I am a prepper. Not hardcore, but somewhere I learned to plan for the best and prepare for the worst.
Here’s an article I wrote sometime back for FamilyShare: I will update it in a few but there are some basics to consider right now.
How prepared are you to face an emergency?
There are many options for obtaining and storing emergency food rations. My family uses some of our tax refund to purchase food to help us avoid pinching the budget. Others give food storage and survival items as gifts or use money from a vacation budget and enjoy a staycation. Another way to make your dollar stretch is to check the clearance aisle at the grocery store and buy day-old bread which freezes well.
Please don’t expect to be fed by government or charitable agencies, their resources will be stretched to the limit. Wouldn’t your family prefer foods they are accustomed to anyway? If you choose to utilize your resources and invest in preparedness, you do not need to worry or feel like you are taking away from others; actually your self-reliance reduces the burden on other groups. In a time of need, you will be in more of a position to help relieve the suffering of others, starting with those you value most. Remember, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”
Let’s consider the wisdom of a centuries-old nursery rhyme as we learn about being prepared.
“This little piggy went to market”
One expert likes freeze-dried foods for the quality and shelf life. Many of us eat predominantly fresh foods such as produce, which doesn’t store well long term. Freeze-dried foods provide a reasonably similar option, are light weight and portable if you need to relocate. Many manufacturers offer selections of hundreds of servings of produce, meats, dairy and basic foods.
Some families choose military-style MREs (meals ready to eat) because they keep for a long time, are convenient, lightweight, nutritious and portable. Others use bulk food purchases to keep costs low. You can discover hacks like easily sprouting seeds for fresh vegetables and using dried fruits on the website below and social media sites. And let’s not forget adequate water; at least two gallons per person per day to stay alive and somewhat clean.
“This little piggy stayed home”
Did you know that you can freeze-dry foods yourself? Also, vacuum pouching foods for long-term storage is a good alternative. Chocolate chips will supposedly last for 11 years, unfortunately none of ours have stayed around long enough to test that. We found that shipped vacuum-pouched chocolate chip cookies and homemade treats arrived fresh and delicious for deployed soldier and missionary sons. During difficult times, it is nice to have some of the comforts you are accustomed to.
And what if fuel supplies are cut off? My son experienced the aftermath of tornadoes in the south. Natural gas lines were severed and other power was unavailable. We had hurricane-force winds knock out our power one December. On the drive to work the next day, we passed 16 overturned semis on the freeway. I have never been so cold in my life. We were not as prepared as our neighbors who had emergency generators to run heating systems. We did have lanterns and candles to provide light at night and were able to enjoy hot meals using our camp stove until the power was restored several days later.
“This little piggy had roast beef”
One of our neighbors is a canning expert. When she finds special prices on meats, she buys them in bulk and cans them in a pressure canner. She says that meats are one of the easiest foods to process and when purchased on sale, not terribly expensive. We don’t eat a lot of meat, but it will be nice to have a little bit now and then as an ingredient in soups and casserole-type dishes. She also cans butter in a water bath process and maintains that after three years, hers is still fresh and tasty. Of course you would need butter for those chocolate chip cookies.
“This little piggy had none”
You CAN go from zero to hero with preparation. One friend shared a method of planning 10 dinners, breakfasts and lunches that her family likes. She multiplied the ingredients by 10, then purchased and stored each meal in a bag with cooking instructions. Voila – three months’ worth of complete meals! She knows she has the necessary ingredients, spices and everything to feed her family for 100 days with her food storage and fuel. This is also good if you experience unemployment, have a sick child or get stranded and can’t get to the market for some reason. You will need to use and rotate these meals every so often to maintain freshness, but they are things your family likes, so it shouldn’t be too hard.
Another hack I like, is making and freezing homemade soups and casseroles. You can double or triple a recipe (or more) and make a lot of food at once for about the same amount of time and only one mess. This is a good idea for singles, small families, empty-nesters and busy people who don’t want to cook every day but still want variety.
“And this little piggy cried “wee, wee, wee all the way home.”
Don’t cry. There are lots of things you can do to be prepared. Check your local government website for other important instructions, including 72-hour kits, survival supplies and collecting important papers and documents. My husband works in a hospital that is telling their employees to have 96-hour survival supplies and a first aid kit at home and in the car. Here is another source for intelligent planning and preparedness.
The more you can do for yourself, the less you will have to worry about facing long lines, food and supply shortages, hunger and distress. And you may just be able to be a hero to others who are not so fortunate. Remember, when Noah built the ark it wasn’t raining.
Preparedness and Living Happily Ever After
If you are ready to start with the basics, here’s a guide:
While we are staying at home, washing our hands and eating our leafy greens (Mom was right), we could use a miracle to heal this land and the world. Easter is the perfect time to remember the greatest miracle of all; the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and turn to Him who is the master of miracles.
When we lived in Newport Beach with all the wonderfully creative people, some awesome person shared this activity: Easter Miracle Eggs. Each of the dozen eggs has a small object that teaches about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. With a few objects found around your house or some you can create with card stock, you can share this lesson with your littles. This is the story of Jesus, his voluntary suffering and triumphant resurrection. Because of His love for all of us, we too will live forever with our loved ones.
Print the following pages.
There’s room at Easter for all kinds of family traditions. Here are a few additional activities to make our creative time more fun!
This is an article I wrote for online and print media in 2015.
Long ago, in the medieval days when kings lived in castles, people celebrated Easter by decorating the great halls with evergreens and spring flowers. Like us, their descendants, they enjoyed holiday feasts. The tables were decorated with centerpieces of large glass bowls filled with Pace eggs; the word “Pace” comes from the Hebrew word “Pasch,” for Passover, according to Madeleine Pellner Cosman’s “Medieval Holidays and Festivals.”
The eggs were given as gifts to actors who performed humorous plays and stories from the Bible, such as the one about Noah and the great flood and other favorites. Easter celebrations lasted for 120 days and included other holidays such as Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, God’s Friday or Good Friday, Mothering Sunday and others. The word “holiday” is derived from the term “Holy Day,” according to Cosman.
During Easter in past times, there were many activities that we still participate in today; one was egg rolling. Two teams rolled eggs across a long carpet, like the game of croquet. Perhaps rolling eggs reminded them of the angels rolling away the stone in front of Jesus’ tomb. Today at Easter, people roll eggs on the lawn at the White House.
For your Easter feast or spring party, here is a delightful egg-themed treat that also doubles for a place card; the names are written on the eggs with edible-ink markers.
BUTTERSCOTCH NESTS WITH PERSONALIZED EGGS
11-ounce bag of butterscotch morsels
¾ cup peanut butter
12-ounce bag of chow mein noodles
large malted milk and candy eggs
marker with edible ink
Line two baking pans with waxed paper. Melt the butterscotch morsels in a large pan over low heat. Add peanut butter and stir until blended. Remove from heat and gently fold in the chow mein noodles. Form nests from about 1/3 cup of the noodle mixture on parchment or wax paper and chill until firm. Makes about 10 large nests or you may choose to make smaller ones. Place on edible Easter grass on dessert plates or cupcake papers.
Using food-safe markers with edible ink, write the names of family and guests on large malted milk eggs or add a few jelly beans to each nest.
This game is played like Bingo except to win you must get 4 in a row. Copy, cut out and paste the squares in different order onto card stock using a glue stick. Read the Easter story and mark the square that goes with the scripture.
Mark 11 : 7 – 11
7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.
8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.
9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
Matthew 21 :12 – 13
12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Luke 22 : 10
10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.
Luke 22 : 11 – 12
11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.
Matthew 26 : 26 – 29
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
John 13 : 3 – 5
3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
Matthew 26 : 14 – 16
14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
John 18 : 1
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
Luke 22 : 50 – 51
50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
Luke 22 : 54 – 62
54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.
55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.
57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.
58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.
59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilæan.
60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
Mark 15 : 15
15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
Matthew 27 : 24
24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,
John 19 : 23 – 24
3 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
Luke 23 : 38
38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Matt 28 : 2
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
EASTER CELEBRATIONS WITH CHILDREN
EASTER EGG HUNT
One of the highlights of spring for children! They enjoy decorating eggs for the Easter Bunny to hide. At some houses the bunny hides the basket too. We have our hunt on Saturday to keep the Sabbath a little bit calmer. There are all sorts of yummy candies on the market for Easter. If you want to cut the sweets; dried fruit, nuts, small crackers and natural treats are a good alternative. And money – kids like money.
For perfect hard-boiled eggs:
Allow the eggs to come to room temperature
Place eggs in a single layer in a pot
Add cold water to two inches above eggs
Set stove on high heat, boil one minute, cover, turn off heat and let sit for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove one egg, run it under cool water and peel to test for doneness.
Pour off cooking water; cover eggs with cool water.
Drain and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
TO COLOR BOILED EGGS
An easy, inexpensive dye can be made from food coloring, water and white vinegar.
For each pot of dye place in a container (the taller and narrower the better)
1 C warm water
1 TBSP white vinegar
a few drops of food coloring
Place colored eggs in cardboard egg cartons to dry. For variations: draw on dry eggs with markers, add stickers and stars.
FOR MARBLEIZED EGGS
Dye eggs using the above method.
Place 1/2″ to 3/4″ of a dye mixture in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Start with 1 teaspoon, and add 1 to 3 teaspoons of canola, olive or vegetable oil to the dye. The base color will show through more with a larger amount of oil Gently place an egg in the bowl. Use a fork or spoon to drizzle a few drops of dye over the egg to make a marbleized effect. Food coloring dyes the egg quickly. Using more oil in the dye bath will keep it from seeping into the egg too fast. Remove egg, place on a paper towel to dry. Wipe egg carefully. Avoid contact with furniture or other fabric.
EASTER BASKET GOODIES
GIVE THE EASTER BUNNY THE HEADS UP ON THINGS YOUR CHILDREN ENJOY!
Glow-in-the-dark Silly Putty Eggs
Handmade bunnies, pompom chicks and ducks
German paper mache eggs containing small cars, dolls, and animals
Money egg: fold up a $5 or larger bill, put it in a special egg
Tickets to a movie, concert or play
Fruit Snacks, Goldfish crackers
Jars of jam
Nuts, Jordan almonds
Ribbon, Cute shoelaces
A key to ?
A gift certificate for an ebook; hobby or skill lessons
Balls, Slinky, Yo-yo
China teacups and saucers
Peter Rabbit or Bunnykin dishes
Dissolving capsules with creatures or animals
Folding paper fan, origami animals
Paper dolls, Jacks
Lip balm, makeup, fancy soap
Crayons, pencils, markers, paints and brushes
Fast food gift certificates
Finger puppets from foreign countries
Flower and vegetable seed packets for the garden
Sewing cards made with vintage images, cardstock and yarn
Chinese jump rope, small puzzles
Action figures – especially prophets and sisters (available at LDS bookstores)
Red licorice laces
Froot Loops cereal
Marshmallow peeps; bunnies and chicks
Use a bamboo skewer to poke a hole sideways through the peeps. Have the children thread the Froot Loops and lifesavers onto the licorice, add a peep and more lifesavers and cereal. Use a small piece of duct tape to close ends.