Monthly Archives: August 2016

Olympic Molygon Oke Tile

iamthedivacztFB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meThis week’s Diva Challenge is an Olympic theme. On Square One: Purely Zentangle the focus is Oke. And the Weekly Zentangle Tangle Video focus is Molygon.

I decided to combined them once again. I wish I had made my Molygon larger but alas, it is what it is. I needed something to add to the background or corners, and since Square One’s focus is Oke, I decided to put a partial Oke in that space.

My favorite Olympic event is gymnastics. So, I decided to go with the uneven bars. Unfortunately I didn’t put a bar on the bottom to hold them up, so it looks more like hurdles. :D And I forgot to take a scan before I began shading it, so there is no before shading to compare it to but let me assure you, there is a drastic difference. When I was all finished and went to sign it, I realized I’d used an .005 pen instead of my usual .01 pen. No wonder I was having a hard time seeing my lines. :D

Well, here it is. I had fun thinking about and drawing this tile.
Olympic Molygon Oke ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt looks like I need to clean my scanner, as it keeps adding extra dots on my tiles. ;) I’ll have to remember to do that before I scan next week’s tile.

I don’t think I’ll share this on Shading Zentangle, as I don’t get any shading advice there and that is the reason I joined it.

I want to thank those of you that will be kind enough to leave a comment. You are always so encouraging. Have a great week!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº





Creamy coleslaw with just the right amount of liquid and tang but won’t make you pucker.

Coleslaw ~lifeofjoy.meColeslaw is one of those things that I didn’t make much of in the past. In the last few months, I have learned that this is one of Mike’s favorite side dishes, especially when paired with hamburgers or hot dogs and baked beans.

I have bought more cabbage in the last few years, since learning to make egg rolls than I had in many of the previous years added together. But that means that I frequently have cabbage in my refrigerator. Making egg rolls takes a bit of time, so I procrastinate making them. One day I needed a quick side dish and decided to make coleslaw. I didn’t use any measurements, just did like I saw my mom do.

The other day when made this, I measured ingredients before adding them to the bowl so I could share it here.

I started by weighing the piece of cabbage that I had left from other uses. I shredded the 1-pound cabbage on the large grater. I used to slice it on my mandolin but found I preferred a more chopped texture. (Don’t grate the core.)

Coleslaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meGrate a medium carrot.

Coleslaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd 1/2 cup mayo. (I’d prefer to use Miracle Whip because then I probably wouldn’t need the vinegar and sugar but Michael prefers mayonnaise, so that is what I used.)

Coleslaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext include 4 teaspoons – 2 tablespoons white vinegar (not apple cider vinegar), 1 -2 tablespoons sugar (or sugar substitute), and 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or evaporated canned milk and combine. I almost forgot to take a picture of the finished dish. We ate half of it. :)

Coleslaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is the first time I have made this and it didn’t turn out soupy. :)



  • 1 pound cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons - 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream or evaporated canned milk


  1. Shred cabbage and carrot on large holes of box grater.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.


Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Clean Bedroom Challenge Update

Well, I thought it was only fair to give an update on how the de-cluttering of the master bedroom is going. I have to admit that I have not been very motivated to do much.

I don’t know why but it takes a considerable amount of determination for me to do any de-cluttering. Unfortunately my determination has been severely lacking. However one day I did manage to clean off this little table.

I would love to show you before and after pictures. And you might think that I just forgot to take pictures but the truth is that I actually did think about it. But in honesty, I have to admit I was too embarrassed to take a picture of it and post it here. I have seen some before pictures on some websites that looked cleaner than what my after pictures would look like in some areas.

Clean Bedroom Update ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe basket on top was cleaned out and I put some of the things back in it. I can see that I will need to clean it out every couple of months so that it doesn’t overflow and spread over the entire table top.

Here’s another picture.

Clean Bedroom Update ~

I know it doesn’t look like much of an accomplishment but it was full and dusty and now it isn’t. :)

I really should work on my dresser this week but I have to work on creating a menu. Mike has been doing some research and a few weeks ago decided that he wanted to try the ketogenic diet. I had not heard of that diet but had heard the word before, when I did the Atkins diet years ago. Shortly after that I felt like I should join him on it, so I’ll this week I’ll be making some menus with this in mind, which will require quite a bit of research and thus time. So, although I need to clean off my dresser, odds are slim that I will actually do so.

I don’t know about you but I don’t throw clothing items that I wear once in the dirty laundry. I don’t like to put these clothes back in the dresser with unworn clothing. So I tend to put them on this table. It takes diligence to keep up with these, keeping the area neat and tidy.

The purpose of this whole decluttering thing anyway, is to bless my man with a cleaner, more peaceful room.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

I’m a Grandma!!!! :)

He’s Finally Here!~

Sunday evening Brian and Lauren went to the hospital to begin procedures to induce labor. Very early Monday morning they began a Pitocin drip. I checked in with them several times and found that things were progressing slowly.

Since Mike was working outside and the heat was atrocious, he came home early. He showered and got ready to leave and urged me to get ready as well; so I did. Hours passed and Sean was headed home from work, so Tiffany and I began making dinner. (Salmon Patties, mashed potatoes, and creamed peas)

Sean arrived and I had finally had enough of the clothes I was in and I went to change clothes. Just as I was beginning to change, my text tone for Brian sounded! Mike and I ran to the phone and saw this simple text: It’s almost time to push.

Now, we live 45 minutes away from the hospital. I feared we wouldn’t make it in time. So of course my response to him was: I’m going to hit you! Now you have to remember that I homeschooled this young man and was with him 24/7 for most of his life. Thus, we get each other.

The salmon patties were not quite all finished but Mike and I grabbed what was ready and began shoveling down our dinner and left within 15 minutes. Fourty-five minutes later we arrived at the hospital. We didn’t expect to be able to go into the room with them but were pleased to be able to see them for a few seconds.

We went in and out and back in and back out and at about 8:30 we were sent to the waiting room; my last words to Brian: Keep me posted. We waited and waited and waited. I was very happy I had a bag of goodies, things to do. I had my phone on silent since I was in a hospital. At 9:45 I heard a phone tone but it wasn’t mine. I checked my phone anyway and found Brian had sent me a text two minutes early saying: HE IS HERE!!!!! Lauren’s dad, aunt, Mike, and I were thrilled and we waited. A few minutes later, Tracie let me know they had just gotten out of church and were heading to us and still we waited. :)

They arrived and a few minutes later (about 11pm) we were able to go get our first look at Liam! :)

Such love!
So Happy! For this we prayed!
Happy Family
I let Grandpa go first!
My Turn!!!

Tracie let the girls each have a turn before she took her turn. This is getting too long, so I didn’t include their pictures.

Tracie’s Turn

Before we left, Liam opened his eyes for a bit and gave us a big yawn!

Awake and Yawning
My Baby holding his baby. :)

At this point, Liam was only about two hours old. He had an exhausting day and slept while we were there. We left about 12:30am.

About 12 hours later, Mike and I took Tiffany up to see her nephew and to get a few more snuggles in ourselves. :)

Auntie Tiffany meets Liam

Well, I think that is probably enough of a picture deluge for now. I’m sure I’ll be adding more pictures, assuming I remember to take them. Aren’t you impressed that I actually have pictures to share her today? I am but the truth be told, I remembered to take the camera and I remembered to ask Mike to take them. :) Most of these were courtesy of Mike. But I did snag a few pics from Tiffany and Tracie and wherever else I could. ;)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’m taking dinner to the kids later and hope Liam is awake so I can hold him. Then again, maybe I will help awake him so he will get his days and nights straightened back out.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

New Year Help

If you haven’t already begun your new school year, you probably will be pretty soon. That is always a good time to establish some new routines.

New Year Help ~ Lifeofjoy.meRecently I stumbled across this really neat idea for a chore chart that you can make rather easily. It is made out of cardstock and magnetic tape. I had a similar one for my kids when they were young. The difference is this one closes when they are done and the one I made was put into a page protector and they would use a vis-a-vis marker to check off the items as they did it. I’d love to share mine with you but that was several computers ago. :( I may find the files from that computer one day but until then, all is lost. In the mean time, check out the simple one you can make for your kids over on My Name is Snickerdoodle.

Another article I came across recently was about how one mother brought peace to her home by focusing on one simple thing. I encourage you to take a few minutes and go read her post; I think you will find it encouraging. Changes take place the easiest when we are focusing on only one thing at a time.

I remember years ago when I had been introduced to Flylady, that I was amazed at how she had the same testimony of just focusing on one little thing and how that really changed her life – slowly – but changed.

I do have to throw out one word of caution though. It can sometimes be easy to do that one simple thing and make it become routine but there will be a point somewhere down the road where you will have to choose, all over again, to do that thing. For example, many years ago I began taking my shower at night, just before going to bed, as this was the most reliable time to consistently do so. After several years of doing so, I started exercising during the day and got hot and sweaty. Needless to say, I needed the shower after exercising. Now this put a new wrinkle into my showering before bed plan. It wasn’t bad when I actually did exercise but eventually on the days I didn’t, I had to really make myself take a shower before bed. It was real easy to think, I’ll just take it tomorrow morning after I exercise but what happens when I don’t end up exercising? My good intentions don’t always have good follow-through. ;) So then my showering schedule has gotten all out of wack and I must form the habit anew. So, I said all that to warn you that you must be ever vigilant on whatever changes you make.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Duotangle: Auraknot and Meer

Lifeofjoy.meFirst things first! He’s Here!!!! I’m officially a grandma! Liam arrived Monday night at 9:27 central time. Whew! He was quite stubborn and did not want to leave the warmth and safety of his mother but he was finally extricated and is a sweet, healthy little bundle of joy. He weighed in at eight pounds two point nine ounces and is twenty-one inches long. I don’t have any pictures on my computer yet, so I’ll share some on Friday.

iamthedivacztNow, onto the Diva Challenge for this week. It lived up to its name for me this week. The challenge is to do a tile using just Meer and Auraknot tangles. Well the obvious way is to put Meer on the strips of Auraknot but that is what Laura did and I try to do something different. I almost went for white on black tile but since that is so hard to shade properly and I was low on time, I decided to go with the standard black on white tile.

I wasn’t sure what to do. Thought of using Meer for a frame for one big Auraknot. Then I thought of threading Meer through Auraknot like Maria did the ribbon in the tangle video. Then I thought about doing some meer “bars” and having auraknot in the background. Then I decided to just start with the simple beginning of any Zentangle tile by putting the dots in the corners and drawing the border lines in pencil. Then I proceeded to draw a string. I thought I might put an auraknot in each section and use meer as the dividing lines.

So I drew the string. And then I used the lines of the string as one of the lines of meer. Hmmm, I just remembered as I type this that I think Meer is supposed to have small orbs along the outer edges and I always forget that. Oh well, I guess I have a Meer variation. ;)

Then I decided to make each section between the lines of meer one of the points of auraknot and have one big auraknot under meer. I also decided to skip two sections when drawing my initial connecting lines instead of the skipping one section.

Here is the unshaded version of my duotangle.

DC#279 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI like how the lines on meer help with the shading right from the start, if you put the closer together on one side than the other.

Here is the shaded version. I have to say though that it looks much more shaded in real life, contrary to this picture. I really should do my tiles earlier in the day so that I can have time to add more shading after scanning and have the time to re-scan it. But I am an excellent procrastinator and wait until way too late to get started and run low on time before I need to go to bed. The way it is, I’m already staying up late to get this ready for publishing in the morning. ;) Oh well. Without further adieu, here is the finished tile.

Shaded DC#279 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve re-scanned this using a higher dpi to see if it shows better and I’m not sure it made any difference. I may have to take a picture of it outside later in good lighting, assuming it doesn’t rain.

DC#279 again ~ Lifeofjoy.meShaded DC#279 ~ Lifeofjoy.meMaybe smaller would look more accurate? It sure makes me wonder how much shading Eni and Lily actually do. I think this looks very shaded in real life but not here so if it looks that much lighter, theirs must be really intense.

I give up for now. Maybe I’ll think of something else later.

Thanks for all your sweet, kind, and encouraging comments; they are greatly appreciated.

Until next time, God Bless,

Michele ºÜº



Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~

Tasty Tuna Tossup

Cool pasta salad with a blend of cucumber, green pepper, tomato, and green onions that I enjoy every summer. It could be eaten year round but, it’s really nice when it’s hot to have this chilled salad.

Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.meMany, many, many years ago, I was invited to a ladies luncheon. This is one of the items she served and was gracious enough to share the recipe with me. I loved her luncheons. She’d have about 30 ladies there with various tables set up for lunch, which was buffet style. I remember one year in particular, she had about 8 or so different kinds of salads. I’m not a very adventurous eater, so this particular lunch as a bit of a stretch for me. ;)

I was surprised to find that I liked several of the salads and most everything was good. I asked for two or three of her salad recipe that day and this is one of them. I don’t make it very often but when I do, I wonder why I didn’t make it sooner. :D

Start by boiling 8 ounces of wide egg noodles. When they are al dente, drain them into a colander and rinse with cold water. When drained, place in a large bowl. (FYI: This bowl is NOT big enough.)

Tasty Tuna Toss-Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext peel and slice cucumber. I use my mandolin with the #2 size slicer on it.

Tasty Tuna Toss-Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meDice some green pepper. Again, I like mine diced rather small. You’ll need a half cup.

Tasty Tuna Toss-Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext slice a green onion. And dice a large tomato. Add these all to the bowl.

Tasty Tuna Toss-Up ~

Drain and add 10-12 ounces of canned tuna.

Now it’s time to mix up the dressing. The original recipe called for twice as much but it just seemed way too soupy for us. Also, I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of vinegary or tart foods, so I tend to reduce the amounts of those items to make it more palatable for me.

Combine 1/2 cup Italian dressing, (I like it best when I make the Italian from a packet because I can control the amount of vinegar) 1/2 cup mayo (I prefer Miracle Whip but Mike thinks he prefers mayo, so if you prefer MW, use it and you probably won’t need the added sugar) 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard, 1/2-3/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and several shakes of pepper.

Tasty Tuna Toss-Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhisk it all together and pour over pasta and veggies.

Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.meSee . . . I couldn’t combine it all in that medium size pyrex bowl. :D

The original directions said to cover and chill but we usually eat it right away. I like to make this because Sean and Tiffany are too picky and won’t even try it, so Mike and I have it for two or more meals. :)

I have found that it is hard to take pictures of food that is in the white spectrum. The flash seems to wash it out but it looks dingy without it. I’m going to have to work on how to take the best pictures of white food soon. (I’m thinking I should use my telephoto lens, stand way off, and use the flash, that way I’m far enough away that it doesn’t wash out the food but still looks clear and bright. We’ll see.) In the meantime, here are several pictures that do NOT do this yummy salad justice!!!

Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.meOh! I’ve also realized I need to get some colored plates again for photographing white spectrum food. ;)

Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat one just hurts my eyes. :D

Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.meI should’ve pulled some of those tomatoes to the top. :D

Tasty Tuna Tossup


  • 8 ounces of wide egg noodles
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 large seeded and chopped tomato
  • 10-12 ounces tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • several dashes of pepper


  1. Cook noodles as directed on package. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Combine noodles, tuna, and veggies in medium-large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine dressing, mayo, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper with whisk.
  4. Pour over salad and toss well.
  5. (Cover and chill or just go ahead and eat it. 😉 )

Seriously though, my pictures do NOT do this salad justice. Make it and try it. You’ll like it.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº




Marriage Encouragement Links

Marriage Encouragement Links ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have a few links to share with you today but am making this quick. My grandson is finally making his appearance and I can’t wait to go see him.

The Generous Wife shared a good, short but sweet post recently. “My Spouse is Not My Enemy” So many times we get caught up in frustrations and the mundane things of life and find ourselves fighting with our beloved. It is easy to lose sight of what the real problem is. Truth be told, the devil wants to destroy your marriage.  Lori shares some good points; I hope you’ll go read it.

Kate over on  One Flesh Marriage shared an interesting post about how to emotionally protect your hubby. She shared some good points, some of which I wish I had known earlier. “Emotionally Protecting Your Man

And finally, Scott over on Journey to Surrender, has an interesting series of posts on changing the climate of your marriage. I found them to be both insightful and convicting, giving me some ideas of changes to make. They are short, so they are a quick read. At the end of each article is the link to the next one, of which there are four.

I hope the links will inspire you, give you food for thought, and/or challenge you in your relationship with your beloved.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Still Waiting, Blogiversary, Hair Cut, and Olympics

Lifeofjoy.meFirst things first, we are still eagerly awaiting Liam’s arrival. It appears that my first grandson has decided he wasn’t quite as eager to get here as originally thought. It has been a couple of weeks since Lauren first measured at 3cm dilated, giving us false hope that his arrival was imminent. But alas, at her last appointment she still measured 3 cm. Oh well. He will come eventually. :)

lifeofjoy.meMonday, August 1st marked my second blogiversary! Throughout the month I will be making some updates and changes, hopefully making the site easier to maneuver and find what you want.

I will be making a recipe index, as well as pages with the most valuable information for each weekday category. This will require an overhaul of the menu system as well. I also intend to review all past posts and update them where necessary. I hope the changes will be a blessing to you.

On errand day this week, I got my hair cut. I was liking the length in the back but the top had gotten way too long and the sides were getting out of hand as well.

Getting my hair cut is a continual frustration. I never know how to explain what I want and as soon as I think I do, I get someone that hasn’t done it before and am unable to explain what I want clearly. People always have a preconceived idea of what you want before you ever open your mouth.

I have to say though that the top is how I want it. The sides are acceptable but the back, which she worked on the longest, is way way way too short! It will grow, this I know from experience. By the time the holidays roll around, it should be the length I like it-who knows, I may even need to get it cut by then. The hardest part between now and then will be explaining how they need to cut the top, sides, and layers, but please leave the length.

I don’t understand why it is so difficult. I want LOTS and LOTS of layers down the length of my hair in back. You just changed the angle of the cuttings, so that it isn’t so steep. But, I’m not a beautician, so what do I know?

Mike met me for lunch that day. I sent him a text warning him of my new appearance. I said, ” Warning: I’ve been scalped.” This turned out to be perfect because when he saw me, it wasn’t as bad as he feared and said that it actually didn’t look too bad and that he kind of liked it. :)

Lifeofjoy.meThe Summer Olympics start today. The open ceremony airs tonight. If you are interested, I found some activities and an interesting article with a free app  that is said to be pretty good (the one recommended is the NBC Olympics app). More accurately they found me. ;) I got them in my email. There are probably lots more out there if you go looking but this will give you a start.

Well, I’m going to go for now. I hope you have a great weekend and HOPEFULLY next Friday I get to share pictures of Liam. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Looking into Homeschooling: Where to Begin

run ~ Lifeofjoy.meEducating children at home can seem like a daunting task. It’s hard to know even where to begin. There are so many different methods and philosophies of homeschooling that it can be overwhelming. Of course, the proponents of each method and philosophy believe theirs is the best method, otherwise they would be following a different methodology and philosophy, at least most would.

Since I’ve entitled this post with “Where to Begin, ” I am going to attempt to cover the very first things to do.

First and foremost, PRAY about it. Actually, this is what all parents should do concerning their children’s education, even if they think they are putting them into a school-any school. Pray about how would God have you educate your children. This is something that should be discussed between couples before they even get married, but do not fear if you didn’t think of this. No worries. You can pray about it and talk to your spouse about it now. :) It’s never too late . . . okay, maybe if your child is a senior in high school, then it is probably too late. ;) Ask God to lead you to the people and resources He wants you to have and use.

Now, I’m glad He’s led you here. :)

The next thing you should do is write down all the reasons that you believe you should home educate your child(ren). This is important because there will be a time, somewhere in the future, where you will need to pull this piece of paper out and remind yourself just why you are doing this again. I have shared the reasons I homeschooled my children in this post, if you are interested.

The first book I recommend you read is Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola. Well, the complete title is Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study with the Gentle Art of Learning. This book will ease you into learning about what homeschooling can look like. It is a story rather than just a bunch of information thrown at you. ;) It is set in the 1930’s but still has truths and examples that can be applicable to life today.

After reading this, you can move on to the much denser but still enjoyable A Charlotte Mason Companion, also by Karen Andreola. This book shares much more about the Charlotte Mason philosophy and methodology. Do take your time reading this one. There is so much information in it that if you rush through it you will miss valuable bits along the way. Of course, you could devour it quickly and then go back and read it more thoroughly a second time.

When I got this one from the library the first time, it took me a long time to read it. I wanted to thoroughly grasp what was being shared. Eventually it had to be returned to the library. There was so much information in it that I actually took notes so that I wouldn’t forget it all.

This is enough to get you started. I’ll share some more next week. :)

Until then, God bless,

Michele ºÜº