Beginner’s Guide to Emergency Preparation

Everything you need to know to get started

How do you being preparing for disasters?

Hopefully you will find this to be helpful, no matter how much preparation you have or have not already done.

There are four questions you should answer before you get started:

  1. Why?
  2. What?
  3. Who?
  4. How long?

It’s very important to answer and understand these questions to know how to prepare along the way.

Don’t just plan to survive, plan to thrive.

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe is an emergency preparation and survival expert.He was a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy, a volunteer firefighter, a paramedic, a reserve police officer and a Boy Scout Troop Scoutmaster. He has an extensive list of experiences, trainings and certifications that qualify him as an expert among experts. Tom is married to Carla, and between them, they have six children and nine grandchildren. They live in Urbandale, Iowa. Tom also happens to be Jenni’s dad!

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Meet Our Emergency Prep Expert

January's Guest Blogger Tom Wolfe

Our guest blogger has such an extensive list of credentials that we needed to devote an entire blog JUST to introducing him to you.

Tom (or I should say Dad because he also happens to be my dad) will be posting a blog each week that goes deeper into that week’s radio show topic.

Emergency Prep Expert

Tom Wolfe with Ben Carson

In case you missed it in our earlier blog introducing this month’s topic, each week we will cover a different aspect of Emergency Preparation and Survival.

Take a look…

Week 1 — Getting Started on Emergency Preparation

Week 2 — Meeting Your Basic Needs

Week 3 — Extended Preparedness

Week 4 — Wilderness Survival

So without further adieu, meet your expert for this month!

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Exciting Plans for 2018

A sneak peek at January

We have exciting plans for you in 2018. In fact, we’re so stoked about what’s coming that we just had to end this year with a sneak peek at January.

In 2017 we saw some pretty serious natural events cause massive problems for people in different parts of the U.S.

Hurricane Harvey devastated many people in Texas.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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A Spectacular View of Another Culture

Review of the Pixar Movie Coco

coco

Pixar has wowed us once again! Their newest film Coco is an exquisite look at the Mexican observance of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), an annual holiday that honors deceased loved ones. As usual, Pixar has created not only a visual masterpiece but also a story that appeals to kids and adults.

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his hero, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

I happen to be married to a guitar player, and he and my son are going to see the movie tonight for my son’s birthday. I just know my husband is going to be thrilled with the film’s attention to musical detail.

Jody and I had the opportunity to go see the film before it hit theaters, and as we left, we talked about how much we loved it, but how we are also pretty sure there’s a whole section of the Christian community who will avoid it because of it’s spiritual depictions. Here’s our take on it. If a family feels a particular conviction about avoiding any subject matter that portrays different religious views, then we would say it’s best to sit this one out.

As for us, we are comfortable giving our kids a glimpse of other cultures and then having discussions about how their beliefs differ from ours. We’ve always found these conversations to be great faith builders for our kids, and we have felt that it is important for our children to understand different cultures. So, if you’re unsure, just pray. God will show you what’s best for your family.

The one caution we would offer is that it might be best to keep very young ones home. There are parts of the film that may be scary for little children.

On the whole, we give this film a big thumbs up for its gorgeous animation, engaging story (it’s The Book of Life meets Kubo and The Two Strings) and fascinating look at the Mexican culture.

Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opened in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Catch a Rising Star This Weekend!

A movie review of The Star

the star

If your family wasn’t already planning to go to the movies this weekend, I hope this post will change your mind. Sony Pictures Animation’s The Star looks like it is going to be a blast! We are planning to take both our families, and after watching the trailers and the behind the scenes footage, it looks like everyone from Pappy Tony (that’s Jody’s husband) down to the babies (Rhema and Ari) are going to LOVE it.

Pappy Tony and Baby Ari

Rhema Joy

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody are Christian, homeschooling moms with ten kids between them (ages 1 to 30), including one on the autism spectrum, plus one baby grandchild. Together they host a weekly syndicated parenting radio show, write a weekly newspaper column, freelance for a variety of publications, teach parenting and homeschooling workshops and seminars, speak at conventions and conferences and coach individual families. They are passionate about encouraging and equipping families to Parent On Purpose (POP) with the end result in mind.

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A Must See for Marvel Fans

Thor Ragnarok Review

thor ragnarok

Thor Ragnarok was to my pleasant surprise a smashing departure from the usual Marvel fare. I was fully expecting the usual formula. You know…origin to hero, or crisis to new found purpose, maybe even a little bit of hang-up -the-powers- because-doing-good-hurts-some, thrown in. Instead, we actually get a story. As big as this movie was, it also zoomed in close enough to see the characters develop and interact with each other — and not just with punches.

As we open up to our hero in one of his usual scenarios, seemingly bested and about to be monologued to death, a new element in Marvel storytelling appears. We actually get some dialogue. This installment takes on the air of a great dialogue movie. But each scene is also carried by the stunning 3-D visuals and a well crafted script. Our primary characters shows up on the scene carrying the full weight of their backstory, a backstory that is revealed at a good pace and enhances the main plot.

Thor was never my favorite Marvel hero, but after this movie, he is definitely a favorite now. Once again we see him face impossible odds, which this time cause him to make hard choices and suffer great loss. He discovers new depths of strength, and we see a hero mature on the screen. We also see the return of old friends like Loki and Hulk along with some new surprises. With a confirmation of a Thor appearance in the forthcoming Infinity War, I can’t wait.

If you have the chance, see this one in 3-D. The visuals are absolutely stunning. From the battle scenes to the wide camera shots, this one is worth the upgrade. The only negative I can think of is that sometimes the comic relief crosses the line and detracts from the scene, but for the most part the comedy gamble pays off.

The bottom line is that this is a must see for any fan of the Marvel universe. I got the opportunity to see the prescreening with my oldest son. Check out his YouTube Review.

Matthew Stahlmann

Matthew Stahlmann is Jenni’s husband. Together they have seven amazing kids. A lead guitar player for more than 25 years, Matt is passionate about music and worship.

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Can We Trust the Historical Accuracy of the Exodus Story?

A DVD Documentary Review

Have you heard that a great many of the world’s archeologists and historians don’t think the Biblical account of the Exodus ever happened? Apparently, they don’t see evidence for any of it. I’m not just talking about a mass migration of the Israelites out of Egypt, they don’t see evidence for the Hebrew people ever being in Egypt, as slaves or otherwise. And there are even some prominent Jewish Rabbis jumping on their bandwagon, saying these things are not historical facts, they’re just religiously important traditions. What? Sounds like confusion to me.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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On Becoming a Grocery Store Rock Star

grocery store

Anyone who knows me will hear me complain on a regular basis about the daunting and unending job of grocery shopping. UGH! It is the one thing that makes me wish I could duplicate myself and send my clone out on my behalf. But it’s also one of the few things I can’t successfully delegate, and that’s saying a lot because I’m a master delegator when it comes to most things!

Grocery shopping, however, is a delicate matter. Anytime I send the hubby, we end up with a mountain of junk food, and if I send a kid, they either come home with the wrong things or I end up fielding a dozen phone calls.

But a few weeks ago something happened that made me appreciate the whole grocery process just a little more.

I was in the grocery store with my huge (and dreaded) list of shopping items when a woman approached me and asked, “Does that really help?”

At first, I wasn’t sure what she meant. “My shopping list?” I asked her.

“Yes. Does it really help to write it all down like that?”

Jody Hagaman

Jody Hagaman and her husband Tony have three kids, ages 18 to 30 and one precious baby grandchild. Jody’s story of how her son asked to be homeschooled has inspired
tens of thousands of families around the nation. A true homeschooling success story, that son is now an attorney in New Hampshire and is the New England Regional Director of The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan
organization dedicated to advocating responsible fiscal policy.

As a community leader, Jody has served on the board of directors of many local non-profit organizations. Her work experience as a corrections officer on a crisis intervention team inspired her to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.

She and Jenni co-host a weekly radio show, write a syndicated weekly column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about living on purpose with excellence and raising kids with the end result in mind.

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Date Night in a Galaxy Near You

Review of Guardians of the Galaxy 2

From the opening credits I was immediately hooked in. The expectation was high. I fully expected the modern day Han Solo in Star-Lord to be loosely in charge once again of his dysfunctional “family” of space misfits. This movie did not disappoint. From the opening scene I was bombarded with action, special effects, dynamic characters and last but not least, a seamless integration of great pop music.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, like its predecessor, has an uncanny knack for combining the mundane with the extraordinary. Where else can we find characters bickering over senseless things like who does “the gun thing” while fighting off space beasts or the search for Scotch tape while the possibility of death and destruction is imminent? Set against spectacular action sequences, the dysfunction of this patchwork family takes center stage as we wait to see if the bonds of relationship created in the first movie can withstand the strain of a new threat.

Matthew Stahlmann

Matthew Stahlmann is Jenni’s husband. Together they have seven amazing kids. A lead guitar player for more than 25 years, Matt is passionate about music and worship.

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The Power of Using Visuals With Children

Guest post by Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky

Whether it is the acquisition of new skills or the adjustment to life changes, we know that children feel most comforted by routine and repetition. The idea of knowing what comes next can feel incredibly reassuring, especially around new or different concepts. We have found that the use of visuals work well for all children, including those with special needs.

Visuals, in general, are great tools often used by special educators, therapists and anyone working with (or parenting!) a child with special learning needs. Sometimes children need less talking “at them” and more concrete ways to wrap their mind around a particular concept. Many children with special needs are highly visual and are better able to process information when they can see it. A short picture story can tap into that strength, thereby better supporting the child and his/her needs.

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody are Christian, homeschooling moms with ten kids between them (ages 1 to 30), including one on the autism spectrum, plus one baby grandchild. Together they host a weekly syndicated parenting radio show, write a weekly newspaper column, freelance for a variety of publications, teach parenting and homeschooling workshops and seminars, speak at conventions and conferences and coach individual families. They are passionate about encouraging and equipping families to Parent On Purpose (POP) with the end result in mind.

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