All posts by Life of Joy

Bad Roller Coaster Week

This week was really bad roller coaster ride; you know the kind that just tosses you all around. I had great plans for the week. I’d broken the work down that needed to be done into three days, so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed.

Then Daddy was still in the ICU. His oxygen numbers where mostly not good but he did have improvement throughout the week.

I like to have my Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving and for the last 15 years or so, we have done it on Wednesday. We also do all of our holiday dessert baking that day. This year I decided to start putting the tree up on Monday. It is a good thing too because we needed a new strand of lights and snow! Ugh!

Michael stopped and picked up both items on his way home, so we finished the tree on Tuesday. We also did half the baking. :)

My last picture of my daddy!

Daddy’s oxygen levels fluctuated a bit but he still needed a lot of oxygen. On Wednesday afternoon they moved him out of ICU saying he was no longer sick enough to warrant it. However by 11pm his blood pressure plummeted to 60/40. The gave him something to bring it back up and returned him to ICU.

They started a battery of tests and before too long the doctor on duty had the nurse call me and my mother. The short version is that they were as surprised as we were but she felt we needed to be more concerned with his comfort at this point than attempting to save his life (he did have a DNR). It was bad.

I asked if we could come see him and I was told no but she’d check, maybe the policy had changed. Of course, I immediately sent out calls to people to pray, as did Tiffany. The next phone call was that they would allow us to come. He was on a bipap machine.

God worked a miracle and Michael rushed Tiffany and I to the hospital. They took us up, got us protected, and let us in to see him. It was hard. He hated the bipap! Mike and Tracie were bringing Mom and they were only a few minutes behind us. He had to hold on so they could say good-bye too.

He did! Tiff went out after telling him she loved him and loving on him a few minutes, but it was very hard to see. She’d just left the room, Daddy kept trying to take off the bipap mask, but the nurse and I convinced him not to until Momma could get there. She was just outside the door getting garbed up.

I stayed for a few minutes but then went out and Tracie’s husband came in for a few minutes. When he came back out, I went back in. Mom and Tracie were singing to him; I joined in.

I don’t remember when they took off the bipap and put back on the other oxygen–everything is a blur–they gave him lots of pain killers and you could see him beginning to relax a bit. After a song or two, Mom told him he could go be with Jesus. I told him we’d take care of Momma and not to worry about her. More quiet singing and he left.

The nurses were great!!! They gave us as much time as we needed. He passed from this life around 1:45am on Thanksgiving day morning. I’m just so very thankful that Thanksgiving isn’t always on the same day every year!

The nurses told us several times what a sweet man Daddy was. I’m thankful he had some great nurses looking after him, in a time when we couldn’t be by his side during his last days of life here.

To say our Thanksgiving was different, is an understatement! Brian, Lauren, and Liam still came up. We went over to my sister’s house in the afternoon–we just needed to be together. We each handle loss differently. Mom is currently solid as a rock, but we each had our moments of breakdown throughout the evening. At the time of this writing, he hasn’t even been gone a whole day yet; it just doesn’t seem real.

I’m going to run. It is Thanksgiving night and I am operating on about 2-3 hours of sleep. I’m ready to crash. :) Thank you for all the prayers; they are greatly appreciated.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

It’s Time for Cinnamon Bear!

Thanksgiving ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s been such a strange year! With family members having Covid this month, we decided it was best not to all get together. Thankfully Brian, Lauren, and Liam are still coming up to spend the day with Tiffany, Sean, Michael, and I. :) Makes me very happy.

I love Thanksgiving!!! We have so much fun, although it is a lot of work getting ready. But hey, I now have a head start on everything for Christmas. :) I just love this time of year.

Cinnamon Bear ~ Lifeofjoy.meSpeaking of Christmas, have you heard of Cinnamon Bear? It was an old radio show with 26 episodes that aired in ’30’s, ’40’s, and ’50’s. It aired 6 nights a week beginning Thanksgiving night and went until Christmas.

It is an adventure of Paddy O’Cinnamon. Here is a synopsis if you want to know more details. On this webpage you will find all 26 of the audios. Finally, they are also available on this page, and if you go down to Now Try Download Land, you can download the original coloring book (mind you they are very childish drawings) that your kids can color while listening or later for fun.

The episodes are very short so you should be able to find a few minutes, even during the busy days of December, to listen to an episode. If you do happen to get behind, they are short enough that you can easily catch up again.

One word of caution though, this does have Santa Claus in it. I sure wish I could find the old You Were There Nativity series. I listened to it once a LONG time ago on the radio and have never heard it since. Well, that’s a topic for another time. For now, go download the audios and make some memories with your kids. :)

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

A Little Foil Hollis

I went with another scratch-off tile this week, except this one is the gold foil. I knew it wasn’t going to scan or photograph well, but I wanted the shine of the gold foil for the holiday. :)

One of the Gratitangles for the week is Hollis. I’m not good friends with this tangle but I thought its scrolliness would be nice on the tile. Once I got it on the tile, I realized that my curves/hooks are not as pronounced as they should be, so maybe next time it’ll be better.

I also decided that I wanted more of the gold to show through, so I started “filling” some of the Hollis lines. Some I completely scratched off, others I dotted, and others I stripped.

Then I felt it was still a bit bare, so I added in a few small scrolls/swirls. Then I overdid it. :( But it is what it is.

Here are the pictures. Of course I did this after dark on this rainy and overcast day, so it isn’t natural light. It doesn’t show up very good but here it is anyway.

This first one is the scan…it didn’t turn out at all.

From this angle it doesn’t look like it is shiny gold foil.But it sure is. :) In this angle you can almost see that it is gold. ;) Well, I hope you Americans have a lovely Thanksgiving tomorrow. Ours will be odd but I’m sure it will be good.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sprouted Spelt Pizza

I love pizza!!! It has been a family favorite since my childhood.

My grandmother had seven children and could not afford to make Chef Boyardee pizzas for her large family. So she looked at the ingredients and created her own version. She taught her girls how to make it and my mom taught me. :) I in turn have taught my daughter, Tiffany, how to make it.

Well, I decided I wanted to make it over to use sprouted spelt flour. It needed adjusting because spelt flour requires less liquid. I love the sourdough one but I have to be sure to get it mixed in the morning because it has to sit for at least 7 hours. But since sprouted spelt is sprouted flour, it can be used right away. :)

So you start with 1 cup of warm water, 1-2 teaspoons of oil, and 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast. Mom never added any sugar or honey, so I don’t. We’ve never had any problem with it.

Stir to combine and dissolve the yeast.

Stir in one cup of sprouted spelt flour. and then work in the second cup.

I cover it with a clean towel and keep it in a warm place. In about an hour or so, it can be put onto the pizza pans. I used to use two 12-inch pans but I love using four 6-inch personal size pans now.

Divide the risen dough into equal parts. Lightly grease the pans and press one part one each pan.

Tiffany put the dough in the pans this night.

Once it is in the pans, it is good to let it rise again for a little bit. Then add the sauce and toppings, except the cheese.

This night we used turkey pepperoni. But other nights we’ve added a slice of turkey bacon, canned mushrooms, diced onions, and diced bell pepper.

Bake it for about 15 minutes, until the crust is starting to brown. Then add one grated cheese stick (and we use fat free cheddar too) and cottage cheese, which is surprisingly good.

Tiffany didn’t feel like grating it. Pop it back in the oven to melt the cheese.

We eat this as a THM-E meal. It might be a very small crossover but if you are careful with your greasing of the pan and toppings, you’ll keep it in E territory, especially if you only use the 1 teaspoon of oil in the dough.

Sprouted Spelt Pizza


  • 1 cup warm water (NOT HOT OR COLD)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon rapid rise or SAF yeast
  • 1-2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 cups sprouted spelt flour


  1. Make the water warm to the wrist but not hot. Put 1 cup into a bowl.
  2. Add the yeast and oil.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of the flour.
  4. Work in as much of the other cup as needed. (I usually use all of it but don't use too much so that it gets too dry).
  5. Cover with a towel and let rise for about an hour in a warm place.
  6. Lightly grease pizza pans. Spread the dough evenly on them.
  7. Let it rest again for about 20 minutes or up to an hour.
  8. Add sauce and toppings (NOT THE CHEESE YET)
  9. Bake 425º for about 15 minutes.
  10. Add cheese and bake to melt the cheese, about another 5 minutes or so.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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 ~

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 ~

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 ~

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