12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Food, Ranch Life

Do you love homemade bread? Would you like a pretty easy way to make the most amazing bread using your Dutch oven? I am telling you…it is easy and it is absolutely wonderful!

YES there is kneading involved 

Ok, I get it! Making homemade bread involves a little work, but it is SO satisfying! If you have a kitchen aid than you will only have to knead by hand once…no big deal!

Tried and True

Both my hubby and I have tried this recipe three times now and what we put below is the best route. Cutting the top before you bake it was our first disagreement, but decided it really gives the bread a nice look, plus it does help the bread not to flatten. 


Ingredients:

3-4 cups of flour (check directions)

1 tsp active dry yeast

1 ½ cups warm water

1 tsp salt

sea salt

Olive Oil spray and more for brushing top

 

Instructions:

First make sure you read this through. It is important to take each step so you know what to look for if your not familiar with making bread. . My hubby is so good at this so I learned from him.

Combine the 1 cup of flour, water, yeast and salt in the bowl of the stand up mixer with your dough hook attached. Mix at medium speed. Add one cup at a time. Stopping at 3-3 ½ cups. This is important! Depending on where you are and the temp in your home, dough can get funny. You want the dough to feel elastic like and be pulling all the dough from the bowl as the hook mixes. It should take 5-10 minutes. Only add more flour if that isn’t happening. I also had to use a spatula to scrap sides to get it going. Once it is elastic like by stretching a piece of it, your ready for the next step.

Next leave dough in bowl and cover with towel for 2-4 hours until double in size and does not spring back when you push your finger in it. These little tips my hubby gave me so use them…they work!

Turn dough onto a work surface with a tiny bit of flour and knead to release and redistribute the yeast. This should be 5-8 minutes. Shape it roughly into a ball, cover it with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Shaper the dough into a tight ball-the tighter the better-by rolling it on the works surface between your palms.

Spray or coat the bottom and sides of a large Dutch oven or cast iron pot at least 5 ½ quarts or larger with spray olive oil.

 

Put dough in middle of sprayed pot and place lid on. Allow the dough to rise again, 30- 60 minutes. Here in MN in winter it was rising for 4 hours, just so you know each dough will do different things in different places.

 

Preheat oven 450 degrees F

 

Rub 1 tbsp of olive oil or more if you like gently over the surface dough. Score the bread with a sharp knife making an X this allows the dough to expand freely.
Sprinkle the dough with salt. Place in Dutch oven, cover and place in your oven.

 

After 30 minutes remove the lid, reduce the oven temp to 375 and continue baking until the bread is nicely browned and cooked through. It should have an internal temp of 200 degrees or so when done.

 

Allow the bread to rest on rack for at least 30 minutes so the interior finishes cooking.

DON”T leave it in the Dutch oven to cool. It will still be cooking!

Enjoy with LOTS of butter! YUM!!!!

It might seem like a weird shape…but it is wonderful! Taste is what it’s all about right?

God bless you
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Health, Ranch Life
These are my top 10 blends to put into easy roll-on bottles. The 1o recipes below I use on a regular bases due to the issues either I face or my family does. Recently I found Dr. Z masterclass gave a ton of great info on using rollers. One being always to add a carrier oil for absorption. So helpful! Here is his book which I HIGHLY recommend! It is awesome!


With each  roller bottle I put the carrier oil in first just a few squirts than add drops of each oil recommended. Fill the bottle with carrier oil just before the top. If I am using the oil bottle a lot, I will fill the bottle. If I think I am only going to use it for a short time, I just cut the amounts in half to keep the oils always fresh. Recommended to use up the bottle in 3-5 months for full freshness. 

Here are some adorable labels for both your rollers and bottles. Darling!
The company sent a verse in the package! So awesome!


1) Allergy:
3 drops Peppermint essential oil
2 drops Lavender essential oil
2 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil
Mix in 10 ml roller bottle with favorite carrier oil. I got this recipe from my favorite resource Dr. Z
My husband and daughter suffer hugely with allergies and both of them find much relief by using this blend. BUT, they also needed to be in good gut health and on a probiotic. Of course, Plexus is our go to!



2) Joyful Morning:
4 drops Orange
2 drops Spearmint
2-3 drops Rosemary
Add favorite carrier oil. I also love Sweet Marjoram.
LOVE this blend and wonderful to diffuse too!

3) Immune Boost:
I use the Rocky Mountain Immune Strength. It is the BEST and really works for our family. I put 10 drops into a roller bottle along with Jojoba carrier oil. I carry this with me anytime I am out an about! I put behind my ears and neck and even chest. LOVE LOVE this blend. Diffusing it also is a bonus!

If your fighting flu bugs check this out! Immune Boost Shot

4) Carpel tunnel: from Dr Z. This REALLY worked for me! In just a few days I was already feeling less pain, and in a week totally gone!
4 drops of Copaiba
3 drops Sweet Marjoram
3 drops Basil
2 drops Frankincense
Fill  the rest with your favorite carrier oil. I used Almond. Apply 2-3 times a day or onset of pain.
LOVE this roll-on!

5) Joints/Arthritis:
3 drops Lavender
3 drops Sweet Marjoram
2 drops Rosemary
2 drops Eucalyptus
2 drops Peppermint
Add your favorite carrier oil. I use Jojoba and Apricot for this one. (If you have sever pain, I would also add Melissa (lemon balm) Message into problem area.

6) Thyroid: Apply this roller everyday for 3 weeks to thyroid area. Than just 2-3 x week if your levels are ok. I am still experimenting with this as I would love to get off my med. 
4 drops Clove Bud 
3 drops Myrrh 
3 drops Thyme
 2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Frankincense 

7) Sinus/congestion/Headaches:
4 drops Peppermint
3 drops Eucalyptus,
2 drops Lavender
Fill bottle Fractionate coconut oil.  Roll on back of neck and shoulder areas. Forhead if you want to as well.
Roman Chamomile is also wonderful both as an herb for tea as well as added to your roll-on or directly applied with a carrier oil. For headaches I use the Peppermint and carrier oil directly on my neck and temples as well as inhale with steam.

8) Calming:
4 drops Roman Chamomile
3 drops Lavender
3 drops Blend of Sandalwood
Mix with Fractionate coconut oil.

9) Focus:
4 drops Vetiver
3 drops Lavender
2 drops Cedarwood
2 drops Frankincense
Mix with Jojoba carrier oil.
Rocky Mountain Oils has this one already pre-blended. 

10) Tummy Upset:
3 drops Dill
3 drops Black Pepper
3 drops Mandarin
2 drops Fennel
2 drops Ginger root
1 drop Peppermint
Mix with Fractionate Coconut oil. Also comes in a blend with Rocky Mountain and kids roll-on. 

Rocky Mountain has rollers already mixed if you prefer. I love making my own as some oils I like more than others, plus it is a cost saver for me. By having individual oils, I have the freedom to make many different roll-ons.

*I do not make any claims that essential oils will work for your particular element. I suggest you always get advice from your physician over any medical issues you have. The information we provide is just that information. We hope by choosing essential oils you will find relief as our family has!

God’s blessings and enjoy trying these helpful, quick rollers.
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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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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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

 

Cholorine bleach is doum hyprochlorite, a solution of cholorine and diluted soduum hydroxide. Hum…first when exposed to air, the cholorine evaporates as a gas from the bleah solutions at high rate, which is why there is such a strong smell with bleach. YUK. WHY do people want that in their homes? Those fumes can cause headhaches and dizziness to internal tissue damage of the nasal pulmonary,, and bronchial tissues if exposed is eiteh servere or prolonged. YUK YUUK! Here is an article for you to read if you want to. https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/chlorine_tech.htm

 

How safe is Hydrogen peroxide?

I recommend you read up on this It is important for your own knowledge!

http://www.h2o2.com/products-and-services/us-peroxide-technologies.aspx?pid=112&name=Hydrogen-Peroxide

Why add vinegar?

Vinegar is so easy to find and really it is used in most homemade DIY recipes so one usually always has it around the house. Vinegar has been proven to inactivate certain strains of the flu,(http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0008987) including H1N1 as well as others.( http://www.aciscience.org/docs/alternative_hard_surface_cleaners.pdf)

From this article an executive at Heinz http://www.greenchicafe.com/vinegar-green-cleaning-101) ( pure 5% whie vinegar willkill approximately 99% of bacteria 82% of mold, and 80% of germs when used for cleaning.


Your very own DIY Bleach

Mix in an amber spray bottle

 

1 cup of hydrogen peroxide (3% solutions)

½ tsp Tbsp citric acid

1 cup water

½ cup  apple cider vinegar “mother” on label

5 drops of Lemon essential oil (or any citrus blend)

Store in dark place as light will weaken the solutions. Lasts up to 2-3 months in dark bottle.

 

I also use this ¼ cup in my laundry in whites. You can test it on your colors if you like. I haven’t yet tried it really don’t need to with the DIY detergent I use.

Tips on cleaning your home click here!

In conclusion, STOP USING BLEACH YA’LL! It is unsafe, unhealthy, and really why!

Let me know what your thoughts are on the subject! I think we all need to hear so we learn from one another! Comment below.

God bless you as you continue to improve a healthier way of life.
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life
As I sit here typing I can see little cobwebs in the corners of my windows. YUK! It’s time to get to the spring cleaning! 

Oh if you’re a bleach user…click here for some helpful info!

Make a plan

 While this task can seem daunting, it helps me stay focused.
I make a plan to clean one room fully a day, maybe two if the room is small enough like the bathrooms.  Set the task for the day so it won’t seem overwhelming. Personally, I take one day to do it all putting everyone in charge of one room. 

Check List
spring-cleaning-checklist
I learned this from a friend who cleans homes for a living and love this concept.  It just reminds me what I need to do, plus I love CHECKING things off. It makes me feel like I completed something!
(The suggested cleaners on the second page really are no big deal plus the links don’t work. You can print off just the first page and have it with you while you clean.)

DIY all your cleaning supplies

Of course I am going to recommend this concept! Really folks, all you need is a good polish or dusting spray, floor and counters or sinks  use the same mixture. Windows too for that matter. The world’s market out there is selling you a TON of stuff you don’t need. Make a few of these up and you’re set!

If you don’t have time, I recommend checking out the all around cleaner here


Counters/shelves really everything spray:
12 oz Amber spray bottle
5 oz distilled water
5 oz white vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
20 drops of favorite citrus essential oil or Immune Strength for winter season



Floor Cleaner:
simple a bucket of water, 1 cup of vinegar, 2-5 drops of  your favorite essential oil

Dusting spray wood and fans:
4 oz.Amber spray bottle
1/2 cup almond or olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
10 drops of lemon essential oil
Shake before using


Toilet and sinks:
Toilet Bubbles

Sinks:
Left over parmesan cheese shaker or wide mouth mason jar
1 cup of baking soda
20 drops of Immune Strength Essential oil

Window cleaner:
12 oz  stainless steel spray bottle
3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup distilled water
10 drops of lemon essential oil
Mix after every spray

Dish soap:
1/2 cup Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile soap
2 tsp vegetable glycerin
6 drops lemon essential oil
4 drops tea tree essential oil
4 drops of eucalyptus or myrtle essential oil
Pour all ingredients into a GLASS mason jar or bottle. Fill the bottle with water, allowing enough room for the pump if that is what you are using. Shake well before use.

Put on the music and your diffuser! Clean out the vacuum regularly and even put your favorite essential oil on the pads in the vacuum. 
I use a citrus blend just to keep me joyful! My favorite, Spearmint, Orange, and Rosemary. A couple of drops in the vacuum and you will be dancing while you clean! I also diffuse this trio a lot! Amazing aroma in the home! So fresh!


As a result of using all DIY all natural cleaning supplies, your spring cleaning and using the check off list will be giving you and your family a wonderful place to live life! In addition to being a ROCKSTAR!




Remember…when you choose to click on the links on this blog you are helping us reach at risk kids and suffering families with our ministries. THANK YOU! You help us so we can help others!

God’s blessing as you clean the HOME HE provided.
Worship while you clean!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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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 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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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, 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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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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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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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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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Overcome, Peace, Ranch Life

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” Luke 2:14
I have been pondering and journaling this verse all week and one word just poured over me. Peace over stress. Is it possible? Well, I believe yes! No, I CHOOSE to believe yes.

Imagine, being pregnant, or your wife is. You have to travel at the worst time because the government has an order. You get to your destination and they lost your reservation and to top it off, you go into labor so you find the next best place, a barn. (I think this would be kinda cool, but still scary)

Have you ever had so much stress in a day, a week, a month , or year? Does it ever seem like there is no hope in your situation? 

 

The thing is, the angels on that day declared Peace on earth. God had a plan. His plan? For peace to be in people’s hearts. Yet here’s the thing, it will only impact ones who sincerely get the reality that a baby Who’s name is Jesus, came into the world for them, YOU and ME! And to accept it.

Peace only comes to ones who want to see AND experience the peace from the pressures of this world.

 

Just like in the Christmas story with Mary, Joseph, and their new baby we see stress. Stress happens, it builds and it seems like the struggle will never stop!

 



However, when we choose to have peace in the One who is Peace, He can bring calm with in the storm. Flowing rapidly within your heart!

It won’t matter to you what the doctor tells you, what a person says bad about you, what is happening in the world. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phill. 4:7
I personally experience this peace when I hear bad news. Having cancer. Losing my dad. My oldest deciding and becoming a police officer AND moving 1600 miles away. Plus a ton more! Stress happens daily. But it is always in the CHOICE of how we choose to deal with that stress. 

How would you love to embrace a peace that nothing can pierce through? How is that possible?

First, it’s through acceptance. Accepting you are a sinner, that every day won’t be a wonderful, peachy day but you will trust God through it.

Next… and this is a tough one…don’t waste time thinking things over and over in your mind. Worrying, repeating the situation in your mind, instead, choose to set “your affection on things above.” Colossians 3:2

Lastly, give thanks in every moment you can . Set you mind to bring everything to prayer instead of fretting over things you can not fix. Phill. 4:6 “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be know to God.” Have you Thanked GOD for a problem, situation, relationship issue, or any bad news? YES this verse is saying IN EVERYTHING be prayerful and thankful! It’s hard, but I did this for the first time several years ago when our son almost died. I THANKED God. Why? Because within thanking Him for the 19 months I had with Mitch, I was giving him back to Jesus. God knows and HE is in control. There is SO much Peace in receiving that one truth!

God will turn all things to good…He promises!

 

So this season, think of the First Holy Family, starting out stressful, in a corrupt world, yet finding peace that this new child is the born King Who is called, Prince of Peace!


May your season this year and next be filled with HIS Peace that ONLY HE CAN GIVE!
In Jesus Name!
LOVE DEEPER, TALK SWEETER,
Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

We do love root beer around here! Especially with a little ice cream and the homemade touch. We also love to have it on our pizza nights! It all just is down home goodness! 

 

I have always been fascinated with the ol’ time flavor and the name sarsaparilla. There really is a difference in taste! It is stronger and really more delightful with the tastes of herbs like real vanilla and licorice root. Just amazing flavors pop out! I think you will like this!

This recipe makes a quart of syrup that you can use to make your root beer and as syrup over your favorite ice cream too.

 

For any occasion you will impress your family and friends with this special drink!

 

So here ya go:

 

4 cups of water

¼ sassafras bark

2 tbsp organic anise seed

2 organic vanilla beans or 4 tbsp of pure vanilla extract

½ tsp organic licorice root

10 organic juniper berries

3 large organic hops flowers (optional but love the flavor)

 

 

How to Make:

 

Place 4 cups of water in pot and bring to boil. Add sassafras bark and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain the herbs using a large mesh strainer. Measure the resulting liquid and add ½ part of honey. To 1 part liquid. So if you have 2 cups of liquid add 1 cup of honey.

 

To make into a soda:

 

You can add your homemade root beer syrup to a sparkling soda machine or add Club soda to your syrup. Depending on taste you add however much syrup to your soda mixture.

Of course, serve in a mason jar to get that ol’ fashioned look! These are nice too for your everyday tea blend making or recipes. 

ENJOY it we sure did!!!

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