May 1, 2016

May 2016 Emergency Prep Calendar

Here is my new May 2016 Emergency Calendar. It has most of the ideas from my May Emergency Prep List, but it does not include suggested food storage amounts. I've made a few changes including adding items to gather in a 72-hour kit. I love how it reminds us each month to check our emergency water supply. I hope you find it useful in your desire to become better prepared for emergencies!



Click link below to print May 2016 Emergency Prep Calendar.pdf

April 30, 2016

May Emergency Preparedness Goals - Condiments, Spices and Emergency Cooking

May is a busy month for many American families because of Mother's Day, end of school year performances and graduations. I like to simplify my food storage gathering in May by focusing on condiments and spices. You've probably already noticed summer displays in your grocery store for Cinco de Mayo and soon Memorial Day. Let's take advantage of those sales and gather a few items like ketchup, mustard, mayo, relish, salsa, BBQ sauce, enchilada sauce and taco seasoning mix to name a few.

Let me caution you to not go overboard when stocking up on condiments. You will be tempted to buy more because they are fairly inexpensive, but be practical. How many bottles of ketchup do you REALLY need? Two bottles of ketchup and one container of mustard may be all you need for a 3-month supply. 

Take a look at my suggested amounts for a 3-month food storage supply below. If you multiply the amounts by 4 and then multiply that number by the number of family members, you will come up with an amount that works for a year's supply. Or a 3-month supply is just fine if you have limited storage space.


Also stock up on spices and dry onions this month. Go here to see how I store my spices. I like to buy a #10 can of dry onions from the LDS Home Storage Center because it's very affordable and they last forever. Or you can shop at a warehouse store like Sam's Club or Costco. Your third option will be the grocery store if you don't use many spices. 

I like to buy my spices in bulk at a stored called Winco and put them in my own jars. Don't go overboard here either. Consider which spices you use most often. For our family, cinnamon, oregano and onions get used regularly. I don't need a 15 oz. container of thyme. Be practical so you can spend money on something else you need in your emergency supply this month.

It's smart to keep a stock of paper goods on hand all the time for power outages or disasters. Paper plates, cups, foil, plastic utensils, etc. are extremely useful when you can't use your dishwasher or sink. Watch for sales closer to Memorial Day and stock up. I like to keep a 30-day supply always in my cupboard. With our large family gatherings, it's easy to restock.

Even though I don't focus on freezer foods for food storage, you may find good deals on meat this month. My butcher told me roasts go on sale in May because people are barbecuing smaller cuts of meat instead. 


May is also National Pet Month, so put together a 72-hour kit for Fido or Fluffy. You may want to read "The Dogs of Hurricane Katrina" to motivate you.


My favorite dog Abby passed away in 2013.
Now is a good time to buy a Dutch oven and charcoal briquettes when they go on sale. They are great for emergencies. And the price of bottled water drops as we get closer to Memorial Day, so stock up.

Hopefully you've started your vegetable garden. I'm not a great gardener, so I like to plant a "salad" garden every year. And I love fresh tomatoes!

Last of all, if you get a nice tax refund, consider buying a wheat grinder, a worthwhile investment if you like to use whole grains. In 2009, my readers said their favorite grinders were the NutriMill and the Wonder Mill.

It's nice to hear the lawnmowers buzzing 
again in our neighborhood. This is great time of year. Good luck on your continual progress to become self-reliant. You CAN do it!

Best wishes,

Valerie



BE PRAYERFUL

“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint"



Go here to print my May Emergency Preparedness List.pdf

Go here for my 12 Monthly Preparedness Lists

April 1, 2016

General Conference Activity Notebook for Primary Kids

A few year's ago we created an activity notebook in my ward for Primary children ages 6 - 11. I update the links every 6 months. The cool thing about this notebook is you can use it again and again and just remove old pages and put in new ones. My notebook has a-bit-of-this and a-bit-of-that from many sources. Look through the links and print what you think your child might enjoy. Keep their hands busy so their minds can feast as they listen to General Conference with you.

More ideas can be found on my Pinterest LDS General Conference FHE board. Also see The Ultimate LDS General Conference Packet A-Z, and The Ultimate LDS General Conference Packet A-Z 2. Have fun creating your General Confernece notebook!

General Conference Notebook for Primary-age Children
  • Get 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.
  • Hole-punch your copies.
  • Put your copies in the notebook in your notebook.
  • Add  sheet protectors to hold game pieces like Bingo cards.
  • Provide colored markers, crayons, pencils and treats for your child. Have a great time!
COVER PAGE
Step 1: Print this cover page pdf  (My 10 year-old daughter still loves this picture by Beth Whittaker!) 



Step 2: Print these section title pages or create some of your own.
Step 3: Glue or staple the section title pages to your 5 tab dividers. You may have to trim them depending on your divider pages.

MY NOTES SECTION
Step 4: Go to LDS.org and print pages 4 - 12 in the General Conference Notebook. Use these for your child to take notes or draw notes on. Elder Packer, Perry and Scott have been removed and their are spaces for three new apostles. You can use that cover instead of mine.

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

ACTIVITIES SECTION
Step 6: Print any of the activity pages you want:
"Salt Lake Temple" dot-to-dot 1-35 or another others from About.com
"Mary at the tomb" 1-79 dot-to-dot at LDS.org (scroll down)
"The Gold Plates" 1 - 35 dot-to-dot at my CTRRing.com
"Liahona Compass of Faith" dot-to-dot 1-60 at LDS.org (scroll down)
Taking The Sacrament in House of The Lord dot-to-dot 1-86 at LDS.org
"Mexico City Temple" dot-to-dot 1-65 at LDS.org
"We Do Not Doubt" Stripling Warrior dot-to-dot 1-55 at LDS.org
"Trust In The Lord" dot-to-dot 1-95 at LDS.org
"David and Goliath" dot-to-dot 1-115 at LDS.org
"Joseph Smith" dot-to-dot 1-55 at LDS.org
"Sacrament" dot-to-dot 1-86 at LDS.org
"Zion" maze at Food Storage and Beyond page 34. Another packet!
"Endure to the End" maze at Food Storage and Beyond page 8. Another packet!
"Easter" crossword puzzle at LDS.org
"Latter-Day Prophet" word search or any other searches at LDS.about.com
"Latter-Day Saint" word search at LDS.about.com
Current "Prophet and Apostle" word search at LDS.about.com (2 per page)
Article of Faith word searches #11 or #12 or #13  at LDS.about.com
"Joseph Smith" word search at LDS.about.com
"Noah's Ark" hidden pictures  at LDS.org
"I Love My Family" hidden pictures  at LDS.org
"The First Easter" story Rebus with word pictures (in color)
"Joseph F. Smith" crossword or "King Benjamin Teaches the People" or "Noah's Ark" cut outs at LDSLessonIdeas (scroll down)
"Word of Wisdom" and Joshua Served the Lord" hidden pictures at LDSLessonIdeas
"Remember Jesus During the Sacrament" picture wheel and other activities (scroll down)
Two "General Conference" hidden pictures at LDS.org
"President Monson Follow the Prophet" hidden picture. Print in grayscale to save ink.
Make your own tracing-the-words pages for younger children from KidZone.com. Create a page of words such as your child's name or the word "Jesus," "Prophet," "Love," "Family," "Temple," etc. Go to Tracer Pages. 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.

FAMILY GAMES SECTION
Between sessions, play some games as a family.
Print a General Conference Squares cards for each family member from LDS.org conference squares game card
Go to LDS.org and let your child play "Articles of Faith Memory Quest"

Image result for lds memory quest

Let your kids watch the "Conference Center" video tour. Very sweet!




FOR PARENTS SECTION
Print my "General Conference Helps for Parents" handout. Keep this in the binder so you can refer to it again. Or add any other handouts you find useful. A few weeks before conference, come back to this page and print something new for your child. You may also want to read "Preparing Our Children for General Conference" at LDS.org

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

Valerie
(Links updated 9/29/15)

“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

March 27, 2016

April 2016 Emergency Prep Calendar

I decided to put my food storage and emergency prep ideas on an actual calendar for April 2016. Sometimes a visual calendar helps me get things done better than just a list of items, so I created an April emergency prep calendar to help me stay focused. It does not have actual amounts to store, but you can find those suggestions on my Emergency Prep Lists here. I figure with both of these items you and I may be more motivated to gather and store.


EMERGENCY FUND 
This new calendar has a piggy bank shown each Sunday to remind you to add money to your emergency fund.

3-MONTH SUPPLY OF FOOD AND EMERGENCY ITEMS
Monday I listed some food storage and emergency items to shop for during your regular shopping trips. You won't see the term long-term foods on this calendar, but you could store dry beans long-term if you wish. The main goal is to first gather a 3-month supply of food, emergency water, emergency funds, and THEN gather long-term foods. This is how the LDS Church recommends you work on your home or food storage.

72-HOUR KITS
Tuesday you'll see some items to gather in your 72-hour kit. You can add some to your weekly shopping list. I decided to add 72-hour kit items each week since building a kit over time is more economical for some of us. Or you could add something you hadn't thought of before.

INVENTORY
Friday you'll see a mini inventory. If you examine just those types of supplies, you won't ever have to take a large inventory.

PREP GOAL
On Saturday I listed a Prep goal you may want to work on. In the center I listed some emergency links for some of the Prep goals you may wish to print and study. This month I really wanted to learn how to make a hand washing station for an emergency shelter. Knowledge is priceless.

You can print this new calendar below. No one should every feel they have to do it all. I don't. Just find something you want to buy and store, and move forward.

I'd love to hear some feedback on my emergency prep calendar since I can always change the calendar design. Hope you like it.

April 2016 Emergency Prep Calendar pdf

March 26, 2016

April Emergency Preparedness Goals - Soup, Fish, Beans and Sanitation Supplies

During the month of April, my emergency prep focus is beans, fish, soups, and sanitation supplies. Stock up on spiritual preparedness by attending or viewing the LDS General Conference next week. I've also created a 2016 April Emergency Prep Calendar, but it doesn't have amounts to store on it. It will be in another post. Some of you may like that format for gathering food storage.


For my 3-Month food storage supply of everyday pantry foods, I stock up on prepared canned beans. There are so many to choose from: kidney, re-fried, garbanzo, black beans . . . whatever you love is what you will want to gather. Beans for salads, beans for soups, beans for chili. Beans, beans and more beans! I love our Utah case lot sales because you can find beans on sale for about 60 cents a can.

This month I also gather canned fish. This could be tuna or salmon in cans or pouches. It's a great source of Omega 3 and protein. Cans typically have a 3 - 5 year shelf life, but check your product to be sure. Store bought fish mixed with other items like mayonnaise, has a much shorter shelf life. You can always find canned fish at stores like Costco and Sam's Club too. It's best stored in a cool (75 degrees or less), dry place. NEVER put food in your garage, because temperatures get too hot.

Soup is another item I gather this month. There are so many possibilities. Consider your favorite family recipes to know what you want to stock up on. Creamed soups, tomato soup or prepared soups are fine. Do whatever works for your family. Condensed soups are about 50 cents at the case lot sales.


Dry beans or lentils store well as long-term food storage. If properly stored with an oxygen absorber packet in #10 cans or Mylar bags, these may be kept for 30 years. However, learn how to cook with dry beans before you stock up. Some of you have dry bean knowledge, however I'm pretty weak. So look for some recipes. During the Utah case lot sale, you can find 20 lb. bags of black beans for about $18.00 and pinto beans for $16.00, but you can always buy a 25 lb. bag of black or white beans at the LDS Home Storage Center.

No one likes to talk about emergency sanitation and hygiene, but it's so important. Our bodies have to do their thing, and we have to learn how to deal with it if there is an emergency. Those of you with little children should have a good supply of baby wipes and diapers around. As a grandma I have some too in case my grand-kids need them.

Study how to stay clean during an emergency. Clean hands saves lives.

Good luck with your preparedness goals! You are never behind. Any step forward is still a step forward.

Best wishes,
Valerie

BE CLEAN
"I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day 
with a pure heart and clean hands?
I say unto you, can you look up, 
having the image of God 
engraven upon your countenances?"

February 28, 2016

March Emergency Preparedness Goals - Tomatoes/Pasta and First Aid

During the month of March, I like to gather tomato and pasta products for my food storage. For those who live in Utah, you may buy these items at case lot sales starting this week.

If you live outside of Utah, focus on these same foods for March to spread your food storage expense out over the year. It's easy to get overwhelmed gathering food storage, unless you have a monthly focus. If you follow my suggestions, you can gather food year-round and your items will be naturally rotated so they don't lose their shelf life so quickly and heaven forbid you have to toss expired cans out.

Personally, I like to gather a 6-month supply of canned tomatoes and pasta, but gather what you can afford and have space in your home. I don't like to buy more than that because I've discovered we don't eat some foods as quickly as others. Six months from now I buy more to add to my supply.

Tomato-based products have a shorter shelf life such as 12 to 18 months, so it's best to buy them regularly. However, dry pasta lasts about 2 to 3 years in store bags or boxes kept in your cool pantry. The LDS spaghetti and macaroni sealed long-term in #10 cans, can be stored for 30 years. The key is cool, dark and dry. If your kitchen gets hot during the summer, the shelf life of your food may decrease some. NEVER store canned food in a hot garage. In the house is best. I keep store bought pasta in plastic containers in my basement and also some long-term pasta for disasters.

If you want to can your garden tomatoes later this year, then gather pasta and another tomato-type product you don't usually can yourself. Also, if you don't make spaghetti sauce from scratch, buy pre-made pasta sauce. If that's the way your family eats it, go for it.

The thing I love about food storage, is everyone may gather the perfect supply for their family. You don't have to buy everything I suggest or someone else suggests. You build a supply that works for your family so they will eat your food. Food storage, your family, your way.

Regarding emergency preparedness; now is a great time to update your first aid items. You want to have a good first aid kit in your home, some general medical supplies, and medicine on hand for emergencies that can and will happen. I keep all of our old braces, boots or splints from past injuries for disasters. Used crutches would be an awesome item to have too.

This month, my spiritual focus is Be Charitable. One way to do that is to give blood to the Red Cross. There is always a need and no greater service than to share the gift of life. So call the Red Cross to find out where you can donate.

Best wishes to you and your family on your adventures in food storage. You CAN do it!

Valerie

BE CHARITABLE
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; 
that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings 
ye are only in the service of your God."


Go here to print my March Emergency Preparedness List

Go here for my other 12 Monthly Preparedness Lists

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