Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Getting the Word Out....through Pinterest

Image courtesy of
At this point in time, I am always shocked to find someone who either has not heard of or is not using Pinterest. A beloved family member recently bit the bullet and joined.  Welcome to the dark side my dear:)

I get frequent notices that my 'pins' have been repined on to many other people's boards. Today, I decided to look into how popular some of them are. Let's just say that I was a bit shocked by the number count of some of my posts/pins. Would you like to know some of the most popular pins?  Okay!

1.  I wrote a post on Canning Dried Beans.  To date, it has been repined over 8,000 times!
2.  Another post/pin on how to use Mylar Bags  has been repined nearly 3,000 times.
3.  Information how to mix good tasting Powdered Milk has been repined nearly 5,000 times.
4.  I wrote a post about Temple Marriage (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) that included a fabulous video from Jenny Phillips.  This one has been repined nearly 9,000 times.

These are just a handful that I discovered.  I am very humbled by all of this, and very grateful to you as readers.  I hope to be able to continue to offer information that may be helpful to you as you pursue your quest to be prepared. 

I want to thank you all for your interest.  May the Lord bless you all.   

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's a Matter of Preparing your Young Single Adult for Emergencies when they are away at School

Do you remember when you left home to begin your big adventure at school or your first 'grown-up' job?  Chances are, if you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that following your move you were a member of a Young-Single Adult (YSA) Ward. As you can see from the above picture, in my area, the YSA wards number in the hundreds.  

During this time of life, many are on their own for the first time.  They are trying to balance school, work, dating, friendships, church service...and just surviving it all.  As my husband and I serve in a YSA ward, we see so much goodness and potential in all of the YSA's.  Sometimes the balancing is not so graceful and course corrections are in order. 

With all that activity, do you think that preparedness and emergency plans are anywhere on the horizon?  I can tell you honestly, it is probably one of the furthest thoughts from their minds.  So, enter the Emergency Preparedness plan for each ward and Stake.

This is actually a photo that I took while in one of our student's apartments.  It is the Stake/Ward Emergency Preparedness plan.  But this is only one aspect.

There is actually a lot of planning that goes into the YSA Emergency Preparedness plan.  I will include some excerpts:

"Church guidance for YSA Stakes:  “ As stake presidents, we should counsel our members that while they do not need to accumulate food that would supply their long-term needs, they should have a short-term supply as recommended in the current pamphlet, All Is Safely Gathered In. You should feel free to counsel your members appropriately.  (Elder Osguthorpe memo to Stake Presidents, April 27, 2008)"
Does this sound familiar?

 Establish and maintain means of emergency communications.
A. Develop and maintain a communication plan that will enable:
(1) Members communicating with their respective ward leadership.

(2) Wards communicating with their respective Stake leadership.
(3) Stakes communicating with the University's Emergency Operations Center.
(4) Stakes communicating as needed with others outside the stake or wards.
B. Periodically test this communications system.
So, how do you test the "Communication System" in a YSA Ward and Stake? You have a drill!

In our Stake, a drill is held during Family Home Evening twice within a school year. This is announced ahead of time.  All members of the ward gather in one place (parking lot, volleyball court...some central location) at 7:00 at night. Each apartment number is called out by a member of the Ward Emergency Preparedness Committee. Those who reside in the apartment report who is currently on site, and the location of anyone who is not.  If they don't know where everyone is, these roommates are asked to text/call/contact to learn the location of everyone in their apartment. It sounds simple enough doesn't it?  Believe it or not, response is not quick. Sometimes the Bishopric calls as well.  The entire YSA ward stays until hopefully the location of everyone is known.  Then, the information is relayed to a Stake representative until the Stake President is informed about the whereabouts of his flock.  There are times when not all members can be found.  When this occurs, an action plan is put in place to help ensure this would not happen in the case of a real emergency. Frankly, this is why they have these drills. 

Then what?  A little training with a very captive audience.  Remember not all young adults are single.

Here are guidelines for personal preparation that are offered.  Notice that the YSA's are encouraged to have enough money on hand to get home.  Sometimes that may involve a tank of gas, however it often it involves a flight.

Personal Emergency Response Plan
Guidelines for Provo Utah YSA & Married Student Stakes
$ Keep at least one week's worth of groceries on hand at all times, along with food for emergencies (granola bars, etc.).
$ Keep at least a three-day supply of emergency water (one gallon per person per day).

$ Keep your car's gas tank at least half full at all times.
$ Have enough money available to get to your parents= home (if that is where you would go in case of a major emergency) or other place of retreat.
$ Have your cell phone programmed to call family and other important people in your life. Program an ICE (In Case of Emergency) number in your cell-phone directory.
$ Designate an out-of-area family member as a family-communication contact.
$ Keep your roommates/spouse apprised of your whereabouts.
$ Know about emergency information sources, including KSL AM 1160 and FM 102.7 and KBYU FM 89.1 and 89.5.  Remember that your car radio is a source for emergency information.
Other emergency items
$ Designate a place for meeting your roommates, or your spouse and children (right outside your home for emergencies such as fires, and outside your neighborhood if you can=t get home).
$ Be aware of your ward=s emergency response plan, especially the ward emergency-meeting locations.
$ Identify primary and alternate escape routes out of your home, and conduct drills with your family/roommates.
$ Keep all needed medications readily available (one-week supply).
$ Have items available for warmth in cold weather (coats, blankets, etc.)
$ Keep insurance policies (policy number and contact information) available, along with any other important documents, such as birth certificates and marriage licenses.
$ Learn what to do for the different hazards that could impact you or your family.  See General Emergency Guidelines at
$ Go to for more information.
11 August 2008
This next part seems Herculean for many young adults.  Again, they are often just learning how to live on their own and have traditionally relied on their parents to be mindful of emergency preparedness items.  Here are instructions on making a kit for emergencies (FYI, this would be a good outline for a parent to prepare a kit for their YSA to take with them).

Get A Kit You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer.
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Local maps
Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
Prescription medications and glasses
Infant formula and diapers
Pet food and extra water for your pet
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
Cash or traveler's checks and change
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit - PDF, 277Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information
Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from
Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
Fire Extinguisher
Matches in a waterproof container
Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
Paper and pencil
Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting: 

How do you end this informative Family Home Evening?  With fun, games, and food!  

Parents Take-Home Message:
  • Teach your children basic preparedness skills before they leave home. This includes how to cook from scratch, clean and how to do laundry.  You seriously handicap your child if they do not have these basic matter how many times they roll their eyes and complain.
  • Teach your children basic survival skills such as those listed above.  This is for their safety and also so that you can sleep at night while they are gone:)
  • Teach them to respond when members of their ward call or text them.  This is not only a courtesy, but in the case of an emergency it is a safety issue.  Too many YSA's do not respond when they are contacted by either peers or leadership.  Then, if they do respond, it may have been days since the initial contact. Also, teach them to look at their email.....regularly.  All communication does not come in the form of a text.  If some of the above information were to be sent as an attachment, honestly some of our YSA's would never see it even though they have email.
  • Teach them basic First Aid skills.
  • Teach them budgeting skills.  One of the requirements above was to have enough money to get home.  Some of our YSA's don't even know where they are going to get enough money to eat for the next week because they live in the present. This is only true for some of them.
  • Have an out-of-state person for them to contact in case of an emergency. I would recommend that you have this stipulated before they leave home.
Emergency Preparedness skills are necessary during all phases of life.  Please don't forget those folks who probably consider themselves to be exempt from having to even consider this important topic just because of their station in life.

Be Safe!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Looking for a Quote or a Spiritual Thought.....but don't have lots of time to search?

Isn't this a great visual?  Isn't this a great spiritual thought by Elder David Bednar?  Well, I am not crafty (or clever) enough to come up with these beautiful images and quotes all by myself. However, there are many that are readily available. Would you like to see more?

I love this quote by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

I greatly appreciate this one by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  Especially the "Love is a measure..." 

The Sisters are also quoted.  For me personally, this should be another motto for Relief Society.  "First observe then serve" is a great quote by Sister Linda K Burton.

Isn't this one not only visually beautiful but powerful in it's message?

So, where do these come from?  Where else,  To be exact, they come from here.  

So, the next time you are looking for a Spiritual Thought for either yourself, for a lesson (Relief Society, Sunday School, Visiting Teaching, Primary, Family Home Evening) or possibly for a talk, go to and look in the media library.  Lots of treasures to be had in there!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

My Volcano Stove, Small Packaging...Big Results!

Have you ever purchased something having intention of using it right away?  Well, that is certainly the case for me.  I bought a Volcano Stove and was very excited to use it.  I walked by it several times and saw it in the closet many times.  I kept thinking to myself, "I need to just get it out and try it"...but alas life happened and my poor Volcano stove stayed packed up...waiting to be tested.

I then was asked to teach a class on Powerless Cooking in the Midwest.  Yea!  I finally had the opportunity to make use of it.  And...I love this device.  I purchased the Volcano II which can use 3 different types of fuel.  And, I love that flexibility.

I like to use a Chimney to start charcoal.  I like the fact that it can prepare all the coals in an equal burn.

The Volcano II easily sets up.  With a quick pull on the handle, the collapsible legs set up.

This device has a 2 plates. One for fuel.

And one to hold my Dutch Oven.

This device is designed to control the heat better than traditional charcoal with Dutch Oven Cooking.  

This sliding vent allows you to control the airflow.  Instead of a quick rise in heat with a quick cooling curve, the vent allows for super heat to surround the Dutch oven and have a more controlled burn or utilization of the heat.  

See how nicely the Dutch Oven fits into the Volcano?

Finally, I spaced briquettes around the top.  Then a short time later, we have a delicious Apple Cobbler to enjoy.

Take Away Points:
  • This is a huge addition to your Emergency Cooking plan.
  • It makes efficient use of your fuel, which is a major consideration.
  • It can use wood, charcoal or propane, which gives you many options for cooking.
  • It collapses into a small unit and fits easily into a carrying case that came with my unit.
  • It runs about $200.00.

I will use this over and over again.  I am just sorry I didn't take advantage of this wonderful device earlier.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Biggest Prepper" contest at My Food Storage Cookbook!

Hi all:

This is a shout-out to Megan from at My "Food Storage Cookbook".  She is hosting the "Biggest Prepper" Contest and has some wonderful prizes to go along with it. If you need inspiration to get yourself going or if you just need to learn more, go to her site today!

Learn more about the contest by going here.

Check it out today!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Convenience your Pantry.!

I glanced at my Facebook page one day and saw a plea from my very pregnant daughter. She was under the weather and posted a plea for homemade Chicken Soup.  She was mostly kidding, but I was in a position to make some for her.

I had everything and didn't have to go to the store....I just love that!!!!!  Having your Food Storage Staples is so very convenient!

I cut the carrots....

Diced the Celery....

I used my "Pantry Gold" (aka Canned Chicken).  I poured the broth into the pan with the vegetables, spices and Bay Leaf.  I also used some of my Chicken Soup base that I use when I need Chicken broth.  This is a shelf stable product.  

I diced the chicken....I personally like to have real chunks of Chicken in my soup.

Instead of Noodles, I put in Barley. I love the texture that Barley gives the soup.

Letting the soup simmer for a few minutes makes the whole house smell wonderful.

Transporting the soup was a challenge.  I remembered that I had these wonderful jars with a rubber seal.  I usually make my yogurt in these jars.  

I used my canning funnel to spoon the delicious soup into the jar....

I placed the freshly made soup into a bag.

Threw in some crackers.....

And, of course I put "someone's missing Dinosaur Train" in the bag.  You see, not only was my daughter not feeling well, but her little 2-year old son was fussing because he could not find his one of his favorite toys. It had accidentally been left behind during one of his visits to our house.  

What is the 'take-home message'?  Having a well-stocked pantry and Food Storage allows you to do things on the spot.  Yes, I did use fresh carrots and celery, but a well stocked refrigerator is also part of being prepared.  I could have used dehydrated vegetables if I wanted to.  I just decided to use the fresh vegetables.

Ultimate convenience comes from having your Food Storage Staples available.  Yes, Food Storage is absolutely 'convenience food' at your fingertips.  

Would you like the recipe?  It comes from an old Cookbook I have had for a very long time.  

Chicken Rice Soup (The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook 1973)

  • 3-4 lbs stewing chicken cut into pieces (I used my canned chicken-1 Pint)
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) water
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning, if desired
  • 2 medium stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion copped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown or white rice  (I used Barley instead)
In large saucepan, combine chicken, water, salt, peppercorns and poultry seasoning.  Bring to boil. Cover and simmer 2-2 1/2 hours or until hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and peppercorns.  Skim off fat. Cut meat from the bone and return to soup.  (Isn't the canned Chicken easier?).  Add remaining ingredients. Continue simmering, covered, 30-40 minutes or until rice (Barley in my case) is tender.    For Chicken Noodle Soup, omit rice and 1-2 cups uncooked noodles.  Cover until noodles are tender.  

Try It On A Cold Wintery Day!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Unrest in the Ukraine....the World is Smaller Than We Think

There has been a great deal of news coverage on the unrest in the Ukraine over the past few weeks. 

Image courtesy of Bleacherreport

We have seen, Bogdana Matsotskachoose, give up her Olympic  dream of her life to go home and support the protestors in their home land.  

Image courtesy of PBS
Protesters and Police have clashed, too many have lost their lives.  There has been a change in leadership and a fledgling government is trying to stand on wobbly legs.

I have watched, as we all have, these events on the news.  As badly as I have felt for the citizens of this country, it all came home to roost for me today.  My friend placed this plea on her Facebook page (with the names removed):

"Asking a favor - Putin has asked his parliament for permission to send military troops to Ukraine - specifically Crimea. We are fasting tomorrow for the people of Ukraine and the missionaries there (especially the one who is near and dear to my heart - Elder (son)) - could you add them into your fasting and prayer tomorrow? And - if you aren't the fasting, but the praying type - could you lift them up in prayer. My heart hurts for this people and their division and what it could mean for their country. Thank you so much!"

How could I or anyone not feel for this family and the all of the families who live in this troubled corner of the world?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made the following statement today.

Church Statement on Missionaries Serving in Ukraine

Salt Lake City-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement today regarding missionaries serving in Ukraine:
Due to civil unrest, 23 missionaries serving in the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission have been removed from the Crimean peninsula and transferred to other areas within the mission as a precautionary measure.

Many around the world are  participating in Fasting and Prayer today and tomorrow. If you can find it in your heart, can you please include the missionaries and the people of the Ukraine in your Prayers and Fasting.  

If you are new to Prayer, it isn't difficult. Find a quiet and secluded place.
  • Begin by calling on The Father by saying "Heavenly Father" 
  • Take a minute to offer your thanks for the blessings that you are grateful for.  Suggestions might be for your family, health, shelter, etc
  • Ask Heavenly Father for the things you are calling upon him for.  (If you feel so inclined, ask for protection and care to be upon the People of the Ukraine).
  • End "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen"
Our Brothers and Sisters abroad need our help.  Please find it in your heart to include them in your Fasting and Prayers.

ADDENDUM:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released the following information:

Given the evolving situation in Ukraine, 22 missionaries serving in that country will end their missions early and return home over the next few days. This includes missionaries originally scheduled for release in March and April of this year and allows the four missions in Ukraine to better accommodate the missionaries who were moved out of the Crimean Peninsula. Missionaries who have been in missionary training centers preparing to enter Ukraine are being temporarily reassigned to other missions or will remain at the MTCs on a short-term basis (see previous statements issued this week).

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