Category Archives: Finally Friday

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

Super Bowl, Liam, and Knitting

This week was the Super Bowl football game. I’m not really all that big of a football fan but we enjoy getting together with family. Mom makes homemade pizza for all of us. And we’ve celebrated Lauren’s birthday that day as well, for the last couple of years. We have our own celebration with her another day.

Superbowl Sunday ~

I was able to get some good snuggle time in with Liam! Of course, I didn’t keep him captive. I put him on the floor for a bit.

Superbowl Sunday ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was all dressed up for the game, sporting his OSU jersey.

He likes to crawl backwards right now.

Superbowl Sunday ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs usual, we all took turns holding him. :)

Superbowl Sunday ~ Lifeofjoy.meAround about halftime, he was getting tired, so Nana was mesmerizing him.

Superbowl Sunday ~ Lifeofjoy.meGreat Grandpa even had him for a while. Here he was tickling his feet. :)

Superbowl Sunday ~ Lifeofjoy.meBabies are so fun!

I got an awesome deal on eighteen pairs of carbonized bamboo knitting needles. I paid less for them than I have for just two pairs locally. I was concerned about them being sturdy enough because I am a novice knitter and am pretty hard on the needles I have used thus far.

Knitting ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs you can see, I use a continental hold. I was trying to use the standard american hold but was having difficulty because I crochet and hold the yarn in my left hand. Thus it was unnatural for me to switch hands. I also found that I need to wind the yarn around my index finger three times instead of just two, like I do when I crochet.

I’m using this cute dishcloth pattern over on KrisKnits. I didn’t have any solid yarn so I am using this variegated cotton yarn. I hope it turns out. I’ll be looking for some solid colors when I go this week. But I have been having fun knitting this.

Oh, I had to wait quite some time to start it because the pattern calls for size 3 or 3.25 needles. I’m using 3.5 needles because I misread the pattern but I don’t think it will matter much.

Monday evening, after dinner, Tiffany started feeling ill. Then come bedtime, Mike started feeling bad. By the middle of the night, I started feeling bad. Stomach ache. Gastric trouble. Yucky!

We were improved by Wednesday but only about 75%. The first night nobody wanted to eat anything but soup–Lipton Noodles Soup to be precise. At least we felt more like eating the next day. I know we’ll be doing fine quickly though.

I’m going to run for now.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Fencing, Animals, and Weekend Plans

I don’t know about you but when someone asks me what I’ve been up to, I really don’t know. =)) Seriously, my life is nice and quiet and filled with routine things. Thankfully, I took some pictures this past week :o (I know it’s a shock to me as well, that I actually remembered to take some photos) to remind me what happened around me. ;)

Last Saturday, Michael and Sean put up some field fencing along the west side of the property, mostly to keep the neighbors’ dogs out.

Fencing ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was quite chilly out, as is evidenced by the hoods on my guys. Michael is on the left and Sean is in the two-tone hoodie. I took this photo from the warmth of the back door; no need for all of us to be cold. (hee hee)

They were out there working all afternoon. They’d gone out earlier and ended up in a conversation with our nice neighbor, who then worked on the front portion of the property line and later, across the front of his property. They got it done and came in and we had a good dinner (Enchilada Bake – unfortunately I forgot to take pictures again, so I cannot share the recipe until I make it next time).

It has helped a lot but Michael still had to run off a dog or two a day or two this week. Our neighbors have LOTS of dogs, of all sizes and breeds. They seem to be the dog house, whereas we are the cat place.

Speaking of cats, we have only had one or two cats around here for the last couple of weeks. It’s been quite odd because we had been having at least five but before the previous cold snap, we had about ten. This is not at all unusual, one of our cats will have kittens but because they are outdoor, worker cats, we usually end up with only one, or at most, two kitten from a litter of four. I don’t know if they get eaten, lost, adopted somewhere, or if there is some crazy cat lady that takes them in. Seriously.

So we were down to just Darcy, Raven, and Jitters. One day, the kitten, Jitters disappeared.  I thought sure we’d see it the next day but a day went by and then another and another. Then Raven disappeared too. All we had left was Darcy.

Cats ~
Darcy’s the one on the left.

The weather has even been nice, so I can no longer blame it on that. It’s been so nice, that I’ve resorted to opening the windows during the afternoons. One afternoon this week I heard the dogs next door barking up a storm! There was much more barking than their usual ruckus; it seemed that all hands were on deck for barking.

Shortly thereafter I heard, what sounded like, lapping. You know, the sound a big dog makes as it drinks water? Well, that should not be because it sounded like it was right under my window.

Finally I got up and looked out, thinking I was going to have to shoo away one of the big dogs and instead I saw this.

Sasha Loose ~ Lifeofjoy.meI expected to see one of the larger dogs of our neighbor but instead I see our Sasha . . . loose . . . on my porch. I called Tiffany because I she feeds her every weekday and I have very little interaction with her AND she’s big and strong . . . well, medium-sized, but strong. Evidently, she had gotten off her chain and went running around the area. All that barking I’d heard must’ve been in reaction to her presence. I guess she’d had enough and was ready to be taken back to her house.

Sasha ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt looked like she had second thoughts and if she doesn’t want to go, it’s difficult to make her. But in the end, she was ready after a little coaxing from Tiffany.

Sasha ~ Sasha ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany got her back where she belongs and she was happy to lay in the sun and nap for a while. :)

Then the next day, several of the cats returned.

Raven ~ Lifeofjoy.meRaven is on the steps. Her coat has never been so groomed. AND she was cuddly! :o This is the cat that has run from us since birth. Tiffany and Sean had just gotten her to begin to come to them before she disappeared. Now she’s back and wanting to be petted. Yes, I think there is a crazy cat lady that manages to keep them for a while and then mistakenly lets them out of the house and home they come. We saw Jitters and Kit-Kat the next day too. So, we’re back up to five.

I haven’t seen Liam in two weeks and am really missing him. I know, I’m spoiled compared to some people. :) But I will see him Sunday because we will get together at my parents’ home to celebrate Lauren’s birthday and watch the Super Bowl.

Michael says he doesn’t even want to watch it, since it’s the Patriots and the Falcons. Then yesterday he saw that there is going to be some Trump-bashing and that made him more resolute in his feelings. But Mom makes pizza for everyone, a tradition we started before the Christmas pizza tradition, and I don’t want to miss that! :) Momma makes really good homemade pizza. So, we’ll go and visit, watch some football and the commercials (I hope they’re better than last year!) and come home when Michael tires of it all. ;)

I hope you have a good weekend. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

New Traditions and Yummy Food

So  yeah, Liam was here last weekend! Isn’t he a cutie?

Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meMichael picked him up on his way home from work and then Lauren came and got him several hours later. (I hope this will be a new tradition.)

He’s enjoying tummy time now; he went through a spell where he did not like it at all though. He crawls/scoots around in a circle and rolls over with ease now. I need to get him a few more toys to play with here though. I cannot wait for yard sales this year. You can find baby things so inexpensively!

Laim Scoots ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is the first time Michael has picked up Liam; Lauren and I learned somethings from this. The biggest is that she either needs to text me or leave me notes in the diaper bag or I’m probably not going to get the message. ;) When she arrived to take him home,  he was not in his pajamas because Michael forgot to tell me to go ahead and put them on him after dinner. :o

We also realized, beyond all doubt, that I, grandma, need to get a highchair! Michael, grandpa, does not make a good one. ;)

Grandpa is not a good highchair ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis child really likes applesauce!

I was getting some snuggles in while Tiffany made dinner. She caught a picture of him watching her.

What's Auntie Tiff Doin? ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was really drooling a lot too. Cutting teeth is slobbery hard work.

In other news, I took some process pictures for the Chicken Lasagna Florentine this week and should have that recipe updated before the day is out. It was really good and we found we could serve it on some more spinach, if desired, and with broccoli as a side dish; it really goes well with it.

Single serving Chicken Lasagna Florentine ~

And finally, we’ve started a new tradition with my parents this week. See, we used to go to their house every Sunday; I liked it that way. It was actually Michael that started it the year we got married. At any rate, over the last four years or so, it has dwindled down to once or twice a month, unless it is birthday season. ;) So, in an effort to stay connected with them, we decided to have them over for dinner once a month.

We did that for the first time this week. I had purchased a ham when it was on sale last month, so I decided to fix it. (I’ll be sharing that recipe eventually; didn’t take but one picture. :( ) Tiffany made the scalloped potatoes for me, while I made an attempt at scalloped cauliflower. I also made some green beans.

Ham ~ Lifeofjoy.meAfter dinner I fixed some blueberry cobbler. Everyone said they enjoyed it. I know I did. :)

Of course, I’m still bad at pictures. I got a couple of my parents walking out to the car to leave. That tickled Mom but the one of her looking at me laughing wasn’t a good picture, so this is all I got. :(Parents came to visit ~

Well, that’s my week! (Well, except for the part where we rearranged Tiffany’s room after running errands, which made for two tired gals.) I hope you have a good weekend. We shall!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Iciness, the Van, and Blog Updates

It rained last Friday and Saturday but Friday night the temperatures dropped and the rain froze. I guess, since the trees look like this . . .

Iced Branches ~ Lifeofjoy.meit must have been freezing rain. At least we didn’t get a whole lot of it and it is quite pretty. Don’t you think?

Some are Icy and Some are not ~

The poor cedar trees! At least they aren’t bent way over like they have been in past years.

I love how some of the ‘grasses’ are iced over a lot and some are not. The whiteness of the branches, in the background,  with ice on them is so pretty. I’m just glad it wasn’t any more than it was, so we didn’t lose any branches.

Here’s a close-up of those ‘grasses’.

Pretty Iciness ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think it’s pretty cool. :)

Iciness Beauty ~

By the way, see the Cedar trees on the right side of the above picture? Michael transplanted those trees up there when we moved out here, twelve years ago. I’m amazed how tall they are because they were under a foot tall when he moved them.

So, Michael went out to go to work Monday morning, after really feeling like he should stay home; it wasn’t a feeling he could pinpoint so he ignored it. He went out to start his work van and it wouldn’t start. He tried multiple times and nothing!

There was nothing to do but have it towed to the mechanic. We live in the country and take our vehicles to a country mechanic, not some city shop. ;) Problem is, his is the only name on the AAA card, so he had to be here until the tow truck left. Well, by that time it was  late enough that he decided to just stay home.

Unfortunately the mechanic couldn’t look at the van until Wednesday afternoon. Larry said it started right up! Seriously! There was nothing wrong with it. So, Sean drove Michael over to pick it up yesterday morning and he said it had just a slight hesitation but fired right up. Totally crazy! Needless to say, we are very thankful that we didn’t have to pay to get it fixed after all.

I un-Christmased the blog this week. I was looking for something Valentine’sey and settled on the Bleeding Hearts and a pink background. Of course, that made some of the items hard to read so I had to change those as well. It’s never just as simple as changing up one thing for me. ;)

I hope to have a few more changes next week, as well as fixing one of the changes I made this week. :D When you hover over a link it does this cool highlight text thing but unfortunately, it is not so cool on my banner up top. Thus, I need to find how to keep that one from following that command or just eliminate it all together. AND, I also have to change the favicon. That’s the one bad thing about having my son do things for me, when I need to update it, I’m at his mercy. ;)

Well, I guess I’ve rambled enough for today. We are getting to spend some time with Liam this evening! Whoo hoo! I bet I’ll have some pictures next week. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Liam, Snow, KonMari, and Holiday Treats


Grandson Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meSure do miss this little cutie! I guess I got spoiled over the holidays, seeing him so much that going a week and a half without snuggling him and hearing him laugh was definitely felt. But I’m a big girl and I will live. I’m just very thankful that they live close and not in some other state. Although I have been told that if we only lived closer to them, I’d get to see him so much more. :D But alas, we are where God wants us to be. I’m a good soldier and go where I’m bidden, not where my heart leads me . . . but that’s a subject for another day. ;)

Liam loves applesauce! He will eat bowls of the stuff.

Liam loves applesauce ~ Lifeofjoy.meSee that jar of applesauce? It was brand new before we opened it to feed some to Liam and nobody else had any. He loves the stuff! Needless to say, Grandma bought a couple more jars to keep on hand for the little guy.

We got some snow before Christmas. It was hardly anything. I wasn’t even going to take a picture but a friend of mine was saying she just got a dusting but I was like, NO, WE JUST got a dusting. So I took these to document the dismal snow we had.

Dusting 12/16 ~ Lifeofjoy.meOf course, this was after the sun had been up and melted a bit away, so I decided to take one in the back where the sun had yet to make what had fallen disappear.

First winter snow '16/'17 ~ Lifeofjoy.meBut it was snow, all the same.

Then last week, we got some real snow. Still only a little by what the Northern states get, and I’ll not even mention what Canada gets, but snow enough that Sean and Michael stayed home from work.

Sandy on the porch in the snow ~ Lifeofjoy.meEvery time that door opens all of cat kingdom thinks it needs to come to the door. So frustrating some times, because they can trip you up. They’ve never been inside, as they are outdoor work cats–their job is to keep down the varmint population. They have shelters available to them.

Better snow, about 4" ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love snow! My only sadness is that our sleds are no more. Sean looked for some sleds online last month, to no avail. (I think he didn’t look very hard though; certainly they sell them reasonably priced somewhere.)

Now I hear tales that it is supposed to rain for the next several days while it is cold. My thinking is this, if it is going to be cold, there should be snow! :) I do not like ice though. I need to remember to ask Michael if we have gas for the generator should the unthinkable happen and we get ice. I do have to admit though, ice is pretty.

Ever since I folded all of Michael’s t-shirts the Konmari way, I have been wanting mine done too but wasn’t sure that my huge t-shirts could be folded down in such a way that it would save me any space. And I procrastinated. Yes, I know that comes as a huge shock, but I am a professional procrastinator . . . oh wait, that is a horrible confession . . . I am a recovering procrastinator. ;)

At any rate, last Friday while Sean was busy decluttering his room, I folded some laundry. I went to stuff my shirts in the drawer like usual and since they were all clean, it was a very tight fit. I got frustrated and finally took the plunge! Oh how I wish I’d have had a picture of the pile but alas, even after two years of blogging five days a week, I still forget to take pictures, although I am getting better. Anyway, I pulled the drawer out of the dresser and put it on the bed. Then I went to my grown children and asked them to encourage me to do the hard thing.

You see, I have found that when I really want to do something, deep down, even when I don’t want to do it right then, if I get someone to encourage me to do it, it is easier to do it. So I literally tell them what to say to encourage me, they happily oblige me, and then they may seek more information and then they really do encourage me in their own words. It’s awesome! I love my family!

Soooo, they all encouraged me to go fold those shirts and organize that drawer. I went and dumped them on the bed and proceeded to fold a few. I placed them in the drawer to see how they would fit the best and decided on a course of action. Then I began folding. AND THEN my back started hurting . . . time for a break!

Yes I did! I took a break! Some time later, I cannot even tell you how long but I’m pretty sure it was over an hour later, I went back and folded some more. I think I even ended up needing another break before I could finish folding them all. I know, you don’t even have to say it, I’m a wimp. :D But hey! I got them folded, organized, and put away. See aren’t they pretty?

Folded Neatly ~ LIfeofjoy.meI managed to fit 26 t-shirt in this drawer and now I can see them all. I had forgotten I had several of these in there until I dumped them all out. I tend to end up wearing the same shirts over and over . . . and over and over . . . and over and over . . . and over again. This way, I can see at a glance what’s there and wear something different instead of what is on top and easy to get.

During the Christmas season I got some new tea. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but as with many teas, I kept drinking it and by Christmas, it simply tasted like Christmas in a cup. ;) Well, the sweets of Christmas anyway. It’s called Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride.

Sugar Cookie Tea ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey only sell it during the holidays, much like my Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark. I’ll definitely be looking forward to having it again next year. And speaking of peppermint bark, my sweet daughter-in-love Lauren got me some when she was out shopping after Christmas, since I didn’t get a single piece for Christmas. It was marvelous!!! Thanks Sweetie!!!

Well, this is WAY long today. I guess I just had a lot to say! :D

Have a great weekend and stay warm.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Our New Year’s Eve Celebration

We had a wonderful evening last Saturday, New Year’s Eve. We went to my parents’ home. I made the Wonton Taco Bites and took chips and Dean’s French Onion Dip. I love Dean’s dip! Tracie brought BBQ meatballs (which I ate way too many of), little smokies, and mac and cheese bites. Mom made some pinwheel rollups, and some yummy pizza crescent rolls. That one is definitely a keeper!

After a bit of snacking, we started playing games.

New Year ~

Of course, there were some playing video games. :)

New Year ~

Tracie, Lauren, Tiffany, and I played a game of Super Racko. Sondra joined Tiffany and we played another round.

New Year ~

Then Daddy, Sean, and Mom joined us for a game of Skip-Bo. Liam took a quick nap.

New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen we played Heads Up. I think it was the highlight of the evening; it was certainly a lot of fun!

New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs you can see, Liam got passed around quiet a bit.

Vehicles were packed up and then it was time to count down to the new year. Time to don the top hats, tiaras, and beads. Ready the horns and glasses of sparkling grape juice.

New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meCheers!


New Year ~

Hugs and Kisses

New Year ~

And then we’re out the door and headed home.

New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe had a fun night! Time to go home and go to bed. It really didn’t make a difference that we live 25 minutes away or that the next day was Sunday. We always leave promptly and always have, even when we lived just 5 minutes or so away.

I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Christmas Time is Here at Last

Wrap the Gifts ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe had a wonderful Christmas holiday! I hope you did as well. I procrastinated getting my gifts wrapped again this year! Every year I say I’m going to do differently next year and I end up doing the same thing over and over again. So, in an effort not to procrastinate next year, I wrote a note on two different dates in my 5-year journal. On December 7th, I wrote, “Start wrapping gifts!” and then on the 18th, “Finish wrapping ALL gifts today!” I sincerely hope I listen to myself next year. ;)

Brian and Lauren volunteered at their church before coming out for the night. I still had a few gifts to wrap by the time they and sweet Liam arrived. Of course, I took a few minutes to snuggle and love on my sweet grandson and then back to those last few packages.

Christmas Adam ~

Sean and Michael had run into town to pick up Sean’s last gifts for Tiffany. Tiffany began making Sausage Sandwich and Lauren helped her make the queso. We played some Tenzi after dinner.

Family Fun ~, it’s a bit blurry but the best one I have.)

And then she had some quality time with Liam.

Xmas Eve Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiff & Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.meShortly after that picture was taken, Liam awoke and Tiff went to bed. :D

We open gifts on Christmas Eve morning. (I wrote all about that here.) For the last several years, the boys have helped me make breakfast before we open gifts. They make the Bubble Bread and I put together the Breakfast Burrito Bake.

Evidently Brian and Lauren had to wake up sweet Liam. He was not thrilled but eventually warmed up. ;) We prayed together, opened stocking stuffers, opened gifts, and then ate breakfast. Afterwards, we packed up and went to visit my sister and her family.

The guys went and brought home food from Long John Silvers, we had a nice visit, and then the four of us came back home. Sean recently purchased The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings extended edition videos. We agreed to start a marathon of watching these on Christmas Eve night.

Tiffany made the apple crumble pie for me while I was still wrapping gifts the day before but I still had the pumpkin pie and apple cake to make. When we got home from Tracie’s I took some time to just chill as we watched a movie – we’d borrowed one from Tracie that we hadn’t seen yet. I planned to do my baking afterwards. (By my choice of words, I’m guessing that you’ve figured out that all did not go as planned. ;) )

The movie finished and I’m not sure what I was doing as the kids put in the first Hobbit movie. I may have been reading the new art ebook I got from Michael that I really wanted or I could have been playing a Christmas game on my laptop but the end result was that I forgot all about doing any baking at all until it was time for bed!

Sean stayed up and helped me. Thankfully pumpkin pie is uber easy. We were out of apples, as I had miscalculated how many I needed, so I could not make the apple cake. Instead I took some of the leftover Breakfast Burrito Bake for Lauren to eat the next morning. Mom has made some breakfast casseroles for the last several years, so the cake really isn’t needed.

Liam looked adorable on Christmas Day. Mom held him as she read the children’s pop-up book.

Xmas Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meLauren reads to him a lot, so he already has a love of books! I’m so happy about that!

It was a very warm day for Christmas. :( I do not like it to be so warm. I even wore flipflops! Ugh!

Christmas Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt got so warm that Tracie had to pull up the pant legs on her comfy pants!

Christmas Day Heat ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs you can tell, Liam does not lack for attention or love. :)

Cuties on Christmas ~ Lifeofjoy.meAfter presents, we had a little time before we needed to get the pizza going. The guys went outside and did some target practice with the pellet rifle while we gals played some Tenzi.

Christmas Day Practice ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen some of us gals decided to give it a shot too.

Christmas Day Practice ~ Lifeofjoy.meI tried it once or twice. The first time, I figured I didn’t even hit the cardboard. My brother-in-law Mike said that the reason he couldn’t find it was because I hit the bull’s eye! :) SEE!!!

