Monthly Archives: June 2016

Summer Ideas

Summer Ideas ~ Lifeofjoy.meToday I have just a short post but with two to three great links for some activities to keep your kids occupied.

The first is a neat idea, really, for any time of year but a good one to pull out when the kids are complaining about being bored. (Although I never really allowed that kind of talk in my house. I have heard a few good ideas about that though: give them some chore to do every time they come complaining to you. ;) I think that just might keep them, quiet, if nothing else. hee hee)

Anyway, the first one is a Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt. This can be done in the cool of the day or while camping. Or modify it and have them hunt for things from the living room or kitchen window. Maybe they could see how many things they can write down/name from one window and then see if they can find more from another. Well, here is the link to this nice one already thought out. It has fifteen items to look for. They are as easy as finding two different kinds of leaves to finding an animal footprint.

On that webpage she has a link to a Beach Scavenger Hunt too.

Then here is a list of over one hundred, yes you read that right, over one hundred activities to do that do not involve a screen of any kind . . . well, maybe sunscreen. ;) It even has some links for some of the activities. Go check it out; you just might find some really good memory makers there for you and your family. Oh! She also has it in a printable format for easy reference. :)

I hope you will take time this summer to make some fun memories with your children. And when it is too hot to be outside and boredom has overtaken them, you can always get some ‘schoolwork’ done and get a head start on next year. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Homemade Cards

Mike prefers homemade cards for occasions rather than store bought cards. So I try my best to give what he likes. I prefer store bought cards because I have a hard time coming up with just the right words to convey my feelings.

Well, Father’s Day is just one such occasion. Within two weeks of that is our anniversary, another such occasion.

I got my tangle on!

I started with Father’s Day, since it comes first. I looked on tanglepatterns.com for some heart patterns. I really like how you can find all the patterns with certain characteristics on that site. (It’s a drop down menu on the left sidebar.)

I found Heartstrings by Helen Williams at a little lime. From there I found a variation turned new tangle, Heartswell, which I also liked. I decided to put Heartswell on the outside of the card and then Heartstrings on the inside. About the time I got three-fourths finished with the line work, I realized it was more appropriate for our anniversary card than a Father’s Day card. Don’t you agree?

Homemade Cards ~ Lifeofjoy.meHomemade Cards ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen I realized this, I stopped working on it and began to figure out what to do for the Father’s Day card. Back at Linda Farmer’s site, Tangle Patterns, I continued to browse the heart patterns but realized I needed something else.

Then I remembered Footlites by Carole Ohl, and decided to put his name and footlites on the front.

Homemade Cards ~ Lifeofjoy.meHomemade Cards ~ Lifeofjoy.me

 

I decided to write on the inside and ended up filling both halves with sentiments. So I simply put LoLo by Hsin-Ya Hsu down the left side. There are several variations but I just kept it simple.

I ran low on time and did not shade the anniversary card hearts as well as I should have, but I think they turned out okay.

I did not participate in the Diva Challenge. The only tile I considered changing was one where the challenge was actually to do just a little tangling, so if I changed it, it would no longer be a correct response to that challenge. :D

Then I got busy and decided that I would not go seeking out other challenges or focuses but just post what I’ve already accomplished.

I’m going to run for now. Have a great week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Fried Green Beans ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Fried Green Beans

This is one of those recipes my grandmother made. Therefore it really doesn’t have a recipe.

I also admit that this doesn’t look very good either but you really should try it once. Of course, it is not a healthy recipe, so maybe you shouldn’t try it. ;)

It is easy but a little tricky because there are no real measurements but here goes.

Drain a can of french style green beans. Heat about a tablespoon of of oil of your preference in a skillet. When it’s hot, add the green beans.

Fried GReen Beans ~ Lifeofjoy.meSprinkle some flour (about 1/4 cup maybe) over the top of the green beans and then mix it in.

Fried Green Beans ~ Lifeofjoy.me Let it fry until browned on the bottom and then flip and brown the other side.

 Let it fry until browned on the bottom and then flip and brown the other side.Add more oil as needed to keep it browning. We have 3 cans in this 12″ skillet.

Fried Green Beans ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey really are quite good. We had it with scalloped potatoes and fried chicken.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Special Days

Special Days ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe Saturday before last, Sean treated the four of us to a movie of Mike’s picking and then dinner out at a restaurant of his choosing as well. He picked Yokozuna. This was a new restaurant to us. We were not very adventurous in our choices.

Special Days ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe tried steamed buns, both pork and chicken. We split them between the four of us and enjoyed them. The kids and I enjoyed the sweet and sour chicken with fried rice. It was lightly sauced and tasted really good. :) Mike enjoyed his General Tso’s chicken but was surprised that the chicken in it was not breaded like the sweet and sour chicken.

It was a fun afternoon and we hermits were glad to get back home. :)

Then last Saturday Mike and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary by going to get some pizza and then going to see a movie together. We then got Braum’s ice cream and brought it home to share with Sean and Tiffany.

It was a good afternoon and we enjoyed sharing a new (to us) pizza place. We were able to purchase pizza by the slice. They are rather large slices and can be ordered completely as desired. It was good because I love lots of meat and supreme too but Mike is allergic to beef and pork, so that limits the meat we can get on a shared pizza. So it was nice to each get what we wanted, inexpensively.

It is not about what we do to celebrate our anniversary but that we take time away to spend it together. I asked him what he wanted for dinner tonight, to which he replied, “chicken nuggets and meatballs.”

I was confused by this at first and then I remembered that those were two of the items we had at our reception, and had sooo much left over that we ate it for a couple of weeks. :D We even took a bunch of them with us as we traveled to our honeymoon destination.

So, tonight we will have fried boneless skinless chicken. I’m not sure if we’ll have mashed potatoes with it or scalloped potatoes. But no matter what, we’ll have a good evening together.

Sometimes people have high expectations for a day but it isn’t really about how extravagantly you celebrate but that you do spend time together, preferably alone. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Hot Days

Hot Days ~ Lifeofjoy.meOne horribly hot day last week, I was sitting in the car at the gas station and opened the car door while Tiffany was refueling. I glanced at the people coming and going and all of a sudden I was struck with the FEEL of summer. People were in their shorts and flip-flops getting their large drinks from inside the convenience store and I realized that THIS is what summer feels like.

It was around nine in the morning, the sun was creeping its way to its zenith and it was hot. The air was that heavy hot air and it just defined summer to me, with all the things I was seeing. (The two guys in the truck on the other side of the pump were emptying the water from their cooler too.) And the next day I realized, it isn’t even officially summer yet. Oh God, please help me! ;)

I do not like the heat, at all! I’m one of those people that enjoy the cooler temperatures and prefer the cold and snow to the summer heat. Generally I keep my mouth shut about it but in the last several years I’ve gotten annoyed by all those people that LOUDLY voice their contempt for the cold and dislike of snow during the winter. I finally decided that if others can be so vocal about the weather they do NOT like AND the weather they DO like, then I too can be vocal about the weather I like and do not like. ;)

At the beginning of last week I kept getting notifications on my phone that there was a heat advisory for the next several days. So, we put off running errands until later in the week. Then when we could put it off no longer, it was an EXCESSIVE heat advisory. That’ll teach me to try and avoid the heat. :D

Hot Days ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have not been eating meat or sugar for the last couple of weeks or so. Last night I fixed a delicious southwestern salad with black beans, corn off the cob, pepitas, tomatoes, pepper jack cheese, and red pepper with a homemade avocado dressing. I loved it. We made chipotle chicken for the rest of the family to add to their salad. That turned out to be VERY spicy, so it NEEDED the coolness of the salad to balance it out a bit, I’m told.

Sean does not like corn. Neither of the kids like tomatoes, so I served them on the side for Mike and I to add to our plates. Neither of the kids like avocado, so I did not pour the dressing on the salad but let everyone choose their own dressing. :) I aim to please. OH! Sean does not care for red peppers either but he did eat some.

Hot Days ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was not thrilled with the meal. Tiffany, Mike and I really enjoyed it though. He was still hungry after the small plate of food he picked through. I told him there was still plenty of salad there. He said he was full of THAT, which is something Tiffany used to say a lot when she was little. :D

The salad is also topped with tortilla strips. Sean deemed that they were a waste of money, as we could just use regular tortilla chips. But I liked them. I think they are a little bit thinner than the tortilla chips. Plus they are pretty colors. He’s a good sport. I think he ended up eating some fruit to fill up.

I love my family!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. We are going to try and stay cool.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

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Are you Teaching your Children to be Entitled?

Entitled? ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere are some things that Mike and I have taught the children to do that has become so much a part of them, that we don’t even really realize it. We taught them to be thankful and grateful and to express that to others.

I asked Tiffany yesterday how one habit they have came to be and she said she thinks Mike is the one that encouraged it. This one habit is that at some point during dinner or before they leave the table, they express their thanks for the food and compliment it, if it is worthy. ;)

They have done this for so long, I cannot remember when it started but I know that, to this day, while eating dinner, they usually say that the food is good and thank you. It is such a habit that even when there are guests here, they still do it. When we have young adult guests over, you can tell that it comes as a surprise. Sometimes they will follow suit but mostly they just don’t know what to do, since they weren’t taught this. Of course, before they leave the house, they always express their gratitude and how good it was as well.

This act of expressing thanks and compliments is part of a bigger area of character developement. When one does not express thanks or give compliments, it can lead to children the feel entitled. This is not something you want your children to display.

Crystal Paine, of The Money Saving Mom, recently shared a photo and quick note on her facebook page that was quite interesting to me. It is a short little blurb, so I hope you’ll take the time and go read it. It’s a picture of the bedroom her three children share right now.

Then there is this really really good article over on crosswalk about how parents are teaching their children to be entitled and some steps you can take if this is happening with your children.

I hope these articles will give you some encouragement with your own children.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

No Mistakes

iamthedivacztThis week’s Diva Challenge was just that, a challenge for me. I have only used color in a couple of my tiles, ever, and I think all of those were in response to the Diva’s Challenge. :)

Well this week’s challenge is to add red to the tile. This gives me a bit of a problem because then I cannot combine challenges/focuses. BUT I found a way this week. :)

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meThe Square One: Purely Zentangle focus is Groovy by Eden Hunt. I’ve never done this one before. My pen decided it has drawn enough lines for me and kept giving out on me. Right near the end I switched to a new pen.

I have a difficult time with keeping my lines a consistent length/width/curve depth. Groovy proved that once again. ;) But there are no mistakes in Zentangle, so it just shows the uniqueness and variety there is in nature. :)

Over on WZTV, they have switched to a two-week focus. So it looks like I may actually participate there a bit more. The focus over there is Pea-nuckle. The one other time that I attempted this tangle was a disaster, so when I saw the link to the video by the creator, Molly Hollibaugh, I was very happy. Unfortunately my video resolution lowered while I was watching it and did not see the last bit very clearly. That is where my tile took a bit of a creative twist (yeah, that sounds a lot better than where I messed up) and instigated the title of this post.

I could not see that the last lines, the ones in the square-ish section, were diagonal and I drew them more perpendicular to the others. Thus I did not have little triangle areas to blacken in.

The last group I participated in with this tile is the facebook group, Tangle It! Pattern Club and it’s corresponding website pattern-collections.com. The author focus this week is Tricia Long. She has created some nice patterns but the one I chose to include was Ur-Chen. My first one was a bit small, so I tried to draw bigger ones around it.

After I added the red bits, I went back and was doing a little more shading and ended up smearing a couple of the red glitter dots. :( Oh well. No mistakes, remember? If one were counting mistakes, this tile would be full of them, but there are only “happy little accidents,” as Bob Ross used to say, or as I said earlier, “creative twists.”

So how I managed to share this tile, with color in it, with two groups that do not allow color, was to scan it before adding the color. :)

So, up first is the line work without any shading.

No Mistakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere it is after most of the shading and the one I’ll be sharing with Square One: Purely Zentangle and WZTV.

No Mistakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd finally, the reason most of you came here, the finished tile, complete with red! I used a red glitter pen. The glitter doesn’t really show up very much. It looks nicer in person because of it though.

No Mistakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meI appreciate your comments, they are always so encouraging. Thanks ever so much.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Asparagus ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Asparagus

I know this picture doesn’t look all that wonderful but let me tell you, this is really pretty good, for a green food. ;) I had tried asparagus only one time in the distant past. We had been invited to dinner and our sweet hostess served canned asparagus with hollandaise. I have to admit that I did not like it at all. But since we’ve been trying to incorporate more veggies into our menu and it was on sale, we decided to give it a try.

Of course, we couldn’t eat it just any way. So what better way than roasted with butter and Parmesan cheese.

The first step is to hold a piece of asparagus in one hand and bend the other end until it snaps off.

Asparagus ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Toss the bottom parts and put the tops in a skillet with a drizzle of oil and about one tablespoon of butter. Saute about ten minutes or so, until it starts to get limp and turns to a bright green color.

Asparagus ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, add about three tablespoons of butter, about 1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper as desired.

Asparagus ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Bake at 375º for about 15-20 minutes or more, until they are completely cooked through.

Asparagus ~ Lifeofjoy.meAsparagus ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs you can see, it shrinks down a lot! We started making two bunches to serve three or four people. FYI: that brown cheese is delicious!

Serve!

Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper as desired

Instructions

  1. Rinse asparagus, to ensure it is clean.
  2. Snap off hard bottoms.
  3. Saute in skillet drizzled with olive oil and about a tablespoon butter until softened About 10 minutes or so.
  4. When bright green, transfer to rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Add a couple tablespoons butter and the Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake at 375º for about 15 minutes or so until desired doneness is reached.
  7. The thicker the asparagus the longer it takes to cook.
http://lifeofjoy.me/asparagus/

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

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Doing My Best?

Doing My Best? ~ Lifeofjoy.meI am a stay at home wife. I was a stay at home wife and homeschool mom but I have worked myself out of that second job as my children grew up and graduated. They are now 19, 23, and nearly 25. Tiffany is still home with me during the day because she is an author, writing books at home. I am thankful to be able to still be able to NOT have to work outside of our home.

But this brings up some new situations for me. My days used to be so full with all that I was doing that getting it all done, well, was basically unheard of. ;) When Tiffany graduated, we both took a well-deserved, or so we thought, break from our usual routine. Unfortunately, I’ve had a hard time finding my groove. And if I’m being totally honest, I have been a bit lackadaisical in getting things done around here.

I am adamant that I am not a housewife because I did not marry a house! I am not a slave or servant either. Nor am I a maid. Then there is also the underlying fact that I hate housework. However, this is not the first time in my life that I have found myself with responsibilities that I did not like. When Mike and I first got married I got a job in a college office typing, filing, and other such repetitive mundane tasks. This was the job God had provided for me and I was happy to have it.

While the kids were young, I had to have them help me clean the house because there was no way I could educate them and do all the cooking and household chores alone, nor should I have, as it was vital to their education in becoming independent adults. But now, here I am on the other side, about ready to have our first grandchild, and I’m having to redefine my days and what is important and what is a time stealer. It is not an easy task, especially after you’ve allowed yourself to let loose and do whatever you wanted to do for a while.

There was a time when I was a new stay-at-home mom that I got sucked into soap operas. I come from a family that loves the entertainment field, so it was easy for me to get sucked in to it. After a couple of years, I stopped watching them. But now, with the internet and all the available options for watching entertainment today, I got sucked into binge watching shows. I’d be sure to get the necessities done before Mike got home, but always the bare minimum.

But here’s the deal, and the point of this whole post of confession, it really wasn’t fair to Mike. He works hard, sometimes in the heat, to provide for us and to allow me to still stay at home and yet, I was being a bit slack in how I handled that luxury.

I’ve been dealing with this for a while now. And then last night I read this article over on Kathy Butryn’s site (actually it came in my email) about being mindful of what we are dilly-dallying with. Okay, put another way, the things we linger over say something about and actually influence who you are.

Bottom line: I have realized that I need to change how I order and prioritize my day. Thankfully, I have already begun to do this, so this article was more of an encouragement to continue on and make even more changes. But for me to go and make a bunch high goals that would end up being as unsuccessful as most New Year’s Resolutions are for me.

My first priority is God. Keeping him in the first place helps me go about the rest of my day getting done the things that are most important. I ask God for His help and guidance throughout my day, and then follow Him as closely as I can. Some times I feel as if I have gotten little accomplished but I know that I did the things He wanted me to do first, which frees me from the guilt of not getting enough done throughout the day.

I hope you’ll go read the article, because it is a good read.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sweet Magnolia Blossoms

On the day of our wedding, nearly twenty-nine years ago my sweet mother went to my granny’s home and picked some Magnolia blossoms from her tree and placed them in window sills in the church. Because of this, the Magnolia blossoms remind Mike that our anniversary is getting close.

Early this week, Mike brought home a lovely blossom, which brought a smile to my face.

Sweet Magnolia Blossoms ~ Lifeofjoy.meSweet Magnolia Blossoms ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is lovely and really big!

Within the next couple days, it was fully opened and huge!

Sweet Magnolia Blossoms ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is bigger than my hand.

Sweet Magnolia Blossoms ~ Lifeofjoy.meSweet Magnolia Blossoms ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was beautiful!!!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t last very long. And when it goes, it really goes.

Sweet Magnolia Blossoms ~ Lifeofjoy.meMike said that the tree he got this from had very few blossoms on it when I picked it. The neighbor told him that it doesn’t bloom much. Since he picked this one, he said there are LOTS of blooms on it.

Our anniversary is just under two weeks away. It was so nice to have him remember and bring it home. It meant more than a bouquet would’ve. Thanks to my sweet honey!

It’s been crazy hot here in Oklahoma!!! I really really dislike the heat. I’m one of those people that enjoy winter in Oklahoma. I lived in Ohio for over a decade when I was young. I liked the snow but it stays around there too long and gets all nasty and dirty. Here, when it snows, it may stay around for a few days but by the time it gets dirty, it is melting away. :)

I’m a hot-natured and thus have a fan blowing on me, pretty much, year round. It is especially necessary in this horrible summer heat. The big problem is that it isn’t supposed to be this hot yet. It better cool back down! I isn’t supposed to be this hot until late July. I know some ladies that enjoy this horrendous heat. I sure hope they’re happy. :D

Well, it’s Father’s Day this Sunday and I’ve still got to make Mike’s card. You see, he prefers homemade cards, so I’m a good woman and give him what means the most to him. Then there’s my own father, who is a wonderful dad. And my oldest son, who is going to be a father in a few short weeks. I’m so excited!

Well, I have lots to do. So I’ll run for now. I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº