Monthly Archives: September 2014

Strircled Moons

Strircles+Crecent Moon ~

This isn’t officially a Zentangle because I did this one on a larger scale. I drew it in a nearly 7″ square drawing book. Here I used Strircles and a variation of Crescent Moon. Crescent Moon is really easy; a child can do this one easily. Strircles takes a little more attention to ensure that the right parts are colored in. (If you click on the tangle names above, a new tab will open and take you to the directions to draw these. Strircles is about halfway down the page.)

Strircles is much easier to draw than to pronounce. :)  Basically, you draw some stripes. Now draw some circles going over the lines of the stripes as desired. Next decide which stripe you will start coloring in; as you color it in and you come to part of a circle, leave the portion of the circle in the stripe open/uncolored. Then go to the stripe beside it and leave the stripe open/uncolored but color in the portion of the circle that is on this stripe. Keep rotating between colored and uncolored stripes and circles.

Crescent Moon is very simple as well. Just draw a half circle, skip a space and draw another one, and so on until you have all you want; color in the half circles. (This is hard to describe but easy to do. Click on Crescent Moon for picture directions.) Just draw another line following the half circle as your guide trying to keep a uniform distance from the half circle. Then do this to each half circle. When you get to a point that you new line is going to run into the previous line of the next set, do not touch the line but keep a uniform distance and continue flowing over the next shape.

I didn’t want so many empty spaces above my semi-circles, so I filled in some with other lines or dots to add variety and interest.

I hope you will try your hand at this, as it is really very simple and can be stress relieving too.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Pear Jello Salad

Pear Jello Salad ~ LifeOfJoy.meMy dad’s cousin, Beki, made this delicious dessert for us a long time ago when we visited them in Ohio. I must’ve had three portions; it was soooo good! After we had been home a while I remembered this scrumptiousness and emailed her daughter for the recipe. I’m grateful that she took the time to track it down for me. (Thanks Tanya!!!)

It is similar to a Jello salad my mom makes, which I may share with you some other time. If you are unsure as to whether you and your family would like it, it is very easy to cut in half. Beki said that when she takes it to family functions, she makes a triple batch! She also said that you can experiment with different flavors of gelatin and fruit combinations.

I do realize that this is really more appropriate for a summer dessert because of its lightness and because it is a chilled dessert but it is very yummy and in my area, we still have some hot days ahead of us yet. ;) I’m making this tonight for dessert, as Brian and Lauren are coming for dinner. (Tiffany is making Sweet and Sour Chicken and Egg Rolls – yum yum!)

First I drain the pear juice into a pan and bring it to a boil.

Pears ~ LifeOfJoy.mePear Juice ~

Next dissolve the Jello in the pear juice.

Juice+Gelatine ~

Add Cream Cheese ~



Now pour the hot Jello over the cream cheese and mix thoroughly with beater, but be careful; my mixer is a bit too powerful or my cream cheese a bit too cold and it splattered a bit. So I used a dishcloth to keep it from making too big of a mess.

Mixed ~






After the mixture is semi-set, beat it again. Not the best picture but you can see that the center is liquidy and the edges are solid.

Semi-Set ~

Now fold in the pears, which I like to cut up a bit, and whipped cream. Put back in the refrigerator until set. And as Beki said, “Serve with glee.” :)

AdddAAdded Fruit and Whipped Cream ~

Pear Jello Salad


  • 2 cans pears, in their own juice (14.5 oz each can)
  • 6 oz. package peach gelatin (Jello)
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 9 oz. container whipped topping or whipped cream


  1. Dissolve Jello in boiling pear juice.
  2. Pour hot Jello over cream cheese and mix thoroughly with beater.
  3. Cool until semi-set, then beat mixture again.
  4. Fold in diced pears and whipped topping (or whipped cream) and put back in the refrigerator until set.

I hope you enjoy this refreshing treat. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Prayer Challenge and a Great Blog

Praying for Spouse ~ LifeOfJoy.meI have to say that I am not very impressed with the 30 Day Prayer for Spouses and significant others event on Facebook that I shared two weeks ago. Evidently they had some technical issues and changed it from a thirty day event to a prayer group. I checked several days and was disappointed with the prayer points. It seemed that it was more focused on prayer for the spouse (significant other) to be faithful and not tempted to have an affair. I can understand a prayer like this once during the 30 days but I saw several in a row and that just saddened me. It seems rather distrusting to me.

Mike and I have been married for 27 years and he has never given me cause to distrust him, consequently I would feel comfortable praying this prayer for him once but definitely feel it is overkill to pray for this area several days in a row. Oh, I’m just saying that it is sad to me.

Fortunately I did find something that I do love! :) Lori Byerly over on The Generous Wife has had a prayer point to pray for your husband since June 22 of this year. Here is her post where she kicked it off: Every Day For A Month. I love it because it is respectful, which I guess I didn’t think the other was, and you can tell it is from her heart, not some list. I only just found it and I have not gone back through and read all of them (who has time for that?) but the ones I have read are really good.

Of course I loved her site right from the start. It is not time consuming because she writes in a succinct style that gives just a bit of encouragement every day. AND she has introduced me to some other wonderful Christian bloggers on marriage and sex in marriage with her article suggestions at the end of each post. For a time I really got lost on the web from her links to other blogs/articles because when I followed the link and found an interesting article, I would read more of that blog and frequently would be lead to another where I would more than one article and so on, losing myself online.

One day, when I learn to close out all of my browser’s open tabs each night, I will change my home page to her website because it is just that good! :)

Until next time, keep praying and God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Good Busy, Bribing My Grown Kids, and Early Rising,

LifeOfJoy.meIt has been a very busy week! This country girl doesn’t really leave the house but a couple of times each week, generally speaking but this week we had two memorial services at the church, one on Saturday and one on Tuesday. I helped in the kitchen both times, which I love to do. (If someone had told me years ago that I would work in the kitchen, as a ministry, I don’t think I would have believed them because when we had participated in a prophetic presbytery and the one lady said she saw us working, like in a soup kitchen, I spiritualized it. But now, some 18 years or so later, I can see and understand what she meant.) I enjoy working in a kitchen, making and serving up food that people enjoy.

It is odd because we were at the church until dusk Tuesday night and then went to see Brian and Lauren for just a little bit, since they had just gotten back from vacation. So we got home after 9:00pm that night, which is about the time we get home from church on Wednesday nights, thus my internal calendar got a little wonky.

Brian and Lauren came out for Meatloaf and Scalloped Potatoes. :) Yes, I bribe my kids with food to get to see them more often. ;)  Meatloaf is another of those meals that Lauren doesn’t typically like but . . . she likes mine. :)  This makes me happy! Unfortunately I think we all ate too much tonight, as Mike served ALL the potatoes in the beginning. See usually we have some leftover potatoes and we enjoy eating them the next day. Well, I think he was trying to help me and just served them all at once. Ugh!!! I did not need that many on my plate. It’s been nearly 3 hours and I’m still FULL!!!

For last couple of weeks I’ve been getting up a bit earlier to spend some time with God. Generally I have woken before the alarm and get a few more minutes of laying in the bed before the alarm goes of and then promptly put my feet on the floor. Well, this morning, I was sleeping hard. The alarm rudely interrupted my sleep. I had an extremely difficult time getting out of bed. But I did get out of bed. Whoo hoo! Unfortunately, once I settled down into my chair, I started battling sleep. This has not happened at all these past couple of weeks but it did today, with a vengeance. I hope this doesn’t happen again and that it was just the result of working so hard this week. One benefit of getting up earlier is that by the time I get the guys off to work, I’m actually ready to get dressed and get my “chores” done earlier too. But I’m really tired today and need to get to bed quicker tonight. ;)

I’ve also started doing a few exercises every day to firm up some key areas (planks, squats, and butterflies) but have really struggled the last couple of days. My right arm has started acting up, being very sore, especially in the elbow but today I’m wondering if the soreness I’m feeling isn’t the result of the butterflies. Hmmm . . . one can hope.

Since I’m so tired, I’m going to run for now. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

New Homeschool Year Resolutions

Today I thought I’d share this really good article by Andrew Pudewa. In it he talks about the important things and his resolutions for their new homeschool year. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Pudewa, his company is Institute for Excellence in Writing and authored Teaching Writing with Structure and Style, as well as other things. Although we never strictly used his curricula, we did implement some of his techniques in the children’s writings.

I hope you enjoy this article.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

What We Really Need . . .Thoughts at the Start of the School Year
By Andrew Pudewa

Depending on when one starts counting, this fall marks about our twentieth year of homeschooling. Daughter number four graduated from college last May. Daughter number six was married in December. Our youngest is close to being a young woman and no longer my sweet little girl. So I wax philosophical. What really matters and what really doesn’t? It’s easy for me to run around the country giving advice, but sometimes it’s hard to follow that same advice. So this question seems an appropriate contemplation for me here at the start of the school year, and here are four things I know I must better attend to—what I might call some “new school year’s resolutions”: (1) Get outside more. (2) Read out loud more. (3) Play more games. (4) Lighten up and smile more. It’s a short list, but these are the things I need to remember.

Plato’s Academy supposedly gathered under the trees and the sky. According to Augustine, nature was God’s “first book.” While we imagine that somehow “school” has to happen inside at desks or tables, and “recess” is the outside time, there’s no real reason for that. Too often, I catch myself saying some stupid thing like “You can go outside once you’ve finished your work.” But why not try saying this: “Go outside and finish your work. You can come in and check your Facebook page when you’re done.” I like this because it’s hard to engage with social media where there are no plugs; one must engage with reality—insects, dirt, plants.

Additionally, I’ve noticed that my children have done some of their best writing either while outside or immediately after having been outside. Where I live, summer is brutal and autumn is by far the best season to get outdoors; it’s not too hot, the ticks and chiggers are waning, the air is crisp, and the colors are broadening. Sadly, the tasks I often think most urgent—for myself and for my children—are those that require “inside” things such as screens, electronics, tables, paper. But seasons pass quickly, and our souls need the trees and the sky, so I am determined to get outside more (or at least kick my children outside now and then).

Even though I run around the country explaining to parents why they must read out loud to their children—a lot, and even into their teenage years—it’s terrifyingly easy to lose the habit, especially when the youngest in the family aren’t so young. It requires a bit of determination for me to compel everyone into the living room to listen to me read, but every time I do it, I feel happy, like something genuinely good is at work. I just have to make it happen. It’s also how I can read (or reread) a few more books that I myself want to read but could never take the time away from “real” work to do so.

Last year, we had several serious tornado warnings, a hugely dramatic event around our place, and a time when five, six, seven or more of us (whoever’s in the house) have to crowd into a little concrete pantry and wait it out. Last time that happened, I rushed over to the bookshelf and grabbed Jane Eyre. By the time the tornado watch was over, I had almost finished the first chapter and was once again swept up by Bronte’s masterful and elegant use of language, beginning to vividly re-create the story in my mind.

While I would have happily stayed crammed in the pantry reading to everyone for hours, others felt compelled to get back to “normal” life, and of course I had urgent things to do as well. But I was disappointed. So I am determined that we won’t have to wait for tornado warnings to dig in to a great book with the whole family.

It seems like I used to be better at playing, having reached a peak of skill at around 10 years old and gradually losing the ability ever since. At 52, it now takes work, especially since my youngest two are spending most of their time trying to be older than they are. I just don’t spontaneously think of playing much any more, especially not with things like blocks or LEGO bricks. Games now have to be “appropriate” and “productive”—two adjectives that should never be applied to pure play!

G. K. Chesterton theorized that the reason adults don’t play more is that it requires too much effort. That’s entirely true. Even nasty tasks like emails and tax paperwork seem easy in comparison to forgetting the urgent and building a tower with KAPLA blocks. My son-in-law visits often and reminds me of what it was like to be a young dad; he keeps building whether his son shows interest or not! And clearly, my students love games: Jeopardy in Latin class, the simile “bluff” game in writing. If I’m teaching a class down in my office classroom, I can justify playing games—it makes the students happy and they get excited about learning. But up at my house, it’s not “serious” study, and I forget to make learning fun the way I know I can.

Once, years ago, I took my sweet 8-year-old on a trip with me for the first time. On day one, she sat in a writing class with older students, and although she probably didn’t do much at all during the three hours, I didn’t notice, nor did I really care, as I was busily doing my job—helping other people’s children. After that class she went to another family’s home while I taught two more groups. I picked her up at around six o’clock and headed for the hotel.

In the car, I asked her, “How did you like the writing class?” With unabashed, pure, beautiful sincerity, she answered, “Oh, Daddy, it was wonderful.” Feeling satisfied and proud, I was completely stunned by her next, painfully honest question: “How come you’re not like that at home?” And I realized how easy it is for me to be jovial, mirthful, non-judgmental, unconditionally enthusiastic and appreciative with other people’s children, and how easy it is to forget to be that way with my own, falling into an unspoken context: “Yes, I love you, you love me, and we know that, so get to work, okay? We have a lot to do.” But I’m not fooling anyone, not even myself. They need me to be the best teacher I can be.

Yes, this year our two youngest are the only ones at home now, and they do have a lot of tough stuff on their plates—debate club, geometry, AP History, more logic, more Latin, and it’s easy for my expectations to change during these years; I think they should “get serious” about study and about life. Though true in one way, I also need to remember that all of us—whether we are 5 or 15 or 50—need to frequently reconnect with nature, need to sometimes sacrifice “school” for a good read-aloud, need to be willing to laugh and joke and play, and not always be so serious. They grow up so fast.

Andrew Pudewa is the director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing ( and a homeschooling father of seven. Presenting
 throughout North America, he addresses issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity and insight, practical experience and humor. He and his beautiful, heroic wife, Robin, currently teach their two youngest children at home in northeastern Oklahoma.
Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the August 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

Diva Challenge #184 – ING

Recently a new official tangle was made public; consequently the Diva’s Challenge this week is to use the new tangle: ING.

Here’s my submission. It always amazing how much of a difference shading makes in the finished piece.


I also included some Mooka, Flux, and Fescu, as well as some Shattuck and I don’t know if the other is crescent moon or a variation of shattuck.

I want to thank all those that took the time to check out last week’s submission and also all those that took the time to leave me a comment . . . it means a lot! All are appreciated.

If you are interested in seeing some of my previous Zentangles and ZIAs, click the Wonder Wednesday tab above. I post art stuff each Wednesday.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Egg Rolls

Egg Rolls ~ LifeOfJoy.meWe have finally had egg rolls again and I was able to get pictures of the finished product so I can now share this recipe. Whoo hoo! As I mentioned in First Week Wrap-up, Lauren went outside her comfort zone and tried these, after a bit of prodding . . . and she liked them! So these receive the Approved By Picky Eaters Award. ;)

The key to make these easy and quick to fry is steaming (or microwaving) the filling before making the rolls. Thus, the rolls can be quickly “fried” in a small amount of oil and only long enough to brown the outside.

Chicken Egg Rolls ~ LifeOfJoy.meCombine the shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, a few shakes of salt and a few twists of the pepper mill, to taste. Put about 2-4 tablespoons of water in the bowl or pan and microwave or stem for a few minutes until the veggies are softened. Add scrambled egg and about 3 ounces of cooked meat and mix well.

Ground Turkey Egg Rolls ~ LifeOfJoy.meI have made this with both chicken and ground turkey. The last time I made it, I served it with Korean “Beef,” so I included some of the meat in the egg rolls. The first time I made them we did not add any eggs or meat and we all thought they needed something more. So if you wanted to make these vegetarian you could add more veggies, mushroom and onions would probably be good but we are protein people so egg and meat are our additions of choice. Egg Roll Wrappers ~

These are the egg roll wraps. In my Walmart, they are in the refrigerated produce section. My refrigerator keeps things rather cold, so these stay fresh for a good long time on my bottom shelf (closest to the freezer). Just follow the directions on the back of the package to see how to roll.

Egg Roll Filling ~ LifeOfJoy.meRolling Egg Rolls ~

Frying Egg Rolls ~ LifeOfJoy.meFrying Egg Rolls 2 ~ LifeOfJoy.meFried Egg Rolls ~

Removed to plate with paper towels to soak any excess oil.

Egg Rolls


  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded about 1/2 cup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 2-4 Tablespoons water
  • Egg Roll Wraps
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 3-4 ounces meat, chopped
  • oil for frying, we use peanut or coconut


  1. Shred cabbage and carrot.
  2. Place in either pan or microwave safe bowl.
  3. Add salt and pepper as desired. (I use about 3-4 shakes of my salt shaker and about 2-3 twists of my pepper mill.)
  4. Add the 2-4 Tbsp water and cook about 3-5 minutes in microwave or about 5-10 minutes on stove. You want the veggies to be as done as you like them, which for us means no crunch left in them.
  5. When veggies are cooked to desired consistency, pour off any remaining water and add scrambled eggs and cooked meat. Mix to combine.
  6. Place the Egg Roll Wraps on the table, put about 1/3 cup of filling off center near the bottom point of the wrapper and roll as directed on back of package.
  7. Place in hot oil with the last part of wrapper to be folded, DOWN in oil to seal it shut.
  8. Watch carefully as they will brown quickly on each side, if your oil is hot enough. You don't want to burn the wrapper. Turn egg rolls to brown on all sides. Remove to paper towel lined dish. Serve hot.
  9. This makes about 8 egg rolls.

I do like to make extra sauce of whatever dish I am serving these with to dip them in.

Egg Rolls with Korean "Beef" ~

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Do the Hard Thing

Do the Hard Thing ~ LifeOfJoy.meSometimes marriage can be challenging. ;) So many times situations arise and I can be more concerned about getting my point across or making Mike see a different side, that I fail to remember that he’s fully invested in what is going on too. Sometimes the best thing I can do is shut my mouth! Seriously!!! Marriage takes self-control and self-discipline.

This is not easy! I’m the type of person that likes to keep working on something until it is worked out, fixed, or completely rectified. What I have slowly come to realize is that at some point I’ve stopped giving new information or new viewpoints and have started repeating myself and I cannot make anyone agree with me. I must leave it up to the person I’m talking to, to decide for themselves what they will do or believe. It takes discipline for me to shut my mouth, not be angry or frustrated, and go about my business, with no attitude.

That last bit is important. I can not allow myself to try to force someone to see things my way by my attitude because doing that would not be love, it would be more like manipulation. When I got married my concerns changed from being centered on me, to being centered on us and in order to have a thriving marriage, I need to focus on what is best for Mike and I, together and some times that is simply that I don’t say anything else on the current subject, which gives Mike a chance to think things through. (Mike tends to focus on something, so I think that he continues to think on the discussion we just had after we have stopped discussing it. By me being quiet on the topic, it enables him to think it through, and allows God to show him things.)

Men need respect. The Bible tells women to respect their husbands. Figuring out what that looks like can be a bit tricky but in this situation, I am showing Mike respect by shutting my mouth, dropping the discussion, and quietly praying that God would have His way in our lives, changing me where I need it and Mike where he needs it. {God tells men to love their wives and this can be as confusing for them as respect is for us.}

If you need help understanding what respect looks like to men, I recommend the book For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. It is a really really good book that shares, among other things, what men want/need from their relationships and what respect looks like to them. This book was an eye-opener when I first read it a couple of years ago. I have asked Mike what respect looks like to him and he had a hard time describing it for me; thankfully this book cleared up the mystery.

Another important thing, is to be sure that I am listening to him, his thoughts, and his viewpoint. Truly listening! Listening to understand not listening to respond, but really listening.

Until next time, remember to do the hard thing, and God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Progress Report

On My Mind ~

It’s hard to believe it has been a month already! I’ve not done things exactly the way I want to because I really want to be on a schedule with the preparing of the posts to the site. I am managing to get them posted on schedule but sometimes that means I’m staying up a little later than I should. You see, I’ve been starting my days a bit earlier to get some prayer time in, which has been working out really good but I’ve been staying up a little later than usual and that doesn’t work very well for very long. My intention is to get on track this weekend. :)

Another area I’ve been struggling a bit with is my daily schedule. There are things I like to do but they are not the things that I gravitate towards. I like that I’m participating in at least one Zentangle challenge a week now because I really enjoy being creative but here again, I don’t gravitate to it out of habit , yet. ;)  I have started getting in a bit of enjoyment reading this week. After Tiffany and I come in from working outside for a half an hour, I’m too hot to go and take a shower right away, so I sit at the kitchen table and turn down the window air conditioner and have it blow right on me and here I sit and read for about thirty minutes. If I take a shower while hot and sweaty, I come out of the shower and get hot and sweaty way too easily. I was taking this time to start working on my blog but I don’t like to stop once I start, so I changed things up a bit and it seems to be working better, IF I am diligent (a.k.a. not getting sidetracked) when I do begin working on the website.

Then there is practicing songs. You see, this is an area in which God is dealing with me. I have to be diligent to always have a song prepared, so that I am ready should I be asked to sing. Singing is one of those areas that I’d probably let slide, if it were just up to me, but God has confirmed through others that He wants me to sing, so it is my job to be obedient and always be prepared.I do love to sing;  I just don’t love to practice, as my mother can attest to. ;)  Now finding the time to practice during the day can be challenging IF I’m not staying on task throughout my day.

Recently I have gotten sucked into Facebook too much. Checking it once a day is important to stay connected with people and things going on in the world but checking it all the time is a huge time waster. Just like playing my computer games (Taptiles, Solitaire, and Minesweeper) is good for keeping my mind alert, but they can take over my time and steal from things I really do want to do but are not as accessible or easy to start doing.

I’m going to have to work on “list week” for the Holiday Grand Plan today and over the weekend, as I have yet to do anything with it and it is already Friday. It has been an unusual week though starting with Labor Day on Monday and then hubby has been home this week because his work van is in the shop and he finished up a job last week, which is quite alright because he has been working so hard without a break for a good long while now . . . he needed a break. :) I don’t know about you, but things go differently when hubby is at home, and rightly so.

Saturday is a memorial service at church for a church member that passed away recently. I volunteered to help in any way they might need me, so I’ll be heading over to the church Saturday morning to help with that and show my respect and support. I think Mike and Sean are having a work day here on Saturday. I’m not sure what they are going to do; the chicken area needs to be enlarged and the house needs to be prepped for painting. There’s always something to do.

We recently got a water distiller. They recommend periodic cleaning with citric acid. I found out that Alka Seltzer has citric acid in it. After reading what a friend shared on Facebook this week, I decided to try to clean our distiller with it. Here’s what she posted:


Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer.

  • Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china.
  • Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.
  • Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.
  • Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
  • Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

I just saw a demonstration that there may only be a sip or two difference in a large and extra large cup of coffee purchased out somewhere . . . is it really worth it? (See what I mean? Facebook sucked me in again!) Seriously though, this guy had two to-go cups, one was a large and one was an extra large. He had them both upside down in the sink so you could see that they were both empty. He filled the large to the brim and dumped it into the extra large and it was just a tiny bit from the top. Crazy!

Tiffany had been having some pretty bad headaches for several months. Mike said he thought it was her sugar consumption. So we decided that she wouldn’t eat much sugar. We didn’t go fanatical on this or anything but bought her some sugar free Nesquik instead of the  regular chocolate powder for any chocolate milk she had. I really cannot remember what else she had been eating that we cut . . . but basically when she’d be hungry I’d suggest fruit or veggies as her snack. Today she had some generic Chocolate Hazelnut spread (Great Value brand because we forgot to get any at Aldi) with a banana on the way home. By the time we got the groceries in the house she was complaining of a horrible headache. Clearly she won’t be having that any more. Fortunately Sean will probably eat it with pleasure, so it won’t go to waste. ;) We are wondering what the key is though because she had donuts on Monday and didn’t get a headache. Well, we will figure it out eventually. :)

Until next time, have a good weekend and God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Art for Children

Art for Children ~ LifeOfJoy.meI think art or crafts is an important part of a child’s education. Some children have more natural talent than others but I think everybody can do something artsy; it just takes some direction to help mine the artistic ability.

Today I’m going to share some art (or craft) ideas with you.

SketchTuesdayButton2Barb – Harmony Art Mom hosts Sketch Tuesday (this link takes you to the directions for participation) on her website/blog. She posts the “assignment” on Tuesdays and has just started the new year. She had taken off the month of August after covering Picasso during the month of July. You can email a picture of you and your children’s submissions to her and she will include it in a slideshow the following Tuesday after she shares the new “assignment”. The first one for this “school” year is to draw something with whiskers. (I’d love to know if you participate in this, so I can go check out your creativity!)

Gail Bartel over on that artist woman shares things she does with her 1st and 2nd grade classes, from what I can tell. I think even my very active niece Macie would enjoy this, if my sister can get her to sit still long enough and remember to blow through the straw and not inhale the paint. It is a really good late fall/winter art project since it is painting a fall tree; so I guess I should’ve saved it for a month or so but it was just too good not to share. ;) Do take some time and look around her site because she has some really cute projects.

Over on make and takes, they have some cute crafty ideas; they also have some good food recipes too. Mmmm, Mmmm! The reason I bring them to your attention though is because of this cute “Underwater Silhouette Paintings” idea. It starts by using watercolors, cheap are fine, and adding a few drops of rubbing alcohol on the wet paint to make “bubbles.” Then let that dry and cut out sea creatures from black paper and add other details with black marker. It is a pretty simple activity. The hardest part for some will be the cutting out sea creatures but you could use stencils or print out some sea creatures coloring pages (may need to scale it down so they are smaller) and use them as stencils.

Here’s another idea over on Art is Fun to make an art journal, just sketching something small each day as a symbol of what the student did that day or really just anything they want to draw. Sometimes drawing something so small is difficult for little ones, so consider drawing bigger shapes, maybe the size of a quarter of the page, for the smaller ones to draw in. Check out the links on the left sidebar for drawing lessons and painting lessons.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Zentangle. Check out Wonder Wednesday on the menu above; Zentangle really is simply to do. Here are a few links to how some people are using Zentangle with children.

  • For the older ones, Art Room 104 has a Zentangle Unit with 4 projects that look interesting.
  • What Do We Do All Day has a cute journal idea for the youngest ones.
  • At Lasso the Moon there is a video tutorial, by a child, showing how to make an aluminum foil zia (Zentangle inspired art).
  • On this website, though in another language, I think you can get the idea of how to use a button for the center of a flower and draw patterns around it to form the rest of the flower.

I hope these give you some ideas for art with your child. I highly recommend doing art WITH your child; you might find a side of yourself that you didn’t know existed before. Doing art with your child creates memories as well as art.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº