Monthly Archives: April 2015

OCHEC Convention Take-Away

IMG_8973The Oklahoma Christian Home Educators Consortium Convention was last weekend. It was wonderful and exhausting all at the same time. It is so encouraging to go to a convention and be spiritually encouraged as well as encouraged to remember the most important things in educating our children.  I thought I’d share some of the things that stuck with me from the workshops we attended. I’m not going to look at my notes for this post, but just hit the highlights.

Short Study Sessions

The first big thing I remember was when Israel Wayne shared about the best way to work with active children is to let them work for about 15 minutes and then have a break for about 8 minutes throughout the time period that your young active ones are getting the “school work” done. Give them plenty of time to run and play with short times of focusing on phonics or math or writing, when ready.

Nature Study

We went to a workshop that was all about including nature study in your child’s education and how important it is. It really helps develop areas in the child that benefit him in his education. The speaker shared that just one session per week for 30-60 minutes is all that is needed. She also shared that having a pack always on the ready, filled with art journal, water colors, water bottle, disposable cups, colored pencils, drawing pencils, and field guides.

Music and Art Study

This workshop shared how easy it is to add music and art study to the schedule and the benefits of doing so. The premise is to study one artist and one composer for a 12-week period focusing on one work for two weeks (just 30-60 minutes per week). This schedule would have you studying 3 composers and 3 artists each school year.

It still seemed a bit daunting because I have never had this kind of music or art study and wouldn’t really know what question to ask and what to look for. Even if that is the case, I still recommend giving it a go and learn with your children.

You can order audios from our convention. Right now they can be purchased at a discount if you order all of them soon. Later individual workshops can be purchased (as well as any workshop from previous years) here. To decide which set to order, you can see the speakers for the different conventions (Tulsa and OKC) here click on either Tulsa or OKC Conventions to get the particulars of each.

I have found homeschool conventions, especially Christian ones, to be most encouraging! I hope you can find a good one to attend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Another Week, Another Zentangle

Once again I want to thank those who left comments last week. You truly make a difference! Thank you!!!

This week the Square One focus is Diva Dance, the WZTV tangle is Yincut, and the Diva Challenge is to use labyrinth. Since I have a very busy week this week, I tried to figure out how combine all through and just couldn’t work all three together.

I did manage to work labyrinth and diva dance: waltz together. It seems rather nautical to me. I’m not sure which view I prefer though. I signed it one way and then later thought I might like it better upside down. What do you think?

DC215+□1 ~
DC215+□1 ~
Right-side up

I showed it to my family and they said the first one looked like Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage or headphones and when it is right-side up it looks like a frog head. :D Now I can’t UNsee the frog.  What did you see?


Well apparently I misunderstood the Diva Challenge this week. I missed the important part of the directions which said to use labyrinth as my string! Well, now I will have to try to find time to try it again. I hope I can find the time! If not, I enjoyed using labyrinth as a tangle. :)

Well, if I get some time to tangle, to settle myself down in this busy week, I’ll update this post.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Baked Eggs

Baked Egg ~ LifeofJoy.mcI first learned about these wonderful eggs when I was on the hCG diet (in phase 3 for those who are familiar with it).

It is super simple to make. Spray muffin tin or ramekin with oil spray.

Spray Continue ~

Put ham in the bottom and up the sides of the container or muffin pan. Then crack an egg on top of the ham, leaving some ham up the sides of the container.

Prepped Baked Egg ~

At this point I forgot to shred a little Parmesan cheese on top, not much just about a tablespoon. Put in over on 450º for about 12 minutes.

Baked Eggs in Oven ~

Remove from oven (I used my toaster oven) when egg is done as desired. I like mine with the yolk almost completely set, so that all the white part is completely cooked. I shredded my Parmesan cheese on top now since I had just remembered.

Baked Egg ~

These generally come out of the pan/container rather easily but I like to just dig in and enjoy!

Baked Egg Nearly Gone ~

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Letting Others Do For You

medicationsI have really bee struggling with sinus troubles. I have not had this much trouble in a long time. Unfortunately, I’m fighting to keep the headache to keep from going migraine.

Mike hates to see me in pain. He does not hesitate to get me what I need. He is quick to pray, get me meds, or do whatever he can to ease my pain.

I remember a couple years ago when I had a root canal, he even made me mashed potatoes and he doesn’t cook. :)

Sometimes we have to just let others do things for us. (Notice I said sometimes . . .)

I’m fighting off a migraine right now, so I’m going to run.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Convention, Rainbows, Lauren, and Ice Cream

Homeschool Convention time is here! Yay!!! Today and tomorrow is our local convention and we are really looking forward to it. Next weekend is one in OKC which we have free admittance to with our paid registration to the Tulsa convention. If I didn’t have plans for next weekend already, I’d probably go for at least one day. They have a couple of speakers that I’d love to hear but alas, it is not to be this year.

I’ve never gone to the OKC OCHEC Convention because it is always the weekend right around my birthday, if not on my birthday and birthdays are meant to be spent with family. However, having said all that, I am tempted to do so next year regardless of my birthday. ;) I know I will definitely be keeping the dates of both conventions open, just in case.

This year the Tulsa Convention has a change of venue, so we don’t know exactly what to expect. Maybe I’ll remember to get some pictures to share with you next week.

Last Sunday we celebrated a birthday at my parents’ home after church. It is amazing how long a birthday celebration can last when actual gifts are given instead of just money and/or gift cards. ;) Usually birthday celebrations are over in under 5 minutes because it doesn’t take long to sing “Happy Birthday”, blow out candles, and  open a gift bags with money taped to an item, like a candy bar.

It rained in the afternoon while the sun was shining! Oh how I wish I could’ve gotten a picture. Tiffany tried to take one when we were home one day and it did the same thing but she really struggled to get the rain to show up but I recently saw a picture on facebook that gave me an idea how to capture it in the future.

On the way home we saw a rainbow. Believe it or not, Tiffany said it is the first time she’s ever seen on in real life. Then to make it even better, we saw there was another over the first, so it was a double rainbow! Awesome! Unfortunately we only got pictures of one of them.Rainbow ~ Lifeofjoy.meIf you look closely at the picture above,  you can see the full rainbow from the right side above the trees all the way across the road nearly to the other corner of the picture. Tiffany got a better picture of the south side of the rainbow, here.

Rainbow ~ think she must have brightened it a little but she may have just taken hers before I took mine because the skies did seem to get darker the longer we drove.)

Tiffany and I ate at Braum’s on errand day. She got a double scoop cone and had it dipped in the chocolate that hardens quickly, making it like a klondike bar. ;)  It kind of got away from her . . .

Runaway Ice Cream ~ LifeOfJoy.meWe ended up putting it in a cup. At least the chocolate kept it from being a horribly nasty mess! :D  We had a lot of fun!

Lauren spent a few days with us while Brian was out of state getting some more training this week. We always have a good time with her here. Unfortunately she had to work both days, so we didn’t get much time together but there is always next time. :)

Well, I better run, it’s a busy busy weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Child Training

No Interruption ~
My sister Tracie and her daughter Ashlee are my hand models. :)

I have read several articles recently that I think are worth sharing here. I hope you’ll take the time and click over to their websites and read them because I found them to be interesting.

The first one talks about how to stop yelling at your kids. Interesting, huh? The take-away here is that you are responsible for yourself. Your kids cannot make you yell at them even though you may be using them as the excuse for your yelling. Instead of yelling, quietly and calmly, go to them, get down face to face and calmly talk to them/correct them. Read about it here: One Simple Tip to Help You Stop Yelling

This next one reminds me of some of what we read in Bringing Up Bebe. Do you have trouble with your child(ren) interrupting you when you are talking with a friend, on the phone, or some other situation? In this post, Kate @ an everyday story, shares a great tip on how to teach your children to show you respect by not interrupting you and gives you a way to let them know you know they need your attention. Seriously, go check this one out.  Teach Your Child Not to Interrupt in One Simple Step

This last one reiterates what I’ve mentioned the last couple of weeks about being a good example to your kids. Crystal Paine over at Money Saving Mom shares how her son is learning about finances and a budget by what is modeled in their home. It is a good reminder.

I hope these tips are helpful to you. I wish I’d have found them when my kids were young.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Earth Day Tiles . . .

I really enjoyed reading all the comments last week. It was fun to see what other people saw in the unusual string. The “stencil” for the string seemed to shock most, which added to the fun. I liked to try to find each thing someone mentioned . . . the giraffe was fun to see.

As always, I really appreciate all the comments; they really are so enjoyable. Thank you!

iamthedivacztThis week’s Diva Challenge is for Earth Day. We are just supposed to go wherever the challenge takes us with Earth Day in mind.

When I think of the earth, I think of nature . . . flowers and such. So I looked for tangles that were flower like. I settled on Mumsy to which I added some Flux and Fescu. Then I put one little Crescent Moon up in the corner and played around with it.

Here’s my tile:

DC214 ~

Well, enlarged like that, it looks like I need to clean my scanner because there seems to be some dust or something on it but It’s getting late and I need to get this up, so maybe I’ll remember to clean it good before I scan again (hopefully later this week).

Here is a nice piece I did last year that reminds me of the earth. I wonder if I can remember the tangles I used in it . . .

Another One for Earth Day ~

Let’s see, there is flux, tipple, amaze or stiritup but I cannot place the one on the left.

Well, clearly I didn’t get my BBB piece done and now I’m probably 2 behind, which is never good. Looks like I’m going to be taking a couple of days to catch up at some point in the near future but this week is too busy and so is next, so who knows when I’m going to get to it. ;)

I anticipate that I will be doing my WZTV tile and the Square One tile soon. The String Thing looks good but I don’t know if I’ll pull it off or not. WZTV is using Meer which a fun and easy tangle to do and Square one is focusing on Jetties, another easy one. So, I’ll probably get these two done, maybe even in one tile.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Make-Ahead Pancake Batter

Pancake ~
Make-Ahead Pancakes

At times it is good to have an easy breakfast at hand. For those times, it is good to have this pancake batter mixed up and in the refrigerator. Below is what was left after two large sized pancakes this morning. I put a lid on it and put it in the refrigerator until needed again in the next few days.

Ready to Cook ~

If I make this for six adults, I double the recipe and have enough to feed all with leftover batter for another day. When the kids were teens, I’d make a triple batch, fix enough for the current meal (breakfast or dinner) and then refrigerate the rest for easy breakfasts throughout the rest of the week. If the batter is too thick, simply add a bit of water or milk and stir until it is pourable.

It is super simple. Combine dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, 2tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. Then add two slightly beaten eggs, 2 cups milk, and 1/4 cup oil.

Add Egg ~ LifeOfJoy.meAdd Milk ~

Stir until moistened.

Stir ~

Then either refrigerate until ready to use or pour some onto a preheated griddle or skillet.

Big Pancake ~

When bubbles begin to pop on top, it is ready to flip. Be careful not to have the heat too high or you’ll burn the pancake.

Flip it now ~

When golden, serve. I like butter and syrup on my pancakes and a fried egg. :) WE use REAL maple syrup.

Pancake ~

Now we have some batter in the refrigerator for a quick easy meal later this week.

Make-Ahead Pancake Batter


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups milk (can be made with buttermilk or sour milk)
  • 4 Tablespoons (which is 1/4 cup) oil


  1. Combine all ingredients in order listed.
  2. Stir just until combined.
  3. Refrigerate until needed.
  4. (Thin with milk, if necessary.)
  5. Pour 1/4-1/2 cup batter on preheated griddle. I can fit 4 medium size pancakes on each square griddle or one large pancake on the same griddle. For the family, I usually make medium size pancakes, as they are easier to cook. Large ones tend to burn before all the batter is cooked and they are harder to flip. 😉

I hope these make your mornings easier.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Love is Serving

salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI remember one young lady, years ago, that was waiting on her prince to come. She was looking forward to being treated like a princess. That is all well and good except for one thing, a prince is not a servant. A prince is not someone to wait on you hand and foot, that is the job of a servant. Just as much as a lady should be treated as a princess, she should treat her man as a prince.

It is when we are looking for our own needs to be met that we get tripped up. Our focus and goal should be to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our mate. Even if he never reciprocates, it is our duty to show him love. Now, odds are that if you begin serving your husband, unconditionally, he will begin to serve you as well. Serving your spouse unconditionally shows him respect. When a man is respected, unconditionally, he feels fulfilled and will probably show you more love and that my friends is a win-win!

So I am making it my goal to find ways to serve my honey, unconditionally. Yesterday evening after we got home from a busy day, Mike wanted a salad. I do not really like to make salads but I made him one anyway. He could have done it but I knew he wouldn’t. So I made it for him. And you know what? He appreciated it! And that my friends, made me feel good. :)

Remember love is serving, so find ways to serve your love this week.

Until next week, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Taxes, A Graduate, and Shopping with a Friend

taxes done ~ LifeofJoy.mePraise God! Another week has come and is nearly gone.  The stress of filing taxes is finished for another year. Thankfully Mike took over that job quite a few years ago now. I’m still involved to some degree, helping him gather information but he handles it. Sean helped him again this year, for which I am oh so grateful!


graduate ~ LifeofJoy.meTiffany graduates today! This is my last official day as a homeschool mom. Wow that feels weird! I used to wonder why most people got out of the homeschool arena when their kids all graduated but I think I may understand now. I do know several people that have remained involved with the homeschooling community after their children are graduated and I admire them. They are a great support and encouragement to them.

I’ll never get far from this great community because my kids plan to homeschool their children. My blog is an online variation of the newsletters I put together for our local homeschool support group, HERO, for years. Next week I will even be attending the Tulsa OCHEC Convention with my sister, daughter, and daughter-in-love. Although it is in a new location, I’m sure we will have a great time, even though we won’t be able to eat our traditional Sears Tower at Savastano’s, because of the location change. ;) This particular pizza is a deep dish pizza – about 2 inches deep! It has about a pound of cheeses. The one we get, Sears Tower, has pepperoni on it too. Seriously, it is sooo thick they state right on the menu that they take 45 minutes to bake and remind you of that when you place your order. But it is soooo worth the wait. Anyway, I’m sure we’ll find something delicious to eat near the new location.

Gwin ~ LifeofJoy.meTuesday I had a fun time with my friend Gwin. She is doing the decorations for the Fun Night we are having at our church in just two weeks. She is amazing. She has such great ideas. Frequently I forget about all the different jobs she has done in her lifetime so far. She could add party decorating to her long list now. :D

Tuesday we went out looking for the centerpieces for the tables. We went in eight stores and revisited one bringing the total up to nine. After the first four, we were really ready for lunch. We went to our favorite place, Cheddar’s. I was all set to be really good and get their yummy chicken pecan salad but decided on the philly cheesesteak. It took a while to get our order but it was scrumptious when it did arrive. I don’t like any crunch in my peppers and onions on my sandwich and they did an awesome job meeting my request. It was VERY TASTY!

Before I left the house, around 9:45, I told Tiffany that I thought I’d be home no later than 3:00. hahahahaha Joke is on me! I was home by 4:15ish. We weren’t done but it was a good start and now she knows what she is looking for. At least I wasn’t warn out and didn’t have anywhere to go that evening, so I could sit back with my feet up and recouperate.

Well, the weekend is here. I hope you have a good one.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº