Monthly Archives: May 2016

Spaghetti Squash ~

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash is a totally different kind of squash but it can be very good. Tiffany and I enjoy it very much.

It is simple to cook. Take your spaghetti squash and remove any stickers that may be on it.

Spaghetti Squash ~ Lifeofjoy.mePlace it in a 350º oven.

Spaghetti Squash ~ Lifeofjoy.meBake for a while. :D But seriously, because their sizes vary so much, the bake times vary too. I think I bake mine about an hour. If you like your veggies with a little crispness, you could bake for 30 minutes or so.

I tend to forget mine and they get a little overcooked on the bottom.

Spaghetti Squash ~ Lifeofjoy.meOnce it cools, cut it in half from top to bottom.

Spaghetti Squash ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere you can see the difference between the fleshy strands and the goopy seeds and stuff. Remove the goopy seeds and stuff and toss.

Spaghetti Squash ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen use the fork and scrape the strands.

Spaghetti Squash ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow you can cook them a lot of different ways. You can simply serve them with some butter, salt and pepper, and maybe a little cinnamon, if you’re adventurous. Or you can saute it with some other veggies of choice, onion, mushroom, and pepper for example. Or you could even put a tomato sauce and some cheese on it and put it in the oven to melt the cheese.

Yesterday morning I made some bacon for breakfast, so I had a pan of bacon grease sitting on the stove. So of course, I did the most healthy thing ever and I cooked my spaghetti squash in that bacon grease with some leftover spaghetti sauce I had in the refrigerator that needed to be used up and some cheese.

It was amazing! (Please disregard the grease in the following picture.)

Spaghetti Squash ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou can freeze whatever portion you can’t eat in the next couple of days for future use.

I hope you give spaghetti squash, the other squash, a try.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. Please excuse the poor quality pictures. It was a very dreary day and the lighting in the house was very bad for pictures. I hope to update them the next time I make spaghetti squash.

Your Marriage: Will You Trash It or Treasure It?

This week I’m sharing an article meant to make you think a little. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sue Bohlin helps us take a biblical perspective on eight activities and attitudes that will tear down our marriage.   Fortunately, she also provides us eight Christain alternatives that will help build up our marriages.

The divorce rate is at an all-time high, and marriages are falling apart everywhere you look. Marriages of church-going people are crashing and burning especially fast. There are forces in our culture that contribute to marriage stresses such as pornography, the prevalence of drivenness, two-career families, and the dynamics of the blended family. But people also make foolish choices to destroy their marriages from within.

Talking about the family, Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” Ephesians 5:28 exhorts husbands to love their wives as their own bodies, nourishing and cherishing them. God’s plan is that we treasure and cultivate our marriages, but it’s very easy to trash them instead. Let’s take a tongue-in-cheek look at eight ways that people trash their marriages.

Be Selfish

The first step is to be selfish. My pastor once said that the AIDS of marriage is justified self-centeredness. Everything needs to revolve around you because, let’s face it, you are at the center of the universe, right? If you find something you like to do that ignores your spouses’ feelings and interests, go ahead and do it! Too bad if they don’t like it! You only go around once in life, so grab for all the gusto you can get!

Always insist on having things your own way. If you don’t get your own way, throw a tantrum. Or freeze your spouse out. Get your kids involved in this game by saying things like, “Would you please ask your father to pass the salt?” Don’t be afraid to withhold sex if your spouse isn’t letting you have things your own way. There’s a lot of power in that, so don’t waste it!

If there’s only enough money in your budget for what one of you wants, make sure you get what you want. Especially if you’re the wage earner, or if you make more than the other. Money is power, and don’t be afraid to use it against your spouse!

Make demands instead of requests. Wives, let your husband know that he will do things your way, or you’ll make his life miserable. Husbands, when you want your wife to do something, just tell her to do it. “Please” and “thank you” are for the kids. This is your spouse you’re talking about–they don’t need it. Save all your courtesy for strangers; don’t waste it on the person you said you’d spend the rest of your life with.

What we really mean to say:

Selfishness is guaranteed to hurt marriages, so ask for God’s help in putting your husband or wife ahead of yourself so you don’t trash your marriage.

Pick at Each Other

The second step is to pick at each other. If you know that something you do annoys your spouse, be sure to do it often. And intentionally. When she complains about it, tell her to buzz off, it’s not as annoying as the stupid things she does to bug you. The more childish the annoying habit, the better.

Be critical of the smallest thing the other one says and does. Don’t let your spouse get away with anything! Stay vigilant for every little offense. Be sure to address these small details with an air of superiority . . . unless it works better for you to act like a martyr, as if you deserve the Nobel Prize for putting up with someone who doesn’t squeeze the toothpaste from the end.

Always get the last word when you’re arguing. Dr. Phil McGraw has said that the most accurate predictor of divorce is when people don’t allow their partners to retreat with dignity. So make your spouse feel whipped and defeated at the end of a fight. As long as you win, that’s what matters.

Let The Kids Be More Important

A third step to trashing your marriage is to let the kids become more important than your spouse. Moms, make your husband feel left out of the intimate, secret relationship between you and your baby. As the baby grows, continue to draw the line where it’s you and your child on one side, your husband on the other. Keep your Mommy hat on all day and all night. Your kids don’t care if your hair is brushed and if you put on perfume and a little makeup before Daddy comes home, so why should he?

Dads, invest all your energies into making your child succeed at what he’s good at, or what you want him to be good at. Squeeze out Mom so that you will be your kid’s favorite parent. Work so hard on homework and school projects that there’s no time for family time.

Let the kids and your other priorities crowd out your “alone together” time. Date nights are for unmarried people! In order to be fulfilled as a person, it is essential to invest all your energies in parenting, career, housework, church commitments and hobbies, so don’t worry if there isn’t enough time left over for the two of you. It’s no big deal. There’s always tomorrow. Or next year.

What we really mean to say:

Hey! If you find yourself doing these things, stop! You don’t have to trash your marriage!

Show Disrespect

Show disrespect for your spouse, especially in public. One of the best ways to disrespect your partner is ugly name-calling, especially about things he or she can’t change. However, the old standbys of “stupid,” “fat,” “ugly,” “weak,” and “loser” are always effective, too.

Complain about your spouse to your friends. It’s even more powerful if you do it in front of your spouse. Then, if he objects, punch him in the arm and say, “I’m just kidding! You take everything so seriously!

There are a number of ways to show disrespect with nonverbal communication. Roll your eyes, cluck your tongue, narrow your eyes in contempt. The heavy sigh is a real winner, too.

Wives: Straighten out your husband when he makes a mistake, especially in front of others. Lecture him. Ridicule him: his feelings, his behavior, his dreams, his thoughts. Do everything you can to emasculate your husband. Husbands: Let your wife know you think your opinion is better than hers. Interrupt her when she’s speaking.

Refuse to Meet Emotional Needs

His Needs, Her NeedsAnother easy way to trash your marriage is to refuse to meet your spouse’s emotional needs. Men and women need different things from their life partners. Dr. Willard Harley discovered and examined a pattern in his excellent book His Needs, Her Needs. Husbands’ top needs, it turns out, are: first of all sexual fulfillment; second, recreational companionship; third, an attractive spouse; fourth, domestic support; and fifth, admiration. Wives, if you want to trash your marriage, ignore his need for sex and that you be there for him in leisure time. Blow off his desire that you look your best and he can be proud that you’re his wife. Make your home as stressful and chaotic as you can, and never, ever tell him what you admire about him.

Wives’ top needs are: first of all affection; second conversations; third, honesty and openness; fourth, financial commitment; and fifth, family commitment. So guys, if you want to trash your marriage, don’t show your wife you love and appreciate her. Don’t talk to her. Close off your heart to her. Make her constantly worry about finances. Don’t be a faithful husband and father.

Dr. Harley’s got a Web site,, that has a lot of good, practical information for building strong marriages, so you’d better stay away from there if you’re not interested in being intentional and constructive!

Remember, we’re being tongue-in-cheek here. We want you to build your marriage, not trash it!

Treat Your Friends Better than Your Spouse

The sixth easy step to trashing your marriage is to treat your friends better than your spouse. Since a lot of men unfortunately don’t even have friends, this is something women tend to do more. Women know how to treat their girlfriends. They call them up just to encourage them. They drop off flowers for no reason. They send them cards, and they listen intently to whatever’s going on in their lives. They are emotionally invested in their friends. They are quick to mention when someone looks nice or does something well because women are usually good at affirming each other. If you want to trash your marriage, don’t do any of these thoughtful kindnesses for your husband. If your girlfriend is having a bad day, go out of your way to take her a wonderful casserole and fresh salad and dessert . . . but serve your husband Spaghetti-O’s.

But husbands, if your wife needs you for something at home, and your buddy scores some tickets to a game, tell your wife “too bad, so sad.” After all, she’ll be around forever but tonight’s hockey game won’t. If someone at church or in the neighborhood needs something fixed, drop everything to take care of it, even if it means that the broken things around your house will continue to go unfixed.

Be a Pansy

Step number seven for trashing your marriage has two parts. Husbands, be a pansy. Retreat into the safety of passivity. Refuse to take initiative or responsibility in making plans or suggestions. That way, when things go wrong, you can say, “Don’t blame me! It’s not my fault!” These are great ways to trash your marriage.

Be His Mother

Wives, be a mother to your husband. When people ask how many children you have, say things like, “Two–three, if you count my husband.” Tell him to wear a coat when it’s cold and take an umbrella when it’s raining, because he can’t figure it out on his own. Be sure to say “I told you so” as often as possible. If he is passive or irresponsible, jump in and rescue him so he won’t have to deal with the consequences of his own choices. Make sure he feels three years old. Tell him how to live his life, down to the smallest detail.

What we really mean to say:

Please, if you find yourself doing these things, ask for God’s help in being constructive instead of destructive. We want to help you build your marriage, not trash it.

When You’re Angry, Blow Up

Let’s talk about one final way to trash your marriage. Yell and scream, or quietly say hurtful words; it doesn’t matter. Inflicting pain is the important thing. Call each other names in the heat of your emotion. Dredge up the past and bring up old hurts. You can hit or slap with words as well as with hands, and they each leave a different kind of lasting damage to your spouse and to your marriage. Losing control when you’re angry is a powerful way to hurt your spouse.

Build Your Marriage in Eight Harder Steps

Well, enough of ways to trash your marriage–how about eight steps to build it? All we have to do is look at the opposite of this article’s negative, destructive steps.

To build your marriage, fight selfishness by developing a servant’s heart. Commit yourself to acting in your spouse’s best interests. Do at least one unselfish deed for your husband or wife every day.

Second, instead of picking at each other, choose to let things go. Be grace-givers. Remember that “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8).

Third, be intentional in keeping your marriage at the center of your family. Have regular date nights, and schedule times away to invest in the intimacy of your relationship. Go to a FamilyLife Marriage Conference (

Fourth, commit to actively be respectful to your spouse by never saying anything negative to other people. Be kind in your words and actions. Treat each other as courteously and with the kind of honor you would bestow on a stranger or a dear friend.

Fifth, talk about your spouse’s particular emotional needs. Read Willard Harley’s excellent book His Needs, Her Needs. Find out which ones are most important to your partner, and do everything in your power to meet them.

Sixth, treat your husband or wife at least as well as you treat your friends. Be as thoughtful and encouraging and affirming as you can possibly be.

Seventh: Ladies, resign as your husband’s mother. You married an adult; treat him with the respect an adult deserves. Men: Your wife needs a servant-leader–someone who refuses either passivity or tyranny–to love her as Christ loves the church.

And last, when you’re angry, express it wisely and constructively. Use words like “I’m angry about this” instead of yelling or hurtful silence. If you’re too mad to speak with self-control, wait till you cool down. And don’t go to bed without dealing with the situation (Eph. 4:26).

You don’t have to trash your marriage. You can treasure it instead.

© 2003 Probe Ministries

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Breaking the Cycle of Being Unproductive

Be Productive ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is just simply hard to believe that the year is passing so quickly! And yet my birthday and Mother’s Day are both behind us already.

Sometimes I go through a stretch where I am rather productive but then I an go through other stretches where I am . . . shall we say, not so productive. Even though I do things that I enjoy during those times, I end up feeling like a failure or lazy, and yet I find it hard to get out of the unproductive cycle.

These times usually begin when I’ve had a good reason for taking a day off and relaxing. It is bad when one of those days happens just prior to a ‘lazy’ weekend or one full of celebrations and such. It should be easy to break out of this cycle with the beginning of a new week, but unfortunately sometimes it just isn’t. Then if Monday goes by the wayside, inertia seems to be in full motion and it takes some external reason or force comes into play. :(

Be Productive ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou see, I’m also good at procrastination. The way out of this vicious cycle is to be determined. I know that sounds hard but at some point you get fed up with what you are, or aren’t doing, as the case may be, and you just decide to break out of the cycle. This is usually easier at the beginning of the day or after some other happening, like lunch or such.

Then to ensure that I don’t fall back into that cycle, I purposely don’t allow myself to do whatever the thing is that traps me. If it is watching television, then I don’t allow myself to watch ANY until all the Be Productive ~ Lifeofjoy.methings I NEED to accomplish are accomplished or I have reached the evening and family is going to watch something together. If it is reading, I save it for a ‘reward’ of sorts, for accomplishing all I need to accomplish for the day and then allow myself to read. Whatever the thing that sidetracks me, is what I keep myself from doing until I’ve completed the things that are important and need to be accomplished first.

When I’m in a cycle of procrastinating on getting my blog post prepared at a reasonable hour of the day, I keep myself from checking mail and facebook  until I have completed it. You can apply this principle to just about anything; it helps get back on track.

Well, I hope my ramblings have given you some ideas on how to handle your procrastination or cycles of being unproductive.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Steve Demme, Convention Speaker

Steve Demme Convention Speaker ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe keynote speaker for the OCHEC Conventions was such an encouragement! I had never heard Steve Demme speak before. I knew he was behind the Math-U-See curriculum and doubted he would have anything to really speak into our lives. Simply put, I didn’t think it would be relevant to general homeschooling rather specifically math. I am please to say, I was wrong!!! :)

Of course, I didn’t think I was as he began because he started talking about how he’d had a big decision to make to effect change and keep his family together, if I understood correctly. In the end, he had a real encounter with God and realized that not only does God love him but God actually likes him too. And you know what? God likes you and I, as well as loving us. There is a difference. ;)

Well, he had my attention. He proceeded to say that God’s plan is for you, the parent, to educate your children. He then used part of what I call the homeschooler’s scripture: Deut. 6:5-7:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

The key though is verse five. I must love the Lord with ALL my heart, soul, and might. Then out of the place I am to teach my children diligently, in all aspects of living life together. Love is the basis for it all. We are to parent as God has loved us.

Another interesting thing Mr. Demme said was that our vertical relationship with God is the most important thing. The more love we take in, the more we exude that love, to the point of laying down our life down.

Oh! I’m telling you the whole thing was soooo good! It really was like being given a glass of cold water on a very hot day: refreshing.

If you would like to hear the exact thing I did, you can order the mp3 as a download at the ochec site here.  I found a podcast with a similar title on his website but it is clearly shorter than the ochec mp3, but you can try it.

It was really very good. I encourage you to get the audio and listen to it. It was very refreshing (and I’m not even actively homeschooling any longer, since my children are all grown and graduated now).

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Drupe and Pokeroot Duotangle

iamthedivacztI really like having this day on my blog because it forces me to draw. I enjoy it but without the push of getting it done for the blog each Wednesday, I put it off and get none done at all, which is a real shame because I do like drawing them.

I loved what Laura did with her tile and it is so hard for me to think of something different than what she does, after seeing it. ;) So I thought, what if I draw a big pokeroot and drupe inside of it. It probably would have turned out better had I gone through with that plan but I decided not to draw one huge pokeroot but four smaller ones. As I drew them, they connected in the middle.

This is the second week I’ve tried to focus on the light source. Today I placed it in the upper left hand corner. I really think I like it most when I imagine the light source shining directly on the front and center, as that is a more natural shading position for me. But I’m trying to grow and develop, which requires trying new things. However, don’t be surprised if I go back to my comfort zone here shortly. :D

I watched the video Laura linked on her post and it really helped me come to terms with pokeroot (although pokeleaf and I are still on the outs, I think ;) ). I actually enjoyed drawing it.

After that video there was another listed for how to draw pokeroot on the suggested videos. So I watched it. The lady was not a czt and after watching the first video, I did not like how she drew hers. BUT she did show a variations that she called Fluffy or dandelion. So I decided to add that variation on my tile.

This first picture is before shading. (I recently joined the Shading Zentangle facebook group and they like you to show the line drawing before shading and then the finished tile, in order to better help, if you want it.)

Drupe and Pokeroot Duotangle ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd here is my finished tile. I struggled with the shading. I imagined the one in the lower right corner was angled in such a way that the inside was shadowed by all the other stuff and the outer/lowest portion was sticking out beyond all the other pokeroots.

Drupe and Pokeroot Duotangle ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is always after I have scanned it and loaded it on here that I see where I should have added more shading or done something different. Ugh! And generally it is too late to do anything about it, as I need to be moving along on to other things. Oh well, there’s always next time. Who knows, I may actually do some of the other focuses before the week is out. I love grid patterns and over at Patterns-Collections for the next couple of weeks, they are focusing on Genevieve Crabe’s awesome tangles; so I might just get some more tangling done this week. We’ll see. ;)

I really appreciate your comments. I’ve always been my own worst critic, so I’m trying to hear you all and be a bit gentler on myself. :) Thank you for your encouragement!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. This morning I decided to do the single pokeroot with drupe on it. So here it is:

Drupe and Pokerood Duotangle ~

Chicken Parmesan ~

Chicken Parmesan

I have always loved Chicken Parmesan but never made it until recently (in the last year or so). I guess I just always thought there was too much work involved in making it but it is sooo worth it.
Chicken Parmesan ~

The first thing you need to do is cut your chicken into thinish slabs or pound it thin. I don’t like to pound my chicken breast. I prefer to use a sharp knife and slice it horizontally and then into single size pieces. The chicken breasts I get are about a pound each! So I cut it into at least 4 pieces: in half horizontally and in half vertically. The thinner you cut them the quicker they cook.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meI took these pictures a while ago, so I don’t remember exactly how much meat there was but this looks like it was about a pound and a half or two pounds.

This next picture is really poor quality but it is the best one I had to show the breading station. Put about 1/2 cup flour in one flat container. One beaten egg and about quarter cup of milk in the second flat container. And then about a cup to a cup and a half of Italian bread crumbs in the last flat container.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.mePut a couple of tablespoons of oil in a skillet and turn the burner on to medium-high. We used coconut oil this night.

Chicken Parmesan ~

Also put on a pot of water and bring it to a boil, to cook your noodles.

Now, place your piece of chicken in the flour and coat all sides. Then shake it slightly to let excess flour fall back into bowl. This will act as glue to hold on the breadcrumbs. :)

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen place in the egg/milk mixture and turn to coat fully. Let excess drip off.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen place in the breadcrumbs and coat thoroughly. Pat it on, if you like.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meChicken Parmesan ~ Place into skillet with hot oil.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meSorry that’s so blurry.

Continue this process until you have all your chicken breaded and placed in the skillet. Turn them over when the first side is golden brown. You should start to see the edges getting done and may see some juices forming on the top. Keep an eye on the heat of your burner, turning it down if it is browning too quickly.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd more oil as necessary to continue frying. These should not take very long to cook through if you cut them thin enough. :)

Remove them from the oil to a baking sheet. Spread some of your favorite tomato sauce on top. If I am feeling energetic, I’ll make some of my pizza sauce but otherwise we like Del Monte’s traditional sauce in the tall can.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou don’t want a whole lot of sauce, just enough to accent the flavor. The chicken is the star here not the sauce.

Shred some Parmesan cheese and sprinkle it on top of each piece.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meHmmm, I’m not sure that is Parmesan that I used that night. It looks like quite a bit.

This particular night I added some Provolone cheese as well.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.mePop it under the broiler to melt the cheese and heat the sauce.

Meanwhile make sure your pasta is about finished and heat up the remainder of the sauce because you will probably want it on your noodles too.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the cheese is melted it is ready to serve.

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meI like butter on my noodles. :)

Chicken Parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meMmm mmm! Delicious!

Chicken Parmesan


  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into flat 4 ounce servings
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2-1 cup flour
  • 1-2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • several tablespoons oil of your choice, we used coconut or olive oil
  • tall can Del Monte traditional spaghetti sauce
  • Parmesan cheese, about 1/2 grated finely OR cheese of your choice (but it is called Parmesan chicken. 😉 )
  • Wide Egg Noodles, about 8 ounce package cooked according to package directions


  1. Combine your egg and milk in one flat container. Place flour in another flat container and breadcrumbs in another.
  2. Dredge chicken in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and place in skillet with hot oil.
  3. Fry for a few minutes, until golden brown and then flip and cook on the second side.
  4. Remove from oil and place on baking sheet.
  5. Spread a couple tablespoons of sauce on top of each piece.
  6. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of sauce on each piece.
  7. Place under the broiler until cheese is melted.
  8. Serve on cooked egg noodles, with butter or more sauce, as desired.

I hope you enjoy it!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Worship: Tuning Your Attitude

Worship ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome days the best thing you can do for yourself, your spouse, and marriage is to go spend time basking in God’s presence (and take some l-theanine or sepia ;) ). Seriously! Some days it is just hard to be loving, which probably means you need to go and spend time with The Father. When you spend time loving on God and letting Him love on you, you come away from it and are a much nicer person. ;)

If you are listening to the right worship music, you can feel changes being made in your heart. You can feel your attitude being adjusted and if you spend enough time in worship, you will behave differently when you come back out.

I have had to do this at different times. There were times I would go into my bedroom, shut the door and just worship God. Just me and Him, loving on each other. I would come out of my room a much nicer, happier woman. :)

Yesterday I had one of these moments. I realized that I was just not really being me, the person I really am. So I finally got a clue and got out my phone, pulled up the YouTube app, and put on some music that I know helps me enter into worship quickly. I put on my headphones and turned the volume up all the way and laid my head back and worshiped God and let the Holy Spirit wash over me. I could feel change beginning immediately this time. Sometimes it doesn’t happen quickly and takes a while for me to break through the ‘funk’ that is my attitude, sadly. But if I continue to listen to worship music that leads me in worship of God, I eventually come away in a much better mood.

So if you are feeling challenged with situations and tempted to have a bad attitude, I suggest you get alone, put on some music that helps you enter into worshiping God, and spend some time with Him. And it doesn’t hurt to ask for His help, either. :)

This is the song I put on because it is what is currently ministering to me/helping me enter into worship of my “Good Good Father”. :)

Then I listen to this one by the same group: “This Love”.

I hope you enjoy them and the next time you feel unlike who you really are, you will get alone with God and spend some time in worship and prayer, before you say something you will regret.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Birthday and Convention

Birthday and Convention ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy birthday was this week. My family is good about making it special. Tiffany made meals for me. We had Sausage Delight for breakfast (which is basically the linked recipe without the tortillas), Homemade French Fries and Grilled ham and cheese for lunch, lasagna and homemade bread for dinner, with ice cream sundaes for dessert. Very filling! :)

I received some supplies for my art ventures and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. :) As well as some games from gamehouse that I really enjoy.

It was nice to be given the day off!

Tracie and I had a lot of fun at the OCHEC Convention. I’ll share more about some of the things we found and learned or heard on future Thursdays.

I rode with Tracie down to Oklahoma City on Thursday evening. We had never been to the OKC convention before and we needed to scope out how to get there and where we’d park. We found the hotel, went back to the Cox Center, circled around to find available parking spots, and then went and found some dinner. We ended up at Mackie’s but it was a bit run down. Thankfully the fried butterfly shrimp saved it from being a bad idea. :)

We went back to the hotel and we just chilled for a couple of hours; I did my blog. We had a good evening and went to bed. We had to leave the hotel by 7:30 because of traffic. Thankfully the hotel had a complimentary hot breakfast, so we didn’t have to figure that out.

We made it to the convention center, parked under the convention center, and found where we needed to go, with time to spare.

Steve Demme, of Math-U-See, was the keynote speaker and he was really really good!!! It is amazing how refreshing it is to have like-minded people encouraging you to do what you do. His message was entitled “Divine Blueprint” and was so encouraging on a Christian level as well as a homeschooling level. I will probably share more about that next Thursday.

We went to workshops ranging from Courtship & Dating: What’s the Difference to 5 FAQ about Math and so much more.

We were glad to visit, and purchase from, some of our favorite vendors and find new ones we liked too. We always like to purchase something from Miller’s Pads and Papers. Ahhh, paper and notebooks of all different sizes and styles, pencils, pens, coloring books, art study books, and sooooo much more. They are FUN!

I’m sure it doesn’t surprise anyone that I did not manage to get any pictures taken. LOL I definitely live in the moment but my blog suffers eye appeal because of it. :D

I hope you have an opportunity to attend a Christian Homeschool Convention this summer. It is like a cold drink on a hot day!

I’ll run for now.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Personal Finance for Teens

Personal Finance for Teens ~ Lifeofjoy.meLast week I went to the OCHEC Convention in OKC with my baby sister, Tracie. This is the first time we’ve attended in OKC. We had fun together as usual but this time was a little different since we stayed in a hotel. I’ll probably talk much more about the convention tomorrow.

Today is the day I focus on homeschooling, parenting, raising children and such. I thought I’d share this interesting, and very needed, program we came across in the vendor hall last Friday evening.

Personal Finance For Teens! Jeff and Jane Slotnick are the creators of this interesting program. Jane uses it in the school where she teaches. She isn’t able to cover all of the material offered on the website in her short 9-week session but as homeschoolers, we can take our time and use all 11 sections.

Topics include:

  • Introduction – definition of personal finance, debt, financial peace, spending vs. saving, and being single, living on your own, and making wise decisions regarding money.
  • Careers
  • Taxes and Payroll Checks
  • Budgets
  • Saving
  • Life Planner
  • Banking/Checking Accounts
  • Event Cards – used during the simulation of a month’s finances
  • Credit Cards
  • Filing a Tax Return
  • Investing – During this portion of the program they recommend using a free online program called How the Market Works. It is a real-time, streaming stock market game that allows your student to learn how the stock market works with no risk. :)

This reminds me of an accounting class I took in tenth grade. We purchased this kit and kept the books and wrote checks for a business. I really enjoyed it a lot. This is something EVERY child needs to learn, unlike the accounting course I took, so many years ago.

The really awesome thing is that Jeff and Jane have made this extremely affordable. It is only $29.99 per student for an entire year’s access to the website. I highly recommend looking into this very needful program.

Once on their website, you can read more about it on their Features, Screen Shots, and Demo Site tabs.

Even if you don’t use it in its entirety, I think it is a great way to communicate with your child about finances and give them some exposure to how things work in the world before they have to learn about it the hard way.

FYI: Jeff and Jane operate on word-of-mouth advertising, and I have gotten no compensation for sharing this today.

If you try it, I’d love to know.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Ruutz, Crux, and Hi-Cs

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meWell, I managed to do it again. :) I was able to combine the Diva Challenge, Square One: Purely Zentangle focus, and the Weekly Zentangle Tangle Video focus all in one tile.

The focus over on Square One: Purely Zentangle is Eni Oken’s new tangle Ruutz. I found this one a bit difficult to shade. It was pretty easy to draw but shading it proved to be a challenge for me. In the end, I guess it turned out okay for a first attempt. {Well, to be truthful, I started it once and had to turn the tile over because I didn’t like some of my lines.} This is also the tangle focus for the Shading Zentangle facebook group, so I’m hoping they’ll give me some pointers on how to better that aspect.

iamthedivacztThe Diva Challenge this week is a “Use My Tangle (UMT)” challenge and the chosen tangle is Crux by Henrike Bratz. I really enjoyed doing this one and there are so many ways to shade it that it can look drastically different every time you draw it. If you haven’t tried this tangle before, I highly recommend it. You do have to focus when you are drawing it but if you follow the steps, it turns out pretty nice.

I was also able to include the focus of the Weekly Zentangle Tangle Video (WZTV), Hi-Cs. This was another fun tangle to draw but the shading really stumped me. Here again, I hope someone will be able to give me some pointers. If you haven’t tried this tangle and you are looking for an easy one, give this one a shot.

Without further adieu, here is my tile. Well, the line work before the shading is first.

Ruutz, Crux, and Hi-Cs ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd now finished.

Ruutz, Crux, and Hi-Cs ~

Thanks for your kind comments! You all are a great group of people and very encouraging! I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº