Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Week AFTER the Busy Week

Choc Milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meWow! It is another Friday already! It has been a tough week and I have no idea why. When we finished cleaning up after lunch on the last day of the young adult conference at church last Friday, it was around two and we stopped at Walmart for a few things we needed, especially milk! I normally have a glass each day with NesQuik in it. You see, I don’t really like milk but I love chocolate, so it is a good excuse for some chocolatey goodness in the morning. :)

We got home and relaxed for the evening; Sean and Tiffany did not come home until late that night or very early the next morning. ;) They had fun and Mike and I had sleep! :) Win! Win!

Saturday Mike decided that the yard needed to be mowed since all the rain we had during that week made the grass grow. The weeds have overtaken my flower beds but I didn’t manage to start to free my poor mums, rose bush, or dahlias until Tuesday morning. Instead, it took Sean, Tiff, and me – yes, all three of us – to whip this house back into shape. It is amazing how a house can get cluttered when all you do is come home to sleep, basically.

I didn’t even run the dishwasher once that week. We just kept collecting a dish here or there and a glass or cup. Finally I ran it Friday night when I went to bed, as is my routine. Saturday morning there were two stupid lights blinking which meant that it did not finish the cycle. Well, last time that happened I was without a dishwasher for 2 months, so I wasn’t happy at all BUT when it was fixed, it was as simple as unplugging it and plugging it back in, so there was hope. Sean eventually got the stove moved out far enough to climb behind it and unplug and re-plug it. IT WORKED!!! Yay!!! It has worked all week! I’m so grateful!

Sunday we went to church as usual but afterwards we went to Ted’s Cafe Escondido for lunch. I was starving and was super glad they serve chips, tortillas, salsa, and queso immediately. Brian and Lauren joined the four of us there and then we went home for a relaxing afternoon. If you’ve never been to Ted’s before, you should try it. They have a create your own meal with 1-4 items which Mike and I get and split, as do Sean and Tiff. After dinner they bring you fresh sopapillas.

Monday Sean and Tiff went to help tear down the stage they had put up for the conference. Sean works in town so he went straight from work; thus Mike and I took Tiff. Then we went to eat at The Outback with some money we were blessed with from a group that attended the conference. Also, since Keven Harvick placed in the top 10 over the weekend we could get a free bloomin’ onion. I got the ribs and Mike the chicken fried chicken. I thought it was all pretty good.

One of the ac units wasn’t working properly at the restaurant so as the manager made her rounds, she gave us a coupon for a free bloomin’ onion on our next visit. :)

Tuesday brought my baby sister and her girls out for a visit. I went out and tried to free some of my plants from the weeds before they arrived and in the process lost my Wii Fit U meter – again! Ugh! I have yet to go back out and look through the weeds I pulled to see if maybe it just fell right there. I came in and grabbed a quick shower because it was so hot I was dripping sweat – I kid you not!

We had a good visit with my sis and her girls. We try to get together monthly but hadn’t been able to for the last several months. It is tough on her girls though because Tiffany is 18 now and they are not quite understanding that she is growing up and not wanting to play like she used to do. (Although she still does play with them, just not as much or as varied as before.)

Wednesday night was church and it went a bit long. Sean and Tiff stayed in town to hang out with a few remnants from the conference that left yesterday morning. Them and several others from church stayed out and had fun while us old people went home and to bed by 11. :D Sean and Tiff didn’t make it home until after two and then Sean had to go in to work. I don’t know how he made it on less than 4 hours of sleep!

Yesterday I was very very tired! I fought a headache and toothache. Ugh! I don’t think I have any reason to be tired but upon talking to my younger sister about it that afternoon, she said she didn’t understand why I didn’t think I should be tired. LOL So, I’ll just leave it at hoping I am not tired today since I have some running around to do.

I’m hoping for a restful weekend. We are planning to go visit with family at my parents’ on Sunday afternoon. We haven’t seen them since July 3rd which seems so long ago but really hasn’t been that long once I sit and count out the days. It’s just that I’ve done a whole lot more than normal since then. :)

Well, until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Respecting Age Limits

Group Age ~ Lifeofjoy.meI don’t know that I will say this completely right but it is on my heart and I just feel I need to share it. Sooooo, here we go . . .

When there are age limits set on events, classes, or groups I believe that they were set after thought had been put into it. I don’t believe age limits were set arbitrarily. The people in charge considered the maturity level, the abilities, and combining of the intended audience.

Now, it is very tempting to include person that is slightly younger or slightly older than the stated ages but this is a selfish thing to do. If this is allowed, it will change the dynamics of the group. Yes, even one outside the posted ages can be a hindrance.

Let’s say a meeting or group is focused on teens. If a pre-teen is included in the meeting or group, then there can be conversations that are inappropriate for that younger person – you could do harm to that child. But maybe there were things deemed not appropriate for that younger person and so the conversation was not included in the activities planned – this could harm a person in the target age group because they may have needed to hear what was going to be said but wasn’t.

Let’s say the meeting was for young adults. You have the same issues as stated above if school-aged teens attend. Yes, they may face some of the same situations but it could very well hinder the targeted age group from being ministered to in a way God intended. Now it can also be harmful for the intended target if people older than the target age group attend, as it can hinder the intended group from getting what they need. When ages outside the intended age group attend, it changes not only the atmosphere but the feeling of safety and expression as well.

As a parent, when we hear of something that sounds so awesome coming up, we want our child(ren) to be a part of it. We can tend to think ‘Oh my child is mature and/or gifted’ and that they could attend, especially if they have friends that are a little older and will be attending. Let me just say, this could be harmful to your child or cause someone else that IS the right age, to not be able to receive something they needed. It is best to honor the people who set the ages and the people in the targeted age group enough to keep your child away until he/she IS in the targeted age group, even if it is a once in a lifetime event.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Keeping it Simple

iamthedivacztThis week’s Guest Diva Challenge is to keep it simple. Evidently I’m still recuperating from last week because I was tired again last night when I was trying to prepare this post and I just didn’t have it in me to tangle a tile. I was fighting a headache, toothache, and my legs were achy. So I looked through my tangle-a-day calendar to find something I’d already done.

Generally there are no size limitations on the challenges so I thought I was safe but when I went back and re-read the challenge, she said that if you didn’t have an official tile you could cut a paper to the appropriate size 3.5″x3.5″. Well, my calendar tangling isn’t the appropriate size, so I’m posting this here today and will attempt to do a tile later and add it.

This first one is purk and opus.

Simply Purk ~ Lifeofjoy.me

This next one is Meer, Hibred, Shattuck, and Nipa (I think).

Meer to Nipa ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis next one I think I started to draw Mumsy by Sandy Bartholmew but then I deviated from the ‘petal’ shapes and just auraed it and used different fillers in alternating layers.

Auraing ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Challenge Tile

I got my simplicity tile done! Yay!!! I drew my dots, border and a simple string. Then I used tangles that were all very easy for me: MacDee by Anneke, Stiritup or Amaze, Zinger, and a tiny bit of Fescue or Opus. Then I erased the upper border line, upper right corner dot, and the right border line because I didn’t like how it looked with it still there.

Simplicity ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy pens all seemed to be drying out on me and I had to go over them a couple of times to make them show up. I used a Micron 08 for the thick lines of MacDee and started with an 01 for the skinny lines but had to switch to the 005 for those because there didn’t seem to be enough of a difference in the two lines because of the pens drying out and having to go over some of them again. I’m pleased with how it turned out. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Banana Choc Chip Muffin ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Well, I thought I had another recipe ready for posting but alas, I looked through my pictures and NOPE! No pictures! Now what to do!?!

Add to that, Tiffany needed to be driven into town and it is her night to cook dinner. I was not feeling up to cooking dinner so I texted Mike, hoping he’d want to eat out somewhere. After all, we had just been blessed with some cash and we thought we’d use it to eat out. I had just seen in my email that Kevin Harvick  placed in the top 10 over the weekend so we could get a free Bloomin’ Onion at the Outback. So off we went.

The problem with that is that we got home around 7:30 pm and I still don’t have a recipe to share. I’ve already shared my go-to desserts. What’s a novice blogger to do? Make muffins! The kids will like having them this morning and Mike enjoyed one last night when they were fresh out of the oven.

So I bring you Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. Oh! I must tell you that these have an odd ingredient but push through and try them because you cannot even tell it is in there! Honest!

Combine 1½ cups of flour, (I use about ½ cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour.) 1 cup sugar,  1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt.

Dry Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.me(Please excuse the lousy pictures. I didn’t have Tiffany home to help me out this time.) ;)

Then combine a slightly beaten egg with ½ cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise. Yes, just do it! ;) Stir until just moistened.

Muffins 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd in 3 ripe bananas, mashed. I mash mine with a potato masher. Two of these were frozen when I started this recipe.

Mashing Bananas ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Muffins 4 ~ Lifeofjoy.meStir. Now here is where I deviated from the original recipe a little bit…ooops! It said to spoon into the greased muffin tins now and then sprinkle chocolate chips on top but I stirred in the chocolate chips and then scooped it into the pans. You pick how you want to do it.

Muffin Mix ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add Chocolate Chips ~ Lifeofjoy.meI use an ice cream scoop to spoon it into the greased muffin tins.

Scoop into tins ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Ready for the Oven ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Bake at 375º for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and a knife tests mostly clean. ;)

Muffins done ~ Lifeofjoy.meMuffin Banana Choc Chip ~ Lifeofjoy.meBanana Choc Chip Muffin ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1½ cup flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1 cup all purpose)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Mix flours, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl
  2. Beat egg in a small bowl.
  3. Stir in Miracle Whip or mayonnaise.
  4. Add to flour mixture
  5. Stir just until moistened.
  6. Stir in mashed bananas
  7. Stir in chocolate chips now or save and sprinkle on top after scooped in tins.
  8. Scoop into greased muffin tin.
  9. Bake at 375º for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
http://lifeofjoy.me/banana-chocolate-chip-muffins/

I hope you will enjoy these, I know my kids will. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Remembrance, Attentiveness, and Thankfulness

Book of Remembrances ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love to see newlyweds! It is so fun to see them set out on their life together with such tenderness, attention, and joy in each other. I wish I had the gumption to tell them to write down all the things they are feeling and love about this time in their lives together.

I wish I had. Thankfully I have some clear pictures in my head that remind me of the love and joy that Mike and I had at the beginning, that have gotten me through some yukky stuff the devil has thrown at my mind throughout the years. He has tried to twist the past to make things seem different from what the reality was.

I believe that if I had written down all the things I loved about Mike once we got engaged, married, and started our lives together I would have had even more ammunition to use when things got tough. At those times when I was upset with Mike, I could have pulled out that book of remembrances and reminded myself of all the things I love about the wonderful man I married. I believe it would have made things easier for me and I would have been able to disregard the lies that combated my mind much more easily.

One lie the devil tries to tell people is that they are the one doing the most work in or for the family. We tend to only see what we are contributing, especially when children enter the scene. I loved a post I read over on BrieGowen.com entitled What Happened When I Started Paying Attention To My Husband’s Actions!, where she talked about this very thing. It is worth the read. Bottom line is that when we stop focusing on all that we are doing and start paying attention to the contributions of others, we become more thankful and less frustrated, even when nothing has changed other than our perspective.

I challenge you to look for the contributions of others this week and maybe even make a point to thank them; I bet it would be appreciated.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

The Person That I Am Young Adult Conference 2015

Yes, I know the title is a mouthful but that is the actual name of the conference that we helped at this week. It has been a very busy but fun week!

The conference is only for 18-35 year olds. Mike and I helped out in the kitchen. It can be tough on the feet but it is fun and such a blessing to be a blessing to these young people that are sold out to God!

Monday’s menu was interesting. Sunday afternoon I found out that they wanted me to make spaghetti and that they had purchased the pasta and Ragu spaghetti sauce. When I told Mike and Sean that evening, they revolted. We decided that we’d donate ten pounds of ground turkey because I knew that I could get it for about $20 at Aldi. Although I struggled with the Ragu and its taste, it turned out pretty good after I added lots of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and baking soda.

That wasn’t the only hurdle we had to jump that night though. The kitchen has two stoves. Unfortunately none of the large eyes work! Seriously, every single large burner did not work. It was a trial to boil the spaghetti to feed around 50 people or so.

Wednesday we had another, rather large hurdle to jump. One of the ministers was supposed to grill hamburgers and hot dogs. Unfortunately, the grill was old, greasy, and small. At first he decided it was going to take a bit longer to cook everything so asked if we could cook some of the hot dogs inside. We used some butter and pan fried them and then put them in the oven to keep them warm.

Then he came back in and said that the grill was in such a state that he wasn’t gong to be able to get the burgers done either. After a trip to Sam’s and several conversations, some pans were purchased to and burgers were baked. It was a very odd meal but the group got fed and it tasted good.

We’ve had apples, bananas, yogurt, and either muffins or donuts all week for breakfast. Since there was some shredded cheese left over from spaghetti night and ham slices left from the potluck night, I think I’m going to bless them with some baked eggs this morning. They may not need something different but I sure do! ;)

It has been a great week! They have been super good to Mike and I. The attendees have told us they appreciate us and that makes it all the more fun, to know that we have blessed them.

The church has a nice knife sharpener. I didn’t realize how nice it was until yesterday morning when I used my newly sharpened knife to open a package and sliced my finger. Yep, it’s a good sharpener as more sore cut finger can testify.

Well, I better close for now. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Respect and Reverence

Respect ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe thing on my mind today is respect and reverence. There are so many kids in today’s world that don’t show any respect to, well, anyone really. It is a tricky time because I don’t think we have to get all Mr and Mrs either because respect isn’t just about how you address someone, it is also about attitude.

When I was very young, we called our teachers Mister or Mrs.________. At church we called people Brother and Sister     Last Name     . Then when I was my teens, we went to a different type of church where people were just family and were called by their first names. It got tricky to show the proper respect to those older than me but it was nice not to have the title required when addressing people; it made them more friends than strangers.

Then as time went by, I was in my early twenties and I taught a group of young girls at our church. They called me Miss Michele. Even after I got married they called me Miss Michele and that was okay because it was just easier to say than Mrs. Michele, which kind of morphed into Ms. Michele, not feministically but more of slurring or lazy speaking of Mrs. My kids followed suit.

Along the way my kids learned how to talk to any one, no matter their station in life. They learned to talk to a doctor, lawyer, and minister as well as a cook, janitor, or elderly person. This happened because they were put in situations where there were not many, if any, kids their own age around and in order not to be bored, they had to talk to other people.

Whatever we did worked because recently I have had people tell me that my kids are great kids and so respectful. They are grown now; I hope they keep this a part of who they are for the rest of their lives.

I know I said reverence was on my mind too but I’m not sure what to say about it. It just seems to me that we don’t revere much any more. I’m not sure that is a bad thing though because it seems that we may not reverence the church buildings any more because we have a closer relationship, a friendship with God today more so than in years gone by.

But I also notice that people today will get up during church and go and talk to someone else in a different part of the sanctuary, while the minister is speaking! Our church has a habit of opening with announcements, prayer, and offering and then tell us to greet one another, which will usually last for about 10 minutes or more. Generally speaking we are in the middle of greeting others when they start the announcements. I pause, pay attention to the speaker, bow my head in prayer and THEN continue talking to whomever I was speaking with before BUT I have noticed others just keep right on talking and some don’t even lower their voices. It just stuns me.

I guess I’m just trying to bring this up so that you think about what you are teaching your children. Remember, they will more likely follow your example than what you tell them to do. Respect and reverence is important but it is also vital to keep them in moderation or more low-key, not doing something that leads to a false respect, like I had when I was young but finding what will lead to true respect.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Tangling This Week

It has been a busy week. Our church is having a young adult conference this week and we are working in the kitchen to get food out for the participants. Monday was a really long day and I think I was on my feet too much but things were much better yesterday.

I’d taken my drawing supplies and intended to work on the Diva Challenge for the week after lunch while we were all on a break BUT then I saw that the challenge was to use color! Guess what . . . I didn’t have anything to use for that kind of challenge. It wasn’t until I was getting ready to write this post that I realized that I had a variety of colors of uniballs in my purse and I believe I could have used those, although not ideal . . . but alas, I digress.

So there I was sitting, tired from a busy day, trying to figure out what I could share today since I obviously hadn’t gotten the Diva Challenge done and was getting ready to go to bed so there was no time to do a really challenging challenge. Then I remembered one time I was out and only had a blue uniball and my little moleskin drawing book in my purse, but I really wanted to do some tangling. So I did this . . .Blue Zentangle ~ LifeofJoy.meI didn’t have anything to use for shading so I tried to use the pen to shade and it didn’t turn out so good. I’m going to try to do another zentangle this week to submit for this challenge and will add it in when I do so, but until then, I will share another one I did in my little moleskin one night.

Deflating Pepper ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Now this one I really like! I think it was back when there was a man-o-war challenge somewhere and I was practicing and added a pepper tube with a rip in it. :)

Well, I need to get this wrapped up and ready to post. I really hope I will add more to this before the week is out as I really want to participate in this challenge but I’ve got lots of running to do yet this week.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

OH!!! THANK YOU for all the sweet comments last week. It really brightened my week! You were all so kind and I appreciate you all!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Kentucky Hot Brown Bake

KY Hot Brown Bake ~ LifeofJoy.meI got this recipe from the web somewhere. I don’t remember if I saw it on facebook or pinterest but I did pin it on pinterest. I finally got around to making it and we all really really liked it! It is so good and easy to make that I made it again the very next week. I did skip a few weeks so as not to get bored with it but I have since made it another two times.

I finally decided it was time to take some pictures. Tiffany took pictures the last time she made it but forgot to get a picture of the finished product, so I couldn’t post it before now.

This recipe comes from tiffany of  eat at HOME (no, not my daughter Tiffany ;) ). I adapted hers a little bit because Mike is allergic to beef and pork and the kids don’t care for tomato. The first several times I made this we didn’t use tomato at all and it never turned out wet or soggy (even when eating it immediately out of the oven).  But this last time I fixed it I put tomato on half of it because Mike and I do like tomato and were in the mood for it. When it came out of the oven and cut into it, I was concerned because when I went to serve the first piece there was a lot of moisture in the bottom of the pan. I determined it was from the tomato, which was NOT a Roma tomato by the way. We didn’t let that stop us or slow us down though; we dug in!

First I sprayed the 8×8 pan with oil spray. Unroll the crescent rolls and take two squares or four triangles and press them into the bottom of the pan.

Can Crescent Rolls ~ LifeofJoy.meSeparate Can Crescent Rolls ~ Lifeofjoy.me

1 rectangle ~ Lifeofjoy.me4 Triangles ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Press into pan ~ Lifeofjoy.mePressed ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Then layer in half of the package of turkey lunchmeat, followed by turkey bacon, uncooked.

Beginning Layers ~ LifeofJoy.meNext comes half the cheese. (I use an 8 ounce block of swiss, shredded.)

Add Cheese ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is when you would add tomato, if desired. Then add 2 eggs, slightly beaten.

Tomato and Egg ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd the rest of the turkey lunchmeat, 4 pieces of turkey bacon, and the rest of the cheese, topped by tomato if so desired.

Second Round ~ Lifeofjoy.mePress the rest of the crescent rolls out and place on top.

Press dough out together ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Top layer ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd two beaten eggs on top. Cover with foil and put in a 350º oven.

Into the oven ~ Lifeofjoy.meBake for 20 minutes and then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until top is golden brown.

KY Hot Brown Bake ~ Lifeofjoy.meSlice KY Hot Brown Bake ~ Lifeofjoy.meYummy Bite ~ Lifeofjoy.meWithout Tomatoe ~ Lifeofjoy.meAlthough it may look like you can see the egg, remember all that swiss cheese I put on there? You really cannot tell there is any egg in it. This is very yummy and easy for a weeknight meal.

Kentucky Hot Brown Bake

Ingredients

  • 8 oz tube/can of refrigerated crescent dough
  • 14 oz - 1 lb. package of turkey lunchmeat
  • 8 slices of turkey bacon
  • 8 oz swiss cheese, shredded
  • 4 eggs
  • tomato, optional

Instructions

  1. Press half of the crescent roll dough into a sprayed 8x8 pan.
  2. Layer half of the turkey lunchmeat on top, followed by 4 slices of uncooked turkey bacon
  3. Layer half the shredded swiss cheese on top, followed by optional tomato slices, and then 2 beaten eggs
  4. Layer the rest of the turkey lunchmeat, turkey bacon, cheese, (and tomato, if desired).
  5. Press out remaining half of the crescent rolls and place on top
  6. Finish off with the last 2 beaten eggs and cover with foil
  7. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes
  8. Remove foil and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes
http://lifeofjoy.me/kentucky-hot-brown-bake/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Stubbornness

Stubborn ~ Lifeofjoy.meMike and I are both stubborn. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. On the good side, we are so stubborn that we are sticking together – divorce is not an option for us. It has been this stubbornness that has helped us persevere a time or two throughout the years.

But then there is the stubbornness that is bad. Today Mike and I both had a neck pain. We were waiting around at church for the rest of the group to arrive to set up for the young adult conference we are having at the church this week. I was sitting in a seat a row behind Mike and was rubbing an ache in my neck. Meanwhile, Mike got up and came to sit beside me and wanted me to rub his neck. I carelessly asked him if he was going to rub mine then. Wedge ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think you can imagine that this did not go over very well. I quickly tried to right my mistake and started rubbing his neck but I wasn’t massaging it hard enough and it wasn’t doing any good. He got frustrated and got up and walked away. Well, this kind of stubbornness is not good because it was being a wedge between us.

I cajoled him into coming and sitting in front of me and letting me massage his neck with him giving me insight as to what was helping and what wasn’t. Situation resolved.

Bottom line: Be quick to forgive. Be quick to find a way to make the situation better and don’t take offense! Don’t get mad when things happen; be determined (stubborn) to find a solution and make it better. Turn what the devil means to be a wedge in your marriage into something that is good for your marriage.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº