Saturday, July 31, 2010

Food Storage Meals and Menu Planning - Snack: Chocolate Haystacks!

Today's Snack is a PERFECT
Food Storage Treat!
in this recipe can be stored on a shelf.
It's easy and fun and the kids will love to
come home to this after school snack!
Here's the Recipe:
1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Morsels
(I've used Milk Chocolate and it's just as good.)
1 cup Butterscotch Morsels
(You can replace the Butterscotch with Peanut Butter Morsels.)
2 cups Mini Marshmallows
1 can (5-ounces) La Choy Chow Mein Noodles
(About 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup Dry Roasted Peanuts
Place the chocolate and butterscotch chips in a
large microwave-safe container. 
Heat in microwave on high for 1 minute at a time
stirring in between for 2-3 minutes or until melted.
Add chow mein noodles, marshmallows, and peanuts
to melted chocolate immediately.
Stir until well coated.
Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
If refrigerator space is not available, allow haystacks to stand
on the counter until firm.
It will take a little longer . . . but the results are the same.
Here's the PDF:
It's a great sweet and salty snack!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Preserve It . . . Canning Corner: Apricots!

It's Apricot Season!
Time to make some
Homemade Apricot Jam.
Here's How:
Apricots are canned with the skin on.
Without the skin they are more likely to fall apart.
The better the fruit . . . The better the taste!
Start by rinsing all of the fruit.

Halve the apricots and remove the pits.
I use a light syrup for my apricots, but you can use
a medium or a heavy syrup if you would like.
The syrup is made with sugar and water.
Slowly bring the sugar and water to a boil and continue
boiling until all of the sugar is dissolved.

Place the prepared fruit into the sterilized jars.

Add lemon juice.
1 Tbsp. for pints and 2 Tbsp. for quarts.
This will help to keep the fruits color.

Pour hot syrup over the fruit to 1/2" headspace.
This is the space between the contents of the jar and
the top rim of the jar.

Process in a Waterbath Canner.
25 Minutes for Pints.
30 Minutes for Quarts.

Don't forget to label and date the jar!
(My camera battery is dead . . . pictures are coming soon!)

Family Activity - Back to School Shopping Dates!

One of our favorite
 Back to School Traditions
is a Shopping Date with mom and dad.
We take one boy at a time.
We go to their favorite stores, and take them out to lunch.
It's all about them!
A Few Things to Remember:
Set a budget with your child BEFORE you go.
This will help to make sure that they know the limits.
Make a of list of the things they need BEFORE you go.
I've included a blank Shopping List for you to use
if you would like.
Here's the PDF:
BE PREPARED, they will have a lot of sales.
Stay focussed and remember to stay in your budget.
Teaching your children to stay in a budget
early on can be one of the best lessons they will
ever take with them into adult years.
Make it FUN
Don't Forget Your Camera!
This is a memory you'll definately want to add to your scrapbook.
Have a GREAT Time!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A House of Order: Daily Clothes Bags!

Less IS More!
I'm sure we've all hear that a million times and it's not
always right . . . more time with family or a little more money
might be nice, but when it comes to clothes,
LESS truly is MORE!
Less IS . . . More Time
We have a responsibility to care for each of the things we
bring into our home.  It's easy to get sucked into a sale and
before we know it . . . we have WAY MORE than we need.
If we knew in that moment how much time we would actually have
to commit to the things we bring into our home, I have a feeling
we would become a lot more selective and thoughtful in our choices.
Having fewer clothes to wash will save time!
Less IS . . . More Space
Having fewer items takes up a lot less space!
It's a simple statement that obviously makes sense.
Can you imagine actually knowing what you have stored, and even
more important, being able to find it when you need it without
having to search for hours?
Less IS More space to store and properly care for the items
that are important to you.
Less IS . . . More Organized
Having more time, more space, and less to take care of
makes it easier to be organized.
A closet that is jam packed with clothes and shoes is a lot to
take in, and that's how we start our day . . .
What are we thinking? 
No wonder we're stressed out and over-whelmed!
You're Challenge for the Day . . .
Go through your closet and get rid of everything that doesn't fit.
It's time to donate that shirt or pair of pants you
try on all the time . . . but never wear.
Sometimes when we spend money on something, we feel
obligated to keep it, EVEN if we know we'll NEVER use it.
And then we have . . .
Clothes from the GLORY DAYS!
They take up a lot of space in our closets.
I admit it . . . I still have a pair of size 2 pants and
a cheerleading skirt from my high school years,
hidden in my closet. 
The waist band of the skirt fits perfectly! 
(On one thigh!)
I guess I could wear it as a guarder or something!?! 
The zipper on the pants is 12-inches long,
so hoping to get skinny enough to fit back into them, is just plain
I'm thinkin' it's time . . . for the pants to be on there way.
The cheerleading skirt will be added to my Halloween costumes!
You can't think about the money when you are trying to clear the space.
You have to be protective of your time and space. 
and don't feel bad . . . leg warmers don't look good on everybody!
This is a photo of my boys
Daily Clothes Bags:
Clothes Bags are a great way to simplify! 
 When my family lived in Illinois, we had no closet space.
I had to be very creative in finding ways to store my
families clothes and make it so they would still be able to get to them.
That's when I came up with the Daily Clothes Bags.
I was able to fit 2 boys in a very small coat closet.
Each day's outfit fits on a hanger.
Here's what that looks like:
Here's what goes in the bag:
Here's a link for the bags:
You can also get them at Hobby Lobby and they are usually on sale.
You can make your own.
The pattern is 8 1/2" x 11".
I also use these bags for Scouts and Soccer.
They work well for Dance Costumes and Gymnastics.
Everything you need for the specific activity . . .
is in the bag!
I'm not very good at sewing my boys scout badges on,
I told them to just hang the bag around their neck
if they want to show anyone their awards!
(I seriously need to work on that!)
Here's How They Work:
I had my boys choose 8 of their favorite outfits
for cold weather and hot weather.
(Remember . . . Less IS More!)
The clothes go on the hanger and the extras go in the bag,
along with a Days of the Week Tag that has been laminated,
attached to the hanger.
The tags are a great way to remind them what they
need for the day.
You could also use the tags to make an inventory list
for dance and sports accessories . . . etc.
I write on the tags with a wet-erase marker.
Here's the PDF for the Tags:
I included all the colors in the PDF!
I use hangers, but there are several options.
Days of the Week Clothing Organizers:
You can actually fit clothes for two small children
in one of these clothing organizers. 
This one has pockets on the side for library books
and homework folders!
I put 4 boys into 1 coat closet . . . just to see if it would fit
They are a great option when you have limited space.
Sweater Boxes:
I actually ended up using sweater boxes in Illinois.
(So that I could use the boys closet for Food Storage.)
I used one box for each day of the week.
Toddlers clothing can fit into a shoe box tote.
I stored their Days of the Week Clothes Boxes
under their beds.
Mornings are so much better, and
having all of the Scouts and Sports
Equipment in one place
is Pure Heaven!!!
One more thing . . .
The bags are a perfect place to store
gloves, scarves and hats.
Just hang the bag with their winter coat
and you're good to go!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Preparedness Project - Emergency School Bags!

I think
Wednesday is my favorite post day
of the week.
I love being able to do something that I can check
off my list and it actually stays done for a while.
With the dishes and the laundry, the check mark on my
To Do List only stays checked for a minute
and then it's time to do it all over again.
Can I get a Whoot Whoot for laundry?!?
Love It!
I have two projects for you today.
(Should be a productive day!)
The first project is the
Emergency School Bags.

The second project is an organizing project
that will help you to
get the kids ready for school . . .
Here we go . . .
Emergency School Bags can be stored in a tote
in your child's classroom.
The contents fit into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and
are filled by the parents.
The Contents Include:
N95 Mask
Food Bar
Small Bag of Candy
Small Flashlight
Rain Poncho
Small Emergency Blanket
Glow Bracelet
Family Picture

A Small Wrapped Gift
(To keep their hands busy and their minds in a happy place.)

A Letter from Mom and Dad
(If you are not able to get to them for a while, a letter from you
 could really help to them feel more secure in a scary situation.)
and a
Quick Glance I.D. Tag

Here's the PDF:
(Use page 3 of the PDF as your Quick Glance I.D. Tag)
The Emergency School Bags will be sent home
with the child on the last day of school.
The only thing you would need to trade out for
the next year is the Food Bar, Water, and Candy.
The Letter, Family Photo, and I.D. Tag can also be up-dated.
I give my kids the gift as a little graduation to the next
class surprise, so that will also have to be replaced
for the next year.
This is definately a project that needs to
organized by the parents.
Teacher's have a lot on their plates and anything
we can do to lighten their load will be much appreciated I'm sure!
I love simple things that can make such a difference
in an Emergency Situation. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Missing Post is BACK!

The Friday post has returned with
If you've never canned Hamburger, Sausage, or Ground Turkey . . .
to give it a try.
It's super easy and it's a great addition to your
Bag Meals!
(The original post was posted on July 23rd.)
You can also find it in the Preserve It . . . Canning Corner Section.

Ark Prep 101 - Know the Plan!

Summer is going by so fast!
I can't believe that school will be starting again
in less than a month!
As I was filling out my son's registration papers, I noticed
the old familiar Emergency Release Forms.
These forms include the names of the people your
child is authorized to be released to along with their
phone numbers.  It also includes their social security number,
parents names and numbers, as well as medical information.
Make copies of these forms and add them to your
Vital Records Binder.
Most of the Elementary Schools include this form in the
Back to School Packets, but the Jr. High and High School's
include this form as part of their registration.
Along with this form, you will most likely get
instructions for Emergency Evacuations
and procedures to follow.
Add these forms to your binder as well.
Check to see what the emergency plans are for your child's
Day Care or Preschool.
Do some checking to see what emergency supplies are available
in your child's classroom in the event of an emergency.
If your student does not
have emergency supplies available in their classroom,
you may want to organize a plan with the other parents
to make those supplies available.
As part of the Preparedness Project for Wednesday,
I will be posting a Child's Emergency Supplies List
to make a kit that will fit into a Ziploc bag.
A House of Order Organizing Project
is also on the way!
I'm trying to find a better way to
post the Bag Meals . . . so hang in there for just a minute.
The way I've been doing it so far is taking FOREVER!
Thanks for being so patient with me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family History Family Home Evening - Pioneer Stories!

Today you get two options for Family Home Evening!
The 1st Option is a Family Home Evening about Pioneers,
and the 2nd Option is a Family History Family Home Evening
which will give you the opportunity to add
Pioneer Stories to your Family History Book.
Opening Prayer:
"Let each company provide themselves with all the teams, wagons,
provisions, clothing, and other necessaries for the journey,
they can.  When the companies are organized let them go to with
their might, to prepare for those who are to tarry."
(D&C 135: 5-6)
"Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked,"
Children's Songbook, p. 214.
Help our family celebrate the faith and courage of the early
pioneers and follow in their footsteps.
It is not enought to study or reenact he accomplishments of
our pioneers.  We need to identify the great, eternal principles
they applied to achieve all they achieved for our benefit and then
apply those principles to the challenges of our day.
In that way we honor their pioneering efforts, and we also
reaffirm our heritage and strengthen its capacity to bless our own
posterity and "those millions or our Heavenly Father's
children who have yet to hear and accept the
gospel of Jesus Christ."
We are all pioneers in doing so.
(Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November. 1997, 72.)
The saints moving west were allowed only
2,000 pounds in each wagon and 500 pounds in each handcart. 
Look at the list of items below and choose what you
would put into your wagon or handcart.
Remember your mom, dad, sisters, and brothers. 
Their things also have to go inside. 
Don't forget that there will be hot days,
cold nights, cooking, and that you will have to set up
a new house when you reach your destination.
Flour, Salt, Sugar, Yarn, Hammer, Basketball,
Seeds, Video Games, Baseball and Bat, Sling Shot,
Rope, Blanket, Chicken, Extension Cord,
Needle and Thread, Saw, Soda Pop,
Scissors, Light Bulb, Pans, Dishes, Pen and Ink,
Fishing Pole, Shoes, Book of Mormon, Knife,
Fork, Spoon, Journal, Hat,
Dog, Bellows, Microwave Oven, Bonnet, Shirt,
Wheel, Radio, Harmonica, Barrel, Doll, Umberella
The Mishaps of Mary Bathgate and Isabella Parks
(By: Daniel McArthur)
On 16 August 1856 on the pioneer trail, Sister Mary Bathgate was badly bitten by a large rattlesnake, just above the ankle, on the back part of her leg.  She and Sister Isabella Park were about half a mile ahead of the camp at the time it happened . . . They were both old women, over sixty years of age, and neither of them had ridden one inch since they had left Iowa campground.  Sister Bathgate sent a little girl hurrying back to have me and Brothers Leonard and Crandall come with all haste, and bring the oil with us, for she was bitten badly.
As soon as we heard the news, we left all things, and, with the oil, we went posthaste.  When we got to her she was quite sick, but saidthat there was power in the priesthood, and she knew it.  So we too a pocketknife, cut the wound larger, and squeezed out all the bad blood we could . . . We then . . . annointed her . . . and laid our hands on her in the name of Jesus, and felt to rebuke the influence of the poison, and she felt full of faith.  We then told her that she must get into the wagon, so she called witnesses to prove that she did not get into the wagon until she was compelled to because of the cursed snake.  We started on and traveled two miles, when we stopped to take some refreshment.  Sister Bathgate continued to be quite sick, but was full of faith, and after stopping one and a half hours we hitched up our teams.  As the word was given for the teams to start, old Sister Isabella Park ran in before the wagon to see how her companion was.  The driver, not seeing her, hallooed at his team, and they being quick to mind, Sister Park could not get out of the way, and the fore wheel struck her and threw her down and passed over both her hips.  Brother Leonard grabbed hold of her to pull her out of the way, before the hind wheel could catch her.  He only got her part way and the hind wheel passed her ankles.
We all thought that she would be all mashed to pieces, but to the joy of us all, there was not a bone broken, although the wagon had something like two tons burden on it, a load for four yoke of oxen.  We went right to work and applied the same medicine to her that we did to the sister who was bitten by the rattlesnake, and although quite sore for a few days, Sister Bathgate was right by her side, to cheer her up.
(as quoted in Jack M. Lyon, Linda Ririe Gundry, and Jay A. Parry,
Choose one or more of the following pioneer activities.
Make Butter: 
You will need several of the smallest baby food jars
you can collect and enough whipping cream to fill the
jars 1/4 - 1/2 full.
Place a small amount of cream in each jar
and have the children shake it vigorously until butter
is formed. Provide small sections of Johnnycake
(or bread) and a plastic knife to let them try their creation.
(Recipe for Johnnycakes is included in this post.)
Wade through and Icy River: 
You will need a plastic child's wading pool
and a lot of ice.  Let the children take their shoes and
socks off and wade through the water. 
Explain to them that the pioneers had to endure icy
rivers even when the weather was very cold. 
Tell a true story about
the pioneers crossing a river.
Make Oiled Paper Windows: 
You will need brown paper grocery bags, scissors,
cooking oil, and paper towels. 
When pioneers built homes, they often didn't
have enough money to buy glass windows. 
Instead of using glass, they used oiled paper in their
window frames to let in the light and help keep the
wind and bugs out.  Try this activity to let the children
see how oiled paper  can become translucent.
Cut the brown paper grocery sack into small
enough sections to work with, about
12 x 12-inches square. 
 Use a paper towel to spread the cooking
oil onto both sides of the square paper grocery sacks. 
Wipe the squares with a clean paper towel to
remove the excess oil. 
You now have paper ready to become a window.
Hand Sewing: 
 The pioneers didn't have sewing machines,
so everything they sewed was by hand. 
Let the children see how nice a seam they can sew
with real fabric - that has been cut in the shape of pants,
shirts, or dresses - needles, and thread. 
For the younger children, cut out shapes of clothing
 from cardstock (the children can decorate them later with
markers) with holes punched around the outside.
To get them started, either help them tie a big knot
 in the end of the yarn, or show them
how to keep the yarn from going through the
hole by taping the tail to the back of the card an close
to the first hole to be laced.  Make sure to wrap a piece of tape
around the "needle" end to keep the yarn from unraveling
as they stitch.
(Clark L. and Kathryn H. Kidd, Kent D. and Shannon Pugmire, Ward Activities for the Clueless.)
Family History Family Home Evening
Our Pioneer Stories!
Do you have any pioneer stories in your family?
Have you taken the time to add them to your family history scrapbook?
We were fortunate enough to have one of our pioneer stories
published in the New Era.
Here's the FHE Lesson PDF:
The story is titled: Barnard's Boots.
Here's the Link to the Story:
These stories and experiences are priceless and help us
to know where we came from, as well as who we are. 
Sharing these stories with our children can give them the
courage  to be strong in tough situations.
My Grandma Rees shared several stories with me about
her childhood before she passed away. 
I wish I would have written down right away,
but I will be working on getting them onto paper this week.
Her experiences strengthen me when I need it the most,
and because I have her stories, I can still feel close to
her.  My grandma and I were very close.
Here's the Recipe:
2 Eggs
1 cup Water
3/4 cup Milk
2 Tbsp. Oil
1 tsp. Salt
2 cups Yellow Cornmeal
Mix the eggs, water, milk, oil, and
salt together in a bowl.
Stir in the cornmeal until smooth.
Heat the griddle or frying pan.
Put a small amount of oil on the griddle to
 keep the cakes  from sticking.
Pour about 1/4 cup (less for bite-sized samples)
of batter onto the heated griddle.
Fry the cake until done on one side, then turn over
and cook the other side.
Makes 12 cakes.
Hope you have a GREAT
Family Night!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vital Records - Back It All Up!

We're finishing up the Geneology Section Today!
If you have created scrapbooks for your family
or your children, now is the time to scan the pages
and save them to a disc.
You don't have to scan EVERY page, but having a second
record of a special event you have recorded in a scrapbook
can give you peace of mind.
Sounds like a lot of work, but what is the first thing
you would grab if your house was on fire
 . . . after your children that is?
I've heard it over and over again,
you would grab your pictures or scrapbooks.
These books are filled with memories and it would be
 heartbreaking to loose a single one.
Now imagine having one chance to grab everything
important to you in one arm load and in just a few minutes
knowing that's all you get. 
No more chances to go back and get more.
The scanned pages would truly become priceless treasures!
Give a copy to your parents and grandparents and then
add copy to your Vital Records Binder.
Make sure your binder is stored in a place that is easy for
you to get to in case of an emergency.
This should be on your list of things to grab, and when
you practice for emergencies you should actually practice
taking this with you, so that it becomes second nature.
You can purchase page protectors for your CD's,
or you can put them into an envelope and tape them to the
 inside of your binder.
Set a goal to scan a certain amount of pages everyday
until you have finished, and then make scanning your
completed pages
a part of your scrapbooking process!
You have your assignment . . . now you can go to work!
We'll start on the HOME Section
of your Vital Records Binder Next Week.
Keep up the good work . . . You're getting closer!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Food Storage Meals and Menu Planning - Dessert: Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies!

Today's Dessert Menu:
Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies!
 Here's the Recipe:
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Allspice
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
1/2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Applesauce
1 large Egg
1 large Egg White
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 cup Currants, Raisins, or Craisins
1 cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional) 
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour,
baking soda, salt, and spices and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an
electric mixer on medium speed until it is creamy.
Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula
to make sure everything is well blended.
Add the applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract
and continue to beat until the batter is smooth,
scraping down the sides of the bowl again as necessary.
Stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon or
rubber spatula just until it is incorporated.
Stir in the oats, dried fruit, and nuts.
Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls
or with a cookie scoop onto your parchment lined
baking sheets about  3 inches apart.
Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges
but still soft on top, about 15 to 17 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool
on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring
them with a spatula to a wire rack to cool completely
Here's the PDF:
Hope you're having a GREAT
Pioneer Day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Preserve It . . . Canning Corner: Bottled Hamburger!

I am sooo excited about this one,
and I'm sure you've been on pins and needles waiting
to get the recipe for canning . . .
Ground Beef and Sausage!
I have to admit the first time I saw canned hamburger
I wasn't feelin' the love.  It was pink and had a weird texture.
Times have changed . . . thank heavens!
The recipe I'm going to share with you has been pre-cooked.
Now it just looks like it's been browned and put
into a jar with a little bit of water.

The Hamburger is on the left and the Sausage is on the right.
Soooo much better!
When you have bottled meat one hand
the possibilities are endless, and because it's already been
cooked, it's safe to eat even if you have no way of heating it.
You could whip up a batch of Sloppy Joe's or Spaghetti
in minutes and you won't even smell like cooked hamburger
when you leave the house.
A great reason in and of itself to can your own
Hamburger and Sausage!
Here's the How To:
Remember . . .
You have to use a

Pressure Canner
to can meats!
Start by:
Browning you ground beef.
I use my onions from the cannery to season my hamburger.
(If you cook with onions, this is a great time saver.)

I didn't add onions to my sausage.
(Pictured Below)

Salt will be added at a later point in the process.
It takes about 1 pound per pint jar and 2 pounds per quart jar.
Strain the cooked hamburger to make sure that all of the fat
has been removed.

Place your cooked ground beef into sterilized jars.

Press down with your spoon and leave 1-inch head space.

Pour hot water into the jars.

You could put in 1/4 tsp. of salt if you wish at this point.

Heat the lids to a simmer . . . do not boil the lids.

Wipe the rims of the jars well.

Place the lid on each jar and secure it with a canning ring.
Add 3" of water to the Pressure Canner as well as
1-2 Tbsp. of white vinegar.

(This will help to keep the jars clear of hard water.)
Place your jars into the Pressure Canner.

Process pint jars for 75 minutes at 15 lbs. psi.
Process quart jars or 90 minutes.
If your pressure canner doesn't have a guage . . .
Make sure you get a good rock . . . before you start the clock!
Here's the finished product!
Looks Delish . . . and NO FREEZER BURN!
The texture of the hamburger is a little bit different than
you are probably used to.  The texture is similar to what you
would find in a pot of hamburger stew.
If you want to crisp it up, just drain the juice and throw
it into the frying pan for a few minutes.
(The meat is very lean, so you may want to add a little bit of oil
to the pan before adding the hamburger.)
See how easy it is and once you have some on hand,
you can make:
Tacos or Enchiladas, Shepherd's Pie, Beef Stroganoff, Taco Soup,
Sloppy Joe's, Lasagna, Spaghetti, Sausage Omelets . . . etc.
Sooo many possibilities!
Here's the PDF:
Bottled Hamburger Recipe PDF
Follow the same recipe for bottled sausage
minus the onions.
Don't you just love it when you thought you pushed
but found out later you pushed
"Save as a Draft?"
Sorry . . . I guess I was a little sleepy this morning!!!
Just a Note on Your
Gossner's Milk Order:
The cream is on back order.  It will be delivered
August 6th.