Category Archives: Finally Friday

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

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

Flower Update

I thought I’d give a bit of an update on my flowers. :) I especially love flowers that come up without any work from me. :)

Here are my sunflowers. I love that some of them are red and some are a mix.

Bee on Sunflower ~ Lifeofjoy.meSee the bee? I love catching interesting photos like that. :)

Here you can see one of the blossoms blooming and then there is another bud beside it. If you look down a bit lower you can see one that doesn’t have much red in it at all.

Unfurling sunflower and bud ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere you can see how these self-planted (or maybe bird planted) sunflowers really desired to live in spite of their shallow planting.

self-planted sunflowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou can also see how the “grass” is encroaching on the flower bed. We’ve had a bit of rain, which the flowers are enjoying, but my right wrist/hand/arm is challenging me right now and I cannot get rid of the weeds and such. I am afraid I may end up with one of those “natural” looking flower beds again this year and I really don’t want that. So, we’ll see.

As you can see in that last picture, my marigolds are doing well. My lovely vincas are too.

Pink vincas ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe white ones are doing well too. And you can see my ?mini coleus? are doing well too, in spite of the pesky “grass.”

white vincas ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy new rose bush is doing pretty good too.

Yellow Roses ~ Lifeofjoy.meJust look at that flower!

Yellow Rose ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo pretty!

Unfortunately my lilies did not bloom this year. :(

Not Lilies ~ Lifeofjoy.meBut there is something growing next to them, other than the weeds. ;) I’m not sure what it is right now.

Unknown Plant ~ Lifeofjoy.meYes, that is the plant steak there. I just forget what it says. :D And that is Darcy. I’m not sure what he was waiting for.  (hee hee)

Here was a pleasant surprise . . .

Pretty Pink Flower ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m not sure what it is but it is one that we planted last year and reseeded itself! Love that!!!! As you can see, it won’t be a lonesome flower. It has some other stalks coming up too.

Pretty Pink Flower 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I saw a hummingbird at the mimosa tree this week but by the time I got the telephoto lens on, it was gone. But I did catch some butterflies in action. :)

Butterfly & Mimosa ~ Lifeofjoy.meMimosa & Butterfly ~ Lifeofjoy.meButterfly Mimosa ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Well, that’s my flowers. :) I hope you liked the update. If you know what that pretty flower is, let me know in the comments.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

My Grandson (and Son and Daughter-in-Love) Visited

Since Lauren has to work this weekend, they came up last weekend. Sooooooo . . . I got Liam pictures!!!!

Grandson Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was warming up to Shiloh again. (He has to warm up to her ever visit.) He heard the camera click . . .

Cutie Grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meSuch a ham! But such a cute ham!!! (I’m not biased at all! :D )

He likes to play with this window with people. Last month it was Sean. This month Tiffany.

Playing with Nephew ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd once again, he heard the camera click . . .

Daughter, Grandson Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe loves his daddy! He enjoys “playing” video games too. :)

Guys gaming ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, he caught me again. (He’s just so stinking cute sometimes. LOL)

He also loves playing with balls. So we play at some point while he’s here. He’s good at bouncing it to me but not good at catching it yet. ;)

Playing ball with grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe also had fun “drawing” with Aunt Tiffany this visit. It wasn’t very long lived, but it was cute.Concentrated Drawing ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe watched Tiffany very carefully and tried to mimic her motions. It was darling.

I love the look on Lauren’s face, such a momma look!

Proud Momma ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, we had a nice visit! We don’t see them very often, so even though we hadn’t made it to church the last couple of weeks because Tiffany was not feeling well, we stayed home and visited with them. It was nice to has a leisurely breakfast of sausage and baked pancakes. Then we had sandwiches and fruit salad for lunch and ended our visit with some homemade cookie dough ice cream.

Brian and Liam loved the ice cream. It’s a little cheap ice cream maker we got from Aldi a couple of years ago. You keep the bowl in the freezer for 24 hours before using it. It doesn’t get really hard set but it is a nice soft serve consistency. It only makes about one and a half quarts, so Lauren had the last piece of strawberry cake I served the night before. (She loves strawberry and is not a huge fan of ice cream, so it worked out fine.) I can see I’m going to have to get another machine as my family grows. ;)

Well, that’s enough for today. I hope you enjoyed our visit with my family. I sure do miss them since they are a couple hours away but I know I have it good.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Our Trees and Plants

Our Mimosa trees are in bloom! I’m soooo glad. Michael thought they might be dead since they had zero signs of life in May and we usually see something by then (at least that is how we remember it).

Mimosa Blossoms ~ Lifeofjoy.meI just think they are gorgeous! Not only are the blossoms pretty but even the leaves are pretty.

Mimosa leaves ~ Lifeofjoy.me They remind me of a fern.

Ours have gotten quite large now.

Big Mimosa Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen we moved here, it was just a little thing, similar in size to this one. New Mimosa ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a bit bigger though because it has another trunk or two, meaning that it is really a few trees grown together in a clump. ;) But it sure has grown. The one we have by the house has really grown too. We transplanted the one in front of the house from my mom’s house.

The Bradford pear trees we have were this big when Mom and Dad gave them to us shortly after we moved out here.

Bradford Pear Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is the same tree today.

13yo Bradford Pear Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s a bit bigger. :)

This is my rose “bush.”

Rose Twigs ~ Lifeofjoy.meMaybe you can’t see it very good. Here’s a close-up.

roses ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, it kind of looks like I stuck a long stemmed rose in the ground out there. But this was a “bush” I planted a few years ago. Clearly I need some help with it. It is a lovely rose though. ;) See.

Rose ~ Lifeofjoy.me

See this sunflower patch on the left. These self-seeded (or he birds did it).

Sunflower patch ~ Lifeofjoy.meLook what a few of them are doing.

horizontal sunflowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, a few of them are growing along the ground and then popping up a flower.

Odd but Pretty Sunflower ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat one growing beside it is about to bloom too. :D

I’ve been trying to keep on top of the weeds to keep them from overtaking the garden but I’m not doing a very good job at it. I was out pulling weeds for about 40 minutes the other day. I pulled so many weeds, my fingers got stained. This is my fingers after washing them a couple times.

Stained fingers ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere’s a closeup of the other hand.

finger stain ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt finally faded and came clean but it took a while. I’ll probably have to get out there and do some more come Monday (this weekend Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming, so I probably won’t do it until Monday) because it rained a lot yesterday and that will probably make them grow more.

My oregano has flowered. I don’t know what that means exactly.

Oregano flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meI guess I need to harvest some and dry some. Now to research what to do exactly. ;) Always learning. :)

Well, I’ve rambled enough for today. I enjoyed seeing the growth of our plants/trees. I hope you did. And if you have any suggestions for my poor rose “bushes,” please share it with me in the comments.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Social Media, Birthday, and Cuteness

social media ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have recently, within the last two weeks, jumped into the world of social media. I’m not very good at it just yet and posts are a bit sparse but I am there and learning the ropes.

I’ll be getting the buttons up on the blog shortly; I’ve run into some technical issues so they aren’t there yet. But I’m a challenge wherever I go, so why should this be any different. :))

At any rate, you can find me here on Facebook, here on Instagram, and here on Twitter. I figure that is enough to start with, since I keep forgetting I’ve got them and should do something with them. ;)

Twitter is where I intend to give a quick line about the day’s post. Instagram I intend to share tidbits, bonus stuff, so to speak. And Facebook, well the plan at the moment is to have a Weekend Wrangle where I list what was on the blog for the week. I’m not sure how it will evolve over the coming weeks and months but this is the current plan. ;)


This young lady had a birthday this week!

Tiff and Me ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe had her lifelong friend here, which made it special. Seriously, they’ve known each other all of Tiffany’s life; we even lived next door to each other for the first eight years.

Tiff Bday ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe got a Switch game for her birthday instead of a game for her 3DS. (There’s usually a game. We don’t seem to outgrow those. :) )

I fixed her a Tiramisu Trifle Cake. I could have sworn I asked someone to take some pictures but I cannot find them right now. I hope I can later because she really liked it.

I do not like coffee at all. Yes, not at all! So I made an alternative version for me with a cinnamon cake in place of the crazy frappuccino one and soaked it with almond milk instead of coffee and it turned out delicious. :) I did take one bite of the one soaked in coffee and wished I hadn’t! So if you don’t like coffee, don’t make that cake. Seriously.

Unfortunately Tiffany got a mysterious, poison ivy-looking rash on her arm, neck and other various little spots around her body that have given her quite the frustration of late. She made the most of her birthday in spite of how she felt. Thankfully it is clearing up now.


Well I promised some “cuteness,” so here is Mr. Cutie himself. ;)

Cutie Grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meThanks to Lauren, my daughter-in-love, for sending me these pictures. Here’s one of my grandson and my oldest son Brian. :) LOVE!

Son and Grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen these two were being way too cute not to capture. I know I will be very glad for these pictures one day in the not-too-distant future.

Goofiness ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was begging her to make some dessert. :)

At the clothes swap the other week, these two youngins’ were having fun trying on some clothes. :)

Clothes Swap Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo cute! It was fun and nice to fellowship with some people from church outside of church. You can read more about the swap here on last week’s Finally Friday post.

Well, that’s enough for today. I’ll be making some changes to the site as we approach my fourth bloggiversary on August 1st, starting with those social media buttons. ;) I hope you’ll like the changes.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Geese, Goslings, and New Clothes

Lamps ~ Lifeofjoy.meA few weeks ago Tiffany and I did some extra shopping on errand day. Mother’s Day was approaching and my mom had found some things she liked at Burlington. These lamps are one of the things she liked.

I walked around looking for this and one other elusive item while Tiffany took a gander at the shoes. We both had a some spending money with us because we were both in need of some things. She needed shoes and I needed shorts and pants. I’ve lost enough weight/inches that my bottoms have been way too baggy and loose fitting.

I found the items on Mom’s wish list and caught up with Tiffany who found two pairs of dress heels, a pair of boots, and two pairs of sandals (I think it was). Then we went to look for the shorts and pants for me. I was able to get some clothes 3 and 4 sizes smaller!!! Wow! I was thrilled.

New Clothes ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe prices were soooo good. I got some shorts for $5 each and three pairs of comfy light-weight pants for about $8 and less. I got two pairs of jean short and a pair of jean capris. Then when we got to Walmart I got a couple tops on clearance too.

After we finally got out of Burlington we were starving, so we headed to Wendy’s. We saw this gaggle of geese and goslings in the parking lot.

Gaggle of Geese ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere were around a dozen all together. It reminds me of Make Way for Ducklings but of course that was with ducks. ;)

While we were eating we saw them headed off across the parking lot, stopping at the water puddles along the way.

Geese in Parking lot ~ Lifeofjoy.meGeese Drinking in Puddle ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was an interesting sight. Of course, we were a bit hesitant to get out of the car with them so close to where we parked, as we’ve heard stories of aggressive geese. :D


Last weekend we were invited to a Clothes Swap. This is an interesting gathering. You see, each attendee brings five items to donate. Then everyone gets a number. When your number is drawn, you get to “shop” and select up to three items. Rooms are available in which to try on clothing, with mirrors to see how it looks on you.

When you’ve decided on which items you want, another number is drawn and they get to shop. Our swap had all kinds of things. Of course it had the dresses, shirts, pants, and such you would expect but it also had shoes, jewelry, belts, purses, and even some sheets. :D

Clothes Swap ~ Lifeofjoy.meOur hostesses had food for us to enjoy while we awaited our turn to shop. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of that but it was good eats! We had fruit, chocolate fondue, cookies, chips and queso, meatballs, and little open faced sandwiches. (I took along a Joseph’s pita and some “legal” bread and subbed it out for the other bread and chips, so I was able to stay on plan. Although I may have inadvertently had a light crossover because of the yummy watermelon and all the lovely “s” foods. ;) But that is okay!

I have a pretty hard time finding clothes to fit me when I have an entire department store, so I didn’t expect to come home with any clothes. I did end up with one shirt that I will wear at home but it’s too tight around my tummy, so I won’t wear it out yet. ;)

I did find a pair of earrings and a nice ring though. I also brought home the sheets. I was going to have to buy another set because one of my fitted sheets ripped but now I don’t have to. :)

Tiffany on the other hand, made out like a bandit! Some of the ladies would find a piece of clothing and tell Tiffany she should try it on. There were lots of things she wouldn’t have tried and some that she would have said didn’t work but they talked her through accessorizing and how to wear them. She later said she felt like a Barbie doll being dressed up. :)

Clothes Swap ~ Lifeofjoy.me

It was a good time. In the end, any of the items remaining were donated to a woman’s shelter.

Well, that’s it for this time. I hope you have a good Memorial Day weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Mother’s Day Flowers and Liam’s Here

Wow! It has really been a busy week around here, as I guess it probably has been a lot of places. With Mother’s Day being last weekend and the beginning of May birthday celebrations for our family, Brian (my oldest son), Lauren (his wife), and Liam (my one and only grandchild at the moment) came and stayed Friday night and Saturday night as well.

Liam in carseat ~ Lifeofjoy.meLauren is sweet and sent me this photo en route to our house. They were hung up in bad traffic. Little Dude was coping the best he could. ;)

He liked crawling up into Grandpa’s chair.

He is really jabbering away these days. Not many words but lots of talking!

Toddler Jabbers ~ LIfeofjoy.meSean and Michael bought me flowers for Mother’s Day! :) I love flowers. They make me happy . . . I really like the kind that stay alive and keep blooming, although there are times for cut flowers inside too. At any rate, the kids cleaned out my flower bed and planted them for me. This is the before shot. I did pull out some weeds before the weekend.Flower bed before ~ Lifeofjoy.me Liam helped Tiffany get the flowers out of the car.Big Helper ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam helps with flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meEverybody worked hard weeding and planting! Nobody looks their best when working but it is oh, so appreciated.

Mother's Day Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs usual, they did not get near enough mulch, but we’ll get more as we can. Truth be told, I prefer to have more flowers over mulch. :D

After Planting ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere’s a closeup of the flowers. The flamingo was Michael’s idea last year.

Third part of flower bed ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany excavated the border bricks . . . they were completely covered and no where in sight.Flower bed Closeup 1 ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt looks like the birds managed to drop some of the sunflower seeds and they came up.Flower Bed Closeup 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Grandson helped rake ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd plant.

Grandson helped plant flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Me and Liam outside.

Grandma and LIam ~ Lifeofjoy.meLauren

Lauren ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Kitten break. This is the youngest of the kittens at only about 3 weeks old now.

Kitten and grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.me

One last view of the finished flower bed.

My flower bed ~ lifeofjoy.meThe kids got it done before it got hot and we had the rest of the day to enjoy.

After a shower, he was ready for lunch and then a nap. ;) And he was still jabbering. It will be interesting once he actually starts putting words together. :)

Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.me


Michael went and bought some chickens while they were doing the flowers. He got back as they were finishing up. Liam decided he wanted to ride in the truck with Papa.

In the truck ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was supposed to get 4 or 5 and he came home with eight . . . Yes eight! Ugh! Oh well.

8 hens ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiff says she thinks they are in the “ugly teenager” stage. We’ve been getting one egg most days, so at least one of them is producing. They also seem a bit distrustful of humans, so she’s singing to them to try to get them to warm up to her. There are a couple that don’t seem to want to go outside but she shoos them out anyway. They’ll adjust eventually.

You can clearly tell the difference between the two eggs. The one on the left is from our hens and the one on the right is from the grocery store. (I did nothing to this photo.)

Tell the difference in eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.me


Liam loves his Poppa!!!!

Poppa and Liam with book ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe grabbed a quick family picture at my mom’s house on Sunday.Mother's Day Family Pic ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany made a wonderful Italian Cream Cake from AllDayIDreamAboutFood.

Tiff making cake ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Italian Cream Cake ~ Lifeofjoy.meI liked it but would like it better without the coconut but my family disagrees. ;)

Well, I think that is enough for this week; I need to run. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Plants, Birthdays, and Mom

Well, I planted the Calla Lily my sister and her family gave Michael and I for Easter! I’m sooo excited because it is supposed to be a hardy perennial for my area! Yay!!!

Lilies ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know it doesn’t look all that great but I’m sure it will do just fine. Those short green stems/leaves coming up are lilies that I got for Mother’s Day a few years ago. :) It’ll be nice when they bloom.

I love how things progress around here. I have my Bradford Pear Trees and Daffodils (Narcissus) begin the beauty. Then the irises and sweet williams and whatever these beauties are called. ;)

Spring Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meI really love the purple/magenta colored flowers but I’m noticing that I need to get some other perennial colors too. I do have white and brown mums that will be blooming shortly; they are currently a mass of green.

This ugly flower bed will be looking much nicer next week because for Mother’s Day I get flowers AND labor (of planting the flowers and weeding the flower bed). :) It has been several years now and I just love it! I get to have some really pretty blooms for a long time.

Tiffany thinks we have some sunflowers coming up all by themselves. I hope so.Sunflowers? ~ Lifeofjoy.me We had my parents over for dinner on night last week; we hadn’t seen them since Easter. I made a ham with some creamed garlicy cauliflower and a side salad. Unfortunately I overheated the ham and forgot about regular salad dressing for the salad, as we generally just use olive oil and seasonings. I did make a delicious brownie with a praline topping. To all of our surprise, my parents even liked it and they don’t generally like my desserts because they are sweetened with xylitol, erythritol, and stevia. My cauliflower was very creamy but still tasted like cauliflower and my parents do not prefer that. :( I’ll do better next time though. ;)

Mom brought me some of her yellow irises and some of her purple irises! I finally got them planted.

Purple Iris Bud ~ Lifeofjoy.me I had a birthday last week too. Tiffany worked hard doing for me what I do for all of them on their birthdays.

Birthday Meal Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.me

She made delicious chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.

Birthday Chocolate Chip Pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meYes, there are pancakes beneath all the chocolate sauce and whipped cream. :) Yummo! Before Trim Healthy Mama I was never one for chocolate or even chocolate chip pancakes, but now they are one of my favorites! I love that I still get to have so many delicious pancakes and waffles–if I couldn’t, this lifestyle of eating would not be sustainable.

We have baked blueberry pancakes, banana pancakes, baked pecan pancakes, waffles, and chocolate chip pancakes. We also have a few others that we throw in from time to time, like the strawberry ones we had a few weeks ago.

E pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meFor lunch she made some yummy Philly Cheese Steak open face sandwiches (I’d made the Wonderful White Blender Bread) and green “fries”.

Birthday Lunch ~ Lifeofjoy.meRecipe will be coming on a future Tuesday for that deliciousness. :)

We had our dessert in the afternoon because I really am still trying to lose weight and it is best to have the heavier snack earlier in the day. So she made me a cream filled chocolate bundt cake with chocolate drizzle.

Mostess Cake ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe had quite a bit of cream left and piped it all over the cake but in the future we will put more of it inside (about every inch or so). It was yummy!

For dinner we had Meatloaf Skillet with roasted veggies. I adore roasted veggies and they were different than the green “fries” we’d had with lunch.

Birthday dinner ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, I’ve rambled on enough for one day. I do have some pictures to share from when Tiffany and I went into town last week with a cute story but I’ll save it for another time.

Mother’s Day is this weekend in the United States of America, so that means Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming!!!! Whoo hoo!!!! So there will most likely be Liam pictures next week. We’re celebrating our beginning of May birthdays Sunday as well. So, we’ll celebrate my birthday, my niece Macie’s double digit birthday, and my father’s birthday too. Oh but don’t be fooled, that isn’t all the birthdays we have this month though. ;) Tiffany’s is at the end of the month and my mother’s is the beginning of June. It’s crazy how quickly it all rolls by.

Here is a picture of our crazy family, well the Oklahoma part of it (my middle sister and her kids, which includes Sarah,  and grand kids live in Missouri and seldom make it back).

Family Pic ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m so thankful for my momma! My dad was gone a lot when I was little and my mom still got us to church every service and managed with him gone . . . I don’t know how she did it. She taught herself to play the organ, played in church most of her life, and taught me to sing–no literally, I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket but she worked and worked with me until I could, I’m forever grateful. She was my best friend for many many years! She comforted me when I was heart broken and encouraged me to be all that I could be. So much of what I am today is thanks to her.

I remember a few years after Michael and I were married we had several trips to the emergency room. I’d called her because I was scared and wanted her to pray and even though it was the late at night at least on one occasion, she got up, got dressed, and met us there just to sit with me in the waiting room. Any time any of us need her, she is right there. I tried not to call on her too often, after all I was a grown-up. ;) But to this day I know if I need her, even in her 70’s, she’ll still come as quickly as she can.

I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful mom. I hope you won’t let the weekend go by without showering your mom with some love (if you are blessed as I am and still have her with you on this earth).

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº