Happy Memorial Day

This picture absolutely touched my heart. I hope you all have a wonderful and happy Memorial Day, but in the midst of all your fun and follies, please remember those who have made it possible for you to enjoy this day… and their families as well.

Food For Thought: The Busyness Of Our Lives

“We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we’re doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the “thick of thin things.” In other words, too often we spend most of our time taking care of the things which do not really matter much at all in the grand scheme of things, neglecting those more important causes.”
–Thomas S. Monson,, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?”, Ensign, Nov. 2009, 84–87

Such an applicable quote for my life. And on that note, I am going to be taking a step back from this website. It has been just over a year of posting almost every day and I have tried to post information that will be of great benefit and aid to everyone who is trying to learn to get their preparedness efforts in order. I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey. But the time has come that I need to be focusing on the ‘more important causes’ (as President Monson has called them) in my life– namely my family. I don’t want to miss the truly sweet things in life because I’ve been buzzing around trying to do too many of the less important things.

So I bid a temporary farewell. I will be back periodically to ‘guest post’ (on my own website :D) about interesting things I come across or information I still want to share (like canning meat!!), and I eventually hope to revamp this website to make it a little easier to access specific information on a topic, but all in good time.

It has been a pleasure to serve you and I hope that regardless of how often I am able to post in the future, this site will serve as a resource and a reminder to not let up in making sure that you and your family’s needs are being taken care of: physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially… be balanced, be happy, be prepared, be at peace.
Best wishes and loves!

Food Storage: Got Your Wheat?

{Update 7/28/11: There was some inaccurate information listed in the wheat-to-flour conversions in the original article. I originally noted that 1 cup of wheat berries grinds into just shy  of 1 cup of flour. This is not the case. 1 cup of wheat actually grinds into just shy of TWO cups of flour. So the good news is, that if you followed the original numbers and already got your wheat, now you’ve got some extra! BONUS! The other good news is that if you haven’t gotten all your wheat yet, you don’t have to get quite as much as originally anticipated. The numbers listed below in the baking section reflect the corrected totals. The numbers in the Food Storage Calculator section were correct to start with and there is no change to those totals.}

Have you seen this in the news yet?– Oklahoma Sees Driest 4 Months Since Dust Bowl. Hubby first pointed it out to me and then I did a quick search on the internet to see that it’s all over the different news medias.
Seriously?? Since the Dust Bowl? Do you remember when that was?? That was during the Great Depression. Economic hard times combined with lost crops (due to major drought) combined with whatever else created a situation of no jobs and no food and The Great Depression. Sound familiar??
If you read the article mentioned above it notes how a vast majority of the midwest (from Louisiana to Colorado) are currently experiencing severe droughts. Right here in the great state of Texas (shout out!), 40% of our land is experiencing “extreme drought”. And I’m here to tell ya… that ain’t no lie! Dark clouds come and go and never give up their rain. We’re so thankful that we’ve got our little garden still hanging in there, but we’ve got to water it constantly. There’s no way a large garden (not to mention one that is several hundreds or thousands of acres) could survive an extended drought because they depend on the weather for their water.

So what does this mean? Well, wheat farmers are looking to just plow under their crop (wheat) and plant something else. The wheat is just not producing. Which means, right here in the good ol’ US of A, we are also experiencing the same wheat shortage that other countries have been facing. We are not immune to these problems! (*gasp* We’re not??)
So HOPEFULLY you have already been working on getting a good supply of wheat in your home (along with everything else). HOPEFULLY you’ve already got that crossed off your list. HOWEVER,  if you have not, may I slightly beg you to do something about your situation today? Now?
Again, I never want to create a panic in you because that is simply not the best way to prepare for something. But I do want you to be informed. So without panicking, let’s look at approximately how much wheat you should have in your home and then please just evaluate your situation and if it needs to be remedied, do something about it.

Using a Food Storage Calculator (and please remember these are bare minimum suggestions):

  • A family of 2 adults (no children) should have 300 lbs of wheat (this is 7 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children under age 7)= 450 lbs (this is 10 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 4 (all over age 7)= 600 lbs (this is 13.5 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 6 (4 adults, 2 under age 7)= 750 lbs (this is 17 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 6 (all over age 7)= 900 lbs (this is 20 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 8 (all over age 7)= 1200 lbs (this is 27 (45 lb) buckets*)

Looking at it in terms of baking:

  • To make one loaf of bread everyday for a year (based on THIS recipe) you would need 1300 cups of wheat flour (this is 9 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)
  • To make one loaf of bread every other day for a year (based on THIS recipe) you would need 650 cups of wheat flour (this is 4.5 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)
  • To make waffles (based on THIS recipe that feeds 4) two times a week for a year you would need 104 cups of wheat flour (this is .75 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)
  • To make pancakes (based on THIS recipe that feeds 4-6) two times a week for a year you would need 156 cups of wheat flour (this is 1 (45 lb) bucket* of wheat)
  • And just for good measure, to make a batch of cookies 😀 (using THIS recipe) twice a month you would need 108 cups of wheat flour (this is .75 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)

*{Updated 7/28/11} Each 45 lb bucket has about 95 cups of wheat in it, which (roughly estimated) grinds into about 150 cups of flour (1 cup of wheat makes just over 1.5 cups of flour). Each (45 lb) bucket is also equivalent to approximately 8 (#10) cans. So if you prefer to store #10 cans, simply multiply the number of buckets listed by 8 to get the total amount of #10 cans you should have.

So… for me and my family (2 adults, 2 kidlettes), if I want to have pancakes two times a week plus waffles two times a week for breakfast, and make a loaf of bread every other day for our lunch sandwiches, and make cookies two times a month to keep us happy, I’m looking at storing 7 buckets of wheat. Totally doable. (Of course, this is only for the mentioned items… the total amount would actually be higher when I take into account other meals that require wheat as well.) And don’t forget to store the other ingredients that go into those recipes as well (and I’ll start exploring that on some of our Wednesday recipe days), but start with your wheat. Make. sure. you’ve. got. it. Figure out how much you need, go see how much you’ve got, make up any differences. Don’t worry about where you’re going to store it. You can deal with that later (or you can check out THIS post for some ideas).

Okay, well I’ve probably said enough. If you’re not sure where to get wheat, Emergency Essentials® is my favorite place to get it. The price is awesome (and there’s even a discounted price if you order more than 4), it already comes in the bucket sealed and ready to store (versus other companies where it comes in a bag and you have to purchase the bucket separately or take it to a cannery and purchase cans to can it yourself), and you can buy as much as you want and not pay any more than $12 in shipping! So what I recommend doing is finding some friends and ordering a bunch together so you can split the shipping costs and also get the discounted rate on the buckets. Not to mention, you’re helping other people to get going on their food storage supply as well. Think of it as providing service. 😀

So go get to it. And don’t forget to smile and be happy while you do! 😀

Food For Thought: How Blessed We Are

I read a story today that I want to share with you. It really is a touching story that helps me remember how blessed we are to not only enjoy the freedoms we do, but to have the gospel we have and how we should hold it dear to our hearts.

The story is called ‘A Special Type of Soldier’ and is related by Hugh B. Brown from his WWII experiences. I hope you enjoy it.

A Special Type of Soldier*

At the request of the First Presidency, I had gone to England as coordinator for the LDS servicemen. One Saturday afternoon in 1944, I sent a telegram from London to the base chaplain near Liverpool letting him know that I would be in camp the next morning to conduct Mormon church services at 10:00 a.m.
When I arrived at the camp, there were 75 Mormon boys, all in uniform and quite a number in battle dress. The chaplain to whom I had sent the wire proved to be a minister from the southern U. S. He, too, was waiting for my arrival. As these young men ran out to greet me not because it was I, but because of what I represented, and as they literally threw their arms around me, knowing I was representing their parents as well as the Church, the minister said, “Please tell me how you do it.”
“Do what?”
“Why,” he said, “I did not get your wire until late this morning. I made a hurried search. I found there were 76 Mormon boys in this camp. I got word to them. 75 of them are here. The other is in the hospital. I have more than 600 fellows from another denomination in this camp, and if I gave them 6 months notice, I could not get a response like that.”
And then he repeated, “How do you do it?”
I said, “Sir, if you will come inside, perhaps you will see.”
We went in to the little chapel. The boys sat down. I asked, “How many here have been on missions?” I think a full 50% raised their hands.
I said, “Will you and you and you, and I pointed to six of them, please come and administer the sacrament? And will you and you and you, and I pointed to six others, please come and sit here and be prepared to speak.”
Then I said, “Who can lead the music?” A number of hands were raised. “Will you come and lead the music? And who can play this portable organ?” There were several more hands, and one was selected. Then I said, “What would you like to sing, fellows?” With one voice they replied, “Come, Come Ye Saints!”
We had no hymnbook. The boy sounded the chord: they all arose. I have heard “Come, Come Ye Saints” sung in many lands and by many choirs and congregations. Without reflecting adversely on what we usually hear I think I have only heard “Come, Come Ye Saints” sung that once when every heart seemed to be bursting. They sounded every verse without books.
When they came to the last verse, they didn’t mute it; they didn’t sing it like a dirge but throwing back their shoulders, they sang out until I was fearful the walls would burst. “And should we die before our journey’s through, happy day, all is well”. I looked at my minister friend and found him weeping.
Then one of the boys who had been asked to administer the sacrament knelt at the table, bowed his head, and said, “Oh, God, the Eternal Father.” He paused for what seemed to be a full minute, and then he proceeded with the rest of the blessing on the bread. At the close of that meeting, I sought that boy out. I put my arm around his shoulders, and said, “Son, what’s the matter? Why was it so difficult for you to ask the blessing on the bread?”
He paused for a minute and said, rather apologetically, “Well, Brother Brown, it hasn’t been two hours since I was over the continent on a bombing mission. As we started to return, I discovered that my tail assembly was partly shot away, that one of my engines was out, that three of my crew were wounded, and that it appeared absolutely impossible that we could reach the shore of England.
“Brother Brown, up there I remembered Primary and Sunday School and MIA, and home and church, and up there when it seemed all hope was lost, I said, ‘Oh, God the eternal Father, please support this plane until we reach a landing field.’ He did just that, and when we landed, I learned of this meeting and I had to run all the way to get here. I didn’t have time to change my battle dress, and when I knelt there and again addressed the Lord, I was reminded that I hadn’t stopped to say thanks.
“Brother Brown, I had to pause a little while to tell God how grateful I was.”
Well, we went on with the meeting. We sang. Prayers were offered, and these young men, with only a moments notice, each stood and spoke, preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to their comrades, bore their testimonies, and again I say with due respect to the various ones with whom I have associated and labored they were among the finest sermons I have ever heard.
Then the time was up and I said, Fellows, it’s time for chow. We must dismiss now, or you will miss your dinner. With almost one voice they cried, “We can eat grub any time. Let’s have a testimony meeting!”
So we stayed another hour and a half. I looked at my friend, and he was weeping unashamedly.
At the close of that meeting, this minister said, “I have been a minister for more than 21 years, and this has been the greatest spiritual experience of my life.”

How blessed we are to live in a time where we have the fulness of the gospel restored to the earth and that we (or I) live in such a blessed country where we are free to worship when and how we please. What a glorious blessing. I hope we will feel this in our hearts as we prepare to listen to General Conference this weekend and unite ourselves together all across the world in our faith and testimony of the Savior.

*P.S. I’m not sure of the exact source of this version of the story, however it is a slightly abridged version of another that can be heard or read in its fullness from these sources:

  • Click HERE for audio to listen to Hugh B. Brown tell the story at a BYU Devotional (he starts telling this story at around 34 minutes).
  • Click HERE to read the address.

Food For Thought: Choose Faith

“Because of the conflicts and challenges we face in today’s world, I wish to suggest a single choice—a choice of peace and protection and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is faith. Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28) and “Knock, and it shall be [given] you” (Matthew 7:7). These are action verbs—come, knock. They are choices. So I say, choose faith.”
–Richard C. Edgley, “Faith—the Choice Is Yours”, Ensign, Nov. 2010, 31–33