Category Archives: Uncategorized

Enjoy Reading

If you want your children to enjoy reading there are a few things you can to do encourage this.

  • read books to them often
  • read books yourself
  • talk about the books your reading
  • be excited about the stories
  • OH! Read fun and interesting books, not boring ones :)

Many times children like to occupy themselves in a manner similar to how their parents do. If you spend time on your phone, watching television, or on a computer, odds are your child will also. But if you use spend your leisure time reading books or doing something with your hands (crafts/hobbies), your children will probably want to engage in the same kinds of activities.

I just realized that RAR talked about this recently. I believe you can read or listen to it here.

Books are a part of learning but should also be a part of leisure activities because they help the brain. :) If you are not reading some fiction for leisure, I recommend you start, even if only a little. Do check out the linked article about fiction and the brain; I found it quite interesting. :)

For the younger ones, here are links to the Read Aloud Revival picture book suggestions for September and October.

So, what have you been reading lately? My daughter and I just finished The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry and will be looking for the sequels at the library on our next visit. We’ll also be putting up a video on our Joyous Jabbers youtube channel where we talked about the book as we read it and then our thoughts afterwards. (It’s still in the making right now, so I can’t link it yet. ;) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Dewd Tile

This week’s tile is once again following the prompt from Today’s Tangles: Keeping it Classic #TTKICPROMPT092319. I started my tile while at my sister’s house giving her dogs some people time. ;)

The string was simple enough; basically a tile divided into 4 sections with a + and then c shapes drawn in each corner. I didn’t take a picture of it because I forgot that I had a camera with me because of my phone at that point. :p

Although Dewd and I have not become friends yet, I decided to give him a try. ;) Of course, I considered Knightsbridge in the c sections but decided to wait until I’d finished with Dewd to see if I wanted to do that–I was concerned that it would be too busy.

Here it is before shading (a picture from my phone).

I decided to put some graphite on the c shapes in the corners and see if I wanted to add Knightsbridge from there. At this point, I decided it would probably be too busy if I added Knightsbridge and just opted for some more shading. I’m not pleased with the highlights on Dewd; it looks like eyeballs.

Here is my finished tile. Just keeping it simple. :)Thanks for stopping by. In case you are new here, the form of drawing I use is called Zentangle. You can find the easy step by step instructions for each tangle online. A simple google search for the tangle name along with the word tangle will usually yield the directions. I also consult tanglepatterns.com and pattern-collections.com.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Cute Ideas for Littles

Kids Play Tricks on Instagram had some really good ideas last week for things even babies can do.

One thing she shared last week was to wrap some colorful (or not) rubber bands around a loaf pan and then let the child play with it. Other than just something for the child to grab and learn some fine motor skills, it also makes sounds.

She has oodles of other ideas for little ones of all ages. I thought they were quite interesting. Oh, and they don’t take a lot of prep. ;) So I’ll keep this short and let you spend some time on Kids Play Tricks looking around.

I hope this helps you engage your little one.

Michele ºÜº

 

Baked Pancake Variation

So, I love the THM Giant Baked Blueberry Pancake from page 261 of the Trim Healthy Cookbook but unfortunately my daughter gets a headache if she eats them. :(

Recently I realized that I didn’t have to put the blueberries in it and we could just add fruit on individual servings. It worked like a charm and we actually all loved them. Michael and I had some cherries on ours. It was delicious.

We serve it with a little Sukrin Melis and sugar free pancake syrup on hand. I think it would be really good with peaches too. Hmmm, it kind of resembles some cobblers (yeah, the cakey kind, not the syrupy kind ;) ).

These pancakes are made with egg whites, low fat cottage cheese, and oats that you grind in your blender or a coffee grinder. Yeah, I broke down and bought the kind in a carton for this meal since our eggs had gone way up per dozen anyway. ;)

Do you modify recipes too?

Michele ºÜº

More Marriage Thoughts from a Book

Michael is opposed to long distance relationships. There have been very few times when we have been away from each other for more than a night or two (and even those have been pretty sparse) in our nearly 32 years of marriage. But in reading Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson recently, I realized that if you are stuck with a long distance relationship, now is a pretty good era to do so.

With Facetime, Google Duo, Skype, and the various social media platforms, you can really stay in touch much more easily than in past eras. In the book, they have a video chat on as they spend the evening together. It reminds me so much of how we spend our evenings. We are all in the same room together and we may have some video playing on the television but we are all doing our own thing, multitasking, if you will. Sometimes I knit or crochet while watching the show. Sometimes I do some art or play a game on my laptop. Other times Tiffany and I want to read books, so we don’t have anything playing on the tv.

The point is, it is important to spend time together in the same room. If doing that over a video chat you are getting a peek into the other person’s life. It can be vulnerable to open yourself up that way. People tend to be private individuals and sequester themselves in their own spaces/rooms. But spending time together in the same room and able to share something that sparks your interest or makes you laugh is relationship building.

I don’t really know what point I’m trying to make other than, if there is a will, there is a way to build your relationship, even if you are long distance. And if you are already married, I hope you are taking advantage of just being together, even if you are doing your own thing. Yes, there are times when it is good to get alone but when you are married, in my opinion, those times should be few. But even then, I guess it is vital to know what you need as both an individual and a couple and be sure to make those needs known (upfront if possible). But remember this too, needs change as we grow, mature, and situations change. Make sure that you keep the lines of communication open both to what you desire and what your spouse desires. And by all means, pray about the things you think you need and the things your spouse says they need/desire. Ask Him to help you to communicate well with your spouse and change each where change is needed. ;)

Well, that is enough rambling for today. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Summer Math Skills

Reading isn’t the only thing that needs to be kept up through the summer, although you might think it is by the posts I make about it. But math skills need to be kept sharp as well. This does not need to be a drudgery. Not at all. It can be quite fun and help encourage family togetherness, if you choose to do this together. ;)

A simple deck of cards is all you need to have to work on those math skills. You could probably even use Uno cards. :) Cards can be purchased, sometimes, two decks for $1 at Dollar Tree and generally a dollar a deck there otherwise. Generally, you can get a deck or two for under $5.

For the youngest set, they can merely sort the standard deck either into colors or shapes or numbers and letters. Slightly older children can add sequencing to their activities with the cards.

Those that can add, there are a lot of options. Many of those options can be adjusted for those that can multiply.

Here are some links with some wonderful ideas to keep math skills sharp throughout the summer without having to resort to worksheets. ;)

I encourage you to work on those math skills this summer, the fun way.

Michele ºÜº

Memorial Day and Thinking Marriage

It’s Memorial Day here in the USA and is supposed to be a time of remembering those who have died while serving in the military. Unfortunately way too many Americans don’t remember that and it is only a day off from work, a three-day weekend.

The Poppy became the flower of remembrance in the United States back with WWI according to History.com from a poem, In Flanders Field, written by a brigade surgeon. The article is a short read about how the poem came to be and how two women in two different countries chose the poppy to remember the fallen soldiers.

When we get married, there are some things we have to give up. But the benefit of having a life partner is worth the trade-off. It’s important to remember that we are trying to build a stronger “us” and not striving to get our own way. Thinking “what is better for our marriage” may be a better thought process than “what I want.”

Now I realize this is coming on the heels of saying that sometimes I have to just do something that refreshes me. This is true but not at the expense of “us.” It’s a big balancing game. ;) But with God’s help, we can learn to find that right balance.

I hope these thoughts encourage you today,

Michele ºÜº

Summer Goals

Summer is nearly upon us according to the calendar but according to the weather and school calendars, summer is here in many places. :) Summer brings schedule changes to many homes. I’ve never understood why churches have their vacation Bible school weeks so soon after school is out as that is the last thing I wanted to do as a kid when school let out.

I always enjoyed the lazy days of summer. Don’t get me wrong, we had a couple of chores we had to do first but then it was outside to play and ride my bike. I also enjoyed reading books during the summer that I didn’t seem to have time for during the school year.

As a homeschool mom, living in Oklahoma where the summers get HOT!!!, we kept cool indoors playing video games, if I’m honest. However, before they could do that, they always had to do something educational. I had them play with the GeoSafari, for which I provided educational cards.

I also required them all to participate in the library summer reading program. Of course the boys would put it off until the last week but I’d make them do it regardless. ;)

All this to say, I think it is important to have some plans for the summer. I urge you to begin thinking and praying about what you and your children should do this summer. (I’ll post some fun ideas next week.) Of course the first week off of regular educational studies is good to be a bit freer and flexible but inevitably there will come a time, in the not too distant future, that your child will be bored or you will feel that they are lazing around too much and in need of a bit more structure. That is when it is good to have a plan.

Here are a few things to think about:

  • a weekly activity, like hiking, swimming, or play date
  • required time outside
  • hobbies (maybe even finding a new one)
  • reading
  • summer movies (many theaters have a free one each week)
  • something touristy in your area

I hope this helps you and your kids have a productive summer. I’ll share some links in the next weeks to help with some these ideas.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Simple shrimp salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Salad with Shrimp

I’m going to share some salads that I’ve been having lately and ENJOYING. That is a vital point. :) It also helps that they have very few ingredients and are super simple to make.

Shrimp in Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI started by heating the frozen shrimp, seasoning them with a bit of onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. If I were smart and on top of things, I’d marinade the shrimp in some soy sauce or coconut aminos before cooking them but I’m not so I add it when cooking. :)

While that is cooking, I take a half piece of sprouted bread and put it into the toaster and proceed to rip several pieces of lettuce up into bite-sized pieces and putting them into the serving bowl.

Shrimp and bread are done. So add the shrimp and either cut or rip the toast for “croutons.”

"croutons in salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s amazing how much that little half piece of toast adds to this salad.

To this I add a bit of the low fat low carb thousand island dressing :) and Enjoy! It really is quite good and very low calorie. ;)

Salad with Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 3-4 ounces of shrimp
  • 3-4 large leaves of lettuce, torn
  • 1/2 piece of sprouted bread, toasted, cubed

Instructions

  1. Season shrimp as desired. I used onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and a bit of coconut aminos.
  2. Combine all and enjoy.
http://lifeofjoy.me/salad-with-shrimp/

Well this is a quick and easy. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Michele ºÜº