Spinach Omelet

 Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis week’s is a recipe that I’ve been making for Mike and Sean for the past week or so. They are really enjoying it. You can pretty much change this to suit what you like. It is extremely versatile. Of course, since this is a spinach omelet, we are using spinach. I know, shocking, right? 😀 My guys like some green onion in theirs as well. We have also added some cooked chicken breast and cheese at times.

Start by cracking three eggs into a medium-size bowl. I use my 4-cup measuring cup.

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext add about one tablespoon of heavy whipping cream (or evaporated milk or just regular milk or even half and half).

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.meI use a fork and combine these a bit. Next, cut the green onion or use scissors to snip it right into the measuring cup or bowl of beaten eggs.

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.meI really shouldn’t have used the green cutting board! It really gave these pictures an odd look!

Next grab a handful of spinach and chop it into thin pieces.

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd both of these to the eggs and combine. 🙂 You can add a bit of shredded cheese if you like. I have found that I really don’t taste the cheese mixed into the eggs and opt to just melt it on top for mine.

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.meMeanwhile, if you are watching your fat intake, spray your pan, very well, with oil. If not, heat half a tablespoon each of butter and coconut oil (or simply one whole tablespoon of one of them).

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.me(I’d already used this pan to make this twice today and didn’t realize I was going to need pictures, thus the egg bits still in the pan.)

I like to stir together the two oils as they melt, before I pour in my omelet mixture. When the oil is hot, add the egg mixture and if your add-ins get all lumped together, spread them out a bit.

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs it starts to solidify, mix it up a bit, so all the egg gets thoroughly cooked.

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy family likes theirs a little bit crispy. (I know real omelets are thinner and rolled but I don’t know what else to call these delicious eggs.) When one side is done to your liking and is nearly cooked through, flip to finish cooking the other side. This is when I add my cheese. We are using a mild cheddar here but use what you like.

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.meServe as soon as the cheese is melted.

Spinach Omelet ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I hope you like this ‘recipe’. Use whatever veggies or meats you like.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Support His Endeavors

Support His Endeavors ~ Lifeofjoy.meSometimes it is best to support your spouse in an endeavor of his. Recently Mike had done a lot of research into the Ketogenic diet and felt he should attempt it for a while. Now, I have tried MANY MANY diets and yet I am still in need of losing weight. But I am not interested in going on a diet, but I am desirous of losing weight just not through means of dieting.

After weeks of his research, he asked me and Sean and Tiffany to look into it and decide if any of us felt we should join him. I knew at that moment that I was to embark on this endeavor with him despite what I desire. Somehow I knew that my support was important in this.

I know he appreciates the support of his family in this endeavor. It is much easier to pursue something when you have the support and encouragement of those closest to you.

Is there something your spouse would like to do that you don’t necessarily want to do? Barring something illegal or immoral, seriously consider joining with him in the activity. After all, you did decided to spend your lives together, so you have a lot of interests in common. I suggest that you pray about it and see what God would have you do. Who knows, you may enjoy it. In my case, God has definitely given me grace to do this because I am not struggling to follow this eating plan at this time. I can even see how God may have used Mike to get me to try one more diet. 😉

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Armadillo, Babysitting, and More

Last weekend, Mike looked out the back window and saw an armadillo rooting around. It was raining and this critter did not care.
~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany got some pictures of it after the rain ceased. 🙂

~ Lifeofjoy.meShe said it had some claws for paws in front. We think it used these to dig the hole and then it shoves its snout in the hole to get the bugs it so desires. 🙂

~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany said that she was able to get rather close to it and it stayed right where it was, until it saw her big rubber boots. 😀 She said that it then decided to run off. (I’d include another picture of it leaving but my internet connection stinks right now and it would take way too long to upload.)


~ Lifeofjoy.meIn other news, we get to watch Liam tomorrow!!! 🙂 It’s been two weeks since I’ve been able to see him in person. Thanks to Lauren though, I have seen him, since she’s been a sweetie and sent me some pictures last week. Mike has been the recipient of pictures this week, sent to him by Brian. 😛 What am I? Chopped liver? 😀

At any rate, we are looking forward to watching him so that Brian and Lauren can go out and enjoy some couple time. 🙂

(Like I already stated, I’d include another photo, but my internet is severely lacking at the moment-one is out completely.)


~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m so thankful that God has given me grace at this time to read the Bible in 90 Days in Chronological order. I have gotten behind and caught up, so many times already that I am simply amazed. It is tough enough to read about thirteen chapters EVERY day but then if you miss a day you then have twenty-six chapters to read the next day to get caught up. I never could have done this when the kids were small and I was homeschooling. Okay, maybe I could have done it when they were a bit older and I homeschooled . . . okay, maybe I could have done it even when they were young  . . . it’s really all about priorities.

If you put reading the Bible as a priority, they you will take snippets of time and read, when you have them. I always seemed to find time to play a computer game, like Sudoku or Mahjong or some such game, so I guess I could have found time to read the daily chapters. (Wow, that was hard to admit.)


~ Lifeofjoy.meI have had certain days that I do certain things, like run errands, for many years now. When I mess with the schedule and change errand day to a different day, it messes me up and I have a hard time remembering just what day it really is. Do you have this happen to you? For a long time, we ran errands on Friday; not my preferred day but it’s what was needed at that time. Then when we would switch it to another day, earlier in the week for some reason, I would think the next day was Saturday. That can be very saddening when it is only Thursday. 😀 Oh well, I’ll get myself straightened back out here soon, I hope. 😉

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Delight Directed Learning

Delight Directed Learning ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis week I’m sharing an article from The Old Schoolhouse by Diana Waring about slowing down. Allowing time for our children to follow their curiosity, and even encouraging it, is much better than rushing through curricula simply for the sake of getting it done. It isn’t always convenient but it is worthwhile.

Learn to fan the flame of learning that comes naturally through a child’s curiosity and your child headed to being a lifelong learner. 🙂

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

 

Dealing with Pressure? The Benefits of Slowing Down

By Diana Waring

You know the story of the frog in the kettle, right? The one where the frog remains in water that used to be a healthy temperature? As you remember from that story, not being aware of the rising heat in your circumstances has a very bad outcome!

Across our modern culture, there is a similar increase in the “temperature” of our daily tempo. We scurry here; we run there; we have impossible to-do lists that never get done. Fast food, fast travel, movies on demand, and instant books on e-readers allow us to go through life at a dead run. The pressures of daily living have risen to red-hot, but—like the frog—we remain in this environment.

To this “normal” pressure-driven life, hundreds of thousands of us have added homeschooling our children. And, because of the massive expectations placed upon homeschoolers to have perfect children with phenomenal academic success, we feel an incredible weight added onto our shoulders to do all of this and more. The highly pressured, 21st century pace of life applied to school becomes fast education.

My definition of fast education: Know it all; do it all; finish it all—better and more quickly than ever before.

The problem with fast education is not only that it does not work, but that it can actually harm the development of our children.1 As much as fast food negatively affects our physical health, so fast education negatively affects a child’s curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving ability.

How, then, do we combat this educational pressure in our homeschooling? Begin by rethinking the learning goals for your children. Choose which of these is more important:

Finish the textbook by the end of the year.

OR

Have an engaged discussion with your students about something they learned in the textbook—one which demonstrates not only memory but mastery of the material.

Get 100% on a standardized test.

OR

Demonstrate an ability to take what is presented in a textbook to a deeper level, asking questions and pursuing answers beyond the book.

Begin college at an unusually early age.

OR

Show a vibrant approach to life; be interested in many topics; be able to learn independently, and be confident and mature.

The purpose of these choices is to highlight the fact that, when it comes to education and child development, the path is more important than the destination. Taking the time to follow a passion (like art or science experiments or writing or sports) often provides a richer, more balanced, and stronger foundation for adulthood than rushing through academics at the speed of light. These pursuits develop endurance, patience, self-motivation, and a delight in learning—all of which are extraordinarily helpful in any endeavor. So, rather than the destination of graduation (with university or career afterwards,) we focus first on the path of learning—loving to learn and knowing how to learn independently.

With that path in mind, here are two practical suggestions (though you will discover many more) as you start down the path of s-l-o-w-i-n-g down.

First Suggestion

Make room in your daily or weekly schedule for letting your kids brainstorm something interesting to do or some creative project they would like to make. Sometimes this would connect to something they are studying, but sometimes it can be self-directed.

When my high-school age daughter was studying the Roman Empire and the early Church, she decided to capture what she had learned by shooting a video of a television news broadcast from 155 A.D.! The breaking news of that show was the recent martyrdom of the 2nd century Church bishop, Polycarp. As she and her brothers brainstormed how to pull this off, they decided to rearrange furniture to create a desk for the “news anchor,” and they created theme music for the show and even two hilarious TV commercials. My daughter played the part of the on-the-spot-reporter who had witnessed the last words of Polycarp and had observed the effect they had on the huge crowd who had come to see him killed. I can still remember the awe I felt as she presented the scene with a fresh, creative perspective.

The Benefits

Allowing your kids to have this kind of creative time can lead them to their passion. It can also help them become a problem solver, as they find their way through issues arising in the creative process.

Second Suggestion

Encourage your children’s curiosity. When they ask, “Why do leaves turn colors?” consider shutting the books and going outside. Of course, you can simply do an internet search on “why leaves change color,” but that pales in comparison to the experience of sliding your feet through piles of fallen leaves, looking for the most interesting leaves, pressing those leaves between paper for preservation, drawing a picture and writing a description of your favorite leaf, looking in a field guide to discover what kind of trees dropped these leaves, and looking in an encyclopedia or on the internet for the explanation of why leaves change color. Which would your children prefer—a 30-second internet search or a 45-minute exploration of your yard? It takes 44.5 minutes longer, but having the time to investigate, ponder, draw pictures, ask questions, and discover answers will fuel their wonder and their hunger to learn.

(Not every question takes this sort of shut-the-book, go-outside response. Some are just for a forgotten fact. But when they turn to you with that look on their faces because they are pondering life’s inexplicable questions, then you can engage with all of the hands-on, interest-driven exploration.)

The Benefits

Encouraging your children’s curiosity will develop self-motivation, as they are allowed to find answers to what interests them, to learn about things beyond the curriculum, and to “think outside the box.” They will also remember more deeply what they have learned through their own exploration and discovery.

The effects of slowing down educationally are the opposite of what you might expect. Rather than learning less, surprisingly, children will actually learn more, at a deeper and more interconnected level. Their self-motivation, their ability to learn independently, their skill at problem-solving, and their joy in learning will develop over time and through many experiences. As a matter of fact, “over time and through many experiences” is the curriculum for these highly desired qualities.

The take away? When it comes to your children’s education, turn down the heat. In other words, s-l-o-w down!

A pioneer in homeschooling, author of the Experience History Through Music series and History Revealed curriculum, and international speaker—four continents and counting!—Diana Waring cares about how people learn as well as what they learn. Follow her witty and practical blog at dianawaring.com/blog; check out her fast-paced, God-honoring, sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-in-suspense world history products, and discover America’s history through folk music in the new Experience History Through Music series. Learning has never been this fun!

Endnote:

1 http://www.early-childhood-education-degrees.com/the-pre-planned-childhood/

Copyright, 2015. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine, Fall 2015. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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Ing, Viaduct, and Kuki

iamthedivacztWell, this week’s Diva Challenge is Ing. This is another of those tangles that I just don’t care for, mostly because I don’t really know how to draw it all that well. I guess I should really practice it but I don’t tangle enough to do that.

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.me

 

Square One: Purely Zentangle’s focus tangle for the week is Viaduct. This one is new to me and I’m not sure I did it justice but at least it was an easy-ish one to draw. 🙂

Pattern Collections has confused me a little bit. There was a poll taken about how frequently the members desired the focus tangle to change and the poll said weekly but the website is still listing daily tangles. I’m guessing this is something Ina, the website owner, had set up a while ago and forgot about it in all the busyness of her major move. So I checked and found that the tangle for today is Kuki and looked rather easy to do, so I included it as well.

The thing I like about how I was able to combine these tangles is that they seem to have equal prominence in the finished tile. Kuki is set of with white space. Ing is showcased with some dark shadows, and Viaduct fills the lower portion of the tile.

I remembered to take a before shaded scan this week. 🙂

Ing, Kuki, and Viaduct ~ Lifeofjoy.meShading really does make an incredible difference. I used a little bit of a 6B pencil today for the shading and I think it helped.

Ing, Kuki, and Viaduct ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, seeing it this large, I can tell that I need to look at how others shade ING because I just don’t seem to have that hang of that one. And although Kuki is rather easy to draw, the shading is a bit more difficult for me. I’m not really sure how to shade it well without it turning into a muddy mess. Any advice would be appreciated. 🙂

Well, I’m going to close this out today by saying a huge thank you to all of those that left comments last week. You all were so encouraging!!!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

The Key to a Good Salad

The Key to a Good Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meUntil recently, I have not been a fan of salads. You know, the normal kind with mostly vegetables. I thought the reason I really liked salad wraps was because of the bread but then one day I realized that I add salt and pepper to the veggies on my wraps. So I tried an experiment: on my next salad I added salt and pepper. I was amazed at the difference it made! Honestly.

I have rarely seen anyone add salt and pepper to their salads before. It really ramps up the flavor, making it taste so much better. If you don’t already do this, you really must give it a try. That is my BIG key to a good salad.

The other key to a good salad is lots of veggies, as in variety. It doesn’t matter if you really care for that veggie by itself, a little bit of it in amongst all that greenery and other varied veggies and such will hardly be noticed. 😉

IMG_3600For this salad I had about 2 cups of green leaf lettuce and spinach combined. Then I added a small tomato diced, about an inch of a cucumber sliced, about an eighth of a cup of diced green pepper, half of an avocado diced, about an ounce of cheddar cheese cubed, some bits of zucchini I had left over from the other night’s dinner, a few sprinkles of feta cheese, and some sunflower seeds.

I seasoned it with some sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and some homemade dressing. Several years ago I got this dressing bottle that has several dressing recipes on it. We chose the one made with balsamic vinegar, but we changed it from what it said because it called for 6 ounces of balsamic vinegar! Yep! Six ounces. We are not that big of fans of any vinegar. It only called for three tablespoons of olive oil. Well, that will never do.

It also called for ground thyme which is not a flavor we like, so we simply omitted it. It also required ground oregano but we did have that, so we used the dried instead.

The funny thing about this dressing is that even though I shake it a lot, there still ends up being a lot of herbs and vinegar at the bottom. So I just add more olive oil and shake, shake, shake. 🙂

The Key to a Good Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I’ll include the recipe in the ziplist form for future easy reference. 🙂

Balsamic Vinegar/Italian Herb Dressing

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons basil
  • 3 teaspoons ground oregano (we used dried instead)
  • salt and pepper
  • about 6 ounces olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put it all in a bottle or jar and shake, shake, shake.
  2. Do NOT store this in the refrigerator or it will solidify.
http://lifeofjoy.me/the-key-to-a-good-salad/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Holiday Preparation and Planning

Holiday Preparation and Planning ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is hard to believe it is nearly September already. With September comes autumn. With autumn comes “the most wonderful time of the year,” also known as the holidays.

Many years ago, I found something called the Holiday Grand Plan. It is a plan for cleaning, organizing the home and planning for the holidays so that you aren’t rushing around during the holidays and can actually enjoy them in a clean home.

Lori Byerly of The Generous Wife, suggested yesterday that it is a good time to talk with your spouse about the holidays and make plans accordingly. This of course reminded me of the Holiday Grand Plan because in it are some discussions of this kind.

The kids were much younger at the time and things were a bit hectic back then with homeschooling and all. I loved asking the entire family what activities they enjoyed most during the holidays. I found it wasn’t something I needed to do yearly, if I kept my paperwork. 🙂

By having these conversations, included with the Holiday Grand Plan, you are blessing your marriage with not only a wonderful holiday season and a clean home, but with respect of your spouse and his desires as well. Too many times we just go through the holidays by the seat of our pants not really making plans but doing everything that comes along.

The year that Brian and Lauren were engaged we tried a new activity, painting/decorating Christmas cookies. This has turned out to be one activity that the entire family looks forward to each year, and as such, is one that the family requests to do annually.

You might wonder why I’m mentioning the Holiday Grand Plan now. Well, that is a simple question actually. 🙂 It begins Sunday, August 28th!  By beginning so early, it gives you a nice gentle pace to accomplish all the activities and enjoy the holidays.

Well, I know I plan to go download the 2016 calendar Holiday Grand Plan very soon.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

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Homebody, More Liam, B90C

Last Saturday Sean suggested we use a gift certificate and go see a movie. I wasn’t sure at the time why, but I didn’t want to go anywhere, even if it was to see a movie, which I love to do. Then I realized why. I’m usually a homebody and last week I left the house all but one day. It was all fun goings, well mostly all. I got to go meet my grandson as he entered the world! And I had to run errands one day, which wasn’t so fun. 😉 But all that running all week meant I was ready to stay home.

That feeling continued on into Sunday but I made myself get up and go to church. I’m glad I did, they were really good services. But I was more than happy to come home afterward. We snacked when we got home and had an easy dinner of hamburgers later in the evening. I do miss seeing my parents and the rest of the family, so I’ll be eager to see them all this Sunday.

I’ll try not to be one of those people that talk about their grandkids or children for that matter, all the time, but this is a new experience for me, so here are a few pictures that Lauren sent me this week.

Homebody, More Liam, B90C ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat is such a neat pacifier! The stuffed animal is attached so that if he spits out the paci, it doesn’t go rolling away as easily. Pretty neat! This was one of the days they were working at getting him to stay awake during the day and sleep at night. Not easy on any of them.

Homebody, More Liam, B90C ~ Lifeofjoy.meLauren says he likes his tummy time. 🙂 It’s only been a week since I’ve seen him and I’m missing him a lot. Mike loves to see the pictures; he’s a proud grandpa. 🙂

Homebody, More Liam, B90C ~ Lifeofjoy.meLauren says he is eating VERY good now!

When I was shopping at Aldi this week, they had some infant toys for some of their specialty items this week. It was tough holding myself back from buying them for him. 😉 Christmas is really going to be fun this year! 🙂


In other news, I joined a group earlier this month that determined to read the Bible through in ninety days in chronological order. It’s been really good but tough at times. I know I was supposed to join this group and do this at this time because it’s been relatively easy to catch up when I get behind and to read the chapters most days.

It’s a really good group. The leader is praying for each of us, by name! That takes commitment and I know that has to be a key in helping me keep up. I’ve tried to do a B90 before, but it just wasn’t time for me, I guess, because I really struggled keeping up and eventually dropped out.

It’s not easy to read thirteen chapters, every single day, but it is doable. Reading it through like this makes it easier to keep things straight in my head. I didn’t get as floundered as I’ve read through the books we have so far.

Well, I think I’ve rambled enough for one day. I hope you have a great weekend. 🙂 We will!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Some Thoughts on Spelling/Vocabulary

A question was asked about spelling/vocabulary for a 12th grader, 10th grader, and 8th grader on a forum I run. I thought I’d share my response here today.

The thing I almost purchased in our later years of homeschooling, mine have all graduated now, was Simply Spelling  or Simply Wisdom. I liked that it followed the dictation approach but I discussed it with them and we opted not to do it. The reason I let them have input was because they were pretty much self-educating at this point, for the most part. (That was one of my goals: to have them take responsibility for their education and become lifelong learners.)

What I ended up doing though was to simply make a running list of words that they misspelled in all their writings and they would write them 10 times correctly, to solidify the correct spelling in their mind.

As for vocabulary, it would depend on where your children are in their current understanding. If they are reading good quality literature, odds are they are coming across words that are new to them. You could have them make a list of these words and what they deduce they mean and/or their actual meanings from the dictionary or dictionary app. If they don’t come across any new words, you could have them use the word of the day from the Merriam-Webster website or one of the many other websites that offer this.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day
http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/
http://www.wordthink.com/
http://wordsmith.org/words/today.html
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/category/word-of-the-day/
https://www.number2.com/exams/sat/daily/word/
** http://www.wordcentral.com/buzzword/buzzword.php

I also found these vocabulary cards at a garage sale years ago, that I suggested my kids use but never required. They are really neat.  I have the spelling set as well. We would sometimes just sit and go through a bunch. They can be used with a gameboard from a game for a more fun vocabulary or spelling practice.

I just asked my 19yo daughter, who graduated 2 years ago and intends to homeschool her own children when the time arises, what she would suggest. She said that the writing the words 10 times each is the thing that helped her the most as far as spelling is concerned.

As for vocabulary, she recommended finding a list of most beautiful words or such and just taking one or a few each day, finding their complete definition, and maybe using them in a sentence. This could even be done orally or together as a group. Here are two such lists.

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/100-beautiful-and-ugly-words/

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/weird-and-wonderful-words

She agreed that if they are honest with themselves and are reading good quality literature (like Sherlock Holmes), they should be finding new words. Sean, my now 23yo, keeps his dictionary app handy when reading, so that he can look up new or unfamiliar words on the spot.

The lady shared something they do each Friday that they call Dictionary Challenge. I randomly pick 5 words (usually try to find somewhat difficult or strange or just plain new-to-them sort of words), and the challenge is on to spell correctly!  Of course, I share the definition, so we’re simultaneously  learning a little vocabulary. Also, we throw in a Balderdash challenge as a bonus, where I find a word and each student comes up with an original definition. I read their definitions plus the real one, and they have to try to guess the true meaning of the word.

I hope these things can be helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Olympic Molygon Oke Tile

iamthedivacztFB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meThis week’s Diva Challenge is an Olympic theme. On Square One: Purely Zentangle the focus is Oke. And the Weekly Zentangle Tangle Video focus is Molygon.

I decided to combined them once again. I wish I had made my Molygon larger but alas, it is what it is. I needed something to add to the background or corners, and since Square One’s focus is Oke, I decided to put a partial Oke in that space.

My favorite Olympic event is gymnastics. So, I decided to go with the uneven bars. Unfortunately I didn’t put a bar on the bottom to hold them up, so it looks more like hurdles. 😀 And I forgot to take a scan before I began shading it, so there is no before shading to compare it to but let me assure you, there is a drastic difference. When I was all finished and went to sign it, I realized I’d used an .005 pen instead of my usual .01 pen. No wonder I was having a hard time seeing my lines. 😀

Well, here it is. I had fun thinking about and drawing this tile.
Olympic Molygon Oke ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt looks like I need to clean my scanner, as it keeps adding extra dots on my tiles. 😉 I’ll have to remember to do that before I scan next week’s tile.

I don’t think I’ll share this on Shading Zentangle, as I don’t get any shading advice there and that is the reason I joined it.

I want to thank those of you that will be kind enough to leave a comment. You are always so encouraging. Have a great week!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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