Today's Project

Cleaning out my pantry took my almost the entire morning.  Yes, it was that bad.  It is still not up to par but it is much better then it was this morning.  Here is the system I am trying to organize all of those things I hate to store in bulk in my pantry.  These containers have pour spouts at the top for easy measuring.  On those things I need a reminder on how to make, I simply cute the instructions off of the box and taped them to the side.  As my kids would say, "easy peasy lemon squeasy" and it makes my pantry feel so much less cluttered!

So MY child

Kylee is SO my child.  No question about it.  The last sentence on this paper she brought home today explains it all.  Those of you who have known me for a long time will understand why. 
"Something a lot of people don't know about me is I like to talk with grownups and I like to know what's going on. "  Classic!

Why on EARTH... I have a thing for PASTA and JELL-O in my food storge!  Well, let me explain.

I bought the boxed pasta this morning at Smith's and I was so excited about it that I called like 15 (okay, maybe just 3) people to tell them about this steal!  It was only 49 cents at Smith's if you bought I bought 20 and am thinking that I might just go get some more.  It is a "quick cooking" pasta which makes total sense to me in case of an emergency.  Think about it - you have no power and are trying to cook something for your family using your propane cook stove....boiling a pot of water would take FOREVER in itself...but once you throw this pasta in the pot it cooks up in only 3 minutes!  Open up a can of Spaghetti sauce and dinner is served!  I am also a pasta lover because it is filling, ALL of my children like it, and the littlest of children can eat it.  So, that is why buying oodles of boxes of pasta today made sense to me.  We will see if my hubby agrees! :)

JELL-O is just a love of mine so when I see them for cheap I buy lots.  Funny how I come home and unload and realize that I have plenty of JELL-O.  My kids love it and it is an inexpensive treat for kids.  I have a great jello salad recipe that I am often asked to bring to family I figure what the heck!  JELL-O it is kids.  My little sister told me that I am the best at making red JELL-O.  I am glad that  my family thinks highly of my cooking skills!

Both of these items require water so it is just another reminder as to how important it is to have PLENTY of water stored.

That's my food storage kick for today.  I promise I will quit with the food storage posts as soon as the case lot sales are over and I am done finding good deals!  Until then, happy shopping!

Project Hydration

Yes, I am still on my little emergency preparedness kick. Don't judge me. I think I am doing a good job so if you feel otherwise, don't burst my bubble! :) Today's project was WATER. I was recently told that 1 gallon/person/day is needed so I am trying to plan accordingly. Maceys had their 5 gallon buckets on sale for $5.99 which I am told is a great price. So, 8 were purchased, filled, and placed in various places throughout my house. The kids came home from school and helped empty all of our plastic juice bottles that haven't been emptied in 3 years. And yes, I do purchase water bottles every now and then. I LIKE water bottles. They are easy to grab, already treated, and easy to ration in case of an emergency...again, don't judge me! It didn't take long and my kiddos (at least two of them) were thrilled to help!  I will soon add another 55 gallon barrel to those already in my garage.  Our conference weekend project will be to empty the nasty water currently in them and refill them with nice clean water.  Sound fun!??

Next on the list...72 hour kits. We store ours in buckets though I am re-thinking how practical that really is but it will do for now. I purchased plastic containers that store all of the food. It keeps everything together and can be used to mix things in. Along with 3 days of food/snacks/water I included something different for each kid depending on their age...flashlight with extra batteries, emergency glow stick, diapers and wet wipes for the baby, hand sanitizer, plastic utensils, a treat I know they like, and sweatshirt and a pair of socks for each kid. I also included a hygiene kit that was given to us by my grandparents. In my bucket I included most of the same things with the addition of an emergency radio, a first aid kit and a little bit of cash. Again, I am sure that I am missing things but at least it is a start, right?

FYI for anyone interested, here are the food items that we included and a sample menu.

Breakfast - oatmeal (1/2 cup water), hot chocolate (1 cup water)
Lunch - beef jerky, granola bar, fruit leather
Dinner - tuna/crackers package, fruit snacks, peanut butter crackers

Breakfast - oatmeal (1/2 cup water), hot chocolate (1 cup water)
Lunch - soup (1 cup water), trail mix
Dinner - tuna/crackers package, granola bar, fruit leather

Breakfast - oatmeal (1/2 cup water) hot chocolate (1 cup water)
Lunch - beef jerky, granola bar, fruit leather
Dinner - soup (1 cup water), cheese/cracker package

I also added a few extras for certain picky children...a can of Spaghetti O's, applesauce, and more peanut butter crackers along with some gum and little candies of their liking.

Last but not least, this is the newest addition to our storage room and I am embarrassed to admit that I am giddy about having an extra freezer! I am SO excited to fill it with extra food. The electrician is coming this week to wire a plug to our storage room and then it will be in working order! Yeah!

How is your food storage coming along?

What's Cooking?

Spaghetti is what is cooking at our house tonight! I made this crock-pot recipe for the sauce a few weeks ago and my kids and husband went crazy. I am all about the store bought stuff but there is something about sauce that has been simmering for hours that makes it taste so much better!


1 pound ground beef or bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Hunt’s® Original Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) Hunt’s® Tomato Sauce
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons dried basil
1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Hot cooked spaghetti


In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Add the next 10 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until heated through. Discard bay leaf. Serve with spaghetti. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Work In Progress...

Let me start by saying that there are so many of you who are better at this than I am! Every 6 months or so I get on a food storage kick and this has been my month. I am pretty proud of my work so far...we will purchase two more shelves this week and I am excited to get them filled!

After sorting through, throwing out, and re-organizing I learned a few things:

First, I am terrible at rotating and always buy more before checking to see if I have it in the basement. The result: throwing out food that is expired because I forgot it existed.

Second, I am in need of a lot of things I thought that I had. More macaroni and cheese, catsup, propane tanks for the portable stove and heater and batteries to name a few.

Third, for some reason I am terrible at remembering to empty and refill water bottles and water barrels. Conference weekend is my goal this year...we will see if it happens.

Fourth, our 72 hour kits would be of little help in an emergency considering most of the food is 2 years old. Another goal for the first week in April. We use buckets and I just added the kids names so they know which is theirs. I know there are better ways but it will do for now.

Fifth, I HAVE NO CERAL. 3 boxes of LIFE is it right now. It feels like there has not been a good cereal sale in forever! I didn't take a picture of my one empty shelving unit because it is just that...EMPTY. I will be on the hunt for good cereal deals in the coming weeks.

Sixth, I have 4 buckets of wheat but no wheat grinder. Maybe now is the time to convince my hubby I need a Vitamix?

Anyway, this is certainly a work in progress but we are getting there. Slowly but surely I will be prepared. We do have a 3 months supply of Spaghetti-O's! Let me know what works for you...I am anxious to hear your thoughts!


I joined Kylee's 3rd grade class to go bowling on Friday! 165 kids that were excited to be away from school meant major headache but oh so much fun! I love being involved in my kids classes. They are all just cute, cute, cute and I think my Kylee is among the cutest!


I am one of those mom's who hates getting the Playdough out. I hate the mess that comes with it. When it does make its way to the kitchen counter I always make sure that Summer is asleep. According to Kylee, today I am in a "nice" mood which means the Playdough is out and these 3 have been entertained for over an hour now. I thought Summer would want to eat it but instead she is content to stack the containers and knock them over. Whatever works to keep them happy on this overcast Wednesday! Maybe my "nice" mood should come out more often!