Monthly Archives: September 2016

Liam Cuddles and Conference Prep

Liam Cuddles ~ Lifeofjoy.meI got to have some cuddle time with Liam last Sunday. :) Of course, we were all at my parents’ home so I had to share with all of them. ;) This picture was taken as I was getting my last cuddles in before we all left. Brian was glad that he’s starting to react a bit, you know, like with peek-a-boo and such. He’s going to be a lot of fun at Christmas.

It’s hard to believe it is nearly October already! But it is equally hard to believe that it hasn’t even been a year since we went on our cruise last year. I cannot believe how much I am missing it right now. I am reliving the memories and being ever so thankful that Brian, Lauren, and Sean decided to gift our family with that adventure last year! (I’ve even been checking prices and been thinking about another one next year sometime.)

Our church has a conference next week. I am the overseer of the kitchen. We have a free breakfast of bagels, doughnuts, fruit, muffins, and yogurt for all attendees. It’s a nice thing for the church to offer (in my opinion).

We had a kitchen cleaning day early this week. We scheduled it for after one of Tiffany’s appointments. The thing is though, that we left her appointment and had about forty-five minutes to wait. So, we headed over to TJMaxx. It isn’t a store I’ve been in very often and I doubt Tiffany ever has been in one before.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The time flew as we dug through journals and then wandered the clearance aisles. I found some items to add to my Christmas list and Tiffany found the notebook she wanted for her next book. It was a fun visit and we’ll be stopping by there again, even though it is a few miles further than we normally go.

We arrived at the church on time for the kitchen cleaning. I left the decisions about what all we did, up to the other two ladies that joined us because I’m not big into cleaning (and truth be told, I could stand to take a few lessons for myself ;) ). Yeah, the five of us cleaned the two refrigerators, shelves, cabinets, drawers, counters, doors, closets, swept, and mopped the floor. Of course, I was not in the room for most of all of that. :) My job was to check out the coffee pots and ensure that all were in working order. We use five of them.

We are blessed to be able to host a young gal this year. Sean and Tiffany made friends with her over the last several conferences; she and her cousin spent the night here one night last time. It will be nice to have her here.

It is going to be a busy week though. Breakfast is served at 7:45, so that means we’d need to leave about 7:10 in order to get there by then. We have some dedicated gals that get there at 6:30 in the morning to turn on the coffee pots and put out all the food. I get there for restocking and clean-up. :) But I’m looking forward to it.

Well, I’ve got a house to get in order before our guest arrives on Saturday, so I better run.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Books, Teaching Home Newsletter, and Science Comic Book

Early Curricula ~ LifeofJoy.meToday I have a couple of links to share with you. The first is to an interesting article on the differences between the literature that children studied in the seventh and eighth grades in 1908 and the literature list for the same grade children more recently. The author goes through the lists and makes several comparisons. I’m always interested in book suggestions, so I enjoyed reading this article.

~ Lifeofjoy.meThe Teaching Home magazine’s website has a plethora of wonderful articles. If you sign up for their newsletter, you’ll get some good suggestions each month. This is the one I got recently. It has lots of ideas for Autumn and incorporating nature in to your studies. If you go to this link, you can spend a lot of time perusing previous newsletters. Lots and lots of ideas and encouragement!

I saw this “comic book” mentioned somewhere and thought it was quite an interesting idea. It teaches science in the form of a comic book or dare I say, graphic novel. ;) At any rate, you might want to check out this review and see a peek at what it looks like at Educents.

That’s all for today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Straight Lines

iamthedivacztThis week’s Diva Challenge is to use only straight lines. :D Now that is a challenge because my lines usually end up going a little wiggly somewhere along the way. ;)

All the other challenges and focuses for the week are using tangles that involve some curved lines. So rather than trying to see what the focus tangles would look like using only straight lines, I opted to just keep it simple this week.

The first straight line tangle that comes to mind is Paradox. I love Paradox because it makes curves out of straight lines. :) It is an amazing tangle that took me a while to get a grip on how to draw this one successfully but since there weren’t a whole lot of published tangles back then, I didn’t mind spending the time to do so.

I decided that I’d try to make it appear that each tangle was overlapping the others with Paradox on the “top.”

Next I wanted a boxy tangle but wanted my “boxes” to be large, nearly as large as my paradox. I started to go with Dex but once I got the four boxes drawn, I realized it wasn’t going to work, so added a few more lines and went with another old favorite, Cubine. :) Somewhere along the way my boxes got out of proportion (mostly because I started with just four boxes and then switched up to a grid) so on the bottom I have one oversized box. Oh well! :D

I decided I’d use another favorite tangle, MacDee, as the farthest tangle. It is such an easy background tangle that I gravitate towards it frequently. This time I thought I’d leave the blackened boxes of cubine open so you could see macdee in behind. Unfortunately my lines were off too much and I had to blacken them in, so there isn’t much of MacDee showing but I still like it.

I forgot to scan before shading. That tends to happen when I have large bits that get blackened in. So without further adieu, here’s my tile for this week’s Diva Challenge.

DC#286 ~ Lifeofjjoy.meAs you can see, it is all kind of tilted. :) Actually, you can see some of the MacDee lines I attempted in some of the blackend parts of Cubine. I use a Graphic 1 micron for big black sections.

Thanks in advance to all those who share some comment love. :) You are a huge encouragement to me.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Zoodles ~


Julienned strips of small zucchini, sautéed in oil or butter.

Today’s recipe is so simple that it isn’t really a recipe. ;)

This is made from zucchini but I think you could use yellow squash too.

I wish I had one of those spiral veggie slicers because it seems like it would be a bit easier than the julienne peeler I have.

Basically, all you need to do is wash the zucchini and then slice.

Zoodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meUnfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the next steps. You could steam it or boil it, which I have tried and did not like. What we have found we do like though is to season it with salt and cook it in a skillet with butter or coconut oil, until it is done to your liking.

See? It’s that simple. Serve with your choice of sauce. We’ve had this with Meatballs Parmesan, Pesto Meatballs, and pictured here with Spaghetti sauce.

Zoodles ~

We have found that we prefer to use the smaller, thinner zucchini rather than the larger, fatter ones. Michael had liked these every time I made them except this last time when I used the larger zucchini; he said it had a stronger taste that he did not like. So be forewarned. ;)



  • zucchini
  • tablespoon of oil or butter
  • salt


  1. Julienne the zucchini.
  2. Heat a drizzle of oil into a skillet.
  3. Add zucchini
  4. Salt, as desired, (this helps it cook quicker)
  5. Serve in place of spaghetti.


Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



More Doing and Thinking

Speak No Evil ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have found that my life goes a LOT better when I focus on what I should be doing and not on what Mike (or anyone else, for that matter) should be doing. When I do the things I know to do and focus on God, I’m not nearly as disappointed as when I am wishing others would do things.

For example, when I am reading my Bible, praying (both in tongues and English), doing my household chores, and doing whatever God leads me to do, I am more focused on me obeying God than what Mike (or anyone else) is doing. Things just go more smoothly.

But then there are those days of attack. Seriously! There are days that I just take everything wrong and then what do I do? I respond too quickly and in that ugly tone of voice. I don’t even realize I’m doing it. But then out comes “Mr. Nasty” (a reference from the movie You’ve Got Mail) and we end up bickering with each other over either a misunderstanding or sometimes even nothing at all.

I read an interesting article recently that asked a couple simple questions. Are you generally a nice person? and Are you kind to others? Then turned it around and asked the same questions about how others see your husband. She went on to explain that many times you find that you just act differently with your spouse, in a negative way, than you do with others, which probably stems from some hurt in the past from some misperception.

She went on to explain that the solution is a simple one. Sit down and talk with your spouse. Start doing some fun things together. And be kind. :)

So the answer to those days of attack, is to think before I speak! Yep. I must engage my brain before I utter whatever sarcastic remark is about to leave my lips. ;) I need to check my attitude and be sure that I am responding kindly, regardless of any attitudes coming my way. I cannot do anything about his attitudes (trust me, I’ve tried, to no avail). I can only deal with mine. Oh, and if I do try to deal with his attitude, it usually backfires because it is not my place to correct him. He’s not my child. He’s my husband, my LOVE! Trying to correct him makes him feel disrespected, especially if it is in front of anyone, even anyone living in the same house. ;) And as I pointed out last week, wives are to respect their husbands. Unfortunately this is harder to put into practice than to write about. I’m a work in progress. :)

Until next week, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Extroverting and B90 Update

Extroverting and B90 Update ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s been a very extroverted week, again this week. It was only three days . . . well, four if you count Sunday, and I do, so it is completely understandable why I am soooo ready to just stay home for a few days. ;)

One day we had to go into town for an appointment. Since we were in town anyway and I needed a new pair of black church shoes, we shopped for them. I had the foresight to pray and ask God to help me find them at the first store we went to. We started at Payless and although they were having a bogo sale, I was unable to take advantage of it. However, I was thrilled to find a pair of heals that I liked and were on sale. Of course, they weren’t as on sale as I would have preferred but at least I didn’t pay full price for them either. :)

One other day, we managed to get home by about two o’clock but since it was hot as blazes outside, Mike did not feel up to going back out (in the heat). Thus we stayed home from mid-week services at church, even though we made all the appropriate preparations to be able to go. Oh well, there’s always next week. ;)

Then the third day of appointments, Tiffany and I left earlier than necessary, so that we could shop for a few new notebooks that she needed for some new stories she’s working on. We managed to go to a wonderful plaza that has some wonderful stores in it. We went to Ross, Marshall’s, Michael’s, Books-A-Million, and Dollar Tree, all in a span of an hour and twenty minutes. I was quite impressed with our progress, as we have been known to spend that much time in just one of those stores.

It is after days like these that I am very thankful for the days that I get to stay home and not go anywhere.

Finally Friday ~ It is hard to believe that the Read the Bible in 90 Days – Chronologically is two-thirds complete already. We are about to begin reading the New Testament, which is soooo much easier to read than the Old Testament. Oh, the stories of the Old Testament are great and the Psalms are okay but there are sooooo many names, numbers, and descriptions given in the Old Testament, it is just plum hard reading. Seriously!

I do have to admit though that it has been great to read The Bible chronologically. I’ve never done this before and it does help to keep things in perspective a bit better. I just finished Ezekiel last night and I have to tell you, that is one difficult book to read! I think I’d almost rather read Leviticus or Numbers. I think what makes it so difficult is that God is fed up with the Israelites and it is a lot about His wrath against them, which is not nearly as fun to read as His grace, love, and mercy.

Well, I’ve rambled enough. I hope you have a relaxing weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


A Very Important Ministry

~ Lifeofjoy.meYears and years ago, we were in a church service where people were being prayed for and sometimes the minister would have a “word” for them. I remember one word to a young single mother, that really stuck with me. He said that her ministry right then was “to raise godly seed.”

I knew that word was for me, as much as it was for her. You see, I’d been having a difficult time with wanting to be doing more in the church but because I had three small children, ages six, four, and baby, my hands were full and I had no time to help do anything. I even missed the weekday service because although I homeschooled and didn’t have to have them up at any certain time in the morning, the youngest needed to go to sleep. She has always been my early to bed child. This wouldn’t have been a problem under normal circumstances, I would have just let her sleep during service but she snored. It wasn’t a cute little quiet snore either. If I took her to the nursery, she’d wake up and want to play but would be cranky for the next couple of days, which I learned the hard way. I finally gave in and did what was best for her and stayed home on Wednesday nights.

So that day so long ago, God was telling me that I was doing an important job and that it was just as important, if not more important, than other things I could do. This was hard to accept because I had been in churches that pushed volunteering, and so this was ingrained in me. Thus turning my mind over to God’s way of thinking, took some time but was also very encouraging to me. It helped me with those tough days of character training (a.k.a. days where it didn’t seem that I got anything done except disciplining children). It is important to realize though that character is WHO your child will BE when your job is done.

Fast forward to today and I have indeed, raised godly seed. All three of our children are serving the Lord with all their hearts! :) What more could a mother ask for?

I read a great post on another website concerning this matter. If you need more encouragement in this area, I recommend that you go over and check it out. The article is titled, This the Lie that will Rob You of Your Motherhood–And You Probably Already Believe it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Relaxed Tangling

iamthedivacztThis week’s Diva Challenge, which you can view by clicking on the image to the left, is to just relax and tangle. We are to tangle as if we weren’t showing it to anyone.

Hmmm, for me to relax and just tangle, I need to have a string already made. Trying to figure out what string I want to use is not a relaxing choice, especially if I just wing it, as it usually turns out very similarly every time then. ;) So I just picked a random number–171–and went to Once there I searched for string 171 and found a very unique string that I would never have come up with on my own but suited the challenge well.

In order to relax and tangle, I need to use tangles that I know how to draw, so that limits me greatly. Crescent moon is one I know well, as is shattuck, paradox, and knightsbridge. All pretty basic tangles and ones I have done for years, in some form or other.

I started with the crescent moon part of the string and it appears that I really wanted to draw shattuck because I did not stay true to crescent moon. :) Hey, I was supposed relax and tangle and that’s how I flow. Once I realized my mistake, I tried to “fix” it but just decided it was no big deal. I went with a shattuck-ish tangle on the next part of the string.

Then for the third side, I went with paradox. The problem here is that I have done Hibred several times recently and that one was more at the forefront of my mind, as I began to tangle and thus there is a non-slanted line. Once again, I tried to “fix” it but just decided to go on and make the rest of the lines slanted. No big deal, I’m relaxed and just tangling. :)

For the final side/section of the string, I went with knightsbridge because it is extremely easy and a comfortable tangle for me. Here’s what I had so far.

Relaxed Tangling ~ Lifeofjoy.meI decided to shade as if nobody were going to see this either. For me, that means not worrying about where the “light” is coming from.

I also decided to play with the basic string shape, as to which part of it was in the forefront and which behind. Then I decided to shade one as if it was just one piece and nothing in front or behind the other.

Finally, I decided to smudge the border a bit to kind of connect it all together.

Relaxed Tangling ~ Lifeofjoy.meI toyed with putting Nipa or MacDee in all that white space. In the end I was afraid of ruining it and it being too busy, so I left it as is. BUT it does give me an idea to use this same string and leave all the parts that I tangled today blank and tangle in the current white space. I think it’d look pretty cool. Don’t have time to do it now but maybe some other time.

Once again I want to thank all commenters! You are most encouraging!!!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Snickerdoodle Cookies-Keto version

Nice soft, sweet snickerdoodle cookie! Gluten-free and sugar free too!

So on the Ketogenics diet you have very Snickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifeofjoy.melow carbs, high protein, and high fat. This means no sugar. Well, that doesn’t go over very well for this family, so we searched out some sweets. I already shared the avocado pudding/mousse. It is good but I wanted something with a little toothiness to it.

Because these are made with almond flour and no wheat, they are gluten free. Don’t be confused though, they are not low calorie. ;)

Preheat the oven to 350º. Combine the almond flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.

Snickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifefofjoy.meIn a separate bowl, combine coconut oil, sugar free maple syrup, vanilla, and liquid stevia.

Snickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifefofjoy.meCombine the two until a dough is formed.

Snickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifefofjoy.meCombine the erythritol and cinnamon in another small bowl.

Snickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifefofjoy.meRoll the dough into balls and then into the cinnamon “sugar” mixture. Then put them on a silpat.

Snickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifefofjoy.meSnickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifefofjoy.meSnickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifefofjoy.meSpray the bottom of a glass or measuring cup with cooking spray.

Snickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifefofjoy.meSquash the dough balls a bit.

Snickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifefofjoy.meTiffany said she squished them just a tiny bit too much this time, so squash them a bit less than pictured here. ;) They still turned out really good.

Snickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~ Lifefofjoy.meBake for 9-10 minutes, remove and let cool. Enjoy!

Snickerdoodle Cookies-the Keto version ~

Snickerdoodle Cookies-Keto version


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 7 drops liquid stevia
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons erythritol


  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Combine almond flour, baking soda, and salt in medium size bowl
  3. Combine coconut oil, sugar free maple syrup, vanilla, and liquid stevia in another bowl.
  4. Mix the two together until a dough is formed
  5. Combine cinnamon and erithitol in another bowl
  6. Roll dough into balls and then into the cinnamon "sugar" mixture and place them on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat
  7. Spray the bottom of a glass or measuring cup with oil and squash the ball a bit.
  8. Bake for 9-10 minutes, remove, cool, and eat!

We got this recipe from, which is a wonderful resource for keto (and gluten free) recipes. He has a recipe for the sugar free maple syrup over there too, if you don’t have any store-bought available to you or just want to make it yourself.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Avoiding Contention by Distraction

~ Lifeofjoy.meShortly after Mike and I got married I realized that I was going to have to find some activities to do in the evening, if we were going to make it. You see, Mike is a television channel surfer, whereas I find something and leave it. Mike dislikes commercials; thus every time a commercial would come on, he’d flick the channel.

The reason this was a problem for me is because just about the time I got interested in whatever he had flicked to, there would be a commercial on that channel and he’d flick channels again. After about half an hour, give or take, we’d end up back on the first show, having missed a lot. This would greatly frustrate me!

I decided to do other things while we watched television: crochet, read a book, do word puzzles, or play a game. This helped me immensely! I didn’t have to like what he put on the television, any longer. I could immerse myself in something else whilst still being in the same room with him and enjoying being close to him. :)

Of course, when I look back over my life before Mike, I guess I did this, to some degree, already. I could multi-task watching television with the family and reading a book. Really, I did; not as much as I later learned to rely on it though. My mom would play solitaire while watching television. I remember that is how I learned to play solitaire. :) Since my dad worked late, she didn’t have to battle channel flicking though; I guess she just liked to be doing something with her hands while sitting still . . . but I digress.

By having another activity going, I wasn’t as annoyed when Mike would change the channel and I’d miss part of the show I had gotten interested in. It is something that has helped sustain me through the last twenty-nine years.

Now days, Mike multi-tasks in the evenings as much as I do. Actually, Sean and Tiffany do as well. The important thing is we have found a way to enjoy each other’s company, share experiences, and not be bored, frustrated, or otherwise want to leave the room. ;) I think it is healthy to keep busy while resting in the evening, as long as it is something pleasurable and not work. When it is work, it detracts from the rest and enjoyment of being with those you love.

So, I guess what it boils down to is this, if your spouse does something that annoys you, try to find something YOU can do, that will lessen the frustration and keep you from having an area of contention over something little.