Pumpkin Patch

The last time we went to the pumpkin patch was probably close to a decade ago. Carmichael’s Pumpkin patch has always left me with fond memories.

Liam is at the age that I thought he’d really enjoy it. So when they come up this past weekend, we went. It was crazy busy and crazy windy!!! Because of the wind, the dirt from the parking lot was really blowing up and around. It felt like we were in the dust bowl.

Thankfully, they have things spaced out pretty good and we didn’t feel like we were in a crowd. I grabbed Liam and escorted him around. First we stopped at the pumpkins.

I’m not a very good photographer and I am way more interested in being present and forget to take pictures.

Next we went into the dark maze. I was so concerned about him getting scared that I ended up getting a little turned around and had to use my flashlight on my phone to get us out. Liam did great though. :)

Next up we looked at the pigs and piglets, goats and kids, and the rest of the animals.

There were even porcupines! I’d never seen a porcupine before. I always thought they were a little bit bigger than a hedgehog. So I was surprised to see how big they really are.

Then I bought us some feed to give to the animals. The trouble is that there were so many people that the animals were a bit full and thus picky about what feed they eat. :)

If they were nearly full they wouldn’t eat the feed but would eat the corn kernels.

Then we headed over to the camels. They were selling dixie cups of baby carrots by the camels. I was concerned that the camels wouldn’t eat them for the same reason that the other animals weren’t very interested in the feed. And I was right, the weren’t but this goat was. :)

They had some areas set up for picture taking. I wish we’d have gotten a picture of all of us together, but alas, I didn’t. ;) But we did get some pictures of of Liam. I took a couple but so did Lauren and Tiffany. Tiff shared her pictures with me. :)

He was a bit scared to get up on top of the hay bale but did so any way.And then he got comfortable with it.

Tiff did get a picture of Sean, Brian, Lauren, and Michael while they were waiting on us.

Well, that was our fun time at the pumpkin patch. It is odd how I generally want to go there the week of fall break and this time was no different, even though it was on Saturday. Of course, the kids came up to celebrate the end of October birthdays last weekend, so we couldn’t have gone earlier in the month. ;)

I hope you have a good weekend. Ours is going to be quiet this weekend. I think we have settled on a church. We shall see.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Reading Should be Fun

Sometimes we can get into a reading slump, especially if the majority of the reading being done is “required” reading. Sometimes a reading slump comes because of dud books. ;)

School-aged children have so much reading to do that the fun can be lost. So it is important to put the fun back into reading, so they don’t lose the enjoyment of reading.

RAR (Read Aloud Revival) did a podcast about this topic recently and shared some FUN books to help put the fun back into reading (books are pictured on the webpage). Full disclosure: I have not listened to the podcast yet but the books suggested look interesting.

Also on the website are lists with monthly picture book suggestions. There is also a podcast on the website about the fun way to study history, again with some interesting books listed on the page.

I hope this website and book suggestions are a blessing to you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

NOT Inktober: Waybop

When I started Inktober, I wondered if I should do on piece sectioned into 31 different pieces. I talked with Tiffany about it and thought I’d like individual tiles better. Some of my best tiles (on display) are ones I did in daily challenges, so I envisioned some of these being as good and replacing them in the display frame.

But then things fell apart and I realized that I’d made the wrong decision. Daily inking is not happening for me this year.

Yesterday I did some Christmas shopping with my sister and daughter. I was gone most of the day. By the time we returned, I was exhausted! I’d intended to take some pictures at Ross for my blog post but was so tired by the time we got there that I didn’t remember to do so.

Consequently, when we got home I had to figure out what to do for my blog today. I glanced through the tangles and saw Waybop. I really like this tangle so I decided to tangle it on one of my stained tiles. But I was so tired that I was unable to even pick a tile. :D I had Tiffany pick one.

She picked one, then another, and then a third one. Finally she settled on the third one.

These are all the same tile. I made them back in August with my friend as we played with my Lindy’s Magicals powders (see that post here).

I decided that I wanted to have a Waybop centered around some of that lovely shimmer. So I opted to draw several waybops on the tile. Eight seeds is my preferred number but I also did one with just six and then in the corner I used just three.

I took a few pictures so you could see the lovely shimmer, as well as the tangling.

I opted not to do any shading because I’m just too tired, which is also why there are no scans. (I don’t know, I might feel up to scanning it later today and adding it.)

Well, I hope your inktober is going better than mine. :D Happy inking!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Undone Cabbage Roll Skillet ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Undone Cabbage Roll Skillet

Today I’m going remind you of a recipe from about 5 years ago. It is one we have had many times. Sometimes we even have it as a low carb meal serving it on riced cauliflower or spaghetti squash instead of rice or potatoes.

I hope you enjoy this one. :)

This is one recipe that I was skeptical of even trying because I didn’t care for cooked cabbage. I got this about a dozen or more years ago. It was part of a weekly menu and grocery list, so to give the whole menu thing a decent go, we tried it. I was pleasantly surprised.

I actually think I like it better than I would actual cabbage rolls because you can modify how much cabbage you use. So let’s get to it. :)

Brown one and a half pounds of ground meat (I use ground turkey) with either onion and garlic or onion powder and garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Brown meat w/seasonings ~ LifeofJoy.me

Meanwhile, slice or chop half a head of cabbage. I slice it on my mandolin.

Shred Cabbage ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Break up the browned meat. Drain, if you have fatty meat. The turkey I use, although by the numbers it should be rather fatty, most of the moisture evaporates and I have no need to drain it.

Brown Turkey ~ Lifeofjoy.me

That handy gadget is one I got from Pampered Chef and I really like it for breaking up the meat.

Add the cabbage, bit by bit. If you try to add it all in at once, you will most likely, have a big mess on your hands. But if you add it bit by bit, it wilts and there is plenty of room for it all. :)

Add Cabbage ~ Lifeofjoy.me Add the V-8 juice.

Add V8 ~ Lifeofjoy.meCombine.

Finished ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Serve over rice, like we did this night, or with baked potatoes. If you prefer to have a low carb meal, you could serve it with cauliflower or spaghetti squash.

Served over Rice ~ Lifeofjoy.me

This night I served it with rice and that wonderful homemade artisan bread that I mentioned last Friday. I’ll be whipping up a batch of this awesome bread again today and will take pictures to share in the next couple of weeks.

The original recipe suggested serving with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Undone Cabbage Roll Skillet


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground meat
  • 1 onion, chopped or some onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or some garlic powder
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped or sliced
  • 8 ounces V-8 vegetable juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, start browning the meat, adding the onion and garlic or onion powder and garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Drain grease as necessary.
  3. Add the cabbage bit by bit, as it wilts, add more.
  4. Add the V-8, simmer on low for 7 minutes on low, covered

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

You are Loved!

Things change. Some things change for the better and others are more difficult to handle. Some changes are tough emotionally and others are tough in other ways.

It is important to find your worth in Jesus! Don’t find your worth in what others think about you or things you do. You’re always going to disappoint someone, so don’t set yourself up for depression by letting that dictate your worth.

God thinks you are worth all His sacrifice. Work on your relationship with Him and find what He thinks about you and know that you are loved.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Time Wasting but Enjoyable Television

Tiffany and I started watching some fall movies last week. Of course, we were loving it. We thought we might try Hallmark Now to get to enjoy the movies this holiday season. So we decided to download the free trial this week to see if it would even work for us and what kinds of movies and things they had available.

We watched a few movies with a couple of them being very “B movie”-like. I decided I was done with that and wanted to see something a bit better. We decided to check out the Mysteries section. That when we saw Signed, Sealed, Delivered listed with so many shows available.

I remembered that Lauren had requested the series for Christmas several years ago, so I figured it would be good. We started watching it and absolutely loved it! I probably don’t have to tell you that we binge watched the series and ten or so movies.

I love that they are all so clean. They are fun. Tiffany and I cried several times from how touching they were. We have decided we definitely need to own this entire set, the series and the movies.

I told Lauren what we were watching and how. She said she’d gotten Hallmark Now to watch Christmas movies last year but they don’t put the Christmas movies on Hallmark Now. She told me about FrndlyTv. So now we are going to look into that to watch our Christmas movies this year.

I just don’t know if us having either of these services is a good idea. I’m so much less productive and read far less too. :(  Then there is the game I’ve been playing that I’m spending way too much time playing as well.

We visited another church Sunday. Turned out there were a whole 7 or 8 cars in the parking lot and once again, the majority of the attendees were older than Michael and I. Turns out the pastor has only been there for a month now and remarkably, he was the pastor of the one church we really like for 15 years, although that was probably over a decade ago now.

Well, that’s my week. If everyone is healthy this weekend, Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming to celebrate October birthdays. We’re planning to meet up at the pumpkin patch. I’m really looking forward to it but not sure if it is going to work out. Tiffany hasn’t been feeling the best this week and neither was Lauren. So, prayers appreciated.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Daily Focus ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Photography Elective

I recently found out that my niece is interested in photography. I remember sharing a link some time ago (five years ago) to a Charlotte Mason approach to studying photography as a high school elective, here.

If your child/student is interested in photography, I’d stick with the suggestions on Dollie’s site. Then if your student enjoys that and still has interest you could use one of the free photography classes available online (from the links Dollie has on her site with the other suggestions).

It wouldn’t be necessary to get and use an expensive camera. Many students have a cell phone and most of those have good cameras in them. So the ideas suggested on Dollie’s site can be followed using a cell phone camera and finally printing the ones you want in the end. (We print at Wal-Mart but you could use the place you usually print photos.)

I hope this gives you some good ideas for you child that is interested in photography. And don’t forget to ask your student what they are interested in taking pictures of. Remember, the point behind this is to find your child’s interest and develop it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Inktober Week 2 Doodah and Cadent

Well, my Inktober is not going well! It’s more of a Movietober. ;) We’ve been watching a lot of chick flicks and very little art has been done. But I did get one piece done using two of the week’s tangles: Doodah and Cadent.

I’d originally planned to use some of my inks and my calligraphy pen. I started with a bristol vellum tile but then decided to just use a black inkpen.

Here’s the scan of my tile before shading.

Here is the picture I took of it in natural light. :)

Here’s the scan of the tile after shading.

The sun had gone down by the time I got it shaded. So I had to take this picture the best I could.

I liked both the process of doing this tile and how it turned out.

I hope your Inktober is going better than mine. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Taco Hamburger Helper

Some time ago I came across this “hamburger helper” recipe on Robin Brookshire’s website Mamashire. She has two versions: Italian and Taco. We love both versions. I’m sharing the taco version today.

Her version uses shredded cabbage but Michael isn’t doing well with cabbage right now, and thus not wanting to eat cabbage. But cabbage adds some good bulk and veggies, so I felt another veggie was needed. I went with ‘riced’ cauliflower.

Start by browning ground meat. We use ground turkey because Michael cannot have beef.

Meanwhile put 1/4 of an onion and a zucchini cut into chunks in the food processor and pulse cut them to small bits but not pureed.

Add it to the meat and saute until softened. I steam a bag of cauliflower, pulse it in the food processor. Then add it with the spices, salsa, and water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt (nonfat is good if you need to make it a bit lighter) or sour cream and more nutritional yeast, if desired.

Pop over to Robin’s site for the full recipe.

I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Maybe it is Time to Just Be Silent and Pray

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am opinionated and mouthy, especially to my husband. This is not a trait I’m proud of and one I am ready to confront.

You may recall that we are looking for a new church home. Between that and our middle son moving out of our home (but still on our property), I have seen the error of my ways. ;)

The other night a situation arose where I would have normally jumped in to referee between hubby and son but instead, I just shut my mouth (for the moment). Of course after Sean left to go back to his home, I blew whatever progress I had made by erupting at Michael.

In my defense, it had been an emotional day for me and don’t want to lose my grown children. But that is no excuse. I need to grow up and put everything in God’s hands . . . and pray about these situations.

Sometimes the best thing I can do is shut up. But of course, pray too.

I hope this encourages you today. If you are in a situation where the thing you SHOULD do is not say anything, know that you are not alone. God will help us! We just have to ask Him to. Of course, when I pray, I also pray for God to change me where I am wrong and change the other party (be it Michael or one of my grown children or even any other person) where they are wrong.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº