Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Generic Christians

Fervency is a
fighting fervor, that saves us
from being GENERIC Christians;

Believers without a patent;
plain, colorless
with no distinctive
on our lives.
Generic disciples settle for a cheap faith,
a passable Christianity--

People who say that their type of faith will do! But when they are asked "What" it will do--they are hard put to answer!

Fervency refuses to buy the idea of
generic faith,
determining to spend more
whatever the cost
in terms of ardor and effort
to purchase a brand of belief
that has the unmistakable
"quality" of fervor about it.

Hot, exciting power
that insists on
faith being more than
minimal involvement
After all the "fervent effectual prayer of
a righteous
availeth much"
While generic ineffectual prayer of
righteous man availeth
little or nothing at all.
Fervent faith is a daily choice for the follower of Jesus.
It marks a man or woman out from the
generic pack
It makes us want to be like Him
In the words of an outrageous song
"they don't make Jews like Jesus
Perhaps the world believes
God doesn't make anyone like Jesus anymore
O Lord
Make us like
Your Son
Fervent lovers of God
Daring to be
Show us the way to be--
name brand
Patented with colorful
branded with a logo peculiarly
shaped like a cross.
Generic Christianity will never win the world
for Christ
But fervent faith will!
taken from Heartbeat by Jill Briscoe, ISBN: 0877883408

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Food Safe Storage Buckets

We have been using the 2-HDPE white buckets from Lowes for years. We called Encore Plastics Corp 1-800-336-2673, who makes these buckets, and asked them if they can be used for long term food storage. They said you need to wash them out, but they meet food storage regulations and are fine to use. We reverified this today by calling them again before we posted this information. Since we buy all of our staples in bulk, using these really helps with storage. Another option was to mail order 2-HDPE buckets that were being sold on the net as "food safe."

You can also reuse buckets that contained food ingredients from local restaurants and bakeries if you can get them. Sometimes you can get these for free or a nominal fee, if you can find a place that wants to get rid of them.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cleaning Tip

This is one of my favorite cleaning tips and I use it often. I put a towel over a broom secured it with a rubberband.
I use this to clean ceilings, walls and other hard to reach places.
For splatters on the ceiling, I will use spray cleaner on the stain, wait a little while and then clean it with the covered broom.
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Maggidan's Milker

A couple of weeks ago, we bought a Maggidan's Milker to speed up the farm chores. It's not perfect, but we like it. We still have to fully milk out each teat...about a dozen squeezes on each side. It does speed up the process and the milk handling is cleaner. There is no risk of the doe putting her hoof in the milk, knocking it over or hair and dirt falling in because the container is set further away. It does lose suction from time to time and you can fix that by pumping hot water through it. Hot water is also used to clean it. The does kick at the hose and that can pull it off the teat so we have to pay attention to their movements. I can't say it will be faster for an experience hand milker, but would speed up things for a newbie. It does keep your hands from becoming tired because you only use one and can switch it back and forth. For our $52 investment, we are pleased. You can order and see a movie showing how it works here.
update 4/30: I've been sick and Clint has had an opportunity to use it. He says it is definitely faster for newbies!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wow! - 57 Unique Benefits of Homeschooling for the rest of the article

Homeschooling (or low-cost internet private schools), can have the following extraordinary benefits for you and your children:

1. Be with your family
2. Set your own schedule that’s convenient for you and your kids
3. Vacation when you want
4. Choose curriculum that best suits the needs of your child
5. Be totally aware of the state and progress of your child's education
6. Keep your child away from unnecessary peer pressure
7. Keep your child away from the bad influence of other children
8. Love, nurture, and teach your child the character and morals you value most
9. Make learning fun
10. Make learning as "experiential" as you want
11. Don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get your child dressed and fed and off to school where they’re so tired they don't learn well anyway.
12. Break up the day however you want to fit your child's learning attention span
13. Teach your child without any "assumed limitations." Teach multiple languages, develop one skill or subject -- the sky's the limit
14. What you teach an older child naturally filters down to the younger child(ren) making learning much easier and faster for siblings
15. Teach at the pace and developmental stage appropriate for your child
16. Avoid educational "labeling"
17. Keep your child as far away from drugs as possible
18. Never have to worry about bomb scares or mass shootings
19. Allow your child to do, think, discuss, and explore in ways not possible in a rigid classroom setting
20. Constant positive reinforcement and gentle correction. No abusive words or actions that scar your child's psyche
21. Don't use the school system as a babysitter. Most parents only need three to five hours a day for homeschooling their kids -- the rest of the day is often filled with unnecessary "busy work"
22. Develop your child’s life skills such as cooking, cleaning, and organizing that are easily learned with the additional time spent at home
23. Spend as much time outdoors as you want to enjoy nature and the world around us
24. Teach the value of responsibility by providing daily jobs for your kids
25. To make money management as natural as breathing by allowing even small children to do tasks, earn money, save it, and spend it in an appropriate manner.
26. Never have your child beat up by a bully. Teach self-defense skills that will enable him to deal with any situation, but not until he is mature enough to handle the emotional aspects of confrontation
27. No pressure or set "expectations" from teachers on a younger sibling that follows an older sibling in the same school
28. Be around when your child needs to talk
29. Take a break when your child needs a break
30. Bond as a family through family group activities for the other 27 benefits and the rest of the article.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

One of the Children's Favorite Desserts

It's just a simple pudding and whip cream parfait with graham cracker crumbs.
Dress up the usual fare a little and it makes the every day special.
It lets your family know you value them enough to go the extra mile.

Other ideas:
Jello and/or fruit with whip cream in layers
whip cream on any dessert
soup with cream or cheese sprinkled on top
breads or pancakes in the shape of their initials or a heart
use special bowls, plates, glasses, etc
light a candle at dinner
You are only limited by your own imagination.

Remember: LOVE is an action verb.

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Emily in the Sink

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Miracle in the House

She's not suppose to be in the house, but she looks cozy there under the table, doesn't she?
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to Make Vinegar

Vinegar is easy to make. I am currently making it for weed killer and cleaning use and thought I would share with you how I do it.

Cider vinegar is started from apples.
Wine vinegar is made from grapes.
Malt vinegar is started from barley.
White vinegar is made from grain.
You can also use peaches or pears.

I take a good pile of fruit peelings or leftovers and them put in a stainless steel, glass, plastic or wooden container and add as much water as I want to make vinegar. We get enough in one meal to make ours, but you may want to save some in the fridge. You can also continue to add peelings during the first stage.

You can add some yeast at this first stage to get things going faster. This is not necessary since there are microbes in the air.

Making cider vinegar is a two step process. The first is fermentation or making alcohol which is what the peelings, yeast and water are doing. During this stage, it will bubble. When it stops bubbling, it is ready for the second step of turning the alcohol into vinegar.

At this point, you can add vinegar starter, which can be found online and will speed things up or you can use starter saved from another batch. You can also wait to see if the pot "catches" it from the air which is how I did it the first time.

It can take weeks or months for the alcohol to turn into vinegar. You'll know by the smell. Generally, the warmer it is, the faster it will turn to vinegar.

The starter is the grayish white jelly like stuff that forms on the top and settles on the bottom. You can save it in a glass jar with vinegar.

Strain off the fruit peelings with a clean cloth. I use several layers of undyed cotton muslin. I throw the fruit peelings to the goats.

You can pasteurize your vinegar to keep it from clouding. I just store mine in plastic containers to use as needed since we are not using it for food or health reasons.

Making vinegar is very easy and hard to mess up. It will prove to be a wonderful homeschool study and Science experiment. There is much more to the vinegar process than I have shared here, so do an internet search for more detailed information.

I love educational experiments that produce something useful for the household!!

Proverbs 10:26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.

How to Make Yogurt

This is how I do it from goat's milk. If you follow my procedure, you are doing so at your own risk. You can use any animal milk or store bought cow's milk.

I do use unpasteurized milk but I am extremely careful when milking and handling the milk to ensure cleanliness to prevent illness. We do not pasteurize because it kills off so many good things that we need. We only drink and make yogurt from very fresh milk.

Every single thing the milk comes in contact with much be very CLEAN. You must "milk clean" meaning no hairs or dirt falling into the milk. We have never been ill from any of our goat's milk products.

Contrary to speculation, goat's milk does NOT have a goaty flavor or taste. If it has an off taste or smell, it has been handled improperly and is breeding bacteria. An internet search will reveal much information on why properly handled goat's milk is so very good for you.

I put the milk in quart canning jars and add 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of unflavored live cultured yogurt and 1/3 cup dry milk. The dry milk makes it thicker. You can also add 1 tsp of unflavored gelatin to increase thickness. "Real" yogurt is thinner than what we are accustomed.

I put the jars in a cooler and add 140F water. I close the jars and wait 10-12 hours...sometimes a little longer. I usually do this overnight and make 1 1/2 gallons at a time because that is what fits in the cooler I like to use. Then, you can do so many things with the yogurt.

Proverbs 27:27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

3 of My Favorite Flowers

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Oh, we made such a mess on the deck yesterday, but we enjoyed ourselves.
We plan more gardening today.

Friday, April 11, 2008

We Received the Sweetest Condolence

card today from our sponsored child Flor de Maria who lives in El Salvador. Mail is a little slow between us, but she sent her sincere condolences to the entire family and loved ones of Clint's mother Midge Nichols. I imagine that is the only condolence card from out of the country and written in Spanish sent to anyone in the family.

She made a guess that we have lots of trees here. We'll take some pictures and send them to prove her correct.

We have accomplished a lot of school today. After lunch, we will head outside to work in the garden together.

Enjoy your children. They grow so very fast and the work you are doing in their hearts is so important. Teach them to be obedient and respectful. If you teach them properly, you will enjoy their company and they will be a delight to you. If you do not enjoy their company, it is a sign you have work to do in the area of discipline. If you leave them to themselves, they will bring you shame. (Proverbs 29:15)