Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Singing hymns half-heartedly without paying attention to the words or out of a sense of duty can be considered a form of taking the Lord's name in vain....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Suitable Suitor

I'm mulling over a lot while working on reclaiming the upstairs study, and I would like some help from you. No, not with the work but with the "mulling" part. We've been putting a lot of thought into what constitutes a suitable suitor for a daughter. I'm not talking about your average "let's hang out at a movie or coffee shop date". I'm talking about a real suitor. Other than being a Christian and basic requirements such as that, I want something more concrete on paper. Lately, after listening to a message on CD, I've been giving a lot of thought to the idea that a man must have a vision for his life....a way in which he ministers to the body of Christ or the world...before he can ask a young lady to follow him. Agreeing to marriage, puts a young woman in a very vulnerable position; how can she be asked to follow or submit to someone who doesn't have a clue as to where they are going? Also, a suitor needs to be someone who can lead spiritually....not just someone who is spiritual, but someone who is knowledgeable and able to guide and lead his family without falling prey to heresies big or small. There is a lot more on my mind, but I want to know what's on your mind. I want to know what you think, so I can think about it as well. So, what are some of your thoughts as to what constitutes a suitable suitor?

Try it Tuesday

When my husband and I were engaged, he asked me if I knew how to make biscuits. At the time, I thought it was a silly just whacked open a can and baked them. (My mother had attempted to make biscuits from scratch, but they seemed to be mostly useful as dog bones as one of our dogs always promptly buried hers.) It was not long into our marriage that I learned the difference. I have tried many biscuit recipes over the past 22 years and have finally created a recipe of my own. It is a culmination of three of our favorite biscuit recipes. If you don't like the slightly sweet flavor of these biscuits, simply eliminate the sugar and vanilla and add just a touch more buttermilk. Enjoy!

2 Cups of all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur, unbleached)
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 Cup of sugar
1/4 Cup of butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 Cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla, pure extract only

Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles corn meal. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and stir. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead several times. Pat or gently roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut out biscuits and place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees until lightly browned.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Below is an article from the Baltimore Sun by Christy Zuccarini

DIY Dishwasher/Scouring Powder
If commercial dish detergents that contain phosphates do indeed end up being banned, it may be worth making your own natural cleaning product, especially considering that current eco-friendly brands like EcoVer and Seventh Generation are so costly.

I pulled the following recipe for natural dishwasher/scouring powder from The New Homemaker. The ingredients are simple and pretty affordable – according to the author you’ll end up saving around 14 cents a load (when compared to a brand like Cascade). On the subject of whether or this detergent cleans as well as commercial brands, opinions are varied. Though the recipe recommends using citrus essential oils, some folks swear by tea tree and peppermint oils. Either way, this may require a little experimentation but it seems worth a try.

In a plastic container with a firmly fitting lid, mix:
1 cup borax (20-Mule-Team Borax, available in any supermarket)
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup citric acid (available in brewing stores among other places--if you haven't tracked it down yet but must try this formula, use two packets of Lemonade-Flavored Kool-Aid, ONLY lemon, or you'll dye your dishwasher! and ONLY unsweetened Kool-Aid!)
30 drops citrus essential oil--lemon, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, or a mixture

Put all of it in the container, shake it up.