Category Archives: Finally Friday

Because Friday is finally here and I need one day to talk about whatever comes to mind.

Snow and March 2019 Book Haul

So last week they kept promising me that we were going to get snow over the weekend. They even enticed me with 1-3 inches of the beautiful white stuff. Well, I’ve been burned before by their promises unrealized so I wasn’t putting a lot of hope in it. Then when we got NOTHING on Saturday afternoon/evening I was even less hopeful.

But we awoke Sunday morning to a nice little blanket of snow. It was beautiful! :) Unfortunately it snowed while I was asleep so I did not get to watch it fall, which I love to see. But we did get some all the same. Then church was cancelled because roads in town were slick and people do not know how to drive on the stuff. ;)

I did forget to get some pictures until Monday when it was nearly gone but Tiffany did get some earlier in the morning when there was a bit more still on the ground.

March 2019 Snow ~ Lifeofjoy.meSnow Paw Print ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s so pretty when it is freshly fallen. I don’t like it when it sticks around and gets all dirty and nasty. It’d been pretty sunny even though the temperatures stayed in the 20’s much of the snow melted. This is what remained Tuesday morning.

Snow quickly departs ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy Daffodils are beginning to make an entrance. I guess it is time since it is March. I just feel like it should still only be the beginning of February. ;)

daffodils ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany says my irises are coming up as well. They are in the back yard under a tree. I haven’t checked on them yet though, maybe next week. ;)

Tiffany and I had a very long errand day this week! We decided it was time to go to Gardners again–that’s the nice used bookstore in Tulsa. I’ll have to get some pictures of it next month when we go. I forgot my phone when we went this week. That made the day a bit frustrating since we were out so long and I would’ve liked to have taken a few pictures throughout the day. But oh well, I lived. Of course, if I’d have had my phone, Tiffany wouldn’t have spent about twenty minutes looking for me throughout that store either. :(

I am just getting back into reading thanks to my girls. :) Last year Tiffany, Lauren, and I started to buddy read. We weren’t real successful with it but it did push me off into reading again, for which I am grateful. I’ll have to ask Lauren to pick a book for us to buddy read and give it another go. (Of course by posting this, I have just done so because Lauren is one of my most faithful followers. :) Love you girl.)

Tiffany and I just finished reading the three available books in the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. Well, I have finished; Tiffany is finishing. ;) These are huge books of over a thousand pages each, which is awesome because you get totally immersed in them. Supposedly there will be another seven books in the series. Each one so far has been longer than the previous one. Oathbringer, the last installment, was over 1200 pages. :) I love a good long book, unless I have to have it read in a certain amount of time, which unfortunately was the case with Oathbringer since I read the ebook as our library did not have a physical copy of it. At least they had the digital. :)

I’m told these lovelies are High Fantasy, as far as genre goes. I think of them as science fiction, which is where they are shelved in the library but that is mostly because most libraries don’t have a fantasy section, let alone a high fantasy section. I enjoyed them and God has even used them to help me with some things I’ve been thinking about in my life. Pretty cool.

Any way, I don’t really know how to pick out a book I like at this point. I don’t really seem to have a favorite genre, yet. So at this point, I’m just kind of floundering with what to read, let alone, pick out books. So after spending a few minutes looking at some books with Tiffany, I wandered off to the children’s books where I was hit with a bit of nostalgia.

Collier's Junior Classics ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy parents had this set that they got with the encyclopedias. I remember reading some of these as a child. These were $2 per book. I showed them to Tiffany and we ended up bringing them home. :D Of course this set is missing number 9, so I will need to be on the lookout for that.

I was surprised how nostalgic I was over these. I flipped open the first one and really wanted to have them. But then I decided I didn’t need them. And then wanted them again. :)

Collier's Junior Classics inside ~ Lifeofjoy.meSample page Jr Classics Collier's ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ll share more of these later, as this has gotten a bit long.

Tiffany and I also got about six other books.

March 2019 Book Haul ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe ones we got this time were Little Bee, The Host (which Tiffany has read before and really enjoyed and yes, we’ve seen the movie), The Double, Quietus, and Immortal. I’m still on a bit of a book hangover from Oathbringer, so I haven’t picked up any other book yet. I’m waiting for Tiffany to finish it and then we can talk about it. :) I’ll probably finish Rematch by Erynn Mangum next though because it is a short read, considering what I’ve just read. ::hee hee::

Well, I’ve rambled enough. Have a great weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Flowers, Snow, Cleaning, and Reading

Val Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe beautiful flowers Michael gave me for Valentine’s Day are hanging on by a thread. They were beautiful when he gave them to me. I am going to get a potato and see if I can root one of them. I hope it isn’t too late; I guess we will see. :)

It’s been an odd weather pattern this week, although I hear that from a lot of people I know across the nation. Unfortunately most of them got some good snow out of the deal and we have not yet. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we got some nice snow flurries one day.

Nov 18 Snow ~ Snow Nov '18 ~ Lifeofjoy.meOf course, that was back in November. We’ve gotten some very light flurries this year but nothing much. Apparently it is supposed to snow this weekend. We’ll see. I’m hoping it will actually happen this time. :D

Shiloh got sick one day this week. I think she ate some of the stuff we were giving to the outside animals and it was too much for her system. She threw up several times that night and was chilled. We prayed for her and the next morning she was much better.Dog sleeping ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen it got a decent temperature for February (in the 50’s/60’s) and Sean was working at home. One of the big things he needed to accomplish was the cleaning out of the shed. It looked like we were having a guys garage sale.

Shed Clean Out ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey worked hard on it, threw a bunch of stuff away, and put the remainder neatly back in the shed.

Michael and Sean ~

I didn’t get a whole lot done this week. I read Edgedancer and started Oathbringer this week, both by Brandon Sanderson. I like them because they are really clean and enjoyable to read. (I like sci-fi and apparently I like fantasy too. ;) ) Oathbringer has over 1100 pages in the physical book and I’m reading it in the ebook form.

You see, since Sean no longer works at a business in Tulsa, we would have to pay for our library account. That doesn’t seem like a bad thing until you find out it is $50! Ugh!!! Thankfully, several years ago Sean bought Tiffany and I Kindle Paperwhites with his credit card points, so we can use those. But unfortunately Oathbringer is not available on the Kindle, so I’m having to read it on my phone using the Libby app. I wasn’t sure I would like it but I have to admit that it isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. The bad thing though is that there is a hold on it so I have to finish reading all 1100+ pages in two weeks but by the time I’d finished Edgedancer I only had eleven days left. Uh Oh! So now I have to read, read, read.  So, I guess I need to wrap this up and get reading. :D

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Rather Slow but Normal Week

2.5yo grandson ~
A cute picture of our cutie grandson, since it is better than the ones I shared last week and I have no other new ones. ;)

It’s been a bit cold and wet. Unfortunately that does not equal snow, or even ice, here. I think that the Christians in the area see a forecast for possible ice and/or snow and begin praying against it. :D While it is still February I’d love to have a really good snow, you know, 6-12 inches, so that we could go sledding and have some fun–although at this point, we may not even have any sleds. :D

My youngest sister and her girls came over for a visit and the girls got to spend the night. They enjoyed time with Sean and Tiffany. I try to make it special and have foods they like–I really think food must be one of my love languages. (Food really should be a love language, not that I make an idol of it or anything . . . honest. :)) )

Gaming is the focal point of their fun times together.Cousin Fun Times ~ Lifeofjoy.meI even joined in on playing Sweet Day on Nintendo Land on the WiiU with them. Apparently in their house they all like to be the guards chasing down the others. Here we like to be the ones running around eating the candy or at least that’s what I like because I’m no good at chasing anyone down on there. :D

One of Michael’s coupons for Valentine’s Day was his favorite meal, which we had the night the girls were here. I made baked beans from scratch for the first time and did it in the instant pot. They actually turned out pretty good. :) One really cool thing about it is that there was enough of the hot dogs, buns, coleslaw, and baked beans to have more for his lunch the next day.

Homemade lunch ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe low carb hot dog buns are homemade as well, so this meal was all made from scratch, excepting the turkey hot dogs which I bought at Aldi.

I have decided that in order to lose any weight I’m going to have to do some exercise. I was supposed to be exercising since the first of the year but I’ve made one excuse and another. So this week I finally buckled down and did it. I just did a standing ab/core workout that doesn’t take very long but still works because I cannot do crunchies or sit-ups without getting a charlie horse in my stomach. 8o

The next day Tiffany decided it was time to do zumba again. We have Zumba Fitness World Party for the WiiU and enjoyed using it for many months quite some time ago. There is a belt that holds the Wii remote on a belt around your waist.

Zumba fitness belt ~ Lifeofjoy.meSee that? That is the belt actually overlapping around my waist! :) You see, in the past I had about a four inch Velcro-like extender to allow me to use the belt. It was quite embarrassing but at least I found a way to participate. However, on this day, I was able to use the belt without the extender. :o So, in the about a year or more that I have done Trim Healthy Mama and keto before that, I have lost enough inches to use the belt! Yay!!!!

With note of joy, I will close for today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. As usual, I intend to.

OH!!!!! I almost forgot!!!!! We finally got my daughter’s book published in paperback!!!! It is available on Amazon. FINALLY!!!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Family Time, Photography and Grandson

Well, I did not catch up on Valentangle2019 this week. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I was busy planning that, my kids came for the weekend, and my nieces are coming today. :) Busy but fun times. So it is my plan to work on the rest of the Valentangle2019 prompts throughout the rest of the month. :) There’s no law against it. :D

Daughter-in-Love Bday ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe celebrated Lauren’s birthday last weekend. :) Since her birthday is so close to Christmas, it was hard for her to come up with a wish list, so she just asked for cash to spend as she sees things and for spending on their vacation this spring.

We gals generally put cash on or in something little. I got her some pretty glitter washi tape . . . I know, shocking . . . she really liked the chevron one in the small package. Tracie put hers on the back of a print that Lauren really liked and Mom put hers between the pages of a notepad–we all did good. Then poor Sean is the lone male that gives gifts himself (I know he’ll be glad when he has a wife to help with these things ;) ). He leans towards money origami. :) In the picture above Lauren is holding the hearts he made with the money.

Liam is such a ham! Well many children are these days with all the pictures taken with phones but also he goes to a daycare where they send pictures to the parents daily and have taught him to smile and say cheese. It’s adorable.

Grandson the ham ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s funny because he had been over there playing with that activity center on the sofa by Lauren when I took the first picture. Then he came towards me, smiling and saying cheese the whole time. He kept it up, doing different things but keeping eye contact with the camera for a good few minutes. However my poor picture taking skills did not do any of this justice. Even the picture above had to be edited because the flash made it sooooo bright. Hey, at least I’m getting the camera out to try and take some pictures. :)

Here’s an example of my poor camera skills (raw, unedited in any way):

Grandson ~ Grandson ~ Grandson ~ Grandson ~

Great photography ~
The blur is my grandson moving.

On each person’s birthday, I let them choose their food. Lauren chose No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake (THM) version,

Birthday Strawberry Cheesecake ~ Lifeofjoy.meand open-face sausage sandwich-low carb version – (and tater tots).

Open-face Sausage Sandwich ~ Lifeofjoy.meI added cooked mushrooms, onions, and peppers to mine and we had veggie tots which are not really compliant because they have the wheat breading but I was doing so much cooking that I did not feel like making something different for us . . . in hindsight, I should have just made the green fries.

Bday dinner 2019 ~ Lifeofoy.meFor breakfast the next morning we had Cinnamon Pecan Baked Pancakes  (Trim Healthy Table pg 338), bacon, and eggs for those that wanted them. Once Liam finished eating, he made his way to sit on Uncle Sean’s lap.

Uncle and Nephew ~ birthday breakfast ~ Lifeofjoy.meUncle and nephew ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love it when I see similarities in them. :)

At one point the kids were getting ready to play a video game together. Lauren snapped this shot of Liam getting right into it too (at least sitting with them and holding some kind of controller–this controller thing doesn’t always work, as sometimes he realizes his is different and wants the real thing).

Video game togetherness ~ Including grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a good weekend, especially because I hadn’t seen them since Christmas and I’d only seen my sister and her family at the hospital when Mom had her knee surgery. We used to get together every Sunday! It’s a bit difficult adjusting to seeing the rest of them so infrequently. (Then there is my other sister and her family in Missouri that we see even more infrequent!) Life goes on and changes as it does. In five and ten years, things will look even more different . . . I hope it will include more extended family time than we’ve been having the last year or two. Well, only God knows. :)

Earlier this week Tiffany and I decided to go to our local (used in a very broad sense) library. Okay, it is as far away as the Tulsa library we were frequenting and in the opposite direction, but it is the one that we pay taxes towards and therefore free to us. We decided NOT to pay the $50 to borrow from the Tulsa library system.

Library Time ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’d taken a picture from a different angle using a different app and forgot to save it. Ugh!!! See! My photography skills are severely lacking. So this one is courtesy of Tiffany. :)

Sean went with us too, since he was working at home that day. We took our laptops and even did some writing after looking around. It really is a lovely building. Maybe next month I’ll take my camera and get some nice pics to share.

I’ll run for now. Have a great weekend; I intend to.

Until next tie, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Art and Reading

#valentangle2019 day 4 ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere we are, knee deep in February. Although only a week has passed, it already feels as if I haven’t much of it left. I guess part of it has to do with the art challenge I’m doing this month, Valentangle 2019, since it is only two weeks long. I was doing quite well with it until Tuesday when the challenge was to tangle on something other than the usual tile/paper and the example was a rock. This caused me to think too much and I wanted to read the novel Tiffany and I had started, instead of thinking outside the box on this one. So, I got de-railed. Then Wednesday, I had to finish off the book (more on that in a minute) and wanted to play the new Kingdom Hearts game that Sean bought and didn’t do that day’s prompt either. So I’m behind, but will probably catch up before the weekend is over.

Tiffany and I started reading the The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson together. Well, together as in, I read and she reads up to where I am, and so forth. It’s nice to be able to talk about the book together as we read it. Of course that requires that we keep up with each other.

We’d gotten to a bit of frustrating and slow part, which did last for a while but was sooooo worth it by the last several chapters. Now, if you are not familiar with The Stormlight Archive series, it is a fantasy series and each book is over 1000 pages long. No that is not a typo! It is actually in the science fiction section of the library which is how I would classify it. There is much character development and many questions throughout most of those 1000 pages. Thankfully, some of those questions are answered in the final several hundred pages and make the tedious pages worth reading. :)

There are currently three books in this series purported to be ten books when it is complete. I’ve really only ever read one longer series like that where I had to wait on the next book to be published and it was very difficult to wait. Before the new book’s release, I frequently reread the existing books, only to be very frustrated when the author did a lot of review. I hope this doesn’t turn out the same way.

Reading Tomes ~ Lifeofjoy.meAny way, since the books are so long, the first one is usually checked out of the library because people don’t get through the second one before realizing that they need to reread the first tome again. So, we had the second and third books in the series before the first. Then went through all kinds of things (ebooks, audio book, kindle prime, litsy and others) to get our hands on the first book. We got the audio book, a whomping thirty-some cds, and started listening. Big mistake! This was the first audio book I’d done in a very long time and the first Brandon Sanderson novel. I had Tiffany stop it several times in the first couple chapters just so I could ensure I was understanding right. Funny thing was that our player was on shuffle and it wasn’t being read in order. :o :o However even after playing in the right order, I still found I needed the visual support, so we looked for the ebook or printed book again. Low and behold, it was already ready for us to pick up. :) But it would have to go back in just two weeks.

Two weeks to read 1007 pages. Not hard to do if there are not any other responsibilities but writing blog posts for five days in each week, daily art, household chores, and cooking; oh and don’t forget self-care . . . still gotta bathe, brush hair and stuff :D. At any rate, I finished it in the time allotted and hubby dropped it off for us so as not to accrue any MORE fines. ;)

Now I have the new Kingdom Hearts game to play and the second book has 1087 pages. I won’t go into the whole library debacle this week. I’ll save that rant for another time. Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming up this weekend, so I should have pictures to share next week. Lauren’s birthday approaches, so we will be celebrating with her.

Well, I’ll run for now. Have a great weekend and stay warm! (It’s freezing cold again here in Oklahoma–with virtually NO SNOW! Ugh!)

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

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

Washi Tape and Bullet Journaling

For Christmas I got some washi tape that I will use in my bullet journal. You see, I like to use my bullet journal minimalistically using only colored pens as I make my to do’s for any given day. I do leave space in between the two columns I create to run a strip of washi tape in between them. This livens up my pages, making them prettier. :)

Bullet Journaling ~

As you can see I add in my thoughts as they come about; if it takes a lot of space I may start a new page or use a large section. I just let it flow and don’t stress out about it. This is to make me more productive and a place to put my thoughts instead of sticky notes and notepads left all around, thus I know that whatever note I’m looking for is in this journal somewhere. ;)

Here’s the same page after I prettied it up. :)

Easy Bullet Journaling ~

That is much more appealing to me. :) I like to do art, as you can tell by my Wednesday posts but I don’t like the pressure of putting my art in my bujo (bullet journal). This particular page is a bit more varied than what I usually do but it’s okay for me and that’s who it’s for.

So, now that you know how I use my washi tape, I want to share some of what I got for Christmas. :)

washi tape stash ~

I got glitter rolls last year for my birthday and really wanted some foil ones but also found I needed to have some plain colored rolls too. However, as I looked for those I found so many wonderful floral and foil accent rolls, as well as even more glittery rolls. Here’s a close-up of some of them.

shiny washi tape + ~
floral washi tape ~
glittery washi tape ~

One of the things I like about these glittery ones is that they are not rough to the touch and don’t lose their glitter everywhere. They also tear with a straight edge instead of needing to be cut with scissors.

As I was looking at things to put on my Christmas wish list, I realized I probably needed a bin to put the washi tape in. The one I found is a nice deep one that holds any of the rolls I own (1st washi tape bin above). But, I filled it up way too quickly. However, I remembered that I had a similar organizer holding plastic fusible beads from years and years ago. Since they haven’t been used in ages, I decided they could be stored in a baggie and I could re-purpose the container for some of my washi tape. They aren’t as deep as my new one, but most of my rolls have a smaller diameter and fit nicely (second washi tape container above). :)

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day I worked on getting some collection pages done that I knew I wanted to have ready to use. Tiffany also uses a bullet journal and loves to pretty hers up as well. Sean got a bullet journal for Christmas this year; he’s had the habit of making huge lists on sticky pads but now he has somewhere to put the lists that are easy to refer to. Since he’s started farming this year, it will be a great way to keep track of what he’s doing. So I shared my supplies of washi tape, stickers, pens, markers, and such with them. :)

Bujo Setup ~
Bujo Prep Group ~

After Christmas was over and I added the rolls of washi tape I got from extended family and the rolls I’d gotten several months ago, I filled these bins and another one I found hanging out in my craft/storage room. Even though it doesn’t seem possible that I could need any more washi tape, I’m sure that come my birthday I will have found more that I want. :D

I decided I wanted to go over and visit my mom to see how she is doing since coming home from her knee replacement surgery. It worked out that my sister Sondra, who has come to help Mom and Dad, needed to go run some errands, so she felt better about leaving while I was there. Especially since it turned out, Dad had his first physical therapy session that day as well. (You might remember that he had open heart surgery after Thanksgiving.) He wasn’t even home by the time I needed to head home, so I look forward to seeing how that went.

However, while I was there a home health nurse came by to check up on mom and how she’s doing, so we didn’t have much time to visit. She is doing well but says there is MUCH pain and it is hard and tiring work getting the knee broken in (my words, not hers). I’m very proud of her though. She is really doing everything they tell her to do, despite the pain. It’s sad because pain is the reason she decided to do this in the first place. We are trusting that by the time spring gets here, she’ll have the worst behind her and be glad she did it. :)

Well, I’ve rambled enough for today. I hope you have a good weekend. It’s supposed to be horrendously cold here this weekend. I sure hope we get some snow. Everyone else is getting snow and I want some too. (I think the Christians in Tulsa hear the weather forecast for snow and pray against it and thus we don’t end up with much. :( ) I’d like to get snow now because my peach tree needs warmer temps come March and April. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

New Year Fun

New Year Traditions ~

Last week I shared about Christmas with our family. Today I’ll share about our New Year’s traditions. :) From my childhood I mostly recall watching the Tournament of Roses Parade on television with my family. Mom liked to cook a pork roast with sauerkraut on that day. And of course, Dad liked to watch all the college football games. :)

For many years after Michael and I got married, we’d go over and spend the day with Dad, Mom, and my siblings and their families but we never really did much for New Year’s Eve. Fast forward several years and we went to a church that liked to have a service on New Year’s Eve, full of fun with skits and all. My kids were little at the time and Tiffany, especially, went to bed early EVERY night, of her own accord. I mean literally, she’d come to me around 6:30 or 7:00 and tell me she was ready to go to bed. :D Thus, we didn’t go often. Then one year they didn’t have it and my parents were home, so since we lived just five minutes away we decided to go over and ring in the new year together, all of us. (Tiffany could go to bed when she was ready.) And that was the start of our New Year’s Eve family time.

Now days we get together, bring appetizers and snacks, and play games until nearly midnight. At which time we pack everything up and get ready to count down with the New York replay of the ball dropping, with sparkling grape juice in Mom’s fancy glasses. It is one of my favorite things we do.

In years past, we’d get back together the next morning and Tracie’s husband would help the kids prepare a breakfast for us all, while we watched the parade. Over the last decade that tradition has dwindled. as has going over again on New Year’s Day. I guess we’re older and enjoy sleeping in and having a pajama day full of lazing around. :)

Unfortunately this year one of my nieces was sick after Christmas with a rather high fever on those special new year days. We were still planning to go to my parents’ house but Mom and Dad had a busy day of running around and Dad was a bit tired (remember he had open heart surgery near the end of November) and needed to rest instead of ringing in the new year with a bunch of noise. ;) So we stayed home.

Of course Michael and Tiffany struggled to stay awake but we played some board games and forced ourselves to stay awake. :D Since we were not planning to be home and Dad usually buys the sparkling juice, we didn’t have any. By the way, we live way out in the country and not just merely around the corner from the store. ;) We looked around and found a Lemon Lime Zevia. Hey, it’s carbonated! :D So we split that between the four of us and went to bed. It was a good time though. It was fun playing board games with my adult kids. So much so that I told them yesterday that I’d like to institute a board game night each month. Yeah, I’d like to do it more often than that but I have to be realistic with goals around here and I know once a month is attainable. There’s nothing to say we can’t do it more than that but aiming for at least once a month is good enough for me.

Tiffany and I made the appetizers we had planned to take for our celebration for our dinner on New Year’s Eve. I found some great ways to have Taco Bites and Pigs in a Blanket. And we had our White Queso with pork rinds and baked tostitos (for those that didn’t mind the crossover of fats and carbs).

low carbTaco Bites ~
Taco bite with avocado, tomato, and lettuce ~
low carb pigs in a blanket ~
Queso ~

Sean got a few board games for Christmas. Michael joined us as we played the Zelda version of Clue. :)

Zelda Clue ~

Then we played a round of Carcassonne. It was fun and I look forward to playing it again. :)

Carcassonne ~

He also got Citadels newer version that has new districts and characters. They really enjoyed that game as well, although I think I needed to play it more to enjoy it as much as they did. My oldest, Brian, really liked it. :) They played this one on Christmas Eve night.

Christmas Eve Gaming ~

Well, I think that’s enough rambling from me. Sorry it was word intense in the beginning and all the pictures were in the end of the post, it’s just the way it worked out this time around. ;)

I hope you have a great weekend. I’m going to enjoy being at home. Unfortunately it will be raining instead of snowing all weekend. :( I’ve had a very busy week with Mom’s knee surgery on Monday and running to the hospital for a few days and then running errands too. I was very glad to be home yesterday and finally get my Christmas tree taken down and that Mom has done so well with her recovery. We’ve definitely been blessed this week and am looking forward to relaxing this weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Christmas Time 2018

It amazes me that so much can happen in such little time! After church on the 23rd, we came home, had some lunch, and Tiffany made the cookies for cookie decorating, which I talked about last week. Brian and Lauren got her early in the afternoon and we painted cookies before dinner. It was fun to see Liam join in this year. :)

Afterwards, I made San Francisco Chicken with some Dreamfields angel hair spaghetti. I modified it so we could eat it as an S meal on Trim Healthy Mama. It wasn’t that difficult to do and I’ll try to share how I do it now in a Tuesday post soon. ;)

