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

Having a daughter as an officer without hesitation we support our folks in blue.

Dan and I served in the mounted patrol a few years ago and enjoyed serving the county in any way we could. So it’s no surprise I wanted to make something festive for these summer celebrations, especially since our girl is home for good!

Oh, these were the days!

I started making shirts for our ministry team and for helpers which helped me practice. I tell ya the company Expressions Vinyl is awesome! I love their videos and special help they give when something doesn’t work. I appreciate that not only for myself but for ones like you who try them I know I am sending you to a great company!

To make this shirt however was a bit more tricky because it was a layered process and adding the BLUE strip made it even more tricky. But, it worked! Using the Cricut Explorer and having the Cricut Design space to put the design together to form this wonderful expression of where the necessary tools to pull this off. I also have a heat press which I have found to be much better than the iron due to the heat intensity. If you are going to get into crafting such products, one must have the right tools!

I did the white layer first, stars second, and the red pulling the one red one-off, ironed on than did the blue by itself. MOM was last.

Material used:

  • Use the Easyweed brand NOT stretch if you have the Cricut press or iron

Red, white , and royal blue, and Black or dark navy blue for words.

Enjoy! It’s fun and make wonderful gifts too!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and support the ones who protect and serve,

Lee

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Herb Basket, Jarrin, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

What in the World!

Yep…just what I thought…what is a ginger bug? I love ginger. I love what it does for all the medicinal needs of our bodies. So when I saw you make a fermented bug to add to syrups or other recipes like making your own ginger beer, I was all in!

What is Ginger Beer?

This cool and delicious soft drink which is filled with health benefits. Many think because it has “beer” attached to the name it contains a lot of alcohol. Of course, like any fermented homemade drink the longer it sits, the more the alcohol content. But for most who make it including my recipe, it is less than .02%. It is not so much fermentation in the actual drink as it carbonated as it sits. A lot like a Kombucha is really good for you and can be a beverage for any age.

What are the health benefits?

  • relaxes you and your mood
  • smell enhances your mood as you sip away
  • relieve pain and mental fatigue
  • helps with depression
  • has anti0inflammatory properties to help with internal inflammation
  • anti-bacterial properties help with mucus and upper respiratory and coughing
  • anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties help to boost the immune system
  • MY FAVORITE…natural probiotic as in the formation it improves digestion, maintain the microbial flora of the gut and fights and fights gut bacterial.

Are you SOLD YET?

I was! I love this concept and easy to do. Yes, it takes time, but what an awesome drink to have in your refrigerator for any event or daily beverage. YES, it contains sugar. But much of it is fermented out during the process. It is AWESOME!!!

Next step…make your ginger bug than you will be ready for the ginger beer recipe!

Your base

How to make your bug!

Ingredients:

2-3 Tablespoons of grated ginger root

1/2 cup of organic sugar

2 cups filtered water

Instructions:

  1. Grated or cut up a ginger root. I like to have it grated to better get the flavor out.
  2. Fill a quart size mason jar with 2 cups of water
  3. Add sugar and ginger to water and shake it up.
  4. For the next 3-5 days keep adding 1 tbsp. of ginger and 1 tbsp. of sugar…shake up.
  5. I do keep a lid on the jar but you can just put a coffee filter on it and use mason jar canning ring to hold into place.
  6. Make sure to add each day and still with a metal spoon or shake.
  7. When you see it FIZZ at the top you know it is working!

Comment:

Please let me know if you tried this and the ginger beer…I think you will like it.

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Sewing

Learning on my own

Did you ever see something and you just wanted to know right away the directions on how to make it? Well, that was me when I saw the stand-up gnome idea. I love them! I think it’s because they look more alive! HA! So I explored all the ins and outs and came up with this simple way to make them. I hope it helps you if you want to try your hand at making one.

Steps one by one

STEP ONE: Getting your material

Styrofoam cones ( I tried many different ones and came back to this simple one)

Material (base theme) Cut 9″x 9″

Bamboo sticks legs

pipe cleaners for arms

Accessories for your character (like the bucket, or flower)

Beard

pom poms (top of hat and nose)

Shoes ( baby socks already made or plastic eggs and cardboard to make your own)

Pool Noodle cut 2″ thick

glue gun

Shoes were very detailed using ribbon for the laces and outer trim

STEP TWO: Assemble

Have your cone flat on a surface. Place your nose in center and shape your beard around your nose. I use sewing pins to hold it all in place before I glue to make sure it is what I am looking for.

This cone is a harder styrofoam I would not recommend use the one I have listed soooo much easier!

Next add you legs. If your using pins you can shift the beard and nose if need be at any point.

STEP THREE:

Making your hat. I used a simple gnome template and traced it onto my material. I made 2 so I could have two sided look. Placing them right sides together sewing along edges of course leaving the bottom open to place over the cone. I also use material for the edge of the hat just for fun. I sewed that first before sewing all together.

STEP 4: Making the legs

You can use toilet paper tubes or a pool noodle. I found the pool noodles easier to work with. Cut the noodle to the size you want.

Simply take the extra material and wrap around the noodle. Again I pinned first.

STEP 5: Add your shoes or socks over the pool noodles. The sticks I poke through the plastic shoe. Noodle goes around the inside of the shoe.

If you buy the socks individually they come with these plastic shoes.
plastic shoes really make it easy and fast…but skinny looking

STEP SIX: Arms are next. use one of the baby sock and cut in half. Sew up the sides. This will make a natural elbow and little mitten hand. Put over a pipe cleaner that you cut in half. Stick into the cone under the beard.

Cut pipe cleaner in half and one baby sock

STEP SEVEN: Assemble your gnome! Once you like how everything looks, start hot gluing each part to secure.

Different Shoe Looks

Each way to do the shoes comes out a little different
Here is the video on how to do this one. Fatter look to the feet.
Gnome Feet Video

Oh, I hope these turn out for you! I love them and love to use different themes. I will be making more on rainy days so I will share them here!

HAVE FUN!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ministry, Ranch Life

July 6, 2020

Our Lord is faithful and true and gives us hope everyday!

As we continue to wait for the liver to be available, Mitch continues to do well. He is staying active even got out wave running on the lake over the 4th! SO awesome! He also is able to take a hydration drink which is an herbal product I now sell because of what it does! Incredible really! Instead of the Gatorade and other products out there that do NOTHING for your health AND what it did for Mitch, I was sold! It hydrates your body NOW as soon as you drink it, tastes fabulous with all the herbs I love (Elderberry no less), and because of the electrolytes in the product it stops Mitch’s headaches. AMAZING! If you have a hard time drinking your daily dose of water…this will help! Just email me, I would be happy to share more! (homesteadranchgirl@gmail.com)

When Mitch has his headaches he gets really sick. So much so he vomits and is down for the day or more. So I am so happy we found a product that works!

If you want to connect with Mitch and give him an encouraging word, please email him. He would love it! You can email me on the above address and I will forward you his addy. Truly, will help him through this time of waiting! THANK YOU!!!!

June 12, 2020

A Happy Birthday for our little beaner, Mackinzey celebrating 27 years and not celebrating her birthday for 7 years…WOW! So fun to have her home!

With that, Mitch got busy in the kitchen making a wonderful meal for her and helping with appetizers and her cake! It was such a fun evening. Also…fun to have him happy and enjoying what he loves so much.

He is now LISTED with the liver transplant nationwide! His test made it so he could officially be listed. Loving life he is for sure and living everyday he is feeling well as best as he can. KEEP praying!!! He needs them!

We also paid a visit to a local assisted living facility and Mitch did all the pictures. We even got in the paper! Here are some of his shots! Great job Mitchy MO!

May 25, 2020

Today Mitch is doing great! Isn’t it wonderful we can be in the midst of a trial but have total peace in what is to come or even happening right now but totally ok with it? I love that about our faith! Just trust and obey and see what He gives us!

Mitch has a team of many people who call him weekly to check-in, make sure he is up to date on paperwork, labs, and so on as well as check on his mental health. He really feels special we can tell! He smiles a lot and has more energy since his symptoms and reactions from meds is under control.

He stays with us a few days at the beginning of the week so we can do home church together and have a family meal or two or three or…the kids hang out for more often. He then will head back to his home to take care of things there. We know there will be a day he will have to totally live here for a period of time so we encouraged him to take what he can get now and live his life as best as he can. He loves that!

He does miss his work at camp but he is hoping when they open he can lend a hand in volunteering on his good days. What a gift he can give during his time of waiting.

Mitch surprised me on Mother’s Day! He made a great meal too!

May 28, 2020

Mitch and I are headed to the cities for some tests he needs. This will give an accurate reading for the team and transplant coordinators to have him listed. He is at 18 INR now and when it reaches 30+ is when things will get more serious. OR if he has more trouble like he did last fall with his bile duct or anything else that will cause him to be listed higher. Until the tests come back I will update this again and of course, we trust in our Jesus for it all. PLEASE pray for Mitch and his strength, his faith, and most of all his morale. With Jesus there is NOTHING to fear!

God’s blessings upon you ALL!

Lee and Dan

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Ministry, Ranch Life, The Boys

No Kids…gettin’ itchy to help

Under normal circumstances we would be buzzing around the ranch with kids, adult groups from a local addiction program, and workhorses doing chores and helping where they can. But with this pandemic things are different. The ranch is quiet. The gardens buckets and decor are barren due to low funds to not fill with beautiful colored flowers and with little rain it’s even dusty like a ghost town. Our ranch is set up to look like a mini western town and I told my husband a tumbleweed floating by would be a perfect scene. I was feeling a bit like we aren’t doing enough to what the Lord has blessed us with.

Tumbleweeds are pretty even though they are dry and dusty

Change of attitude brings joy

I had a zoom meeting with other ministries like ours where we get together now and then to share ideas. It has been swimming in my mind to take the horses to places to help cheer up folks and one of those places is a retired home or assisted living place. I was holding back due to the illness attacks specifically for this group and truly was afraid to go. I was allowing some lies to be in my mind that simply were just holding back the obvious. These folks no matter what needed to be loved on. We could take all our precautions along with us and just let go of the reins and GO! SO…we did…just that…and guess what? It blessed a lot more than just the residents!

Oh the joy of touch!
Giving the boys a treat

Pure Delight!

We also decided to invite one of our students who comes to the ranch on regular bases. This was a much-needed activity for her to be a part of as she has suffered from many difficult trials. I tell you, watching her interact and be a part of this day was so amazing! For a teenager to give and be focused on others as well as see their hardships and how they smile right through them was such a great life lesson.

The horses were perky as the winds gusted to 30 miles an hour and of course wind and horses can always be a challenge. But they handled the noises, wheelchairs, walkers, flying kites, and different surroundings like champs! They enjoyed showing off their stuff and Bokoda even took a bow at the end.

So precious!

Each horse was painted with a word and a verse that was associated with the word.

Our student loved this art part!

Our demo focused on the love of Jesus and the message of hope especially during such trialed times as this virus. Wearing our bandana’s, looking like we just robbed a bank from the Wild West, we shared the message of our Savior who knows all our fears and sees all our tears. Such a delight to see their nods and responding, “beautiful”.

Dan demoing
The crew!

I went into this knowing the elderly would be blessed but as always when the Lord puts something on my heart to move, I am the one blessed! He says in His Word, “it is more blessed to give than receive” yet we all received so much love and joy from both the residents as well as the staff.

Indeed it was a wonderful day in the midst of such difficult times.

You are loved!

Lee

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Ministry, Ranch Life

How are all of you holding up through this different time in our world? Isn’t it crazy? I tell ya, going into town shopping and seeing lines outside Costco with masked people to little produce in the grocery store to low gas prices…it’s just so weird. Life is indeed different but it’s good?

For the first time in several years, our daughter Mackinzey is home. She moved back from Virginia and is looking for a job on the home front. It is so awesome having her home! We love spending time together and of course, I really miss being able to do fun things like horseback riding, crafting, and adventures around the ranch. Now we have LOTS of time for that due to her waiting to find a job. Tough time to be looking with so many offices closed and not in a normal routine. But we take the bad and turn it into good!

Our son, Mitch is also home most days as he battles his latest news of being in liver failure. We want him here with us during this time to help keep his expenses down as his job was lost due to the pandemic which isn’t all that bad for him as his illness increased at the same time. He would have had a hard time cooking with the long days as the illness will get worse. So, he enjoys making us a meal now and then, which is ALWAYS a healthy one! Funny how Dan is hungry a few hours later after we eat as most of Mitch’s meals are veggie and little meat. I always see him sneak a treat or two later before bed. My man!

The nutritionists is one member of the team…making a plan for changes.

Mitch gets weekly calls from different team members helping him along this journey. We are on each call just as another ear as there is SO much information he is getting. To navigate it all requires us all! He is well taken care of that is for sure, which is comforting. He does need to head down to the U in the next few weeks, (hoping for lifting on clinic restrictions) to get some tests done. With these tests, they will evaluate once again giving him a number which will make him closer to being listed for the transplant.

We wait daily on the Lord for what is to come and pray he receives the liver before he gets too sick.

All in all, life is different but it sure has been good! Having kids home is wonderful and of course, going through this rough time of transitions for all of us has helped us be more focused on the Lord, pray more together, and lift each other up as often as we can!

Loves helping when he can

Time is hard in many areas and we pray you all are hangin’ in there and enjoying all the Lord has provided…time with family, time to rethink our paths, time with HIM!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Sewing

Making masks are a big deal right now and ones who don’t have anything to do, it is a perfect way to fill your days PLUS give to ones in need. Not only hospitals need these, but I think nursing homes and assistant living places could surely use a creative mask.

I loved making these but had even more fun creating messages for not only the one wearing the mask but for ones who see the face in the mask.

Simple and sweet messages that are inspiring and give you some ease of mind. I hope you find them helpful.

There are many ways to make masks so I won’t give details on how to make them but the messages I used my Cricut and iron-on vinyl. Expressions Vinyl is a wonderful, personal company with awesome prices, variety, and even videos to spark your creative juices. Try them, you’ll love them too!

Remember all clicks on this blog and purchase helps us help others through True North Ranch Ministries!

Using sports material was fun! The big elastic was for an older gentleman.

Enjoy making someone else smile and protecting yourself and others when your under the whether!

God’s blessings,

Lee

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Ranch Life, Thyme Out

Don’t you just love to have a salad that is not only quick and easy to throw together but amazing to your taste buds? Well, these are my top 5 favs. I think you will like them as well and the dressings will add an extra punch to each one!

Spinach-Strawberry Salad

  • 2 10 oz bags of washed spinach, torn into pieces
  • 4 Cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
  • A handful of feta or mozzarella cheese
  • optional: 3/4 red onion, finely chopped, and/or 1 can of black beans rinsed well

Toss together and add the Strawberry-Poppy Seed Dressing, serves 8-12

Southwest Salad

  • 1 head of green leaf lettuce, washed and torn
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red and yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup organic corn kernels
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed well
  • 1 Fresh lime, squeezed
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese or cheddar
  • Optional: Cooked, chopped chicken breast

Put corn in a strainer and dip the strainer in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Cool Toss all ingredients together, and serve immediately with Avacodo Dressing, and lime juice serves 8-12

A little note: We have since cut way back on eating peppers, tomatoes, and corn due to many health issues that these veggies can cause over time and how they digest in the system. But for special occasions and limited in our diet, we do have them now and again. It is hard to believe something so good can be harmful.

Make sure to have a fresh lime!

Simple Salad

  • 1 large head of favorite lettuce mix, we love the spring greens
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 3 radishes, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp. dried dandelion leaf
  • 1 tsp. dried goldenseal
  • 1/2 cup sprouts, seeds like pumpkin, or pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese or mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • Optional: 1 can chickpeas or kidney beans
  • Optional: Dried kale, (put a bunch of kale on a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper and back for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes a wonderful topping)

Toss together and drizzle your favorite olive oil and vinaigrette with fresh lemon juice. Don’t forget to top with the fresh-baked Kale.

Cabbage Salad

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cup grapes, halved
  • 2 cans drained mandarin oranges
  • 1 Cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup almonds sliced or chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 cup Chinese crunchy noodles, 1/2 cup craisins

Toss together along with any vinaigrette. I recommend the Asian Ginger Dressing.

Craisin Salad

  • 1 head red leaf lettuce
  • 2 heads butter lettuce (love this stuff)
  • 1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 1 cup organic mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 Tbsp organic butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Saute almonds over medium heat in butter and maple syrup, stirring constantly until light brown. Set aside. Toss all remaining ingredients together. Add nuts and favorite dressing. Serves 6-8

Brussel Sprout Salad

For the Brussel sprouts:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or Avocado oil
  • 1 pound of Brussel sprouts cut in half
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced and diced

For candied almonds or walnuts:

  • 2/3 cup of almonds
  • 1 tbsp. of our maple syrup
  • sea salt to taste

For the Salad:

  • 5 oz. of spring greens mix
  • 1 cucumber diced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup of grapes
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (or if you have a fussy cowboy like me, cheddar grated)
  • 1/2 cup dried craisens

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussel sprouts and thyme. Cook for 10 minutes stirring a few times. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Place almonds in skillet along with maple syrup and a pinch of salt. cook over medium heat until golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. In large bowl mix greens everything together.
  4. Best vinaigrette to pour over the top or serve on the side.

If you don’t have fresh herbs, I highly recommend going to Starwest…the links I have on the herbs. You never have to worry about quality or sitting on a store shelf. All the natural goodness in one place!

I hope you enjoy these amazing side salads! Great for the good ol’ waistline too!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Jarrin, Living Naturally, Ministry, Ranch Life

I love making up gift ideas which are practical and of course usable. What better than something that is healthy too!

The tea is blended with organic herbs some grown here on our ranch. I blend the herbs to common taste buds and of course adding spices where need be as well.

Three tea blends to choose from

The syrups are just a splash of sweetness to your tea and bring a burst of flavor as well!

You can purchase these mini jars of tea and syrups for $12. Mix and match teas and syrups or any way you like. Two fits into the crate.

These syrups add a delightful sweetness to any tea blend!

You can email me for your order and remember all orders and purchase’s here on the blog help our ranch ministry which helps kids in need…so thank you!

Mix and match

God bless you and enjoy the fun tea and syrup mini’s!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

homesteadranchgirl@gmail.com to order your mini tea crates

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Crafting this adorable trend of making these sparkling tumblers has been both a joy and a challenge but worth every minute your time!

The goodies you will need

I originally got this idea by scanning the youtube for ideas with my new Cricut Explore 2. This gal Jennifer is adorable and as soon as she says, “Hello everybody” I get excited to dig into another fun activity. I watched her video, went out and bought the tumblers, and put my materials together to begin my first one. I think I watched it 100 times (exaggerated of course but seemed like I couldn’t get the process). I just had to go start with the plaid. That was the wrong choice! Here’s why.

First attempt Buffalo Plaid

I made many mistakes on my first one so I want to share what NOT to do.

1.) Don’t start with a plaid go with the first video with some fun blending colors. Simple and very pretty looking!

2) Make sure you use electrical tape for the top and bottom of the tumbler and remove it before putting on your first coat of resin. I kept it on and it caused an unclean finish on the top and bottom. After the first coat I used THICK rubber bands to keep the clean look.

3) Sand tumbler before putting images/phrases/stickers.

4) Make sure your edges are clean cut meaning top and bottom are cut well before applying the first coat of resin. Use an Exacto knife or sharp blade.

5) Make sure your tumbler isn’t too big which will cause a heaviness to the electric spit and make sure it is TIGHT fitting. My hubby had to makeshift as the football idea did not work. The tumbler fell off and caused us to sand again.

See how the edges are not crisp on top and bottom? Also somehow the red spray got on the bottom…not sure I will spray paint first either. We will have to try one without.
Much simpler one to start out with so you get the steps. I loved how this one turned out!

We are making these tumblers for our trading post at the ranch so our need for them to be a little crisper and clean looking was important. If you’re not that particular than play away. The spinner idea of using the spit was great! I would get a system down with one on the spit and after 6 hours have another one ready to go. After the one is fully dry, sand and place my vinyl ( I love this company and the videos are awesome!) on and get ready for the second coat. Sanding really is important!

The plaid attempt I couldn’t resist! I really love the look, so I tried using some of my favorite color combos. The one thing I can’t seem to get the hang of is getting the squares even looking, one not longer or wider than the others. I am still trying to get the taping down to help me get this part more clean looking.

Working on cleaner squares.
Say NO to chunky glitter! It makes you have to sand a lot! Plus it isn’t as clean as you may think in the end result.

This project I think would be so fun for a teen birthday party or even a bridal shower craft. So much better than games! Once they make their design you can provide the steps for resin and drying.

They also make wonderful gifts!

Ready to make your own? Here is a list as well as your shopping links which all help our ranch ministry. PLUS you get a box full of goodies to begin your project. The glitter is wonderful and many colors to choose from…so get shopping and have fun creating your own tumbler!

Items for your tumblers:

SHHHHH…SPECIAL 15% OFF UNTIL MARCH 15th ON VINYL! ONLY FOR YOU!!!

Epoxy/Resin

glitter

mod podge

spray adhesive

vinyl (words or decor) the blended colored ones are so fun

rubber gloves

electrical tape

masking/painters tape

rubber band, THICK

barbeque spit or spinner

clamps to hold spit in place

tumbler or two

double stick tape plaid look you will want a variety of widths

Free shipping on orders over $49…love their website… full of ideas!

CODE…MARCH15

CLICK HERE

Love how this one turned out…used a 2 layer vinyl with glitter vinyl for U
The second attempt on the plaid…vinyl is patterned fun colors!

Well, it has been a little stressful doing these, but with each one, I learn something and they get better and better with each one. I need to not be so anxious and take them off the spit when still drying even if tacky they really need a full 8 hours to get firm enough to take off the spit and another 12 to be fully dry.

I hope you try them…if you do let me know how it went and TAKE A PICTURE!

God bless.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Bible Journaling, Empower, Living Naturally, Ministry, Ranch Life

Trusting the door

Last November our daughter and son both faced some big trials. “Trial Doors” as we call them. Door number one for our son Mitch as he had to go through 4 months of dealing with a bile duct blockage and have a tube inserted. After the 4th month, he got the tube removed but with news, his liver is in trouble and may need another transplant. Hard news and many sad days of facing “what next?” and what doors the Lord will provide.

Our daughter desperately needed to move home over a year ago but the Lord didn’t provide ANY doors for that to happen It was a hard year for her as well until November when the news of Mitch illness arose. She felt with her whole heart it was time to look into taking the steps to get licensed in MN, (she is a cop in Virginia). My husband and I felt the same way it was indeed time for her to take the test and get the ball rolling! The Lord provided the doors…one wasn’t a good one with hard health news but I believe it was the door for Kinzey to walk through a door she hadn’t pursued during the course of a whole year. So we all trusted…

Being aware of the door

Kinzey failed the first attempt of the test in November which was clear she needed more studying and help. I found out about a class specific to recruits to help pass the test. Remember, she is VA and the class is here in MN. But, she said, “if that is what will help me pass then I will do what it takes!” The Lord once again provided (door 1) the ONLY class in December and even just before Christmas (door 2) so we could have a family celebration at the same time. (We hadn’t celebrated Christmas together for 5 years) She found the class very informative and learned tools (door 3) to help her study better. Come January the Lord provided another… door 4, the date for the test in her state became available. The only date for several months! She passed! (door 5) As soon as she took the test she applied for her dream job back in MN where she interned. They had 2 openings which just became available! (door 6) Can you believe this so far? Seriously as I type this it amazes me!

Dedicated for over 5 years!

Door 7 she gets the email she has been accepted for the several phases including interviews, more tests, and background. One door shut along the way. She applied for another job which opened up in December but when she mailed it, certified even, the department got it late. So, she never did hear from them probably due to it arriving past the due date.

When you recognize the Lord has provided a door for you to walk through it is only by faith we do so. It may not turn out the way we planned but the Lord would not have provided if He didn’t feel you needed to. It is also important to praise the Lord for each step even if a door closes. Each door provides the character He is building in you.

Move By Faith

Yep, that is indeed what the Lord desires from His children. To step out and trust in HIM! With our daughter she will not hear from the department for several weeks due to all the phases they have to hire but we prayed together and trusted if the Lord orchestrated all these details then we shall move on them. We headed out east, packed her up and left her with an empty, echoey house as she waits for the phases to complete and see what is next. It was the first time in 7 years I didn’t cry because I wouldn’t see her for many months, but I did cry as we thanked the Lord for paving the way and the reality she will be home again soon.

Look at the tongue weight!

Jesus IS the Door

One of the many adventures Kinzey and I took was stopping at the Ark Encounter. Truly a trip y’all need to take! AMAZING! Anyway, the most powerful part of being on the exact replica of the ark was… the DOOR!

What do you see?

I wept. I simply stood in front of that door and wept! To think about how God would use this simple wood structure as a metaphor to HIS son awestruck me. The many scriptures signifying Jesus Christ as the Door and how the door had to be tall and wide enough for each animal and other needs to fit through.

“I am the Door. Whoever enters through it will be saved.”

John 10:9

This verse and the analogies we use like”walking through a door”, “when the Lord provides a door”, or “when He shuts a door” are all too significant to the truths our God provided from way back in Genesis. BUT we must as believers be very careful to line up what is in front of us as a door and go before Him in prayer. With every step, it will build our character! It may be a hard door to go through, but if He opens it, there is a reason. It may be a door we are not sure if the Lord is in it. Character building again.

No matter what…every door is a faith walk. We do not know what is on the other side. But the ones who try you can be assured our Jesus is holding your hand!

Unity Stamp Company…such a great stamp!

May the doors are wide open and clear and if not, PRAY and seek HIS wisdom! Enjoy the ride as every door is an adventure!

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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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?

Eco-Friendly 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

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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

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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


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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!!!!
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Bible Journaling, Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ministry, Ranch Life

Scary Time

The past 2 months have been the scariest time of my life! The unknowns of walking with my hubby who faced a breakdown for major stress. What is called so much now hit by many, many folks? Yep…mental health. What we faced was much more than just depression. It was a chronic mental state I have NEVER witnessed before let alone watching someone I love so deeply be affected by simply believing in lies and allowing the spiral effect that led to his breakdown.

His face was always sad…lost…broken…amazing what the brain is capable of.

He Guided Me

“I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” Ishaiah 42:16. Holding onto this verse over and over as our adult kids and I waited patiently for the Lord to heal our loved one. Many days of darkness just scared us to the core of what we were seeing and hearing from him. His unrationalization of simple things. Not being able to do simple tasks and little things set him off into fear and flight. I felt I had a new colt in training and trying to find the spot of calmness and peace became a moment by moment test and trial.

Talk about unfamiliar territory…we were in the middle of it!

Still not 100%…but he is showing improvement by just getting out and doing what he loves.

The Unfamiliar

Mental health is scary because of the stigma I held in my own head. What I saw in movies, or read in other stories, or even the many I have ministered to in the past. I never really took the time to understand why the brain reacts to trauma, how it happens, and the symptoms that appear because of the trauma. When someone is stressed for a long period of time and not dealing with it by taking time to truly rest-stress symptoms will appear. Warning signs really. For my hubby it was more tired, short-tempered, anxiousness over small things, overthinking small things, little eye contact, not really listening, not doing the FUN things once done before, never taking time to “take a break”, and many more. Becoming familiar with symptoms or signs of depression and anxiety would have helped me be more in tune to him needing help sooner.

Smoothin’ out the road

YES, the Lord smoothed out the road! HOW? With many who came alongside us and helped. First,  we learned what he was facing was ok. One therapist stated it’s ok to not be ok. Next, support therapist, support groups in our area, books like Turning Toward Joy, this was huge for us to find joy again. Learning from the Giants wonderful book by John Maxwell. And another one good for Dan was Experiencing God’s Forgiveness. If you have a loved one who has gone through abuse, addiction, divorce, or the many other life issues and has had difficulty forgiving someone especially themselves, this book is great! 

Most of all…the Bible! Being in HIS word has saved us both and our marriage. If you are the caregiver as I was, reading your bible and daily devotional time with Jesus is a must. Studies have shown caregivers can fall into a depressive state themselves and must keep healthy with eating right, daily exercise and keeping close to their Jesus!

We also sought out natural ways to begin healing the brain. Fight the moods, anxiety, and of course the joint pain that comes from being on meds.  Being on meds helped to stabilize his brain to get back into balance. But along with that, we are doing supplements especially CBD oil.  Interesting about this oil, Dan was taking it during the winter months and we ran out. Within a month from not taking it his mood became more unstable deeper depression set in. I believe now this is ONE factor of Dan spiraling downward. He is now back on it!  In time, we hope to eliminate the meds as they have many side effects where natural supplements do not. This CBD oil is one we both will stay on. It helps with joint pain as well as mood. Be proactive if you are facing the road of depression or know you may head into a season like a winter. Taking some of these has made a world of difference. For me as well because with this trial I learned I need to take care of myself as well in the area of mental health. 

Here are some I found out from Jonathan Otto’s series on depression. Wonderful experts who have seminars on the very issues we faced. 
MSM 
Anti-inflammatory supplement so important to take daily,  Glucosamine with Chondroitin Turmeric. 
And from Global Healing, Lithium Orotate
Also daily probiotic, Omegas, and multivitamin (we take Plexus)
For immune boosting, I made capsules of Astragalus Root Powder
Spring has sprung so capsules of Spirulina Powder too
Lastly, because this is an amazing herb for health, Ashwagandha Root Powder. Read here about its health benefits…Amazing brain health! 

Connect with natural healing doctors in this area as they can best help you and your situation. Everyone is so different it is always best to consult with your own resources in the medical field and natural medicine. 

Hope in the Unfamiliar

Hope is on the way. One of my favorite songs and so true. The Lord will lead you. He will show HIS pathway to better health and out of the darkness that floods our world in the area of mental health. He has all the answers! Seek HIM…be in the Word daily, ask for prayer warriors as days can be hard for you to think, and most of all know, you are loved by a Mighty Savior who sees YOU and knows what you are facing. HOPE is on the way. He made a promise…He will do these things and not forsake you! Amen to that mental health!

I am still in AWE of our Lord’s healing…He’s back!! SMILE and all!

Do’s and Don’t

As of today as I update this blog, Dan is doing 100% better! PRAISE THE LORD! What did…many things. Combining consistency of therapy, meds, sleep, eating well, doing things he always loved (ranch and working with his hands), and forgiving the past and himself!

But I do have something I want to share as I walked this trail I should not have done and things I know to do…hope this helps with anyone facing this trial.

DO:

  • Pray daily together
  • Do a devotional together and as a family
  • Let them know their family wants them to get well
  • Listen, and give credibility to their feelings
  • Seek help for yourself and offer to attend the therapist together
  • Go for walks, get exercise, go for a bike ride, do things together
  • IMPORTANT make sure you have Power of Attorney as you may need to be soul guardian if they fall deep enough they can’t take care of themselve

Don’t:

  • Tell them to pray about it and or say healing will come if you trust God more
  • Make them feel guilty for the impact this is on the family
  • Blame or criticizing
  • Expect meds to solve everything or the other way around; not do meds because of certain stigmas or beliefs
  • Let them continue in a pattern of sleeping or wanting to be alone

He was so excited to get back to cooking over an open fire again!

Lastly let me share Dan’s months of depression started three years ago. The stress of his job increased so much in the last year it led to him falling very hard very fast into a spiral of believing many lies from the enemy. After Dan sold his business he still was facing many days of doubt and his mind at this point had spun out of control. His mind had new games. He may not have the job anymore, but he still hadn’t dealt with the “new” life either. He began this journey of deep depression in early March. It is June now and he is back to his old self, PLUS realizing how deeply out of control he was from simply never taking time to rest. I hope he will have the courage to speak to audiences about his journey and be an encourager for all who face this giant of mental health. He is one happy man now, FREE indeed! We pray others will too.

Peace to you,

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and KEEP IN THE WORD

Lee

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Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

The Vision

In March of 2018, I was experiencing some uneasiness in my personal life. My husband was working more and more trapped into a business that demanded so much of his time. I was exhausted trying to get the many needs of the ranch done and not feeling like I had a “willing” partner to help me especially in the area of doing sessions. Marriage struggles, overworked, exhausted, swaying further away from Jesus time.

Pleading with my Jesus one morning, I asked for direction. I knew I needed my man to hear from the Lord again, desiring HIM, and finding time to rest in HIM as well as physical rest. How?

In talking with a similar ministry friend from Hope Rides, Vollie and I began to talk about a more focused time to help ministries in just the area where I was feeling empty. By talking and sharing ideas back and forth, I share specifically the need for men to step up in their faith, lead their homes, and be solely into God’s word daily. Backing it all up in rest. I had the thought of Troy Meeder from CPYR be that man to speak to the ministries. But how, where, when?

Setting the Stage

In the next month, Vollie and I mentioned the idea to many of the Minnesota ministries asking who wants to help and Spur this idea into a spring of 2019 event. HMMM, silence…but the Lord spoke clearly to two ministries. His Haven Acres and Haven Acres joined in. We had our SPUR team willing to seek the Lord in providing a much-needed tool for folks serving in ministries or non-profits. The 4 pillars for the event: Servantship, Prayer, Unity, Rest =SPUR

Spur team in the chapel at Ironwood Springs

“And let us consider how we may SPUR one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24

The event name and verse theme came to light! Midwest Bounty Round-Up focusing on all the states in central USA.

“From one man he created al the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “ Acts 17:26 

We met at Vollies the first month all planning on having the event at her ranch. In the summer months, we didn’t talk much other than some basic ideas but not gathering again until late September at Vollie’s home. Vollie was feeling like the strain, the number of people, and time of year that her ranch would not be a good place. As soon as we all agreed and started typing in other ideas on our computers looking for the right outlet nothing was coming up roses. Our hope was to provide a RELAXED atmosphere since REST was the main theme. By the end of the meeting, we had no place. YIKES! We needed to get fliers and info to ranches soon and not having a place was not a great way to end the day! But, I trusted this is what the Lord wanted and would provide.

Jesus Showed the Way

On my drive home, I really was having a hard time. Where? Oh man WHERE? Lord help us find the perfect place! I began thinking of camps since our son works at one in our area. YEAH…they have horses, great meeting spots, bedding, food, yeah…let’s try them. I called. The gal in charge was not in. RATS. Ok, try others to make sure we have options. I got home and googled Christian camps. I began to think our area would not be good as it is too far north for most of the people we are trying to get to come. South would be good. Or close to the cities. Then I came upon a camp I have never heard of before. Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch in Stewartville. Where is Stewartville? I mapquest the location…ROCHESTER area…it was south, a good sign. “Oh Jesus is this it?”, I said to myself. On to the website, I found an amazing log lodge. Meeting places. HORSES. INDOOR arena. Food. Chapel even! OH MY GOODNESS! I texted everyone on the Spur team. As I was waiting for the response I called them. I talked to a sweet gal in charge of booking and the date was open!!!! YES!!! Jesus, you answered the desperate plea of my heart! And indeed it was PERFECT as only our Jesus would have it!

Getting the Lay of the Land

In early November the Spur team headed to the location to get the lay of the land. Once we arrived we all were pretty gitty! It really was perfect! We met in front of a warm fireplace and catching up on details. I met the founder Bob who has an amazing story! I highly recommend reading it on their website. Truly a godly man who through tragedy is doing the work of the Lord! The tour just brought more gasps from each of us. The rooms are fabulous! LOG BEDS, real mattress, HUGE rooms, adjoining rooms, with amenities. The meeting rooms overlooked the river giving wonderful views. Heading to the areana we met up with a camel. Oh what fun! In every way this place will provide rest for the ministries and provide opportunity for fellowhip and prayer. We got super excited as we said our good-byes!

The Lord Made it Real

A week and a half before the event, my husband was slipping into deep depression. Work was consuming his every thought and being. He had no joy. He simply… broke. He became undone with all that was undone. This is exactly where Jesus needed him. The story is long, hard, very difficult but it’s Dan’s story. It isn’t for me to tell. We believe the Lord wanted Dan in this very place so he would share and give HOPE to others who face a VERY similar and BIG issue in our society. Jesus gets all the glory in his testimony and knowing the perfect stage may be in this event or sharing at another platform. We don’t know. We just trust when Jesus calls, we will go. As difficult as it is, it’s HIS story and our Lord gets all the glory in it! It just came as such a difficult time. “Our ways are not HIS ways.” “Our thoughts are not HIS thoughts”. I needed to push through and ask the Lord to give me wisdom and live day to day. Dan needed to get before the Lord, but it wasn’t easy.

Here we go

Months of planning, getting info out to ranches and similar ministries, setting up details of sessions, talks, worship, have all come to this day. WOW! It’s here! Yet, I had this “undone” man with me really along for the ride but gripping Jesus tighter than the week before. Praise Jesus!

The Spur team arrived a day earlier, really our day of REST as the next few days we would be serving. We enjoyed helping the team for registration, setting up rooms, and just chatting as we waited for Troy and his friend Max to arrive. Really the first time we could just sit and chat and our husbands to get to know one another. Once the boys arrived we went out for dinner enjoying some special fellowship time and hangin out. AHHH I was feeling at peace.

Laurie with His Haven Acres and Vollie with Hope Rides
Haven Acres Ranch registration crew…these are looks of…WHEW!

Here They Come!

Our cute little name tags made by an old friend from my Stamping’ Up days, Terri Gaines and our red Spur shirts greeted our guest with excitement and laughter! Oh how fun as the trucks rolled in one by one eager to have a weekend away from home and REST IN HIM!

The hubbies help trucks unload
Gather and pray together and for one another
Such a precious time lifting our needs before the Throne and covering the event!

Worship

Photo courtesy of Katherine Mathiasen

CHOW TIME!

The next day…worship and sessions

Vollie and Dan lead Outside the Corral in ministry…thinking outside the box
Jessica a vet teaching vetting the Holistic way
Heading to the arena to try herbs for horses learning about the herbs and applying this idea in sessions…we did a demo…
Read about the herb, offer to the horse to see if they take it

We had a wonderful speaker Todd who is a professional psychologist helping ministries identify trauma and how we can serve the folks who come to our ranch giving many ideas and hands-on activities. We also had a similar ministry gal Kris who gave a live session using horses in the arena and another group getting ideas on Christ-centered sessions with kids. We loved having our own representative Emma from CPYR lead the session. She lives in Minnesota but is available to serve and help all ministries here in the midwest. Her hubby and new baby spent the whole weekend with us.

Ahh REST and A message

Troy gave a message at each worship time and filled us with the understanding with everything we do is for Jesus! The first day Troy met with men only and sharing his heart for men to “cowboy up” in their homes and mission the Lord has given them. Dan had a special calling during this time…as just our Jesus would do in his time of need. The Lord gave Dan a special guy who came to this time with a heavy heart. As Dan came alongside him, listening and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through him, this young man was in the same situation Dan was facing. With tears and brokenness, two men ministered to one another. Dan later told me this man reminded him of Jesus. Would you recognize the Savior? This man needed a shoulder, an ear, and peace as only Jesus can give and yet Dan thought of him as the Savior coming to his need. We shed some tears over this as we continue to walk the journey the Lord has for us both. JESUS…it’s all about HIM!

Photo courtesy of Katherine Mathiasen

Our Jesus Provided

Yes, an amazing event coming into play at the perfect time with the perfect message. Not just for Dan and I, but for the many who attended and for what the Lord will do for us to carry that on to others in despereate need of “cowboy up”, Eyes on Jesus, and REST.

God is faithful and good and we serve an amazing God!

To God be the glory in all we do!

In HIS Grip,

Lee


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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Seems Impossible

Yep, I know. Just the title can seem like ok…weird…but what if it’s true?

Just by one simple thing to try and experiment weather by simply drinking this amazing tea every day for a month will get your body prepared to fight the big spring tick attacks. Can it be true?

I for one am willing to try! Lyme’s disease is more rapid now than AIDS. That one statement alone freaked me out!  I love this article which I hope you will read. There is loads of info on the benefits of this tea.

What is this amazing new tea? Cistus Incanus
Yep… a simple way to start helping your body fight off ticks as well as loads of other health benefits as you read the article.  If you suffer from chronic health issues especially Lyme’s, again this tea can help you find healing.

Cistus Incanus tea
This tea can also be given to my dog. I give him 3 tbsp. a day in his dish and to my horse in their feed. I started out with one cup for each horse. They loved the smell and drank it up. Will it work? Well, time will soon tell as we still have 12′ of snow on the ground, but why not? It helps clean out other toxins in the body so I am beginning it now. And the fact that it can help my animals…well…DAH…I am going for it!

Anything is Worth Trying

If it isn’t a risk to your health and could actually improve your health I also believe it is worth the effort. Some of us may have hidden issues we don’t know or are experiencing some chronic pain. Some of you may even have been diagnosed with Lyme’s. By just drinking 3 cups or more of tea a day could help you with your battle. I think it’s worth the try! No claims here…I am trying it myself. We’ll see and hope it works!

Comment if you tried it…

Please let me know if you tried the tea. I would love to hear your results and remember it could help someone else who is fighting a chronic illness or for us who want to prevent getting Lymes.

So pass the info along! Below is a FREE online event to get more info! ANOTHER worth your time effort!

Best of Chronic Lyme Disease Summit

God’s blessings to you,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Sewing

So simple

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

Where I get tea towels

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

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

How to

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

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

Your done! Isn’t that simple?

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

Happy sewing!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Beautiful Memory

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

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

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

Watching the Love Exchange

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

Allowing the horse to smell the oil before applying.

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

Talking while Crafting

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

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

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

Simple Activity and Memorable

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

Make One and Comment Below

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

Many blessings and keep it natural!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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