Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

Revisiting Show Him You Love Him

As I mentioned the last, I’m revisiting that article I wrote so many years ago for my local homeschool support group newsletter. Today I share part three. Revisiting this article has reminded me about how we spent our evenings for a while and sadly, we have gotten out of that. So, I’m hoping to bring it back. I actually mentioned it last week one day and we both enjoyed sitting on the sofa together as I read and he did his own thing. :)

I hope this will be a blessing to you today.

Show Him You Love HIm ~ LifeOfJoy.meIt is amazing to me how something as simple as leaving the recliner and my laptop and going and sitting on the sofa with Mike at 9pm in the evening can make such a difference in how Mike and I relate to one another. It makes him feel loved and important in my life. OH! How I wish someone had given me these tips when I was younger . . . Huh! I wish someone had given me these tips a year ago, because by now, our marriage would be so much stronger and healthier and happier.

I was astonished to find out that he felt that there was little place in my life for him because I had volunteer work I do; I sang on the worship team, which required a night out each week and early departure for church on Sundays, I have support groups I run online, I have a newsletter that I did, I had the kids to tend to, the house to clean, food to make, and I needed to relax too . . . He felt lost in the cracks and I couldn’t understand this before, they are his kids too, his house and food too . . . It isn’t like I ignored him or his “needs”. I thought I was doing good; I go to bed when he does, get up around the time he does, I make him a hot breakfast before he leaves and pack him a lunch each day, have his clothes washed, try to have things ‘picked up’ when he gets home in the evening, and have dinner ready shortly after he gets home. I don’t spend time in another room in the house in the evenings, we are all in the living room together; we may all be doing something different but we are together and do share what we are doing with each other.

I thought I was sacrificing and doing good . . . But he saw clutter and that one pair of pants that he wanted to wear tomorrow were dirty, and would’ve liked to have had dessert or something different for dinner. He saw me on the computer, neglecting him. Much like I imagine God feels, he just wanted me to pay some attention to him. It is sad that it has taken me this long to get it, but thankfully, I finally did! Now, I hope to help you!
Around the time I got this realization, we were able to spend the weekend together and have a chance to just talk. You see, God had been preparing me. I picked up a book from Mardel’s (a local Christian bookstore) entitled Before the Last Resort: 3 Simple Questions to Rescue Your Marriage, by George Kenworthy. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! The author pastored a church in Minneapolis where he saw God heal about 90% of the marriages of all the couples they counseled. Did you see that? 90%!!! These weren’t just slightly troubled marriages, some of these were severely troubled, like one couple ready to file divorce because one partner was living with another man having an adulterous affair. The stories he shares are astounding, and do precisely what he shares them for, GIVES HOPE !

One of the first things that struck me was the 3 simple questions he asks, questions EVERY Christian should be willing to answer yes to and very easy to do. Then he suggests a “Communication Date” which is very simple as well but I have to tell you, it shook me.
On this ‘date’ you tell your spouse how you felt their love for you this week. Wow! Stop and think about that a minute – Have you shown your love to your spouse in a way that he will recognize??? Or that will make an impression with him??? It was out of this thought that the “sofa time” with my husband has emerged. What will you do this week to ensure that your husband feels your love for him?

At any rate, back to my story, Mike and I were able to just talk, not confront, argue, gripe, or nag about anything. It had been a very busy two weeks of volunteer work and I was afraid to ask him “how he felt my love for him” recently, as was suggested in the book, because I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to pinpoint anything in all our busyness but thankfully he did. It was a good weekend and we were able to connect with each other and then fellowship with several couples around our age from the church we were attending at the time. It was a truly enjoyable weekend.

Finally, in an effort to keep this a G-rated article, I will merely say that I have put effort into “spicing up” our time alone. No one likes to be caught in a rut or feel that they are the initiator all the time. Surprise your man! Do something you haven’t done before! Bring a  smile to his face. Let him know that you still desire him too.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº