Monthly Archives: March 2015

Simple Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas ~ LifeofJoy.meI don’t do many recipes with canned soups in them. However, this is one of those that I do use it in. I know I could make my own condensed “cream of chicken soup” but I choose not to for this recipe. I guess I just like it being an easier recipe to make. Opening up 2-3 cans of soup is easier than making a rue and adding milk and broth to it.

If you have a pound of chicken already cooked, this recipe is even easier. ;)

Chicken Ench Ingredients ~

Shred or chop the cooked chicken.

Chicken for Enchiladas ~

Combine it with one and a half cans of cream of chicken soup.

Chicken and soup ~

Spread a little near the edge of the tortilla with a little bit of cheese.

Fill Tortilla ~ LifeofJoy.meRolling Enchiladas ~

Then I remembered that doing it this way uses more cheese. So I mixed half the cheese with the chicken and soup mixture and continued filling tortillas. Place in a grease pan.

Chicken Enchiladas ~

Spread  the remaining can and a half of cream of chicken soup over the tortillas.

Ready for the Cheese ~

Sprinkle the remaining 4 ounces of cheese on top.

Ready to Bake ~

After getting this all put together I also realized that I usually make these for all of my family, so I usually use 1½ pounds of chicken instead of just one pound. This is why I usually use 3 cans of cream of chicken soup. This night I was only fixing dinner for four and used one pound of chicken and thus I should have only used 2 cans of soup. Thus mine will look creamier than yours. Trust me; three cans is too much – still yummy but too much. Stick with 2 cans for 1 pound of chicken.

I got 9 enchiladas out of this but usually only get 8 per pound.

Time to Eat ~

As you can see, it is a bit difficult to find where each tortilla ends and begins. Just dish it out from the end with a wide spatula and enjoy.

Chicken Enchiladas ~

Chicken Enchiladas ~

Chicken Enchiladas


  • 1 pound chicken
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 8 ounces cheese, shredded (I used colby jack.)
  • 8 tortillas (I use whole wheat)


  1. Saute and cut chicken.
  2. Add one can of soup.
  3. Add 1/2 the cheese
  4. Spread 1/8 of the mixture onto each tortilla and roll up.
  5. Place in oil sprayed 9x13 baking dish
  6. Bake in 350º oven until cheese is completely melted and bubbly and enchiladas are heated through.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Words of Affirmation

Affirming Words ~ LifeofJoy.meI sometimes struggle with positive things to say to my beloved. I know that God dislikes pride; actually it’s an abomination. Because of my desire to keep pride at bay, I have been less of an encourager and more of a critic, I’m afraid.

Unfortunately, this has probably transferred over to my husband as well. Oh to be honest, I know it has. The really bad thing is that unfortunately this means that I have not been giving Mike things he needs. Men need to hear things like that though.

Since I’m so out of practice I found Matthew Jacobson’s article very interesting. 103 Words of Affirmation Every Husband Wants to Hear    I found some of them came naturally and others were insightful. It isn’t a new post but it is a good one. I hope it is helpful to you too.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Routines and Cool Photos

Routines ~ Lifeofjoy.meHave you ever had days or weeks where you just didn’t get much accomplished? I have had one such week. There are just weeks when I feel as if I have not only not made forward progress but actually feel that I have slipped a bit. It is saddening, depressing, definitely NOT motivating. Sometimes it is just hard to pick oneself up and get back on target but pick myself up, I will!

How do you get yourself back in the groove or in the groove at all, if it is something new you are attempting? I pray about my routines. Yes! I pray about it. Sometimes it is prayer that I’m trying to get back in the groove of and that can be really difficult. Those are the times it is imperative to just buckle down and make myself do the one thing, take time and go pray. Prayer helps so much.

Other times it is the other things I need to get done that is the focus of my dilemma. On those times, it is a little easier because during my prayer times I can pray about the dilemma and obtain strength and grace to make it easier to just get started. I find that if I create some routines, I get more accomplished. Routines help me get certain tasks done on a consistent basis. By doing these routines, I do manage to get more done in my day. It is when I start letting them slip that things get unproductive.

Sometimes there are good reasons for letting a particular routine slip; company and illness come to mind. Sometimes it is just laziness. Sometimes it is busyness. In actuality though, it is always best to stick to routines. This is why I like to make routines. I’m about to begin to review my current routines and see what is working and what isn’t and then make some adjustments and new routines.

It is easiest to attach routines to something I do on a consistent basis. One of the routines I need to work out is when I create these blog posts. The current method, although effective, is not optimal because it is throwing kinks into other routines I have. When I started this blog I was determined not to let Mike feel neglected at all and I think I am failing in some small way; thus my writing routine needs to be rethought.

On a different subject entirely, I ran across a site with some pretty incredible photos. One was a realistic looking picture, done with colored pencils, of a wave at either sunrise or sunset. It is absolutely gorgeous! Take a look.

wave colored pencil drawing

Another really interesting photo was one of a wolf made of pipe cleaners.

wolf pipe cleaners

There are 50 different photos of all kinds of different things from cross-sections of different items to really gorgeous artwork to the view of the Space Shuttle Atlantis from the International Space Station and so much more. Go have a look. 50 Incredible Photos

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

More March Special Days

March Days ~ LifeofJoy.meThe obvious holiday or observance this week is St. Patrick’s Day. There are LOTS of activities and units/lesson plans on the subject. Here’s just one of the several on homeschool share.

Here’s a fun one: American Chocolate Week

You might check out to show your children where chocolate comes from and then make some chocolatey goodness, like my brownies.

It’s National Yo-Yo and Skills Toys Week. It would be a good time to pick up a yoyo from the dollar store and let your kids try their hand at it. Maybe take a video of them trying to use the yo-yo in the beginning of the week and then again at the end of the week to show their progress.

It is also Act Happy Week! You could talk with your kids about what makes them happy and that being happy is a choice. I used to tell my kids, when they were in a sour mood that being happy is a choice and that they HAVE to choose to be happy now. :)

Next week is also Wildlife Week. It might be a good time to take some nature walks and do some nature journaling. Talk about what animals you see or normally see that you aren’t seeing right now.

And of course there is one to do with books, libraries, or reading. :) It’s World Folktales and Fables week. Here’s an interesting website I just found that you may find some interesting folktales or fables to read aloud to your children. You can even select a fable or folktale by country of origin.

For the younger ones, it is National Button Week. You could have them learn to button if they don’t know yet, sort buttons, lace buttons, and you could make some cookies to look like buttons or frost a round cake to look like a button.

For your older ones, it’s the Ides of March on Sunday so you could have them research the significance.  (Julius Caesar)

There are some other interesting days next week, so be sure to check out

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜºHappy Bday Tra ~

P.S. A special observation in our family is this week. A shout out to my baby sister who’s birthday is Saturday! Happy Birthday Sis!


In the Beginning and More

I decided to participate in the Triple B Challenge where we will be doing a zia for each book of the Bible, consisting of a tangle beginning with each letter of the book for the challenge.

Tiffany took a few pictures of me as I was drawing this one.


This is the first one and thus we are doing Genesis. I am calling it In the Beginning and I hope it is apparent why.

In the Beginning ~

I used Gneiss, Ennies, Nipa, Eke, Seedings by Mei Hua Teng (Damy), Ibex, and Sabi by Sandy Steen Bartholomew from the center outward. Only seedings and ibex were new to me. I love Ibex but I wish I had practiced both seedings and ibex before including them in this piece but I think it turned out okay. {Gneiss, ennies, nipa, eke, and ibex are all official tangles, I believe.}

Here is a closeup of the center of my zia.

Center of Genesis Zia ~

It was fun to do a larger piece. I’m looking forward to the next one.

Pokeroot Wavy Cubine ~ LifeofJoy.meI finally finished my tile for The Diva Challenge this week, #208. It was true to its name for me because I’ve never been a fan of pokeroot, or pokeleaf for that matter, as I have never felt I did it justice. I’m glad I persevered though. It’s not perfect but I’m okay with it. It is the first time I’ve done a front on cubine AND the first time I’ve made it wonky wavy.  I have to say that the Margaret Bremner’s tutorial on different ways to draw cubine. It was extremely helpful! I prefer it this size.



Here it is a bit larger.

Pokeroot Wavy Cubine ~

I have done Cubine a little stretched before in my beginner days. I really think this one looks like a bird or duck of some kind. ;)Zentangle 2

I really wanted to participate in a few more zentangle drawing prompts this week (not all are challenges). I don’t know if I’ll get around to them or not. If I do, I’ll add them here. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sandwich Wrap

I know this is a very lame recipe but it is just possible that someone out there needs an idea or two. So here goes . . .

For Sean’s lunch each day I lay down a flat bread. Put mayonnaise on it. Then I layer two thin pieces of turkey and then two thin pieces of ham. On top of that I add the four pepperoni slices across the bottom edge and half of a leaf of green leaf lettuce across the middle.

Lunch Wrap ~

Then begin rolling it, tightly, from the pepperoni end, so that there is pepperoni all down the center. I put the lettuce in the middle so that it is about in the middle of the roll.

Roll it up ~

And keep rolling . . .

Rolling up the wrap ~

Diagonal Cut Wrap ~

Finished Wrap ~ LifeofJoy.meI didn’t get a finished picture of the wrap I took all the other of so I took one of the one I made for him yesterday. This one I added cheese where I normally add the lettuce so the lettuce was a little more toward the center.

If you add more lettuce and some tomato onto it, it will be a bit thicker.

I hope this gives you some ideas. I’ll try to do better next week. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Is It Time For an Attitude Check?

Watch Your Words ~ LifeofJoy.meThis week I read an interesting article on Matthew Jacobson’s website about premarital intimacy. He made some points that were new to me. One thing he said was that the Bible tells us to be true to our spouse but it does not specify “after marriage.” We tend to think sequentially but God is outside of time, so it is possible that we could take the purity outside of time and recommend that single people keep themselves faithful to their spouses even before they have one. It’s an interesting thought, although a hard one to sell to young adults. ;)

31 Days to a Better Marriage

The first week of the 31 Days to a Better Marriage – Spring Edition is now complete. I think the post that encouraged me the most was A Tale of Two Marriages where the author pointed out the importance of the words we speak. I truly wish I would have had this information when Mike and I first got married instead of several years ago, because I would have done things differently. The best I can do now is to really put a guard over my mouth and let the words I speak be on the positive, no matter how I’m feeling about a situation. I used to believe that everyone needs someone that they can ‘unload’ their raw feelings to but I’m beginning to wonder if I have the proper relationship with God, then I should be able to pour all of that out to Him because He is the only one able to help the situation. If I am communing with my Father in heaven, the way I should be, then I should be able to unload on Him.

Truth is that I have done this in the past and have found that God is awesome. He corrects me when I’m wrong and I have even seen Him correct Mike without me opening my mouth to Mike at all about the situation! :)  So I encourage you, if you are frustrated with your beloved, go take some time to get alone with God and pour it all out to Him. He’s there ready, willing, and able to help you through it. Then honestly take a good look at your fellowship with God – have you been spending time with Him as you ought? Have you been reading the Bible? Have you been challenged recently in your spirituality? Get closer to God and watch how you will change and how your marriage will change for the better.

If I’m getting frustrated with everyone in the house, I am the common denominator and really need to stop and analyze myself and my actions. Odds are that I’m lacking in some part of my fellowship with God and it is causing me to see the worst in people or just have a bad attitude. When it is just a bad attitude, spending time worshiping God really helps set me straight and then putting worship music on, as loud as I need it to be, helps keep me there as I go about my duties.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Joys of Country Living

Victory over the Oppossum

We have a small cat house on the porch because our cat appears to be pregnant and we like to have her give birth nearby. Well, Tiffany went on the porch this evening and found that the cat was not in her house but standing outside it and staring. Our house dog, Shiloh, was on the porch as well. She always likes to see new kittens and was peering into the house. All this made Tiffany curious. So she went around and looked inside, wondering if there were kittens inside. To her astonishment and horror, there was an opossum inside.

Wonder what she did? She made a dash for the door and proceeded o beg her dad to get rid of it.

Being the dutiful dad and protector, he went out and proceeded to try to get it to leave on its own. But that crazy thing wasn’t budging. He tried numerous things and finally had to resort to carrying the house over to the woods and setting it down. At which point the critter exited and ran off. Then Mike brought the house back on the porch. The picture is of Mike lugging the house back to the porch.

He said the tail of the opossum was very soft. He did not expect that. You know, it’s a dirty, nasty critter which you expect to have a rough tail but it was nice and soft. ;)

My oldest son was out of town this past week and so we had the pleasure of having our daughter-in-love Lauren over for most of the week. It was a pleasant time even though we got snowed in.

I really didn’t expect the predicted wintry precipitation to really come because the weathermen are wrong so often but our last snow had departed and Tuesday night I began hearing sleet hit the windows. I was shocked when I looked out the windows, hours later to find snow. By morning we had a couple of inches of the beautiful white stuff. Unfortunately, we are all stuffy – well, all but Lauren – so we did not go out in it. It was so bad Mike stayed home from work, schools were closed, and churches cancelled Wednesday night services. Then yesterday, the sun shone brightly and began melting it all away, even while the temperature was below freezing. By evening, the temps had made it into the low 40’s and most all of the snow had melted.

Sean, my middle son, house and dog sat for my sister and her family while they were out of town this last week as well. I really miss that young man when he’s not home. I know my time is limited as to how much longer he will be home with us. He turns 22 in a few weeks . . . I just know that he’s going to find someone special and then they’ll be off making a life for themselves, so I treasure all the time I have with him now. Times like this past week, when he isn’t home is just a little bit of weaning so that it isn’t so hard when that eventual day comes. ;)

I’m excited that we will be having a newly married couple out for dinner on Saturday. It will be fun getting to know them a bit better. They seem like a really neat couple, so it should be a fun night.

I better run. Lots to do in preparation for tomorrow!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Just a Few Ideas

art for kids ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have just a few ideas for you today. I don’t really prefer posts with LOTS of links on it but sometimes they are very helpful.

I have one such page for you today. I know most of the USA is getting pummeled with snow this winter and just may need a few ideas to keep the kids busy indoors. This webpage has a lot of ideas for you to look through and click on the ones that look the most interesting. Just in case you are reading this somewhere that didn’t get any snow, there is even a link for making fake snow. :)

The site is called the artful parent and it has lots of art ideas for even the very young. There are some interesting ideas here so you may want to take some time to look around the site.

I also recommend that you check out The Homeschool Freebie of the Day this week. They have some more good free downloads for you this week including a classic comic book, some freebies from Yesterday’s Classics, which look really interesting, and a link to some free lessons on animal classification.

Photography ~ LifeofJoy.meFor those of you with older kids interested in photography, Dollie, over on Teachers of Good Things has put together some ideas on how to teach it in a Charlotte Mason way. Even if you are not using a Charlotte Mason approach to educating your children, there are some great ideas on what to have your child do for a photography elective ‘course’.

Don’t forget to enjoy each season with your children outside, letting them explore. It’s important for them to understand the life cycle of many things, even snow. ;) hee hee

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Two New Tangles

iamthedivacztIt’s the first of the month and so the Diva Challenge this week is “Use My Tangle.” The tangle this month is Unbatz, which I have never tried before. When I saw it, I thought it looked like a good background. So I thought a bit about what tangle I could put in the center of the tile. I have never done Aquafleur before and have been tempted to try it. I decided to give it a whirl.

DC#207 Unbatz ~

I can’t say that I’m ecstatic about any of it but it was a good first attempt. Now that I’ve seen it larger like this, I think I need to get my glasses prescription checked because my fill is a little scratchy especially on unbatz.

Before I close today, I want to take a moment and thank the commenters for the kind words on last week’s tile. It was a fun tile to do because it is so different to use a stick and scratch off rather than a pen to put on ink to create it.

Until next week, God bless,

Michele ºÜº