Category Archives: Finally Friday

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

In Memory of Helena Norman

It is so sad when someone you know and see on a consistent basis passes on from this life. It isn’t as difficult when they are in their 80’s or 90’s but anything under that is hard and the younger the harder.

Picture from Moore Funeral Homes and Crematory.

Last week a very faithful lady in our church passed away. Helena Norman was committed to Christ and her family. She was an excellent example to many. She will be greatly missed.

Her memorial service was last week and Michael, Tiffany, Sean, and I volunteered to help out in any way needed. We served the light lunch following the service. The microphone was opened up for people to share thoughts and memories; it was so nice to hear how she impacted her co-workers and church members alike. I didn’t know her very well but she usually had a smile on her face. By the time we returned the The Family Prayer Center, where she attended for over twenty years, her son Isaac was already grown and off at college. Seeing him at the memorial service and his heart for those that had come, his appreciation and compassion for those who shared and then his smile, you couldn’t help but see Helena.

Helena Norman's Memorial service ~ Lifeofjoy.me
This picture was taken on a very special day, as I don’t think I ever saw her wearing eye shadow before. ;)

When I took the picture above, there was music playing. It was so good that I thought it was a recording and I glanced up and this is what I saw.

Live Music ~ Lifeofjoy.meBrenda, who plays in church frequently, was playing the keyboard. It was beautiful. I’m sure it was very difficult for her since they were good friends. Helena had been battling cancer for a while. I don’t know how long she fought; I do know they had time to prepare, while doing all she knew to do to be healed on this earth.

The service was a light, joyful time, as is common with fellow Christians, since we are assured they have gone on to a better place. Helena had served in the military and so there was a flag presentation. The two young men (they were probably in their late 20’s to early 30’s ;) ) that did the flag presentation and playing of Taps did an amazing job. I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the place when they were done. I commended them as the left, telling them that theirs was the hardest part of the service and that they’d done an amazing job. They were so soulful and had such respect. I can imagine the music being played for the funeral of someone lost while on active duty would be even more gut-wrenching. Wow!

Thankfully, we know that Helena knew Jesus was the Son of God, He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and was crucified for our sins. Helena accepted Him as her Savior and definitely lived her life for Him. Thus we know, she is now in heaven rejoicing with those who have gone on before her.

We stayed until there were just a couple people left. Two sweet ladies of the church joined us at the end and helped us do the final clean-up. It was nice to catch up with them, as we hadn’t talked in a while. It was a good day.

Michael had proposed the day before that we go see a movie we’d been wanting to see but I had a feeling that we’d be finished between showings and wouldn’t want to be hanging around town. I was right. ;) So we headed home and had a relaxing evening together.

Well, I didn’t intend to write the entire post on this subject but I think it is fitting. Helena was a dear lady and sister in Christ, whom I look forward to seeing again in eternity.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy those you have in your life.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Aunt-Niece Day

The weekend after we celebrated Brian and Liam’s birthday, I had an Aunt/Niece Day with my youngest sister’s girls while she took Tiffany out to lunch. They had a good time, as did we.

The girls and I started with making lunch. Tracie has told me that they enjoy cooking or would like to cook more, so I figured we’d make our lunch together. Ashlee likes chicken nuggets and she’s the oldest, so I let her do that with my help.

Making chicken nuggets ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe did a great job cutting cutting the breast into pieces. Then she followed the easy directions of adding beaten egg and then the add the breading ingredients. Then fried it, all with my supervision.

Macie likes vegetables and cheese, so I thought she’d like to do the broccoli tots.

Making broccoli tots ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe too did a great job. I helped her prep the ingredients and then she mixed and formed the tots, with supervision. I put them in the air fryer but let them cook a few minutes too long and some of them were overdone. But rest assured, none were tossed. ;) Some were leftover for the guys to eat upon their return from work that night.

Homemade lunch ~ Lifeofjoy.me

It was a tasty lunch and fun cooking together.

Lunch with nieces ~ Lifeofjoy.meAfter we ate and cleaned up our mess, it was artsy time. :) I pulled out my beloved washi tape, pens, pencils, markers, inks, stencils, and stickers. I gave them each a bookmark and they decorated any way they wanted.

Washi tape, paint, etc. ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think they had fun.

Niece Craft Time ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey are so used to pictures being taken. They’d pause and pose so quickly, all with a big smile. :)

Discovering the washi ~ Lifeofjoy.meMacie is a bit quicker with her crafting (well, with everything . . . she reminds me of Tiffany in that regard). If you look closely at the picture above you can see Ashlee’s just barely begun on her bookmark but that Macie’s has been painted and is sitting to dry. She as done several other pieces as well and even put a second coat of ink on the bookmark all in the same time Ashlee has spend on hers. I’m definitely more like Ashlee. ;)

Quite the crafter ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, they tolerated me taking some quick pictures and obliged me with some smiles. :)

When they were finished with their works of art, we moved on to a board game. But first, Macie and I whipped up some ice cream in the ice cream maker. I used a recipe from the booklet for regular ice cream for them . . .  because I’m a good aunt and won’t make them go sugar-free while they are here.

Ice Cream and board game ~ Lifeofjoy.meI had magic skinny chocolate nuts while they ate their ice cream. I enjoyed the Mario Monopoly game. I don’t usually care for Monopoly but this one is different and fun.

The girls spent the night, enjoying some cousin time (and some Uncle time too). They got to play games with the cousins. Tiffany was a trooper and played a lot, even though she felt miserable. She’d come down with some nasty sinus yuck and even got feverish before the weekend was over. She ended up sharing that nastiness with Sean and I, which wasn’t very fun. Thankfully Tracie said they took some E-merGenC and didn’t get anything. Whew! So glad.

Gaming with cousins ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a fun time! We’ll do it again next year. ;) (Yeah, I’m real . . . I’d love to say before the end of the year but I know better; it’ll be next year before we do another full one like this.) But I have made plans to be a cool aunt and have them spend the night more often. We’ll see how that goes.

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my life. It was a special time.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Birthday Weekend Continued

Prior to Brian, Lauren, and Liam coming for the weekend last time, we purchased a new high chair, very reasonably priced at Walmart for under $40. Yes, I could have gotten a better deal at thrift stores, garage sales, craigslist, and such but we were short on time and the nearest ones to us had none. Also, the old high chair we had was wood and hard and Liam did not like sitting in it. We decided it was time for a change.

High Chair ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s really cool because it folds down and can be hidden away until it is needed again.

folded high chair ~ lifeofjoy.meWell, little dude had been riding in the car for 2 hours, then not long after getting here it was time to sit at the table and eat. He was not happy about it and pitched quite the fit. Then the poor fellow had to get in the carseat once again to go 15 minutes to my sister’s home to celebrate with extended family. By the time we got home several hours later and it was dinner time, he had a melt down where the high chair was concerned. :o

When the kids come and spend a Saturday night with us, we tend to not go to church the next morning, so that we can enjoy time with them and a leisurely breakfast. Well, we decided that because he is such a social kid, maybe his problem with the high chair was that he wasn’t at the table with us. So, we tried this taking the tray off and pushing him up to the table. That didn’t work either. So at Sunday morning breakfast we tried this . . .

high chair at table ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was happier but still not really thrilled. He’s been able to sit on people’s laps at our house for so long and that is what he likes to do here. He sits in a high chair at home perfectly fine but here. Oh my! :p Oh well, this too shall pass.

There were lots of good moments. :) He is used to having some daddy time on Saturdays, since Lauren used to work Friday nights and got some sleep then. He was quite the daddy’s boy while he was here too.

Daddy and son ~ Lifeofjoy.meSean was a good fill-in for his daddy; giving Brian a needed break.

guys play video game ~ Lifeofjoy.meAunt Tiffany got some cuddle time too. :)

aunt cuddle time ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe loved his horse that Sean got him for his birthday.

Liam on rocking horse ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam on rocking horse ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s sooo fun to see him play. :)

He like cleaning tools. He got very busy in the utility room.

Grandson with mop  ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was enamored with the dryer. I stood by making sure he didn’t end up doing anything crazy. ;) We played some ball . . . it’s our thing.

Playing ball with grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I made some homemade sugar free ice cream before they left Sunday afternoon.

son and grandson love ice cream  ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, it was a hit.

When it was time to go, he was definitely ready. He decided to help Brian put his shoes on. :D

grandson helps dad with shoes  ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere was much cuteness which made the difficult times bearable. ;) He’s a sweetie and I miss him so much.

I think that is enough pictures for one week. So I’ll run for now. I hope you have a great weekend. I intend to.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Birthday Weekend

Here I was preparing to tell what a boring week it’d been when I remembered that Brian, Lauren, and Liam were here last weekend to celebrate birthdays!!! So I have grandson pictures to share. Although I took my nice camera for the family gathering, it died right after the first picture and I hadn’t taken the case, so no battery charger. Ugh! Thankfully my phone still had power. ;)

Family ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, that’s most of us. Tiffany is on the corner there with Liam on the yellow scooter thing and Macie is over there too.

Niece and Grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat dog is Hutch, my parents’ dog. He’s a big lovable fellow.

We didn’t have a chance to celebrate Brian’s birthday last month, so his celebration was up first. Mom made his usual request, Mud Pie.

Birthday ~ Lifeofjoy.meHis, like most of the other adults, is over quickly as it doesn’t take long to open a gift of money. ;)

I made a sugar free mud pie which was very muddy because something happened to the chocolate sauce and it didn’t thicken at all. I will get it right though. :) I’d gotten a new vanilla and it was way to strong and florally. Yuk! I will definitely be either reducing the amount of this vanilla next time or using a different one!

Grandson cake ~ Lifeofjoy.meI sprinkled the remaining crust crumbs in a Mickey Mouse silhouette on top. And like I said, it was messy.

THM Mud Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meBut good! Liam approved. :)

grandson eating mud pie ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Grandson and gifts ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe liked his little minion I got him. I know he’ll enjoy the colorforms and stickers we got him too, as well as the ‘magna doodle.’

He knew how to rip off the paper this year. :)

Grandson opening gift ~ Lifeofjoy.meClapping ~ lifeofjoy.meUncle Sean made it easy for him!

opening tissue paper gifts ~ lifeofjoy.meThe paper was barely off before he was off and rocking! :)

riding rocking horse ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, I think it was a hit! ;)

Well, I have a busy day ahead of me. It is Aunt and Niece Day in our family today. So Tracie is picking up Tiffany and dropping of her girls. I have a lot of fun planned with them and they are spending the night so that they can have what they really want, cousin time. :)

So, I’ll run for now and share more pictures of our little guy next week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Dishwasher, Birds, Birthdays Coming, and Flowers

This weekend we will finally be celebrating my oldest son’s birthday, a month late. We will also be celebrating my grandson’s second birthday. Wow! He’s getting big. I should have pictures to share of the cutie next week. :)

Son and Grandson ~ lifeofjoy.me

I’ve been busy getting ready. We’ll be getting together with extended family one day, for which one dessert will be needed. Mom is taking Mud Pie but since we don’t eat sugar any longer, I’m creating a sugar-free version. :) I hope I’ll be able to include the recipe next week.

Brian, my son, has requested a variation on Sausage Sandwich for his birthday dinner and Mostess Cupcakes, a THM recipe from the Trim Healthy Table cookbook. I’m hoping to remember to take pictures of the recipes as I make them so that I can share them over the next several Tuesdays.


Sean fixed the dishwasher last week!!! Hallelujah!!!! It broke just before our friends came for the week. We used paper products but still washed a lot of dishes.

Dishwasher fixed? ~ Lifeofjoy.meSean did lots of research to fix it. And it took a few attempts before he was successful. He finally had to use the wet vac to suck out water that wouldn’t drain. He eventually found that there was a loose connection inside the front panel near the handle/latch. But thankfully, he fixed it!!!


One day recently Michael was home, working outside. A bird flew into the van beside where he was working. It landed on the ground and Michael picked it up, prayed for it, and blew on it. He set it down and continued working . . . he brought it to the door for us to see.

Man and Sparrow ~ Lifeofjoy.meBird in hand ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe set it down, hoping it would fly off but it just sat there for a bit.

Bird on railing ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe later took it to another area and it flew off. I guess it needed to catch its breath. ;)


My wrist has been hurting lately, so I have not been able to do any weeding. Consequently my garden has that ‘natural’ garden look . . . definitely NOT the manicured garden look at all. ;)

Overgrown Garden ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd you see that red spike flower? Well, the kids have planted that kind of flower the last several years but the heat always get them and they die out. This year they did NOT plant any this year and yet, here this little guy is. And it was doing quite well until the 100º days hit. Ah, but my Vincas and Marigolds are thriving. :)

The Sunflowers that planted themselves did well too. The other day when I went out to photograph my tile for Wednesday I saw some pretty yellow birds. Finches maybe?

Yellow birds ~ Lifeofjoy.meYellow birds on sunflowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meI went inside to get my telephoto lens and when I got back out they flew off. But I did catch one up in the top of my Mimosa tree.

Mimosa tree and Yellow bird ~ Lifeofjoy.meOnce many years ago, I’d seen several dozen yellow finches in the tree outside our home at the time. They were beautiful but I didn’t get a picture. I’ve not seen any since but these reminded me of them. At least I did get a picture of them.

Well, that’s enough for this week. I’ve got lots to do. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Vacation Ends

I realized that I posted some pictures from our vacation out of order but it doesn’t matter. I’m going to share them with you today because Liam (my grandson) was there! :)

So after the horribly hot day at the zoo, we went back to the hotel, showered, and napped for a bit until it was time to leave for dinner.

Paul had been told by someone at his workplace in South Carolina about a restaurant in OKC that was highly recommended. Pretty interesting. So, although it was a little pricey, we made it happen. The restaurant is Cattleman’s and is in historic Stockyard City.

Cattleman's restaurant ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy oldest, Brian and long-time friend, Stephanie. And that, my friend, is the extra butter we requested for our veggies.

Cattleman's restaurant ~ Lifeofjoy.meI do have to admit that the croutons were really nice. They were slices of like a homemade toasted bread and you break them up into your salad. I broke off a small corner to taste. :) But I have to tell you the small filet was delicious!!!! It was a 6 ounce steak wrapped in bacon and was so tender! I wish I had taken a picture but alas, I was too busy living in the moment.

Michael got the catfish and enjoyed it. Tiffany got the ham steak which she really enjoyed as well. Sean got the chopped steak . . . that boy loves hamburgers  . . . but he liked it. We all got the steamed vegetables and side salad with the dressing on the side. It was delicious.

After dinner we went outside and chatted for a bit. There was music playing and Liam started dancing! It was soooo cute.

grandson dancing ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe had some teeth cutting, so he needed the pacifier to gnaw on. ;) I feel so bad for him when he’s being troubled by tooth pain. But we had fun dancing.

grandson dancing ~ Lifeofjoy.megrandson dancing ~ lifeofjoy.meUncle and nephew dancing ~ Lifeofjoy.meAfterwards we went back to the hotel but didn’t feel like swimming again in the salt water pool because then we’d need to shower again. Besides, the pool area was soooo warm, it was nearly a sauna. I have to say that this particular Hampton Inn that we stayed at wasn’t the best one but it was still nice. They’re pool area just needs to be updated. ;)

So we went back to the hotel and got comfy and visited for a while before going to bed.

In the hotel room ~ lifeofjoy.mehotel visit ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, we had fun! Oh, we did have some dessert after getting back to the room because I made some THM desserts and brought them with me so that we would not feel deprived on vacation.

I hope you are enjoying your summer.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Fun Day in Tulsa with Friends

On our friends last day with us, we decided to go walk a trail nearby and see if we could find some glow-in-the-dark mini golf. We found the desired mini-golf in Tulsa so chose to find somewhere to walk there as well.

We headed over to Turkey Hill; a new experience for us. We’ve lived in the Tulsa area for over twenty years and have never been there.

Thankfully Paul likes to take lots of pictures and he shared some with me, which I’m sharing here today. :)

Turkey Hill River Parks ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe perused the the trails map and chose the one that was 1.2 miles with steep areas. We’ve walked trails in the mountains in VA and figured we could handle it.

Turkey Hill Trails Map ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd off we went.

Hiking Turkey Hill ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe decided to stop for a quick picture before we got hot and very tired.

Hiking with friends ~ lifeofjoy.meThere were some spots that were a bit steeper than we expected and I found it more difficult when we looped back around and had to come back down those steep areas. ;) There was also a tree felled across the trail at one point, which really should be removed because it is difficult for short people to climb over it and difficult for heavy people to crawl under it. 8)

There was a pond along the way that was full of turtles. We paused for a moment and the turtles headed toward Sean and Tiffany near the pond’s edge. We guess that people probably feed them and so they were headed for the food source but we disappointed them and some turned away.

Pond stop at Turkey Hill ~ Lifeofjoy.meTurtle at turkey hill pond ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe finished our hike and went for some lunch. Then we were off to play some mini golf.

We’ve never been to Incredible Pizza either, erroneously assuming it was just for younger kids. ;)

Incredible Pizza Tulsa ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe got the minimum allowed per person, which is $10 and decided to give it a go. The buffet actually looked good, although I don’t know how much would be THM compliant. ;)

We started with the glow-in-the-dark mini golf. I have to say though that this was not as nice as the one we went to in McAlestar. That one was in an enclosed area, so it really glowed! This one wasn’t completely enclosed, so the lights from the surrounding areas kept us from enjoying the full experience, but it was still fun.

Glow in the dark mini golf ~ lifeofjoy.meThese were taken in a darker corner, so you can see the good bit. ;)

Glow in the dark mini golf ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere you can see how it was a little bit of a let down but still good fun.Not so glowing mini golf ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext we opted to play some mini bowling.

Mini bowling ~ lifeofjoy.meMini bowling ~ lifeofjoy.meAgain, there was something I didn’t like . . . it was only five frames.

We still had a bit left on our cards so we all played some skeeball–a carnival type game that we all enjoy. We ended up with enough combined tickets that we could get some large foam dice.

Foam Dice prizes ~ Lifeofjoy.meIn the end, we had a fun time and worth $10 each. :)

Group Picture mini golf ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a fun morning. I recommend it if you want to have some family fun, even if you don’t have any little children. ;)

It was a good ending to a lovely visit with friends. I forgot to share our dinner out our last night in OKC which had some fun Liam moments that I really want to share with you next week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Family and Friends OKC Zoo Day

I mentioned last week that our long-time friends came out for a visit and that we also went to OKC with them. I shared last week about our visit to the Science Museum Oklahoma. Today I want to share our visit to the OKC Zoo.

We made sandwiches before leaving the hotel. I’d brought sandwich fixings and snacks so that we could be frugal AND stay on plan more readily. ;)

Making Sandwiches in Hotel ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy oldest son, Brian, and his family live nearby and were able to join us at the zoo. :) Yay! Some grandson time!!! Okay, I didn’t get a lot but you cannot be but so pushy on children or they push you completely away. ;)

Don't be pushy ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo much to say about this photo. First this is a bad photo of me because of the angle on my belly but it showed not being pushy. I hadn’t seen Liam, my grandson, in a few weeks and when we pulled up, the car scared him. He loves his Uncle Sean a lot (he’s a daddy’s boy right now, says Lauren, and I’m guessing Sean reminds him of his daddy ;) ) and, as you’ll see, he liked hanging with him that day. Any way, Liam wasn’t being very receptive to me, so I just backed off and waited him out. :)

See that backpack I’m wearing? Michael got that for me about 25 years ago. Yep, 25 years ago! I knew I’d need some way to carry some water because the heat and I are not great friends. :D So I pulled this backpack out and used it for the first time. It also collapses down to just a small pocketbook/wallet and phone holder. It finally came in handy. :))

I don’t recall ever seeing a swan in real life before. This was pretty.

Black-Necked Swan ~ Lifeofjoy.meDid you ever see Aristocats? This reminded me of a scene from that animated movie.

Duck Fishing ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know it’s not a goose but “bottoms up!” :D

Typically, I am too hot and my hands are too clammy such that Michael does not hold my hand. I don’t know what came over him this day, but I loved it. :) It was so nice to have the energy to set the pace and he was right there with me.

My love and I at zoo ~ Lifeofjoy.meUsually I am at the back of the pack, meandering but it was too hot to move slowly. :D I needed to get from one shade spot to the next. :)) Brian even called me out on it at one point in the day. :) It was all in fun!

Son and Friends ~ Lifeofjoy.meClearly this was at the start of our day because they still look good and fresh. ;)

Flamingos ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe flamingos were quite loud and scared Liam at first but we ended up back near them several times and even ate lunch across from their area, so he got a bit used to them. By the time we were done with lunch, he even walked over to their fence and was looking at them. We were around them so long we saw that a couple had lain eggs and watched as a few were building their mounds.

Child in Tula ~ Lifeofjoy.me Liam is loaded up in the tula on Brian, not really ready to keep going but we want to see the giraffes and elephants before we leave. ;)

This was an interesting sight! This white peacock spread its tail feathers out and walked about. I think it is an albino because I don’t see any thing but white on it.

Albino? Peacock ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey had some other peacocks too but this was so unique.

Brian and Lauren have been to the zoo frequently this year and said they hadn’t seen this regal lion before this day. He really was a sight to behold.

Lion okc zoo ~ Lifeofjoy.meAround the corner, the lionesses were napping by the window, which was really neat.

Grandson and Lioness ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I don’t recall when this was but it was cute and I had to share. ;)Grandson, Papa, and Uncle taking a break in the shade ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam taking a quick rest in the shade with Grandpa and Uncle Sean.

Liam wasn’t in the stroller much but someone caught a picture when he was. ;) It was HOT and he was tired but wouldn’t stay in the stroller long nor did he take a nap until on his way home, I believe.

Stroller time ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe did have to take a few breaks. This was a vacation after all, not some race. :D

My Sweet Girls ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy pretty girls!

Michael and Paul resting while waiting on the potty break to end.

Paul and Michael ~ Lifeofjoy.meStephani, me, and Tiffany resting too. Ladies Rest ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I’d never seen a red panda before. It kind of looks like a fox and raccoon mix. I didn’t expect it to be so long.Red Panda ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Watching the elephants was one of the highlights of the day. This was not a show, just them going about their day.Elephants in the water ~ Lifeofjoy.meOne of them had just gotten an apple off the water surface and eaten it. The baby was cute and it went under water as well. There was another one by itself that we saw eating some straw/hay and rocking back and forth. We even saw it go to its little water area and spray itself down. It was neat to watch them moving around unlike most of the animals.

However, we caught the bears enjoying a watermelon snack break.

Bear eating watermelon ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, we actually watched them eat the watermelons. I’m sure it was refreshing. I know I would’ve liked a cold watermelon slice about then. :D

I was a woman with a mission: I wanted to see the giraffes before we left. By the time we finally made it to them, it was the appointed time when you could pay to feed them. But really, you mean to tell me people actually pay $5 to give the giraffe a piece of romaine lettuce?!? It was enough for me to watch the zoo keepers feed them. There was the mama and the girl giraffe that was about 2 or 3 and the little guy who was just a year and a half or so.

Momma Giraffe ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe Okapi were near the giraffes. They are a very interesting animal. They look like they are part zebra, part donkey, and part anteater. :DOkapi ~ Lifeofjoy.meAt the end of the day, we were hot and tired but we’d made it! We all left, showered, and napped and then went to dinner together a couple hours later.

Friends ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe OKC Zoo touts itself as being a botanical garden too. But I have to say, it was lame at this. Very few plants were labelled and nothing was really marked. There was a butterfly garden that had some interesting plants in it but they were not marked either nor did I see any butterflies. I did recognize sunflowers even though they were not in bloom yet thanks to the ones we’ve grown at home. :D

So, word to the wise, don’t expect much from the Botanical Gardens aspect of the OKC Zoo and you should enjoy it better. ;)

Well, this has gotten long, so I’ll share more next week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Long Time Friends and the Science Museum Oklahoma

Michael and I have been friends with one couple since before we even got married. We can go for years without being together but then when we do get together once again, we just click and never have an awkward moment.

We were blessed to have them come for a visit this week. You see, they live have the country away so we don’t get to see each other very often.

In order to make this feel like a vacation for us as well, we decided to go to Oklahoma City for a couple days. Tiffany really wanted to swim too. We decided to go for a couple of days. The first day we went to the Science Museum Oklahoma. Even though it is geared for children we had fun. Plus it was a hundred degrees outside!!! Yep, the air conditioning was a welcome relief.

Steph, Tiff, and I ~ Lifeofjoy.mePaul and Sean ~ Lifeofjoy.meMichael and Paul did the arch activity.

Michael & Paul Arch ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, they figured out their mistake and started again. ;)

We worked together to lift the block by the handle and place it on the stand and then moved it back to the ground.

Working together ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe all enjoyed the mirror maze.

Mirror Maze ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe also had fun with the blue screen. Stephanie’s shirt was blue so it became invisible on the screen. :D

Blue Screen fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meI do have to say though that the main reason I wanted to go to the Science Museum Oklahoma was to see the planetarium. I hadn’t been to a planetarium since my college days. I was so looking forward to it . . . I love the stars.

As Tiffany put it, it was underwhelming. The speaker only pointed out about three constellations. Well to be truthful, he pointed out Cassiopeia by only circling the area, not connecting the individual stars. He did even less with the Big and Little Dippers and threw up pictures of big and little bears but not showing which stars or how they were connected. Then he went on to show Saturn and Pluto and three galaxies.

Considering the show was called, Tonight’s Sky, it would have been sooooo much better if he had actually shown the constellations visible that night in the area. And if he wanted to show planets, it would have been better if he would have shown the planets that were visible in the sky that night.  Oh well, now I know. Maybe the Tulsa planetarium is better. ;)

Well, I’ll share more next week.

Until then, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Much Accomplished in Spite of Circumstances

Although this week did not start out the best, I had my sciatic nerve act up on me, which is a first for me; seriously, I could have gone my entire life and not experienced it and have not feel deprived at all. :D Thankfully Michael doesn’t let these kinds of things go without him trying to find some kind of help online. Well, he did. He found a couple of videos on youtube that addressed it. One I can do myself and it is really helps. Of course it means I have to get down on the floor to do it but it really helps. :)

Because of said pain, I did not do a whole lot of moving the first part of the week. That might have compounded the problem but whatever. At any rate, by the middle of the week I knew I had to buck up and get some baking done. We’d been out of low carb bread for a while and it was high time I made some. So I made a loaf of the Wonderful White Blender Bread from the Trim Healthy Table cookbook. I made it using my Kitchenaid mixer instead of my blender because although my Vitamix is amazing, I have not figured out how to make this bread successfully in it. :\  But whipping the egg whites in my kitchenaid with the wire whisk works like a charm and I have many less fallen loaves.WWBB ~ Lifeofjoy.meI made a double recipe of the Peanut Butter Bust-A-Myth Banana Cake (a.k.a. BAM) and baked it in my largest casserole dish, I think it is like 10″x14″ or so. It looked beautiful!!! And about 15-30 minutes later, it deflated. :( But I’m sure it will taste just fine, even if it isn’t the prettiest. AND we’ll have a nice E (energizing, healthy carbs) snack or dessert available.

PJ BAM ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat is only half of it. I’m freezing it because we don’t need it until next week. :)

That was Wednesday’s adventure. Then yesterday I worked on my grocery list for quite a while. I should have started the baking earlier in the cooler part of the day but my head was really wanting to figure out the grocery list.

Michael is working outside in the horrible heat this week and ended up getting a gatorade because the air conditioning in his work van is broken once again. Well, that did not sit well with him, so I set out yesterday bright and early to figure out what I could fix him that would be as good or better than the gatorade . . . Singing Canary for the win. I used Baobab powder for the suggested vitamin C needed.

If you are not familiar with the Singing Canary from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook, it is a jolt of adrenal nourishing rehydration. It is made with a full lemon for a half gallon container. I had not made this drink before so it took me a little longer to get it done than either of us would have liked but in the end, he left with a thermos full of wonderful hydration. :)

In order to make future batches quicker to produce, I set out to prep the remaining dozen lemons. This included  cutting off the outer most layer of the lemon rind and leaving as much of the white pith as possible. Then I proceeded to cut it into quarters and remove the seeds. Painful business when you have some sores on your fingers/hands. But my baby’s worth it. ;)

Cut lemons ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat’s enough for two and a half gallons of singing canary. Now I just need to prep a few batches of all the other ingredients that go in it, to make it really quick and easy. But that’s a job for another day. :)

I’ve rambled enough for today. I’ll pick up here next time because I baked even more things. To say I am sore, is an understatement. :D

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº