Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming

U-Pick Event at Sanctuary Ridge Farm!

Welcome to Sanctuary Ridge Farm! We offer seasonal U-Pick events at our beautiful farm overlooking the Cumberland Mountains in East Tennessee. Come pick flowers to your hearts content! A variety of Zinnias are blooming in the field by our hand-crafted greenhouse where you can pose for some wonderful family photos. Feel free to bring a photographer along at no additional charge. Private sessions are available during our off hours, just contact me via email for more details. Purchase a container that you get to keep, and fill it full for $10. Bring your container back anytime and do refills for $9 all season long. Event dates and links for pre payment are posted below. We do accept cash, Venmo, and cards onsite. Local honey, jams, and homemade breads are available at our shop!

U-Pick Zinnia EventCome pick a beautiful bouquet of flowers on our farm! We provide a cup and the equipment to cut your flowers. Bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful view. Bring your own photographer for some lovely family photos. Cost is $5 per vehicle & $10 per bouquet. Purchase parking via the link or in person. We accept cash, Venmo, and cards.
Please remember this is an outdoor event where insects and wildlife might be encountered! 
1pm-7pm1917 Armstrong Ferry Rd Decatur, TN 37322
U-Pick Zinnia EventCome pick a beautiful bouquet of flowers on our farm! We provide a cup and the equipment to cut your flowers. Bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful view. Bring your own photographer for some lovely family photos. Cost is $5 per vehicle & $10 per bouquet. Purchase parking via the link or in person. We accept cash, Venmo, and cards.
Please remember this is an outdoor event where insects and wildlife might be encountered! 
1pm-7pm1917 Armstrong Ferry Rd Decatur, TN 37322
U-Pick Zinnia EventCome pick a beautiful bouquet of flowers on our farm! We provide a cup and the equipment to cut your flowers. Bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful view. Bring your own photographer for some lovely family photos. Cost is $5 per vehicle & $10 per bouquet. Purchase parking via the link or in person. We accept cash, Venmo, and cards.
Please remember this is an outdoor event where insects and wildlife might be encountered! 
1pm-7pm1917 Armstrong Ferry Rd Decatur, TN 37322
U-Pick Zinnia EventCome pick a beautiful bouquet of flowers on our farm! We provide a cup and the equipment to cut your flowers. Bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful view. Bring your own photographer for some lovely family photos. Cost is $5 per vehicle & $10 per bouquet. Purchase parking via the link or in person. We accept cash, Venmo, and cards.
Please remember this is an outdoor event where insects and wildlife might be encountered! 
9am-7pm1917 Armstrong Ferry Rd Decatur, TN 37322
U-Pick Zinnia EventCome pick a beautiful bouquet of flowers on our farm! We provide a cup and the equipment to cut your flowers. Bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful view. Bring your own photographer for some lovely family photos. Cost is $5 per vehicle & $10 per bouquet. Purchase parking via the link or in person. We accept cash, Venmo, and cards.
Please remember this is an outdoor event where insects and wildlife might be encountered! 
9am-7pm1917 Armstrong Ferry Rd Decatur, TN 37322
Zinnia Fields at Sanctuary Ridge Farm on July 31, 2023.
Brunch · Sanctuary Ridge Family Recipes

Banana Bread French Toast!


I usually make breakfast for dinner once a week. I rarely make a big breakfast FOR breakfast, but I love to host a big Brunch a couple of times a year. Many years ago, I saved a recipe from a coupon magazine for this delicious Banana Bread French Toast. The first time I made it I knew it would be a staple in my recipe collection. With layers of delicious flavor, this one is a winner in my book!

Back in November, I hosted the first Brunch in almost two years and decided this would be the centerpiece of the menu. One really great thing about this recipe is that you SHOULD make the bread a couple of days ahead of time. This actually makes it taste better. The Banana Bread recipe is not one that is good by itself. It is perfect for the right texture and flavors for the French toast though!

The Caramel Rum Sauce and candied pecans can also be prepared days in advance.


This year, I decided to prepare individual Ramekin dishes for my guests. I found mine at Marshalls but here is a link to something similar on Amazon. (

I find myself using these all the time now for side salads, soups and other side dishes. They are the perfect size!

I buttered these little baking dishes and then layered the custard dipped slices of Banana Bread in the Ramekin until they were almost full, leaving enough room for some sliced bananas and candied pecans to garnish each dish. I filled a baking sheet with the prepared ramekins and baked just before my guests were to arrive.

The Recipe

Banana Bread French Toast

Perfect for brunch or a special breakfast!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time for Banana Bread 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people


  • 3 medium bread pans, greased and floured
  • 1 Large Mixing Bowl or Kitchen Aid Mixer
  • 2 mixing spoon
  • measuring cups and measuring spoons


Banana Bread

  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1 TBSP Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 3 Bananas, ripe, mashed
  • 1 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1 Cup Self Rising Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder


  • 1/2 Quart Heavy Cream
  • 4 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Caramel Rum Sauce

  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 TBSP Butter, sliced into thin slices
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 TBSP Rum


Banana Bread

  • Preheat Oven To 350 Degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream, sugar, vegetable oil and mashed bananas until smooth and creamy. Slowly add 1 Cup Plain Flour and mix well. Finish mixing in 1 Cup Self Rising Flour and 3/4 tsp Baking Powder.
  • Pour mixture into lightly greased loaf pans and bake for approximately 1 hour. Allow to completely cool before removing from pan.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours minimum before slicing for French Toast.


  • Combine all ingredients until mixed well. Refrigerate until ready to make French Toast.

Caramel Rum Sauce

  • In a heavy bottom sauce pan, heat sugar on medium high heat until sugar begins to melt. Continuously stir the sugar until it is melted and turns to a dark amber color. Slowly add the slices of butter, whisking until butter is melted. Very Slowly pour in the heavy cream, whisking until smooth. Be Careful to not add the cream too fast! It will steam burn your hands and cause the sugar to ball up. Whisk constantly and add the rum. Allow to cool before serving. Refrigerate to store.

Preparing French Toast

  • Slice the bread into 3/4 inch thick slices. Soak each side in the French Toast Custard. Cook each side of soaked Banana Bread on 375 degree buttered griddle until each side is browned. Top with Rum Caramel sauce, fresh sliced bananas, and chopped pecans.
  • *OPTIONAL BAKING METHOD: Slice the bread into 3/4 inch thick slices. Cut the slices in half. Dip each half slice and place in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with Rum Caramel sauce, fresh sliced bananas, and chopped pecans.
Keyword Banana Bread, Caramel Rum Sauce, French Toast, sanctuary ridge family recipe,, Toasted cinnamon Pecans

Family and Friends

I love hosting these special times with family and friends! What are some of your favorite brunch recipes? I’d love to hear from you, just leave a comment below!

Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming

“Crew” and The Farm

Almost 7 weeks old!

Farm Dogs

Every farm needs a farm dog! I’ve researched many livestock guardian breeds from Anatolian Shepherds to Australian Shepherds and everything in between. Since we have confirmed coyotes on our property, I felt it was time to add our own farm dog. I really liked what I read about the Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd mix for several reasons.

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs

These family friendly livestock guardians will protect everything on the farm with proper training! Even the family cat will find a friend in this fierce protector. This breed can reach 29” tall and weigh up to 150 pounds.

Check out this link for more information:

Great Pyrenees Dogs

The Great Pyrenees dog is a familiar breed in our area- almost every farm around has a Great Pyrenees. One draw back to this breed is that they wander. This dog will literally learn to walk the borders of the property every morning and evening. Their “home” range can be up to 2 miles, so if your property is less than two miles, the dog is likely to roam into your neighbors property.

This breed is also a fierce protector of their livestock and farm family! One major difference between this breed and the Anatolian Shepherd is that Great Pyrenees are very affectionate dogs.

Read more about the Great Pyrenees breed here:

Mixed Breed Dogs

I am a fan of mixed-breed dogs. One benefit is that usually you get the best of both breeds. When researching these two dog breeds, I found multiple farmers commenting that when these two particular livestock guardian dogs are bred, the result is less roaming and a friendlier pup.

For this reason, I decided to add a Great Pyrenees/ Anatolian Shepherd mix dog to our farm.

Meet “Crew”

We picked Crew up about two hours from our farm. He was already living with Goats, Cows, and chickens so I’m hoping he will do really well with all of our animals. So far, he is a normal, playful pup but he also seems to understand when the chickens, cats or goats have had enough of his playing one antics.

As the main caretaker of all our animals, I have to make sure Crew is being trained by me as well. With such a large breed dog, it is vitally important that he learn commands to sit, stay, come, ect. So that if he gets out of hand I can regain control. This is a whole new learning experience for me since we have two dogs inside that I have spoiled rotten. Leaving the pup outside in the barn at night made me feel guilty at first, but it is necessary for him to bond with his herd so he is compelled to protect them.

Although these pups are irresistibly fluffy and affectionate, they absolutely NEED to be outside. They were bred for a reason, for a purpose and they need a job or they will absolutely be a menace. This is why you rarely see them as only a pet.

“Crew” has been part of our farm family for almost four weeks now and he’s already grown so much! He is going to be a BIG boy! He has bonded with all of us, including our other dogs and all the animals on the farm. Even the cats like Crew and tolerate his playful pawing at them.

Crew loves attention more than anything. He grunts happily and leans against you for extra attention. When I’m out working, he follows me everywhere and interacts with the other animals as I go about the daily chores of feeding, ect. We are excited to see how he progresses in his training since he already knows the commands for sit, stay and come.


A Huge Commitment

As you can see, I spent a lot of time researching and planning this new addition to our farm. I even picked the “perfect time”, when I would be home over Christmas break, so that I could devote as much time as possible to training this sweet puppy. That’s why it was so hard for me to admit that this was a Huge mistake. Ultimately, I am responsible for all of the animals here. Everyone is willing to help some when needed, but the bulk of the responsibility for these animals is on me.

The reality of how much I fell in love with this sweet puppy is not to be lost in the reality of knowing this was a mistake. Crew was so attached to me, he followed me everywhere. But he was also a puppy in all the normal puppy mischief. That’s really not something I can deal with right now. I have so many commitments, I quickly realized that there was no way I could properly train Crew. This is a two year commitment with a livestock guardian dog, and I realized that I had to do something soon. In fact, admitting it and doing something about it was a very hard thing for me to do, but it ultimately led to Crew being adopted by a family who is familiar with farm dogs and their requirements. Thankfully, I had so many people interested in adopting him that I could carefully choose a family who had a large cattle farm, chickens and even small children to keep Crew busy. I cried when he left and I still miss him when I go out to do chores and he isn’t there. Crew’s new family have been so kind, sending me updates and even some video of Crew playing with their one year old daughter.

This sweet boy will always have a place in my heart…

Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming

Tragedy on the Farm

Meet Rusty!

Rusty is the boy I didn’t want. When I picked up my first bottle baby “Gracie”, the farmer really wanted me to take this little boy too. He said “If you are bottle feeding one, you might as well feed two” and then he offered to sell this goat for $50. I’m not trying to make bank on goat farming. I really want them to eat all the undergrowth on a 15 acre area we have fenced and the truth is they are just too cute to resist. But I also know that in order to pay for their winter hay and a little grain for the girls, I will need to sell some of the offspring each year. I can only have one intact male goat/Buck for my herd and I already have one wether (a sterile male goat) in my herd. I didn’t want to add another goat that will require feed, minerals and other costly maintenance. But I couldn’t resist the $50 deal on this boy so I took him.

Rusty ended up being a really sweet boy. I was told that both he and Gracie had been on the bottle already. He was supposed to be 2 weeks old and she was supposed to be 4 weeks old. This meant that I would need to bottle feed them for around 4 weeks total, twice a day. I had all my supplies ready and even found a local farmer to buy goat milk from each week. It took some effort, but I was able to get Rusty to finally take the bottle. Gracie never took to it, but I did get her to drink some from a bowl each day. Both babies were eating hay and some grain each day too. Within a few days, they both got sick with Cocidia. It’s common for baby goats to get this, especially if they are stressed out by being removed from their mom so young. I treated them both with medicine and they were both doing really good for around 4 weeks. That’s when I spoke to the farmer who sold them to me. I was confirming with him about some vaccines when he told me he was wrong about their birthdates. They were actually 1 and 2 weeks old when I picked them up.

I knew this was a critical error or omission on his part. This omission made a huge difference in Gracie’s growth. I’ll share more about that when I introduce her next week.

Tragedy Strikes

I bonded with Rusty. He was so cute, snuggly and lovable. Just a few days after we finished building the Goat Barn and getting everyone settled into their new shelter, Rusty got sick.

I teach on Monday’s at our homeschool co-op so I went to the barn to take care of everyone before I had to leave at 7:15. As I walked into the barn, I noticed Rusty wasn’t getting up. He was too weak to stand. His body temperature was dangerously low. This is bad news for a goat. I immediately found a substitute teacher and loaded Rusty into the back of my car for the drive to the goat veterinarian. They drew blood and did some testing, then decided to treat him for worms because he was very anemic. Goats can be infected with a variety of worms, and the worst kinds cause severe anemia which can be deadly. The veterinarian said that based on his age, he likely contracted them before coming to live with us. She gave him a shot at the office and sent me home with one to administer at home in 24 hours. She also instructed me on feeding him and trying to keep him warm.

Rusty at the Vet

He did ok that afternoon, eating grass and drinking water. His body temperature even came up to normal. I sat outside in the warm September sunshine with him that afternoon.

My husband was out of town so I set up the dog kennel in my bedroom for Rusty to spend the night inside where I could keep a close check on him all night. Tuesday morning I woke to the sound of Rusty grinding his teeth. I called the vet and they assured me that we just needed to give the medicine more time. His body temperature was dangerously low again, so I turned off our central air conditioning. I brought a space heater into my bedroom and sat on the floor with Rusty in my lap while the warm heat blew in our direction. It was blazing hot in my room, and his body temperature slowly rose again. As I was caring for him, I researched to see if there was anything else I could do for him. I found a recipe from a trusted goat mentor to treat a downed goat. After sending Noah to the grocery to pick up the items needed and preparing the downed goat recipe, I carried Rusty out to sit in the warm sunshine. I planned to feed him the recipe with a syringe, but as I settled into the chair while holding him, Rusty took his last breath before I could even try. I sat in the sunshine for a long time holding him, sobbing at the loss of my little buddy. I tried everything I knew, but it just wasn’t enough.

What I’ve learned about Goats:

Goats are not “easy”. They like to escape. Goats will over eat. They have a specific diet- one that does not include cans! Goats can get sick with pneumonia, upset stomach, a cold, and a plethora of worms. I also think goats are “easy”. I know, I’m contradicting myself. But it’s also true that goats are “easy” because IF you keep them fenced and pay attention to their health, you can have a lot of fun with goats! They have big personalities! You will fall in love with them and it will break your heart if you lose one.

There is a lot more to caring for goats than just keeping them fenced and providing water. You need to be aware of what is normal for each goat. When sickness comes, they can die so quickly.

I lost Rusty in September and it has taken me 5 months to write about it. I mourned the loss of that little goat almost as much as his stall mate Gracie. She cried for days. She and I helped each other through the loss of little Rusty.

His little life was not a waste. I learned so much in the time that I cared for him. I am extra aware of the signs and symptoms of sickness in my goats. Losing Rusty probably saved my whole herd. After he died, I treated the entire herd for worms. ( I know you are not “supposed” to do that, but I couldn’t bear the idea of losing another while waiting to see if anyone else got sick.) I have collected and printed a whole binder of information for treating a wide range of goat illnesses. I spend time every day assessing the condition of my goats. I know I am not fully prepared, and I will probably make mistakes, but I feel much more prepared for sickness should it darken our barn doors again.

Rusty at 2 weeks old

The Best Biscuit Recipe!


A true southern delight, a flaky, buttery biscuit can be a challenge to perfect! After several attempts at making biscuits in my early twenties, I gave in to the idea that I just couldn’t make biscuits. It’s true! I have bought frozen and canned biscuits my entire life. It’s really ridiculous to me now that I can actually make them from scratch.

Last year my dad began searching for a perfect biscuit recipe. I’m not sure how many recipes he tried, but he made them with shortening and sometimes with butter. He tweaked the recipe, combining butter And shortening to make a perfectly flaky, buttery, high rise biscuit.

So, if you are like me and have struggled to make fantastic biscuits, you really need to give these a try! I can whip up a batch of these, bake them and have it all cleaned up in under thirty minutes! Want to add extra flaky layers? Just pat the dough out to 1/4 inch and fold it over 2 times before cutting the biscuits. Make sure you bake them close together too because this actually helps them rise UP instead of OUT. Cookies need space between them, but biscuits don’t!

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do! This recipe has become a staple in my kitchen over the past year. Actually, I think I’ll make some right now!

Dad’s Biscuit Recipe

The perfect, melt-in-your-mouth southern style biscuit!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 18 biscuits


  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Shortening
  • 4 Cups Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 8 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Combine butter and shortening until creamy. Slowly add flour, salt and baking powder until a crumbly consistency. Next, add buttermilk just until combined in a fluffy dough.
  • Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface. Gently pat or roll the dough out to 2 inches thickness. Cut with a biscuit cutter. Place biscuits in a large cast iron skillet. Biscuits need to be close together to rise nice and tall so don't leave much space in between them! Roll the remaining dough into a ball and repeat the process until all dough is cut into biscuits. I use a large and small cast iron skillet to bake my biscuits but you can use a 9×12 greased baking pan if you don't have cast iron.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with melted butter as soon as you remove them from the oven. Enjoy!
Keyword Biscuits, Freezer Biscuits, Sausage, Cheese, Easy Biscuits, Breakfast, sanctuary ridge farm family recipe
Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming

A Peacock Trade

A Peacock on the Farm

A Peacock Moves In

One day this beautiful Peacock showed up on our farm. When I first saw her, I thought she was just one of the wild turkeys who roam our hills. I was sure she wouldn’t stay. Surely she was just passing through. She really loved hanging out with our chickens, eating their food and sticking close to the flock all day. I kept waiting for her to go home but she decided to stay here.

I notified neighbors of the peacock, hoping to find her owners. Days went by with no one claiming this beautiful bird. I considered keeping her since her owners couldn’t be found. There is just one problem with that big, beautiful bird: She really loved roosting on Noah’s car- and coincidentally scratching it. These were not little hairline scratches, no, they were long deep scratches.

Every time I looked outside, she was roosting on Noah’s car. I’d grab a broom and run out to the driveway yelling and waving the broom in the air to “shoo” her off the car, but it was useless. As soon as I turned my back, she was back on the car again. With frustration building I began to hatch a plan to get the peacock off our property.

Hatching a Plan…

One day I caught the naughty peacock as she was grabbing a snack in the chicken run. I raced as fast as I could to the chicken run door, just barely beating her to a narrow escape. I’m sure it was a funny sight to see- me frantically running to the coop in the middle of the afternoon! With the bird finally trapped in the chicken run, I quickly snapped some pictures and posted her “FREE” on a local farm page. Within an hour, a very happy young man showed up to take her home with him!

I wish I had a video of him catching her! The 6 1/2 foot tall fella entered the chicken run, cornered the peacock and swiftly grabbed her by the feet. With feathers flying, he brought her out of the run. I helped him tie her feet together and he carefully laid her in the back seat of his car for the drive home. We chatted for a minute and realized that I had planned to buy some goats from him earlier in the spring. I had to cancel the appointment when Jamey was injured. The young man was so happy to get the pea-hen, he promised me a “good deal” on a couple of young goats after we returned from the July mission trip to Belize.

We drove out to his farm one Saturday, planning to purchase one bottle baby doeling. He showed us all around his farm full of goats, turkeys, and even a few beautiful alpacas. He offered me an older nanny goat and another bottle baby boy. I really didn’t want another boy, since you can only have one in-tact male. At the last minute, he gave me a deal I couldn’t resist. We left with a nanny goat “Martha”, a doeling “Gracie”, and a wether boy “Rusty”.

So, that’s how we ended up with three more goats on the farm! You just can’t make this stuff up- farming truly is an adventure!

Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

When God Speaks

A Litte Background

I am notorious for buying books and then never having time to read them. I’m sure none of you do that, but it is a thing that happens to me often. I love to read and have stacks of books that I WILL get to one day!

Many years ago, I headed up the children’s Christmas play at the church we attended. The first year I was the only person willing to do it but I enjoyed it so much that I ended up leading it for the next 2 years as well. It was a lot of work but it was so rewarding! I would begin searching in July for the perfect little Christmas program for the kids. It had to have a great theme, some humor and of course really great music. By August I had the program in hand and was listening to the music whenever I was in the car by myself so that I would know every word before I started working with the kids. The most difficult part of the entire project was always deciding who would play which role in the play. It was inevitable that some child was going to be hurt that they didn’t get the role they wanted. I dreaded the day of announcing the roles of the play.

Second Guessing

One year in particular, I had a very difficult time deciding which play to do. I ended up choosing a play that included a theme of “giving” for the kids involved. The plan was for them to collect shoes to donate to the homeless shelters in town. I prepared big boxes to place in the church foyer for the donations. The play incorporated a beautiful story about showing God’s love to others by meeting their basic needs. Even after I decided, I had doubts about whether I chose the right program for our kids. Maybe it was too serious? Here we were focusing on a topic most kids are oblivious to. It seemed that things were not going as I had planned and I really began to doubt myself.

I presented the play to the kids in late August that year. We listened to the CD in kids church together and then began the list of who was interested in which role in the play. By the end of October, we had assigned roles and started practicing each week. By the end of November, the kids had memorized most of their lines but something still just didn’t seem to click.

Long Lost Book

Around this time, I began decorating my home for Christmas- bringing out all the boxes of Christmas decorations and family momento’s of Christmas pasts. As I rummaged through one of the boxes, I came across a book that I had bought 7 years before to read with my kids through the Advent season. It was one of those books that I never even cracked open. I decided to sit down and read the first story in the book immediately.

“Chicken Soup for the Soul- Christmas Version”

All week I had been doubting the kids play at church: did I choose the wrong one??? The kids just weren’t even TRYING to learn the songs this year. Most of the kids knew the speaking parts but the songs just weren’t clicking for some reason.

But then, the first story I read in the book that night was about a man witnessing some local teenagers on a side walk in town. The teens were riding their skateboards on the sidewalk when they stopped to talk to a homeless man on the street. As the man watched, the teens began removing their shoes, letting a homeless man try on their sneakers. The boys then gave him the socks off their feet and the shoes that fit him best. On a cold night. The teen Left the place barefoot- riding a skateboard!

And our play that year was about meeting the basic needs of people to show God’s love by donating SHOES!!!

What a powerful confirmation that was for me. Seven years before, I had bought a book that God would use to quell my doubts. So I knew it would all be ok. I was doing what God wanted me to do. I sat, reading that story with tears streaming down my face. It IS the right play for the kids! I love God’s sense of humor! HE”S got this- I just need to do my part and leave the rest up to HIM!

When God Speaks

Sometimes when God speaks, it’s just a gentle reminder to calm our minds that want to question everything. That’s what I think of when I hear people talk about a “still, small voice”. It’s a confirmation that can come in so many different ways.

  • Psalms 29:4 (NIV)The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.
  • Job 11:7 (NIV)“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
  • Colossians 1:10 (NIV)so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

My prayer for you today is that you will ask God to help you with those things you are worrying about. And then, keep your heart and mind open for that “still, small voice”, the voice of the One who loves you more than you can imagine!

Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming

How the Garden Grew

Rocky Top Garden

This was the site of my original 50 ft by 50 ft garden here on the farm. We named it Rocky Top because it is so full of rocks! The soil is great, but the rocks are a real pain. Just when I think I have picked up all the rocks, I find more. Over the past 3 years I have grown tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, potatoes, corn, herbs, cucumbers and even pumpkins.

Each January I begin planning the crops I want to grow. This year, I really out did myself! In addition to the crops listed above, I added butternut squash, honey nut squash, round zucchini, habanero peppers, jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, pop corn, Indian corn, watermelon, cantelope, and a wide variety of pumpkins. Because we purchased a large tiller for the tractor, I decided to just have Jamey till a larger garden closer to the house. I still kept my Rocky Top garden because you have to grow pop corn and Indian corn a good distance from sweet corn so it doesn’t cross pollinate. Jamey went right to work!

The New Garden

Jamey tilled the garden soil, but he tilled about 3x the size garden that I wanted. I had enough seed so I went for it, planting around 300×50’ in the new garden and 50×50’ in the old garden. It’s a lot to maintain- I could barely keeping up with it! So we’ve harvested 2 varieties of zucchini, green beans, potatoes, cucumbers, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, corn, winter squash, spaghetti squash and pumpkins. Next year I hope to keep it more realistic! I’ve already decided that many of those crops will NOT be on my list next year because they just didn’t do well. I enjoy gardening but this year was just too much!

What I learned…

If I have learned anything this year, its that time seems to make the bad memories fade away. When I am bored this winter, I will probably concoct a new garden plan and forget how hard it was to manage that big garden. Somebody please remind me!

Sanctuary Ridge Family Recipes · Soups

Creamy Honey Nut Soup

Creamy Honey Nut Squash Soup

Honey Nut Squash

Honey Nut Squash is a variety of Butternut Squash. It is much smaller than Butternut Squash, and was developed to replace sweet potatoes in areas where they can’t grow sweet potatoes. This was my first year to grow Honey Nut Squash. I was delighted at my plentiful harvest! The plant seemed to be more resistant to squash bugs than my other varieties. I will definitely grow these again next year. Here is a picture of some that I harvested this summer!

Garden Bounty

The Soup

On an adventure, many long years ago, I tried two delicious soups that I’ve never been able to replicate. One was a squash soup and one was a chilled apple soup. I’m still working on that chilled apple soup, but I finally nailed the squash soup. It doesn’t sound very delicious, but it is so creamy and layered with flavors that I truly hope you will try it! Look how beautiful the honey nut squash, apples, garlic and herbs are when you roast them!

Honey Nut Squash, Apples, garlic and herbs

This recipe can be finished in under 45 minutes! Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds, croutons or French Bread. Please leave a comment if you try it!

Creamy Honey Nut Soup

Creamy Honey Nut Soup infused with Apples, Onions, and Garlic!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 People


  • Stock Pot
  • Baking Sheet
  • measuring cups and measuring spoons
  • Blender or Food Processor


  • 4 Honey nut squash (2 medium Butternut squash if you can't find honey nut squash)
  • 4 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 9 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Sage, Rosemary, Marjoram and Nutmeg
  • 1/3 Cup dry white wine
  • 6 Cups Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth
  • 6 TBSP Olive Oil


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Slice the squash in half lengthwise, and discard all the seeds and strings. Cut the squash and apples in to 1-2” chunks and spread them on a rimmed baking sheet. Add the garlic halves and the thyme. Toss everything lightly with about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake 20-30 minutes until they are easily pierced with a fork and browned at the edges.
  • Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add all the sliced onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir occasionally, so the onions caramelize and turn soft and golden.
  • Add the roasted vegetables and apples to the onions, but discard the cooked thyme. (The stems will be brittle and break apart in the soup.) Sprinkle in the dried herbs and stir 1 minute, warming and releasing the natural oils. Deglaze the pot with the white wine, scraping any bits from the bottom. Pour the vegetable broth over the top. Season with a few cranks of fresh ground pepper and turn the heat to low. Cover and let it simmer 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and purée with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. You can also blend in batches, in a Food Processor using the chopping blade. Season with salt and pepper, as needed, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with sour cream. Croutons, French bread or roasted pumpkin seeds make a beautiful garnish too. Enjoy!
Keyword Autumn Flavors, Creamy Honey Nut Soup, fall food, Fall Soup, Honey Nut Squash Soup, sanctuary ridge farm family recipe, Thanksgiving Meal
Sanctuary Ridge Family Recipes · Soups

Homemade Ten Vegetable Soup

Homemade Ten Vegetable Soup

My family will eat lots of soup this fall! Soup is one of my favorite one dish meals. The versatility and variety of soups are endless. I love trying new soup recipes and one day I had Ten Vegetable Soup at Panera Bead Co. for lunch. I was so surprised at the brightness that the fresh slice of lemon added. It was a vegetable soup like I had never tasted before so I began experimenting with several recipes at home until I came up with one that is as close as I could get to the original. Since then, this has been on my Fall and Winter meal rotation. Sometimes I add a little venison stew meat and the boys seem to really love it that way. Add some delicious corn bread baked fresh in a cast iron skillet and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Ten Vegetable Soup

Monica Scott
This soup is just delicious! So much flavor in this one!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • 4 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 2 small bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Cans mixed vegetables, drained
  • 1 Can fire roasted corn, drained
  • 2 Cans fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Zest
  • 1 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TBSP Rosemary
  • 1 TBSP Ground Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Basil
  • 9 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • 1 Box Uncooked Quinoa with seasoning packet (Roasted Bell Pepper and Basil)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Cabbage
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • In a large pot, sauté the onion and celery in olive oil over medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add garlic, mixed vegetables, corn, tomatoes, lemon zest, chili powder, rosemary, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, vegetable broth and Quinoa with seasoning packet. Bring to a boil and lower to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring 3-4 times. Add Cabbage and cook an additional 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with thinly sliced lemons.
Keyword Panera Copycat, sanctuary ridge family recipes, Ten Vegetable Soup, Vegetable Soup Recipe
Just Desserts · Sanctuary Ridge Family Recipes

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Perfectly Delicious!

Apple Season!

Here in Tennessee, it is Apple Season! All the best apples are harvested in this season of cooler nights, and breezy, sunny days. Fall has arrived and it is time to cook everything Apple! I’ve already canned Apples, cooked Apples, Apple Butter and dried Apples. I even made Apple Spice Jelly with the peels and cores this year!

Our local orchard, Wooden’s Apple House, sells apples by the box and if you are lucky you might get a box of 2nd’s. These are the apples that may have a bruise, or be smaller than the ideal apple but they are a fraction of the cost. The box of 2nd’s are usually what I use to make Apple Butter and cooked apples.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Today I want to introduce you to Apple Oatmeal Cookies. These cookies taste like Fall! They are so soft and chewy. In less than thirty minutes, you can have a warm, Apple Oatmeal Cookie to eat in your own kitchen. What are you waiting for?

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Monica Scott
Chewy, Apple Oatmeal cookie with cinnamon. A perfect way to welcome Fall!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 dozen Cookies


  • 1 Grater
  • 1 Mixing Bowl or Kitchen Aid Mixer
  • 1 measuring cups and measuring spoons


  • 1 Cup Salted Butter, softened
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Apple, peeled and grated


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Stir in the grated apple.
  • Slowly mix in plain four, cinnamon, baking soda, and oats. Stir until all is mixed throughout.
  • Drop by 1 inch spoonfuls onto a prepared cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between for the cookie to spread.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Enjoy!
Keyword Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies, Apple Cookies, Family Recipes, Oatmeal Cookies, sanctuary ridge family recipes
Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping

McKinney Campground

McKinney Campground at Allatoona Lake, Acworth, Georgia

Visiting Acworth, Georgia

We are back on the road! This is only our second camping trip of the year and it feels good to be camping again. Acworth, Georgia is not new to us. We lived in Kennesaw for two years and during that time, I came to love the Acworth area. It’s a beautiful, old town that’s located on Lake Allatoona. The old downtown area is so quaint! With the delicious food from Henry’s Louisiana Grill ( and a stroll around Cauble Park, you really can’t go wrong with a night out in Acworth!

Here is a map of the area:

McKinney Campground

Mckinney Campground is part of the Georgia State Park system. There are 150 campsites available at McKinney Campground. This is a large campground, but only a portion of it is open year round. In Winter, some of the sites are closed. Booking campsites for the weekend can prove challenging, as they can be reserved up to six months in advance. If you have a spontaneous weekday trip, like we usually do with travel for work, you will usually find last minute sites available only Monday-Friday morning. Having flexibility in our schedules makes these work trips a little less painful when we can still be together as a family. It’s definitely more effort than just staying in a hotel, but we prefer the camping life!

Here is the link to the campground map:

With 150 sites, there is a wide variety of campsites available at this park! You really have to be careful here, as most of the sites are NOT level. Depending on the length of your camper, it could be an issue when you get ready to level your unit. I try to look at pictures on the reservation site and check out reviews too. Even some of the pull through sites can be tricky! Just look at these photos of our current site here:

In the first photo you can see how close we parked to the right side of the pull through. The pull through is not very wide and has a steep drop off on the entrance side of the camper, so we had to park as far to the right as we could to be able to get into the camper. The steps just barely fit on the edge of the site, and they are right at the drop-off. It is not ideal, but it is just for two days so we will deal with it. If we had children with us, this site would not work. The step situation is not safe but we also can not open the bunk room slide. The reservation site photos and reviews did not mention any rv slide restrictions or limitations, so please be careful when reserving a campsite in an unfamiliar park. Because we have stayed here before, I knew to be careful but we still ended up with some issues. We will walk around the park and make a list of “good campsites” before we leave so that next time I make a reservation online, I will know which sites to look for.

Allatoona Lake

The lake here is beautiful! The campground is located beside a marina so boating is very common. The water is clear, so fishing and swimming here are both good.

Lakefront Campsites are always my first choice so here is our view from our campsite:

Our picnic area is located down a set of steps, and the water access is from a very short trail to the left of the picnic table. It is easily accessed. Some of the lake front sites don’t have good access for swimming because they have stabilized the shore with large rocks. These campsites have beautiful views but no swimming access. There are two “swimming beaches” here for campers to use that are roped off for safe swimming in the busy boating season.

Trains, planes, and boats!

Sometimes you will hear trains, planes and boats here because this is a busy little town!

If you want to check out the train museum in Kennesaw, look here for more information: For lots of Civil War history, I recommend a visit to Kennesaw Mountain National Park. The ranger led talk through the small museum was one of the best! Check out more here

Whether you are camping at McKinney Campground, or just looking for some fun things to do in this area north of Atlanta, Georgia, I highly recommend this beautiful part of Georgia!

Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming

Chicken Coop Plans

The Chicken Coop

Why not a pre-made Chicken Coop?

Before I even bought my first chickens, I knew I needed a chicken coop. I ended up buying this one on amazon: although when I bought mine I think it was listed for $179 and free shipping. I really wasn’t sure if I would even like caring for chickens since I’ve never had them before so I didn’t want to invest a lot of money at first. I have been very disappointed in the quality of the pre-made chicken coop. It was easy to assemble but the quality is not good. I would not recommend it, especially at the inflated price. It’s really not big enough for more than 4-6 hens. The roosting area is not tall enough for true roosting so all my chickens wanted to roost on the roof of this instead of going in it at night. As a result, the weight of the chickens caused the entire coop roof to sag. It’s just not good quality.

The Chicken Run

I also purchased this chicken run: The pre-made chicken coop fit inside the chicken run. We installed extra chicken wire around the edge of the chicken run and buried it two feet in the ground to deter any predators from digging around the run. So far this has worked! I really like having the additional chicken run. It provides a safe place for the chickens to stay when they are too young to free range. If there are hawks, eagles or owls flying around, the chickens safely retreat to the chicken run where predators can’t get them. My rabbit hutch also fits inside the chicken run. I’ve even let my rabbit free range inside the run with the chickens!

The New Chicken Coop Design

I described the new chicken coop design to my husband and he quickly went to work building it.

The Coop size is 6’6″ High x 10′ Wide x 6′ Deep. The floor is 18″ from the ground. This design matches the end wall dimensions of the Chicken Run. I wanted to be able to attach the chicken run to the coop and install an automatic chicken door to simplify the day to day care of my flock. The floor height allows me to easily muck the coop with a rake and put fresh wood shavings in when I am finished without breaking my back. We only made two nesting boxes because the chickens really just take turns laying eggs in the same box. No need for each to have their own. And so far when I have a broody hen, she lays her eggs in the main part of the chicken coop.

Chicken Coop Interior Design

The interior of the chicken coop was designed for easy cleaning and maintenance. We bought inexpensive vinyl flooring and extended it up the walls 6 inches. I stapled it in place. If I need to wash anything down inside the coop it will dry quickly. Jamey nailed two 2×4 boards at opposing angles to create roosting bars. The chickens love it! I finished the nesting boxes with these rubber mats that can easily be removed to wash: and finished the entire area with pine shavings. Once a month I change these out and add a sprinkle of lime dust to help with odor.

The exterior of the coop is white metal siding and black metal roofing to match our other farm buildings. I wanted to use some old windows as access doors on each side of the coop for easy cleaning access. I also love that I can see inside to check on the hens at night or when it is really cold outside. I can also open the hinged windows to air the coop out on really hot days. The nesting box also has a hinged door to easily collect eggs each day. We used simple hasp latches to secure the hinged windows and doors on the coop.

Some Chicken Coop Must Haves

The automatic chicken door is a game changer! It can be set to close with an evening and morning delay. I don’t have to worry about going to close the coop each night. When we are out of town, the chickens are safe and I don’t have to worry about them. No matter how busy I am, the door opens in the morning and they can all access their food and water. Here is the one we bought: sunset

We do like to travel so an automatic feeder and watering system is definitely on my must have list. We made our own feeder with this locking bucket from Tractor Supply and this kit from Amazon: it holds 60 pounds of chicken feed. With 18 in my flock, this usually lasts around 2 weeks. We also made two five gallon automatic watering buckets with this kit from Amazon:

My final recommendation is the use of this pine pellet for inside the chicken run. Chickens are messy. I tried pine straw for quite a while but within a week the chickens had scratched it into the mud. When we have extended rainy weather, all my eggs ended up covered in mud from the chicken feet in the nesting box. I finally discovered these pine pellets and they are truly wonderful! You spread them out and they become coarse sawdust! They absorb the rain, chicken poop and help keep the flies down too. Check out these before/after pictures:

The cost is actually less than the pine straw so if you haven’t tried this in your chicken run yet, I highly recommend it! Find it at Tractor Supply here:

Happy Chickens!

My chickens seem pretty happy here! Everyone except my two ducks and two turkeys roost in the Coop every night. So far we have stayed safe from any predators. I am collecting an average of eleven eggs every day right now so some of my friends buy my eggs, helping to offset the chicken feed costs. We love having the chickens free range so we can watch them scratching around for bugs in the yard!

Happy little Flock!
Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

The Struggle of Fear

Broken Beauty

The Struggle

Over the past few months, I have watched as friends have gone through some devastating life events. Although they weren’t necessarily my pain, I feel such a burden for each of my dear friends who have been suffering a loss. Some of these have me facing a battle I have faced many, many times. Part of me wants to hide away somewhere and just deal with it privately, but that part of me is losing today. There is a freedom that happens when we expose the raw feelings instead of hiding them away in shame. Satan loses his power over us when we step into the light by exposing the struggle.

What is it? What is the struggle?

The struggle for me is FEAR.

Fear that I’m not enough. And as many times as I have laid down that fear, I keep picking it back up. In my mind I can see the image of a suitcase. Inside it are some very heavy objects that no one should be carrying around. I know I shouldn’t pick it up but I reach for it instinctively, as if I’m protecting myself from something. Trying to gain control over a world that seems out of control. Fear is one of those things that is just too heavy to carry around every day.

Definition of fear (Merriam-Webster)

1aan unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger

b(1)an instance of this emotion

(2)a state marked by this emotion

2anxious concern SOLICITUDE

3profound reverence and awe especially toward God

4: reason for alarm DANGER

The Bible

It’s time to dig deep into God’s Word again friends!

What does God’s Word say about “Fear”?

  • Psalm 23:4 (ESV)Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
  • Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
  • Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
  • Psalm 34:4 (ESV) I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Again and again, God says He is with us. He goes with us. He will not forsake us. Our health may leave us, our friends may leave us, our family may leave us, but God NEVER will. And these scriptures show something so significant too! He is not ASKING us to not fear. He is COMMANDING us to not fear.

Fear is one of those emotions that grips you. It holds on. Usually it keeps you from moving forward, or even making any move at all. That is not the kind of life God wants for us friends. So even if the world seems out of control, even if you have to walk through some devastating things in life, He is with you.

Time to Lay it ALL Down

Of course I heard a song today that really moved me. The video link is below, but I wanted to share the lyrics to “Crowns” by Sons The Band:

No greater love, I’ve ever known

This humble gift from heaven’s throne

I’m overcome By the favor You have shown

The price You paid for a sinner’s toll

The blood You gave, for the world to know

I’m overcome By the mercy You have shown

Like a faithful friend, You came rushing in

Took my wild heart and set it free

I’ll give every breath, till I come to rest

In the grace of eternity

I lay down my crowns at Your feet

From my first breath You saw my heart

Called my name set me apart

I’m overjoyed

I am free and fully known

Like a faithful friend, You came rushing in

Took my wild heart and set it free

I’ll give every breath, till I come to rest

In the grace of eternity

I lay down my crowns at Your feet

You give my spirit freedom

I give You all my praise

Don’t need another reason

To lay it all down, lay it all down

Right now is my surrender

Here in this holy place

Don’t need another reason

I lay it all down, lay it all down

AGAIN. Here I am again, laying it down. The fear of failing. The fear of not being enough. The fear of my marriage failing, of my family relationships failing, of my children not loving me anymore, of being alone. All the irrational fears that grip me, I lay them all down. I’ll cling to Him instead of fear.

And with my hands lifted, I’ll find my freedom in God alone.

Sanctuary Ridge Family Recipes

Heartwarming Recipes by Sanctuary Ridge Farm

Our First Cookbook!

Now Available!

We just returned from a ten day mission trip to Belize and the cookbooks are here! I will begin shipping these tomorrow for those who have already ordered with shipping! If you would like to order one now, here is the link for SHIPPING included:

If you have already purchased a cookbook with local pickup, I will email you the pickup details! Local pickup is available in Ooltewah on Monday’s or at The Crossing Church (parking lot) on Sunday mornings at 10:15 am. I have credit/debit option in person or you may pay online before pickup. Here is the link for NO SHIPPING option:

Proofing the Recipes

Thank you all for encouraging me and supporting me in this publication! The proceeds from this will help us plant our orchard this Spring- we have Blueberry, Blackberry and Raspberry plants coming in 3 weeks and I am hoping to begin our U-Pick operations next Summer.

I hope you and your family are blessed with wonderful meals and memories around the table for many years to come!

With a grateful heart- Monica

Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Camping · Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming · Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories · Sanctuary Ridge Family Recipes

Big News from the Farm!

Just a dream…

Sanctuary Ridge Farm has reminded me of so many childhood dreams. I’ve always loved the outdoors, animals, working hard, writing and cooking. As I work, write, or cook, I truly hope that I am bringing glory to God. He has given me joy in the most mundane and joy in the most glorious moments too. Isn’t it amazing how HE can do that!

Psalms 118:24 NCV This is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad today!


So many times, the most precious moments we share are as a family gathered together for a meal. I love sharing food with friends, whether it’s a simple loaf of bread or teaching someone to decorate a cake. Naturally, I love to share recipes too and it seemed fitting to share my recipes on our Sanctuary Ridge Farm blog. Last year I began considering publishing a cookbook, but does anyone even use cookbooks anymore? With all the online sources for recipes, is it even necessary? It certainly seemed like a foolish idea.

I love to look at recipes online- you should see my Pinterest! And I actually try to make everything I save! When I find something I like I will print it- that’s actually why I added printable recipe pages on my blog. If I end up reworking the recipe, I write it out in a little notebook. You should see all my scraps of paper with recipes scribbled down! Sometimes I share a picture of something I made for dinner and when a friend asks for the recipe I have to actually type it out because it’s just embarrassing to send a picture of my scribbled recipe!

The more I thought about it, the more I thought I would really like to publish a recipe book. So, I began researching how to publish one and while I was sick a few weeks ago, I actually completed it months ahead of my personal goal!

Heartwarming Recipes- Sanctuary Ridge Farm

I am so excited to present a collection of 115 of my favorite family recipes, including Breakfast, Soups, Salads, Vegetables, Main Dishes, Desserts and more! The books are being processed at my publisher. Expected arrival date by March 31, 2022! If you would like to purchase one, I am taking pre-orders. There is a shipping option ($23) or if you are local you may choose the local pickup ($18) and I will email you a time/place to pick up locally.

To order with shipping click here

To order for local pickup/ no shipping click here

Any recipes previously published on this blog will still be available. I will continue cooking and sharing recipes online, but this collection of recipes are my tried and true, go-to recipes that I wanted to preserve in a traditional cookbook format. I appreciate all the encouragement as I finalized the cookbook proof and submitted it for publication! Ya’ll are truly the best!

© Copyright 2020– or current year, The Sanctuary Ridge. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to Sanctuary Ridge with  active link and direction to this original post.

Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

A Million Miracles

A beautiful old tree stump

Raw and Real

A hundred times I have tried to write this update.

If you have been following our progress on the farm, you know that we just finished our farm house. It was quite the project, in the middle of the pandemic with the added stress of hurricane landfalls that affected the supply chains all across the United States. When we finally received our windows, it was a whirlwind of crews onsite each day. We waited anxiously for our turn to take over and complete the interior of our little dream home.

Most people don’t know, but just as we working in the final weeks, I began having some serious medical problems. I am nearing the age of menopause, so at first I was not concerned at all. The Lord kept speaking to me throughout this time, reminding me of the woman with the issue of blood. Its such a well known miracle.

To understand the context, we need to go back in time to the Old Testament. In Leviticus, we can read about all the rules for being “clean” or without sin. There were steps you had to take in certain situations. These were the laws and they were followed strictly for generations. Here is what it says:

Leviticus 15:25“ ‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. 26 Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. 27 Anyone who touches them will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. 28 “ ‘When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. 29 On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 30 The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the Lord for the uncleanness of her discharge. 31 “ ‘You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.’ ”

So back to the New Testament when we read about the woman in Mark 5, we know that she has had an issue of blood. She has been bleeding for 12 years. For 12 years, she had been suffering physically. She had spent everything she had in search of a cure. But so much more than that, she had been suffering emotionally. See, according to the Old Laws, she was unclean. No one was allowed to touch her or even touch anything that she had touched. It saddened me so much when I realized this.

How incredibly lonely she must have been.

She must have ached for a hug.

Just to reach out and touch someone.

So when we read in Mark 5, we know that she was truly desperate to go into the crowd and attempt to touch the hem of Jesus’ cloak.

Mark 5:24 A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

What a moment that must have been for her! See, Jesus didn’t rebuke her for touching him when she was unclean. There, in the crowd of people, HE said “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”


For seven long weeks I had irregular bleeding. Some days I couldn’t even go anywhere, it was so bad. At one point, my doctor ordered an ultrasound and based on those results we scheduled a biopsy to see if it was cancer.

It was scary.

It was raw.

It was real.

And lets face it, it was embarrassing. How do you even ask people to pray for you when the issue is blood? So I felt alone. And yet, day after day, the Lord reminded me of the woman with the issue of blood. I read the scripture over and over. It wrecked me. I realized that there must be so many who feel alone. Who feel “unclean”, “unworthy”, or “unloved”. And it wrecked me for women everywhere.


In Hebrews 9 we read again about the Laws of Moses and the New Covenant with Jesus:

 1Hebrews 9:9 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”  21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Although I was wrecked by the revelations I discovered in my study, I was overjoyed at the outcome for this precious woman with the issue of blood. She was healed and she was publicly validated. Jesus could have just let her be healed but he made her speak up in the crowd. He made her admit that she was the one who had touched him. I’m sure everyone knew of her. To not touch her because she was “unclean”. But he validated her right there in the crowd. He redeemed her!


Her miracle was not just the physical suffering but it was so much more than that!

Let that soak in. Jesus cares about your physical suffering. He cares about your financial suffering. He cares about your emotional suffering. He cares about it all. He paid the price to redeem all of it, if only you will ask him.

Million Little Miracles By Elevation Worship

Test Results and Answered Prayers

On Monday morning, I went to our homeschool co-op and taught my 8th grade class. I left at lunch to go have the biopsy. Before I left, some of my dearest friends prayed with me for a miracle. The procedure went well. The doctor gave me a prescription to help alleviate the bleeding, because I had to go to the ER it had gotten so bad and they were concerned that my blood count was getting too low. I never had to take that medicine. My results came back negative. Praise the Lord for no cancer! And the day the results came back the bleeding completely stopped. All the pain was gone. All of the issues were healed!

I’m not sure why we suffer. What I do know is that it is in those moments we see God, we get to know HIM for who HE is.

Our Healer.

Our Redeemer.

Our Provider.

He truly is all we need.

My Prayer

Oh dear friend, my prayer for you is that you would have an encounter with the Lord. One that will change you and redeem you. One that will heal you and restore you. Whatever it is you are suffering from, I pray that the Lord himself will meet you where you are right now. I pray that your eyes will see a thousand little miracles- they are everywhere if only you will look for them.

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Just Desserts · Sanctuary Ridge Family Recipes

Biscotti- Baking at Home


Biscotti is the perfect snack paired with a delicious afternoon cup of coffee or tea! It’s not a cookie, a biscuit or a scone, so what exactly is a biscotti? A slightly sweet, crunchy slice of goodness! And who knew they are soooo easy to make at home? I first made these almost twenty years ago. Since then, I have tried creating several different variations. I hope you enjoy making these at home! Without further ado, here is the recipe:


Monica Scott
Biscotti that you can make your own way with cranberries, almonds, pecans, chocolate chips, or anything your heart desires!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 Biscotti


  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 measuring cups and measuring spoons
  • 1 Baking Sheet
  • 1 Knife


  • 1/2 Cup Oil
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 1/4 Cups Plain Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 TBSP Baking Powder


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine oil, sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat until combined. Slowly add four 1/2 cup at a time, adding 1 TBSP Baking Powder with the last 1/4 cup of flour. Mix until dough is formed. *You can add cranberries, orange zest, chocolate chips, almond slivers, pecans, ect. to add your favorite flavors to the biscotti!
  • Shape dough into 2 equal sized loaves on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Slice loaves into 1 inch slices. Turn the slices onto their sides and bake an additional 10 minutes. Cool completely. Enjoy!
Keyword Biscotti, sanctuary farm family recipe
Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming


Fergus eating crabgrass

A Boer Goat…

Not too long after Rain and Kudzu came to the farm, I found a beautiful Buck. Since we hope to have baby goats next year, we need an intact male to breed with Rain. Our new boy “Fergus” is a registered 50/50 Nubian Boer mix. Boer goats are raised for meat and for show. They have good temperament and I just fell in love with him. He is a beautiful boy!

He was NOT happy about riding in the kennel on the way home.

Fergus Cried all the way Home!

Settling in with Rain and Kudzu

It didn’t take long for Fergus to fit right in with Rain and Kudzu. The three kids get along great! I am amazed at how they each have a different personality. Rain is very sweet. Kudzu is sweet and very goofy. Fergus is sweet and dramatic. The three are very close in age and size. It will be interesting to see how they change as they grow. I am hoping for some beautiful babies next spring!

Rut Season

As Fall approached, Fergus began getting more aggressive at feeding time. It’s only natural for goats to use their horns to push and even to play, but it’s very easy to get hurt if you are not very careful. After a couple of close calls, I researched the best way to deal with this new issue with my beloved Fergus. I was surprised to learn that goats go into a Rut Season, or a mating season in Fall. This affects the Bucks of the herd, making them aggressive and a little crazy. A quick spray with the water hose calmed him down, but I won’t be able to use that method year round. I ended up using a large stick to “herd” him when I am in the pen with him. This method works great for me.

Fergus, just like other male goats, became a stinky boy during Rut. It is common for the male to urinate on their head. For some reason, this is found attractive to the female goats. The males also make this goofy face when they find a female they like. The female can be a goat or a human. Madison and I can talk sweet to Fergus or scratch behind his ears and he will act all goofy for us both!

Fergus loves me!