Think It Through

Think ~ Lifeofjoy.meI asked Michael if he had any marriage advice I could share today. We kid with him that his answer is always “no.” In an effort to understand why, he finally was able to figure that it must be because he never had anyone tell him no. He was always allowed to do whatever he wanted and he got into trouble with the law. (He did not grow up in a ‘Christian’ home.) So he surmises that he views saying no as caring for and protecting those he loves. Trust me when I say, it does not feel that way. I did not grow up the same way he did.

His advice: think about things three and four times before making a commitment. And of course, pray about it.

It is so easy to just go with your ‘gut feeling’ but that isn’t always the right thing to do. If you have trouble hearing God answer your questions, ask Him to confirm it through others. Then keep a watchful eye for your answer and accept it, even if it isn’t the answer you wanted.

I guess I’m keeping it short and sweet today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Liam’s Vacation Part 2

I enjoyed having Liam here. Of course, I’m no spring chicken any more, so I rested up at the beginning of the week but I do miss his sweetness. :)

Liam Vacay Pt 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam Vacay Pt 2 ~ lifeofjoy.meLove him soooo much!

I told about his temper the other day. Here’s a picture where he was just overwhelmed. :D

Liam Upset ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, that is Shiloh’s bed. He was so upset he laid there crying. He soon stopped and was back to his sweet self shortly thereafter. Shiloh was even interested in his display; of course, it is her bed, so she has a vested interest in him getting out of it.

Shiloh Jealous ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs you can see, Shiloh was a bit jealous of Liam and craved more attention than usual. I think she was glad when he left.

Liam enjoyed toddling back and forth down the hallway. It made it difficult for Aunt Tiffany to get work done. ;)

Liam visits Tiff ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe didn’t mind though.

Kid Loves Music ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love that look on his face, which is why I included this blurry picture. ;)

Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m really going to miss him, as they are moving two hours away this weekend. Of course, Brian promises they’ll come visit once a month. At least it isn’t in another state.


In other news, we’re gearing up for conference at church. Tiffany and I went over one day this week; she cleaned the kitchen while I had a meeting about kitchen processes and needs.

We’ll have a shopping day next week to buy conference items, although we’ll probably just add it to our regular grocery day as it isn’t really that much extra that I need to get.

I have had to make household preparations also. Since we will be at the conference all week, we’ll need to figure out the menu for several weeks. That is always challenging. I try to get as much as possible before the conference so that all I have to do is get perishables at the end of the conference.

Thankfully the weather is turning cooler and we will get to start having soup again, enjoyably. So we have soup on the menu, at least once or twice but will do so even more in the upcoming weeks.

Conference meetings are usually over before dinner time, so I’ve got simple meals planned. Some are so very simple, I would have never thought of them had it not been for Trim Healthy Mama and their Stubborn Losers Menu.

I’ve also got to do my nails. I haven’t done them in a long time and they are in definite need of attention. Then there is the laundry and figuring out what I’ll be wearing throughout the week.

Well, I’ve got lots to do, so I’m going to go. I hope you have a great week. I’m going to rest up as much as possible and pre-make some snacks and such, to stave off bad eating during conference week. I’ve finally got the scales moving in the right direction again and hope not to mess that up.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Teach How to Research

Teach Research ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is important to not just give children the answers to questions they have but to show them how to find the answers. If all you ever do is answer their questions, then you are teaching them to ask people for information. That is sometimes acceptable and even good but it is also good for them to learn how to find the information themselves.

Now obviously this is difficult to do when they are little but when you have to look up something, tell them and show them that you don’t just know that information off the top of your head. Let them sit on your lap as you search or show them the books where you will search for the information and how you use the books.

Teaching your children how to search for information, find books in the library, and how to use a book index are all important skills. When they are young, you could show them two books that are completely different from each other and ask them which one they think will have the information they need. Then proceed to show them how to find the information.

Teaching your children to find information for themselves is a vital skill. With this skill, they are empowered for life; there is then very little they cannot accomplish because they know how to find whatever information they need to learn.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Cozy Season Change

This week Laura had one more guest challenge. This week it is a team challengers Juliette and Kellie. They invite us to use tangles that remind us of season change and/or use cozy tangles. (I had a bit of a hard time listening to their podcast: Tanglepod because I couldn’t seem to get the volume loud enough, even with headphones on. I may have to give them another try sometime.)

I began thinking about what tangles seemed cozy to me. I immediately thought of Crescent Moon. Then I looked through my notebook of tangles and saw Ahhh! That is most definitely a tangle that makes me think of cozy because it reminds me of snow. I like to be all warm and cozy inside watching the snow through the window.

I like it when it is cold enough to lean back on a pillow and cover up with a blanket. Shattuck reminds me of a blanket and Drupe reminds me of a pillow.

I started with the four dots and lines for the frame but decided against drawing a string and just went free styling. First I drew Drupe and then added Shattuck. From there I added Ahhh, as if looking out a window.

Here’s the tile before shading.

DC#333 ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd here it is afterwards.

DC#333 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI used a little 6B pencil to get some darkness but I didn’t smudge my shading well enough. I really need to get some new blending stumps; the ones I have just aren’t working very well. I need some pointier tortillions.

Looking at the tile now, the whole thing kind of looks like a pillow. :)

Thanks for stopping by. And a huge thanks to any of you kind people that take the time to leave a comment, they are most appreciated!!!

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Baby Food ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sweet Potatoes for Little Ones

Last week we had my grandson Liam while his parents were on a cruise vacation. He’s just learned to walk and falls a lot, so a cruise ship on rough seas is no place for him. So Grandma got to love on him this week. :)

Finding veggies he will eat is not an easy task. But then when I realize that I don’t really like veggies either, I’m a little easier on him. ;) Then I think about his parents and they are not really fond of veggies either. So what to feed this child in the veggie department when he pushes unwanted veggies back out of his mouth?

Sweet potatoes to the rescue! And thankfully I have sweet potatoes on hand. :)

I’ve never done much with sweet potatoes before so it was a learning experience for me as well. But it was super simple!

Either scrub your sweet potato or peel it. I did it both ways but the peeled version seemed to be easier to eat as the skins didn’t get in the way.

Then dice up into small pieces. Put them in a saucepan, sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon, and put in enough water to cover them. Set it on the stove and bring to a boil. Boil until the pieces are tender, about 10-15 minutes or so depending on the size of the pieces.

Liam + Swt Pot ~ Lifeofjoy.meSweet Potatoes for LIttle Ones ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam & Sweet Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam & Sweet Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sweet Potatoes for Little Ones

Ingredients

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cinnamon, sprinkling
  • water

Instructions

  1. Peel or scrub and dice potatoes.
  2. Place in pot with a sprinkling of cinnamon and cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until pieces are softened.
http://lifeofjoy.me/sweet-potatoes-for-little-ones/

Yeah, I know, hardly a recipe but that’s what I did and he loved them, as you can see in the pictures above. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Ask First and Save Yourself Trouble

Ask First ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou know the saying, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission”? Well, that is not the way you should handle things in your marriage. Yeah, I’m telling you from experience here. Oh, I wish it were an experience that I am pulling up from my distant past but unfortunately this one just happened this past week. :(

At least I learned a very valuable lesson: it is disrespectful to not ask his permission, especially if it is something that will affect him in any way.

I had to do some fancy apologizing for my overstepping. Even a day later, I was still dealing with the aftermath of my decision. We now have a clean slate and are moving forward. What I should have done was to sit down and talk to him about what I wanted to do and why, and then pray God deal with his heart.

So let that be one of those hard knocks you don’t have to get on your own. Learn from my mistake and be blessed. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

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Holiday Decor and Liam’s Vacation with Us

I’m going to have to learn how to put videos up on this site soon. I’ve had a couple of cute ones I would have liked to have shared if I knew how. I had captured those ducklings I shared a few Thursdays ago on video. Then last week when Tiffany and I were running errands we went to Big Lots. They always have some of the cutest holiday stuffed Christmas decor that moves and plays music. They have one this year that looks and sounds a bit like a monster from Sesame Street. :D

Christmas Decor ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe spins around the floor ‘singing’ a Christmas song. Very fun! (I figured out how to capture a still from the video.)

That’s about the extent of my non-Liam news. Brian and Lauren were able to go on a cruise and we get to keep Liam while they are gone because a boat is no place for a toddling child. He’s hardly stable on solid ground, let alone a boat or worse yet, solid ground after being on a boat. :D

I have decided that what I have heard is true: it is more fun being a grandparent than a parent! :) Don’t get me wrong, I love having him here and would not have had it any other way. But he reminded me how hard it is to be consistent with discipline day in and day out. I think I like being grandma best. :)

Fun being a Grandparent ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think I’ve probably said it before but this boy loves food! He even loves watching food being made.Liam loves food~ Lifeofjoy.meA few days before Liam got here, I got a package from Trim Healthy Mama and decided to save the box for him to play with. Usually kids like boxes and he did enjoy it for a little bit.

Box fun~ Lifeofjoy.meBut soon he gave up on it and played with the blocks his mommy left for him. :)

Mega Blocks ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was fun to have Michael get some of the toys I’d saved from the kids out of storage and have him enjoy playing with them.

Toys ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was trying to figure out what real food I could feed this foodie. I boiled a couple of sweet potatoes for him to have with some meals. It’s really easy. I seasoned them with a bit of cinnamon. He seemed to enjoy them and has eaten both of them over the last several days.

Sweet Potato for lunch ~ Lifeofjoy.meAmong the fruits he’s eaten and enjoyed this week are strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, orange, and a peach. Fruit is not his food struggle, neither is meat. His struggle is vegetables. He seemed to like the sauteed broccoli and cauliflower we had near the beginning of his stay. He also seemed to like the creamy cabbage and chicken we had one night.

One day I tried to feed him some canned vegetables and he did not like it at all. I realized that I wouldn’t like it either. So I decided to cream them up. He ate some after that. The other night I gave him the rest of them added to some quinoa and he liked that.

Yesterday I was looking for a veggie for him to eat and realized I had a piece of “Cake for Dinner” which has a lot of undetectable radishes in it. He liked it.

Cake for Lunch ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, I’ve rambled long enough. I’ll save some stuff for next week. Life is a bit more boring without him here. :D

So, Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Children and Tempers

Snack Cup ~ Lifeofjoy.meI had the joy of keeping my one year old grandson Liam this week while his parents were on a cruise, which is not the place for a toddler who is beginning to walk, as he falls down enough on solid ground. ;)

The name Liam means “strong willed warrior and protector” according to babycenter.com and he is definitely living up to his name! I thought my boys were strong-willed but this little fella is definitely giving them a run for the title, that is for sure! I think it is very important to consider the meaning of a name before naming children for this very reason.

It is important to make them obedient without breaking their will. Now I know this sounds contrary but it really isn’t. It is about letting them grow up to be the person God intends for them to be but it is also necessary that they learn to submit their will to the authorities in their lives. Sadly, this takes a lot of discipline and consistency on the parents’ part. As I’ve written before, I think it is part of the reason God made us to desire children when we are younger, so that we learn discipline as we train our children.

We don’t want children to be weak and go along with everything anyone tells them but we do want them to obey God and the people in authority in their lives. It is in their best interest to correct them and follow through with what you say. If you tell a child not to touch something and they do, you need to smack his/her hand. It need not be a hard smack but say no and tap their hand or leg. And every time they do it, smack him/her again.

I have a humidity gauge that sits on the coffee table. When Liam first started pulling up at it, I told him ‘no’ when he touched it and removed his hand from it. Every time he went to touch it, I forcefully said ‘no’ again. If he continued on and actually touched it, once again smacked his hand and removed it from it. Now every time he comes over, he mostly leaves it alone. But as I mentioned, he will try and get away with it occasionally. The other day, he picked it up and tried to walk off with it. I had to reinforce that he is not to touch it. I said, “Llliiiaaammm, no no.” He immediately dropped it, otherwise, I would have smacked him again.

Since then, he’s left it alone, except yesterday when I walked out of the room. Michael said he attempted to touch it but he reaffirmed that he’s not supposed to touch it and he’s left it alone since.

It takes a lot disciple to train children. Let us not forget that we should pray for them as well. Pray that they will learn to be obedient and submissive to God and the authorities in their lives.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Another New Tile

Laura is back with the Diva Challenge this week after having a fun and busy summer. Although I expected the challenge to be to use the newest tangle released from Zentangle, Spoken, she went a completely different way. This week’s challenge is to have at least two squares.

I immediately imagined two squares that overlap in the middle of the tile and thought to use Paradox in the squares. (I decided I should have a picture of the string and didn’t feel like getting up to scan it, so I took the lazy route and just snapped a quick shot with my phone.)

A New Tile ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo then I decided to start with paradox in the small square in the middle but it’s been so long since I’ve used it, I lost the muscle memory for drawing it and had to remind myself. Unfortunately it wasn’t until after I’d made a few ‘opportunistic’ lines (because I know there are no mistakes with Zentangle, even when it feels like one ;) ).

I attempted to turn the tile over and redraw the string but I couldn’t get it as good as I had the first time, even after erasing 3 times. So I decided to just go with the one I’d already started on the flip side.

Then I realized that I wasn’t liking how it would look if I used the squares I had originally planned and opted to use the squares that don’t overlap for my Paradox. The cool thing about this string is that there are LOTS of squares to choose from even though I only drew two.

I checked Square One: Purely Zentangle’s focus tangle and thought I could add it in too. It is a nice flowy tangle–Fleavy. I decided to add it in each of the original squares that were now empty.

I also checked out the tangle for the day over on Pattern-Collections.com and found it to be Zavatar Love. This tangle looked like it could fit nicely with Fleavy. Unfortunately I drew it too small and didn’t feel confident enough to add another.

Here is the tile before shading.

A New Tile ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m soooo glad for learning how to shade because I don’t fret over my inability to draw straight lines. :D

Here it is shaded.

A New Tile ~ Lifeofjoy.meI really feel like this could benefit from some blackened areas but am not sure where to do it. I feel as insecure about blackening as I did when I first started to shade (afraid I’d mess up all my hard work).

My instinct is to blacken it in between the left Fleavy and Paradox square and then again in the white space above the other Fleavy. Maybe I’ll try it with a digital program and see how I like it and then I can tell if I really want to do that or not.

My favorite pieces are ones that have the contrast of some areas blackened in  and shaded well. Oh the learning curve is scary but fun when you’ve done it a while.

So what do you think?

Thanks in advance for your kind and encouraging comments. I really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

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ACV Drink ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Cream Soda ACV Drink

A better tasting way to drink Apple Cider Vinegar and obtain the health benefits from it, including gut health and weight loss.

Until several weeks ago, I had never had a urinary tract infection. Yes, that was until several weeks ago. I wasn’t even sure what was happening then but Michael did some research and discovered not only was it a UTI but that I needed to drink a lot of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with the “mother”.

I do not like ACV! Not at all. As a matter of fact, when I make Good Seasons Italian dressing at home from the package, I use less vinegar than it calls for because I dislike it so.

In order to drink it three times a day, I put two tablespoons in a cup of water (about 8 ounces), to which I’d add a bit of pure stevia extract powder. I drank this with my breath held. Thankfully the UTI was healed and I could cease drinking the ACV for that reason but there are many healthy reasons to drink ACV. So, I thought, I’ve heard about Trim Healthy Mamas Good Girl Moonshine which features ACV, maybe I can find one that will be tolerable. ;)

And here it is! Cream Soda Good Girl Moonshine

Yes, you can taste the ACV in the beginning but the after taste is yummy caramel. And it is easy to make. You could just put all the ingredients in any quart size container but Tiffany likes to mix it up thoroughly in a blender. She was kind enough to make it and take pictures for me. She made both of us a batch, but I will give you the directions for a single batch.

Begin with a cup of water

Cream Soda ACV Drink Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar that has the “mother” included

Cream Soda ACV Dring Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe 1 teaspoon of collagen is what gives it the creaminess. I use the  one from Trim Healthy Mama (THM).

Cream Soda ACV Dring Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext we add sweetener to personal preference. We each like 1/16th teaspoon of pure stevia extract (THM brand, which is 2 doonks) and one and a half teaspoons sukrin:1, which is an erythritol stevia blend sweetener.

Cream Soda ACV Dring Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meCream Soda ACV Dring Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext add 1/4 teaspoon each vanilla and caramel extracts.Cream Soda ACV Dring Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow add 1/2 teaspoon MCT or coconut oil.Cream Soda ACV Dring Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd finally a pinch of mineral salt

Cream Soda ACV Dring Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meIf it is put in a blend, whir away. If you put it directly into your quart jar, shake well.

Cream Soda ACV Dring Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meFill the quart container with ice. If using a blender, fill the container with ice and pour the mixture over the ice. Next fill the rest of the container with water and shake to blend.

Sip your way to better health. :)

Cream Soda ACV Drink

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons ACV
  • 1 teaspoon collagen
  • 1/16 teaspoon pure stevia extract powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon caramel extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon MCT or coconut oil
  • 1 pinch mineral salt
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients other than the ice and blend well.
  2. Fill a quart container with ice.
  3. Pour the blended ingredients over ice.
  4. Fill the remaining space in the container with water.
  5. Shake and drink
http://lifeofjoy.me/cream-soda-acv-drink/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº