Monthly Archives: September 2015

‘Nzepple and Stripes

iamthedivacztThis week’s Diva Challenge is to draw some stripes for my string. I decided to to uneven stripes so the ones at the bottom are thicker stripes than the ones at the top.

Until doing this tile, I had not tried my hand at Footlites. I’ve seen it and admired it but hadn’t given it a go, so I thought it would make a good tangle on the bottom stripe. I decided to have Footlites shining up on the second stripe too.

Since the WZTV (Weekly Zentangle Tangle Video) focus tangle is ‘Nzepple, which is a favorite tangle of mine, I decided to use it on the third stripe. This is one of those tangles that I really struggled with learning how to draw. I think my confusion started with just how to get the lines drawn to start out. But later when someone else introduced a different way to begin ‘Nzepple with lines from all different directions, it gave me a freedom so that I didn’t struggle with all the lines being just so. That’s when it became a favorite tangle.

I decided to crown my tile with Zenith on my top stripe. Since I was running out of space I decided to go with the version that puts the circles on both sides of the points instead of at the top of each point. I really should play around with Zenith a bit more because I keep forgetting to make my initial curves deep and close together but it works anyway. ;)


DC#235 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI hope it looks like the footlites are shining up behind the ‘nzepple to the zenith, as that was my intention. If not, no big deal, as I enjoyed drawing this one.

Here is a tile I did last week. I wanted to play with CanT a bit more, so this is what I came up with. I did one large CanT in the center of the tile and then a larger one around it. Then I did some Hollibaugh behind it. I love the effect the blackened areas produce.

Oh! I had drawn a loop in my border, so I made it a pearl sitting on the hollibaugh.

CanT ~

Thank you!!!

I really appreciate the kind words left by those commenting last week. You were very encouraging.

Thanks also to those that clicked the “like” heart at the bottom of the page. It’s nice to know you liked it. :)

Well, that’s it for this week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Weekly Menu Planning

Menu ~ Lifeofjoy.meI don’t know about you but when it comes time to make a menu I frequently have the same meals pop into my mind. I find that every so often I need to remind myself of other things I have previously made and enjoyed or ones I saw and wanted to try. I currently have no schedule for this but am thinking I should do this at least once each season.

Usually when the weather changes I know which recipes I am eager to have once again but after the first couple of weeks, it is a good idea to go through my recipes for menu inspiration.

Fall is approaching and we’ve already had a few cooler weathered days. I never used to be one that cared much for soup but in the past couple of years I have found some soups that I really like. I look forward to sharing those with you over the next several months.

Occasionally I go through my cookbooks and my Pinterest pins to find new recipes to try. It is always fun to make something new but it usually takes longer to make a recipe the first time I make it, I make sure to plan accordingly.

Each week, usually the day before I head to the grocery store, I make a list of what I will make over the next week. From this list or menu if you will, I create my grocery list checking the recipes against what is in my refrigerator/freezer and cabinets. I also keep a small dry erase board on my refrigerator to write down things as we run out of them.

I usually just write down either things I am hungry for or a favorite of a family member. I have read that others make their menu planning easier by having a certain type of food on certain days of the week like Mondays is Chinese food, Tuesdays is Italian and so on; others put a certain type of meat on specific days. I just find it easier to go with what I’m hungry for. Have I mentioned that I love food? I can usually come up with 4 or 5 meals without much struggle. It is usually the last two or three I struggle with. That is when I rely on either something I know a family member likes or browse through my recipes.

Here is the menu I created for this week:
Meatloaf and Scalloped Potatoes
Hamburgers and Baked Beans
San Francisco Chicken and Noodles
Chicken Parmesan, Noodles, and Brussel Sprouts
Chicken Enchiladas

I had planned for us to eat out on Sunday but I wasn’t feeling good so we didn’t leave the house. I had a back-up plan of Waffles, Turkey Bacon, and Sausage. I always keep some breakfast meat in the freezer for either a special Saturday breakfast or breakfast for dinner, like we had Sunday.

I hope this gives you an idea of how to plan a menu and make your weekly grocery list.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Asking for Help

Headache ~ Lifeofjoy.meI woke up at 12:30 am Sunday morning, a mere two hours after going to bed, with a pounding headache and alone in the bed. I have been snoring rather badly of late and Mike has resorted to sleeping on the sofa when the snoring keeps him from falling back to sleep. Anyway, I went to the restroom and as I headed back to bed the pain had just intensified so badly that I knew it wasn’t going to go away by itself, so I went in the other room to get some medication.

By the time I got the meds, the pain was so intense I started crying. I went over to my hubby, asleep on the sofa, and told him my head hurt, through tears. He quickly awoke. Prayed for me and began to try and help ease the pain. I sat on the sofa and he rubbed my head and neck and applied cold compresses.

He was so sweet! I must’ve sat there for 30-45 minutes. Eventually we went back to bed and he continued to rub my head and pray for me. (I truly have a jewel!) At one point the headache had gotten so bad I was afraid I’d vomit, so I asked him to empty the trash can. He did so, brought it near me, and stood in front of me, continuing to rub my head as I sat on the edge of the bed hoping I wouldn’t have to use that trashcan he brought. He must’ve stood there 15-20 minutes.

My stomach had finally calmed down long enough that I felt able to lay back down. That sweetie of mine laid down behind me and rubbed my arm, back, and neck ever so gently. That touch elsewhere somehow helped to relieve some of the head pressure. I eventually fell asleep. I wish I could say that the headache went away but alas, it did not, but it did lessen. When I awoke, he was back on the sofa. I know he did not get much sleep that night.

I’m usually a very independent person. I am also pretty strong and rarely cry. Thankfully, I am also a generally healthy person. It is hard for me to ask for help. I’m so glad I overcame the urge to handle the situation all on my own because Mike was a huge blessing to me in getting through the pain. I would not have used a cold compress on my head or an ice pack on my neck and surprisingly, they both helped very much.

I guess the point of all of this is to say, don’t be afraid to let your beloved know what you are going through. He may have an approach to the situation that you haven’t thought of and it may work better than the approach you would have taken on your own.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Stuffiness and Busy Weekend

Stuffy/Runny Nose's Best Friend ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s been a long week but then any time I am not feeling normal things seem to drag by. Last week Tiffany got stuffy on Wednesday and was feeling mostly normal by Saturday and come Monday she seemed to be at least 95%. I have tried to tell my children that although I have taught them to share, I do not want them sharing ills.

Unfortunately, just the mention of me singing this Saturday at a women’s meeting and my nose stuffed right up! It’s obnoxious, really! The last couple of times I’ve been asked to sing at an activity at our church my nose has done this. Ugh!!! At least I don’t have my heart set on singing. ;) Hopefully I’ll be feeling fine come Saturday morning.

This week I enjoyed doing a few Zentangle tiles. I posted two of them already on Wednesday. I did another one yesterday as I was listening to audios from some of our church services, which I will share next Wednesday. It’s funny. Earlier yesterday I thought about a larger piece I’d like to do and now, I cannot remember what it was. Proof, once again, that I really do need to write down my ideas so I don’t forget them. I thought that since I no longer have a bunch of information running through my head concerning homeschooling my children, because they are all graduated now, that I could remember things like this but alas, it appears that is not true. Of course, I do have quite a few things running through my head for Saturday’s Women’s Breakfast, so that is my story and I’m sticking with it. ;)

I have been asked to emcee the breakfast. When I was first asked to be the mistress of ceremonies for a church event, I was very nervous and soooo out of my comfort zone but felt that I was supposed to go ahead and accept the challenge. Since then, I have done this several times and really enjoy it. I like to make the times conducive to fellowship and getting to know one another better. I do this by allowing time for the attendees to just talk but also by including some games, sometimes more effectively than others.

I hope I remember to take pictures so I can share them here next Friday. I can’t tell about the games we are going to play because if any of the ladies happen to read this post beforehand, they would have an unfair advantage. ;)

Well, I have lots to do today and have an early day tomorrow, so I’ll run for now. Have a great and safe weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Flexibilities and Priorities

Flexible ~ Lifeofjoy.meToday I want to encourage homeschool moms to not be too hard on yourself. Most of the time things will not go as you hope and plan, life gets in the way. Be flexible!

I guess this is a good time to remind you to prayerfully set the priorities for the education of your children. Then make decisions based on those priorities. These can change from year to year.

I found it helpful to make life skills a priority for our children. This includes such things as cleaning, cooking, yard work, mechanics, and shopping. Doing this helped me stay sane being able to have them help me with things that needed to be done, thus giving me the time freed up to spend educating them.

The other thing I encourage you to do is to make a list of the bare minimum of things that absolutely MUST be done on a school day. This will give you freedom to be flexible when the need arises, especially when the bare minimum is things the children can do on their own or with minimal input/direction from you. :)

I had checklists that the children each had and could see what needed to be done in order to go and do what they wanted to do. ;) When they were very young the checklists were pictorial, thus eliminating me having to repeat the same, “Did you ____?” questions  day after day. I used these for their morning routines and progressed to their schoolwork routine. It was always too easy to forget something without a list.

By planning for hindrances ahead of time, you are thus prepared for them and not frustrated by them. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

CanT and Inapod

iamthedivacztThis week the Diva Challenge is to use CanT by CZT Chris Titus. As one might expect this is a new tangle to me, so I was smart this time around and practiced a little bit in my drawing book, especially since there are soooooo many variations.

The variation I like the best is the one that reminds me of a bow. Although I know there are no mistakes in Zentangle but I drew lines in unintended directions several times. :( Oh well, it is what it is. I found that I must turn my tile to do CanT correctly, a.k.a. drawing all lines in the directions intended. ;)

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meSo this first one I decided to do a large single CanT right in the middle of the tile with a large center circle. Since the Square One focus is Inapod, I thought I’d put one large pod in the center of the CanT. I got this idea from seeing how others on Square One used a single pod. (Mimicry is the highest form of flattery. ;) ) Oh! I’ve never used Inapod either but it seemed pretty straight forward, so I drew it for the first time right on my tile. I wish I had made the two outer pearls a bit larger but, it is what it is.

I used the curved convex rays for the CanT for the background.

DC#234 & Inapod ~

I wasn’t especially thrilled with this tile when I finished it so I decided to do another tile. This time I wanted to draw the tangle a bit bigger than the background of the previous tile. So I did a big tic-tac-toe grid for my string and tried to decide what to do from there. I knew I didn’t want it as congested as the previous tile either, so I didn’t think I wanted to fill in each section of the string.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to fill it in a + or an x and finally settled on the +. Since there are so many variations of CanT, I wasn’t sure which ones to use. I decided to use my favorite version and just fill them differently.

I tried an inner aura on a couple and striping on the others. I think I prefer the striping on the left to the one on the right.

DC#234 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI had to go back and thicken the exterior lines on some and on the rice shapes I put in the corners. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to shade on or around those rice shapes, so I tried it both ways and erased the shading inside because I liked the white space inside the shape rather than outside.

I considered adding Beeline, which is the WZTV focus of the week, but thought that might be too busy as well. So I opted for these simple rice shapes. At one point I thought about putting some lines inside them like leaves but in the end opted to just keep the white space.

There are some really neat things you can do with CanT, so I may give it another shot but I think this is good for now.

Thank you!!!

Now, I want to say a big thank you to last week’s commenters: Maggibee, Antonine, Christine, Melissa, Annemarie and the one that clicked the like heart. You all were encouraging and really made my day.

As always, thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Korean “Beef”

Korean Meat ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis recipe is one VERY simple quick meal to make, unless you add egg rolls to it, which will take a bit longer to make. ;) If your meat is thawed, it can be done in just a few minutes. How long it takes depends on how quickly you can brown meat and make rice.

Brown your ground meat in the sesame oil; I use ground turkey. I sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper over the meat as it browns.

Meanwhile combine the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl: brown sugar, soy sauce, ground ginger, and crushed red peppers.

When meat is browned, drain any fat and add the sauce. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

Serve over rice and top with chopped green onions. Normally I’m not a fan of green onions, but I did give it a try on this and found it really added to the flavor.

Korean Meat 2 ~

Bite of Korean Meat ~

Korean “Beef”


  • 1 lb. ground meat (I use ground turkey)
  • garlic powder (or 3 cloves of garlic, minced)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers (use more if you prefer spicy food)
  • diced green onions


  1. Brown ground meat in sesame oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  3. When meat is all browned, remove fat as necessary. (With my ground turkey I don't have enough to bother removing and I buy the cheap turkey from Aldi.)
  4. Add in the sauce.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors.
  6. Serve over cooked rice and with green onions.

Think the Best of Him

Shopping ~ Lifeofjoy.meLast week, Tiffany got stuffy and achy and had a hard time sleeping/not getting much rest. Come errand day, she was feeling some better but knew if she went into town and ran errands with me that she would overexert herself and have a relapse of sorts.

Mike offered to pick up a few things to make it through the weekend. It was a crazy week and I didn’t get my menu or grocery list made until errand day. When I finally finished it, I looked it over and found that I needed too many things for use over the weekend. So I decided I would just go by myself.

When I told Mike, he offered to accompany me. Of course the first thing that went through my mind was, “What? Why doesn’t he want me to go alone? I’m an adult . . . a good driver . . . Doesn’t he trust me?” You see how you can go down a dangerous path in your thinking?

I decided to trust in him and think the best. We made arrangements for him to do a quick stop at a store I was going to skip and I’m glad he did too because they had chicken breasts on sale for $1.88 a pound. :) We met up at Aldi and then went on to Walmart Supercenter.

It was fun running errands with him. He was not impatient with me, although there was a moment in the pharmacy section of Walmart when he asked me if I was going to go down EVERY aisle! :D I assured him that I would not.

It was a hot muggy day, so I treated us to yogurt cones from Brauhm’s, out of the grocery budget. It was a nice time just being out alone together. Our last stop was to get gas, where my sweetie filled my car with gas and got me a sweet tea to drink on the way home.

While we were eating our frozen yogurt cones, I took a moment to casually ask him why he didn’t want me to go alone. It is funny but I cannot remember what he said. I only know that I was careful to control my tone when talking about it . . . remember I’m a passionate person and have a tough time keeping my voice level controlled . . . but this conversation did not get heated or anything. I just accepted my husband’s love for me and desire to keep me safe and decided to have a good afternoon out with my hubby.

I’m sure I tested his patience because he was out of the parking lot and on the road before I even had my seat belt on in my vehicle. Mike, like most men, is a man who gets focused on the job at hand until he conquers it. So his approach to shopping is get in, get what you need, and get out. Mine is get in, make sure everything I need is on the list, ;) and get out. The approaches are similar; mine is just a slower pace than his.

It could have all turned out very differently if I hadn’t decided to trust in my beloved. Truth be told, not long ago I would have reacted very differently and probably had a huge fight instead of an enjoyable afternoon.

So I encourage you to second guess those negative thoughts in your head towards your beloved and think the best of him.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

My Week

My Roses ~ Lifeofjoy.meI don’t know about you but sometimes I’m not very productive! :(  This week has been one of those weeks. We’ve had family drama this week which is very draining. It can also dig up emotions from the past, which are better left alone…I’m not talking about bitterness or anything like that towards someone else, just an attack on our emotions.

I am learning that I MUST not be as passionate about things when in conversations. I am so passionate that my voice raises when I’m happy, sad, excited, angry, mad, and such. Thus in conversations I raise my voice which causes others to raise their voice which causes things to escalate.

I got to spend an evening with Lauren at a special women’s service at her church, Life Church. The event was called “Sisters”. I had a good time with her and she was glad I came to be with her.

Mike and Tiffany haven’t been feeling up to par this week. They’ve both lost their appetites! This is so weird!!! Tiffany used some nasal spray the other night to sleep and awoke with a sore throat. She’s been taking EmerGenC and gargling with salt water.

Even though it is Labor Day weekend, we don’t have any plans. Sean will be working Monday because he’s saving time off for our vacation in October. Mike doesn’t know if he’ll be working or not Monday. He’s self-employed, so he’ll decide before the weekend is over. ;)

Our church is having a ladies meeting NEXT Saturday. I’ve been asked to emcee the event and to sing a song. It should be fun. It is odd for me though, as I am used to being asked to help with the food and for these kinds of events I’m asked to help to do this. At first I felt like a fish out of water and way out of my comfort zone but gradually I’m feeling more and more comfortable with these duties.

I leave you today with a funny but true video by Creflo Dollar about asking questions when dating.

Well, I hope you have a nice, relaxing weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Consistency, Flexibility, and Activity

Don't know ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m not sure what to share here today. I’ve looked through some things and none of the links seem like they are the right thing. So I guess I’ll just share from my heart.

Consistency is huge when raising children and flexibility is huge when homeschooling. So how do the two mesh and not contradict each other?

routine ~ Lifeofjoy.meHaving established routines helps to be consistent but by having them be routines instead of schedules, you have flexibility because when things come up, like a late night, you can have the flexibility to sleep in and yet once you do get up, you have the routines in place to enable you to get done what needs to be done. Now, you may need to be further flexible and cancel, eliminate, or postpone some items from the routine (like certain school subjects or activities) in order to accomplish what absolutely must be done.

Flexible ~ Lifeofjoy.meFlexibility involves realizing that not every day of the school week HAS to cover every subject and that sometimes there are “bare bones” things that must be done in order to count the day as educational, remembering that “life skills” are essential to a child’s training.

Now the flip side of the coin is being consistent but the consistency I’m talking about is with what you say and following through. If you tell your child that you are going to punish him/her if he does xyz, then you better follow through or you have just shown your child that you do not always mean what you say and have just opened the door to some tough times ahead as he/she tests your word. It’s not easy, I know!

run ~ Lifeofjoy.meAlso remember that children, no matter what their age, need play time. Break up book work with physical activity, even if it is just going to check the mail or running around the house. When Tiffany was young, many times she would day dream and dawdle and just plain had a hard time focusing on the subject at hand. I would have her stop and run around the house three times. Sometimes this required bundling up, but the air was invigorating in the winter and good for her. In the warmer times, the outside air could help ‘blow the cobwebs out of her head’ and help her focus a bit better upon her return inside, enjoying the air conditioned house and a glass of water. :) Other times I would just have her stop and do some jumping jacks or bounce on the rebounder for a bit. Something to break her out of her procrastination.

Sometimes we would take a break from educational pursuits and race each other as we each accomplished a cleaning task. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break, putting on some music, turning it up loud (as long as nobody is sleeping) and dancing away for 5-15 minutes. Physical activity can boost attention spans when the child returns to his/her work.

So remember to be consistent, flexible, and take breaks incorporating some activity.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº