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Pantry and Food Storage Organization

Pantry and Food Storage Organization

I received a sample of the chalk markers to help facilitate the writing of a honest review. This post may contain affiliate links.

Over the years, I have tried a variety of different items to label and organize my food pantry and food storage. For many years, I used Tupperware Modular Mates for all of my food storage needs and just applied small labels to the containers. (Here is a picture of my gluten free pantry while using modular mates.) This worked great as it made for easy moves and kept our food bug-free, but as I learned more about some of the concerns with plastic and food, I decided that I no longer wanted to use plastic with food whenever possible.

I gradually transitioned to using glass jars for my pantry storage. Our food actually tasted better when stored in glass. It was a bit of a pain to move, but everything made it without an issue. (The military movers would move our food if it was in Tupperware, but they wouldn’t move the glass jars of food as they weren’t sealed. We ended up moving them ourselves.) For my other bulk food storage, I transitioned to using 2, 3, and 5 gallon buckets with mylar bags and gamma lids.

One of the issues that I have had with using glass jars and buckets is labeling. I’ve tried a variety of different products, but I couldn’t find one that allowed for flexibility in what was stored in the jars. While there are some things that are consistent in my pantry, there are other things that are in constant flux. I loved the look of paper labels, but they didn’t allow for changing of jar contents nor washing of the jars.

Colore Chalk Marker Review

When I found the chalkboard labels, I knew that I had found my solution for the jars. My only issue was writing on them with regular chalk. It looked bad, and it was hard to read. When I saw the Colore Chalk Markers, I thought it might be the answer to the issue. They came in a variety of colors and worked on different non-porous surfaces. Each marker has the option of two different tips – chisel and bullet. You just flip the tip to use whichever style you want.

I found the chisel tip to be a bit of a pain to use, but the bullet tip worked well for me. Now, I don’t have fancy handwriting, so it may not look as pretty as something that is printed out. Even so, they work for me. I can easily wipe off the label when I want to put something new in the jar. I can even write directly on the jar if I want which is nice for those times that I’ve run out of labels.

Food Storage

Since I’m still in the process of switching my labels to the chalkboard labels, the jars in my pantry don’t look quite as pretty as they do when they all have the same labels, but I’m liking the new chalkboard labels especially now that I’m using the chalk markers. I look forward to when all of the jars have the new labels as it looks much nicer when they all match, but for now, I’ll just switch out the labels a little at a time.

For my buckets, I’ve started using self-adhesive poly pockets. I just stick them on the buckets and then insert the business sized cards that I have printed on cardstock. It allows me to change out the labels easily when needed. I can even change the style/design/color of the labels if needed/wanted.

These two labeling techniques have allowed me to get my pantry and food storage organized in a way that works for my eat-what-you-store, store-what-you-eat method of food storage. My food storage is basically just bulk storage for the items that are in my regular pantry stores.

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Explore Dinosaur National Monument with Noah Justice

Explore Dinosaur National Monument with Noah Justice

Special thanks to New Leaf Publishing Group for providing a review copy of this dvd. This post contains affiliate links.

Munchkin is my future paleontologist if all goes as planned. She has loved all things dinosaur from a very young age. In fact, it was her love of dinosaurs that originally lead us to find the resources from Master Books and Answers in Genesis. I wanted some resources from a biblical viewpoint to balance out all of the evolutionary content of most of the dinosaur resources that we had on hand.

Needless to say, when the Awesome Science series decided to visit Dinosaur National Monument, Munchkin was rather excited. She previously wanted to visit the national monument, but after watching the video, she has decided that we definitely need to take a trip. It also solidified the idea that she really wants to go on a dig.

We’ve been watching the Awesome Science series from the very beginning. It’s been fun watching Noah Justice grow up as the series continues as he and Munchkin are close in age. While much of the original footage was filmed when he was younger, the film has been put together in a manner that shows the footage with an older Noah. When you view the behind the scenes footage, you see a much younger Noah. The bloopers contain footage of both the younger and older Noah. You’ll want to watch the additional footage under the bonus features as it provides even more information as well as some entertainment.

In Explore Dinosaur National Monument with Noah Justice, viewers are given a look at some of the formations and fossils at Dinosaur National Monument from a biblical, seven-day creation viewpoint. It gives an alternative perspective into how the formations and fossils were formed. Just be warned, if you have dinosaur fanatic in your home, they may walk away from this video really wanting to go to the Dinosaur National Monument.

Awesome Science Dinosaur National Monument DVDDVD Overview:

In 1909, a huge deposit of dinosaur bones were found on the western side of the Rockies, in a vast area of western Colorado and eastern Utah of which 200,000 acres have been set aside as the Dinosaur National Monument. Explore this mysterious area and learn:

  • Which are the most common dinosaur fossils found at this huge site
  • What are the various rock layers in which the fossils have been discovered
  • The significance of fossil Unio clam shells, Native American petroglyphs, & more!

This series is produced by Kyle Justice, whose work has appeared on such networks as National Geographic, ESPN, and the Outdoor Channel, along with his creative homeschool-family team. Teen host Noah Justice serves as your guide to truth on the ground at national parks and other geologic locations, bringing you an educational and entertaining adventure!

DVD Details:

  • Actors: Noah Justice
  • Directors: Kyle Justice
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Compel Media
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 2014
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • ASIN: B00JOP59MQ
  • Retail Price: $14.99

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Emergency Light: SuperNova 300 Lantern

SuperNova 300 Review

Special thanks to Intervine Technologies for providing a sample of their product for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links.

No matter where you live in the country, you always need to be prepared for natural disasters. Throughout our time in the military, we’ve lived in places that have been hit with floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, mudslides tropical storms, blizzards, and a variety of other weather related situations. We’ve also lived in areas where the power went out on a regular basis for no apparent reason. Because we’ve been through all of these situations, we’ve found it important to have a variety of different lighting devices available at our house as part of our emergency kit.

SuperNova 300 Top Carry Handle

We have flashlights, candles, oil lamps, and lanterns available for use as they all serve different purposes. I tend to stay away from candles and oil lamps when the power is out when possible, but we have them just in case. I prefer to stick to either battery operated or handcrank units for our lighting when the power is out.

Recently, I had the opportunity to test out the SuperNova 300 LED lantern in our home. Thankfully, we haven’t had any emergency situations lately, so it was more of an every day use test. Because we live in a location where there are no street lights, it’s nice to have portable lighting available on a regular basis.

SuperNova 300 Bottom Hook

I was pleasantly surprised at the smaller size of this lantern. It stands a little over seven inches tall, and the base is roughly 3.25 inches across. The square, rubber base provides stability and grip. In addition, the required 3 D sized batteries in the base provide weight, so the lantern does not easily get knocked or blown over. (That’s important when you live in an area that has high winds on a regular basis.) The batteries can be a bit of a pain to install unless you line up the slot on the base to the ridge on the battery compartment before trying to twist on base onto the battery compartment.

SuperNova 300 Low Light Setting

The lantern has 3 different settings: high, low, and strobe. You switch between the settings by pressing the power button. You can also remove the top of the lantern if you want a more focused light. The lantern has both a normal handle for hanging/carrying as well as a bottom hook for hanging upside down. The lantern has a small green blinking light right above the power button that can not be disabled. It’s not overly bright, but it’s bright enough that locating the lantern in the dark is easy.

SuperNova 300 High Light Setting

The lantern comes with a 5 year warranty. I always appreciate when a company stands behind their product with a solid warranty.

Overall, I’m impressed with the size and brightness of the lantern. I like that it is durable and sturdy. We tend to be in a lot of windy locations, so having something that has a little weight to it is a good thing. It provides ample light for most situations including camping and power outages.

Whether you’re looking to add a lantern to your camping equipment or to your emergency supplies, I have no problem recommending this compact lantern.

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Confessions of a Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son

Special thanks to Family Christian for providing a review copy of this movie. This post contains affiliate links.

Most of us have either read or heard the story of the prodigal son in the Bible. It’s a story of heartache, love, and redemption. It was told to try to help us understand the love of our heavenly father. Confessions of a Prodigal Son is a modern take on a timeless story told from the perspective of the prodigal son.

Because it is the story of the prodigal son, it’s not necessarily suitable for younger children. It has drinking and partying as a main theme while the son, Sean, tries to figure out what he wants out of life. A college professor gives Sean’s class an assignment – to see their life as a story – which leads Sean down a path of contemplation and discovery, but it isn’t until he hits rock bottom that he truly begins to reflect on what his story will become.

I enjoyed this different look at the parable of the prodigal son. It was interesting to see the story from the viewpoint of the prodigal son.

Confessions of a Prodigal SonMovie Overview:

A coming-of-age tale following Sean (Nathan Clarkson) as he rebels and leaves his home, family and father (Kevin Sorbo) to figure out life on his own. Two years later–while still on the journey to find life’s answers–Sean suddenly finds himself questioning everything he thought he knew as he is confronted by a professor (Darwin Harris) who challenges Sean to see his life as a story; a best friend (Azel James) walking a dangerous path; and a strong and beautiful young woman (Rachael Lee) who is on her own journey to answers. Each one of these elements causes Sean to greater examine the choices he is making. The story is one of drama, laughter, relationships, faith, and redemption, ultimately asking the question “Can broken stories have happy endings?

Movie Details:

 

  • Actors: Kevin Sorbo, Nathan Clarkson, Rachael Lee, Azel James
  • Directors: Allan Spiers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Cinedigm
  • DVD Release Date: March 24, 2015
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • ASIN: B00R8ILF06

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Growing a Strong Marriage: Starting Strong

Starting Strong

Special thanks to Hendrickson Publishers for providing a review copy of this marriage study.

A Christian marriage starts off with a covenant not only with each other but also with the Lord. A covenant with each other should never be taken lightly. A covenant with the Lord should never be broken. Marriage is more than a piece of paper and should be taken very seriously. Because of this, couples should enter into marriage with a great foundation and understanding of the journey ahead. Marriage is a lifelong adventure filled with ups and downs, and there are certain to be growing pains along the way.

Roughly a month ago, D and I began the Growing a Strong Marriage: Starting Strong study. It’s set up for a group setting with a video session, study guide, and group discussion questions. It also has at-home questions for the couples. We chose to do the study as a couple, so each week for the last 4 weeks, we popped in the dvd, took turns reading the study guide, answered questions, and talked. Even though we’ve been married for nearly 18 years and we’ve been together for much longer, we enjoyed going through the study together.

The month-long (4 session) marriage study took us down memory lane, had us talking about the present, and gave us the opportunity to talk about the future. We, once again, found ourselves seeing that we approach life and marriage a little differently than many others. Because of this, our take-away from the study may not be the same as others, so I thought it might be good to share a little of our journey through the study rather than just write a review.

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Week One: How We Met – Building a Strong, Biblical Marriage Foundation

The video covered some introductory videos on how several of the couples met, and what their relationships looked like as they got to know each other. The study guide dove into the topic of Biblical marriage. Basically, it was an introduction into the ideas that would be covered more in-depth later in the study.

Week one was all about what a Godly marriage looks like and what the Bible says about marriage. It was a great opportunity to look back at the beginnings of our marriage and some of the ups and downs that went along with understanding our God-given roles as husband and wife.

It’s been a long time since D and I have talked about when we first met. We were very young (junior high, not even teenagers yet). So much has changed since those days. We’ve grown up and matured together. Looking back, we can see some of the mistakes that we made in those early days – including the early days of our marriage. Our more mature selves can even see why those mistakes were made. Thankfully, we both went into marriage knowing that it was a covenant between us and the Lord; we knew that divorce was not an option. We understood our roles in marriage even though, in the early stages of marriage, we weren’t exactly sure how to put that into practice.

Lesson Take-away: Don’t forget to talk about our shared vision for life, for marriage, for family…

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Week Two: Moving into Oneness – We’re in this Together

In this session, the video covers how the couples fought against drifting apart as well as accepting spouses as a whole person. The study guide dives a little deeper into the idea of being intentional in your marriage, the idea of sharing a vision, and the idea of embracing the differences that make spouses unique.

We’ve been pretty fortunate in our marriage as we have seen ourselves as partners in marriage from the very beginning. I don’t know if it’s because we went into marriage as really good friends and having gone through some difficult times already, or it it’s because we went through various times of separations due to D’s military service. Whatever the case, we didn’t take are time together for granted. That’s not to say that life was perfect, but we have always fought against the drifting stage in our marriage.

D commented that he felt it was probably a little easier for us to stay connected because we weren’t/aren’t on two different career paths that naturally pulled us in opposite directions. We try to make sure our lives aren’t too busy for each other. Yes, there are times that we have little or no time together, but we still try to stay connected by keeping the lines of communication open which helps us avoid the pitfall of feeling isolated from each other.

Lesson Take-away: Don’t take my spouse or marriage for granted.

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Week Three: Identity in Christ – You Complete Me

In this session, the couples talk about how Christ is the only one who can fill the void in our lives. Christ is where our sense of security, identity, and love should come from – not other people (including spouses). They also talked about letting go of unrealistic expectations. The study guide dives deeper into the concept of letting go of unrealistic expectations as well as finding out identity in Christ.

D and I often say to each other “You complete me”, and we very much mean it. We know that we are better together than we are apart. We know that our strengths and weaknesses balance each other out. We know that we accept each other and don’t expect perfection because we are imperfect people. Knowing that we’re free to be ourselves gives us freedom in our marriage.

Of course, we had to laugh when we came to the portion in the study guide where it kinda knocks the idea of your spouse completing you. We understood what it was saying, but we don’t completely agree with how it was stated. The Lord, if we allow Him to work in us and our marriage, truly does use us to make each other better people. In that way, even though we are individuals, we do complete each other.

Lesson Take-away: Christ should be the head of the household. Having realistic expectations of my spouse makes for a happier, healthier marriage.

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Week Four: Paths to Christ in Marriage – Biblical Love and Marriage

This week, the couples talked about how Satan is an enemy of marriage and how this plays itself out within a marriage. They also talked about how spouses need to constantly work on becoming more like Christ. The study guide dug a little deeper into the concept of roles in marriage as well as what love should look like in marriage.

Of all the sessions, this session was probably the one that we liked the least. After watching the videos, we thought “so, if there isn’t conflict, if we’re not struggling, if it isn’t hard, then we don’t have a good marriage?” Hmm… The other issue was how the video glossed over biblical love in a marriage. While the study guide did a better job of explaining biblical love within a marriage, it still didn’t really cover the significance of how deep Christ’s love for us, for the church really was and what that all that entailed. When scripture is telling husband’s to love their wives as Christ loved the church, it’s a huge! It really is dying to self, putting the other person’s needs first, and loving unconditionally. Obviously, as sinners, there is no way on this earth that a husband can truly accomplish this, but it’s the goal to strive for within marriage.

The other thing that we had a bit of an issue with was the focus on marriage being the path to each individual becoming holy. There is no way that we, as sinners, can become holy. In fact, D and I don’t strive for holiness as that is something reserved for God. Instead, we strive to be like Christ. Now, that may just be semantics, but it’s something that we struggled with in the session. Either way, we agree that our spouse can help us become more like Christ, and they should be helping us become better individuals, become stronger in our faith, and grow in our relationship with the Lord. They should be helping us become the men and women that the Lord desires us to be.

Lesson Take-away: I need to fulfill my biblical role in marriage and help my spouse become the person the Lord wants him to be.

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Final Thoughts

Both D and I enjoyed this marriage study. While we didn’t always agree with the wording, we did agree with the message (for the most part) that was being shared. It was interesting hearing from different couples about the trials and triumphs in their marriages. The best part is that D and I had the opportunity to sit down every week to discuss our marriage, our hopes, our dreams, our goals. The study helped us focus on different aspects of our marriage and reminded us, once again, to never take our marriage, our relationship for granted.

We would recommend this study for either a group setting or an at-home setting. Yes, it’s set up for a group, but it can easily be used just by a couple. The benefit of doing it in a group setting is that you get the shared wisdom of members of the group. A study like this works for couples no matter where they are in their marriage journey.

Growing a Strong Marriage - Starting StrongAbout the Growing a Strong Marriage Study Series

  • Vol. 1 Starting Strong
  • ISBN: 978-1-61970-588-3
  • Pack (Study Guide & DVD)
  • Retail: $29.95
  • Products also available individually

Just as Christ transforms individuals from the inside out, he is also working on the heart of your marriage. Through this video Bible study series, learn to cultivate and enjoy a beautiful marriage that’s rooted and grounded in Christ. Because whether you have been married for a few years or thirty years, there is always room to grow!

In Starting Strong (volume 1), learn about the importance of cultivating a strong and solid biblical foundation. The candid, never-before-seen video interviews with your favorite marriage experts will help you explore what it means to have shared vision, unity, and belief in your spouse, as well as how to find your true identity in Jesus. Through touching and personal stories, timeless wisdom, and sage advice, you’ll glean spiritual understanding and inspiration for a lifetime of marriage.

Four DVD sessions, ranging from 8 to 20 minutes long, feature touching interviews and personal advice from:

  • John and Staci Eldredge
  • Chip and Theresa Ingram
  • Gordon and Gail MacDonald
  • Les and Leslie Parrott
  • Art and Lysa TerKeurst
  • Gary and Lisa Thomas

About study guide author, Amy McGowan:

Amy McGowan holds a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies (Ouachita Baptist University) and a Master of Arts in Religion in marriage and family counseling (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary). She has a passion to help strengthen marriages and teaches marriage enrichment seminars alongside her husband.

You can learn more about the Growing a Strong Marriage study series by heading over to their website.

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