All posts by Life of Joy

Old Movies, Homemade Cards, Good Books, and More

Our friends left before it was even bright and early last weekend. :D They made it home at a decent time having driven the fifteen hours back to their home. It was so nice to have them.

Saturday Michael, Sean, Tiffany, and I went to the waterpark for a couple of hours. It was fun. I even went down the slide. :) Last time I went, Tracie and I just waded in the water and rode the lazy river. ;)

Sunday we visited another church. It would be an okay church to go to if there were no others to try out, especially since it is less than fifteen minutes away. However, we still have some churches to try, so we’ll see how it turns out.

I mentioned that Stephi makes cards. Well, she brought me a birthday card and a box of cards to give. :)

Here’s the card she made for me. I love how it is three-dimensional. :)

Here are a couple of the cards she made for me to give away.

They are truly lovely! It was such a thoughtful gift. :) I know she put a lot of time into it.

Our friends are not big movie buffs but we pulled out a couple of old movies to watch. The first we watched was How to Steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn. I think they enjoyed it. It is a very clean movie, if you can get around the deception in it. ;) Paul said it was predictable but enjoyable. :D I personally don’t believe it was predictable though. ;)

The other movie, although perfectly clean, is a little more risque, I think. But it was completely UNpredictable. :D It is If a Man Answers, with Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin.

This week started out good. Monday was reading day and I spent some time reading the last of the Lunar Chronicles, Winter. I enjoyed the series. We’ll talk about it on an upcoming video on our youtube channel, Joyous Jabbers. Lauren and I have read and enjoyed it. Tiffany is planning to read it soon. I’m hoping we can record a video with Lauren, talking about the series. :)

So, I finished Winter. Then I read The Mustang Breaker by Stephen Bly, which is the sequel to Memories of a Dirt Road Town. I immediately picked up the final in book in the trilogy, I Wish I’d Known You Tears Ago. I finished those yesterday and have now put them on my wish list. ;) Now I’m wondering which of his other books I should try.

We had a storm roll through Tuesday evening. Unfortunately the electricity went off for a while. That is not good in the heat. Since it was evening and had rained, it was cooler outside with the slight breeze. So Tiffany and I went outside and read. We sat in the chairs under the Mimosa tree, thus occasionally we’d get a bit of water dropped down on us. :D I was quite glad when the electricity came back on. ;)

I had a horrible migraine headache this week, that left me weak. It forced me to take a day off. I tried to sleep it off like I normally do, but it did not work at all. Tiffany was awesome and helped me through the day. I spent most of that afternoon playing games on the Switch.

We had a horrendous storm early Thursday morning. The thunder and lightening was so loud it startled all of us awake at about 4:30 in the morning! I’ve never seen the color red in lightening before but I did that morning.

I ended up needed to take a recovery day that day. I spent the day reading mostly. It was nice to finish the Horse Dreams Trilogy by Stephen Bly. Of course, those events all caused Tiffany and I to move our errand day. We don’t really like moving errand day but it’s nice to have the option. ;)

Well, I’m going to run for now. We don’t have any plans for the weekend. I hope you have a good weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Time Sensitive Freebies Galore!!!

Okay, so I’m a little late to the party but I found this in my email and just HAD to share it with you all today. It is the Back to Homeschool Blessings Bundle 2020. There are 60+ products available to you for free!

So here’s the deal. Go to the multi taskin mom and read the info there. Scroll down and add it to your cart for free. Then go to your cart and checkout. You’ll have to give your name and email. You’ll get a pdf to download.

Inside that downloaded pdf is the descriptions of all the offers. I copy the coupon code and then click on the link. Then when I get to the link provided add the item to the cart there and so on…

Trust me it is totally worth signing up for these things. I’ve gotten a lot of them myself and I’m not even actively homeschooling any more, since I worked myself out of a job by graduating them all. :D Some of the items I got just to check out, some for my future grandkids. ;)


Here’s the deal . . . it’s only available through this Sunday, August 16th, 2020 and then you’ve got to claim them before Saturday, Auguest 22nd.

There’s stuff for all ages. If you have littles, be sure you still look at the things for the older ones because you may want them later. ;)

Okay, I’ll run, so you can check it out.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. I’m not involved with this in any way and get nothing from sharing this with you, except knowing that I passed on some valuable information that I hope will be a blessing to you and your family. :)

Stamping and Embossing

My friend Stephanie was here last week. She has been making cards for years and they are quite lovely. I think she started with stamping.

I’ve had a number of stamps for years but have never been very successful using them. They usually end up with light bits or the edges of the stamps showing on the finished piece. :( So, I asked Stephanie to help me.

One of the things I learned was to use a thick piece of foam under the paper I want to stamp on. This helps with the light spots. I’m not completely clear on why it helps but it certainly does.

Here are some of my practice stamps.

With the trees, she was teaching me about 2nd generation stamping and beyond to push things into the distance.

Then she taught me to use the embosser I got last year. Turns out I got a really good one for an incredible deal. All the embossing powders I got were glittery. :) I had been in a glitzy mood for quite some time.

I started with the black glittery powder on this fence stamp.

As you can see, there was some smudging from my fingerprints on the tile. So, she taught me about the little buddy . . . I didn’t take a picture of it yet, but basically you put baby powder or cornstarch in a baby sock, secure it, and then swipe it over the tile before you stamp the tile with the embossing stuff (the glycerine stamp pad stuff; one brand is VersaMark).

We used my adorable mouse stamp with the white glitter embossing powder next.

I know it is hard to see. Here’s the stamp.

Steph said I should color it with my grey copics I learned earlier in the week.

It was hard to see. So we moved on to some color and used this ribbons stamp. It’s smaller than the mouse. I love the colors though!

I have no idea what I’ll do on the rest of that tile though. I’m sure I’ll be afraid to mess it up. :D

Then we tried something new to Steph too. We used the embossing pad (not the right term probably) and the bonding powder. Then heated it up and then used brushed on old eye shadow and used a tissue to wipe away the loose bits/parts not on the bonding powder. Pretty cool use for those old eye shadows. :)

It definitely shows up better on the black tile than the white one but it is definitely something I’ll play around with more in the future.

We also played with my distress stains and magicals but I’ll share that next week. If you’re interested in more details of any of this, just comment and I’ll get a tutorial done. ;)

I hope you have a great week and explore some new materials.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Salmon Filet: My Favorite Way

My favorite way to have salmon is cooked with maple syrup and soy sauce. But on the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle plan, maple syrup is not conducive to weight loss. So I used the maple syrup that we make for use on pancakes (from the THM Cookbook). You can use soy sauce but I used coconut aminos because it has a bit of sweetness to it.

I know these pictures aren’t the best of the finished dish but it was still good and very good for me. :)

I got this 4 ounce salmon filet at Dollar Tree for a buck . . . not bad.

I recommend thawing it first, as it cooks more evenly and quicker too.

Put the filet into a small skillet and add one tablespoon each of soy sauce or coconut aminos and sugar-free maple syrup.

Cook over medium – medium high heat for about 5-8 minutes. :)

Mine was still frozen so I put a lid on it.

But when I took off the lid there was too much moisture in the pan and it took a while for the liquid to boil down. :(

But it turned out okay in the end. ;)

Salmon Filet: My Favorite Way


  • 4 oz. salmon filet
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar-free maple syrup


  1. Place fish in pan
  2. Add coconut aminos and syrup
  3. Cook for about 10 minutes. It's done when you can flake it with a fork and it is cooked through.

Growing Closer or Apart?

Are you and your husband growing closer together or further apart? It is easy to get caught up in your individual areas of interest but it is important to stay connected to your spouse. Try to include them in some way.

Are you a crafter or artist? Show your spouse your work. Talk to them about your materials or what you like about it. Try to draw him into some aspect of your interests.

Are you a reader? Share interesting bits with your spouse. I like to read a funny comment one of the characters make in my reading out loud, to include Michael.

Are you into gardening or nature? Sports, bicycling, or walking? Find some way to include your spouse. Take some time to invite them to participate with you and adjust your speed to theirs. But don’t badger them into joining you, that is not conducive to closeness and will probably do the opposite and push him away.

You could go on a stroll together, just for the opportunity to connect with one another. This stroll is not about exercise or getting somewhere, it is simply about connecting together.

Take a few minutes out of your day to share something about your day, even if it is just ordinary. Share a high and a low. It doesn’t matter what you are sharing as long as you are making an effort to communicate with each other.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again . . . marriage takes work. If you aren’t working on making your marriage better then you are probably taking your marriage for granted and that is not a good thing. Hurt and bitterness can easily come in when a person doesn’t feel like they are important to you.

So, set a reminder on your phone or computer to connect with your spouse (in a non-confrontational way) each day. Michael uses the reminder feature of the Love Nudge app to rub my arm or look into my eyes. :D Sometimes he does it in a very humorous way and we both get a good laugh, which is also building up our marriage. The point is . . . make an effort to better your marriage today. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Spending Time with Long-Time Friends

Our friends Paul and Stephanie have been here this week. :) Stephanie was my matron of honor when Michael and I got married 33 years ago. Paul and Michael became good friends right away. We introduced them to camping early on and we have enjoyed many camping vacations together.

They moved and then we moved and they moved again. But through the years, we have remained friends. We may not see each other for a couple of years, but when we connect again, it is like we were never apart.

We have had an enjoyable time together this week, even though we haven’t really gone anywhere. We have simply enjoyed being with each. We’ve gone to the lake a few times to walk around–it’s a small lake and very small park–and enjoy getting some fresh air.

Early this week we went and visited with Brian, Lauren, and Liam. We ate at a new restaurant in the area–Eddie’s. It was delicious! Afterwards we went to Brian’s favorite place for boba tea and introduced it to Paul and Stephanie.

I got mine with only 1/4 the boba and it was much better for me than with the whole amount of boba.

After that, Brian showed us around where he works, at Life Church. :)

Brian loves his job and the fact that his day job furthers the kingdom. So proud of him. :)

Stephanie and I have had some art time. She has been doing stamping and card making for many years. I’ve never been very successful at stamping, so I asked her to give me some pointers. :)

She also showed me how to emboss. :) I’ve never used the embosser I got for my birthday last year. So she showed me how to use it. Thankfully, she said I got a good embosser and an excellent deal. :)

She also showed me how to use copic markers, which I have had for several years and never attempted using. I shared about that last Wednesday.

We’ve had a good visit. I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Scheduling the School Year

Our friends are still here, so today’s post is a quickie but a goodie. ;)

How Much Time

First up is a link that shares how much time children should spend on “school” time and gives an example or two, as well.

You do have to scroll down a bit but there is a large purple graphic that summarizes it for you. The rest of the post is about scheduling and has some good information. :)


I actually visited this page before the previous page (and it led me to that one). It has information about scheduling both the daily kind of schedule as well as some different yearly schedules.

She talks about block, loop, checklist, and term, as well as year-round and public school calendars. It’s an informative article.

I hope these helps you set up daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly schedules. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Learning Copic Markers

Our dear friends are here this week and Stephanie is a big crafter. She makes amazing and beautiful cards. She does stamping and has used Copic markers for years and years.

Several years ago I got a set of gray neutral copic sketch markers for Christmas. They were suggested in a book by Eni Oken on shading Zentangles. I got them and was intimidated by them and have never used them. (I didn’t get that book back out and see what Eni suggested.) So on their second day here she gave me a bit of a training session on using the copic markers.

I grabbed a 3.5 x 3.5 bristol vellum tile (one I cut from a larger sheet of vellum), put my corner dots, border, and then drew in a quick string without thinking about it. I decided to use several different kinds of tangles to try out some different methods of shading.

I was so focused on learning how to use the markers that I completely forgot about taking a before scan or picture. :D

I used Shattuck, Umble, Zander, and some Tipple (?) or at least that is what I think the tangles were.

The first shading I did was on the right hand side on (straight-line) Shattuck.

Here’s part of the scanned tile.

I was pretty happy with the shading there. Then I decided to try something a little different with Umble, there in the white center section. I did the overlapping areas and then decided to try shading the top most parts to be rounded. It didn’t work so good. Then I added a line of white and that only made it worse. Then I shaded the curved zander on the side and it was okay.

The last thing was the orbs on the top and I wasn’t too sure about them. I figured they were going to be the hardest and I wasn’t expecting much.

I was amazed! Here’s the whole scanned tile and then the picture I took outside in natural sunlight. :)

As usual, the scan is a bit harsher and shows all the flaws. ;) But it looks pretty good from a normal distance. :D This was definitely something that was worth doing and I will try it again in the future.

It’s not easy trying something new, but it is very rewarding. I encourage you to take time for yourself and do something artistic, even if the first results are as nice as you’d like. Go easy on yourself and let it help you de-stress from your day. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

London Fog

Tiffany tried this tea at Starbucks and decided she wanted it at home (and at a fraction of the cost).  I’ve posted her Fruit Loops Tea which really does taste like fruity cereal, and her Creamalicious Latte. This is another tea she likes to make. She used to enjoy drinking coffee but cannot tolerate its caffeine any longer and misses the warm comfort of a lovely latte. So she created these teas.

So here is how to make it.

Boil a cup of water.

Fill mug 3/4 full with milk of choice; she uses either almond milk or cashew milk.

Heat the milk on medium heat.

Place Earl Grey tea bag in mug, fill 1/4 full with boiled water and add sweetener as desired. Tiffany uses two spoonfuls of xylitol, two doonks of stevia for my hubby, and 3 doonks and two xylitols for Sean. So, use whatever sweetener and how much you like.


Steep for a few minutes. Tiffany likes her tea pretty mild; so feel free to steep your tea a bit longer if you prefer a stronger tea. Remove tea bag.

As soon as the milk is warmed (not boiled), add the warmed milk to the tea, stir and drink.

London Fog


  • Earl Grey tea bag
  • milk (we use almond or cashew milk)
  • sweetener of choice (xylitol, stevia, etc.)
  • water
  • dash or two of vanilla


  1. Boil water
  2. Pour milk into chosen mug until 3/4 full, pour into saucepan and warm.
  3. Add a dash of vanilla if your milk is plain.
  4. Place tea bag and sweetener in mug.
  5. Fill mug 1/4 full with boiled water
  6. Steep tea, then remove tea bag.
  7. Add warmed milk, vanilla, and stir.
  8. ENJOY the creamy goodness!

Hope you enjoy this tea as much as Tiffany does. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Create a Bubble to Protect the Marriage

We are so happy to have our long-time friends here this week. So since I didn’t manage to get the week’s blog posts written ahead of time, it’s going to be a short one. ;)

The other day Lauren told me something I thought was a really good idea. She said that when she (or Brian) get upset about something she will tell him that she needs to go in the bubble for a bit. This is done so that the individual can get their emotions under control and only say things that will help the situation.

She said something happened one day last week that infuriated her and that on top of a really hard day. She took a time out and then was able to come back a half hour or so later and have a constructive conversation that would benefit their marriage and not tear it apart.

This is such wisdom in my opinion. So many times, I have gotten upset and said something hurtful to Michael that I regretted saying later.

I hope you find this helpful and blesses you and your marriage.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº