Monthly Archives: October 2016

Celebrate Him

Birthday ~ Lifeofjoy.meMike’s birthday was this weekend. In our house we don’t do “parties” per se but we do celebrate the birthday person. We let the birthday person pick the menu for the day and put up banners and signs. We’ve had the same ones for many years. Well, mostly . . . I had to replace one banner because it got broken and not easily fixable.

We also celebrate with my extended family on a Sunday around the birthday. Sometimes that means we are celebrating two birthdays on a given day since several of us has birthdays close to each other.

Well, the point of all this is to remind you to celebrate your hubby on his birthday. Make his favorite dessert. But above all, show him some extra attention. This is especially important when you have little children. You spend so much time devoted to the kids that hubby can feel neglected or pushed to the side. Take a nap during the day during the children’s nap time/quiet time, so that you are have some energy left for him at the end of the day.

Think about some little things that you can do to make his day (and his night) extra special. Help the children celebrate him too. It is a wonderful feeling to have your household tell you how important you are to them or how fun  you are or some other expression of love.

But whatever you do, do NOT let it be “just another day.” This day is special because the man you love was born on this day. Make sure he knows how blessed you are that he is here. It is easy to get bogged down in the daily grind but don’t let that happen on his day, even if he tells you to.

The great thing about all this is that you can do this no matter what your financial situation. You have to eat anyway, so make his favorite foods. Certainly you have paper and crayons, markers, pens, or pencils around with which to make some signs, if you haven’t already purchased some in previous years. (We got ours at Dollar Tree.) :)

Use your imagination and make him feel loved and desired by you. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Gift Shopping and Catching Up

Shopping and Catching Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s been a good week. Sean has been house/dog sitting again this week. I bought Captain America 3 on errand day and so he came out. We had stroganoff meatballs and fauxtaytoes, which is steamed cauliflower mashed with some butter, heavy cream, and some salt. The stroganoff meatballs is a recipe from I Breathe I’m Hungry and is keto but I don’t think anyone would ever know it. They are really good, although my kids don’t prefer nearly as many mushrooms as is called for. ;)

I found a website that has inexpensive items. I’m hoping to get a bunch of stocking stuffers from them but I’ll see soon. It has a wide range of items but I’m keeping it to myself. ;)

I found a new form of crochet that resembles knit in the finished product. It is called Tunisian crochet or sometimes Afghan crochet. It uses a cross between a crochet hook and a knitting needle. It looks like a long knitting needle with a crochet hook on the end and no grip. The pattern I am attempting uses a J hook. Unfortunately the closest I came was an I. I figured that was okay and my dishcloth will just be a little smaller than intended.

I started another of the knitted dishrags this week too. I really like them a lot. Sean and Tiff like them too. I’ve decided that I need to make a whole lot of dishcloths in order to keep them clean. Walmart has a cone of the Peaches and Cream yarn for about $7.97 and is a really good deal. I think I may buy one next week.

Mike’s birthday is this weekend and my neice’s is the following week, so it’s time for me to get some gifts purchased. Christmas is also coming soon, so it’s time to get my shop on! I like to have it finished by Thanksgiving, so I better get on the ball. (Can you tell I’m trying to get myself pumped up to get it all done? :D )

Getting It All Done

It is difficult, especially in the early years, to get everything done that must be done by yourself. There comes a point where you must enlist some help. Even if your children are little, they can help. It may not seem like it is a good return on your time to train your children to help you clean up and do simple tasks around the house, but trust me, in the long run it is soooo definitely worth it!

I got to a point that the boys were doing such a good job cleaning that things got done quickly. And then one day I realized that my eight year old daughter hadn’t learned nearly as much as my boys had by age eight. It was a hard decision to take a job from the older boys and train her to do it but it needed to be done.

Today I’m sharing an article about a system that helped one lady and may help you as well.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

P.S. I’m sorry the tables/charts didn’t turn out exactly right below, but it is enough to give you an idea and create your own. :)

Crunching Through the Cracker Crumbs

By Misty West

Once again I crunched through cracker crumbs as I reached for the broom for the third time that morning. Before one mess was conquered, two more were made by my young blessings. I felt that trying to keep my house clean was like chasing after the wind.

Whether my frustrations were the result of expectations that were too great or emotional wires that were crossed, I was completely overwhelmed with caring for two young children, homeschooling, keeping house, and the many things we moms do. To streamline housecleaning, my husband stepped in and created a simple chore list for me. I had daily, weekly, and monthly chores. It looked a little like this:

Clean kitchen
Sweep downstairs
One load laundry
Take out trash
Straighten bedrooms
Monday Downstairs bathroom
Tuesday Upstairs bathrooms
Vacuum upstairs
Wednesday (Free! – co-op day)
Thursday Mop downstairs
1st Friday Clean out car
2nd Friday Straighten garage
3rd Friday Clean patio
4th Friday Dust house

At first I was skeptical, thinking that the list oversimplified all that I do. However, with the understanding that the “chore of the day” would be done only on its day, I gave it a try. As I used the list, I found that my mind was freed from guilt about the fact that not everything was clean at the same time. If the bathroom sink looked a bit messy, I could wipe it down quickly if I chose, but I knew that it would be cleaned on Tuesday. I felt like I could begin managing my house instead of it ruling me.

Now, several years and another baby later, I realize that the list has become routine. I’ve tweaked it a bit and I’m a bit more relaxed about the extra little messes that come with discovery learning! While not comprehensive, my chore list gives me a basic template for organization. By the end of the week all of the main chores are done and my house is relatively clean.

A few tricks help me keep our areas straightened as the day progresses. Emptying the dishwasher in the morning allows us to load it throughout the day, keeping the kitchen more manageable. I also throw in a load of laundry first thing in the morning so that I can tend to it, and any others I choose to do, as I am able. Around lunchtime, we take a few minutes to straighten up whatever school supplies have been used that day. Chore time occurs whenever it is convenient on any given day. Around 4 p.m. each day we do a run-through, straightening the main living areas and creating as much order as possible before welcoming Daddy home.

Following this simple chore list has freed me to manage my home with less stress and consequently to enjoy my family more. Keep it simple so that even on your most hectic days, you will succeed. You can always do the never-ending miscellaneous tasks as you have time, but include the most important chores on the template, which for me were kitchen, floors, laundry, and bathrooms. Tweak it to suit your family and your needs.

I left the weekends open for worship, relaxing, and occasionally conquering bigger organizing jobs around the house. Include your children in chore time, even the toddlers. Consider making a list of deeper cleaning items, such as cleaning baseboards and windows, for your children to do in exchange for allowance or privileges. Hopefully, following this simple chore list will help you maintain a more comfortable environment for you and your family and free you to enjoy your family more.

Misty West lives in Grapevine, Texas, with her husband, Jody, and their three blessings aged 10, 8, and 3. She enjoys the worship at their messianic synagogue, listening to audio books, and dark chocolate! Misty values the blessing of homeschooling, the support of her husband, and hopes to be an encouragement to other homeschoolers and those considering joining the journey.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

1st Friday
2nd Friday
3rd Friday
4th Friday



Well, I was going to do the Diva Challenge today but I don’t really care for Gourdgeous, which happens to be the featured tangle this week. I participated with it last year and just did not feel inspired to do so today.

Soooo, I’m sharing some pictures of the needlework I have done over the last several months. As you may recall, crocheting a few items for my grandson at my daughter-in-love’s request kickstarted me back into doing something productive with my hands once again. My next project after the items for Lauren, for Liam, was to knit some dishcloths. I have since purchased more yarn and made even more wonderful dishcloths.

As it turns out, the pattern I got from my friend at church happens to be a very popular pattern online (and I would guess, offline as well). I found it here and here. The only differences are that my directions say to use number nine needles instead of six or seven and knit up to forty-five stitches.

I bought some fallish colors but will need to attempt to make the purples colorfast before washing it with other towels and such.

Needlework ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe variegated orange ones are already in use. ;) Tiffany cleaned up some extra dark cocoa powder with it; I hope it comes clean. :)

Needlework ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany saw some fingerless mitts that she wanted. As an author, she is on her computer quite a bit and her wrists get sore. So we found a few free patterns online that she liked. The first is a fitted one with a bow. I attached the bow in a slightly different place but we like it. I am thinking of making her another pair but not sewing the bow on, so that we can attach different shapes each month. :)

Needlework ~ Lifeofjoy.meNeedlework ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe other pair we did in a lovely blue. It has a crocheted cable on the top. We had planned to do the cable in white but I completely forgot. :) The pattern is extremely thorough, complete with pictures and everything. The only problem I had with the pattern was that it took me twenty-two rows before I had the required seven-inch width. She loves these though, because they are very soft.

Needlework ~ Lifeofjoy.meNeedlework ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, that’s what I’ve been up to. I did doodle with Dreamcatcher during service Sunday, on my sermon notes, so I have done some art with pen and paper.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Pizza Topping Casserole ~

Pizza Topping Casserole

Craving the taste of pizza but shouldn’t have all that bread? Then this is your answer

Pizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.meYears ago I did the HcG diet and the Atkins diet. Both are low carb diets; well, the HcG diet is low carb on one of its phases. Anyway, I found this wonderful recipe back then. On low carb, you cannot have bread and that leaves pizza out of my diet, which just does not work for me long term. I love pizza! So this helps fill that void.

The original recipe calls for one pound of bulk Italian sausage. Well, today I didn’t have that but I had some Italian link sausages filled with peppers and mozzarella cheese. So, that is what I used.

I like my veggies well done. Consequently I start by dicing and sauteing those first. Then I add the meat, to brown. Sometimes I have to add a bit of coconut oil to keep it from sticking to my pan (since my cast iron skillets are a bit abused ;) )

Pizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhile the meat is cooking, combine the heavy whipping cream, eggs, tomato sauce, and seasonings.

Pizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the meat is browned, add pepperoni and cubed cheese.

Pizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePour egg mixture over veggies, meat, and cheese.

Pizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.meBake at 350º for 45-55 minutes until nicely browned and knife inserted in the center comes out nearly clean.

Pizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Topping Casserole ~

Pizza Topping Casserole


  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 4-8 ounces fresh mushrooms, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (or basil or Italian seasoning)
  • 3 1/2 ounces pepperoni, chopped (I used turkey pepperoni)
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced (1 ounce)
  • 8 ounces cheese (I used mild cheddar)


  1. Saute veggies
  2. Add sausage and brown.
  3. Combine cream, eggs, tomato sauce, and seasonings
  4. Add chopped pepperoni and cheese to pan
  5. Pour egg mixture over veggies, meat, and cheese
  6. Bake at 350º for 45-55 minutes


Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



When You Argue

discussion ~ LifeOfJoy.meDid you notice that I said when you argue? That is because I believe that if everyone is honest, they have disagreements, and even an occasional argument with their spouse. Now, I know there are those rare couples that say they never argue but I wonder if they aren’t just playing with words.

I knew this couple that said they never argued but when I had a heart-to-heart conversation with her, she was overwrought from holding in her feelings. Now that is not good for your marriage OR for your health. But I digress.

There are some important things to remember when you do argue:

  • Stay on subject. Don’t use this time to bring up everything that has been bothering you or be petty.
  • Don’t just sling back retorts like “so do you” unless he/she really does do it too.
  • Don’t belittle the other for their feelings or opinions. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and their feelings. No matter how different from your own, they are just that, their feelings.

I asked Mike, Sean, and Tiffany about this subject and here are a few things they included:

  • Don’t yell. Yelling brings a new level to argument and anger can get in way too easily. The best option is to converse about things before they become something that makes you upset.
  • Be honest – lying is not an option.
  • The intended outcome is not to win the argument but to resolve the issue/situation.
  • Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.

One of the most important things though, is to be quick to forgive, even if forgiveness is not asked for. It is okay to be upset. I know that when I get upset/in an argument, I need a few minutes to be ready to forgive. But I have to say, if you stay mad longer than a short time after the argument, you need to pray and ask God to help you forgive easier. I would say that you should be able to forgive within an hour (and I think that is really a bit too long) otherwise you’re in danger of getting bitter and that is not good (and not good for you)!

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Conference, Eating Out, and Liam

Conference, Eating Out, Liam ~
Wed Dinner at Cheddar’s.

It’s been a great week. I’ve had some great ladies helping me with the breakfast at the conference, this week. We’ve had some great services and some great fellowship. My family and I have extroverted way more than usual and, quite frankly, we are glad it is Friday. ;)

We’ve had a house guest for half of the week. I think the long drive and our enjoyment of being home finally got to her though, as she decided to spend a few nights with some others from her home town, in town. But it is all good.

I’ve managed to stay, pretty much, on the Keto diet most all of the week. I allowed myself to increase the carbs a bit, if necessary, for this week only. In spite of all the breakfast items available and working in the kitchen, we’ve needed to take our breakfast with us as there was nothing that was low enough in carbs or sugar free for us to eat. ;) However, for lunches, we ate out and I managed to do quite well.

I got my favorite lunch salad at Cracker Barrel. It is their lunch special but I get some steamed broccoli with cheese on it. The first day I ordered it, the entire group of five ordered it as well. :) Then the next day Mike and I couldn’t find anyone to go to lunch with, so we went to Ted’s alone. I got the Fajita Salad and ate less than a dozen tortilla chips. I’m very proud of myself, as I even skipped the complimentary sopapillas, which are always delicious.

On Wednesday, Tiffany decided that she wanted to go to lunch with Mike and I and she had a couple of others. I then invited another friend. On the way out the door, we invited a few others to join us. Before we left, we had a group of ten and as we were about to leave another four or five people from the conference joined us as well. It was great. We ate at First Watch, where I got a delicious omelet with meat, cheese, caramelized mushrooms, onions and peppers served with a side of mixed greens. There was a nice whole grain toast but I avoided it too.

Then Wednesday night, we ended up joining some others for dinner at Cheddar’s, which is one my favorite restaurants. They started with  group of five and ended with a group of twelve. :D  We ordered some onion rings for the table to share. I ate about six of them even though they are NOT keto. The other thing I had not keto, was the sugared pecans in the salad. I felt like a rabbit having eaten so much lettuce/salad the last few days.

Conference, Eating Out, Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meYesterday, Lauren had a lot of running around to do and I asked if I could watch Liam for her for a while. :) She brought him to the church where we gladly showed off this miracle baby! :) Of course, everyone loved him. I am ashamed to admit that I did not share Liam snuggles very much though. Nope, I hogged him. Mike was a jewel though and kicked me out of the kitchen where he said he’d finish up, so I could hold Liam.

The visit ended all too soon and I’m already looking forward to the next visit.

Well, it’s the final day of the conference, and I have lots to do. So I’ll run for now.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Raising Children

Raising Godly Seed ~
Tiffany and Sean at Johnathan and Courtney’s wedding. 6/16

Raising children has been such a blessing to me. Yes, there were many times that it was plum hard. There was one time that we were having an especially difficult time with one of them and I remember crying to my mother, over the phone, that if I had known it was this hard, I never would have done it. Of course, just like I’m told childbirth is, in hindsight I cannot even remember why I thought it was so difficult at the time. Now don’t get me wrong, if I stop and really delve through my memories, I can find it again and nearly remember that anguish but overall, it has been forgotten.

Raising Godly Seed ~
This picture was taken when Liam was less than a week old, I think.

Having an adorable grandson, is a wonderful fruit of having a married child. Liam is such a blessing and already has our hearts in his hands. :) Gaining another daughter was another sweet fruit of Brian getting married. I look forward to both Sean and Tiffany getting married soon (no, neither is engaged nor dating anyone seriously as of yet though). ;) But I do look forward to them finding their spouses and them joining our family too. And I’m really looking forward to more sweet grandchildren. :)

It is such a blessing to have other people tell me that my grown children are a blessing and a treasure. I know they are but I also know that I’m probably a bit biased. :D

Many people do not give being a parent and raising godly seed the respect or honor or importance that it truly is. It is one of the highest callings, in my opinion. You have been entrusted with the molding of precious little people that will grow up into servants of the Most High God. What an awesome responsibility! Yes, you are the ones that chose to have that precious little life and with it comes a huge responsibility.

How will you fulfill that responsibility? Will you do as the Word instructs and train him up to serve God? Will you put your values and beliefs into this child or will you place your precious one into the care of another for them to put their beliefs, values, and character into?

What is the character of the ones you’ve entrusted the ones you’ve been given responsibility for? What about the other children your children are around? Do they have the same basic values? If you allow your child to be in the company of a child that cusses, your child will probably be exposed to that and may bless you with his new vocabulary. I’ve seen other homeschooled children exposed to the negative attitudes of the public school child and end up acting just like them, which is a real shame.

Sean, Brian, Tiffany ~ LifeOfJoy.meChildren are a huge responsibility! But they are sooo worth the effort! Please know, that although it will not seem like it now, this time goes by quickly and all too soon, they will be all grown up. Enjoy every minute! Enjoy wiping their noses, changing their diapers, snuggling, reading books, talking to them about God and all life entails. Enjoy it all and remember that you have a huge responsibility; handle it with prayer.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


First Use of Dreamcatcher Tangle

iamthedivacztThis week’s Diva Challenge is to use Daniel Lamothe’s tangle Dreamcatcher. I really like it because it is super easy to draw and remember the steps. :)

It’s a busy week for us because it is conference week at our church. I’m blessed to be able to handle the kitchen for the continental breakfast that is provided. But this means that we leave the house around 7:15 in the morning and don’t get home until early evening. I’m thankful that we have an afternoon service instead of an evening service though.

Consequently, I did my challenge tile at the church while on a break. Soooo, I used tangles that I know how to draw without checking the stepouts. I tried to create some overlapping but should’ve shaded a bit more.

My problem with Dreamcatcher is that I didn’t know how to shade it and I hadn’t looked at any samples long enough to get any ideas. So, I did the best I could under the circumstances.

I used a simple ‘z’ string on the diagonal and used Crescent Moon, Meer (well, my Meer variation, because I usually forget that it is supposed to have a band on either side and then a row of orbs on the outer most sides), Tipple, and Dreamcatcher.

I did remember to take a picture before I started shading. Well, I had put the first line of some shading down along the center curvy line of Meer when I remembered. I just used my phone and took it, so the quality isn’t as good as if I’d have scanned it in.

DC#287 ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd here it is shaded. :)

DC#287 ~

Huh, now that I uploaded it here, I could have used ‘Nzepple in the sections of Dreamcatcher. Oh well, it’s good enough. I enjoyed doing it and others enjoyed watching me.

Well, that’s it. Once again I appreciate your kind and encouraging comments. :) They make my day and make me smile.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Mug Bread ~

Mug Bread (Gluten-Free)

A bread made from egg, almond flour, flax (flour), quickly made in the microwave.

From time to time I need to have a “bread” that is not really a bread, if you know what I mean. I’ve been doing the keto diet for the past month or so and finally got to the point I “needed” some bread.Mug Bread ~

Thankfully this is not a new scenario for me and I was able to go and dig into my hCG recipes for this, very simple, quick and easy bread that is made in the microwave in just 70 seconds. :)

I have a friend that needs this right now too, so I’m sharing it here for her future reference, as well as my own. ;)

You need just a few ingredients. If you make anything gluten-free from scratch, you probably already have some of these items.

Mug Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.meCombine all ingredients in a mini food processor, magic bullet, blender, or mix in the actual baking container with either a immersion blender or your own arm power and a whisk. Tiffany chooses the later but I go ahead and get out the mini processor.

Mug Bread ~ Transfer to your mug or english muffin-sized bowl. I used this small soup bowl.

Mug Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.mePop it into the microwave for 70 seconds. (I go through spells where I don’t use the microwave for long spells and then want it again for a few things. I have not figured out how to make this without using the microwave, although I figure it’s got to work in the oven; I just don’t know how long it would need to cook.)

Mug Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd it’s done.

Mug Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.meI loosen it around the sides with a small rubber spatula/scraper and turn it out onto a plat or cutting board.

Mug Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen cut in half horizontally, this makes two rather thick pieces of “bread”; so I cut it into three slices. Then I love to make a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich with two of the slices and a piece of toast with the last. :)

Mug Bread ~

I like to toast it.

Mug Bread (Gluten-Free)


  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon water


  1. Combine all ingredients well. (I use a mini food processor)
  2. Pour into mug or other suitable microwavable container
  3. Microwave for 70 seconds.
  4. Remove from microwave and from baking container.
  5. Slice in 2-3 pieces and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this. We sure have. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº