Thursday, May 3, 2012

Prepardness Challenge

 Amy at Homestead Revival has a monthly preparedness challenge to inspire all of us to be prepared for whatever life might throw at us. We don't know what will happen in life and it is good to be prepared- Here are some of the things that I did during the month of April to prepare:

~Food Storage:
This area of preparing isn't all that exciting but some things we stocked up on in the past month were:
  • Cheese (some decent sales were found)- I find cheese varieties that freeze well.
  • Peanut Butter
  • Coconut Oil - I found out that Vita Coast had really good coconut oil at $20.99 for 54 oz. Since I was a first time buyer I was able to get a $10 coupon through a referral link. I bought 2 and was able to get free shipping. If you are interested in doing that deal here is my referral link and you can also get $10 off.
  • Oatmeal
  • Dry Milk
Some of the emergency (and just handy) supplies that we have in the van.
~Emergency Preparedness:

 One of the big areas I worked on for emergency preparedness was going over what we have in the van and making sure everything was current and then I added a tub of food to keep in there, a blanket and changes of clothes for everybody. In the food tub I have things like: Peanut butter, crackers, tuna, honey (we had it and I figured it would be good for quick energy) and a few other things.

  Having our van well stocked is handy in many circumstances, maybe we forgot to pack something when going camping, or -as just happened the other day- the kids fall in the river while out canoeing and would like to change clothes before going home, or we are out in the state forest picking blueberries and we get stuck and and hungry. And then also should we ever need to evacuate quickly (hard to imagine but possible I am sure) it sure would be nice to have some extra things in the van. I wrote a post about all the things that we in our van which you can check out if you like.

 Another thing that is in a way Emergency Preparedness was Jonathan's purchase of an Air soft gun. He had hoped this would work for hunting small things like chipmunks (which raid our strawberries and he was hoping to butcher and add to stew) but after an unhappy attempt we decided that it wasn't powerful enough. This gun is however a useful tool for him to use in target practicing and such. If he should ever need the skill to hunt to feed us, having a little practice will come in handy. (More about getting the gun here.)

Another recent purchase was a nice stainless steel set of Camping cookware. This enables to better hone our campfire cooking skills. A great thing to know when faced with an emergency.

Sustainable Living~

~I learned how to render tallow.

~ We planted peas, lettuce and radishes. They are coming up and I am excited that we might actually be able to eat something before the date that we usually even plant a garden (June 1st). I also planted a bunch of day lily plants which I got from a friend and I am happy to have them growing here now. They might start showing up in some of our meals this summer.

~We picked up our bees to start our second summer of raising them. I am hoping to educate myself enough so that I can try overwintering them (challenging in our climate!) this year.

One of my parents goats that had quadruplets this year. Pretty cool and unusual!
~ We found a new source for raw cows milk. It is Jersey milk with lots of cream that we have totally been enjoying! My parents are also now getting enough goats milk to share so we are pretty happy with all our good for us milk! I have been researching cheese making more and really want to try my hand and more varieties of cheese this year. I am interested in trying hard cheeses.

~I have been trying my hand at making sourdough bread again. It was years ago when I last tried it and I am having fun. We have had some really yummy successes and one not so great batch. It is always fun to figure out one more thing (yeast in this case) that we can do without.
~ We have been busy making rag rugs. I am finding how fast we can accomplish things when it is "We" not just "Me" working on them. The kids have become pretty good strip cutters and when I am crocheting a rug Jonathan will help with the crocheting now and then too.

~We are shopping and working to make sure we all have bikes that work well.  Mara was the most recent one to get a new bike. She had saved up her own money and bought it. We were hoping to get a really nice one from a small local bike shop but they had gone up quite a bit in cost and so we got one on that had a lot of good reviews (Devon Forge) both there and other places. We are pretty happy with the bike so far but have only gone on 3 fairly short rides (Total of probably 12- 15 miles). Our next step is to get a better bike for Aaron.

Biking is definitely a part of our living more sustainably. We aren't able to raise our own fuel but we do have physical energy we can use. We have been using bikes to ride to church and go on errands and just for fun. We aren't able to use them for everything but it is fun to use them when we can. Not only does it save on gas but we also get good exercise, I enjoy smelling and seeing (better) the flowers that we go by (The cherry blossoms sure smell good now!) and hearing the frogs croaking and the birds singing. We miss much of that when we drive in a car. It is also a very fun family experience.

~Mental Preparedness

This isn't something that Amy had on her list of things in the challenge but this has been something that I have been thinking about lately.

 We do live in a somewhat unstable time with our country being so deeply in debt and the various things going on in our world. We don't really know what is in our future. We could worry about the unknown or we can choose to trust in God and prepare.

One of the major ways (and I believe more important that the things I listed above) is to prepare by thoroughly immersing ourselves in God's word. This year more than ever before we have chosen to make God's word a priority in our lives. We have been reading it more often and memorizing more. We have been discussing it and seeking to apply it to our lives. A chapter we recently memorized was Hebrews 11-12:3, It is chapter all about people of faith and what they went through and still stood firm because they were looking ahead to their reward (heaven). What a great thing to have in our minds whenever we face trials! We are now working on the book of James and it is just filled with verses that can also encourage and inspire us if/ when we go through hard times. This sort of preparing is useful for any type of situation!

  We are also working to prepare ourselves through reading of other books as well. Reading the life's experiences of others helps so much in knowing how to handle life ourselves. We are blessed to be able to have so many good things to read!

That is some of the things we have been working on around here in order to be more prepared for whatever should happen in life. What is going on in your life? Do you try to be prepared?

1 comment:

Travis said...

Being prepared mentally is indeed half of the battle, I suppose. Good thoughts!


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