Monday, July 24, 2017

A Quiet Day at Home

Yesterday we took these four (also pictured on the left is our friend Irindee who rode with us) up to camp. I am praying they have a great week and looking forward to getting my kids home again. I am sure my niece and nephew will be very happy to get home as well especially as they have a new baby at their house.

 When we dropped the kids off at camp we were also able to pick up Mara who had just arrived back from a mission trip to an orphanage in Mexico. She had been gone a little over a week. It is great to have her back!

   Today was one of those nice quiet days of getting a lot of domestic work done. Monday is my laundry and cleaning day. I always do my mopping and try to get some of my other deep cleaning done. I really enjoy working in our home. It is fun to make it a place that is comfortable and beautiful.
 Noodle making was one of the activities of the day. Noodles take a little time to get all rolled out but are truly quite simple to make. I like homemade noodles and I really like the idea of knowing exactly what is in them and being able to avoid the trash of packaging. Generally most of the pasta we eat is still strore bought but possibly we will work towards changing that.
 Lots of laundry! We had a beautiful day for drying the laundry on the clothesline. I did all but 1/2 a load out there and it dried quickly. I like to fold my clothes on the window seat where I have a beautiful view while I work.
 This evening Ken, Mara, Jonathan and I went canoeing.
 Jonathan was relaxing while he canoed. It was a beautiful night to be out.
I had made a blueberry icemilk for a treat after we got back. I loosely followed this recipe but I ended up substituting nearly everything to use what I had. Goats milk instead of cream, honey instead of maple syrup and blueberries instead of strawberries. It was still yummy.

What was your day like? Do you enjoy days of working around the house?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Here we go again in talking about the Holy Spirit in our lives. I just really enjoy this subject and want to cover it thoroughly and also I just haven't had time to write long posts about it so instead you are getting short little snippets each week.

  The Holy Spirit was promised to us:
"Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believe in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." John 7:37-39

"Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." Acts 2:38 and 39

Have you received that promise?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Family Olympics

Megan trying out archery
 On Monday nights we like to have family time at our place. We have that night set aside where we try not to schedule anything with anybody else and we just have fun together. This family night we were missing Mara and we do have my niece and nephew staying with us so they got to be in on the fun too.

  Last week somehow in our visiting we came up with the idea of having some competitions on Family night. So the plan was that everybody could choose 3 events and then we would all compete in them. In the end we didn't have 3 events chosen by each person as we didn't have time and a thunderstorm came up before we managed to do our water sports. We did however have a fun time.

  The competitions that were held were:
- Chase Kitchi (our dog) and get item away from him. This is a challenging game that he loves to play. Megan and Jonathan had to split this point as Megan was the one who tackled him and then Jonathan grabbed the item out of his mouth.
-Tomahawk throwing
-A sprint
-The game of lightening (shooting baskets)
-Hopscotch (timed)
-Racing while balancing a book on our head.
- Doing a gymnastic bridge (I can't - I tried) and holding it the longest and the highest.
-Spelling bee
-State Capital bee

It was the night for 13 year olds as Aaron won with 4.5 points and Beatrice came in second with 3 points.

Gregory throwing the tomahawk.
 The events that we didn't get to were:
- Kayak race (timed)
-Holding your breath under water the longest.
-Swimming race
-Drawing a house while holding the paper on a book on top of your head.
-Racing while carrying heavy weights.
-Tree climbing
-A don't get wet challenge that requires the contestant to stay in a certain area while all the others have one bucket of water each to throw at him/her.


The scoreboard
And I was kicked out first on the spelling bee. How horrible is that!!!?

We had a lot of fun. This might need to be repeated some other time.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Holy Spirit in the Lives of Christians

I am working to study about the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians. I would love to have you join my as we look and see what God's Word has to say about it.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not  your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." 1 Corinthians 3:16 & 17

"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in  you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." Romans 8:9-11

That is super straightforward. We need to be controlled by God's Spirit if we are truly following Jesus Christ.

I have tons more verses that I want to share on this subject but this was at least a start. I will look forward to sharing more with you later. Meanwhile I would love to hear your thoughts on the Holy Spirit and his work in our lives. If you have any favorite verses on this subject I would love it if you share them!

Pictures of Our Life in the Last Week Or So

 While DJ was here we enjoyed some fishing. I didn't catch any of DJ and Aaron did. This was the big one that DJ caught but it had to be thrown back because I think it was breeding time or something like that. We did get to keep some others and enjoyed fish for a couple of meals.
 We are loving some of our flowers that are blooming!

 We had to take Mara down to the cities to catch a plane to go on a mission trip in Mexico. We stayed at my sister's and went to the Ramsey County Fair with her and her family. They had a marionette show there which was fun.

 Beatrice and Megan working on projects.
 We have been a little tired around here. Yesterday morning we were down in the cities and got up around 3:30 am to take Mara to the airport (she had to fly out early!) and then drive home. So Aaron, Megan and I along with Beatrice and Gregory got back home in good time in the day since we got such an early start. We were also tired but I had bees that were swarming and I was trying to capture them and then I had a lot of wedding flowers to do so I didn't get a whole lot of rest. Jonathan also got home yesterday from 2 weeks of camp. His granddad picked him up and he got home a while after us. Afternoon came and both Gregory and Jonathan were very tired. We hadn't gotten a bed set up for Gregory yet so he crashed on Jonathan's bed. Later Jonathan laid down too and slept as well. Ken got home for supper and looked in the boys room and asked if we were starting to require Navy style sleeping. Anyway- we found it cute.
 Today and yesterday were focused on wedding flowers.

After all the wedding set-up I visited a quilt show that Ken had been given a complimentary ticket to give to me. The pretty embroidery above was there. It was fun but I didn't stay very long as I was tired and ready to be home.

That is some peeks into our life. Have a wonderful new week - we plan on it. :-)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Seeking To Simplify - The Garage Sale Edition

First I will quickly report on my goals and how I did these last 2 weeks since I last reported.

- I got rid of 60 items (exceeding my goal of 50).
- I cleaned out 10 spaces (right on track)
-I sold over 100 items (in addition to the other things we got rid of)! That was with the help of the garage sale and that caused my to complete my selling goal for the year but I do still want to try to sell some other things anyway.
-My house is doing pretty good with my working to get rid of clutter. My computer however has been a little neglected in the decluttering lately as I neglect to weed out e-mails and photo files. Hopefully I can work on that again before long.

It was an exciting couple of weeks for making good progress! And now Ken just put up storage shelves for me down in the basement so I have been going through more stuff down there and getting organized and ready to get rid of some more things.

And now....

Let's talk about garage sales.

Somebody commented and asked if I could share how we had a successful garage sale. I don't think I really have much if any in the way of new ideas nor do I think I am an expert but I will gladly share what tips I have....

  • I prayed about it. Okay, so I do like to pray about most things I do. I also regularly pray for God's guidance as I have been working to go through and get rid of things in our house. I ask Him to help me know what I should keep and what should go, etc. With the garage sale I did pray that He would just guide according to His will. That we might be able to make whatever money that He knew we needed and that He would guide concerning who came, etc. I believe that He truly was working in our garage sale. I felt so very blessed and thankful, not only for money made and excess gotten rid of but for the people that I could spend time with and meet.
  • We made a bunch of matching, simple signs. I made them by using the plain side (inside) of box cardboard and painting "Sale" and an arrow on them with some dark wall paint. I did also write our address with permanent marker on the bottom of most of them. Ken has been telling me for years that simple is better when it comes to signs. I think he is right. I do also think that matching is beneficial for a garage sale. Mine weren't all identical in size but they were all dark blue writing on cardboard. I have discovered that making signs with paint for the big letters is so much easier that using permanent marker that stinks and wears out. Paint goes on so much faster. You just have to allow for drying time.
  • We set up in a clean garage and we tried to move things that weren't for sale out of the way so it wasn't confusing.
  • We put up as many tables as we had with bright tables clothes on them. It is nice to be able to spread out quite a bit. Having stuff crowded isn't so nice.
  • Have things priced as much as possible. To keep things simple don't be afraid to make signs that say things like "Clothes - 50 cents each unless otherwise marked." Have plenty of those signs. Most people like to know how much something costs and not have to ask all the time.
  • Don't charge to much. That is my theory anyway. People go to garage sales to get a good deal. They expect prices to be less than going to a 2nd hand store.
  • If you really want to make money sell baked goods too. I mostly sold whole wheat bread and it went pretty fast. I sold nearly 20 loaves and could have sold many more if I would have had them made. Cookies also sell well.
  • Be friendly, visit with people and ask them if they are interested in.... whatever it is that you have. Sometimes they have noticed your bread or the books, etc. 
  • Use Craigslist and Facebook rummage sale sites for free advertising. That is all I used and it worked well. I know that many came from seeing my sale mentioned there.
  • Use any down time during your garage sale to do more decluttering in your house or garage and look for more items to sell. I set a goal for looking for stuff every hour. That didn't quite work but I did find quite a lot of things to get rid of while the sale was going on. It did help that I have kids old enough to watch the sale for me while I ran inside.
  • Hang up clothes that you have for sale as much as possible. I think people generally prefer looking at clothes hanging rather than spread out over a table. They stay neater too. Be creative in figuring out things to hang them on. Set up a step ladder or so and prop a big ladder between them or just run a rod from ladder to ladder. Tie up rope somewhere. Think outside the box!
  • Use balloons or streamers or whatever to attract attention to your signs and also to the garage sale itself.
I would love to hear any tips or suggestions that you have as well! If you hold a garage sale I hope you have fun and success!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

More verses on the Holy Spirit

Just a picture that I took recently.
Matthew 4:1 says: "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit in to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

Jesus obviously followed the direction of the Spirit - even to such a place and conditions as that.

Jesus cast out demons by the Holy Spirit's power: "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." Matthew 12:28

"And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district." Luke 4:14. Jesus is being led by the Spirit here as well.

The Holy Spirit was active in Jesus' resurrection: "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." Romans 8:11

The Holy Spirit helped the apostles as He glorified Christ: "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you." John 16:13 & 14

The Holy Spirit was obviously very involved in the earthly work of Christ.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Independence Day Party!

 We held our annual Independence Day Party on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun and I thought I would share some pictures from it.

   My girls and I love to decorate so the evening before found Megan and I working on a new patriotic bunting to use with our other decorations. It was so fun and simple to make. First of all though we were amazingly blessed to have things that worked perfectly for it. We had been given the blue shirt with white stars on it but the sleeves had been cut out of it and so it wasn't wearable or pass-onable either. So I figured it would work for a project. Then I had this strip of red and white striped fabric - perfect! I did also use some red and white polka-a-dotted fabric.
 We cut or tore strips to desired sizes and then tied them on a piece of twine.
I thought that the end result was pretty cute.
 We also used extra fabric strips for decorating elsewhere.
 The table where people were supposed to start. They could sign the guestbook, sign up for float decorating and canoe racing and check out the schedule.
 Ken's parents tried out their new kayak at the party.

 The babies from our "B" shower earlier this year along with their pretty mamas. These guys are growing up!
 They are working to get a float decorated. We enjoy having a parade with real floats at our party.
 Mara dressed up for her float.
 The parade is getting started.
 After the parade we enjoyed supper of hamburgers, hotdogs and brats and all sorts of other yummy food. Each family brought a dish to share.
 Then it was boat racing time! We had two different heats and then a final. I believe a fun time was had by all.

 We were blessed to have a lot of good friends and family come to our party. The people are who really make a party fun and special. We were totally blessed by all who came.
    We did have one set of guests that gave us a big and very fun surprise. Our very good friends who live in Louisiana came and "crashed" our party. Soon after the party had gotten started Ken and I were discussing the parking situation (our driveway can be a little tight but we had quite a bit of room down by the house and we were trying to figure out why people weren't parking there). As we were talking another vehicle that I didn't recognize was coming down the drive put looked like they were going to back up again so I went over to wave them on down so they would know that they could park by the house. I got them waved down but didn't clearly see through the window to see who it was. When they pulled in I saw the Louisiana license plate and was trying to make sense out of that when Michelle jumped out. I hadn't gotten to see them for several years and I got pretty excited. Anyway it was a super fun surprise to have them come. They had already been as far a Iowa for a wedding and decided to come up the rest of the way. They found out from a mutual friend that we were having a party and so they decided it would be fun to crash it. By the way, friends are welcome to crash our parties anytime.

    Jason and Michelle both come from Iowa and I got to know them first when I went to Bible camp down there as a teenager. Then Ken (who was from Nevada) and I (from MN) went down there to Bible college and Jason was also attending and Michelle did part time as well (and it was in her hometown). I have such fond memories of college days and all of the other students there. We were so blessed to be a part of a group of students who loved the Lord and encouraged one another in their walk with Jesus Christ. I was able to come away from college with no regrets but rather having grown in my knowledge of the Bible and made great friends with other brothers and sisters in Christ.

   After Jason and Michelle left I was thinking back on all the different memories we share, things like....

  • Michelle and I having a Bible study together. Just to grow in our understanding and to be better equipped to share God's word with others.
  • Jason and I working together at a Florist shop. We both like to talk and we would chatter away while working until sometimes our manager would want a little peace and quiet and would tell us to shut up for a while.
  • Sunday evenings going to a little church out in Albia, Iowa. On Sunday mornings many of us students would scatter all over helping out small congregations (I was in Abingdon along with my brother and some others, Ken went to Centerville - until we were engaged, Jason was in Albia and Michelle went with her parents in Ottumwa) but Sunday evening many of us students went to Albia. We loved singing and hanging out together. We helped with a youth outreach program for a while and we often went out to eat pizza together afterwards.
  • Going on canoe trips up here in MN. Dealing with rapids and with a swampy upper Mississippi where it was super easy to loose your way.
  • Long trips from Southern, Iowa to Northern, MN (beyond where we live now) to go to a weekend camp. We would drive through the night often to get there. We would stuff as many students as possible in each vehicle and away we would go.
  • Jason, Michelle, My brother Peter and I putting on a Christmas Concert one time when a church in Ottumwa asked if our college had a singing group that could come. They were going to send a boys quartet but not all the boys were available so Michelle and I ended up doing it with Jason and Peter. It went fine but I laugh every time I think of it because Michelle and I for some reason decided to put our hair up on curlers before the event and we end up with the most bushy hair ever. I wish I had a picture to look back on because my memory of it was that it didn't look to good. We also very carefully did a steam treatment so our voices would be in the best singing condition possible.
  • Singing around the piano - Southern Gospel, Old Hymns, Praise Songs, 4 part harmony. It was so much fun to praise God together and just enjoy music.
  • Going exploring out at a place near Ottumwa (I think it was called camp Arrowhead or something like that). It seemed like we tended to go when it was rainy or getting dark and so we have fun memories like getting badly stuck and having to walk for home but thank-fully Michelle (who hadn't been able to go along because she was working) had gotten concerned about us and so my dorm dad had gone to check on us and she and my dorm mom made supper for all of us. We were grateful for the ride as it would have been a long walk. Those were the days before any of us had cell phones. Another time out there when it was raining cats and dogs I found this perfect muddy hillside and I was wearing a rainsuit and thought it looked like fun to slide down. The guys along thought so too and we had a wonderful time sliding down the mud (Ken was not along that time - he had to miss out on a lot of evening outings as he worked then - and he was appalled later at my unladylikeness but I did have a lot of fun - and for the record we weren't even dating yet then). I believe Michelle and another friend Jessica were both also along on that outing but did not join in on the mud slide fun.
  • Michelle spending nights at the dorm (she lived at home with her parents) and we being the only morning people there. Most would drag out of bed in the morning but Michelle was always up early and very cheerful.
There are tons of other fun memories that we share but this post would get way to long. I am just so thankful to have had such good friends during some very formative years of my life and I am thankful to continue to be friends with such neat people. I also just want everybody to realize how much fun can be had doing what is right. Truly, life as a Christian is the best!!!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Beautiful Busyness

 Sometimes anymore from articles I read and conversations I have I start to get the feeling that "busy" is a "dirty" word. That it is something that should be avoided if all possible. That if we want to have a good relationship with God or others that we won't have much going on and have a lot of time to focus just on that one relationship we are working on at that moment. I think I am over exaggerating what I am saying a little but have you all seen that trend as well? The encouragement to slow down?

 Now don't get me wrong. I don't think that is all bad. I do like to have a set apart quiet time with God every morning. I also feel pretty strongly about have my 20 minute power nap each day and I rarely miss it. I do also love some lovely one on one visiting time with my family and friends. I like to slow down and read a book, play a game and so many other things.

 But I also believe that being busy and industrious can be a beautiful thing. I strongly believe that relationships can be strengthened even in our busy times. That our walk with Jesus can grow stronger and that we can learn to more fully rely on the Holy Spirit in our lives. I hope to study God's word more on this issue soon and share my findings with you but meanwhile I wanted to share a little from our beautiful busy week with you.

This week - particularly the last 4 days have been very busy. During those 4 days we have gotten ready for and held a 3 day garage sale. I baked 23 loaves of bread plus a double batch of rolls and a batch of cookies and an apple crisp, I had a Bible study, went to a concert and helped fix lunch with friends, I did laundry and helped Jonathan get ready for camp, I had a wedding consultation, I cleaned and arranged wedding flowers and then also did decorating for the wedding, our family went over to my in-laws to help them cut down and cut up into firewood (and stack the brush and wood) a couple of trees, I went grocery shopping and made meals for my family plus various guests. I also harvested quite a few things from our garden to use in our meals.  That is my list of busyness but that doesn't really explain the whole picture. With just that list we don't see the beauty that we are being blessed with throughout the busy days.

  So I just want to share some of the beauty that I have been experiencing lately.....

  • Appreciating so much the strength that I find through the Holy Spirit.
  • Seeing God's provision far beyond what I imagined through the garage sale.
  • The delight in getting rid of excess in our lives and seeing it go to others who hopefully have a need for it.

  •  Getting to do flowers for a really neat couple. They and her parents (which was all that I met) were so lovely to work with. So appreciative and thoughtful. 
  • Getting to spend time in God's word with friends.
  • A friend coming to spend time with us to help set up and make signs for our garage sale. That was such a blessing!
  • Getting to go to a free church musician concert. It was an organ recital/hymn sing. It was different from anything I have gone to before but really fun. The lady playing the organ also shared a lot of stories that went with the hymns and verses that went with them. I enjoy hymns a lot and it really was a neat experience. My 2 friends and Jonathan went with me.

  •  Having fun watching the boys play a lively game of basketball. The kids' 2nd cousin, DJ, is visiting for the week and it is so fun to see all the fun they are having together!
  • DJ has been a wonderful guest to have - incredibly helpful and thoughtful. I am so thank-ful that my boys have him for a friend.

  •  Megan was my super duper helper for the garage sale. She manned it a lot of the time and I love seeing her shyly smile at the people when they arrived. She had fun sitting at the table and drawing much of the time.
  • I am enjoying Megan's current art project which is reading through the "Wizard of Oz" and drawing a map of it from the story.

  •  Just loving my job of working with beautiful flowers that God has made. He is an incredible creator!

  •  Not much can beat the smell or taste of fresh baked bread. We got to experience that a lot the last few days. We sold a bunch of the loaves but we got to taste plenty too.
  • Getting to meet more neighbors that came to our sale. I love that!
  • My Sister and Sister-in-law with really cute babies in tow came and hung out with us one day of the sale. That was lovely fun!
  • DJ's mom (my good friend and Ken's cousin) was here for a brief visit while she dropped him off and I always love getting to spend time with her.

  • Being able to work together as a family to help others. That is a special thing!
  • Enjoying our pets with the people that came.
  •  I just loved getting to talk to many different people and truly see a little (well often a lot!) beauty in each one of the. God made each person special!
  • Laughing together with my son and we worked to get him ready for camp.
  • Laughter around the supper table!
  • Aaron's quirky sense of humor.
  • Ken offering to help clean up after the garage sale and getting the others to help too.
There were so many other beautiful things that happened during these busy days but sleep is also a beautiful thing and I need to head that way. :-)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Seeking to Simplify

First a quick report on my simplifying goals...
In the last 4 weeks since I last reported I have..

  •  Gotten rid of 99 items - just one item shy of the set goal of 25 per week. 
  • Gone through 18 spaces (2 shy o my goal)
  • Not done a very good job of keeping my in-box completely cleaned out but it is better than it used to be. I want to get back on track on this.
  • Not sold anything but we are planning a garage sale this week so I hope to change that trend soon.
  • I went through a measly five photo folders. That is way short of my goal. But that is life.
Over all we are still making progress. If this is something you are working on too - how are you doing? Has a busy summer slowed you down or have you had more time to work on it?

   Something that I have been thinking on as I seek to live more simply is the importance of fixing/mending things.  I don't know about you but oftentimes in my life when things get broken/torn etc. I tend to look at it and realize I can totally fix that but then I set it aside, possibly on my desk or on a shelf and there it sits for a month, a year whatever. Sometimes it gets to the point of somebody growing out of it before it actually gets mended. It also truly clutters up my house in the meantime. Having broken things around is not nice clutter. It is ugly and messy.

   I have really been working on doing some catch up on mending. And truly, I love doing it. It is very rewarding to have something that has cluttered up my desk for the past month become something that I love to use once again. Mending things can make things simpler because we no longer have to make do without it. Also it can save us a bunch of money because we aren't having to replace it.

  Here are some posts that I have written in the past on how to mend various items:

Do you like to mend? Is there anything in particular that you enjoy fixing up? Do you mend anything unusual? I would love to hear your stories!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit

I am going to continue to share some verses about the Holy Spirit. Those tonight will be particularly about the Holy Spirit and Jesus.

Through the Holy Spirit the prophets of the Old Testament foretold the coming of Jesus and many other things as well....
"Se we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 2 Peter 1:19-21

"As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow." 1 Peter 1:10-11

Jesus birth came about through an act of the Holy Spirit.
"The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

The Holy Spirit was present at Jesus' Baptism....
"After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:16 & 17

It is neat to read about the Holy Spirits work in Jesus earthly life but what is really cool is that the Holy Spirit is also at work in our life too.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Making Cheese With a New Thermometer

 This is milk season around here. We are so super blessed to be able to get an abundance of goats' milk from my parents. Lately we have been getting more than we manage to drink. When that happens I generally start making cheese. I do also like to make pudding (and then pudding pops!), yogurt and last year I learned how to can milk. I also like to use milk in my cooking and baking.

 For my cheese making I was quite excited lately to receive a new thermometer from Cave Tools for the purpose of reviewing. What is really neat is not only can I use this thermometer for my cheese making but I would also work for jabbing in meat, for making candy or for taking the temperature of any other sort of food/liquid. It is neat because you can look at the temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. It also can hold a reading with just a little press of a button even after it has been removed from a hot item. It also keeps track of other data. It is pretty high tech. But it is also simple to use. I really like it.
I tried a new recipe for cheese using my new thermometer this week. It isn't that much different from what I normally do but the result was different. It turned out nicely creamy and quite yummy. Here is the link to the recipe that I used.

I rolled it in herbs. We then ate it spread on sourdough bread or on my sourdough crackers. I really loved it on the crackers.

  I am pretty excited to have a good working thermometer for cooking. If you would like one you can find it on Amazon or at Cave Tools. At Amazon you can get 15% off by using this coupon code: LH58KB66 .

Do you have a kitchen thermometer? What do use it for? If you make cheese I would love to hear about recipes that you like!

Disclaimer: I did receive this thermometer for purposes of reviewing but all opinions written are my own.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Learning about the Holy Spirit

I have been thinking a lot about the Holy Spirit these last few months. I am not quite sure what got me started on it but as I read through the Bible recently those that are about the Holy Spirit have really jumped out at me. Also while at my sisters a while back she had a little book called "Practicing His Presence" that I was able to read partly through and it also spoke of that subject. Then today while visiting a church in Woodbury, MN the sermon was on the Holy Spirit. Then I came home and was wanting to write this post and the booklet that I have been going through this year and sharing parts from "52 Simple Stimulating Studies" - today's lesson was on the Holy Spirit. And then the fiction book that I started reading during our trip this weekend spoke a lot about the work of the Holy Spirit. I think it is fun. It is definitely prompting me to study and better understand the Holy Spirit and His work.

 I understand that we do have unknowns about the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives. That is true. But the Bible does also share quite a lot of information. I think it would do well for most of us to understand it better and be more aware of the Spirit working in our lives. We need to constantly working to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh.

This is looking to be a several part lesson on the Holy Spirit but let's go ahead and get started with some verses....

The Holy Spirit is a personality....
"And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." Romans 8:27

"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." Romans 4:1

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you are sealed for the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:29

  That is just a few verse for tonight but I hope it might prompt you to get started thinking on the  subject. Meanwhile we have had a busy weekend and I am ready for bed!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Animals on Our Homestead

 Our little homestead has really been growing as far as animals are concerned so I thought I should do a post on that today. :-)

The animal that gets the most attention around here (though he would say it still isn't enough and he would like all the attention that we give to the others too) is our dog Kitchi. He is a golden retriever that will turn 2 in September. He has brought a lot of laughter and fun to our family and a little frustration too (when he decides to dig in flower beds). He loves to tease (Steal a glove or a shoe and play chase with you as you try to get it back) and hates to be left behind. He is in 4-H dog training which we hope will be helpful. :-) He actually is pretty good in many ways but more training will not hurt at all. His job around the homestead is to keep bear away from the bees, predators away from the other animals and deer away from my flower beds and fruit trees (the main garden is fenced). Also to provide us with entertainment.

At the same time we got Kitchi we also got Esther - a rabbit of uncertain breed. We do hope to breed her in an attempt to provide meat and fur/leather for our family. A friend is going to give us a couple of male rabbits soon. So far she has just been a pet and provide a little bit of manure for homesteading purposes.

Last month we added Ruth and Naomi to our homestead. I thought I had a better picture but I couldn't find one. They are cute bunnies that are a mix of Mini Rex and Silver Fox. We got them to use for breeding to produce meat and fur. They are also pretty cute. The kids have enjoyed holding them and playing with them.

This is the cage that the boys (mostly Jonathan) made for the rabbits. We will need to make another for the additional rabbits we hope to get soon. It goes over top of the chicken run. The Chickens make use of all the feed that gets spilled.

 Our Broiler chicks arrived last week. We got 35 this year. This is the first year to have the full production at our place. My dad has done most of the broiler raising in the past. Jonathan made this chick pen. It works great for now but Aaron and I need to get busy and make a bigger pen for them to live in soon!
 We have 5 older and 18 newer (2 month old and not laying yet) layers. The older 5 may get butchered this fall but they are laying nicely now.
 They have a nice coop and run (built mostly by Jonathan) next to the garden. I love being able to throw weeds over the fence to them when I am working in the garden.

 Besides the broiler chicks the newest addition to our place is Mr. Sippi our cute little kitten. We got him from a friend last week. He has become my gardening buddy and Megan loves taking him around all over. He has a nice little home (he is a total outside cat because of allergies and just not caring for pets in the house) in the garden shed. His job is to catch mice so they don't eat animal feed or come in our house etc. He also is in charge of keeping little animals out of my garden. I have explained his duties to him and we hope that he listened. :-)

We can't forget the bees. I picked up 2 new nucs early last month. They are doing well and multiplying like crazy. They are packing in the honey as well. Mom and Dad came over this week and helped me to finally put up a fence to protect them from bears and skunks and such. I am very thankful! Neighbors have reported bear issues/sightings so we did need to get something done.

 I am thankful that God gave us animals. And I am thankful that he provided them for food: "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." Genesis 9:3  I don't truly enjoy butchering time but I would rather eat meat from animals that were raised in a good way and fed well and had an enjoyable life. We are able to do things that way that God designed them to be done and I am grateful for that.

Do you raise animals? What do you have at your place?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin