Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cooking For a Crowd aka Girls Camp and Youth Conference

It can be intimidating to plan menus and and food amounts for large groups, especially group activities with multiple meals, snacks, and more than one day.
As a Camp Director, I am beyond grateful for Sister Wilson, our incredible Camp Cook.  The food, alone, is worth the week at Camp. Everything she cooks is homemade, fresh, healthy, and oh, so delicious!

Since not everyone has a Sister Wilson, this information from A Bountiful Kitchen will become one of your favorite resources for planning to feed large groups. Even if you have a Sister Wilson, this information may bring some new ideas.

Click HERE for her wisdom.

Happy Young Women Camp planning!

Seminary Moving Up Breakfast

With a few weeks left of school and Seminary, the days and nights are filled with end of the school year activities. My favorite end of the year activity is our “Moving Up” breakfast.  It is fun to invite the incoming Freshmen for a sneak preview of what happens at Seminary and it is emotional to think about the Seniors who walk out of the door, with their scriptures in hand, at the end of the breakfast.

Click HERE and HERE for full details on the Seminary Moving Up Breakfast.

This year will be extra emotional for me as my last child graduates. I have been using these same decorations (with a few additions) since my first child graduated in 1999.
His Seminary teacher, Kate Estey, asked me to organize an end of the year breakfast. She gave me the idea of the moving up, shifting to a new table, having the Seniors walk out the door with their Scriptures, and inviting the new students. I took it from there and have planned and organized this breakfast for many Seminary classes since that year, never thinking that in 2012, I would officially be a Seminary teacher.

Here I am, 5 years later as a Seminary Teacher, planning this exciting tradition, trying not to think about the fact that my baby is graduating and life, as I have known for 37 years, is going to change dramatically
These are photos from an obstacle course when we studied the New Testament.
They are not from the Moving Up breakfast but the messages are appropriate for how the end of the year feels.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Young Women Camp

As a mother, grandmother,  leader of youth, and specifically, Stake Young Women Camp Director, this would be my dream to plan.

If you are a parent or leader of youth, I challenge you to think "out of the box" and overcome the "this is the way we have always done it" thinking. 
It takes layers of people at every level of leadership to implement change.  There is so much fear of change and doing something for the first time. Don't be discouraged when someone initially tells you no. 
As a Stake Young Women Camp Director in an area that does not have the understanding or support for a change this drastic, I continue to add small changes each year toward more and more support of the young women I lead. 
We can do better for the girls we lead. We must do better for the girls AND boys we lead.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hurricane Preparation Tips

Hurricane Irma is closer to my area and stronger than ever.
In addition to my hurricane preparation tips post from a few days ago, here is a new level of preparation information that I posted on Facebook this morning:

Preparation update:
As Irma moves closer and remains a category 4 storm, here are additional suggestions for your next phase of preparation. I will post a link to my previous list at the end of this update. Evaluate your own situation and plan accordingly.
Preparations should be complete by late Friday or early in the day on Saturday as the winds will pick up later in the day on Saturday and the worst of the storm will hit on Sunday. (This is written with the Palm Beach County area in mind-adjust for your geographic location)
Stay off of the roads, at this point, don't attempt to travel far away from home. If you do not feel safe in your home, today is the day to go to a shelter or call friends and family who live in a secured home. It is too risky to leave now. The demand for gas far outweighs the supply for the entire state of Florida and hotel rooms are in short supply.
1) Shutters-it is time to put them up. Complete this task by Friday or early Saturday morning.
2) Safety- Be cautious using tools, climbing on ladders, roofs, in the attic, lifting and hauling furniture, etc. There are so many preparation and clean-up related injuries that can be avoided. A trip to the ER is not something you want to add to your hurricane adventure. If you don't know how to use a power saw- get help.
3) Gather all of your important paperwork such as insurance and medical. Review the insurance paper work and know who to call if/when you have damage to your property. Store these papers in water proof envelopes/containers.
4) Pets- Give dogs a bath. Stock up on food, treats, and medicine. Have a special toy or object that brings them comfort. Make arrangements for where your pets will stay and how/where they will have potty breaks.
5) Freezers and Refrigerators- turn to coldest setting and fill all empty spaces in the freezer (see post in link below)
6) We may experience power outages before the storm hits. In fact, this is something I have experienced with every storm. With this in mind, on Friday, do the following:
*Turn down your A/C and get your house cool.
*Charge all of your electronics
* Wash all laundry and do any cleaning that requires electricity and/or water
7) Prepare your "safe room". This is a room in your home without windows where you will stay during the worst part of the storm. A walk-in closet, a bathroom, etc. Make it comfortable as you may be there for awhile. If you have children, this is something to have them help with. When my children were young, we turned this part of preparation in to something fun, like building a "fort" or playhouse. They gathered a few activities, games, snacks, along with their blankets. In one of our homes, we put a mattress in the safe room and the children were able to sleep through the storm. Have children bring something to the safe room that brings them comfort. If possible, have a surprise toy, flashlight, book, game, treat for them. Wrap it up and have them open it once all the preparations are complete.
8) Clear your yard of anything loose-furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, pool toys, hoses, coconuts, loose branches/limbs, decorative items-everything. All loose items become projectile missiles and do great damage to your home, cars, and those in your neighborhood. Be a good neighbor-clear your yard!
9) Before the storm hits, if you can't park your car in a garage, park it in between homes or buildings. If not, park it up next to a building.
10) Involve your children and family in all preparations. Communicate what the specific needs are for your home and work together to
11) Even if you have shutters, prepare for roof damage and for water to get inside your home. Even a new roof can have a tree fall on it and cause a hole. Remove photos/art from your walls and place in large sturdy trash bags that can be secured. The same way you are securing your photos and documents should be done for framed art and photos.
12) Prepare for clean up after the storm passes. Have gloves, trash bags, rakes, shovels, insect repellant, sunscreen, hats, water, gatorade, wasp spray, fire ant treatment (the fire ant piles float in the water), first-aid supplies
13) Take a nice warm shower/bath while you still have electricity and running water. Ensure that everyone in your home does the same. Enjoy!
14) Cook a few meals and freeze them. This ensures that you will eat well with a minimum of preparation.
15) Use all disposable eating/drinking utensils, dishes, etc. I use the disposable aluminum pans for cooking.
16) SNACKS- have everyone's favorite chips, cereal, cookies etc.
17) GAMES- take time to sit down and play some card and/or board games. Hurricanes in Florida are like snow days up north. Stay inside and enjoy the time at home with family and friends.
18) MOVIES- Catch up on a movie everyone will enjoy. Although don't count on using electricity. Conserve it as there could be many days without electricity.
19) READ, WRITE, SLEEP ( you will be tired from all of the preparation and need energy for the clean-up)
20) Give everyone their own flashlight. Perhaps a different color for each person in your house Remember the extra batteries. This helps children feel secure and more in control of a situation that has so many unknowns.
21) Don't assume your children know the facts about the storms path. Communicate with them and share the facts and your plans to be prepared.
22) Turn off the news and only check for updates. Having the TV on with constant storm broadcasting raises anxiety for all-especially children who will hear phrases they may not understand.
You are welcome to share this information. This is collection of valuable tips I have learned from others and my own experiences. It is not comprehensive and should be adjusted for your own needs. See link below for additional information.
It is going to be a long weekend. Stay in touch with friends and family for updates, special needs, and offers of help. We are all in this together.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Water Storage for Hurricane Preparation

This is my recent Facebook post as hurricane Irma approaches.
Most of my posts are generated as a result of questions people ask me. 

Questions about water have been coming at me steadily, especially now that people cannot find water. It is safe to say that the entire state of Florida is in full-on hurricane preparation mode, as they should be.

The thoughts below are general and not comprehensive, for details about water storage and purification, visit this website and the links provided

  • A few people have asked why we are all stocking up on water. There are several reasons. Water supplies may not be available or safe for drinking and cooking after a storm hits, again for so many reasons. Water pipes break, electricity goes off, preventing wells from running, water supplies have to be shut off during repairs, etc. 
  • In my case, during hurricane Frances, we had a tree uprooted in our front yard and it broke the main water pipe to our house. We were the only home on our street that had this problem. 
  • In our current neighborhood of 37 homes, we all share the same water meter. If something happens to the water pipes at one home, most likely, it affects all of us at some point, even during the repair process. 
  • If you are storing water in your own containers, DO NOT re-use plastic milk jugs for water you are planning to drink or cook with. ( I learned this from Susan Bucklew many years ago.) 
  • If you are filling containers with water, put them in your freezer to fill up any open spaces. This will keep your food frozen longer in the case of no electricity.
  • If you are filling your bathtub with water, clean and disinfect the bathtub prior to filling. Use this water for flushing toilets and washing hands.
  • We have always saved our bathtubs as back up "safe spaces" where we could go and put a mattress over our children/us if things got really bad during a strong storm. We fill the 5 gallon "Home Depot" buckets to keep in our bathrooms for flushing toilets.
  • If you have a pool, that water can be used for flushing, also.
  • Even if you have running water after a storm, here are 2 major thoughts 1) Confirm it is safe for drinking or eating (a notice from your local government 2) You may still lose running water during times of repair so keep a supply on hand.
  • The above information is meant to help and is not complete. For more in depth information, go to the site  linked at the beginning of this post and use the links that may apply to your situation or answer your questions about water storage and purification.
  • The main focus is safety, safety, safety. 
  • Don't take chances

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hurricane Preparation- To Evacuate or Not

In Palm Beach County, preparing to stay home during a hurricane is generally the safest plan.
Even for a catastrophic category 5 storm, evacuation is more risky than staying home where you have prepared to hunker down. There may be damage to your home and property, but if you have prepared a safe area in your home, stay there, rather than try to flee.
Last minute evacuations catch people unprepared and stuck out on roads in traffic jams or in parking with no source to re-fuel a vehicle that has spent 12 hours to travel a distance that usually takes 2 hours. Not to mention..try to find a shelter with room or a hotel with vacancy. Not going to happen.

If you know you are going to evacuate during a storm. Leave early.  Leave early. Leave early. So early that people think you are over reacting. Be cautious and safe. Prepare your home and then leave with the supplies you will need for at least 72 hours. Prepare a backpack for each member of your family to use before, during, and after the storm.

Do you know if you are in an evacuation/flood zone? Here is the map for Palm Beach County. Don't wait until the last minute to discover that you should be gone. If you are in one of these areas, know where you will stay before, during and after the storm.

If you are in an evacuation zone and want to stay in the area,  where will you go? Friends? Family? A shelter? Where are the shelters? Which shelters accept pets? What if you have special needs? Special needs shelters have limited space and require advance reservations and applications
Check HERE for Palm Beach County emergency shelter information.

And remember...don't wait. There is no need for a last minute frenzy.
Stay safe!

Hurricane Preparation Tips

Hurricane Irma is moving closer to Florida.  Close enough that we are taking it seriously and I am posting my hurricane preparation tips on Facebook. After doing this for several years through several storms, I decided I should post those tips here where they will be easier to find in the future. I usually post tips depending on how far away the storm is and what the intensity is. Irma has me watching with both eyes wide open and this is my post from today, in no specific order.

With Irma's path uncertain, it is wise to prepare and plan. Based on some questions I have been asked in the last few days, here are some ideas, in no specific order, on how to prepare at this point.
If the storm gets closer, I will update.
  • Don't cut down trees, large branches, limbs, or do any major landscaping that would create a pile of debris that may not be picked up before the storm hits. If you are certain the piles will be picked up, put coconuts, limbs, branches out for pick up.
  • Prepare to stay at home and be without electricity for a few days (up to a week) Think about what you will eat and how you will safely store it and cook it. 
  • Have water and food for one week. 
  • Fill your prescriptions.
  • If you have babies, young children, elderly, medical needs, or any special needs, plan accordingly.
  • Review your supply of flashlights, lanterns, batteries, propane, fuel, etc.
  • Test your generator and review operating instructions.
  • Decide what you will run from your generator and do a trial run NOW rather than when you need it and something does not work. 
  • Review the exterior of your home and decide what will need to come inside and what day you will do so. (Basically, EVERYTHING outside comes inside or up against the house/garage if the storm is coming at us) 
  • Make a plan for your pets to stay comfortable and inside. 
  • Fill your freezer. Don't leave any blank space.You can use crumpled newspaper, brown bags, or plastic containers filled with water (ice) to fill in the gaps. 
  • I like to cook several meals and then freeze them so we eat well with limited preparation.
  • I also like to keep cereal and boxed milk on hand for quick snacks/meals.
  • And comfort food...remember everyone's favorite chips, cookies, cereal, and treats. After all, hurricanes don't happen very often.
  • Wash laundry all the way up until the storm hits. Go into the storm assuming you may not have electricity to wash clothes, towels, etc.
  • Locate and review all of your insurance paperwork and important documents. Make sure they are accessible and in waterproof envelopes/ containers.
  • Store all of your family photos, history, papers, etc. in large rubbermaid/plastic storage bins. 
  • Review your tools, supplies, and instructions for installing shutters. Decide when you will put them up and who will help you.
  • Take photos of your house and yard. Go room by room. Include photos of electronics, antiques, jewelry, guns, furniture, etc. Include photos of your yard, the location of trees, furniture, etc. Back up these photos.
  • Develop a plan for communicating with family and friends before, during, and after the storm.
  • Fill your cars with gas (don't complain about lines or prices- our homes were not destroyed or flooded like Houston)
  • Fill up gas cans for generator fuel.
  • Have cash on hand for after the storm to pay for food/gas/ clean up help etc. Don't, however, be bullied by price gauging. Report it.
  • Don't evacuate at the last minute unless it is mandatory. Evacuating at the last minute is more dangerous than staying in your home that you have prepared. You run the risk of getting stuck out on the roads in traffic jams with other cars who cannot find fuel and cannot get to a safe place in time before the storm hits. The routes out of South Florida are limited, making evacuation at the last minute a bad idea.
  • If you know you will not stay in your home or apartment during a storm. Make your plan to leave early.
  • I am not an expert. I have learned through experience, and from many others who have generously shared their experience over the years.
  • When your preparations are your neighbors. We are all in this together!
Stay tuned for the next level of hurricane preparation recommendations. Irma is looking like it will require more attention. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Tropical Storm Emily

School starts 2 weeks from tomorrow.
Back to school brings the peak of hurricane season.
Right on schedule, Tropical Storm Emily will cross the state of Florida today and tomorrow.
Carry on.

Option B

Thank you, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, for sharing this well-written, engaging book. It is a treasure for anyone who has faced adversity, loss, change, grief, or disappointment in life.  Rising after adversity and feeling joy in life is possible and Option B was a reminder of this truth.

If you, or someone you know and love, has faced challenges in life,                 read Option B and apply the principles taught. Everyone can benefit, at some level, from the messages in Option B .  Everyone, regardless of the best made life plans, will need to select, "Option B", either in a small way or in a life-changing, gut-wrenching monumental way.

I have gained insight for not only my own life, but for my interactions and  relationships with others. I am living parts of my life differently as a result of this book. I am definitely feeling more joy in my daily  life as I apply the principles shared in Option B.

This was easy to read, well-written, and a book with messages I have already referred to as I teach and speak. This book is not just a "summer read" that will soon be forgotten. Option B will be quoted and referred to for many years to come.

Sheryl Sandberg is a beautiful example of using her paralyzing tragedy and grief to lift others. Adam Grant is spot on in his counsel and perspective. Together, they are a "Dream Team".  Thank you for sharing this important message.

Childhood Memory

Recently, I came across this photo of my two brothers and me from around 1964
It represents a favorite childhood memory.
Brent in the front, Mark in the middle, and me in the back
I am guessing that in this photo, we were close to these ages:
Mark-18 months, Brent 2 1/2-3 , and I was around 4 1/2
We livd next to a lot where horse trailers were sold.
We lived on State Street in American Fork, Utah. Our house was on the east side of the road, across the street from my Aunt Marilyn's house. Today, a Mc Donald's sits on the location of Aunt Marilyn's former home and a KFC sits where my house used to be.
Today, State Street is a very busy congested main highway as opposed to the early 1960's when we walked across the street to visit our cousins. The road was a highway but not with the heavy traffic it sees today.
Our grandma Hoglund lived within walking distance at 44 South, 600 East, where there are now homes and condos.
My dad was working 3 jobs and going to BYU to complete his MBA at this time. My mom would load the 3 of us up in the wagon and take us for long walks. I remember going to visit my Grandma and Grandpa Hoglund, as well as Aunt Marilyn and my cousins, her children. We would also stop and visit with other people along the way. My mom would sing songs and we would join in.. She lined the bottom of the wagon with a towel for us to sit on so we would be more comfortable as we took our walks.
Most of the walks I remember were in the evening, but I am sure we went out at other times during the day as this was most likely the only method of transportation for us on some days. We had one car and I am sure my dad needed that car most days, although I do remember times that we would drop him off at work so my mom could use the car on grocery shopping day.

Photos speak so many words and provide a step back in time that nothing else can.
This photo always creates heightened gratitude for my parents and their sacrifices for our family.
At the time, this may have seemed like an ordinary day, doing an ordinary activity but this is a priceless memory.

Take those photos...even when your family complains, especially when your family complains!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Raspberries Anyone?

Last week, I had the blessing of taking care of 3 of my grandchildren.
This little guy melts my heart at every turn.

After raising 5 children and being a raspberry lover myself,
I had never seen someone put raspberries on their fingers.
(This was always reserved for the olives at Thanksgiving dinner)

His love for raspberries is clear.

Pioneer Day 2017

July 24
Today commemorates the day the first Mormon Pioneers arrived in the 
Salt Lake Valley 170 years ago. 
I am grateful to stand on the shoulders of their sacrifices and dedication, 
the depth of which I cannot fully comprehend.
President Gordon B Hinkley said the following,
"Whether you were born among the posterity of the pioneers, 
or whether you were baptized yesterday, 
each is the beneficiary of their undertaking."

My great aunt, Minerva Teichert, depicted the pioneer journey in many of her paintings.
These are a few of my favorites.
 "Not Alone"
I know that angels carried these Saints through dark and desperate circumstances.

 "Handcart Pioneers"
This is my favorite and hangs in my home.
The strength of this pioneer woman speaks to me. 
She is throwing her bonnet in the air but it is cut of in the painting.

"Covered Wagon Pioneers"