For my scripture study the last few months I've been using the "Preach My Gospel" manual as a study guide. It has been really helpful, especially because lately I've been feeling like I need a "quick and easy, hold my hand and tell me what to study" guide to the scriptures-- which is what this is. I am working my way through the whole book but if you need some direction for what to study in your personal scripture study chapter #3 'What Do I Study and Teach" and chapter #6 "How Do I Develop Christ-like Attributes" would be great place to start (If you don't have a copy in your home you can read it online here). I just thought I'd pass along the idea because I know that using "Preach My Gospel" as a study guide has helped me a lot on those days when I know I should study my scriptures but don't really want to. Which, yes, does happen to me... quite often.
-2-I've had several people request my recipe for pickles and so I thought I'd post it here in case there are more of you who are interested. It is sort of a conglomeration of a few pickle recipes I found on the Internet and in books. I've made them two years in a row and they have turned out great. They are bit stronger tasting than store bought pickles but in my opinion are much better!
Heather's Dill Pickle Recipe
Start with FRESH cucumbers. If you want them to be crisp even after you can them it is important you pick them and can them the same day. If you are just putting them in the fridge (not processing them) then it is okay to use older ones. Soak the cucumbers in an ice bath for a few hours to make sure they are nice and crisp before you slice them. You can slice them in spears, in rounds, or if you have a big enough jar and they are small enough you can keep them whole.
In a large pot combine the following and simmer it on a low heat.
6 cups of white vinegar
3/4 cup pickling or natural sea salt (if you use iodized salt it turns your pickle water cloudy)
1/4 cup sugar
9 cups water (turns out best if you use distilled water)
2 Tbsp pickling spices (tie it up inside cheese cloth)
You want to simmer it long enough that the flavor of the pickling spices comes out into the mixture. Usually you can tell that the pickling spices have released their flavor because the mixture turns a little darker and it smells REALLY good! While that is boiling prepare your jars by adding the following to the bottom each jar:
2 tsp whole mustard seed
1-2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp dill
1 grape leaf or oak tree leaf (they contain alum which keeps your pickles from going mushy, this is a must! You can also use powdered alum if you can't find oak or grape leaves. )
Add your washed and sliced cumbers to your jars. Then take the pickling spices out of the water mixture and pour the boiling mixture over your cucumbers, leaving a 1/2 inch of headroom. You can keep them just like that in your fridge or if you want you can process them for 20 minutes in a water bath or a steam caner. It makes about 7 quarts. It takes them about 2 weeks to pickle well. So even though it is tempting to open them right away and try one, make sure you wait about 2 weeks before you try them!
I've noticed that one of the Beauty Redefined billboards (that I mentioned in this post) is up along the main street in my city! Every time I drive to my friend's house I pass it and it makes me smile. I sure hope that this campaign spreads! Our society needs these messages so badly.
Here is what the Beauty Redefined website said about their campaign:
"You’ll notice there are no bodies on these billboards. We decided to take bodies completely out of the equation. For women, bodies tend to hog a lot of the attention not only in media but in our lives. We need to expand the conversation about women, about beauty, about health and about happiness AWAY from sizes, weights, shapes and looks. In a media landscape that regularly cuts women’s faces/heads/eyes completely out of images, we’re doing just the opposite! We’re making eye contact, asking for attention to the truthfulness of these messages — not the looks of the girls/women holding the signs."I am curious if other people in Utah have noticed billboards up where they live?
I really am NOT very crafty but I am sort of proud of this twin-sized quilt that I made for my son's bed. It is an "inside out" jean quilt that I made out of all our old denim jeans.
It took me FOREVER to make. It turns out that cutting and sewing denim is really tough. Both of my sewing scissors are now dull as rocks and I broke two whole packages of sewing machine needles making it, and it clogged our washing machine up with denim fluff when I washed it... but it is finished! I even made a pillowcase to go with it. I really love how it turned out but it might be awhile before I undertake a quilt again, it was a lot of work!
-5-I've been contacted by several business in the last few months wanting to advertise on my blog. Most of them have been from wonderful companies that I like and think fit in with the theme and message of my blog. Yet I haven't responded to any of them because I am unsure about how I feel about making money from my blog. The reason I started this blog, and the reason I put so much time into it, is because I can't ignore the prompting from the Lord that this is what He needs and wants me to be doing. I consider it part of my personal ministry and part of my service to the Lord, and so accepting money in return for doing it seems sort of wrong... like practicing a "priestcraft" of sorts. Yet, on the other hand I do put a lot of time into this blog and it would be nice to get some sort of monetary compensation (no matter how small) from it.
So I guess I am wondering how other bloggers have made the decision to accept advertising or not. I'd also be curious to know from my readers if having ads on my blog (they would certainly NOT be in high profile places) would change or cheapen the feel or message of my blog. I realize that my blog is sort of unique-- it doesn't really fit into any of the "normal" blog genres-- but I'd love to hear how others have reconciled this question for themselves or what your opinions about ads are.
Have a beautiful weekend!
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