Thursday, October 14, 2010


And just like that Fall is creeping on the scene and summer is behind us. Nolen, Emma and Mia are deep in the trenches and loving school. Ty has started pre-school and spends most of his days forgetting that it really is school and tells me how much he loves his new friends. Nolen is almost done with football and Scott with his first official year of coaching is thinking about next year already. Emma and Mia have figured out a system that works for piano practice and are loving it. Our house is all a flutter as we talk about think about and pray about the *new* baby. Nadia keeps telling us how she can't wait to see the baby because "it's so tinsy and tincy". The leaves are indeed changing on our street.
And with them I am reminded that there is a season for it all and each has it's own beauty and pain as well. The chill of winter with this thrill of parking your 4X4 on an embankment to "save the plowed spaced for the older people". The new life of Spring with the stark stinging winds. The sweet drip of Watermelon juice off the chin of summer and the biting pain of the first sunburn of the season. And the initial frustration of a full closet of Fall with tank tops hugging fleeces and cords to the fun of watching Single Wing while wrapped in fleece.
Lately I have been watching The Biggest Loser. The participants have eaten themselves to a place where their bodies are about to give out. They are sick and dying. The trainers are pulling them out of their graves and they are still complaining. How can someone in so much pain (overworked knees, backs, hearts, lungs) rebel so much while they are being helped? Sin is ugly. And it twists the reality that is there to the reality that we see. "Why do I have to give it up? It's not hurting anyone, right?" Wrong. When you are Christian you have been bought by too high a price to allow anything to come between you and your Savior.
A friend of mine recently contracted a case of Mersa. It went undetected. It grew. It flourished. By the time she went to the doctor there were no medications that would help, no iv antibiotics that would even touch it it had to be cut out completely. As soon as it was gone it was gone completely, no sign of it remained and the healing process was moving along faster than all thought possible.
This should be our response to sin in our lives. Repent. Run the other direction. Thank the Surgeon and leave the hospital. Is there a case of Mersa in your life? Repent and Voila!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Homemade yogurt, in the crock pot

I found this on and I am so going to try this :)


Edited on 10/5/09 to add: Since posting this I have also discovered that you can make raw yogurt on your counter top, without the use of a crock pot or yogurt maker. All you need is a starter and the super clear directions that come with it. Not only is it easier since you simply leave it on your counter top, but you also retain the benefits of the raw enzymes! You can find culture starters here.

I have tried other methods for making yogurt, but this is by far the easiest. I originally got this idea from Stephanie and use her basic recipe. Making your own yogurt is a frugal way to get some good probiotics into your family.

Here is the cost savings breakdown for us:

  • Before: we would buy organic plain yogurt from Trader Joe’s: $3/quart
  • Now: I make it out of our grass-fed raw milk from the farmer: $1.75/quart
  • Savings = $1.25/quart x 2/week = savings of $2.50/week = savings of $130/year

Trader Joe’s is the cheapest organic yogurt you can find. The health food store sells it for $4.50/quart. For me, it is definitely worth the savings to do the five minutes of total work involved in making yogurt in the crock pot.

Crock Pot Yogurt

Recipe notes: This recipe uses a 2 quart crock. In using a 4 or 4 1/2 quart crock I found the yogurt to have a bit of a "springy" texture. I was able to alleviate this by heating the milk an additional 15 minutes for a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes.

  • Turn your crock pot to low and pour in 1/2 gallon of milk.
  • Heat on low for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Once 2 hours and 30 minutes have elapsed turn your crock pot off and unplug it. Let the milk cool in the crock with the lid on for 3 hours.
  • After 3 hours remove 1-2 cups of the warmed milk and place in a bowl. To that add 1/2 cup of yogurt with live active cultures and mix very well.
  • Pour the yogurt-milk mixture back into the milk and whisk thoroughly.
  • Place the cover back on the crock and wrap the entire crock pot in a thick bath towel or two.
  • Let it culture overnight, 8-12 hours.
  • In the morning stir yogurt (if desired) and store in glass quart jars or a container of your choice.
  • For optimum texture, refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.

Non-marking soul

As I was helping Ty put his shoes on this morning I read the bottom of his shoe : Non marking sole. And I thought, " Wow, wouldn't it be horrible if we had the same type of label on us?" Let me explain...
When you weave in and out of your day and through the lines at the grocery store, latte stand and in and amongst your children and their friends what is the mark on them left by your soul? Do you leave the people you meet better than you found them, or is there no mark that you were there at all? Do you have a non marking soul? Or are you so filled with thankfulness that you leave a wave of smiles behind you? I went through a shy phase, worried that I would call someone by the wrong name that I never said a word to the children in my children's classes when I dropped mine off. Well, I decided that in the midst of my selfishness I had to stop. This is a golden opportunity to pour out the grace that has been poured into me. I want a marking soul. Now I throw out genuine "good to see you today"'s and hugs whenever I can. These children need to know they are a needed and wonderful part of the school around them.

The headmaster of their school greets every child that comes in with a "Good morning!" and he knows their names! My son did remind me that he does go home at night (good to know he doesn't think he lives at the school!). In the midst of changing and uncertain times for these children an adult that cares about them and wants them there can make a huge difference. Even the hug that you give your daughter's best friend can say more than you think. How about , "Good job making friends! She sure is a good choice!" Any extra amount of love poured in will yield great results.
We have great friends that my children have adopted at various stores that we frequent. A clerk at Costco that doesn't know the Lord will feel themselves pulled with a force unknown when a child freely speaking of their love of Jesus pours out an extra dose of love to them, completely unwarranted.
Even the full heart of your pastor after your children run up to him after the service to say, "thank you" and give him a big hug. It makes a big impact.

Call the people that help you by their names, they usually have name tags.
Be thankful, verbally.
Love your children's friends, especially if it's a friend well made. One that is a true friend to your child.
Pray for grace and for God to open up your eyes to opportunities every day for God to give you a marking soul.