One Moment a Day

Moments ~ Lifeofjoy.meI encourage you to take a moment each day to give your hubby your undivided attention. I know with young children about and the holidays upon us that it can be difficult to even get a moment to breathe but taking a moment each day to connect with your love will help keep your marriage strong.

It doesn’t have to be much, a smile and a wink, as you pass him the salt at the dinner table. A longer than usual kiss at some point in the day be it before he leaves for work, when he returns, or before going to sleep. Maybe even just a quick text letting him know that even in the hustle and bustle of the season, he warms your heart.

Just a moment ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve been the recipient of Michael hovering an extra moment when he brings me a cup of tea and a longer glance and a smile when I catch his eye across the room and these warm my heart and bring a smile to my face. So I am taking a cue from him and intentionally taking a moment to let him know, I love him, I choose him, and I’m glad we are doing this life together. :)

I hope you will slow down and take just a moment each day to make that connection with your love this season, and hopefully it will become a habit that we carry throughout the new year. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

My Thanksgiving and Days to Come

Thanksgiving ~ Lifeofjoy.meI hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did. My middle sister came into town from Missouri, whom we haven’t seen in about a year and a half. It was good to see her. She’s staying with my parents for a few weeks as my father has major surgery on Monday and will be in ICU for at least three days so that they can keep a close eye on him after the 5-7 hour surgery. Sondra will be staying with Mom and Dad to help out for a couple weeks afterwards too. It will be good for all of them.

I’m making a Minion blanket for my grandson, so I should make some good progress on it while at the hospital on Monday. :) Who knows, I may even get it completely finished in one day. ;) I’ll take some other stuff with me in case I get tired of crocheting.

Quiplash 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe played Quiplash 2 yesterday and the night before. It was a lot of fun being able to play a game with the entire family of 14 people ranging in ages from 10 to 77. And each person could play at their own comfort level. My dad preferred to just be in the audience the whole time but even audience members get to vote on their favorite response. I think there was a maximum of eight people that could answer questions. It was fun. We played a couple of other games but I didn’t like them as much.

My sister and her husband really work hard to keep the holiday as special as it has always been and my mother is ecstatic that they host it at their house and she can go through the holiday pain-free. It had gotten to be too hard on her body to get her house and food ready for the family togetherness. I’m glad she is enjoying the holidays better and without pain. I’m also thankful that my brother-in-law is such a willing host and good cook. He definitely knows his way around the kitchen. :)

I made the spelt roll dough and froze it earlier this week. Then I was able to bake them fresh at dinner time yesterday. Oh my gracious, they were delicious. They made my meal into an “S Helper” THM meal to my surprise. I’d gone into the holiday expecting to have a crossover and was pleasantly surprised that the added carbs were low enough to keep it in the low carb range of the s helper meal. :) In full disclosure, and so you don’t think I’m wonder woman or anything, I did eat about 3 bites the full sugar sweet potatoes. :D So that probably put me into crossover territory but I don’t care . . . I took a healthy dose of “vitamin P” for pleasure and ate without guilt.

I’m glad for a nice leisurely day to spend at home with family. Well, aside from making pancakes for 7 with sausage and thick cut bacon and making our huge turkey for dinner tonight because I love turkey leftovers. ;) I’m also making a fudge pecan pie, so I guess it isn’t really a leisurely day but it will be a good one. I think I may spend some time making my bujo look a bit prettier; I haven’t done it in a while, so I have a few pages to do.

I got another Christmas gift in, so I’ll be wrapping that up and getting it under the tree. I’ll let you know, but I really think staying on top of the gift wrapping is going to make this month go a lot smoother and be more enjoyable.

Well, I’m going to run. I hope you have a great day and have made some good memories.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

It’s Time for Cinnamon Bear Again :)

Thanksgiving ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m spending the day with my family over at my little sister and her family’s home which is only a few minutes from my home. Brian, Lauren, and Liam came last night and will be spending the night again tonight.

I love Thanksgiving!!! We have so much fun, although it is a lot of work getting ready. But hey, I now have a head start on everything for Christmas. :) I just love this time of year.

Cinnamon Bear ~ Lifeofjoy.meSpeaking of Christmas, have you heard of Cinnamon Bear? It was an old radio show with 26 episodes that aired in ’30’s, ’40’s, and ’50’s. It aired 6 nights a week beginning Thanksgiving night and went until Christmas.

It is an adventure of Paddy O’Cinnamon. Here is a synopsis if you want to know more details. On this webpage you will find all 26 of the audios. Finally, they are also available on this page, and if you go down to Now Try Download Land, you can download the original coloring book (mind you they are very childish drawings) that your kids can color while listening or later for fun.

The episodes are very short so you should be able to find a few minutes, even during the busy days of December, to listen to an episode. If you do happen to get behind, they are short enough that you can easily catch up again. But we have some extra days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, so you have a little wiggle room. So maybe my sister Tracie and her girls will finally make it through all 26 episodes this year. ;)

One word of caution though, this does have Santa Claus in it. I sure wish I could find the old You Were There Nativity series. I listened to it once a LONG time ago on the radio and have never heard it since. Well, that’s a topic for another time. For now, go download the audios and make some memories with your kids. :)

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Duotangle: Fengle and Poke Root

Today’s diva challenge is to use Fengle and Poke Root, neither of which I use very often. I even had to look at the stepout for fengle. ;)

I don’t like to copy what Laura does and try to do something different. Well, this time it didn’t work out so well. :D

I did a whole lot of baking today, prepping for Thanksgiving. I used to only have desserts and a breakfast cake to bake. Well, now with us on THM, I still make desserts but I also need to put together anything else we want. This year I’m making dressing and rolls. Then I started the Pumpkin Roll and my daughter started the Pecan Pie. :) But I’m getting sidetracked. All that to say, it’s been a busy day.

So here is my tile before any shading.

DC#377 Fengle Pokeroot ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis one was a lot better in theory than carried out. ;)

Here it is shaded.

shaded DC#377 ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt usually looks so much better smaller. ;)

shaded DC#377 ~

I got a little carried away with the big one and went less and less on each one. They either remind me of hot air balloons or some etched lollipops. :D I originally meant to smudge that border line a bit but completely forgot about it while I was shading. Maybe you could just imagine it smudged, huh? :D I’m too tired to work on it any more and then take another scan. AND I’m even too tired to get the camera out and take any pictures. Of course it wouldn’t be in natural light anyway, since the sun went down long ago. :D

Well, I hope you in the USA have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, full of family, friends, and making wonderful memories.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Menu Plan for Leftover Turkey

Roasted Turkey ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe will go to my sister’s home to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family this Thursday. I love Thanksgiving leftovers but since I don’t make the dinner, I don’t have leftovers. Hence, I buy a turkey and bake it the day after Thanksgiving. :) And I buy a large one, because remember, I said I love leftovers. :)

So this year I was thrilled to get my turkey for 87¢ a pound. That’s a great price for Oklahoma but I saw a friend of mine in Virginia got one for 27¢ a pound! Wow!!! Oh well, I’m still thrilled with my deal.

I thought I’d share my menu plan for using some of those plannedovers. :)

Of course it starts by cooking the bird and having it as the main course with lots of side dishes so that there is lots and lots of turkey leftover. After dinner, I will remove all of the meat off the carcass and bag in portions for the remaining meals and any remainder for sandwiches, as desired. (Hubby loves fresh turkey sandwiches.)

One night I will make Turkey Noodle Casserole, where I just substitute turkey in for the tune of Tuna Noodle Casserole. (Of course, I’m using a THM version and it will be an E meal, as we will use some quinoa and brown rice pasta from Aldi or some red lentil pasta.)

Another night we will have another E meal (that’s one low in fat with some moderate healthy carbs) of the sliced turkey breast, sweet potatoes, rolls, and we’ll probably add in a salad.

Then we’l have a healthy fats meal of Creamed Turkey, fried green beans, and some caulitaters. There may be some kind of “noodles” thrown in for good measure. ;)

We will have turkey sandwiches for lunch after church Sunday and round out our menu with Turkey Soup complete with daikon radish, carrots, and some kind of “noodle”.

We’ll round out our week with this nice Italian Style Hamburger Helper with either some roasted green beans or roasted okra and a salad.

So there you have my after Thanksgiving menu. Of course, you’d need to add one more meal in there if you actually have your main turkey meal on Thanksgiving. One of the things I have done in the past was to make turkey nachos but that would take some thinking to keep it from being a crossover because the way I used to make it was with tortilla chips (or nacho flavored ones), turkey, refried beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomato. If breast is used, you could use baked Tostitos chips, and go very light on the cheese, all the rest would work. If I wanted to make it a healthy fats (S) meal, I’d use the dark meat too, skip the beans and I’d have to use pork rinds or Joseph’s Lavash or Pita cut pre-crisped into chips. With this version I could add some avocado.

Well, that’s it, our turkey menu. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Marriage Roles and Seasons

Hubby Approved Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.meMarriage goes through seasons. When you first get married, of course, there is the honeymoon season but it is also filled with two individuals coming together in one home and creating a life together.

There are many things that are ironed out during that time. For Michael and I, coming home from work together, when we were both tired and neither one wanted to cook, needed a solution. Michael’s answer was, “we can have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” Yes, that was his answer for every night. I did not even like pb & j sandwiches, so that did not work at all for me. But I like food too much and dinner is my favorite meal, so again, that was not going to work for me.

My immediate answer was to have easy things like boxed macaroni and cheese or ramen, both of which I loved and were inexpensive but that too got old rather quickly. I remember making the decision clearly . . . “I’ll make dinner when we get home BUT I’m not cleaning up alone.” Paper plates saved our marriage. :(

We came to terms with how we would handle the cleaning and laundry and lawn care and such. But it takes time and sometimes it takes compromise but it definitely takes learning when to give and when to take.

Then comes children and that is a completely different season of life and requires a renegotiation of tasks and responsibilities. Expecting that each person is going to be able to continue everything they did before is unrealistic on all parties involved.

The season with children is a lovely season of life but it also has seasons. :) When there is a newborn in the house, sleep is generally interrupted and things get a little off kilter. By the time you get back into a good rhythm, odds are that, you will have another child and mess it all up again. :D

As they grow, there are several more seasons to grow and change through . . . the season of early bed times, extra curricular activities, entertainment, sports, and such . . . all bring a readjustment to how things are done and who does them. Children begin to take on chores and help around the house, relieving some responsibilities from the parents, especially as they grow (the early stages of teaching children to do chores well, is not usually time saving but pays off in the end).

Then you go into the season of adult children, empty nest, and “retirement” and once again roles and responsibilities may change. Health is another factor that can contribute to the roles each spouse plays in the marriage.

We had the honor of being in the home of a lovely retired couple for dinner yesterday. The man enjoys cooking and thus, at this season of their lives, does most of the cooking. (He’s a good cook, I might add! :) ) But she did not abandon him in the deed. She helped get the food on the table and get it set, as well as cleared it away before dessert.

It was lovely to see a couple move so well together. They communicated with one another and served a wonderful meal with a friendly and hospitable atmosphere. They worked well together and it was nice to see. We had a very enjoyable afternoon visiting with them and ate some really yummy THM food. :)

In the past year, Michael has begun to help me in the kitchen, lending a hand. Many a Saturday morning you can find him in the kitchen assisting me, as I make pancakes of some sort. In the past couple of weeks I think he has put together more of the ingredients than I have. :D I enjoy working side by side with him in the kitchen.

I hope this inspires you to communicate with your dear one about your season of life and if there are any changes that would be helpful. Communication is key. Don’t get frustrated and angry. Pray and communicate. :)

Until next time, God bless. And Happy Thanksgiving,

Michele ºÜº

Gift Wrapping Fun, Snow, and Holiday Preparations

One day that Sean was working at home, he, Tiffany and I began wrapping Christmas presents. Dollar Tree had some fun wrapping paper. I especially liked the Nintendo Mario themed and Minions papers.

Wrapping Paper ~ Lifeofjoy.meI got a good start on it but lots to go.

We put Christmas music on and just went with it. :D

Single Dancing ~ Lifeofjoy.meSean danced with Shiloh.

Dancing dog and man ~ Lifeofjoy.meDo you know that there is a right tape for a type of paper? If you buy foil wrapping paper, do yourself a favor and get regular tape. It is a bit shiny and will hide on the foil paper nicely. But if you have the standard paper finish, which I think is more of a matte finish, then that is when you want to use the invisible tape. However, if you try to use the invisible tape on foil paper, it will not be invisible; it will kind of be like a ghost and foggy.

On Monday this week, it snowed! It was a lovely snow! We didn’t get a whole lot of accumulation but it was really pretty. I took this picture shortly after it had begun and the flakes were really big.

Big Snow Flakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meYes, they got as big as cotton balls! It was gorgeous!

Big snow flakes in Nov ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was beautiful and then it was gone. We got around an inch or so and then the temperature rose and it melted. That’s why I like snow here; it snows and disappears before it can turn into a dirty mess.

I’ve been working on getting all my gifts bought. I still have a  few stragglers to pick up but I’m nearly finished. :) Other than buying gifts and getting them wrapped, not a whole lot has been going on. I did make a two week menu this week so that I don’t have to shop next week. I got a couple of turkeys on sale the other week and will have that and planned-overs most of the following week.Cheap Washi Tape ~ Lifeofjoy.meDid I mention that Michael’s has some really cute washi tape for just 33¢ a roll? Yep! You get to pick the ones you want too! It’s awesome! I may have gotten a little carried away. ;) I have several different sets of washi tape on my Christmas list. I picked some I liked while I was with Tiffany. And I picked some while I was with Tracie. Washi Tape heaven. :D

Mom mentioned when we were out the other week that she’d like to see what I use the washi tape for. So Sunday I took my bullet journal and showed her. It’s funny because in the beginning there was NO washi tape. Then you could see where I’d gotten a few rolls. Then it was quite clear when I’d gotten some for my birthday.

I like to have some nice glittery rolls both with designs and just glitter and in varying widths. Then I like to have some tapes with nice seasonal designs and other designs as well. I also like foil tapes. But one mustn’t overlook the value of plain tapes.

I’m looking forward to starting a new bullet journal next year with such a wide variety of washi tapes and stickers. I was a bit hesitant to use my bullet journal for everything and felt like I needed to conserve space but I’ve learned a lot this year and am excited to set up my bujo after Christmas. I’ve already started a New Bujo Planning Page in this bujo. :)I really wanted to think it through and have an idea of what I want. I’m also wanting to add a bit of art and more creative expression in this next one.

I’ve made notes to myself on my menu about what I’m supposed to be getting done this coming week. Over this weekend I’m supposed to finish wrapping all the gifts that have arrived. Then as new ones arrive I am to wrap those right away, so that I stay finished all season and don’t let it pile up or stress me out (like it usually does :D ).

I’m supposed to get my Christmas decorations out and up by Wednesday because I like my tree up right after Thanksgiving. Michael doesn’t like to be around when we decorate because of the mess and chaos, so I cannot do it on the weekend. So I like to put it up on Wednesday. I’m not sure if I’ll do it then or Tuesday. I’m doing most of my baking on Tuesday because THM goodies are best when they sit for at least 24 hours and I cannot do EVERYTHING on Wednesday. So there’s baking and decorating to be done too.

Well, as you can see, I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me and some shopping to finish! I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Time Sensitive Freebie people behind the Homeschool Freebie of the Day have done it again. :) They are offering a free Kitchen Skills Library.

Normally they sell this 9 pdf set for $27 but they are giving it away free for anyone that signs up for their newsletter by November 30th.

They send out 2 pdfs a week. As soon as you confirm your subscription you receive the links for the first two: The Kitchen Primer and the Sugar and Spice Unit Study on Ginger.

The first has 162 pages full of beginner tips  and suggestions for your children. You can print it out for them to have to read, review, and yes, even cook from. It includes many easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and sweets, and ideas for things to do for special days. There are even five tests, if you want to see how well your child retained the information (it also has the answer keys).

Then it has some pages to write down your own recipes and some to write down recipes you’ve tried and a place to give a rating. If I were printing this out, I would only print one or two of the additional recipe pages, as you can always print more as needed, and there are about 20 of the same page included in the pdf.

The second pdf is short but informative in its 10 pages. It is the unit study on ginger complete with a coloring page, some vocabulary, spelling work, word play, and math questions. It also includes a couple recipes, activity suggestion, and book suggestions.

Personally, I am interested in the health benefits of ginger root and the essential oil. So here are a few links for you to go with your study.

Well, I guess it would be best if I sent you over to the link to sign up for these free materials. I definitely feel it is worth giving them my email for these free resources (and I don’t even have homeschool aged children any longer ;) ). Jim Erskine has never abused my email inbox and I don’t believe he has ever given my email to anyone either and I’ve been receiving his other newsletter for many many years.

Remember this is only free to receive through the end of November and it is coming to an end much quicker than you think. ;) I am struggling to realize that Thanksgiving is actually next week!!!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Semi-Circle String

This week’s Diva Challenge is a string challenge. I like string challenges. :) And since I’d procrastinated getting my tile done this week (in order to post it on Wednesday morning) I could not accept the added challenge of doing a mosaic. I have to admit though, that it looks fun and I may add to it later. ;)

I only tangled once in the last week. I’ve been busy getting Christmas presents bought and have even started wrapping them already. :) Since November started on a Thursday, Thanksgiving in the USA is coming a little early, which is nice for after Thanksgiving but not so nice for me getting it all done before then. ;) My siblings, mother and I like to get our Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving so that we can enjoy the holidays without as much stress. This year I am following my mother’s example and trying to get them all wrapped by then too. Of course with the early Thanksgiving, I’ll just be happy if I have it all done by the first of December.

I’ve also started crocheting a Minion blanket for my grandson. Sad thing is that I had 3 rows done and didn’t like how it was going. So I pulled it all out and started over again on Monday. The problem was that I could not seem to count to 90 correctly and had to pull it all out several more times. Ugh!!! I finally decided to use a larger hook for the first row and then switch back to the suggested hook after that. It seems to be working better now and I have the right number of stitches, so things should go more smoothly. :)

Well, it’s been awhile since I did a straight diva challenge, so I forgot to take a scan before I shaded it. Not good. :(

I decided to tangle the semi-circles instead of the bar in between. I went for something easy and used Crescent Moon and then Athitzi by Seven. I just needed something easy because I have so much stuff to get done. ;)

So without further adieu, here is my tile.

DC#376 ~ Lifeofjoy.meWith the time change, I didn’t have any natural light left to take pictures by the time I’d finished, so here are some other views.

DC#376 ~ I like it. It is nice and simple and kind of looks like a bridge over some very dangerous areas. Or it also reminds me of looking through a microscope at two different organisms.:D

Well that is enough from me today. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Rant: Split Peas and Lettuce

split peas ~ Lifeofjoy.meI decided to make Cheapskate Soup (THM Cookbook pg 88) which is a split pea soup. I had been getting my split peas from Sprouts but when Tiffany looked for them last grocery day she couldn’t find them. She asked someone and they said they discontinued them in the bulk bins because there was no demand for them. UGH! I got them on sale last month or so for about 89¢ a pound! That is good.

We looked all over the place for them at Walmart. Tiffany even asked someone. This is not a young person that she asked and she didn’t even know what we were talking about! Seriously, she had no idea what split peas were.

They have dried beans in, not one, and not even two, but THREE different places in that crazy store! I know this because I found the first two places and then stumbled upon the last place when I was looking for something else. There they were, pretty as you please, in a small one pound bag on the next to the bottom shelf. However, they were $1.37 for that one pound bag!!! I kid you not.

I do not consider that cheap! Especially not for dried beans. Ugh. You see, I can get a one pound roll of ground turkey in the same store for only $1.50, so that is just 13¢ more than the peas. Then of course, you can get chicken thighs for 79¢ a pound. Albeit, for a family of four you need several pounds because of the bone and skin there but those have such health benefits and you can keep the bones to make broth too. Sad thing is that I needed two pounds of those peas to make the soup. We’ll have a couple servings for lunch or yo-yo (you’re on you’re own) dinner another day though.

Let me talk to  you about lettuce for a minute too. You have to be careful about buying too much lettuce at once because if it gets wet at all (thank you water misters in the produce section) and you don’t get it dried off (giving you yet one more thing to do as you put away groceries) it will get funky–wilted and nasty in spots. Then you have to be careful when you are using it.

So the alternative is to buy bagged salad but that isn’t cheap and if you’re not quick about it, it’ll start getting just like that other lettuce from condensation in the bag. YUCK!

So I thought I hit on the perfect thing: boxed salad greens! The first week it worked like a charm. It made our salads so super easy! Then last week I got two of those tubs of lettuce greens and was a little concerned about them because they seemed a bit damp.

I was right to be concerned! We didn’t even get to eat the first salad out of them before they started pulling the same YUCK fest that the other ones did.

So, I don’t even know what the answer is to this dilemma, except maybe to just be very picky about the salad greens and reject it if it is moist. Ugh! Because I NEED to be eating salads every single day of the week.

Next spring this shouldn’t be a problem because we are going to have a garden and these greens are one of the things we are supposed to be planting. I cannot wait!!! Okay, I can wait but I’m very eager for it to happen.

Well, I’ve rambled and ranted long enough for today. I made a nice meal today that I wish I’d have taken pictures of to share with you but alas, I didn’t. So, maybe I’ll have it together for next Tuesday. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº