Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Amusing craigslist posts

I've become a bit of a craigslist junkie lately. I've been looking for a few specific items, and the good deals go fast, so I've been watching the local list closely. Most items are more expensive than I would expect at garage sales, but I feel like it pays off in not driving all over town just waiting to find the perfect deal.

As a side benefit, I find the ads rather amusing. Now, I've never had a great sense of humor, and everyone knows that a pregnant woman's sense of humor is weird, so I don't expect these to be funny to you. I just feel like posting some every once in a while. Perhaps because I have nothing more profound to say.

(In reality I have a lot going on in my mind, and it's just not organized enough to come out on the screen in a positive way yet. Perhaps in the next week or two there'll be some worthwhile content. Perhaps not.)

So, without further excuses, The award winning craigslist ad from yesterday (contact information removed). I would love to see this thing, I wish there had been a picture. I wonder the story behind it....






$700.00 OBO

This just might win the cute toy award. I'd never pay that kind of money ($50) for a small metal toy, but that's another topic.

West Germany Tin Litho Duck Friction Toy, paint very good condition, bottom marked made in West Germany, 940 MAMA PAAK, it measures 3 1/2" tall and 4" long, thanks for looking

This is a mystery to me. What is it? How do you use it?

copper clothes hanger for $3

Monday, June 8, 2009

Unplugged Cheese

I have wanted to, for a long time, join in the unplugged weekly projects. I just never seem to get on the ball within the week. But I love that site. Pretty much everything about it jives with me -- reducing "screen" time, no TV, hands-on activity with kids, what's not to love?

So tonight, I go to check out the weekly project, and notice that just the other day, We Chester and the kids did the perfect project to write up and join in. So, here's to what I hope is a future of joining in this carnival. It's totally cool.

We get our milk through a government program for low-income folks like us, called WIC. On WIC, we get a LOT of milk -- more than we could ever hope to drink, since we're not big milk-drinkers. So we often have to get creative to use up our milk before it goes bad. This month we were caught a bit off-guard and ended up with eleven gallons in a week. And we had colds, and were drinking even less milk than usual.

So, I pulled out my normal tricks, making a gallon into cottage cheese, a gallon into yogurt (some of that into yogurt cheese and then cheesecake), a half-gallon into cream-of-mushroom soup for the freezer..... But there's still a lot of milk left.

So Chester, in his brilliance, decides to attempt a more advanced milk-usage project: mozzarella cheese. Last Thursday, he and the kids got everything set up and gave it a try, using a modification of this recipe. (For the record, our milk is homogenized, and pasteurized, and didn't cause any problems. He also omitted the called-for lipase powder and calcium chloride, because he noticed that not all mozzarella recipes include them. We didn't have flaked salt, so he ground some salt in our coffee grinder to make it really fine. It worked great.)

Isn't it beautiful?

It ended up not stringy, though. According to this site, it's probably that the acidity was under-developed.

But it's sure yummy. It's more dry feeling than store-bought mozzarella, but tastes almost exactly like it (which I found impressive). We'll be making it again. And the nice part is that it used an entire gallon of milk to make those logs there (about 8 oz. of cheese, we think)!

The kids talked for days about how much fun it was to make cheese with Dad.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Principals of Scripture memory

Scripture memory is one of those things that makes me laugh at Christians. First of all, we all know we should do this, but we don't. And strangely enough, we don't consider ourselves to be sinning that we don't (what is that verse in James which says "to him who knows what to do and does not do it, to him it is sin...?). (Either that, or we don't care that we're entrenched in laziness and sin for our lack of spiritual disciplines, maybe that's more it....). Like all sins, it has consequences. I'm not sure what the consequences of not memorizing scripture are, but I do know what some of the rewards for memorization are: a sharper mind, a closer walk with God, a more fruitful life, discernment, a greater understanding of scripture, a proper perspective, to name a few of the more obvious ones.

So maybe the consequences of not memorizing scripture are the lack of these things.

So then, when we decide to memorize scripture, we go about it in such an awkward way. We have all these Christian catch-phrases - things like "Christianity is relationship, not religion". Or, "Christianity is God reaching out to us, not us earning our way to God". Or, "It's about who you know, not what you've done". These are all true and right. Though works have their place and are rewarded in heaven (and on earth, by the way), what distinguishes Christianity is that it's core is about grace -- we don't earn our Eternal Life. It's all grace.

Then we go to memorize scripture. First, We're probably motivated by guilt or by some pastor's motivational speech, not by our honest assessment of the rewards that we will get from this discipline. Things attempted from guilt rarely stick for long. Then second, we forget all the beauty of our Lord and go straight for memorizing commands. Now, yes, all scripture is God breathed and valuable. This of course includes the commands. But in all honesty, it's far more important to understand and love who God is, than to have a grasp on various commands. We aren't motivated by lists of commands. We can't keep them (this was established back in the "we can't earn salvation" bit). And we never will keep them on our own. No, we're motivated by relationship. We need to know a God and be so enthralled with who He is that we want in every way possible to please Him. Then we can delight in realizing that He's even told us exactly how to please Him. What a great God!

(As a digression, this is one of the most beautiful things that I see in most oldest children, they desperately want to please their parents. Almost everything they do, they look for approval and a "wow, that's really neat" from Mom or Dad. They love to spend time with us parents, and they want to grow up to be just like us. Would that be the case if they didn't really know us, but just thought we were a list of rules? Not on your life. Our relationship with God is the same way).

A. W. Tozer, among his many great quotes, says "I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God...." (The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer, Chapter 1. Someday I'll read that book).

I think that quote, besides being brilliant is so very right on the money. If we thought correctly about God, our doctrine would be right, and so would our application of that doctrine.

So, then, I propose that scripture memory should begin with meditating and memorizing those parts of scripture that are directly about who God is, and that lead us to right and noble thoughts of God. It makes sense to me. Does it make sense to you?

Toward this end, I'm beginning to compile sets of verses to memorize - a list for kids, and a list for me (or adults in general). When it gets going, these verses, and my meditations about them will, I hope, be part of my new blog. Because, well, it's fun to start blogs. And I want to make this a continued priority in my life (I've been sort of half-heartedly memorizing scripture about the character of God for a couple of months now, and it is definitely worthwhile).

This blog will continue, of course. I need a place to post funny things my family attempts.