Monday, May 23, 2011

Homemade Yogurt

My brother is a big dairy fan.  He loves milk, butter, yogurt, and especially cheese.  A couple of weeks ago, he decided that he wanted to make some homemade yogurt!  We tried it, and it turned out really well!  I was actually surprised at how easy it was, and how well it turned out!  In this post, I'll just be outlining the steps of the process and showing you some pictures that we took.  If you would like to learn the specifics of it all, and how it works, you can go to the website where we learned to make it, by clicking here

Step 1:  Pour milk (we used whole milk) into four quart sized mason jars.

Step 2:  Place the jars into a pot of water with a dishrag at the bottom (to keep the jars from wobbling around and breaking) and bring to a boil.  Place your thermometer into the water to sterilize it.

Step 3:  Boil until your milk comes to a temperature of 185 degrees.

Step 4:  When your milk has heated to 185 degrees, turn your heat off, take the jars out of the water, put the lids on, and transfer to a sink of cold water.  Your objective here is to cool the milk down to 100 degrees.

Step 5:  When the milk has cooled to 100 degrees, add 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt to each jar.

Step 6:  Put the lids back on the jars, and place them in a cooler with towels and your pot of hot water (this is to keep the jars and their contents nice and warm).  Put the lid on the cooler.  Now is the waiting part.  You can leave your jars in here for 4 - 24 hours depending on how you like the taste of the yogurt.  We left ours in for about 6.

Step 7:  Place the jars in the freezer for one hour.

Step 8:  Enjoy!

Our homemade yogurt with homemade granola


Monday, May 16, 2011

Winsome Womanhood

For my birthday, my cousin Mariah and her family gave me a wonderful gift.  It is a book, but not just any book.  It is called Winsome Womanhood, and was written by Margaret E. Sangster and published in 1900.  It encourages women in their roles in the home, beginning at a girl's youth, and ending at her death.  I've been reading it, and parts of it have been very encouraging.  Chapter two was called "The Daughter At Home" and was very encouraging to me, as that is the chapter of my life that the Lord has me in.

There is a note in the front of the book, written in pencil and a very pretty hand, that says,"Presented to 'The Five' Cunningham girls, By their loving Father, Dec, 25, 1901, Galena, O."  I don't know what in the world Galeno, O. is, but I absolutely love old-fashioned things, and this book is so special because of that.  Every page has beautiful dainty drawings all around the edges.  I just love it.

Me with Aunt Kris and Mariah

Thanks B Family!


My 16th Birthday

Last Saturday was my 16th birthday. It was a unique one for me. Over the years, it has become customary for us to spend my birthday together as a family at home just hanging out. This year, however, was different. I got to spend the day with my precious friend Natalie. Perhaps you will remember that her family travels the country as evangelists. Last Saturday, they just happened to be in Phoenix, and invited us to come down for an outreach with them. Of course, I wouldn't pass up an opportunity to be with Natalie, so I got up at the early hour of 4:15 so our family could drive to Phoenix to see them. I'm so glad that I did.

Me playing with my new phone, a gift from my parents.

Me opening my card from my family.  They are so precious to me!
We met at Cracker Barrel for a delicious breakfast.

At the Cracker Barrel
Then we headed to a local park to hand out tracts, make balloon animals, paint faces, and share the gospel.  It was my first time making balloon animals, and it was quite fun!  Natalie taught me how to make a couple of basic things.  (We didn't get any pictures of the outreach.  Sorry!)

After the outreach I opened some gifts from Natalie's family and her cousin's family.  I was so blessed by their kindness to me.

Then came the most difficult part.  Parting with Natalie.  I miss her so much already.

Afterwards, we made the two hour drive home, and hung out the rest of the day.  We played Boggle (my favorite if you'll remember!), made pizza for dinner, had one of my favorite desserts (Guadalupe Pie), and watched a movie.  In all, the day was very special and blessed for me, and I am so thankful to the people who strove to make it so.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Conflicting Seasons and My New Favorite Music

I am thoroughly confused right now.  Can someone please tell me what season it is?!?  Let me explain to you my dilemma.  According to me, it is summer because I'm on summer break.  According to the calendar, it is spring (the first day of summer isn't until June 21).  And to further confuse me, the weather is telling me that it is still winter!  That's right, it snowed for a couple of hours here today.  It never did stick, but it snowed heavily for quite some time.  Now do you blame me for being bewildered?

I accidentally ran into a Christian music group last week that has quickly become my favorite!  It's a husband and wife group -- Keith and Kristyn Getty.  Keith writes modern hymns, and Kristyn sings them.  And it sounds absolutely beautiful.  I won't say anything more about them; I'll just give you a sample.  This my favorite of all their songs: By Faith.