Birthday Weekend Continued

Prior to Brian, Lauren, and Liam coming for the weekend last time, we purchased a new high chair, very reasonably priced at Walmart for under $40. Yes, I could have gotten a better deal at thrift stores, garage sales, craigslist, and such but we were short on time and the nearest ones to us had none. Also, the old high chair we had was wood and hard and Liam did not like sitting in it. We decided it was time for a change.

High Chair ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s really cool because it folds down and can be hidden away until it is needed again.

folded high chair ~ lifeofjoy.meWell, little dude had been riding in the car for 2 hours, then not long after getting here it was time to sit at the table and eat. He was not happy about it and pitched quite the fit. Then the poor fellow had to get in the carseat once again to go 15 minutes to my sister’s home to celebrate with extended family. By the time we got home several hours later and it was dinner time, he had a melt down where the high chair was concerned. :o

When the kids come and spend a Saturday night with us, we tend to not go to church the next morning, so that we can enjoy time with them and a leisurely breakfast. Well, we decided that because he is such a social kid, maybe his problem with the high chair was that he wasn’t at the table with us. So, we tried this taking the tray off and pushing him up to the table. That didn’t work either. So at Sunday morning breakfast we tried this . . .

high chair at table ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was happier but still not really thrilled. He’s been able to sit on people’s laps at our house for so long and that is what he likes to do here. He sits in a high chair at home perfectly fine but here. Oh my! :p Oh well, this too shall pass.

There were lots of good moments. :) He is used to having some daddy time on Saturdays, since Lauren used to work Friday nights and got some sleep then. He was quite the daddy’s boy while he was here too.

Daddy and son ~ Lifeofjoy.meSean was a good fill-in for his daddy; giving Brian a needed break.

guys play video game ~ Lifeofjoy.meAunt Tiffany got some cuddle time too. :)

aunt cuddle time ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe loved his horse that Sean got him for his birthday.

Liam on rocking horse ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam on rocking horse ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s sooo fun to see him play. :)

He like cleaning tools. He got very busy in the utility room.

Grandson with mop  ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was enamored with the dryer. I stood by making sure he didn’t end up doing anything crazy. ;) We played some ball . . . it’s our thing.

Playing ball with grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I made some homemade sugar free ice cream before they left Sunday afternoon.

son and grandson love ice cream  ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, it was a hit.

When it was time to go, he was definitely ready. He decided to help Brian put his shoes on. :D

grandson helps dad with shoes  ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere was much cuteness which made the difficult times bearable. ;) He’s a sweetie and I miss him so much.

I think that is enough pictures for one week. So I’ll run for now. I hope you have a great weekend. I intend to.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Year Long Travel Quest

travelling adventure ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere is a fun little activity to help teach your children some research skills and find some interesting places of the world. There are 36 weekly sites with clues and of course their answers. The goal is to identify the name and location of where the intrepid traveler Mrs. Waffenschmidt has traveled.

The first week I would talk about it with your child and work through it together. Probe them, see what their ideas are and give them ideas of what to search for, if they are stumped. You can also talk about how they could find the information without the internet. ;)

Here they have some ideas for how to use this in a classroom setting that you may be able to utilize but I’d just use it as a fun research activity for your kids.

Of course, this is a free resource online and as such, the answers are provided online also. So they do have some ideas if that happens.

I hope you enjoy this interesting geography study one place at a time. You could even use it as a jumping off point for other study if you so desired.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Art Inspiration

DC#356 Name Tangling ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve been battling some wrist issues lately that makes writing and drawing a bit painful. I am in the process of overcoming this but I also had to fight some horrible sinus mess that had my head aching, with special focus on my ears. NOT GOOD!!! Seriously folks, I was miserable!!! Anyway, it was just too much for me to deal with to attempt to draw too.

So, I decided to share some of my favorite artists with you.

I guess I should start with Rick and Maria, the creators of Zentangle. I learned about this art form from a fellow home educator who was teaching a monthly art class. :) I’m so thankful to Cheryl for introducing me to this easy art form that has been so meaningful in my life. I’m also thankful to Rick and Maria for using the time honored technique of stepouts that makes it so easy to obtain good results. Sometimes it is better to see the tangle drawn but most of the time the stepouts is enough.

One of the first to make an impact on me was Sandy Kelley-Jones. I don’t know her in real life (irl) but she added such contrast with a lot of black inked backgrounds. Just gorgeous. She inspired me. (I loved her work before she even became a CZT. :) ) Turns out she is friends with the lady that does our Tulsa Zentangle Group, Pam. :) What a nice coincidence. Sandy created a closed facebook group where members share their daily tangles; it is aptly named Today’s Tangles.

Eni Oken is another that has left her mark on me. Although she was an artist before finding Zentangle so she keeps her artist ways in shading which has been a real challenge for me. One of the things I love about Zentangle is not having to worry about where the light source is. ;) It seems like Eni finally realized this when she got into Zendalas. But she has helped me become who I am with regards to this form of art.

The next one that really inspired me is known on facebook as Lily Moon. She does some amazing work. For any that don’t know, she has a website where she shares her tiles and tangles she creates. I really like caracole. I don’t do it justice but I like it and her art. :)

The most recent one impacting and inspiring me, is Zen Linea whom I also follow on facebook and do not know irl. Her work is just stunning and adds a bit of color. I will admit that in the very beginning of my Zentangle experience I wasn’t sure about the lack of color. But as I drew it myself, it was so freeing. I got to where I preferred it to those that had used color. But then this artist started adding just hints of color and I could see how it enhanced the art. Now she has some amazing colored work. She has a website and has started doing videos too. :) Very nice to see how she does what she does.

When I went online to get the links for this post, I came across this interesting post on Today’s Tangles for a summer challenge. I wish I’d have seen it at the beginning of the summer but then again, I was so busy I doubt I’d have committed to doing this. But it sounds interesting to me now and may start this or something like it next month. We’ll see. Who knows, maybe I’ll use it as a jumping off point and start filling up the empty spots (which is most of them) in my Tangle-a-Day calendar.

Oh! As I was looking through the summer challenge I saw she had a clarification page. As is typical, I followed the bunny trail and found that Zentangle Project #3 incorporated some color and white chalk. I enjoyed watching the videos of Molly and Maria adding the color to their finished lineart.

Well, I hope that I’ve shared something here today that will inspire you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

drinking health shot ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Health Shot

We’re fighting a lot of sinus pain from . . . well, it is miserable.

Sean’s first line of defense is a health shot. It’s something that a co-worker showed him but I’d seen online too. I think I actually have had it before for allergies but really dislike it. In all honesty, this isn’t really a “Tasty Tuesday” recipe but it can be helpful so I’m including it today. Plus, I’m not feeling great and need to get this post done as quickly as possible.

So, here are the ingredients he uses.

Health Shot Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe’d just gotten some fresh lemons, so he used it instead of lemon juice.

Roll the lemon to get the most juice out of it.

rolling lemon ~ LIfeofjoy.meSqueeze the juice of half the lemon into a glass.

squeeze emon ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd some shakes of ground ginger (you can use some fresh ginger or ginger juice).

Ginger ~ Lifefojoy.meAnd then add some cayenne pepper.

Cayenne Pepper ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd a couple tablespoons apple cider vinegar.

Add ACV ~ Lifeofjoy.meOops! Almost forgot to add the sweetener; a doonk or two of stevia for us.

add stevia ~ Lifeofjoy.meStir and drink! OH! Wait, be sure to have a glass of water ready! You’re going to need it. Of course you could water it down, but then you’d have to drink more.

I have tried this but it really helps Sean. I prefer Trim Healthy Mama’s Good Girl Moonshine and Shrinker. The first has apple cider vinegar and ginger, and the second has the cayenne pepper. I’ve also drank the Singing Canary which has lots of vitamin c.

So, if you find yourself fighting some nasty suffiness, give it a shot. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Communicate: Ask for What You Need

Say what you need ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou have to ask for what you need. If you just keep going on as you have always done, things will probably stay the same. But if you are bold enough to talk about your insecurities, even though you know that you shouldn’t be insecure or that you should find security and self-esteem in God, things can then change.

People are not mind readers! Spouses are definitely NOT mind readers and it is unfair to expect them to be. They have their own stuff they are dealing with.

Even if you are met with undesirable comments when you bring up the subject, persevere because now you have informed them and now God has a little more to work with in them. ;)

Recently I was talking to Tiffany (my 21yo daughter), exposing my insecurities about sometimes feeling unimportant. She urged me to talk about it with Michael and Sean at dinner that night but I refused. She took matters into her own hands and brought up the subject. (Since I had talked to her about it earlier that day, it had confirmed something she’d already felt she needed to do.)

The initial reactions were much as I anticipated but since then Michael has been much more attentive and helpful. :) Of course, I have had some health challenges of late as well, so the extra attention could be because of that too. But it doesn’t matter, the point is, I have let my needs known which made them able to give me what I need. Now we are all happier. :)

I hope this encourages you to share your feelings with those you love and don’t be upset if things don’t seem to go well at first; it just might take a little bit for it to sink in and affect change.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Birthday Weekend

Here I was preparing to tell what a boring week it’d been when I remembered that Brian, Lauren, and Liam were here last weekend to celebrate birthdays!!! So I have grandson pictures to share. Although I took my nice camera for the family gathering, it died right after the first picture and I hadn’t taken the case, so no battery charger. Ugh! Thankfully my phone still had power. ;)

Family ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, that’s most of us. Tiffany is on the corner there with Liam on the yellow scooter thing and Macie is over there too.

Niece and Grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat dog is Hutch, my parents’ dog. He’s a big lovable fellow.

We didn’t have a chance to celebrate Brian’s birthday last month, so his celebration was up first. Mom made his usual request, Mud Pie.

Birthday ~ Lifeofjoy.meHis, like most of the other adults, is over quickly as it doesn’t take long to open a gift of money. ;)

I made a sugar free mud pie which was very muddy because something happened to the chocolate sauce and it didn’t thicken at all. I will get it right though. :) I’d gotten a new vanilla and it was way to strong and florally. Yuk! I will definitely be either reducing the amount of this vanilla next time or using a different one!

Grandson cake ~ Lifeofjoy.meI sprinkled the remaining crust crumbs in a Mickey Mouse silhouette on top. And like I said, it was messy.

THM Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meBut good! Liam approved. :)

grandson eating mud pie ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Grandson and gifts ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe liked his little minion I got him. I know he’ll enjoy the colorforms and stickers we got him too, as well as the ‘magna doodle.’

He knew how to rip off the paper this year. :)

Grandson opening gift ~ Lifeofjoy.meClapping ~ lifeofjoy.meUncle Sean made it easy for him!

opening tissue paper gifts ~ lifeofjoy.meThe paper was barely off before he was off and rocking! :)

riding rocking horse ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, I think it was a hit! ;)

Well, I have a busy day ahead of me. It is Aunt and Niece Day in our family today. So Tracie is picking up Tiffany and dropping of her girls. I have a lot of fun planned with them and they are spending the night so that they can have what they really want, cousin time. :)

So, I’ll run for now and share more pictures of our little guy next week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Don’t Get Too Busy

Busy ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen our children were teens, my oldest said he wanted to play basketball. We had moved to the country and were home focused. We have a basketball hoop out in the back yard. Yes, it has a dirt ‘court’ but to my thinking, if he really wanted to play basketball then he’d be outside playing and I told him just that.

He went outside and played for a very short time and came back inside. I knew if it was something that God wanted him to do, and something he really had a strong desire to do, he’d be out there practicing, either early in the morning before it got hot or in the evening after it cooled off in the summer. I was willing to put in the time and money needed if he showed it to be a strong desire but I was not willing to do so if he only wanted to play for socialization. I did NOT need to be that busy and spend that much money because he wanted to hang with friends. ;)

I encourage you to take a look at the extra curricular things you and your children are considering for the new school year and determine if they are something God wants for them or if the activities are simply good things to do but not really necessary or really profitable for each child.

I read this article recently that had some good points about busyness and such. Much of the busyness is our own making and we put added stress on ourselves by rushing around getting places. It is a good article but there are a few unnecessary words; just needed to warn you. ;) One point he brings out is that people (including himself) are busy because they are afraid of being alone with themselves. Fortunately I am not like that, I enjoy peace and rest and even my alone time. :) The end of the article is really good!

I hope this encourages you today to take a fresh look at your commitments, pray about them, and following God’s leading as to which ones are important to keep and which ones, although good, are adding undo busyness to your lives.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Icantoo, Smile, and Scada

Today I could not decide what color tile to use. I had found that the Square One: Purely Zentangle focus tangle was Icantoo. I also found the daily tangles for yesterday and today on Pattern Collections was S-cada and Smile.

I decided to do a quick template check and found template #7 would work for me to use all three of these tangles. I first thought I’d just do as I always do  and use a white tile. Then I thought about a black tile. And finally a tan tile. I couldn’t decide which one to go with so I tried it on all three.

Here it is before shading.

White Tile Icantoo ~ Lifeofjoy.meTan tile icantoo smile scada ~ Lifeofjoy.meBlack tile icantoo smile scada ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhite Tile Icantoo ~ Lifeofjoy.meTan tile icantoo smile scada ~ Lifeofjoy.meBlack tile icantoo smile scada ~ Lifeofjoy.meI did the black one first and thought adding in the orbs was a good idea . . . not so much. Then I did the tan tile, which looks pink on my laptop, and as I was drawing S-cada I thought, “I need to make sure I draw the spirals in the right direction,” and totally drew the second ones wrong. :o I got it right the third time around (the white tile).

I had no idea how to shade the black tile. I know you have to “shade” the highlight and not the shadow but, yeah, so I just left it with the few highlights and called it good.

The tan tile was a bit easier and I used both some white ink highlights and the graphite shading. I think it turned out okay.

Shaded Tan Icantoo ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere it is a bit smaller.

Shaded Tan Icantoo ~ Lifeofjoy.meI didn’t bother erasing the template/string lines.

Then on the white tile, I shaded under Icantoo, making the string visible. I also drew Icantoo in the same direction instead of all 4 pointing towards the middle.

Shaded white icantoo ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere this one is a bit smaller.

Shaded white icantoo ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was raining today so I didn’t get a photograph in natural lighting.

So, which is your favorite? What tips do you have for me when drawing on different colored tiles?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and I’m glad you stopped by!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

THM Sausage Sandwich ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sausage Sandwich (low carb version)

All the cheesy deliciousness of the full carb version sandwich. :)

One meal I really enjoyed before Trim Healthy Mama and keto was Sausage Sandwich which is a creamy, cheesy sausage meat filling on sub roll.

The picture I have here is not a very good one so I will try to get another next time I make this and upload it. ;)

I used turkey sausage this time but you can use any kind of bulk sausage you like. I’ve done it with both pork and turkey.

Start by browning the sausage.

Brown sausage ~ Lifeofjoy.meI cook my veggies in a separate pan because of picky eaters. ;) So I just used 1/2 and onion, about 1/3 green bell pepper, and about 4 ounces of mushrooms, all diced. I cook them with a little bit of coconut oil.

Cooked veggies ~ LIfeofjoy.meI started with the onions and mushrooms and had completely forgotten the green bell peppers, so I just pushed them to the side and added the peppers in. Saute until desired doneness.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get pictures after this point. :(  But when the sausage is browned, add the cream cheese and spices. I add onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to season the meat up for those picky eaters. ;) Also add in the Parmesan cheese.

I decided to use THM 15 minute focaccia bread in my largest glass baking dish. Next time I’ll make it in a cookie sheet, making it thinner.

Spread the meat mixture on top of the bread. Then top with cheese; I used mild cheddar this time but have used colby jack or mozzarella cheeses before enjoyably.

Put in the oven and melt the cheese. I prefer this as an open-face sandwich but you could just put the sausage filling on half of the bread and put the other half of the bread on top. :)

Sausage Sandwich (low carb version)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped Or some onion powder
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or some garlic powder
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese (neufchatel works great)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 batch of low carb bread (I used THM 15 minute focaccia bread)
  • 6 oz. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Brown the sausage and drain the fat.
  2. Either saute the onions, peppers, and mushrooms in with the sausage or in a separate pan.
  3. If not using the veggies or sauteing separately, add about 4 or 5 shakes of onion powder, about 2 or 3 shakes of garlic powder, and oregano to the meat and stir.
  4. Now add in the cream cheese and shredded Parmesan cheese, melt and stir until combined.
  5. Then place 1/2 of your bread on the foil lined baking sheet.If you prefer your crust crisper, just put it on the cookie sheet.
  6. Sprinkle half the shredded cheese across the bread.
  7. Spread the cheesy meat filling on top of the cheese across the bottom of the loaf.
  8. Place the rest of the cheese on top of the sausage mixture.
  9. Place the remaining half of the focaccia on top of the meat and cheese.
  10. If using foil, wrap the foil up over the sandwich.
  11. Place in the oven.
  12. Bake on 375º for about 15 minutes to melt the cheese.
http://lifeofjoy.me/sausage-sandwich-low-carb-version/

I hope you enjoy this recipe makeover.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Be Inspiring

Be an Inspiration ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome time ago I saw an article giving 50 ideas to inspire your husband. It has some really good ideas ranging from sending texts messages to initiating great sex and encouraging his hobbies. :) It really is a nice, thoughtful list that can help better your marriage.

Since it is such a good list, I won’t waste your time chatting. Here’ is the link to the article. I hope it is helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº