All posts by Life of Joy

Painting Garden Statues with Washable Paint and Library Reopened

We did go and do some painting at my parents’ house last week. We had a good time. I decided not to work any more on the piece I did last week. I think it is good enough after looking it over again. I’m always harder on myself while I’m working a piece than looking back at a piece after I’ve left it for a bit.

You can’t see it in this picture but the leaves and the purple on the butterfly have glitter in the paint and looks quite nice in person. ;)

Here’s a picture of Tiffany and Macie painting at my mom’s.

Macie and Tiffany painting ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat hedgehog turned out so nice!

Ashlee and Mom–Don’t know what she was astounded at. :DYou can see the shoe after I painted it down below. (This picture really made it look much nicer than it was. :D )

Ashlee’s a perfectionist, so while Macie did about three pieces, she was perfecting her one. :)

The majority of the paints we used were washable which made things a bit more difficult. Fortunately Mom had some little tiny paint pots (they looked like what you get in a paint by number) and these, I’m told, were easier to use.

The fairy Tiffany painted had a dramatic change. Unfortunately, there is no before picture. Just imagine a drab grayish-green color over almost of these items. ;) The pop of color is lovely. She really did a great job on it!

Macie started this one of the squirrels and stump but it was a bit too difficult with the paint we were working with. So she passed the brush to me and I finished it up.

I desperately wanted the butterfly to be gorgeous but it just wasn’t covering good! Ugh. In the end, I just had to be happy that it looked a lot better than it did when Macie and I started. :D

Then there was this shoe planter. We thought we’d go with a cream base but a cream color could not be seen–it was not opaque enough. So we went bold and used pink. :D

You just really don’t have any idea how difficult it is to paint with washable paint until you try to add layers. :o I could have made this look sooo much better with a different kind of paint. But once again, it looks better than it looked before. ;)

Mom had some spray to cover these with to protect them from any water–remember, much of this paint is washable. :o I’ll be interested to see how they do over time.

Our library opened this week! They did a bit more remodeling, updating the flooring, while they were closed. They are limiting each person to 1 hour inside and only ten patrons at a time.

It never occurred to me to return our books before they reopened! :D Seriously. Didn’t enter my mind. :) I had planned to only get 5 books this time but since we were limited in how long we could be there, I opted to go ahead and get the ten allowed since I didn’t have the time to scrutinize each book.

We should have a video up on our youtube channel sharing our library haul tomorrow. Tiffany’s been fighting a migraine headache all week, so I’m not positive we’ll get it recorded, edited, and posted but I’m going to try. ;)

Well, that’s it for me today. I’ve got a bit of baking to do with it being Father’s Day this weekend. Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming up! And I’m excited to see them and the rest of the family this weekend.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Early Learning Activities and Books (Online Digital Color Books)

I was cleaning out my email yesterday because I have WAY, WAY, WAY, too many emails, like approaching the limit too many. :p As you might imagine, they go back for quite a few years. :D

Part of the reason I’m a pack-rat, even with emails, is because I homeschooled for so long and never wanted to be without useful information. I also signed up for quite a few email lists. :D I know, that is a shocker. :D

Well, since I cannot seem to just do a blanket “delete all”, I’m going through them and keeping some that I can’t bear to part with. In so doing, I’ve come across some interesting old links.

Early Learning Activities

This first one has pdfs with activities with early literacy activities for 3-5 year olds. There are 36 of these activity cards, so that is one per school week. These are basically just fun activities but they help get your child ready for learning to read and such. This link has links to some simple line drawings to use for the activities in the pdfs. And this page has links to the pdfs for book suggestions for the activities.

I love the activity of drawing to music. It is such an interesting idea. I also love that Harold and the Purple Crayon is one of the suggested books.

Another website I found had a lot of preschool games but unfortunately most of them don’t work anymore. However I did find some really interesting worksheets on their printables page. It is a color by letter, where letters are assigned colors and any section with that letter is colored that color. Here’s an example:

It has a print button on the page. I think it is adorable! There are other kinds of worksheets available to print as well and then there are some kinds, like crosswords, that sadly no longer work.

Old Books Online

The other interesting find I want to share with you today is this children’s books online site. It’s really interesting. I haven’t been able to go through it very thoroughly yet. I did see that it had Alice in Wonderland and A Christmas Carol.

However I also saw this cute little book, Axel the Freeway Cat, so I know they have some picture books too. And this Baby’s Own Aesop is adorable! It rhymes! Did I mention they are in full color too? Lovely!

There is Father Goose by L. Frank Baum. Yep, that Baum, the author of the Oz books. Of course I only knew that from the television show Sarah Connor Chronicles. :D There are a number of children’s books here. You just have to be careful because they are not all in English. So if you are interested in books in other languages, there are some at this website. They say most of their books are in English but there are a variety of others as well.

I’ve spent way too much time enjoying this site. :) I even found Heidi! Tiff is going to love that.  I hope you enjoy these links. Let me know what your favorite is and if you found any cool books on the International Children’s Digital Library. By the way, the Simple Search has the easiest interface and appeal. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Zander, Meer, and Betweed

I’m still amazed that Betweed and I are friends. :D I actually enjoy tangling it.

This past week was another catch-up week for the Zen-Untangled project 2020. I took it as a breather instead. On catch-up weeks seven strings are provided to keep us full of tangling ideas. I was busy trying to finish up a book that I’d been reading for a while, The Robot of Dawn by Isaac Asimov, and playing Super Mario Odyssey again from the beginning. :) So, I didn’t take any time to tangle this week until yesterday when I needed to do it for this post.

I chose one of the easiest strings and then some very simple tangles from the last four weeks to put in those sections. Meer is a favorite, so that was a simple choice for one of the sections. As I said, I’m liking Betweed since we became friends last year, and so I decided to add it in a section.

The trouble I have with Zander is the highlight spots on it. I never seem to get them in the right places but it’s an easy enough tangle, so it won the last section. ;)

Here is the scan and natural light picture of my tile before shading.

Here is the same tile after shading in both a scan and a picture in natural light.

Well, that’s all for me today. Thanks for stopping by. If you have any tips for Zander and it’s sparkle, please let me know.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Instant Lemon Glucomannan Pudding

It has been blazing hot here in sunny Oklahoma recently! I like light desserts when it is hot. So I’ve turned to puddings.

When I first tried things with glucomannan (or gluccie (pronounced with the k sound not the s sound), as referred to in THM), I did not like it at all. But over the couple of years that we have been following the Trim Healthy Mama eating lifestyle I have grown to the point that I now really enjoy it, especially in a pudding!

This recipe is done completely in the blender.

Instant Lemon Glucomannan Pudding


  • 4 cups liquid (water, almond milk, any combination I use 2 cups water, 2 cups almond milk)
  • Juice of 2-3 lemons (or 4-7 tablespoons bottled lemon juice)
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons THM Super Sweet or 1 scant cup sukrin melis (measures 1:1 with sugar)
  • slightly heaped tablespoon of glucomannan


  1. Put all ingredients except glucomannan in the blender and begin to blend.
  2. While the blender is running, add the glucomannan and blend for 2 minutes
  3. Rest for a minute or so
  4. Blend for about another 2 minutes

Enjoy! I like to chill mine before I eat it so it is super refreshing. :)

Avoid These Nine Things for a Stronger Marriage

I recently read a good article on the Marriage Today website. It shared nine things that lead to divorce. Consequently doing the opposite of these nine things will do the opposite? :)

I have been a long time supporter of some of these — as in, don’t do them — and found myself guilty of one or two. ;) Number seven is one I didn’t really understand; I thought that as long as it didn’t interfere with him or things I should be doing, then what difference did it make. In the end, I learned that it wasn’t about that–it was about his protective instincts and a desire to be sure I was okay. :)

I hope this enough teaser to get you to click over and read the nine short things to keep from doing and thus have a stronger marriage. ;) (I don’t get anything for you going there, by the way. I just think it is good information.)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Good Deal and Leisure Reading and Gaming

We’ve had two days of reprieve from the oppressive ninety degree heat this week, very refreshing. However, it’s supposed to climb right back up there and stay for the next several weeks. Ugh!!! I don’t do well with the heat. I’m hot natured and use a fan all year long.

Early this week Tiffany and I went over to the local park and walked around the lake. That is where we filmed this week’s youtube video. ;) It was nice and something we will probably do weekly  for a while. The outdoors really helps with mood and overall mental health, as well as being good for vitamin D.

We walked all the way around it. We walked mostly on the “road” but also in the grass walking from shady spot to shady spot. It bolstered our mood and we were able to get back to the house and be productive. :)

There hasn’t been a whole lot happen this week. I’ve started Mario Odyssey from the beginning again. :) I’m loving it as much or more this time around. Since I know what I’m doing, it I’m not losing as many lives on each level, which is really nice! :D

Oh! We finished the puzzle we started after Tiffany’s birthday. I was surprised how easy it was. There was enough gradient in the sky to make placing the pieces not as difficult as it could have been. And enough unique details to help in placing other pieces. It was a fun puzzle and I will do it again some time.

On errand day Tiffany and I found a deal on some luggage. We got some nice pieces half price!!! We were amazed and very thankful.

Not the best picture but at least there is a picture. :D

We’re going back to my parents’ house today to finish painting the outdoor pieces my mom has that have been quite weathered. You may remember that we started working on them last week but we weren’t finished with all the touches, even after working for four hours. ;) Whatever we get done today will be it, done or not. :D Mom wants her dining room table returned from being an art studio. :D

Hopefully, I remember to take some pictures to share next week. Unfortunately they won’t be as dramatic as they could have been with good before and after shots. :\ Oh well.

Well, that’s about it for me this week. I’m still reading the third in the iRobot series by Isaac Asimov, The Robots of Dawn. It was going along enjoyably until chapter 25. Then for a few chapters I was definitely concerned with it. I’m nearly 60% finished and it’s looking better. I’ve borrowed it from the library through the Libby app, so I’m not reading any others right now, in case my loan expires before I’m finished.

Tiffany and I have taken to spending a timed thirty minutes outside reading each day. We prefer to do this right after breakfast but yesterday it was right after lunch. :) That was okay because the high was only in the high 80’s yesterday but . . . oh, I’m repeating myself now . . . sorry about that. :D

Well, I’m going to run for now. I hope you have a good weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Christian Alternative to Camp NaNoWriMo

If you or a family member is a writer, you may know of or have heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place in the month of November, and I’ve written about here.

In April and July, they hold Camp NaNoWriMo. Where instead of a 50,000+ word goal, you set your own custom goal. It can be editing chapters, writing a word goal, writing or editing a certain amount of time or whatever you choose–a very personal goal. In camp NaNoWriMo, you are placed into a virtual cabin where you are surrounded by 10+ writers. They have forums on their website too (although Tiffany never felt it to be a safe place and stayed away from there). All of this is an encouraging place for writers to “mingle and mix and be” and actually write or work on their writing.

Recently NaNoWritMo has been very vocal with the LGBTQ movement and in a recent email stated that all cops are racist. When a friend of my daughter’s friend replied to said email, saying, politely, that it is not a fact that all cops are racist, NaNoWriMo responded with a nasty, harsh, and extreme email.

This along with NaNoWriMo pushing their liberal views and political agendas, this was all that many conservative Christians could take. Consequently, there are many groups being formed as an alternative. One such group is The King’s Daughters’ Writing Camp.  It is hosted on the app Slack, an instant messenger app.

It doesn’t even really kick off until July and already 20+ people have signed up and are  already engaging with one another providing encouragement and feedback. Some people have brainstormed with others working through story blocks and other such situations. They’ve done many writing sprints and are getting to know one another both in their own tents and group members at large.

If you or your daughters are interested in joining send an email to: . You will have to have a slack account to participate but it is free too.

Tiff says, “What’s really cool is:

  1. Every cabin has a group Auntie who is a mature woman of God.
  2. There are three “channels” on the group where you can do writing sprints and talk about your writing.
  3. There is a “channel” for the mechanics of writing where you can ask about grammar, story structure, outlining, et cetera.
  4. They have not only a chapel “channel” where they share a daily scripture and spiritual encouragement but there is also a prayer circle “channel” and you will be prayed for, no matter how big or small your prayer is.
  5. It is an extremely safe environment for women/girls only, where debating theology or politics is not acceptable.”

She also said she could continue talking about the virtues of this group for a very long time but decided to cut it shorter for me. :D She did want me to mention that the conversations are not limited to writing. ;) She’s only been involved for a day and has been so encouraged and progressing in her works in progress already.

Seriously, this is for all age writers! Okay, maybe not ALL ages . . . but you know, it would probably be a very rare instance for a very young child to want to/be able to participate. ;) And if you are a ‘more mature’ woman, you are welcome too. ;)

I’m so excited to see how encouraged Tiffany is already! :) She did say that there are quite a few homeschoolers and homeschool graduates participating too, which is nice for us also. :)

Summer is a great time to encourage children to write. It keeps up their skills and keeps them busy.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Zen-Untangled Week 20: Indy-Rella, Msst, and Squid

This week’s tangles in the Zen-Untangled 2020 project are Bronx Cheer, Indy-Rella, Squid, Msst, Zander, Fengle, and Raddox. The string this week really screamed to have Zander down the middle and I just simply refused to do that. :D I wanted to be different.

Here’s the string.

I decided that I could have Indy-Rella up the center strip. :) I really felt that Squid should go on one of those rounded sections. I decided to use Squid but in a different spot. ;) For my third tangle I went with Msst. It’s an easy one and I like it. :)

Here is the scan of my tile followed by the picture taken in natural light on a windy day. The wind blew my tile off the little easel thing, so I had to resort to holding it. :D This is before shading because I think there is usually a marked difference after shading, so I like to show before and after.

Here is the tile after shading, first the scan, then the one in natural light.

I think it looks like fish swimming in front of some kind of land mass with currents and some other kind of sea life. ;) Tiff thought it looked like some kind of alien abduction of some sort. :D

Thanks for stopping by. This art form is really easy and generally just involves four simple shapes–a curve, an “s” shape, a line, or dots/orbs. All are simple to do and anyone can do them. So I hope this encourages you to give it a try.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Avocado Pudding

We decided to give avocado pudding another try. We hadn’t had it in a long time because it is so fatty and I’m really needing the lower calorie options and Tiffany wasn’t doing well with a lot of fat either. But recently she’s been able to handle fats better and avocados were on sale, so we decided to give it another go. :)

She set out to find a recipe that would work in our THM lifestyle and landed on Chocolate Covered Katie‘s site. I really like her recipes but have to make some modifications to adapt to THM and weight loss for me.

This is made simply in the food processor. Yay!!!

Start by putting the peeled and pitted avocados in the food processor.

Add cocoa powder (we just use Hershey) and she misread the directions and only uses 1/4 cup Hershey cocoa and no dutch cocoa or chocolate chips and it is still good. ;)

cashew milk



and sweetener. We use 1/4 cup of sukrin melis (which is a 1:1 sugar substitute, so swerve confectioner would work too or adjust the sweetener to your preference).

Then whirl away. :)

If it is a little too thick she drizzles a little heavy whipping cream (maybe about a tablespoon) in while it’s running.

Scrape it down and taste for sweetness. Give it a final whirl and we add about 8 drops of stevia glycerite. :)

And it’s done. (Oops! I forgot to take a final shot! :o We’ll have to make it again today so I can add some pictures!)

I hope you have a great day. Check out the full recipe over on Chocolate Covered Katie.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Marriage Reminder: Do Something

Today’s post is just a reminder to do something nice for your spouse today. Something that is not something you usually do or that he might expect. Of course, doing something nice that he enjoys, whether it is something unexpected or not, is a good thing.

I’ll have to put on my thinking cap to come up with something unexpected but better to do something ordinary than nothing at all. ;) Of course, I have to start thinking about Father’s Day too. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº