Monthly Archives: April 2017

Sickness, Liam, Cleaning, and Heat

It’s been a quiet week. Tiffany mysteriously got sick Sunday night with a really nasty tummy bug. She was up most of the night and couldn’t find the heating pad, so she needed to wake me up to find it, hoping it would give some relief. This meant I got up and after a short while, so did Michael. It was quiet a trying time for all three of us, even though I’m certain it was worse of all for Tiffany. We prayed, soothed, and did whatever medicating we could think to do and she finally was calm enough for us to go back to bed.

Come morning, I got Sean sent off to work and Michael ran to the grocery store for some ginger ale and pepto bismol. Ginger ale is one of the best things you can drink for indigestion and upset stomach because the ginger helps to calm it. Just read the ingredients to be certain the brand you purchase actually has ginger in it; sadly, some do not.

Michael got back with the goods and Tiffany was situated on the sofa. Yes, that is what we do when someone isn’t feeling well. Seems kind of silly to bring them and their germs into the main area where the rest of the family hangs out but it makes it easier to communicate AND easier to get the sick one’s mind off of their situation. We put on You’ve Got Mail which is a favorite of ours and we’ve seen it dozens of times, so it is easy to drift off to sleep while it is on. Up next was Kate and Leopold for the same reasons.

Recouperative Sleep ~ Lifeofjoy.meThankfully she was able get some rest around nine. She’s had to take it easy the rest of the week but has been fine.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to watch Liam this week because of it though. Surely did not want that little cutie to have that miserable mess nor his parents to have to deal with it. It is hard enough with an adult but way worse when it is a wee one and they cannot communicate.

We did have him over last week though. As you can see, we still had some of the birthday decorations up from Sean’s birthday. Liam crawled over to Michael and pulled himself up at his chair, so Michael pulled him up with him.He found Papa ~

He got up and then decided he wanted down. So Papa got down and played with him.

Down to play ~ Lifeofjoy.meI try to give him some kind of snack when we eat dinner.

Snack time ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe have to be very careful about what we give him because there are a way too many things that he can choke on right now.

On a completely different subject, I finally cleaned out the cabinet under my bathroom sink. I sure wish I’d taken a before picture but to be honest I was too embarrassed by it to do so. But it sure does look good now.

Clean cabinet ~ Lifeofjoy.meI found a different shower curtain in the cabinet and decided to hang it for a nice change.

We needed to replace our blind on our living room front window. What do you think?

Warped Blind ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think this happened in December because we had a plasticy/vinyl  bow on our front door and it had the same problem. Yep! December was so hot it warped our blind and ‘melted’ a Christmas bow. I wish I had a picture of the bow to share, but alas, I do not. ;)

I hope you have a great Easter!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Easter Unit Link

Easter ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m going to keep this really succinct today because you need to run over to the Teaching Home newsletter and do their Five Day Easter Unit. Don’t attempt to do everything listed unless you take some time to do so. It is a very good Bible study with suggestions for music and films to enjoy.

I know Easter is in just a few short days but this may have exactly what you are needing to round out your Resurrection Day Celebration.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Squares and a Circle

iamthedivacztThe Diva Challenge this week is a string challenge, whereby we are to use at least one square and one circle for our string. I found a lid to a vitamin bottle handy, so that became my circle. Then I found a small square sticky note pad in my drawer and added that.  I opted for two squares and one circle.

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meThe focus tangle for Square One: Purely Zentangle and Shading Zentangle is Joki. I like Joki but I’m not very good at it. Since I was working with #go-to patterns last week, I got the itch to use Paradox and Cadent some more, so I did. ;)

Here it is first before shading.

DC#311&Joki ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love the magic of Paradox and the style of Cadent and both are so easy. Well, Paradox did have a little learning curve but when I realized that you draw each line from the wide portion to the point, it got easy. The hardest thing about Cadent is the “s” shape.

Here it is shaded. I love shading because it covers up lineart imperfections.

DC311&Joki ~ Lifeofjoy.meI liked the “globe” look around Joki, so I did a little light shading from the circle portion of the string. I’m never really sure how to shade Joki.

Pattern Collections ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere are the rest of the tiles I did for the #go-to project on Pattern Collections.


GoTo Tangles ~ Lifeofjoy.meShaded #goto ~






#goto project ~ Lifeofjoy.meShaded #goto ~








I forgot to take a picture of this last one before I shaded it. I had so much fun with it. The string was simply an anchored loop. I was surprised when this pineapple popped up. :)

#goto Pineapple ~ Lifeofjoy.meI realized afterwards that I could’ve done some shading on Shattuck but am fine with it being just as it is.

I want to thank you in advance for any comments you take the time to leave. It is always encouraging to have someone compliment your work.

I hope you have a good day.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Bacon Hack ~

Thick Bacon Hack

Make the less expensive thin bacon into thick bacon, with this tip.

My family has gotten spoiled with the thick cut bacon I’ve been buying at Sprouts lately. It truly is delicious. But it is a tad bit expensive. So I buy the cheaper thin bacon to add to what I buy of the thicker bacon.

However, nobody really cares for the thinner bacon. Although I do have to admit, sometimes it is so nice and thin and crispy that I call it a bacon chip. ;) But  most of the time, we don’t prefer this cut.

Well last weekend when I was baking up some of the bacon for the week, I had run out of space and still had half a package of thin cut bacon left. Then it hit me . . . I can put two pieces together and make it a thicker piece of bacon. And that is just what I did and it turned out nice.

So for today, I thought I’d show you how to do it in a skillet but the same technique applies to putting it on sheet pans and baking it.

Place two pieces on the skillet together. The big ones on the right are two pieces and the little piece on the left is just one.

Bacon Hack ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey may separate some as they cook but this is okay. :)

Bacon Hack ~ Lifeofjoy.meJust turn the two-piece piece over as one piece.

Bacon Hack ~ Lifeofjoy.meI actually prefer it baked in the oven but this was okay too. Now, I’ll admit that this is not as good as thick bacon but it makes it a bit tastier this way.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Kindness: A Mighty Weapon

Kindness ~ Lifeofjoy.meBack in February, Lori Byerly of The Generous Wife held a challenged her readers to do a kindness for your spouse every day. I liked the idea and casually participated. I really didn’t think too much about it though.

Then this week I read this article by Shaunti Feldhahn about The Kindness Challenge. I love Shunti’s books and the information she shares. They’ve really been helpful to me in giving me understanding and insight into some wrong behaviors I had toward Michael. I wrote a little about it when I first started this blog a couple years ago but I digress. This new article isn’t just about marriage; it is about any relationship be it with your spouse, teen, co-worker, anyone.

Reading this article reminded me of my own “Kindness Project” I did, way back when I was in ninth grade. We had just moved from another state a couple of months into the new school year. I was not only an introvert but a shy one at that. At that time, Physical Education was a required course and I didn’t like the class to begin with but there was a popular gal in my class that decided to pick on me and make my life miserable.

I told my mom about it and she suggested that I “kill her with kindness.” I really didn’t see how that was going to help me but Mom thought it was the best course of action, so I did as she suggested. Every time I saw this girl I smiled and would say hi to her.

After about a week or so of this, she came and sat down across from me at lunch. She said something like, we are you being nice to me when I’m not nice to you? I don’t even remember what my response was to her . . . maybe it was something like, because I want to be your friend. Whatever my answer was to her, it astounded her. We became friends. We even exchanged Christmas gifts that year. When others would start to pick on me in PE, she told them to stop. :)

So, all that to say, I know kindness works! Give it a try in your life. No harm in letting your husband be the beneficiary of your kindness project, even if you did do Lori’s challenge in February. It is always a good thing for me to be extra kind to Michael. ;)

I hope this encourages you to add an extra bit of kindness in your life this week, month, or even year.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

More Liam, Flowers, Peach Tree, and a Kitten

Lauren brought Liam out last weekend and he had his second sleepover with us. :) I really hope this gets to be something that continues to happen. I love having him around. :) He got here after dinner, so he was ready for bed a couple hours after he arrived. Sadly, no pictures were taken. However, wee did get to take him to church with us this week. It was nice to be able to let these people who prayed with us for his very existence, to actually meet him.

He did very good during the first hour-long service. Although I’m sure he would have much preferred crawling around, he did enjoy my necklace and my glasses case. :D
Liam Church ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam likes my case ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhatchya doin gpa ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen he was extremely interested in the chair in front of us. He loves pulling up on things and it seemed as if he was trying to pull up on this chair but couldn’t because of my firm grasp on him. ;)

Liam likes the chair ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was told that I was smiling a bit too much! :D Yep, I love my grandson!!!

Removing his thumb from his mouth ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was removing his thumb from his mouth when Michael shot that one.

Michael held him during praise and worship. Liam even raised his hand at one point. :) (Hey, don’t burst my bubble! He totally was worshiping the Lord. ;) )

Raised Hand ~ Lifeofjoy.meSorry it’s blurry. As it is, I missed it when his hand was open and his fingers were spread out. (I said, don’t burst my bubble. ;))

I held him off from wanting a bottle until after praise and worship. I figured he’d fall asleep after drinking it and hoped it would be timed well with service ending.

Napping on Grandma ~ Lifeofjoy.meBrian and Lauren picked him up shortly after he awoke from his nap. It all timed pretty well. :) I just love the little plaid shirt he’s wearing. I bought it for him because Brian loves to wear plaid. But I have to tell you, that thing was a pain to get on him!

I found out yesterday that he gets to have another sleepover this weekend! Yay!!! :p

Last week when Tiffany and I left to run errands, I spied one of my pretty flowers that the family bought and planted for me last year.<3

REturning flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was small last week and just a couple of flowers were barely showing but it brought me much joy on that cold day (and still).

I love them!!! I think they are Sweet Williams but I’m not sure. Whatever they are, they are lovely and bring me joy.

Tiffany checked on the peach tree. We had a couple or three freezes. She thinks we may have lost some of the peaches but we still have some. I’m not sure how many though.

Peaches ~ So, we know at least some of the peaches survived. I hope there are more than we think.

KitKat’s kitten is cute. She now comes to Tiffany. This is a vast improvement over most of the kittens we’ve had. Here she’s peeking out from behind her mama.

Patches ~ We call her Patches because she is mostly white with some patches of tabby.

Well, I’m going to run for now. I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº


Easter is Almost Here . . . Countdown

Easter is Here Almost ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe never did anything very big for our children for Easter. I got them Easter outfits and gave them Easter baskets with minimal candy but that was about it. Then when Tiffany was young, I saw a cute book called Benjamin’s Box which told the Easter story. It had a ‘carton’ of eggs that went with it with a little reminder of a part of the story.

You can make your own Resurrection Eggs, as they were called. Several people have put together their own version. Here’s a link to one, or here’s one, and here’s another, all these are pretty similar. These can be done over the twelve days prior to Easter. If you are going to do that this year, you better get hopping because you’re already a day behind. But you could choose to do something like this one and tell the story all in one day. I don’t think it will leave as strong an impact for ALL the individual parts but more for the overall story.

Then there are links that I should have found before Lent. These would be really good to keep remembering and preparing properly for Easter/Resurrection Sunday. This one has free printables for several holidays. For Easter it has 30 names of Jesus, with scriptures which looks really cool and could be done beginning with Easter, instead of ending with Easter (since it is nearly Easter this year). When you click to download the Holidays printables, you will be prompted to give your email address where you will be sent the link to the download; you can always unsubscribe later.

Here are two other countdowns that begin with Lent. Print it now for next year. ;) The first one is some words of Jesus every day. This one is just a group of different readings and such each day.

And finally, this one has several ideas on activities and object lessons. Oh! I nearly forgot. I shared a couple of easy, last minute ideas on this post from last year.

I hope these links will give you some ideas to make this holiday special for you and your children.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº


Several Tiles to Share

Several Tiles to Share ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis week Ina of started a project whereby participants can increase the tangles that they go to readily when tangling. The commitment from participants is to use the shared tangle each day in a tile using one of the seven provided strings, accompanied by any of your go-to tangles, which you share on the facebook group.

Well, I tangle approximately once per week, in preparation for this blog post; so participating in this project took some thought-would I be able to follow through with my commitment to tangle daily. Well, I felt like it was something I was supposed to do and thus, committed.

The first assignment was to give her a list of go-to tangles. This presents a problem for me because since I generally create tiles with challenges or focus tangles involved, I don’t really have any go-to tangles. I guess crescent moon, tipple, and shattuck would be the three that I realistically call go-to tangles but when I remember them I enjoy paradox, meer, knightsbridge, cadent, ‘nzepple, macdee, hollibaugh, cubine, henna drum, and I guess pokeroot/leaf. Then three that I like but feel they need just the right circumstances to include are nipa, stricles, and gneiss. Bless Ina’s heart, she included all of them and not just the first three.

To be fair with myself, I have been tangling since 2009! Yep, that’s a long time. Most of those tangles are ones that I binge-grabbed from Zentangle newsletters when I first found Zentangle. I love the way paradox is formed, although it was tricky for me at first. It wasn’t until I saw Rick drawing it in a video that I realized you draw the line from the wide end to the narrow end; that was the key for me. I love cadent, cubine, meer, and hollibaugh. ‘Nzepple taunted me. I loved what I saw but was baffled as to how to make mine look like that. Eventually I saw alternative ways to draw it and realized there was no “right” way and it stuck on me. :) I love the simplicity of knightsbridge, crescent moon, and tipple. All those circles in tipple hurt my hand at first but it has become a favorite of mine and I have learned to loosen my grip. Gneiss and stricles are just so dramatic. Macdee is the only tangle that I keep going back to that isn’t an original Zentangle tangle, I think. I love it’s simplicity and it is such a great background filler.

So, just like choosing my bridesmaids for my wedding thirty years ago, where I had so many close friends that had shared my journey with me, in the end I couldn’t pick just a couple, I think I ended up with eight, including maid and matron of honors, I could not pick just a couple #goto tangles. :D

Bridesmaids and Honor Attendants ~

I just started this project on Saturday and so I only have a few of the tiles done so far. But here they are. Oh, Shattuck is this week’s tangle. Here I’ve incorporated crescent moon, tipple, macdee, paradox, and meer. I really like how meer melded into that third tile.

Several Tiles to Share ~ Lifeofjoy.meSeveral Tiles to Share ~








Several Tiles to Share ~

iamthedivacztFB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meNow on to the Diva Challenge. I still managed to participate in this as well this week. :) Frunky is an interesting pattern. I used pattern-collections string #27. I also incorporated the focus tangle for Shading Zentangle and Square One: Purely Zentangle, which is Y-ful Power. And finally, pattern-collection’s pattern of the day is flowerly.

I’ve always loved the look of Y-ful but never tried it . . . I guess I just thought it’d be too confusing but it wasn’t bad at all. I enjoyed it. I put it at the bottom of my string then added Frunky to the section above it. Then finally filled in with a few flowerly with a little more frunky interwoven.

Here’s the pre-shaded scan.

Several Tiles To Share ~

I think one reason I love shading is because it hides my wiggly line art. :D I really should put on my magnifying glasses when I tangle.

Several Tiles To Share ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, definitely should’ve used those magnifying glasses. :D That one smudge in the upper right corner is not shading, it’s a smudge that I created while removing some erroneous graphite. LOL My eraser left a smudge. :D Oh well!

It looks better smaller. See?

Several Tiles To Share ~ Lifeofjoy.meOh yes, much more forgiving! I think this one would look good with distress markers. Maybe I’ll re-draw it on Bristol Vellum paper and give it a whirl . . . but knowing me and everything I’m doing, probably not! :))

Well, that is way more than enough for today. Thank you to all those who comment; you really make my day! You are so encouraging.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº






Baked Pancakes

An unconventional, easy, time saving way to make pancakes.

Being on a low-carb diet, sometimes means that you need to incorporate more fiber. Sukrin has a fiber syrup that we like to use on pancakes – yes, low-carb pancakes. :) Yummo! Anyway, I decided that maybe Sean might want to have some on a daily basis but making pancakes every day is NOT going to happen.

Then I remembered reading on a fellow Oklahoman’s blog, that she made pancakes in the oven. She said it works for any batter that has two cups of flower in it. I wondered if this would work for these low-carb pancakes I’ve been making. (Well, actually, I’ve been using the recipe in her cookbook: Cooking Keto With Kristie: A Journey Worth Taking and it is slightly different than the one in her video, which is slightly different than the one she references on the video.)I decided to give it a try when I wasn’t under pressure; so I attempted it for my breakfast yesterday. It Worked! :) I use her recipe but substitute coconut flower for the pork rinds right now, since Michael cannot have them.

So, here’s how to do it.

Prepare you batter.

Baked Pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meGrease your sheet pan. Mine is about 15″x11″ in size. I used coconut oil.

Baked Pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meSpread batter into pan.

Baked Pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meSorry about the bad pictures today!

Put in the oven and bake on 375º for 12-15 minutes.

Baked Pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meI cut it into 16 pieces because this recipe is for 8 servings.

Baked Pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meOne serving. :)

Baked Pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany was in the mood for some chocolate, so she added some Lily’s chocolate chips (they’re sweetened with stevia).

You cannot see my pancake very good but it was delicious.

Baked Pancakes ~

Baked Pancakes


  • Pancake batter that has 2 cups dry ingredients.


  1. Prepare batter.
  2. Grease sheet pan/jelly roll pan.
  3. Pour batter into pan and spread out evenly.
  4. Bake at 375º for 12-15 minutes.

I hope this makes your life easier. I believe it will mine.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Christmas Budget

Christmas Budget ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is April. I know it is April and no where near Christmas. However, now is the time to think about Christmas or more precisely, your Christmas budget.

In the early years of our marriage, coming up with a budget for Christmas was a difficult thing because we would wait until November to begin talking about it. Since Mike is a painter, the holidays can be slower because people don’t generally want their home torn up at this time of year. After many years of this recurrence, I finally realized that the best way to handle it was to put money away every week, on grocery day. This way, when the holidays roll around, we have no struggles because we’ve already discussed it and the money is there, earmarked, untouchable for anything else. :)

This one move has saved us a lot of frustration and has made the holidays much more enjoyable. I plan my savings year Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving. I like to have my Christmas shopping finished by Thanksgiving, so week is the last week I put towards the current year’s Christmas budget. Starting with the next week, I begin saving for the following year’s Christmas budget. Thus by the time the fall rolls around, I have a substantial portion of the budget and can begin Christmas shopping in earnest. :)

Our Christmas budget is no longer dependent on how much work Michael has during the late fall. We planned for it and make provision for it all year long. It is one of the best things I have ever decided to do and I’m very thankful that Michael has allowed me to do it.

I highly recommend thinking about it now for yourself. You could take a certain amount out each paycheck. This doesn’t work for us because Michael has inconsistent paychecks.

I took how much I wanted to spend on each individual. I included money for filling the stockings as well. Then I took that total and divided it by 52 weeks, because I shop for groceries every week and I get the money with my grocery money. I have an envelope where I stash it each week. Come time to shop, I use a charge card that earns me points I can spend on things later, so that I don’t have to carry cash with me.

I made that mistake the first year and carried cash but then had a difficult time keeping track of all the change. Now I keep a running total of what I spend, as I spend it and then just pay the lump sum when the bill comes. Michael tells me the bill has arrived, I look it over, and give him the cash, which he deposits and writes the check to pay the bill.

Yes, it’s a couple extra steps along the way but I’m very thankful to have the cash available and remove the financial strain from the holidays. Now we can just enjoy!

I hope this encourages you to consider making a Christmas budget and following through with the savings.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº