All posts by Life of Joy

Family Visit, Girl Day, and More

Our fun and busy week started last Saturday. After breakfast we headed to Edmond to spend some time with our oldest son Brian, his wife Lauren, and their son Liam. We met at their apartment and found that they had a house (actually condo) to go look at after lunch.

We went to Brian’s favorite Boba tea place which is also a good and inexpensive restaurant. We ate lunch there and then went over to the park for a bit until it was time to go look at the condo.

Here is Lauren, Tiffany, and I.

This one is Brian, Sean, and Liam.It was a nice park. This lightpost reminds me of Narnia. :) Sean and Liam played swords with found sticks. Michael and I; Brian and Sean walking at the park.Oh! and those flip flops were a big mistake. I will take tennis shoes in the future. ;)

I love this picture of Michael and Lauren talking as they walked. :) And then the boys are a bit ahead of them. :)

Then early this week Tiffany and I went into town for a girl day.

We went to Gardner’s, our local used book store. We finally learned how they price things: if it doesn’t have a sticker on it, then it is half of the retail price. Of course, then if you have in-store credit, you only pay tax on that amount plus $1 per item.

After that we went to $5 Below. We haven’t been in there in a while and we found some things we absolutely didn’t want to walk away without. :D And I found a stocking stuffer for Liam–Minecraft stickers. That boy loves Minecraft. :)

There were several books there for $5 that we saw. Tiff and I each got one for being creative every day. We’re going to do it next year. We like that it has prompts and space to draw/create every day for 52 weeks. Consequently, it can be started at any time but I got it for our stockings. Come to think of it, I probably should have gotten Lauren one too. (She’ll have to tell me if she’d have liked one or not. ;) ) Tiff also got that writing prompt book I shared yesterday.

We left that happy place and went across the parking lot to Barnes and Noble. :) Yep, happy place number three. Tiffany managed to get something at each stop. I on the other hand did not. Maybe next time. ;)

She got us a passion fruit tea to share in the cafe at Barnes and Noble. Please excuse my hair in this next picture; it seems to have been going every which way. :D

Tiff got her hair cut that morning too.

I waited until our errand day to get my hair done. Funny tidbit: she saw signs that said they were having a senior citizen discount one day of the week. I can get this discount some places (ages 55-60 are quite the puzzling times for the discounts). Turns out at Great Clips you have to be 65 to get their senior citizen discount. :( So waiting an extra day to get my hair done for the discount backfired, as I wasn’t even old enough for it.

Snapchat has this adorable lens that turns a face into an anime. See?

Then another day, Tiffany and I did a Bob Ross painting together. It’s fun to paint along with Bob. We talk to the television, telling him he has to slow down or repeat himself. :D I shared that Wednesday. It was a lot of fun and we will definitely be doing more together. :)

Hop over to Wednesday’s post to see the final results of our painting.

It’s been a busy and fun week. My baby sister and her girls are coming for a visit today and I believe the girls are spending the night. I know they will enjoy spending time with Tiffany. :) Maybe I can get them to do something artsy? :D

I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Story Writing Practice

Tiffany and I had a girl day this week. One of the stops we made was at $5 Below. We really like that store. :) Most of the items are $5 or less. You have to be careful or you can end up spending an awful lot of money in there. :D

One of the items we found was this writing practice workbook. It was only $5 and Tiffany is already enjoying it. We think it would be good for anyone that is interested in writing, as young as 12 or so.

It has six different sections and numerous prompts in each section.

Story Starters

The first section is Story Starters. There are about 50 pages with at least one prompt on each page.

Crafting Characters

The next section is about developing characters and has about 30 pages with at least one prompt on each.

These are situations to put your characters into, to see how they respond. Here is another example: “Describe three things that your character is afraid of and why and then include them in a story.”

Filling in the Blanks

This approximately 30-page section has a prompt with a blank for you to fill in and then use it as some part of a story, either a beginning or an ending, or whatever.

Develop Dialogue

This next section is another 30 pages or so and is about developing dialogue.

A bit of dialogue is given and you are to write a scene surrounding it.

Crafting Conversations

Developing from the last section, this one works on conversations between two people. The aim is to continue the conversation, filling in who the people are and/or why they’re having the conversation.

Genre Generator

This last section is also about 30 pages long. There are at least one prompt per page. They are designed to get you thinking in another direction. Here are some examples.

Overall there are about 300 prompts in this book and although Tiffany just got it this week, she has already done a couple. I think she is liking them. :)

It would definitely be a good thing to throw into the language arts mix, especially if your child is interested in writing.

Here’s the back cover, in case you are interested.

I hope this helps you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Bob Ross Season 1 Episode 4

This week Tiffany and I decided to do the next Bob Ross video. It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these and I must say, I’ve really missed it.

I bought some retarder with birthday money, to use with the acrylic paints and the Bob Ross method. This was the first time to use it as well.

Here’s our start.

We taped down our paper, spritzed it with water, and spread retarder on it. You can see the retarder in the picture below. It is the tall wide jar to the right of the blue water spritzer.

Then we realized he had his canvas turned different than ours. Thankfully we rotated our paper before we started. :)

I have decided not to use the wells on my pallet again; it was a bear to use because the brushes I’m using are too big. :D

The first step was to do some clouds. I forgot to get a picture of that. It was a bit touchy and I don’t feel I did it justice. :) Next up was to add some distant mountains. Then we followed that with more clouds and more mountains.

That blue was laid down, according to Bob, to provide some shadows as we go.

Here’s Tiff’s at this point.

After that there were trees, now drifts, bushes, more snow, more trees,  and more bushes.

Bob has you blending paints to make your own shades. This is why Tiffany’s and mine look sooo different. (Well, it’s one of the reasons. ;) )

We had to pause around this time because I had two pre-scheduled phone calls. So when we got back to it, I spread some retarder over the parts I thought we’d be working on next and proceeded. I think it muddied it up a bit.

After the trees, bushes, and snow, Bob surprised us and added in a cabin. Now I really didn’t have room for this cabin, so this is where we differ pretty much from Bob. But we kept going all the same.

After the cabin, then he added a fence. By this time, I was using rather thick paint but knew it would eventually dry.

Somewhere along the line I smeared some of the paint. I thought it happened later but this picture proves it happened early. I pulled the tape and will be getting some better tape for this because it ripped part of my paper. :(

We took our paintings outside and the sun decided to peek out at just the right time.

Not too bad!

Here’s Tiffany’s.

Oh, I just realized looking at Tiff’s that I didn’t put the highlight on the trunks of my trees! That would have made a huge difference. I like the icy look to Tiff’s version. Mine looks a bit stormy. :D

In case you are wondering, they really are that dark. We used mostly gray, created by brown, blue, and a bit of white and a lighter gray. :D

Well, that’s our attempt at Winter Mist. Have you tried this one? I hope you enjoyed this; we enjoyed doing it. We’ll be doing them more frequently.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

THM and Keto Jam/Jelly

For breakfast sometimes I like to have either a piece of sprouted grain toast or a piece of low carb bread. But either way, most times I like to have some jelly on it. Especially if it is a piece of sprouted grain bread and I’m not putting much, if any, butter on it.

Here is the one I prefer: Nature’s Hollow Mountain Berry Jam

HealthSmart® Mountain Berry Jam

It is sweetened with only xylatol and erythritol, and the berries, of course. I really enjoy this one and their strawberry one. Unfortunately I cannot get that one in my local store anymore. I also like their peach. :)

One tablespoon of Nature’s Hollow is is just 2 net grams of carbs, whereas the Simply Fruit by Smuckers has 10g of carbs.

I keep forgetting to take pictures of our Fish Tacos and a couple of other dishes, to share with you. Maybe next time I’ll remember. :D

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

How to Handle Anger

Michael watched a video recently that talked about how to handle anger. It suggests that to stop the anger you need to disconnect from the emotions.

Michael said his take away was that when you start to get angry or the person you are talking with gets angry, stop and ask why they are angry. By thinking about the cause or reason for the anger, it causes a disconnect and alleviates the anger build up.

I recommend checking out the video. It is rather lengthy but I’d bet there is a lot more in it than the one nugget Michael shared with me. ;) But if nothing else, applying this one bit can be helpful in relationships/marriage.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Competition and Abundantly Blessed

One of the games I play had a guild competition this week. A guild is just simply a group of people/players you’ve joined in the game and with whom you can chat. Well the game had a competition this week between the guilds. They’ve had a few others, so we kind of know what to expect.Well this one was a bit wonky! Some of our guild players opened the challenge and had hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of energy to play the competition, when normally you only get 120 charges of energy which allows you to play 6 times and then you have to wait for it to recharge or pay for some energy with gems. However gems are limited in the game, so they want you to pay real money to get more.

I was a bit jealous of those players that got thousands of energy charges. I asked questions and decided that I would not close down my game that night but did close my laptop, although I did not shut it off. I woke up the next morning and had 9220 energy charges!

Oh my goodness! I was so excited. And then I played and played and played and played and played . . . and I got really good at finding the objects hidden in the 6 locations of the competition . . . and then I got tired of playing those same locations so much. I realized that I do not ever want to have that much competition energy to use because the competition only lasts for 4 days.

That means that I was playing way more often than I normally do. It also means that I wasn’t really doing any of the other things I enjoy doing. At least I did take a break to get the Purk monotangle tile done for Wednesday.

I’ve been reading the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson and haven’t hardly read any pages at all since the competition started and I really miss it. I’ve also not gotten much of anything else done around here. I’m glad it ended last night. However, before it did, I got another 700 energy charges or more.  :)

Sean made a quick trip to Virginia early this week. He stayed with our friends Paul and Stephanie. You may remember the art she and I did while they were here a couple months ago. (Copics, Embossing/Stamping, Distress Stains & Magicals)

Well, she was going through some of her art supplies and was going to get rid of some of them. Since Sean was there, she asked if I wanted any of them. Of course, I said I’d take whatever she wanted to send back with Sean.

After talking with her, I expected a few things. This is what she sent. :)

There are about two dozen ink pads and re-inkers in a rainbow of colors. :)

She also included some acrylic paint tubes and glittery watercolors, as well as some small and large tape rollers. Then there are the stamps and even a small die cut machine with a couple of dies. Not to mention the punches and stamp sets!

So much fun to be had! I am truly, truly, abundantly blessed!

I’ll have to share the things I make using these supplies in the future. Oh, did I mention the copper embossing powder or VersaMark pad? Yep, she sent those too! I sure am blessed! :)

I hope you have a good weekend. We’ll be visiting with Brian, Lauren, and Liam for a bit this weekend. :) I’m looking forward to it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Educating Your Teen/Pre-Teen

When your child gets about 12 years old, it is a good idea to start planning for their future and begin channeling their studies toward their interests (if you haven’t already).


Remember choosing electives in junior high and high school? Well, you have the opportunity to tailor the “electives” to be uniquely attuned to their interests and future knowledge base needed.

I didn’t do this as intentionally or aggressively with my first two but I learned from my mistakes. ;) With Tiffany, we knew for certain that she wanted to be a wife, mother, and homeschool mom.

Interest Directed

Tiffany and I talked about her interests and desires for the future. Then we planned out some areas of study. We included some study on marriage, child rearing, and homeschooling philosophies.

Being a wife means that she would need to know how to be a homemaker. We of course, had her begin cooking with me, to learn how, since cooking is a big part of the duty of most homemakers. :)

Tiffany had an interest in gardening, chickens, and goats. So we included those studies in her schedule. She also was interested in writing books, so we included time in her schedule to work on that too.

The point of all of this is to help your child get a knowledge base that will help with their future. If your child desires to do something that will require college, then preparing for that is a top priority.

Liberal Arts and Sports

Be sure to include things like art, music, physical activities/sports, if these areas of of interest to your child. It isn’t good to force them to do one of these activities, but talk with them and see if they have any interest in one of them. It’s a good idea to let them have as much say in their studies as possible.


The goal of education is to work yourself out of a job. :) Train your child to self-educate with you checking in, answering questions, and guiding them in their studies.

Be sure to follow their interests and not dictate to them what they should do. Remember, it is their life. It is your job to help them prepare for it. Be their best cheerleader not their dictator. Help them discover what they  want to do/be and help them prepare for it.

I hope this is helpful to you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Purk Monotangle

This week I decided to go back to basics with my tile. Color stresses me a bit, so I wanted to keep it simple.

I started with one of my blank artist tiles, put down my four dots, borders, and a string. Then I checked the prompt over on Today’s Tangles: Keeping it Classic on facebook. Turns out they are keeping it simple this week too.

The prompt was to do a monotangle with your own choice of string. Of the tangles suggested, I chose Purk. It’s a tangle I like and I haven’t used it in a while.

Here’s the tile with my dots, borders, and string.

I added Purk in most of the sections, leaving only the middle and border empty. I should have added a bit of a border between the sections but it is what it is. ;)

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

I just kept the shading simple too. I had considered using my gray copic markers to do some shading but really just wanted the simplicity of pencil. ;)

Here are the scan and the natural light pictures of the finished tile. Unfortunately the sun went behind a humongous cloud, so it isn’t as bright as I’d like.

It was a fun little tile to do and it felt good to do some art. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

How Often Should I Weigh Myself?

I used to be the person that weighed myself every single morning. The problem with that practice is that sometimes what you did or ate yesterday does not show up on the scales for a couple days.

This used to be a problem because if I had eaten something I thought was going to cause me to gain and I didn’t gain any weight the next morning, it made me think that I was wrong and I could eat that thing without fear of gaining weight. The opposite was also true. If I thought I’d done amazingly and that I surely had lost some weight and then either stayed the same or gained, I’d get sad.

Now with either of these feelings, it was entirely possible for me to eat either out of sadness/depression or happiness that I could get away with eating whatever it was but usually I’d end up gaining some weight in the end.

My life became too much about the number on the scales. So, I went a long while without stepping on them at all. This too was a problem because I was just in denial of gains and losses. And ultimately I gained more weight. :(

I finally realized that I needed to have some weight accountability and the only way for me to do that is to step on the scales periodically.

So I decided that knowing how much I weigh at the start of the weekend might be a good way to keep me on the straight and narrow, not indulging too much, over the weekend. So I weigh on Friday morning.

But one time is not really enough for me. So I decided I needed to weigh at least one other time in the week. By weighing on Tuesday morning, it gives me Monday to crack down a bit and hopefully correct any splurges from the weekend.

This method of weighing twice in the week keeps me from being obsessed with the scales and more focused on what I’m eating. It also helps me to get a real indication of my weight and not just get frustrated with little ups and downs.

I hope this post helps you consider your relationship with the scales. ;) And if yours is an unhealthy one like mine was, that this has given you some ideas of how to make some changes.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº