Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fwd: Level 6 Pandemic Declared by WHO!

Don't panic!  But prepare for the fall.


On Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 8:21 PM, Cheryl Driggs wrote:

As predicted in our last newsletter, the World Health Organization has officially declared the H1N1 Influenza a worldwide pandemic.

Also, as expected, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan was careful to qualify that although the infected numbers are high, the severity is low and goes on to declare that raising the level to a level 6 pandemic status is no cause for panic.

(Note: It's been our experience that whenever the public is told not to panic, panic invariably ensues.)

The pandemic announcement means countries will now immediately activate their pandemic plans. The announcement will also trigger drug makers to speed up production of an H1N1 flu vaccine.

The WHO is urging nations not to close borders or restrict travel and trade, though it remains to be seen how closely that advice is followed.

Australia the tipping point?

The development that likely triggered the pandemic announcement was the sudden "community spread" of H1N1 in Victoria, Australia, which signalled it was entrenched in another region besides North America.

"Swine flu" cases in Australia soared to more than 1,000 on Monday and reached 1,260 by late Wednesday. The country now has the fifth-highest number of cases worldwide, after the United States, Mexico, Canada and Chile.

"We have tested 5,500 people in the last two weeks, that is more people than we test in our whole influenza season," Victorian state Premier John Brumby said Thursday as he defended his government's handling of the flu virus.

"Elsewhere around the world, in the United States and Canada, they are only testing the most serious cases."




WHO tips on fighting the spread of H1N1 at home

The World Health Organization has released some tips on pandemic influenza prevention and mitigation, after declaring the H1N1 to be the world's first flu pandemic in four decades...

Social distancing -- keeping at least an arm's length distance away from others and minimizing gatherings -- is one recommended practice to limit contact with people who may be contagious.

Respiratory etiquette should be practiced. By having infected persons cover their coughs and sneezes, there will be less risk of others getting sick. Proper hand hygiene and good household ventilation are also recommended to keep people healthy.

Wear a facemask whenever you are in close proximity of an infected person.




If you've been reading our newsletters for awhile you probably already know this stuff and hopefully you're well prepared in the event that this virus mutates into something far more serious.

By now you should have accumulated a good supply of face masks for yourself, your family, and your friends. (If you haven't, we urge you to act quickly, as today's Level 6 declaration is bound to produce a run on all available supplies.)

You should have some sort of hand antiseptic and you should be using it on a **regular basis.

You should have a stockpile of essentials such as food, medications, water and other important items (you can find a list on our website.)

It's worth repeating...this virus, although nasty, is not the killer we expected when it first emerged out of Mexico a couple of months ago. Hopefully it will remain relatively benign, but most experts are worried that when it re-emerges during the fall flu season in the north it could have mutated into a much more dangerous strain.

Your best defence, now and in the future, is to be prepared.

Wishing you continued good health

Bob & Julie Butler

http://www.survivetheflu.com

**While it's important to be using hand sanitizers on a regular basis during a flu pandemic, it's not such a good idea during normal times. Not only do they kill the bad bugs, they also kill the good ones. Your immune system is constantly bombarded with different pathogens that it learns how to fight. If you eliminate them all, you're making the job a lot tougher.



--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.



--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Re: More than water wings


  American Red Cross
Dear Friend of the Red Cross,

Meet Abby and Audrey. They learned the importance of water safety in a big way—when they were just four and five years old.

While playing at the pool one day, Audrey fell and started sinking toward the bottom in the deep end of a swimming pool. Using water safety skills she learned in a Red Cross swimming and water safety class, Abby was able to save her from drowning.

"Thank goodness for Abby," says Audrey, now 13. "She just reached in, and pulled me up!"

As summer gears up, do you know how to stay safe around the water? We've rounded up some important tips for you to check out before you grab your swimsuit and your sunscreen:

http://www.redcross.org/watersafetytips

Staying safe around water doesn't mean having kids wear water wings or floaties. Our tips include a handy summer water safety guide you can print out and share with your friends whether you're going to the pool or the beach.

Nearly two-thirds of families with young children plan to swim in a place without a lifeguard this summer, according to a recent Red Cross survey.

So it's important to know some basic water safety tips, maintain constant supervision over kids and learn how to respond to aquatic emergencies.

Get all that information and more on our tips page:


http://www.redcross.org/watersafetytips

Have a great, safe summer!

Sincerely,

Connie Harvey

Connie Harvey
American Red Cross Preparedness and Health and Safety

P.S.Get a copy of the American Red Cross Water Safety Handbook and other summer safety gear at
RedCrossStore.org. Don't miss the store coupons at the bottom of the summer water safety guide! Check it out here: http://www.redcross.org/watersafetytips

Donate Now
Forward | Subscribe | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Unsubscribe
© 2009 American Red Cross | 2025 E Street NW Washington DC 20006

You can help people affected by disasters, like the current floods, by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of all disasters. You may also call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or mail your donation, to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.


Donate by phone: 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) | Donate by Mail

bbb.org








--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Re: Chronicle article

Great article in the Houston Chronicle about home canning.

On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 10:07 AM, Cheryl Driggs
This is in the Houston Chronicle today http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/food/6467021.html




--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Canning Recipes

To help light a fire under you, I thought we could share some of our favorite canning recipes.  For instance, I know Ginger loves to mix and match her berries and fruits when she make jam, and that Rebecca has a great salsa recipe her family can't live without.  Here is the very simple chili sauce recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation in my family:

Chili Sauce  (salsa Utah style):

36 large tomatoes 
8 large onions 
6 green peppers 
3 cups vinegar 
2 cups sugar 
1 tablespoon cinnamon 
1 tablespoon cloves 
1 tablespoon ginger 
4 tablespoons salt 
Peel and slice tomatoes. Add peppers and onions that have been chopped fine. Cook for 30 minutes, then add vinegar and spices and cook until of desired consistency. Seal in sterilized bottles. Makes 5 quarts. 

I will also be putting up a LOT of stewed tomatoes, but I would really like to get my hands on a good marinara sauce from scratch (nothing canned) recipe. 

Please, share what recipes you have, even if you've never before tried canning or freezing them.  All they have to be is made of vegetables and cooked.  Has anyone every tried freezing fresh salsa or pesto?




--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Fwd: 2009 Hurricane Workshop is this weekend!

Ladies, 

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the CenterPoint Energy Hurricane Workshop at the George R. Brown Convention Center.  This promises to be very informative and helpful.  Please put it at the top of your to-do list as we enter into the hurricane season.



To view this email as a web page, go here.


ReadyorNot Dear Penny,

 

Reminder: 2009 Hurricane Workshop is this weekend!


Don't forget to attend the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service 2009 Hurricane Workshop on Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Workshop attendees will receive:

  Up-to-date hurricane preparedness information including,  
  • Evacuation plans
  • Power restoration
  • Hurricane predictions
Giveaways including, 
  • A free hurricane preparedness video and vendor-provided items, while supplies last
  • A free lunch courtesy of Wal-Mart for the first 2,500 attendees
  • A chance to enter a drawing for a free natural gas generator courtesy of the Home Depot or a Red Cross Family Survival Kit by playing the hurricane tracker scavenger hunt
There will also be interactive activities suitable for the entire family including,
  • The Kids Zone Activity Center with Radio Disney, and
  • Visits with R.O.N. (Ready or Not), the interactive robot and Louie the Lightning Bug
Visit hurricaneworkshop.com to register and view the agenda.

Saturday, May 30
George R. Brown Convention Center
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.


American Sign Language (ASL),
Computer Assisted Realtime Translation (CART),

and Spanish translators will be available.


sponsors




CenterPoint Energy will not give your e-mail address to any third party.
Please review our privacy/security statement.

If you no longer wish to receive information from CenterPoint Energy, click here.
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--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Slow cooker recipes

Hey, all,

A friend on Facebook had a friend give her this site for slow-cooker recipes.  It looks pretty interesting.

http://www.50plusfriends.com/cookbook/crockpot/index-5b.html

--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Re: Living Essentials from BYU

Here's a wealth of information for everyone, whether you're new at the home storage game or are old hands. Take a look.


On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 3:34 PM, Cheryl Driggs  wrote:
Worth looking at.  You will want to record some of these due to the broadcast time!

http://www.byub.org/livingessentials/topics.aspx?tpc=fsep




--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

World Health Organization raises pandemic alert again now to phase 5 - The Emergency Email & Wireless Network .......... www. EmergencyEmail.ORG ........ NewsEmergency.com

World Health Organization raises pandemic alert again now to phase 5 - The Emergency Email & Wireless Network .......... www. EmergencyEmail.ORG ........ NewsEmergency.com

NewsWatch: Breaking news: Swine flu map

NewsWatch: Breaking news: Swine flu map

This map from the Houston Chronicle gives a better idea of how the swine flu is spreading. The pink people represent suspected cases, red confirmed case, black deaths, great suspected death but unverified, blue 'flue-like' symptoms. Click on the figures for more details.

Pandemic Preparedness Planning

Pandemic Preparedness Planning

CDC - Influenza (Flu) | Fact Sheet: Good Health Habits for Preventing Seasonal Flu

CDC - Influenza (Flu) | Fact Sheet: Good Health Habits for Preventing Seasonal Flu

Simple easy advice from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.

Flu Wiki Forum:: Influenza Pandemic Preparation and Response - A Citizen's Guide

Flu Wiki Forum:: Influenza Pandemic Preparation and Response - A Citizen's Guide

More vital instruction given the swine flu threat.

Disease Prevention and Treatment of Symptoms

Disease Prevention and Treatment of Symptoms

Here are some excellent instructions on how to prevent your family from contracting the swine flu or other diseases.

Disease Prevention and Treatment of Symptoms

Disease Prevention and Treatment of Symptoms

Here are some excellent instructions on how to prevent your family from contracting the swine flu or other diseases.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Relief Society - Live Like You Believe

This is a stunning video. Thanks to all our wonderful Relief Society Sisters who make our ward so amazing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mormon Messages: Why Mormons Build Temples

A must see for members and non-members alike, but especially for members who need to untwist their stomachs after this week's developments.

Re: [Olde Oaks RS] Family Home Storage Center FAQ

Date: Monday, March 2, 2009, 2:57 PM

Sisters,

A sister new to our area recently sent me a list of questions she had about the cannery and its procedures.  Following FAQ I have written to answer them.  I am certain Lucy will correct me where I'm wrong, so no worries.  (I've marked the ones I am really unsure about in red).  Once she's finished correcting me, I'll post this on Olde Oaks Weekly Update, and on our ward site at lds.org under news and information so it will be readily available.

Also, if anyone is interested in attending a pouch party, let me know and we will get one on the calendar.  Many hands make light work, and it's more fun that way.


  • Where is the Church cannery in the Houston metro area?  First of all, let's call it The Family Home Storage Center, which is how they do it in Salt Lake. The FHSC (the door deepest into the parking lot) is next door (to the north) to the Hafer Road chapel.  If you reference this map, you'll see they have the chapel and the complex reversed, so it's address is:
    16331 Hafer Rd
    Houston, TX 77090
    (281) 298-5905
  • How is food processed for longterm storage at the FHSC?  The FHSC has two methods of longterm storage, sealing in #10 cans, and sealing in Mylar pouches.  Both processes are available for use during any given shift.  In addition to the the product, you must purchase cans, lids, pouches, clips, and desiccant respectively for a nominal fee.  A complete list of products commonly available at the Houston FHSC can be found here.  Remember, the laws of supply and demand apply, so not all products may be available at the time of your visit.
  • Can I only work at the FHSC on my stake's designated day?  To help with crowd control, they prefer that you go on your stake's designated day, but you can also go at your convenience, so long as there's a free shift.  The designated day for the Houston Texas North Stake is the first Tuesday of every month.  Shifts begin at 9:00 am and 7:00pm.  Both run until all orders are filled.  Be there 15 minutes early to check in.  There are a couple of steps that will streamline your visit to the FHSC. 
    • Visit providentliving.org and review the order form found here
    • Call the FHSC to ensure that what you want to purchase is available.
    • Fill out the order form, save and calculate (each item is calculated after you move out of its quantity field), then print.  You may save this form on your own computer for future reference and/or use.
    • Have your money and order form ready to hand in upon your arrival, and checking in is a breeze.
  • If I go on a different day, must I call ahead?  I don't think you need to let them know you're coming, but you definitely need to make sure the equipment is available that day.  During the peanut butter season, they run the equipment 24/7, so you want to make sure you don't waste a trip down there.
  • Can I buy my product elsewhere and still process it at the FHSC?  Yes, you can, but you must purchase the cans and lids as you would normally, and use the machinery at the FHSC.  If you do bring your own product, they will run the shift as normal, and process you product at the end.
  • Do I have to process the product I purchase?  There are several ways to store whole grains long-term, including canning, Mylar pouches, and PVC buckets. You may purchase wheat, rice, beans and oats by the 100 lb bag and choose to store it independently.  The Olde Oaks Ward has  two pouch sealers available to check out for home use. You purchase the pouches, clips and desiccant from the FHSCThe downside of this is that food does not stay fresh as long as when stored in #10 cans or in PVC buckets.
  • Can I purchase pre-processed product from the FHSCYou must work the shift to purchase processed product from the FHSC.  The machinery requires multiple people to operate properly, and by everyone pitching in, it gets done quickly.  There are a few other alternatives, however. 
    • First, consider co-opting with someone, e.g., one trip you go to the cannery and package her purchase while she watches your kids and vice versa. 
    • The second option is more expensive, which is ordering product directly from the distribution center in Salt Lake.  In addition to the cost of the product itself, built into the price are the costs of shipping, canning materials, and paying full-time employees to do the work for you.  There's also a waiting list on many of the most popular items.
  • What is the best type of product to store long-term?  Excellent question.  Everything you ever wanted to know about food storage and emergency preparedness you can find either at Lucy's Frugal Living or at simplyprepared.com.  These sites are authored by our own Lucy Stern, the Houston Texas North Stake emergency preparedness chairman, and Cheryl Driggs, the Klein Texas Stake emergency preparedness chairman.  At simplyprepared.com, you will find yourself at CDF publications, which is where Cheryl sells her food storage cook books, but everything else she puts on there (information galore) she does out of the goodness of her heart.  The preparedness info I regularly post comes from her mailing list. I've learned there are about as many preparedness/food storage blogs out there as there are stakes in the Church, but by far, the best I have found are these two.  Do a bit of digging.  You'll be happy with what you find.



--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Fwd: Plan to attend the 2009 Hurricane Workshop, Saturday, May 30

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cheryl Driggs <
Date: Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 2:06 PM

To view this email as a web page, go here.

90363_header5
[]  

116894_Hurricane_Workshop3_ad
Register today!
The first 500 registered attendees will receive
a free T-shirt.

Saturday, May 30
George R. Brown
Convention Center
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Hurricane Workshop

9:30 a.m. - 10 a.m
Electric Safety
Demonstration
presented by
CenterPoint Energy


[]  
Dear Cheryl,


Both you and your family are invited to join us for

the National Weather Service Houston/Galveston
2009 Hurricane Workshop on Saturday, May 30.

This year's Hurricane Workshop features: 
  • Hurricane predictions
  • Evacuation plans
  • Power restoration information
  • A special appearance by Bill Read, Director of the
  • National Hurricane Center
  • FREE lunch for the first 2,500 attendees courtesy
  • of Wal-Mart
  • FREE Hurricane Preparedness video
This hurricane preparedness event is the largest of its kind in the nation, so don't wait!
Register now online at HurricaneWorkshop.com and view a full agenda.
Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Radio Disney will have interactive exhibits. Hope to see you there.


[]  

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Please review our privacy/security statement.

If you no longer wish to receive information from CenterPoint Energy, click here.
PLEASE NOTE: Unsubscribing here does not apply to business transactional messages about your account, which you will continue to receive.

CenterPoint Energy
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Minneapolis, MN 55403
USA
http://cl.mncenterpointenergy.com/unsub_center.aspx?s=fdf5157474650c7f72127976&j=fe6715797767047c7d14&mid=fef31579706302&lid=fe5f15757364027f7312&jb=ffcf14



--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Re: [Olde Oaks RS] Family Home Storage Center FAQ

Sisters,   Just a few "tweeks" to Penny's list here:

1) You can come down and work with us on our designated day which is the first Tuesday of every month....  At this time because of peanut butter production at the cannery,  the dates are very tight.  I am trying to schedule a couple of other night time sessions so that we can get more done.   To go down during the day and work "off schedule", you will have to call the FHSC first and ask if the Moyers are there to work with you.  The phone number at the cannery is:  281-537-1785

2)  Rules have changed and you can no longer take down you own items to dry pack at the FHSC.  You can only dry pack what you buy from the Family Home Storage Center.  

3) You can go in any time, that someone is able to help you, and purchase "bulk" items from the FHSC.  Please call first, before going so that you don't make a trip for nothing...  When peanut butter is in production they will not sell you anything.   These bulk items come in 25lb. bags for the most part. 

4) You may also go down and purchase the Pre-packaged items without having to work a shift to get it.  These items, considered long term storage, come in a case of six cans and are:  red wheat, rice, quick oats and pinto beans.  You can also purchase, by the case, potato pearls and pancake mix, which are considered short term storage.  Any other items, that you purchase in bulk, will need to be "put up" at home in cans, pouches or in buckets....  Any items that the FHSC sells, can be canned on our cannery dates.  Please check the order form for current prices... Note: at this time we have plenty of stock on hand and all of the items are available for canning.  Powdered milk has gone down, for the moment, and would be a good addition to you storage.

5) The pouch party that Penny mentioned would be good for putting up items that you buy in bulk either from the FHSC or somewhere else.  The Olde Oaks ward has one pouch sealer, but we are able to get the one from the Spring ward when it is not in use.  We can use both sealers at our pouch party and get our work done quicker. 

Thanks,  Lucy Stern

Monday, March 02, 2009

Family Home Storage Center FAQ

Sisters,

A sister new to our area recently sent me a list of questions she had about the cannery and its procedures.  Following FAQ I have written to answer them.  I am certain Lucy will correct me where I'm wrong, so no worries.  (I've marked the ones I am really unsure about in red).  Once she's finished correcting me, I'll post this on Olde Oaks Weekly Update, and on our ward site at lds.org under news and information so it will be readily available.

Also, if anyone is interested in attending a pouch party, let me know and we will get one on the calendar.  Many hands make light work, and it's more fun that way.


  • Where is the Church cannery in the Houston metro area?  First of all, let's call it The Family Home Storage Center, which is how they do it in Salt Lake. The FHSC (the door deepest into the parking lot) is next door (to the north) to the Hafer Road chapel.  If you reference this map, you'll see they have the chapel and the complex reversed, so it's address is:
    16331 Hafer Rd
    Houston, TX 77090
    (281) 298-5905
  • How is food processed for longterm storage at the FHSC?  The FHSC has two methods of longterm storage, sealing in #10 cans, and sealing in Mylar pouches.  Both processes are available for use during any given shift.  In addition to the the product, you must purchase cans, lids, pouches, clips, and desiccant respectively for a nominal fee.  A complete list of products commonly available at the Houston FHSC can be found here.  Remember, the laws of supply and demand apply, so not all products may be available at the time of your visit.
  • Can I only work at the FHSC on my stake's designated day?  To help with crowd control, they prefer that you go on your stake's designated day, but you can also go at your convenience, so long as there's a free shift.  The designated day for the Houston Texas North Stake is the first Tuesday of every month.  Shifts begin at 9:00 am and 7:00pm.  Both run until all orders are filled.  Be there 15 minutes early to check in.  There are a couple of steps that will streamline your visit to the FHSC. 
    • Visit providentliving.org and review the order form found here
    • Call the FHSC to ensure that what you want to purchase is available.
    • Fill out the order form, save and calculate (each item is calculated after you move out of its quantity field), then print.  You may save this form on your own computer for future reference and/or use.
    • Have your money and order form ready to hand in upon your arrival, and checking in is a breeze.
  • If I go on a different day, must I call ahead?  I don't think you need to let them know you're coming, but you definitely need to make sure the equipment is available that day.  During the peanut butter season, they run the equipment 24/7, so you want to make sure you don't waste a trip down there.
  • Can I buy my product elsewhere and still process it at the FHSC?  Yes, you can, but you must purchase the cans and lids as you would normally, and use the machinery at the FHSC.  If you do bring your own product, they will run the shift as normal, and process you product at the end.
  • Do I have to process the product I purchase?  There are several ways to store whole grains long-term, including canning, Mylar pouches, and PVC buckets. You may purchase wheat, rice, beans and oats by the 100 lb bag and choose to store it independently.  The Olde Oaks Ward has  two pouch sealers available to check out for home use. You purchase the pouches, clips and desiccant from the FHSCThe downside of this is that food does not stay fresh as long as when stored in #10 cans or in PVC buckets.
  • Can I purchase pre-processed product from the FHSCYou must work the shift to purchase processed product from the FHSC.  The machinery requires multiple people to operate properly, and by everyone pitching in, it gets done quickly.  There are a few other alternatives, however. 
    • First, consider co-opting with someone, e.g., one trip you go to the cannery and package her purchase while she watches your kids and vice versa. 
    • The second option is more expensive, which is ordering product directly from the distribution center in Salt Lake.  In addition to the cost of the product itself, built into the price are the costs of shipping, canning materials, and paying full-time employees to do the work for you.  There's also a waiting list on many of the most popular items.
  • What is the best type of product to store long-term?  Excellent question.  Everything you ever wanted to know about food storage and emergency preparedness you can find either at Lucy's Frugal Living or at simplyprepared.com.  These sites are authored by our own Lucy Stern, the Houston Texas North Stake emergency preparedness chairman, and Cheryl Driggs, the Klein Texas Stake emergency preparedness chairman.  At simplyprepared.com, you will find yourself at CDF publications, which is where Cheryl sells her food storage cook books, but everything else she puts on there (information galore) she does out of the goodness of her heart.  The preparedness info I regularly post comes from her mailing list. I've learned there are about as many preparedness/food storage blogs out there as there are stakes in the Church, but by far, the best I have found are these two.  Do a bit of digging.  You'll be happy with what you find.



--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Preach My Gospel: Mormon Messages Channel on YouTube


Mormon Messages is an official channel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Each week, Mormon Messages provides short video segments about the Church's basic beliefs, as well as inspiring stories and messages of hope. Watch these gospel-centered videos and then share them with family, friends and those of other faiths.

Subscribing to this channel (using the subscribe button above) will allow you to receive email updates when new videos are added.

Link of the Week: Dieter F. Uchtdorf—Create



This spot, created from President Uchtdorf's General Relief Society message last September, is really terrific. It's my most favorite sermon from him. The Church has done a good job of distilling this 30-minute message into a two-minute spot, capturing its essence and yet making it available to those that don't speak 'Mormon.'

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

LDS.org - New Era Article - No One Will Ever Know

LDS.org - New Era Article - No One Will Ever Know

For all you old Olde Oaks folks, here's an article from Elder Ellis that appears in the February 2009 New Era.

Enjoy.

Weekly Update: Cooking Club

REMINDER: Cooking Club will be meeting at the Lewis' home at 7pm on
Feb 19th (Thurs). Claudia will be instructing on how to make
empanadas!

Monday, February 16, 2009

FYI: Crochet and Knitting Instructions for Newborn Hats

In the upcoming Stake Relief Society Enrichment Meeting, we will be making hats for newborns down at the Medical Center. If you would like to get a head start, here are the instructions:

Crochet Hats for Newborns

Materials: Soft, 3-ply baby yarn in color of your choice
(sparkly thread tends to be scratchy)
Size G crochet hook
Darning needle

Directions are given for small. Changes for medium and large are in parentheses.

Row 1: Chain 35 stitches

Row 2: Single crochet in second chain from hook and each remaining chain across until end of row. Chain 1 and turn.

Rows 3-42 (med—44 rows; large—46 rows):

Working in back loops throughout, single crochet in each single crochet to end of row, chain 1 and turn, repeat. At this point, the piece should measure 7½ inches from the first to the last stitch, and 8 inches (8½ inches for med; 9 inches for large) from the first row to row 42 (med—44; large 46).

Rotate: Turn the whole piece 90° so that what once were sides are now top and bottom, and what once were top and bottom are now sides. A ribbed effect should be evident.

Working along the top of hat, single crochet in first ending row stitch, skip next row*, single crochet in next ending row stitch, repeat from * across, ending with single crochet in last single crochet.

Optional Tassel

Chain 12, turn, slip stitch in next single crochet, chain 12, slip stitch in next single crochet, repeat from # across.

Finishing: Fasten off leaving 20- to 25-inch tail. Using a darning needle, weave tail through top of final row. Pull to draw closed. With wrong sides together, secure closure with a whip stitch. Using a whip stitch, sew back seam with remaining tail. Fasten off and weave end through whip stitch.


Knitted Hats for Newborns

1. Cast on 60 stitches
2. Knit 2, pearl 2 for 6"
3. Knit 2 together, pearl 2 together
4. Pearl one row
5. Knit 2 together
6. Pearl one row
7. Knit 2 together until you have 8 to 10 stitches
8. Pull yarn through remaining stitches and sew together
A little pom pom on the top is up to you

A more legible pdf version can be found here.

Sisters in Zion: A Special Thanks

I wanted to take a moment to thank all the sisters in the ward who provided service to the Johnson family in this difficult time for them. As we prepared for the luncheon, there were so many sisters wanting to help, it was difficult coming up with things for them to do.

I can't tell you what a relief it was to me to know everything was 'under control' because of the fabulous sisters of the Olde Oaks Ward. Every one of you came through for me. So, whether you brought in dinners to the Johnson home, helped with the luncheon, participated in the memorial service, provided childcare for others so they could attend, or provided some thoughtful service known only to a few, thank you. Your kindness is deeply felt.

Eve Lechaminant keeps the wee bits entertained.


These are probably the best disciplined children I've ever seen. I never knew five children could be so still.


They also serve who sit and wait: (l-r) Marjorie Ricker, Lorraine Ricker, and Verlayn Keller wait for the guests to arrive.


At the last minute, I looked at the bleak gym and said, 'Can you make that look—better?" The ladies were up to the challenge. Using spare wicker baskets and residual flowers, they whipped the place into shape in nothing flat.



April bullied us into standing still for a picture. She wanted something more than the empty gym and table settings. Go figure.

My peeps (at least, those who couldn't escape April's camera): (l-r)Jeanette Schadler, Donna Corbin, Penny Freeman, Rosalyn Davies, Lucy Stern.


The lady behind the camera, April Lewis. She really is as charming as she looks. (Yep, April. I grabbed this from your FB album.)

Blog of the Week: Let Us Prepare

From an email my sister sent me, I found "Let Us Prepare", which is a blog focusing on many different aspects of emergency preparedness. this blog to this handout, "Let There Be Light". which is very nicely done. Debbie Kent has done a fantastic job cataloging and evaluating various heat/power source options for when electricity is lost. This has obviously been compiled for a colder climate and would require a bit of re-prioritizing (less firewood, more propane/gasoline for generators, etc), but it's a fantastic reference. For future reference, should the above link cease to be available, I have uploaded this handout onto our download site, and you can find it here.

The blog itself offers information and videos on a smattering of various subjects, but her best features are her "challenges", such as, "this week, prepare to be stranded in your car overnight in a snowstorm." She then gives a list of the articles a family would need to store in their vehicle to survive such an eventuality. Again, climate differences have to be factored in, but for folks with preparedness priority paralysis, this blog provides a much needed nudge into your baby steps.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lucille Johnson's Funeral: Final Details

Tuesday, February 10, 2009: 
visitation at Earthman Resthaven Mortuary and Cemetery, 6-8pm.  Please note the change in time from previous information provided.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009: 
viewing at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Louetta building, 9-10:30am.
funeral services, 11:00 am
internment at Resthaven, by invitation
Family luncheon, approximately 1:30pm

Please note: previously scheduled visiting teaching interviews have been postponed for a week or two.  However, days of the week and time of your appointment will remain unchanged.  Watch your email or Olde Oaks Weekly Update for further information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

--
Penny Freeman
Gratitude is the essence of joy.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Preach My Gospel: Sister Lucille Johnson


A dear sister in our ward passed away today. She was an amazing lady with a powerful testimony of the Gospel. She wore out her life in preaching it and I greatly admire her for her testimony, her faithfulness, and her dedication to the Lord. When I reach my 85th year, I pray I may look back upon my life and know I have served the Lord to the best of my abilities, that as I am sure is the case with Sister Lucille, the Lord will welcome me with a profound 'well done'.

I wrote the following narrative as part of a letter to my son who was then serving in the California San Bernardino Mission, dated September 3, 2008. I wanted to share it here as a tribute to her and the life she led as the Lord's good and faithful servant.

I had an interesting experience last Wednesday that I wanted to tell you about. I went and sat with Sister Marsha Johnson’s mom, Lucille, while she went out to do RS stuff. I sat with her a couple of hours and chatted with her or listened to her stories the entire time. She told me her conversion story, which I’m certain you’ve heard, but she also told me lots of things I didn’t know.

Sister Lucille was born in Oklahoma, but when her mother died when she was nine, her father moved the family to Arkansas which was where he was from originally. Then, when her father died, her grandmother kept the boys but sent herself and her sister back to Oklahoma to live in an orphanage. When she was fifteen, she ran away to find her sister who was living independently. From there, she went to live with her uncle and worked on his farm, which she finally felt was home. She is 84 years old, so it was the height of the Great Depression when all this was going on, and she in the heart of the Dust Bowl.

As so many people did, she ended up married and in California. Her marriage didn’t last, as to use her words, ‘he was too handy with his fists’, and she refused to put up with it. As a young single mother, she got a job as a police officer and worked at La Jolla guarding submarines. Her brother had taught her to shoot when she was a child, as it was their job to go out hunting and bring home meat for the table. She told me she loved guns, (there were times she wanted to turn one on her abusive husband), and was the best sharp-shooter on the whole base, except for her instructor. She could light a match at twenty paces, which Brother Ricker refused to believe was possible until he went out to prove it to himself. She smiled when she recalled how hard they tried to do it because if one tiny lady could do it, certainly they could as well. She thought that maybe, perhaps they had finally done it.

She worked at the submarine base for about five years, and then decided to go back to her family in Arkansas. She traveled all across the country by herself, with her three children in tow. Then, she met her second husband, they married and moved to Houston. I think her oldest children were pretty much grown by the time Marsha and her brother, Randy, came along. At least, Marsha very rarely mentions them, and I was really shocked to learn of Sister Lucille’s first marriage and her children.

Anyway, when Marsha was about eight, the family was living in Houma, Louisiana, which is on the coast, about sixty miles southwest of New Orleans. Her husband worked in the oil fields there, and she worked as the chief bookkeeper for a chain of five grocery stores. Niggling questions about the Bible continued to vex her. When she asked her pastor questions, first he said, ‘we must have faith’, then came ‘I don’t know’, until finally he said, “You know, Mrs. Johnson, you really are becoming a problem.”

That was when she started investigating other religions, but none of the pamphlets or other information her friends had to offer gave her any satisfaction. One day, she mentioned this to one of her friends who happened to be a less active Mormon (I’m certain because of her isolation) and happened to have a Joseph Smith pamphlet in her car. Sister Lucille took it to be polite and after her friend left, went to the trash can to throw it away. That was the last thing she recalled until she found herself sitting at her kitchen table reading the pamphlet, the hair standing up on her head, it so electrified her. She knew that moment it was true and told her friend as much. She begged her for more reading material, but her friend told her, “No. You’re ready for the missionaries.”

That went as you would expect, but when it came time to the family to be baptized, they told her they must drive some distance. When they got there, they went to a specific house and into a back room which had a huge wooden box in it. It had originally been a crate in which they shipped oil field machinery, but they had painted it, I assume water-proofed it, and built ladders ‘coming and going’, as Sister Lucille put it. If they wanted a ‘real’ baptismal fount, they were told they must drive to New Orleans, which was a major trek at that time and in that undeveloped part of the state. In that crate she was baptized, as was her husband, and he baptized their daughter, Marsha. They were the first members of the Church ever in Homer, Louisiana. The rest is history, but it’s that history I want to tell you about.

As it happened, Sister Lucille was, as I said, the head bookkeeper for five supermarkets. As she required them, she would choose the sharpest and best cashiers from those stores and ask them if they wished to learn bookkeeping. Of course, they all jumped at the chance, she trained them herself, and soon Sister Lucille had a whole pool of bookkeepers working under her. One could say she was a woman of some influence.

After she joined the Church, as she put it, she ‘couldn’t keep it to myself’. She preached the Gospel to anyone who would listen, and every single one of ‘her girls’ joined the Church, as did their families. Before long, they had a branch up and running which filled her entire living room and burst out of it because neither could her friends keep the good news to themselves. As she said, she did the preaching and her husband did the baptizing.

In those days, the Church didn’t just build a chapel because it was needed. The saints had to come up with a big chunk of the money, and $1000 1960-dollars was a hefty amount. However, that is how much the Johnsons ultimately contributed to the building fund for their ward house. They quite literally built the Kingdom in Houma. They lived in there some years. It’s where she and Marsha ultimately call home. They eventually moved away to follow the work, but when they left Houma, their branch was well on its way to full ward status and the meeting house was eventually built. She told me that whenever they drive through, they have to see that chapel because they feel so much a part of it.

Needless to say, Sister Lucille takes great pleasure in relating this story and in contemplating just how many people she brought into the gospel. Of course, there is absolutely no way of telling just how far her testimony reached, for every single one of her girls remained steadfast in the Gospel and raised their families to do the same. When one considers how many missionaries must have been sent out into the world and how many children raised their own in the gospel as a result of their parents’ conversion, the influence of Sister Lucille and her husband staggers the mind.

And all this because one sister whose hardship and distance prevented her from regularly attending church meetings kept in her glove box a Joseph Smith pamphlet and was not too timid to share it. I asked Sister Lucille whatever became of her friend, if she starting coming back to church when they had established their branch, but she told me after she attended their baptism, she moved away and then died shortly thereafter. She never knew the results of her efforts.

But, how great must be her joy! When Sister Lucille finally meets her again, how they will rejoice in knowing that through them, the Lord bestowed blessings upon countless numbers. Whenever I wonder if what I am doing is enough or if it is worth it, I consider that ‘less active’ sister and hope that there are more like Sister Lucille who latch onto the truth I try to communicate and cannot keep the good news to themselves. That thought makes all the effort worth it.

So, that’s my homily for today. I hope it inspires you as much as it has me. With juggernauts like Sister Lucille, the Gospel cannot help but fill the whole earth. Like that stone cut out of the mountain without hands, it is unstoppable.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Jesus the Christ: Reflections of Christ

A brand new feature:

Sisters,

There is so much great material out there, I am starting a new weekly feature called "Jesus the Christ" to testify of the divinity of our Savior, such as the video below. If you come across any material, whether text, links, paintings, photography, or multimedia from any source (e.g., if you read a particularly inspiring Ensign article or conference talk, or a bit of music or a program on BYU.tv), or if you have personal faith-building experiences to share, please forward it to me and I will get it posted on this blog.

Deseret Book has created a virtual environment where uplifting videos posted on YouTube can be viewed without any exposure to the less savory which one stumbles upon at times on that site. They have embedded the video below which is a photographic depiction of events in the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It was originally shown as a presentation in the Mesa Arizona Temple Visitor's Center, and was then moved to the Joseph Smith Building in Salt Lake City. It is currently on tour throughout the US. Although the link above is commercial and independent of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the video is powerful and a must-see.

More information of the tour, ticket prices, and purchase of the video and music visit reflectionsofchrist.org, or Deseretbook.com.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Blog fo the Week: T F Stern's Rantings: DNA Evidence Supports Book of Mormon

T F Stern's Rantings: DNA Evidence Supports Book of Mormon

Hey, Sisters,

For those of you who were in Fast and Testimony today (and everyone else, for that matter), you might find this blog entry from Brother Stern interesting. I haven't had a chance to see the DVD myself, but it's definitely something that sounds exciting.

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Relief Society Song

We will be singing as a Relief Society in Sacrament on Feb. 8th, 2009. We will sing Hymn #310 A Key was Turned in Latter Days. Click HERE to listen to the music and practice! Using the tools at the left of the page you can practice parts separately if need be.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Houston North Stake Enrichment Meeting

Saturday, February 21, 2009

11am-2pm

Attire: Sunday Casual

Please arrive on time
Lunch will be provided

Those who knit or crochet please bring size 6 knitting needles or size G crochet hook
and if you have it
60 yards 3 ply yarn, good for babies-not sparkly or scratchy

Service projects will also be a part of the program, and the majority of supplies will also be provided. If you have fabric or batting just itching to become a quilt, let you RS Presidency know.

Bring those you Visit Teach
Bring Single Sisters

Laurels (especially 2nd year) are invited

No Nursery Provided

Of One Heart and One Mind

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Food for Thought: Tribute to Carissa

As personal as are these next two videos (Carissa is my niece, her mom my sister), they testify so strongly of our Savior, Jesus Christ, they need to be shared.

Of nearly equal importance, they show the lives one person can affect through their example during the short tenure of their life.

I hope you take the time to watch them, and that they strengthen your testimony of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, as it has done mine.

Food for Thought: Tribute to Carissa Part 2

Sunday, January 11, 2009

FYI: ABC News Covers the Draper Utah Temple Open House

ABC News

Here's a story ABC's Nightline did about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the opening of the Draper Temple.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Link of the Week: A Tour Of The New Mormon Temple : NPR

A Tour Of The New Mormon Temple : NPR

In this short piece, NPR does a good job covering the opening of the Draper Temple to the public this week, including short sound bits from Elders Ballard and Christofferson.
All Things Considered, January 9, 2009 · A new Mormon Temple in a Salt Lake City suburb is a public relations opportunity for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's a controversial time for Mormons, given criticism over Church involvement in Proposition 8 in California and other recent issues.
The interior pictures to which the commentator refers are actually found here at newsroom.lds.org.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Recipe of the Week: The Six O'Clock Scramble

Healthy Meals, 30 Minute Meals, Quick Easy Dinner Recipes, Family Meal Planning

The Six O’Clock Scramble® is an online dinner planning service.

AS A SUBSCRIBER YOU’LL RECEIVE EACH WEEK:

  • Five family-tested, healthy and delicious and quick DINNER RECIPES THAT TAKE 30 MINUTES OR LESS TO PREPARE
  • An ORGANIZED GROCERY LIST so you can grocery shop just once per week
  • A SEARCHABLE DATABASE where you can customize your weekly dinner plan
  • Your own personal RECIPE BOX where you can save your family's favorites 30 minute meals
  • A newsletter with USEFUL TIPS for easier mealtimes, snacks and lunches
  • NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION for each recipe to help you take charge of your health

For folks like me constantly casting about for something different to fix for dinner, especially if you're stuck in a rut of the same seven meals week after week, this service seems well-worth the price of $5 a month. They advertise themselves as 'family friendly', and a cursory glance shows them conservative in the budget department as well.

Here is their mini meatloaf muffins recipe: (printable version)

MINI MEATLOAF MUFFINS
    Servings & Prep Time

    Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 6 · serving size: 2 muffins

    Special Features
  • Dairy-free
  • Kosher-style or Kosher Alternative
  • Nut-free
  • Low-Sodium
  • Make ahead/Freezable

My friend, Kirsten Thistle, shared this fun recipe for mini meatloaves. Both of our families gobbled these little cuties right up. One advantage of making the meatloaf in muffin tins is that they cook in half the time of a big meatloaf. Serve it with baked potatoes and steamed green beans with mustard-lemon sauce.

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1-2 carrots, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic, (1 - 2 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs, or use crushed crackers
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

(If you are making baked potatoes in the oven, start them first.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions, carrots, oregano and garlic for 3 - 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove them from the heat and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, then add the onion and carrot mixture, and stir thoroughly.

Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon the meat mixture into the individual cups, dividing evenly (each mini meatloaf should completely fill a muffin cup). Bake the meatloaf muffins for 30 minutes. (Meanwhile, prepare the green beans, if you are serving them.) Remove them from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes before serving, or refrigerate them for up to 2 days before reheating and serving.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Serve the meatloaf with barbecue sauce.

Tip:

You can make the meatloaf mixture in advance and bake them just before dinner, or bake them up to 2 days in advance, as meatloaf gets even tastier after a day or two.

SERVE WITH BAKED POTATOES & GREEN BEANS WITH MUSTARD LEMON SAUCE

To make baked potatoes, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pierce 3 - 6 russet potatoes in several places. (If you don't have time to bake them, prepare the potatoes in the microwave: Cook them on high for about 10 minutes, flipping them once, until they are tender when pierced with a knife. If they are not done after 10 minutes, keep checking every 2 minutes.) For baking: For a crispier skin, rub the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt before baking. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake them for 50-60 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork, turning them once. While the potatoes are cooking, make a sauce with 1 cup low fat or nonfat sour cream or yogurt, 1/4 cup salsa, 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions or chives. Slice the potatoes in half, and serve them topped with a thin layer of butter or margarine and with the sour cream sauce.

To make the green beans, trim 1 lb. of green beans and cut them in half crosswise. Bring 1/2 inch of water to a boil. Add the green beans, cover, reduce the heat and steam them for 6 - 8 minutes until they reach desired tenderness. Drain them, return them to the pot, and stir in 2 tsp. butter or margarine, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, and the juice of 1/4 lemon. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

FYI: Time Out for Women - Time Out for Women 2009, Houston, TX

Time Out for Women - Time Out for Women 2009, Houston, TX

This two-day event is a sort of mini Education Week that comes to Houston I believe twice a year. It is not sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, it is a wonderful opportunity to take one day for yourself and regenerate and refresh your mind and spirit. Remember, a happy mom equals a happy family. Seminars and performances will be given by LDS 'personalities' such as Sheri L. Dew, Kenneth Cope, Abe Mills, etc.

Seminar topics include:
  • TBA by Sheri L. Dew
  • Rest Assured by Mary Ellen Edmunds
  • The Best Time to Be Alive by Chris Stewart
  • Weakness: Your Curse . . . or Your Blessing? by Wendy Ulrich
  • Skills from the Scriptures (for Good Times & Bad) by Brent L. Top
Musical performances from:
  • Jenny Jordan Frogley
  • Abe Mills
  • Kenneth Cope

Although tickets may seem a bit pricey, they always sells out and ladies I know who have attended have always felt it was well worth the price. Tickets can be purchased for Friday, Saturday, or both.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

For the Strength of Youth: A Brand New Year



A Brand New Year

Sisters,

On New Year's Eve, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broadcast via satellite from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, "A Brand New Year". This was a special production of music, dancing, and inspiration by and to the youth of the Church all over the world, during which the new YM/YW theme for 2009 was introduced. Any of you who have seen it know how uplifting and enlarging it was, as well as the Spirit that prevailed as both youth and leaders of the Church bore their testimonies of the truthfulness of the Gospel and their love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. More than 500 young people participated in the orchestra, choir, and stage crew, and truly dazzled all with their talent.


In conjunction with the program, the Church has launched a new website called "A Brand New Year". Chock full of the latest web effects and widgets, the Church has made it the Youth's site on lds.org. I highly recommend it to all of you, whether or not you have teenagers. Here are some of the features:
  • Read: Read current or past New Era Magazines, as well as search for articles or key words.
  • Photo Gallery: Lots of pictures taken during the rehearsal and performance of "A Brand New Year".
  • Listen: Download MP3's from "A Brand New Year", as well as ring tones, a great way to keep the music and the message fresh in anyone's thoughts. Also really great is the 'print music' feature, which allows members throughout the world to make "A Brand New Year" music their own songs.
  • Watch the Videos: Recording of the production in several three- to five-minute segments. Full of catchy tunes, amazing production values, and uplifting messages, each individual piece or taken as a whole can provide an excellent addition or focus of your Family Home Evening.
  • Commit: A place to print out personal commitment cards, as well as to subscribe to the site's e-newsletter.
  • Share: This is the comment section where youth are encouraged to share their own experiences as they keep their commitments to pray daily, read the Book of Mormon daily, and to be happy, as well as read the thoughts of others.
  • Resources: A great place for young people to go to read the scriptures online, watch, listen, or read messages from General Conference, learn about a specific gospel topic, access the New Era Magazines, and a terrific set of activities to help memorize the Scripture Mastery scriptures. Other sites on their links list include: LDS.org, Mormom.org, JesusChrist.lds.org, and Especially for Youth.
  • Widgets: This is a tool which can be used to embed music and video on personal sites and blogs, such as the one in the right-hand column of this page. This is a great way for teenagers to share what matters to them with their friends, and can be a terrific missionary tool.

Visit the site, watch the video, surf through the different features, and find new ways to inspire your family with the joy that is the gospel of Jesus Christ.