Thursday, May 31, 2012

I won't be...

buying cat food.
This gal has been hanging out in our yard today. She has let the kids pet her and hold her, and scratched Collin when she was done being held, trying to get away. So, she is a normal cat. She has no tail. If you stopped by my house today, opened your car door and pushed your cat out. I thought you should know, we won't be buying cat food.
I let them feed her some scraps out of the chicken bucket. But. I. will. NOT. be. buying. cat. food. Nope. Won't do it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

There is a right whey to do things...

Then there is the wrong whey.

This is what happens when you don't get the ricotta and whey you are trying to pour into a colander to drain all the "whey" on the counter before you let go of it. I thought it was more than half whey on the counter and turned it out it wasn't even a 1/4 of the whey on the counter. sigh.

I am VERY thankful that I wheyt for it to cool down before I pour it. The recipe says I only need to wheyt 5 minutes. It is 200 degrees F when I turn off the heat. I have been splashed with this hot whey when a clump of ricotta splashes into the colander. So, I wait at least a 1/2 hour. This batch I waited more like 10 hours, seriously. So, it was fully cooled down when it splashed on my foot. Sorry no pics of the foot with cooled ricotta on it. Haven't had a pedicure since March when the hubby and I went together for our anniversary for one. HA.

Our dog Sandy ate of the feast while I cleaned it up, too. She abandoned me before it was fully cleaned. Can't say I blame her. It is over 1 gallon of whey and ricotta mixed.

I hope you laugh as much as I will, Someday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Making My Marriage Magnificent in May - Forgiveness

Guest post by Joy Erskine....


I  am 37 years old, committed (though not institutionalized, yet) to my husband and our 3 preschool boys and 9 year old daughter, all 4 of whom have been adopted; but most of all to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I homeschool, raise chickens, try to garden and sell Stampin' Up! products. You can find my Stampin' Up! webpage here.

Joy Erskine on Forgiveness
Hebrews 12
1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

What hinders you today? What holds you back from being the kind of person God calls you to be in your marriage? Could it be that there is unresolved anger in your life? It may be something your spouse said or did (or neglected to say or do,) or, could it be that you are mentally beating yourself up over something you did so long ago?

Matthew 18
“21 Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’22 Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’”

Notice what he didn’t say… He did not say, “when he makes it up to you.” He did not say, “when you can figure out why he did it so that you can justify it in your mind.” He did not say, “wait until enough time has passed.” He simply wants us to forgive.
Sin against God, or offenses committed against us do not need to be justified to be forgiven. We need to call it what it is and remember that Christ died for our sin the same as he did for the offending person.
Now that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to him about it or tell him how you feel when this or that happens, but if we come to the other person with a spirit of forgiveness, I believe we will get a lot further than if we come hurling insults and spewing anger all over our spouse.

Matthew 18
15 “ If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.”

Galatians 6
1 “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

  God doesn’t want us holding on to that anger – even if it is anger against ourselves. By holding on to that it’s like saying, “Jesus, I know you died for that sin, but that’s not good enough. I know they ripped out your beard and whipped you with shards of glass and spat in your face and nailed you to that cross and left you to hang there, but there has to be something more for this one.” We make light of what he did when we won’t forgive.

   I found this as I perused Pinterest, “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?

   So, forgive!

  Forgive your spouse. Say this phrase often, “My mate is not my enemy!”

  Who is our enemy? Satan! He does not want your marriage to last! Do not let him win! Forgive yourself! When you cling to that sin, you are denying the grace and mercy God has given you! You are denying Christ’s blood that was shed for you to wash away that sin. That does not mean that we can do what we want and just ask for forgiveness later – check out Romans 6-8 for more on that one! But God wants us – AS SOON AS WE REALIZE that we’ve done something wrong to RUN - first to the person we’ve offended and do whatever is in our power to make it up to them and then to accept His forgiveness for ourselves. He’s waiting, just as the father in Luke 15 was waiting and watching for his prodigal son to return. You’ll find Him running to you with open arms!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ricotta Tutorial

So, you've made cheese and want to know what to do with all that FRESH whey? 

I make Ricotta cheese with my whey, as well as other things. This post will tell you how I make my Ricotta from Mozzarella whey. One of my previous tutorials was on how I make my Mozzarella. This tutorial picks up from there.

I already have my 12 quart stainless steel pot, my stirring spoon, and my thermometer. So, all I need to gather is my larger colander, my "whey" pot (a 14 ish quart pot I use to drain whey into for cheese making adventures), and a piece of unbleached muslin big enough to line the colander.

I just finished making the mozz. My whey is in the pot heated to about 175 degrees F still from using it in the Mozz recipe. As soon as I take the last piece of mozz out of the pot I turn the heat up on high and wash my dishes from making the mozz or go check my facebook and email. It will take about 10 minutes for the whey to heat up to the temp I need -200 degrees F. The whey needs very little stirring or tending to.

When the whey looks like this picture don't be tempted to turn off the heat and quit. It's still not ready yet. The proteins need to cook more to come together better. So be patient.

Here you will see what it looks like after you reach 200 degrees F.It boils and gets frothy. You can see the whey "chunks" They are small, but noticeable.

The whey and remaining curd is now separated out.

This is where I walk away and do whatever I want. Shower, milk goats, eat, facebook, play a computer possibilities are endless! It needs to cool down for  awhile before I dare handle it to dump it into the muslin lined colander to drain over a very large pot. The recipe says let it sit for 5 minutes. I wait more like 30 minutes. Then dump into this colander where it drains rather quickly, but as the curd comes out it sometimes splashes. So, I dump slowly and carefully. Probably more like pouring than dumping.

The draining will take about 1 hour, give or take 30 minutes. Where you will than have freshly made ricotta to put into lasagna, waffles, pancakes or any other recipe that calls for ricotta.

The above picture was taken after I had already scooped out about 3/4 of the ricotta that was made. I scrap it out and put in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. I do not add any salt to it, but you could if you like it that "whey". I should stay fresh for about a week or two, I'm guessing. If it's moldy toss it out. grin.

I put 1 cup of ricotta and 2 cups of the whey that was left over in these waffles. I will blog that recipe another time. :) But they are yummy and higher in protein than just plain waffles.

Just in case you missed it here is the Mozzarella Tutorial I put up yesterday.

Mozzarella Tutorial

I make mozzarella with our goats milk. Lots of people have asked me how I do this. I am always happy to have people over to show them how I make mozzarella. Tonight I decided to bring you my "whey" through blogging, pictures, and videos. I hope you find this informative and fun!

I put  two gallons of raw goats milk in the stainless steel pot and turn it on low, while I gather all my supplies.

I will need....
  1. Large stainless steel or porcelain coated pot with lid. Mine is a 12 quart stainless steel.
  2. Long "knife" to cut the curd. I use a frosting spatula for frosting cakes.
  3. Thermometer that will register at least from 50 degrees F to 200 degrees F.
  4. Slotted spoon for stirring and scooping the curds.
  5. Two small cups or bowls with 1/4 cup of cool non-chlorinated water in each.
  6. 1/2 tsp and 1 tsp measuring spoons
  7. Medium bowl 3/4 full of ice water.
  8. Strainer/colander with small holes.
  9. Small bowl that the colander will rest comfortably on top to drain the curds.
  10. Rennet (1/2tsp) Dissolved in one of 1/4 cups of water.  You can use animal or vegetable rennet. If you use double strength use 1/4 tsp.
  11. Citric acid (2- 2 1/2 tsp) dissolved in the other 1/4 cup of water. Got mine at my local health food store. I am currently using 1 tsp per gallong of raw goats milk. It is spring time, in the fall I may need to use more.
  12. Two gallons of milk. Fresh raw milk is best. I used Raw goats milk from my own Saanens. You can half this recipe and use 1 gallon of milk. I prefer to work in larger quantities.
  13. Kosher salt to taste, about 1/2 tsp is what I used. (not pictured here)
  14. Kitchen latex gloves. They are usually yellow, though mine are green. You will be able to see my cool gloves in the video. I forgot to get them out of the draw for the picture. They are sold in the cleaning aisle. You want a brand new pair that you use only for making cheese. You will be holding the mozz and stretching it while wearing these. It helps so you don't burn your hands.
  15. For Ricotta you will need a large colander and a very large bowl or pot. Big enough to hold about 1.5 gallons of whey. I will cover that in my next blog as this one got "whey" long "whey" fast! And now I am "whey" tired!!!
The milk needs to reach 50 degrees F and then I will add the Citric acid that has been dissovled in 1/4 cup of cool non-chlorinated water. I often get side tracked.  I have found that I usually end up adding the citric acid as late as 80 degrees F and it turns out fine as well.

I can't help but multi-task. These are the dishes I am washing while the milk heats. I'm not good at "whey"ting.

After I got the temp to 70 degrees F I added the citric acid and stirred the milk a bit, maybe a minute. I continue heating the milk to 90 degrees. I should stop multi - tasking and pay attention at this point. I want to add the rennet and turn off the heat when the milk hits 90 degrees F.

I was successful at adding rennet at the correct time. BUT I forgot to turn off the heat and the milk did get to 96 degrees F before I screeched in horror. Really, you can ask Lindsey, my husband. He thought I was burning the place down or had left the gas running with the fire off. This might be the reason I didn't get as good of stretch as I would of liked in the video.

UPDATE: I added the rennett at 85 degrees F this morning, turned the heat off and put the lid on for 5 minutes. It turned out MUCH better than last nights Mozz. I have uploaded a new video at the end to show how the stretch looks shinier and smoother.
After I added the rennet I stirred about 20 seconds. I would then turn off the heat, ahem, put the lid on, and set the timer for 5 minutes.

When the timer goes off I check the curd for a "clean break". It almost always has a clean break. If it does not let it sit another minute and check again. Let it sit too long and you are making rubber tire cheese.

It looks like this.... See how when I put the cake frosting knife thingy in the curd and lift sightly the curd cleaning breaks? Yeah, I know its hard to see it in this picture.

Now I cut the curd.

 I cut it with the knife straight down into the pot, like pictured. I cut the curd vertical and then cut across those cuts, like pictured. To make tall 1/2 inch cubes. The curd goes down into the pot, deep.

I then put the knife in at an angle and cut the deep part of the curd. Like so...

I turn the knife 4 different direction while cutting the curd at an angle.

Even with all this cutting I still have long curds when I began cooking the curd in the next step. I just cut through them with my slotted stirring spoon.  Like so...

See the large curds in the middle of the pot? Those I cut up more with my slotted spoons edge. Also note the white curd residue on all around the edge of the pot. It looks like lots of bubbles, but it's curd. I scrap this off with the edge of the slotted spoon. I find that if I leave it there it cooks on and becomes difficult to clean the pot.  *I will cover cleaning the pot in the next tutorial on making Ricotta.*

Now that it's all cut up I turn the heat back on low and slowly heat the curd up to 103 degrees F, while SLOWLY and gently stirring the curd. I stir it to prevent it from matting up into one mass. I will continue to break up large pieces.

Now you get to see the first of several awesome videos I made for this blog. I'll let it speak for its self. I mean I'll speak in it for me.

Once the temperature reaches 103, I turn off the heat and set my timer for 3 minutes. As stated in the video. After the timer goes off I begin fishing out the curd with my slotted spoon.

When finished fishing, my strainer will be full to the brim. Like so...

UPDATE: I've made this more than a few times and I've noticed I get a lot more curds when something has gone wrong. My finished product it usually a bit rubbery then, but still edible by my kids standards. After it sits in the fridge over night and soaks in the salt, it is usually less rubbery. UNLESS, I have done something massively wrong and then I end up with tire rubber cheese. That I then feed to our chickens. No one around here will eat tires.

When all the curd is fished out I turn the stove on high to heat the whey up as fast as possible. I don't like "whey"ting, remember? Don't worry I will have more whey jokes for your enjoyment.

It's draining whey off into the bowl below...
UPDATE: paid attention and this is "whey" too much whey draining off in this step. IF I get the temp, acid and timing right the curd leaks out about half this amount of whey in this first draining.

I pour this whey into the big pot on the stove to be heated. When the curds dripping slows down I turn it over. I flip it upside down in my hand and pry it out with my fingers. Then it looks like this....

I'm weird so this of course if "whey" cool to me! I like the "whey" the curd mats all together and gets the mesh boxy texture. The curd will then drain some more and get all textured on the now turned down sound.

After it stops draining on this side, I remove the curd from the colander and cut it in half with my "whey" big frosting knife thingy... then I realize that I didn't list this platter on my things I get out to use to make mozz cheese list...oops!

I then return it to the colander cut sides down to drain some more whey out.

I call this butt curd.

Anyway...I let drain...yup you guessed it, till the dripping whey slows down. I dump the whey into the pot that is taking "whey" too long to heat up to 175 degrees F. You can speed up the heating by dumping 1/2 the whey out, but I keep it all in the pot because I need the why to make the ricotta from the next tutorial.

After the dripping slows, I cut it yet one more time.

These are curd mountains draining cut side down. With no more cutting left to be done, they will remain this "whey" until the whey is hot enough to start warming the curd in it.

It takes about 10 minutes for the whey to reach 175 degrees F. Once it does, I turn the heat to low to try to keep it at that temperature.

Now that the "whey"ting is over...the "ball" of mozz goes into the very hot whey!

Now I will let me speak for myself, video style...

Yes, each video may look very much the same, before clicking play...they are indeed 3 very different videos.

'WHEY' cool right!!!??? I love the stretching part. It is not as pliable as it should be. Like I said before it either got to hot when I forgot to turn off the stove when the curd was coagulating or I need to start adding more citric acid. OR another option would be I need to cut the curd sooner. Cheese making is an ever changing ART.

The now stretched CHEESE (it's not curd anymore) is cooled down in the ice water bath. I remove it and place it on the forgotten platter to be sprinkled with kosher salt. For cheese making you must use non-iodized salt that is larger in texture than table salt, but not as big as rock salt. I choose to use Kosher salt, but there are cheese salt flake thingy's you can buy from a cheese making supply company. I'm cheap and Kosher salt is cheaper.

Here is the salt I use. I just sprinkle some on both sides. OR I try to take a picture while shaking the salt on and I dump a bunch on one piece than quickly set camera down and begin rubbing the other pieces of cheese in the pile of salt on both sides. My family likes salt, so a coat on both sides is not too much salt. Though I usually just have a sprinkle on both sides.

I then stack them up in a piece of plastic storage stuff with a lid on it and put it in the fridge. Though as you can see, my kids are "whey" inpatient and we of course have to taste test it. The upper left piece seems a bit to straight on one side and smaller than the other pieces. That's the "whey" the cheese is cut to be eaten in strips. :)

If you have any questions about what I was doing or why, feel free to ask. I will do my best to answer your questions.
I bet you can't wait to read the next tutorial on making ricotta? I use the whey from making Mozzarella, even though everything I read says, "it can't be done." I, my dear friends, do it! And you will be able to, too!

UPDATE: I made a new video of the final stretching process. You will see that the cheese is much shinier and smoother.

Here is the Ricotta Tutorial I promised.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Making Marriage Magnificent: Pray for Your Spouse

Do you have about 5 minutes a day to spend praying for your spouse? Did you know that doing so each day over the course of 31 days can improve your marriage?!?
Every marriage has room for growth - some more than others - and one of the best ways to grow your marriage is pray Scripture for your spouse.
Not only will you see your prayers answered and your marriage improved {because when you pray the Scriptures in their proper context, you are praying the will of God}, but you will grow in your own faith!

Join the 31 Days to Pray for Your Spouse Challenge as we access the power of prayer together to build up our spouses and change our marriages for the glory of God.
Based on the ebook, 31 Days to Build a Better Spouse, the Challenge begins on June 4th and will focus on praying for a different aspect of your spouse’s life each day. Each day’s prayer focus is founded on the Word of God and the prompts will have you praying Scripture over your spouse.
Won’t you join us??
For more details, visit LIFE by Ashley Pichea.


Ashley Pichea invites her blog readers to join her in “doing LIFE together – living intentionally by faith everyday” at LIFE by Ashley Pichea where she shares faith, family, and the adventures of homeschooling. Ashley invites you to connect with her on Twitter {@apichea} and Facebook {}.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Week 5 Accountability 5/6-5/12

Sunday- Cereal and 2 mini cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Lunch was homemade lasagna. I popped my frozen one from about a month ago in the oven before we left for church on 170* and hoped for the best. It was almost done when we got home. I turned it up to 425 and it was ready when the garlic bread was.

Dinner? What did I eat for dinner? OH yeah a piece of homemade mozzarella and a big bowl of strawberries. I think I ate another bowl of cereal, too. :/

I am not going to eat another bowl of cereal this week! I am seeing a pattern here. I made homemade whole wheat waffles on Saturday and I have real maple syrup. I will eat that, instead of cereal.

Cleaned out the baby goat pen and walked the goats around the yard to browse/eat.

Not enough water.

Monday- I think I finally drank enough water, I was soo thirsty today that it was easy to do.

Breakfast 1 homemade 100% whole wheat waffle with local pure maple syrup. YUM.
Lunch on the go - homemade mozzarella and an apple.
Snack - several mini chocolate donuts :/ sigh.
Dinner - pita pizza

Exercise - I cleaned the barn for over an hour today. My back is a bit sore, but not too bad. :) ya!
I also ran errands this afternoon. I made 1 gallon of yogurt and made 2 gallons of milk into mozzarella. I am TIRED!

Tuesday- Screwed up 2 gallons of milk trying to make into mozzarella. Tire tasting cheese anyone? Rubber. eww. Chickens ate it.

Picked up 2 way ward chillins yesterday. My most precious niece and nephew, whilst my brother and their mother are in California and Vegas on a vacation of sorts. My time is coming, just happening with my childrens. :)  The 16 month old is a crier during the day, but he sleeps through the night HERE. grin. He won't do that at his home. God knows what I can handle, and sleepless nights are not on that list. Apparently.

I had cereal for breakfast (yeah I know). Lunch was food (not sure what kind). Dinner was food as well. Water intake was at about half and I cleaned the barn whilst the baby napped.

Wednesday- bran flakes with a banana sliced over top of it. (yes that is cereal) Lunch was pita pizza. Dinner would probably be a 2 cookies from McDonald's, a handful of mixed candies, and a huge bowl of chips or was that 2 huge bowls?

Water intake was at about 3/4 and I finished cleaning the barn whilst the baby napped.

Thursday- Breakfast Homemade whole wheat waffle with real maple syrup.

Lunch- 1/2 a bag of junky chips and watermelon.

Dinner- Steak, fried potatoes, and homemade mac n cheese.

No exercise and not enough water.

Friday- Went to and was an expo-er at "The Makers Expo" at our homeschool building. (click on the link for info on what that is) I took my soaps to sell, information on herd shares and made soap and cheese! It was SO fun!

I had (you guessed it) cereal for breakfast.

Took lunch with me and it was last nights leftovers plus an apple. And the Girl scout booth had homemade cookies and some popcorn concoction that was addictive.

Dinner- left overs from last night, again! WOW I made a lot of food! HA We all ate it 3 times!

Exercise standing on my feet all day and walking around the expo. Water, eh not so much.

Saturday- Breakfast an apple and water.

Lunch waffles, candy and chips.

Dinner- salad, bread, chicken Alfredo and brownie and ice cream. Went to a "Sisters Appreciation Banquet" at my Mormon Girlfriends church. I tell you, I definitely don't agree with most of their "doctrine", but boy do they know how to pamper their women. :) The men put this dinner on. I have been the last 2 years. They go all out. Set the tables all pretty and have salad, bread and dressing on the table. They come around and take your order if you want Alfredo chicken or spaghetti meat sauce. When your done with your salad they bring your main course. When your done with your main course they bring out your desert. The whole time clearing your dirty dishes and keeping your water filled. If you want seconds on anything there is always plenty. They were kind and attentive and it was a nice time with my friend and her friends. :)

Quite a bit of water, but not enough. No exercise, though I am very very tired.

I did not weigh myself today. Scared of that.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Makers Expo

I had such a wonderful time at the Makers Expo at our homeschool group today I just had to tell you all about it!

The Makers Expo was organized by the City Works class at Bedford - Gull Lake Homeschool Partnership. The idea was to showcase things that you make!

I took my goats milk soap to sell. I also took soap and cheese making supplies and made both as a demonstration.

Soap went well and once the Lavender EO was added it smelled wonderful in the hallway where I was making it.

Soap was poured into molds a little after noon and I took a lunch break. I was able to talk soap with many many people. Made new friends and exchanged business cards with a few peoples.

When I was getting my lunch ready my dear sweet husband surprised me and showed up 3 hours earlier than I expected him. He already had plans to come after work, he got out early so he would have hours left to work Saturday. He hung around and watched my booth while I ran home to get two very important things I needed to make the mozzarella, Latex kitchen gloves and my slotted metal spoon.  What a good man! He could of went home and came at the time we had discussed, but he came early and we had FUN. Fun, I say! We had FUN.

Mozzarella was wonderful! I was nervous about making it because the last time I made it this week it was like eating a tire. Yes, really it was that rubbery, tasteless and just plain gross. I'm glad I knew what I did wrong and didn't redo the same mistake.

When it was done I walked around the Partnership building giving out samples of the cheese. I LOVE words of affirmation and boy was I showered with them today. Not one single person said, "eww that was gross."

I did however hear several people saying, "that is awesome!" and "that is the best cheese ever!" People keep telling me how much they like my cheese, but I always wonder if they are just being nice. I'm starting to believe it really is actually wonderful cheese! :)  Thanks guys.

I even sold some stuff!

Happy Heather.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Parenting...Making My Marriage Magnificient in May

My husband and I do not parent the same. Hardly at all. To be honest we don't do hardly anything the same. You know, opposites attract.

I see or hear him doing things different than me and I start in on him. I tell him how to parent. What he should say and do.

When do I do this? Well of course right away and in front of the kids.

Well what we do, do the same is lose our cool with the kids. We both yell. I have made it my responsibility to point out to him how awful he is being when he loses his cool and yells or flies off the handle with the kids. How ever you word it your home. Have a fit and fall it, climb the wrong side of the mountain. It's when you look like your head will explode and everyone scatters fearing the steam coming out of our ears might burn them.

Again, when do I do this? Well of course right away and in front of the kids.

I do not recommend this strategy. It sucks. It NEVER goes well. And in the end it just makes the kids disrespect the both of us even more.

So, what should I do? You know that whole replace a bad habit with a good one thing I'm attempting to do!?

Well I hear my friend Marlene Lawson telling me, "When you feel yourself 'going there' get into a F.O.G. (Focus On God) and SHUT UP! You will be glad you did."

I can't fix Lindsey and Lindsey can't fix me. He is just gracious enough not to try as hard as I do to do the fixing stuff. Wasn't that a crazy sentence? Read it again, this don't happen often. I just said my husband is better than me at being the "bigger person". At letting ME have my faults and not running me into the ground for it. Well, cause he is.

So, when you hear your whiny loud nagging voice rear up, out loud or inside your head, SHUT UP! Cause that is what I will be trying to do. Join me, if only to encourage me with this. Hopefully it will encourage you and help to make your marriage magnificent.

On a quick side note I have re-read this post a few times.... Do you think this is violating my first objective? To be positive about my husband, to not be negative, especially publicly? I honestly don't think so, but if you feel it does can please enlighten me? I want to be honoring him with positive things and breaking away from the negative. So, please be honest with me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How do you "explain" God?

When someone doesn't believe in God, how do you explain what you feel in His presence?

That is the question I am struggling with tonight.

How can I tell them the peace I feel when I choose to pray when in an unpeaceful situation?

How do you explain that bad things happen to everyone, but God DOES love us?

Especially when I still carry hurts, burdens and scars from my hurts? I would like to say I am "healed" because I know Christ. But even though HE forgives and FORGETS, I do not. I am human and I remember the things I did to others and myself that caused pain.

Yet, I can see God working in all of that. What Satan intends for evil God can turn good.

But when someone does not even believe there is a God?

Is all I can do PRAY?

I'm a fixer, I believe I should have some profound wisdom and magical words to help them FEEL God.

I'm a major screw up and feel like a HUGE hypocritical Christian. Then I remember WHO sins, EVERYONE. Being a Christian does not make you sinless and perfect. It makes you forgiven. It means you are choosing God. It also means you won't choose God, sometimes. Sin.

I think of my answers to prayer and times in my life that are not coincidence. They are God working. And I just want to list some here as my "proof" of God.

1. My father killed my mother and then killed himself when I was 19 years old. I forgive my father.

2. Elaine's birth story. Not going into labor and having to deliver c-section to find that the cord was around her neck very tightly, twice. I cried for 2 weeks for pure thankfulness of what did not happen that could of. God will only give me what I can handle. I have always prayed often that I never be able to handle my children dieing. While someday they will die, Elaine did not die on her birthday.

3. Lindsey selling "his house" after were married I nagged him for TWO years to sell that house. I stopped nagging and started praying. TWO weeks later he bought a for sale sign. To me, proof that when I let go and let God, He moves.

4. Lindsey was a 3 times a week DRUNK. Not drinker, DRUNK. Only God could bring someone away from that cold turkey with no physical or emotional withdrawal symptoms and no desire to drink. He has been sober for 8 years now.

5. I write out a budget and it does not make any sense that we should be able to pay our bills, Yet we tithe usually giving more than 10% of our income back to God himself. He is the great provider and the bills are always paid and on time. Even though on paper it doesn't seem possible.

6. Corey has a tumor in the neck of his right femur. We found out about it when he was almost 8 years old. He had an x-ray because of a very bad belly ache and seen it on the film. Many doctors visits and tests later the tumor has not changed and he has never had to have surgery.

God will not give us more than we can handle. I'm sorry that what you were given SUCKS. Mine sucks, too. But with God I have peace and hope of eternal life with Him. I know things of this world will tear me down and make me ache, but this life is temporary. A preparation for eternity with Him, because I choose to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. God understands injustice. He chose to send His only son to die for MY sins, so I could live with Him forever.

If you would like to know more about the God I know and love I would love to answer in anyway I can. I am no bible scholar and I may not have all the answers, but I will do my best to find them.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mood Swings...Making My Marriage Magnificent in May

I'm not the only with them. Though I tend to be the least forgiving of them.

I am quick to get snappy right back. I'm not good at diffusing a situation that did not need to turn ugly in the first place.

I know not everyone who reads my blog is a Christian, but since I am I just want to warn you I am gonna get all Christian on ya. I don't say this so that you stop reading and exit this post, but so that you're aware that your about to glean from my Christianity. grin.

James 1:19-20 tells us this- "This you know my beloved brethren, But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger, for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God."

I am capable of being a good listener, but (I don't like this but... sigh) I don't practice my listening skills nearly often enough. I think about what I want to say, instead of focusing on his words. Especially in a disagreement. I'm ready with my venomous poison (my words) when he pauses a moment.

While I am not a complete failure at this, there is TONS of room for improvement.

We both have physical hearing problems. He had surgery on one of his ears when a child and I have Minere's Disease. We often truly don't hear each other. I get annoyed with repeating myself and with my body for not being able to hear him.

All these things can set the mood in our house, which is usually a lousy one. I get edgy and I expect him to forgive me. To take it like a man. That because I am a woman I have the right to get moody. But when he does it I rear my ugly mood right back at him.

Even when he cracks a joke and tries to defuse a situation that has turned ugly, I roll my eyes and spew more venomous words at him. Usually at an unnecessarly high volume. Boo. Who wants to live like that. I know I don't. I won't. I want to change my ways. I want my marriage to be magnificent!

I pledge to accept his defusing jokes and allow him to bring me back down from my high horse.  To take the time to laugh with my husband. To show him my happy side. To be FUN again.

Have you lost your FUN? How can you get it back, if you have? What are you going to do to be a better listener and be angry less?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Week 4 April 29th-May 5th

Sunday- No exercise or water. I lost my water bottle and figured out on Monday that I left it in a girlfriends car after we went for Brownie Sundaes on Friday! ha!

Warmed up some frozen pancakes for breakfast with lots of real maple syrup.

I thawed out left over white castle burgers for lunch. I made steak and fried sweet potatoes for dinner.

Monday- No exercise or water. Still have not retrieved the missing water bottle. I went to my girlfriends house and forgot to grab it out of her car. :( 

Had a rice kripy treat, a 2 pack of pop tarts and cookies for lunch. In the van while doing some running around. Nutritious, eh? Not so much.

Dinner was bacon and nasty bag noodle mix. Butter noodles with all their preservatives and white bleached flour. blech. I don't know if I mentioned my whole food journey?  I really sucked up the preservatives today.

I later had a large portion of homemade strained goat yogurt with xylitol and vanilla. YUM.

Tuesday- I actually drank SOME water today. I got out both my water bottles and used them :) I did not exercise.

I don't think I ate breakfast, but honestly can't remember and I am typing this at 9:02pm on Tuesday. hmm.

I ate a 2 bananas around lunch time after I went to Horrocks and stocked up on fruits and veggies. I did this instead of going to fast food! Yeah me!!!
I had 4 hard shell tacos for dinner. I am eating a salad now. I probably will get some yogurt tonight, too.

I went for 2 bowls of cereal and yogurt.

Wednesday- Bowl of cereal for breakfast.  For Snack, banana and YUMMY THICK homemade goats milk yogurt with xylitol and vanilla. mmmm. Can you tell I am eating more while I am typing this?

Lunch was Mac n Cheese, steak, and fried sweet potato.

Dinner 2 crunchy shell taco's. McDonald's Hot Fudge Sundae with 2 packets of nuts for date night time. I'm a cheap date. $2.52 for the both of us.

Then of course the more yogurt that I am eating right now.

Drank 2 glasses of water today. No exercise, tho I feel like I ran a marathon. Seriously, what did I do today. My legs ache, I'm tired as heck, and really I am just stiff everywhere. sigh.

Thursday- New baby goat was born today! Her name is Kate. So, I was walking back and forth to the barn A LOT. :)

Breakfast was probably cereal. Lunch was did not happen, too much excitement happening.

Dinner was pork stir fry with rice.

Friday- Breakfast- probably cereal. Lunch- pancakes and an apple.
Dinner YUMMY hamburgers and mac n cheese.

Saturday-  Cereal for breakfast. Had some water, but not enough. I was more active, but not purposeful exercise.

Lunch 3 crunchy tacos. dinner steak and potato salad. 1 waffle after dinner.

Weight 243lbs. Yo Yo Yo YO YO. oye.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tell me 3 Good things about YOUR husband.

This is the first of my series on Making My Marriage Magnificent in May. Go back and read the first one if you need a refresher of what this is all about. But here it goes....

So, I've  had a few conversations with some friends about the reality that I tend to "run my husband into the ground", to put it bluntly.  I tend to talk negatively about him a lot and publicly. ouch.

It has been a HUGE fault of mine, for our entire marriage. I KNOW this hurts him, because he has told me so. :-(

So, the first thing I challenge myself with this month is to STOP this.

I'm a firm believer that breaking a bad habit is best accomplished by replacing it with a good habit. So, when I hear myself thinking negative things about Lindsey, I am going to think of three positive things.

If you hear me complain about him, please gently remind me of my desire to honor him. Maybe do this by saying to me, "Tell me 3 good things about your husband." In all seriousness I need that accountability. I am not saying you should NEVER vent or seek Godly counsel about the things your spouse does that tick you off. I am saying that I have taken it and made it into an art form. A hideous one. That has hurt my husband and subsequently hurt our marriage and me. When you need to seek out a friend to vent to or ask advice of, do so in private. Not in a way that will shame your husband, as I have. :-(

This one will be tough for me. So, I figured I better put it right at the beginning. I will have more time to work on it and be encouraged by you. Hopefully I can be an encouragement to you as well.

Would you take the time to share with me 3 Good things about YOUR husband, to help get yourself started?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Week 3 Accountability

Saturday - My sisters birthday! Went out to Dinner with her at the Chinese Buffet. She found a fortune in the bottom of my water glass, before I drank any. eww. Of course I over ate. It is a buffet after all and this is America. grin.

I did no extra movement/exercise. I did not get all my water in.

Sunday- Cereal for breakfast, homemade White Castle Burgers for lunch. I made the hamburger part Saturday. Popped them in the oven and topped with cheese and assembled Sunday after church.

Not sure what dinner was, but I had cake at church after a very awesome concert put on by lots of our church members. :)

NO exercise. I'm becoming a lazy bum butt. Certain I did not drink enough water.

Monday- Breakfast, cereal. Lunch homemade chili. Dinner 1 slice of pizza and a bowl of homemade goats milk cottage cheese! Successfully made by none other than ME! Collin even ate some :)

Not enough water, no exercise. I'm seeing a theme here. :/

Tuesday- Shredded wheat for breakfast. Lunch at Ritzee's - Deluxe burger, fries and a large strawberry shake. Two Little Debbie butterfly creme filled cakes, make that four. I think I had a bowl of cereal later in the night too and  a couple crunchy granola bars.

Not enough water, no exercise.

Wednesday- Crunchy granola bars for breakfast, four of them. sigh.

Chicken, corn and beans for lunch. Butterfinger candy bar for dinner. Seriously.

Not enough water, no exercise. Tho, seriously tired. Made a quadruple batch of muffins today and this past Saturday. Along with soft goat cheese. Milk is the theme. OH so I guess I had Muffins for dinner, too.

Thursday- Muffins for breakfast. Potato soup for lunch. Arby's for dinner. Brownie sundae at Denny's for dessert with a girlfriend. We were celebrating her finishing her last exam for her Bachelors degree!!! YEAH!

Not enough water, no exercise. :(

Friday-  April, 27th.

Wow did time get away from me and I have been failing miserably at keeping up witht his ever since this past Thursday.

Publishing this and hoping to do better next week.