Thursday, April 30, 2009

Solar Cookers - Solar Ovens

As I was studying the different plans that people have about ways to cook food without electricity I came upon a really neat idea. This Summer our little family will be filling our time with all kinds of unusual summer projects. Building a Solar Oven may just be on the To-Do list. I will let you know. Either way, this is a great resource for anyone who is looking for alternative cooking methods for during emergencies and power outages.

There is a whole organization devoted to educating the public about Solar Cookers. Here is their website: Solar Cooking. You will find all of the information that you need on this website. There is also a woman who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that shares her experience and expertise in cooking with a Solar Oven. You can find her information on The Idea Door Website.

Home Essentials List

Home Essentials for our Family of two adults and 2 or 3 children. The scenario planned for is that we are at home with no water (in pipes), and no electricity in sight for more then two days.

Portable Toilet
Heavy Duty plastic garbage bags or a Bucket
Privacy Tarps or tent
Toilet Paper
Sanitary Hand Wipes
Portable Solar Shower
Shampoo and Conditioner
Body Soap

Paper and Plastic: Plates, bowls, cups, utensils
Wash Basin
Dish Soap
Generator –OR-
Lantern and Mantles
Oil Lamps and Oil
Solar Lamps
Solar Oven
Tin Foil
Lighter fluid
Dutch Oven

Laundry Room
Wash Basin
Laundry Soap
Clothes Line
Clothes Pins

Under The Sink (cleaning supplies)
All Purpose Cleaner
Baking Soda

Baby Supplies
Rash ointment
Baby Powder
Baby Food
Gripe Water

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pandemic Precautions: N95 Respirator Mask

According to "The World Health Organization on Wednesday raised its pandemic alert to 5, its second-highest level, warning of widespread human infection from the swine flu outbreak that originated in Mexico.Dr. Margaret Chan, the U.N. agency's director-general, said the decision to raise the alert on the 6-point scale indicated that all countries should "immediately" activate pandemic preparedness plans.

"This change to a higher phase of alert is a signal to governments, to ministries of health and other ministries, to the pharm industry and the business community that certain actions now should be taken with increased urgency and at an accelerated pace," Chan said."

With this alert, it isn't too surprising that today we ordered our N95 Respirator Masks to add to our Ark. We live in a small town so we went to for a better selection. I wanted the masks with the exhale vent so my glasses won't fog up. It calms me to know that they are on their way.

Even though the Swine Flu isn't as horrible as other things that could become a world wide problem like a Pandemic, we feel it a good idea to be prepared regardless of what is in the air today. We never know what tomorrow will bring. This eases any fear just a little bit more.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Day Of Blogging

I have been able to blog A Lot today. So have fun scrolling through a bit to catch all of my ramblings and updates!

Two Jobs - A Family - And School! How Does He Do It?

I was asked to give the details of how Leif has been so successful in school while still working two jobs and being a great family man. So I'll take a minute and try to give some insight into how he does it.

The first thing I want to clarify is that Leif still has a many more years left of schooling ahead. This graduation was his Associates. He is working towards a Masters Degree as a Nurse Anesthetist.

Anyway, I was thinking about what I would say to answer this question and I think I figured out one of Leif's great tools. When he was a Massage Therapy student he made a firm decision. He made the decision that he would never do homework on Sunday. He has followed through with this commitment and I believe that he has reaped the rewards so far.

All of Leif's classes are online. This is another way that he has been able to fit so much into his schedule. With so much going on (and the commitment to not study on Sunday) it takes planning ahead and organizing in order to get everything accomplished. I try to find out what he's up against with school so I can keep it in mind as I give him "honey-do's." I also try to make time for him to do his school work and encourage him when I can. So we work together to help him be successful. However, it is not me who forces him to study. He does that!

Leif is also a smart man. He is able to retain knowledge well and he is very good at taking tests. This makes it possible for him to skim through his text and pass the test. However, now that he is starting in on his more intense classes, we have made arrangements so Leif will only be working part time. This will make it possible for him to READ his text and retain more of what he is being taught.

Really, I feel blessed to have a husband who is seriously dedicated to earning his degree(s) with honors. This gives me strength and courage to continue when things get overwhelming. I am very grateful for Leif's example to our family and his dedication. I am very proud of him!

"The Truth" Painting of President Obama

Does anyone else find this INCREDIBLY Disturbing???!!!!! Any leader who truly loved and honored his Savior would speak publicly about this and denounce the many photos and depictions that have been created that depict him as Jesus Christ. President or Not President. It is Blasphemy and It Is WRONG!

Jakob's Dance Recital

This weekend Jakob finally had his dance recital. I realized something while the days wound closer to the recital date. I am a perfectionist in certain ways. I could not just relax and enjoy the fact that Jakob was enjoying his dance practices. I really wanted him to KNOW the dance! Especially since he is the ONLY boy in the whole studio and I knew he would be the center of attention. In reality, all of this was pride, plain and simple.
Well, the day finally came and I just sat through the concert praying that I would just be able to enjoy his performance and that he would enjoy it as well. Prayer Answered! Jakob stole the show:) He remembered the most important parts and it was great! I know I would have been proud of him even if he didn't remember the dance -Really, I Promise! I'm not that prideful! But I was sure pleased with how well he did!

Here are some cute pictures. I am still working on getting a DVD of the dance. I'll post it if it's possible to get it. Thank you Larissa for bringing your sweet kids and grandpa for taking us all out to dinner. It was a great night!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Seven Pounds Movie Review - Our Savior Is The Answer

SIDE NOTE- On Friday night Leif decided to spoil me. He took Jakob (first gift) with him to town. He rented a chick flick for me (second gift.) Then he went and got ice cream and cookies (third gift.) It was a very sweet evening even though we weren't able to get to the movie until last night. Now that we've watched it, I have to write about my thoughts.-

We watched the movie Seven Pounds with Will Smith as the main actor. If you really want to watch the movie, don't read much further. However, I don't recommend watching the movie. So if you want to take my suggestion, read more to find out why.

The movie begins with the main character, Ben, calling for an ambulance prior to his committing suicide. With such an opening it makes you hope and wonder if he is really going to kill himself and of course, you ask yourself why!

Well, as the show progresses you start to catch glimpses here and there of a horrible car accident that was caused by Ben. He had just proposed to his girlfriend and they were on their way somewhere fancy to celebrate. Ben was a workaholic and he was text messaging while driving and hit a vehicle head on that cause a chain reaction of accidents. In the end, seven people were killed including his fiance.

Knowing the extreme grief and heartache that would be caused by such a mistake makes it a little bit more understandable why someone would be considering suicide. However, it isn't the suicide that the show revolves around. It is what leads up to Ben's death that they focus on.

Before Ben kills himself he makes a plan. This plan is a series of gifts that in some way saves another person from heartache and even death. Ben sets up ways for him to donate his organs to different people. He also donates bone marrow, part of his liver, and part of his lungs while he is still living. In total, he will "save" 7 people. In his mind this is a form of giving back a small portion of what he accidentally caused to be taken away. Mixed in with all of this is an impossible love story (the woman can't survive without the heart that Ben is going to give her.)
The point that I want to make about this movie is this. I do not in any way discredit the valuable gifts that Ben gave to these people. My grandmother lived over ten extra years because of an organ doner. It is his grief that I want to focus on. This poor man was in such horrible grief-stricken pain. This sadness and despair seemed to have no other option but to take away his life. This is my point, this was not necessary! Someone already paid the price for this mans mistake by giving his own life. Ben did not have to gradually give his own life away. The one component that was missing from this sorrow-filled show was our Savior, Jesus Christ and his saving grace. Through His atonement our burdens can be made bearable. Our heartaches can be eased. And our life can be made livable.

This is the pure miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If we let Him heal our souls, He will. He has literally felt such individual heart wrenching pain as what this man was feeling because of a small yet, life altering mistake.

I left this moving feeling a tiny portion of the sorrow that our Heavenly Father must feel as he watches one of his children suffer such despair needlessly. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He has the power to heal all heart ache. I know this through my personal experience.
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