Monthly Archives: November 2016

A New Tile

So this week several different focuses/challenges worked their way into my tile. These were all fun tangles to draw. Dayz-E Fleur is the focus today for while WZTV’s focus tangle is Knase, which is new to me but VERY easy! When I saw it, I thought it would make a great border. I did struggle with the different sections overlap shading though, but it was still fun.

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meSquare One: Purely Zentangle and Shading Zentangle are focusing on Rainking. This one is new to me as well and took the most concentration. I really like it though, so I will probably use it again. However, Knase is easy to recall the steps to, so it will probably show up again more readily.

iamthedivacztThe Diva Challenge is Keeko, which is another easy tangle. I had envisioned a bit of a basket with it but ended up getting carried away with the first row of it and took it all the way to the border. Ooops. ;) So, I just decided to lengthen it one the left side as well and it could just be an upper band on the ‘basket’.

From there Rainking filled in above the basket and Dayz-E Fleur to the left and right. I didn’t have enough space to really do it justice though. Oh well, maybe next time.

I started my tile by creating the border first and then I went back in and penciled in a small grid. Then I added Keeko, followed by Rainking, and then Dayz-E Fleur. Here it is before I did any shading.

A New Tile ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen here it is with the shading. It really does make a world of difference when you shade it, even if it isn’t shaded just right. ;)

A New Tile ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt seems to always happen, I load the scan of my tile and I see what I forgot. Today, I forgot to finish shading Keeko. Ooops! Well, the scan is done and I won’t be scanning it in again, so I guess it is what it is, yet again. I don’t mind though. I gave up perfectionism a long time ago. It’s good enough. :)

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind comments! You really are an encouraging community.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Seasoned Green Beans ~

Seasoned Green Beans

Green Beans, regular cut or french cut, seasoned with ham and minced onion. If slow cooked, you might even think they were from Cracker Barrel. ;)

Are your green beans boring? Here’s how to make delicious green beans. All it takes is some canned green beans, bacon or other ham pieces, onion powder or minced onion, salt and pepper. You could use fresh or frozen green beans but you’d have to cook them a LOT longer.

Empty a can of green beans into a pot, french cut style or regular cut style. Pour out some of the liquid, about half of what is in it.

Seasoned Green Beans ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen add a piece or two of bacon (or ham of some sort), depending on how thick it is. I used one piece of turkey bacon.

Seasoned Green Beans ~ Lifeofjoy.meSeasoned Green Beans ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd a sprinkling of dried minced onion, onion powder, or a bit of fresh minced onion. I used dried minced onion last night.

Seasoned Green Beans ~ Lifeofjoy.meBring it to a simmer and cover. Simmer for a bit. You can serve them as soon as they are hot, if you used onion powder. Otherwise, cook for about a half an hour. You can also put this in a slow cooker and cook for several hours.

Seasoned Green Beans ~

Seasoned Green Beans


  • Canned green beans
  • minced onion
  • piece of turkey bacon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients in pot or slow cooker.
  2. Simmer on stove for about 30 minutes or several hours in slow cooker.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Hope ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen things are difficult, it helps to renew your mind to the positive things. It also helps to remind yourself of what the Bible says regarding your situation and marriage and what marriage should look like.

Hope is vital. It is the substance that faith is produced from. God gave Abraham hope to build his faith. When my marriage isn’t exactly what I want it to be, I try to remember what it was like when we were engaged, how I acted toward Michael, and how he acted toward me. Then I stop and  ask myself how I’ve changed. Maybe I’m not doing something the same way.

Is my tone harsher? Do I say hurtful things? Do I still flirt with him? These are some of the questions I ask myself. It helps to focus on what I may be doing differently or what I can do differently than to focus on what he can or should do because I can only change me; I cannot change him.

When I work on me, I am building hope for a better marriage. When I envision our marriage better and act accordingly, I am hoping for a better marriage, working toward it, putting my faith to work. :)

Imagine yourself being and doing things differently; this is hope.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Holiday Bash Prep

Holiday Bash Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s been a busy week. As an introvert, it is difficult to have to leave the house everyday. I’m so glad for yesterday when I didn’t have to go any where. :)

I spent some of the day looking for Christmas gifts and more of the day preparing for a big fun night at our church. I’m really excited! We’ll have a little singing, games, prizes, fellowship, and good food – well, I hope it is good food because I’m making it all. :D

The holidays are always so busy for people. We wanted to do something to celebrate with our church family but didn’t want to make the holiday season even more hectic, so I suggested that we have a Holiday Bash before Thanksgiving where we can celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year all at once.

I don’t want to give away too many details as I want it to be as much of a surprise as possible to the attendees and I’m not sure how many, if any, read my blog. ;)

Holiday Bash Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meMonday after Tiffany’s appointment we did the shopping for the Holiday Bash. We went to several stores. We got some stuff at Sam’s, Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, Aldi, and Walmart. It was a good day. I was surprised that we finished as early as we did, though. We even managed to purchase all the game prizes. They aren’t much but it’s something. I think prizes, even inexpensive prizes, make it more fun.

Another thing I like to do is to have a few small door prizes. It’s nice to have one larger door prize to give away at the end but we are on a smaller budget this time around, so we don’t have one this time around. Door prizes are a fun addition to group gatherings, even when they are inexpensive ones.

Holiday Bash Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meIn a few hours, Tiffany and I will be at the church getting three large stuffed turkeys and two large hams into the ovens and slow cookers. Then later we will put on some green beans and make mashed potatoes. Thankfully we are not in charge of desserts. People will be bringing pies. Apple, pumpkin, or pecan is what I asked for but cherry and coconut cream were both mentioned, so we might end up with some of those as well. :D

We have ice cream to go with the pies and some canned whipped cream to go with the pumpkin. It should be pretty good. Of course if there are any that don’t want/like pie, they can just have the ice cream. ;) We aim to please.

I hope I’ll have some pictures to share with you next week, but if you’ve been around my blog very long, you probably know that I’m not very good with taking pictures. :D

Well, I better get going. I have a lot to do today!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Thanksgiving is Coming

Thanksgiving is Coming ~ Lifeofjoy.meThanksgiving is coming. It would be a good time to teach the children about being thankful. One book this reminds me of is Pollyanna. If you haven’t read this book with your children before, now would be a great time. It is about a young orphan girl that finds something to be grateful or thankful for in every situation. I can’t think of a better time of year to read it.

Once, a long time ago, I saw this neat idea for a Thanksgiving project. Using brown construction paper, cut out a large tree trunk and place it on a wall or bulletin board. Next trace the children’s hands on fall leaf colored construction paper. These hand shapes are the leaves, which will be placed on the tree and at the bottom of the trunk. Once they are cut out, have the child write something he/she is thankful for on it. I’d have them do one or two every day until Thanksgiving. By the time Thanksgiving is here, you should have a nice full tree.

One fun book my kids enjoyed when they were little is Silly Tilly’s Thanksgiving Dinner. It’s a cute little book about a mixed-up Thanksgiving dinner. My kids looked forward to it every year.

Another fun one is a Five in a Row book, Cranberry Thanksgiving. We enjoyed this one so much we also got Cranberry Christmas just for fun. You can do a virtual field trip to a cranberry bog. You can find out more about it here and here and here are some more resources.

Well, I think that is enough for one day. Don’t want to overload you. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Eaxy, Fassett, and Zabu

iamthedivacztSince it is the first week of the month, this week’s diva challenge is to use another tangler’s tangle. This time we are using Eaxy.

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meIt has been a while since I have been able to combine challenges/focuses. But this week is different. :) Square One Purely Zentangle is focusing one Fassett. These two tangles really show the magic of Zentangle. Even though I don’t like drawing triangles, Fassett is a fun one to do. Eaxy is a little more difficult but equally magical. I imagine, with practice, Eaxy could be quite fun to draw.

Then I added Zabu to the mix and tried a little drop shadow. Zabu is the focus of WZTV.

I decided to start with Eaxy on the bottom portion of the tile. Then merged Fassett above that, with a couple Zabu flying above it all.

Here is the tile pre-shading.

Eaxy, Fassett, and Zabu ~ Lifeofjoy.meI didn’t realize this was this blurry when I took it. ;) Oh well. Too late now.

Here it is shaded.

Eaxy, Fassett, and Zabu ~ Lifeofjoy.meI found these tangles to be very challenging to shade. I look forward to seeing how you all managed it. Unfortunately I have a very busy week, so it may be a while before I can check them out.

I appreciate the kind comments you take time to leave for me. They are most encouraging!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Cheese Cracker ~

Cheese Crackers

Every once in a while I want a cracker. A cheese cracker. :)

I found the inspiration for this little gem on

They are incredibly easy to make. :) All you need are a microwave and a deluxe slice of American cheese.

Start by taking a deluxe American cheese slice. I’m told it has to be the deluxe. I’ve not tried it with anything else.

Cheese Crackers ~ Lifeofjoy.mePlace it on a piece of parchment paper.

Cut it in half. I use a long blade knife, so that I can just press it down and not have to drag it.

Cheese Crackers ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow cut it half again.

Cheese Crackers ~ Lifeofjoy.meCut each strip into about 5 pieces.

Cheese Crackers ~ Lifeofjoy.meSpace them apart so they don’t melt into one big piece. Microwave for 30-45 seconds.

Cheese Crackers ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou will probably hear a lot of sizzling, which is okay. Take them out and let them cool for a few seconds.

Cheese Crackers ~

Cheese Crackers ~ Lifeofjoy.meCheese Cracker ~ Lifeofjoy.meRepeat the process with the other half of the cheese slice. :)

Enjoy the crunch.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Have Fun

Have Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meMike and I have fun together. We don’t go on dates often. We don’t get away alone overnight. Nor do we spend lots of money on each other. But we enjoy doing life together. That’s what we do. We do life together.

We laugh at ourselves. We show kindness to each other. And we forgive each other.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t get frustrated with each other. Not at all! But it means that we try to rectify the situation and then get over it quickly, not holding a grudge.

We laugh about stuff together. When one person does something goofy, we enjoy it and have fun with it.

What we don’t do is get all staunchy and act OLD, as if nothing matters to us anymore. ;) We still wrestle and play around with each other like we did when we were young. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there were years that things were not so easy going but I totally wish I had known what I know today, back when our children were young. I remember how full and tiring those days were but I wish we had been a bit more chill back then. I wish I had realized that taking a few minutes to refresh myself before he came home could right my attitude and make things go a bit more smoothly (and make me a happier mommy).

I guess what I’m saying is that having a good marriage is not dependent on whether or not you have a weekly date night, as long as you are still connecting one-on-one and making memories together. It is dependent on remembering why you got married in the first place and remember that you are living your your “happily ever after,” so act like it. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

This, That, and the Other Things

This, That, and the Other Things ~ Lifeofjoy.meI struggled with motivation yesterday. Oh, it started out well enough but then I got sidetracked. The thing that sidetracked me was necessary but then I let it go on too long. I ended up way off track for the day. It is a sad thing but alas, there is grace. :)

The sad thing is that I didn’t do something fun like read a book or crafty fun, like knit, crochet, painting, or tangling. I was doing something totally un-fun: looking for a new box for our internet. The old one died and I was trying to get it replaced. It died sneakily because it still has a power light on even though it isn’t working properly . . . very sneaky.

This, That, and the Other Things ~ Lifeofjoy.meI got a lot of my special stocking stuffer order yesterday. :) It was a lot of fun to open each of the packages to see which ones had come. So far I’m pleased with the items. One thing I did before ordering each item, was to look at the dimensions and pull out a tape measure to see how big each thing was. This was especially necessary since most item sizes were given centimeters, with which I’m so unfamiliar. It helped realize the actual size of things before I ordered them. I got one item for my mother that I think is pretty nice and she’ll be able to use. I got a really different item for my middle sister that I know she is going to love. I even got one for myself but Tiffany wouldn’t let me open it up and investigate all that was there; it’s an accessory kit for knit and crochet. I didn’t see what all it had in it but there are a lot of cool little gadgets. (I like putting gifts in the Christmas stockings that are inexpensive. I spend $1, $2, mostly but have recently increased my stocking stuffer budget so that I can include a $5 item in each. :) )

I was working on a knitted dishcloth last week and ran out of yarn. I was very saddened by this. I didn’t have any more yarn and didn’t want to buy any more. Unfortunately I do not know how to rip out rows and pick it back up with knit like I do with crochet. So I unwound it all and started over. I’m halfway done with it again and made it two rows shorter, which should give me more than enough yarn to complete it without it being too much smaller.

This, That, and the Other Things ~ Lifeofjoy.meI ordered about a fourth of my Christmas presents this week. It’s always fun! I love Christmas! I love the whole holiday season! I love getting gifts people love. I love it all, the baking, the traditions, the fellowship, and the love. :)

I realized the other day that the next church fun night is next Friday! I need to get my games all lined up. Tiffany and I will have a fun and busy week, next week.

This, That, and the Other Things ~ Lifeofjoy.meI worked on the recipe indices this week, so you should see them start to appear on the menu bar soon. I’d put it up already, but I’m having to go back through every Tasty Tuesday post and some tags, categories, and feature images. After I get the recipe indices done, I’ll work on a gallery for my Zentangle tiles, and then some of the more important posts for Marriage Monday and Thoughtful Thursday. I hope these will be a blessing to you as I am able to get them online.

Well, I’ve really rambled a lot today. Clearly my mind is going in many directions. It appears that I’m already in holiday mode, which is actually quite fun. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Audios Galore

Audios Galore ~ Lifeofjoy.meOh my gracious! I just checked out and found that the last several entries are amazing!

First there is a post of great musicians. There are audios and ebooks. Find all the information here. There are 10 different musicians including Bach, Mozart, Chopin, and Handel. It looks like an amazing resource that I will be downloading as soon as I have a stable enough internet connection. ;)

The next post has a fun Mr. President audio. It is an audio of a little known story of one of the men that lived in the White House. If you scroll back on the site, you’ll find at least one more Mr. President audio.

The third post on the site today is a little different. There are three audios: Sherlock Holmes, Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin. Conan Doyle thought this episode of Sherlock Holmes was his best ever.

The fourth, and final one that I’ll mention today, is G.A. Henty unabridged audio books! Oh, I forgot to say, there are 29 of them! And these are no twaddle. These are historical fiction. I read The Cat of Bubastes to my children years ago and still remember it fondly. I don’t know if my kids do or not but I sure do. ;) Anyway, they tell you all about this wonderful free resource. Yet another thing I’m going to be downloading.

I really hope you will take advantage of these wonderful resources. Listening to audios is so much more engaging for your children than watching videos. You can give them a coloring page or paper to draw something related to what they are hearing or just to doodle on. They could play with blocks or some such thing, as long as they are still paying attention to the audio. OR you could use the time to have them practice sitting still and listening. ;)

This also reminds me of another resource they sell near the holidays, which they are probably getting prepared to make available. It is a whole CD with a variety of holiday themed radio shows and of course, Cinnamon Bear. I’m going to have to go dig mine out because there are some Thanksgiving audios on my copy. That will be something fun to listen to while I make dinner this month.

I hope you find these useful. I know they’ve got me interested and I don’t even have any homeschool age children any more.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº