Showing Compassion in the Little Things

Caring ~ Lifeofjoy.meFrom time to time, Michael has had soreness or pain. Thankfully I have been relatively free of pain (with the exception of my menses in years past).

Recently I have had some pains surface in my body. One is a pain in my wrist that travels up my arm. Michael had a similar pain within the last year. I think I rubbed it some and prayed for him, and tried to offer what supplements we had on hand that might help. But with my recent pain, I realized that I may not have been as sympathetic and considerate as I might should have been.

I have found that it is always a good idea to ask yourself what you would appreciate if you were in a similar situation. I really like the practice of asking people to rate their pain level from 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst. It helps give perspective into how the person is coping with the pain. I have a tendency to rate my pain lower because I compare it to something horrific rather than just how bearable the pain is for me at the moment.

I guess what I’m learning is to try to be more mindful when he says he has some pain and show more compassion or concern. We tend to minimize things like that around here. This was not always the case. ;) For those who might be concerned for us, we do have a doctor we go to when pains persist or we are unable to get things controlled.

My point is that I’m finding out that I probably could be a bit more compassionate and sympathetic to the one I love most on this earth. Sometimes we get caught up in all we have to do and don’t put forth the extra effort to do nice things for each other. I’m hoping I’ll remember this and be more considerate in the future. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Flower Update

I thought I’d give a bit of an update on my flowers. :) I especially love flowers that come up without any work from me. :)

Here are my sunflowers. I love that some of them are red and some are a mix.

Bee on Sunflower ~ Lifeofjoy.meSee the bee? I love catching interesting photos like that. :)

Here you can see one of the blossoms blooming and then there is another bud beside it. If you look down a bit lower you can see one that doesn’t have much red in it at all.

Unfurling sunflower and bud ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere you can see how these self-planted (or maybe bird planted) sunflowers really desired to live in spite of their shallow planting.

self-planted sunflowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou can also see how the “grass” is encroaching on the flower bed. We’ve had a bit of rain, which the flowers are enjoying, but my right wrist/hand/arm is challenging me right now and I cannot get rid of the weeds and such. I am afraid I may end up with one of those “natural” looking flower beds again this year and I really don’t want that. So, we’ll see.

As you can see in that last picture, my marigolds are doing well. My lovely vincas are too.

Pink vincas ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe white ones are doing well too. And you can see my ?mini coleus? are doing well too, in spite of the pesky “grass.”

white vincas ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy new rose bush is doing pretty good too.

Yellow Roses ~ Lifeofjoy.meJust look at that flower!

Yellow Rose ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo pretty!

Unfortunately my lilies did not bloom this year. :(

Not Lilies ~ Lifeofjoy.meBut there is something growing next to them, other than the weeds. ;) I’m not sure what it is right now.

Unknown Plant ~ Lifeofjoy.meYes, that is the plant steak there. I just forget what it says. :D And that is Darcy. I’m not sure what he was waiting for.  (hee hee)

Here was a pleasant surprise . . .

Pretty Pink Flower ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m not sure what it is but it is one that we planted last year and reseeded itself! Love that!!!! As you can see, it won’t be a lonesome flower. It has some other stalks coming up too.

Pretty Pink Flower 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I saw a hummingbird at the mimosa tree this week but by the time I got the telephoto lens on, it was gone. But I did catch some butterflies in action. :)

Butterfly & Mimosa ~ Lifeofjoy.meMimosa & Butterfly ~ Lifeofjoy.meButterfly Mimosa ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Well, that’s my flowers. :) I hope you liked the update. If you know what that pretty flower is, let me know in the comments.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Civics

Vote ~ lifeojoy.meThis coming week is the primary elections in Oklahoma. I don’t generally vote in the primaries. In order to vote in the primaries you must be registered for a specific party. The reason for this is so that people from the other party can’t get the weaker candidate on the ballot to oppose their candidate. If you want to see if your state is having primaries this year, you can check this webpage.

It is important to teach your children about civics and their responsibilities as a citizen of this country. In Oklahoma it is one of the few requirements we have for educating our children. One way we teach children about civics (and really most everything) is by what we do. If we spend time researching which candidate to vote for and go vote, we show our children that we place importance on it.

If you are looking for a curriculum to teach your children about our government and how it works, the HSLDA has some good information on teaching civics here.

I hope this is helpful to you and reminds you to check into your state’s upcoming elections.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

 

 

Fun Font

I started a tile a few days ago and got caught up doing other things and did not get back around to it. I went to pull it out today and it had gotten a big oil stain on it. :( Won’t be finishing that tile.

My wrist has been bothering me a bit, so I don’t exactly feel like drawing much right now.

I found this font on pinterest and love it! I’ve used it a lot. I used it on a Father’s Day card to my hubby last week. (I did it on white card stock but it didn’t show up very good, so I colored the background so you could see it here better.)

I used a glitter pen and it looks really nice in real life. :)

I went outside and took a picture of it in the sun this morning. :)

Glittery Father's Day Card ~ Lifeofjoy.meGlittery Card ~ lifeofjoy.meYeah, it doesn’t show up very good but Michael liked it. ;)

I love the curls and the fat lines.

I found the font on pinterest. I only wish the lower case letters were shown too.

Journaling Addict FontHere’s the link to journaling addict, who is the source of this photo. I really appreciate that this picture is online because I’ve enjoyed creating things with this lettering style.

Well, that’s it for today. I hope you have a good one.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Slice Zucchini Chocolate Cake ~ lifeofjoy.me

Mostess Bundt Cake

Think Hostess cream filled cupcakes but bigger. :)

So, I took the Mostess Cupcake recipe from the Trim Healthy Table cookbook page 395, doubled it, and baked it in a fluted pan.

Mostess Bundt Cake ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe reason I doubled it is because it makes twelve cupcakes and I know that a usual cake batter that can be baked as cupcakes, bundt cake, or two layer cake makes 24 cupcakes, so I figured it would be a very short bundt cake. Doubling it made it the right height. :)

I made the cake one day and then the next day I made the cream filling and ganache, combined it and refrigerated it to eat the next day. It was scrumptious! :)

Inject Cream in Cake ~ Lifeofjoy.meI shared a video about filling it with the cream on my instagram account on Saturday. The next picture shows the injector I used. It was a cheap one but it has a tip that allows you to inject the cream in the cake without removing any cake bits. :) Then it has other tips for decorating.

Cream blobs on top ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany’s is better but we couldn’t find hers. They can be found rather inexpensively. We found her nice one for $2 at TJMaxx, I think. Mine was a little bit more at Walmart. Mine holds more cream but isn’t all that great. ;)

Every time I make the ganache, it is too thin and I have to add more chocolate chips. It thickens nicely at first but it is like I pour it the cream too slowly and it gets too warm to thicken after that. Hmmm, I may be on to something here . . . I do mine in a double boiler . . . maybe I need to turn the burner off when I add the cream so it doesn’t get too warm.

Well, anyway, just be aware that you may need to add more chocolate chips or not add all of the cream but it is worth the effort. :)

Mostess Bundt Cake ~ lfieofjoy.meCut Mostess Cake ~ Lifeojfoy.meSince my ganache is so thin, it makes a bit of a mess. ;) But we eat it anyway. :)

Slice Zucchini Chocolate Cake ~ lifeofjoy.meWell, I hope you enjoyed my spin on the Mostess Cupcakes.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Fathers

Michael and I ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know I’m a day late but I didn’t want to let it pass without me saying anything. Since it is “Marriage Monday,” I just wanted to encourage you not to make your appreciation of your hubby be a once in a while thing. Men enjoy hearing that you appreciate them. Pump him up, if not on a daily basis, on a weekly one.

I’m sooo blessed to have a man who loves God with all his heart!!! I think it is probably the reason we have made it nearly 31 years together. When a person is seeking after God with his whole heart, he will naturally better himself and his marriage as he grows in God.

Michael and I may not have what the world would consider prosperity but our hope, faith, and trust is in God and we know that we have what we need for today. We are content with the things we have and trust God to take care of us as we follow and obey Him. We are just stewards over what He gives us.

Michael & Grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meMichael and I made a choice when we started our life together that we wanted to do life together. We wanted him to be here for the kids and involved in their daily lives. We wanted me to be home with them and to educate them ourselves. We made these choices and are happy we did. Michael is just as good with our grandson as he was with our kids. When he is here, Michael gets down on the floor and plays with him and shows interest in him. It warms my heart.

I guess “loving the Lord with all his heart” was a trait I looked for in a man because that is the kind of man my daddy was. When I was young, we moved a lot but it was usually because we wanted to live closer to the church we were attending. :) We even moved nearly five hundred miles once when I was young, one of the main reasons was to go to a different church.

God and church has always been a big part of my life because of the importance my parents put on it. I remember even when my dad worked long hours and I didn’t get to see him much, he would ask me on the weekends or late in the evening when he finally got home, if I had read my Bible.

My Daddy ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy daddy always worked hard to provide for us, making our lives comfortable and enjoyable. Even after retiring he still worked hard. I think it is hard for him to realize he is now in his seventies and cannot do all the hard work he is used to doing. ;)

Daddy always believed in me! He even spent his hard-earned money to allow me to do something that I felt God wanted me to do. Not only did he have faith in me hearing God but he also helped me believe in myself, that I could do anything I put my mind to, a trait I still have today.

Thanks Daddy!!! Thank you for following God even when it was hard and for teaching me to do the same (especially by your example). I am forever grateful! Love you bunches!!!

So, I encourage you today to make a point to tell your man how much you appreciate him. Respect is not something that is earned with a husband and wife, it is something that is required of the wife. Voicing your appreciation is a good way to show respect.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

My Grandson (and Son and Daughter-in-Love) Visited

Since Lauren has to work this weekend, they came up last weekend. Sooooooo . . . I got Liam pictures!!!!

Grandson Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was warming up to Shiloh again. (He has to warm up to her ever visit.) He heard the camera click . . .

Cutie Grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meSuch a ham! But such a cute ham!!! (I’m not biased at all! :D )

He likes to play with this window with people. Last month it was Sean. This month Tiffany.

Playing with Nephew ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd once again, he heard the camera click . . .

Daughter, Grandson Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe loves his daddy! He enjoys “playing” video games too. :)

Guys gaming ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, he caught me again. (He’s just so stinking cute sometimes. LOL)

He also loves playing with balls. So we play at some point while he’s here. He’s good at bouncing it to me but not good at catching it yet. ;)

Playing ball with grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe also had fun “drawing” with Aunt Tiffany this visit. It wasn’t very long lived, but it was cute.Concentrated Drawing ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe watched Tiffany very carefully and tried to mimic her motions. It was darling.

I love the look on Lauren’s face, such a momma look!

Proud Momma ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, we had a nice visit! We don’t see them very often, so even though we hadn’t made it to church the last couple of weeks because Tiffany was not feeling well, we stayed home and visited with them. It was nice to has a leisurely breakfast of sausage and baked pancakes. Then we had sandwiches and fruit salad for lunch and ended our visit with some homemade cookie dough ice cream.

Brian and Liam loved the ice cream. It’s a little cheap ice cream maker we got from Aldi a couple of years ago. You keep the bowl in the freezer for 24 hours before using it. It doesn’t get really hard set but it is a nice soft serve consistency. It only makes about one and a half quarts, so Lauren had the last piece of strawberry cake I served the night before. (She loves strawberry and is not a huge fan of ice cream, so it worked out fine.) I can see I’m going to have to get another machine as my family grows. ;)

Well, that’s enough for today. I hope you enjoyed our visit with my family. I sure do miss them since they are a couple hours away but I know I have it good.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Signing and Children

SIgning with Littles ~ Lifeofjoy.meI recently heard of a young homeschooling momma whose young boy, about age 7, stopped talking. I cannot imagine what challenges she is facing, especially if she doesn’t know sign language in any form.

I learned sign language from books. Truth be told, God enabled me to learn it pretty decently. Unfortunately I never had a clue that teaching babies/toddlers was a thing, as I definitely would have used it with my children when they were young because they did not really talk much until they were two years old. Brian and Lauren (my son and daughter-in-love) are teaching my grandson some sign language and it is really helping them communicate better.

I found a few links to share with you today. I hope they might be helpful.

A lot of libraries have baby sign language books and other resources available.

I found that there are lots of articles online touting the benefits of teaching toddlers and young children sign language. It can help them communicate more readily. It connects both sides of the brain and more.

I hope this helps some. As always, if you have any specific questions, let me know and I’ll try to help.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Bit of Color on Soul Star with Meer and Hollibaugh

Over the weekend I tangled a tile but did not shade it right away. When I checked the Diva Challenge this week, I saw that there was no challenge again; I guess Laura has gone on her summer break without any guest post challengers this year–I hope she is okay (I may ask on her facebook page when I’m done here).

I really like the tangle Soul Star by Sonya Yencer. I used it this week with two other favorites of mine, Meer and Hollibaugh. I like Hollibaugh because it has such good contrast in it.

So here’s my lineart.

Preshaded June10 Tile ~ Lifeofjoy.meI decided I wanted to add some color. Now I didn’t really have the right things to do this with so I just used my prismacolor pencils with a blender. It came out rather rough. I’m going to be looking for the watercolor pencils next. :)

I only colored one Soul Star because I wasn’t liking how it flowed . . . new supplies coming soon, I hope.

Soul Star, Meer, Hollibaugh ~ Lifeofjoy.meSoul Star, Meer, Hollibaugh ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere is a picture I took outside on an overcast day.

Meer Soul Star Hollibaugh ~ Lifeofjoy.meI used a bit of a 6b pencil to add some extra depth to some of the shading.

Since I want to share this in a Purely Zentangle group, I also scanned it grayscale because color is not allowed there. :)

grayscale meer soul star hollibaugh ~ Lifeofjoy.meI really appreciate you stopping by. Let me know which picture you like the most. I’m trying to figure out which way is best to post my tiles. I don’t like small pictures because I have a hard time seeing details but I don’t really want you to see all the imperfections either. ;)

Well, I’m off. Have a great day.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Pizza Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Pizza Skillet

The best part of pizza is the cheesy toppings and are very low carb. :)

I love pizza! No seriously! Life without pizza is not an option, so every diet/lifestyle change I have been on, I have found a way to get the yumminess of pizza legally for that way of eat. Some of them were more of a stretch than others, like the time we used Corn Thins as the crust and spread on tomato paste and added toppings or the time we used chicken breast for the crust.

Well, I’ve been at this for so long that I don’t always have to have the crust. Sometimes I just want the toppings. I made this recipe the other day because it is too hot to use the oven to make pizza right now.

This meal is all about the toppings you like most. I used 1/2 pound of ground turkey, 1/2 pound of ground chicken, some turkey pepperoni, and some turkey bacon. (I use turkey products because Michael cannot have the beef or pork right now.)

Cooking ground meat ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I gave the ground meats a head start, then added the turkey bacon, broke it all up and combined well.

Then added the turkey pepperoni slices. Some times I cut them into quarters but I wanted to bite down into whole pieces this night.

Add pepperoni to other meats ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Once it’s all browned up and the juices cook off, add in some tomato paste, water, baking soda, and oregano.

Add Tomato Paste to meats ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Pizza toppings and sauce ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add herbs to pizza toppings ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Stir to combine.

I like some green pepper and mushrooms on my pizza but my kids don’t prefer it. So I cook it separately. :) Cut the veggies how you like them; we like ours diced.

Diced pizzza veggies ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Then either add them in with the meats as you brown them or in a separate pan to saute. I like mine caramelized.

Veggies cooked ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add cheese to the top of the meats and let it melt.

pizza toppings ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Pizza Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.me

It is ready to eat when the cheese is melted nicely.

Pizza Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.me

It kind of looks like my lasagna. ;) Oh, I’m looking forward to creating that one.

I serve it with the veggies on top and with a side salad.

Pizza Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Pizza Skillet and Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

If you miss the crust, you can serve it on a piece of low carb bread. I’ll adjust the recipe to incorporate that in a future post.

Pizza Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground meat (I used turkey)
  • 1/2 pound sausage (I used chicken sausage)
  • several slices of turkey bacon (I guess you could use regular bacon)
  • most of a 5 ounce package of pepperoni (I used turkey pepperoni)
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 6 ounces water
  • sprinkle of baking soda (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • dusting of oregano (about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon)
  • veggies of your choosing
  • 8 ounces cheese, shredded (I used colby jack)

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground meats in a skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add bacon and break up the meats.
  3. When nearly cooked through add pepperoni.
  4. Either add veggies cut as desired to the meat or saute in another pan.
  5. When juices have nearly evaporated, add the tomato paste, water, baking soda, and oregano.
  6. Combine well. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  7. Reduce heat to Medium Low, cover.
  8. Serve when cheese is nicely melted.
  9. (Add veggies if you cooked them separately.)
http://lifeofjoy.me/pizza-skillet/

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº