Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Free Valentine's Cards!

Stories By Everyone is giving away FREE Valentine Cards online.

If you have multiple children you can make multiple accounts to get additional sets of cards.

Offer Expires February 1st.

What to do:

  • Choose Box of 6
  • Qty 1
  • Coupon= Valentine (type in the box at the bottom of Screen)
  • Recalculate and the Subtotal is 0!
  • Checkout (You don't need to put your credit card info)
  • Next
  • Place Order
  • Free Valentine Cards for your Family!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Family Home Evening Challenge

We've been getting pretty good at having Family Home Evening every week but I've gotten quite boring and it's turning into a chore. I'm in the primary presidency so months I do sharing time I just reteach the lesson for FHE. I got tired of me doing all the talking and demanding the kids sit down and listen so I decided to do something fun but still gospel-centered. I'll share my idea if you share yours. Well, it doesn't have to be yours, but please share a FHE idea via comment or post!!!
The Creation
We had our neighbors over and created yummy, miniature earths. We read from Genesis 1 about the creation and stopped at the appropriate points to add the element mentioned. Here's what we used:
Blue jello for the water
Cardstock for the day/night wheel (tape brad to bowl then poke through cardstock)
Crushed oreos for dry land (graham crackers good for lighter color)
Coconut dyed green for grass

Flower sprinkles
tree cut out
Animal crackers
swedish fish (poke into jello)
star stickers and cut-out sun -forgot moon :(
male and female figurines

Some of Weston's fish are headless. He had a hard time waiting for his treat.

They were pleased with their creations.

And they saw every thing that they had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sorry I'm slow

I know, I know, we're done with Christmas. Sorry we still have a Christmas background, but thecutestblogontheblock website is temporarily down for remodeling :(. Don't tell my daughter though, she was disappointed in me for not getting the Christmas decorations down until this week . We got home from our Chirstmas trip and it wasn't on the top of my list. Those with administrative priviledges are welcome to change the background and colors if they feel so inclined.

The Gamma Seal Lid

As a follow up to the food storage post from Brianna (Thanks Bri), I thought I'd share an awesome invention. My mom gave me a couple of these lids for Christmas. I believe she picked them up at the cannery in Las Vegas but I know you can also order them at various sites online. They are awesome! The outer lid fits onto the bucket and the inner lid screws on and off so you can easily access your items and keep them in rotation while still keeping your food safely sealed. My mom has several of these to keep kitchen essentials in like flour, sugar, and rice. When you run out you put your lid on a full bucket and start over. This is also a great way to store those Costco and Sam's Club 5 lb bags of food.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Family Home Storage - Simply Begin

Food prices are going up and so is the cost of everything else. That is enough to restore my thoughts to "being prepared."

I am a Food Storage novice. Some of you may be sailing in that same boat. Below are some quick and easy steps to steer your coarse to preparedness island. Believe me, in the days coming forth, to those looking from the outside will seem as though they wished they were on that island. Few will be prepared.

Start slow. Take a week to do each of the steps or take more than that. This is not meant to overwhelm. It is meant to prepare us so we are not overwhelmed and in need.

Where do I begin?

1. Know Your Family/Individual Needs
A great resource for knowing how to determine your needs is this free pamphlet (available online) created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:
All Is Safely Gathered In

Here is another helpful tool:
Food Storage Calculator

2. Budget for Preparedness
Now that you know the amount of food you will need, it is time to prepare a budget.
$5/week is a decent and simple way to begin. Now, with the rising costs of food you may need to up that amount. But I say keep your goal simple. It is quite overwhelming to think you have so much to buy.

3. Where Can I Store It?

This is something I considered while making changes to my track home when we purchased it. The powder bathroom had the option to become a full bath if I made the office into a bedroom. Instead I opted to keep it an office (no closet, but I can always add one) and the space where they would have installed a shower in my powder bathroom is now a large closet that I use for food storage.
Do not use your garage unless you plan on stacking your food storage on 2 x 4's and installing a swamp cooler (or something similar). All of your hard-earned money will go to waste because your food may likely spoil in extreme temperatures.
If your storage is minimal, find products that would be easy to store in the area you designate. Know what your limit is. There is no point in living in a home where your food takes over all of your living space. Set limits and reach for them.

Storage Options to Consider:

  • Under the Bed
  • Re-purpose a Closet
  • Storage Room (add-on to your home or convert a bedroom)
  • Book shelves (these should be very sturdy and anchored)
  • Add an air conditioned shed/unit to your backyard
  • Attic (for non-perishables like diapers, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Convert any empty/unused Space
  • Pantry or cupbaords (if you can spare them)
Recommended Temperatures

3. Where Will I Buy?
There are many ways to purchase food storage. If you are a Latter Day Saint you have a Food Storage Specialist in your Ward. They are there to educate you and provide you with upcoming lists of items that are prepared at the LDS Cannery (now called Family Home Storage Centers). Some Relief Society Enrichment activities include food storage classes, taste testing and demonstrations. If they do not you can request such a class to begin from your Enrichment Counselor/Food Storage Specialist.
**posted 1/13/09** I failed to mention that Costco & Sam's Club now sells these Emergency Food Supplies like this one (I have also seen them for sale inside the store). The price is reasonable for what you get. And it is comforting to know I have a good start.
Buying Schedule: Write out a schedule of what you will buy. You can sit down weekly/monthly or even yearly to plan. It may take extra time but will be well worth it if you already have a plan. Remember to keep track of what you do buy and what the expiration date is. Enter it into your Food Storage Tracker*.

The best thing to do is just start! As with anything we strive for, begin with small accomplishments. A one week/one month supply is better than nothing. See you on preparedness island!

Some Helpful Resources:

*If you are interested in a free Food Storage Tracker Excel Workbook to track of your food storage progress please e-mail me, . The program is amazing and was made by an LDS stake in California. Please do not sell this program. It is intended to be a help to those serious about tracking their food storage, it is not for sale.

Please add your comments below. What tips do you have for food storage?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Free Classes

I was just on the Whole Foods website and noticed they offer classes, most of which are free! Here's an example of one at my store:

"Saturday, January 10th

KIDS CLASS with Heidi: Fun Snacks the Kids Can Make for the Big Game


Kids love to cheer their favorite team on with the family on game day, and they especially love the snacks! Join Heidi for a fun Kid's Class where they can learn to make fun snacks for game day that are also good for them (but you don't have to tell them that part!) The class is free and take home recipes are included."

Just type in your zip code to find a store near you!