Connect Daily

Dinner Together ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere was a good post with ten budget-friendly date night ideas over on To Love, Honor, and Vacuum recently, suggesting things like go out for dessert or coffee and other such things that I won’t spoil here (go over there and read it and I get nothing for suggesting it).

Those ideas seem good if you are either an extrovert or live in town. I, on the other hand, live way out in the country and am in introvert and although Michael is an extrovert, after driving into town for work, he does not want to go back out once he gets home. We are both content to just be at home. :) It truly is how we spent the majority of our dating life as well: just hanging out together at someone’s house be it his sister’s, my parents’, the place he lived with others, or even others’ homes. So it is no wonder that our married life has looked so similar.

However, it is important to connect each day! Talk to each other. Eat together. Take a walk together. Share experiences together. Marriage is about living life together not living your separate lives but in the same house with benefits. ;)

I have come to realize that we are not normal in our home. We eat the vast majority of our dinners together, at the kitchen table (we do not have a dining room). We don’t usually have anything on the television either, unless it is just music or for noise. (Michael hates to hear people chewing their food. :D ) We talk at dinner. We fellowship together. Then the rest of the evening, on many occasions, we will put on some videos (tv show–Stargate is a frequent one) we own. We are each doing our own thing but all still kind of paying attention to the show; we interact with each other but are all still doing our own thing but we are doing it together in one room. Yeah, it’s been challenging at times, as they people that the guys play with online can hear it too, but enjoyable all the same.

I guess what I’m saying is that date night is a great idea but I think the point of date night is to interact with each other. So, although Michael and I don’t really have many date nights, we interact with each other on a daily basis, outside of the to-do lists and frustrations of the day. One thing I’m hoping to do when it warms up a bit, next month probably, is get him to go on a short walk with me in the afternoon/evenings. I need the exercise, so he’ll probably agree to it, to encourage that. :)

Well, I hope you will consider how you are living life with your spouse. Don’t just put it off for one night a week. Engage with each other, each day. And as special days approach, add an extra little touch to make it a bit more special. Marriage takes work to have what you thought it was going to be.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Rash, Daily Focus, and Bujo Idea

Daily Focus ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, it’s Finally Friday once again. Sometimes my weeks are so uneventful and mundane that I really don’t have anything on my mind to talk about on Fridays, which makes me soooo glad that I at least have a subject focus each of the other days of the week.

The biggest thing on my mind, other than my failure to go visit with my parents in the last couple of weeks, is this annoying rash, for lack of a better word for it, under my arms. The really sad thing is that I cannot determine what caused it exactly. You see, I got new razors (a brand I’ve used before and loved) as well as a different deodorant. I used both for the first time on the first day. Now, I must admit that when I was in the shower using the new razor, a lovely 5 blades, I felt that it wasn’t moving very smoothly. I thought I had ensured that the old deodorant residue was gone but it must not have been. So as I was shaving, it did feel a bit raw or inflamed.

When I got out of the shower and was getting dressed I was glad to try the new deodorant. :) Our house is pretty cool right now, so the deodorant was too. I did let it warm a bit and spread it on. I really like it but the next day it was hurting under my arms. I did use the deodorant both days but did not need to shave again so soon, thankfully.

Because of this rash and how cold it was, we decided to move our errand day. I’m hoping that a day without irritants will help it heal quicker. Thus I hung out in partial pjs for a day. ;)

I know I say this all the time, but it is hard to believe today is February first!!! I did not do very well with the photo challenge thing but I can always start over. I also did not do well Zenuari 2019, which was an art challenge for the month of January, but I do more art than I have in a long time this past month.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet but Tiffany and I have decided rather than do a bunch of things for a short time each day, we are focusing on one thing each day. So the things we are doing is Art Day, Bake/Make Day, Errand Day, Reading Day, and Writing Day. It is nice to be able to spend several hours in a day focusing on one thing and not feel like you have to move on to something else just when you are getting into it. If I only allot an hour a day to reading, I have a hard time putting the book down when that hour is finished and moving on to something else, like art. And then it may be difficult to get an art idea and follow through with it before that hour is up and time to move on to writing.

So this is a way to be able to immerse ourselves in one area and get a little more accomplished. If I have art ideas on writing day, I just write it down on my Art Ideas collection page in my bullet journal.

#bulletjournal art ideas ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen when art day arrives, I look at the ideas and decide if I want to use one of those or if I want to do something else.

Writing day is mostly filled with writing blog posts now. I used to write them up the day, okay, more like the night before, it was supposed to be published. Now, I get most of them done on writing day and have them scheduled for publication on their respective days and don’t have that hanging over my head each day. Michael likes it better too.

The first week I did this, I did not get started early enough in the day and ended up finishing it up close to bedtime, which frequently happened before, and Michael did not care for that approach. This is a much better method and makes me less occupied in the evenings. :)

Well, for nothing much to talk about, I sure did ramble on. :D

I’ll run for now. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and make great plans for February. Tiffany and I have our first of the month meeting today, so I’m planning to make it a better month ahead.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Raising Imitators

Like father like son ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhether you think about it or not, you are raising imitators, especially when you home educate your children. In reading Teaching from Rest, that I urged you to read, last week I was reminded again that we as parents should model what we want our children to do. Nobody wants to just do something because they are told to do it but children like doing things they see others doing.

In Teaching from Rest Sarah quotes Andrew Kern of CiRCE Institute, “Teaching is the art of being imitated.” This thought struck me, as I was thinking about it in regards to school teachers but then I remembered what I’d learned so long ago about modeling and making disciples.

I guess I just wanted to remind you that your children are watching everyone they come in contact with. Many they will imitate. It is important to be cautious about those they are around the most–are they acting in a way you want your children acting. Are you doing things you want them imitating?

I’ve written about this before when I spoke about Mother Culture, but it is just as important for fathers.

When my children were very young I’d let the watch some shows on PBS. One of those was Arthur. After a while, I realized that I did not like how Arthur and his sister DJ interacted–it was not behavior I wanted my children imitating. I stopped allowing them to watch that show. How do the characters in the shows your children watch behave? Is it behavior you want your child to mimic?

Just something to think about.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Ratoon, Lovely Ratoon!!!

For the last several months I have enjoyed the lovely work of Anica Gabrovec a.k.a. Zen Linea, as she used Ratoon. I was soooo glad when the tangle tutorial was put on youtube. I watched both that were available and began playing with it. It is fun for me to play with. I mentioned this last week and even shared a simple white on black tile I did.

I’d also done a quick Ratoon on a tan artist tile (4″ square) and as I also stated last week, had drawn some stripes behind it and then put it to the side, not knowing how to proceed. Well with this week’s Diva Challenge to use Ratoon, I pulled it back out. I’ve liked how Anica has used tan tiles and perused her Instagram to get some ideas on how to proceed on this tile.

Here it is before any backfill or shading.

Ratoon before shading ~ Lifeofjoy.meI took my white gelly roll pen and decided to just put some angled lines down on the background stripes. At first I didn’t think the my gelly roll pen was working because I couldn’t see the ink but then lifted the tile and saw that the white was there. I adjusted my angle and filled the background with lines. Then back to Anica’s instagram to see what else I should do. After studying her lovely work, I decided to use the white General pencil and a standard #2 pencil for some various shading.

I opted to try to fill the center and make it an orb. I don’t think I quite got the shading right but it is a good start.

Here’s the tile when I finished.

#DC383 Ratoon ~ Lifeofjoy.meDo I need to but a dot or two of white along the bottom? I just don’t have much experience with this kind of thing yet and am not sure what to do. I did get out my 6B pencil on the bottom of the center to get it really dark but all the rest of the black shading was done with the standard #2 pencil. I’d love your caring critique/suggestions on how to improve. Now as I’m looking at it here, I’m thinking that I should have added a bit of rubbing around the border too.

Next I pulled out another discarded tile I’d done in the last week of Ratoon. I had just grabbed a tile that was laying around (even had a bit of an impression on it from a cup or something) and just wanted to draw Ratoon. I grabbed a pinkish glitter pen (which is sadly lacking in the glitter department) and tangled and laid it aside.

I decided I wanted to try my hand at a gem in the middle. I’ve been intimidated by them for a very long time. I even bought an ebook from Eni Oken on it. (Unfortunately I never did anything with it after my initial read through . . . I prefer books in my hand rather than ebooks but I digress.) I’d seen some videos on youtube by Vitruvian Art on how to draw gems and stones. (BTW, if you haven’t drawn either, concentrate on one or the other, don’t confuse yourself with both like I did.) Anyway, I’d seen these videos back in November when around the time my dad had open heart surgery. It had seemed so easy and I was taking the plunge and all I got done was this . . .

Drawing my first gem ~ Lifeofoy.meYep, that’s it. It was at that point that my dad was rousing from anesthesia and I was able to go in and see him. I never did get back to this.

Well, two months is a long time, so I went into my youtube history and found the videos I’d watched that had made it look so simple here, here, and here. The first is a short five minute tutorial and the last is some hints with Prismacolors, since that is what I have.

I forgot to take a picture of the tile before I added the gem but here it is all finished. I think it looks a bit better a bit smaller.

Green Gem Ratoon #DC383 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m not sure what else to do to it. I did a very light shading with a very light pink on the outside, which you might be able to see on the left side but am considering just blackening that all in. I found a prismacolor pencil that worked for shading the “glitter” pen I used. This is actually my very first gem, and as such, am pretty proud of it but would love any caring critique you might have. I did go over the gem with my blender pencil but it is so scratchy and doesn’t really seem to do a lot.

I’d also played around with my metallic gelly roll pens on a black tile using Ratoon. (I told you I love this tangle!)

Multi-colored metalic Ratoon ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was just using the pens quickly, so my lines are not all wonderful but I do love how pretty it is. :)

Oh, I did take some photos of these tiles to share.

natural light ratoon with gem ~ Lifeofjoy.meTan tile Ratoon ~ ~ LIfeofjoy.meAs always, I really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really like the feedback on how I’m doing. :)

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sprouted Spelt No-Fat Drop Biscuits ~

Sprouted Spelt Drop Biscuits!

I’m sooooo excited!!!!! (I decided not to yell in all caps but bold worked nicely. :D )

I wanted a quick healthy carb bread. There are lots of healthy fat bread recipes going around the internet but not many that are healthy carb with no fats. Yep! You read that right. I even asked on the THM facebook page and was basically told that it couldn’t be done because it takes fats. I was not to be deterred. ;)

Oh and it had to be specifically formulated to work for spelt flour. You see, spelt requires less liquid. So if you ever see a recipe that says that you can substitute spelt flour for the whole wheat, don’t believe them! Seriously! I did and my dough was way too wet and I had to add a lot more flour to get it to work.

I did some research and found a simple biscuit recipe using whole wheat (they said you could use spelt, but I knew better). Then I found a fat free recipe for biscuits which uses all purpose flour but noticed that it was very similar to the previous recipe and that it simply replaced the amount of butter and milk with non-fat yogurt.

Then I found an actual recipe for spelt flour biscuits, for which I knew I could substitute sprouted spelt flour. This recipe looked very similar to the previously mentioned ones but with the right proportions of liquid to spelt flour. I decided to try to substitute non-fat yogurt for the amount equivalent to the butter and milk.

It worked!!! My family loves these and they are done, start to finish, in less than 20 minutes. I’m so happy. So here’s what you do (4 simple ingredients):

Combine the sprouted spelt flour, baking powder, and salt with a whisk. I use my KitchenAid mixer with the whisk for just a quick whirl while I measure out my yogurt.

Sprouted spelt flour in mixer ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd baking powder ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd salt ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhisk flour, salt, baking powder ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen change to the dough hook and add the yogurt.

non-fat yogurt added to dry ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd blend until it all comes together well.

Sprouted spelt drop biscuit dough ~ Lifeofjoy.meI blend it about 5 minutes or so. I keep it going until it is all well combined and not extremely sticky to the touch. You can fold the yogurt in by hand, it’s just more work than my machine doing it for me. :)

Then take the dough and plop it on a baking sheet.

Sprouted Spelt Roll Dough ~ Lifeofjoy.meReady to bake spelt drop biscuits ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’d used some of this dough for other purposes this time so I only made 7 biscuits this time but you want to make 12 biscuits. Per biscuit there will be .5g fat from the flour and 20.4 net carbs (this does take the carbs from the yogurt into account).

Greek yogurt is too thick to use. However, I was out of non-fat regular yogurt the last time I made these and did thin some down a bit and it worked reasonably well. Tiffany said they were a bit tangier than usual though.

If you want to attempt this with sprouted whole wheat flour only use 2 cups of it. That may bring down the carb count too–I don’t know though because I cannot get that very readily and am currently out of it.

Sprouted Spelt No-Fat Drop Biscuits ~

Sprouted Spelt Drop Biscuits!


  • 3 cups sprouted spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups non-fat plain yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 425º.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Fold in the yogurt.
  4. Drop onto a silpat on a baking sheet forming 12 biscuits
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. 🙂

If you try these, I’d love to know how they turned out for you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Time to Start Planning for Valentine’s Day

Time to plan for Valentine's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is hard to believe that January is nearly over. As January departs and February arrives, it’s time to start thinking about how to celebrate with my love for Valentine’s Day.

This year I’m thinking about giving Michael (hope he doesn’t read this ;)) a card and letting him know that he will be receiving some different things from me for the duration of one week. I plan to include homemade sweets he likes, a favorite dinner, massage, and some intimate things too. :)

Did you do a special countdown for your sweetie for Christmas? I did but it was very laid back and it took him a few days before he even realized I’d done it. ;) Maybe Christmas is way to busy for you to do something like that for him then. Well, Valentine’s Day is a great time to give it a go. You don’t have to be limited to the Valentine ideas online, look for some of those from Christmas too. ;) Here’s a post I did that has some links to look into for some ideas.

Whatever you do, let him know you’d choose him all over again, in a way that is meaningful to him.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Normal But Cold Week

Tiffany Michele Frosty Morning ~

There really hasn’t been much going on this week other than the cold. Oh my gracious has it been cold!!! I guess I’m noticing the cold more this year than other years because our heater died last year. We didn’t think it was dead dead and the last cold days we managed by using little oil heaters.

Well when it started getting cold last fall, we had a guy come to fix our heater. Problem was that he couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. So, we called another guy. He came out about three or four times and tried different things. The last time he thought he had it but he just brought parts to replace the parts we had replaced in the beginning. Needless to say, it didn’t work. He left dumbfounded. Seriously! He felt horrible that he had to charge us anything at all considering he didn’t get it working but he had to recover the cost of the parts he did use (not the ones he brought that we’d already replaced).

So, since we don’t exactly have several thousands of dollars sitting around, we bought a few ceramic heaters to help the oil heaters. I’m not one to have it really warm, so we are keeping it a little bit on the chilly side in here but that means that I actually get to wear sweatshirts and cover up with blankets. :) Of course the rest of the family does too. We’re all adults here, so we can handle it.

The Guide ~

I have learned through this though, that when I play video games on the tv that I get warmer! ;) Yep, I now have a reason to play Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey. :D

We’ve also taken to lighting candles. I don’t buy scented ones anymore, since we have a diffuser. Mom got me this adorable snowman candle holder a couple Christmases ago. I put it out when I put out my Christmas decorations in November but then leave it out through January. I put away my snowmen about the first of February when I pull out Valentine’s Day decorations. I don’t do a lot. Truth be told, it is mostly mugs. :D

Snowmen Candle ~

Tiffany and I decided to start reading an epic fantasy series together. However, the first book, which is about 1000 pages, had a long hold list at the library. So we got the audiobook thinking we’d just listen to it together. :o

We put the first of 30 cds in the xbox 360 on our television. We were thrown into the end of a battle. I was trying to follow and then there was an entirely different fight seen. I was so confused I asked Tiff to pause it. She too was struggling. Then we realized that the xbox was not set on sequential play and thus was jumping around the tracks! :o

We corrected this and began to listen anew. I still had to have her pause it and asked her if she was getting it because I sure wasn’t. We set about to find it on ebook. Then she found that it was now available for us to pick up at the library. :D Evidently she’d never cancelled her hold on the book. So we gladly picked it up on errand day.

So since I’m the slower reader, I will set the pace by reading however much I want and then she will read up to my bookmark. Well, I finished the Prelude and asked her to do her speed reading on those three pages so I could be sure I understood it. She did and we conversed. :) I read the Prologue and we did the same thing again. I then started to read chapter one but it doesn’t have any of the same characters and I’m having to read about a completely new character some years later, again. Ugh. I decided I wasn’t up for that right then.

Then the next day I had the brilliant idea for us to listen to what we’ve read so far, to kind of cement what we’ve read thus far. Wow!!! I caught some things I didn’t before, which is really good. I don’t know if we will continue on with this read and then listen thing but it was good for now.

Tiffany and I decided to read it this way this time because the last couple of books we’ve decided to both read, I’ve read and then it takes her a while to get around to reading it. Then by that time, I no longer have the strong opinions and things to talk about. :(

Well, that’s it for now. I hope you have a good weekend. :) I sure wish we’d get some snow . . . it’s snowing everywhere else (all the places I used to live) and here I am wanting snow and am not getting it. If it is going to be cold, there should be some beautiful snow on the ground! :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Homeschooling Must Read

Homeschool Resource ~

I was at my youngest sister’s house one day last fall and saw that she had this book. I was interested, so I requested it from our local library.

I have to say that this book is wonderful! It would have been such an encouragement to me in the days that I educated my children.

I cannot recommend it enough! It is a short book, an easy read, and very helpful. I will be purchasing a copy to put in my library and will be shared with others as the Lord brings them to me.

Do yourself a favor: Get this book and read it and read it again. :) It is not very expensive either. I have found it for as little as $8 and for about $12 on Amazon with prime shipping. I even saw it as an audible book.

I hope you’ll do yourself a favor and pick this book up, even if just from the library.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Stripes and More Artsy Fun

Tiffany and I are trying something new this year that we are both pretty excited about. We are have five activity focuses each week. Of course we are doing our necessary duties each day but then focus on art, reading, baking, writing, and errands.

It was fun to have a day to play my new art supplies I got for Christmas. I started by trying out my glass dip pen that I got from Wish. It was about $5 total including shipping. I’d seen some gold glitter ink samples there for only $2, I think it was $3 total. I thought I’d ordered orange but when I used it today, it was brown and I could sense no glitter after writing with it.

Then I decided to play with my spray stains. I started by wetting the watercolor paper but felt it was too wet because it curled up a bit. So I laid up down to flatten out a bit and worked on my tile for the Diva Challenge. By the time I finished it, the paper had dried a bit too much, so I used a sprayer and spritzed it with water and then spritzed it with some of my stains. :)

Paper with Spray Stain ~

See that black bit? The colors had pooled together and muddied up so I dabbed out some of it with a tissue and I like how it turned out. One of my stains is tarnished brass, which is glittery. I sprayed it in three of the corners. I’m excited to see what I can do with this next week.

I’d seen Ratoon drawn quite a bit and have loved it but couldn’t find the step-out. So I asked a few places and before I knew it someone had posted a video tutorial on how to draw it. It seems to be the tangle I want to draw all the time now. I’m really loving it.

Raton ~

I drew my first one on a tan tile and then put the stripes for the Diva Challenge behind it but changed my mind and opted to start a new white tile. Started with the dots and border and then added large stripes diagonally across the tile.

I started the tile by adding another line across the center stripe and added a zigzag line. I remembered seeing a tangle that started this way but I could not remember the name or how to proceed. I finally found it by a google search and the image tab. It turned out to be Rain, an official Zentangle pattern. I then added Zander, 123 O’Leary, and Betweed.

I’m surprised, once again, that Betweed has shown up again AND how easily I’m able to use it when I struggled so much in the past.

Here is the tile before shading.

Stripes #DC382 ~

I do still have a bit of a hard time with the little triangular bits of betweed and I just can’t seem to do the sparkle on zander either. ;) I tried but it looked odd, so I solidified the line.

Here it is after shading.

#DC382 Stripes ~

Here is a picture of it, although it isn’t in natural light.

#DC382 ~

Funny, I thought I’d shaded it a bit more but oh well. :)

I also played with some lettering but I’m still in the beginning stages of learning this art form, so I’m not sharing any of that today. So, I’m going to run for now. I hope you have a great week.

Once again, thank you for stopping by and for leaving comments; they are so encouraging.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Scrambled Eggs ala pizza ~

Pizza Eggs

I love pizza! I love the flavors of pizza and am glad to have it most any way I can get it. :D

I’ve been eating eggs most every morning and thus am happy to have some variety in those eggs. So one day last week I decided to put some of my favorite pizza flavors into my eggs. Now I must admit that I got my first attempts at this recipe from this website. It was good but I’m not one that cooks on low very well. ;) Plus Tiffany only likes her eggs scrambled. So, I modified it a bit.

I started by sautéing some onions and mushrooms.

diced onions ~
cooked onions and mushrooms ~

I like mine done well, but you can cook yours to your liking. I beat most of the eggs slightly to blend the white with the yolk. Pour the beaten eggs in or crack them on top of the cooked veggies and then add any cooked meat you like. I added some cut up pepperoni and I had just cooked up some sausage, so I added some of that too.

Pizza Eggs ~

When I made this last week, I didn’t have any tomato sauce or tomato paste and it was a bit dry and didn’t quite have the right flavor. I suggest you add a couple tablespoons of tomato sauce but I didn’t have any again, so I opened a can of tomato paste and spread about a teaspoon around. It probably would have been better if I had thinned it down a bit with some water to spread a bit more easily.

Pizza Eggs ~

Flip and cook as I desired. Oh, sprinkle a little cheese on it when you flip it and put a lid on the pan so that the cheese will melt. It doesn’t have to have cheese if you are dairy-free thought, as it will still be delicious. Really, include whatever toppings you like on pizza.

Eating pizza eggs ~

I had one egg scrambled and one egg over medium. It was delicious both ways. Tiffany likes her eggs very very well done and she liked the scrambled ones. We hope you like them too. (I’ve got to find a new recipe plugin . . . but this recipe isn’t really a recipe, so just add your favorite toppings to your eggs and enjoy. :) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº