Thursday, August 28, 2008


Hurricanes are a fact of life in Louisiana. They are ruining my hot summer days right now and I need my summer picture! Sorry, other than that they are nasty. I am not a worrier though, I try to be prepared and keep informed and think straight.
So rule #1 is make sure you have your 72 hour kits handy. For us this means a backpack full of clothes and food to last three days. Also a few toys and such for the kids or paper and pens, you never know when they come in handy. In there we also put an emergency phone number of someone in another state in case we need to get in touch, we need someone with phone lines. The chances of us losing phone at the same time as Oregon are pretty unlikely.
Rule #2 is fill the water jugs. We have 11 five gallon jugs which means 55 gallons of H2O which is a nice cushion in case the water supply gets compromised. We also have lots of those little bottles of water in the 72 hour kits and a flat to put in the car in case we take off.
Rule #3 is check the generator and fill the gas cans. We have checked the gen but the gas cans are gonna have to wait until it gets a little closer, I hate having all that gas on my patio... When this one's over we'll put it in the cars and just be ready for next time.
Rule #4 is food. Snack food that doesn't take fridge use is essential. If you open that fridge with the power off it loses a lot of "cool" so the fewer times the better. I also borrowed a great book called "Appocalipse cooking" which made me think about things like conserving fuel in a no-electricity environment. We bbq but that does take a lot of gas, so the book got me thinking about things that cook quickly, like risotto (boil water, put it in, turn it off) and minute rice, among other things. Quinoa is something we tried because of this book too, it's amazing but the family still isn't crazy about it. It's a grain that cooks quickly too, great served with rice.
Rule #5OK so here is another must, fill up the cars and be ready to leave town.
Rule #6 (Optional) Lots of people get cash out but I know my bank is accessable in several states so I am ok. If you have credit cards they are very helpful too.
Things to think about - being prepared means not worrying, just staying ready!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Flower Pictures

Just thought I would add a little interest with a picture I took while my kids were dizzily riding the rides this summer.

Keeping Kids Busy

Many times I search for ideas to keep the kids from driving me crazy while I try to mop or balance the checkbook. This idea has worked for me for years and I hope you can adapt it to your family needs. It works like this:

Fridge List

Make a list of things to do that require little or no supervision from mom or dad and put it on the fridge. When Jr. starts whining about being b-o-r-e-d (A word that is banned in our house!) they can choose from the list. The trick is that once they are referred to the list, they HAVE to do something on the list before they bother mom or dad. The last item on the list should always be "Take a nap". Truly it's the most popular one. I have used this for years and sometimes kids just don't realize they are tired until they see this!

You can walk around your house for ideas, but here is one to get you started. I'll try to keep it from being too "girl" or too "boy"-- you can make different lists for each child if you wish.

1. Decorate the back patio with sidewalk chalk

2. Make a daisy chain

3. Take some blank paper and envelopes and decorate your own stationary

4. Get some magazines out of recycling and make a collage

5. Have a tea party with your friend or teddy

6. Paint the dog's toenails

7. Make a border for your room with continuous paper

8. Play with Barbies/Airplanes

9. Measure 10 things with a ruler

10. Get out your last year's school things and play school

11. Make a calendar

12. Decorate bookmarks, "laminate" with clear packing tape

13. Write a poem about something in the yard

14. Blow bubbles or take a bubble bath

15. Make a keytag to hang on your booksack - bead animal, letter beads with your name, or a scripture verse on construction paper then laminated with tape and a hole poked through

16. Make cookies (from a mix, with easy-bake oven, or from scratch)

17. Organize sock drawer

18. Write a play and produce it

19. Make a castle from toilet paper tubes and boxes in recycling

20. Write a letter to a cousin or grandma

21. Illustrate a story - write then color pictures to go with it

22. Find a scripture verse you like and type it on the computer/typewriter or write with fancy letters and color

23. Cut out hearts and hide them for loved ones to find around the house

24. Play with toy soldiers outside

25. Make a snack with fruit and vegetables

26. Take pictures with digital camera (with permission)

27. Call a friend

28. Look up your favorite animal in the encyclopedia or dictionary

29. Find your house on a map

30. Make a boredom kit for the car or for a friend. Include word searches, "mad libs", drawings to color, and supplies if you have them

31. Fluff up all the pillows in the house

32. Make a birthday card for a friend

33. Play with legos/duplos/building sets/lincoln logs/tinkertoys

34. Play a game (Chutes and Ladders, Checkers)

35. Make a list of movies/books you own. Put them in alphabetical order. Make a list of movies/books you would like to own.

36. Make a Christmas/Birthday list

37. Make animals out of pipe cleaners

38. Change your bed

39. Have a picnic

40. Read a book

41. Make something with Origami paper

42. Pick some flowers in the yard, put in vase

43. Do a secret good deed :)

44. Look in your Scout book and decide on something you can finish today/Work on your collection

45. Decorate old socks for a puppet show

46. Sing a song

47. Look through your old books, find 3 to donate; or find clothes you have outgrown to donate

48. Play a musical instrument in the house or outside.

49. look at old pictures or scrapbooks

50. Take a nap

Change out the list occasionally, adding and subtracting things that are suitable. If you have two lists, you don't usually have to worry all summer. :) Add things like Count your money... stack books as high as you can then put away...blow up balloons-- make moments that are easy photo bait. Take pictures of them doing cool stuff and the grandparents are sure to think you are the best mom ever!

Of course you can really make them happy by bringing home the occasional refridgerator or dryer box and letting them make it into a fort/house/hotel/store/rocketship/train/airplane/school/library!