Howdy Sugar Pie! Oh dear. I know it’s been so long since my last blog post!! For the last couple of weeks I’ve been under the weather, but thank the good Lord, I’m on the mend!
Speaking of weather…we had some! It snowed around 8-10 inches last Sunday night. On Monday, schools, grocery stores and restaurants were closed. We were pretty much snowed in! My hubby tried to drive out with his Suburban and slid off the driveway into a deep snowdrift and got stuck. He had to call a tow truck to help get him un-stuck! We’ve actually had a very mild winter so far here in the Ozarks, so the snow is fun to see! But it does bring with it some challenges.
Fortunately, the local weather report gave us a heads-up to get prepared for the upcoming storm, so the day before, I ran down to the market to stock up on groceries for the week. It sure was a comfort to know that I was prepared to feed my family.
It got me thinking about being prepared for all kinds emergencies. Weather related, power outages, health-related outbreaks, and even a National emergency. I do think being prepared to provide and protect our family just makes good common sense.
Sometimes I’ll watch YouTube videos of Preppers to see how they prepare food and shelter to take care of their families. Many of them live off the grid on self-sustaining homesteads. I find it fascinating to see how they live…how they survive. There was a reality show on TV this past fall called Risking it All, where 3 families moved from their suburban homes to live in the wilderness. Each family was on their own in separate parts of the country. It was a fun show to watch but I wouldn’t want to live off the grid. I like electricity and Hot showers too much. Lol.
But then again, if there was a long-term power outage… how would I handle that? We have our own private well for water but we need electricity for the pump to work. A generator would solve that, which we don’t have. So the next best thing would be to store-up bottled water (I need to get some). Something to think about.
In 2012 Hurricane Sandy left over 8 million people without power for a couple of weeks on the East Coast. Sadly there was so much devastation. We don’t have Hurricanes here, but we do get the threat of Tornadoes and Ice storms. When I lived in California there was the threat of Earthquakes and fires.
Proverbs 31: 21 and 27
“She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes…She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.”
According to the Word of God, as Homemakers we are called to take good care of our home and family, in good times and bad. (Side-note: By Homemaker, I mean any woman that takes good care of her home and family, whether she works outside of the home or inside of the home).
After thinking about it, I’m not fully prepared for emergencies, but I want to be. So, I thought I’d list some of the basics that we should have on hand to be prepared, for our family’s sake…just in case:
1. Food: I like to keep the fixin’s for soup on hand, along with tuna, canned beans for chili, peanut or almond butter, crackers, nuts, dried fruits, evaporated milk and the staples; flour, oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices. I also have fresh and frozen veggies, fruits, and meats, but in a power outage they could spoil so they would have to be eaten first. The experts say “When the Power Goes Out. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full)”.
Photo source: Discover New England
You can cook on an outdoor grill if your power goes out (outside only, never inside), or in a wood burning fireplace if you have the right equipment like a grill to set your pan on , a cast iron dutch oven, and real wood of course (You cannot use Duraflame or any manufactured fire logs to cook over. They have too many chemicals which would make your food unsafe to eat (that includes roasting marshmallows too, that’s a no no!) Also, they don’t generate coals after burning down which are needed to cook your food). With the proper tools and utensils cooking from the hearth sounds very Little House on the Prairie-ish and kinda fun!
Of course if you really want to get super-duper serious there are lots of companies that offer freeze dried food with a shelf life of 20 years or so. Just google “Freeze dried food emergency preparedness” for more information.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) recommends a 3 day supply of non-perishable foods. Keep a non-electric can opener handy.
If you have pets, keep some extra pet food for them too! :D
2. Water: This is essential. We must have water to live. In a past blog post HERE I talked about how I’m trying to eliminate plastic as much as I can in regards to food storage, but if I need water and all I have are plastic water bottles I’ll drink it! There’s that old timey saying “Beggars can’t be choosers!” Lol! On a daily basis, at home though, I drink my filtered water in a glass mason jar. FEMA recommends a three day supply of 1 gallon per person, per day.
I did discover this Blue Can Water which has a shelf life of 50 years and is recommended by the U.S. National Guard. I think it’s a good option to use for emergencies since the plastic bottles have a shorter shelf life.
3. Lighting: We do get tornado warnings from time to time, and severe thunderstorms which always seems to be in the middle of the night. So having a source of light is important for safety and comfort if the power goes out which it does from time to time. I have two kerosene lamps which will keep the room lit for a long time, but it’s best sitting in one spot and not carried around for obvious reasons. You can find these at Walmart or Cracker Barrel. You’ll need to stock up some matches too. Although oil lamps are charming and old fashioned, if you have little ones, I DO NOT recommend the Kerosene lamps or candles, as they can be a fire hazard. Stick with flashlights. I have some hand-crank flashlights that don’t need batteries that we’ve used several times as we were heading down to the storm shelter (I keep them in my nightstand drawer). When there’s a tornado warning my son Dusty and His wife Kimmy come over with my grandkids since they don’t have a storm shelter, they live just down the street. So we only use flashlights and a battery lantern.
This red Coleman Lantern is the one we use. It has a handy carry handle which can also be used to hang on something.
4. Heat Source: Of course in the winter it’s important to stay warm during a power outage. We have a wood burning fireplace and
a stack of wood to burn. I realize not everyone has a wood burning fireplace, so if you’re at home in the winter with the power out, the experts say to gather everyone into one room with doors to the hallway shut to keep the heat inside. Lots of blankets to wrap yourself in is obvious but you may want to think about Emergency Thermal blankets for underneath the blankets. They are waterproof and help to retain 90% body heat inside during disasters. I’m adding that to my list to get soon. You can find them very inexpensively here.(affiliate link) It would also be a good idea to carry a few of those in the car too.
Hand warmers are a quick way to warm up and are a good idea to have on hand if needed, at home and in the car. They are designed to stay warm for 7 hours.
5. Baby Supplies: If you have little ones, keep well stocked in diapers, wipes, formula, food. meds., and other necessities. (Photo source Pinterest)
Maybe keep a bin of extras so you don’t use them all up. Of course as your little one grows you’ll need to rotate diaper sizes. (photo source Pinterest)
Photo source: Pinterest
6. First Aid Kit: I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was a great way to hold medical supplies for your first aid kit.
7. Paper goods: Having plenty of toilet paper in the house is a good idea. Have you ever been down to one roll? Eeeek! Not something we want to happen when we can’t get to the market! Every other trip to the grocery store I’ve been buying a package of toilet paper to stock up. Paper plates, paper towels and cups are also something to keep on hand if tap water is unavailable to wash dishes.
8. Plastic Trash Bags and Ties: For last resort personal sanitation :/ Recommended by FEMA.
9. Anti-bacterial Hand-wipes: If water from the tap is not available then these will be needed to keep hands clean.
10. Communication and Radio: Having a way to communicate with your loved ones during an emergency situation is priceless. My main source of communication is my cell phone so I have to make sure I charge it every night. If the power were to go out I can use my smart phone to check on the news and weather, but I have to be careful not to use up the battery. A battery operated radio would be a valuable thing to have too. There’s an all in one hand-crank radio-flashlight-cell phone charger that can be found here, which seems like a good idea. (Affiliate link)
11. Gas in your car: I have a new rule for myself, here it is: whenever my car is half-a-tank low or so, I go fill it up. If for any reason there was an emergency and I needed to drive somewhere (like the hospital, to go help someone who needs me, or an evacuation) I would hate to be running low on gas! In the past, sometimes I’d be driving around only to be surprised that my car was on “E” and then I’d be prayin’ that I could make it to the gas station. Sheeze! Not a good plan! Now I’m more intentional about checking my fuel. Better to be safe than….you know…sorry!! :D
Well, we all want our family to be healthy, safe and sound. I don’t like thinking about emergency situations but sometimes they are a part of life. Keeping our home stocked with a few extra supplies, just in case, makes good sense. Gathering these supplies can be quite expensive all at once, but we can build up our surplus a little at a time. We can buy one or two extra things each time we go to the market. That’s what I’m going to do. How about you?
The items I listed are just the basics, if you want a more detailed list you can click HERE for Cozi’s Emergency Supplies Checklist.
So now I’d love to hear from you! Do you have an emergency supply? Are you a prepper? Is there anything you would add to my basic list? Do you have freeze dried food storage? If so what brand or company do you recommend? Any thoughts on this subject is welcomed!
God bless your Darlin’ heart!
Happy 2015 dear Sugar Pie! My oh my! Where did last year go? Is it just me or does it seem like 2014 just flew by? Well, either way, here we are starting a brand spankin’ new year! As always I just get giddy thinking about all of the possibilities for the new year ahead! Last year I reached my goal of starting my Sweet Home Revival Video Series. I love dreaming up new ideas to encourage you, dear darlin’, in one of the most important roles that our world depends on us for! The role of Homemaker and mother! Our job is to be faithful in nurturing our home and family! Wholesomeness, goodness, love, care, guidance, nurturing and nourishment…all words that describe what our families need! Abraham Lincoln once said, “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people.” You know, I do believe that is so true, a great nation begins with a good and loving home. That’s my passion. That is what drives me. So this year I hope to bring you more encouragement to help you make your home-life more fruitful.
Here’s how to make 2015 a more Fruitful year:
1. Decide what you want. What is it that you need to change to make your life better? What do you want your home, family, job, relationships, to be like? What are your dreams and passions? What do you love? Make a rough draft list.
2. Choose a word for the year. This word can become your theme. If you don’t have a word, join me and use mine! My word for the year has helped me guide my goals. At first I couldn’t decide if I wanted it to be Faithful or Fruitful. So I prayed about it. I felt the Lord spoke to my heart by revealing that when you are faithful at something you’ll become fruitful. Yes!! Fruitfulness comes by being faithful!
You know, if a farmer had a bag of corn seed in the barn but decided to sit on a rocking chair instead of going out to the field to plant that seed, he would not have any corn to harvest come harvest-time. Ah, but the farmer who plants that bag of corn seed in good soil and is faithful to tend and nurture his field will harvest a bumper crop of fresh sweet corn! We harvest what we plant. The devoted farmer is the perfect picture of what faithfulness and fruitfulness looks like.
“Whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” Matthew 6:33
The definition for faithful is: steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant, devoted, honorable, dependable.
The definition for fruitful is: producing good results; beneficial; profitable, abundant, plentiful, bountiful, flourishing, successful, gainful, rewarding.
Faithfulness and fruitfulness go hand in hand.
Fruitfulness is a result of faithfulness!
I want to be faithful in spending time with the Lord and in His Word.
I want to be faithful in praying for my family.
I want to be faithful in taking good care of my husband.
I want to be faithful in taking care of my body.
I want to be faithful in planting seeds of goodness and kindness in the lives of others.
I want to be faithful to the gifts God has entrusted me with.
I want to be faithful to God’s calling on my life.
3. Seek God first and pray for His guidance in choosing your goals. God tells us in His Word, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33.
God’s Word ” is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” Psalm 119:105. I decided a long time ago that I don’t want to do anything unless the Lord is guiding me to do it. Because if God isn’t behind it, it won’t be blessed. I want to live in His blessing.
“I can’t grow anything good without Him. Period. He wants me to plant good seeds in good soil, tend to them, prune, and generously share the harvest. But, I need His gifts of sun and water — I need His Son and the living water of His Word — to make anything good happen. That is just plain truth in my life.” ~ Lara Casey
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow‘ (1 Corinthians 3:7 NIV).
4. Write your goals down: Experts say that you are much more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down. And the percentage of that success goes up exponentially if they are in view and you read them daily because, as we know, sometimes out of sight means out of mind. Goals make our purpose in life clear so we don’t just drift through life. The Word of God says “Where there is no vision, the people perish” Proverbs 29:18. The more specific you are the better. For instance instead of writing “lose weight” write how many pounds you want to lose or what your goal weight is. Also attach a by-when date.
I took some time to brainstorm and pray about which goals I was to focus on this year. It was such a happy feeling once I corralled all of my ideas that were running around my head onto a piece of paper. I actually had too many goals. In order for us to not become overwhelmed, it’s best to have 10 goals or less. So I had to cross some out and put them on the back burner.
I then designed my Goal list on the computer. I just think it’s more fun if you make your goal page look cute! I use Canva and PicMonkey. I LOVE these design applications! I plan to share about them more in an upcoming blog post, if you’d like me too! I printed a few copies. I framed one to keep on my desk so I can review my goals often, another copy went into my daily agenda planner and one for my Plan of Action binder so I can look at it there too. (The navy gingham agenda planner pictured above is the Day Designer by Whitney English. It’s my first time using it so I’m excited to try it out. Hopefully I’ll like it since it was pretty pricey. But if it keeps me organized, focused and on task it will be worth it.) Here are my goals for 2015:
Here’s the thing, my goals are set in place to give me direction, to help me fulfill my purpose. They are not meant to overwhelm me or cause me to beat up on myself if I mess up or miss a day. We all have days, for whatever reason, where we just don’t get as much accomplished as we would have liked. No worries! God’s mercies are new every morning. We can just pick right back up and continue doing a little bit each day, getting closer and closer to our dreams.
After you define your 10 goals, the next step is to create a Plan of Action 3 ring Binder with 10 page tabbed dividers, one for each goal. Then for each goal list at least 5 things you need to do to head in the direction to accomplishing that goal. These are your Plan of Action steps. You can use an online app like Evernote to collect everything if you’d rather. I like to do both because if I want to review what my next step is while I’m out waiting to pick up Summer from school or something, I can go to Evernote on my iPhone. It syncs with most mobile devices.
I refer to my binder when I’m planning out my week and plug in the time slots for when I can work on that goal. Here is a blank Goal sheet for you to print out and use if you’d like:
5. Be faithful to do a little bit toward your goals and dreams each day: whatever it is that you want to achieve or become better at…be faithful in doing those things…a little bit, every day.
If you want to write a book…be faithful to write a little every day (A writer writes!).
If you want your home to be more organized…be faithful to un-clutter and clean a little bit each day, one drawer, one shelf, one closet at a time.
If you want to save money for clothes, car, home, redecorating…save a little bit of money each week. (I have a friend that saves all her $5 bills in a jar to go toward her family’s vacation each year).
If you want to be a better photographer…be faithful to practice taking photos and study camera tips on a regular basis to gain more know-how.
If you want to lose weight…be faithful to eat healthy, drink more water and exercise.
If you want your marriage to be stronger…be faithful to be a blessing to your husband, encourage and build him up daily.
If you want to be a more loving mama…be faithful every day, in encouraging and nurturing your children, praising, laughing, hugging and guiding them tenderly.
If you want to be closer to God…be faithful in spending time with Him, in praise, thanksgiving and prayer.
Here’s the good news…
If every day you poured water into a jar, before long the jar would be overflowing.
Likewise, when we are faithful to do the things God has placed in our hearts,
and we do a little bit today…
and a little bit more tomorrow…
and a little bit more the next day…
Guess what honey?
We will be overflowing with joy as we become fruitful by being faithful!
A little bit really adds up! Can I get a YEE HAW?
You and I can be faithful to do a little bit each day!
We can do this! YES INDEED-Y!
“A faithful man will abound with blessings” Proverbs 28:20
Life is what you put into it.
Jason Womack says “Chipping away at a goal a little bit at a time is the most efficient strategy to get better. This applies to every area of our life. The way people cause momentum in their lives is they improve little by little in specific areas of their life. If you improve a certain area by only 1% a week, you’re going to have generated consistent, significant gain in just one year. If you read (books to help you grow) 1% more each day… or you drink 1% more water each day…you show more kindness to others…whatever it is you want to get better at…what may feel like a small tiny improvement over a week and then a month and then 6 months and then 12 months –it’s going to be huge!”
If you want to be…do!
6. Be your own cheerleader! What we say to ourselves has a lot to do with what we can or can’t accomplish. Be your own best friend. Be your own loving mama. Tell yourself encouraging words that you would tell someone you love to inspire and motivate them. Speak kindly to yourself. Don’t allow critical words or fearful thoughts to enter your heart. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
James 3: 4-6 compares our tongue with a rudder on a ship, it sets the course for our life: “A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything – or destroy it! A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos…”
I think the thing that holds us back the most are the negative things we tell ourselves. When we voice those thoughts “I can’t do this…this isn’t going to work…this is too hard…I’m not talented enough…I’m such a failure…” (All the things I’ve told myself in the past) When we speak those things our ears hear it, it goes into our heart and we begin to believe it. Don’t let those negative thoughts be the boss of you and your dreams! Declare, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:13. Say Amen Sistah! God is right there ready to help us!
Positive, grace filled words will help keep you moving forward and add sweetness to your life! Proverbs 16:24 “But Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
You are precious, loved, and a one of a kind, treasure! Read Psalm 139! God is always watching over you…He loves you so much He just can’t take His eyes off of you! You adorable thing you!
You’ve got to know too that you don’t have to be perfect. I learned that a long time ago! Been there, done that, got the t-shirt! So if you mess up and start saying not so nice things to yourself, hush those words sistah and start singing praise songs to the Lord. The joy of the Lord is our strength!
One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Every morning before I get out of bed I repeat the scriptures from Psalm 118:24 and Psalm 23:6: This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it….Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the presence of the Lord forever. Amen.” This sets a blessed tone for the day!
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.
At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing
if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
7. Make sure to take time out for fun and rest! Get your goals set, create a plan of action but then be sure to schedule time to get refreshed, to regroup and to breathe. Our motivation becomes reignited when we have something fun to look forward to. So whatever it is that puts a twinkle in your eye and pep in your step make sure to do those things! I would love to know what you LOVE to do that ring joy-bells in your heart! Do share in the comments below!
Well Sugar Pie, may you have a blessed, faithful and fruitful 2015!
As always I love hearing from ya!
God bless your darlin’ heart!
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