All posts by Life of Joy

Don’t Take Offense

Before Pic ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Me in the black shirt and blue shorts-2011

Okay, I know that there are women out there that are a little overweight or fat in their own mind and their husbands are all like, I love you the way you are . . . you’re beautiful, and they don’t believe them. For those women I have to say, believe your husband!!! There are a multitude of blog posts on the internet telling you that I am right when I say that.

I need to let you know that I am truly so overweight that it is not pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I can still cover up and make myself presentable and pretty for my man (and I should do that) but I should never delude myself into thinking that he thinks all this blubber is beautiful or enticing. I have to lose weight!!! And praise God I am losing weight. But it is not my husband’s fault that he is a visual creature; that is how God made men. It is also not his fault that I allowed myself to gain so much weight.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been on diets for our entire marriage. He has paid a lot of money for me to try to lose weight. Sometimes it worked but most of the time it didn’t. Praise God, this time seems to be different (but check back in a year and we’ll see if it really is different or not ;) ) The whole family has changed their dietary lifestyle several times because I’m the cook in the house and not going to make several different meals, parts of meals yes, entire meals no.

Michael would never say anything derogatory about me or my weight on purpose. If anything is said, it is something that slipped out and I took it differently than he intended. But to say that if he loved me he’d never let something like that slip is accusatory and disrespectful to him. My sweet husband has kept his mouth shut on the subject of my weight but I know how he feels. We’ve been married for 30 years, so you can trust me when I say I know how he feels about it. However, that does not keep us from loving on each other. We still flirt and touch each other; we have a healthy marriage.

I have to stand up for any of those husbands out there that would never intentionally hurt their wives but might have let something pass through their lips that clued the wife in to what he thought or felt about her weight. Don’t let yourself be torn down by it. Know that he did not mean to hurt you and that the devil wants you to be offended so he can tear you two apart. Don’t let him do that. Just get determined to find something that will work for you.

I recommend Trim Healthy Mama because it is such a balanced approach to food. I get to eat sprouted white whole wheat bread and bacon, although not at the same time. ;) I get to eat yummy peanut butter muffins with a chocolate syrup drizzled on them, albeit sugar-free but definitely not sweetener free. :) But I’m also encouraged to eat big healthy salads full of veggies, which can be eaten with lovely healthy fats and meats or low in fat with fruit and lean meats. It is such a well balance approach to eating and I’m blessed to have found it.

I hope, that if you are one of those women, who have found out that your husband is turned off by your weight, that you will not hold it against him but prayerfully consider how you can show him how much you love and respect him by getting yourself healthy. Yes, do it for yourself but doing it for him isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. It probably shouldn’t be the only reason though. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Conference

Busy week with the conference this week. And of course, I took NO, as in ZERO, pictures. I made Egg “Muffins” this year. Although I have made them for the young adult conference before, I have never been able to make them for the October conference before.

I made about four dozen of them each day. Well, actually I mixed it all up in the afternoon and the next morning the early crew baked them. People really seemed to love them. I did not add any cheese to them and I did not really miss it. I’ve been trying to cut back on the dairy a bit, so as to possibly get the scales moving in the right direction again.

I made a little over a dozen with just sausage (bacon bits on two days). Then I made a little over a dozen with meat and sauteed veggies (onions, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and mushrooms). And finally, I made a little over a dozen with just the veggies. The were taken nearly as quickly as they were put out, so I guess that means they were pretty good. ;)

One day this week Gwin and I went to the spinal hospital nearby for bacon cheeseburgers (minus the bun) and salad. Then another day I was blessed to go with a large group of people to Cracker Barrel. I like to get their country house salad. Usually I get it without croutons and onions and add a side of broccoli but this week I got the sweet potato with it. It may have ended up being a slight crossover on the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan but I only put a small drizzle of oil on the salad and no butter on the sweet potato.

My friend Gwin was also in this group. She’s actually the one that took this picture and was a dear and sent it to me so I could share with you. :)

Lunch ~ Lifeofjoy.me(That’s me! Different hair style.)

It is nice to go with a group of people but then I usually get lost between the conversations. I’m nosey and have a hard time not attempting to listen to several conversations at once. There were some people there I’d have like to have gotten to know a bit better but it’s okay, I was able to chat with a lovely lady and her young daughter, as well as Gwin and a couple more ladies.

Speaking of hairstyle, Tiffany hasn’t felt good this week, so she has not gone to the conference, well except for one service on Wednesday. But since she hasn’t been feeling good, I’ve had to do my own hair. Bad thing is that I hadn’t even attempted to do anything with it . . . she’s been the one figuring it all out the last several weeks and now I had to figure it out . . . it’s been passable. ;)

Then one day Michael got rained out of work, so he came to church and thus to lunch with us. We went back to the spinal hospital because it is very reasonably priced when Gwin pays. We figured out that she must get a discount because ours was a bit more. BUT the chicken special is really good!

Come to think of it, Gwin and I have had lunch together every day of the conference! :) On the other day we went to lunch, Michael got rained out again, so he was with me and invited another gentleman at the conference to join us, as well as Gwin. We went to Jason’s Deli. I like that restaurant because they have a good salad bar and have olive oil right there for dressing.

You might wonder why Gwin and I ate lunch with each other so much this week. You see, she helped me in the kitchen. She filled in where my family left me stranded was unable to do what they normally do. ;) I’ve said before that Michael is my right arm and Tiffany is my left arm. Well, this week, when I had neither of them, I had Gwin. :) I joked with her and said she was a great prosthetic arm. Thankfully, Michael was there a couple of days and able to lift the heavy stuff and help wash up dishes. :)

Today is the last day. Actually it is only a half day. Who knows, I may grab a few pictures to share next week. But if you’ve been around here for any length of time, you probably doubt that I’ll actually get that done. ;) We are going to be quite busy because we’ll actually put everything away as we close down the room after breakfast today.

It’s been a good week. I’ve gotten to know some new people and Gwin and I have been able to spend a lot of time together, which we haven’t done in a while. We’ve had some great services, worship, and speakers.Conference ~ Lifeofjoy.me

On the way home yesterday, I stopped and said hi to my kitchen mentor, as this is the week of their “conference” too. It was nice to catch up with her and find out how things are going. She’s taught me so much!!!

Well, I better run. I’m supposed to even pick up groceries on my way home later. I hope I’ll get my act together enough to do so.

Well, Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Another Reading List

Porcupine Reading ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m a sucker for books and reading lists. I also am a fan of family read alouds.

Well, I recently came across a website that offers a few lists of suggested books. They have a list of picture books broken down by months. Some of my favorites are on the list and I only looked at a couple of months.

There are also a few short lists of fantasy books, classic books, and some poetry or books in verse. There’s also a list of books for struggling readers. :)

Now, I do have to warn you that these lists are all free BUT you have to sign up for their email list to get access to these booklists. I felt it was worth doing so; you can unsubscribe any time.

There are some podcasts with accompanying blog posts that tell what you can expect in the podcast. I have not listened to any of those yet but I’m interested in a few. The first I’m interested in is an interview with Jonathan Rodgers, the author of one of my favorite children’s series: The Wilderking Series.

This website also has a premium membership option. I don’t really see a need for it but who knows, you may find that you could benefit from it.

I hope you enjoy the Read-Aloud Revival website and find it beneficial to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Tint, Baton, and Culaz

We have a conference at our church this week and I am volunteering in the kitchen. I don’t have much time to create this post today.

I decided to use a shallow semi-circle string and use the blossom version of TINT for the diva challenge. From there I added the Square One: Purely Zentangle focus tangle of Baton but I didn’t really do it justice. Then I added the pattern collections pattern for the day, Culaz.

I almost forgot to scan it before I started shading but caught it just in time.

DC#335 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI auraed the whole thing a few times and than added some spheres in the middle aura.  Since I’m in a bit of a hurry, I just added a bit of shading from my dots and border and tried to stretch it inward a bit.

DC#335 Shaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meI appreciate you taking the time to stop by and really appreciate any comments you might leave. It is always so encouraging to see what you all have to say about my tiles. Of course, as usual, now that I’ve got this scanned and seeing it a bit larger, I realize I should’ve shaded the center of tint. Oh well! It is what it is because I don’t have time to add the shading and re-scan it.

I hope you have a great week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Chocolate Ice Milk ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Yummy Easy Ice Cream

I love this ice ‘cream’. It is light and refreshing. I make it into a chocolate or double chocolate some might say. Yum!

I made six batches at once but I’ll give the recipe for just one batch.

Pour almond milk into a blender.

Ice Milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd sweeteners. We use Sukrin: 1, stevia glycerite, and a tiny bit of stevia.

Sweetener ~ Lifeofjoy.meSweetner ~ Lifeofjoy.meSweetener ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd vanilla and salt.

Ice Milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meTurn on the blender and add a little glucomannan. Blend for about 20 seconds.

Gluccie ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen pour the mix into ice cube trays.

Ice Cream ~ Lifeofjoy.meAlthough I did make a sextuple batch, it only filled five ice cube trays.

Freeze. When frozen, they can be removed from the trays and place in baggies to use the trays to make more.

When ready to enjoy some yummy ice cream, place one try worth of cubes into a food processor.

Ice Milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meIf there is anyone around, I am supposed to warn them before I turn on the machine because it is loud and clunky. OH! I also have to hold down the plunger otherwise we’ve had cubes escape and make quite the noise.

When processed it resembles dry snow.

Snow ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow to add creaminess and flavor. If you are a fan of vanilla, you are about set to go. I prefer chocolate. So I add a heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder.

Ice Cream ~ Lifeofjoy.meBecause cocoa powder is bitter, it needs more sweetener. I choose to add Sukrin Melis, which is a confectioners sugar. I add a couple tablespoons worth, as well as a couple tablespoons of almond milk to make it creamy.

Voila! Ice Cream goodness!!!

Chocolate Ice Milk ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Yummy Easy Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk (I used only 1 cup here)
  • about 2 tablespoons sukrin:1
  • about 3 drops of stevia glycerite
  • 1/32 pure stevia extract powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon glucomannan
  • about 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder
  • about 2 tablespoons sukrin melis

Instructions

  1. Combine milk, sweetener, and vanilla in blender.
  2. Turn on and add glucomannan, blending for 20 seconds
  3. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze
  4. Place serving bowl into freezer, to chill as processing the ice cream.
  5. Place frozen cubes in food processor.
  6. Add a bit of almond milk and flavoring of choice.
  7. I use cocoa powder and add extra sweetener because of its bitterness.
  8. Blend
http://lifeofjoy.me/yummy-easy-ice-cream/

I hope you enjoy this low cal dessert as much as I do. This is my variation of Trim Healthy Mama’s Tummy Tuck Ice Cream.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Do What Needs To Be Done

Do What Needs Doing ~ Lifeofjoy.meMarriage is not about keeping track of who does what or when. It is so tempting to keep track of the things I do in an effort to say, Hey, I’m contributing a lot here. But really it is because I have a deep root of laziness that I have to constantly work to overcome.

Procrastination is a part of this same ugly ‘plant’ in my life. I procrastinate on doing things until it gets to be late in the day and then I cannot go to bed when Michael does. Although, I must admit that sometimes I’m not tired enough to go to bed when he is ready . . . partly due to the fact that he tends towards getting up way too early, not by choice but circumstance. But that aside, even if my procrastination doesn’t keep me up late, it keeps me unavailable in the evenings and that is not good. I should get my own ‘stuff’ done during the day so that I am available for the family in the evenings.

Yesterday Tiffany was ill. Since the conference started and I needed to be at the church to get things prepped for breakfast today, I had to go. Sean had to go as well because he was doing the projection of the music words. Tiffany tried to go but alas, she just needed to stay home; so Michael stayed home with her. He rose to the challenge of being a nurse, which is not easy. ;)

My morning was busy helping Tiffany decide if she was staying home or going and I ended up. I had groceries to take to church. And I had to do my hair myself. You see Tiffany has been doing my hair for the last several weeks as we work on a new hairstyle. I cannot do it the same way she does because she uses a curling wand; my hair is too short for me to attempt learn to use the wand in a hurry. So Michael did what needed to be done and got my stuff together for me. Had he not done it, I wouldn’t have made it to church on time.

Marriage isn’t about who does what. Marriage is about doing life together each supporting the other and getting the jobs done. And of course, I’m referring to normal marriages, not ones with abnormal struggles (ones with abuse or other such circumstances).

I hope this reminder is helpful to you. It was a good reminder to me yesterday as I watched my honey do what needed to be done.

Until next time, God bless,

 

Dog Sitting and Conference Prep

It’s been a different kind of busy week this week. My sister and her family, as well as our parents are on vacation this week. They asked Sean to dogsit. Since they’ve moved closer to where we live, he opted to just go over in the morning, then for a few hours each evening and then come back home to sleep. They are social dogs and need human interaction.

Dog sitting ~ Lifeofjoy.meMichael went over with him last weekend. While they were gone, I decided that I could go over in the mornings, after my breakfast, and deal with them and stay for a few hours. I’m not really an animal person but . . . they are good dogs.

They definitely know the sounds of a camera.

Dog sitting ~ Lifeofjoy.meThankfully Tiffany has gone with me. She IS an animal person. :) I get my Bible reading done while we are there.

First we let Kipper out of her enclosed area and let her and Belle outside. Then we put them up so that we can let my parents’ dog, Hutch out. Although Belle and Hutch are liter mates, they need to be separated.

Hutch's Turn ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe give Hutch some people time. Let him out and give him treats.

People time for Hutch ~ Lifeofjoy.meKip and Belle get some lovin’ too, even while being penned up. :)

Dogs ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m not sure which one this is . . . Hutch or Belle.

Comfy ~ Lifeofjoy.meAfter a bit, we put Hutch back in his area and let Belle and Kipper back out for their people time.

Belle the Ham ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe usually ends up at my feet under the table.

Belle at my feet ~ Lifeofjoy.meBefore we leave, we try to run them around a bit, since we know Macie usually runs around with them.

Play Time ~ Lifeofjoy.me Play Time ~ Lifeofjoy.meI usually throw Belle’s toy for a bit. She plays fetch. I’m not used to large dogs, so this week has been an experience for me. ;) They are all lovable though.

I’ve also been trying to keep my sister’s mums alive.

Mums ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe good thing about mums is that once they are planted, they will come back. Mine have multiplied. They bloom in the spring and generally die off during the heat of the summer but bloom again when the temperature drops out of the 90’s. :)

Mums ~ Lifeofjoy.meThose are my mums on the back right. I started with two pots of brown mums a few years ago and it has multiplied that much. I hope to get a better picture soon, minus the weeds.


It’s been a bit cooler! Hallelujah! It feels like fall. I am glad. These make me happy.

Orange Lights ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know it is a bit blurry but the point is, I have orange lights up in my kitchen and it gives me holiday feels (as my daughter would say).

I especially like my dishwasher magnet! I’m so happy to have several different holiday themed ones. I took the hummingbird one down and put up this one. It’s new . . . I think I got it for my birthday.

Fall Decor ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis just makes me happy! I have a cornucopia for November and Snowmen for December. :) My real sunflowers outside are way beyond looking this good. The heads are all dried up now and ready for harvesting. I’ll save some of the seeds for planting next year and some for eating, either for us or for the birds.

Conference starts at our church Sunday and I’ve got some preparations to make. I’m working in the kitchen and am happy to make some low carb egg muffins/omelets. It will be nice to have something instead of the heavy complex carbs in the bagels and muffins. I may make some keto bagels one day.

They are really good about attempting to provide some healthy breakfast items with apples, oranges, bananas, and yogurt. The problem is that the yogurt has sugar and the fruit has carbs that some cannot eat. Thankfully they have allowed me to buy some stevia sweetened yogurt too. They really do try to meet the needs of the people.

Well, I’ve got a lot to do, so I’ll run for now.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Children Sitting Quietly

Liam in Church Service ~ Lifeofjoy.me
We didn’t get any pictures this time but here’s one from last time. He liked my glasses case.

Kids need to be taught to sit still and quiet. It is convenient to have a nursery to take your crying child to at church but have you ever wondered if your child is just acting up so that he/she can go play in the nursery instead of being bored and quiet in the sanctuary?

We had Liam on a Sunday a few weeks ago and went to Sunday 8:30 am service as usual. I did not get him up early enough for him to eat breakfast before we left for church, so I took him a snack and his breakfast. I intended to give him his snack during service, because he can slowly get the Lil’ Beanies crunchers out of the snack cup and eat them on his own. Then in between services I would feed him the overnight cold oatmeal (it’s like a pudding and sooo healthy and he loves it).

Michael did not sleep well the night before and was up most of the night, so we came home after the first service. But I have to tell you that even as young as he is, he was able to sit through most of the one hour long service, quietly. I’ve mentioned his love of food here before and let me just say, it was a mistake to only fill the snack cup half full when he had not had breakfast yet (only his morning milk). But when he fussed, loudly, I carried him out of the service, from the second row, and into an unused room. I did not want to equate pitching a fit and leaving service with the reward of playing with toys and other children.

Once I got him under control, we went back in. After a bit, he wanted down to walk, but I would not let him, so he reach for Grandpa. Well I couldn’t rightly keep him from his Grandpa, so I let him go. And as Pastor Alan Taylor has preached, he had his plan to get down and succeeded through his Grandpa. Kids find the weakest link to their objective and will go through however many people necessary to get their desired end. Unfortunate for him, I’m more stubborn and ended up picking him up, to which he responded by fussing. So out we went again only this time, he calmed by the time we got to the last row; so we sat there for the final 10 minutes of service.

Kids need limits. Kids need to be taught to sit still and quiet, without electronics. Kids need consistency.

We have a humidity gauge in our living room on the coffee table. Ever since Liam was little it has been there. When he first found it, I told him no and took it from him and sat it back on the coffee table where it had been. When he touched it again, I repeated that it was a no-no. The next time he touched it, I again repeated that it was a no-no and tapped his hand. Oh My Word! You would have thought he had gotten seared with a hot iron but I held my stand and he left it alone. To this day, he knows he is not supposed to touch it but he will test the limits every now and then. He did this while he was with us and his parents were on a cruise. After about three days of not touching it, he decided to pick it up. I was consistent and removed it from his hands, said no-no, and tapped him. He wasn’t happy but knew the boundaries. Then I walked out of the room and he again picked it up, so Michael was consistent in my stead. The rest of the time he was here, he left it alone.

Disciplining children takes consistency, which means the parents and caregivers must also be disciplined. I think it is God’s sneaky way of making us grow up. ;)

If you don’t have the opportunity to train your children to sit quietly in a church service (without being occupied by electronics), you can practice at home. You could put on a preaching video or tv program and have your child sit beside you on the sofa or chair as you watch and listen, training them to sit quietly. It is a valuable skill.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Waves?

Well, this week’s Diva Challenge is to use Crazy ‘Nzeppel. I like ‘Nzeppel and have used the crazy variation before. So I checked the Square One: Purely Zentangle focus tangle and found it to be Pixioze. Then I wandered over to Pattern-Collections to see what their daily tangles were for yesterday and today: Seppi and Sextant Border.

I decided to mash all of these together in one tile but to do so without any real string. I started with sextant border along the bottom. As usual, my lines were not very straight or uniform, so it didn’t turn out the greatest. Consequently, I decided to blacken in the spokes.

Next I drew Seppi . . . just a little one on the lower left side of my tile, just to see if I had the hang of it. Then I added another and then got brave and made a really large one with some behind as well.

Then I got the brilliant idea to put Crazy ‘Nzeppel  and Pixioze as a filler inside Seppi. Well, that meant that those two tangles were going to be rather small. I put on my magnifying glasses and tangled on.

Here’s my tile before most of the shading. I had to do some shading as I drew because with all the lines, I was losing the overlapped parts. :D

DC#334 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m not sure if it looks like waves or snakes or what. :D I did enjoy drawing it though. I was surprised how well I was able to draw so tiny with the magnifier glasses on.

Here it is finished.

DC#334 shaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think it kind of think it resembles waves.

It’s not my favorite tile but I enjoyed making it and that is what matters. ;)

I hope you’ll leave me a comment, as they are most encouraging! Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Fast Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Salad the Easy Way!

Salad the fresh and easy way! It is so simple that we’ve been eating a lot more salads and I don’t mind making it.

So, salad is something that I haven’t really liked to make because it is just cumbersome. And if you buy bagged lettuce and don’t use it right away, you have to sort through it and get rid of the nasty leaves. So here is a solution.

Start with a head of the romaine hearts.

Super Easy Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meRemove one head from the bag. Slice it.

Easy Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meEasy Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou can slice it down the middle as well, if the pieces are a bit too big for you. Normally I care about large bites, but this is so easy and I’m eating something that is so good for me, so I don’t really care.

Fast Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.mePut it in a fairly large soup/salad bowl.

Fast Salad~ lifeofjoy.meIf you season this salad up right with some good fat/oil be it coconut, olive, or even bacon fat and some salt and pepper with a dash of balsamic vinegar, you can eat it as is.

I generally like a little something with mine so one button mushroom sliced up, a bit of bell pepper sliced, and maybe a bit of carrot grated or sliced are all easy options. Sometimes I’ll add a few slices of cucumber. Toss in any veggies you like. Grape tomatoes would be good as well because they don’t require much prep. :)

Add some pre-cooked chicken. I look for rotisserie chickens on clearance at Walmart because then it is already cooked and only cost $3! I’ll share how I pre-cook chicken for use in this too next week.

Fast Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

We’ve taken to adding nutritional yeast of late. It is a healthy cheesy tasting substitute for when you need to eliminate some dairy for the sake of losing weight. ;) It has lots of B vitamins too.

I have found that the Baby Butter Lettuce Salad at Aldi is a good option but you must plan to use it within a few days of purchase so that you don’t have to sort through and rid yourself of the slimy leaves.

I know this doesn’t sound all that great but trust me. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now and I don’t even mind having a salad anymore. More importantly, Tiffany doesn’t mind either and she used to sigh when I asked her to prepare one! :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº