Friday, April 29, 2011

It's a matter of Service.....

I was recently asked why I have been 'silent' on our little blog.  I have been busy with other things as of late.  You may be wondering what has taken my attention.  Well, believe it or not, it is Convention time.  "Are you kidding?" you may say. No, I mean it.  You may be unaware, but in the State of Utah, your neighbor has been nominated and elected as a represent you. Different parties have different 'zones' or areas, but just know there is someone who is trying to represent you and vote as they think you would if you had the opportunity. 

I have the privilege to have been elected as a Precinct officer and a County Delegate.  I have spent my evenings going to listen to other individuals who are concerned about the current state of affairs and have chosen to serve ..... you.  For example, tomorrow the Utah County GOP will be  electing individuals for Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Delegates will not only elect individuals to fill these positions, but also for those who are running for State Central Committee (and there are 68 running for 20 positions!).

I have been attending meetings, listening to phone calls, and weeding through my email to help me understand who these candidates are and what they wish to accomplish if they are elected.  I am so grateful that citizens in my area feel a desire to serve and volunteer.  I have heard many reasons why people are running, but most of them boil down to a desire to protect our Republic, elect leaders that will shore-up spending, and turn our country on a course of accountability and responsibility. 

Isn't it wonderful to know that people in your community are stepping up?  What about you?  Are you content with the direction of our state or country?  There is a lot you can do.  Contact a member associated with your party affiliation.  Talk with them and learn about what you can do.  There is always an opportunity to serve. 

In my opinion, I have an obligation to my children and grandchildren to do what I can to protect the rights and freedoms that they should be in a position to experience.  You can do something.....everyone can.  Make the choice to serve your really won't miss that episode of your favorite show that much!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's a Matter of the Vineyard.....

"By small and simple things are great things  brought to pass." Alma 37:6

I once was asked to present a class on service opportunities in our area.  I spent hours locating and compiling information to share with our Relief Society about things they could do to help our community.  I was pleased to see that some needed services required hands on tasks all the way down to doing an on-line task within 15 minutes. I loved the idea of a task that could be done on-line as I am nearly always within range of a computer...but not always near a physical site that might need my help on any given day.

Well, I thought about that class when I came across a new site called Helping in the Vineyard.    It is an opportunity that allows any individual who would like to participate in service opportunities to join together for a common cause. Here is a direct quote:

This Web site establishes a worldwide community as a resource for completing large amounts of work in a short period of time. Much of this work is completed online with potentially thousands of people working on a single project together at the same time.

What a great idea.  Please consider joining together in various projects such as:

  • Prepare Church content to share with the world
  • Prepare Church multimedia to share with the world
  • Translation
  • Family History
You can find these service opportunities at

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A New Easter Tradition In Our Family....

I came across this book when I was looking for a special book I had wanted at Christmas Time.  It was suggested by Amazon, and I decided to take a chance.  The book is entitled "The Story of the Resurrection Eggs, Benjamin's Box" written by Melody Carlson and Illustrated by Jack Stockman (1997).  Essentially, it is a story told from a child's point of view about the time of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I thought that this would be a fun thing to do with the little ones in our I made my own Benjamin's Box.

Here is a picture of all of the items mentioned in the story. 

You will need some plastic eggs.  I bought these on clearance for about $.25 one year.

You do not have to do things this way, but I like "neat"!  I printed off the numbers 1-11 on my labeler.

Then I affixed one number to each egg.  You could write the number on the egg or just try to remember which item is in what color of egg.

Then put the correct item in the correctly numbered egg. Here, I have a bundle of Raffia that is supposed to represent some hay taken from the manger at the time of the Savior's birth.

I prepared a list to keep in the box from year to year. It has the items listed in the correct order in which they appear in the story, so you know what item goes into the accompanying numbered egg. This, of course, will be taken out before you read the story to the little ones.

You do not have to spend a lot of money to do this.  I just used inexpensive items. Here, I cut off the medallion from these 'awards' to use as the coins. You may ask why I didn't use real coins?  Well, in our house, the focus would be more on the real coin and who was going to get it instead of the real meaning for which it was intended in the story.  The coins represent the wages Judas was paid to betray the Savior.

I bought a bag of miniature dishes to get a cup. I just didn't have any Barbie dishes around anymore!

If you have a Scout or a Scout Leader, you probably have some leather lacing round.  This represents a piece of the whip used to beat the Savior.

For the crown of thorns, I was going to use pieces from my thorny bushes outside, but I worried about little fingers getting hurt as they opened the egg and then placing the item into the box.  So, I found this leather 'barbed wire' item at the craft store.  It still looks thorny, but is soft to the touch.

The Dollar Store had dice, which I included to represent the gambling the soldiers did for Jesus's personal effects.

The Donkey hair came from a new cat toy that I cut apart. The stone was from a vase with stones that I put flowers in, the cloth was a small piece from my sewing room, the twig really did come from my backyard, and the spike/nail is a Masonry nail that was small enough to fit into the egg.

Here is a list of each item (in order) that you will need if you wish to do this with your family (along with a Wooden box...easily obtained at a craft store or made if you are handy):
  1. Hay (Raffia)
  2. Donkey Hair (Faux Fur)
  3. Coin
  4. Cup
  5. Twig
  6. Leather Strip
  7. Thorns
  8. Nail/Spike
  9. Dice
  10. Cloth
  11. Stone
Now, here comes the fun part.  We have given each of our adult children (with small children) a Benjamin's Box of their own.  Grandpa and I will read the story to our grandchildren....spread across the country, tomorrow online.  As we get to each item in the story, we will pause and let a grandchild find the correct egg and put the contents inside of their wooden box.  We will be using DimDim (as we have an account with them and can record this to keep). DimDim also has a free service, but you cannot record it.  You could also use Skype if you wished.

So, we are looking forward to tomorrow when we can share the story of the Resurrection with the youngest members of the family.  Wish us luck!

Mom! Can you help me with.....

I love Easter....don't you?  Not only for the timeless message of our Savior's Resurrection, but also for the memorable family traditions tied to the holiday.  Well, our young Roosters and Chicks have said that they might be too grown up for many of the family traditions this I wasn't planning on doing some of them.  However, last night, in a loud voice, Rooster Jr. stated that he wanted to dye Easter Eggs with his friend...and Little Chick said she wanted to do that too.  So, the question loudly yelled across the house was "Mom, Can you help me dye some eggs?"   And I could...

Since I was asked to make Deviled Eggs for our Extended Family Easter Dinner, I had several dozen in the refrigerator.  Here is how we boil them.  Put some salt (to your liking) into a pan of water.  Drop in your eggs carefully to avoid cracking.  Bring to a rolling boil, then turn the heat off (with the lid on of course) and set the timer for 20 minutes.  After the timer goes off, pour out the boiling water and submerge the eggs with cold water.  I find that I need to do this twice to make sure the eggs are cool enough to handle.

Next, boil some water (I do it in a glass measuring cup in the microwave), and fill disposable cups halfway full.  Place at least 1Tablespoon of Vinegar  in each cup.  Place food your liking into each cup and stir.

Because I like to protect my nice counter, we line it with newspaper and place the cups of dye...with spoons on the counter.

Next, go to your office or crafting supplies and pull out crayons, markers, stamps....etc. Decorate the eggs in any manner you wish!

Carefully place the eggs into the dye with a spoon and check every once in a while to see if the color is the intensity you are looking for.

When your eggs are to your them back into the egg carton for safe keeping.

Now look what some basic supplies that you probably have in your home right now can do!  Rooster Jr (and friend) and Chick Jr. did a great job!  I will really hate to crack these open tomorrow to make Deviled Eggs...

Make some memories today.....use the simple things that you already have in your food storage and pantry. 

There is no need to buy specific dye packs/pills to accomplish some little works of art!  Enjoy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Different words....

I was very touched by this is amazing what an impact we can have when we make a change in ourselves....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: A Year's Supply In "Seven Days".

I recently ordered this book   A Year's Supply In 'Seven Days' by Mary Wilde at the recommendation of a friend.  It came yesterday and I looked through it and appreciated several things about this book. 

  • It is concise.  To someone who is just beginning the "food storage" journey, it is an easy read and certainly makes the task seem doable.  In my opinion, starting to store and knowing what to store can be the biggest barriers to obtaining food storage. 
  • Just as the Lord created the earth in 'seven days', she uses the same approach in 'seven days'.  Literally, you most likely will not have your entire storage in 7 actual days, each step in the process is labeled as a 'day'.  For example  Day one is incorporating storable foods into your everyday diet. Day two is planning a 7-day menu etc.
  • It suggests a 7-day plan meaning a 7-day menu.  There is a spreadsheet that you can download and enter the ingredients from your meal plan.  The spreadsheet then calculates the amounts you will need for your 3-month or year's supply. It takes into consideration snacks and 'special occasion' meals (holidays, birthdays, etc) so that you can plan for that as well.  After entering the information, you can print out lists for shopping for 3 months or a year. The spreadsheet can also be used to inventory your food storage staples.
  • Conversion tables are supplied to help you in the following categories: Volume to weight, and volume to volume (i.e. spices....what is the volume you would need for 49 teaspoons?)
  • Some easy-to-follow recipes are also included.
For a ward or stake Food Storage or Emergency Preparedness specialist, this would be a good and reasonable resource to suggest to those you serve. Currently, the price of this book is $5.49 from Granite Publishing and Distribution LLC.  Here is the important part, you need to act quickly.  Reportedly the owner of this publishing company is looking to close it's operation. 

So, consider this little gem of information.  You may find it very helpful.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Go Irvine Stake!!!!

This is a great video that I have seen in a couple of places.  It is from the Irvine Stake.  If you ever thought Food Storage does not apply to are not understanding the Commandment.

I love that this Stake has organized itself to help their members obtain and learn how to use Food Storage Staples.  They even have classes and an interactive Cookbook.  I love when a plan comes together....Kudo's to Irvine Stake.  (Interactive Cookbook)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Dinner....from our "Stockpile"

I recently saw an episode of  "Extreme Couponing".  One of the 'shoppers' was showing off her supply or 'stockpile'.  I found that to be an interesting synonym for "Food Storage". 

Being that it is Sunday, we have a Sunday family dinner together.  Today, I didn't plan ahead...again.  I usually do better, but I have not been on top of this lately.  Not to worry, I was able to make a delicious yet easy meal from my Food Storage staples...or my stock pile.  I made Chicken Chow Mein and it was really good!

With the exception of the celery, everything is shelf-stable.  I have my (on the back row) Dehydrated Mushrooms (that I did myself), the Chow-Mein Noodles, & dehydrated onions.On the first row, I have the Chicken that I canned.  (If you wish to see how this is done, please go here).  In this same row, there is cornstarch, rice, and chicken bouillon. 

I put the dehydrated onions and mushrooms in a glass with hot water.  I could have used dehydrated celery as well, but I needed to use the celery in my refrigerator.  See how the dried food initially rose to the top.

Next, I chopped the Celery

I made the chicken broth by using the chicken bouillon and hot water.

After about 5 minutes, I drained the liquid from the glass.  See how much the onions and mushrooms have increased in volume?

I opened a jar of chicken cut it into chunks.

I drizzled some Olive Oil into the pan.

Fry the mushrooms and onions in the Olive Oil.

Drop in the chopped Celery.

Add the chicken stock (that was made with the chicken bouillon)

Add the soy sauce

Add the chopped chicken.

Add the Cornstarch/water mixture.  Stir until thickened.

This is the end result.  I gave my family the choice of Chow Mein Noodles and Rice.  And, by the way...there is nothing left!

Here is the recipe from "Cookin' With Home Storage"  Peggy Layton and Vicki Tate. 

Chicken Chow Mein (using fresh or dried foods)

Brown lightly in oil:
1/4 C onions
1 C Mushrooms

Add and simmer for 15 minutes
1 1/2 C chopped cooked chicken (canned will work)
1 C diced celery
1 1/2 C meat stock or water
3 T soy sauce.

Blend and stir into meat mixture:
1 1/2 T Cornstarch
3 T of water

Cook until slightly thickened and clear.  Serve over rice or noodles.

It was a fast and delicious meal.  Try it soon!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shut-down averted.....But the Slow Leak Continues....

It appears that we have had an 11th hour reprieve....the government is open for business.   Yesterday, my daughter recieved a very emotional overseas phone call from her Marine husband who had just emerged from Jungle Warfare training.  He was informing her that they may not be paid for a while if the government shut down occurs. I found this very difficult for 2 impacts my children....and I don't take kindly to that.  Secondly, my Son-in-law is on the other side of the world with many other concerns....and now this has been added to his shoulders? 

I have watched this issue play-out over the past few months.  I really do mean 'months'.  It's kind of like knowing you have a slow leak in your tire....and don't address it until you are traveling at a freeway speed and all of a sudden have to make a quick decision.....when the Tirestore may be miles away....may not be open....or may not service your brand of tire.  All of this could have been prevented.....despite your political affiliation.

Also, as in the tire analogy, I could have blamed my husband for not noticing or taking care of it....or my son....or my daughter for that matter.  I could have complained that the tire manufacturer did not do their duty and sold me an inferior product.  I could have complained to anyone who would listen.....instead of taking responsibility and addressing the situation....that I created.

This recently actually happened to me.  My co-workers told me I had a slow leak, my husband, my daughter etc kept telling me I had a slow leak.  I kept stopping to fill up the tire until I 'had time' to deal with it.  Well, I finally did deal with it....and a giant nail was removed from the tire which resulted in my having to to purchase a new tire.  This was my fault and I could not blame anyone else.  My husband had the 'tire guy' put the damaged tire in a bag in my back seat.  I was frustrated by this initially. My sweet husband said..."you need to go to the tire store and talk with "the tire guy" about this".  My husband arranged for me to have a little class as to why I had to purchase a new tire...which was not cheap.  It was expensive monetarily and personally. After I was shown how my neglect over time had damaged my tire, (and he was very nice and professional about it), that darn tire was finally removed from my car. I had to swallow some humble pie in that situation....and it wasn't pleasant.

It is time for our elected representatives to swallow humble pie.....and probably in large amounts.  Let's get to the heart of the matter.  It is ridiculous to believe that we can sustain and protect our future if serious attention is not made to the programs that are actually driving our economic collapse. It's time to deflate some tires in Washington and place the blame where it truly lies.

This is Senator Mike Lee from Utah explaining where some of the seeds of our current situation were planted, in his view of course.  See if you learn anything new or interesting from Senator Lee.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Price increases at Home and Family Storage Centers...cont

(Image courtesy of 

Hi all:

The following comes from the "Food Storage" Yahoo group. It is a PDF that shows the price increases at the Home and Family Storage Centers (aka, Cannery). My thanks to the fine folks who prepared this information in such a readable fashion.

Price increases at Home and Family Storage Centers

The Story of the "Y"....

For those of you who have attended the Provo campus of BYU, the "Y" has a special meaning.  Although I have looked at it many times in it's perch high above Utah County, I did not know the meaning and history of it.  Here is the story of the "Y".

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Price Increases at Home and Family Storage Centers....

(Image courtesy of

We are seeing such dramatic increases in fuel and food prices as of late.  Here is some information prepared by 2 different sources to show the increases in food prices from the Home and Family Storage Centers.

The first comes from Cheryl D. from

These are all 25 lb bags unless otherwise indicated.

Black beans 13.20 to 16.80

Pinto beans 17.45 to 18.55

White beans 12.55 to 16.00

Powdered milk 41.65 to 47.20

White rice 10.00 to 13.85

Sugar 17.35 to 21.15

Red wheat 7.65 to 11.45

White wheat 7.65 to 11.45

Apple slices 15 pounds 60.45 to 72.55

Dried carrots 57.65 to 66.40

Macaroni 20 pounds 16.50 to 20.25

Quick oats 9.85 to 15.95

Regular oats 9.85 to 15.35

Dried onions 35 pounds 76.30 to 88.20

Potato flakes 30.90 to 33.30

Spaghetti 19.95 to 23.85

Refried bean flakes 28.60 to 35.90

Hot cocoa mix 33.50 to 38.95

White flour 10.30 to 13.30

Fruit Drink mix 27.75 to 31.30

Pancake mix 4 lbs 2.60 to 3.05

Potato pearls 28 oz 3.20 to 4.25

The empty cans, mylar bags and plastic lids are the only items that went down in price. The absorbers stayed the same price.

The second comes from a wonderful neighbor, DeVirl B. who has made the following observations in early March 2011:
I compared the prices on 25 pound bags of 20  food items commonly sold at the Lindon Family Home Storage Center and  the price went up 19.1% in 22 months or about 1% a month. This  happened while the government reported inflation rate was between 2  and 3%. The biggest jumps were in:

Sugar 26%

Regular Oats 29.6%

White Wheat 31.9%

Macaroni 36.4%

Potato Flakes 39.2%

Rice and beans increased very little during the same period.

Anything that is corn related, like meat, is going up very rapidly now.

By the way, the traffic at the Home Storage section of the cannery tripled in the last three weeks. I think gas going from $2.79 to  $3,39 probably sparked the interest.

Folks, if you haven't taken the opportunity to get your long term storage items, it is strongly suggested that you begin today.

Monday, April 4, 2011

How Awesome Was April's General Conference......

Did you feel like you didn't get enough of General Conference this past weekend? Were the kids or the dog being a bit too noisy, and you wished that you could hear "that part again"? Well, you can!  Go to this link and get all the sessions.  Consider making a CD to play in your car or download to your MP3 player.  Or, just savor the great council again!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dayton's Legs...

I hope you have enjoyed General Conference this weekend and feel spiritually fed. I hope you have had a chance to list things that you will be focusing on and implementing into your life.

Now, just to end the weekend with a tremendous experience view the following. If you are like the will need a tissue.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A General Conference Breakfast...with Food Storage Ingredients!

(Image courtesy of

Each General Conference, I try to post a breakfast idea to try.  It is a perfect time to experiment with your food storage products and also a great time to spend with your family.  This is a yummy recipe is taken directly from The Beautiful Basics.

Creme Brulee French Toast

This was what we had for Christmas morning this year. I love it because you make it the night before and then just pop it in the oven the next day. I have used both Texas toast for the bread and a loaf of sliced French bread. They both have positives. The Texas Toast is a little easier to cut but it didn't caramelize around the edges quite as well as the French bread. I hope you love it!


1/2 cup butter

1 cup of packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons of corn syrup

1 loaf of Texas toast or French bread cut into slices

5 eggs

1 1/2 cups of half and half (you can use the fat free with pretty decent results, it was still yummy.)

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat until smooth, storing occasionally. Pour mixture into large, greased jelly roll pan (18X13X1 it says but I would have had to use 2 for the 12 slices to fit, I could only get about 6 whole slices on the sheet and some half slices around the edge). Spread to cover surface. Place 12 slices bread in a single layer to cover pan. Mix together eggs, half and half, salt and vanilla. Spoon mixture over each slice of bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and serve. If not serving immediately, turn each slice of bread over to prevent them from sticking to the pan. It says to serve with syrup butter (1 1.2 cups of butter mixed with 3 cups of maple syrup) but I honestly did not need to add anything. A sprinkling of powdered sugar would look nice too. This would also be good with fruit on the side.

The only thing you may not have is the cream in your storage.  However, you can purchase shelf stable whipping cream (from sites such as Alpine Food Storage) and have it at the ready.

I like the fact that it is made ahead of you can sleep in!!!  Try it!

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's General Conference Time......

Dear Readers:

I hope you are looking forward to a wonderful Conference weekend.  Having said that, it is important to know that many suppliers (brick and mortar as well as online) have sales on food storage items and equipment.  So, take advantage and stock up.

Happy Shopping!

A Little Peanut Butter for the Houston Food Bank....

I came across this video that shows the impact that one "Cannery" is making is Houston.  If you take the success of this one facility, and multiply it by all the "Canneries" and the various products they produce....the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints influence is certainly far reaching.  If you have an opportunity to serve in your local Cannery.....please do so.  In my view, you would be on an errand of angels....

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