Monthly Archives: January 2018

String from Objects

The diva challenge this week is a string challenge, particularly to find items to trace for your string (at least that is how I understand the challenge). Doing this means that I cannot share my finished tile on Square One: Purely Zentangle because pure Zentangle means you freehand the string and it is abstract. BUT I did like their focus tangle this week and last week, so I incorporated those in my tile even though I cannot share it there.

I looked on my table and found these items.

Traced items for string DC#347 ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy pencil sharpener, a round hand lotion container, and a large penguin paper clip. I thought the sharpener was a cool shape and would make an interesting string by itself but went ahead and included the other two items.

I really like the simplicity of Irradial even though I don’t think I did it justice. Maybe I tried drawing it too large. I won’t let it stop me though. I liked it and will use it again. :) Irradial was the focus tangle for Square One: Purely Zentangle last week. I didn’t have the chance to use it so decided to use it this week. :)

This week’s focus tangle one Square One: Purely Zentangle is Cativa which was designed by a 6-year-old. It’s is a nice one too and the stepout is great. :) I must admit though that I got myself a bit confused when I drew it so small in the background. :D It’s still fun.

The last tangle I used was the daily tangle over on pattern-collections yesterday. They used to have at least a week ahead listed, so I could actually use the tangle for the day I was posting my tile, rather than the day I drew it but alas, they are too on top of things now and I guess I’ll just be posting it a day behind. ;)

So here is my tile before shading.

Preshaded dc#347 ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is the position I drew it. But when shading it, I liked it better upside down.

DC#347 #irradial #mesq #cativa ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt kind of looks like a tropical bowl and spoon on a mat. :D

I’m glad you stopped by and really appreciate comments. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Mixed Berry Kefir

Another delicious kefir variety with frozen strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

This week I’m sharing another way to make a kefir (ke-FEAR) drink. I know it is a bit of a cop out because by now you have the idea of what to do. But it is the only thing that was coming to me this week.

So here it is. Start with about a cup of kefir. (I made this for four people so I had two cups. I usually make for at least two half to three-quarter cup servings.)

Plain double fermented kefir ~

Add a few strawberries, about a quarter to one third cup of blueberries, and about a quarter cup of blackberries. (I prefer blueberries but the blackberry seeds are pulverized in the blender.)

Frozen berries + Kefir ~

Add in about 4-6 ice cubes, or more if you like yours really thick and icy. It is currently VERY cold out and I’m not into drinking or eating cold things when I’m cold.

Kefir +berries + ice ~

Add in sweetener of your choice; 2-3 doonks of stevia powder which is a scant 1/8th of a teaspoon. (You can see the powdered stevia in the picture above.)

Blend away!

Blending Mixed Berry Kefir ~

Drink up. Mixed Berry Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meI recently read where a gal had tried for years to get pregnant and couldn’t, and even spent lots of money on fertility drugs and such. Finally decided to stop trying and just enjoy the niece she has and get healthy. She started drinking kefir daily and ended up getting pregnant. So, maybe it can help if you are trying to get pregnant. Although, as with most things, don’t go overboard. It appears that drinking too much can also not be good for getting pregnant. :)

Kefir ~

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

What if . . .

What if ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know that when things are rough and you cannot seem to get on the same page as your spouse, you sometimes think you’d be better off without him. The devil even brings that nasty d-word to your mind, as if that would really make things better.

Years ago, when things had gotten difficult, I was looking for some encouragement. I prayed about it and saw a lady at the church that I respected and she clearly could hear from God. So I asked this lady over for lunch and told her why.

The piece of advice she had for me was something like this, live each day as if you won’t have him tomorrow. Well, I got to tell you, I felt cheated by that advice. =)) That is, most definitely, NOT what I wanted nor expected to hear. But I tucked it away, and as you can see, I have not forgotten it.

Last year, an uncle of mine passed away. I can only imagine how my aunt is handling it. I know things were tough for a while with his physical decline and I am pretty sure she got tired of it all but not having him is hard too.  Then there is the memories from so many years together. I can only imagine how she is feeling.

Last week I went to an art (Zentangle) gathering and one of the ladies mentioned another lady that they knew and that her husband had passed away the week before.

Then this weekend, in the middle of the night, Michael passed out! I have to tell you, all of a sudden the communication snafus we’ve had lately paled in importance. He came back to after just a minute or two, but it scared the bajeebers out of me. It took me about an hour to get back to sleep.

So, I will just ask you to stop and consider what if . . . No really! What if you could not have him around anymore? I know, in the middle of a bad moment, you think you’d finally have peace but really stop and think about it for a moment . . . what if.

Well, I know for me, it helped gain a little perspective and I know, beyond all doubt, I wouldn’t want to be without him, no matter how big our miscommunication is right now.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Ringing in the New Year – 2018

New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite days/nights of the year.

When I was young, we attended a church that had a watch night service with communion and such, at least that is how I remember it from my very young days. Of course with church moves and moving out of state, practices changed. Twenty years ago when we moved again, the church we attended sometimes had a New Years Eve service/gathering with fun music, skits, and such. We didn’t generally go because we had young children and a little one that frequently went to bed as early as 6:30 pm. Thus, most of the time we ended up just going to bed as usual.

Yep, New Years Eve was just like any other night and I eventually decided that it just shouldn’t be like that. So I talked with my family, and we decided we’d get together and ring in the new year together. I was able to convince/twist Michael’s arm because we lived only five minutes away and I promised him we could leave by five minutes after midnight and thus home and in bed ten minutes later. :)

Over the years though it has turned into a fun night of playing games and snacking on good food, mostly appetizers.

This year the most played game was Concept, a game Sean got for Christmas. I’ll share about it some other time.
NYE Playing Concept ~ Lifeofjoy.meMom and I made a good team. :)

More Concept ~ Lifeofjoy.meEven the younger ones can play it.

We also played some Taboo, with our own family methods which do NOT include a timer or gameboard. But in the end, we went back to Concept.

Of course there was the usual video gaming going on.

Video Gaming too ~ Lifeofjoy.meAt about 11:30 we start packing up and getting our sparkling juice ready, so that we are ready for the countdown. We even pack up the car with what can be packed. :D

Then we find a countdown on one of the national channels and usually watch the replay of the ball dropping in New York. Then we countdown, holler “Happy New Year,” “cheers,” drink, hug, and out the door.

Countdown to New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, we even have coats on this year because it was cold and they loaded up the car already.

New Year 2018 ~ Lifeofjoy.meNYEve Cheers ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis year we were in the car at 12:05. (Here’s the picture from last year.)New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meOf course, this year we were at my sister’s house so we were only fifteen minutes away instead of twenty-five. :) Yep, home and in bed ten minutes earlier. :D

I took THM foods but ended up having crossovers. We had yummy THM friendly “pigs in a blanket,” pinwheels made with lavash, Laughing Cow Cheese, peppers and turkey pepperoni, and some other dessert I think. It was yummy and I grazed as I desired, both New Years Eve and New Years Day. Thus it is no surprise that I gained over my 2 pound fluctuation by another pound but it is okay because by Friday it was gone again, and I went lower than all of December. :) Yay! Looking forward to continued losses this year as we eat wonderfully.

Well, I guess that’s it for today. It has been a busy and productive week, which I will share some of next week because I’m sure things are going to slow down quickly and I’m going to be searching for things to share on Fridays again soon.

So, until next time, Happy New Year, and God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Teaching Responsibilities

Fun Cleaning Kids ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is important to teach  your children how to handle responsibilities. Life skills are so important and yet people forget to include these when training their children. When you homes educate your children you really need to embrace training your children how to do household chores and then expecting them to complete them up to your standards.

Now I will admit that I had to assess whether the standard I had was being nitpicky or reasonable. For example, I was taught to fold bath towels in half, then half again and then into thirds. That is how I thought towels were supposed to be folded. Well when I got married, my darling husband did not fold towels that way and did not see the need to do so. There were many times I went behind him and refolded the towels “the right way”. :D But by the time I was home educating  my children, either I could wear myself out doing everything myself or I could relax some standards that were not crucial to a good job being done. If they folded the towels then I left it be but if they just balled them up and stuffed them in the basket, that would be unacceptable. Do your carpets have to have the vacuum “lines” all going the right direction? I think not. ;)

Your children will still be bettered by being able to vacuum, fold laundry, wash dishes, and yes, even make dinner. When my children were in their final year or two of official education, I required the child to make dinner one night a week. This ensured that if they lived on their own, they would not have to eat unhealthy things because they weren’t taught how to cook. It also ensured that their spouses would be blessed by having a marriage partner that could help out in the kitchen when necessary. Plus it had the added benefit of giving me a night off from kitchen duty. :) Win!

Requiring children to clean up after themselves, help with dishes and dinner, vacuuming, and dusting, washing windows, cleaning the car, putting away groceries and yard work are all things that they will need to know how to do when they are on their own, so it is a good idea to teach them how to do it well. :) And then periodically inspect their work to ensure that they meet your standards.

Oh, one more thing . . . sometimes children think they have done something just because they thought about doing it. This is something that you have to work on and make the child aware that they need to follow through and do what they think about doing as soon as they think it rather than waiting where the lines can be blurred between knowing you should do something and having done it. I have one blessed child that still struggles with this and actually thinks the task has been completed when it hasn’t. I give a reminder and am usually met with amazement that it is left undone. There is no harm with this but a continued working and growing, helping this dear one to work through this difficult situation. This too shall pass . . . I hope. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

New Tangling Friends and a Duotangle

This week I finally took the time to go in town to a tangling group at one of the local libraries. CZT Pam taught Toodles, had PN pens available for sale, and gave us apprentice tiles to use at the gathering. It was nice to finally meet up with artsy people. I can honestly say I have never done anything like that before, and I have to admit, I had a good time. :)

Pam encouraged us to draw the initial “s” curve backwards too. I did try but was only successful once. :D Like Maria, she encouraged us to use the inner aura shading technique and the tangle variations. I tried my best. :) It was fun. Of course I’m a bit of a slowpoke. I decided mine needed some blackening done, to make it stand out a bit more. I added an extra aura around the drawing and blackened from there out. Then realized I really needed that second aura to be gone/blackened in as well. These decisions slowed me down a bit as my graphic 1 pen was drying out. Thankfully I also had a graphic 3 pen with me and was able to make quick work of the last go around the tangling since I’d finally figured out how to use the crazy thing.

I purchased one of the black PN pens. I think I’m going to have to practice a bit more with it before I’m comfortable with it.

Here’s the tile I did with Pam and the couple other ladies (Jane and Laura).
Big Toodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meI could have done a bit more shading but, as I mentioned, we were out of time. It was fun and I hope to go again next month but we’ll see. I never know what my schedule will be or if I’ll feel up to going out . . . I am a hermit. :D

Today’s diva challenge is a duotangle using Phicops (happy birthday B-Rad) and Huggins. I really like these two tangles and wish I were good enough at Phicops to overlap them but alas. It is what it is. I tried to make them a bit larger but they came out small each time. Oh well, I think it looks okay.

I was not very creative and just drew Huggins as the background. I really like Huggins. It’s easy and has nice results. Here it is before shading.

DC#346 Phicops and Huggins ~ Lifeofjoy.meI had a bit of a blackening issue with not enough light and my glasses not being strong enough in dim light, so there is a bit of a mess on that left Phicops. Of course, my solution to wonky lines and any kind of mess up is to shade the dickens out of it. :D

Here is my shaded finished tile.

DC#346 Phicops Huggins ~ Lifeofjoy.meYes, I always see the places where I didn’t blend enough AFTER I get the picture scanned and on the computer. Unfortunately I don’t have time to blend it more and rescan. You see, I took down my Christmas decorations today and that bit into my tangling/blogging time and rather than get this up late, it will just have to be good enough. ;)

Here, look at it this size, it looks more finished. :D

DC#346 Phicops Huggins ~ Lifeofjoy.meOh yes, MUCH nicer. :D

Well, thank you for stopping by. I hope you will leave me a comment, as they are always so encouraging. Have a great day!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

E Kefir ~

Kefir as an E Drink

Kefir with peaches, pineapple, and citrusy baobab for a yummy, healthy drink.

This week I’m showing you how to make Kefir as an E drink. It is really simple. Add a few slices of frozen peaches, a bit of frozen pineapple, ice, and stevia. That’s it. Give it a whirl in the blender and drink.

E Kefir Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meBlending Kefir ~ Lifeofjoy.meSimply blend and serve! :)

Fruity E Kefir ~

Kefir as an E Drink


  • All of these measurements are approximates and very flexible, change as you desire.
  • 1 cup double-fermented kefir
  • 4 slices frozen peaches
  • handful frozen pineapple
  • 4-8 ice cubes depending on how thick/slushy you want
  • 2-3 doonks stevia extract powder


  1. Put it all in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Drink.

I hope you enjoy this healthy probiotic, prebiotic drink.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Be On Guard

Love On Guard ~ Lifeofjoy.meMarriages are on attack right now. Well they may have always been but I’ve heard of some big Christian bloggers that have had their marriages ripped apart. Although they fought for their marriages, they ended in divorce.

I myself have had a HUGE battle recently in my own attitudes and situations in regards to my sweetie. I’m reminded to pray for my marriage, by Lori Byerly, The Generous Wife, with her cyber prayer meeting each month.

Nina Roesner of the Respect Dare asked that people pray for her marriage and the marriages of other marriage and family bloggers. I think this is a good idea and will try to remember to do this when Lori sends her monthly prayer reminder, as well as when I pray daily. I hope you’ll join me.

Prayer is a small but powerful thing we can do that can take just a little time but for which we can reap big rewards. By praying to support and undergird your marriage, you are being proactive. Be on guard, watching for where the devil may be trying to slip in and cause a rift in your marriage.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Christmas Happenings

It snowed here a few days before Christmas, which made it quite pretty.

12/17 Snow ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was enough snow to make it pretty but not so much that it hindered any travel plans. :)

Stash in the Snow ~ Lifeofjoy.meStash 12/17 Snow ~ Lifeofjoy.mePretty Snow '17 ~

Brian, Lauren, and Liam were able to come and stay for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You see, when Brian was about 3 years old, we got he and Sean some larger Fisher-Price toys that could not be taken to my parents’ home on Christmas day. So we decided that we’d just wake up Christmas Eve morning and pretend it was Christmas and give them their gifts. Then the next day we’d get up and go to my parents’ house. We have done this ever since.

Since Brian and Lauren got married, they have come and spent the night on the night before Christmas eve so that they are here bright and early Christmas morning. In spite of their move a couple of hours away, they were able to do so again this year.

Tired Little One ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m not sure what we were watching on television but clearly Liam was tired. :)

Christmas Eve eve Cutie ~ Lifeofjoy.meOr maybe that was Christmas Eve? I don’t know. :D But he was much more fun this year than he was last year when he was just four months old.

Opening gifts ~ Lifeofjoy.meOpening More Gifts ~ Lifeofjoy.meYears ago, my sister and her husband would come over on Christmas Eve around noon or so to see what the kids had received for Christmas. This became something that we have done ever since, except that once my kids were older and they had children, we started going to their house. We usually eat lunch together. This year they’ve moved closer to us out in the country, away from very many restaurants. ;) Then add the fact that we are eating differently this year, made for a bit different dinner than we have for the last several years. But change can be good. ;)

My Girls with lovely icy background ~ lifeofjoy.meI really loved Lauren’s hair.

Cutie and Papaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meOn our way to my sister and her family’s home.Driving to Christmas Gathering ~ lifeofjoy.meLiam decided that neither Nana nor Grandma would do today. So Brian read the pop-up story book of the nativity called, The Good News, I think.The Good News ~ Lifeofjoy.meDinner preparations. Dinner Prep ~ Lifeofjoy.meSean got a new game for Christmas and we enjoyed playing it quite a bit over the holiday week! It was good to see some pairings that are not the norm. :)

Concept ~ Lifeofjoy.meOf course, there was the usual video gaming going on.

Video Gaming Holiday ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy nieces got battery powered scooters from their uncle and aunt on their father’s side. Several of us took them for a spin.

Scooter ~ Lifeofjoy.meClean-up can be fun but I got a bit water-logged! :D

Too Much Washing ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, I’ve made it through our Christmas celebration. I’ll run for now. Lots to do today.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Read Aloud Revival Challenge

Read Aloud Challenge ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere is something I just had to share with you today. It is a challenge to have your child(ren) read aloud for ten minutes at least twenty-five days in January. Reading aloud helps with decoding and comprehension skills.

When you sign up for the challenge you get a link to download a packet that has a calendar to print and coupons for you to use as rewards for the kids participation, like ice cream or a chore pass. I think it is a really cute idea.

Upon reading the comments, I noticed that several people were not receiving the email with the link to the packet download, so in the comments she put a link to the download page.

And I’d like to remind you that you can also get a link to book suggestion lists when you subscribe/give them your email. I just checked the list for fantasy recommendations and found many I have read and one I actually have on my reading shelf right now, and some that look interesting. There are suggestions for picture books, board books, classics, and even for struggling readers. Definitely worth looking at, in my opinion.

I hope this helps you and your children, as they improve their reading skills.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº