Soups On! Why I Like Soup

This is the season of hearty soups and stews. So far I have made a vegetarian chili with lots of beans. I have made vegetarian veggie soup with a lot of cabbage, oh how yummy! And I made some home made chicken soup with lots of veggies.

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I like soups and stews. They are so different from the fair that you have a lot during the summer, spring and early fall (at least where I live). Soup or stew on a chilly or cold day hits the spot and warms the body while bringing you a little comfort as you eat.

Tonight we will be having potato soup with egg noodles in it. My family really likes my potato soup with a lots of saltine crackers.  I like to put cheddar cheese in the bottom of the bowl of my potato soup. If I had a can of baby clams I would make it into my version of New England Clam Chowder.  One of my sons will be coming home from college next weekend so I will save the clam chowder for when he is here.

What are your favorite soups or stews or even chowders?



My Struggle To Be A KOPS!

It’s the last day of Blogtober and this is my 31st blog. I have blogged about many different things. Today I want to talk about something I have been struggling with for a while now.

For sometime I have been having a hard time with maintaining my weight. I belong to a TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) group, and I am a KOPS (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly). As you know from one of my previous blogs, you can see my before and after pictures showing I took off a lot of weight. At TOPS when you get to your goal weight you become a KOPS. As a KOPS  you have a leeway that you have to stay in, it is 7 pounds below your goal weight and 3 pounds above your goal weight. TOPS logo

When I first got to my goal, I had no problem staying a few pounds below my goal weight. But recently I have been struggling to keep myself in the top of my leeway. In fact 2 weeks ago on Thursday I had gained 1.2 pounds which caused me to be 1 pound out of my upper leeway. At TOPS whenever you go out of leeway top or bottom you have 2 weeks to get back to your leeway. As of last Thursday I have 0.4 pounds to get off of my body. I will do this!

Although I have been struggling with this, I am using it as a wake up call to take off the extra pounds I have been allowing to hang around on my body for too long. My plan is to get to my happy weight which is about 3-5 pounds below my goal. Instead of getting discouraged about this, I will rise to this challenge and win. I will be happier. My body will be happier. And my checkbook will be happier because I won’t have to go out to buy larger size clothing. I do so want to go out with my husband in that Lauren Conrad black dress with the white polka dots I bought a while back.

Do you struggle with your weight? Do you have any questions you would like answered? Just contact me in the comments below and I will attempt to answer you or point you to the right resource.

6 Young Living Essential Oils I Use

Way back in 1996 when my youngest son was a baby a friend of mine gave me a whole bottle of Young Living ImmuPower™ essential oil blend. I had been talking to her about how my son seemed to catch every thing that was going around. So this was how my journey over the last 21 years began.

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There are several reasons that I like using Young Living essential oils:

  1. It helped me not to catch what my family was passing around because I was the on who would apply the essential oils to my kids and family’s feet using my hands.
  2. Diffusing Young Living Peppermint essential oil or Clarity™ essential oil blend has helped us stay focused as we are studying.
  3. I love how Young Living PanAway® soothing to my body after a strenuous workout.
  4. The Lemon essential oil, I put 5-6 drops in my 16 oz. glass of water. It makes me feel invigorated.
  5.  Young Living DiGize™ essential oil blend, I love to put a drop of it in my AIM Herbal Fiberblend™. It make the fiber go down my throat much easier.
  6. I enjoy using Lavender in my bath. It helps me relax.

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As you can see I actually have 7 essential oils here. At this time I am using Clove essential oil instead of the ImmuPower because its aroma reminds my kids of being in a sick room. I don’t really identify with that but it is their memories and I want them to always have a good experience with the essential oils.

Put The Handle On The Ax Of Your Mouth

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2 Kings 6:1-7 (NKJV)

The Floating Ax Head

¹ And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us. Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.”

So he answered, “Go.”

Then one said, “Please consent to go with your servants.”

And he answered, “I will go.” So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master! For it was borrowed.”

So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float. Therefore he said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it.

This is the Scripture that Dr. J. Vernon McGee’s Sunday sermon was about today. There were a few things that stood out to me in today’s message, but I want to narrow the focus.

Today I want to focus on the young man and one of the two things he is criticized for by some preachers today:

This first thing is that this young student is criticized for being careless because the head of his ax flew off the ax handle.

This young man wasn’t being careless at all. In fact he was being very careful for he knew the ax head was a little loose. There was a real danger because he knew that the ax head could fly off the handle because the ax was old. So instead of just walking up to a tree and start hewing it down he thought about where his fellow classmates would be. His thoughtfulness caused him to make sure his ax head was aimed toward the water and not his classmates’ heads or bodies.

The fact of the matter, God in the Mosaic Law for accidentally killing someone, especially with an ax, in Deuteronomy 19:1-7 had them provide cities of refuge to those to whom this happened. This was because the grieving relative might think they did it on purpose.

As you can see that this student was very conscientious in making sure that the ax head was pointed toward the water. He actually saved someone’s life that day.  So you see the young student was carefully making sure that no one got hurt with his ax head that really did fly off its handle.

Also, if the young man hadn’t been careful, for the Jordan River is very muddy and you can’t see the bottom of it, he would not have known where the ax head had entered the water when Elisha had asked.

We need to be careful also by keeping the ax heads of our own mouths on the handle of our brains. We need to guard our lips so that we don’t wound those around us by spewing out whatever comes to the surface.

The old adage “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” is a lie. Word can kill! How many young people or older people, who are in a weak time in their lives, have been so hurt by the words whether spoken to them or written on social media have taken their own lives? And what are we who are stronger doing about it? How can you and I be of help to these hurting people that we know? We who are strong can listen and comfort and pray with them.

What is something you know you can do? I would like to know what kind things you do to help those who are hurting around you that you may not even know they are considering suicide? This week maybe we can each reach out to those who are sad in their countenance and give a smile and greet them by name. You may never know that by that small gesture you may have saved a life.




An Early Birthday Celebration!

My son’s birthday is at the beginning of November so he came home from college to:

1. Get some decent food and

2. To be able to celebrate his birthday. He will not be able to get back here on his birthday so we decided to have a birthday celebration weekend this weekend.

The celebration all started last night when he arrived home. He had asked for me to make chili for his dinner for last night. So I made him my mean vegetarian chili which he really enjoys a lot. I also made him a spice cake for his Birthday Celebration. We sang “Happy Birthday” to him and he blew out his candles. I had decorated his cake with a gear and a wrench because he’s going to college to be a mechanical engineer. We all enjoyed eating the cake and some vanilla ice cream.

He also asked me to make him a “big breakfast” for Saturday which is today. So I made him homemade biscuits and white gravy. We had them with homemade turkey sausage (I make my own homemade sausage because most of the turkey sausages has MSG in them and I don’t want to have a migraine especially while my son is home. I will have the recipe for you in the future. I will also give you my recipe for cream gravy in another separate blog.)

Tonight we continue the celebration! We will be giving my son his birthday gifts before we have dinner and then after dinner we will have some cake and ice cream. My son had asked for tacos for dinner tonight but when he woke up this morning and it was below freezing he decided that he would like me to make Cheesy Ravioli with Sausage. My daughter found this recipe on Pinterest and I made my own alterations.

Cheesy Ravioli with Sausage: Makes 4 servings  Sausage Cheesey Ravioli

1 lb. (16 oz.) Italian sausage, casing removed. I make my own sausage out of turkey. I will have the recipe on another blog.

1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes

8 oz. can tomato sauce. I use 1 cup marinara sauce.

1 Tablespoon tomato paste. Use the tomato paste in a tube so you won’t have to throw the rest out because it spoiled.

1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning. I use Mrs Dash Italian Medley

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 1/4 cups water

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped, optional


In a large skillet(I use a large 4 quart pan most of the time), heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until browned, 3-5 minutes, crumbling sausage as it cooks. I skip this because I make my own sausage that is already cooked. But I do heat it up a little.

Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in ravioli and water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until ravioli is tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Place under your broiler and cook until  melted and golden brown, 2-4 minutes. I you don’t have an oven proof pan it is okay to just put the cheese on the top and then put the lid on it and allow to melt for 2-4 minutes (you won’t have the golden brown cheese but it is tasty all the same).

Serve immediately and garnish with fresh basil, if desired.

We will all enjoy the rest of the celebration tonight. This meal is easy and fast. I hope my readers will enjoy this recipe as well. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

Quick and Easy Garden Drink

My husband and I like to have some sort of power drink several times a week. It helps us both with healthy cell. My husband says it helps with his circulation all over his body. It helps me to have more energy and be able to get more done around my home.

I got this recipe from Dr. Mary Ruth Swope in which I have modified the recipe a little. So I hope you will enjoy this recipe that will help you to be healthful and energetic.

A Garden Trio Power Drink

1 cup of R.W. Knudsen Organic Tomato or vegetable Juice regular or spicy (today I used regular tomato juice. Don’t use V-8 because they use a packet of “Natural flavoring” which contains MSG that causes me to have migraines.)

1 cups pure filtered water (I have a water ionizer to filter mine.)

1 – 2 Tablespoons of Aim’s BarleyLife® powder

1 to 2 Tablespoon AIM’s Just Carrots® powder

1 to 2 teaspoon AIM’s RediBeets® powder

2 capsules AIM’s Bear Paw Garlic®(empty into juice)(I use 4 capsules for my husband and me.) or 1 to 2 cloves of fresh garlic

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper

Juice of half a lemon (I also add 4 to 6 drops of Young Livings Lemon Essential oil)Related image

1 cup ice

1 Tablespoon flax seed oil (optional) (I did not have any to add today)

1 Tablespoon chopped onion (optional) (I used some from the leftovers from last nights meal)

2 or 3 sprigs of Parsley (optional) (I love adding this but today I didn’t have any)

I like to add when it is my husband and me 4 capsules of AIM’s FrameEssentials®. It helps us have more flexible joints.

I also add 1 to 2 teaspoons of AIM’s LeafGreens™ to round off all the good nutrition in this drink.

Blend thoroughly until mixed in blender or Vita Mix. (Boy I wish I had a Vita Mix!)

I use the larger amount of the juice powders when I make this for both my husband and I. Sometimes when I just want to give my guts a rest I will use the whole recipe as a meal replacement when I feel like I want to eat everything but the kitchen sink.




10 Things I Like To Do with My Family In Autumn

As you know autumn begins around September 21st or 22nd and goes to around December 21st 22nd. So there are lots of things to do in between that span of time.

10 things I like to do in the fall of the year:

  1. September is a gorgeous time of the year to take your family and pick apples. When my children were younger we used to go pick apples as a field trip. Some times it was with our homeschool group. Sometimes it was with just our family. The kids loved and got to eat the apples that they picked.Related image
  2. I like to make a couple of apple pies which we would eat in two days (there were 7 of us). I like my pie crust plain pie dough a without sugar on top.Related image
  3. October is the time for pumpkins. Pumpkin picking is always a crowd pleaser. We would drive out to the country where there were pumpkins to pick. Each of our kids got to pick a pumpkin out for themselves.Related image
  4. My kids loved to carve fun faces on their pumpkins. We would set them out for all the world to see. And as you know from my previous blog post this year my husband, daughter, and me carved pumpkins at Powell Gardens.Related image  Related image
  5. I adore roasting the pumpkin seeds after the kids carved their pumpkins. I would take some grapeseed oil and some sea salt and roast them for about 20 to 30 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. As my kids got older I would flavor it with garlic powder and cayenne pepper. They enjoyed them both ways.Related image
  6. Then there is pumpkin pie which is my youngest sons favorite pie. Sometimes when I felt like it, when the kids picked their pumpkins I also would choose a pumpkin so I could make a couple of pumpkin pies. I would whip up a fresh batch of whipped cream to go on the top when we ate it. One year my youngest son, whose birthday is in November, asked for pumpkin pie for his birthday instead of the traditional cake.Related image
  7. We enjoy going on a color drive to see the tree’s leaves changing from green to red to orange to yellow to brown. The best years to do this is when there has been enough rain all year. When the trees get enough rain their leaves don’t dry up so fast in the fall. Related image
  8. Another thing we like to do is hayrides. This year we’ve done two of them, one at Louisburg Cider Mill and one at Powell Gardens.Related image
  9. Corn mazes are a fun thing we’ve done as a family. We did these as our kids got a little older. Every one I have done was fun. We did one on the day we went to Louisburg Cider Mill this year.Related image
  10. Because I live in the United States I really enjoy Thanksgiving Day. I takes me about four days to get everything ready for Thanksgiving Day. I love having my family around me and eating a meal together. I love to tell my family one thing I am thankful for about them. And I love to tell them one thing I am grateful to God for that year. Thanksgiving also begins the Christmas season but that is another blog altogether. Related image What are things you like to do in the autumn? I would love to hear what you love to do at this time of the year.

A Story: A Father with A Houseful of Sons

There was a father who had a houseful of sons who fought all the time. He failed in his entreaty to stop them. So he came up with an idea to demonstrate what their disunity could get them by having them fetch him a long bundle of sticks. They obeyed the voice of their father and brought him back a fascine. The father in turn placed the fascine into each of his son’s hands asking them to break it. Each boy attempted to break it with all their strength but were unable to do so. While the sons were wondering if their father had gone bonkers, he opened the fascine. Placing a single stick into each of his son’s  hands he said, “Now break the stick in your hand.” Each of his sons easily broke the stick into pieces and each had a puzzled look on his face. With concern on the fathers face he said to them, “Sons if you are of one mind you will be united like the fascine and your enemies will not triumph over you. But if you keep quarreling and dividing yourselves your enemies will easily break you into pieces. You each have the choice of being united or divided. I hope you will choose to be united.” Related image       Image result for pictures of brothers as friends                    Related image

This is my take on this Aesop’s Fables  Based in the translation of George Fyler Townsend. You can find the book at Amazon to purchase for your reading pleasure.

I used to read the fables to my children when they were young. Let me know what you think. Is there any fables the you like yourself or maybe that your children liked?

How To Bless Your Children

Have you ever heard of blessing your children? Do you ever bless your children? Do you know the importance of blessing your children everyday?

If you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, I know that you pray for your children often. I hope you pray for them everyday because they need that protection in the world we live in. Praying for my children has always been important to me. I have always at least lifted a little prayer up to the Lord for them everyday. Blessing them though is saying Scripture over them while they are present so they can hear it and God hears it also.

In 2004 is when I found a book about blessing your children on a daily basis I was intrigued. A friend had mentioned it but I really didn’t understand what she was talking about till I found this book. That book written by Dr. Mary Ruth Swope called Bless Your Children Every Day started me on the journey of blessing my children. At first I did it faithfully but it fell to occasionally to about once a week or so. Over time I have realized the importance of a blessing over my children at least once a week.

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This is what mine looks like only mine looks very used

A friend of our family and my son’s guitar teacher who is a Messianic Jew, told me that in the Jewish culture the father of the house would say a blessing over each of their offspring each week. This inspired me to start to bless my children again. And I happen to give him one of the blessing books but the name of it was changed. It is now called The Power of Blessing Your Children. So if you want you can pick one up a Christian Book Distributors for $3.99.

In the book there are 49 blessings plus some space for you to write a few of your own blessings for your children. The Power of Blessing Your Children  -     By: Mary Ruth Swope

Dr. Mary Ruth Swope tells how she got started by blessing her grandson over the phone. I won’t tell you that story you can read it for yourself. Here I have an picture of the Table of Contents:

The Power of Blessing Your ChildrenThe Power of Blessing Your ChildrenThe Power of Blessing Your Children

The process you go through is that you take one of the blessings and sit down with you child and read it over them. You can put your hands on your child. They can be ready for bed as you speak (read) the blessing over them. You can have them sit next to you as you speak the blessing over them. Or like my oldest son likes to do even now is by them kneeling down as you bless them with your hand on them (I never made my son do this. It was all his idea in honor to the Lord).

Because I have given credit to Dr Mary Ruth Swope and have given the title of her book (The Power of Blessing Your Children) and I have her verbal permission to show you one of the blessings from her book. I give that to you that below. Each of the blessings starts with a title of the blessing. And each blessing starts out the same way for each blessing. Then you come to the body of the blessing. The blessings ends with where the scriptures are located in the Bible.


In the Name of Jesus Christ:

You will know deliverance from evil and from those who rise up against you. The eternal God is your refuge and underneath you are the everlasting arms of your Heavenly Father. He will drive out your enemy before you. God Almighty is your shield and your glorious sword.

   Your enemies will cower before you, and you will trample down the objects of their idolatry. Blessed be God Most High who delivers your enemies into your hand.

Deuteronomy 33:27,29; Psalm 44:4-5

The Power of Blessing Your Children has also bee published in other languages. I know it is in Spanish, French, and German but I don’t know what the other languages are.

This is one excerpt for you to see just how to bless your children. When I bless one of my children alone I will add their name where it has the word you.

Would you let me know how you like the book? I would love to know how God uses this book in your life as you bless you children on a daily basis.






Water! Water! Water! Why Water?

Today I will be presenting you with parts of a speech I made at Toastmasters back in 2014. It is about the benefits of drinking plenty of pure water and the consequences of not drinking enough water.

I have to add a NECESSARY ANNOUNCEMENT here: The information in this article is for informational and educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe.

I personally use an Athena water ionizer for my drinking and cooking needs. It takes out the toxins in the tap water. I love it. If you want to buy one here is the information of a dealers name, phone number and email address:  Ruben Alzamora,  775.324.2400, Direct Enter Ext: 2013, . Tell him that Renee at RelishEscents sent you. Sorry he doesn’t have a website.

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Water! Water! Water! Why Water?

Imagine being taken as a political prisoner in Iran. You’re doubled over with pain in your stomach and don’t dare call attention to it because the captors are randomly killing prisoners. But you happen to share the same cell with a doctor. He examines you and tells you to drink 2 glasses of water because it’s the only thing he has to recommend, he has no medicine. You do as he says and within 8 minutes your pain is gone and stays gone.

This really happened in Iran in the late 70’s to Dr. Batmanghelidj and his fellow prisoner. The Doctor not only helped this man but also he helped over 3000 others suffering from peptic ulcers with the same prescription for them all, WATER! 2 glasses every three hours every day. This caused him to think about the role of water in our health.

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Dr. Batmanghelidj

H₂O Water is necessary for all the functions of the body from reproduction to thinking straight. Our bodies are made up of about 75% water and our brains about 85% water. Each cell floats in a solution of water and salts. Water helps maintain the balance of fluids and electrolytes or salts inside and outside the cells.

Water aids in digestion, circulation, and excretion to name a few body functions. Water transports nutrients into the cells and waste products out of the cells.

Water is continually lost through breathing, sweating, and elimination.

We need a minimum of 8-8oz glasses of water to maintain status quo in the body.

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Drink at least 8-8 ounce glasses of water a day. 

Water lubricates and energizes the cells in the body.

We need to replace the lost water or we become dehydrated. As we grow older we become more dehydrated because we lose our thirst perception. The body may be thirsty but we don’t perceive it as a sensation.

A dry mouth is not a sign of dehydration.

What are the signs you are not getting enough water and are becoming dehydrated? And how does the body show that it is thirsty?

According to Dr. Batmanghelidj there are 3 different stages or signs of knowing that your body is dehydrated: 1. Perception signs; 2. Emergency Thirst signals; 3. Complication stage.

Stages and signs of Dehydration:

Perception Signs:

  • Feeling Tired,
  • Feeling Flushed,
  • Feeling Irritable,
  • Feeling Anxious,
  • Feeling Dejected,
  • Feeling Depressed,
  • Feeling Inadequate,
  • Feeling Heavy Headed,
  • Cravings, especially salt
  • Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces)

Emergency Thirst signals:

  • Morning Sickness in Pregnancy,
  • Heart Burn,
  • Headaches,
  • Angina,
  • Rheumatoid Joint Pain,
  • Back pain,
  • Intermittent Leg Pain on walking,
  • Colitis Pain,
  • Constipated and Spasms in Colon,
  • Fibromyalgia Pains,

Silent Emergency Dehydration Calls: Asthma, Allergies, High Blood Pressure.

Complications of Dehydration:

  • Raised Cholesterol,
  • Heart Failure,
  • Cancers,
  • Multiple Sclerosis,
  • Osteoarthritis,
  • Osteoporosis,
  • Alzheimer Disease,
  • Strokes,
  • Insulin-dependent Diabetes

Benefits of a more Hydrated Body

  • Increased energy and less fatigue
  • Improved mood
  • Headache remedy
  • Helps in digestion and constipation relief
  • Aids weight loss
  • Helps flush out toxins and helps kidney function
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Promotes Healthy skin and improves complexion
  • Boosts immune system
  • Prevents cramps and sprains
  • Fuel for muscles Keeps things flowing
  • Boosts brain power

I hope this is very informative and helpful. This is also an important part of Cell Food from one my previous blogs.