12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Herb Basket, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Thyme Out

 Why Make your own organic potting soil mix?

This is such an easy thing to do and really is much healthier for you. Plus, it will save you a bit more money than going out and buying a premade bag of potting soil. Making your own organic potting soil will feel great and your seedlings and plants will thank you! 


If you need some ideas for what to put your seedlings in you can go HERE

If your new to getting started with seedlings, HERE is a few of our ranch tips.

Things to know what a good potting mix will do:

  • * Will be firm enough to support the plant
  • * Contribute light enough to allow air and water to flow with minimal compaction

* Be free of weed seeds and potential pathogens




Coconut Coir: In may potting mix recipes they call for peat moss, but since there is many debates regarding mining from peat bogs, I decided to use the coir instead. Coconut coir is a by-product of the coconut-processing industry and is ground up coconut husk fibers. How cool is that? It is wonderful for retaining water. I got mine in a brick form so you have to soak it in water before it is ready to use. If you like peat moss in your recipe, substitute it 1:1.

 

Perlite: Perlite is a volcanic rock. It holds water and helps to aerate the soil and keep it from compacting. Some folks also use vermiculite or plain old course sand in place of Perlite in some potting soil recipes.

 

Compost: LOVE this stuff. First, it is the soil you made from all those left over scrapes! Ours are filled with tea herbs so how wonderful this will be to use in my potting mix! Just make sure the compost is “finished’ or it will burn your plants or introduce weed seeds into your pots. Use the finest part of the compost you can get. I had to sift a bit to get out some chunks.

 

DIY Potting Soil Recipe

(the affiliate links helps our ranch ministry)

 

A “part” can be anything you use for a measuring device. Like a cup, bucket, can, etc. All depends on how much you need to make.

 

If your coir is in a block you will need to add water to it. I used my hands and worked it until it was really moist.

Next, mix the coir and your compost. Add more water as it makes it easier to work with. I like it damp to easily work.

Add your Perlite, stir it well and BAM…your ready to fill those planters! Congrats you little homesteader you!

Let me know what you think! Send a picture or comment how your seedlings did using your own orgainc potting soil recipe!

God’s blessings as you plant HIS goodness, naturally!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

 

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Ranch Life, Thyme Out

 

Getting the itch with the smell of spring! What do I do? YEP, start my seedlings! I make it easy applying some simple steps and making a plan.

 

With each day bringing warmer temps and melting snow, I start imagining what kind of herbs and veggies we want to have on the ranch.

Taking a walk around and seeing the seeds that worked last year and the ones that didn’t and  making notes along the way. Now I can start my plan.

 

First DIY Step: VISUALIZE

 

Today I took a walk around the ranch and visualized where I want some new growing herbs and flowers.

Now that we have our cute tack shack, I want to put some bigger pots on the outside deck where they would get full sun. We don’t have much sun so I need to take what I can get! Next is the area we had the tires with the herbs for the horses to graze through. “Thyme Out Pasture”. This area I would like to build out of tin some beds. HUM…may need to make a special dinner tonight and chat with Dan about this one!

Lastly, both Dan and I agreed we need to enlarge our veggie garden so I marked that out as well. NOTE…we still have over a foot of snow!

 

Second DIY Step: Prepare Your seeds

 

This part is fun! After my visualization and what flowers, herbs, and veggies we need I purchased the seeds. I use Mountain Herb but you sure can get your seeds anywhere. I also have a master gardener in our church who I will also  use as a resource. I am excited to learn a lot from him this year! He is 93!

After the seeds arrive I get my trays ready. I went to the local nursery where we bring manure and he gives me free dirt as well as these plastic trays. They hold a TON of seedlings!  Another idea is to ask your local nursery for any extra trays they don’t need. You can get these seed pods which are also awesome! They would be an expense vs free, but they work great and easy to use! Wanna try another idea that won’t cost you anything?

Make your own! Use eggs shells or toilet paper rolls! Here is 8 ideas; DIY on that!

Lastly, fill the trays with soil and get your seeds planted and water in the bottom of the trays! I use popsicle sticks to mark my seeds. Just make sure you mark every tray what they are.

How to make your own soil. If you compost, this is a wonderful way to use your homestead soil!

Third DIY Step: Window Light, or Florescent Light?

We have huge windows in our home and with every window is where I put my seedlings. But this isn’t ideal. I would like to work towards having a warm greenhouse and that is a dream of mine one day, but I also could go the extra mile and get some florescent lights and place the seedlings on a shelf. This is a wonderful way to grow your seeds. However, this would cost me some money. By the time I purchase at least 4 lights and have my hubby link this all up it would be April. So I have chosen to use my windows and the greenhouse shelves. I found a picture for you of the florescent one incase you want to try this. It is a better way! Let me know too I always love to hear what others have done!

Fourth DIY Step: Babying your Seedlings

 

Make sure you check your baby’s everyday and the trays are full of water. They will drink what they need. The biggest struggle is sunlight for me especially this time of year, hence the florescent system but what ever you choose you pray for lots of sunshine!

 

Once your season begins depending on where your zone is transplant away! Some I will be putting into planters in April keeping them in our home until May. Most of our gardening won’t take place unfortunately until Memorial weekend. Such a bummer, but it’s Minnesota!

 

God bless you all as you start your own herbs and veggies and living a healthy homesteading lifestyle!

Lee

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Food
Oh how I love lemon and the color yellow! Because I need some spring boosting this recipe just gets me in a happy place! Recently I have been learning a ton about turmeric and ginger and how it can benefit our overall health. So WHAM…I decided to add these great ingredients to this recipe.

You will LOVE the combination of flavors in every bite. While the lemon dances in your mouth, you will enjoy the healthiness of the turmeric and of course the ginger just gives the right touch!

Using Essential Oils in Cooking

The best part…I used Lemon essential oils to give it the kick it needs! In addition, it’s all good for you!
It has to be somewhere because the sugar is pretty hefty! But, you will enjoy it.

Tea Ties it all together

After you make this, try my Lemon Drop tea recipe below and have tea time with a warm slice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ Cups of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cornstarch
  • 2 Teaspoons of Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup of Salted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 2 Cups of  Organic Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract or** Balsam of Peru essential oil
  • 5 Eggs
  • ½ Cup of Sour Cream
  • ½ Cup of Lemon Juice or 2 drop of Organic Lemon Essential Oil
  • 1 tsp Ground Organic Ginger

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Thoroughly grease a Bundt pan with shortening. Flour the pan, tapping out the excess. If there are any bare spots, grease and flour them.

 

Whisk flour, cornstarch, turmeric, baking powder, ginger, and salt together. Set aside.

 

Cream butter with sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Mix in eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream.

 


In three additions, mix in flour on low speed, adding lemon oil drops or lemon juice. Begin and end with the flour. Mix until combined. 

Pour into prepared pan and bake 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

Set on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place wire rack over exposed part of cake and flip cake over. Let rest for a minute, letting gravity do its work. Lift pan off cake. Let cool completely.

Make your Glaze:

1 cup of Powdered Sugar
1 tbsp of Coconut Milk
1 tbsp of Melted Butter
1 drop of Organic Lemon Essential Oil

Mix well and pour over warm cake.




Lemon Drop Tea:
(affiliate links From Bulk Herb Store help our ranch ministry…thank you!)

1 Cup of Lemon Peel
1 Cup Orange Peel
1/2 Cup Lemongrass
1/2 Cup Rose Hibs
1/4 Cup Ginger Root
Mix well in a glass bowl and pour into a mason jar to store.

TIME TO BREW?
Use 1-2 tbsp of your blend into a steel strainer, pour boiling water over herbs and steep for 10-15 minutes. We add some honey and sometimes the Elderberry syrup for sweetness.

** Interesting Fact from RMO

Oils In The News

You may have recently noticed the reformulation of some of our blends that contain the essential oil Vanilla. Madagascar is the main supplier of Vanilla at this time and upwards of 30% of the crops were damaged after a cyclone hit the area. This has created a global shortage. Vanilla is also a labor-intensive crop to work with and it can take upwards of 5 years for the vanilla beans to be ready. In an effort to keep providing blends in a time when it may not be possible to obtain Vanilla, we have switched to Balsam of Peru. Not only did Balsam of Peru’s sweet aroma substitute nicely for Vanilla, but we all discovered that we enjoyed the newly formulated blends even better.

Enjoy your tea time with this wonderful taste filling cake!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Crafts, Ranch Life, Sewing
Oh boy! These quilted gift baskets are SOOO adorable I can’t even stand it! 

I had a hard time at first, partly because the directions were hard for me to understand, but once I got them, well…look I made a TON! I couldn’t stop!

I am a beginner sewer and making these quilted baskets wasn’t difficult once I made one.  The video is to help others like me and make the process a little quicker.




One of the things I love the most is the versatility and the 3 different materials. The ribbon effect all around just makes the basket as well! 

Take note, I put fleece in some of the handles and the ones that didn’t have it are droopy so I would recommend putting that in. Also if you have a button attachment to your machine, do those ahead before folding the bag and sewing edges. Just a couple of things I learned along the way and am passing along to you.

Here is the link to the FREE DOWNLOAD from Hugs and Holly!

Here is a video on a step by step: 

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Crafts, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life
WOW! When I saw  Stampin’ Up! got a new set called the Barn Door I just about flipped out! I LOVE barn doors! I love them for our closest, for our tack shack and of course it just fits who we are. SO to have a stamping set that I can make fun cards with well…the frosting is on the cake!

Some things you will need for this set…
Big Shot
Card Stock (I prefer SU! but if you shop on line here is a good one)
Barn Set and matching template cut outs are from Stamping’ Up! If you need a demonstrator, let me know via email or in comments. I would love to hook you up withs some gals I know!

Below is a video showing it step by step as it is a bit tricky and time consuming at first. However when you get the SWING of it…well…you will be hooked! SOOOOO CUTE!!

Here is the video so you can watch it step by step…..




I did take some time to make up a bunch of the framlet cut outs. I put them into a container I can use later. It will make it easier when I want to make a card but don’t have as much time. 
Also, you can use instead of the washer, a 1/2″ punch.   The 3/4″ was better for me, but you decide. Use a heavier card stock when you do. 

Here are my creations:







Ok I have to do something else.  This set is just amazing and I am getting nothing else done!

I actually have a couple more I will post later.
You will love it!!! 
I am indeed in heaven as I created these. I hope you will give it a try and POST YOUR creations below. I love inspiration and I am sure others will too!

God’s blessing as you bless others with homemade stamped cards!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Food, Grillin' One

Ok I know homemade hamburger buns…EASY? No way! Well, your wrong. This recipe is wonderful and it truly is easy peasy. Trust me!

By the way, it won’t take long to prepare and while your doing other things the rise is simple. 

Tips for making homemade bread:

The biggest tip my hubby the bread maker tells me…
1) Watch that the milk is not too hot or too cold  for anything mixed with a yeast or you will spoil the yeast
2) While you knead the dough, make sure you time it and pull the bread to see the elasticity. I should of taken a picture of this for you but was so into it I forgot.

Anyway, I think you will be proud of yourself for making these and with the big game coming up it will be a special treat! You can make them smaller for sliders. Great for bigger crowds too!

Here ya go!

Ingredients:

1 cup warm almond milk (100 degrees F)

1 tbsp active dry yeast

¼ cup organic sugar

2 tbsp melted butter

1 egg  (room temp)

1 tsp fine sea salt

3-3 1/2 cup all purpose flour

For top of buns:

1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water (wash on top of bread dough to give it a shiny look)

Sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Combine milk and yeast in small bowl. Make sure milk is not more than 100 degrees. Stir well. Pour into larger bowl.
  2. Mix in sugar, butter and egg, then add the salt and flour.
  3. Pull dough onto slightly floured counter and knead for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be smooth and have elasticity.
  4. Set aside in a warm place and cover with a towel for an hour or doubled in size.
  5. Punch down dough and divide into 8 equal balls onto a pan that you have greased and dusted with corn meal.
  6. Flatten into 3” circles.
  7. Let rise for 30 minutes than beat your egg and water and brush on each bun top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. Place in 375 degree oven and bake for 14-16 minutes or until nice golden brown.

Due to the fact these are homemade, you need to put in an airtight container and eat within 3 days.

 


I tell ya…best buns ever and guess what….YOU MADE  THEM HOMEMADE nothing better!!!!

Let me know what you think if you tried it! Love to hear how yours turned out.
God’s blessings,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats
We are rockin’  around with excitement here at the Minnesota homestead! Our Vikings have made the playoffs and the game day festivities begin! YEP, I got into the kitchen and made these fun cookie shots especially for our special celebration for our boys in purple and gold! 

These cookie shots can be made with any favorite cookie dough recipe and filled with chocolate malts, to smoothies. We filled ours with ice cream as they were a perfect evening game treat.


I think you will find these pretty easy. I love how you can melt almond bark or candy chocolates and dip them into different colors to get a fun colorful effect on the outside as well as on the inside to hold any liquid. Since I filled mine with ice cream, there was no need to use the chocolate. (did I say that out loud)

You will need to purchase one of cookie shot pans 

For the Cookie:

Ingredients:

1 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp pure vanilla

1 drop Organic lemon essential oil

2 tbsp cocunut milk

3 cups flour

1 ½ tsp of baking powder

½ tsp salt

Blend your first six ingredients. Then slowly add your flour one cup at a time along with the remaining ingredients. Mix well and put in refrigerator while you prepare your shot pan. If you want different colors of dough, you can separate them at this time too. 



I use Turmeric for yellows, Beet Root Powder or juice for pinks and reds. Purples I had to break down and use the color here

To decorate your rim:

Frosting or melted chocolate, and dipped into colored sugar or sprinkles of your choice






Chocolate should be almond bark or candy chocolate



The frosting mixture I used:
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of coconut milk
1 drop   Citrus Passion
Mix and add the color you want. If too runny, add a little more powdered sugar until you get the thickness you want.


So raise your little cute cookie shots filled with ice cream, smoothies, or whipping cream, even milk and SKOL to the Vikings!

God bless you and enjoy the winter months with fun recipes for you and your family!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Health, Living Naturally
NEW PRODUCT! I am so excited for these 3 new products and I hope you are too!

The first one is my the hand foam soap. I think you will love this!


It smells wonderful and of course has the essential oil, Immune Strength to fight off all that icky bacteria roaming in your home. I keep one on my kitchen counter sink as well as the bathrooms. We also have one down at the ranch right by the pump! 


This cleaner is a concentrate so you mix it with water in spray bottle to easily use on your counter tops or other cleaning surfaces. I also like to make it in a pail of water to wash floors and tubs. Super easy and wonderful smell! The citrus just makes the room so refreshing! It not only has the citrus essential oils but the Thyme, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary for the anti bacteria element is wonderful!

Try it!! I think you will love it too!

Lastly is …are you ready? TOOTHPASTE! I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am about this one! First, I have a hard time making my own. The other two products I can make easily with castle soap and essential oils, but this one, not so much. I do have a toothpaste with activated charcoal which is a wonderful ingredient to have in a toothpaste, but the texture is like mud and hard to use. I have to close my eyes and deal with it.



But now, RMO has a wonderful alternative that I am happy with! Great price, FREE shipping always for US…and really I like it when I don’t have to make it! LOVE LOVE!!!!

All these products will be available this Friday! So check in of course by clicking on the Rocky Mountain link in this blog helps us keep our ministry offering a free service for those in need!


Not only are these available at the end of this week, but I am GIVING AWAY ONE OF THE SOAPS, AND ONE OF THE HARD SURFACE CLEANERS. 
If you want to be part of the drawing, just sign up to be on my email list and I would be happy to put your name in the drawing. This give away ends on January 24th!


Enjoy! Each of the products help your home and family stay healthy without any harsh chemicals!


God’s blessings,
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee


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Food, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life

Our favorite homemade ranch style pancakes with a touch of lemon flavor is just enough to start your day with a boost!

One thing, if you use the lemon essential oil which I HIGHLY recommend, use only 1-2 drops. You can also add some real lemon zest too, but this is a wonderful way to add essential oils to your culinary cooking! Also, make sure you PUT THE ESSENTIAL OIL WITH YOUR MELTED BUTTER. This allows the oil to mix well as oil with oil gives the best over all flavor and won’t ruin the good properties of the  essential oil.


2 whole lemons or 2 drops of Lemon Essential oils

2 1/4 cup of Almond milk

1 cup of Almond milk creamer

2 tbsp Vanilla

3 cups flour

¼ cup sugar

2 tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

2 whole eggs, beaten

¼ cup butter, melted

 

Directions:

Zest both lemons. Set aside. If your using the essential oil, mix your 2 drops with the melted butter. Measure the milk and add the juice of one lemon or your essential oil and butter. Stir and let sit for 5 or so minutes and then stir in the vanilla.

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. . Pour in the lemons mixture, stirring gently. When its half mixed, stir in the eggs.  If your batter is too think add a little more milk.

Heat your iron skillet over medium heat. Next add butter to grease your skillet, drop in ¼ cup of batter and pour onto skillet. Cook first side until you see bubbles and flip and cook until golden brown.


Lastly is the Elderberry syrup which I have here on my blog.  Pour over your pancakes and enjoy goodness.

Now let me know what you think! I want to hear especially if this is your first time using essential oils in your culinary cooking! So proud of you!

Enjoy!

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Crafts, Living Naturally, Paper/Cards, Sewing
Making herbal tea is a daily thing for our family. We enjoy making herb teas using my love of blending many different herbs. But the best part is making it all special especially when I give it as a gift.

One thing I love to do is make individual tea bags full of my special blends, but it is hard to find a tea bag that will work so I decided to create my own. 

I decided to use coffee filters or Bulk Herb Store has some too. Sewing makes it fun as you can add colored thread to make it match a gift or a theme. Thinking about all this Viking stuff around here, purple thread tea bags would be fun!

Stamping is another added love so getting out stamps to go with the persons personality or if it’s a special occasion like a birthday.  I of course used our touch of simple ranch life  which became my platform to make the tea tags. I hope you will find it just as fun and your special touches will be a delight for the receiver.

Let me know what you think by making a comment below. I enjoy seeing the ideas as well as ways to improve my own ideas. 

SO…here ya go!


Now for the fun part! Stamping time! Grab some fun background paper and favorite stamps  stamp and cut out. Final step, tape to your dangling string. Done! I am sure it looks adorable. You can go into Amazon and search favorite stamps if you are not into western. 

Here are some I did. 
Think how wonderful it would be to get a get well card with a fun box full of tea bags with herbs that will help whatever their illness.

Very special and  a homemade touch!

OH I love it…enjoy making some and giving them as gifts! Again, let me know by making a comment.
God’s blessings,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Ranch Life, Thyme Out
I really don’t like writing grants. For the most part, they require SO much info I often am just overwhelmed with it all. But, in ministry it is one thing we have to continue to do or at least try. 

Last year I was knee deep in dirt in my home. Not from not cleaning, but from filling little egg shells and growing pots full of seedlings. At the same time, I was writing a grant from our local Essential Health organization,   St. Joseph’s Foundation.  Planting, writing, planting, watering, horse chores, and more writing. In the process, I thought of the perfect project. An herb garden!

 Hence not just for us, but for our horses. I have always wanted to create a place where the horses could graze freely with natural herbs. Herbs that I know they would each benefit from. Bokoda deals with allergies’ and now and than runny stools. Nugget will occasionally need something for a runny nose. Nugget is really healthy but  it’s always good to have things for him to choose.

Therefore I got busy planning out what herbs would be great for them. Again, knee deep in dirt, I started planting seedlings of  Yarrow, Meadowsweet, Calendula, Lavender, Valerian, and Marshmallow. I added Echinacea later and of course the herbs of parsley, thyme, basil, and oregano. 

We also had many herbs natural to our environment.


In May, we got the grant! I was ecstatic! As a result, we now had the freedom to develop this new project which we named, “Thyme Out” Pasture and we could really see if it would help our animals health and ours.





Fancy that…it did! We began using the herbs in teas, tinctures, and syrups, plus all the salves for injuries and bug bites and we were OVERWHELMED at the results! Bokoda had NO coughing.

If Bokoda would show signs of runny nose or stools, I would give him his regimen of immune boost herb blend and he was showing wellness in just a couple of days. We replaced all treats to just herbs and apples, and home grown carrots, parsley, and thyme. 


Some herbs were wild around the ranch.


It became such a wonderful teaching tool in our sessions. As they would help water, or weed we would talk about the herbs and how they help us in our illnesses. In the sessions at times they would bring a horse to the pasture and see for themselves what the horse was needing that day. How they would walk by some and devour others. 


One day we had a group of guys from our local
Teen Challenge for a session. We had the guys in the round pen with the horses holding one or two jars of herbs. Each jar was labeled with the name of the herb and its properties.






If the horse came to them, they would share what the herb is and what it was good for. At the same time, everyone was learning and observing  if the horse would choose or would walk away and choose another.
It was fascinating for all of us! 

Do you know what is really awesome about doing this project?

1) We were able to let families that came for sessions who were in need, pick herbs or veggies to bring home. 
2) We could make many tinctures and salves using the herbs to help all year round, especially right now in the days of below zero temps and confinement to the indoors where germs grow.
3) Our vet bills were down
4) Our health is better as well no trips to the doctor. The herbs in teas has helped along with the essential oils.
5) We have gain a TON of knowledge and look forward to continuing our learning.
6) Our bunnies and horses enjoy the herbs all year round. How nice they can have fresh parsley, carrots, plus all those other herbs throughout the winter months. 
7) We are able to enjoy veggies as well by a wonderful harvest and canning.
8) We have been able to share the teas and our love for this project to others hoping they too will start growing more herbs and begin to change their health habits to more natural living.

Most of all, we are thankful to  St Joseph’s Foundation for allowing us to try something new and giving us a chance to make a difference in our ranch as well as the community.

Amazing! I hope you will try it this Spring. Start now! Plant those seeds in your home and get them strong!

I did create on scratch paper a garden plan. Knowing where to plant certain seeds. This helps you get an idea what will grow well where. 

Here is my favorite source for seeds: LOVE LOVE the flower collection. I say…begin planning NOW!
Medicinal
Cooking
Flowers

God’s blessings in living a simpler life.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee
***These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The herbs is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Do you have days; maybe whole seasons where you just need a boost of faith? Are you experiencing times of loneliness, defeat, or just plain emptiness? Is life throwing you some curve balls that are overwhelming you right now? Maybe it is just a season of nothing exciting happening. Your just feeling BLAH!!

These are warning signs to quickly turn to God’s word to GIVE YOU A BOOST!

I read this passage today and took out my illustrated faith creative kit, and began mediating on this passage. Hebrews 11:3. “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” 
We have no idea what God has planned. But resting in faith helps us hang on!

 

Oh MY, you can’t help but get a boost! Look at each verse in the chapter.
Each of them has a story behind them that will bring your heart and mind to awe.

WHY? Because each story has a character like you and me, we can begin to relate in some way. You will  have no doubt that there is a God who is watching over you when you experience the Lord working during your down seasons. He indeed has power to help you overcome your dark times here on earth.

Some of the stories, which I believe are all true and indeed happened, bring me immediately to a place of comfort because they show me God is in control They show me that in all things, God brings together for our good.

 

Let me share on a personal note.

 

Four years ago we had our horses boarded at a near by farm. For three years we did our ministry from this barn. It was wonderful as it had a heated indoor facility, huge outdoor arena, and beautiful trails. We just loved it there, and the folks who ran it were awesome. It really was perfect. We also had this property, which we are now on, but the Lord was not opening the doors for us to be on this property. At times I would walk this land and pray and hope ministry would indeed happen here. That it would become a full on ministry in our own area that we called True North Ranch. I would walk the land and the Lord would give me pictures of what it would soon look like. Imagining a road here, a fence there, the horses eating, and ministry happening.

 

But it just wasn’t happening.

 

One spring day in early April, we had the yearly vet day. As the boarders, me, and the owners were busy getting horses into the stalls preparing for the vet visit, it seemed a little weird. The owners weren’t their happy selves. The owner came in head down, no smile or greeting and proceeded to close the barn doors. She remained somber and quiet and went on to share that she had some bad news.

My heart dropped.

 

Someone had reported their barn as not being compliant with the area laws and turned them in. (ALL NOT TRUE to the extent they were demanding). The authorities told them they could no longer have boarding horses. We were devastated. All of us! We were saddened that our friends all standing before us were hurting and going through this and at the same time thinking what WE would do. (As if our God didn’t have a plan)

 

The worst thing the owner shared was we needed to be out by June 1. THAT WAS ONLY 2 MONTHS away!

But the Lord our GOD had a plan!

We had this property. This property just sitting there waiting for the right time. The property in its beauty full of trees, yet… no road, no electricity, no running water, no shelter, no no no…..just trees.

I was excited at the thought of having the horses now on the property, but in the process of excitement I worried about all that had to be done. In two months no less!

Here in Hebrews Chapter 11….my story…In 2 months God rocked! Every day. Every moment, He provided. He provided funds for fencing, automatic water, horse shelter, pump house, round pen, roads, and hay. HE PROVIDED IN HIS TIME and in the right moment.

It wasn’t easy. It didn’t happen over night. But the Lord took what was an awful stressful time…and turned it into awesome.

Only a GOD who cares and loves you can do such a thing!

You have a Chapter 11 faith stories too. You need to look back on what the Lord has done so you can remember how GOOD HE is. By remembering a past trauma and how God brought you through, will get you through the rough patches you are going through right now.

It’s a faith booster! One we all need!

 

Journaling is wonderful because of this. You can go back and look at faith stories of your own. Recalling HIS workmanship in your life gives you strength!

It works for me every time!!!

The stories are my BOOSTS both in the word in and my own.

Get a BOOST of faith today. Journal, create a faith memory, and share it with others who too may need a boost! Being grateful is also a very helpful tool during your time of boosting!

God bless you!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life
Do you ever wish you had some creative way to give a small gift to friends for family? Just something that can be quick to make and easy to fill?

These cute boxes only take some fun background paper and a little do dad here and there. Imagination goes a long way to set the stage for your gift. I always think of the personality or something special about the person to give the gift box a special touch. 

Especially fun is what you put inside! I put homemade tea bags in one of mine along with a cookie snack. This gives the idea for the person to relax and enjoy a cup of tea.
(of course I would only use homemade tea blends)

Below I give you other ideas for you to get the picture. So get creative and have a blast with these!

With Valentine’s coming up I know there would be teachers who would adore one of the boxes!

 

 

I used a scorer in my cutter.

I love this tool! It extends to 12×12 size paper which I use a ton when making envelopes. 

I have this set of horses I use ALL the time! I can use watercolor techniques or my new blender markers! LOVE LOVE!


Here are some of my favorite background papers GREAT price too…
Flic Flac
Western Looks
Petite Prints
Lawn Fawn


Just loved making all these fun cards for ones I love! 

Enjoy being creative and let me know how you like them…even send a picture! 
God’s blessings as you give to others of your time and talents!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

 

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Bible Journaling, Crafts, Ministry
Coloring and being creative in card making has always been a love of mine! I have loved to color, draw, scrapbook, and gift making since I was a young girl. But recently, I have enjoyed the art and love of journaling in my daily devotional time.

In the year 2017, I stepped into ANOTHER form of  creativity. I added a planner that I could add fun color, wasabi tape, or stickers to help remind me of different events. 

Who would of ever thought putting your daily calendar into full color and splash would make me WANT to look at it? It helps me remember too as well as fun creating it! 

So in 2018, I got myself a combination of devotional and a planner all in one! In just a few days of starting the new year, I have enjoyed the doodling, journaling and I think the best part is the focused verse. I take it with me throughout the day. Memorizing, pondering, and loving God’s word in my daily tasks. This one is on a non affiliate but wanted to share. Dayspring also has a TON to choose from.


I also love how I can write prayer requests, or look to see who I need to pray for. 

While I am in my devotional time and the Lord inspires something on my heart, I can still be creative in my bible. I can do my devotional than plan my day and still be focusing on God’s word and prayer.  One day I reverse it and you know what? It helped me focus more on my quiet time because I got the  “to do” out of my mind. By having the business part done, I could flow right into prayer and praise and time in His word. I JUST love this!

Watch a video!

 I think that is what I love so much about journaling as it can be drawn, written, or just doodling my thoughts. In my bible, I will often date it when I have created something, or when something is really on my heart and have gotten a praise or prayer within that time of creating.

If you want to get started, Dayspring has some wonderful Coloring Day Planners! You can click on the link ad of Dayspring and take a look. ***(remember every time you order from this blog you help our ministry)

This year I got a smaller version size planner, and I wished I didn’t.  (above) I like a little bigger space not only to write down my appointments for sessions, but also room to create. So if your pondering the same issue…go bigger!

I love it and hope you will too.  The bible I have for journaling is also on Dayspring or Amazon and all the fun goodies you can get to start. The joy of being in God’s word just got more delightful! OH…and colorful!
Here is a picture of the NEW GOAL kit if your into planning goals or making a vision board. 

Enjoy being creative!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life
Love these quick to use toilet bubbles! I won’t call them what the world is calling them…just don’t like the term, so bubbles is my word! I love these because it only takes a minute to drop them into your toilet and scrub and clean quickly! For this time of year with bugs flying around getting sick easily, well I need a quick and easy cleaner. Plus, it is all natural keeping our home free of unwanted chemicals!

Isn’t it nice to know you can have your children help do the chores around the home because you don’t have to worry about the harsh chemicals in the products they are using? I AM! Breathing in toxins like bleach can be extremely harmful especially over time. So get rid of the junk and make NEW, CLEAN, AND FREE of harmful ingredients!

Here ya go…easy to make, easy to use!

1/2 Cup citrus acid
1 1/2 cup baking soda
30 drops of Immune Strength essential oil
30 drops of Organic Lemon essential oil
You can add another favorite oil if you like, I love the citrus ones like Orange, Lime, or Tangerine.
1/4 cup Water, may need more
Silicone candy trays

1) Mix first 2 ingredients. I use a whisk for this.
2) Next add your essential oils. Mix well.
3) For the water you will want to add slowly just a little at time, and mix with your hands. You will add as much water as needed to make the mixture stick together.

You will feel like your childhood days of playing with wet sand. Once it holds together, you can put into your molds.


Once filled, let dry for about an hour than take a knife and scrape the top to get them smooth. 
Any left over from your bowl or this process put in your toilet and have a good clean!

Allow to dry for 24 hours before placing them in an air tight container. I use a mason jar of course!

I assure you by switching to using all natural home cleaning supplies will make you and your family healthier and free from harsh chemicals. Congrats on making that choice today!


Plop in your bubbles and see how wonderful your bowl will be!
God’s blessings,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Health, Living Naturally, Peace, Ranch Life
I came across this word at just the right time! Hygge…what in the world? But it fit! It fit the day. It fit my mood. It just plain fit!

And now, I am creating Hygge Day! I think I will even make a card and give to friends in need of a Hygge day. Do you need a Hygge day? 

Hygge is a Scandinavian word for coziness with feelings of wellness and contentment. Do you feel Hygge? Do you feel your well and content? If not, what can you do to get you there?



Here is a tip for the physical Hygge…get well. Get on the band wagon and get your gut healthy first and start making some choices that improve your day to day life. First, simplify. Next, REST more take time to enjoy the Lord and HIS goodness.

Lastly, make a plan to make wellness choices like a great Probiotic. (Click the Plexus link to learn more)
Get RID OF BOXED FOOD! Make homemade from scratch and of course…
get some exercise. 
 An emotional Hygge tip…


How about a spa bath with your favorite essential oils?
Oh, and some tea of course!


It says in Wikipedia that the Danish and Norwegian’s see this as another word for HUG and getting together with others. So there ya go. HUG and invite friends to Hygge with ya! 




Never the less, Hygge is a word reminder to have cozy time relaxing and enjoying life. Which really is the foundation of wellness. Less stress, focus on others, love more!
I JUST LOVE this word!

It’s fun to get creative

and have a HYGGE DAY!
Make a special meal…
invite a friend over for some hot tea and warm conversation…


Enjoy being creative and implementing a Hygge Lifestyle!

Try it!

It’s fun!

God’s blessings’ and Happy Hygge Day!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
                                                                    
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Food, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life

Well, yep around here folks are getting excited not only because of the Vikings doing so well, but the super bowl is right here in our home state of Minnesota! So game day appetizers for the big gatherings will be on the fans mind. These no guilt Tater Tots are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Dan and I don’t watch football much just because we enjoy being outside on Sunday afternoons working around the ranch or going for a trail ride. But when the big game comes, we usually will gather some friends and settle in to watch the game. Since it’s here in Minnesota it should also bring some excitement as well.  

These cute little delights will make you feel good when serving them not only because they are delightful in taste, but that they are chuck full of good for you ingredients. I think you will love them too! 

Enjoy and Happy Game Day!



Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

2 clove of garlic, minced

1 drop sage essential oil

¼ tsp ground smoked paprika

¼ of Himalayan salt

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoon of water

2 tbsp of coconut flour

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and place your diced sweet potatoes in boiling water. Cook until a folk can piece through but not squishy.
  3. Place the cooked sweet potato’s and rest of ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.
  4. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and form your tator tot. and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes both sides making sure they are crispy. Love them up with a sauce! (Below)

 

Dan’s kickin’ Sriracha Dip:

¼ cup of sour cream

¼ cup of light mayo

1-2 tsp of Sriracha sauce

Mix….YUMMMY!

 

Sweet Tooth Dip (Lee’s idea)

 

¼ cup of sour cream

¼ cup of mayo

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

1 tsp paprika

Mix and become delighted!

 

Honey Mustard

2 tbsp of Dijon mustard

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp melted coconut oil

1 tsp coconut milk

1 tsp coconut flour

Dash of sea salt to taste

Mix


Comment below if you tried these and how your loved ones liked them!

God’s blessings, enjoy the game!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Food, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Treats

OOO La La! I love Elderberry and it is SOOOO awesome for you! Elderberry is our GO TO herb when we are coming down with something and especially if we already are in need of a boost.

 You can easily make this up and keep in your refrigerator for up to 3 months. We take 2 Tbsp of it a day when a bug is going around. Sniffles, sneezes, coughs, you name it, we start taking our Elderberry Syrup. (recipe below)

Once you have the base you can make up some fun drinks with it. Of course we put a tablespoon in our tea especially our Christmas blend, but I also have some other favorites below. I think you will find them enjoyable for the whole family!

We call them MOCKTAILS because we don’t put any liquor in our drinks. You can, but that is the reason for the name…MOCK…pretend cocktail. My dad use to call them fox tails, along with the Shirley Temple…ahhhh fun memories.

Anyway, here ya go…hope you like it. If you have a favorite way to use elderberries, post it! I love getting as much use out of this wonderful herb!


I like using some fun glasses when I serve these up. It just makes it look pretty and fun!




Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Elderberry syrup base (recipe below)
Fill remaining glass with Blood Orange Sparkling Juice
Top with an orange slice if you like


This next one is fun! I made up some of our favorite tea during the day, Christmas Tea Blend…which has Hibiscus and Raspberry herbs in it. Plus a whole lot of fun spices like clove, and cinnamon. So what a perfect drink. 
In a  mason jar glass:
put 1/2 cup of your tea cooled
3 Tbsp of Elderberry syrup
Fill glass with crushed ice
Put a lid on your jar and shake.
Take the flat part of the lid and pour into your fun glass about 1/2 full.
Fill glass with Club soda to give it the fizz. 
I added frozen raspberries on the top and serve.


Last one is just adding cream to your Mocktail! Use any recipe and just add a little heavy cream on the top. So pretty and fun for all ages and GOOD FOR YOU! For the most part!

*Elderberry Syrup

1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried Elderberries
3 cups water
1 cup raw honey
1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, and tablespoon of ginger root
Place berries, spices, and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour mixture into strainer over an easy pour bowl. Smash berries to release remaining juice and get all that goodness into your bowl. Allow to cool and add your honey. Stir. Pour into a mason jar or pretty bottle that seals well. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months.

*When you purchase items with the highlighted links or by clicking banners, all proceeds go to our ministry helping kids who are in need of healing and hope. Thank you!

Enjoy these wonderful drinks and celebrate with goodness and wellness!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Ranch Life

Do you have a focus word for every new year? Have you ever chosen a word you need to reflect on and make a part of your daily life?

I didn’t until two years ago and I love having this special word to remind, refresh, and renew my soul!  One year I had JOY, last year I had Overcome, this year…REST!





Throughout many days in December I asked the Lord what word do I need to focus on, draw my days around, work on for my own health, help me be a better wife, mom, and missionary? The Lord brought REST into my mind. Over and over…it just kept creeping into my mind as I was working around the ranch and our home. 

Rest!

So REST it is!


What does it mean for me? For one thing it is something the Lord desires for our best. The Lord repeats it many times throughout scripture and HIS first mention of it is in the very first book,
Genesis 1:5. “God called the light “day” and the darkness “night”. And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.” See it there? He stopped working for a time. Resting. 


God goes on making land and sea, vegetation, lights in the sky our sun and moon, animals, and us. Each day He rested at the end. Our Lord didn’t run off and do something else that quickly needed to be done. He didn’t indulge in food or watching TV. He rested.

Moving onto chapter 2:2 God begins with a final detail. “On the seventh day God finished His work of creation, SO HE RESTED”(emphases mine) from all His work.” 

Resting is tricky. We can easily think cleaning up the kitchen, organizing a closet or office, or folding laundry is resting. Even watching TV or playing a game as a family can be thought of as resting. I think sometimes working around the ranch is restful like picking up manure or grooming the horse. But really, that’s work not rest.

 So we have to go back to what God’s definition of rest is.  It’s all about fixing our thoughts on HIM. Resting in HIM. 


Taking a walk is my favorite time of resting. We live in a beautiful area of deep woods. No people, no traffic, nothing but the sound of all those things the Lord has made.  Fixing my thoughts on HIM is easier when there are no distractions plus I am truly refreshed and rested when I am finished. 

Resting is important to God so much so He planted it in the very beginning. He desires for HIS children to be refreshed, rejuvenated, and rested!

We can THINK that doing other things are resting but really…it’s running. In the end, you will be running into more  physical and mental exhaustion. True rest. What does it look like?

Getting alone with God. whether it’s a walk, cuddling up with a good helpful book and a cup of tea, watching a sunrise or sunset, or  journaling are great ways to rest your mind and body. Trail riding is always a restful time but not often workable as well as it can be stressful if the boys are feisty. Plus, I love spending time with my husband but chatting away isn’t always restful. So finding and doing restful things that are accessible and best for my mind and spirit are key.

My goal for 2018 will be a year I will focus on rest. I will start my day finding verses on rest, journaling, and living my day thinking of the importance of resting in my Father’s arms. He desires the best…so I will listen and obey, peacefully and gladly!

After all, isn’t just the sound of rest give you peace?  Running just feels exhausting even typing it, so why do I choose running vs. resting? Human nature I guess.

Prayerfully, I hope you too will find rest in 2018. The Lord hopes so too!
Here are some scriptures I found on REST to begin your journey…

Genesis 1
Genesis 2:2-5
Exodus 20:8-10
Exodus 23:12
Exodus 33:14
Psalm 4:8
Psalm 23
Psalm 55:6
Psalm 127:2
Isaiah 14:3-4
Matthew 11: 28-30 (Favorite)
Mark 2:27
Mark 6:31
Hebrews 4:9-11 (another favorite)

There are many more…search…rest…and enjoy Jesus time!

This gal’s blog has some great FREE downloads and wonderful tips! Check it out!

God bless you year…may it be a restful one!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Crafts, Ranch Life, The Boys
This is such a fun project! Making a Wholly Snuffle is a perfect gift to give your dog to keep them busy for a few minutes or some even longer.

Our dog Cruz loves to have a job! Being a Border Collie he is in constant need of doing some work. If not down at the ranch working the horses, or playing with his agility course, than he has to be doing something to burn off what the Lord has given him. ENERGY and a BRAIN! 
  


Get your fleece, scissors, and mat ready…
Cut your strips and begin…



If you order on the fabric link, our ministry will receive the proceeds!
Click the LINK on the sidebar…you will be giving TWO gifts…
One for your pup, and one to kids in need of healing and hope!





 Put you tail through loop ..


To watch a VIDEO click HERE


This snuffle gives him just that! By using our homemade dog treat recipe, and breaking it up, sprinkling it around the snuffle, and letting him use his nose for the reward we are making him use his brain too.

Such a fun project and gift…We hope you will find it fun too!

If you make one, post a picture below! I would love to see the fun colors and creations you make!

ENJOY!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee AND Cruz
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