Wednesday, August 19, 2009

{Nienie, you are my hero}

Since my blog is focused around "inspiration", I wanted to do a post specifically about one very incredible women who has inspired me in ways I don't even know how to adequately express. I'm SURE many (or most) of you have heard of Stephanie Nielson and her blog the nienie dialogues. If you HAVEN'T heard of her (or of her family) this is one story YOU MUST READ! It is the most beautiful story of love, peace, and hope.

I started reading Nienie's blog over a year ago. My cute friend Tara had been reading her blog and shared it with me. My oldest daughter was about to start Kindergarten and like most mothers I was having some very mixed emotions about my little princess being old enough to go to school! Tara had told me about a post that Nienie had recently done about a 'Back to School Feast' in honor of her daughters starting the new school year. No detail was left out in Nienie's dinner honoring her daughters. The table was decorated to a "T" with her most beautiful dishes, home made crowns were made for the girls to wear, they toasted to the new year, and even had a fashion show. As I read this post about this fabulous feast, I thought, "this is my kind of women". I was immediately intrigued by Nienie. As I continued to read more and more of Nienie's blog I soon discovered that she is not only an incredible mother, but she has an incredible testimony of the Gospel, she is madly in love with her husband, she's got spunk & sas (which I love), and she has her priorities right where they NEED to be. WHO wouldn't want to be like her?

Shortly after I started reading her blog, Nienie and her husband were in a plane crash and were both seriously injured. I was in total shock. It is so unbelievable how in a blink of an eye life can change so quickly. I continued to follow Nienie's story of recovery through her sisters blog, cjane (who is equally as delightful). I didn't realize last year when I just happened upon Nienie's blog, that her story, her families story, would change my life. I have prayed for this family, I have fasted for this family, and I have shed many, many tears while following their story. I have been deeply touched by their powerful messages of strength, courage, and faith. I don't even know how to put into words the impact this beautiful story has had on my life. I know that Heavenly Father lead me to this story to help me through my own trials, to help me re-focus my life on WHAT REALLY MATTERS, to put my life into better perspective and to strengthen my testimony. What an incredible GIFT!

Last year was our first year doing OUR back to school FEAST for our children. We made yummy food, invited great friends to join us, set goals for the year, had a rockin' fashion show, and then finished our evening with Priesthood Blessings given by the Fathers. It was so much fun and a tradition that we will carry on throughout our children's school years. Sadly school started today and we have not yet had our 2009 'Back To School Feast'. Our family has just moved and my husband is still working out of state, but AS SOON as he is HOME with us we will have our feast, I can hardly wait, the plans are already being made, and they kids are so excited!

With Love,


*** To Nienie, you may never read this, but I wanted to Thank You for the amazing women that you are. You are truly a treasure, an instrument in Gods hands. Congratulations on climbing the "Y", WHAT an accomplishment! You are such a beautiful daughter of our Heavenly Father, both INSIDE AND OUT!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

FaMiLy Emergency Binder

So I have to admit, I have only made it to week 8, but my family emergency binder has already come in handy a number of times. We recently moved, but had put majority of our belongings in storage for a few months. Having my Emergency Binder has been so nice for finding copies of birth certificates, the kids shot records, etc... I know that this is a big project, but I think that everyone needs one of these. You just never know when disaster is going to strike and in a moments notice you could loose everything. Last summer a tornado ripped through our old neighborhood and completely destroyed several homes. I remember thinking OVER & OVER again, "that could have been US". The tornado did in fact effect us personally because we still owned our home and had it rented out at the time. The tornado ripped a huge portion of the roof right off the house. Luckily the tenants were safely in the basement at the time. That experience was proof to me that no one is exempt from a disaster effecting their family!!

As soon as we get all moved into our new house and I FIND all of my documents etc... I am going to GET TO WORK on finishing my Emergency Binder, I wouldn't want to be caught with out it if another disaster comes our way!!



(All of this info is from a very dedicated "Emergency Preparedness Coordinator" in my ward(church) back in Kansas City)

If you had to suddenly leave your home due to impending natural disaster, and had only a few minutes to gather everything you would need, including important papers, family history, and treasured pictures, how long would it take you?

Vital financial records should be kept in a safe place. Copies of these documents should be available for taking with you if you have to leave your home in an emergency. As an alternative, you could scan these documents into your computer and take a disc or flash drive instead of paper copies.

This year, we are going to assemble a Vital Records Binder that will contain the important information you would need and want to take with you. We will do it week by week through a small task each week—“…by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”

Week 1-Locate or purchase a 2” binder with 50 - 100 plastic page protectors. Purchase tabbed dividers, if desired, to divide the book into sections. Store the Ward Emergency Plan in the binder.

Week 2-Locate birth certificates for all family members. Make copies and put in binder.

Week 3-Locate Social Security cards for all family members. Make copies and put in binder.

Week 4-Make copies of driver’s licenses and put in binder.

Week 5-Make copies of passports and put in binder.

Week 6-Make copies of important phone numbers and addresses and put in binder. Include family, friends, doctors, dentist, business and other important numbers.

Week 7-Scan non-digital photos and burn all digital photos to a CD or flash drive. Put in one of the sheet protectors in the binder.

Week 8-Copy family history records to a cd or flash drive and put in binder.

Week 9- Locate voter cards, make copies, and put in binder.

Week 10-: Locate three years of tax returns, make copies, and put in binder, or copy tax files to a CD and store the tax software with the tax files in the binder.

Week 11-Locate recent investment statements, one for each account including 401K, make copies, and put in binder.

Week 12-If you use electronic money management programs such as Quicken or Microsoft Money, copy data files to CD and put cd for software program in binder.

Week 13-Locate your most recent bank statements, make copies, and put in binder

Week 14-Locate credit card statements, make copies, and put in binder—or alternatively, make copies of front and back of all credit cards.

Week 15- Locate loan payoff papers, make copies, and put in binder.
Locate recent Social Security Statement, make copies, and put in binder.

Week 16-
1. Locate all car titles and registrations, make copies, and put in binder.
2. Locate auto loan papers, make copies, and put in binder.
3. Make copy of recent auto insurance statement and put in binder.
4. Locate copy of any extended warranties, make a copy, and put in binder.

Week 17-Locate all Life insurance policies, make copies, and put in binder. Make a copy of your wills and put in binder. If you have a trust, make a copy and put in binder.

Week 18-
Make copies of:
Marriage License (Divorce/custody papers)
Citizenship Papers
Military Records
Prepaid Burial contracts
Adoption Papers

Week 19-
Prepare list of medications for each family member.
Make copies of any important medical or dental records and put in binder.
Make copies of all health and dental insurance cards, both sides, and put in binder
Make copy of living will and put in binder.
Locate all Immunization Records, make copies, and put in binder.

Week 20-
Make copies of any professional licenses and put in binder.
Make copies of any important business papers and put in binder.
Make copy of updated resume and put in binder (includes job and education dates that may be difficult to remember.
Make copies of company benefits statements and put in binder.
Make copies of degrees and professional licenses and put in binder.

Week 21-
Locate recent house payment statement, make copy, and put in binder.
Locate homeowner’s insurance policy, make copy, and put in binder.
Locate all recent utility bills including cell phone, make copies, and put in binder
Conduct a home inventory, print and put in binder.
Take a video or pictures of all items in your home, burn to CD and put in binder. binder