PORTFOLIO
SEARCH
SHOP
  • Your Cart Is Empty!
12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Ranch Life

From Rags…

Back in February 2019, almost a year, we started remodeling which began with ripping out our carpet and adding hardwood floors, to gutting the whole kitchen and redoing everything in it. At first, I didn’t want to do the cabinets but the cabinet maker, also a friend, said if you’re going to do the lower ones and add an island, you kinda need to match it all up. So here we go!

Old living room/kitchen
living room looking into the kitchen

To Riches…

Complete…well…you know…

Dan just got the Barnwood counter placed last week. It is gorgeous and we feel we live in a million-dollar home! At first when we sat in the living room looking at the kitchen it was hard to love. It took so much time to get it to where it is and of course many frustrated moments. Isn’t this the case in most remodels? Dan and I were truly hoping not when we decided to dive into the project, but the trials came anyway. Oh well…it’s done and we are thankful!

We can’t set anything on the counter for a couple of weeks as it is still curing but I can wait. I’ve waited almost a year, might as well make it an official year from start to finish! We still have lighting to do and Dan is in the process of building log stools with backs and arms so it should be a cozy setting. We love it! It fits who we are…country and simple!

You can see more details in another blog post here.

As always home is a never-ending project but we love doing it especially in this season of our lives.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee and hard-working Dan

0

Healing, Hope, Peace, Ranch Life

No tube…more freedom

For some of you who are specifically on a mailing, we update as soon as we have news on our son Mitch. He recently had his tube taken out and today he is doing amazing! Of course, we have to keep praying as in early April, day after Easter, he sees his doctors. One for GI and one a surgeon. Life is a journey and how unique this life of Mitch has been, struggles and joys all for a purpose we can not see. That my friend is faith.

Praying for the Miricle

On the appointment day, we find out if he is still in need of a liver transplant OR if his liver is working normally and not failing. We continue to daily lift this young man up hoping the Lord will totally heal this liver which has been functioning for…get this…23 years this January 24th!!!!

Happy Liver Birthday

I hope to be sharing some pictures as we surprise him this week celebrating and praying for him. YES, he does not know what we are up to, but we are excited to let him know this is a day of encouragement as we see all the Lord has done in 23 years and praising and giving thanks for all HE WILL DO for the next! It is within the trials our faith can go either way. Grow. Or sink. We continue to rejoice and in the praising, our faith is strengthened. I will add pictures to this post when the big day happens. Only a few days away. want to be an encouragement?

Being An Encourager

I find this piece so huge to ones facing trials. We just don’t know what the Lord is up to and if we could see the other side of it we wouldn’t grow. Jesus preaches for us to be encouragers of one another. Lifting one another up in prayer and thanksgiving. We appreciate all of you who tune in and are be obedient by praying us through! Jesus is ALWAYS faithful!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee and family

0

Crafts, Ministry, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life, Sewing

I love this New Toy!

Last summer Dan (my man), got into his head how fun it would be to make things to sell in our Tack Shack and Hoedown at the ranch. He is wonderful with his hands in crafting with wood and adding images, and color just popped more ideas into his head. SO, we invested in this and have been having a blast ever since!

Latest creation for the porch sign decor.

Ideas Are Endless

We are in the process of building a Trading Post and Workshop at the ranch and creating more projects to give the ambiance of an old country store. I love taking old things and seeing what we can create. Like this bucket. It was so fun to make. Using the Cricut and outdoor vinyl made it come together wonderfully.

Our main source for vinyl is Expressions Vinyl.
WHY? Mostly because their product is amazing and they have wonderful videos that really help you through a project or give you more ideas. I love their Easyweed Siser  Heat Transfer Vinyl.
When it comes to weeding those fine details the Easyweed vinyl peels away really well plus you can remove the iron on vinyl hot or cold after the press. You also don’t have to have an expensive heat press to do the project. An iron will work well too which isn’t the case in most other products out there. Most of them require a press that can reach over 300 degrees. NOTE: Easyweed Stretch needs one of those BIG presses to adhere to the material. They do not recommend an iron let alone a Cricut EasyPress. It needs a firm heavy and consistant pressure so stick with the Easyweed HTV. 
 It looks wonderful. See below…

Expression socks!

They also are a one stop shop! I can get the ink jet printables so we can do images on our computer especially our logo for the ministry and the transfer tape is much less expensive here then other stores. If you do a lot of crafting with a Cricut, you go through a lot of this stuff! Lastly is their line of patterned vinyl for iron on as well as sticky vinyl. The quality is amazing, really! I love supporting them and their dreams too.
Of course the goodies of accessorizing is another added joy. They have that too!

Look at this…they also give you charts for helping you not waste and for projects to come out just right! Can you tell I had baby gifts to get done?

New Idea For Scrap Material

I have been making lots of pillows for the Trading Post and with that comes of course scraps of material. Long ones. I kept looking at them trying to figure what and how I can do something as they are white and so fresh looking. So I came up with ribbon! And like everything I do, I go crazy once an idea pops into my head!  Using Expressions Heat Set Vinyl. 

I truly find their product slick! No mess in the weeding and finishes so nice on the fabric. (following hint above) You know what else is cool about the ribbon idea? Practice! Yep, when I wasn’t sure how the pattern would look, I used the material ribbon. I tried the regular vinyl as most likely people wouldn’t wash the ribbon and it’s less expensive, but of course the heat ones worked better on fabric but really they looked no different. Just the vinyl will peel off eventually.  Doesn’t hurt to try both ways and see what works for you.

Gabby Ribbon using regular vinyl

I did like the iron-on better…but…it is more expensive especially the glitter or patterns. What do you think?

Iron on Easyweed Heat Vinyl

Definitely fun no matter what you choose! Gabby Ribbon my new crazy!

Love to craft no matter what the outcome! More to show soon as we journey on this winter creating items for the Trading Post!

God’s blessings keep warm!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

0

Food, Healthy Eating

Enjoyment of Cooking Together

With Dan being home full time and winter in high gear we both enjoy doing many things together. We love trail rides in the woods and working around the ranch, but when we can’t be outdoors we find some fun recipes to whip up together. The night before we watch an old movie from the 1950s and they were having breakfast out on a terrace in France. Beautiful scenery! But when they talked about their Quiche Lorraine of how flaky and rich the crust was, my mouth started to water! I said to Dan, “let’s make this tomorrow morning.” So we did, except with a twist.

Changing from Pie to Muffin

One thing about my man is his amazing gift of baking! Especially when it comes to pie crusts! So I let him take the lead on that end while made up what was going to be the filler. Dan loves eating in unique ways not just the same old thing so he decided to make the pie a muffin shape. I had these cute heart-shaped muffins silicone but he wanted to make sure they turned out since we hadn’t done this before so he opts out of cuteness and went with plain. It’s ok…Valentine’s isn’t upon us… yet.

Recipe Makes 6 Muffins

Ingredients:

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Filler:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 cooked sausage links, diced
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked diced
  • 2 slices ham, diced
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, split in half
  • salt and pepper to taste

Beat eggs and milk until blended. Add spices and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients and only HALF of the cheese, save the rest to sprinkle on top of muffin cups.

For the pastry: Note, Dan suggests to use Crisco and slow and easy with water added as it is key to his pastry skills. And don’t play with the dough too much!

In mixer or blender:

1/3 cup shortening plus 1 tbsp.

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

Pulse until dough starts to form pea-size shapes. Place dough into a glass bowl. Sprinke 2 tbsp. of cold water blending with a fork. Add more water 1 tsp at a time until pastry is nice and moist and comes off the side of the bowl. Gather dough into a ball and place on a floured surface and roll out pretty thin. Using the top of a large mason jar lid, forming your round shape to place in your muffin pan. It will form a beautiful overlay looking like a flower curling. If you need to, shape more to get more of a decorative look.

Fill each cup near the top and sprinkle the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until nice and golden. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin cups.

Ready to Enjoy

You and I may not be in France overlooking a beautiful view when we enjoy this delightful pastry, but we can sure dream with each chew!

It really does melt in your mouth!

Comment below love to hear from you!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee AND Dan

Pin and share!

0

Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Itchy Throat and Congestion

Most of December and part of January I have been battling a cough. It turned into a pretty nasty cold but once I made this special tea blend it eased the cough and the congestion. There are other ingredients I listed you can also add for fever/chills and of course runny nose. Taking my elderberry syrup daily helps but once the flu kicks in high gear the body needs the days and weeks to get through it all. Not once in the 4 weeks did I take any over the counter meds or pain relievers. Just teas, supplements, and essential oils. Always keep in mind building the immunity in the body is so very important. Once you implement meds you have lowered your immune system.

Linden Flower Key Ingredient

Linden Flower has so many wonderful properties to your health and wellness plus its aroma is amazing! Key properties:

  • Anxiolytic-ease anxiety
  • Relaxing nervine-helps to calm tension and irritability in the nervous system
  • Antispasmodic-eases muscle cramping
  • Hypotensive-assists in lowering blood pressure
  • Diaphoretic-helps promote perspiration
  • Anti-inflammatory-eases inflammation

Tea Recipe For Cough/Fever

Ingredients:

6 tsp. Linden Flower and Leaf
4 tsp. Spearment leaf
4 tsp. Lemon Balm
4 tsp. Hibisus Flower
2 tsp. Rose Petals
Can add for fever and congestion, Boneset and Marshmellow Leaf
Above herbs are native and easy to grow here in Minnesota…try growing your own this summer and harvesting so you have them on hand.

Instructions:
Mix the above in a glass bowl. Place in a strainer which can fit over a gallon mason jar. I use this one. Fill jar with boiling water and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Pour a cup of tea with a drop of lemon essential oil and honey and sip away the ickyness.

Detox Bath

Fill tub with hot water adding:
1 cup Mineral Sea Salt
1/2 cup Apple cider
3 drops of Chamomile Essential oil
3 drops of Eucalptus Essntial Oil
handful dried Lavender buds

Enjoy this wonderful blend of tea and of course mix it up adding your own favorite herbal loose leaf specialties. Every sip is helping your body heal…the natural way! Don’t forget animals will love your left over tea leaves. We give our horses theirs daily! And even make them up a batch of tea!

God’s blessings and keep well!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

0

Healing, Living Naturally

Today brings joy

On Christmas eve we celebrated our Lord Jesus’ birthday thanking HIM for coming from a perfect place in the heavens to save us! It was almost 22 years ago we understood what being “saved” meant for the first time. It took a tragedy. It took almost losing our son to wake us up to the truth Jesus came to SAVE us from our sin not to celebrate the day of gifts and hoopla.

We ended the evening with Mitch being anointed with a prayer from the church family. Laying hands on our boy people prayed for a special gift for Mitch. A gift of a miracle.

Essential Oils Used For Healing

In case you think I’m crazy, look up in the bible all the times essential oils were used for healing, cleaning, perfumes, sacrifice, and even at the cross! (references below)  I think this is why I love them so much. There is something special when you pour an oil on a sick persons head or on the area of pain and can feel, smell, and simply enjoy the blessing of bringing your request to the Lord. The oil naturally formulated from an herb or plant which comes only from HIM being poured onto the area of pain.  It’s worship in the most beautiful way!

My favorite oils I use on Mitch as each one has a special job:

Orange
Frankincense
Myrrh
Peppermint 

Waiting Game

As we are in the stage of waiting to see and hear what the doctors will do next, we do simply pray. Each day he fights pain but moves on with his day. I continue to bring my concerns to the Lord as soon as my mind wanders into areas it should not. Being in God’s word helps tremendously as I need strength and assurance. In the wait, Jesus is near and hanging on to all of us!

Until we have more, keep praying! Our Jesus has our Mitch!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

The list below is a SHORT list!

CEDARWOOD Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52
CINNAMON Exodus 30:23Proverbs 7:17Song of Solomon 4:14Revelation 18:13
FRANKINCENSE Exodus 30:34Leviticus 2:1, 2, 15, 16, 5:11, 6:15, 24:7Numbers 5:151Chronicles 9:29Nehemiah 13:5Song of Solomon 3:6, 4:6, 14Matthew 2:11Revelation 18:13
MYRRH Genesis 37:25, 43:11Exodus 30:23Esther 2:12Psalm 45:8Proverbs 7:17Song of Solomon 1:13, 3:6, 4:6, 14, 5:1, 5, 13Matthew 2:11Mark 15:23John 19:39
CORINDER
Exodus 16:31Numbers 11:17
HYSSOP Exodus 12:22Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51,52Numbers 19:6, 181Kings 4:33Psalm 51:7John 19:29Hebrew 9:19
JUNIPER
Job 30:4
MYRTLE Nehemiah 8:15Isaiah 41:19, 55:13
SPIKENARD Song of Solomon 1:12, 4:13, 14Mark 14:3John 12:3
0

Food, Healthy Eating

This salad is so simple and so worth serving to your family or in your entertaining. It just takes a few ingredients and a whole lot of herbs to leave your insides dancing with goodness! Let me know what you think! Dan wasn’t liking it too much, so it will be one I just make for myself. He needs more MEAT on his plate! HA! Enjoy!

Fresh is best!
  • Baby Arugula
  • 2-3 radishes, sliced
  • 3 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 yam or sweet potato, season and bake
  • cooked chicken (optional for your meat man)
  • fresh parmesan, shredded
  • pinch rosemary
  • pinch of sage
  • pinch of oregano
  • pinch of basil
  • a sprinkle of dried dandelion
  • a sprinkle of dried goldenseal
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • NOTE: you could add some scallions to this for a bit more punch and cayenne if you like a kick, just little pinches goes a long way.

Place sliced sweet potato or yam on a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, orgeno, and cayanne. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Once your yam or sweet potato is done cooking and if you chose chicken, let both of them cool. In a bowl, add Arugala I used 3 handfuls than mix remaining ingredients, herbs, more salt and pepper if you like. Give it a nice toss and turn to make sure all the herbs and flavors have mixed well. Add your lime juice and toss again. Now it’s ready to serve!

Yummy!

Short and sweet and flavorful!

Enjoy!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

0

Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

A 2020 Vision for Ranch

We are in the planning stages of building a new place for creating projects with the kids and then selling them in the trading post. Dan has had a vision for this for some time and I, of course, love the idea. Anytime we can create another avenue to get kids to learn, grow, and experience the love of Christ, I’m IN! The new building will tie in with the western look with a little barn feel too. We want to keep the western town experience which could be a little tricky, but we’re still working on it.

Finding Folks to Help

Finding help is always a challenge mainly because people are so busy. We did find an amazing man who loves the Lord who committed to building the project and we also had a friend draw up a sketch to give him a starting point. She did a great job! I sat and watched her draw and play with her fun pencils enjoying a nice cup of tea at our favorite diner in town. Funny how a picture can just get your vision more alive. Didn’t she do a great job?

Lookin’ so real!

Recently we had another friend who loves to build and doodle…DOODLE in drafting! We told him about the new project and he offered to draft up enough so we could get a better idea of material needs and cost. The Lord brings people along…one step at a time and in the RIGHT time! So cool!

The overhang is on the wrong side…my mistake telling him using north, south, east, west…should not of said anything really…leave it to the master Dan instead!

Now we meet with the builder…

So imagine with us. The front of the building will be the Trading Post and the wall going into the workshop will be a sliding or solid barn door. The whole back end of the building will have saws, tables, benches, and of course lots of project kits ready for the kids to build. The kids will learn top to bottom how to make something. Cut a tree down, debark, cut into slabs, dry it, and then prepare for the project. Plus each child can embrace all the ranch has to offer not only being in the woods but also learning to have the heart to give by selling their item in the trading post. In turn, this will help keep it all afloat by helping to keep the ministry going. For the first year, we will target boys without dads or dads who are in treatment or in prison. Of course, TNR never turns anyone down, so if a child comes along who wants to participate we will invite with open arms and hearts!

WE CAN’T WAIT…so for the next few months…we plan and pray. OOO our Jesus has BIG things happening here at True North Ranch! Please join us in praying for all the details and God’s will to be done, giving HIM all the glory in every step!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

0

Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Cooked vs. Raw

It has been many years since I tried making this wonderful beverage homemade and the last time I did it was raw. I used fresh farm chicken eggs from a friend’s farm, regular 1% milk and heavy cream. It turned out awesome and no one got sick! Of course raw is best as you know natural as best as I can is what I desire, but not always easy to get. If you can know your source for the eggs, the risk is lowered significantly.

“The salmonella risk is increased when hens are raised in unsanitary conditions, which is extremely rare for small organic farms where the chickens are raised in clean, spacious coops, have access to sunlight, and forage for their natural food. Conventional eggs, making up the vast majority of eggs in typical grocery stores, have an increased risk for salmonella, which is why I advise against eating conventional eggs raw. One study by the British government found that 23 percent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella, compared to just over 4 percent in organic flocks and 6.5 percent in free-range flocks.”

Because of an illness in our home

Recently our son who had a. liver transplant when he was 20 months old, (he is now 24), from his dad, is undergoing some issues. We are hopeful the liver will function healthily as ever but the doctors are predicting he will need another transplant in 2020. With this going on during the holiday time, I decided to use the cooked recipe which is awesome and of course very safe. I don’t have to worry about any further sickness. I also could add less salt as he is on a low sodium diet. (it doesn’t have much in it but less is best)

Stir milk mixture well.

It really is amazing and super creamy!

Ingredients:

6 eggs
3 cups Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup organic sugar
1 tsp Vanilla (I make my own look below)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh nutmeg for garnish

Instructions:

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup sugar, spices, and 1/2 tsp salt.
2. Add eggs one at a time whisking well until homogeneous.
3. Pour 3 cups of milk into Dutch oven and heat on medium.
4. Pour egg mixture into the milk and continue whisking.
5. Continuously whisk while it heats up. Using a food grade thermometer heat to 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, heat the mixture until you start to see a little steam, then give it another minute. It will become thicker and smoother as you are whisking.
6. Remove from heat as soon as you reach the right temperature. Add 1 cup of cream and vanilla. Stir well.
7. Pour into a gallon mason jar, cover and refriderate for 8 hours or overnight. 
8. When ready to serve, pour into cups, mason jars, or like we have eggnog mugs! Garnish with fresh nutmeg.

Love adding fresh spices!

Fresh homemade vanilla: Fill a pint-size mason jar with brandy any brand. Take 2 vanilla beans (Mexico source is best), scrap the inside into a mason jar along with the beans. Cap it tight, place in a cool, dark place remembering to shake daily for 4-6 weeks. Take beans out and you have yourself the best vanilla extract ever!

Delicious! Every time!

Comment below…love to hear what you think!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

0

Healing, Hope, Ranch Life

Bye Bye 2019

Yes, 2019 was defiantly a year I am ready to say goodbye to, yet the Lord Jesus did So much in the midst of the bad it really outweighed the horrible days. So how can I really be so excited to see it go? Mainly because I am sitting in a hospital room right now for our son Mitch and we just received some very difficult news. Today we relive what 1996 was like ironically the same month just before Christmas. Our son is facing a tough 2020.

Looking at tough times with 2020 vision

Mitch and our whole family have had some difficult trails but we faced them together with the love and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. The first time we dealt with Mitch he was only 19 months old when we were told he was in liver failure. Now he is 24. He has done so well with his new liver given by his dad but today it isn’t doing so well. This liver is struggling to operate to its fullest potential and needs some renewal. For now, this is what we see. This is what we have before us. But I know my Jesus SEES Mitch in a much more different way. He sees AND has a plan we can not see and are not meant to see. Oh how I wish we could, but then…we wouldn’t need a GOD who shows us HIS mighty hand and HIS ultimate plan.

Mitch waiting to go into Unit 2 at the UOM with his gnome given by a dear friend. His little support of JOY! 11/25/19

What does Jesus need to see?

I believe the Lord needs me to step it up. He allowed this trial for ALL of us. Me, my husband, Mitch, and his sister Mackinzey. WHY? We again can’t see His plan but just need to keep HIM in the center of everything we say and do as well as shape us ever so much closer to HIM. To bring our relationship with Him deeper. Pressing so intimately to HIM that we never have before. He allowed this trial because we need to make a change. In the midst of this new year, we will face the need for wisdom, decerning daily decisions, meeting new people, listening to things we may or may not want to hear. But most importantly giving credit to the ONE who deserves ALLLL of the glory within each of those decisions, and new relationships. As I sit in this room, there are people facing saying good-bye to their loved one. For new parents holding newborns who desperately desire memories and a future with. And so many others dealing with tougher health issues. But I have a Promise keeper. A Hopedealer. A Peacemaker. A Miricleworker. A Healer. In turn…makes facing this a WHOLE lot more peaceful!

“I WILL praise you, Lord with all myheart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with JOY because of You. I will seing praises to Your name, O Mos High.” Psalms 9 :1-2

To Whom will I Trust?

Today I will choose to trust in my Savior, Jesus Christ! It wasn’t easy news. In fact, it was horrible, heartbreaking! I was hoping for a wonderful fresh 2020 with NO problems. But Jesus gave me and all of us a new plan. Every day we can choose to face trials on our own. Some face trials not knowing there is ONE who loves them deeper knows exactly what they are facing and CAN AND WILL give them peace! Instead of peace and joy within the trial, their pain brings hopelessness and despair. How do I know this…because 22 years ago…I was one of them. Yep, no Savior…yep I knew of God, even would tell you I believed…but I didn’t. I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. It was traditional. It was simply a religion. TODAY I face the same trial but with a better outlook because I have HOPE!

Fix our eyes on Jesus…keep our focus on HIS trail, not our own. A lesson this day. Who knew how real this would become? 5/10/19

Because of a choice…

Jesus met me in a hospital room on January 12, 1997. I felt Him. I opened my Bible blowing the dust off of it and came upon a passage that spoke directly to me at that moment our 20-month-old son was dying.

“O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but You. Psalm 5:1-2

You see the Lord had a vision. A purpose for “such a time is this” Ester 4:13 He saved BOTH Dan and me during this trial. Without Mitch facing this then, we wouldn’t have had the past 22 years of amazing growing faith! We wouldn’t have had the convictions of raising our children to behave the same saving faith and to live life with a purpose for others vs. themselves. As young adults who chose to live sacrificially to serve others. To have a vision for a ministry to serve kids at risk using horses which I always wanted to have and be GIVEN the privilege to have True North Ranch come true. And the list really is endless because of submission Jesus and dying to self. It truly has been an amazing ride!

A trip to MOA after a day at the UOM. (red dots not sure what they were up too) 8/1999

So what is happening today?

We decided as a family to use this blog which is connected to our ministry website as a platform to share what is happening with Mitch’s new adventure. We SEE the Lord working every day in this trial and we thank HIM daily for it! The vision is clear folks…Jesus HAS MITCH and all of us in the Palm of HIS HOLY HANDS! We wait and SEE that what HE does is always GOOD! Mitch is dealing with fluid in his tummy, legs, and feet and is having to go through weekly appointments to have them drain it. He also is facing some bad acne and is going through treatment for that as well as continuing to have an external tube that has been in him since October 14, 2019. These issues have caused more stress on his liver and scaring has become more as well. He is with us for a few days until he regains strength and will go back to his home when he is feeling stronger. Christmas will be early this year for our family as our daughter Mackinzey is returning home for a few days but has to get back before Dec. 23rd. We will be capturing as much family time as we can!

Our tree is decorated with only the names of Jesus…Each day I ask Mitch to choose one he feels is fitting for the day…FREE was his choice today. 12/12/19

How can you pray?

  • for comfort and relief of pressure from the fluid in his body
  • for travel for Mac and Dan as they drive from VA. to MN next Monday
  • for the test, labs, and all treatments to continue to show improvement and for Mitch’s liver to function on its own with NO transplant needed!!!
  • for the Lord to provide all of Mitch’s extra expenses coming from co-pays on meds, appointments, and hospital treatments
  • for the family to enjoy some peaceful times together with Mitch in little to no pain to embrace this time together in celebrating our Jesus’ birth!

THANK YOU for PRAYING…

Feel free to share as you need as this platform of the blog is to glorify and edify our Lord Jesus Christ who WAS, IS, and always WILL BE the King of Kings!

Updates will come weekly as best as we can. We are believing Jesus for a miracle of his liver fully returning to normal on its own and trusting if HE chooses otherwise our palms will be raised…whatever Your Will Father!

We love you!

Peace in Christ alone,

Lee and Dan

Praise song for the week: I will praise Him in the Storm by Casting Crowns

0

Food, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

OOO sooo good

Being a part of a church family means lots of church potlucks which means for me, collecting fantastic recipes. This one is just one of those you can’t stop eating and REALLY SHOULD! The only thing I don’t like it the corn syrup in the recipe. Just really bad sugar for you. So I substituted honey for the corn syrup…see what you think.

Crust baking until slightly browned…smells so good!

Ingredients

2 sticks of butter, softened (1 cup)

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups of flour

8 oz. package of Heath Bits Brickle Almond Toffee

3/4 cup of corn syrup (not a fan of this stuff, but some recipes there is no good substitute)

1 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup coconut flaked, divided

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease 9×13 pan
  3. In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add flour, beat until well blended.
  4. Press dough in the bottom of the greased pan evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes until edges are golden.
  5. Meanwhile, combine toffee bits and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring consistently until toffee is melted. Stir in 1/2 cup of almonds and 1/2 cup of coconut. Spread toffee mixture on top of crust spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining coconut and almonds and bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbly. Cool completely then cut into bars.

My husband just loves these! I am lucky if they make it to the destination or gathering! Hope you try them!! Enjoy!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee


0

Food, Ranch Life

I know…it is a bit unhealthy

We had a wonderful restaurant a few years back called Sibley Station. It was tucked in the heart of a small town by us, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota. The one thing they were known for was their Hungarian mushroom soup.

Simply divine! It is the best word I can sum up! The creamy rich flavor of this soup will leave your pallet dancing! The restaurant put the soup in a sourdough bowl which I really could never finish, but for sure you want to have with your soup on the side. At least a slice or two.

It has 2 cups of cream which makes for the richness and yes not the best for you. BUT…worth every bite! When I serve this I will only serve about a 1/2 cup because of the richness. Along with the bread, it does make a hardy meal. I think you will love it too!

Creamy…goodness…constant stirring at this stage is super important!

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart of beef or chicken stock
  • 8 tbsp. butter, divided in half
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 1/8 tsp salt (can add more to taste but begin here)
  • 3 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp dill weed
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream (you can use half and half too)
  • 3 tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos (natural soy sauce non-GMO product)
simmering away

Instructions:

  1. I use a beef base or chicken base and a quart of water. Add the base. I use 4 tsp. I also added 2 tsp of Worchestershire sauce. Stir until dissolved and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, a Dutch oven is awesome, saute onion, garlic, and salt in four tablespoons of butter until onion is tender and shiny.
  3. Stir in mushrooms, dillweed, and paprika, and white pepper.
  4. Add half of the beef stock. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt the remaining four tablespoons of butter over low heat. Whisk in flour slowly adding little at a time. Cook until smooth, stirring constantly. Don’t let it get clumpy. If so, start adding cream little at a time. Keep stirring and add remaining cream stir for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Add cream mixture to your soup slowly and stirring continually. Add your remaining stock.
  7. Stir in sour cream, lemon juice, and Liquid Aminos. Heat through about 15 minutes on simmer. Makes 8 cups
  8. ENJOY with your favorite bread…sourdough is awesome!

Comment below!

Love deeper, talk sweeter and enjoy with a loved one!

Lee

PIN ME!

 

0

Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Thanksgiving this year took on a WHOOOOLLLLEEE new meaning!
Yep! For us when you almost lose a loved one to mental illness, struggles with ministry needs, son facing health issues with his liver again, and a daughter so far from home my heartaches.  I am just overwhelmed with thanksgiving!
It has indeed been a difficult 2019…but we face 2020 with a new vision.
(GET IT? New Vision? 2020?)

A Special way to engage in THANKS

I saw these special ribbons from Ever Thine Home. I wanted to make them myself but for $20 I couldn’t do it. There are 12 ribbons each having a different way of sharing thanks. Anywhere from describing a time in your past to sharing specific people whom you are grateful for. I loved it! And I think all of this year at the table did too!

Family and friends! Thanksgiving 2019 a year we will never forget and are grateful!

With this special way to begin our meal, our friend Lori made a delicious hot drink for us to enjoy as we cozy upped and had some wonderful conversations. This amazing drink is really easy and of course a wonderful presentation to show off to loved ones. She sure loved on us!

Yummy Apple Carmel Drizzle
goofballs…

Ms. Lori’s (she’s a teacher/mentor/volunteer/board member…) RECIPE!

Carmel Apple Drizzle Delight

  • Ingredients: Fresh is best…When you purchase from this herb market you are getting quality that hasn’t been sitting on a shelf. PLUS you help our ministry! 2 in1 deal!
  • One large Honey Crisp Apple

Whole Cloves

5 Cinnamon Sticks

1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder

  • 1-gallon Organic Apple Cider
  • 2 cups of heavy cream, whipped
  • Carmel sauce (melt your own, or buy the squeezed bottle kind)

Directions:

  • 1. Polk cloves an inch apart around the apple.
  • 2. Put Apple cider into Dutch oven on low heat.
  • 3. Place cinnamon sticks, cinnamon powder, and apple into Dutch oven.
  • 4. Simmer for 4-6 hours, covered.
  • 5. When ready to serve, put a tablespoon of caramel into each mug.
  • 6. Fill a mug with cider, top with fresh whipped cream, and drizzle caramel on top.

Enjoy…it really hits the spot on a cold winters night!!!!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

0

Crafts, Ranch Life

Gift Giving

Do you find shopping or making gifts a delightful time? Is it more of a “chore”? Let me challenge you as you shop or decide to make a gift for your special loved one this year to remember what truly is most important.
When God sent HIS only son as a GIFT He didn’t do it as a chore but for LOVE.  This precious Child sent to us from heaven was never meant for us to unwrap. Jesus was given to us as a gift to build a relationship with. Is your gift about relationship building? Is it offering a gift of love? Peace? Joy?   

Pay Attention to Make it Special

When I make a list of whom I need to shop for, I think of the person’s individual needs. I also am careful in my gift-giving to be practical, something they need, and sometimes what they want. I am just really aware when visiting with them in their home what they could use. Listening keenly in conversations in something they want or wished they had and quickly mark it in my phone so I remember. The more you know the person, of course, the easier it will be but always you need to pay attention to make it special.

Special gifts that apply to personality, your relationship, adding a note to relax or a date night.  Encourage family night with a game basket or this one idea I love…

I love making my homemade syrups to put in teas or water…
If you are into crafts, the ideas are endless but not always practical. Quilts are amazing, but not everyone will appreciate the hard work or take care of it so this gift idea has to be very special and unique to the receiver. 
We love our wood crafting but again, not always workable for some of the people in our lives. 

Wrap In Love

Jesus is the perfect gift. His message of Hope and Peace is often what I think of when I give a gift because to me that is a perfect gift. One that brings the person hope, love, and peace. Even if it has to be a gift they may need like underwear it is demonstrating love and you can show that not only in the gift but in how you wrap it. 
You could hide underwear in these cute packages!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea…just my kinda ranch-style gift giving! LINK
 

Unwrappable Gift

No matter how you choose, how you shop, or what you pour your time into by making your gifts make sure LOVE is the theme! Giving a gift of your time can be just what that person needs.  Inviting them to a special meal in your home or taking the person out on a coffee date is the unwrappable gift that will last a lifetime. TIME is not often given any more. We have become a “get it done” kind of world. So in your list-making pray it through. Jesus knows all our needs and the loved one you are shopping for. 
Get creative with unwrappable ideas of time together, building the relationship and sharing life together.  

Enjoy wrapping your loved ones with love by seeking to be unique!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

0

Ranch Life, Ranch Life

The Beginning thoughts…

Way back over a year ago I was visualizing a new kitchen. Mostly because the counter was falling apart and I struggled to find space for some everyday items. So I pitched the idea to my hubby and it just so happens he is good friends with a cabinet maker, which led us to change more than just the counter. Of course…once you change the counter, cabinets have to be replaced as well. Oh boy…

So the Project Grew Bigger!

Once we talked to our friend who is experienced in many factors he convinced us we needed to do a total remodel. Once you change the counter, the sink, cabinets, and sometimes appliances need to be changed as well. We already were beginning to redo the flooring which Dan began in February of 2019. Now the counters were needing to come apart because the flooring was inching its way to the kitchen area.

The kitchen just gutting the old floor and getting ready for finishing the new floor.

Keeping my Cool

As this was the time heading into March Dan’s job was exceeding in pressure which led to his breakdown. For now, all projects had to stop due to his illness. He could not finish anything let alone make decisions. Thankfully the project wasn’t in too much of a shamble that we couldn’t function. OH, how I am thankful for that as our life was so messy as it was helping Dan through his trial. It indeed was difficult as many people were coming in and out of our home and being such a mess made me uneasy, but it is all we had to get through. So the project sat for 3 months.

 

Putting the cabinets in. Oh, glory!

What A Sink!

I had gotten the sink back in February which was sitting in the cabinet makers building all these months, but since we had it and Dan was back to his old self we decided to put it in while we had to wait an additional month for the granite to be put in. I tell ya…piece by piece and as slow as a sloth!

We decided on this sink at Signature Hardware. I wouldn’t recommend them. We had an issue with the rock which I fixed but shouldn’t have had to due to how much this sink was. Really, you pay over $1000 for something you would think the company would make it right…but not. Again, this kitchen has been a pain in you know what!

 

In the end, the sink is beautiful!

 

They do look amazing!

They’re IN!

Now the beauty of it is coming together! We just loved the soft yellow look as a cabin/ranch feel which is just what we wanted! Once the guys put the cabinets into place, I noticed they didn’t butt up against the window. It was in the plan they wouldn’t be but of course, I didn’t catch that in the drawing and was bummed we had the gap. But we have a plan! They will add a shelf alongside the cabinets and for now, I will paint the wall hoping to get the same color done 20 years ago! We’ll see. We also had a microwave breakdown but thankfully it’s under warranty…whew!

Granite Day!

This counter is breathtaking to me! Why? Because when Dan and I went into this place 3 months prior we both saw this and fell in love. BOTH OF US! It fit our lifestyle and the overall ranch country look. What do you think?

 

What a finish! I just love our new space!

 

The country sink and new faucet look amazing! I have never had such beauty! We are blessed!

Final Touches until…

Now we add the new handles to the cabinets which again Dan and I loved shopping for and found at Hobby Lobby. One of our favorite stores! The granite backsplash goes on next in just a week and then Dan can begin to work on the island. This part he and his friend aka cabinet maker, are building the top using barn wood. Once it is built they will coat with varnish. I pray it blends as well as the rest of the kitchen! Here is a sample of what that will look like as the guys built a template out of cardboard to give us a good visual.

 

Island to come…Dan is building the counter out of wood. A wagon wheel will hang over the top.

More to come…

As soon as my man finishes the counter I will put the pictures up! He is making the stools too which will finish the whole country kitchen look. Comment below on what you think so far. Love to hear from you! I really can’t believe it…I am one happy camper! (look below…updated January 20)


Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

YEAH!!! IT’S HERE!!!!
0

Healing, Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Battle of worry

Worry really is a daily thing for most of us. I can try and try to not let something bother me, but it creeps up and becomes a place I shouldn’t be.

Around the ranch, it happens just by having all these critters to care for. YES, as a believer we are called to give all our worries to the Lord and if we do worry we are doubting the Lord. That troubles me to know I am doubting the Lord power over my troubles so I repent often. I desire to put my worry behind me but it is a battle.

“But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is a sin.” Romans 14:23

The kitten climbed to the tippy top of a pine tree…oh my…worry I did!

Worry when it is in Jesus’ hands

The last month in preparing for winter I threw myself into a tizzy over the kitten’s water getting frozen. I shared with my hubby Dan and he assured me, “the Lord provided these two He will take care of them, plus they are outdoor cats and know how to find what they need.” Oh sure, ok…well of course! They found the horse water which is automatic and keeps at 45 degrees all year round. (The assurance of me SEEING them drink helped relive me as well)

They found this I am sure many months ago…

What to do?

I think the first thing is to make sure one is really talking to the Lord about their concerns. I know I need to open my mind to praying for peace, thanking the Lord for all He has done and WILL do despite the concerns of daily life on this side of heaven. If we are not aware we worry more than we should or over things that truly are no big deal to Jesus, that is an area of the heart. Worry is doubt. Just like His word teaches us.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … Matthew 6: 25-34

No worries here…Nugget is as calm as a clam..He loves Mousy!

Relax and Rest in Jesus

After chores this boy knows how to rest!

Resting in the ONE who can give you peace is the ultimate worry breaker! When I choose to rest instead of worry my days go so much smoother. If something arises, I stop, pray, listen, and do what the Lord request, TRUST in HIM…for every worry in the world…He has it!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Last 2 months our son facing health issues and will be for at least one more month.

Simply put…

Jesus doesn’t want us to worry because He created us knowing it is bad for our physical and mental health. When we choose to give our concerns over to Jesus we are releasing our minds to focus on things from Above. Trust me on this one, I have seen people with worry not able to sleep and fight other health issues to myself experiencing what it’s like to be overwhelmed with worry to laying it all at the feet of Jesus. The latter is SO peaceful and a much better place for my mind and body.

A friend of mine gave me a gnome when we visited her before our son had to go into another treatment for his liver. As we laughed at how cute he is as a little comforter for Mitch, I couldn’t help but look at this picture. The gnome hat points up. When we are overwhelmed by the everyday trials, look up child, LOOK UP!

“Give all your worries and cares to god, for He cares about you.”

1 Peter 5:7

Love deeper, talk sweeter, give it all to Jesus,

Lee

0

Food, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life

Feeling Icky?

The temps are dropping really fast around this Minnesota state! We hit 1 above this morning and I was feeling a cold coming on. Drained from a weekend getaway with our son and being in wind and snow set me up for getting sick. PLUS, late nights and hotels. I needed to find something to make for not only myself but to keep in our freezer for a quick meal. When you’re not feeling well, it sure helps to have something you can heat up quickly and provides wonderful nutrients to fight the flu. The turmeric and black pepper help keep down inflammation and keep your body toasty as turmeric is a warming herb. The garlic and ginger help fight off the presence of bacterial or viral infections.

Found A Winner

I think you will find this soup tasty. Just look at the ingredients and you will see for yourself it is FULL of herbs and spices, plus veggies to help you feel better. Even if you’re not sick, it’s a good one to keep on hand. Let me know what you think or if you added something to improve it. Love it when we can help one another improve a recipe! Enjoy!

Ingredients: Spices I get from Starwest * (off to the right) so I always have FRESH herbs and spices. In a store, you never know how long they have been on the shelf. This goes for herbs too when I can’t grow them myself. If you have any herbs from your garden this will be an added benefit.

  • 3-4 scallions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • ginger to taste (I put in 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp basil (I added an additional sprinkle on top when serving)
  • 4 peeled, diced potatoes
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • kale
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. The first 3 ingredients put into your Dutch oven with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Let them sauté until a nice aroma.
  2. Add carrots, zucchini, turmeric, black pepper, rosemary, sage, thyme basil, and salt.
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Add potatoes, cover and let boil for 30 minutes.
  5. Add kale and simmer for additional 10 minutes
  6. You can add cooked hamburger or chicken. My man loves his meat!
  7. He also loves dumplings, which of course he added…what a guy!
YUMMY for the tummy and to help you fight the bug!

Hope you try it…I think you will find this an awesome recipe anytime of the year!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and keep it natural when you can,

Lee

0

Crafts, Ranch Life

Hey all,

Trading Post

We have some unique-gift giving items below still available. If you’re interested in any to purchase, just email me at tnr@truenorthranch.org.

I will be happy to place your order and arrange to have you pick it up, or figure out the shipping. All Items tax-deductible and help us do what we do at the ranch.

Amazing Gift Ideas!

THANK YOU!

If you want to pay by credit card you may through our website. You will need to still contact me via email so I can walk you through the process.

My email tnr@truenorthranch.org
website, www.truenorthranch.org

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

0

Ranch Life

Oh, this soup is amazing! Why? Because it adds a different feel to an already American crave…Hamburgers.

I love my hamburger soup recipe but when I tasted a soup with dill pickles in it I just had to try a little more twist. One cold and very rainy day this fall I dug into my kitchen, still not done remodeling, but enjoyed putting this delight into my file of favorite soups.

I hope you find it just as delightful! Let me know in the comments. I always like to hear what others have added or made even better!

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 lb ground hamburger
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cups of water
  • 6 tsp chicken. broth
  • 2 cups chopped dill pickles
  • 2/3 cup of pickle juice
  • 2 finely sliced carrots or peeled
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste ( TIP: use fresh herbs as stores you never know how long they have been on the shelves)
  • Optional addition, 4 chopped and cooked potatoes
  • fresh dill for garnish
Delish Dill Pickle soup with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill.
YUMMMMMMY!

Directions:

Add your hamburger to your Dutch Oven pot. (I use this for making soups as I make big batches and freeze the leftovers for those “not want to cook nights.”)
Cook adding onion near the end of browning burger. Drain fat and pat burger dry. Set aside. Add water, broth, pickles, juice, potatoes, and carrots bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
In a separate bowl add flour and sour cream and a 1/4 cup of the simmered soup. Whisk together. Add to your pot of soup whisking continually until soup is back to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes or so until slightly thickened. Add your salt and pepper and cheese. If you like it pureed, you can at this point but we like a hearty cowboy soup texture. Add your garnish to serve.  Enjoy with your favorite bread!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

Feel free to comment below!

0

Anointing of oil. I read this article and found it fascinating on two accounts. One the meaning behind the verse and two its meaning behind my life this past year.

Psalm 23 “He anoints my head with oil.”

“Sheep can get their head caught in briers and die trying to get untangled. There are horrid little flies that like to torment sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils which turn into worms and drive the sheep to beat their head against a rock, sometimes to death. Their ears and eyes are also susceptible to tormenting insects. So the shepherd anoints their whole head with oil. Then there is peace. That oil forms a barrier of protection against the evil that tries to destroy the sheep. Do you have times of mental torment? Do the worrisome thoughts invade your mind over and over? Do you beat your head against a wall trying to stop them? Have you ever asked God to anoint your head with oil? He has an endless supply! His oil protects and makes it possible for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him today and always! There is peace in the valley! May our good good Father anoint your head with oil today so that your cup overflows with blessings! God is good and He is faithful!!”
HeartPoints

Mental Torment

I saw the date when this article was posted, April 10. How ironic it is the very next day after my husband sold his share of the business and when our world spiraled in a downward spin. How true it is when we worry SO much how the mind can be trapped into believing lies. My husband’s mental breakdown wasn’t overnight or just in the signing of papers, it began many months before hand and even over a course of a few years. TIME. Deeper and deeper the pain he was feeling of overwhelming work, stress of day to day tasks, plus ministry growth, all took its tole on his mind. The peace he needed was HIS Shepherd’s anointing. He didn’t seek it. He didn’t talk through his troubles. So the enemy had his way…but only for awhile. Praise GOD!

It’s fall now. We have had an amazing summer of ministry serving over 350 kids and adults in need…some the same thing we just went through. We just got done with our fundraiser, Harvest Hoedown, which was wonderful! The band Kent Dudley and Bended Knee were awesome and the demos the children did touched all of us as they shared what horses do for their troubled life. Dan is 100% better…only because his head was indeed anointed with the Shepherd’s oil. PEACE and JOY is back in my man. He says when one is dealing with trouble mind of doubt, stress, of simple pressures of the world, one MUST turn to the Lord for HELP and receive HIS promise of healing. It all can be ok again when we call on our Savior!

Heading Down the Trail of Peace

I look at this passage in scripture in a whole new way now. It shouldn’t surprise me that His word speaks directly to my heart as it is the very reason I have the relationship I do with my Jesus. His word DOES speak to me directly. In the very times of need and in refreshment afterwards. The trail ride of peace is what I always want to be on but unfortunately it can’t be on this side of heaven. Because of sin, because or MY sin, there will always be times of torment. But I can confidently know it won’t last forever as my Jesus has paid the price for my sins and will one day be in HIS peaceful arms. In times of trials, I will CHOOSE to ride the trail of being in His word which does indeed give the “peace that passes all understanding.”

Dancing’ at the Harvest Hoedown 2019!

Until next time,

Love deeper, talk sweeter and live peacefully receiving Jesus’ anointed oil of peace,

Lee

0