Wednesday, February 27, 2013

3 Sites I Recommend

I have recently become more intentional about preparing my family for an emergency.  No, I don't expect a zombie apocalypse, but we all need to accept the possibility of a job loss, fire, or other disaster.

Here are three areas that I'm working on and the best lists that I've found for helpful practical advise.

1.  Building a 3 month food supply

I have always had a love for pantries and full refrigerators.  I think I've mentioned before that I loved staring at the full pantry after my mom went grocery shopping.  And, no, I have never been in a position in life where food was scarce, so I don't really know where the obsession comes from.  I just know that I feel very safe and secure with a full pantry.

Part of  that obsession is what fuels my desire to stock up plenty of food for my family.  I also feel that it is good stewardship, a way of providing safety and security in a time when there is lots of uncertainty in our world.  I have had an experience in life where my husband was suddenly unemployed.  At the time I was working, but what if he called right now and said he lost his job?  We don't have my income to fall back on and things would be very tight.

I have become very interested in the idea of food storage, or stocking the pantry with enough shelf-stable food to last a month or more.  I am not LDS and do not agree with most of their theology, but I do believe that they have a lot of good ideas for practical living, specifically their 4 Step Approach to Preparedness.

I recently discovered the blog PreparedLDSFamily.  I love it because she breaks down each week, and tells you what food item to focus on that week.  She suggests amounts to buy to stock a 3 month supply of food.  Being the nerd that I am, I went through the list and wrote down the price of every item.  For my family, I would need to designate about $25 a week to purchase enough of the suggested weekly item to last my family 3 month.  Easy.  Even more if you pay attention to sales and use coupons.

2.  Putting together a 72 hour kit

Here in Arizona we are very blessed that we do not, as a general rule, experience many natural disasters.  We don't have earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, or blizzards.  However, any place has the potential for power outages, fires, gas leaks, and, don't forget things that happen in "diverse places".  Being ready to leave the house at a moment's notice and able to take along items to make your evacuation a little more comfortable is a must, especially with children.

A Bowl Full of Lemons has the absolute best breakdown of how to create a 72 hour kit.  I spent time today making my list and plan to pull stuff together here in a bit.  Things I don't have will be purchased a little every payday.

I also like the way this site puts together her backpacks.

3.  Auto Emergency Kit

What if you're not home and something happens and you're stuck in your car?  The Survival Mom has an excellent guide to creating a practical kit for your car, especially with children in mind.

I like these sites because they are not conspiracy theorists who are going overboard.  Each of them offer practical, sensible advice for being prepared "just in case".  Because things happen to everyone.

Lessons From Potty Training

I heave a sigh as I strip wet pants and underwear off of him yet again.  While he's been doing great, he still has random accidents.  I feel frustration well inside and very intentionally calm my voice and words to let him know that it's okay, accidents happen.  After all, he's still training.  I can't expect perfection yet.

God's voice whispers through my heart "Have patience with him, just like I have patience with you."

I think of how many times I've determined that I will pray every single day.  I do good for awhile and then I miss a day or two (or more!).  I fall on my knees and repent and ask God to help me to do better.  I thank Him for His long suffering and grace, because it never fails.  It never runs out.  God is always faithful.

How many times do we fail?  How many times do we ask for repentance and promise that we will do better?  How many times do we make resolutions, only to break them, having to restart again, and again, and again...

And yet, God is ever patient.  He is ever long suffering.  He never gives up on us.  He continually trains us, through His Word, through the preaching, or in prayer.

He's still working on me
To make me what I ought to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and the stars
The sun, and the earth, and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
He's still working on me

song by Joel Hemphill

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The voice of God

This morning I discovered chicken pox on Tyler.  The kid was vaccinated, but...Same thing happened to Katelyn at the same age!

While I was on the phone with the doctor, a person very dear to me called on the other line.  When I called her back, she said that God told her to bring us dinner tonight.

I'm overwhelmed by God's timing.  No, chicken pox is not the worst thing ever, and I could have made dinner and been fine.  But, just that little touch that said "God loves you, and so do I" just made my day.

When I asked my friend about it, she said God had actually been talking to her for about a week, she just felt she couldn't do it until today.  I got to thinking:  how many times do we hear little prompts from God and don't follow through?  I know I do.  I have someone that I've needed to make a meal for for almost a month now, and I haven't because of one reason or another, some of them very valid!  But, I need to "just do it", to borrow the phrase.

Listen to the voice of God.  You may feel embarrassed, inadequate, or just plain busy.  But you never know when your seemingly small gift makes the world of difference.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Shopping with Katelyn

This past Monday, Katelyn and I got to spend some time together shopping at Saver's 50% off President's day sale.  We had a blast.

Even though Katelyn and I butt heads plenty of times over all kinds of things, I am so thankful that when it comes to dressing modestly, Katelyn has a submissive spirit and never fights to dress in a way that we feel is inappropriate.  While she definitely has her own style (stripes, anyone?), if I say "That shirt looks to small", she agreeably says "Ok" and puts it back.

I'm also thankful that she doesn't mind thrift store shopping.  Seriously, it's much easier to find modest clothes there, then at the retail stores!

And I'm thankful to my wonderful husband for allowing us to go shopping :)

Justin Stories

This past Wednesday Justin asked for some hot cocoa.  When I told him we didn't have any he said "Then go buy some at the store."  I told him I couldn't go to the store because I didn't have any money.  He became agitated and told me "Yes, you do have money.  I'll show you" and dragged me to my purse.  He pulled out my wallet and opened it up.  He looked inside and said "Oh, you don't have any dollars!"  I told you!


About two months ago Jason had a bad ear infection.  Well, the doctor thinks he had an ear infection, but we couldn't be quite sure because his ear was so full of ear wax.  So, along with medication, we had to put olive oil in his ears every day until the ear wax broke down.

A few times since then, Jason has complained about an ear ache and we've done the olive oil treatment and it seemed to work.

All that to tell this story:  The boys were sitting next to each other at the table, eating.  They were laughing and joking as kids do.  I'm not sure what prompted it, but Justin put his hand on Jason's forehead and started praying for him.  "I pray for his body, I pray for his head, I pray for his ear wax."  It was hysterical!


We got a new CD a couple of weeks ago, Carman (remember him?) singing classic hymns.  We love it.  We were in the car and O How I Love Jesus came on.  Jason and Justin started singing along (thank you, Sunday School!) and when the song was over, they asked to hear it again.  I just love hearing my kids sing (at a reasonable volumne) the songs of the Lord.


Justin's birthday in March 13.  He will be 3.  I have three goals for him:  kick the apple juice at night habit, get potty trained, and say goodbye to the pacifier.

Well, I am thrilled to say that the juice is gone (much easier than I anticipated), and we are currently potty training with much success!  I was really worried because, even though he started going on the toilet, he still went in his diaper, too, and he told me that he was "going to wear diapers all day long".  I bought him some pull-ups and we saw a little bit of improvement, but it just didn't seem like he was really caring much about it.  I offered to let him wear Jason's underwear, but he wasn't interested.  Finally, he told me that he wanted Toy Story underwear.  So, yesterday/payday, I took him to Target and he picked out his underwear.  As soon as we got home he put them on and he's been wearing underwear since (except for overnight).  He even wore them during nap and on outings.  He did have two accidents:  the first was soon after he started wearing the underwear and I think it was a good cause/effect lesson.  The second was when we had just gotten home from shopping and I was still bringing in the groceries and he just didn't make it in time.  He was so upset.  I'm so proud of him and sooooo looking forward to not buying diapers anymore!

Now, about that paci....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Feeling a little anxious

I am feeling a little anxious today and my flight response is very high.  I just want to go hide under a rock and pretend none of this exists.

One thing is that we'd lost our wonderful advocate.  She's moving on and we are getting someone else.  I am not looking forward to getting to know someone else and going through the whole spiel again.

Couple other minor things, but just enough to make my neurons buzz.

Anyway, when you pray, please pray for us.  Thanks so much.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Public Service Announcement

If you have a baby, it's a good idea to order an official copy of the birth certificate as soon as possible.

It is not a good idea to wait until the child starts school, five years later, as you may find that the price has doubled.

Frugal Fail!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

February trip to the Science Center

Tyler was blessed with a membership to the Arizona Science Center for Christmas.  So far this year, he's gone on January 1 and February 1.  Maybe we'll go the first of every month, lol.

The trip in January consisted of Tyler, Jim, and Josh Tarpley.  They had a blast, but didn't take any pictures.

Our February trip included all the family except for Jim.  We only stayed two hours.  One nice thing about having a membership and being able to go whenever we want to is that we don't feel like we have to do everything single thing and spend all day there to get our monies worth.  This time we were dealing with sickness and bored little ones (the Science Center is best for kids six and up, I think.)  So, we kept it short.

We had a good time, though.  One favorite place is the Digital World area.  The kids enjoy warping their faces and taking crazy pictures and making crazy recordings.

Our other favorite is Get Charged Up!  It's all about energy.  The kids experience a bed of nails, and the self-pulley was a big hit.  Katelyn wasn't with us here because she was doing a puzzle somewhere else.