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

Educating the Preschooler

Preschool Learning ~ Lifeofjoy.meMuch of the little ones’ time should be spent outdoors and in play. As you do things throughout the day point out the number of things or color of items. Name body parts and objects in the home and outside. All these things build a child’s vocabulary.

To give you ideas of activities you can do with your young child, Before Five In A Row is a great resource. (I was going to include a picture of it but I cannot locate my copy just now. :( )It has a treasury of ideas to draw from in one part of the book. In the other part of the book it shares some quality children’s books and some activity ideas you can do that relate to that book.

Unlike Five in a Row where you read the same story five days in a row doing a different activity with the child each day, Before Five in a Row is not repeated, unless child directed (I know some children that will ask you to read the same book to them over and over again but others do not.) You just pick up one of the books as you desire and do something with your child. Don’t make this schooly! Keep it fun and as impromptu as you can. ;)

Before Five in a Row is a good way to get your feet wet with some activities that springboard from a book. I highly recommend it.

As I was preparing this post I looked up some Charlotte Mason ideas on preschool. I found that habits are a big focus. I’ll post more on that another day but want to mention this free resource for your further information. Smooth and Easy Days is just a little ebook to give you some basic information about habits and will give you some things to think about.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Tangled Notepad

I recently gave a small little notepad to Sean, my middle son. He promptly asked me if I’d tangle on it in white. Of course, not wanting to let him down I consented. ;) The other day I tangled it while I was listening to an audio.

Since there is no Diva Challenge this week AND we had a visitor on Tuesday, I decided that I would just share the notebook cover as my art for the week.

I’m not sure that I’m finished with it. I still want to do a little shading but when you are drawing with white, it is a bit different to shade than with black. I’m considering using color pencils to add some shading because I don’t think marker would work . . . I think it would just bead up and then smear off.

Here it is before any attempt at shading. ;)Tangled notepad ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe dashed border was printed on the cover already. Tangles used are Tipple, Meer, Shattuck, Avreal, and Msst. You can see where I was struggling with my pen some, with Msst.

I appreciate you stopping by. I hope you’ll leave a comment so I know you did.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Low carb Homemade noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Homemade Noodles the THM Way

Low carb, low fat, low calorie homemade noodles. These are made from glucomannan, which is from the konjac root.

There are noodles that you can buy that are good for a low carb lifestyle. Mind you, they smell very fishy but if you rinse them enough and cook them they aren’t bad. One brand is Miracle Noodles. They tend to be a bit rubbery tasting but when used with the right sauces, are wonderful on a low carb way of eating.

Those noodles are made from the konjac root. More precisely they are made from the fiber extracted from the konjac root or elephant yam called glucomannan. In THM circles it is frequently referred to as “gluccie.”

Trim Healthy Mama has their version of these noodles but they are not always in stock. Plus they are not very much like homemade noodles. Enter Judy from Wonderfully Made and Dearly Loved who made a homemade noodle recipe using gluccie and oat fiber. Now, a word about oat fiber: not all are created equal. My first experience with oat fiber was with Anthony’s and the resulting product tasted like playdoh–yuck!!! Then I was told to try Lifesource and since it wasn’t very expensive, I gave it a try. Night and day difference!

Recently I tried the THM version because we order from them monthly and I only bought the oat fiber from Netrition, so the the shipping costs are prohibitive but since we already place an order with THM monthly, it doesn’t really add much more.

When I started making this recipe the other day, I didn’t realize that I was going to blog it, so I missed taking a picture of the first step. I’ll try to remember to take a picture next time I make these noodles and add it to this post then. The family loves these, so I’ll probably me making them again before long.

I make a double batch every time I make them. I tried a triple batch but found out that my food processor cannot handle it. :D

So you process the eggs in the food processor. Then add the dry ingredients and whirl to combine. Then add the broth.

Homemade miracle noodle dough ~ Lifeofjoy.meLet it rest for a few minutes to allow those very thirsty ingredients absorb the liquid.

Noodle dough ~ Lifeofjoy.meI bought the noodle press that Judy recommends so it makes quick work of making the noodles but the first time I made this recipe I rolled it out on parchment paper and used a pizza cutter to cut it into noodles.

Make low carb noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.mePut on the size noodle you want and twist and cut.

Homemade low carb noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meMaking noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen let them sit in the refrigerator for a bit. Then add them to your recipe. This day I pan fried them in butter so they kind of reminded me of gnocci. I have also quickly boiled them in ham or chicken broth but must keep it short in the water.

cooking noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meIn just a few moments they are done. :)

Low carb Noodle dinner ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo, hop on over to Judy’s site and grab the recipe. It’s a keeper in my house. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Are You Bitter?

Bitter Fruit ~ Lifeofjoy.meDid you know that bitterness can be as simple as thinking about an offense often? I never realized that before. It is a subtle sign of bitterness, but bitterness all the same.

Do you think negatively about your spouse? That could be a sign of bitterness against him. For more subtle signs of bitterness, read this short post I found recently.

Bitterness sours a relationship and you do not want your marriage soured. :) Next time a negative thought comes to mind, combat it with good thoughts instead. Pray for your marriage, you, and your spouse. Speak positive things about him. Dwell on good and not bad.

Basically, root out bitterness with love. Change your thoughts. Focus on the good.

I hope you’ll take a minute and read “You May Not Realize You’re Bitter,” as it was enlightening to me AND it offers some constructive steps of action to move beyond it.

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

Cute Educational Game to Make

I saw this pin on pinterest; I seldom go to my feed on pinterest because I get lost for hours and slow my computer way down because of all the tabs I open up. :D But I was there the other day and saw this really cute idea.

It uses simple supplies which include a lightweight box bottom, toilet paper rolls or paper towel tube or even a wrapping paper tube, some glue, a marker or pen or some such item, scissors, and a pom-pom.

It is such an easy crafty idea that even a child could make it (now not a young one but definitely elementary age). You cut the paper tube into pieces, number them, and glue them to the box at varying angles. When it has dried, you use the pom-pom as a ball and roll it through the tubes in a specific order. (Think ball maze.)

You could even make two and have kids race each other or put letters on the tubes and make words or go through the alphabet. So many ways to play with it.

Here’s the link to this cute little DIY game.

I hope you enjoy this idea.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Puf Tile

The diva challenge this week is to do a monotangle of Puf. Although I like the tangle, I did not like the resulting tile I produced but that’s okay. ;)

I drew a simple string that kind of resembled a diagonal letter T. I filled the entire thing.

DC#364 Puf ~ Lifeofjoy.meAt first I shaded along the string line but I didn’t like it so, shhhh–don’t tell, I erased it. ;) Here it is with the revised shading.

DC#364 Shaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt actually looks a little better on the screen than in person. :D

DC#364 Shaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere is a picture with natural lighting instead of a scan, like the others.

Puf ~ Lifeofjoy.meThanks for stopping by!

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Broccoli Slaw ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Broccoli Slaw

Simple to make and saves money. Use in stir-fry or a salad, or make it into a slaw.

Okay, I know I called this Broccoli Slaw and it really isn’t slaw. What it is though is the main ingredient in broccoli slaw made at home from what you would normally throw away.

You know when you have fresh broccoli, you don’t want all that stem?

Broccoli crowns and stems ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell don’t just toss that stem. Cut it to a size that will easily fit in your food processor chute.

Cut broc stems ~ Lifeofjoy.mePut the grater side of your slicing blade up on the food processor and be sure to remove the s-blade from the bottom of the bowl.

grater blade ~ lifeofjoy.mePut the top on and remove the plunger. Put cut broccoli stems in chute and process away.

broccoli stems in chute ~ Lifeofjoy.meTurn it on and plunge it down; refill as needed.

grated broccoli stems ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen grated, if you are not ready to use it, put it in a freezer bag and freeze. If you actually want to make a broccoli slaw (like cole slaw but uses this instead of cabbage), use it right away or refrigerate it, as I don’t think it will be good raw after frozen.

Bagged Broccoli slaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt may be a bit more finely cut than what you purchase in the store, but it works the same. ;) I like to use mine in stir-fry.

This gives you a bit more food from something you already bought–free food, yay!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


I Choose to See Love

I Choose Love ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe other day when Michael was home, I decided to go outside and prune my rosebushes and remove some spent blossoms. I have never pruned my rosebushes and they are not robust in any imagination. ;) (The big green stalks on the left are self-seeded sunflowers.)

Michael and Sean had just brought home a new pair of pruners/trimmers and I wanted to go out and use them. I specifically asked for ones that were spring loaded because my last pair was not and you not only had to push the handles together to cut but you had to pull them apart again, which is quite difficult for a one-handed tool. It was cumbersome; thus I requested a new pair.

Well, I was outside for about 5 minutes or so trying to get the darn things to work, to no avail, when I came back inside to get the directions on the package that I had left inside on the coffee table. As I headed back outside Michael encouraged me not to stay out too long since it was so hot out. I assured him that I would not.

I finally figured out how to work the crazy things and successfully removed some dead stems. Then the crazy weeds grabbed my attentions and I began pulling them out. They are a particularly aggressive type that grows not only grasses sticking up but also runs roots horizontally and just takes over the place. It has overrun my garden on more than one occasion and I’m really trying not to let it happen again this year. Hence I pulled them out before moving on to the new rosebush that they had just planted for Mother’s Day.

While I was pulling weeds, Michael came out and admonished me to come in. You see, in years past I may have pushed myself a tad too much and got a bit overheated and it took me a bit of resting, once inside, to recuperate but this time I’d only been out about an additional 5-10 minutes. I again assured him that I would not be much longer and proceeded on to the rosebush. Since it is a new bush, it didn’t need much pruning. I pulled a few more weeds and headed out to my last rosebush, more like rose stems :D, out in the yard.

Michael came out again, but this time with a glass of water. I was nearly finished so I did not stop what I was doing. We joked around about me being stubborn and I should come get the glass of water. I wanted the water but needed to grab the package directions for the pruners that I’d tossed on the ground since I was finished and ready to go inside.

Now I tell that whole story to show how important perspective is. You see, my first instinct was to be upset at Michael’s insistence that I not stay out too long and that I would overdo it. It felt like him being overprotective or him thinking that I didn’t know not to overdo it. ;) And that feels belittling. BUT I decided to see it for what it really was: Michael loves me and he doesn’t like to see me hurt in any way, so he looks out for me!

He loves me! That perspective is so much better and more realistic actually. He does all that because he cares, not because he doesn’t think that I cannot think for myself. He’s looking out for me, as a good husband does. :)

I am loved! And I choose to think the best. You know what? Thankfully it happens to be the truth. I hope you will choose to think the best of your spouse too. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Could’ve been annoyed and actually fought that feeling the other afternoon when I went outside to prune my poor rosebushes and remove some spent blossoms. I hadn’t been out there but maybe ten minutes when he came out and encouraged me not to overdo it. ;)