Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rich blessings from the Lord

"As we pay our tithing faithfully, the Lord will open the windows of heaven and pour out upon us His richest blessings."
--Carl B. Pratt, "The Lord’s Richest Blessings", April 2011 Ensign
3 Nephi 24:10-12
We Give Thee But Thine Own, 218

Monday, October 1, 2012

Self Reliance Tip #74

Well, here we are at tip #74. Wow, we've covered a lot haven't we :). 

Found this quote...LOVE IT!!!

"Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak" -Marion G. Romney

I just found out about this little cooker that works exactly like a wonder oven, but it doesn't have the big bin to go with it - i.e. it is a bit more portable. Their website doesn't have much information, but it looks cool. If you are interested check it out! If you want to get one at a better price, I know some people who are doing a group buy where they are getting it for $81 shipped (as opposed to $109 + s&h) - but you have to decide and let me know before October 15th!

When you go to the store and look for seasonings, sometimes do you wish you could make your own? Some of the ingredients look like something in a Latin book...what the heck is that?? Here is a little site that shows you how to make your own. You control the ingredients. Add an oxygen absorber or vacuum seal them for a longer shelf life! Sweet!

Once upon a time we had talked about doing a 7-day challenge much like the ladies at "Food Storage Made Easy" - but we didn't get to it. Here is a link to the challenge they did. I encourage you to scroll down and read the comments of others' experiences. You may get some ideas or better understanding from their challenge. If you want to scroll between the days, those links are just above the comment area. There is some really good stuff here.

Never forget this...

"Never let anyone else be your back up plan. Be your own back up plan.

My favorite movie is "The Princess Bride". In that movie is one of my favorite quotes, "My father's final words were, love her as I loved her, and there will be joy." (You have to see it...) 

Ok, so for my final words to you at the close of this calling for me are: 

#1. I want to encourage you to (continue to) talk to your family and friends about the importance of self-reliance. 
#2. Share our blog with your friends and family. I believe it will help get their creative minds cranking. I recently updated our latest tips, so it should be ready to share.
#3. Love and help each other...and there will be joy. :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Self Reliance Tip #73 - Eggs, Reusable Canning Lids, Etc Etc Etc - Sept 24

Hello my faithful tip readers :). I have a few links to share with you. I hope you enjoy the information found in them. 

I have been looking around for dehydrated eggs on the market. Not all of them have very good reviews. The link to these "egg crystals" has excellent reviews. Over and over and over I read that "my family didn't even know they were dehydrated" or "my kids ask me to make these instead of fresh eggs". I thought I'd pass it along in case anyone was interested. 

Canning can save you money. If you are using reusable canning lids you can save even more. Many of the reviews that I read said they've been using the same lids for years and years. 

I just found this DIY waterproof fire starter. They come in handy if you ever have to start a fire with slightly damp wood. Another neat thing about these is that you can recycle things that would be thrown away otherwise. One reviewer said that it is easier and less messy to pour the wax directly into each "mold" and then fill it with the lint and let it dry as opposed to dipping them. See for yourself how easy it can be!

I found this super cute way to patch clothes. One reviewer even said they were going to make some holes just so they could patch them these cute ways :). 

Because of the changes happening in our stake, our family will be trotting along to First Ward. With that in mind, I do not know if the new Relief Society Presidency of the Solomonville Ward will be continuing these tips with the new "Preparedness Specialist". So, next week will be the last tip from this little hen :). It has been a pleasure to serve in this capacity. Hopefully with all the tips that have been sent, there is something you have been able to glean to help your family become more Self-Reliant

Self Reliance Tip #72 - A House of Learning & Military Sleeping Bags - Sept 18

".....a house of learning, a house of order, a house of God." D&C 88:119

So, we come to the end of the scripture we've been referencing. 

A House of Learning:
On my bathroom wall are several quotes for reading enjoyment when you have nothing else to do but stare :). Among these quotes is one from my all time hero - Benjamin Franklin. It says, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."

What kind of learning do we need? We need both secular and spiritual learning. Often times, those two crisscross each other. If knowledge is the only thing we can take with us when we pass this life, it is indeed the most important thing to be doing with our time. The size of our house, the brand of clothing we wear, or how much we paid for the food we ate at nice restaurants will be of zero value. 

Of course we are counseled to "...seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom (D&C 88:118)." How can the best books help us learn to become self-reliant

My husband and I were in Bookworms the other day and found this awesome book! It is called "The Incredible Edible Landscape." It shares ideas where you can organize your yard to look beautiful, but more importantly you can mix beautiful flowers with lettuces and other vegetables to make a life sustaining yard. 

Here is a link to the book:

Here is a blog I found called "Gardening Under the Influence" (...isn't that hilarious???) :

Gardening is only one way to use your knowledge to become moreself-reliant...there are SO many more!

A House of Order:

I am the last person on earth to teach anyone about order. It is something I am consistently working and striving for...though I fall short often. Something that has helped me is to make a priority list. I list out all the things that need to be done and then number them either a 1,2 or 3. My goal is to get all my "1's" done. If I can do no more than that, I have gotten the most important things done and I can feel good about it. It is too bad that the top of my dresser is always a "3", but someday it will bug me enough to be a "1" :) .

How does order help us to become more self-reliant? With all of the things you have stored away for the future, do you know where to find them? Some of the three month supply items might need to be rotated because of their shorter shelf life. Order with regard to these things will make your life so much easier when the time comes to use these items.

Something else I have started (if you remember me talking about using Home Depot moving boxes for #10 cans) - is to take the moving boxes and list on a 3x5 card what is in them. For instance, "Tomato powder x 3" - if I pull one out to use, I change the x 3 to a x 2. Then I will put on the bottom of the card how many empty spaces I have in the box. 

Here is a link with more ideas:

A House of God:

The most important aspect of self-reliance is actually the reliance on our Heavenly Father to help guide and direct us. I often pray for guidance and I find things that I hadn't thought of before. My sister, who's husband is paraplegic, has many of the same needs I do. However, there are very many different things she needs to store for her family than we need. 

Our Father is mindful of us. If any of this is overwhelming to you, as for guidance and He will help you as He as our family.


And another thing...

A few months ago we discussed the importance of having a good sleeping bag. As I looked and looked for more reasonable prices, I was getting discouraged because high quality sleeping bags with a good rating were just really expensive. Well, I found something that is doable for our family. They are used military issue bags that are so cool that I just can't hardly contain myself!!!

The prices vary, but they have been tried and true by our military so the research and development has already been done on them. What makes them so cool is that they are actually three bags in one. If the weather is warmer, you only need part of the bag. As it cools off, you tuck another part into the bag. With all three bags the temperature rating can go to 30 to 40 degrees below zero. Many campers/preppers don't take a tent to practice with them. They only use the sleeping bag!

Here is where I found them:

Then click on the "used" button. 

Remember, if you choose to get some, do not buy from sellers who have a poor rating - I wouldn't go with anything less than 96% positive feedback. 

Self Reliance Tip #71 - Establish a House & 72 Hr. Kits - Sept 11

Good Morning!!!

We're just gonna jump right into this today! We're gonna move on with the next part of our scripture ( D&C 88:119):

"...and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith..."

Much of the "world" today looks on homemaking and running a household as the least desirable of all jobs. I was at the bank the other day and the teller said, "What do you do for a living?" 

My response was, "Um, well, I'm a taxi driver, a laundress, a messaging service, an accountant, a chef,..." I think she got the picture and started laughing. However; the most important part of establishing a home is the spiritual part of it. All the pretty decorations and fine furniture will mean nothing if we haven't taught our children the love the Lord and His love for us. One of the hardest things for me to teach my children is to fast properly and to fast for the "right" reasons. Just when you think all is lost and you are ready to throw in the towel, you get surprised (as I was when all three of my children bore their testimonies last Sunday...I did not expect that one). Here is a link to an article written by Elder Bednar about the scriptures and five principles we can apply to our scripture study to make it more meaningful to us: http://www.lds.org/new-era/2006/04/because-we-have-them-before-our-eyes

Where can we go to increase our abilities to prepare our families spiritually for whatever might be ahead? The obvious answer is: the scriptures. When we take the time to read about the last days and the Second Coming we are reminded of the plan that was prepared from the beginning. Some of Revelations and Isaiah can be a bit confusing, but there are other helps out there. Here are a few books that I have read that have helped me understand some of these prophecies so much better - lots of food for thought: 


And another thing...

I have been spending extra time these last few months trying to perfect my 72 hour kits...you know, like I had to actually LIVE on it for 3 or more days. 72 hour kits are a very personal thing. Think of it as your purse...I am lacking so much to have a perfect purse...but Sister Marilyn has just about everything! I think I've even seen the kitchen sink in there once or twice! 

There are several things in 72 hour kits that everyone needs. This list is what I have been using to have a better 72 hour kit and where I found them:
  • Emergency drinking water packets (they are smaller than water bottles - Amazon)
  • MRE complete meals (I have found some Mountain House at Walmart in the camping isle)
  • Emergency candles (I made some of my own - beeswax :) )
  • Emergency Poncho (found on Amazon.com)
  • Emergency Blanket (found on Amazon.com)
  • Water purification tablets (Wal-Mart)
  • Compass (Wal-Mart)
  • Disposable Hand Warmer (Wal-Mart)
  • Canteen (Wal-Mart and Amazon.com)
  • Pair of Work gloves (Home Depot)
  • Eating Utensils (check these out...they are like pocket knife style http://www.amazon.com/SE-KC5006S-4-Inch-Camping-Detachable/dp/B000XFHJW4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1347376592&sr=8-2&keywords=eating+utensils+camping)
  • First Aid Kit ( Army surplus store in Sierra Vista)
  • Nylon cord (haven't got it yet...)
  • Wind and Waterproof matches (Walmart)
  • Tissue (Walmart)
  • Roll toilet tissue (Walmart)
  • Can opener (GI type - on my utensil set)
  • Whistle (Wal-Mart)
  • Magnesium fire starter (Walmart & Big 5)
  • Knife (swiss army type - Walmart)
  • Butane lighter (Walmart & Thriftee)
  • FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual
  • Pocket soap (made it :) )
  • Small stove and fuel (Walmart)
  • Folding scissors (Walmart)
  • Light sticks (Walmart)
  • Roll Duck tape (Walmart)
  • Waste bags (Walmart)
  • Stainless Steel Mess Kit (Big 5)
  • Water Bottle Filter (I have one similar to this http://www.cheaperthandirt.net/product/CAMP-173?utm_source=GoogleShopping&utm_medium=organic&gclid=CPyQoM_srbICFWXhQgod3x8AJw)
I found one last thing I wanted to mention as far as food for the 72 hour kit. These little tabs are awesome! I plan on getting some for our family. They are called "survival tabs". Four tabs give you enough nutrition for 1 meal. They are compact, light and take up such little space it is incredible! I have talked to other people who have tried them and they said they taste good (what's the point if they taste bad right? ). They even said their kids love them! It would be nice to replace one to two meals which will save water to drink instead of food preparation. The less water you have to carry, the lighter your bag will be also. 

Self Reliance Tip #70 - Prepare Every Needful Thing - Sept 4

Last week we introduced a scripture to help us in our efforts to become more self-reliant. Let me refresh our memory: 

Doctrine and Covenants 88:119 says:

"Organize yourselves, prepare every needful thing and establish a house, yea even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of order a house of God."

This week I'd like to focus on "prepare every needful thing". Lets do a general break down of the things we talked about over this last year:

Food (3 month supply of "normal" food you eat and long term storage)
Menus for food storage
Food preservation
72 hour kits
Shelters/ Sleeping bags
Pandemic preparedness
Water storage/ purification
"Electricity free" laundry
Other laundry helps
Medical supplies
herbs/ uses
Alternative cooking & fuel

Did I miss anything? Lets say that you've got it all. You're done and it feels good. How do you know if you'll ever be READY for anything that may be ahead? I would like to remind you about this quote:

“Knowing what we know…we must —use our talents, strengths, energies, abilities, and means to prepare for whatever may
befall us and our children… We do not know when the calamities and troubles of the last days will fall upon any of us...

The Lord deliberately withholds from us the day and hour of his coming and of the tribulations which shall precede it—all as part of the testing and probationary experiences of mortality. He simply tells us to watch and be ready. We can rest assured that if we have done all in our power to prepare for whatever lies ahead, he will then help us with whatever else we need."

- Elder Bruce R. McKonkie Ensign, May 1979, 92 

Remember, you may not be able to be prepared for EVERY scenario that could ever happen to you. But...if we have done everything in our power to prepare, He will help us with whatever else we need. I love promises like that. 

If there are things that you and your family still need to work on, sit down and make some lists. Family Home Evening is an excellent time to do this. Make the time. You'll be so glad you did.


And another thing....
        ......From Heavenly Father's Medicine Cabinet

Raspberries are so yummy to eat, but do you know that qualities that the leaves have to help humanity?

Raspberry leaf is an astringent and can be used to soothe sore mouths, throats, wounds, mild diarrhea, 

Raspberry leaf has a soft spot for expectant and new mothers. It has been used in the past to help ease labor and quicken healing time after labor.

You can read more about it here;

Self Reliance Tip #69 - Organize Yourselves - Aug 28

In my efforts to prepare for the baby that will be coming to our house soon, I've been trying to follow the commandment found in Doctrine and Covenants 88:119 that says:

"Organize yourselves, prepare every needful thing and establish a house, yea even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of order a house of God."

So, I'm going to start at the beginning... "Organize yourselves..."

I have killed two birds with one stone in a few rooms in our home (not literally kill birds...there are some squirrels on my list, but not birds). 

Problem 1: We had buckets of wheat etc. that have been piling up and we were running short on space (especially in the closets). 

Problem 2: My daughter's bed has not had a frame or even a box spring and it was a pain for her to make her bed. 

The Stone: Place the bed on top of the buckets (obviously not stacked) - shazAAm! It works like a charm. You can hardly tell with the cute bed skirt Sister Debbie gave us. 

We have now done this with other beds and it is emptying closet space like crazy. 

I have also found some good ideas on Pinterest. 

To a small degree, I've started with some see through drawers, kind of like what can be found here:

Do you have a stuffed animal clutter problem? I did. I love this idea and it has helped a TON! I  bought a beanbag at Walmart and took out the styrofoam stuffing (which will be used for a Wonder Oven later :) ) - and put my kids animals in it. Like this:

This one is still in the idea phase, but I want to use this idea to help me get better organized at cleaning - I will need to customize it to my house, but it is a start:

I hope this gives you some ideas to look at in organizing your own home.  

... And another thing...

I have always struggled getting my whites "white" again. I have tried bleach a bazillion times for some things. I don't know if our "city" water is part of the problem or if I just don't "get it". But...I discovered something that has helped me reclaim my whites. It works awesome!!!! My husband is so impressed too.