Advice for When there is More Togetherness than Usual

This week I thought I’d keep it simple. Hubby has been home for a couple weeks now. On a usual basis, Michael can be gone from home less hours than most husbands and we work well with that but I do NEED him to be gone for some time. Don’t get me wrong! I love my husband very  much and he loves me very much. We enjoy being home together and doing things together.

But . . . he can get a bit stir-crazy when he is home when he wouldn’t normally be home. And his antsyness can ruffle my feathers a bit. ;) So, in light of that I have to things I try to keep in mind.

I hope this encourages you today and blesses your marriage. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Birthdays, Puppies, Chicks, and Books

Another week has passed and so has March 2020. That is astonishing to me.

Birthday ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe have a lot of birthdays in the spring and with this “shelter in place” and such orders, we are not able to get together and celebrate our early spring birthdays and it is looking like our late spring birthdays won’t be either. So, when we are able to reunite and celebrate, it will almost be like Christmas. I just hope it is before our summer birthdays. ;)

When we all get together, there are thirteen of us and my parents are both in their 70’s, so it is just safer for us not to get together right now.

I am amazed at how much the puppies have grown in the short time we’ve had them. I am also very glad that we got both a boy and a girl the same day so they have each other to play with.

We’ve had them three weeks and the difference is amazing. Heidi is catching up to Finn’s size. Of course, he’s getting bigger too. They really enjoy playing together.

Heidi likes to climb. I’ve never seen a dog do this, let alone a puppy.

Don’t worry, she’s okay. She does it all the time. Seriously!

Tiffany is doing a great job training them. At first she was just trying with Finn, since he’s a few weeks older than Heidi but she saw he was getting a treat for coming and she hustled right on over. :D

Tiff says the chicks have grown a lot in the week and a half we’ve had them too. Of course, you imagine there is a lot of growth from just hatched. :D We did end up losing three chicks, unfortunately but the rest are doing great!

The fruit trees made it through the freeze as far as I know. I have not gone and checked on them myself yet.

What are your plans for April? Other than planning for Easter, I’m doing a lot of reading. I’m really enjoying it. I’m pretty certain I’ll get the library books read before I have to take them back, considering they are closed for a while. :D  I’ve read six books in March, starting two books that I didn’t finish before the end of March but already finished one as I’m writing this. :) So April is off to a good start.

I got a turkey ham from WinCo and scored a ham on sale at Aldi this week for our Easter dinner. I’m probably going to be making the Easter Story Cookies because I want them and some candies for fun. I’m not sure what dessert to make . . . maybe a baobab cake, immune boosting

Tiffany and I are buddy reading Dune together. One of us starts the book and reads two chapters and hands it off to the other, who then reads four chapters, thus leapfrogging over the other by two chapters. Then hands off the book back to the first reader who also reads four chapters and back again until we’ve finished the book. :)

Well, I’m off to read some more. :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Preparing for Easter ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Easter is Coming

Easter is just around the corner. Take some time to study this special time with your children this year. Many kids are home with their parents that are not generally there as much, because the schools have closed for now because of Covid-19. This gives families some extra ‘together’ time in which they can talk about the specialness of this season.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is celebrated this Sunday. Here are the passages that correlate to this time.

  • Matt 21
  • Mark 11
  • Luke 19 (beginning :29)
  • John 12

I recommend keeping it in context, so back up as far as you feel is necessary to keep it straight. Then I recommend just continue reading on throughout the week.

Jesus’ Final Passover

These are the scriptures that include the final days of Jesus’ life. They are not easy to read but so powerful and necessary. The chapters and verses between the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) and the final Passover scriptures below happened all in the same week, at least as I understand it.

  • Matt 26
  • Mark 14
  • Luke 22
  • John 13

I had to remind myself that Passover is a week long celebration/observation with both the first and last days being big days. Since I have not observed Passover in the ways the Jews did, I forget this and what all went on during that time. (Maybe another study to be had. ;) )

Jesus’ Arrest, Suffering, and Death

These are the chapters of the account from the night of the arrest through to the death of our Savior. Most of these accounts have the arrest in the same chapter as the last supper but notice that there are five chapters in between the two events in John. Seeing as John was one of the closest to Jesus (along with his brother James and Peter), I think these give some special insight into that time. So many times when verses are mentioned in these chapters of John, it is forgotten when they were spoken.

  • Matt 26 (beginning :47)
  • Mark 14 (beginning :43)
  • Luke 22 (beginning :47)
  • John 18

Resurrection Account

Here are the passages that share the testimonies of the resurrection itself.

  • Matt 28
  • Mark 16
  • Luke 24
  • John 20

I enjoy reading about the interactions with Jesus after His resurrection! This is further proof that He is Alive and Risen from the dead. :)

I hope this breakdown is helpful to you and your children this year. You may need a bit more planning for your Easter baking, so you might check out these past pages too.

Here are my other Easter pages, which include ideas for little ones too.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful time celebrating our Lord.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Zen-Untangled Wk 11: Dribbetz, Cadent, Tidal, and Aquafleur,

This week’s tangles in the Zen-Untangled project are Auraknot, Aquafleur, Bunzo, Cadent, Dribbetz, Finery, and Tidal.

Once again I had three of the seven tangles already on ATC cards with their step-outs. The other four I ended up getting the step-outs done but didn’t get the sample drawn on the front of any of them. :(

I decided I wanted to draw on a gray tile this week. I’ve been seeing so many lovely tan and gray tiles and have some here, so I pulled one out. They are definitely not my comfort zone.

Here’s the scan of my tile before shading.

Here’s the picture in natural light.

I’ve always drawn Cadent with circles instead of squares and I have to say that I definitely prefer it with the circles but now I’ve tried it with the squares.

I think Tidal looks very much like Tagh. Tidal is the first step in Tagh. Some think that Dribbetz has to be in a comma shape but from what I’ve seen, it really is just a series of dashes made to fill a section, which CAN be made in shapes.

I watched a few videos for aquafleur because I haven’t used it much. I opted to go with the version that is kind of like Pepper and not the one that spirals in on itself.

Part of the joys of gray paper is using white pencil or ink to make some pretty highlights. I decided to add some white Dribbetz to the remaining section of my tile. And then I added a little highlight and some graphite shading to each tangle or section too.

Here’s the scan and the natural light picture of the shaded tile.

It turned out okay. There’s definitely a learning curve to shading and highlights. :) Have you tried a gray tile?

Thanks for stopping by, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Taco Mac Salad (THM E- low fat version)

Taco Mac Salad is one of our favorite salads, if not meals. I have remade this as a healthy fats meal before using dreamfields pasta. But since this is a favorite meal, I looked for a way to make this without using that pasta.

The next solution I had was to use brown rice pasta or brown rice & quinoa pasta. You could use any alternative pasta like lentil, black bean, chickpea, or other such pasta. This night we used brown rice pasta from WinCo.

I took about a pounds worth of thawed boneless skinless chicken bread and put it in the food processor. I then ground it up, cooked it in a fry pan, and seasoned it with taco seasoning.

Meanwhile, I boiled the pasta and chopped up some vegetables. It’s important to measure the pasta so as not to overdo the carbs.

It is probably best to only 40g weight instead of 52-68g worth of pasta to give some space for some beans.

Tear the lettuce and chop the green pepper. I serve the diced tomatoes separately because the kids don’t like them. Drain, rinse, and heat up a can of black beans (it can be added to the meat).

Combine the drained, cooked pasta, beans, salad, and a cheese stick or two (sliced) in a salad bowl.

Serve with low fat/low carb dressing, low fat/fat free sour cream or yogurt and any other veggies you desire. I do choose to use some fat free cheddar cheese as well.

If you used a low enough carb pasta, you can probably add a tostada to it. :)

I added some nutritional yeast. :)

I hope you like it as much as we do.

Taco Mac Salad (THM E- low fat version)

Ingredients

  • brown rice pasta (or other alternative pasta, such as brown rice & quinoa, black bean, chickpea, lentil, etc)
  • boneless skinless chicken breast
  • lettuce
  • green pepper
  • tomato
  • low fat mozzarella cheese stick
  • fat free yogurt or fat free/low fat sour cream
  • taco seasoning (chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper)
  • black beans, drained and rinsed
  • tostada (corn, lime treated) optional

Instructions

  1. process chicken breast into ground chicken in a food processor
  2. cook chicken and add taco seasoning
  3. boil pasta
  4. chop veggies
  5. add beans to meat
  6. add meat, beans, and drained pasta to the chopped veggies
  7. serve with toppings desired
http://lifeofjoy.me/taco-mac-salad-thm-e-low-fat-version/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Complaining is Dangerous

When things are a bit stressful, it is easy to have things that bother us and that can lead to complaining. According to a few websites, complaining rewires the brain towards more complaining and I doubt that is what you want . . . I know it isn’t what I want.

Here are some pages to read about this:

There is a book about this information called The Squeaky Wheel by Guy Winch.

There is something to be said for positive confession. If complaining rewires your brain towards more complaining, then surely thinking on positive things can rewire your brain towards more positive thinking.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Chicks are Here and Birthday Celebration

Sean’s birthday was this week. That means lots of big cooking for me. :) It is tiring but I love being able to do it. Thankfully Tiffany helps me out, keeping me from failing when everything is ready at once.

This time around Sean wanted some big fluffy cinnamon rolls. In order to keep them healthy I made them from sourdough. I didn’t read the directions carefully enough and they weren’t going to be ready until brunch. So I also made Cinnamon Roll Cake from Northern Nester first thing on his birthday. Unfortunately, nobody got a picture of that one. But here are the sourdough cinnamon rolls that were done to have with lunch. Both things were crossovers on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, so eating them together was no big deal.

He requested sweet potato fries loaded with cheese and bacon for his lunch. (Again, no picture, but they weren’t really picture worthy. ;) )

Dinner was a sausage and cheese calzone, I guess is what you’d call it. Sean asked for meaty, cheesy, doughy goodness.

It’s not the prettiest but it was good. Oh, then we had sourdough lemon poppy seed bars for his dessert. Again, no picture. :D

Puppies

I’m surprised how much Heidi has grown in the week we’ve had her. Sean and Tiff took them on a walk the other day and tuckered them out. :)

Not the best picture because I took it from a video. But you can see how big they are now. She still waddles a lot! So cute!

Chicks

We ordered some chicks a few weeks ago. This time we ordered a mixed flock. We got all Australorps last time but this time we decided to go for a variety. We still got 4 Australorps. We really didn’t want  a lot of chicks but the shipping is just outrageous, if you can even get a small number shipped. So better to have extra chicks than to pay ridiculous shipping.

Last time we wanted speckled sussex hens but they were out of them by the time we ordered in October several years ago. But this time they had some. We also got some Buff Orpingtons, Ameraucanas, and even a couple Salmon Faverolles, the latter still lay eggs in the winter. The Ameraucanas are supposed to lay blue eggs. :) We also got one free surprise chick. Last time the surprise was a rooster and a very dominant one at that. This time we think the free surprise chick might be a silkie. Unfortunately it had pasty butt and was a bit weak. Tiff cleaned it up and we gave it some egg yolk and prayed over it; so we’re hoping for the best. (Update: Sadly this little chick didn’t make it. :( )

Oh, we did get 2 roosters again this time, both are Speckled Sussex. So we’ll see how that goes. Shiloh loves babies of all variety. She’s most familiar with kittens. When there is a new litter of kittens, she pesters us to go outside all day long and sticks her head inside the cats’ house.

She really likes the puppies too but Finn is nearly as big as she is and Heidi is quickly catching up. She really disliked it when the puppies got to go on a walk but she didn’t get to go.

Grandson Mail

We got mail from Liam this week too. :) He got some Spiderman stickers and wanted to send the to Poppa. Then since it was Sean’s birthday, he made him a “card”. Well Grandma and Tiff couldn’t be left out, so he sent us mail too. I got a horse picture with a big crown sticker and a page where he traced over captial A and miniscule a. :D

He’s showing Sean’s “card” in this picture. ;)

Well, it’s been a busy week here. I hope you’ve had a good week as well.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Links for P.E., Art, and More While Homeschooling and Any Time

This week I saw this link for The Body Coach who is offering free P.E. videos every weekday. They are about 30 minutes long. I watched just a bit of yesterday’s video. My connection to the internet wasn’t that great, so I didn’t check out the rest.

It is a new series he’s started this week. I’m not sure where he lives but I’m pretty sure it’s not the USA, so watching it live streaming would be difficult but you can always watch the recording.

Free Video P.E. Class on YouTube (click here)

Art

I found this webpage that has her favorite dozen of art channels with descriptions of each. There are channels with short videos around 3 minutes long for those with short attention spans, one teaching how to draw without distracting chitchat, and so much more, including calligraphy with crayons and even how to trick the eye. There really is something here for most everyone and she’s already sifted through and found the top ones. :)

12 Free Art Lesson Channels on YouTube (click here)

Online Resources

Now this one is a little bit questionable, but worth looking into, because it is aimed at people in the UK, so there may be some things that aren’t usable here in the USA. But the links were interesting enough I wanted to share them with you today, in case they may be helpful to you.

10 Online Resources to Check Out

Well, that’s what I have for you today. I hope it is helpful. It’s supposed to be in the 90’s here today, which I am not looking forward to. So I’m going to try to keep cool.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Zen-Untangled Week 10

This week’s tangles were Arukas, Spoken, Ennies, Chartz, Fife, Hazen, and Sampson. I’ve tangled four of them before (arukas, ennies, fife, and sampson) and have seen chartz in my zentangle box.

Spoken Tutorial Found

I don’t do very good with the squiggly lines of Sampson but it turns out decently. Spoken was a completely different situation. I just wasn’t quite sure how to tangle that one. So, after checking out the comments, I realized that nobody else really knew either. So I did a search and found that Melinda Barlow has a video for this one. It made so much more sense after watching her do it.

Basics of Spoken

In case you are not familiar with Spoken, it is like the spokes on a bicycle. First draw the circle for the center where all the spokes come from. Then it is one of the “take off and land” sort of tangles. The idea is to first do all the spokes going in one direction around the center be it clockwise or counter-clockwise, and then do the spokes in the other direction, all the way around the center orb.

Before watching the video, I thought maybe the second round of spokes were just the continuation of the first round of spokes from behind the center orb and then there were a couple extra spokes that didn’t match up. So glad the video cleared it up! :)

Homemade 3Z Tiles

This week’s tile was to be done on a 3Z tile but alas, I didn’t have any. So I set out to find a template to cut my own. I know that the 3Z tiles are equilateral triangles and each side is 3.5″ long. This makes the height a tiny bit over 3″. I found a video showing how to cut one for quilting. (Note: equilateral triangles have three 60º angles.) I got a nice rotary cutter set for Christmas, so I pulled it out and cut my tiles. I now have a nice pile of them from only one sheet of watercolor paper. Now, I want some in grey and tan. I do have both papers here. It’s just a matter of taking the time to cut them. ;)

Here’s the string:

I thought that since spoken and arukas both have a center orb, I could put the orb in the center of the tile and tangle each of those in a section. Then I decided that since ennies has some orbs in it, that it could fit in okay, so it would go into the third section.

Here is how it looked before shading.

It was dark out by the time I finished tangling, so the best I could do for a picture was on the table.

I wasn’t quite sure how to shade this one but I gave it a shot. ;)

Here’s the scan.

And here’s the picture.

I feel like this one could benefit from a splash of color but am too chicken to try it. :D

I hope you are enjoying this time of social distancing. Not much is different for me–I’m an introvert and enjoy being at home. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

What to Cook When I Don’t Feel Like Cooking

A menu of items to choose from is one of my biggest helps to this problem. I usually plan to have things I’m hungry for so that means I have a little extra incentive to cook. ;) But sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking whatever is on the menu. This happened to me last night.

Don’t feel like cooking . . .

It was overcast here and the kids got the new Animal Crossing game, so there was not much motivation to do much of anything at all today. Evidently my afternoon snack was a bit filling too. So although I was a bit hungry when dinnertime came around, I did not feel like making anything.

On nights like that the first thought is to call a Yo-Yo, which means You’re On Your Own. :D I got that from one of my oldest friends. I love it. But any way, I really didn’t want to make my hubby fend for himself after having worked. So I did what came naturally and stood in front of the refrigerator and pondered what to make. I had a package of polish kielbasi that was unplanned and some cabbage, so I thought I’d make that but hubby wasn’t up for the cabbage, which is unusual but okay.

Breakfast for Dinner . . .

I was close to declaring a YoYo and considered another easy dinner option, Eggs for dinner. :) When I get stumped for a dinner menu item, I consider breakfast for dinner which is usually pancakes or some such specialty. But lately, when I want an easy dinner, it is eggs or oatmeal. :) But I wasn’t really in the mood for either of those. ;)

Then I was enticed by the veggies. :o Who am I? =)) I pulled out the red bell pepper, some onion, a green bell pepper, some mushrooms, and some zucchini. I wasn’t sure what I was thinking of making until I got out the zucchini. Next came the low carb tortillas and some cheese. At the last minute I got out some turkey lunch meat so my guys didn’t complain too much. ;)

I chopped up the veggies and Tiff heated up the tortillas. It was quick, easy, and filling.

Other Options

My other options are spaghetti, tacos, grilled sandwiches/paninis, fajitas, or salad (which admittedly is a last resort). I do ask that people eat up leftovers, if at all possible on YoYo nights too.

Well, that’s what I do, what do you do when you don’t feel like cooking?

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº