Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Pricing from Family Home Storage Centers......

Well, as we all focus upon the sacred season of Christmas, change is in the air.  There is new pricing at  for Family Home Storage Center Products.  Reportedly the pricing will go into effect in January 2011.  Some foods are actually less expensive.   For example, Black beans have gone from $4.45 for a #10 can to $3.95.  Granulated Sugar has risen in price from $4.65 to $5.30 per #10 can.

You can order foods in individual #10 cans, in Pouches or in Bulk.  Only the Starter Kit will come in a case according to the new form.  You can also purchase Bulk Packaging Materials such as cans, lids, pouches, Oxygen Absorbers etc.

Here is a quick view of the new form and pricing.

Benson showed up!!!!!!

The Little Red Hen's house has been invaded by 3 cute little grandson's......and Benson.  Who is Benson you ask?  He is a mischievous Elf who comes each year right after Thanksgiving and stays until Christmas Eve.  Then, when Santa comes, Benson goes back to the North Pole and works with Santa until the next Thanksgiving.  Now, this Benson is very inventive.  While everyone is sleeping, he gets into.....everything!  Once he had a snowball fight with cotton balls and the other stuffed animals. Another time he used the Christmas lights to repel from the Mantle down to the Hearth! Trust me, there are plenty of Benson stories to go around.

Well, this morning we found out that Benson got into something else!  Can you see what he did?

Keep looking closer.....

Have you figured it out yet?

He climbed up into the Advent calendar and hung some of the ornaments from his nose, feet and hand!  He even tipped the calendar off center!  It took the boys a little while to find him this morning as he was the same color as the Advent Calendar.  There were lots of cute laughs once Benson was found!

If you would like to learn more about the Magic Elf tradition, go to this link.  If you need ideas of "Elfcapades", go here.  This is a fun tradition that you could start next year.....and Grandparents....this is a fun one to share with your adult children and grandchildren.  We did 3 years ago and love hearing about all the mischief the Elves get into.

Try it! 

A Different Christmas Poem.......

Last year at this time, we had a beloved family member who was away from us.  He and his unit were serving our country at great risk to themselves and were half a world away.  Many years ago, we had another family member who served far away from home in one of the most historic battles of WWII.  How grateful we are to have them with us this Christmas....and we are grateful for all they have done to secure our opportunity to worship during this most sacred of seasons.  If you know someone who serves our country, would you please take a moment to thank them?  We owe them our all.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our "Christmas by Candlelight" evening....

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This week, we had our "Christmas by Candlelight" Relief Society Activity in our ward/congregations. 

We filled Santa's bag with lots of canned goods for the Utah Food Bank....thank you very much!

Enjoyed the cuisine of many of our talented sisters.....what a spread!

There was a lot to visit about.....

We took time to catch up with each other and share things happening in our families...

Then we all settle down for...a wonderful musical program offered by the Halliday and Heyrend Families.

Our High Priest Group leader was the Master of Ceremonies!

Many wished they had a tissue when we were regaled by our young sister who had been on a difficult, but miraculous journey sang for us.  This rendition of "O Holy Night" was very fitting.

We are very appreciative of everyone who attended (~40 sisters!) and our special guests.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

May you take the spirit that we were blessed with this evening and take it into our homes, our communities, and our hearts.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tragedy today in Provo.....

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When I turned on the news this morning, I was greatly saddened to see that the historic Provo Tabernacle had been the victim of a terrible fire.  This building has been a treasure for many generations:

In Thomas Bullock’s notes, now part of the Journal History of the Church, for 19 September 1849, one reads that on Monday, 17 September 1849, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards [the then presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], and others

“rode out from Fort Utah in three carriages, accompanied by five men on horseback, to look out a location for a town.

“They found a very eligible place, about two miles southeast of the Fort, where it was decided to build a city a mile square, to be laid off in blocks of four acres each, divided into eight lots of half an acre each, reserving the center block of four acres for a chapel and schoolhouses, the streets to be five rods wide...”

By reason of its being about “two miles southeast” of the presumed location of Fort Utah, it would appear that the present location of the Tabernacle was the “center block.”

It was originally build with a center spire, but after 30 years it was determined that the weight of the spire was too heavy for the structure and it was removed.

It housed an original 1934 painting by Minerva Teichert of Joseph and Oliver receiving the Melchizadek Priesthood from Peter, James and John that was protected by Plexiglas. 

