Secrets of Mom Search Results

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the Amazon giftcard is tyson2468. Congratulations! The winner was chosen using a random number generator.

Family Fun in Vegas Part 2: The Lied Discovery Children's Museum

Across the street from The Las Vegas Museum of Natural History is The Lied Discovery Children's Museum. (It's located in the same building as the public library.) Admission is $7.50 for children and $8.50 for adults. There is a coupon for $2 per person (up to 4) in the Las Vegas Entertainment Book. Current hours are 9 am to 4 pm, Tue- Fri & 10 am to 5 pm on Sat.
  One thing that I love about children's museums is that each one is different. We really enjoyed this one, it is possibly my favorite thus far. On the first floor there were a lot of things to do that were mostly play oriented and the second floor had many exhibits that were science oriented. While we were there my daughter sat through a chemistry presentation and loved it. A few of the exhibits were similar to those we saw at The Museum of Science and Industry, but it was far less crowded giving my kids a chance to actually see, try and learn. They also had several science exhibits that we hadn't see yet. There are many things to do on a variety of levels.  It's smaller than the Nebraska Children's museums that we visited this summer, but it was more science focused and most importantly less than a days drive. It is totally worth a stop if you are in Vegas with family. I highly recommend this place for children anywhere from toddler to teenager. It's a great place to encourage learning. We had a hard time dragging our kids out of there.

 My husband making a giant bubble for my daughter. Behind him, is a mom and daughter behind a bubble screen.

Another bubble screen which they really had a great time with.

My son spent more than an hour playing with this "ball popper".

Experiencing a hurricane.

I snagged this picture from their website, but I had to include it because the laser harp was just so awesome!

Other tips for your visit: Bring snacks/lunch as the food options are limited in the museum and we weren't impressed with the options within a few blocks of it either.d hand sanitizer because it is a 'hands-on discovery place'. It's less crowded in the morning, but even in the afternoon it wasn't too bad.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review: I Hate It When Exercise Is The Answer

I Hate It When Exercise Is the Answer: A Fitness Program for the SoulI picked up this book because it was convenient and I needed something to read while I was waiting for my car to be repaired. (Murg.) I Hate It When Exercise Is The Answer: A Fitness Program for the Soul by Emily Watts was not exactly what I was expecting, but I still enjoyed it. At first glance I thought I was going to be getting a book with "fitness hacks" or some other plan to improve your health with minimal effort. (Ok, if I had looked at the subtitle with that first glance I would have realized that's not what this book is about. Let's chalk it up to stress.) The author starts with the idea that just as it is important to strengthen your core muscles, it's important build your emotional and spiritual core, because "when the core is strong, everything works as it should." Building on that she came up with 31 exercises to do this and gave related stories from her own experience. It's a quick uplifting read. (Note it is very much geared towards and LDS audience, although many of her suggestions can apply to everyone.) Here are my favorite exercises that she suggested:

  • Find Your Mission- Make a list of things that you are good at. that you like to do and times in your life when you've felt particularly pleased with your successes. Ask the Lord what He needs you to do with the interests and talents you've been given. Act on any inspiration received.
  • Appreciating Moms- Write down five things your mom has done to help you become the person you are. Share the list with her if possible.
  • Shining- Pick a day when you're out and about and make a diligent effort to smile and make eye contact with as many strangers as you can. Notice how many smile back.
  • Recognizing Incremental Progress-Think of a negative behavior that you (or your children)  used to engage in that you don't anymore. When did you change? Was the transformation immediate or gradual? Consider how you can make little changes to add up to big progress in some area of your life.
  • Cultivating Humility-The next time you are arguing with someone and are ready to shoot down all of their ideas, ask first "Help me understand why you feel the way you do". If it turns out that you were right you can preserve the relationship, if you were wrong you avoid looking like a total jerk!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Food Storage Friday: Taco Soup

This week's food storage tip is try to pick recipes that you already have the ingredients for. For example, taco soup. (Mexican food and soup together, love it!) There is not an ingredient in there that I don't normally stock for other meals also. It makes it easier to purchase cases of them and have them available. Using your food storage doesn't have to be super elaborate, it just has to work for you and your family.

Taco Soup
Food Storage Ingredients
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can corn
1 can of olives, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced green chiles
1 can cooked chicken
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp chicken bullion + 1 cup water or 1 cup chicken broth

Fresh Ingredients
sour cream
shredded cheese
tortilla chips
1 tsp lime juice

Optional Ingredients
avocados, chopped for garnish

1. Dump all ingredients into a pot. Stir and heat until cooked through. (About ten minutes.)

Usually I used canned tomatoes because it's easy, but this time I used a couple fresh because I had them. It made the soup a little more watery and foamy, but still good.

I have tried at least a dozen versions of taco soup. This is the one that I always go back to because I like the way it tastes and it's so blasted easy. I've tried it with grilled chicken, beef, pork, ground beef, and ground turkey. (And it wouldn't be hard to make it meatless.) Canned chicken trumps because it is the easiest. When I was pregnant with #2 and working full-time nights I made this almost once a week. I can make it in my sleep. (And considering that I was working nights I probably did make it in my sleep at some point.) Enjoy!
Soup is on baby!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Time Saving Secrets for Moms plus Linky & Giveaway

I have two full-time jobs. I take care of sick kids and then I take care of my kids. Since I have gone back to work full-time in recent months I'm finding that sometimes my time is more valuable than money. My job as a mom is so important. My kids will never be 2 & 4 again. Now is the time that I need to be with them, to let them know that they are loved and help them to learn so they can grow into strong and productive people. Now is the time to enjoy their discoveries. However, this doesn't change the fact that my husband is currently going to school more than full-time and somebody has to pay the bills. (This is a short-term situation, only 2 semesters and then we're back to part-time working mommy. :D) So I thought I would share a few ways that I have found to cut corners without cutting out what is important.
    Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers, Size 4, 140-Count
  1. I buy my diapers from Amazon. I hate buying diapers. I hate that they are so expensive, they're just going in the garbage. I hate that whenever there's a really good deal on them if I am not at the store within the first 3 hours there aren't any left in the size I need. However, if you buy them by the case from Amazon they are delivered to your house within 2 days (free shipping, baby) and are a significantly better deal than your average Walmart/Target prices, even without coupons. And you can have them shipped to you on a regular basis so you don't even have to think about it. I love that.
  2. Bountiful Baskets I know lots of people have been talking about how wonderful this produce co-op is for awhile, and I finally jumped on the bandwagon. (I was somewhat afraid that if I bought one most of it would go to waste before we could use it. I hate wasting food.) I split a basket with a friend and got a lot of fresh produce, for less money and less time than if I had gone to the store/farmer's market myself. Plus I love the randomness. It forces me to add variety to our diet. 
  3. I hired a cleaning service. This one was a little painful at first, and made me feel somewhat guilty paying someone to do something I can do myself. I just wanted someone to help me with the deep cleaning, which I really just don't have time to get to. It is kind of expensive to have someone else come and clean my house, but they can clean at least twice as fast as I can and more thoroughly (probably at an even faster rate if you take into account they are not distracted by small munchkins.) After they were done, I was so happy. I love it when my house is clean. It removes so much stress. And the next day I had off instead of worrying about cleaning my house I played with my kids. It was great.
  4. I've stopped clipping coupons. Well sort of. I only clip the ones I need. Here's the system I use.
  5. I use my food storage. (Usually with the aid of my crock pot) I know that I talk about food storage a lot, but since I've been working more I have been using it more than usual. When I plan my meals around what I have, not only am I saving money I also spend far less time grocery shopping. It may sound a little crazy, but give it a try and see if using your food storage doesn't make your life easier.
Now for the very first linky on my blog! Share what brilliant time saving hacks you have found that give you more time for the things that really matter. And of course a giveaway. This month I'm giving away a $20 Amazon giftcard. So here's how you can win it.
  1. Be a follower. New or old, it doesn't matter. Just leave a comment telling me that you are interested in the giveaway. And if you don't follow through Google Friend Connect, just mention how you do follow.
  2. Link up a time saving secret. Or you can just leave one in the comments.
  3. Become my friend on Facebook. (FB is where I talk about any great deals that I am snagging, and if you're my friend and I find a great FB offer I will pass it on to you.)
 This giveaway runs from now until September 28, 2010 at 2359 MST. The winner will be announced September 29, 2010.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Word of Encouragement for Mothers

    Do you ever have those days when you are totally exhausted and are frustrated with having to pick up the same messes for the umpteenth time? I know I do. Here are some reminders I have found for those times when you questioning why you do the things that you do. And if you have a favorite encouraging quote on the topic of motherhood please share.


    If you're going through hell, keep going. -Winston Churchill


    Homemaking is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do
    ships, railways, mine cars and government, etc., exist for except that people may be warmed and safe in their own home? ... [The homemaker's] is the job for which all others exist. - C.S. Lewis


     There are no adequate substitutes for father, mother, and children bound together in a loving commitment to nurture and protect. No government, no matter how well-intentioned, can take the place of the family in the scheme of things.- Gerald Ford


    The way that mothers nurture their children may make babies smarter, healthier and better able to deal with stress. These are qualities that will carry through their lives and into the lives of their own children. -Louann Brizendine, M.D. and neuropsychologist


    There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one - Jill Churchill


    I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.- Abraham Lincoln


    Children keep us in check. Their laughter prevents our hearts from hardening. Their dreams ensure we never lose our drive to make ours a better world. They are the greatest disciplinarians known to mankind. - Queen Rania of Jordan 


    Mothers reflect God's loving presence on earth. - William R. Webb


    I believe our problems, almost every one, arise out of the homes of the people. If there is to be reformation, if there is to be a change, if there is to be a return to old and sacred values, it must begin in the home. It is here that truth is learned, that integrity is cultivated, that self-discipline is instilled, and that love is nurtured. - Gordon B. Hinckley

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Food Storage Friday: Homemade Salsa

    When I think of food storage I think oats, beans, wheat, rice, potatoes and pasta. These are staples. Staples are important, they are your base. But it is also important to store things that help the staples go down a little easier. (Because no one wants to live off only the staples.) This week I invited a friend over and we made salsa. Salsa is almost a staple in our house. And I have a reputation for making good salsa. (A few friends were upset when I announced that I would be quitting my last job because I would no longer be bringing chips and salsa into work.) So here is the secret of my great salsa, which I learned how to make from my mom. I believe she learned how to make it from a friend when we lived in San Antonio.

    Fresh ingredients
    18 tomatoes (give or take)
    3 bell peppers (red & green)
    6 Anaheim peppers
    5 jalapenos
    6 cloves of garlic
    1 yellow onion
    8 green onions
    1 & 1/2 large bunches of fresh cilantro
    2 Tablespoons of lime juice

    Food storage ingredients
    1 Tablespoon of white sugar
    1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
    1 teaspoon of salt

    1. Rinse and chop produce. 2. Combine all ingredients in a pot and simmer uncovered until contents has gone down about an inch. (About an hour and a half.) 3. Taste frequently and add more ingredients as necessary. 4. Can according to canner instructions. Makes between 5-6 pints.

    Now this is roughly the recipe that I use, but I never follow it exactly. Sometimes I'll throw in a yellow pepper or half a red onion or more hot peppers or more garlic. It depends on the potency and flavor of the produce that you have. Peppers vary in heat. Keeping the seeds in the mix gives it more kick. I always leave the seeds from at least a few of the peppers in. Once I decided to make "hot" salsa and put in 12 jalapenos with seeds. I tasted it before canning it and it had a fair amount of kick, so I labeled that batch "hot". I gave some to my in-laws who are big salsa lovers. When they opened a jar it was not hot, not even remotely. It was still good, but not hot. I don't know what happened, or why the canning process made that one batch weak, but it did. Years later, my in-laws still tease me about it. Whatever proportions of ingredients you use I believe that the secrets to a good traditional salsa are green onions, Anaheim peppers and lots of fresh cilantro.

    The sugar is to neutralize some of the acidity of the tomatoes and the tomato paste is help give it the right consistency. If you don't have tomato paste you can achieve the same effect by just cooking it longer, but I'm all about cooking hacks to reduce my time in front of the stove. If you don't want to be hugging your stove for an hour or two, I have also thrown all of the ingredients in my crock-pot, left it overnight and canned the batch in the morning. It turned out ok, but not as good as batches that I have tasted and adjusted throughout the process.

    My friend asked me if the flavor decreases over time. Honestly I don't really know. 30-40 jars of salsa lasts us a max of 6 months. Does it lose it's potency over time? Sure, maybe. We never wait long enough to see.

    My friend and I were discussing whether or not making your own salsa is cost efficient. I figured that if you add my hourly wage x 4 (for chopping, cooking, canning & clean-up) + jars, rings and lids (which have to bought in packs of 12) + a new canner and canning tools (as it's not convenient to borrow my mom's anymore) +  the cost of ingredients (I find that fresh produce is more expensive in St George than anywhere else I have lived) ÷ 6  ≈ $31 per jar of salsa. Dang, that's expensive salsa. However, I will continue to make it for the following reasons. 1. I like making salsa. It's more fun to chat with a friend while working in the kitchen than it is to purchase mediocre salsa from the grocery store. 2. The cost will decrease as I won't have to purchase a canner, jars or rings again. 3. Although my garden was a failure this year, I have family and friends who have more tomatoes than they know what to do with and also know that I like making salsa. So the tomatoes were free, which are the most costly ingredient. 4. While I'm at work I also have to pay a descent amount for daycare, whereas while making salsa I can be productive and listen to them squeal in the backyard. 5. And of course, I make really good salsa. So, although I may do other canning projects in the future, I now no longer have any illusions that canning my own food is saving me money.

    Something so funny it just has to be shared

    A few weeks ago I came across the blog "Hyperbole and a Half". It's pretty hilarious. Last night I read "The Party" It was so blasted funny that I was laughing/crying/sobbing uncontrollably. (Maybe part of that was because I was really tired after 2 very long shifts at work.) My husband sat across the table looking at me like I had lost my mind. I think it is an incident that many mothers can at least sympathize with. And then I dreamed about it and was woken up by my own laughter. So that's why I'm up in the middle of the night letting you know about this. Warning: Don't read that web comic when someone is watching you, they will probably think you are insane.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Walgreens 101

    Now I am well aware that many people around the internet have already discussed this topic in great detail. However, I have to talked to five different people who read my blog that were totally unaware that you can get free (or at least very cheap) stuff from Walgreens. That seems like enough reason to cover the basics here.
    1. Every week Walgreen's offers several items that are free or under $1 with Register Rewards or in-ad coupons.
    2. You can combine manufacturer's coupons with Walgreen's coupons. (i.e. If you have a coupon for $3 off Huggies diapers, it can be stacked with a Walgreen's coupon for $2 Huggies diapers, making a sweet deal on diapers.)
    3. You must more manufacturer's coupons than you have items. (A Register Reward is considered a manufacturer's coupon. Let's say I have 1 packages of diapers and 1 coupons plus a $3 reward. To use my reward I must have some filler item like candy or a pencil. My favorite is the little boxes of apricots for $1. That's cheaper than other local stores for that item anyway.)
    4. If you coupon amount is greater than your total the value will be changed. (Once they had Reynold's Foil for 95¢ and I had a coupon for $1 off. I can either apply it to 2 foils or the coupon amount will be reduced to 95¢.)
    5. Unless your coupon is a Register Reward, in that case you must find more items to get up to the value of your reward.
    6. Register Rewards and coupons can not be used to pay for sales tax. (Even if the item is free, you may need to pay a few pennies to take it home.)
    7. If you have a coupon for a Register Reward eligible item and the reward is for the full value of the item, you can get overage. (Once I got Alive! vitamins for $7.50 after coupons and then received a $10 Register Reward.)
    8. Register Rewards can be rolled over to purchase other items that provide Register Rewards as long as it is not the same item. (I could not use my $10 reward to purchase more Alive! vitamins, but it can be used to buy Carmex lip gloss that provides a reward .)
    9. You should use the Walgreen's coupons before your manufacturer's coupon. It just makes the computer happier that way.
    10. Make sure you double check your ad. I've found that prices on many items vary from store to store, but the register rewards  and Walgreen's coupons are consistent.
    11. If you have any FSA elligible items, swipe your FSA card first, then use your regular payment method.
    12. If you order photo print online through, you get a small kick-back to your kids college fund.
    13. If you "like" Walgreen's on Facebook you can get the inside scoop on many Walgreen's deals including coupons and free photo prints.
    14. Register Rewards must be used within 2 weeks.
    15. Sometimes this can be kind of time consuming, but it is a great way to save on your grocery bill especially if you have more time to spend than money.
    Here are some of the many things that I have gotten for free at Walgreen's: Dial NutriSkin Body wash, Gillette Men's Body wash, Reynold's Aluminum Foil, various Herbal Essences hair products, various feminine products, Carmex, bubbles, Air Wick air fresheners, school supplies, cold cereal, vitamins, hard cover children's books, Pepto Bismol, contact solution and snacks just to name a few. It took me a few times before I could do it smoothly, but it's worth the time to not have to spend money on items that you need. (There's a Walgreen's in the same parking lot as the closest grocery store, making it convenient to stop there when I get my groceries.)

    Freebies2Deals and GrocerySmarts are both great resources to find what the current hot Walgreen's deals in Utah are. (Grocery Smarts covers several other states as well.)

    For more details here is the Walgreen's Coupon Policy.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Favorite Things About Being A Mother

    1. Everyday my kids say something that makes me laugh out loud.
    2. I am often endowed with super powers. Not only can I do all the things that are part of being Mom, last week my daughter told me that if I touched the sides of the trampoline I would get wet powers so I "can save the earf".
    3. My kids are always ready to give me kisses on the cheek.
    4. I get to and am expected to play with toys on a regular basis.
    5. When my kids are sad, they still like to snuggle and I love it.
    6. I can and must purchase fruit snacks.
    7. Every day holds a new discovery, something to learn or share.
    8. My kisses have magical healing powers.
    9. If the laundry doesn't get folded, I'm the only one who even remotely cares.
    10. My kids have such soft kissable cheeks.
    11. I totally have an excuse to buy all my favorite movies and cartoons from when I was a kid. Ducktales Whoo-ooh!
    12. When I'm looking less than fabulous (which is the vast majority of the time) the people who really matter, really don't care. And it makes me smile when my daughter compliments an outfit that may be embellished with boogers and/or ketchup because it happens to be her favorite color.
    13. My Heavenly Father has trusted me with this great responsibility and blessing because He loves me and my little family.

      Friday, September 10, 2010

      Food Storage Friday: Breakfast Cookies

      Using your food storage at dinner time is great and all, but if you were to be living off your food storage, I certainly hope that you would be eating more than once a day. You need to plan for breakfast and lunch as well. So let's do a few breakfast recipes, shall we?
      Today's recipe comes from my very own mom. The smell of these cookies brings back memories. My mom used to make a big batch of these, freeze them and send a few with me on field trips. And they're certainly healthier than many other quick breakfast options. (The original recipe calls for 1 cup of Crisco, and although the characters in The Help raved about it's greatness, I find the stuff revolting. They still taste great with mashed beans and applesauce instead.)

      Breakfast Cookies
      Food Storage Ingredients
      1 cup extra crunchy peanut butter
      3/4 cup cooked and mashed white beans
      3/4 cup sugar
      3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
      1/2 cup all-purpose flour
      1/2 cup wheat flour
      1/2 cup oat flour
      1 teaspoon baking powder
      1 teaspoon baking soda
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      1 3/4 cups oats
      1 cup raisins
      1/3 cup dried grated carrot
      3/4 cup dried apple pieces (broken up)
      1/4 cup flaked coconut
      1 tsp vanilla
      1/4 cup apple sauce
      (1/4 cup apple juice)
      (1/4 cup water)
      Fresh ingredients
      (grated carrot and apple if you don't have the dried variety)
       2 eggs

      1.If using dried carrots and apples put in a bowl with apple juice and water. Heat oven 350 degrees. 2. Mix peanut butter, bean puree, apple sauce, vanilla, and sugars with eggs. 3 Mix powder ingredients and gradually add to wet. 4. Mix in apples, carrots, raisins and coconut. 5. Bake 9-11 minutes or until brown around the edges.
      They taste even better than they look.
       A few notes:  When I made this I added an extra 1/4 cup of apple juice to the apples and carrots because I put my raisins in the mix and they were really hard. The original recipe calls for only all-purpose white flour. I used the different kinds of flour to make it healthier, but if you don't want to bother, that's cool. The original also called for fresh carrots and apples. I used dried because I had them and it meant that I didn't have to grate anything and I hate using my grater. For the mashed beans I previously took a can of cooked white beans, rinsed them, mashed them, measured them into 1/4 cup blocks, and froze them in some Tupperware. It made things a lot quicker. I was inspired by this recipe.  I promise that you can't taste the beans. But if you would rather use Crisco instead of mashed beans, go ahead ;).

      Wednesday, September 8, 2010

      Favorite Places to Visit in St George Part 2: Creative Minds Learning Center

      I love taking my kids to children's museums and hands-on discovery centers. We've been to several around the country and have been kind of sad that there is nothing like that in St George. Well, not anymore! Just this August a new learning center opened in St George. We checked it out last week and we will definitely be going back.

        Creative Minds Learning Center has several imaginative play areas based on local businesses including Lin's Grocery, Staheli Farms, Tuachan Ampitheater, Sunrise Tire and Cooper Construction. Admission is $5 for kids. Group, party and monthly rates are available. Plus they offer classes that include a craft for $3 per child. (Sign-ups are available online through the link above.) Here are the reasons that I'm pretty pumped about this place:
      1. Parents are free! (It always seemed silly that I had to pay for myself and my husband in children's museums.)
      2. It's local and it's a family run business.
      3. There's a ball pit. (I miss those.) And it's shallow enough that diapers are not going to get lost in it.
      4. There's pirate ship for my scalawags to play in.
      5. There's a princess castle complete with throne and dress-up clothes.
      6. There are lots of simple toys that allow for creativity. (Many hours of fun can be had with PVC pipes, ping pong balls and few blow-dryers.)
      7. It's small enough that I can keep track of both my kids and read a magazine/book.
      8. It's so much easier to clean up after my kids there than at home.
      9. They play happy Disney music in the background.
      10. Because it's local, I don't have to fight my kids as hard to drag them out. I let them play until they're tired.

      Mini Ball Pit
      Ahoy Mateys!

      Monday, September 6, 2010

      Firestarters and Other Camping Tips

      Here's a riddle: What do old candles, empty egg cartons, used popsicle sticks and dryer lint have in common? Hint, the answer is not that they're garbage.

      The answer: they're ingredients to make great fire starters!

      I learned how to make these several months ago at an emergency preparedness class, and was reminded of them by a few people who suggested bringing lint for a fire starter as a camping tip under the August giveaway. (Because dryer lint is the cheapest, quickest fire starter.) Whether you use just the lint or make my weird little craft, you're finding a purpose for something that would just be thrown away otherwise.

      Instructions: 1 Cut lid and latch flap off egg carton 2. Fill egg cups with dryer lint. 3. Break Popsicle sticks into little pieces. (I used a pair of pliers, some leverage and my concrete steps for this. The ones that they showed in the class were made with wood pellets, which they said you can get a large bag of for $3, but then what would I do with the rest of the bag of wood pellets?) 4. Pack broken Popsicle sticks into dryer lint. (I used about 2 dozen sticks.) 5. Pour enough hot wax over the whole thing to hold it together. (I melted my candles with a candle warmer.) 6. Cut into individual egg cups once wax has hardened. Each fire starter will burn for approximately 12 minutes. (Every one will vary depending on how much wax, lint, etc was used.)

      Pretty much the weirdest, ugliest craft ever.
      We tested them over Labor Day weekend. They worked pretty effectively.

      Here are some other great tips that were mentioned.
      1. Bring your dutch oven
      2. When it rains do not push on the tent as you are laying inside because it will leak even if it is water resistant!
      3. Bring tweezers. The ticks will always find you!
      4. Have a really great Swiss Army Knife on hand.
      5. Always have WAY more matches and kindling than you think you're going to need. 
      6. Bring a clothesline to hang wet towels.
      7. Cook your first meal at home and bring with when camping.
      8. Always pack toilet paper and bug spray.
      9. Pack everything in individual bags or lidded containers and then pack those in a large lidded bin. No more rummaging, plus everything stays clean and dry. 
      10. A Frisbee will add support to paper plates when the plate is placed inside the Frisbee.
      11. Take along some of your old extracts and use as a fire starter-sprinkle some on the firewood and it will help get it started and smells great too.
      12. Save all the sample shampoos that you get from the mail and use those while camping.
      13. You can never have too many socks. a couple extra pair can be a lifesaver.
      14. Try out the bug repellent candles, they work amazing!
      15. Bring extra trash or grocery bags with you that you can carry when you go hiking or to the lake. You might end up saving an animal or to by removing trash. 
      16. Check the weather before you go so you can pack the appropriate clothing.
      17. Make sure that you bring appropriate shoes.
      18. An old rolled-up memory foam mattress topper makes a great sleeping pad. Just cut to size.
      19. Always take lots of paper towels. You never know when you are going to need them!
      20. Pack a bottle of dish soap in a zipper bag- you'll always find a use for the soap, but will not be happy if it explodes on all your camping stuff & it's not contained in a bag.
      21. Take baby wipes. They work great to clean up any thing or any one!
      22. Use an old towel as a door mat for wiping off feet before entering the tent.
      23. Put up a tent back away from the wooded area and lake beds if possible be cause when night falls--in come the bugs and mosquitos--learned that the hard way :) 
      24. One from a friend- wrap your tin-foil dinners in cabbage leaves before wrapping in foil, this will prevent the potatoes from burning to the foil.
      25. And I'll add, make sure you have an EXTRA flash light. It may come in handy when you need to run to the loo in the middle of the night. 
      Thanks to everyone who contributed tips.

        Sunday, September 5, 2010

        My Family in the Family Proclamation

        The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. 

        We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.

        Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. 

        Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness,

        to provide for their physical and spiritual needs,

        to teach them to love 

        and serve one another, 

        and to observe the commandments of God

        Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, 

        prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, 


        and wholesome recreational activities. 

        Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.