We played some Quip Lash 2 on together. (I think it is Jackbox Party Pack 3 that we actually have on Sean’s xbox 1 but I think there are other platforms available.) That’s always fun. We like it because it supports large groups of players. family game ~
Be sure to use the “family friendly” setting. :)

Christmas Eve morning I’m the one that rouses the troups. We rise on Christmas Eve morning as if it were Christmas Day. We’ve done this since the boys were about 2 and 3. I’d gotten them some of those large Fisher Price or Little Tyke play sets and was not going to tote them to my parents’ house; so we just pretended it was Christmas on Christmas Eve so they could get up, open gifts, and play with them as much as they wanted without having to leave them to go somewhere. We’ve done it ever since. Of course that means that we get the bulk of our gifts on Christmas Eve but that is fine because Christmas Day is about Jesus, family, fellowship, and fun times.

Making Xmas Breakfast ~
Xmas Breakfast '18 ~
Tiff wasn’t thrilled with my Kodak moment but humored me anyway.
Brian helped too ~

We put breakfast in the oven and then pray and open presents. By the time we’re done with stockings and presents, breakfast is ready. We eat and chill for a little bit before getting dressed and getting together with my little sister and her family. When the kids were little she’d come over to see what they got for Christmas from us. After she got married, they both came. After she had children and they got big enough, we started going over to their house, toting our portable gifts and pictures of anything too big or bulky. When Brian married Lauren, we simply added another to our tradition. Family is big to us! I’m looking forward to adding more to our numbers in the coming year(s) with spouses and more grandkids. :)

Xmas Eve snuggles ~
Xmas eve morning ~

I love to stuff the stockings. That is the place where I just buy little things I think they will like. My mother always did stockings so great. She’d go to garage sales throughout the year and pick up things she thought we’d like . . . many times we were with her but would forget about it by the time Christmas rolled around. Between garage sales and Dollar Tree :) our stockings were usually pretty full, rather inexpensively. It’s gotten harder as the kids have gotten older.

A few years ago I upped the amount I spend on the stocking stuffers, as we call them. It was great because instead of getting about 10 one dollar items, I can now get a good mix of things. I spend only between twenty and twenty-five dollars per stocking but am able to get each person at least about five things.

On Christmas morning we gather with parents and siblings with their families. Of course now it is fewer than in years past, as my middle sister and her family (kids and grandkids) lives in another state and don’t make it for Christmas. After coming in and eating some breakfast goody, we join together in the living room. Mom started reading a nativity pop-up story to the kids, when they were young. (I think it is called The Good News because it says that phrase on over page . . . over the years, we started saying that phrase every time it comes up in the story . . . kind of corny but a cherished memory now.)

Bubble Bread Xmas morning ~
Nativity pop-up book ~
The youngest two of our clan up close for the story. :

Then Daddy usually reads the nativity account from Luke chapter two. We are soooo glad that he is still here with us. However, since he’d had open heart surgery less than a month prior to Christmas, his voice was a bit too weak to read it this year, so I had the honor of reading it. :)

Reading the Xmas story ~
My Dad is always so moved with the things of God. :)

Years and years ago, when my mom’s parents were still alive and they were with us for a Christmas, after the reading of the story and a prayer, my grandpa started singing the song Jesus, Name Above All Names. Of course, we all joined in with him. It is now a tradition that my mom starts every year. :)

After this, we all get up and hug each other and then pass out the stockings. :) Then each gift giver passes out his/her gifts in turn, so that we can all enjoy the joy on the receivers’ faces. :) We do not rush through our Christmas festivities. :D

After all of this, we clean up and check on dinner and play games. :) This year we revived an old favorite game, Dutch Blitz. :) We use regular cards and just remove the jacks, queens, and kings, leaving the 40 cards needed to play per person. It was great fun to have Tracie’s girls and my Sean and Tiffany play with Mom, Tracie and I this year. :) And we also played a bit of Quip Lash 2. It’s good because my dad can still join in by voting on his favorite answer supplied by the players even though he doesn’t prefer to supply answers himself. I think we had 8 players and 4 in the audience. :)

Well, I’ve rambled on about our Christmas. I hope yours was good too. Have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº