All posts by Life of Joy

Help to Overcome Disappointments

Overcoming Disappointment ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs a mom, it is easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many pulls on our attention and it can get difficult to get it all done. This can lead to disappointment.

Lysa TerKerst has a lovely, encouraging, free printable with twelve Biblical truths and declarations you can make to overcome disappointment. She even includes thoughts to reflect on and questions for you to consider (and even write out on the printable pages). It truly is an encouraging download. I hope you’ll go check it out.

These truths are even good to share with your children. They can be copywork and be used as a prayer to the Lord for you and your children. You could spread it out over about six weeks, doing one page a week. There are two verses printed out with two declarations and then a few more verses for you to look up yourself. You can do one verse each day and follow the example of the first two declarations/prayers to make your own out of the other verses.

I must let you now that I received this in my email completely free. I looked for it on the website to share with you and found that although it is still available for free, you do have to sign up for their email list. I recommend you do so, it really is encouraging. Click here to get it for yourself!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Frunky DC#374 Sorta

Well, Inktober is nearly completed at the writing of this post. Today’s inktober tangle is Frunky, so this is what I used on my tile today.

I misunderstood the diva challenge with the whole splotch of something between two tiles. I got the splotch part but the on one tile and then smooshed together with another tile, I completely missed. Instead I just put my two tiles side by side and then spritzed with my spray inks.

I didn’t take any in progress pictures because it was getting so late. (I was doing some online Christmas shopping today and the day got away from me.)

Here’s my tiles.

DC#374 ~ I used blue and green inks. Then my dark blue Staedtler triplus fineliner and finally a white jelly roll. Oh, I used two blue prismacolor pencils and a colorless pencil to blend it.

Here are the Inktober drawings since last week.

#Inktober ~ Lifeofjoy.meI liked how my broomstick turned out but Patience small wasn’t so great. I did like it better larger. :)

#Inktober 25 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI still don’t quite have sandswirl figured out. (Any tips would be appreciated.)

#Inktober 26 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI liked putting the spider and web up in the number six. I also enjoyed Q-belle. I didn’t quite get it “right” at first but I like it. The tangle itself kind of mirrors and stretches, so I cheated with those prompts. ;)

#Inktober 27 Cross-ur-heart ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have to say that I really LOVED doing Cross-ur-heart, once I got the hang of it. It is a lovely tangle and so very easy to do, as it should be. :) The bird head came out okay but the thunder and candle . . . well, let’s just say, I attempted it. :D

#Inktober 28 ~ Lifeofjoy.meOybay was fun! I put it on top of a “gift” for a bow or ribbon of sorts. When I folded the box in on itself, I made a “mistake” with my lines and made an even bigger mistake of using correction tape on it. I should have just left it and moved on. :D Lesson learned. It turned out ok. I like that the pumpkin fit nicely into the 8.

#Inktober 29 Wud ~ Lifeofjoy.meI like Wud. I used this tangle in a coloring book once but forgot it. Glad to be reacquainted with it. The way I drew and shaded it, it looks like I’m peering over some pipes at some wood in the background. I chose not to use blue and ended up using it today. :D

#Inktober 30 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI decided not to shade it because I had so much to do today. :)

Well, that’s my tangling for the week. Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

cheese and cashew-free queso ~

Cheese-Free Queso

I would never guess that this queso had absolutely zero cheese in it. Totally amazing! Give it a try.

This recipe starts with half an egg plant. Simply slice it into rounds, salt them, and place them in a strainer to pull out some of the moisture from them.

Draining Eggplant ~ Lifeofjoy.mePat dry with a paper towel. (I do not rinse because I figure that will just put back in moisture I worked so hard to remove. ;) )

Dap Eggplant dry ~ Lifeofjoy.meI spray once side with oil and place that side down on my air fryer rack, which is a bit different than how Dana does it, since I have it available and spray the other side too.

spray eggplant ~ Lifeofjoy.meI then air bake it until golden. I actually did this part the day before we were going to eat it, just because I could, no other reason. ;)

roasted eggplant slices ~ Lifeofjoy.meWrap them loosely in foil for a bit to get the skins to let loose. Then peel the skins right off.

peeling eggplant ~ Lifeofjoy.meI made a double batch this day but it was not necessary. This makes soooo much! It really does feed 6. :)

Add almond milk, eggplant, and garlic ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd the milk, garlic, eggplant, and seasonings in blender.

queso seasonings ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd slightly drained salsa.

add salsa ~ Lifeofjoy.meBlend away. :)

queso in blender ~

Now, I have a Vitamix, so I use the soup setting and let it heat up. Takes just 5 minutes total. At some point, I sprinkle in a bit of glucomannan to thicken it rather than the cornstarch Dana uses. I’d say it’s probably about 1/8 teaspoon for a single batch but adjust to your liking.

Check out Dana’s site, Minimalist Baker, for the complete recipe and directions here. I’ve had this with baked Tostitos and loved it. Hubby eats it with blue corn chips.

cheese-free queso ~ Lifeofjoy.mequeso ~

Here are the changes I made to keep it usable in a THM E setting:

  • only used a light spraying of oil
  • used about 1/8 teaspoon glucomannan in place of cornstarch

I believe the queso itself is actually a fuel pull. :) Yummo!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Christmas is Coming

Our Christmas Tree ~ LifeOfJoy.meWell, it’s nearly the end of November and I have only begun my Christmas shopping. By now, I am usually at least half way finished, but not so this year. I really don’t have any one else to blame but myself. ;) But I’m ready to get it into gear. Of course, I was last week as well, and then Tiffany got ill. When she is not feeling well, I am affected (not sure I used the correct word here even after I looked it up on two different sites, which I think confused me even more =)) ) and don’t get as much accomplished as usual. Also, my ankle was acting up and I didn’t think it was a good idea to go on a long shopping day in its condition.

At any rate, I love to make good memories and give gifts to loved ones at Christmas. Do you remember me talking about this back in April? No, well, it may be too late for you to do this for the current year but consider saving back some money each pay period for Christmas next year. Check out the post from April to see how I do it. Because that is the reason I can easily and joyfully buy Christmas gifts without any financial arguments. :)

I start my Christmas savings the week after Thanksgiving this year for next Christmas. Now you may be wondering why. You see, I like to have all of my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving, so I need to have all the money available by then. It works for me. I also built in enough savings to cover my expanding family for the next several years, budgeting for my children’s spouses (they are all in their 20’s) and for several grandchildren, of which I currently only have one. :) This means that if things are tight at any point throughout the year, at this time, I have a bit of breathing room or I can use the extra money for a family outing or special things we want as a family. Or I can simply put it away to go towards vacation next year. ;)

So, if you haven’t already done a “Christmas Club” or savings, put pen to paper and figure out how and when to start it for next year. :) It really is a game changer! Michael and I used to have so many frustrations over our Christmas budget and I felt bad that I couldn’t give as I would love to. Now, I can because we talked about our budget and came to an agreement long ago. :) (I tell the story in that post back in April.)

I hope this encourages you to have a Christmas budget conversation with your hubby and establish some habits that will make the holiday season flow more smoothly. Now, I have to get busy and get some more of my shopping done. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Birthday and Weekend Happenings

We celebrated Michael’s birthday last week. :) My baby loves to laugh.

Laughing ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey were playing the new Call Of Duty game while Tiffany and I made his favorite dinner.

Tiffany cooks ~ Lifeofjoy.meYes, his favorite is hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and coleslaw. To make it a truly delicious meal, I add onion rings. :)

Family dinner ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe wanted to eat, not have me take pictures. :D I made some low carb hamburger and hot dog buns. The baked beans were legal too but more than a bit made the meal into a crossover, which is fine for a special day as it is still on plan.

low carb hot dog bun ~ Lifeofjoy.meI wish I’d have taken them out of the oven just a bit early, so they’d have been a bit softer. But they were still good.

We have birthday desserts around here, which means it isn’t always a cake for birthday dessert. It is about whatever the birthday person wants. This year Michael said he wanted something creamy. He asked about a THM banana pudding. Tiffany had Tiramisu for her birthday and I had made a variation for me without coffee. So, I figured I could do something similar.

Birthday "cake" ~

Tiffany did some stress baking this week too. :) We like it when she does that.

Odd layer chocolate cake~ Lifeofjoy.meThe recipe called for two springform pans but we only had one, so she used that and then one of our other cake pans. Unfortunately, it is an inch smaller diameter. :D So we had what looked like a fountain cake. I don’t know what this messy bit is but the cake was very light and good tasting.

Stress baking ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think she made a couple other things as well but I don’t remember what all they were. Michael wanted pumpkin pie for his birthday dessert at my parents’ for his birthday celebration. Tiffany made that too. :) I love her so much! She is such a blessing to me.

Brian and Lauren have been married for six years now. For their anniversary Michael made a clock for them using the board that their wedding cake was on. He painted it, added a clock mechanism, and put some seashells on for decoration. They went on a cruise for their honeymoon, so we thought the shells were appropriate.

Finishing touches on clock ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey arrived on Saturday to celebrate Michael and my niece’s birthdays on Sunday. They brought the new Mario Party and it was fun watching them play.

Adult kids playing mario party ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam went with Michael to get the mail.

Grandpa and grandson outside ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe’s such a cutie!!! He helped him dig up some of the brown mums for us to take to my mom Sunday.

Potting mums ~ Lifeofjoy.meLater he enjoyed playing with Uncle Sean. :)

Playing around ~ Lifeofjoy.meBrian picked on my old toys. :D They were things I still have from when they were little. But Liam seems to like them well enough.

 Old toys ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a fun weekend and I’m amazed that I got any pictures at all. ;) However, it should come as NO shock, that I did not get any from with the rest of the family. :D

Liam and I had some fun together and Tiffany did snap a couple cute ones. Here’s one where Liam and I were playing, hugging, and tickling. It was such fun to see him mimic me.

grandson fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam laughing ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe didn’t sleep well Saturday night . . . he seemed down-right miserable. Lauren thought it was allergies since he’d been fighting seasonal stuffiness like his daddy. On their way home, Lauren sent me this picture.

asleep in carseat ~ Lifeofjoy.meUnfortunately, Tiffany “caught” his allergies and has been sick all week. :( She is definitely going to have to improve her immune system. She and I have a very symbiotic relationship and when one is not having a productive week, the other struggles. ;) Then my ankle starting giving me trouble; this has got to go. I have shopping to do!!! Christmas is coming and I like to be done with my shopping by Thanksgiving and I haven’t even been out once. Thank God for Amazon though; at least I’ve started it.

Well, I’m going to run. I hope you have a blessed weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Homeschooling Styles

Homeschool Philosophies ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is a great day and age to home educate children! There are soooo many options! Actually, so many options that it can get down right confusing. There are even a lot of different philosophies about how to educate children.

I came across this website that does a good job of explaining the different styles and gives some pros and cons of each, as considered by the author. Now. I have to admit that I have not read all of the links but what I did I thought would be very helpful to explain the differences. Consequently, I decided to go ahead and share it with you today.

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Styles

I hope this helps you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


DC#373 Ixorus and Inktober Continued

Yeah, figures. I said something last week about this month’s Diva Challenges being easy on me since they seem to be in line with the Inktober Tangle Prompts. So  of course, things are different this week. :D This week Laura challenges us to use our non-dominant hand to tangle. For me, that is my left hand.

I drew this week’s tangle with with my left hand but shaded with my right hand, so it was a bit easier. ;)

Here it is.

DC#373 Ixorus ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, very squiggly lines. But I did it. :) It definitely looks muddy. Possibly a bit like popcorn and homey.

Here are my other drawings from the last week.

Inktober 22 tangle Yuma ~ Lifeofjoy.meInktober 21 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI used a bit of orange watercolor pencil after I’d shaded with the graphite. I auraed Hamadox, so it kind of resembled a drain.

Inktober 20 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI used my pruple glitter pen for the main drawing. Then I tried to use the distress ink marker but it didn’t turn out very good, so I attempted the watercolor pencil and I liked it.

Inktober 19 ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is one of my new favorite tangles: Abeko. It flows so well and I love the look. Of course, I drew it a bit larger than how it is in the stepouts but I like it all the same.

Inktober 18 ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy “girl” on the left is a bit of an old girl. :D I didn’t quite get Luv-a the way I’d like to. However I do like my bottle. ;)

Inktober 17 ~ Lifeofjoy.meEven after watching two different videos on how to draw Narwal, I will need a lot more practice to make it something I like. ;) Oh, and my pears look more like gourds. :D

Inktober 16 ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is one of my favorites, in spite of not really drawing Joki according to the stepouts. I liked the lacing though. :) The family liked the squirrel. :D

And with that, I’m all caught up. I have been posting the inktober drawings on instagram most days, if you’re interested.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

#InktoberTangles #Inktober2018 #doodlewashOctober2018 #Inktober #patterncollections

Sprouted Spelt Rolls ~

Spelt Rolls

I learned that sprouted spelt flour cannot be used interchangeably for sprouted whole wheat. Yeah, in spite of a recipe saying that was indeed the case, every time I made that bread, it required more spelt than listed. I finally did some research and found that spelt flour needs 25% less water. I finally decided to just look for a spelt flour recipe and found a gem!

I chose to weigh my flour to ensure it would turn out right.

Sprouted Spelt Flour ~ Lifeofjoy.meI add the yeast and salt. I skip the sugar because I chose to use some honey instead, so I added that to the wet ingredients later.

Added salt ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdding Yeast ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen I put it into my KitchenAide mixer because it’s just easier.

Whisk dry ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext I heat up the water, almond milk, honey, and olive oil to 110º – 120º.

Add almond milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meWater ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd honey ~ Lifeofjoy.meheat wet ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen add the wet to the dry and mix for a couple minutes.

mix ingredients ~ lifeofjoy.meI switch out the whip for the dough hook and continue beating as described in the directions on the link.

Kneading spelt roll dough ~ Lifeofjoy.meI failed to get pictures of the rest of the process (but may remember next time I make them ;) ). I just follow Dana’s directions and they turn out wonderful.

Sprouted Spelt Rolls ~ Lifeofjoy.meI tried it as bread too but had a mishap with the rising of the loaf.

Spelt Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was still edible and yummy. :)

So, go check out Dana’s recipe over on Minimalist Baker. These marvelous rolls work in an E or S-Helper setting on Trim Healthy Mama. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Coming to Agreement through Prayer

Resolving Differences ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen you and your hubby have a different view of a situation, don’t think that you have to continue talking it out to come to a resolution at that moment. When I was younger that’s what I did, which does not work out so well.

It works out so much better to agree to table it and pray about it. And I have found that it is good to pray for God to lead you to the correct answer. What I usually pray is, “God change him where he is wrong and change me where I am wrong.” Honestly, I usually start strong on the changing him part ;) and add the change me part as more of an afterthought, especially in the beginning. But this does help.

It doesn’t do to be hardheaded and stubborn and resistant to change either. It is so much better to acknowledge the other’s perspective and calmly share yours.

As the holidays approach, it is good to talk about them early to make them go as smoothly as possible. You want it to be an enjoyable time for all involved. And pray about it. It’s odd how something so simple is so easily overlooked.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Walks, Crafting, and Visits

A couple of weeks ago I told you about how Tiffany and I had been going for walks down our big hill. Shiloh really loves it when we go walking. :)

Dog Running ~ Lifeofjoy.meOne day of the first days the chickens followed us a bit.

Chicken Out for a Stroll ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd the the butterflies were surrounding us. It was amazing because they even landed on us, this day.

Butterfly landing ~ lifeofjoy.meButterfly On Us ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnother day they were all around us, flying along with us for a lot of the way.

I finally got serious about cleaning out my side of the closet a little while back. There is no before picture for several reasons: didn’t even think about it and too embarrassed to show it if I had remembered. :p But it looks pretty good now.

clean closet ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat shoe rack has been a video tape holder and a computer stand but has finally made it full circle to a shoe rack again. (Please ignore the to right shoes that are not sitting correctly. ;) )

Recently I finally scraped all the dust off my dresser and put away about a year’s worth of jewelry.

Clean Dresser ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou can also see part of a VERY OLD vision board that has been hanging above my dresser for well over a decade! I’m about to make a new one though. :p

This week I finally got around to finishing the pumpkin dishcloth I was knitting.

Knitted Pumpkin Dishcloth ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love it. At least I finished it before the season was over. You can find the free pattern to knit over on this webpage. I like knitted dishcloths. :) Now if I can only figure out how to get all my towels clean, clean smelling, and still be absorbent.

I went into Michael’s this week to pick up some yarn for a project I’m going to make for my grandson for Christmas. While I was there I saw FOUR bins . . . FOUR BINS . . . of different washi tape for 33¢ each . . . yes! 33¢ each!!!!! I was in washi tape heaven . . . so many to choose from. Of course they are merely hypothetical stocking stuffers at this point and I am so eager to show them to you, but alas, it will have to wait. :o

Michael played a little with some pouring painting techniques this week.

Pouring ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe found that what he thought was silicone had zero silicone in it and thus did not produce the desired “cells”/outcome. But we will not be deterred . . . we will press on and try again later.

Michael had a birthday this week and my niece has hers next week, so Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming up!!! This cutie will be here and I will have pictures to share next week!!!

grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meThankfully Brian and Lauren have been sending me some pictures. In the latest ones he’s really matured a lot from just a few months ago. Time sure does fly! He’s getting sooo big! He’s really loving being in daycare; he’s thriving with other kids and all the activities. I am soooo eager to see them this weekend. :(

Well, that about wraps it up for me this week. I hope you have a great weekend; I know we will. Haven’t seen my parents or sister and her family in a while, and it is just time. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº