3 - 9/16
Harmon's: 9/1 - 9-15
Smith's: 9/3 - 9/16
Dick's: October
Fresh Market: October

Here is my list for September with some great ideas for emergency preparedness and food storage. If you are new with me, just start with this month's list. No need to backtrack. Just jump right in.

copy and post on your fridge!

The September food storage focus is what I like to call meat and potatoes. First, let's talk about meat. I don't gather a year's supply of meat because it is way too expensive. No, no! As long as we have rice and beans, we have a complete protein on hand for a disaster. I only keep a 3-month supply of canned meats and I only buy meat in a form my family will eat with our regular menus, which isn't freeze dried meats. But some of you like it, so go for it.

We eat frozen beef and chicken most of the time, but we can't depend on it if the power goes out. Nope, not too tasty. So, it's best to keep some type of shelf-stable meat in the house. In September, I like to gather canned chicken. Costco sells it and so does Sam's Club for  about $2.00, and you can also buy it at the case lot sales. Sometimes you can find canned turkey at Costco too.

I buy our tuna in April, beef in October, and chicken in September. Buying meat throughout the year spreads the expense. My September list suggests gathering 6 cans of chicken and 6 cans of a pork-type product for each person, but you can adjust the list however you want. That may be too much for your household. I leave the pork on the list because those of you with little kids stock up on Vienna sausages. I don't have any Spam eaters in my house, so I mostly buy canned chicken.

Canned chicken can be used in a variety of recipes such as chicken pizza, chicken stew, chicken salad sandwiches and chicken tortilla soup. It is something I use a few times a month, and I love the convenience. You know this semi-homemade food storage queen does not can her own chicken, but some of my friends do with their canners. You can find some basic recipes on my Canned Chicken Recipes Pinterest Board.

Let's talk about instant potatoes. Those that are short-term typically come in boxes or cans, and the long-term type comes in #10 cans.

For short-term storage, I buy Honest Earth Creamy Mashed Potatoes (made by Idahoan Foods) from Costco for about $10.00. There are 14 pouches in the box with 8 servings each or .71 cents per meal or .09 cents a serving. It's great to use as a side dish for dinner when you don't have time to prepare fresh potatoes, however there is nothing like homemade mashed potatoes. These instant potatoes DO NOT have a long shelf-life because they are made with a little butter. So guessing about 3 - 6 month shelf life.

For long-term storage I buy the instant potatoes from the LDS Home Storage Center. I'm NOT good about rotating them though because I don't bake much, but I'm hopeful. So I started a Pinterest Board with Potato Flakes Recipes. These LDS potatoes have a shelf-life of 30 years if stored in 75 degrees or less. Each can has 39 servings for about .08 cents each. Because butter is not an ingredient, they have a long shelf life.

Another type of potato is canned whole potatoes. You could keep a few cans on hand and add to stews, or you could gather a few cans of stew like Dinty Moore which comes on sale at case lot sale time.

Remember to laugh at your blunders, rejoice in your discoveries, and pat yourself on the back. Whatever you do is far more than most people ever will. You CAN do something!

Best wishes,

“Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope;
for without faith there cannot be any hope.”

August 1, 2014

August Emergency Preparedness Goals - Fruits and Vegetables, Shelter/Bedding

The summer is nearly over and soon my youngest will be back in school. Her sister will head off to BYU this fall to join her brother. Our home will be so empty, but we look forward to the weekends when our kids visit. My daughter serving a mission in Chile has just reached her year mark. And my three oldest children have given us five grandchildren.

This is one of my favorite times of year to focus on food storage and a little emergency prep because things are so accessible. Here is my suggested list of items to focus on:

My spiritual focus this month is to be nurturers meaning to serve children during times of trial and disaster. Pray for them. One of my favorite scriptures is 3 Nephi 17:21 when Jesus Christ visits the Nephite people and prays for their children. Read the entire chapter for greater understanding of the love Christ has for children. It is tender and he has not forgotten them.

This month's food storage focus is fruits and vegetables which is a huge part of my supply. Many people harvest their own food and can it. If you're not a great gardener or canner like myself, we've got four weeks this month to find some canned food deals at our local grocery stores. Or have a friend teach you how to can. Even though I suggest gathering a 3-month supply, I personally gather at least a 6 month supply of these items because I have space for them in my basement and kitchen cupboards. I usually pick up some at the case lot grocery store sales in Utah. But you could can your own, or gather dried or freeze dried fruits and vegetables too.

Whatever you are accustomed to eating every day is best, because then you will rotate it. I know some of us freeze fruits, but also remember to put aside shelf stable foods as well. Personally I store items that I always cook with such as canned corn for tortilla soup, green beans for chicken stew, canned chilies for shredded pork, French green beans because my husband likes them, mushrooms for beef Stroganoff, and fruits for salads.

You'll always find bottled water on my monthly lists since I gather it year-round. Water is so essential to our existence. It disappears quickly from store shelves in disasters, so it is so important to have some on hand. I encourage people not to keep their eggs in one basket; meaning, don't just store it in one place in your home. I store some in barrels in the basement, bottled water in my coat closet, and some in my garage and cars.

Our emergency fund has been growing little by little each month, and I have a testimony of it. I used part of our financial reserve once, but those funds have been built back up again. I am grateful for President Gordon B. Hinckley's counsel when he said:

"Begin in a small way, my brethren, and gradually build toward a reasonable objective. Save a little money regularly, and you will be surprised how it accumulates."

My emergency preparedness focus is shelter and bedding items such as a tent, a sleeping bag for each person, a large tarp and rope or bungee cords. I know it is late in the summer to gather these, but you can find some of the best clearance sales on these items this month. If you already have them, pick up a different emergency item or put that money aside for things to gather next month.

I hope that you find my August emergency prep list useful. You are welcome to share it. Tweak it all you want and make it your own. Little by little, month-by-month you CAN build your food storage and emergency supplies and make self-reliance a natural part of your life.

Best wishes,

“And when he had said these words, he wept,
and the multitude bare record of it,
and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, 
and prayed unto the Father for them.” 

Go here for my 12 monthly preparedness lists.

July 1, 2014

July Emergency Preparedness Goals - Summer Foods, Drills & Canning

My theme this month is "Be Guardians," meaning be willing to protect "our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." (Alma 46:12) By doing so, we give our children and grandchildren the opportunity to be free to choose for themselves. We can be done this through sharing ideas on Facebook and other social media and stand for what we believe.

My July food storage focus is summer foods. I suggest gathering easy to store items on my July Emergency Preparedness list below, however please change amounts to suit your family.

July Emergency Preparedness List.pdf
(Print me! Carry in your purse or hang on the refrigerator)

The most expensive food item I collect this month is honey. It is a wonderful natural sweetener for bread making, sandwiches and cooking. And it has an indefinite shelf life which makes it great as part of your long-term food storage too.

I've also selected other less expensive food items many people eat already during the summer months at social gatherings such as crackers, chips, gelatin, pudding, food bars, popcorn, lemon juice, vinegar, olives and jams. They store well in your everyday pantry for at least 3 months, and some longer.

Because many of us may be home more with our families, this is a great month to set a goal to practice an emergency drill. Do you have plan? Does each member of your family know where to meet in case of a fire? Who is your out of state contact? July is a month when people celebrate with fireworks, however it is also a dangerous time for fires as we have seen already across the United States. Teach your children how to be safe while they celebrate.

Be on the lookout for emergency equipment on sale this month such as a camp stove or igloo. In an emergency, what do you plan to cook on? In a power outage, where will you store perishable food? If you like to can fruits and vegetables, gather those supplies now as well.

Best wishes on your continual efforts with food storage and emergency preparedness. Keep it simple and it will become a natural part of your everyday life. You CAN do it!


"And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—
In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—
and he fastened it upon the end of a pole." 

Go here for my 12 monthly preparedness lists.

Helpful Article:
Where to Buy Honey in Utah

*Picture from Microsoft Word

June 9, 2014

Sunday Morning Waffles and Favorite Things About My Husband

We are a family with few traditions, but one tradition my husband Brad began a few years ago, is making pancakes for us on Sunday morning. Silly me, I told him I'm not a huge fan of pancakes, and asked him if he could switch to waffles instead. Thank goodness he complied! and now he makes waffles with fruit toppings like bananas, strawberries or blueberries. Yum!

Every Sunday (rain, snow or shine) he walks the 1/2 mile to church (you're jealous it's so close, right?) holding my youngest daughter's hand. I drive every Sunday. Can you guess why she adores him? He also wears a white shirt and tie ALL SUNDAY LONG. It's a habit he picked up from his father, and a rare thing to see these days. He says he does it to remind him of the Sabbath.

He plays "Ticket to Ride" or watches a family movie after church, and then he typically drifts off to sleep, wrinkling his signature white shirt.

He's probably one of the best tenders to young children I have ever seen.
You can always find him holding one of his grand-kids.

He's one of eleven children himself, so he has had lots of experience.

His bond with all our children is amazing, because he is ALWAYS available to them. Sometimes I get jealous when he's gone so much with them. He's the fun guy as you can see.

But HELLO! My kids have a dad who spends time with them. What more could I ask for? The fact that he keeps up with the kids instead of the Joneses is my favorite thing about him. 

Yep, that's the guy I married. He's the greatest Dad and husband in the world. So, yes, I'm keeping pancake mix and syrup in our food storage. It's a tradition. Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there. Thanks for all you do for your family's!


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