Chicken Soup and Afternoon Tea – The Remedy for a Cold

Chicken Soup and Afternoon Tea – The Remedy for a Cold

What to do if it’s the day before a holiday, and you’re sick with a cold? The situation calls for a bit of pampering…  

We started by pulling out some homemade chicken stock from the freezer. (Yes – there’s enough room in a fifth wheel trailer freezer for a few things!)  Then we added an entire bulb (8+ cloves) of garlic, 2 onions, some carrots and celery to the thawed chicken stock, and let it simmer in the 6-quart crock-pot for a few hours. Add some noodles, and that was lunch. It felt good on the throat.

Now what?

tetley teaAfternoon Tea!

We like to drink coffee in the morning, but the afternoon is reserved for tea! On a normal day, Tetley Orange Pekoe is our first choice. And if there are any ginger snaps to dunk, then it’s even better! But we weren’t feeling so well…

What to drink when you’re sick?

Today was different. Sniffles. Sore throat. We needed something to enhance our health! What’s good to drink when you have a cold?

Hot lemon and honey, right?

I got the honey and lemons out, and heated some water. But just those two ingredients seemed a little boring.  (Many of you would consider adding a dash or more of whisky, wouldn’t you… Sorry. We’re keepin’ it family friendly here.)

I looked in the cupboard, and the ‘fridge to see what else was available. Eventually I decided on adding a few more ingredients, known for their healing properties. Here’s what I ended up doing.

Lemon Ginger Crock-pot Tea dressed up with a hint of Cinnamon & Mint

tea when you have a cold sq border

In a small crock-pot add:

  • 30 oz of hot water (using hot water speeds up the process)
  •  2 lemons
    • start with just the lemon peel, and try to avoid the white pith – I used my potato peeler.
    • remove the white pith from the de-nuded lemons – cut it off or peel it
    • cut up the rest of the lemon into chunks & add to the water
  • an inch of fresh ginger, sliced thin
  • a cinnamon stick (or more)

Let the mixture heat – but not boil, in the slow cooker/crockpot. My small slow-cooker does well on high – yours might need to be on low so it won’t boil. (I find every slow-cooker/crock-pot is different.)
Let it heat for about an hour!  

You can drink it just like that, but adding some honey to sweeten it is even better.

Or dress up the Lemon Ginger Crockpot Tea!

In your cup, first put in:

afternoon tea long white edgePour the hot Lemon-Ginger tea into your cup, over the teabag. Steep the tea bag for a short bit (just a minute or so) for a zing of minty-ness!  Use the cinnamon stick to stir the honey to your desired sweetness.


We left the crock-pot heating all afternoon, and enjoyed at least six small cups of the lemon-ginger tea. You’ll need to strain the last bit of liquid – to separate it from the lemon/ginger.

It ended up tasting so good, I’m going to make this again, even if we aren’t sick! 

What do you drink in the afternoon?

Even if you’re not sick… :-) 

Afternoon Tea Lemon Ginger in the Crock-PotThis post contains affiliate links.

Hands to Help in Thanksgiving

Hands to Help in Thanksgiving

Our hands are amazing. We use them in so many different ways.

They are a gift from God – but sometimes.. perhaps… we take them for granted…

Let’s give thanks for being able to use our hands.

To hold our spouse by the hand… from beginning to end.

hands older couple

To touch the hands of our babies.

The joy of a baby’s hand as she sleeps on her Abuela’s shoulder.

baby V's hand

To use our hands in tandem with a friend.

We gathered on Saturday – men, women & children –

to decorate & clean our church for Thanksgiving.tying raffia - helping together

yard work

It was a beautiful experience – just a little church family in Garner North Carolina.

To worship using the fruits of the field & give thanks.

A trip to the farmer’s market to gather fresh produce.

And then using our hands to shine those apples,

remove the outer layers of the onions,

L and A peeling onions

and brush the dirt from the potatoes,

before placing all the bounty of the earth on the altar.

altar 2 organ and ladies view from the pew and ladies

To look forward – giving thanks for developing hands.

Our son, daughter-in-love, and expected grand-boy.  We are all giving thanks.

Thanksgiving altar with Alex and expecting Alisane through Sarah's lens and arm

Two sets of mother’s hands – expecting to see their babies’ hands soon…

4 sets of hands

To share the joys of our hands with our children.

And pass on the delight of work and worship to our children.

boys at altar

And be still for a moment – to give thanks.

altar and K

What are you doing with your family — or church family — to give thanks?

How will you be using your hands to give thanks?

 j hands

j and s handsbookcase

hands to help in thanksgiving pin

Your Spouse Needs You

Your Spouse Needs You

Yes. Your spouse needs you.

Not only to do the dishes, or make the bed, or pay the bills, or fix lunch, or parent the kids, or phone the vet, or pick up groceries, or clean the toilets, or fill the gas tank, or… (fill in the blank for all the daily chores).

Sure. All that stuff is good and necessary.

But there’s more…

Therefore encourage one another

and build each other up,

just as in fact you are doing.

1Thessalonians 5:11

How are you building up your spouse?

To Build Up

5 Ways your spouse needs you to Encourage:

Your spouse needs you to inspire him or her about the future. How?

  • helping her or him see your future together as bright and filled with hope
  • working on a plan for your future – together

Your spouse needs you to strengthen her/him using your faith in God. How?

  • by responding in a God-honoring way to life’s challenges
  • by being personally active in studying Scripture

Your spouse needs you to love him/her without prerequisites. How?

  • by demonstrating a love which resembles Christ’s love
  • by nurturing a love for each other and using your spouse’s love language*

Your spouse needs you to pray for her/him. How?

  • by lifting your spouse up to God in prayer* without judgement or the desire to “fix”
  • by being proactive in giving thanks to God for your spouse – in all ways.

Your spouse needs you to take action to help him/her. How?

  • by supporting him or her in practical ways, without expecting a return investment
  • by giving your strength, your time, your understanding and expertise—with grace

Your spouse needs you to believe in him/her.

Build him up, in his desires.

Build her up, in her view of herself.

Build him up, in his children’s hearts.

Build her up, in her role as your wife.

Build him up, in his leadership of your family.

your spouse needs you - let us encourage one another - 5 ways to encourage

* Resources we recommend  (affiliate links)

The Power of a Praying Husband

The Power of a Praying Wife

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

Tiny Prints Holiday Card Collection

Thankful to link with

A Proverbs 31 Wife     7days Time


5 Autumn Dates to Stay Connected

5 Autumn Dates to Stay Connected

It’s autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The leaves are turning bright yellow, red and orange, then falling to the ground. We see pumpkins in the fields, and on door steps in suburban neighborhoods. The season to buy! buy! buy! is creeping up on the calendar.

Do you have any plans for the holidays? And if so what about time for you and your spouse?

How will you keep your marriage strong?

As fun as the next few months will be, there will also be stresses. I don’t need to make a list, do I? I’m sure you can fill in the blanks with all the mishaps and misunderstanding from other years.

What’s your strategy to stay connected and aligned with your spouse during the next two months? It’s not enough to “wing it” in these busy days ahead – you need to have a plan.

And every plan works well if there’s a bit of fun incorporated!

Quick! Can you mark in some dates with your spouse in November and December? Yes. Really quick – before all the holiday invitations start to show up.

Demonstrate to your spouse how much you value her/him by making it a priority to spend time together.

How can you spend time together – really inexpensively – to stay aligned and in tune with each other? Keep the dates cheap, but fun. Simple, but fun. Private, but active. And allow you two – husband and wife – to slow down and talk about what’s going on in your lives; to catch your breath and stay connected.

Make memories together – as a connected couple!

5 Autumn Ideas to Stay a Connected Couple

Here’s the criteria:  fun, cheap, private and active.

1. Sparklers in the dark.

adding a spark of fun 5 Autumn Dates to Stay Connected with your SpouseBuy a package of sparklers, and go outside after the kids are in bed and it’s dark. Light those sparklers, and play! Run around the yard, write your names in the air, and kiss under them. (Use good judgement and watch out for your hair/clothes – those sparks can ignite!)

Set up your camera with a timer – create fun photos to share with family & friends. Capture your memories of the evening!

2.  Plant some bulbs.

Plant some Hope - 5 Autumn Dates to Stay Connected to your spouseThe leaves might be falling off the trees, but it’s also time to plant some hope for spring:  daffodils, crocus and tulips!  Buy a few bulbs, and dig in the dirt one morning or afternoon to plant them. Talk together about next spring, and your hopes for that time. Digging in the dirt is therapeutic!  If you don’t have your own yard, talk with your church, or a local daycare to see if they’d mind you planting a few bulbs.

You can enjoy the moment and still look to the future when you’re planting some bulbs!

3. Do an outdoor movie.

Do you remember outdoor drive-ins?  (Robert and I visited an outdoor theater in Canada on our travels.) You might be able to find a drive-in theater in your area – here’s a link to find one in the USA –  but even if you can’t find one, it might be fun to try in your own backyard, or driveway!

Just take your laptop, and a DVD out to your vehicle, bring some drinks and some snacks, add blankets, and snuggle together!  Or you can have a fully outdoor experience by pushing two loungers together and zipping up two sleeping bags to snuggle in as you watch your movie.

Remember those teenage years? Oh, the fun you can have under the blankets, while watching a movie! (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

4. Hot chocolate (oatmeal) and a sunrise.

Yes… Yes.  I know you love your coffee in the morning. So do we! But if you’re going to get up to watch the sun rise, maybe your spouse needs a little more incentive. Try a version of hot chocolate oatmeal in your slow-cooker! I’ve put some recipes on a Pinterest board for you try!  Start it cooking before you go to bed, and it’ll be done by morning. Some of the recipes are with stevia & coconut milk, others incorporate yummy extras like cherries, or pecans & toasted coconut.  (Click here to go to the recipes.)

Take your hot chocolate oatmeal outside, and watch the sun rise – start the day together.

Follow Robert & Lori @’s board Oatmeal Overnight in the Slow Cooker / Crockpot on Pinterest.

5. Bake some cookies.

Why do we only think to bake stuff with our kids? Put your kids to bed, then, why not make it a date! Just you and your spouse – to bake and decorate cookies together. (And you might playfully add some decorations to each other… you’re alone, remember?)

It doesn’t matter if the two of you aren’t “bakers”! Get some prepared dough, and just do the decorating. It’s about having fun together.  If cookies aren’t your style, then try chocolate bark. Here’s a recipe post about making chocolate bark to get you started – it’s really easy.

And if you don’t want to eat all the cookies, then deliver a package to a senior or single dad/mom who might appreciate a little gift. 

Put a few of these date ideas on your calendar.

Take action. Make a date – for your autumn dates! 

Any other ideas?  Leave a comment and share!  I’d especially love it if you could add to the slow-cooker oatmeal recipes. If you have a recipe you make with/for your spouse let’s chat!

5 Autumn Date Ideas to Stay Connected - Sparklers after Dark - Planting Hope - Chocolate Oatmeal and more!

Thankful to link with:

Proverbs 31 Wife   – A Little R&R Wednesday – Hearts for Home

Encouragement in Action – The Tutu Project

Encouragement in Action – The Tutu Project

Sometimes life *sucks.

How can you encourage your spouse through those horrific, and life-altering experiences – when you just want to join in crying?

Here’s an example of a man who did encourage his spouse – regardless.

He provided Encouragement in Action!

Bob’s wife, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Linda says, “My focus is on real life – and moving forward in life.

And he helps me do that.”

What’s Bob doing?

Since 2003, when Linda was first diagnosed with breast cancer,

he’s been taking photos of himself… in a pink tutu.

Photos that’ll make his wife laugh.

And his mission grew from taking a few photos just for his wife, to her sharing those photos with other women as they received their treatment.

Then it grew to become even more:

  • a calendar
  • and book, “Ballerina”
  • cards
  • prints
  • a pink tutu just for you
  • and more!

Now Bob’s encouragement for his wife, is encouraging so many, many more lives.

To raise awareness and money for breast cancer, you can donate and download photos for your social media accounts… Like this one:

Tutu Project DonateDownload-Twitter-Plane-TheTutuProject-5-3

 Check out the Tutu Project

Here’s the link:

Want to Dare2Tutu with Ballerina Bob? 


It’s the hashtag, and with the image of Ballerina Bob to include in your photos… 

dare 2 tutu


Now, the next time you believe life just is too heavy – too heartbreaking – too messed up…  think of Bob. In his pink tutu. And his mission to make his wife laugh.

It’s encouragement in action.

You can do it too!

Have courage.


Encourage your spouse.


Hope Faith Love Prayer Action

(*My Dad used to say that a lady would never use this word. I’m sorry, Dad. In the face of cancer, this is the only word which I could use.)