I attended Stake Conferences there when I was getting my education at  BYU.  I loved having church in this historical building.  I even had the opportunity to sit on the stand and sing with the choir and listen to that magnificent organ.

The phenomenal woodwork was throughout out the building.

With beautiful stained glass windows.

I always loved the balcony even though the stairs seemed a bit steep.

According to KSL news, Provo fire marshal Lynn Schofield said, "All of the roof has collapsed into the structure, and now it's just a process of putting out the burning debris in the structure and getting it safe for us to go and take a look at it."  

The exterior walls are still stand as of this writing.  This building has not only been a place of worship, but also for community events and concerts.  Even BYU has used for graduation ceremonies.   

Let us hope it can be saved....

(Sources:  Historic Provo Tabernacle, The Daily Herald, and KSL)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Gift suggestion...the Dottie Apron

If you are looking for a nice gift to give this Christmas, consider making a "Dottie Apron".  These are constructed from 2 placemats and 3 yards of ribbon (more if you are making the Apron on the right).  Here are the instructions for this simple project.

Fold one Placemat in half lengthwise, and iron a crease in the bottom third.  Take the 2nd placemat and fold it in half width wise, press a crease.

Place the horizontal and vertical folds together with a 5 ½ “overlap

Pin the edges and corners of the placemats where they overlap together.

Pin the edges and corners of the placemats where they overlap together.

Cut 18" for each tie on the neck and 36" for each tie at the waist.Attach the ribbon by placing the raw edge along the underneath vertical placemat (where the neck is). Pin in place.  Fold the ribbon over to cover the raw edge.  Pin it in place.

On the wrong side of the fabric, topstitch a box to hold the ribbon in place.  Sew an “X” in the box if you wish to add more stability.

Either melt the edges of your Ribbon or use Fray Check to stop the ends from fraying

Christmas Gift!

Apron's Apron's Apron's....results

A few weeks ago, our Relief Society had an Apron sewing activity.  We had a lot of sewing machines, a lot of mentors, and hopefully a lot of satisfied customers.

Mentors sat and gave instruction in how to operate machines, and follow directions for the patterns.

Mothers and daughters also got in on the act!

First time sewers were given individualized instruction.

We learned how to finish off Ribbon.

We had a great demonstration in how to make Prarie Points!

Lot's of friendly conversation also took place. are some of the finished products!

The Dottie Apron!

Basic Chef Apron

Another take on the Basic Chef Apron

The Charlotte Apron

And a Chef Apron with Prairie Points on the pockets.

Our thanks to the many mentors who volunteered their time and talents to help with the all were wonderful!

We all had a great time and one sister has told me that she has made 9 other Aprons for Christmas Gifts since we had this activity!  Way to go! 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Courage, Adversity, and Triumph......

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"At times some may think that no one cares--but someone always cares! Your Heavenly Father will not leave you to struggle alone, but stands ever ready to help."

(Thomas S. Monson, "Three Gates to Open," CES Fireside for Young Adults, Jan. 14, 2001)

Today, the verdict for Brian David Mitchell came in....guilty on all counts.  As terrible as his actions were, I am deeply impressed with the fine young woman who endured and triumphed....Elizabeth Smart.  I believe we all remember where we were when she was abducted.  I recall flyer's, news updates, and my desire to ever secure my young children.

How miraculous were the events that surrounded her discovery and the opportunity to be reunited with her strong family.  For me, the take-away-message is that this young woman knew who she was, knew who her Father-in-Heaven was, and knew her Redeemer.  She knew her family loved her, no matter what indoctrination was imposed, and she knew they were looking for her and that they loved her.

Let us never forget that someone always cares and that our Heavenly Father will never leave us alone.  I am grateful to the Smart family and Elizabeth for showing us all how to allow the Lord to define us and guide us....with grace.  We are never alone, no matter what the circumstances are....

A Favorite of Mine and hopefully yours....

A Christmas Card to you....from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir..

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I have been putting up our Christmas decorations.....without help I might add.  However, I have received several complaints from Rooster Jr. about there being too many trees (only 3!).  Well, take a look at makes my 3 little trees pale in comparison!

<a href="" target="_new" title="Deck the halls with 14,000 LEDs">Video: Deck the halls with 14,000 LEDs</a>

Friday, December 3, 2010

Kids and Christmas

It's early in December when there is a great deal of excitement building.  See Christmas from the persepctive of won't be disappointed!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A new month is coming and.....

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We woke up to a new blanket of snow today, and it looks so peaceful and undisturbed this morning.  However, as we all get moving and get going, that serene scene will be it should be.  Why am I writing to you about snow?  Because when it snows, most folks just want to stay in (unless you are heading to the ski slopes).  Staying in, means you have everything in order to function in your house....without going outside.  You can just enjoy the weather, your family, and all that you have been blessed with.

This entire year, we have been focusing on a target item each week with rare exception.  If you have attempted to do this, today you should have plenty of food storage and other supplies stored in your home.  You should also have a sense of peace and the knowledge that you have followed the counsel that "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear".

So, even though it is a new month, here is the focus.....enjoy.  Focus on your family and the holy Christmas season.  If there were items that you missed, consider getting them.  We are finished gathering weekly items for 2010.  Congratulations.....enjoy the peace and comfort of your efforts and the blessings of the Lord to you and yours.

In our family, we have a tradition to say "Christmas Gift" and try hard to be the first to say it. It's a long story, but a fun one.  So, in honor of this tradition........I say "Christmas Gift" to you.  I hope you enjoy the Christmas Gift you have given to yourself and your family by your efforts to prepare during 2010.

Christmas Gift!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What shall we give..

It is my hope that you and your family took the opportunity to list and express gratitude for the many bounties we all are blessed within in so many ways.  Beginning the Holiday season in a spirit of gratitude is a humble and spiritual beginning.

Now, decide what you can give....not really in a material way, but in a way that gives truly from yourself.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's a test....of YOUR Emergency System

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This is a test...but not only a test.  This is a real emergency in the making. Here in Utah, a tremendous storm is predicted to hit us around 3:00 this afternoon.  The recommendations are:

  • Try to be home before the storm hits (I'll have to see what the big boss says.....)
  • Know where you emergency supplies are.  This applies not only to your car (food, water, blankets, cellphone charger, etc), but to your home.  Do you know where your flashlights and batteries are?  How are you going to cook and stay warm in the event that you loose power?  How are you going to keep the kids entertained with....gasp....electricity?
So, if you find you are without needed items.....make like Betty and Wilma and 'charge' off to the store.  Don't wait.  Let's hope everyone has made a plan and peacefully knows that they are ready.

This is not only a test....IT'S THE REAL THING!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids..........

Such an iconic image from Norman Rockwell.  It shows bounty, family, and laughter.  All things to be grateful for.

To help make the holiday more 'fun', here are some links that you may want to check out.  They are mostly for Mom...and Grandma....see what will work for you!

Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Printables, Coloring Pages, and Crafts

Games, Puzzles, Templates...

More Crafts...

So, let's get started!

It's a new week, and the focus item is Cooking Oil

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It's the week of Thanksgiving....and many of us are planning and preparing for the big day this Thursday.  One of the main ingredients that many of us will need is cooking oil.  Coincidentally, it is also the focus item for this that makes it very easy.

There may be some confusion about what types of oils are used for various types of cooking.  The following information is from an article entitled Cooking Oils 101.  Hopefully you will learn about new types of oils you hadn't previously considered trying, and also what they are best suited for:

Vegetable Oil
Vegetable Oil is probably the most commonly used of all the oils. It can be found frequently for use in recipes and can also be used for frying. Vegetable oil is actually a blend of several oils, such as corn, soybean, palm and sunflower.

Canola Oil
Canola oil has been said to be one of the most healthy of the cooking oils because of its low saturated fat content and high mono unsaturated fat. It is commonly used in frying, but only with medium frying temperatures, about 450 degrees F.

Corn Oil
Corn oil is relatively low on both saturated and mono unsaturated fats. It is popular in margarine and used in both frying and baking. It should only be used when frying on medium temperatures.

Sunflower Oil
Sunflower Oil is low in saturated fat and high in Vitamin E. Many food manufacturers are recognizing the health benefits of sunflower oil and are using it as the preferred oil in such snack foods as potato chips. It can be used in the home to fry, cook, and for use in salad dressings.

Olive Oil
There are different varieties of olive oil: extra virgin, virgin, extra light, and refined. Extra virgin olive oil is the most common of those used. There are many uses for all varieties, such as stir-frying, cooking, sauteing and as an ingredient in recipes.Olive Oil is also frequently used in salad oils. It is the most healthy of all the oils as it is high in mono unsaturated fat which has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Many people use it daily in their meals, drizzling it over a wide variety of foods.

Peanut Oil
Peanut oil is a great oil to use when frying in high temperatures. It is a common oil during the Thanksgiving holiday as many people are using turkey fryers to fry their turkeys, but can be used anytime when frying. everyday

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lion House Pie Crust....mmmmmmm

I recall one Thanksgiving (in college) that I was really trying to make pie crust from scratch.  I became so frustrated that I picked up the dough and threw it at the wall.  Hopefully I have matured a bit since then!

Would you like to learn from a master (and please know that isn't me)?  How about the Head Baker at Lion House?  Well, here she is...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rancid Shortening

It's amazing what you can find on the internet......I was amazed that there was a video on rancid Shortening.  This lady appears to have been trying to live off her Food Storage for 30 days and is sharing what she has learned about storing Shortening.

Now that you have watched the video, you may be asking about the Shelf-Life of Shortening.  Here is information from the Crisco site:

It's week #3 in November...and the focus item is Shortening

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Hi everyone.  We have a new product to focus on this week.  It is one of these needed items for several things you may be preparing for Thanksgiving as well.  This week, we are focusing on Shortening and Shortening Powder.

If you want more information on Shortening Powder, please see a previous post here. Please be sure to read the comments from some veterans who use this product.

It can come in cans or sticks.  It can be a traditional product, or butter flavored.  I have both in my storage.  For more information on these items, please see the Crisco site.

There is one other type of Shortening I would like to introduce you to. 

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This is Palm Shortening.  One of the first thoughts about Palm oils is a possible heath issue based on media reports over the years.  Here is a quote from

In its natural state, palm oil is a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, with most of the unsaturated fat being monounsaturated fat. Palm shortening is palm oil that has some of its unsaturated fats removed, giving it a very firm texture, and high melting point. The melting point of our Organic Palm Shortening is 97 degrees F., making it very shelf stable. It is NOT hydrogenised, and contains NO trans fats! It is great for deep-fat frying and baking, and is not prone to rancidity

I also have this in my storage.  Cookies are not hard...which I love.  It can be substituted into any recipe calling for Shortening.  I really the fact that it is shelf stable.  Traditional Shortening comes in cans made of cardboard that are foil lined.  Rodents can easily eat through this type of container.  However, this comes in a bucket, keeping it 'safer' and it does not easily go rancid...which is a huge plus for Long Term Storage.  Locally, you can purchase this from Alpine Food Storage.

No matter what you choose, stock up today!

Water Storage.....

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This subject alone is both simple and complex.  So, I am going to share some of my favorite Water Storage containers....and one that I am coveting....(Santa...are you listening?).

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The good ole standby are 55 gallon drums.  However, this is a great twist on how to store them.  A benefit to these is that they are not opaque and discourage the growth of bacteria and algae.  The Downside is that they are not transportable  If you needed to leave in a hurry...these would have to stay behind. 

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This is another option for your.  These 'cubes' stack, are opaque and are transportable.  I have several that hold 5 gallons each.  If you ever go on a Pioneer Trek...this is the water container to take!  You can freeze one or more ahead of time so that you can have cool water...for a while.

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These are nice for your refrigerator, but they are transparent and could encourage the growth of slimy things you would not want to drink in an emergency if you stored water in them for extended periods of time.  They must be kept in a dark cool environment.

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There is a place for bottled-water.  It is portable, is great for 72 hour kits, and for quick access in a short-term emergency.  The water in commercially prepared bottles is reportedly 'good' for 2 years.  However, the container is clear, so they will need to be stored in a cool, dark place.

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This is what the LRH is coveting...(oh Santa....where are you?).  Why, because it has all the features that are great for storing water.  It is not opaque, it has 2 'spigots'.  One high enough to put a bucket under and one at ground level to allow you to get all the water out of it.  It holds 275 gallons of water and takes the same floor space as an upright 55 gallon drum.  It can fit through a doorway (Santa....we have a perfect spot in the basement...right next to a floor drain). The 'challenge' areas from my standpoint are that it is not transportable in an emergency..but for staying in place it is great!  Also, depending on your point of view, the cost may be a bit challenging....( up will ya?). The cost, depending upon where you live and shop is between $375.00 and $429.00.

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You certainly can store water in 'PETE" bottles that are made specifically for foods.  Think of all those empty 2-liter bottles you may be discarding.  Clean them out, treat the water, and store for up to 6 months.

So, these are some of my favorite 'Water Storage' things.  Hopefully a little elf will clue in Santa sometime.....what do you think the chances are?

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