What Do You Think of First?

Lori Byerly, The Generous Wife, posted a wonderful reminder this past week. She challenged her readers to consider what your first thoughts are of your spouse.

I know she challenged me. I’m taking it to heart and intend to practice thinking of Michael’s good qualities any time I find myself focusing on something negative. :)

I hope you pop over to her blog post and read it for yourself. It is a quick read, like this is. :)

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

CoVid and New Game

This week started with a bang! My daddy had to be hospitalized with Covid and pneumonia.

It’s been quite frustrating because nobody can go be with him. And then Momma is at home alone with Covid, so nobody can go be with her either.

Sunday we took our car over to the shop to have some work done on it Monday. We’d told the mechanic what needed to be done and he let us know when the parts arrived on Friday that he could work on it Monday. So when Momma asked me to drive Daddy to the ER, I forgot all about not having a vehicle.

So then I did the next natural thing and called Michael. He was in his work van, at work, but said he’d go do it. Then we realized that whoever took them would have to quarantine for 14 days and Thanksgiving was just 10 days away.

As I think I mentioned last week, my sister and her husband are also sick with Covid and live just 5 minutes from my parents. We would normally gather at their home on Thanksgiving but I’d made a back-up plan to have Thanksgiving dinner here for us, Sean, and Brian, Lauren, and Liam. BUT if Michael or I took my dad to the hospital, then they wouldn’t be able to come and I know Lauren and Liam are looking forward to it, as am I. :)

So I facetimed Tracie and was telling her my dilemma and before I even got it all out, her hubby Mike said, “I’m already quarantined, ” and proceeded to get out of bed. Bless him! He is such a servant! He chauffeured Momma and Daddy to the ER, handed Daddy off to the waiting staff there, and took Momma back home.

I’m so glad he didn’t wait any longer to go. He has pneumonia. It’s been really hard because we cannot be there with him and it is hard to stay informed this way and not be a pest to the precious nursing/care staff.

Daddy has been exceptionally weak and his oxygen levels have not been good. Please pray for him. Since he finally retired for the last time several years ago, Momma has gotten very used to him being around all the time and is really missing him.

It is also difficult because Daddy is an introvert. Add to that the fact that he is weak, so communicating with him is not easy, if even possible.

I’ve been on the phone and texted so much this week! It is draining, but I do it gladly. Momma is getting better and able to do more around the house but is really missing Daddy.


Ran errands and got a ham for Thanksgiving dinner, as that is Lauren’s preferred meat. I also got biscuit to make Bubble Bread. I got stuff to make the Jello Cookies and Cream Pie and Apple Crumble Pie. I’ll also make some chocolate chip cookies for Liam. :)

Usually I only do desserts for Thanksgiving but things are different this year, so I’m doing the whole shabang. (Or is it shebang? I’m too tired to figure it out right now. :D )

AND we have to put up the Christmas tree early next week too! Why? Because I like it up the weekend after Thanksgiving but Michael doesn’t like the mess while we are doing so. He is home Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; so then I don’t get my tree up until Monday and I don’t like that. So we’ll be putting it up earlier. ;)

Well, I’ll run for now. I hope you have a good weekend! I appreciate your prayers for my family members and I hope to give a good report next week on their health.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Prepared for Advent

I post something about these books every year about this time, so that you have time to obtain them and be ready the Sunday after Thanksgiving. :) This year I’m just reposting it (with the dates changed). ;)


It is already November 19th and Thanksgiving is coming soon. I love this time of year but it moves so quickly. Before we know it, it will be a brand new year. :)

One of the things I liked to do during the Advent season when the kids were younger was to read an advent book. The ones I’m showing you today are for the older ones. Of course the younger ones in your family may also enjoy them but there are some tense scenes that may be too much for the littlest members of your family.

I’m sharing this week because you may need to order a book or request it from the library (if your system has it).

Advent Books ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have to admit that it has been quite a number of years since we’ve read this, so I don’t remember much of the story line. I do remember that we enjoyed it. We enjoyed it so much that I bought the sequels.

Advent ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdvent ~ lifeofjoy.meThe book would be started on Sunday, November 29th. But if you think you may have trouble reading it every night, I guess you could start early. ;)

Give Jotham’s Journey a try this year, if you haven’t read it before. Next week I’ll share some books that can be read with the younger ones next week (here’s the link to that post).

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Rainbow Rixty Scratch-Off

I needed an easy tile today, so I pulled out the scratch-off tiles. I settled on the rainbow one because I know it will photograph well and I didn’t want any struggles. :D It’s been a crazy week, of which I will elaborate on Friday, but I needed easy today.

One of the week’s tangles for Gratitangles 2020 is Rixty. With its blackened bit, I thought it would look nice on the rainbow tile.

Christmas Present ~ LifeOfJoy.me

So without further adieu, here’s the scan my tile.

I couldn’t find the scratch-off “pencil” that came with it when I started, so I used a skewer. :D And now as I write this I remember that it is in my pen case, with my other tangling supplies. :D

Here is a picture I took . . . once again, I did this after dark so there was no natural lighting. :D

You can see I have some of the scrapings on my finger. ;)

One of the things I like about these tiles is that there is no shading. :) It was fun to do and enjoy the outcome without feeling the need to shade it.

I hope this inspires you to try your hand at some drawing, be it doodling, tangling, or some thing else. It’s good for you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

THM “Sugar” Cookies

We haven’t painted Christmas cookies in a few years because times are just too busy during December. Yesterday Tiffany decided to make some fall cookies. I have some leaf, acorn, and pumpkin cookie cutters.

She used the Trim Cookies recipe from THM. She made a double batch of cookie dough because it only makes about a dozen cookies but she made a single batch of frosting. We’ve made this before and found that the frosting makes way too much for a single batch of cookies. She separated it into four bowls and colored them red, orange, brownish green, and a reddish brown.

Brian, Lauren, and Liam were not here, so most things were just what they were; there were no zombies or decapitated anythings. :D Michael did try to fill the gap and made a reindeer/Rudolph out of an acorn, I think. :D

I iced my acorn with orange and then mixed in some of the greenish brown to make a more acorn color.

That purplish color is the reddish brown color in person. On the screen the acorn kind of looks like it is covered in peanut butter. :D

Unfortunately, I’m not the best photographer and I only got two pictures of Tiffany frosting cookies. :( She took all the other pics.

It’s funny because I came to this side of her so I could see the cookie and instead got a great shot of the glasses! :D Oh well, we had fun.

Sean came over soon after we’d started and asked to join us. :) He hadn’t eaten dinner yet. It looked like he was about to make the cookies his dinner when we informed him that it was two batches and needed to last a few days. :D We had a lot of laughs!

No clue what he was doing with his decorating. I think he was just plopping icing on it. :D

At the end, Michael was just gluing the crumbs on his last cookie with all the remaining frosting. :D

I said it looked like a pile of leaves. :D

Well, I hope you will take some time and have some family fun.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Time to Plan for the Holidays

Well, if you haven’t begun already, it is definitely time to start your holiday planning! It is such a crazy year, you may need to re-think your holidays.

Members of my extended family have come down with covid over the last couple weeks. We are hoping all will be well in time for Thanksgiving but Lauren and I did talk about a back-up plan, just in case. ;) I always get and bake a turkey; usually I bake it on the day after Thanksgiving but can easily change that over to Thanksgiving Day if it will end up just being our immediate family.

Roasted Turkey ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Of course, I’m on the lookout for a ham too. I’ve already gotten the little turkey ham for Michael. Those things can be hard to come by, so when I saw one at WinCo a month or so ago, I picked it up and put it in the freezer. :)

Ham ~ Lifeofjoy.me

We’ve also pinned down our family light viewing trip. I heard they’ll have ice skating this year. Hmmmm, I wonder if we will try that.

I’ve got the majority of the gifts purchased and the week after Thanksgiving I will get them all wrapped. :)

Tiffany and I have been watching Christmas movies already. We don’t usually do this but we didn’t watch any in July this year, so we started watching them already. (In case you are lost, during Christmas in July we frequently pull out our favorite Christmas movies but this year I read more books instead.)

It’s important to get input from your family to ensure that you are not spinning your wheels doing things that just aren’t important to the rest of the family and to ensure that you are doing the things that are important to your husband too.

If there are too many and it will overwhelm you, have him pick the ones that are the most important or if he can’t decide, put it up to a family vote. Be creative. Remember the season is meant to be enjoyed, not simply survived.

The week after Thanksgiving I will begin my Christmas savings for NEXT year. I like to have all my gifts purchased by Thanksgiving, so that means I need all the money by then too. Sooo, I have my budget go from the week after Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving week. :) It really benefits us to have planned like this. It has taken away any financial stress normally caused this time of year because I’ve already dealt with it.

I encourage you today to sit down and write down the activities you like to do and have to do and maybe even some ones you think might be fun. Ask your spouse and kids to do likewise. And then talk about it over dinner or a special dessert night. Get the calendar out and be realistic about the things you can do and what just will not fit into the time allotted. (Is it possible to do some of them the week after Christmas or even up to Epiphany, which is January 6th?)

I hope this post gets you excited for the holidays and gets you planning too. I’d love to hear about your favorite activities for the holidays.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Coffee Mishap, Pizza, and Snaps

Not a lot happened this week. My brother-in-law celebrated his 50th birthday at his happy place. :)

One day this week Tiffany got the little coffee grinder down from the cabinet and apparently it wasn’t cleaned out by the last user.

I recorded her telling me what happened. It was so funny so sad. ;)It went everywhere. :DShe’s a good sport though. :)

Lauren sent me a snap that looked like it could have been taken at Glamour Shots. :)

Well, I didn’t notice the sparkle dots all over it . . . I just thought the pose and beauty of her face looked like a Glamour Shots pic.

On the other hand, my son sends me silly selfies most days.It makes me smile or even laugh each time. :)

Lauren got some Halloween costumes on clearance for Liam to play dress-up in. He loves it.

I’m working on a pizza dough recipe that doesn’t have to sit around for hours and still be on THM plan.

And I might be a bit of a pizzaholic, because I also made Nana’s Lil Kitchen personal pizza. :) While I was shopping this week I found my favorite holiday tea at WinCo. :)Well, that’s been my week. We are praying that my parents and sister and her family get over Covid-19 quickly so it doesn’t mess up our Thanksgiving day plans. Prayers appreciated!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Time Sensitive Freebies!

Do you remember the Back to School Blessing a few months ago? Well they have a Christmas Blessings Bundle 2020 but it has some other holiday themed stuff too.

There are things for Fall and Thanksgiving, including a fall themed alphabet for littles and a gratitude journals. There’s also a history of Thanksgiving freebie and a Thanksgiving planner.

There are Christmas printables galore. :) There’s even an interesting winter photo scavenger hunt, aimed at teens but a little with a love for the camera could participate too. I’ve know some littles that can use a phone camera better than some adults. ;) There’s themed writing prompts for fall, Christmas, and New Year, aimed for 1st-8th grade.

There’s a brick advent calendar which makes suggestions for things to build with “lego’s”. It seems to go with the Jesse Tree ornaments. Also available is a Names of Jesus advent calendar.

There’s so much available, including a history of Christmas trees and Saint Nick. There are activity pages and so much more. Check it out . . . but do it quickly, you only have until the 15th to get in on it and then everything has to be downloaded by the 22nd.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Gratitangle: Shattuck, Zenith, Poke Root, and Rain

The strings fir this week for the Gratitangles 2020 project were created digitally by Genevieve Crabe for Alice’s, leader of Tangles All Around facebook group, book Tangle Starts Strings. I chose the one with squares. I thought it would be a bit easier to recreate the string than the other options but it was not simple. Mine turned out a little wonky but that’s okay because it adds to the charm of it all. :Dtangle starts string squares by crabe ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of the tile after I drew the string but this is what it was supposed to look like. ;) To say mine was not that precise is an understatement. :D

As you already know by the title of the page, of the seven tangles suggested I chose Shattuck, Zenith, Rain, and Poke Root.

Shattuck is the first one chosen as I figured i could make it work in the spaces provided. However my shattuck seems to be a cross between shattuck and crescent moon. ;) Originally I had planned to only use two tangles but after starting to tangle shattuck, I decided that it needed to stop after one quadrant.

Rain surprised me. I wasn’t sure if I could make it work in the space but I like how it turned out. And because I liked that, I went ahead with Zenith. I have not used Zenith very many times. It’s not been one I’ve really liked but using it on this tile, I liked it and it is very straight forward too.

The last one I used was Poke Root. Admittedly, not my favorite tangle but other choices were Betweed, Auraknot, and Mooka. Although I have made friends with Betweed, I couldn’t see me getting that one on this string without frustration. Auraknot and I have not become friends yet, although I can tangle it but I couldn’t see how to do so in the space provided. Same goes for Mooka. So Poke Root won in the end, by default. :D

Here is the scan of my tile before shading.

With it being autumn and back to normal time, it gets dark way to early for this procrastinator to get natural light pictures. So here is a picture I took inside with a flash. ;)

Then I did some shading. I used my mechanical pencil for some of it because the spaces were so small that I wanted that fine point to get to them. ;)

First the scan then the pic.

I like how it turned out. However looking at it now, I can see that it would have been cool if I had just used one tangle throughout the whole tile. Hmmmm . . .

I’m very thankful for my hubby! He has put up with me for over thirty years. :) Our lives are a lot like this string, looped together and connected to other family. I guess, I’ll have to add the word HUBBY to the bottom of that tile; it is Gratitangles, after all. ;)

Well, that is all for me today. I hope you are taking time to be creative at least a little throughout your day/week. I’m very glad for this day on my blog because it forces me to actually DO some art. I love it but I don’t always take the time to DO it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Italian Hamburger Helper

About a month ago I shared a “hamburger helper” recipe I found on Robin Brookshire’s website, Mamashire. She has two versions: Italian and Taco. We love both versions. Today I’m sharing the Italian version.

Robin uses shredded cabbage in her original recipe but Michael isn’t doing well with cabbage right now, and thus he’s not wanting to eat cabbage. Also, I happen to be one of those people that does not lose weight with cabbage–seriously, I stall with it (or at least I have in the past). But the cabbage adds some good bulk and veggies, so I felt another veggie was needed. I went with ‘riced’ cauliflower.

I put the 1/4 onion and zucchini in the food processor to chop them up finely and quickly.

Then I put it in the pot and start it to cooking because we like our veggies really cooked. Once those are started cooking, add the ground meat (we use ground turkey).

(Sorry about the really bad lighting on the picture…it was either that very whited out one or a very yellowed out one.) Brown the meat. Meanwhile, I steam one to two bags of cauliflower.

Then I use a hand chopper and “rice” the cauliflower.

When the meat is browned, add the seasonings, cauliflower, and tomato sauce.

Combine, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

We really enjoy this recipe. And with just a few spices: garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast, it’s super simple to throw together.

Pop over to Robin’s site for the full recipe.

I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº