Monthly Archives: March 2017

Flowers, Art, Kittens, Birthday, and Liam

When Liam came last time, my sweet daughter-in-love, Lauren, had sent along a bouquet of flowers that Liam picked out for me.

Thoughtful Daughter-in-Love ~ Lifeofjoy.meHow thoughtful of her!!! And now, nearly two weeks later, they are still lovely. I feel so special and loved! :)

We had another freeze the other night and Tiffany has checked on the peach tree and says it is doing well. I’ll try to get some pictures of it next week.

I’m looking forward to  Walmart getting in their trees again this year. I’m going to replace my nectarine that died and my poor Arkansas Black apple tree that seems to be partially dead. Looks like it may have gotten hit by lightening. :o I got the peach tree from Walmart last year.


I received this cute chef guy for Christmas from my little sister and the other day I saw that Tiffany had written on it.

Blackboard Art ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love it!!!

When the Bradford Pear Trees were blooming, I checked on our wild redbud trees and they hadn’t started yet. Of course I didn’t get close to them because they are not readily available, meaning I’d have to walk through the brush to check closely. But when we’ve been out and about lately, I’ve noticed that others are blooming, so I looked out my back window and rising above the barren branches were some pretty bits of pink! :) I asked Tiffany if she’d take a picture while she was out feeding the animals today.

Wild Redbud Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey are little but a nice bit of color in otherwise dreary or drab branches.

Here’s a picture I took with the telephoto lens so that you could see what I see. :)

Redbud in the distance ~ Lifeofjoy.me


This is Latte.

Latte and Kits ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd this is a picture of KitKat from last August.

KitKat ~ Lifeofjoy.meNotice that she has no tail.

These are newly born kittens. Both Latte and KitKat were pregnant at the same time. We know when Kit Kat had hers because her water broke on our front porch while Tiffany was out with her. We aren’t so sure about Latte.

There are four kittens.

Spring 2017 Kittens ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany says that she thinks three of them don’t have a tail, which would make them Kit Kat’s. We’re pretty sure at least one is Latte’s. They are both nursing all four of them.

This is Shiloh. She just had a hair cut and it is chillier out this morning, so she’s wearing her coat.

Shiloh loves Kittens ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe loves kittens! She has always stuck her head in whatever house they were in and just looked at them fondly . . . no matter to whom they belonged. Kit Kat is okay with Shiloh checking in on them but Latte is another story. She hisses at Shiloh every time. Thus, Tiffany only lets her peek in when Kit Kat is with them. As you can see in the picture above, Latte is a bit protective of her kits.

Michael found a mangled dead kit at the bottom of the steps one morning, so this is probably why she is being this way. Not sure how it got that way but . . . it could be why she’s being so protective now.


We finally got to celebrate Lauren’s February birthday last night! They’ve been awfully busy.

Celebrating Lauren's Bday ~ Lifeofjoy.me Yep, he’s a loon!!! :D

I made one of her favorite meals: San Francisco Chicken with noodles and then Strawberry No-Bake Cheesecake for dessert. I made a keto version for us. It was good, except for the crust; I gotta buy some other oat fiber! The brand I got, Anthony’s, is STRONG! It makes food taste like play-doh! :p

I did promise a picture of Liam.

Liam with Aunt Tiffany ~ LIfeofjoy.meWe played Small World board game together and Lauren won!

Small World Winner, Lauren ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe had fun and I got lots of Liam cuddles. We get to watch him some next week too.


We have a church dinner/fun night tonight. I’m not hostessing it this time but have agreed to bring a pot of stew and help decorate this morning. I hope I remember to get some pictures to share with you next week. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Have a Plan

The Plan ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is hard to remember the specifics now but I remember long ago, Mom told me that if I didn’t want to do something (socially) I could blame my not doing it on her and Dad. I guess she had determined that if it was something I didn’t feel I wanted to do then they didn’t want me doing it and I could safely blame it on them without it being a lie.

This really made an impact on me. I’m guessing I may have used it a time or two but never anything much that I recall, although I’ve always been a homebody to some degree. ;) It made such an impact on me that Michael and I have made the same offer to our children.

So when I read this article about having a plan, it rang true with me. The just of the article is that you and your child/teen have a plan whereby if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation, they can send a simple text to you and you’ll make the necessary excuse for them to leave their current situation. I’m not giving this justice, so go over and read it. It doesn’t take very long to get to the meat of the article and it isn’t really all that long.

So, I’ll stop blathering on about it and just send you over there. I encourage you and your family to come up with a plan to give your kids a way of escape, should they need/want one. I will say that I’m not sure that I completely agree with everything stated in the article but it is a good place to start your family conversation on the topic.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Zingo and Mi2

iamthedivacztThis week’s Diva Challenge was inspired by the Kitchen Table Tangles recent video of Molly’s girls sharing their tangle Zingo, making Zingo the challenge for the week. I don’t think I did as good a job as those younsters did though. :D

Shading Zentagle facebook group and Square One: Purely Zentangle’s focus tangle for the week is Mi2 (me too). This is a tangle I’ve wanted to try my hand at but never got around to doing, so today was a good opportunity to do it.

I checked the pattern-collections daily tangle and none of them seemed right for my tile today but I chose string #16 as my starting string but flipped vertically so the “folded” part was in the upper left corner rather than the upper right corner. As I worked through the tile I gave up any idea of working with that string after all. :D

The first Zingo I drew was a bit too small, as was the second one. Consequently, I decided to fill that upper left corner with a large Zingo. Then came Mi2. I didn’t focus too much on making seed shapes and just drew the diagonal lines. My real struggle with Mi2 came with shading.

Here’s the lineart.

DC#307 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI chose to blacken different sections of Zingo on each one. I love blackening because it adds such drama and contrast. In the picture above you can still see the string under the lineart.

Here it is once I did some shading. I thought I might be finished but wasn’t quite happy with it yet. Mi2 was tripping me up. I didn’t want it to just look like columns of shading.

DC#307 ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo I added a bit more. It really looks like I could’ve/should’ve used a blender a bit more but I really did do a lot of blending.

Final version:

Final DC#307 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI am drawing a bit too small, so I needed my magnifying glasses to do this and it appears that I didn’t get some lines as close or as blended as I’d like but it’s getting late and I don’t have time to work on it any more. Oh well. It turned out okay I think. ;)

Thanks again to all those wonderful people that leave comments! It is so encouraging to know that you all see progress in my work, and especially shading. The Zentangle community is awesome! Thanks for sharing the love here!

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Enchilada Bake

This casserole is a bit like the Enchilada Pie but low carb. It satifies that desire for Mexican food.

This is another wonderful recipe from Genaw. I usually put off making it because it is baked twice: once for the ‘crust’ and then once for the casserole cheese to melt. But when we eat it, we always remark about how good it is.

Set out 4 ounces of cream cheese to soften. Beat the softened cream cheese and eggs until smooth.

Eggs and Cream Cheese ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add seasonings. I combine onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt, and fresh ground pepper but you can use your favorite taco seasoning. Mix well.

Add seasoning ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add in 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese.

Add Cheddar ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Spread evenly into a greased 9×13″ baking dish.

Spread Enchilada Crust in Dish ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Bake at 350º for about 35 minutes. It should be lightly browned but not too dark because it will go back into the oven again in a bit.

Baked Crust Enchilada Bake ~ lifeofjoy.me

Crust Baked ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Let stand for 5-10 minutes before adding the topping.

Brown the ground meat and add some more of the seasonings, the enchilada sauce, and green chiles. I like to purée the green chiles. Combine well and spread over the slightly cooled crust.

Enchilada Bake Topping ~ Lifeofjoy.meEnchilada Bake Meat and Crust ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Top with remaining cheddar cheese.

Enchilada Bake Add Cheese ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Bake another 20 minutes or so until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Oops! Almost forgot to take final pictures, so this is all that was left in the baking dish at the time.

Echilada Bake Serving or two ~ Lifeofjoy.me

 

Serve with your choice of toppings: lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, avocado, et cetera.

Enchilada Bake ~ Lifeofjoy.me Enchilada Bake ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Enchilada Bake

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Topping:
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 8 ounce (or so) jar enchilada sauce
  • 4 ounces chopped green chiles (I purée mine)
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Beat cream cheese and eggs until smooth.
  2. Add in taco seasoning.
  3. Add in the cheese and mix well.
  4. Spread into greased 9x13 baking dish.
  5. Bake at 350º for 35 minutes or so, until it is lightly browned.
  6. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Brown the ground meat and drain away any excessive grease. I use ground turkey so there isn't much.
  8. Add in taco seasoning, enchilada sauce, and green chiles. Combine well.
  9. Spread over crust.
  10. Top with remaining cheese.
  11. Bake 20 minutes or so, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  12. Serve with your favorite toppings. (lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, avocado, green onions, etc.)
http://lifeofjoy.me/enchilada-bake/

I hope you enjoy this one, it really isn’t difficult. Just be sure to plan to start about an hour and 15 minutes before you desire to eat. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Take an Interest in His Interests

His Interests ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen someone has different hobbies than you do, it can be difficult to understand their interest in the subject or subjects. It can be even more difficult when that person is your husband. Actually, sometimes we are more understanding of others more quickly than our own spouse, which is quite sad.

I understand how it can happen though. If you aren’t intentionally building commonalities, you can grow apart. It is a sneaky little thing that you don’t really see coming.

The hard but important thing to do, is to take an interest in his interests. Resist the urge to laugh or roll your eyes or say something in ridicule because those are excellent ways to build a wall between you instead of drawing you two closer together. Remember, he is genuinely interested in this thing, being condescending is not going to make his interest lessen; it will just lessen his desire to confide in you in the future.

The best thing you can do is genuinely listen to him and show interest in what he shares with you. Don’t let your eyes glaze over or let your mind wander to other things. Stay engaged in conversation with your man. I know it can be difficult. Sometimes you wonder why he’s interested in that thing because it is something in which you are definitely NOT interested in. But I encourage you to make the effort. Your marriage will thank you for it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Peach Tree, Flowers, and Liam

It appears that our peach tree and its blossoms made it through the frost that hit a couple of weekends ago. There are some new blossoms and the old ones seem to be progressing along. Of course, I’ve never seen the stages of how a peach is formed but it seems like it is moving as it should be.

Peach Tree, Flowers, and Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.mePeach Tree, Flowers, and Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meOh! the peaches we’ll have! But now Michael tells me it is supposed to dip down below freezing again this weekend. Oh God! PLEASE protect my peaches, peach blossoms, and my peach tree overall.


The narcissus all bloomed out this week too. They are now standing tall and looking lovely.

Peach Tree, Flowers, and Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meYes, I know, my flower bed is a disgrace. One day I’ll have beautiful flower beds but until then, I’ll just keep learning and growing. I think these may have actually increased from last year, like they’re supposed to do. :) Cool!

Peach Tree, Flowers, and Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt looks like I have mostly the short trumpet ones. Oh well! At least they are the ones with the darker yellow centers. That’s some nice contrast.


Liam and new blocks ~ Lifeofjoy.meLook who was here last weekend! I bought him some sensory blocks and balls. I think he liked them.

Here is how we handled not having a highchair when we ate dinner. :)

Make-shift Highchair ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think he liked it.

He likes it! ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe moves his feet a lot . . . caught him mid-circle. :D

Changed into pj’s and chasing that rubber ducky.

RollAway Ducky ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Now on to the book.

Catching up on his reading ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen Aunt Tiffany read him Jesse Bear What Will You Wear.

Tiff and Liam & book ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe loves books! We’re all so happy about that. :)

Then Uncle Sean played with him. Here he was laughing at Grandpa. (He’s so unloved, right? NOT!)

Uncle Sean Time ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen Uncle Sean read him Jesse Bear What Will You Wear. Yep, the same book. :D We do have other books AND they are readily available. Oh well, he seemed to like it.

Uncle Sean's Turn ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a fun visit!


I got this really wonderful cookbook this week. I’m loving it. I made some bread from it this week and even though it didn’t turn out exactly right, it still tasted good. :)

I gave some sticky flags to Sean, Tiffany, and Michael to flag the things they would like me to make.

New cookbook fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere are very few unmarked recipes and some of those I want to try myself. :D They used up all of those flags I had. I guess I have lots of cooking to do over the next little while. Yum Yum!

Well, I hope you have a good and warm weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Shop Class

shop class ~ Lifeofjoy.meI found this article to be interesting and thought you might be challenged by it. However, I would add HomeEc (cooking) and Sewing to this as well. When I was in high school eons ago, we were all required to take HomeEc, Sewing, Wood Shop (alternated with Metal Shop), and Technical Drawing.

I still have an item or two from when I was in wood shop and I’m very proud of those pieces. Of course, they are put away, somewhere safe, so I cannot share a picture of them with you. ;)

Even the guys took HomeEc and Sewing, as we gals took shop and technical drawing. Looking back at it, I did not care for the technical drawing  while I was doing it but I’ve always enjoyed that I know how to do it.

I had each of my children cook dinner once a week while they were high school age, even my boys. It was important that each child be able to fend for himself and help out his wife, in the future. Tiffany still helps me with dinner and is an excellent cook. Her future husband will be a blessed man.

I hope this article gives you something to think about or encourages you today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Shop Class: Teaching Against the Grain

By Ron Hardman

My eyes could barely see over the edge of my father’s workbench. As if the bench height wasn’t enough of a problem, wood shavings were piled to the edge, completely obstructing my view. Though I could not see what he was doing, I will never forget the sound. My dad was running a hand plane over the wood, smoothing it for a piece of furniture. The long, steady scraping sound held my attention as the hand plane rode over the wood, creating shavings so thin you could practically see through them. I loved the wood shop thenand I still do.

My father was a teacher for thirty-six years, with much of his time devoted to teaching shop class (also called industrial arts or vocational education). I was in shop every day after school from the time I could walk. The classes he used to teach no longer exist at my old high school. Love of the crafts is not being passed on like it once was, and schools are neglecting topics that were once considered critical life skills.

Programs like No Child Left Behind and Common Core place such a strong emphasis on college preparation that public schools are cutting their shop programs. Homeschool families may also have a difficult time incorporating shop programs. Tools can be expensive, and the subject matter is so broad that it’s difficult to even know where to begin. There is no doubt that many kids love to work with their hands, so shouldn’t shop class be part of a well-balanced curriculum?

Shop Class Defined

Before we can dive into the merits of the industrial arts for your homeschool, let us first define what we are talking about. Shop class is not a “thing.” It’s a collection of hands-on life skills that are typically taught together. Common courses include:

  • Woodworking
  • Metalworking
  • Auto Repair
  • Technical Drawing
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
  • Small Engines
  • Printing

Of these courses, woodworking, metalworking, auto repair, and technical drawing are almost always included in typical programs to varying degrees.

The Case for Shop Class

Forbes reported in 2012 that the Los Angeles Unified School District had eliminated 90% of its shop classes.1 The same story is told in countless news stories across the country. If you are in or near a major city, you have likely seen it for yourself. Money flows to college prep courses, and the typical trade classes do not warrant the significant investment for most school boards to continue supporting them.

This line of thinking is based on four assumptions:

1) Everyone can and should get a four-year college degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 27% of jobs required an Associate’s degree or higher to apply. Only 23% required a bachelor’s degree or higher.2 Like any investment, college costs and the time to get a degree must be weighed against the benefits. I am not against college. I’m only saying we shouldn’t assume everyone must go.

2) A college degree is required in order to earn a good wage.

In the April 2014 Wall Street Journal, article entitled “Welders Make $150,000? Bring Back Shop Class”3 the author cited numerous examples of very high wages for skilled tradesmen, with many earning six-digit salaries. I know a number of them myself. While there is no guarantee of this, just ask a recent college graduate whether they were guaranteed a high paying job upon graduation.

3) Kids do not need hands-on skills developed through shop class if they plan to attend college and obtain a degree.

Manual competence is often used to describe the type of skills developed in shop class. Attending college does not mean these life skills are no longer required. Even PhDs need to learn how to swing a hammer and cut a straight line for minor home repairs, or else be left at the mercy of a handyman all the time.

4) Vocational training is unrelated to college prep studies and takes valuable time away from the important subjects.

I would argue that they are actually complementary studies. Visit a construction site and talk with a foreman or architect or stop by a good auto mechanic’s shop and have him talk to you about the most recent car he has been working on. You will see math and physics in action. If you work with wood but do not understand how joints are created or the geometry required to sustain a load, then you will not have a very long career as a woodworker.

Machinists understand how metals work, how heat changes things, and depending on the type of work, they can operate some very advanced computer equipment. If a civil engineer ignores math and physics and designs a curved road without the proper considerations for material, speed, and angle, then cars will fly off of the road. Properly taught, shop classes become applied academics—a hands-on lab of sorts for other classes—helping all other areas of study.

Integrating shop classes into your home education is truly going against the grain, but doing so gives your child a great advantage in the marketplace. The skills they learn will be a large part of who they become, and it will benefit them both personally and professionally.

The Homeschool Shop Class

Lest you think I am only talking about training boys, my wife and I have four kids—three are girls. All of our kids are learning the same shop skills, and I train both girls and boys in our workshops.

I recommend you work with your student(s) side by side. Don’t overthink it, and don’t worry if you aren’t mechanically inclined. Start with something you can complete in a single day, using tools you already have, and ask your student(s) what they would like to do. Kilroy’s Workshop has a free at-home starter lesson available at www.KilroysWorkshop.com/lesson.

Be sure to track your hours for high school. According to HSLDA, one credit is equal to 120 hours of class time. You can count any shop class as an elective.

If you do not have the skill or confidence to train your student in a particular area, find a local trade or enrichment class, talk to a friend who works in that trade, or even stop by local businesses with your student to pick up as much knowledge as you can. Many local hardware stores offer classes. Take this opportunity to learn a new skill together. Craftsmen are in every community. Just seek them out.

If you want to dig into a topic yourself but just need a little confidence boost or instruction, join a forum. Kilroy’s Workshop has a forum that is specifically designed for kids. It requires an account and is moderated. If you locate another woodworking forum where your child is engaging with others, be sure to check the feedback, as most sites are geared toward adults.

The Legacy of Craft

We all leave a legacy, and part of my dad’s is a love of the industrial arts. When my parents passed away and my siblings and I divided the assets, the first thing I selected was my father’s workbench. It is beat up and would barely fetch $10 at a garage sale, but it is his bench. Keep the crafts alive and make the skills your children learn in your homeschool shop class part of your legacy.

Endnotes:

1 – http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarabrown/2012/05/30/the-death-of-shop-class-and-americas-high-skilled-workforce/

2 – http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2013/article/pdf/occupational-employment-projections-to-2022.pdf

3 – http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303663604579501801872226532

Ron and his wife Susan homeschool their four children in Falcon, CO. Ron founded Kilroy’s Workshop to train teens in shop skills, and equip homeschool parents to do the same. He is a board member of A Daughter’s Heart and 4Gens ministries, both of which encourage parents to focus on the legacy they leave for their kids. Ron is the co-author of five books, has written numerous magazine articles, and speaks at conferences on a regular basis. Follow KilroysWorkshop on Twitter to see some of our current projects. #TrainThem.

Copyright, 2015. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine, Summer 2015. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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Amphora, Por Fin, Yew-Dee

iamthedivacztThis week’s Diva Challenge is to use Amphora by Lily Moon. I love Lily’s art. So I hope I can do her tangle justice. ;)

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meThe focus for Square One: Purely Zentangle and Shading Zentangle was Yew-Dee last week and is Por Fin this week.

Every one of these tangles were new to me. I didn’t really do them justice. Peg Farmer, the creator of Yew-Dee, said that it is like a combination of Bales and W2. Well, I drew it way too much like Bales and didn’t have enough focus in the centers of the sections. I tried to shade it in a way that emphasized it a bit but the Bales sections were so big they usurped the attention. ;)

The there was Por Fin. I was a little off with this one too. I drew it first, so that it could cast a shadow on the other two tangles. I tried to draw it a moderate size and ended up with each section a little on the small side. Oh well. :)

Then there was Amphora. I didn’t want to do it exactly like Lily’s sample and ended up using it as a kind of wallpaper. I tried to shade the right side more heavily to give it some depth.

Well, here is the tile before shading.

Amphora, Por Fin, Yew-Dee ~ Lifeofjoy.meI really do wish I had drawn the Bale lines skinnier, so the center swirls would have been a bit bigger and thus allowed for more shading.

Amphora, Por Fin, and Yew-Dee ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt turned out okay. I think I may have rushed this tile a bit but I like it enough.

You all are so kind with your encouraging comments. Thank you so much! They are greatly appreciated.

I hope you have a great week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Serving of Pork Loin Roast ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Crock-Pot Pork Loin Roast

This meat is tender, full of flavor, and yes, delicious.

I have never made pork roasts prior to the last several months. I mean, seriously, never. Then I started the ketogenics diet and things are very different around here.

About a month ago, I noticed that Aldi was having a pork roast on sale for $1.49 a pound, so I put it on my menu and grocery list. When I got there, the only one I saw was this but it was $1.69 a pound.

Crock Pot Pork Loin ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I bought it anyway because it was on my menu and I didn’t want to have to think up something else to eat to substitute and other meats are more per pound. (Turns out that I had looked at the following week’s flyer instead of the current week’s flyer, online.)

When I cooked it, I just put it in the crock-pot and seasoned it with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. That’s it! Seriously! And it was scrumptious.

So today I am sharing my super easy “recipe” with you.

Buy roast. Remove roast from packaging. Place fat side up, in a crock-pot.

Pork Loin Roast ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sprinkle with a little salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Serving of Pork Loin Roast ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Now I have to say that this one wasn’t as good as the last one because it was mostly white meat. So look for one that has the darker pink rather than the lighter pink, because the darker is much better.

Eat!

Crock-Pot Pork Roast

Ingredients

  • pork roast
  • about 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • about 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (I used Kosher salt today)
  • about 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Put roast in the crock-pot, fat side on top.
  2. Sprinkle with seasonings.
  3. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
http://lifeofjoy.me/crock-pot-pork-loin-roast/

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A Love Challenge and Two Mantras

Love Challenge and Just for Today ~ Lifeofjoy.meDuring the month of February, The Generous Wife, Lori Byerly, challenged her readers to bless your husband with small acts of kindness and generosity. On the last day of the month she found she was more in love with him than at the beginning of the month. (You can read her short article here about it.) I’ve had the same experience in the past when I’ve made an effort to be more intentional with my hubby.

Recently I’ve been following Kristie Sullivan’s youtube channel, Cooking Keto with Kristie. She’s been an inspiration to me in this keto way of eating (woe) upon which I’ve embarked. The mantra that helped her stay on plan is “Just for today.” It is a decision that can help you through that moment of that day. It is a short term goal . . . just for today, I choose . . . but it can be made afresh every day.

Then the other day I read this article from Ann Voskamp’s website, about softening your sharp edges. In it the guest poster writes about how she curbed herself from saying harsh things with the mantra “Only Love Today.” It is an interesting read with the best bits a little way after the pictures. ;)

These two mantras have collided in my mind today. Each one is a decision for TODAY. Today is easier to deal with than forever or a year or a month. It is more readily accomplished than embarking on a long-term commitment.

Then I realized that Lori’s daily reminder to do one kind or generous act each day went right along with these other two. So somewhere in my head, I’m combining them something like this . . . Just for today, I choose to speak only Love and act generously (especially to Michael). Understanding that each day is a fresh slate and a doable commitment. Only Love Today . . . Just for today . . . acts of kindness and generosity, because they aren’t limited to a challenge in February but a good idea all year long.

I hope somewhere in my ramblings today, you can find encouragement to Only be LOVING, Generous and Kind, making good choices one day at a time (a.k.a. Just for today) and in the end find that not only have you brightened others’ days but you feel more love towards those dear ones in your life.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº