12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Sewing

So simple

I began sewing just a few years ago. So simple and easy is super important to me. I love this idea of just making a casing for the pillow as you can take it off and wash it. I have a tendency to pick brighter colors so this is super important to be able to wash them.

Where I get tea towels

Tea towels are wonderful to use so here is where I get mine. Of course, there are many ideas out there, just remember if you purchase from the link you are helping our ministry as ALL proceeds go to the ranch.
Thank you in advance!

Tea Towels Variety of colors
Red Truck
Dog and bike
Dog and leaves
Grey Checkered fabric (Fabric.com has great fabric, link on sidebar)
same with the pillows good prices
20 x 20 pillow
Pretty much anything you love you can plug into the search and find something fun. Just make sure they are cotton. 

How to

This print of snowman I found at William Sonom
a

  1. First iron your towels
  2. Cut one 20.5″ by 20.5 ” Piece (this is my front piece)
  3. Cut two 20.5″ x 13
  4. Now for hemming to make a clean look. Take one 20.5 x 13 piece and fold it over 1/2 ” on the 20.5 sides. Iron in place fold again, iron hiding your raw edges. So the same with the other piece.
  5. Once folded and ironed, stitch with 1/4″ seam.
  6. Next, take your square piece 20.5″ with the right side facing up
  7. Overlap the two back pieces which will create an envelope to your pillow opening
  8. Pin everything in place and sew all the way around
  9. Use 20×20 pillow to fill
Step 2
Step 7 & 8

Love this! I bought a 20x 20 pillow
Nice folded back

Your done! Isn’t that simple?

Yeah! I hope you make a ton! Especially for gift giving! I will post more as I make them for the Hoedown!

Happy sewing!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Beautiful Memory

Kids who come to the ranch are often facing some serious situations. From being abused, bullies, losing a parent, parents in prison, and or suicidal. One of the activities we will do in a session is offered for the child to put essential oils on the horse. This activity has many benefits not only for the child but for the horse!

I will introduce the oil box to the child and allow them to choose up to 5 oils. Once they choose the essential oil I have them open the cap and offer the horse to smell it. If the horse likes it, he will lick and chew maybe even try and eat it.  The funniest thing they will do is lift their nose up in the air showing their teeth. It looks like they are smiling but in fact are smelling the air. Some favorites of our boys are Peppermint, Ylang-Ylang, Tummy Rub, Frankincense,  Lemongrass, and Aligning. 
If he doesn’t like it he will turn his head away or swish his tail.

Horses love the smell of the essential oils! So does the child!

Watching the Love Exchange

Once the child has the oils which both of them like, I have the child drip a little on the horses back. All along the back. By taking their fingers making a back and forth motion down the spine, I have the child watch the horse’s eyes, ears, and tail. If the horse yawns, or breaths out, they are responding by relaxing and enjoying the treatment. Not only is the horse enjoying this experience but the child is inhaling the oils and receiving the benefits as well. A child who faces trauma will instantly respond to giving love and receiving love. Indeed a beautiful thing to watch!

Allowing the horse to smell the oil before applying.

After the child has given the oil treatment to the horse. I will ask if they would like to make a bracelet with their favorite oil on it so they can remember this special time. Usually…I get a BIG YES!
So off to the tack shack we go to make a bracelet while the horse grazes in the round pen. The horse will like to roll in the sand and relax a bit before being turned out plus we have them close by while we craft. 
The bracelets are simple to make and the beads are inexpensive as well.

Talking while Crafting

We get are beads from Oriental Trading as they give back to our ranch when we purchase their items. If you purchase anything as well when you click on the links, you also will be helping us continue to reach kids in need of hope and healing. 
We use the Natural Lava Stones to hold the essential oil and stretch cording so it can fit any size wrist. Some children will end up making one for mom or sibling so it helps to have the flexibility to fitting. The company carries lots of variety and of course, like everything on this site, I love the free shipping for orders over $39. No prob there!

The children love Lemongrass as it is soothing and keeps bugs away!

One teen girl really did herself proud with this one! Love the colors she chose!

Simple Activity and Memorable

Every session is unique but when a child chooses to do the essential oils and craft I get especially giddy as I really love this activity! I love the freshness of the essential oils. I love the emotion poured out from the child and horse. I love the special chat time while making the bracelet. But mostly I love how the child can walk away from the ranch with a memory!

Make One and Comment Below

Please let me know if you make one and even send a picture! If you’r a mom, what a special time you can share with your children. If you’re a grandparent, you too will enjoy this wonderful activity!

Many blessings and keep it natural!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healing, Hope, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

A weekend celebrating…REST

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you REST.” Matt. 11:28

On March 22 our ranch and 3 others are SPURRING other ranches and folks in ministry to come for a weekend of rest. A time to fellowship with other like-minded ministries and take some time to learn, worship, and enjoy all the Lord has blessed us with.

Goofy SPUR team

We are also very excited to have Troy Meeder from Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch come to speak and lead worship. Troy and his wife Kim have written many books. Average Joe is Troy’s book focusing on men and living a life for Christ. Troy is an adventurous guy, to say the least, and if you have a man in your life let me tell you they will be blessed BIG TIME with this read! My hubby Dan loved it and really learned much from his words. Even a little convicted too, which for any of us is a good thing.

We can’t wait to see how both men and women will be blessed by his speaking God’s word and giving us all a boost to get through yet another year of ministry serving kids at risk, trauma kids and adults, and others in need of hope and healing.

Troy’s wife Kim

Kim has written several books. Her story will truly grab you by the gut! Her childhood trauma left her with Hope…Yes, Jesus was truly her rescuer during a horrible situation no child should have to go through. The book Hope Rising will leave your heart full! Full of how truly our amazing Jesus is in the midst of such trials of life…all from a back of a horse. Another one of her books I highly recommend is Bridges Called Hope.

 

Kim’s style of writing is inspiring and as she paints a picture with each word you feel like you are right there. Kim and Troy have been gifted to express their journey and help others by embracing God’s truths. In the midst of very difficult situations, they have a God who loves them and will never let go! You will be blessed as you embrace each story. 

How Ranch Ministry Began

Troy and Kim started their ranch over 25 years ago. All from their love of horses, their personal journey in life with the Lord Jesus Christ, and the gift of the beautiful property overlooking the sisters, the Cascade Mountains which the Lord had a perfect ministry platform for. Their story became a vision and boost for other ranches like us to carry out the call using our horses to serve our communities.

Just Answer the Call

It’s not easy when the Lord asks us to step out and do the uncomfortable or what may seem like the impossible. But when you do, it is absolutely the most amazing ride you will personally ever be on!

For More Information…

Be A Blessing

If you do choose to purchase one or all those books above, you will be a blessing to our ranch ministry as well as Chrystal Peaks. In advance, thank you! Every little bit helps us meet the needs of so many in need of healing and hope!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Health, Jarrin, Ranch Life, Ranch Life, The Boys

It’s winter and the dryness on my dog’s paws are looking cracked. I decided to try some recipes to see what works best and of course is easy to make. This paw protector is wonderful! The scent is great and even though he licks it I know it is safe for him plus protecting his little pads.

Paw protector wax- like substance also helps break down the ice and snow that may collect in his pad. Every time we come in from outside, especially after being down at the ranch I check his paws to make sure there is no snow inside the pad. By applying the paw pad protector this cuts down on the snow accumulation. I just have to remember to put it on him BEFORE we go outside.

Paw Pad Protection for your pet

Recipe

4 tbsp organic shea butter

8 tbsp organic Calendula infused oil  (I have a recipe here)   

2 tsp carnauba wax                    

4 tbsp organic bees wax.          

 4 tbsp coconut oil                        

1/2 tsp vitamin E                      

1 tbsp organic  Sunflower oil.

 30 drops Rosemary Essential oil    

 15 drops Lavender Essential oil.    

10 drops of  Tea Tree Essential oil

In a double boiler, bring the calendula oil, shea butter, carnauba wax, beeswax, and coconut oil to melting point. This should only be about 2 minutes or so. Remove from heat and add vitamin E and your essential oils. Stir again and quickly and carefully pour into your molds. Paw mold, tins, (from any dollar store) or cupcake mold

TIPS

#1. I like to mix the first ingredients in a  4 cup glass measuring cup. I place this in double boiler and stir with a plastic spoon. This helps pouring into my molds easier and using the plastic spoon I can throw away for easier clean up.  #2. I add a tsp of Apricot oil as this oil is helpful in dry chapped skin. #3. Adding a few calendula flowers to the mold make for pretty presentation. I doubled this recipe because of the thick molds used.

Gift Ideas

Paw Pad Protection for dog

Just take paw and place is ointment and rub onto pad. You can also take some in your hand and rub directly onto the paws. 

Paw Pad Protection

Adding tags to your gifts is quick and easy as well as special when you use these little framelits from Sizzix. Using my BIGSHOT I can use material, metal, more than one piece of card stock, it’s wonderful. Makes gift giving fun and easy!

So let me know how your little 4-legged buddies do with this ointment. I hope they like it and it works for you! I invite comments!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healing, Ministry

Do you have someone who is hard to love? Is there someone who you think just doesn’t like you or is hard to communicate with? Has there been someone who has hurt you in some way and your relationship isn’t quite the same? Well…let’s work on that!

12 gifts for the hard to love
Gift of love

We all have one…

I have all the above. I think if we’re honest we do too. This month is gift giving season, typically. But if your reading this and it isn’t December…than all the better! Because for this relationship which is somehow not right to be ok again… this concept needs to happen no matter what time of year.

Let’s first look at our own heart. The Lord says, “People judge by the outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 

Isn’t this passage so true? Looking at this person who is hard to love. WHY? Why are they hard to love? How they act or speak to others? To us? How they choose to live? I am sure we can think of 12 ways one person has wronged us. This passage holds to this very thing. We are looking at the outside appearances, their life versus God created them and loves them and so must we. No matter what. So now the need to find 12 ways back to love instead of wronged.

Why try?

The same thing holds true to the one who hurt you.  The one who continues to ignore you or include you in their gatherings.  If we are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are to love…no matter what.  Remembering His 2 greatest commandments. “Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength…AND love your neighbor as yourself.”

SO…ready for an idea…one that may not work exactly the way you think but I guarantee will please the Lord. 

12 gift Ideas

12 gifts. You can do the 12 anyway you choose. Maybe it will be over a year, one gift a month, or all in 12 consecutive days. It doesn’t matter. Just commit to 12 gifts to this person.  Get your calendar, planner, or whatever you use and look at daily or weekly opportunities to mail or drop your gift.  Next write down 12 gifts this person may love. Food like those cute jars filled with something they can make. I love this because if they choose to make the item it will remind them of you and your relationship. Other ideas can be a card, bookmark, favorite DVD, CD, or movie tickets. Gardening seeds, teas or coffee, hot cocoa, lotions, and gift cards are wonderful little gestures of love. 

gifts for the hard to love
Do you need a great editing program for you pictures….I love this one!
12 gifts for the hard to love
Gingerbread Spiced Syrup…recipe below

In addition to every gift, include a note. You will need to go before the Lord and ask for wisdom to your wording. You want to be sensitive to whatever your relationship has been in the past as well as to why it is a-strange in the present.  Make it special. Fill your heart with love for them by asking the Lord to help you with your hurt or harden feelings. He loves prayers like this, because relationships are VERY important to Him.

Easy boxes filled with Elderberry syrup

What about after…

Lastly, after the 12 days and gifts have been given, if something has not already been sparked by the first one or two, again pray. “Why Lord has this person not responded? What do I need to do next? Help me to continue to love them and bring them to mind to lift to you.” I know from doing this very thing…God has healed. Whether it was during the gift giving time, or just in this prayer time. He answered. A hint of advice, don’t call them or if you see them don’t say ,”Hey did you get anything from me? Did you get the gifts I sent?” Why? Because by asking you are looking for something in return. Keep humble.

Broken relationships bring us to sinful actions. Gossip, talking bad about this person, rudeness, and unforgiveness.  Which all of these separates us from our Lord. If we want unity, if we call ourselves a loving person, than we must do our best to be Christ-like and reach out. If that person doesn’t respond, we pray for them and move on. 

Joy

 One thing can stand out when you do this activity. You can experience joy in the gift giving process making it special for this child of God and it provides an opportunity to pray for them.  There is nothing more joyful in our daily lives than bringing joy into another. We just never know what is going on in the hearts of others. But the Lord does. 

Let me know what happened

Let me know if you tried this. By your comments you could help another. I will be VERY anxious to see how it goes. In both situations so far I have done, it was misunderstandings in one and the other was facing a strong addiction. By reaching out helped heal and brought forgiveness in others in their personal lives. Amazing!

Share away!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

Gingerbread Spiced Syrup recipe:

All products below I get from Starwest link on blog…

2 cinnamon sticks broken into pieces                12 cloves

3 tbsp fresh ginger root                                    1 tsp whole peppercorns

2 cups honey                                                       2 cups water

1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

Directions:

Place the cinnamon, cloves, ginger root, peppercorns in a double thick cheese cloth and tie a knot to hold it all together. In a large sauce pan, add water and honey and bring to a boil. Add nutmeg and stir. Now put cheesecloth into the pot. Let sit for 5 minutes watching closely. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes uncovered. Remove from heat. Take cheesecloth and squeeze out any juice collected using the back of a spoon. Serve some immediately and any remaining let cool and transfer into nice GLASS containers. Make a wonderful gift anytime of year! Keeps for one month in refrigerator.


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Bible Journaling, Empower, Hope, The Boys

We sure get ourselves into a rut when we focus on the worst part of ourselves. We can even try to hide from connecting with God because we have deep feelings of shame or guilt. The best gift we can give ourselves is who we are to Whom knows are deepest soul.

Do you ever find yourself pretending to be someone else? Hiding from the world who you really are? I can tell you from experience this can be exhausting.  But there is Hope.

Being in the presence of Jesus with all of our junk with our guilt, shame, naked before Him we come into the very presence of grace, love, and forgiveness. Only if we are willing to choose. Only if we are willing to come before this Throne of Grace will we experience the Hope.

In a similar way to our Jesus, horses bring out our true selves. Horses don’t pretend and are not self-conscious. They don’t worry about how their hair looks, if they are too fat or too thin. Horses show up exactly how they are full of grace and pure honesty. They are not ashamed to be afraid or to show contentment.  

The Gift of Being True To Self

When I am in the presence of our horses, I can take a deep breath and release the pressures of the things I am holding in. By gazing into their beautiful brown eyes, these giants who have reason to fear me, brings me peace. Just like Jesus. 

“Do you give the horse his strength, or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?” Job 39:19  The Lord does this and yet the horse contents to gentle this strength to befriend us. They can help bring us into a closer, deeper relationship with our Creator God by simply experiencing the picture of who we are and Who He is.

Often we can be such a klutz in how we approach our Lord.  Just like the horses, He is available offering us the greatest gift EVER…Himself and just as we are. 

We can choose to overcome any false truth about ourselves when we experience the Bigness of our God!

May each of you find the Truth and open the Gift! Unwrap whatever you feel is keeping you in the box. Trust this truth… He is worth it and so are you!

God’s blessing upon you all.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ranch Life, Ranch Life, The Boys

Since I was a little girl, I have been in the obedience ring with my dog. I was in 4H for 3 years and in my early 20’s became a trainer and showed again. For years I have used a training chain collar and never thought twice about what the collar was REALLY doing to my dogs.

Sadly, I recently found out what my chain training collar and others are doing to dogs. First step…knowing and educating on the new findings of our little 4-legged friends.

What is your collar doing to your dog?

About a month ago I was taking one of those online free sessions about keeping your pets healthy as I do a ton of research on all of our animals pretty much on a weekly bases and came upon a trainer. She was educating the listeners on this very topic of what the collars are doing to our dogs. Training chain collars, pinch collars, harnesses, and the shock collar.

Here is link you can watch for yourself of a vet and his scientific detail of what is actually occurring every time you go for a walk with your dog. Hang onto your heart…it may break a little!

Also here is another link of many videos you can watch. They are short but will help you understand how this works and other brands out there that also cause problems for your dog. I especially love the manners videos!

What is your collar doing to your dog?
Need a program for great photo editing?

I know the chain training collar works. I know also when I learn something new and I can be wrong about my thinking…I need to stop and take a closer look. This leash and collar are EASY to use. It works. My dog is happier. I feel better knowing my dog will have a healthier body because of using it.

Take a look and see for yourself. (affiliate link) An easy size chart will help you find just the right fit for your pet.

What is your collar doing to your dog?

The 30 day money back guarantee is awesome! PLUS…the training videos to help you know how to use the system, which is simple by the way. You can watch the videos I suggested above. You will see it really is all about when the dog gets ahead you stop. The pressure makes them not want to go forward.

What is your collar doing to your dog?Lastly, I attached a video of Cruz and I when we first got this harness and leash. 

Video

If you have any questions, they are fee to talk to which I would suggest if you have reservations. Your pets health is important and really folks this is an amazing set up.

Remember if you click on the link 
you are helping us reach kids at risk through our ranch ministry. This company graciously gives 10% back to us. We are thankful for all they do!

Write a Comment

I would love to hear how this has worked for you! I know there are many concepts for training now days, but when we have an open mind of new ideas I think it is worth checking out!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ranch Life, The Boys
Dan and I celebrated 30 years on October 8th in a very special place in Northern Wisconsin. It is indeed a little piece of heaven with the Finnish touch and a perfect getaway! Palmquist Farm Palmquist Farm is located in a small town in Brantwood, WI. The farm is full of history from the old barns to all the décor covering the walls of each building and a cute couple who are your hosts.  Jim greets you with his Finnish accent and welcoming smile escorting you to your cabin or in our case the barn to get our horses settled. He knew we came from a distance and the importance of animals first was on the forefront of his mind. He showed us all the spots we could place our boys and once we got them comfy cozy Jim walked us to our cabin. What a place! From the moment you walk in the yellow lighting upon the logwood made you feel warm and welcomed. Each room had memories of the past including furniture dated back to the 1940s. Of course, Jim shared a story or two about the old radio and listening to President Roosevelt with the break of the war and the linens hand stitched by grandma. Get Away My man and I arrived in the early afternoon so we had time to look around after unpacking. OH am I glad I got a new camera! I was in heaven snapping all kinds of shots! Get AwayGet Away Get awayGet Away Get Away Each building is full of wonderful décor and in the sauna, they even have newspaper articles from the Titanic to the San Francisco earthquake. The old furniture set the stage in time and one feels your really living in the early 1900s. Get away Palmquist is a perfect place for couples, hunters, horse riders, newlyweds, or an excuse for a perfect get-away. The trails are full of beauty with ponds around every corner, trees full of life, and paths easy to walk or trail ride.  In the winter, the folks with skinny skis will enjoy the trails as well as the ones with the motors. Get AwayGet Away The accommodations with a cozy fireplace made coming back from a cold trail ride inviting. Sippin’ my tea and a book made for relaxing afternoons.  For my man, it came down to the food. It was over the top!  Served both breakfast and dinner in a beautiful room full of more stories and history, we enjoyed every meal full of the flavor of an ol’ fashion farm taste. From fresh veggies and fruit from their gardens to meat fully packed with flavor.  The pastries were my downfall! I ate WAY too much! Once I found out Helen had a cookbook I was delighted to bring a piece of Palmquist cooking home. Helen truly did an amazing job at EVERY meal. OOOO I can still taste the wonderful cranberry/raspberry sauce! Delightful! Here is a sample of one of Helen’s sweet desserts. I couldn’t resist making this right away for our church bible study time. I changed one thing in her recipe by making my own yellow cake mix. I prefer to do things homemade vs. out of a box when I can. I also don’t have to feed tons of folks like Helen so I can make the time for the extra step. Here ya go: Pumpkin Pecan Crumble by Palmquist Farm Ingredients: 1 15 oz organic can of pumpkin 1 12 oz can evaporate milk 1 cup brown sugar 3 eggs 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (my recipe below) 1 box of yellow cake mix (my recipe below) 1 cup chopped pecans (optional) 1 cup of melted butter cool whip or real whipping cream Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, and pie spice until well blended.
  3. Pour mixture into a 9×13 greased pan.
  4. Sprinkle about ¾ of your cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture. (save extra for next time)
  5. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the cake mix.
  6. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the nuts.
  7. Bake cake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  8. Refrigerate until cool about an hour. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle a bit more pumpkin spice on top!
Lee’s Homemade cake mix: (you can refrigerate this mixture for up to a week or freeze for a month) Ingredients: 2 ½ cups of unbleached purposed four 1 ½ cups of sugar 1 tbsp baking powder +1 tsp (I make my own 1 tsp of baking soda, 2 tsp of cream of tartar) 1 tsp. salt 6 tbsp of softened butter Mix together in a glass bowl crumbling butter with a knife or your clean hands. Store in a safe container. To make a cake, add 1 1/4 cups of water and 2 eggs. Lee’s Pumpkin Spice recipe: 3 tbsp. ground cinnamon 2 tsp ground ginger root 2 tsp. fresh nutmeg, grated 2 tsp. cloves Mix and best part…put in a cute jar! What makes a B&B? The accommodations…yes. The food….yes. The people you get to know at every meal?….YES. A young couple with their new bundle 4-month-old singing to you for your anniversary? YES! What makes a great B&B is the people! Their loving conversations, stories, and smiles make your stay a warm family stay. We did get a kick out of Jim sharing real stories of the farm from gangsters visiting, buffalo stories, to shootouts the ol’ fashion way. He made our meals full of adventure and laughter. Of course, a good tease about Finnish and Norwegians provided more fun! Palmquist isn’t just a place to stay it is an experience! A Finish touch was everywhere you look. I am sure my dad would have loved this spot. Palmquist Farm is known to many cross-country skiers in the area and the signs around the trails proved horses aren’t the only ones who use them. Get Away We hope to back to this little place in Northern Wisconsin. A Finnish touch indeed…hope you too will find your way there for any kind of weekend getaway! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life
In the book of Daniel chapter 6, we read a famous story told of how Daniel escaped from a lions’ den. At the first sign of trouble, Daniel did the very thing he would be killed for….an un-flinched faith….he prayed to ask God for help. Think just for a moment of a time when you received bad news. REALLY bad news! A death. An illness diagnoses. Loss of a job. Did you go to a private room, open a window, kneel down and pray to ask for help? HUM…I know I haven’t. My faith was shaken to the core. I cried. I called others to tell the news. I simply fell apart turning to others instead of turning to my God. Unflinching Faith Daniel’s faith was unflinching! He knew without a shadow of a doubt God would come through….SOMEHOW. He didn’t know to what extent, even if it all did take his life, God would be with him. In verse 19 we read King Darius woke up early and hurried to the lions’ den. He called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Doubt in the king’s voice and heart. Yep…I think I would have been too. BUT, Daniel answered, “Long live the king. My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in HIS sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” Amazing? Not when we have unflinching faith! Unflinched Faith In my early years of receiving my Lord Jesus as my Savior, I was full of flinching faith. I just had not had enough of HIS promises in my heart. I didn’t know HIS word well enough to see stories like this one come true in my own life. In time, reading HIS word daily, meditating on what I have read and applying it in my own life, I became stronger. YEP, I slip up. I do get shaken, but time with the Lord will bring peacefulness in my heart to pull me through the trial. Seeing it happen in others in the same situations also proved of HIS faithfulness and HIS promises During the months preparing for the harvest hoedown, I needed to take much time in prayer believing the Lord would pull things all together. Two weeks before the event our son just bought a home and his closing landed the day before. Our daughter would be traveling from Richmond, VA a 1200 mile trip with her dog, our bunnies were experiencing illness’,  Bokoda had pulled his shoulder which meant he couldn’t be used for demonstrations, and to top it all off, rain was predicted all week and especially on the day of the big event. Shaken faith? Unflinching? I called in the troops to pray. I called out to God. I prayed “Lord this is YOUR day, not ours. Have it as YOUR will be done. Help me to enjoy serving YOU and continue to be obedient with a smile and faith YOU will take care of the details.” HE DID! AND SOOOO MUCH MORE! Mitch’s house closing got moved up a day and we took the day as rest away from the event and enjoyed moving him into his new journey. Our daughter arrived safely and without troubles. All animals healed, except the one but she got better a few days later, and the Lord made a beautiful day even the SONshine came through! Another story in my life goes into the books of relying on God, and our faith can be UNFLINCHED! Verse 26 “For HE is the living God and HE will endure forever. HIS kingdom will never be destroyed and HIS rule will never end. He rescues and saves HIS people; HE performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth.” He does! These verses should inspire us all believers to walk this life of trials with an unflinching faith! He’s got us…in the palm of HIS Holy Hands! Take that you lions! Love deeper & talk sweeter, Lee
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Ministry, Ranch Life
Throughout the summer here on the ranch, we usually and prayerfully pick a THEME to carry out our session time. This year is a Pathway or Trail. Focus keywords help us draw out what the person’s trail is that day or is happening in their life. In one teen we had, her trail was faking the God life. As we continued through her session, she found you just couldn’t fake the God trail. He knows it all! You can't fake God I asked this teen, we will call her Marie, to lead the horse out of the pasture walking a trail as her life is going. Marie haltered Bokoda and swiftly walked straight on to the gait. No turns. No going around trees. Just straight on. I responded with a “well…tell me what that trail is?” Marie said, “it’s straight. I can see what is ahead of me and I feel great!” I nodded with a smile, “awesome let’s go play with Bokoda and have a great time!” Throughout the session, there was some stumbling of not remembering certain things. For example, when Bokoda would walk faster and bump into her she allowed him to almost push her, she forgot the game on how to back him up or get him out of her space. So we had a quick review. Her confidence was strong thinking she knew how to handle Bokoda, but when he challenged her, she couldn’t remember how to ask him to remember her boundaries. Another time when she was bumped, I asked if she is reading her bible. She shook her head no and said, “ I don’t have time. But I helped at VBS. “How is your prayer life?”, I asked. “I pray at mealtime…only when I remember.” She laughed. I quickly grabbed onto that response. “Well, tell me what happens when you remember to ask Bokoda to respect your space?” She said he listens. I asked, “and what happens when you don’t remember?” Looking down and getting where I was headed, “Bokoda almost pushes me down.” We went on talking about when our trail seems straight and all is going well we can allow some poison ivy to grow along the trail. Not even see it. We can even walk through mud and not realize our shoes are wet and muddy. We can fake our faith. God knows our hearts. He knows our every move before we take it and He never forgets our sins. He forgets our sins once we repent, but if we are not walking with Him on the trail in and sinning along the way, HE remembers. You can't fake God You see as adults we do this all the time. We tell people we will pray for them and we forget. Just pray right then and there when someone asks. We can even go to church weekly and fake our Christian walk. Even having in our conversations, “God will provide” or If it’s God’s will”.  Another word, we can have the Christian lingo down, but not be living it. Being on God’s trail means time with Him. Being in HIS word. When things happen in our life, we need to quickly and I mean quickly, go to HIS word and seek out direction. I had something pretty difficult situations happen this summer and I had to Google some words from my bible to seek out what Jesus would do. How He would handle such people or situations. You know…it works every time! Daily we need to spend time with Jesus, share our hearts. Praise Him for what He is doing good and bad on our trail of life. We can’t fake our trail rides with God. Just like you can’t fake any relationship. You can’t fake your marriage is good when it really isn’t. God knows. You can’t fake your life is perfect. God knows it’s not and never will be. You can’t fake God…period! You can't fake God A person who chooses to walk the trail with God is peaceful in ALL circumstances. YES, even the bad times. You might be down, but you’re hopeful. You know the Lord is working in the situation. A person, who is faking it, is falling. They are being stomped on. Deceived.  Their trail is full of poison ivy and mud puddles they just don’t want to let anyone ride the trail with them. Fakeness will catch up to all of us who pretend we have a relationship when we truly do not. The Lord wants all of us not to fake our trail rides. He desires for us to be honest with Him and with others as we face our daily trials. If you’re not walking the trail with Jesus, stop right now. Repent. Ask Him to remove your fakeness and pull out the poison ivy of dishonesty. Come to Him with true transparency simply saying daily, “I need you, Jesus. I surrender my life to you.” And you know what? You trail of life will be real! Being fakey leads a trail of emptiness. Being real is being on a trail full hope! God’s peace and blessings as you ride the trail of adventure with Him! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life
We are gearing up for our Harvest Hoedown at True North Ranch! We can’t wait to share all the Lord has done this year and since we have been in operation for 10 years it will be especially rewarding to have folks come and see the ranch first hand! In the weeks ahead we will be preparing for little stations throughout the ranch. Here are some of the things we are prepping and creating. Kids can make a craft called a Prayer Jar! I just love this idea! Here are the supplies needed: (affiliate links that when you click on also help our ministry at the ranch) Harvest Hoedown Fun Foam Faith Shapes Fun Foam Faith Sayings Plastic Mason Jars For some adhesives I recommend: Glue Dots Tacky Glue And Sharpies for markers: Big pack And of course the BLING! LOVE these!! Really no need for directions as it is simply sticking on items and using markers to decorate. Let the creative juices flow for the love of the Lord! Hoedown On we go to decorating the ranch grounds.  Scarecrows!  I hope they don’t freak out the horses but they will look so darn cute! My kids and I will be hunting down some cornstalks and colorful flowers to place on fence posts and of course, we will have to scrounge up some pumpkins to place in a variety of places. Color is my big thing since September isn’t a real colorful time yet. I will have to get creative in this area. Harvest Hoedown A wonderful volunteer helped paint up some signs and prepped our photo op area. SO cute! Hay bales, and ropes to make a memory for all who come! We also used bandana’s to mark for parking by ripping them into strips and tying them to a hay string. This showed folks where they could park as well as added some fun decor outside the ranch area. The full bandanas we used to decorate the tree lines. This will help add the color too! harvest hoedownThe silent auction area will have tables decorated with the faux wood as well as the bandana skirt. This will be darling! Our chuck wagon will be loaded with grub with a fall menu serving, of course, our favorite pumpkin tea and spiced apple cider. To decorate this area I found this really awesome faux wood roll. Fits perfect as my hubby couldn’t finish the table part in time. Our prizes for the sack races, cake walk, and pony barrel races will be goodies wrapped in a bandana. We chose Golden Nuggets of course to fit our Nugget! Horses, and candy. Harvest Hoedown The ranch will have some fun games like horseshoe, corn hole, and ropin’ the calf.  All fun for all ages! We also hired a wonderful husband and wife team to sing us along and have good ol’ line dancing’! I can’t wait for this part! HEE HAW! To end our day we have a couple of kids who will demo what they have gained from having sessions at TNR. This part I hope will be a special part for our folks to see and hear the message of hope along with our speaker and worship time. Hoedown Everyone will get a little tea bag as memory and thank you full of our favorite TNR harvest pumpkin tea blend. I used these organic muslin bags with a tag THANK YOU stamped on each one. OH, how I love to throw a Hoedown, especially giving God all the glory! I will post pictures along the way. So until then, Happy Harvest! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Bible Journaling, Healing, Ministry, Ranch Life
What pathway are you on right now? What is your trail like? Is it full of poison ivy? Are you tripping on broken sticks? Is there a fork on your trail and you don’t know which one to take?  Are there puddles too big to jump over or mud so deep your just plain ol’ stuck? Maybe your pathway is beautiful, full of joy and no worries. You feel all is well and perfect. About 10 years ago, a ministry came into our community helping financially troubled families who were living on the streets or in their cars. This ministry was wonderful as it allowed the days for children to play or attend a local school and parents to find jobs and homes. In the evenings, the families would go to a church to be fed and loved and have a place to sleep along with a big dinner and breakfast. The ministry is called New Pathways. What a perfect name!   Individuals whose pathways somehow got goofed up led wrong or made wrong choices which allowed for a new beginning, new start, new pathway. In our sessions this year, pathways are our focus word we use as a foundation to their time with the horses on the ranch. So far it has opened many conversations and openness I haven’t really experienced before. I love how the Lord leads me to certain things such as words like this, verses, passages of scripture, and reminders of my own stories or experiences. Have you ever stopped to look down a road? A trail? A sidewalk? An aisle? In every step we take throughout a day, we are always on a pathway. If the pathway we are on is causing pain in some way in our life or we know is not a path the Lord would want us on, we must somehow make a new one. We must at that point make a choice to choose a pathway that may not be easier but give us freedom. It may be free from sin. It may be freedom from conflict. It may be freedom from addiction. Whatever pathway you’re on, your Savior is longing for you to find a new one! At times I find the pathway I am on is safe and easy as I know it so well. But the Lord is asking me to try a new pathway to stretch my journey. He desires for me to explore and learn and at that time I will have to depend on Him more and more because I don’t know the path well. That’s the pathway I am on right now. This ministry is constantly challenging in the way the Lord is bringing in new ideas and opportunities. They are like weeds to pull or brush to move to clear the trail. Sometimes I want to turn around and go back on the pathway that I knew before. A pathway where I knew every area that is dangerous or could “trip” me up. A path or trail that didn’t cost me so much hard work! In this new pathway, I have no idea what’s ahead.  I haven’t either been on it before or have and it caused pain somewhere along the way. I surely don’t want to go through it again. YET, my heavenly Father wants me to try because He has a new plan within the new pathway. I must trust Him, belief, and ultimately obey. By obedience, I am choosing to say no to self. Choosing His ideas, not mine. Simply, surrendering my will. One of my favorite verses I have memorized, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding but in ALL ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your path straight. “ Proverbs 3:5-   HE does…every time I am obedient. My salvation verse, “Your word is the lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Ps. 119:105  By READING the bible every day, not just short devotions or commentary from others but truly reading, absorbing, and talking to the Lord, HE will direct my path for the day and days to come. Again, obedience and choosing the path of being still, alone with my Jesus. Pathways offer hope. They offer second chances. They open new opportunities. New pathways draw you closer to your Redeemer who is molding your character to be more and more like Him. Possibly, you may not be on the path with Jesus. You may be walking alone. Afraid, lonely, or simply unhappy. Will you trust in a Savior who promises to walk with you? He promises “He will never leave you or forsake you. He is with you always.” That is the best part of choosing the path with Christ! So what pathway are you on? What trail will you take? Will you choose today to follow HIS lead and walk the trail together no matter what it may bring you? Enjoy your ride or walk…on your NEW pathway! Love deeper, talk sweeter along your journey, Lee
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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life
Oh boy…I love to garden but really garden beds are the cat’s meow! I can’t believe I didn’t do this LONG ago! We have one garden we made out of bricks using the holes for herbs and the center for tomatoes. But the new garden bed is out of galvanized steel. I LOVE this idea! Our neighbor down the road was getting rid of a bunch of this steel and we just could not let it go to waste. So..we loaded up the truck and trailer and began creating. Garden Beds Garden Bed Isn’t this just wonderful? Dan will make 3 of these forming a horseshoe. (of course) He also is making more for our “Thyme Out” pasture for the horses. Each box is filled with herbs the horses can munch on as their bodies needs. We love this as it helps the folks that come to the ranch learn about medicinal plants and how they can help us heal. Garden Bed This man has been working hard to make these and I am VERY thankful we have compost ready to fill these puppies up! It does take a ton of dirt to fill, but once done…they are set to go! Garden Bed He simply cut each piece to the size we wanted and place a wood corner on each side. No bottom of course just placed right where we wanted them, leveled, and filled with compost and fresh dirt. My back loves me! Here we have them planted and Dan is now working on the other two to complete the horseshoe look. They will not be filled with veggies this year as it just got too late. Other priorities needed to take place, so, for now, this is what we have. Peppers, tomatoes 2 kinds, carrots, spinach, and sweet beans. The outer part of the cement block garden is all herbs. Basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro, and pearl onions. (left over from last year) Garden BedGarden Bed Around the ranch, we love to continue to put in each garden some kind of herb. So each of the flower pots has at least one herb in it. I am also trying to grow blueberries in a garden pot. We have many wild ones around the ranch, but we NEVER get any! HUM…I think the 4 legged friends get them before we can! Enjoy your summer garden and if you try the garden beds, they really make planting and upkeep wonderful! God bless you! Love deeper, talk sweeter all for Jesus, Lee
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Ranch Life, Ranch Life, The Boys
Now that you have decided to take the big plunge and feed your dog a raw diet, you’re ready to get creative as well as make your pups happy.  Here are 10  homemade healthy recipes that will help you plan, bag up (BPA please), and freeze ready to go! I love making life simple and your pups will love the variety! I do like using BPA free bags or glass with BPA silicon lids. Either will keep your fresh ingredients safe and away from chemicals. Isn’t that why you decided to go raw in the first place? So store wisely too! LOVE the bags as they are simple, easy to clean, and save our landfill. Reusable is always a key for our household. Feeding raw diet I feed twice a day so I make up enough for the day and pack in my bag and freeze. Ready to pull out of the freezer when I am ready to use. I label the bag too so I know what he gets for the day. If there is egg or liquid broth I add it fresh when I feed. Sometimes the herbs too just depend on my time. All my dry herbs are from Starwest Botanicals, free shipping too… as my purchase is always over $75. Their herb capsules are wonderful for pets too. Oil Chart: Flaxseed, sunflower, extra virgin olive oil, coconut, and canola are all wonderful. Rule of thumb on how much, the smaller the dog start with 1/4 tsp go up to tbsp for large dogs. (if dry skin add a little more) Herb Chart: For dry Toy dogs under 10 lbs: Pinch Small dogs 20 lbs: Bigger pinch Dogs under 50 lbs: 1 Tsp Large dog under 100 lbs: 2 tsp. Giant dogs: 1 tbsp. For Fresh Double or triple the amount If your dog is fussy, make a paste by adding coconut oil to the herb and mix in food. Healthy Recipes Dogs Love 1. OH LAY DAY! Ground turkey organic is best organ of choice white rice chopped spinach 1/4 diced carrots (slightly cooked to soften) pinch (see chart) cumin 2 tsp. fresh cilantro chopped 1 egg including shell 1 slice mango 1 1/2  tsp olive oil Mix and measure to your dog’s size for the day. These measurements for veggies and fruit are for my 35 lb dog. Use your proper measurement for each meal below. 2. MOOOO Day ground organic burger and or 95% lean liver diced sweet potato (slightly boiled for 3 minutes) basil herb green beans olive oil organic yogurt Healthy Dog Recipes3. Let’s Go Fishing salmon in oil parsley egg and shell broccoli both head and stem chopped turmeric paste (adding olive oil) cucumber blueberries 4. Deer Opener Stew Venison organ of choice dandelion herbs sunflower oil Brussels sprouts strawberries 5. Chicken and Pumpkin chicken thigh organ of choice chicken  bone broth egg and shell organic pumpkin coconut oil 6. Swimming Sardines sardines in oil organ of choice flaxseed dry cauliflower strawberries Recipes Dogs Love 7. Pork and Beans ground pork organ of choice rosemary herb bean sprouts kale leaf bone broth chopped apple 8.  Yummy Orange Chicken Leg chicken leg organ of choice orange squeezed and grate peel chia seeds (first soak in water for 10 minutes) peas oregano 1/4 banana 9. Tropical Chicken Breast chicken breast organ of choice pineapple catclaw and corn silk herb tea (recipe below) mushrooms mix (see recipe) 10. Sassy Sausage organic pork sausage organ of choice zucchini bone broth flax seed spirulina powder hemp oil Mushroom Mix is an amazing boost for your dog. Helps the immune system and organ function. I make this up and put in a mason jar and leave in refrigerator or cool place. 1 1/2 cup coconut oil 2 oz organic Red Redshi powder (great for dogs suffering from allergies and skin issues. Also immune booster) 1 oz Shiitake Mushroom powder  1/2 oz turmeric 3 drops vitamin E oil Heat oil add mushrooms powders one at the time. Add the rest and mix. Turn off the burner and let cool. Put in mason jar and label. Awesome treats that are HEALTHY for your little friend! I Love this company and their concern for healthy pet care! Healthy treats I hope you find these recipes helpful and give you some ideas to begin your journey in feeding your dog raw, homemade food! Just know if you click any of the links on the blog you are helping us do what we love to do and that is help kids in need at the ranch.  Make a list of ingredients and click on the links to order. We will be eternally thankful! God bless you, Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Ranch Life, Ranch Life, The Boys
I have never so been appalled by the dog food industry and cats for that matter! The lies. Why? Money. Learning their food is filled with ingredients that cause cancer and many other illnesses made me review, research, and change to an all raw food diet.Feeding Raw diet I have owned 8 dogs in my life, known many others of course, and all of them died of cancer. ALL! That just turns my stomach! I want my pets to die naturally free of pain and live a happy, natural life! Don’t you? Can you just imagine if we had this info years ago the quality of life my pets would have had? Well, this month I decided for our family we are changing. Feeding raw diet It has been a wonderful choice and seeing my dog happier has been a Godsend! I am all about natural feeding with my horses, so why did I not get this with my dog? DAH!

Serving Size for your “Easy Raw Dog Food”:

*Special note: These are general guidelines, we are not trying to land a man on Mars. If your dog is losing a little weight eating the raw dog food and this is not desired, increase the amount you are feeding. If your dog is gaining weight on the serving size then cut back a little. In short, adjust the serving size of raw dog food depending on your dog’s age, weight, and activity level.
  • 10 lb. dog1/2 cup raw dog food daily+1/2 tsp DE +1/2 TBSP Olive oil or Coconut oil
  • 20 lb. dog 1 cup raw dog food daily + 1 tsp DE + 1 Tbsp Olive oil or Coconut oil
  • 40 lb. dog 2 cups raw dog food daily + 2 tsp DE + 2 tbs Olive oil or Coconut oil
  • 60 lb. dog 3 cups raw dog food daily + 3 tsp DE + 3 tbsp Olive oil or Coconut oil
  • 80 lb. dog 3 1/2–4 cups raw dog food daily +3 1/2 tsp DE + 3 1/2 tbs Olive oil or Coconut oil
***Special Note: If you add the supplements to the whole batch when making the dog food recipe it is not necessary to add them with each serving. Use whichever method you find easier. Supplements like a probiotic which is awesome to add to your diet as well! DE=Diatomaceous Earth Now…you want to know how to do this? Well, let’s get to the menu part. I have spent a ton of time reviewing the best for my pet, so I want to pass it along to whoever wants to change for their best friend. Raw diet Cats…well…I don’t have one yet. So when that happens I will make up a menu for them. Until then, research on your own. You will love it! Promise! Here is a link to menu ideas! Leave a comment of your results! Here is new BPA diffuser that I run in our home for our pets. Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee Love this chart I got off of Pinterest. If you’re nervous about this, I get it! I was too! You can always add a wonderful raw diet already pre-packaged to get you started or to have on hand when you don’t have time to put together your meals. They also provide automatic monthly shipping so another thing you don’t have to think about! Here is a brand I recommend. Check them out! TRUDOG Raw Meals for dogs If you’re ready to get started…begin here! God bless you and know you’re doing a great thing for your pet! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Ranch Life, The Boys
We love our animals! We hate it when their hurting! Using essential oils and making changes in our home environment can be the first step to keep our pets healthy! Here is a wonderful link to Dr. Z book and well as another link to an article that can help you get started and feel more confident in using essential oils with your pets. Of course, I recommend Rocky Mountain Oils, free shipping in US PLUS they offer so many discounts, rewards and more. Using essential oils with Pets I found most fascinating was the info on household items, even TV and internet connections. Our animals are sensitive to this stuff. Essential Oil Vet – Janet Roark, DVM is on Facebook and has a website as well that is awesome! She is wonderful in handling our pets in the most natural way as possible. I would suggest contacting her if you have any questions. Until next time…make sure you take care of your pets the way you take care of yourself and family! Their worth it! Everyday is a SPA day for our beloved pets, right? essential oils for pets That spa juice not alcohol! HA! Keepin our home and ones we love healthy and happy! God bless your week! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee Our pets: Nugget and Bokoda Nubella
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Hope, Ministry, Overcome, Ranch Life
My word for 2018 is rest. Am I doing a good job going into month three? Resting in Jesus is not easy because doubts creep in. I am in the Book of John 1:29-34. John the disciple and John the Baptist are both so open. Their hearts are genuine and real. They LOVE the Lord! Sitting in my warm home looking out at the sunshine and fresh fallin’ snow, I imagine what it would of been like to be John the Baptist.  To be watching his cousin approaching  him as he was baptizing others and to have the LAMB OF GOD walk into the waters. Oh my! My Big Things What are your big things in life right now? Health issues, children, marriage, job, financial problems? Have you asked yourself “how can I really rest in__________? Your blank is whatever the unrest is. My big things (notice the S) is our season coming up in ministry. Meeting financial obligations. Being strong in my walk with the Lord to be able to help others. Events coming up and the planning it takes. Keeping the animals and ranch in good care. My list could go on! Doubt creeps in! Resting in Jesus within this HUGE responsibility of life is hard! What I need to remember? Let’s take a look at what happens once Jesus is placed under water. “John the baptist testified, ‘I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon Him’. Do you see that? John witnessed the Holy Spirit resting on Jesus. Our friend John goes on, verse 33 “I didn’t know He was the One, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, “the One on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” Can you just imagine this scene? Well folks, we do need to picture this especially when we are facing life issues! If we have confessed our sins, and claim Jesus as Lord, we too have the Holy Spirit RESTING on our shoulders. NOT the problems of the world…the Holy Spirit Who gives us courage, strength, and hope to carry on! What a gift we have! Resting in the ONE…Jesus! Resting in knowing without doubt the Holy Spirit will give you the power to overcome! HOW IN THE WORLD do I do this? Simple…get in the Word of God. Memorize His promises. Post them on your mirror in the morning. Say out loud “Lord I confess I have doubted you in____________ (name it) and I know you will repair, fix, or have it in the palm of your hand!” Resting in the Big Things is resting in Jesus! Trust me, The Lamb of God has the BIG and little things in your life! Now go rest, pray, and rejoice in His power! God’s blessings upon you! Love deeper, Talk sweeter, Lee Some great new bible journaling items from Day Spring I think you will love! A whole collection on the Fruit of the spirit! NEW TOO! (affiliate link and purchase goes to help our ministry) Fruit of the Spirit sheets Fruit of the Spirit card stock and stickers Fruit of the Spirit Wasabi Tape
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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 you’re new to getting started with seedlings, HERE are 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 are 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 leftover scraps! Ours is 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 on how your seedlings did use your own organic 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”.  We were given a grant by our local St. Joseph’s Foundation last year in May of 2017 and it worked out beautifully. This area I would like to build out of tin some beds. We used tires to start out and since it was so successful we want to make them bigger. 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 at 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 fluorescent one in case 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 every day 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 fluorescent system but whatever you choose you to pray for lots of sunshine! Once your season begins depending on where your zone is transplanting 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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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 the dirt in my home. Not from not cleaning, but from filling little eggshells 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 then 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 Purpurea 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 a 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 homegrown 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 as no trips to the doctor. The herbs in teas have helped along with the essential oils. 5) We have gained 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 are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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