All posts by Life of Joy

History, Geography, and Biographies

Stacks ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany and I had a library day last week because we needed to use some faster internet than what we have at home to do some updates and downloads on our laptops. Then we also wanted to browse the stacks.

I had seen a kids non-fiction book series that I wanted to check out. I’ll share some of that next week after I’ve had a chance to read some of them. But while I was looking for these books I had an idea that I wished I would have had when my kids were young.

Here is the idea . . . take your children to the children’s non-fiction section. Point out the 900’s section and have your children each pick out one book for them to read and later tell you about over the next week or two. Our library has a really interesting selection of books in this section. There are books about people, places, and historical events.

If you are prone to only spend time in the library once every couple of months or so, then have them plan accordingly with maybe a couple alternatives in case they just cannot read one of the books they brought home.

Of course, be sure to have them write down the title, author, and date they read it on a log to keep track of it all. But I recommend keeping it as a reminder of all the books they’ve read and things they’ve learned rather than one of those logs that makes you write down your times and/or how long your read. There is some research that the latter type of log can actually be a deterrent to reading.

They can keep this log on any piece of paper. You can dress it up with stickers or you can print out one of these available online free of charge. (Remember to stay clear of the ones with times, unless it is something your child desires.)

I hope these ideas and resources are helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Liam Tangled

iamthedivacztI’m so glad I didn’t just skip the challenge this week. It didn’t seem to be something I would really enjoy but I have to admit, this one was soooo fun!!!  When I saw the Diva Challenge was to use a cut-out and Laura had used a model, the first thing I thought of using was a picture of my grandson. I entertained the idea of choosing food from an advertisement or something from a magazine, from which I have plenty to choose. But the idea of using a picture of Liam was the strongest idea, so I went with it.

First I had to pick a picture of him. This smirk of his just cracks me up. Oh and when he opens his mouth in an ‘O’, it just gets me! :DSmirk ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen I had to cut out his image in gimp (a free program for photos and such). Tangled Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen I had to save it and finally print it. After that I cut it out with scissors and affixed it to my tile.

Next came the tangle selection. I thought footlites by Carol Ohl would be good. Since Liam’s hand was on a busy box in the original photo, I decided on Cadent in that section. I wasn’t sure what to use in the final section. I toyed with some grid tangles but didn’t want anything that might look flowery or too dramatic. In the end, I settled on Tipple.

I forgot to take a scan of it before I shaded it, although it wasn’t really very dramatic, at least to me. Here it is in grayscale-finished.

Gray Tangled Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd here it is, as I see it in real life. :)

Color Tangled Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m pleased with it. I could’ve blended the shading on Cadent a bit more but I like it. I will probably end up framing this one and hanging it up. Oh! I have just the thing! I got some glass frames for Christmas; this will be perfect! :)

A quick note about last week, I couldn’t figure out why none of the faithful commenters had commented on my tile last week. So, on Monday, I went to the Linky to check the link. Turns out that I never pushed publish on the post!!! :p Ugh!!! That’s the first time in nearly three years, that I have done that. Oh well, live and learn!

I appreciate this community so much! You’re comments are most appreciated!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Chicken Alfredo Pizza ~ lifeofjoy.me

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza

Creamy alfredo sauce with spinach and chicken pizza! Yes, this one is good and lower carb because the cheese sauce is less carby than the tomato sauce.

So, here it is . . . finally, the full recipe. First I gave you the delicious Alfredo sauce. Then I gave you the pizza crust. Now today, we combine it and add toppings.

I think this would be really good with some sautéed onions and fresh mushrooms but I haven’t tried it that way yet because the kids don’t care for onions and mushrooms. But that’s okay. :) It is still good!!! (Please note that if you decide to add onions and mushrooms that you should sauté them before putting them on the pizza, as it is only in the oven long enough to melt the cheese on top and heat up the toppings.)

So you have your crust and your sauce made. We put all but about a quarter cup of the batch of sauce on the crust but you use however much you like. Then add some cooked chicken. I had some pieces left over from a rotisserie chicken that I’ve used before. I have also just used about a half a pound chicken breast cooked and diced.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza ~ lifeofjoy.meThen we added about a cup or so of thinly sliced spinach. It’s nice not to bit into a big leaf and struggle not to pull it away with most of the cheese from your slice. ;)

Chicken Alfredo Pizza ~ lifeofjoy.meThen we used about 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. We’ve tried it with white cheddar and we didn’t care for it nearly as much as with regular cheddar.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza ~ lifeofjoy.mePut it back in the 350º oven for 5-10 minutes, just until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza ~ lifeofjoy.meCut and enjoy!

Alfredo Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Chicken Alfredo Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

More on Exptectations

This week’s post comes from a lovely gal that I met in our homeschool group years ago. She is a darling, lovely, sweet lady that loves God, her husband, and her family with all her heart. She recently shared a post on facebook about marriage and I asked her if she’d want to write something up to share here with you. It’s a little longer than I usually share but I thought it best to share it all at once rather than broken up into two posts.

I found it interesting that she dealt with expectations recently too. (You may remember I wrote about that last week. ;) )

Without further adieu, I give you Ana Osborn.

Until next time God bless,

Michele ºÜº


It is incredible to me how relationships are painted in stories.

Boy meets girl.

Girl loves boy.

Boy and girl overcome a hiccup.

They live happily ever after.

Now don’t get me wrong, the passion that they portray in the stories is ALL true…well at least in my case.  I felt every extra flutter of my heart and loved every tingle that traveled up my arm when I held his hand.  The problem with Hollywood is that they tell of the greatness of love when the romance is young and it is easy to be selfless.  Yet the story rarely unravels past the I dos.  In my opinion, that’s when the story truly gets good.

As a little girl, I dreamed of a love that Hollywood would be envious of.  Then I found it!  The man that God brought to me was nothing that I had envisioned for myself.  He was better!!! In fact, he was just what I needed.

Fast forward thirteen years and he is still all those things.  However, in thirteen years we have had ups and we have had downs.  The incredible thing is that people assume we have a fantastic marriage because we are two people perfectly paired.  A more untrue statement could not possibly be made.  Each marriage comes with its sets of challenges and each challenge is usually harder than the one before.

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day and my anniversary (Note how I said my…more on that later).  I love days that celebrate me.  Yes, that sounds so selfish, and it can be.  However, who doesn’t enjoy being celebrated and honored?  My husband has always been incredible at planning the perfect dates and making sure that each birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, whatever, went perfectly.  Yes, guys, perfectly.  He checks restaurant reviews, and always finds unique gifts that sparkle that I always adore.  This year has been different.  He has been working six to seven days a week and has not had time all year to really put any thought into special days.  All year I was disappointed when special days came and went and nothing.

Imagine my expectation for last Sunday.  Two major days in one, surely, he had something planned!  Something, anything . . .

But nope, nothing.  We went to church and came home.  I kept thinking “oh he is just waiting for the right moment . . . any minute now he will go get something out of the bedroom or his car.”  Guys, it never happened.  Monday came and I was downright depressed.  I cried and cried and my usual bubbly phone call mid-morning to my husband was never made.  I sulked and brooded like a two-year-old . . . actually I think I out did them too.

As per the norm these days, due to a large project at work, he got home late.  I could see that he was exhausted from a long day of physical labor.  He was covered in mud and sweat.  As he removed his boots on the chaise in our room the Lord spoke to me loudly, “It was his day too!”  Instantly I felt a pang of shame, not because of the truth spoken but that it didn’t even occur to me that it was his day too.  Then I heard, “Every day you sought to be celebrated he was working.  He would rather have spent that time celebrating you!”  That was the moment I broke.  I walked over to him and helped him remove his socks.  For the rest of the evening my heart just poured out service on “the flesh of my flesh!”  Ephesians 5 came to life to me in that moment, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it,” I had become so obsessed with what I wanted and what I needed that I totally overlooked the needs of the one that completed me.  Now please hear me, I am not saying that I didn’t have a justified complaint . . . maybe I did.  However, in that moment I realized that my complaint did not, and does not, and never will supersede the mandate that God sets out before me as to what is love.

I had made the colossal mistake of buying into the lie that love needs to do FOR me.  I had crossed from love into entitlement.  My heart was not concerned with service but selfishness.  To my everlasting shame, I never once thought of how I could celebrate him.  As tears flowed from my eyes, and an apology to him from me came, I was surprised at how my heart shifted.  My heart was filled with gratitude and love and emptied of anger and disappointment.  Once I began to step away from me me me and I I I, I was able to shake off the depression and sadness.

God calls us to serve in every area of our lives but especially in our marriages.  When we serve our spouses we are also serving ourselves.   That should not be our motivation, but it is the truth.  I wish I could say that I know how it all works but I don’t.  In fact, Paul called the marriage union a great mystery (Eph 5:32).  However, the Word is clear that our spouses body is our body; and ours is theirs.  We are one and how we treat each other directly affects us.  In my opinion, that is why so many marriages end.  People assume that once they are free from that particular marriage their problems will cease.  Rarely is that the case.  All that really happens is the exchange of one set of problems for another.  Your spouse is designed by God to become part of your DNA.  When that DNA is disrupted death ensues in the heart, mind, body, and soul.

When it gets hard and it seems as if it would be easier to quit, remind yourself that it’s not.  The devil would have us believe that love is primarily self-serving.  God would have us believe, by his example, that love is selfless. In 1 Corinthians 13 the Lord expresses his definition of love.  I love how it begin . . . ”love suffers long.”  We are called to suffer with him when we love.  He tells us that love “does NOT behave itself unseemly.”  Love also does not keep a record of wrongs.

In every facet that I could have abused love and what it meant, I had.  I had abused the love given me by my husband and defiled  it with selfishness, entitlement, and wrath.  The good of all this came in the revelation of my wrongs and the heart change that followed.

So why write this?  Well so that I can hopefully encourage someone else to a different response than I had.  I challenge you today; that if something in your marriage is not going your way, then intentionally be moved by grace.  If you are hurt, be moved by peace.  If you are lonely, be filled with the love the Holy Spirit brings.  This action will shift the atmosphere.  I promise, it’s better to show grace and love and patience than to concede to despair.  Watch that change your heart…”love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,  LOVE NEVER FAILS.”

All for His Glory,
Ana Osborn

Mother’s Day Flowers

We had a VERY BUSY Mother’s Day! We went to my parents’ and celebrated three birthdays, as well as Mother’s Day. And of course, I did not get a single picture!!! Ugh!

I hadn’t seen Liam in over two weeks and I sure did miss him! I’m ready to do some babysitting again. :)

Miss Him ~ Lifeofjoy.meCuteness ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Once again Tiffany was a trooper and made another Peanut Butter Dirt Cake for us to eat at my parents’. We didn’t remember which one of our sweeteners we used the week before and ended up using the wrong one and it tasted . . . sour maybe? It just was not any where  as good as it was the week before. We’ll definitely use the right sweetener next time!

Mother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe worked soooo hard two weeks in a row. The first time for my birthday and then again for Mother’s Day.

She started by making a double batch of pancakes on Saturday morning. One batch to use in Breakfast Lasagna and the other for use throughout the week for breakfasts.

Mother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen after Sean and Michael returned from town with the Mother’s Day flowers, she helped Sean weed the flower bed and plant the flowers. :)

Mother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd in between, she made that cake. It has three layers, so it takes a little while to do. She was smart and did it in sections.

Mother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey bought rubber mulch. We’ll see how it holds up. I am going to have to buy more though. Did you notice the crazy flamingo? Yep, that was Michael’s idea. :D

I used the bit of birthday money I received to buy some more flowers for my little circle up front. I weeded it on Saturday, since the kids were outside anyway . . . you know, misery loves company. ;)

I found these as I was weeding! They are the pretty orange lilies that they all got me last year. (Brian and Lauren picked these.) I’ll be glad when they bloom. I saw one bud on one of them yesterday when I was planting the newly purchased flowers.

Mother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.me

My internet is acting up right now, so I’ll run for now. :) I’ll share pictures and more about my circular flower bed next week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Dandelions and Home Education

Dandeliions ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy father told me dandelions were weeds. I remember seeing him digging them out of the yard he had sodded. I didn’t understand why they were bad but Daddy didn’t like them, so neither did I.

Mom did not like them because it brought back sad memories of when she was a little girl. She knew things were tight financially when her mom would send her out to pick dandelion greens for dinner, which would be made into a gravy . . . a gravy Mom did not like.

Fast forward MANY, MANY years and I realized dandelions were just a wild flower. Sometimes it had the poor taste of growing in people’s well-manicured, lush green lawns. But I live way out in the country now and have grown to appreciate dandelions for what they are. :)

So when I saw the title of Sarah’s post over on her website, My Joy-Filled Life, I was intrigued. The title was “Discovering Dandelions“. I had to go see what she had to say on the topic. Knowing she is a homeschooler, piqued my interest all the more.

I love how she did not influence her children’s opinion of that ‘flower’ but instead allowed them to discover for themselves and make up their own minds. But she didn’t stop there. I encourage you to go read her article; it isn’t very long, so won’t take a lot of time.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Tangled Stripes

iamthedivacztThis week’s diva challenge is to use stripes. I like this challenge because it is relatively easy. I decided to do about 3 horizontal stripes.

I checked the Square One: Purely Zentangle focus tangle and found it to be Paizel, which can be found on tanglepatterns.com. I like the basics of this tangle but not the Nekton background to it but I used it anyway. ;)

The pattern for the day over on Pattern-collections.com is 8’n wing. I wasn’t sure if I’d add this one to the tile or not but in the end, decided to go ahead and put one bit of it above the stripes.

The one pattern I just chose at random was Drogon by Lily Moon. I really liked this tangle and its simplicity when I used it last time, so I decided to play with it a bit more. It will take me quite some time before I do it justice in my shading though. :) It is fun to learn.

Here is my tile before shading.

DC#316, Drogon, Paizel, and 8'n Wing ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve really learned how to shade so as to cover up my jiggly, wiggly, line art. :D

Here it is shaded.

Finished DC#316 ~ Lifeofjoy.me

It is always at this point, when I see the tile enlarged on-screen, that I notice the areas where I should’ve blended the shading a bit more but by that time, I’m usually rushed and in a hurry to get it posted. So, as always, I see the imperfections once again. :D But it doesn’t matter because I enjoyed doing this one, even if I did rush it a little bit. ;)

Thanks once again for your kind comments. They encourage me to continue sharing. Sometimes I share it here and on facebook groups but then other times, I only share it here with you. Thanks for your encouragement.

Oh, Maggibee! This one was definitely more my taste; I hope it was for you as well. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Fathead Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Low Carb Pizza Crust!

Hallelujah!!! Real hold-in-your-hand pizza! This is a great alternative for that carb-laden delight of the past.

Fathead pizza is all over the internet. I’m so glad I came late to the keto diet because people have figured out things like pizza crust, bagels, donuts, and muffins, not to mention cakes and cookies. Pizza is one of my favorite meals. My mother taught me to make pizza the way her mother taught her. It has been a staple in our family for a VERY long time.

I, like many others, have tried all kinds of pizza crusts: cauliflower, chicken, corn thins (during the Let’s Do Lunch diet), tapioca (good for paleo diets), and even egg based crusts. This one is a winner though. The others were an okay substitute for a while but eventually I would really crave that regular bread dough crust.

I had stayed away from this one while on other diets and even in the beginning of this way of eating because of the large amounts of cheese in the crust. You see, I didn’t know how it would work to have so much cheese IN the crust and then ON the crust too but I finally gave it a try and I love it!

Another reason I avoided this one was because every recipe I’d seen melted the cheese with the cream cheese in the microwave and I don’t like to use the microwave. Actually, for a long time I had my microwave put away. Then I learned that it works just as well on the stovetop.

Here’s how to make the crust.

Here’s how easy it is to make . . .

Put 1½ cups shredded mozzarella (I use part-skim because I was told it works better than full fat for this recipe) and 2 tablespoons of cream cheese in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. As it begins to melt combine the two and stir occasionally, until it is all melted.

Fathead Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Fathead Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Then add 1/3 cup of almond flour, 1/3 cup oat fiber 500, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, and a teaspoon dried oregano.

Fathead Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.meGarlic Salt and Oregano ~ Lifeofjoy.me

When partially combined and cool enough that it won’t cook the egg on contact, add the egg.

Fathead Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Combine thoroughly.

Fathead Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Spread out thinly on parchment paper on a pizza pan or cookie sheet.

Fathead Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes, lightly browned.

Fathead Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Low Carb Pizza Crust!

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella (6 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese (1 ounce)
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup oat fiber 500 (brand does make a difference)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

Instructions

  1. Melt mozzarella and cream cheese over medium heat in a heavy saucepan.
  2. Thoroughly combine the two cheeses.
  3. When melted, add almond flour, oat fiber, and seasonings.
  4. Add egg and combine thoroughly.
  5. Flatten out onto parchment paper on a pizza pan or baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned.
http://lifeofjoy.me/low-carb-pizza-crust/

Expectations

Expectations ~ Lifeofjoy.meSometimes I have an expectation of how something will go or how something will be celebrated. I’ve learned this before but it bears repeating; unfortunately I’m repeating it AFTER Mother’s Day instead of before, when it would have been more helpful but maybe it will help you before your next celebration.

Unless you tell someone your expectations, you need to have low or even NO expectations about how a celebration will go. If I have hopes about how my celebration will be carried out, it is seldom realized. However if I have no ideas for how a day should be celebrated (like Mother’s Day, a birthday, an anniversary, and such) then no matter what we do, I’m good.

If doing particular things are important to me, then I need to tell the person that I desire it from, otherwise it is unfair to them and to myself. It sets myself up for sadness or even depression. It reminds me of what Lori Byerly of The Generous Wife said she had to learn: ask for what she needs.

Don’t drop hints. Don’t hope things will go a certain way without sharing your desires. Be realistic with your NEEDS.

I hope this will help you and will remind me in the future. :)

Until next time, God bless

Michele ºÜº

Birthday and Mother’s Day

My birthday was last week. :) It was nice and relaxing. Tiffany did my chores and cooked for me. She made delicious sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits for our breakfast,

Sausage egg and cheese biscuit ~ Lifeofjoy.meand then a yummy steak and cheese bunless sub, which means we ate what would have been put on a Philly Steak and Cheese Sub, with mushrooms added.

Then for dinner she fixed my choice of Bacon Wrapped Chicken and roasted cauliflower.

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken ~ Lifeofjoy.meand then we had the delicious copycat candy bar cake. :)

I really like this picture; I wish it hadn’t been shaded oddly.Birthday Cake ~ Lifeofjoy.meCandy Bar Cake ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I got a lot of paper in my gift bag on my birthday morning.

Gifts ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe sheet music printout represented the digital sheet music package I requested from David Nevue. I just need to print it out now.  I’m looking forward to dusting off my music reading skills and playing some lovely music. Truth be told, I’m looking forward to improving this skill.

The studio classics piece of paper represents the DVD I wanted that has both Desk Set starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. It is a movie we enjoy but our video cartridge squeals now and is unwatchable. It also has I was a Male War Bride starring Cary Grant. We’ve seen this one before but have a hard time finding it to watch it again.

This DVD also has two other movies on it: Hollywood Cavalcade and How to Steal A Million. I’ve not seen these but it’s like they are free, so even if we don’t like them and never watch them again.

The lovely colorful paper represents some gray copic shading markers that wouldn’t arrive for a few days. This doesn’t bother me, it just means my birthday is extended. :)

Now the final piece of paper is the cutest one. I like chef dude items for my kitchen. I saw a few of them last fall but they were gone by the time Christmas came around. So I added it to my birthday list, in case anyone saw any.  Clearly he couldn’t find any, so he compiled this cute collage and taped the remaining money to it.

Chef Dudes ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo it will remain on my list for another gift giving occasion and I already spent the money on a new e-book by Eni Oken. :)

And on a final note, we made this very delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Dirt Cake the other day! Oh My Gracious! It is soooo good! Okay, keep your expectations low so that you have a good experience because if you put them up too high, nothing will ever be that good. ;)

Cakes ~ Lifeofjoy.me


It’s always tough on my family when my birthday rolls around because Mother’s Day is not far behind. At least this year they have a little more space between the two, than other years. I’m looking forward to Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meMother's Day ~ lifeofjoy.meSpeaking of which, I’m so very thankful for my mother. She held a young family together while daddy drove truck and was gone a lot when we were young. She ensured that we were in church nearly every service. She was always there for me no matter what I was going through, not only during my growing up years, but also after marriage and the birth of my children. She was a great example to me of love and devotion to God and family. Thanks Mom for all you do!

Mother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meMother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meI Love You ~ Lifeofjoy.meUntil next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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