Category Archives: Finally Friday

Because Friday is finally here and I need one day to talk about whatever comes to mind.

Liam Was Here! and My Third Blogiversary

We got to watch this little cutie last weekend!
Grandson Love ~ Lifeofjoy.meMichael is really good with him . . .

Liam and Grandpa ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat was totally unplanned! I love how they are making the same face!

Liam and Grandpa ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow it looks like they are looking at each other through the corner of their eyes. :D

Since Brian and Lauren were bringing him out around brunch time, we had them eat breakfast with us . . . pancakes, oven bacon, sausage, and eggs . . . Yum Yum!

Pancakes and Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe had some scrambled egg (a first since Lauren doesn’t like eggs), a few bits of sausage, and pancakes! (These are keto pancakes, so they are very healthy.)

This boy loves food!

Lunch for 11 mo ~ Lifeofjoy.meLunch was a slice of deli turkey meat, cut into small bites. One grape tomato cut into small bits, and some peas. He is not fond of that sippy cup though.

Liam's lunch ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd then he had some grapes . . .

Crunchers too ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd then some crunchers! You can see in that one that he was finally slowing down. :D

Old Fashioned Sippy Cup Works ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe does pretty good with this old fashioned sippy cup for about two sips and then he either lays it down or drops it on the floor. Oh well, he’s learning. :)

I don’t think he was very happy about being confined but there are just times you need him to be immobile and not in a high chair. :D

Liam's Confinement ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe did seem to enjoy playing with these old friends of his for a bit though.

He spent the night and enjoyed more pancakes the next day too, after eating his morning cereal.

Ready to eat ~ Lifeofjoy.meNotice he has a spoon in his hand? That a trick Lauren and Brian taught me, to keep his hands off the spoon I’m feeding him with. Pretty smart!

I cannot believe how blonde his hair is! You can really tell it in the picture above. Brian and Lauren both have dark brown hair, so this is surprising.

That picture reminds me a lot of one I saw of Michael when he was young.

Young Michael ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd now I know from where Liam got his ears.

I got an app this week because Brian and Lauren suggested it as an easy way for me to get videos of Liam. I got it and played with it a bit, sending them videos since he was with me. But I have to say that I don’t think I like it very much. At least if you take a video with your phone and send it to someone you still have it on your phone. Of course it takes up space but it can be easily backed up to some other source, like I do with my pictures. I think that I will probably resort to that old method for my part but still use the app to get videos from them.


On a completely different subject, It’s my

~ Lifeofjoy.me

Three years ago today, I started this blog in the hopes that I would be an encouragement to women out there somewhere. I hope this blog has been a blessing to you, encouraging you in your marriage (or preparation for marriage), good food, creativity, home educating your children and raising children in general. I hope my Friday ramblings have helped you get to know me a little better and that you might consider me a friend. ;)

In celebration of this three year accomplishment, I thought it was time to have a recipe index! So you can now find every recipe I’ve blogged, in alphabetical order, in one place. Just click on Recipe Index on the Menu Bar or right here, if you’d like. Now it is not beautified yet, but I figured I needed to just get it open and work on prettying it up later. :)

Well, I’m going to run. I have a busy week next week. I get to watch Liam for a few weeks while Lauren takes some classes. Tiffany is having  a friend out for a few days and we have a baby shower to go to tomorrow. I hope you have some fun planned for the weekend or next week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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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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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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Conference Volunteering and Mowing

It has been a crazy busy week and unfortunately I did not take any pictures. I fixed lunches for the young adult conference at our church this week. I had some good help. I’ll try to remember to take a picture of them today, which is the last day of the conference, and add it here.

We made spaghetti with garlic bread and a salad on Monday. It was a good spaghetti, if I do say so myself. ;) We have some attendees that need a gluten free diet, so we try to accommodate them the best we can, for which they are grateful. We even have a lady in the church that donates gluten free desserts for them for the entire week. What a sweetie! We also have a few that are on a keto diet and since I’m one of them, I made Keto compliant foods as well. Tiffany made cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies last weekend to make our lives a bit easier and less hectic. (I thought I’d shared those recipes already but I don’t see them, so I’ll have to rectify that sometime soon. :) )

Tuesday was an easy day because it was just sandwiches! Hooray for sandwiches and chips! Then Wednesday I got off the hook for the major cooking as two attendees grilled the burgers and hot dogs. :) Win win! It’s a good thing it was an easy day for me too because it was game day and my help was needed to make the teams even. :D

Thursday was the big cooking day. We made Chicken Tortilla Bake, Corn Tomato Mozzarella Salad, and White Queso. That’s a lot! We also had some wonderful donations from two local restaurants . . . Chili’s gave us chips and salsa and Jack in the Box gave us tacos!

To make matters more difficult, the air conditioner that cools the kitchen was not working. Thankfully we had some fans to help cool us down. Of course that would happen on the day I have to use three ovens and the stove top. Oh well, we got through it without too much sweat. ;)

Today is pizza day! Hooray for pizza! I’m also glad that one local restaurant sells gluten free pizza. I will be making a keto pizza or two though. We will also throw together a salad. The attendees are always happy to have some salad with their pizza, which is surprising to some of us. The first year I just threw one together because we had so much leftover lettuce from the sandwich/burger days and didn’t want it to go to waste. Now we buy extra to ensure we have enough for a nice big salad.

Even though cooking is tiring, I love doing it and when I see the smiles on their faces and hear that they enjoyed the food, it makes me happy. It is a good thing.

Even with all of that, our lawn had needed mowing. Michael’s been busy helping family for the last several weeks and the grass has been growing, especially since we got a good amount of rain too. So for the last several days, he’s been going out in the evening and getting some mowing done.

YAConf and Mowing ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, that’s his mowing getup! Nice hat. But uhm, long sleeves and long pants too? The temperature was in the 90’s!

He explained this though. The long sleeves and the hat are to protect against too much sun and thus sunburn. The long pants are to protect against chiggers. You see, he is a chigger magnet! So it isn’t enough that he wears long pants with shoes and socks. No. Take a close look.Chigger Proof ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, he tapes the pant legs around his ankles. :D Hey, you do what you gotta do! He came in  without any chigger bites, so I guess it worked.

Well, I gotta run. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Painting, Liam, and Conference

We’ve had a busy week. My sister and her husband closed on their new house, so much painting was being done. My son and his wife are getting their house ready to sell, which also means much painting is being done. Since Michael is a paint contractor it is only natural that he would help when he can.

I made a special breakfast before they went off to offer their help to Brian and Lauren.

Pancakes, Eggs, Sausage, Cheese and Syrup ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is really filling! Tiffany hardly ate any of hers. Michael ate half of his and I ate three-fourths of mine. Brian and Lauren hinted that it would be helpful if I could watch Liam for them, so they could all get some work done . . . I got myself together and off I went, just a few minutes behind Michael and Sean. Tiffany let me take what she didn’t eat to Brian . . . what a sweetie she is. I’d packed up Michael’s leftovers and what was left of my piece and sent it with Michael for him to eat later.

I took Liam supplied with toys and his pack-and-play. I expected that I’d have him at my house for a bit and then I’d be off to see how I could help Tracie. While I was gone, Tiffany was a jewel whipped up a replacement batch of pancakes for the guys for breakfasts this week. I got home and puttered around a bit. I should’ve done things but I enjoyed watching this cutie instead.

Liam and the ball ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe liked the mail. Last time he was playing with the grocery ads. :DLiam ~ Lifeofjoy.meI finished feeding him his lunch and thought I should check in with Tracie. Turns out that I missed her reply text to me and she was home already. So Tiffany, Liam, and I packed up and headed over. Thankfully, she lives close by.

I had so much to gather since I had Liam that I completely forgot about taking pork rinds and ketorito seasoning to eat with our burgers for dinner. So we stopped at Family Dollar on the way. Unfortunately, Liam fell asleep in the car, which did not bode well for any further nap later. But try we did.

Michael and Sean showed up around 6:30, in time for dinner, followed closely by Brian and Lauren, who had also picked up Ashlee from her dance practice, so Tracie didn’t have to go back into town.

My parents had been there all day. They are both in their 70s and sometimes forget that they are not in their 40s any longer. :) They are amazing.

I didn’t get any good pictures, as usual. I was too busy living life.

We also celebrated Brian’s birthday this week. It was ridiculously cool for July and under normal circumstances I would’ve liked it but we were there to swim. :D

The young adult conference starts this coming week at our church and I’m in charge of the lunch. So we have another errand day and then a fun week of serving the next generation. I won’t kid myself though, I’m gonna be tired.

Speaking of which, I better run. We’ve got lots to do today! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Thirty Years Together, Plants, Pizza, and Water Woes

This week was Michael and my 30th wedding anniversary. :) That is so hard to believe but alas, it is true. We celebrated casually, as is our style. Since he worked out in the heat and it is so hot here in Oklahoma, I decided to just make a nice dinner at home. I made Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole. (I’ll be posting this recipe eventually. Not sure if it will be Tuesday or if I wait until next time to try something a little different.

Michael bought me a beautiful card. He walked in the door with a gorgeous plant. Unfortunately it is ORCHIDS! Now there are a few people that already know my track record with this beauty but suffice it to say, it ain’t good. ;)

30th Anniversary ~ Lifeofjoy.meOrchids ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey are quite beautiful and my pictures are NOT doing them justice.

I read the care tag on them and they said to give it 3 ice cubes once a week and set it in indirect light. This beauty is in a very small pot though, so we definitely need to replant it soon. I truly hope I can keep this one alive. :D

He bought us some greenery last year for our anniversary and he has saved it from death a few times but I fear it is on its way out.

29th Anniversary Plant ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, I don’t even think it has a leg left. :(


In other happenings, the water went out a few days ago! Yep! I had run the dishwasher before going to bed, like I do nearly every night and when Michael got up, they were still dirty. So, it stopped flowing between 10:00 and whenever the wash cycle finishes. Bummer!!!

They kept promising the water would be back on soon. We are at the tail end of the line, so I figured it’d take a little while to get to us. But three and a half hours after it was supposedly back on, we still had not a drip.

Of course, going without running water for a day or two really makes you appreciate it and respect what they did in years past. Man, just getting dishes cleaned was an ordeal. We had frozen pizza, yep it was keto!, for dinner the first night with a salad. Of course we were out of forks. Some of us used spoons and some of us used the utensils at the bottom of our arms. ;) I should be able to get the mound of dishes cleaned up today. When everything is dirty, it takes a while.

Sorry about the blurry picture. This is small. The box is maybe a 4″ square. I took a picture with my hand in it to show size but those pictures were even worse than this one. :( You get the idea with this shot though.

The pizza was a bit pricey at $5.39 per personal pizza that was a little more than the size of a single slice but it was only 4 carbs!!! Yep! 4 carbs! and that wasn’t even net carbs. We are talking total carbs here folks! That’s huge. I paired it with such a small salad of lettuce, meat, and cheese that there was maybe 1 to 2 carbs in it. Just used bacon fat for dressing.

There are only two stores in the Tulsa area that carry it and one of those didn’t even have it when Michael stopped and looked for it this week. He was such a trooper; he went to the other store too. Thankfully both are on the way home and he hit them in order, so no backtracking was necessary. It was okay but not worth the price in my opinion, unless you are crazy tired and just need something easy . . . then yes, thank you for having it available. I’ll stick to my fathead pizza, unless absolutely necessary.

Well, I’ll run for now. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

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Swimming and a Father’s Day Surprise

Tiffany and I had an enjoyable swim with Lauren and Liam last week. :) The little cutie did seem to be a bit tired but he and Lauren came out in the pool with us and we had fun. We didn’t stay very long, especially since it was the first time out in the water this year. We are rather fair skinned, so we have to be careful not to burn.

Fun in the pool ~ Lifeofjoy.me


I spent some time cleaning the car for my honey for part of his Father’s Day gift. I cleaned the dash really good and then the windshield. Then after we returned from swimming, Tiffany helped me wash the car. Well, truth be told, I helped her wash the car. I’m too short to reach hardly any of it. So, I did all the rinsing. :)This and That 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.me (This is a picture of our vehicle but it was not taken recently.)

Then the next day, I was going to vacuum the car while Tiffany cleaned the upholstery a bit. Well, I could not get the vacuum, so that just didn’t happen but the seats look soooo much better! We use LA’s Totally Awesome concentrate that you dilute for different uses.

So I did not tell Michael about the cleaning of the car when I gave him his Father’s Day gifts. He’s generally so observant that I expected him to mention it to me at some point throughout the rest of the day but I couldn’t wait. I said something but don’t remember what and could not believe that he didn’t notice the total lack of dust all over the dash. We all had a good laugh over it all and how he thought the rain cleaned it so good. :D

Tiffany and I have had some really good conversations this week. We weren’t as productive as we had hope to be this week but we did what was needed. :) God will help us redeem the time and complete the projects set before us.


My parents came for dinner this week. We had yummy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken, fried green beans, and a simple salad. I had a keto pound cake for us and fixed each of my parents a 3-2-1 cake. We had a really nice visit and I learned some things about my parents’ families. It was a good night.

As usual, I forgot to take some pictures. I tried looking for a picture of our car to put here but I don’t have a good one on my computer yet. Then I tried see if I’d already shared one before but my internet is currently a bit slow, so that was out too. (As you can see above, I finally was able to attach a picture to this post.)

Thanks for sticking with me in this post of few pictures. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Antique Mall Fun

Last weekend I went to the antique mall with my mother. We had an enjoyable time walking down each and every aisle, viewing all the stuff in each cubicle. I loved this cook ice tea pitcher and glass.

Antique Mall ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, totally fake! Tiffany says, “That ain’t even right!” So I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t give in and buy it. :D But even now, it still brings a smile to my face and I can see it on a table on a porch beside a rocking chair. :D

I found this book that I absolutely loved reading to the kids!

Yipes there go my stripes ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was packaged with a Ty elephant which I did not want. Otherwise, I would have bought the book, even in its condition. I think Mom thought I was a little odd for being so excited to see this children’s book but then I read her a few pages. We were both cackling over it for a bit because I kept repeating my favorite lines which are spoken by the zebra, “Yipes, there go my stripes, and lots and lots of the leopard’s spots!” Of course, I cannot even begin to describe the tone of voice I use for this . . . maybe very very nasally or a bit like a New Yorker. Oh well, it’s a fave and I hope I get it one day soon.

Then I saw this neat mug tree.

Antique Mall ~ Lifeofjoy.meLook at the mugs. They are owls. Of course Tiffany, who really likes owls said they were kind of creepy owls. So, once again, I’m glad I didn’t get it. ;)

Antique Mall ~ Lifeofjoy.meI did find a few things Mom was able to get for me for my Christmas stocking. :) I’ll forget about them by then and I’ll be like, Oh Yeah! I forgot about these! :D

Over the years, Michael has purchased me frogs for various special occasions. So I’ve taken to buying some for him. This frog was so cute, but I just couldn’t buy it. :D

Antique Mall ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe sign said Kisses 10₵ 5₵ 1₵ Free

It was cute, but I don’t have anywhere to put it.

Then just before we left, we saw this Superman and took a picture of it and sent it to my sister. We decided it needed to have someone in the picture with it to show how big it is. So I took this one. We were both dog-tired. Mom said if she’d have know I was going to post these on here, she’d have smiled a little. :D She’s beautiful even without the smile. That’s one classy lady. Lookin’ pretty good for someone old enough to have a 50-something year old daughter.

Antique Mall ~ Lifeofjoy.meLet’s see . . . we helped my baby sister move yesterday. There were enough of us and she had so much done already that it wasn’t that bad. They bought a wonderful two-story house that has sooo much character that it reminds me of a house we lived in when I was young. Nope . . . you guessed it, no pictures. We were too busy and tired and I completely forgot to take any.

Tiffany and I are headed to my son and daughter-in-love’s today to swim for a while. Hopefully, I’ll get to see this little cutie while we are there.

Miss him ~ Lifeofjoy.meAt least, if he is napping while we are there, we will get to see him Sunday, since it is Father’s Day and we will probably all be at my parents’ house.

I’ll run for now. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Last Weekend, Work, and a Bookcase Makeover

Birthday breakfast leftovers ~ Lifeofjoy.meLast Saturday Tiffany and I made a double batch of blueberry baked pancakes, some for breakfast and some for breakfasts throughout the week. Unfortunately before I finished my delicious breakfast, my stomach turned sour. :p

When it clung on for several hours, I tried drinking a stevia sweetened ginger ale. Nothing. I tried some chicken broth but it tasted bland and did not help. I don’t remember what all I tried, but none of it helped. Finally, after taking some acetaminophen, it lessened a bit. But we decided better not risk spreading something this yucky at church, so we stayed home. Thankfully by Sunday night I was back to normal.


Bible ~ Lifeofjoy.meMonday I started to read the Bible through chronologically in ninety days. A week or so ago, I asked my friends on facebook if anyone wanted to join me and I was surprised to get several who wanted to. I created a closed facebook group for us to encourage each other and more readily communicate with each other. I ended up with fifteen friends joining in on the fun. It’s been good so far. I remember last year when I did one, Carrie, the group leader, prayed for us each week. It really helped me; I could feel those prayers. So, I’m following her lead and praying for this group.


My flower garden is coming along nicely. We had a bit of rain, like several days worth, so I haven’t needed to water it until yesterday. I have to admit that those pretty flowers bring me more smiles than I ever thought they would have. I’m so blessed and thankful for all the hard work, time, and money that went into them.

Each week I buy another bag or two of the shredded rubber mulch to add to the rectangular flower bed. Tiffany was a dear heart and put down the last five bags for me!!! I used the weedeater to trim up around the outside of both gardens and also cleared the path to the porch. I got a bit red in the face and a tiny bit sunburnt too. But I caught it before it got bad and it doesn’t hurt at all.

Then as if we hadn’t done enough work already, Tiffany and I rearranged her bedroom furniture. She has some heavy pieces. I shocked her with how strong I really am. :) She had a battle with an inexpensive bookshelf and finally got the better of it. In the end, since it was completely empty and firmed up with screws, she decided to paint some cherry tree branches with blossoms on it.

Here it is before painting.

Before painting ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat’s Tiffany’s dog, Shiloah. She’s a schnoodle.

Here it is after her handiwork.

Painted Bookcase ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe painted some of the sides as well, since she knew she wouldn’t see much of this after the books were put back in it.

Cherry Blossom Bookcase ~ lifeofjoy.meAnd here is what it looks after all is said and done. Painting the ends was a good choice.

Painted bookshelf ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, it was a busy day! We didn’t get done everything we wanted to but we got a lot accomplished any way. We’re calling it a win! :)

I’m looking forward to spending some time with my mom at a local antique mall today. She had a birthday this week and has some birthday money to spend in her happy place, so I’m going to wander around with her. :)

I hope you have a great weekend. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Cooking, Birthdays, and Liam :)

The last week has been a major baking week for me, as predicted. I made this yummy sugar-free, grain-free cake for Tiffany’s birthday. It’s the same one she made for my birthday.
Birthday Cake ~ Lifeofjoy.meI hadn’t finished putting the candles on as Sean was taking pictures.

It was three layers. See!

Tiff's Cake sliced ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs you may be able to tell from the mess in the middle, the second layer broke apart, so I glued it together with frosting. :) It ate just as good as if it hadn’t been broken. :D

I also made brownies to take to my parents’ to celebrate with the extended family. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of those. They were fudgey-ish and had chocolate chips in them. Oh! I found a great way to make chocolate syrup/fudge sauce using Sukrin clear fiber syrup, which we put on top of the brownies and sugar-free ice cream my parents’ served us.

Birthdays ~ Lifeofjoy.meI also made a chocolate chocolate bundt cake for my mother’s birthday celebration. We celebrated a week early because we won’t be getting together again until Father’s Day. (And nope, I didn’t get a picture of that one either. The way it is, I swiped the picture above from my mother.)

I made pancake batter on Saturday, which Tiffany cooked on the griddle. While I made the batter, I put the dry ingredients for a second batch in a baggie for Tiffany’s birthday breakfast! Birthdays are busy cooking days around here, so every little bit of help I can give myself the better.

While Tiffany made the pancakes, I mixed up the cake batter for Momma’s cake and put it in the oven and then made some sausage and eggs to go with breakfast because I cannot just eat something sweet for breakfast . . . I gots to have my meats. ;)

On Tiffany’s birthday I added some blueberries and subbed blueberry extract for the vanilla extract. OMGee! These were delicious!!!

Birthday breakfast leftovers ~ Lifeofjoy.meI don’t usually eat leftover pancakes but these were soooo good, I couldn’t help myself! Oh! what makes it even better is that they are perfectly legitimate keto!!!! Whoo hoo!!!

I’d made “Soul Bread” before the weekend arrived last week, knowing how busy I was going to be and we needed that bread for Tiffany’s birthday. We used that bread and made grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. The side dish took forever but was sooo good – Zucchini fries with a spicy mayo dip. Mmm mmm! (Sorry, no picture again. :( )

For her birthday dinner we had chicken fried caulirice. It was nice and meaty and I added some good coconut oil to it to up the fat, since the chicken is so low in fat and keto diet is high fat. (Yeah, you know the drill, no picture for this one either.)

Saturday night, Tiffany and I made Mexican pizza. Yummo.

I’ve had a couple of recipes I’ve been wanting to try. One is onion rings where you take a ring of onion and wrap it with thin cut bacon! I also got the ingredients to make “everything” bagels a couple of weeks ago; I really should stop loafing around and make them already. LOL


We also got to watch this cutie this week!!! Woo hoo! I just love him!

Liam Highchair ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe loves is spoons. He gets one to hold as you use the other to shovel the food in. We’ve graduated from tying him on a chair to a high chair, thanks to Lauren. :)

Liam and spoons ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe looks so grown up here! He’s such a good baby!!! He really only gets cranky when he is tired or hungry. Of course, both happen frequently. :D

Jesse Bear ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe seemed to like this sensory ball this visit. And of course, Tiffany is reading him Jesse Bear What will You Wear. I promise, we do own more books than that. :D

Liam and Pawpaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, he’s a cutie patootie and we love having him here!!!

Well, I’m going to run for now. I hope you have a great weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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