Monthly Archives: June 2017

Thirty Years Together, Plants, Pizza, and Water Woes

This week was Michael and my 30th wedding anniversary. :) That is so hard to believe but alas, it is true. We celebrated casually, as is our style. Since he worked out in the heat and it is so hot here in Oklahoma, I decided to just make a nice dinner at home. I made Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole. (I’ll be posting this recipe eventually. Not sure if it will be Tuesday or if I wait until next time to try something a little different.

Michael bought me a beautiful card. He walked in the door with a gorgeous plant. Unfortunately it is ORCHIDS! Now there are a few people that already know my track record with this beauty but suffice it to say, it ain’t good. ;)

30th Anniversary ~ Lifeofjoy.meOrchids ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey are quite beautiful and my pictures are NOT doing them justice.

I read the care tag on them and they said to give it 3 ice cubes once a week and set it in indirect light. This beauty is in a very small pot though, so we definitely need to replant it soon. I truly hope I can keep this one alive. :D

He bought us some greenery last year for our anniversary and he has saved it from death a few times but I fear it is on its way out.

29th Anniversary Plant ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, I don’t even think it has a leg left. :(

In other happenings, the water went out a few days ago! Yep! I had run the dishwasher before going to bed, like I do nearly every night and when Michael got up, they were still dirty. So, it stopped flowing between 10:00 and whenever the wash cycle finishes. Bummer!!!

They kept promising the water would be back on soon. We are at the tail end of the line, so I figured it’d take a little while to get to us. But three and a half hours after it was supposedly back on, we still had not a drip.

Of course, going without running water for a day or two really makes you appreciate it and respect what they did in years past. Man, just getting dishes cleaned was an ordeal. We had frozen pizza, yep it was keto!, for dinner the first night with a salad. Of course we were out of forks. Some of us used spoons and some of us used the utensils at the bottom of our arms. ;) I should be able to get the mound of dishes cleaned up today. When everything is dirty, it takes a while.

Sorry about the blurry picture. This is small. The box is maybe a 4″ square. I took a picture with my hand in it to show size but those pictures were even worse than this one. :( You get the idea with this shot though.

The pizza was a bit pricey at $5.39 per personal pizza that was a little more than the size of a single slice but it was only 4 carbs!!! Yep! 4 carbs! and that wasn’t even net carbs. We are talking total carbs here folks! That’s huge. I paired it with such a small salad of lettuce, meat, and cheese that there was maybe 1 to 2 carbs in it. Just used bacon fat for dressing.

There are only two stores in the Tulsa area that carry it and one of those didn’t even have it when Michael stopped and looked for it this week. He was such a trooper; he went to the other store too. Thankfully both are on the way home and he hit them in order, so no backtracking was necessary. It was okay but not worth the price in my opinion, unless you are crazy tired and just need something easy . . . then yes, thank you for having it available. I’ll stick to my fathead pizza, unless absolutely necessary.

Well, I’ll run for now. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Free Trial Offers for the Summer

Free Trial Offers for the Summer ~ Lifeofjoy.meOnce again Homeschool Buyers Co-op has some free programs to give a try for the summer or at least a month.

There’s a 30-day trial of an online homeschool planner, Homeschool Planet.

Discovery Education Streaming Plus has videos and lesson plans free until the end of August, as does National Geographic.

Then there is Miacademy and Homeschool Piano. IEW has a free downloadable video lessons for high schoolers! You should check that one out!

There is also Always Ice Cream and Clever Dragons interactive learning websites for grades K-8 that looks interesting.

And there’s several more too! You should go check it out. It is time sensitive, so hurry on over, the summer won’t last forever. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Aquafleur Flez

iamthedivacztI was glad to see there was a Diva Challenge this week, as she said she’s getting ready to go on her summer hiatus. I will continue to post tiles every week, even when there is no diva challenge, so I hope you’ll drop back by throughout the summer.

I was glad Laura picked Aquafleur because I don’t think I’ve ever really looked at the stepout for it and done it as intended. Okay, I know I’ve never done it as intended. It gets a bit messy and chaotic for my liking. But I tried, I really did try to draw it spiraling in on itself but stop short every time. :D I think the way I like it most is all drawn from one point be it in the center or near the base of the original shape/outline. I enjoyed working with it.

My husband, Michael, and I celebrated our 30th anniversary yesterday. It is hard to believe we have been married that long but then I remember that my oldest son is 26 this year and I even have a grandchild and I’m knocked back into reality. :) I used aquafleur on the heart on the card I made him. I didn’t shade it though. I just completely forgot to. :D

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meThe Square One: Purely Zentangle focus tangle this week is Flez. This one reminds me of Meer a bit. It has orbs down the middle instead of a wavy line and then Flux-ish parts where Meer’s lines would be.

I decided to do one large shape and place Flez between the black strips of Aquafleur.

Here it is before shading.

DC#322 ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd here it is with the shading.

DC#322 Shaded ~

I’m surprised by the difference!

You all have been so kind with your comments about my shading! Thank you soooo much. I was afraid to shade my tiles in the beginning, afraid I’d mess them up.  I really cannot say any one thing helped me. I first got Cris Letourneau’s book Made in the Shade, a Zentangle Workbook several years ago and thumbed/scanned through it but didn’t take the time to sit down and work through it.

Then I saw how some were making great strides in their shading by joining Eni Oken’s Shading Zentangle group, so I went ahead and joined. I eventually bought her Shading Fearlessly book and once again thumbed/scanned through it but did not sit down and work through it either. But I started sharing my tiles in her Facebook group and would get the occasional suggestion. I also saw what others did and seemed to start picking it up, little by little. And that is how I got to where I am today. I’m very pleased with this one, even though I didn’t quite do the tangles justice. And I still struggle with sparkle. Well, I think practice will help that too.

Thanks for visiting. I appreciate your encouraging comments.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Keto Egg Noodles ~

Egg Noodles

Literally noodles made from eggs, well, and a bit of cream cheese and oat fiber. Yep, don’t mock it until you’ve tried it.

One thing I love during the holidays is noodles cooked in ham broth. We simply call them ham noodles. Well, I’m preparing NOW for the holidays. Yes, I know I’m way early but I figure this is going to take some experimentation. However, I have made these noodles twice or thrice now and we are liking them.

For a simple, quick noodle, these cannot be beat. All you do is take one ounce of cream cheese (which is 2 tablespoons), 2 room-temperature eggs, and 1/4 teaspoon oat fiber and put it in a blender.Egg Noodle Batter ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know this doesn’t look like cream cheese and oat fiber in there with the eggs, but trust me it is. Blend on high for a minute or until completely smooth.

Egg noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meStop the blender and push down anything stuck on the sides with a rubber spatula and finish blending.

Egg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow all you do is pour it onto a rimmed baking sheet covered with either a silpat or parchment paper. I was out of parchment paper and my silpat didn’t fit exactly. Then I will also note that my oven is not completely level. So, if I can make these noodles and they taste good, under these conditions, you can with whatever situations you have.

Bake the egg mixture ~ LIfeofjoy.meIt would be best for it to be an even layer and to be spread thinly over the entire pan. As you can see, I have struggles right from the start but I am baking it anyway. Just 5 minutes in the oven on 350º.

Egg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs you can see, some my egg mixture went under my silpat. I was not going to be deterred. I used all but the thinnest bits of noodles. When it is cool enough to handle, release it from the silpat or parchment paper and cut into strips of whatever size you like your noodles, with a pizza cutter or knife.

Egg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meI even get the part that snuck under the silpat and cut it.

Egg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the noodle is thicker, I cut the strips thinner and when it is thinnest, I cut them wider.

Egg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meEgg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow you can use your noodles however you like. Once I used it in Tasty Tuna Toss-Up and Mike and I really enjoyed it. On this day though, I put them in some ham broth and thickened it a bit with a tiny bit of glucomannon (that has not yet been perfected). Everyone enjoyed the noodles and said it tasted like Thanksgiving.


Next time I’ll try it with some parchment paper and see if I can’t get them a bit more uniform. I also want to work with it to see if I can make it a bit more like homemade noodles that my Aunt used to make with just egg, flour, and a bit of water. We shall see. But until then, this will do nicely.

Pork Roast and Ham Noodles ~, I forgot to take a picture of the completed noodles until we were cleaning off the table and putting away the tiny bit that was leftover!)

Egg Noodles


  • 1 ounce cream cheese (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon oat fiber


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about one minute.
  2. Pour onto a silpat or parchment paper covered rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake on 350º for 5 minutes or until the thickest part of the noodle is firm.
  4. When cool enough to handle, cut into strips and use as desired.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Don’t Be Easily Offended

Don't Be Offended ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think one of my love languages must be food. I like to cook for those I love. And I love to eat with them too. ;)

There have been a couple occasions of late where Michael has asked me to make him one of the healing shakes for dinner instead of whatever it was that I had made or intended to make. I have to admit that at first I had to fight off being offended. It’s actually quite ridiculous that I could even get offended at the simple request but I’m just being real here.

He had been out in the heat and needed the cool refreshment from a shake but also knew the ingredients would help sooth his stomach issues.  Of course, I made him the shake but in times past, I can see that I might have made some unkind remark about having worked hard on dinner and why he couldn’t just eat that. That would have been sooo childish and immature.

Love is about doing for others and helping them in whatever ways you can. When a reasonable request is made, I’ve learned that it is best to do what I can with a cheerful attitude.

Now I will point out that he is not one to do this kind of thing frequently. If your spouse is one prone to separate himself and want special things all the time, then you need to pray about how to handle your individual situation.

Then I had another situation where I had worked hard on something for him. He is usually a very observant person. He did not notice the thing I’d done. I simply joked with him about his lack of observation, rather than get upset that he didn’t notice.

In the past, I would have been a bit upset that after spending several hours working on the surprise, he didn’t even notice. But instead of getting offended, I just kidded him and his superb observation skills. We all had a good laugh, which is much better than getting emotional about it.

In the end, getting offended does nothing for anyone and only makes you upset. The best thing is to choose to find a way to deal with the situation and broach the subject with your honey when you are not emotional and upset. Getting offended is not helpful to anyone.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Swimming and a Father’s Day Surprise

Tiffany and I had an enjoyable swim with Lauren and Liam last week. :) The little cutie did seem to be a bit tired but he and Lauren came out in the pool with us and we had fun. We didn’t stay very long, especially since it was the first time out in the water this year. We are rather fair skinned, so we have to be careful not to burn.

Fun in the pool ~

I spent some time cleaning the car for my honey for part of his Father’s Day gift. I cleaned the dash really good and then the windshield. Then after we returned from swimming, Tiffany helped me wash the car. Well, truth be told, I helped her wash the car. I’m too short to reach hardly any of it. So, I did all the rinsing. :)This and That 2 ~ (This is a picture of our vehicle but it was not taken recently.)

Then the next day, I was going to vacuum the car while Tiffany cleaned the upholstery a bit. Well, I could not get the vacuum, so that just didn’t happen but the seats look soooo much better! We use LA’s Totally Awesome concentrate that you dilute for different uses.

So I did not tell Michael about the cleaning of the car when I gave him his Father’s Day gifts. He’s generally so observant that I expected him to mention it to me at some point throughout the rest of the day but I couldn’t wait. I said something but don’t remember what and could not believe that he didn’t notice the total lack of dust all over the dash. We all had a good laugh over it all and how he thought the rain cleaned it so good. :D

Tiffany and I have had some really good conversations this week. We weren’t as productive as we had hope to be this week but we did what was needed. :) God will help us redeem the time and complete the projects set before us.

My parents came for dinner this week. We had yummy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken, fried green beans, and a simple salad. I had a keto pound cake for us and fixed each of my parents a 3-2-1 cake. We had a really nice visit and I learned some things about my parents’ families. It was a good night.

As usual, I forgot to take some pictures. I tried looking for a picture of our car to put here but I don’t have a good one on my computer yet. Then I tried see if I’d already shared one before but my internet is currently a bit slow, so that was out too. (As you can see above, I finally was able to attach a picture to this post.)

Thanks for sticking with me in this post of few pictures. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº




Summer Reading

Uncle Sean's Turn ~ Lifeofjoy.meDuring the summer it is a good idea to keep your kids reading to help them not lose any ground academically. Here’s an article with some helpful tips on how to prevent, what the academic world calls the summer slide and some tips on how to find reading material that is a good fit for your child. Don’t worry, it’s a short read. :)

Need some ideas to help you encourage your children to read? Here are several.

  • This Summer Reading Challenge looks fun. It has a checklist of not only things to read, as in different sources like an ebook, a comic book, or even a recipe but also includes a checklist of different ways to read, like with a flashlight, to a pet, and at the library. There may be one or two you want to change out but I thought it was a nice free printable.
  • This is a simple bookmark with colored dots to punch as your child reads a book.
  • At this site you can download and print a Summer Reading Bingo and she gives ideas for using it as well, especially waiting until the Summer reading needs a little infusion to keep going.
  • Then there is this fun challenge to read in 100 different places or to different people.
  • Here’s another bingo card to print.
  • And don’t forget your local library’s Summer Reading Program. Also check with the bookstores in your area. I remember Barnes and Noble used to have one that rewarded the children with one of 6 free paperbacks for reading a certain number of books.

If you need book suggestions, just do a search on pinterest. I saw lots of ideas there, for all ages.

And remember to take time for reading yourself. Kids do what they see others do. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


iamthedivacztFor this week’s diva challenge of drawing aura tangles with our non-dominant hand, I chose crescent moon and nipa. I really like these two tangles, so I hoped I would be happy with the outcome.

I drew my dots, border and string with my dominant hand (my right hand). I just kind of threw any old lines on there for my string, so it came out really odd. I decided to put Nipa in the middle and let Crescent Moon scallop around it.

Here it is before shading. You can see I have VERY wiggly lines. ;)

Nipa and Crescent Moon ~ Lifeofjoy.meTo better camouflage those wiggly lines, I decided to shade with my dominant hand. It needed lots of help. :D

Once again, I think this looks better a bit smaller. In real life, it seems shaded quite a bit darker. I wonder what is up with that. I may have to work on the settings a bit.

Shaded Nipa and Crescent Moon ~

My daughter said she liked it and that it looked very 3D. She also said that my wiggly lines added to its wonkiness. :)

Well, I’ll just keep it short this week. My days have gotten away from me of late and I don’t have a lot of time. I sincerely thank those that take the time to stop by and to leave a comment; they really do mean a great deal.

Please stop back by next Wednesday, as I’ll post a tile even if there is no Diva Challenge.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Breakfast Lasagna ~

Breakfast Lasagna

We like to have this filling breakfast as a special treat on a Saturday morning. Pancakes, eggs, sausage, and cheese all in one.

This may not be the prettiest meal but it is good enough that it is requested by my kids. I adapted this recipe from ibreatheimhungry. She used her cream cheese pancakes and a dozen sausage links. I make my baked pancakes and use bulk turkey sausage, since at this time Michael cannot eat pork. I probably use a little bit more cheese than the one cup in the original recipe as well. I make a couple other alterations that I will tell you about in a bit.

The only problem I have with it is that my baked pancakes are clearly thicker than her cream cheese pancakes and it towers over the pan. When I make this I use my largest sheet pan but I may have to divide it into two smaller pans in the future, to get them a bit thinner. ;)

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBrown the sausage, scramble the eggs, and shred the cheese.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBreakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.mePlace a piece of pancake in the bottom of an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.

Now here’s where I deviated a little from the original again. I butter the layer of pancake because the first time it was a bit too dry and . . .

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd a little sukrin fiber gold syrup.

Next add half the eggs and half the cheese.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meThan add another layer of pancakes.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBreakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd a little butter and syrup and then the cooked sausage.Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meLast layer of pancakes, piece it together as necessary.Add a little butter and syrup.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meTop with the remaining egg and cheese.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBreakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBake in the oven at 350º for 8-10 minutes.

We have cut this into four pieces for four adults but none of us eats the whole portion until the next meal. ;) So this can be easily cut into 6 servings or even 8 servings for adults and serves even more when children are involved.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBreakfast Lasagna ~

Breakfast Lasagna


  • One batch of pancakes (baked)
  • 8 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 pound bulk sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded.


  1. In an 8x8 or 9x9 pan layer as follows
  2. Pancakes (lightly buttered and drizzle of syrup)
  3. Eggs
  4. Cheese
  5. Pancakes (lightly buttered and drizzle of syrup)
  6. Sausage
  7. Pancakes (lightly buttered and drizzle of syrup)
  8. Eggs
  9. Cheese
  10. Bake 350º 8-10 minutes

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Father’s Day

I am blessed with two wonderful men in my life. First my dad, who worked hard and followed hard after God. He moved halfway across the country following God’s leading in his life and doing all he knew to do to become and do all God has for him to accomplish in this life.

Mother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe taught me the importance of a relationship with God, putting Him first in my life. He also taught me the value of hard work, that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right, and to do all you need to do to provide for your family.

Love Dad's Day ~

I’m so blessed to have him as my daddy! Thank you for believing in me and do all that was in your power to help me succeed. I love you bunches!

The other man is the love of my life! He picked up the baton from my father and has continually shown me, by his example, to follow him as he follows Christ.

Dad's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love this picture of him with Liam because it is just who he is. He gets down on the floor and plays with him, without any nudging or suggestions from me. We made a decision, early in our marriage, that he would be very present in our children’s lives and would deal with any financial limitations that incurred.

Michael helping with my flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love that he knows how to be silly but isn’t afraid of hard work. This one was taken just before Mother’s Day and he was helping me with the smaller flower garden by removing all the weeds I’d tossed. (I love that smile . . . oh and gotta love the hat that allows his head to still breathe. :D )Miahael and Tiffany ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd I really love that I can count on him to do something totally ridiculous to get me to laugh when I might be feeling a bit down (which thankfully, is not very often).My love ~

You might wonder what all of this has to do with marriage. A man is the head of the wife and should be a good spiritual leader in that he has his own personal relationship with God and encourages her to do the same. He is the father of their children and should be present in their lives, and by extension, the lives of his grandchildren.

But more than all of that, he and his wife go through life together and are there for one another through good times and bad. It is very helpful if they can learn how to encourage one another.

My Wonderful Husband and I

I Love You ~ Lifeofjoy.meFinally, I just want to take a moment today and  let him know how much I love and respect him for all he does for our family!

I hope that you told your sweetie how much he means to you yesterday. If not, it’s never too late.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



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