Monthly Archives: March 2017

Liam, a Birthday, and Zelda

Last weekend I went and got Liam. :)

He’s taken to sucking his lower lip. :D

Liam lip sucking ~

I got him a cute snack cup from Dollar Tree that holds the snack pieces inside the cup and has an opening for him to pull a piece out. He didn’t get the hang of it this time around but I’m sure that before long, he’ll be a pro at it.

New Snack Cup ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was really wanting to move!

AND . . . he had his very first sleepover!!! He was very good!Sleepover! ~ Lifeofjoy.meHis mommy said he gets up between 7 and 8. I couldn’t reach her to ask but was pretty certain that she wanted me to wake him up. I was a bit nervous about doing it but he was a sweetie.  I gave him his morning bottle and we had some nice snuggle time.

Grandkids are a joy! I cannot wait until I have a bunch of them . :)

Sean’s birthday was this past weekend as well! He requested that yummy pound cake I made just days prior for his cake. It was REALLY good!!!

Sean Birthday ~ Lifeofjoy.meBusy and Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meI wrote about it in more detail last Friday. If you eat low carb and sugar-free, this is delicious!

The only other thing that’s been big this week is that we are still loving the new Zelda game, Breath of the Wild. It is HUGE!!! and lots of fun!

Zelda ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe weren’t sure if we wanted to get it because it was released on the new Wii which we do not have. I’m so glad Sean bought it! :)

He also went ahead and ordered a strategy guide for it and it came yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to peruse it yet but it is gorgeous and has tons of information in it. The print is small but he was forewarned about that so we knew what to expect.

The Guide ~

He’s a good bargain hunter and found a coupon and a discount, and sale items, and free shipping. :D

We get to have Liam spend the night again this weekend and get to show him off at church Sunday!

Well, I’m off for now. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Listening Pages/Sermon Notes

Listening Pages ~{First I want to beg you to please excuse the formatting on this page. I have messed with it and messed with it to no avail! I wish it were nicely formatted and neatly aligned but alas, it is not. Now on to the mess post. ;) }

I wish I had heard about these when my kids were young. It is a neat idea for children in churches where the they stay in the service with the adults. It is so tempting to allow them to occupy themselves with electronics or books or some such activity. But, although they may pick up a few things here and there, they will not be gleaning the information they could if they were actively engaged.

Well, these pages help do just that. There are even versions for young ones before they learn to read. I’m including a lot of links for you to find the version you and your children prefer. And for any of you that go to my church or one of its sister churches, and are interested in me creating one with words frequently spoken in our church, let me know (comment on this post) and I’ll be glad to give it a try.

Without further ado, here are the links for you to download and print. There are a couple different styles for children who can read.
Pre-Readers Listening Pages:
Easter Themed
Christmas Themed

Part of this one can be used with either age child.

Fluent-Readers Listening Pages:
This one has links to five different anytime pages and then links to Christmas and Easter (Resurrection Sunday) pages.
This one has a nice format.
Another anytime page
One more anytime page

With these you have to sign up for their newsletter but the sheets look really good. You can always unsubscribe right away:

From Blessed Beyond a Doubt

From Path Through the Narrow Gate

This last one has a lot of links for you to surf through:

A Link of Links

I hope these are helpful to you!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Noom, Pico, and Rigardu

iamthedivacztToday’s tile is a combination of the focus tangles from the different groups I participate in. Up first is the diva challenge to use the newly released tangle, Noom.

At first this one looked a bit difficult or that it would be a high-focus tangle. So I decided I better practice a bit first. When I first practiced it, I tried to draw it backwards because I already had an idea of how I was going to lay out my tile and thought I’d need to draw it backwards but that was faulty thinking. When I followed the step out, I found it was actually pretty simple. And then when I actually put it on my tile, I found that it was very nice to do each step all around and became very fluid. I enjoyed drawing it.

Noom, Pico, Rigardu ~

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meThe focus for Square One: Purely Zentangle and Shading Zentangle is Pico by Staub Korn. The step out for this one is extremely short and seems pretty simple. It truly is simple but I got over confident and got some lines messed up, which is okay because this tangle is very forgiving and it turned out fine.

Then over on the ever growing awesome site, Pattern-Collections, there is a daily pattern and a weekly string, among other wonderful things. I like the string for this week but it is more suited to gem work, which is their focus this week. Thus I chose to use their string for last week. Strings can disappear in the finished tile and part of this one did. I really like this triangular string. Today’s pattern is Rigardu. I really like this pattern. It looks harder than it is.

I started by drawing the string. And then went right to work on Noom. As I said, it was rather relaxing because I was able to repeat the same stroke so many times. If I had made Noom shorter or smaller, it would not have been as relaxing.

Then I started adding in PIco and decided to make it go behind Noom and not be confined to it’s triangle. Then I started with Rigardu in the upper  triangle. I didn’t get them overlapped the way I liked and it looked awkward, so I tried to figure out what to do about it. I decided to blacken it in and then tangle in white.

I started blackening it in and realized I hadn’t taken a picture  or scan yet. So I quickly grabbed the camera.

Noom, Pico, Rigardu ~

And then I started shading and forgot to scan it beforehand, but here it is before too much shading was done.

Noom, Pico, Rigardu ~ Lifeofjoy.meEven the shading was relaxing. Some might say I “got my zen on.” :)

Here is my finished tile.

Noom, Pico, Rigardu ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think I’m please with the outcome. :) My shading has really improved. It covers the mistakes in my line work. Oh great, I just saw some lines in Pico that I missed shading! Ugh!

Alright, here it is . . . really finished. :D

Noom, Pico, Rigardu ~ Lifeofjoy.meMaybe I should’ve just left it alone. Maybe it didn’t make a difference. At any rate I’m done with it now. :)

Update: One commenter mentioned that since you couldn’t see the last two side by side that you really couldn’t tell the difference, exactly. So I thought I’d see if I could do it.

Noom, Pico, Rigardu ~ Lifeofjoy.meNoom, Pico, Rigardu ~







As always, thanks so much to those that take the time to leave some comment love!!! They are greatly appreciated.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Not-So-Hot Wings ~

Not-So-Hot Wings

These tasty wings are good for dinner, a lunch, or a snack when watching sports or whatever you enjoy.

This is a super simple “recipe”. I saw an online video where a lady said she cooked her wings in a crock pot with butter and Franks hot sauce. So the first time I tried this, I did what she said she did but the meat was too done for my liking and there was LOTS of juice in the pot. So I dumped it all on a sheet pan and baked it on, like 450º, until they were browned up a bit and most of the liquid was evaporated. They were okay but I decided to just bake them on a low oven for a couple of hours.

Oh! I don’t like spicy things and I enjoy these!

So here’s how it’s done . . .

Cover you sheet pan with foil to save elbow grease later. Put the wings, in one layer, on the foiled pan.

Add a bit of butter to each wing piece. This probably isn’t necessary but it’s what I do. ;) Then shake some Frank’s hot sauce or your preferred variety on each wing. (Almost forgot to take pictures again. :o)

Not-So-Hot Wings ~ Lifeofjoy.meI then put them in the oven on 250º for about 2 hours or sow. They should be done and just need to be browned.

Turn the heat up to 450º or broil (I have a gas oven and hate to broil in it.) for about 20-30 minutes, until most of the liquid is gone and wings are nicely browned. See, I almost forgot pictures! Flip them if one side is getting too brown and the other isn’t crisp yet. Since I over cooked them, I had to turn each wing over to brown the other side this time.

Not-So-Hot Wings ~ Lifeofjoy.meI baked these too long! I forgot they were in the oven. :) But they were still good. I baked them for like 3 or 4 hours on 250º, which I don’t recommend.

Not-So-Hot Wings ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ll try to remember to take more pictures next time I make these, which won’t be long from now, because Michael likes them a lot, and add some prettier pictures.

Not-So-Hot Wings


  • One bag of wings (ours are 3-4 pounds)
  • butter
  • Franks hot sauce (or your preferred brand - I've used Aldi's brand recently and like it)


  1. Put a layer of foil on baking sheet.
  2. Add wings in a single layer
  3. Add a bit of butter to each wing
  4. Shake hot sauce on each wing
  5. Bake at 250º for about 2 hours or so
  6. Then at 450º for about 20-30 minutes to brown/crisp them up.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Sex is not a Bargaining Chip

Don't withhold ~ Lifeofjoy.meOver the years, I have heard of women that bribe their husband with sex. They try to get their husband to do certain things (or not do certain things) with the promise of sex later. I’ve also heard the reverse where they say something like, if you do that, no sex for you.

This is just wrong! The Bible tells us not to withhold ourselves from our spouse. Now there is one reason to do so and that is if you have agreed to abstain for a time, as you devote yourself to prayer. (I Cor 7:5) That’s it. No other reason.

As a married person, your body is not your own. It belongs to your spouse. Now don’t go getting all weird on me. (I am not talking about abusive or other such dysfunctional relationships.) You should take good care of yourself and care for your spouse too, in all aspects of his life.

Bottom line: Sex should not be used as a reward nor the withholding of it as a punishment.

I’ll keep it succinct today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Busy and Fun

Last Friday our church had a Church Family fun night. Tiffany and I went over during the day and helped decorate. This is what the tables looked like. Mary and Carol did a good job getting decorations. It looked really nice when we got it finished.

Busy and Fun ~

It was a good evening of fellowship. There were several songs, some information about who Saint Patrick was and what he did, food, and door prizes.

I swiped those pictures from Mary. By the time I got my camera out, decorations were all taken down and put away.Busy and Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany didn’t have any green clothing to wear but we picked up a cute shamrock scarf and the bow tie at Dollar Tree. It made her outfit festive. :)

Busy and Fun ~

We celebrated Tracie and Sean’s birthdays at my parents’ last Sunday. When I made the menu this week, I completely forgot that Sean’s birthday is this weekend. I sure hope I have everything I need to make his birthday meals. ;)

We got to keep Liam for a while this week. He was really energetic and had Tiffany walking him around and around. :)

Busy and Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe also moved some furniture around. It was a busy week.

It’s been ridiculously hot for March and of course, our air conditioner in the house and in the car are in need of some attention.

Michael came home with another window ac unit this week to help us until our air conditioner serviceman can make it here. So, we’ve hung a blanket over the hallway entrance and closed doors to external rooms, to allow the two window units to cool our main living areas. We put box fans in the windows to bring in the cool air at night, so the bedrooms are not horribly hot.

As I was cleaning up yesterday, I found this little guy hiding out on the counter top.

Busy and Fun ~

There’s always one Christmas decoration that doesn’t get put away with the rest. Every year. I guess it was this one’s turn. :)

I believe I told you about the cats and kittens last week. Well, this week Latte moved three of the kittens somewhere . . . not sure where . . . but they’re gone. Just one little cute white one with no tail is left. I guess maybe Tiffany is mistaken that there were three without tails. This one is cute; I hope it survives.

My parents came for dinner this week too. It is nice to have them over for dinner. It’s hard to believe we’ve done this three times now. Wow, the year is going by quickly!

Busy and Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, Tiffany is playing the new Zelda game. Sean bought it last week. It said that it wouldn’t be here until April and then next week and then BOOM! It got here early this week! It is really really an enjoyable game.

I made a sugar free, gluten free pound cake for dessert tonight. Actually I got the recipe from that cookbook in my mom’s hands, Cooking Keto with Kristie. I’m loving the recipes. It was supposed to be made in a loaf pan but I was hungry for strawberry shortcake kind of thing. So I made it in my flan pan. There was a bit extra batter, so I made a few mini cupcakes.

Here it is in the pans ready to go into the oven.

Busy and Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meOH!!! The brand of oat fiber makes all the difference in the world!!! Seriously!!! The last couple of items we made with Anthony’s oat fiber tasted like play-doh. Yuck! I got the oat fiber from Netrition this week and it tastes good!!!

Obviously, I didn’t get the pan greased well enough. Good think I used the parchment paper on the center. This is a flan pan from Pampered Chef. There was such potential. :)

Busy and Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ll grease it down a lot better next time. AND there WILL BE a next time. :)

I whipped up some heavy whipping cream with a bit of sukrin melis (aka powdered sugar substitute) and a few drops of Vanilla Cream Stevia liquid drops by sweet leaf.

Busy and Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis was delicious!

Liam will have his first sleepover here this weekend! :) This grandma is happy! I’m sure it is just the first of many to come. So, I hope I’ll remember to take pictures while he’s here. As you could tell, there were slim pickings from his visit earlier this week. :D

Well, I told you it was a busy week!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Book Recommendation: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/Great Glass Elevator

~ Lifeofjoy.meSeveral months ago, Tiffany shared this thing she read online. I’m not sure exactly what link she followed but I found one to share with you. At any rate, the information had to do with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Doctor Who. Yes, we are Whovians. :) Okay maybe not Whovians but we do like Doctor Who.

The theory is that Willy Wonka is the last regeneration of the Doctor! If you follow the link above, you can read all the reasons why some would agree.

This theory had me wondering about the books, so I requested them from the library. I finally got around to reading them. I have to say that with this idea in mind, I enjoyed reading them. Not that it wouldn’t have been enjoyable otherwise.

In other ways these books are good to read, especially the first one, because it shows negative character traits in some of the other children and gives you a good springboard for conversations about these.

There’s also a section where the Oompa-Loompas sing a song about what children did before television. I’m not all that well-versed in the older books the author is referencing but I did get Beatrix Potter, of course it is pretty spelled-out for you. LOL There were a few others I recognized too. It would be interesting to use this as a springboard to find which books he meant.

The second book does show that it isn’t just children that can have character struggles and that in the end, to be happy with what you have.

Overall these were good books and if you are a Whovian, then you can really appreciate them in a different manner. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

DC#308 Go-To Tangles

iamthedivacztThe Diva Challenge this week is to use your go-to tangles or as Laura said, your Mac-and-Cheese tangles. This is more of a challenge for me than for many because I don’t tangle very often. Yep, about once a week and then generally I’m combining focus tangles from different challenges, so I don’t really have much of a go-to tangle.

I decided to start with the same string as last week, hoping I’d do it the way I really wanted to but once again, I wandered from where I thought the string would take me into something else.

‘Nzeppel has turned into a favorite tangle of mine so I decided to use it on the largest area. Tipple is another tangle I tend to use a lot but decided to use another favorite, Crescent Moon, instead.

My hand appeared to be a bit unsteady today as I drew ‘Nzeppel, so I attempted to fix that with my shading.

Here is my tile before shading. I didn’t do anything with overlap since I decided to go for a hole in a wall kind of look.

DC#308 ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, very unsteady lines. :D

Here it is shaded.

DC#308 Shaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meI want to thank those who commented last week! You are very encouraging to me! I hope you have a wonderful week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Taco Salad ~

Taco Salad

Versatile hearty salad made with meat, cheese, lettuce and whatever else you like.

It is the middle of March and ridiculously hot already here in Oklahoma. Okay, maybe it isn’t quite that hot but our air conditioner is in need of help, a.k.a. it isn’t cooling. At any rate, it is too hot to make something in the oven for dinner tonight, so I’m changing up my menu and having Taco Salad instead. It’s good to be flexible.

This salad can be fixed in a variety of ways to meet your dietary needs. I’ll be making it TWO ways today! Yep, two ways. Since Sean, Tiffany, and I are doing keto we need high fat, so I’ll be using 73% ground beef. Currently Michael cannot eat beef or he breaks out in a rash and has difficulty breathing, so I’ll fix his with ground turkey. The only other difference will be in what ‘chips’ we use. Michael will use plain tortilla chips and the rest of us will use pork rinds. :)

So, let’s get started.

Brown the ground meat.

Browning Hamburger ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen it is about half done, I like to season it with salt and pepper.

Seasoned Hamburger ~

Now add remaining seasonings. This depends on your tastes. You can simply add a package of taco seasoning or a mix of seasonings like I do. Tiffany doesn’t like purchased taco seasoning, so I’ll use some onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and chili powder.

Taco Seasonings ~

Prepare your lettuce. Wash it if it is dirty. We like green leaf lettuce; it has nutrition unlike iceberg.

Wash & Dry Lettuce ~

I put each ingredient in a separate bowl so that each individual can put on the toppings of their choosing. Since this meal was not on my menu when I shopped last week, I don’t have an avocado; thus, we’ll use some sour cream (which I don’t need if we have avocado).

We have tomato, refried beans (for Michael),  sour cream, and CHEESE tonight.

Taco Salad ~

Tiffany put a little carrot, green pepper, broccoli, and zucchini in the salad. Seriously, a little of each, like a tablespoon or two. Most times it is just plain lettuce. ;)At dinner, everyone will build their salad to their liking. This is mine. :) Mmmm, mmmm!

Taco Salad ~

Serve with nacho tortilla chips, plain tortilla chips, or to keep it keto use pork rinds.

Taco Salad and Pork Rinds ~

I crushed up a few in my salad.

Taco Salad


  • 1-1½ pounds ground meat
  • ¼ teaspoon each cumin and garlic powder
  • heaping ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon each paprika and onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lettuce
  • cheese, your preferred variety
  • various veggies on hand, like tomato, onion, green pepper, zucchini, broccoli, carrot, avocado, etc.
  • sour cream, optional


  1. Brown the ground meat.
  2. Season with the listed seasonings.
  3. Tear washed lettuce leaves into bowl and add in variety of veggies or none at all.
  4. Serve salad with meat, cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips or pork rinds, as desired.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Family Togetherness

Fam Jam ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m learning that our family may be a bit unique in how we spend our evenings and weekends. You see, we spend the majority of that time in the living room together. Now we are all doing our own thing be it reading, watching youtube videos, gaming, surfing the internet or working on our laptops but we are all in the same room together. We used to watch television in the evenings and weekends while we did our other things but we were still all together and half-way paying attention to whatever was playing.

Recently we have cut back on our television viewing, but we are still all together most of the time. One person or another may go play music in the other room or shower and such but generally, we’re together and we like it that way.

Not long ago,  we watched a movie from Redbox. That night Tiffany and Sean were not doing anything else but watching the movie as they sat together on the sofa. Tiffany said that she felt like it was more of a shared experience because they were both fully engaged. She suggested that we, as a family, spend some time, once or twice a week watching something together, fully engaged, or even play a game together.

We talked about it and decided we’d give it a go. She likes to call these times Fam Jam. I’m not sure why but that’s what she calls it. So, as we’ve begun this new experience together, Sean and Tiffany make a nice comfy pallet on the floor and Michael and I sit on the sofa together. Nobody has any phones, laptops, ipads, books, or anything. We just all pay attention to the movie or show together.

It has been a nice addition to our family. It reminds me of a practice I instigated many years ago when trying to improve Michael’s and my marriage. (You can read about it here.) There is just something different about being intentional and focused with your beloved and even the rest of your family.

I hope this encourages you to be intentional with your loved ones.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº