Taking a Another Look

Hubby and Grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Yesterday on the way to church, I turned and looked at my hubby. I was once again, struck with how blessed I am. He’s as handsome as he ever was, if not more so. He is committed to me and loves me deeply.

Sitting there in the car, looking at him, brought tears to my eyes.

I took a moment to tell him what I was thinking, squeezed his hand, and wiped the tears from my eyes. I don’t know, maybe I’m hormonal. :D But I think it is a good thing to do.

I encourage you today, to take a moment, and really look at the man you married. See him for who he really is, not for the things that drive you bonkers. ;) Think on his good points and let him know at least one. It feels good.

It is easy to get caught up in all the things you have to do on a daily and weekly basis and even all the frustrations of life. But it is good to pull yourself from the midst of all that and appreciate what you have.

(I will admit that there are some relationships that are toxic and those are ones that need professional help. But for the majority of us, we just need to stop and find something in our spouse to appreciate and give some slack for those areas that are frustrating. Odds are that we do things that frustrate them as well. ;) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Few of My Favorite Things

I just love this towel!

Christmas Towel ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy  mom bought it for me when we had our fun day at Hobby Lobby. :)

This dishwasher magnet is another favorite thing. The strand of lights around it glow in the dark. :)

Dishwasher magnet ~ Lifeofjoy.meOne day this week, Sean and Michael were home from work and Sean decided to make some brownies. :) A double batch! So we have had brownies most every night this week. :)

Baking Brownies ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiff was working on her bujo, I believe.

Michael decided it was a good time to go through some piles he had and get rid of some things.

Michael with Oregon duck hat ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a bit cold that day and all of us were dressed rather warmly. :)

My grandson was in his first Christmas play. :) He was a sheep and didn’t have any lines but got to get up and dance around with the bigger littles. :)

grandson dancing ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the shepherds came up to the microphone to say their lines, the sheep came up with them and gathered around. They didn’t have any lines but got to have a turn up front.

kids play ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was having so much fun! He’d heard some of the kids say something about the star, so when there was a lull, waiting on another child to say her part, he ad libbed and said, “Star.” It was so cute.

Kids Christmas play ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m so glad that they streamed this so that I could see him, even though I live a couple hours away.

Embrassing the chaos ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s been a good week. Tiffany and I decided yesterday that it was time for a holiday movie day and did the few things we had to do and had a good relaxing day enjoying feel good movies. :)

I hope you have a good weekend. We are anticipating some wintry weather this weekend. I love it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Favorite Christmas Books

My sister asked me about these this week and I realized that I hadn’t reminded you about them. So I’m here today to right that wrong.

Advent Books ~ Lifeofjoy.meJotham’s Journey is a great book that is set up with small portions to read each night throughout the four weeks prior to Christmas. It is set at the time of Jesus’ birth and is a fun adventure for children around age 8 and up. There are some tense moments that may be a bit too much for those younger than 8 but you know your children and what they can handle. It really is a good story.

If you have read this one, then there are two sequels you might enjoy as well: Tabitha’s Travels and Bartholomew’s Passage. These are set up the same way as Jotham’s Journey and also enjoyable. :)

Good Kids Christmas Book ~ LifeOfJoy.meThis is another book I really loved to read to the kids. It’s a bit longer than most of the Christmas books I had for them but I loved it so much I got it for Christmas recently. I wrote more about it on this post.

I also wrote about another book I really love called One Wintry Night which tells the salvation story. It is a sweet book that can be read one chapter at a time and with just eleven chapters it is a shorter commitment than Jotham’s Journey and the sequels.

I’ll share a few more of my favorite children’s Christmas books in the next weeks. I’d love to know what Christmas book traditions you have. I’m always looking for a new Christmas book. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº


123 O’Leary and Qua-Sahnt

Well, last week I didn’t get a tile done. I was at the hospital a lot with my parents because my 77 year old father had open heart surgery. Thankfully, he has surprised the staff there with how quickly he has recovered; God sure did answer prayers!

At any rate, I did not do the Square One: Purely Zentangle focus tangle of Qua-Sahnt by Heidi Kay and I really liked the looks of it. So I decided to add it to my tile this week.

Laura’s diva challenge this week is to use Antonine’s 123 O’Leary, which I think is a really clever name. I just wish I had practiced it a bit before starting my tile. I thought I’d use it as a border and started with it all the way around but after starting it, quickly realized I needed to start over, so I flipped my tile over and tried again with just top and bottom borders. I really didn’t do it justice and guess I did more of a variation on it. :D But as is usual, the shading helps cover a multitude of “opportunities”.

I really liked both tangles and when I went to write up this post realized that Barberpole is the Square One: Purely Zentangle focus tangle this week and I could have included it but alas, I did not think of it until I’d already finished. And once again, I did my tile after dark, so there is no picture taken in natural light this week either.

Here it is before shading. I really love when a tangle includes blackened areas. :)

#DC378 unshaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meHowever, any time there are blackened areas that are part of the tangle, I get caught up into shading right away. You can see where I had started shading the bottom of Qua-Sahnt in that “unshaded” scan above. ;)

Here it is shaded.

#DC378 Shaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs is usually the case, it seems to look better a bit smaller.

#DC378 Shaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m pleased with it and hope to remember to try my hand at these again in the future. I like the looks of them.

I’m so grateful that my father’s open heart surgery went well and that he is now home. One doctor said that the procedures that my father had done together, he has only seen them done about 3 or 4 times in 10 years and they were amazed at how quickly he was recovering. :)

I’ve been continuing to work on the crochet project I shared last week but have not gone back to the gem. I sure hope I find some time to work on it because I really do want to try my hand at it and have seen some great videos making it look so easy. :)

Well, I’ll run for now. Hope you have a great week!

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Remove maple chips ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Maple Butter Chips

Little sweet, buttery, maple morsels that I use to make a homemade McGriddle breakfast sandwich.

This recipe is super simple and was created to make my family some homemade pancake sandwiches. The McGriddles you buy at McDonald’s has little syrup pockets that make those sandwiches so good.

I have tried other methods and none of them worked well. So back to making these buttery maple chips. It’s not hard, it just adds another step to a rather long process anyway.

So here is how to do it.

Take 4 tablespoons of butter and melt it in a saucepan over medium heat.

Butter ~ Lifeofjoy.meMelting butter ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd 3 tablespoons of Gentle Sweet or your preferred sweetener equivalent. (Gentle Sweet is powdered.)

Add Gentle Sweet ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd 1 teaspoon maple extract.

Add Maple Extract ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd whisk until sweetener is dissolved into the butter.

Whisk until dissolved ~ Lifeofjoy.mePour onto hexagonal trivet or into chocolate chip molds. I don’t have any chocolate chip molds yet, so I use these silicone trivets that I got cheap somewhere.

Pour onto molds ~ Lifeofjoy.meSpread it around with a spatula.

spread maple chip butter on trivet ~Lifeofjoy.meIt fills one trivet for me.

butter maple chips ~ Lifeofjoy.meI put it in the freezer until it hardens into chips.

freeze the trivet ~ Lifeofjoy.meRemove maple chips ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat is the hardest part of the process, getting all those little luscious chips out of their grooves. ;) I may try spraying the trivet lightly with coconut oil spray next time and see if that helps. If it does, I’ll update this post.

I’ll be sharing my McGriddles recipe soon.

Maple Butter Chips


  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Gentle Sweet
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add sweetener and extract.
  3. Whisk until sweetener is dissolved.
  4. Pour onto molds and spread around with a spatula.
  5. Freezer.
  6. Remove from trivet.


Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Give and Take

Marriage give and take ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s important in a marriage to know when to give in. It really is. Sometimes there is just something that is not worth making your spouse unhappy about doing. But then other times the thing is important enough to stick it out to get what you need, in which case it is your spouse’s turn to relent. ;)

My father had open heart surgery last week fixing an aneurysm, valve, and blockage. It was a lengthy, specialized surgery and we are very thankful for the talented surgeon that performed it. Many people have prayed for him which we are sure has aided in his speedy recovery and shorter surgery than anticipated. :)

During this week, Mom has not left his side, except when required to by the hospital. ;) She has been his helpmeet for 56 years! They’ve learned a thing or two about the give and take.

Mom has been his helpmeet for so long that it is only natural to help push him to do the things he needs to do to recover well from his surgery. There were some difficult things he needed to do and she was there to support him and encourage him to do them, even when he didn’t want to. :)

Michael and I have been married 31 years. We too have learned this art of give and take. Michael loves to protect me and keep me safe. It was a stretch for him to be okay with me getting outside his comfort zone, but with my dad being in such a serious situation, he gave in where I was needing to take.

Love isn’t about getting your own way. It is about sharing and working out a balance of giving and taking.

I hope you will be a good giver during this holiday season and also take with humbleness.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Hospital Visits

My father was scheduled to have open heart surgery bright and early this past Monday morning but got postponed over the weekend to Tuesday. It made for one more day of anxiousness but we survived.

Since the hospital is 45 minutes from our home and Daddy had to be there at 5:30 in the morning, Michael and I had to get up at 3:45 to be there to see him before he had to disappear, or so we thought.

We arrived and found my youngest sister was there already. Shortly thereafter a gentleman was wheeled into the hospital by a man and another woman. The man looked at us and said, who knew you needed an entourage to come to the hospital. We chuckled and when they were out of earshot I said, He had no idea he was talking to an even bigger entourage. :D Then in came my parents and my sister. :D There were the 6 of us, traipsing through the hospital together.

They were great, allowing all of us to tag along through the different stops along the way. The nurses at Hillcrest Hospital North were absolutely wonderful.

Maglovsky Entourage ~ Lifeofjoy.meMichael and I, Daddy, and Tracie and Sondra (Mom took the picture) just prior to surgery. :)

Daddy was so much more relaxed at this point than when he arrived at the hospital. We were able stay and visit with him for the majority of the two and a half hours before surgery. During the surgery they were very good to call us and keep us informed of their progress. It was a 4-5 hour surgery. My brother-in-law and nieces came at a more reasonable hour and he’d gone into surgery.

Everything went great and we girls went over to await him in CV-ICU, where he stayed for only 2 days instead of the supposed 3 days. He had some amazing nurses and received great care! Yesterday he moved out of ICU and took an uneventful first walk . . . well, it was his second walk but the one the night before ended with a little heart sidestep but they were able to get it back in sync and he walked a good walk yesterday without incident.

Mom and Dad after surgery ~ Lifeofjoy.meLots less baggage this time around, because they removed many of the tubes already here. :) Doing better!

Daddy and I after surgery ~ Lifeofjoyme
Me and Daddy

He’s so strong! Did really good!

They have this “coughing buddy” that the heart patient is supposed to hug when coughing and moving, which helps keep him from using his arms to push himself up and stressing his chest/incision. He and Mom thought it was a joke at first, but soon realized it for the tool it really is.

Heart Patient and Bear ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m soooo glad he’s doing so well. I stayed with them the first night because quite frankly it was a bit scary and I didn’t think Mom should go through it alone. Since they ask all visitors to leave the CV-ICU for an hour and a half each morning and evening, I decided to go back up before the sun came up to be with her while she was banished. :D

It was a good day with some good milestones and good memories. I’m so glad God helped Daddy and kept him here for us. My baby sister told him before he went into surgery that he had to make a deal with her: If he saw any bright lights he was to go the other way and come back to us. :) When he roused from anesthesia, he said he didn’t see any bright lights. :) He had a great surgeon and a Great Physician looking after him. The surgeon said the aneurysm was quite . . . well, let’s just say, it was a good thing they did the surgery when they did and now Daddy is doing good. :)

I hope you have a blessed weekend! We sure are because the surgeon says he will probably come home this weekend. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Khan Academy

Link Khan Academy ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy father is still in ICU from having open heart surgery, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.

I have never used Khan Academy personally but my son has and has really benefited from it.

You do have to sign up for a free account but then you have access to a wide variety of lessons from all levels of math to test prep like SATs and such.

It’s worth looking into, especially if you struggle with math. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Hospital Art

Yesterday my seventy-seven year old father had open heart surgery to fix his aortic valve, aoratic aneurysm, do a by-pass of a 70% blockage, and such. I didn’t get much sleep the night before as the hospital is 45 minutes away and he had to be there at 5:30 am, which meant, we, his entourage, had to as well. :)

Heart Surgery Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe looked so much better at this point of the day than he did when he’d first arrived at the hospital that morning.

I won’t go into all of that today because today is art day. There was no Diva Challenge at the time I am posting this, which is just fine because I’m quite tired.

I took a big bag of art supplies with me to the hospital, as the surgery was to take 5-7 hours and we were there about 2 and a half hours before he even went into surgery. ;)

I’m crocheting a minion blanket for my two year old grandson for his Christmas stocking. Here’s how far I got on it while in the waiting room.

Starting the minion blanket ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is still arching and that is frustrating but I’m just pressing on because I’ll never get it finished if I keep pulling it all out. :D

Beginning of crochet blanket ~ Lifeofjoy.me I also took some pens, pencils, markers, papers, tiles and so much more with me. When surgery was over, I attempted to start my first ever gem while in the ICU waiting room.

Drawing my first gem ~ Lifeofoy.meYeah, I didn’t get very far. Daddy was waking up and we were able to go in and see him, two at a time. That was the end of my art for the day.

I’ll write more about my day on Friday, since this is supposed to be about art. Sorry it’s up so late. I got home from staying overnight in ICU with a migraine headache around noon and went right to bed.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Hot Cocoa THM ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Hot Cocoa – THM version

Warm chocolately goodness in a cup. Just the thing to warm you on chill evenings. Made sugar free and dairy free too.

For years we’ve made hot chocolate or hot cocoa, whichever you prefer to call it, using the recipe I found on the Hershey’s Cocoa can years ago. I don’t know if it is still on the can or not.

We substituted almond (or cashew) milk for the regular milk and Gentle Sweet (a blend of xylitol, erythritol, and stevia but you could use your favorite sweetener) for the sugar. It’s such a simple recipe that it was quite easy to modify.

Here we go . . .

Combine 1/3 cup cocoa (or as little as 1/4 cup if you prefer a milder chocolate flavor)

Cocoa powder ~ Lifeofjoy.mewith 1/2 cup Gentle Sweet or your preferred sweetener (Gentle Sweet is supposedly a little less than twice as sweet as sugar. If you use straight xylitol or erythritol, you’d use the same amount as you would sugar, so I’m told.)

Cocoa Powder and sweetener ~ Lifeofjoy.mewith a couple pinches of salt in a pot.

Cocoa dry ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhisk it, add in 1/3 cup of water, and bring to a boil on medium to medium high heat.

Add Water for cocoa ~ Lifeofjoy.meBoil for 2 minutes.

Boiling cocoa base ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd in about 5 or so cups of almond (or cashew) milk.

Add almond milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meKeep whisking until it reaches desired temperature.

Hot chocolate thm ~ Lifeofjoy.mePour and serve! :)

Ladel into mugs ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe really enjoy this. I hope you do as well. :)

Hot Cocoa – THM version


  • 1/3 cup cocoa (1/4 if preferred less dark) powder
  • 1/2 cup Gentle Sweet
  • 2 pinches mineral salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5+ cups almond (or cashew) milk


  1. Whisk cocoa powder, sweetener, and salt together in saucepan.
  2. Add water and turn heat to medium/medium high.
  3. Whisk until it comes to a full boil.
  4. Reduce heat slightly and continue stirring. Boil for 2 minutes
  5. Add milk and continue whisking until desired temperature is reached.
  6. Pour into mugs.


Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº