All posts by Life of Joy

GoTo and Lisbon Diva Dance

Several months ago Tangle It! Pattern-Collections.com started a . . . oh, I don’t know what to call it :D . . . a tutorial, a focus, a challenge. The idea is to increase the number of go-to patterns you use and to play with patterns to see where you can take them.

I managed to complete the first week but got derailed after that. I really have to work hard to participate in daily challenges. Well, I felt like working through it on my own pace, even though I’m twelve weeks behind. ;) Ina provides some instructions and seven different strings. It really is a great free “class” and you don’t have to be a part of the facebook group to play along, as she has it all on the website.

Last week I did this tile: The tangles are Ropuz and I played with Strircles using rectangular shapes instead of spheres.

Tiles ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere it is shaded . . . not much difference.

Tiles ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe one I did this week was much more drastic. Tangles this time are Ropuz Fill and I played with Nipa using the shape of the string provided.

More tiles ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have several pictures of adding the shading. I started by trying to give those odd shapes some 3D look and outline the string to give those shapes definition.

Tiles ~ LIfeofjoy.meNext I added just a bit of shading on Ropuz Fill.

Tiles ~ Lifeofjoy.meFinally I added in the shading in the ‘waves’ of NIpa.

Tiles ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow on to this week’s diva guest challenge from Henrike Bratz, who created the tangle Lisbon and challenges us to use it with Diva Dance. Now I thought it was specifically Rock-n-Roll we were supposed to use but I later realized it was not.

I decided to try to go for a flower and trellis look. Then I decided it was too much work to try to figure out exactly how to draw Lisbon to make it look the way I wanted and just went with the flow instead.

Here is the tile before shading.

Tiles ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m not very good at shading Rock and Roll Diva Dance but here it is finished.Tiles ~ Lifeofjoy.meUnfortunately this didn’t lend itself to enough shading to hide my wonky lines. At one point I considered darkening in the background but I used pencil to see what it would look like in one tiny spot and I didn’t care for it at all, so I erased it. I have to admit that the shading does look better in real life, as it is a bit darker all the way around. It is always after I scan it in that I can tell where I should’ve used more shading. Hmmm, maybe I’ll go back and add a bit more, but knowing myself as I do, I probably won’t. :D

Thanks once again to those wonderful few that take the time and effort to leave comments, they are most appreciated.

I hope you have a great week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Pork and Sauerkraut ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Pork and Sauerkraut

Tender, savory roast with mild cabbage/sauerkraut.

I know, I never cared for it myself and when I heard it suggested that we incorporate more fermented foods into our diet I was not amused.

Unfortunately I got a urinary tract infection, I believe. Michael did some research and found that I should take as much apple cider vinegar as possible. To say I hate the stuff is an understatement. I have NEVER liked vinegar . . . at all . . . not in barbecue sauce or dressings . . . nothing. As a matter of fact, when I mix up Good Seasons dressing, I even use less vinegar than it calls for. Most recipes that call for vinegar, I cut the amount in half. I don’t even really care for pickles; the only ones I tolerate are bread and butter pickles.

So, I bought some sauerkraut and a pork roast. My mom used to make pork and sauerkraut when I was a kid but . . . I hated it. But thought I’d give it a try. So yesterday I  put a jar of German Sauerkraut in the bottom of the crockpot, sprinkled it with a little sugar alternative (Sukrin:1), put in the roast and seasoned it with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Then I let it cook all day long. For all of that roast, I should have put in the whole two jars though because it was hard to find any.

Pork and Sauerkraut ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have to say, that I really enjoyed it. I only hope that the qualities of the fermentation are not killed by cooking it. :D I wonder if the brand had anything to do with how mild it was.

Notice in the following picture that there is a bit more meat than in the first one? I couldn’t resist, even way after dinner. :)

Pork and Sauerkraut ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Pork and Sauerkraut

Ingredients

  • 1-2 jars German sauerkraut
  • pork roast
  • sprinkling of alternative sweetener (we used Sukrin:1)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Pour the sauerkraut in the bottom of a crockpot.
  2. Sprinkle with a tablespoon or so of alternative sweetener.
  3. Put the roast on top of the kraut.
  4. Season with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  5. Cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high for 4-5.
http://lifeofjoy.me/pork-and-sauerkraut/

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Talking with Your Spouse

Talk ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome time ago, I read this post on the XYCode about why men won’t talk to their wives. I found the article interesting. He points out that one of the main reasons men don’t want to talk is because their wives won’t talk about the subject they want to talk about. That is telling enough but reading the comments was even more enlightening.

So firstly women don’t want to talk about sex and then secondly, when they do talk whatever subject the wife wants to she generally makes him feel that he is wrong and or shreds him for his opinion.

I am sad to admit that I have fallen into both of these situations. I was so convinced that my way was right that I said and did whatever was necessary to convince him. Unfortunately this did not go well for me or my marriage. I wish I would have known to do things differently. It would have been much better on my marriage had I learned to talk respectfully with Michael. There is a respectful way to for each partner to talk about what is on their mind.

I think that women should always be available to discuss sex with her husband. Furthermore, I have learned that I should always be available to him, intimately. It is okay for me to have an occasional request to abstain but it should be way less frequent than otherwise.

I recommend jumping over and reading the short post and the few comments there as well, as the men’s comments were enlightening even though troubling.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Nothing Much Going On Here

As it turned out, Brian and Lauren did not go out of town last weekend and thus we did not get to keep this little cutie, so unfortunately there are no new cutie pictures this week. BUT we are keeping him this weekend and will have pictures next week (assuming I remember to take some ;) ).Cuties ~ Lifeofjoy.meLove both my cuties there!

Well let’s see . . . not a whole lot has been going on with me. The challenge to read the Bible through chronologically in 90 days is progressing along well. During the young adult conference I got behind but pushed the following week to get back on track . . . Praise God for the Psalms! :D

We are well over the halfway mark with just a little over a month to go. I’ve really tried to remember to pray for the participants but will admit there are some days that it slips my mind. You would think that when I pick up my Bible to read or when I am placing that all important checkmark on the day’s readings that it would remind me to pray for them but some days it just doesn’t. ;)

Of course the devil isn’t going to let you dig into the Word of God like that without throwing some stumbling blocks your way. And we have had those, let me tell you! I am in my 50s and have never had a urinary tract infection until last weekend. Ugh! It has been a booger to get rid of too. I’m drinking apple cider vinegar in a cup of water at each meal time. It would probably be more effective if I drank it without food but it is a miracle I’m drinking it all. I have to question those people’s sanity that drink it for pleasure (thinking Trim Healthy Mama Good Girl Moonshine here). I have never drank alcohol but if this is any indication, I think it is safe to say that I will continue that trend into the future without difficulty. ;) (I learned a LONG time ago that you have to watch your words, especially words like never. :D )

After a poor night’s sleep, we got up Sunday morning to get ready for church. We decided to take communion together as a family before leaving the house.

Communion ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt doesn’t matter exactly what ingredients you use. You need a bread and a liquid. What is important is to approach it with reverence and to remember Jesus’ broken body and spilt blood for you.

I’m not the only one that has gotten hit. Tiffany has really been fighting headaches and pain in her jaw. Her wisdom teeth are coming in and all that shifting and such has caused significant pain.

Sean had some kind of rash or allergic reaction appear on his face the other day, out of nowhere! He has several spots but it is at its worst around his mouth. It is really ridiculous and uncomfortable. He was very swollen yesterday morning.

Michael too is being hit with pains in his body. Some are pains he’s had before but some are different. We are all going around praying for each other and enjoying some minor successes but we are all ready for complete health and healing in our bodies.

Well, I guess that’s enough rambling for today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

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Periodic Table

Periodic Table ~ Lifeofjoy.meI came across this interesting link for the periodic table recently and thought to share it with you. It is interactive in that you can click on any of the elements and it will show a larger picture with descriptions. I went to its home page and found that it has several different versions that you can print out. It also has some flashcards.

From there I wondered why you even need to study the periodic table, since I never did. I learned that it is most helpful in chemistry, which I never took in school. One post I read shared a link to a BBC show, broken up into six different videos. I watched the first ten minute video and found it a bit interesting, so your older student might as well. However, do so with caution, as I have not watched all of them.

If your child needs to memorize the elements, there are several ways to do so. There are the flashcards linked above. Then there is this song but I glanced over some of the other topics they have videos on and know that I would not want any young children going to their channel but the song is cool. There’s even a version with lyrics. :)

Then I watched this cool memory technique video for the first ten elements. Let’s see if I remember them (spelling does not count against me) Hydrogen, Hellium, Lithium, Beryillium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon! Whoo hoo! Here’s the link to watch the video. Of course, after watching the video for the first ten elements, he wants you to register (free) to get the video of the next ten and then ultimate wants to sell you the rest, which might be worth it if your children NEED to memorize them. :)

I hope this is useful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

‘Nzepple Monotangle

Today’s guest challenge by Elisa Murphy is to do a monotangle of ‘Nzepple. ‘Nzepple is one of those tangles that I loved when I first saw it because the piece I saw was in the Zentangle newsletter and had been colorfully watercolored. It was gorgeous. I eventually attempted to draw the tangle but had difficulty doing it justice and thus left it be for a while . . . a long while. Then one day I saw someone post alternative ways to draw it and the original way clicked for me. The original way is still my favorite and ‘Nzepple is a favorite as well.

Because the alternative way of drawing ‘Nzepple (just how many times can I say that word in one post without being totally obnoxious? :D ) I realized it could fill any area easily.

Today I decided to go with string #26 from Pattern-Collections.com which has three different sized circles in it. My original thought was to draw each one as a button of sorts with a different variation on the initial lines.

For the first and largest button I went with wacky wavy lines for the base lines. The second  and middle sized button I drew with standard lines and for the third and smallest button I drew random lines. I then did the background with a moderate size standard grid/lines.

I’m not very good at drawing uniform lines, so even my standard ones are a little off and wonky but that’s okay with me. :)

Here is the piece before shading.

DC#326 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know, it is really hard to make heads or tales out of it in its unshaded condition. When I started adding in the shading for the buttons I realized that I should have made my circles larger if I wanted them to be buttons. Thus they became holes or cutouts. :)

Because my lines are not the best, I used some shading to pretty them up a bit. I think you will agree with me that shading made a HUMONGOUS difference in this tile. :D

DC#326 ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhile I was tangling, I did not really like the wonky lined one (largest hole) but when I started shading it I decided to darken everything between the ‘stones’ and I really like how it turned out.

I probably should have shaded this one like I did the large one, but alas, I did not. ;) I decided not to do too much shading in the cutout sections leaving the light bright in those sections. Overall the tile seems darker in real life, as usual and I can see where I should have spent a bit more time blending but it was getting late and I needed to get my blog post done (as I always post my Zentangle tiles on Wednesdays).

Well that’s it. Thanks for stopping by and a huge thank you to the few that take the time to comment.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

My Diet Journey

Taco Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meLast week I shared some of my favorite Keto links with you. Today I want to talk a little about my journey.

About a year ago, Michael was doing some research because he’d been experiencing some things in his body and was looking for a natural way to get healthier. He stumbled upon some doctors that promote the ketogenic lifestyle. The more he researched it and prayed about it the more he felt this was something he could benefit from.

I, on the other hand, have been on so many diets that it is sad. I’ve been overweight most of my life and after I got married it only got worse (I think I was a rebellious eater ;) ) In the most recent years, I have done Atkin’s New Diet Revolution, Eat Right for Your Blood Type, Weigh Down Workshop, Let’s Do Lunch, hCg and such. I’ve also done Weight Watchers and NutriSystem, years and years ago.

The problem with most diets for me is that they want me to not eat things that I love and thereby it is unsustainable, although I gave each one a good long try at about a year each. I’m not really a quitter but during that time I tried to find ways to make the diet a lifestyle that would work for me and unfortunately, I never found one.

After gaining back the weight I’d lost on the hCg injection diet, I was distraught and had committed the matter to much prayer. I determined that God made all the food groups and that He wanted me to learn moderation in all of it. He didn’t want me to eliminate any one of them: not fats, carbs, or even fruits. Thus I was determined to take the principles I’d learned in Weigh Down Workshop, namely, eat according to hunger and listen to your body. (Well, I’ll just tell you that my mind can misinterpret what is hunger when I want to eat something . . . just saying.)

Then Michael told me that he felt he needed to do the Keto diet and that he thought it would be good for all of us to do. I felt God nudge me in that direction and later tell me that I needed to support Michael in this, as he has supported me in all my previous diets.

So I started researching and looking for guidelines and such. Unfortunately people make Keto much more confusing than it has to be by talking about macros and such. I did find some sample menus but again there was a problem; all the samples were for one person doing the diet and thus had you eating the same two or three meals throughout the week. Now that is all well and good if it is only you or maybe even just two of you but for a family of four adults, that is not going to work, especially since I don’t think we should have to eat the same thing for dinner several days in the same week. Now Tiffany, Sean, and I do not mind eating leftovers for lunch but to have the leftovers be another dinner in the same week was not good for me. :( So I just pushed through making a menu like I always did but with recipes from several different menus I’d find online.

Eventually I found Kristie Sullivan and her facebook group Low Carb Journey. Now she simplified things! Don’t eat any more than 20 total carbs in a day and it is best if each meal is only 7 total carbs. She said not to worry about all the other macros and only eat when hungry. “If you’re hungry, you’re doing it wrong!” Then I learned one more big thing from her, if you are eating enough fat in your meal you should be able to go four to six hours until your next meal and your body actually needs you to go at least 3 hours to be able to do something other than digest food all the time.

Now remember that I said I knew God was wanting me to have a balanced eating plan? I can assure you that Keto is not balanced. :D But it was a necessary step for us. In this time I believe our bodies have done some healing that would not have been possible otherwise.

Through my keto recipe hunts, I’d occasionally stumble onto a Trim Healthy Mama recipe that fit keto, so I knew that in some way THM would fit what I was already doing. I eventually decided to read about the plan in their book and knew I’d eventually turn to this way of eating. It has keto meals without abusing calories but also allows for those carbs that God created for us to eat but doing so in a setting in which it will be most beneficial to the body.

This post has gotten a bit too long, so I’ll stop by saying that we have started to incorporate some of these yummy whole grains into our menus with joy but it will be a while before we completely understand all the ins and outs of the plan and work it with ease. It was a joy to have fish tacos with rice and beans last night and know that we were completely on plan and that it would not harm our bodies.

I’m sure I’ll share more as I grow in knowledge of this amazing program.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Honoring God with Our Finances

Budget ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was talking to a single millennial last week. I and another married young lady were talking about budgets and such. I mentioned that finances are one of the biggest topics of frustration in a marriage. The single gal said she wasn’t sure she was ready to get married after all. We all chuckled.

But then I had a God moment and realized that it isn’t only married couples that should live on a budget but that everyone’s finances are a topic to be prayed over. I suggested to this gal that she begin talking to God about a budget, create it, and stick with it. Just like in marriage, if something comes up, she should pray about the new expense and only then decide which budget category to spend it from. If the item is just a want, He may tell you no, not now.

As I see it, everyone’s money should belong to God and we should all be praying about how to spend it. Even with the allowance I receive, I am always asking God how to spend it. That is being a faithful steward of the things God has given you. He is the one that enables us to get money; we need to honor him with our finances.

I have talked to other single millennials and have found that they just spend their money however they desire. They, many times, are frivolous with their money and just spend it however the wind blows, as they have nobody to answer to. But in reality, they too have to answer to God in their spending or at least they should.

But like I already said, I ask God how to spend my discretionary funds. Sometimes He will have me give some in the offering, sometimes he’ll have me give some to a new mommy, sometimes he will have me purchase new art supplies or even a book to loan to people. I don’t ever assume that just because I have enough funds to purchase something I want that it is okay for me to do so. I must pray over the purchase to see if it is something that is okay for me to purchase. This doesn’t usually take long to know the answer. If you have a relationship with God, you are already in communication with Him and probably already know the answer when you are confronted with the situation.

I hope this will encourage you to prayerfully consider how you spend your discretionary funds and be an encouragement to you.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Flower Update

Well, this year’s flowers are faring much better than in previous years. I am tempted to attribute it to the shredded rubber mulch but we didn’t get mulch down in both beds, so I’m thinking it probably isn’t the reason.

Here is the poor overgrown bed without the mulch.

Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhat I find interesting about this is that those beautiful tall flowers were planted from seeds — old seeds! They are lovely and bright! I think that’s what I love about them, their bright coloring.

I was very sad for my lemonade flowers, as they looked like they were about to be choked out. So I started weeding. I only spent about 15-20 minutes outside but it was a very hot day today and it’s a good thing I waited until nearly sundown. But I digress. Here are the lemonade flowers (I don’t remember exactly what they are.)

Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome flowers are faring better than others. This pretty pink flowery one that is like a ground cover, seems to be doing very well. Unfortunately you cannot see the gorgeous flowers because I guess they close up at night/in the evening.Weeded patch ~ lifeofjoy.meI absolutely love the Vincas because they are heat and drought tolerant. I’m not good with watering my plants, so they really have to want to live. :D

Just to the right of the Vincas, you can just barely make out a plant stake. I’m not sure which plant this is but it isn’t doing very well at all. :(

Strong Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meIn the picture above, you can see that lovely ground cover that does not look as pretty as it does during the day. (I’ll try to remember to get a picture of it later today and add it in here.) I think those next to the right are Geraniums.:) ) They make me smile. I’m not sure what the tall flowers are but I think they are Zinnias. Updated: Added the pretty pink ground coverish flowers while they are open today. They are really prettier in real life though.

Flowers Update ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Flowers from seeds ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere is also a light blue tall flower there in the middle. I tell you what, these babies have to WANT to live with all that grass growing in amongst them. Hopefully I will weed it some more and water it and have some better pictures to show in the future.

Here is the bed that has the mulch. It is way overgrown as well.

More Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe mums in this corner are brown and will die out with the heat of the next few weeks but will come back when the temperatures get more reasonable. The Marigolds are a bright yellow/orange and the Petunias are a deep purple even though they look blue here.

Flower update ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey are really hanging in there in spite of the grassy weeds growing in them. I’m going to have to save them this weekend. :) I love that I have the bright yellow marigolds and then some that have the dark orange color on them too. I love vibrant colors. ;)

These poor babies need saved and soon!

Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meThose are more Vincas, both pinkish and white. the flowers on the bottom left are white mums. They too will die off in the next few weeks because of the heat but will rebloom when the temperatures are more reasonable again. They are very prolific. These were used as decoration at a memorial service at which I helped serve refreshments. When the day was over, they were given to me. They aren’t the colors I’d pick but they were right for the intended purpose and not all flowers should be bright in the garden. ;)

Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meThese babies really have a strong desire to live! The Sweet Williams are nearly being choked out over there on the left and the pretty little light purple flowers are hanging in there too. These babies need saved!!!

You may be wondering what those tall ones are . . .

Flowers Update ~ Lifeofjoy.meFlowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey are Sunflowers and they are about ready to bloom!!! If I’m right, these are RED sunflowers! It looks like each stalk will have several blossoms. :) I’m soooo excited!

I hope whatever is eating the leaves stops it!

Well, this post has gotten rather lengthy, so I’ll close for today. I think I’m watching Liam this weekend, so I should have some cuteness pictures next week. ;)

Have a blessed weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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A Lost Practice

Lost Practice ~ Lifeofjoy.meI wish I had taught my children to write thank you notes when they were young. I always ensured that they thanked people for gifts and such and only had the write thank you notes to people that sent gifts and were not there when the gift was open to receive the verbal thank you. But in hindsight, I think I probably did the a disservice by not requiring it for all gifts and experiences.

I read this post on StaySouthern.net entitled, How to Write a Thank You Note (and why you should). It was a very nice short read but completely got the point across. Thank you notes are a practice that can bring a little joy to the receiver. Think about it though, they took time and effort to give something to you.

I remember as a child, my mom would have my sister and I write thank you notes. I remember her writing it out so we would write it correctly. I have no idea how old I was.

Anyway, back to the post I read, the author gave specifics about how to compose a thank you card/note as well. She even gave examples of how her family gives thank you notes frequently and how it even blesses those who receive them that are not in the practice of giving them.

I think I may even up my thank you note giving a notch or two. ;) I think it is much more important than which fork to use for which course (use them from the outside to the inside and you should be okay ;) ) and can really bless someone who has blessed you.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

 

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