Sunday, September 30, 2007

6 Free Dr. Mom Otoscope Give Away from P&M Dermasalve Compounders

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Compounders of P&M Dermasalve are giving away 6 Free Dr.Mom Otoscopes . Click HERE for details.

This is a great tool for us Mom's to use at home. Here's what their site says about it.

Help to avoid permanent hearing loss in your child by observing evidence of infection early on, and seeking prompt medical attention.
Avoid painful earaches, and late night trips to the ER, through early observation of symptoms.
Diagnose earwax (cerumen) buildup on your own, and restore normal hearing, when hearing loss is due to nothing more than wax (this is often the case as we age).
Make certain that your child's ear tubes are clear and appropriately positioned.
Minimize risk of eardrum rupture.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Blessing of Rain!!

God blessed us abundantly. It rained a good hard steady rain for quite a while and then even kept raining lightly for a bit more. Ginny lives fairly close to me. She said they got an inch and a half in the rain gauge. It was really dry around here. If you walked across the gravel driveway you would see dust blow up. Now, we have puddles in the driveway. Puddles are a good thing!!! This rain is bringing in a cold front. The low tonight will be in the low 50's and in the high 40's the next two nights.
When I go out to do chores in the morning, the little calves are usually down at the far end of the pasture. Whatever the grasses and weeds are that grow there, they do not eat them. They like to lay down in the higher grass. Clover, (the little girl) is the spotted one standing up. Our little light colored steer is Phil A. Mignon. The darker one belongs to our neighbor. I can't remember his name. I was walking out to feed the sheep this morning and it was so quiet and still. I could hear a horse clopping down our road. One of the Amish was out early to get somewhere before it got too late. The grass was a bit wet from the rain, which was a welcome thing. The sheep are always so glad to see someone in the morning. We lost our little ram lamb. He went down quick. We babied him for over a week and thought he was getting better. It is one of the sad things about a farm.
You can barely see the pond in this picture. If you click on it and make it bigger you can see a little bit of water. It is WAY down though. The weeds have grown up high around it. Do you notice that some of the trees on the tree line are just losing their leaves without changing colors? =( I hope we get some color.
Here is a close up of the pond. Those tall weeds on the right of the picture may be cattails. If they are, they are new to being there. However, you can tell that they used to be under water some. There are some fish in there and lots of frogs. I can hear the frogs out there singing right now. The window is open and it is almost to the point a sweater would feel nice.
Even the weed patches had pretty much dried up. The goldenrod took the drought really well. The iron weed was short lived this year. The Joe Pye weed was even shorter.
Here is a picture of Southern "Belle". She is the dog that gives the most trouble. It is not all the time, but there are times she will NOT listen no matter what. I could easily get rid of her, but the guys both love her.
This is a little weed patch growing out by the barn. Look at those flowers. They are a miracle. Each one has so much detail, yet they are all alike. God created so many beautiful and intricate things that we often take for granted. You can also see a red clover bloom there. They are very drought resistant.
This is my sedum. Every year I think it is going to do good. Then a cat or a dog or someone will fall on it, walk across it, etc. It all falls down and spreads out really ugly looking. Can you see the pink blush on these. Can you sedum? =)
I am so grateful to God for all that He has given to me. First of all, He gave me His Son, who came and died in my place a death He did not deserve. Then He offers me eternal life with Him as a gift. He bought me and paid a high price for me, the ultimate price. Now, I belong to Him and I am to do what He would have me to do. So many churches preach salvation as a "fire" escape only. They leave out the Lordship. They leave out that we are no longer our own, but we belong to Him. We need to do what He wants us to. We can find that out by reading His Word. It is alive and for today. If you knew that you might die tomorrow, what would you do different? Who would you make things right with? Who would you finally remember to call and tell them you miss them and love them? None of us knows if today is all we have. We need to live each day as if it could be our last.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ballantyne Book Give Away

Life in a Shoe is hosting a giveaway of Vision Forum's exciting new adventure series, Ballantyne books.

The big giveaway for a full Ballantyne Christian Adventure Library. That's 10 high quality hardback books with a retail value of $199! These books are not for the faint of heart. Mr. Ballantyne lived among the people about whom he wrote, and he doesn't mince words when he tells about life among them. His writing is fast and full, descriptive but never slow moving. His Christian worldview (and that of his characters) permeates the book, but they never seem "preachy." Get on over and sign up to win the giveaway!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So Much Information

I thought I would sit down and try to write out some thoughts I have on what I heard at the seminar. You are given way too much information to digest all at once. It is an intense overview. Then you can read the textbook at home and see where God wants you to start. So, I will try and give an overview of what touched me.

First of all, going through the Bible, there are 49 commands of Christ. Most of the teaching, if not all of it, involves these commands. There are 7 Non-optional principles for life. The first of these is Design... why God made what He made, why He made you how you are. The goal here is self acceptance. There is a list of 10 Unchangeable things we need to accept. Things like who our parents are, what race we are, who our siblings are, birth order, etc. The next non-optional is Responsibility and the goal here is a good conscience. Then there is Authority and we are to have proper submission. We are to appeal from beneath, and the power is above. Then suffering with the goal of full forgiveness. Ownership to reach the goal of yielding our rights. What we own soon owns us, so give it all to God. Freedom that will lead us to moral purity and Success that will come when we learn to meditate.

I already told you in another post about what stood out to me the first 2 nights. The third night they talked about financial freedom. It hit every area you could possible imagine about your finances. One thing stood out the most to me. They asked you to think in your heart and name your "Isaac". What is it that is most precious to you? What do you hold on to tighter than you should? It could be a person, a job or even a dream you have and hope to attain one day. After you named your "Isaac" in your heart then you are to present it to God. To give up all rights to it. Gen. 22:15-19 talks about what God tells Abraham when he was willing to sacrifice Isaac. He was to be blessed abundantly. Then we are to prepare for testing. Job said yet though He slay me, I will still trust Him. Can we say that if we lost our "Isaac"? Then if we have the faith to do that, expect the supernatural. Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. It was easy to name a couple of "Isaacs" right off. They also talked that night on choosing to have a good name whatever the cost.

Thursday they talked about how the Christians have become so much like the world. They also gave some suggestions for questions to ask yourself when you want to know God's will for daily decisions. They also went over music and its influence on us. It also talked about recognizing "the lie" in every area of our life. If we don't recognize the lie we are told, then we compromise. I guess this night, I was chewing on the whole music thing more than anything else.

Friday they talked about how there are consequences for a sensual father. How their wife and daughters will see what makes them light up and look at other woman. Many young girls dress more sensual, because they see that is what their Dad looks at and seems to enjoy. It also talked about courtship vs. dating. Our family is even more on the conservative side of courtship/betrothal than was presented. We also learned what you should do if you are criticized.

On Saturday, we met all day, so there was a whole lot presented. There was a wonderful message on teaching our children how to stand alone. It was given by a man named Gary Fraley. I am not sure of the spelling of his name. If we ever have more children, it is something that I would teach them. He did go a bit farther in freedom than we would ever do, but I do think that we should have taught Joshua how to stand alone and given him a bit more freedom when he was younger. One of the main things that IBLP teaches is authority. That if we stay under our God given authorities, that there is an umbrella of protection that we are under. If we step out of that we open ourselves up to attacks from satan. They also talked a lot about marriage. A lot of that was directed to the man. It was all very good and some of it was presented in a way we had never heard. It talked about how woman look at things and how men look at things. If we try to understand where the other one is coming from, it really can help you to see why they are the way they are. It talked about children and how people view them. How too many people today limit them for selfish reasons. They want a life of pleasure for themselves instead of responsibility. They actually gave a list that they called selfish reasons to not have children. They they talked about being slothful. I liked a lot of this teaching. There was a lot to think about. They talked about if you always give your children their wants and they do not have to earn them, that they tend to not understand the value of the item. If they want something and then see it would take 2 hours of work to pay for it, then they are better able to determine if that is something they will buy or not. I get tickled at my neighbor's daughter. She washes eggs for me. She went through a stage of seeing something to buy and figuring how many dozen eggs she would have to wash to pay for it. Some things got put back on the shelf as too expensive. =)

On Sunday, they talked about doing wisdom searches with your family. I really liked this idea. The whole premise of what they teach is to start with God's word and build your life around that, instead of building your life and finding a few verses to put on the fringes of your life. The idea of a wisdom search is to create excitement of searching things out in God's Word as a family. If you want to know what God says about any subject (wisdom, dress, dating,etc.), character (obedience, gratefulnes, etc), principles (design, authority, etc), people (wise, slothful, scorner), or needs (decisions your family needs to make, questions, counsel, etc.) then dig into God's Word together and write down what you find out. Or pick a story and tell it in such a way that you leave out some details. Then make them guess who in the Bible you are talking about. The idea was to make it fun and include the whole family. They also talked about educating your child. There were a lot more things they taught on, but I am sure I have already lost some of you.

I would highly recommend the Basic and Advanced Seminars to anyone who is a teen and on up. We are going to do some talking about what we heard and make a game plan for our family. Michael and I would love to get away for a weekend to be undisturbed in doing this. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. =)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Around The Farm

Today was a day to rejuvinate myself. After the seminar all last week, I was exhausted. I do want to write out some of what I learned and share it with you, but today was not the day for that. My brain was chewing on way too much to try and put something on paper. So, I thought I would show you some of what is going on around the farm. We are in drought conditions again. It is showing up in the leaves on the trees, the grass, the pastures, and in the animals. I do have one plant that is truly thriving. It is the pumpkin plant growing in my driveway. =) Here is a picture of it. It has several blooms, but I don't see any fruit yet. I am sure it will not have time to come to fruition either, but I love seeing it grow. It drives my guys nuts. =)

Something got in our moveable turkey pen and got one of our turkeys. It took the head and some of the guts and left the rest of the bird outside the pen. We brought it down by the house to take care of and before we got to it, our cats and dogs did. Here is the remains of the turkey.

Here is a picture of Charity Grace and Sunshine's backside. =) They seem to be doing pretty well despite the drought. Sunshine was one of my first sheep that I got. She is the most tamed to come to me.

This is Isaiah. He is supposed to be my ram for the year, but I am not sure he is big enough or will be well enough. He is in the hospital pen. He got very anemic and althought he is much perkier, he is still not walking. I am praying that he makes it and is just fine.

These are my little wethers. Veritas is the black and white one. Brent is outside the door, and Seth is right in front of him. Crescendo is the closest to the camera.

This is the hen that keeps coming back. We have named her Leah. We have given her away several times, buy she keeps coming back. She has gone broody again, although I am not sure she had been with any roosters. We shall see if hatches anything.

Here are the 2 little calves. Clover is the little heifer (girl) calf. She is the spotted one. The other one is Phil A. Mignon.

These next two show some of the leaves starting to change. The red ones are the sumac. They get to be a brilliant red. The other has more or less just turned brown. I am not sure what kind of color we will get this Autumn with the drought conditions.

This is what our grass looks like. Brown and crunchy.

Hopefully, I will have more to share with you tomorrow.

Count Your Blessings Monday

I am giving us an opportunity every Monday to not only count our blessings, but to share them with others. This is a way that we can encourage one another. Make a post on your blog telling us about your blessing. Please put a link back to this post. You can add the URL of your blog post on Mr. Linky below. Many of our blessings we will have pictures of and we can share those as well. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. I know that many people view these posts. It makes me wonder that so few want to share a blessing from the Lord. It encourages others when you share. Even though very few people participate, I plan on continuing this. I think it is VERY important to give thanks. =)

This Monday, I am thankful for the information and seminars given by the Institute of Basic Life Principles. We just finished up the Advanced Seminar yesterday. It was an intense week of trying to get everything done and be ready to start at 7PM each evening. Then on Saturday, we got together most of the day, just taking a break for lunch and dinner. Then we had about 3.5 hours on Sunday. You get a very good overview of the information. You have to scribble like crazy to keep up on taking notes. However, they do give you a large textbook that goes along with what you learned. It helps you to review, chew on and digest the information you took in. It had the Biblical principles on marriage, child training, what you believe about children and having them, finances, daily living, ministry, and a whole bunch more. If you ever get a chance to go to a Basic Seminar (that is the first one you take) I would highly recommend it. If you are interested and go to their website, they will tell you of any in your area. You can host one in your home or church. As I said, I am thankful the Institute, and for allowing us to do it in a home. We would not have been able to participate in either the Basic or Advanced if we had to travel someplace each evening. This has been a major blessing to me and I thank the Lord for it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This is a Very Busy Week

I am not sure how much I will be on here this week. We are hosting an IBLP Advanced Seminar in our home. It is from 7PM to 10PM Monday through Friday, all day Saturday and part of the day Sunday. There has been SO much good information. You can barely keep up with taking notes. There will be a lot of things to review and try to digest after the week is over. Until then, you just hold on. We scramble to get our chores done by 7PM. Joshua has graciously agreed to milk the cow this week. That was one chore off of Michael. We were about 15 minutes late starting Monday night. Last night we were ready to go. Huff puff huff puff.... =)

One of the things that stood out to me the first night is called Target Praying. It is to me a new way to use prayer as a weapon. If you have a besetting sin or something you are trying to overcome and you struggle to do the right thing, then this weapon is for you. There was a man who struggled so badly with lust and pornography that he was losing his marriage. He said he was powerless to overcome this. The person who was counseling him asked if there was someone that he could think of that desparately needed to be saved and if saved would cause great destruction to satan's kingdom. He said he yes that he could think of someone. They told him to promise them that each time he was tempted to lust that he would pray for that person's salvation. He agreed. He also struggled with anger. So, they had him think of someone else to pray for in those times he was starting to become angry. Within 3 weeks it had already made a great difference. He kept it up and eventually the wife called and thanked the counselor for helping her husband and saving their marriage. Satan does not want us to pray for those people. He also told of a little girl who was afraid of the dark and had been all her life. She started praying for a cousin of hers each time she was fearful. She quit waking up at night and the next summer was able to take the cousin to VBS and she was saved. A father had 2 boys that would not quit fighting with each other. He asked them that each time either of them felt like fighting to pray for him to be a better witness at work. They started doing that. He said it was incredible the opportunities he got at work. One man even walked up to him and asked what it meant to become a Christian. I am going to start using this weapon.

Last night they talked about spiritual gifts. We all are given one at salvation. This is our motivational gift. This is what really drives us. This is the one that we need to concentrate on. Then we develope or have some as ministry gifts. Gifts we use to aid the church. Then we have manifestation gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit. He went into great detail about the characteristics of each gift and also the outcome if we use it carnally. I am praying that God will help me to be a "doer" of what I am learning.

Here is a picture of a pumpkin that a friend gave to me. It is called a Kaki pumpkin. She is not sure what the actual flesh is like, but it is an heirloom variety that is used for its seeds. I am going to save some seeds out of it.

Here's a little fall touch in my living room. The picture is of my parents and my four brothers and myself taken at my parents 50th wedding anniversary.

This beautiful pumpkin plant is growing in my driveway. =) I asked the guys to spare it and see what it does. =)

Here is a picture I took of Dixie today. She is really growing. Puppies are so fun, but they have way too much energy. It is also amazing what they can find to chew on.

Have a wonderful day and don't forget to spend time in your Bible and in prayer talking with the Lord. This is a major priviledge we have.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pepper Rainbows!!

The above picture is the peppers that Michael and I picked over the weekend. There are a few tomatoes in there as well. I am so thrilled with how well our peppers did this year. We have all shades of bell peppers. Here in Ohio, many people call bell peppers mangos. I try to explain that a mango is a piece of fruit, but they look at me like I have 2 heads. =) The longer ones in the bucket on the right are banana peppers with some jalapenos in there as well. We shall have some colorful stir fries and fajita meals this winter. I hope to get to them tomorrow. Today is dairy day again. Plus, starting tonight and each night this week, all day Saturday and part of Sunday, we are hosting an IBLP Advanced Seminar in our home. So, I have been working today to get the house ready for tonight. I have cheese going and the cream is in the DLX as I type. I need to bake a goodie for tonight as well. This was just a sit down break, so I thought I would share my peppers with you.

Count Your Blessings Monday

I am giving us an opportunity every Monday to not only count our blessings, but to share them with others. This is a way that we can encourage one another. Make a post on your blog telling us about your blessing. Please put a link back to this post. You can add the URL of your blog post on Mr. Linky below. Many of our blessings we will have pictures of and we can share those as well. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us.

Today, I am counting the blessing of seasons. I love the change of seasons. We lived in Florida for 12 years. They do experience a little bit of change in the seasons, but not like we get up here in Ohio. I love Autumn the best. Things start to dry out, change color and settle down for the coming rest period. Then I love Spring next when the world awakens again to new life and flowers and leaves and bright colors. I would say I think about the same of Winter and Summer. They both have extremes. I enjoy them, but not like the other two. God gave us a very creative world with lots of colors, textures, patterns and temperatures. Thank you Lord, for the blessing of Seasons!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Being A Doer of the Word.

I painted the above saying on something recently. It was an old spatterware lid to a canner that was useless because of a hole in it. My son picked it up today and asked why it was laying where it was. Then he read it out loud. Here is how he read it.... "Be a door of the world." He asked me what that meant? =) I told him that he needed to read it again. Then we all giggled after he read it correctly and realized his boo boo.

I need that reminder to be a doer not just a hearer of the Word. That is why I painted it and why I am going to hang it on my wall. This effects every area of my life. Another saying of mine that I have on my wall is "Be Faithful In The Basics." This is another way to be a doer of the Word, but in the very basics of what is expected of me. First and foremost, I am a child of the King of Kings. Do I act like I am? Do I dress like I am? Do I talk like I am? Do I think like I am? Then I am a wife to my wonderful and patient husband, Michael. Am I being the wife that the Bible tells me to be? Not what the world says a wife should be, not like the people at church, not like anyone else, but like the Bible tells me to be. The world tells me that "I" am important. I need to take care of myself. I need time to pamper me, I need this I need that. The Bible tells me to be a help meet. I am to help him. It is not his job to help me, although my wonderful man helps me a lot. Some people who are counseled before marriage are told that they need to each give 50%. That is wrong. God's love that is intended between His children and especially between spouses is Agape love. That means we are each to give 100% and expect nothing. That SO goes AGAINST our human nature. We are all usually selfish by default. After being a wife, I am a mother. Am I faithful in the basics of motherhood? Do I willingly give of my time and energy for my son? Or is he a burden and in the way of the things "I" want to do? I heard it said once that the middle of sin is that great big "I". That is the truth.

I think that God gives us friends that are strong in areas that we need work in. I have one friend who has some areas of her walk and being a doer of the Word that I need to learn from. She is outstanding in those areas of her life. Michael and I went together out to her farm to see her yesterday. She lives on a farm by herself. She has horses and sheep and some cows. We don't see eye to eye in a lot of spiritual areas, but we are never the less friends. I have never met anyone with as much faith as my friend, Kathy. I have never met someone who is so faithful to tell everyone they meet about the Lord. I have never met someone who holds their things so loosely as Kathy. She has a beautiful farm. I shared some pictures of it awhile back. We took a walk with her to one of the upper pastures. I had never been back there. Oh, it is GORGEOUS. I got winded near the top and sat down for a bit. Michael and Kathy went on to the top to check out some hay. I just sat there drinking in the beauty of the land. I saw a spot that I would love to put a house on and live there. Do you know what? All I would have had to say was that I would love to have a house on that spot and she would have given me that piece of land. That is why I did NOT say it. I am so careful what I say around her, because she wants to bless people. Many people take advantage of her. We try to protect her. We are very careful as to who we introduce her to because even well meaning people will take from her. Sometimes they do not realize how little income she has. She lives totally on faith. She has no regular income. When it comes time to pay taxes if she does not have it, she will sell an animal to get it. She owns the land free and clear. She lives on poverty level. Michael was just trying to figure out the size of several of the pastures and hay fields. They were talking about how much hay could be made, etc. He would ask her how many acres that pasture was and she would tell Him that God's pasture was 16 acres. Many of us say that we believe that all we own belongs to God, but she REALLY believes that all her things are God's. So, when someone wants it, then she can give it away. This really puts me to shame. I want to be a doer of the Word in this area (as well as a lot of other ones). I want to learn from her example. Here are some pictures of her land.
This is her calf that was born yesterday morning. It is a little heifer calf.
This is just past her barn and starting up to the pasture.
This is looking back from where we just came from.

I LOVE trees. When I see a particularly magnificent one, I am in love. This Sycamore was HUGE. I loved it right away.
This is one huge branch that comes off the bottom of the tree, almost touches the ground and then goes back up.
Here is one of her horses out to pasture. Or should I say one of God's horses. =)
If you click on this picture you will see sheep and God's 2 work horses at the top of the hill in the back. As I sat there waiting for them to get back, I would see deer up there with them. Sometimes there were several and then there would be none.
This is looking back down at her farm, which is hidden by trees. The pasture you see up on the far right of the screen is where I would love to live. =)
If you click on this picture, you can see a deer up near the trees grazing.
This is pokeweed. It is poisonous, but oh so pretty. Some people use it for a dye for yarn and cloth. I did see one salve recipe that had poke weed berries and root in it.
This is down by her house. The house is behind and to the left of me.
This is the walkway down into her spring house. She uses this water to keep her things cold. If you go down the stairs and go straight, you will see the sluice where the spring water runs in to the spring house. To the right of that sluice is the pool where the spring comes up. She drinks that water. The water around here comes out of the ground at about 54 degrees, so it is cold and sweet.
This is looking back out after I went down the stairs.
This is taken from where you park your car. The sunflowers in the other picture are in the center of this one.
We need to encourage one another daily to walk after the things of God. Don't let all the niceties of this world capture and keep all your attention. Read and feast on the Word of God and then do what you are instructed in that Word. Blessings to each of you!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Home Dairy

Having your own dairy goats or your own milk cow is truly a blessing. It is also a lot of work. We no longer have our goats, but we still have two grass fed jersey milk cows. One of them just has calves nursing off of her. The other one we milk once a day. When my son was the milker it was very easy on my husband and I. He could milk her out in about four mintues. He is a super milker. We always wanted to enter him in a milking contest. He has very strong hands and forearms. It takes my husband anywhere from twenty minutes to forty-five minutes to milk her out. As I blogged about on a Count Your Blessing Monday, we now have a milk machine that we are using. It still takes time to set it up and then tear it down and clean it. We have to be here every evening to do this. We miss out on some things because of this, but it was a path we chose and we don't complain or at least try not to. It also becomes a task of creativity to keep up with the milk. Now remember, we are only milking once a day. If we were milking twice a day, we would probably have to deal with five to six gallons of milk a day.

When the cow first freshens we give plenty of milk to the calf, plus we usually buy another one or two day old calves to feed the milk to. We did that this year. Our two cows each had a calf and we bought two others. Then when you start to wean the calves we usually get pigs and they get their fair share in the beginning and then that plus any extra by the end of their time. Not too long after we send the pigs to the butcher, we dry our cows off to calve the next year. Now mind you all of this is an "ideal year". =) Then there are years like this year. We have not gotten the cows bred yet (should have been done around July). We have not gotten our pigs yet and so we have a surplus of milk. This week I was busy canning tomatoes. So making cheese or butter were hard activities to squeeze in. In fact I made a two gallon batch of ricotta and that is all. Do you understand what that means? This morning when I went to the milk fridge, there were seventeen gallons of milk. There were three more gallons out in my egg fridge. Plus, we have a half of a gallon in the house fridge. Yup.... you got it....Twenty and a half gallons of milk and no room to put tonights milk. So, today was home dairy day. =)

Here is a gallon of milk that I took out of the fridge. Can you see the cream on top? If you click on any of these pictures, they should show you a larger version. This is a gallon of Buttercup's milk. I call her "Cuppy". One of my favorite things is "Cuppy Cream". Her cream is very thick and tastes like ice cream. After I am all done skimming the cream off, I get to lick the ladle. That is my treat. I guess all the magazine shots they clean up their mess. My drips are there for all to see. =)
Here is a picture looking inside the jar. It is hard to tell just how thick and creamy it is.
If you look at these next two pictures, you can see how it mounds up and above the ladle. It is almost solid and will really pile up high. I have found the easiest thing for me to use to skim the cream off is a gravy ladle. It gets up under the shoulders of the jar and I can get most of the cream off.

I put all of the cream I skimmed off into the bowl of my DLX mixer. If you click on this picture, you can actually see places where the cream is up in a mound above the surface.
I then put the bowl on my DLX and put on the mixer piece and the scraper and turn it on between low and medium. I can then walk away. We have done butter in many ways. I do have a butter churn that you can turn the handle and wooden paddles go around. This takes quite a while and the handle you turn is a very small revolution and you feel like your arm is going to fall off. =) I have also put it in canning jars and shaken it into butter. The DLX is a tool I choose to use on the homestead to help me get things done. A hand maiden so to speak. It is a good thing to have a large family if you are going to do things the old fashioned way. Many hands make light the work. I keep my ear tuned to the DLX sounds. At first it is just an easy motor sound that is smooth. As if you were mixing cake batter. I do check on it occasionally. It usually doubles in size as it works its way to the whipped cream stage which is one step before butter. Then all of a sudden you will hear a splashing sound.
This is what you will see when you got to look. I love it that the butter works its way up the mixer paddle. It helps it work out more buttermilk. I take the whole bowl off the DLX with the paddle and scraper still inside. I then drain off the buttermilk. It is not like the cultured buttermilk you buy in the store. It is sweet and good.
I then put a canning ring in the bottom of my butter bowl. This is a very shallow bowl and it works well for when I work the rest of the buttermilk out of the butter. You have to tip the bowl slightly so that as you fold the butter over, the buttermilk runs down and away from the butter. The canning jar ring is to keep the little strainer I use above the surface of the bowl so that the buttermilk drains away from the butter.
Here is the little strainer I use to drain the butter.
I ended up using five gallons of the skimmed milk to make ricotta which you see draining below.

This is not true ricotta, but it works just as well. True ricotta is made from the whey of mozarella cheese. Ricotta is very easy to make at home and can be made with store bought milk. I usually make it with 2 gallons. Heat the milk to between 140 and 145 degrees. Then start with about 1/4 cup of raw apple cider vinegar (pasteurized will work). You need some sort of acid to separate the curds and whey. You can use vinegar or rennet. If you want a bit different taste, you can use lemon juice. Add the vinegar and start stirring it in. You are looking for the curds to totally separate from the whey. The whey will be a very distinct clear yellowish liquid. You will start to see curds right away. At this stage they don't really look like what you would call curds. They are a stretchy sort of gooey consistency. If there is not total separation add another dollop of vinegar and stir. Stir really well, because you want to use the least amount possible of the vinegar to keep it from being too vinegary tasting. Keep adding dollops and then stirring until you see that the curds have sunk and you see the clear yellowish whey. Then you can play the pun game. Someone asks what it is, and you say whey. They say No Whey. =) There are lots of whey puns...believe me, I think I have heard them all being married to a punny man. Then drain off the whey. It really is nutritious and you can use it to lacto ferment veggies or you can feed it to your animals. Let the curds drain well. I turn them often. After they seem well drained, I put them in a bowl and add salt. I really don't know how much, but I will say around a teaspoon. I work that in with my hands. At this point, you can use it, or you can freeze it for later. It is very versatile though. Many times besides the salt I will add, garlic, pepper and Italians herbs. I mix it all through with my hand. It makes an excellent spread to eat on crackers or to put on celery. You can use it seasoned like this or plain in lasagna or baked spaghetti or I have even added it to spaghetti that I have in the crock pot. Or instead of making it Italiain, you can also add honey or a natural type sugar and make a cheese filling for danish or spread it on toast or over cinnamon rolls. I am sure there are other uses, but these are some that we have used. It can also be fed to dogs or cats. If you feed them too much milk they tend to get really loose in their bowels. They do not get that way with this cheese.

I also have a gallon of skimmed milk setting to make keifer. I hope you enjoyed your tour of our home dairy. If you have questions feel free to ask and if you have suggestions feel free to make those as well.