Monday, December 27, 2010

Pepeprmint Bones

"The Night Before Christmas" ala Jim Davis (Garfield's Night Before Christmas) changed our lives. When my Katie read about "Visions of Peppermint Bones" dancing in Odie's head, Starlight Mints became a part of our Christmas Traditions.

Got Starlight Mints?

Peppermint Bones (and other shapes)
Big bag of Starlight Mints
Powdered Sugar or Cornstarch

  1. For people who are easily distracted (raising my hand), preheat oven to 250 degrees. *

  2. Sprinkle a baking sheet (or two) with a light coating of powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent the melted candy from sticking to the pan. (I have tried wax paper and parchment paper and they stick to the candy).
  3. Unwrap what feels like 1000 Starlight Mints and place them in desired shapes on baking sheets, sides of candies touching. You can make bone shapes, candy cane shapes, wreath shapes, use your imagination.
  4. Gently place in oven and bake at 250 degrees for about 15 minutes. You will want to keep an eye on them after the timer goes off because once they start meling together, the melitng process just speeds up and the candy spreads out. It takes about 17-18 minutes total in my oven.

  5. Remove pans from oven and allow shapes to cool a couple of minutes on the baking sheet. Gently loosen pepermint shapes on the pan and remove to a cooling rack.

*For people who are not as easily distracted you can set your oven and bake at a higher temperature, of course, but you will just have to keep a closer eye on them

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Christmas Pagent.

I laughed so hard over this and had to pass it on.--"Gold, common sense and fur..." Gotta love the children....ROFL thanx to Michelle M for  this.

"My husband and I had been happily married (most of the time) for five years but hadn't been blessed with a baby.  I decided to do some serious praying and promised God that if he would give us a  child, I would be a perfect mother, love it with  all my heart and raise it with His word as my guide.
God answered my prayers and blessed us with a son.
The next year God blessed us with another son.

The following year, He blessed us with yet another son.

The year after that we were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we'd been blessed right into poverty.  We now had four children, and the oldest was only
four years old. 
I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it As a minister once told me, "If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella."

I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs..I was off to a good start.  God had entrusted me with four children and I didn't want to disappoint Him.  I tried to be patient the day the children smashed
two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks.

I tried to be understanding...when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs
When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and  rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog, I tried to see the humor rather than the mess..

In spite of changing over twenty-five thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children.  While I couldn't keep my promise to be a perfect mother - I didn't even come close...I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God.

I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God, and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to "wash up" Jesus, too.  Something was lost in the translation when I explained that God gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was generous of God to give us his "last wife."

My proudest moment came during the children's Christmas pageant.  My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man.  This was their moment to shine.  My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line, "We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes."   But he was nervous and said, "The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes."   My four-year-old "Mary" said, "That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly.  That's dirty, rotten clothes."

A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost
her left wing.  I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced
down the aisle crying,  "Mama-mama."
   Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up and held it tightly as the wise men arrived.
My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced, "We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts of gold, common sense and fur."  The congregation dissolved into laughter, and the pageant got a standing ovation.   "I've never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one," laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes"For the rest of my life, I'll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense and fur."  "My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest blessing," I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin. 
Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.  Had no degree, yet they called Him TeacherHad no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.  Had no army, yet kings feared Him.  He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.  He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.  He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.  Feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Prepare Yourself to Be Amazed

the wockenflock was asked to speak on The Law of Tithing on November 28.  I wanted to speak from a positive stand point, look at the blessings.  Sunset

Prepare  yourself to be amazed.

Prepare yourself to prove God herewith.

Prepare yourself to have the windows of heaven opened up to you.

Prepare yourself for such a blessing that there is not room enough to hold it.

Would you intentionally reject this?  But this is what we do if we don’t pay our tithing, according to Elder Richard D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve (Tithing: a Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings, Ensign, Nov. 2002), “We say no to to the very blessings we are seeking and praying to receive…Prove Him now herewith…Pay your tithing.  Unlock the windows of heaven” 

The Lord promises an abundance of blessings both temporal and spiritual. “The temporal and spiritual blessings of tithing are specifically tailored to us and our families, according to the Lord’s will.  But to receive them, we must obey the law upon which they are predicated.  ‘ Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there  may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Malachai 3:10……)”” (Tithing: A Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings)

Again, would we intentionally reject such a blessing?

Consider the blessings that come unto you and your household by being a full tithe payer.  For some, paying tithing is a natural as breathing. for others, it is a struggle.

Elder Dallin H Oakes  speaks fondly of his mother and what he learned from her example “My widowed mother supported her three young children on a schoolteacher’s salary that was meager.  When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things…., I asked my mother why she paid so much of her salary as tithing.  I have never forgotten her explanation:  ‘Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t.  The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children.  I cannot do that without that blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing,  When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that he will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along.’”

As a widow, myself, I live according to the same experiences as Elder Oakes mother.  I need the blessings of the Lord to get by.

Throughout my research on this topic, I found myself focusing on the blessings of paying tithing.

  • Paying tithing allows us the blessing of going to the temple and doing the work for our ancestors ourselves, of being there as the links of the generations are joined together.  We may feel the presence of our ancestors as we do their work.  We can be sealed to our families and receive the blessings of eternity.   When asked whether members of the Church could be baptized for the dead if they had not paid their tithing, President John Taylor said, “A man who has not paid his tithing is unfit to be baptized for his dead….if  a man has not faith enough to attend to these little things, he has not enough faith enough to save himself and his friends” (Tithing: A Test of Faith…..).
  • Tithing develops and tests our faith. By sacrificing to the Lord what we may think we need or want for ourselves, we learn to rely on Him.  Our faith in Him makes it possible to keep temple covenants.  “The obedient payment of tithing fortifies our faith, and that faith sustains us through the trials, tribulations and sorrows in our life’s journey.”  (Tithing": A Test of Faith…..)
  • President James E. Faust taught that paying tithing strengthens marriages, is an excellent insurance against divorce, that it keeps the Spiritual battery charged  (Enriching Your Marriage, Ensign, Apr. 2007, 4-8).
  • Paying tithing teaches us to control our desires and passions for the things of this world.   A young husband and father living on  a student budget said to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve,  “Perhaps our most pivotal moments as Latter-day Saints come when we have to swim directly against the current of the culture in which we  live.  Tithing provides just such a moment.  Living in a world that emphasizes material acquisition and cultivates distrust for anyone or anything that has designs on our money, we shed that self-absorption to give freely, trustingly, and generously.  By this act, we say—indeed- we are different, that we are God’s peculiar people.  In a society that tells us money is our most important asset, we declare emphatically it is not.”  (Like a Watered Garden, Ensign, Nov 2001, 33)
  • Paying tithing encourages us to be honest in our dealings with our fellow man.
  • In Malachai 3:11, we are promised that the Lord shall rebuke the devourer for our sake.

It’s not possible to name all the blessings received, as there is not room enough to receive them, but just a small attractive list. How have you been blessed?

The Lord desires all His children to have the blessings of tithing. Not just the adults. Consider how you teach your family about the Law of Tithing.  If your children are taught by you, they are more prepared and less vulnerable to the temptations of the world when clothes and expensive possessions they really cannot afford abound.  Their tithing may be only  a few pennies right now, but the lesson is what is important.  If it is already their lifestyle, they will be less vulnerable in their teens when the things of this world become more attractive.

Elder Hales taught, “As the years go on, is it possible that a young man can be ordained an elder, serve a mission and effectively teach a law to others that he has not lived himself?  When he returns home and faces the pressures of schooling, starting a family,  and a career, will the law of tithing become easier to live.  Likewise, will a young woman be worthy to serve the Lord and make celestial marriage covenants without having gained a testimony of tithing for herself?  Will she be prepared to teach her children a law she has not learned by her own experience?  Oh what faithfulness is required of fathers and mothers who would unitedly call down the protective blessings of tithing upon their family and the blessings are rightfully theirs.  Said President Lorenzo Snow:  ‘Teach the children to pay tithing, so that it may be perpetually observed.  IF we observe this law, no matter what our enemies may do, the Lord will preserve us."’”

As I go about living my life, I receive counsel from the Lord on purchases, whether to go ahead and buy, wait, or even skip it all together.  Things always just come together, amazingly enough. The money is there for daily needs and even when something unexpected comes up.  We’re doing okay, thanks to the promises of the Lord. 

Prepare yourselves to be amazed.   The Lord wishes to bless His children.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Clay Pot Nativity

One of the most precious things I’ve ever seen was this home made clay pot nativity I found at a flea market shop.  I snatched it up as fast as I could and have made a few move since.  I made these one  December with an Activity Days group, who loved it!
I neglected to measure the pots, and the packages don’t say, either, but they are the smaller ones you find at your craft store.   I have used 2 different sizes of pots at different times.  They work,  Just look them over and see what will work with your wood balls.
You basic needs are: 
  • two sizes of small pots,
  • 1 inch wood balls for Baby Jesus,
  • 1 1/2 –1 3/4 inch wood balls with flat bottom for Mary and Joseph,
  • acrylic craft paint in skin tone of choice,
  • white paint,
  • black paint,
  • paint for clothing color of choice,
  • fabrics to coordinate with paint color ,
  • scrap of white muslin,
  • moss color of choice (for baby’s bed),
  • raffia,
  • craft wire-color of choice (opt),
  • paint brushes,
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks.
Protect your work area with news paper. 
For Baby Jesus,  you need:
  • 1 of the smallest pots
  • to fit a 1-inch wood ball inside
  • moss
  • skin tone paint, white paint, black paint
  • white muslin, 1- 1/2” x 5 inches
Paint the wood ball skin tone color and let dry.
Fold white muslin in half lengthwise so it is 3/4 inch wide and 5 inches long.  Wrap around wood ball, with folded edge toward you, and add a drop of hot glue to secure fabric “under chin”. Fold up excess fabric against ball, hot glue in place.  Put desired amount of moss into smallest pot, add Baby Jesus, hot gluing in place.
For Mary and Joseph you need:
  • 1 -1/2  inch - 1-3/4 inch wood balls for each
  • clay pots, 2 -1/2 inch– 3 inch sized for each (bigger than the manger pots)
  • paint color of choice for “robes”, coordinating fabric for head dress for each
  • raffia
For Mary and Joseph, you need to paint only the front half of the pot, as the back is covered.  Let dry.  Paint the wood balls skin tone color of choice and let dry.  You may paint their faces now, but I choose to do it later.  Add a Raffia bow (about 12 inches of raffia) around Mary’s middle, hot glue in place.
100_7024 100_7029
Hot glue the painted heads in place. 
Fold over a small portion of the long side of fabric 2 times.  Secure into place around faces.
Fold under excess fabric, tucking inside clay pot, hot gluing in place. Bring some of the fabric forward to overlap the front fold at the hem for a neater look, hot gluing in place, again.
100_7031  100_7032
Add a raffia tie around Joseph’s head and tie a knot in place.  If desired, cut a strip of wire, shaping into a staff and secure with hot glue into fold of Joseph’s head dress.100_7033
Paint their faces with 2 black dots and 2 white dots.  Let dry.  Spray with sealer, if desired, and ENJOY.  Enjoy the holiday season, my friends!
100_7036 This is the original Nativity I bought a few years ago.  This one has green moss in Baby Jesus’ manger and a green florist wire hook as Joseph’s staff.  How cute is this!
Teresa is a widow who loves the Christmas season best.  Her Christmas tree goes up on September 1 and comes down in the Spring.  You can find her whistling Christmas Carols up and down the Christmas aisles and at Wockenflock Daze.

Christmas Light House


100_6989This is my unfinished version.  Decorate as you please

You need:

  • 1 -12 inch clay pot
  • 1- 8-inch clay pot
  • 1-6-inch clay pot
  • green acrylic paint
  • trim color as you desire (I used gold)
  • buttons and bows for decor
  • solar light
  • hot blue
  • sealer, if desired

Cover  your work space.  Paint your pots in desired colors

100_6972 100_6973

starting with rims.  Let dry. Stack and decorate as desired.  Spray with sealer.


You can see my original in the background.  This green one is smaller than the original.  My craft store didn’t have the 14-inch bottom pot the day I went looking,so I went the next size down.  If you want the larger pots, use 1- 14-inch pot, 1- 10-inch pot and 1-8 -inch pot.

100_6990 doubled up the buttons in some places

I also made different sized trees.

100_6988 The bottom is the 12-inch pot, and just stacked up.  I made one using a 6 inch pot, 4-inch pot and a 2 inch pot.  The star on top is a glittery Christmas  Ornament hot glued to hole in the top.

100_7019 I used smaller sized pots and a 1-inch wood ball on top, painted it yellow and hot glued a flat show flake.

Use your imagination!  Have fun!

Teresa loves the Christmas season and can be found whistling Christmas Carols in July and at Wockenflock Daze.  Her Christmas tree goes up on September 1. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life Skills


this will be the featured post at Latter-day homeschooling on 11/1/10

broom Pink Giraffe broom by Casabella
(I own the Cheetah print broom)

What are those three little words a woman wants to hear from her man?
”I do laundry.”
Or how about, “I can cook.”
”I wash dishes.”
Okay, yes, I’m making this a little one sided.  How many young ladies have gone off on their mission with no housekeeping skills, cooking skills, or the ability to do her own laundry (yes, they have to clean their apartments, cook and wash)? How many of us left home without really having any idea what we were in for? (raising my hand, here)  We moms live a life of service, but we  have the responsibility in this serving, somewhere, to teach our children self sufficiency.  I know it is easier to just do it ourselves, that it takes TIME to teach them and we have to SLOW DOWN and be PATIENT while THEY LEARN to do it over and over and over.

Now, this has not been easy for me to do, personally, and I’m still struggling, because I didn’t have the example of involved parents when I was growing up.  They did the best they could, or knew how, I guess. I’m trying to improve on it with my family, teaching them to be responsible, but I also tell my children, that if there is something they did not like that I did, or how I taught, “Improve on it with your own children.  Don’t waste your time whining about how you didn’t like what/how I did. Improve on it.”  ( I have noticed am improvement through the generations)

I have discovered web site about this, imagine that, so here we go…

How to Teach Your Children to Clean Up
Teach your Children to Enjoy Chores..

As I was digging through a stack of old papers, I came across a list, or a basic guideline, of responsibilities our children should be able to learn to do at certain ages.  I’m not sure where it came from, but I thought I would pass it on.

3 Year Olds can learn to

  • dress self
  • use potty by themselves
  • start to brush their own teeth
  • put toys away
  • say prayers (personally, I think this depends on the individual child)

4 Year Olds can learn to

  • brush teeth
  • make bed, pick up in their room
  • get a bowl of cereal
  • make sandwiches
  • memorize address and phone number
  • start learning articles of faith

5 Year Olds can learn to

  • straighten a room
  • vacuum
  • empty household trash  cans
  • set  the table
  • make own sandwich
  • warm up canned food (with supervision, of course)
  • help in the garden, plant vegetables and seeds

6 Year Olds can learn to

  • take shower without help
  • dust the furniture
  • load dishwasher
  • empty dishwasher
  • run microwave
  • water the plants
  • make and answer phone calls

7 Year Olds can learn to

  • wash dishes
  • clean cupboard doors
  • floss their own teeth
  • clean the bathroom (including the toilet)
  • pull weeds in the garden
  • have a saving account (if they get an allowance or do jobs for money)
  • read aloud

8 Year Olds can learn to

  • grooming (nails,notice dirty face)
  • get up by themselves
  • participate in team sports or clubs (if not sooner)
  • notice and develop personal talents
  • clean mirrors
  • sweep
  • do own hair
  • begin piano lessons, or other instrument
  • get baptized
  • read scriptures daily
  • have their own library card
  • choose books
  • care for pet
  • help with younger siblings
  • be aware of their testimony

9 Year Olds can learn to

  • mop the floor
  • clean and dust pictures on walls
  • bake cookies
  • be aware of their 72 hour emergency kit
  • learn basic first aid
  • wash car  and vacuum interior
  • basic carpentry--hammer nails, saw wood
  • cook vegetables
  • write letters , maybe have a pen pal, thank you notes
  • basics of sex education
  • email grandparents
  • wrap gifts
  • sew on buttons when they’ve come off

10 Year Olds can learn to

  • Do own laundry
  • play musical instrument
  • write in journal on their own
  • understand the benefits of exercise 
  • clean stove
  • help more in the kitchen, make salads
  • understand basic nutrition
  • iron their own clothes
  • use leaf blower
  • plan their own little garden space
  • place a collect call
  • know articles of faith
  • write creatively

11 Year Olds can learn t

  • clean refrigerator
  • straighten drawers
  • straighten closets
  • sew hems
  • start cooking---breads, pies, main dishes

12  Year Olds can learn to

  • have basic fashion awareness and help shop for their wardrobe
  • read  a newspaper article and report on it
  • speak in public (4-H or church)
  • consider weight management
  • make and keep dentist appointment
  • iron own clothes,, if needed
  • plan family meals
  • mow lawn
  • use weed eater
  • start mission preparation
  • have good basic math skills
  • use a camera (if you dare)
  • learn to crochet or knit
  • learn first aid
  • take a babysitting class and babysit
  • clean windows
  • use internet (parental supervision, of course)
  • keep personal calendar
  • use common computer programs
  • read the Book of Mormon through
  • basic auto maintenance (check oil, fluids) 
  • Mend clothing

13 Year Olds can learn to

  • sew simple items
  • shop for clothes and other items
  • find bargains
  • plan parties
  • have own recipe files
  • shop for groceries
  • care for plants –teaches responsibility of keeping something alive
  • keep a simple budget
  • household bills (gain an understanding)
  • Certify for CPR
  • Type without looking
  • Understand prescriptions
  • Learn meat-handling rules

14 Year Olds can learn to

  • understand basics of food storage
  • memorize social security number
  • understand about interest, debt and securities
  • use makeup
  • identify business skills to get some experience with sales
  • understand basic civics and politics
  • accompany parent to vote
  • perform thorough car detailing
  • change flat tire
  • use proper etiquette 
  • clean garage
  • understand basics of car operation
  • do simple household repairs
  • memorize scripture mastery

16 year olds can learn to

  • get driver’s license
  • understand credit cards, debit cards
  • Use ATM if they have their own account
  • sell and by on eBay (only if you are comfortable with it)
  • learn about retirement plans
  • focus on mission prep
  • understand interviewing
  • understand advertising
  • start career planning
  • file insurance claim (if you do that in your household)
  • car insurance
  • perform household repairs
  • assist in purchase of car-research and compare  vehicles before you buy
  • open checking account
  • file tax return
  • interact with auto mechanics
  • pay for and use a cell phone
  • get a job

Of course, modify as you see fit in your family, but we must remember to be there, teaching, waiting for them to get it.  Perfection at first is not necessary.  If the little one’s clothes are on….great.  Matching clothes is secondary. 



Praise for doing something, anything, right.

Would you consider writing a post/guest post on how you accomplished teaching any life skill?  We’ve had a few, but there is room for more.  How did it work for you?  What jobs do your children do around the house and at what ages?  How do you get chores done?

Be Wild Angle Broom found here
These animal print brooms are hard to find.  I am lucky to have mine.
Camo Print Broom by Alice Supply

I have wrapped Tie-Dye duct tape around the handles of my mop and um…plunger. Takes some of the pain out of cleaning.

Teresa is a widow, with 4 children at home, trying to manage this parenting thing on her own. She relies on the Lord for guidance, inspiration and everything else.  You can find her family goings on and a few homeschool activities at Wockenflock Daze.

Food Storage for November





Amount to store: minimum of 14 gallons/person

1 extra bottle sodium hypochlorite bleach solution

1 bottle tincture of iodine or iodine water tablets

Flavorings for water if desired

Okay, my friends on the baby step program,how is the food storage process going?  Do you see some items in the bottom of your closet starting to build up?  Is your closet running out of room?  I sure hope so.  What can you toss in this month that you didn’t use in October?  Be patient, now, because we will take inventory in December or maybe at the start of the new year.

Now, for November:

A family can subsist for quite a while without food, but for only a short time without water, therefore it is important not to minimize the importance of storing water. The amount to store varies greatly with age and levels of need. For instance, children under three consume more water than adults and also need more bathing than adults. In moderate weather, a fairly sedentary person consuming an average low-protein diet requires a minimum of ½ gallon of water per day for drinking and food preparation. As a minimum, store 14 gallons per person for a 2-week period. A two week period will cover most natural disasters and broken water pipes

Water can be stored in purchased, boxed shaped, 5 gallon storage containers available in stores and web sites selling emergency preparation items. Water can be stored in food grade plastic bottles with plastic lids (with the exception of bottled water jugs and milk jugs. They do disintegrate and leak after a couple years, leaving you with a mess to clean up.) Some to rotate their water bottles in the summer, giving an excuse for a good water fight.  I store water in empty cranberry juice jugs. (Ladies, we also need to store our cranberry juice or cranberry supplements)

Here is a site for water storage containers to give you an idea to ponder on.  I have seen water filtration systems in camping departments at local stores. 

There are 4 basic methods for obtaining drinkable water from polluted water: filtration, chemical treatment, freezing and distillation.(I have yet to find information on how the freezing method works.)   You will find the methods in a table below.  Filtration and chemical are usually used in combination. The water is filtered to remove large particles (like mud), then treated with bleach, iodine or water purification tablets. If desired, flavorings can be added. Lemonade covers bleach a little, but strong dark colors are better for iodine since they help cover the color change of the water.  I happen to have iodine liquid. I am not sure where I got it..maybe on the counter at a gas station…

In an emergency, you can get water from the toilet tank (from the reservoir in the back, not the bowl!!!) or from your home’s hot water heater, if it has been regularly cleaned.  Water can be stored in the bathtub.

Have you considered keeping a rain barrel or two? What do you use for a rain barrel?  Would a plastic trash can do? What are all the ways you use water? What are your needs?

An interesting read about water is National Geographic, April 201o.



  • BOILING: the safest method for purifying water is to boil it vigorously for 2-3 minutes to destroy bacteria. To improve the taste, pour the boiled water from one clean container to another several times to aerate it. Cool, or even add clean, uncontaminated ice to improve palatability. As a last resort, mix up weak (1/2 strength) Kool-aid or lemonade with the purified water.
  • DISTILLATION: Most distilling equipment is bulky and expensive, but if you own a juicer it can be used to distill small quantities of water for emergencies. The impurities would remain in the bottom part of the juicer, while the distilled water could come from the juicing hose. Fill the bottom reservoir with water, add the middle section, and skip the perforated basket t hat usually holds the fruit. Place the lid on the second section and boil until you have distilled 2/3 of the water you put in the reservoir. Empty and repeat of necessary. Be careful, because the juicer will become hot like any pan on the stove, and it is easy to get burned.
  • BLEACH: Use any brand of 5.25%sodium hypochlorite. BE SURE HYPOCHLORITE IS THE ONLY ACTIVE INGREDIENT. SKIP THE FRAGRANT BLEACH. Using the following chart, add the chlorine solution to the water. Mix by stirring or shaking the container. Allow to stand 30 minutes. The water should have a distinct chlorine taste or smell. If this smell is not present, add a 2nd dose of the solution to the water and let stand for at least 15 minutes more. The taste/smell of chlorine in treated water is a sign of safety.

Amount of water

Water condition

Amount of bleach

1 Quart



2 drops

4 drops

½ gallon



4 drops

8 drops

1 gallon



8 drops

16 drops

5 gallons



½ tsp

1 tsp

  • IODINE : 2% tincture of iodine can be used to purify small quantities of water. Stir thoroughly. The taste is not exactly delightful, but the water is safe to use. Follow the chart below:

Amount of water

Water condition

Drops of Iodine

1 Quart



  3 drops

6 drops

1/2 gallon



6 drops

12 drops

1 gallon



12 drops

24 drops

Iodine tabs (found in the camping section at your sporting good store, Wal Mart..etc.) will have directions on their bottles.

What works for you?   Do you have an information that needs to be added?  How do you store water and filtration?

Teresa is a widow, with 4 children, who has experience with storing water in the wrong kind of plastic jugs. It wasn’t pretty.  Her food storage is building, and is always on the lookout for a good deal.  You can find her at Wockenflock Daze.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Putting on the Whole Armor of God


One of my favorite FHE lessons comes from Ephesians 6:10-17

10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11   Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil,
12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rules of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13  Therefore, take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14  Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15  And your feed shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

  • You can start out discussing this FHE with the conditions of the world, the subtle tools of Satan in these latter days,and that we are not left alone to fend for ourselves against these things. We have the pieces of the Armor of God to protect us, but we must be willing to wear them.

Discuss with your family the meaning of each piece of the armor:

  • Loins girt with truth-  seeking truth of all things, being virtuous,chaste
  • Breastplate of righteousness-this piece covers our heart and symbolizes keeping righteousness in our heart
  • Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace-this piece covers feet and shins, which are on the floor as we pray.  Prayer is how we prepare ourselves for our daily lives, communicate with the Lord.
  • Shield of Faith-when we maintain our faith or strengthen our faith the Lord, build our testimony, we can withstand anything Satan can send our way.
  • Helmet of Salvation-this covers our head, helping us to remember what we allow into our minds
  • Sword of the Spirit –which is the word of God and cuts through falsehoods, lies and untruths

armor man

If you wish, use the printouts of the dolls and armor pieces, found here for the body, and then here for the armor, for discussing each piece as a visual.  One for each child works well, coloring each piece as you discuss it, then gluing them in place.  We made a poster in our family that has been up for years (see the worn, well traveled poster at the top of this post)

Additionally, if you have it, you can dress a child up in pieces of costume armor, discussing each part as you go (improvise where you need to). And the best part is when the rest of the family gets to throw” fiery darts” (red paper airplanes or simply, crumpled red papers) while the child uses any piece of the armor to knock it away.  The people throwing the fiery darts call out some tool Satan might use to tempt them, such as, disobedience, poor choices, lying, bad TV shows, etc.  It’s great to watch our Latter-day warrior bat them away.

Another armor of God object lesson is to show what happens if we remove our armor, even piece by piece.  You’ll need:

  • 2 oranges
  • large clear glass bowl, or a  truffle bowl or 2 clear pitcher
  • water

Fill your containers with enough water so that the oranges are floating well above the bottom of the container/s.  They float because they are protected by the peel, which can be likened unto the armor of God. 

Begin to remove the peel, one piece at a time, discussing which piece of armor might come off, what someone might do to remove it, then place the orange back in the bowl.


That first time, depending on how small a piece has been removed, it may float at the same level as the unpeeled orange, but you will find that as you continue to remove it piece by piece and place it back in the bowl each time, it sinks lower and lower….. 003
Until the peel is completely removed and the orange is resting on the bottom.

You’ve made your point, the impact is made and they remember this one.

Serve the oranges for FHE snack.

Teresa is a mom to 4 Latter-day Warriors, who wear their armor proudly.  You can find their family goings on and a few homeschool activities at Wockenflock Daze.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Vase


I forget where I came across this idea, but I loved it and make this eyery year now.

You scoop out the insides of a pumpkin, insert a foam semi circle, and arrange your favorite fall  flowers. 

A woman was asked what it was like to be baptized and she said something like, “It’s like being a pumpkin. Jesus opens you up,scoops out all the yucky stuff, puts a smile on your face and places  a wonderful, glowing light inside.”

Peter Pan and his Shadow

Patrick and his friend Troy had a Masquerade dance to attend, and Troy’s mom thought it would be fun for the two of them to go as Peter Pan and his Shadow. She did a great job putting their costumes together.  Just look at them!!

They took a prize, of course.  They went about, synchronized in all they did, asked girls to dance, speaking in unison as they asked, holding a hand out to them as they asked, they walked in unison, ate in unison, stood alike….But Patrick couldn’t scratch.  Troy couldn’t scratch because his makeup would rub off.

Peter Pan and Shadow 010

Peter Pan and Shadow 018

Peter Pan and Shadow 021

Peter Pan and Shadow 022

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Katie Rocks On!

Katie’s latest creations…100_6913

The fish is going to be  my Christmas gift…….  *;-.)


Our Tin Can Pumpkins


I found these in a newspaper magazine insert and loved them!!

You need:  cans of varying sizes, Orange spray paint, Newspaper for work area protection, hammer, nail, wire for handle, candles and a sense of fun.

  • We used one of really big cans that used to hold food storage amounts of rice, a large baked beans can, and two 16-oz cans. 
  • We washed them out, dried them,
  • then flattened any sharp edges.
  • Patrick spray painted them Pumpkin Orange, then..
  • poked holes in them using a hammer and a nail. He stuffed the cans with logs and sticks to hold their shape while he made the holes. 
  • Two holes are make in the sides, near the rims, to…
  • fasten a wire handle, twisted for fun design.  I used a lighter gauge wire, but you can use a heavier gauge.

Aren’t these great?!  I put a votive candle inside a glass votive cup for the two larger cans and used tea lights for the smaller sized.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Storage Item for October~~emergency supplies

the original of this article is being featured on Latter-day Homeschooling, 10-4-10oil_lamp

We are striving to be a wise, and prepared, virgin.

How is your food storage coming?  Have you checked your pantry yet to see what can be tossed in your closet for this month, anything left over?  What have you purchased?  Do you see your food storage building? 

This month we are talking about emergency supplies.  We are touching on a few aspects about acquiring emergency supplies, what we need, what stores will run out of in a national emergency, recipes for emergency baby formula, cleaners, wipes, link for my favorite storage and emergency recipe book, and links for Pinto Bean Pie recipes. Happy browsing!

Do you have a 72 hour emergency kit (a printable file) for each member of your family? People store different things in their kits.  I came across this one first. If you google “72 hour emergency kits”, several links will come up.  Store what works for your family.

When I was a new member, I was counseled to rotate items in my 72-hour emergency kit every General Conference weekend.  Rotate food items, i.e. crackers, oatmeal packets, etc.  Check expiration dates on medicines, first aid supplies.  Check what more you might need. Have you considered Dental supplies, such as Dentex for lost fillings and loose caps?  Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about having an extra bottle of prescription meds in your emergency kit in case of , well, emergencies where you won’t be able to get to the pharmacy.  Rotate monthly.

I found this to be an interesting site:

Top 100 Items to Disappear in a National Emergency

In the above link, you will find products stores may run out of immediately.  Best to have it on hand already.  One item that was not listed on the link was a Hand Crank Wheat Grinder.

I found an interesting article in “Mother Earth News” magazine, Feb/March 2010, about the Cam Mathers family that lives off the grid completely now, growing their own food, solar power, wind turbine, wood stove, etc.  Cam has written a book , “Thriving During Challenging Times: The Energy, Food and Financial Independence Handbook”, detailing how they’ve achieved their lifestyle.  I am interested in reading this.

I have listed recipes, below the storage item block, for Emergency Baby formula, home made baby wipes, anti-bacterial cleaning wipes, homemade laundry soap and newspaper logs.

Food Storage Item of the Month for October

Fuel and Light,

Alternate Energy, Cooking,

Candles, Flashlights,

Clothing and Warmth

72-hour emergency kit expiration date check and rotation

FUEL: What do you use to heat your home?

A wood pile is a good source of emergency energy for warmth, light and cooking, but only if you have a fireplace or a wood stove. 3-4 cord of wood will last a typical winter, if burned only during the day, and just enough to keep the house warm. More is needed for an open fireplace. Newspapers can also be turned into clean-burning logs. (Directions will follow)

Kerosene heaters are available at your hardware stores. (Sorry I do not have information on kerosene storage. Your dealer may know what you need. If I get the information, I will get it to you.)

When using dry heat, consider keeping a pan of water steaming to add moisture to the air.

COOKING: Meals can be prepared over an open fire, as our scouts have been practicing. Roasting hotdogs using the newspaper logs might be a fun FHE activity either with your woodstove, fireplace or outdoor campfire, and you can see what it takes to control the mess if done indoors.

An emergency tin can stove is simply a #10 can with a heating unit. (The #10 can is the really big one we get from the Cannery or from the institutional canned food aisle at the grocery store. Can you eat that much Fruit Cocktail?) Corrugated paper can be rolled tightly around a candle stub and put into a tuna can, then soaked with wax. Place it on a heatproof surface, light, and set the tin can stove over it. Cook on the stove “top” which was formerly the bottom of the # 10 can.

Of course, camp stoves work well also.  Store butane canisters.

LIGHT: A typical ½ inch taper candle will burn for 3-4 hours and if placed in front of a mirror or pie tin, gives off twice the light. Put a small plate under the candlestick to catch the wax if the candle holder doesn’t have a cup to catch the wax. (Do you know how to make candles?) Votive candles burn less brightly, but longer. Votive holders get very hot when the candle burns continuously, and can burn wood surfaces, so it might be a good idea to protect the surface with a hot plate or pot holder.

A two battery flashlight will provide light for 3-4 hours continuously with old batteries and 5-6 hours with new. An additional 1-2 hours of use can be gained by using the flashlights only intermittently.

Consider adding light bulbs to your storage.

Coleman lanterns are readily available along with butane canisters.

Oil lamps are readily available,  Store Lamp oil and wicks.

WARMTH: Do you keep a blanket in your vehicle? What about those silver thermal blankets you find in the camping section at the store? They take up very little room. What do you need that makes sense for your family? Do you need anything extra for warm clothing?

Solar Power is an alternative to electricity.

Wind Turbine Power is also becoming more popular.


Divide the day’s paper into sections and fold them to one-half size (about 12”x15” and ½” thick or less.) Place them n a tub of water and either soak overnight or add 1 TBSP detergent to a large tub of water and soak an hour or two. Then, while wet, roll the sections individually on a 1” rod and squeeze out the excess water while smoothing the surface edges. Slide the rolls off the rod and stand them on end to dry, tipping the rolls slightly to allow air to circulate. The “logs” should be about 12” long and 2” to 4” in diameter. They are ready to use when completely dry. The average week-day newspaper will make 2-3 logs, and the Sunday edition will make up to seven logs. Newspaper logs provide, pound-for-pound, about the same heat as wood and is an efficient energy source. 4 logs last approximately one hour.

Emergency Baby Formula

(from Cookin’ with Home Storage by Peggy Layton.  I love this book!!)

1/3 cup plus 2 tsp. instant powdered milk
1/4 cup non-instant powdered milk
1/3 cup boiled water
Mix together and stir thoroughly.
1 Tbl oil
2 tsp sugar
If baby bottles are not available, milk can be spoon-fed to an infant.

Home made Laundry Soap
5.5 oz -ish bar Ivory Soap ( I used 2-3 oz bars)
1 1/2 cups Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (or other available brand)
1 1/2 cups Borax
1 -5 gallon bucket with lid

With a vegetable peeler, shave soap into a 2-qt pot. Add 4 cups hot water and melt the soap at a medium heat, stirring frequently. When the soap flakes melt, pour soap and water mixture into the 5-gallon bucket and fill it 1/2 full with hot tap water. Add the 1 1/2 cups each of washing soda and borax. Stir until powders dissolve. Fill bucket with hot tap water, cover with the lid and let sit over night.

Next day, you will find a layer of glop at the top of the mixture. Stir until glop breaks up. This is now your laundry soap concentrate and ready to use (this mixture will continue to thicken to the consistency of hair conditioner).
Select a container with a lid for your working mixture--empty vinegar bottle, drink pitcher...whatever works for you-- and fill 1/2 full with hot water and 1/2 with concentrate, leaving enough room for shaking expansion.
Shake before each use. The original recipe calls for using 1/2 cup laundry soap for a large load of laundry. A friend of mine was able to get away with 1/4 cup per large load. (she washed very dirty nasty towels, smelly rags and they came out looking and smelling fresh and clean. ) See what works for you.

Make Your Own Cleaning Wipes 
Here's what you'll need:

1) roll Bounty paper towels (these seem to hold up the best; I've also heard that Viva towels do pretty well)
(1) Rubbermaid #6 square container & lid, or other similar size (10-cup) container with tight-fitting lid
(2) cups water
(1) ounce Lysol all-purpose cleaner (according to the bottle, this 1:16 dilution will give you hospital-grade disinfecting)
You'll also need a long serrated knife (like a bread knife), an electric knife, or a small hacksaw. (I use a long serrated bread knife.)

2) Begin by cutting the roll of paper towels in half, so that you end up with two shorter rolls. (It may help if you cut down through the paper all the way around until you hit the cardboard tube in the middle, and then cut through the cardboard tube.) Brush any loose "fuzzies" off the cut ends, and trim any large clumps with scissors if desired. You'll only need one half of the roll right now; save the other half.
Add the water and Lysol in your container, and swirl to mix (do not shake - you'll make suds).
clip_image004Next, turn your half roll with the cut side down and gently fold in the sides of the cardboard tube in the middle of the paper towel roll until you can pull it out of the center. It will pull up the inside end of the towel roll with it, and that's just what you want.
Place your roll cut side down in the container with your cleaner and water mixture, and close the lid. Allow the paper towel roll to soak up all the liquid (about 30-60 minutes). Then turn your container upside down for 1-2 hours so that the cleaning mixture can saturate all of the roll. Once it's done, turn it right-side up and you're ready to go - just grab the towels from the inside of the roll, tear off as many as needed, and replace the lid.

3) Depending on how quickly you go through these, you may need to add just a little water periodically to keep the towels moist.
You can, of course, substitute other brands of cleaners if you'd like. Just be careful that you don't mix different cleaners together. Or if you would rather stay away from the chemicals in the Lysol, you can try this recipe for the cleaning mixture:
1 tsp baking soda
2-5 drops dish soap
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
2-3 cups water
Be sure to label all containers and keep out of reach of small children.

Make Your Own Baby Wipes

You can use the same method for making your own cleaning wipes (see previous post) in order to make your own baby wipes as well (with different ingredients, of course).
Here's what you'll need:

(1) roll Bounty* paper towels (or a half roll left over from making cleaning wipes)
(1) Rubbermaid #6 square container or similar
(2) cups water (distilled or tap, depending on your preference)
(2) Tbsp. baby wash or baby shampoo
Optional: (1) Tbsp. baby oil or baby lotion
Prepare the same way as you would the cleaning wipes.
I usually just used tap water, and I left out the baby oil/lotion. But you can use distilled water or boiled tap water (which has cooled to room temp before using the wipes) if you want. Adjust the amount of water based on how relatively wet or dry you prefer your wipes.
As before, you may need to add a few drops of water periodically if your wipes start to dry out.
If you also make your own cleaning wipes, make ABSOLUTE SURE to label each container so that you (or anyone else in your household) don't accidently mix them up!
*I've found that Bounty works really well. You'll want to use a paper towel that is quite thick and is not prone to giving off a lot of lint.

Happy prepping, my friends.  Do you have any ideas, recipes and favorite books to share?

Teresa watches the “Jericho” series often enough to keep considering the importance of food storage and emergency supplies.  She is not ready for everything that could happen, but is working toward it. She intends to try Pinto Bean Pie and Pinto Bean Fudge someday when she is brave enough.


Seein Things, by Eugene Field

he original of this post is featured at Latter-day Homeachooling blog on October 4 2010

seein things

Since I was an adult convert, I didn’t have the comforting truths of the Gospel as a child.  I believed in creepy ghosts, monsters, the basement creatures,  and, oh, the things that went “bump” in the night. (shudder)  I remember being afraid of the dark, and the things I saw in the shadows…(shiver)….just last night, in fact.  *;-.)

As a child, I found this poem and thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever read. Still do. While I don’t believe children “see things” because they’ve been bad, I think it is a result of a child’s imagination over their insecurities of reality or what they can’t see.  This poem changed my life, my perspective~ the dark can be funny.


by: Eugene Field (1850-1895)

clip_image001AIN'T afraid uv snakes or toads, or bugs or worms or mice,
An' things 'at girls are skeered uv I think are awful nice!
I'm pretty brave I guess; an' yet I hate to go to bed,
For, when I'm tucked up warm an snug an' when my prayers are said,
Mother tells me "Happy Dreams" an' takes away the light,
An' leaves me lyin' all alone an' seein' things at night!

Sometimes they're in the corner, sometimes they're by the door,
Sometimes they're all a-standin' in the middle uv the floor;
Sometimes they are a-sittin' down, sometimes they're walkin' round
So softly and so creepy-like they never make a sound!

Sometimes they are as black as ink, an' other times they're white--
But color ain't no difference when you see things at night!
Once, when I licked a feller 'at had just moved on our street,
An' father sent me up to bed without a bite to eat,
I woke up in the dark an saw things standin' in a row,
A-lookin' at me cross-eyed an' p'intin' at me -- so!
Oh, my! I wuz so skeered 'at time I never slep' a mite--
It's almost alluz when I'm bad I see things at night!

Lucky thing I ain't a girl or I'd be skeered to death!
Bein' I'm a boy, I duck my head an' hold my breath.
An' I am, oh so sorry I'm a naughty boy, an' then
I promise to be better an' I say my prayers again!
Gran'ma tells me that's the only way to make it right
When a feller has been wicked an' sees things at night!

An' so when other naughty boys would coax me into sin,
I try to skwush the Tempter's voice 'at urges me within;
An' when they's pie for supper, or cakes 'at's big an' nice,
I want to -- but I do not pass my plate f'r them things twice
No, ruther let Starvation wipe me slowly out o' sight
Than I should keep a-livin' on an' seein' things at night!


Have you considered having your child write about what he or she thinks of the dark? 

What will we find out?

Teresa is a ‘fraidy cat who learned from an old Bill Cosby monologue about the music that keeps monsters away at night.  It goes like this…. “neh, neh, neh, neh, neh, neh, neeeehhh” repeated over and over.  It works.  She has not been eaten.  These days she is afraid of the Faulk monster that travels through rural central Arkansas.  You can find her singing her monster repelling music when she is walking the property at night and at Wockenflock Daze.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

“Peace,” He Said

seeking the one

Most days, this widowhood thing is really hard and I pray mightily about stuff that is going on, my kids, and what I am concerned about.  I was just starting my usual anguished,  “there’s this to take care of, there’s this need but I’m not equipped  or knowledgeable to do that, or how am I going to.. ” when He stopped me, and said “Peace. Just have peace.  I will take care of your world for you.”

I can live with that promise.

Latter-day Homeschooling Blog is Being Talked About

people talking3 

After a recent uncomplimentary article about homeschooling in a popular LDS magazine (whose editor is receiving quite the indignant outcry from the homeschooling community), it was refreshing to read a positive online article at Mormon Times, which mainly featured the
Latter-day Homeschooling blog, for which I am one of the many authors. 

The author of the article,
Bloggernacle Back Bench: Home schooling helps 
specifically linked to one of my articles, an article by my friend, Dana,(who started the Latter-day homeschooling blog) and 2 other great reads on the website, all in an effort to show the diversity of what is offered.

  People are talking…and homeschooling.

people taling 2

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cooking in the Fire Ring

Patrick wanted to take his new Dutch Oven for a spin on an open fire,  and so, on his night to cook…..

mushrooms and cookout 010He chopped wood, got the fire going, made some good coals, set his Dutch Oven in the middle of the coals and did some cookin’

mushrooms and cookout 018

Made Bean Pot using Baked beans, kidney beans, red beans, pinto beans, Butter beans, Maple sausage, rotel, little barbecue sauce, spicy mustard and brown sugar.

mushrooms and cookout 021 
Dinner around the fire ring. YUM!!  It was great.  We’ll cook on the fire ring more often now that the weather is cooling off.

mushrooms and cookout 025 
And then a Marsh-smellie roast, as Patrick plays his Harmonica. He’s getting pretty good with it.  The white blob above Patrick’s head is Buddy’s stick of marshmallows.

mushrooms and cookout 023 mushrooms and cookout 024

mushrooms and cookout 027

Carbon is the secret ingredient to great toasted Marshmallows