Lucky Shot? ~ Lifeofjoy.meLOL! It was a lot of fun! BTW, my parents live out in the country on five acres of land.

Mom made some delicious pizza, assisted by my sisters and I. I really love the pizza tradition. And as an added benefit, there’s very little to clean up afterwards! Win-Win!

This post has gotten rather lengthy, so I think I’ll quit for now. I hope you have a fun evening planned tomorrow to ring in the new year. We’ll be at my parents’ playing games together. I hope I get some good pictures to share next week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Rant: Weather Whiners and Hallelujah Song

Rant ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve got a rant or two today. The first is about the weather. I’m not usually one to complain. And I generally take it in stride when people post the random facebook status in dislike of the cold and even their love of the summer. But I’ve finally had enough. There are some people that continually complain about the cold and it’s begun to annoy me. But when someone recently posted a screenshot of the 64º weather forecast for Christmas, all gleefully, and was nearly dancing about it and the fact that it is supposed to rain rather than snow, it got to me. It just makes me want to whine and complain all over facebook when it gets hot. :D I probably won’t though, because that is just how I am. But I have to say, I was a bit annoyed this week when I had to roll down my car windows because it was too warm! Yep, windows down in December!!! Ugh!

Rant ~

Well, that’s enough of that. On to rant number two . . . I recently heard a Christmas song I’ve not heard before – Hallelujah. It’s quite catchy. It has a nice melody and lovely harmony. Then I tried to listen to the words to the verses and I got bothered. There are references to Samson & Delilah and David & Bathsheba that just didn’t sit right with me. I wasn’t sure what was being said so I looked up the lyrics and was still confused. So I searched some more.

Turns out that this is not a new song as I thought. It was written in 1984 by Leonard Cohen but has never been real popular, thankfully. It is said that Cohen was sitting on the floor writing the verses in a hotel room, he was so frustrated that he even banged his head on the floor. That just seems to come across in the lyrics, to me. It is said that he had 80, yes eighty, draft verses for this one song. When he toured, he even sang different verses. Settling on these verses, it makes me wonder how bad the others were. These just don’t make any sense. It’s almost like he is celebrating sin with these lyrics.

Apparently a couple of years ago, Coverton, a Christian contemporary band out of Manhattan, Kansas wrote different lyrics. I googled these and really like them! These actually make this a Christmas carol. :) I wish Pentatonix would’ve used these lyrics since they included it on a Christmas album. Their version is so beautifully sung but the verses just aggravate me. Ugh!

Well, that is enough of that! It is already Christmas Eve eve! Brian, Lauren, and Liam will be out tonight and we’ll open gifts first thing tomorrow morning!!! Whoo hoo!!!

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


A Busy Week and Cookies

Well, it’s been a very busy week for us! I didn’t get the cookies made on Thursday as I had planned but I did get them done before anyone got here. :) Tiffany was a huge help, as always.

I always forget that the cookie dough needs to chill for at least an hour. I’ve since gone and updated the recipe to highlight that instruction so it sticks out to me next time.

A Busy Week and Cookies ~

It took some creative cookie stacking to get them all on three racks.

A Busy Week and Cookies ~

We made some keto “sugar” cookies too because, quite frankly, we don’t need all that sugar. In the midst of all the other sugar cookies, since I made a double batch because I made them thicker this year, the sugar-free ones didn’t taste all that great but the next day they tasted pretty good, even without frosting. We just finished the last one Wednesday evening; Sean and I shared it. We tried to share it three ways but Tiffany didn’t want any, which was astounding. ;) I guess she’d already had her fair share.

The keto “sugar” cookies are in the white bowl between Michael and Tiffany.

A Busy Week and Cookies ~

Actually, to be honest, and give credit where credit is due, Tiffany did most of the work on the keto cookies. Brian, Lauren, and Liam had already arrived when the dough was finally chilled enough to cut-out. Tiffany just took over because I had Liam! :) Being a grandma rocks!

A Busy Week and Cookies ~

Tiffany and I made meatloaf and scalloped potatoes for dinner. It was delicious. However, one day I may actually get the timing right where everything is done at the same time and as soon as the last person arrives. My potatoes tend to soak up most of the creamy sauce by the time Sean gets home and we are ready to eat. Oh well, still yummy. :)

We were all pretty tired and didn’t finish painting all the cookies this year but that is okay. Tiffany finished painting the sugar ones the next day and we just left the keto ones plain. Liam is teething already, so he and Lauren aren’t getting a full night’s sleep every night.

We have fun and it is always interesting to see what their creative minds will make out of the normal Christmas shapes.

A Busy Week and Cookies ~

A Busy Week and Cookies ~

A Busy Week and Cookies ~ Lifeofjoy.meA Busy Week and Cookies ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt just wouldn’t be cookie night if someone didn’t decapitate a gingerbread man. This year Brian hung him. After viewing this next picture, you may never be able to look at a candy cane the same way again. ;)

A Busy Week and Cookies ~

A Busy Week and Cookies ~

Sunday was a VERY busy day. We went to our normal first service at 8:30 but then instead of staying for the 10:00 service, we went to Brian and Lauren’s church for Liam’s dedication. That service didn’t start until 11:30 but we’d have had to leave in the middle of the preaching/teaching of our second service, so we were early to their church. Lauren got Liam out of nursery so I could hold him. (Did I already say being a grandma rocks? :D )

My parents, sisters, and my little sister’s family all came, as well as Lauren’s parents. I believe they even had a few friends there in support as well. We took up over an entire row. We all went up to pray with them and when we came back to our seats a few minutes later, on the second row, I might add, a lady had sat right down in the middle of the row ON Tiffany’s hat. Did she really think there was a whole empty row on the second row, 10-15 minutes into service? Oh well, we just squeezed her in.

A Busy Week and Cookies ~
Liam was laughing at Grandpa, who was not standing behind the photographer, me. ;)

A Busy Week and Cookies ~ Lifeofjoy.meJust look at that cutie and those chubby cheeks!!!

After service we all went to eat together and then to my nieces’ piano recital, where we, again, too an entire row. They did a good job with their Christmas carols. :)

We got home early evening and I took a nap. Sitting around like that all day is tiring. :D

We had a big errand day this week, although thankfully, not as big as last week. I made Chicken Spinach Soup with chicken thighs instead of breast meat, to up the fat content and used broth left from the turkey carcass, which also had a good bit of fat. :) I’d say we made that into a fat bomb soup with our alterations this time around. It was nice after a being out on a cold day. Sean bought our lunch that day too; we went to Panera and got their Broccoli Cheddar soup. :)

Last night Tiffany and I went to a Cookie Gathering/party. We had fun and I got a new game idea for our Christmas Eve eve party, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to pull it off in time for this year. I may just have to write down the idea for next year. It was nice to visit with an old homeschool friend – Sue – she’s such a great person and I always have a good time visiting with her!

Unfortunately, I was true to form and did not get any pictures except for the cookies we did here. (I swiped the one from my son’s facebook page and the other from my mom’s though. :D )

Well, I have gifts to wrap. I hope you have a great weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

The Long Errand Day

Errand day this week was a very drawn out ordeal. We started with Tiffany’s appointment. After that we had to go do a little Christmas shopping, some of which we did at the mall. I seldom go to the mall so I naturally parked in the absolute wrong parking lot. Then we ended up walking clear across the mall several times because I don’t know where anything is there.

Good food ~
This was taken a few weeks ago and it was ridiculously warm for so late in the year.


We stopped in the food court and ate at my favorite mall place–Charley’s. I am a sucker for a steak and cheese sub. You might think, but you can’t have that on keto. All it takes is a little creativity. I get the three cheese and bacon one without the bun but add on onions, mushrooms, and peppers cooked very well done.. I was very happy that they didn’t seem shocked with my request. They even asked me if I wanted the lettuce and tomato still and if I wanted it under or on top of my meats, cheese, and hot veggies. I add a little salt, pepper, and mayonnaise. Delicious!

Tiffany got part of her gift to Sean and then we headed further into town on the hunt for an illusive gift. Retraced our path, stopped to pick up books from the library, and finally began our grocery shopping after three o’clock. In all of our running around today, I found not one but five different purses that would make a good replacement for the one I’ve been using for the last year or more, which has its shoulder strap hanging on by a thread, literally. Funny thing is that I had looked at Gordmans several weeks ago and didn’t find a single one I liked. I’m soooo glad I did not settle on one I saw last week, at a store I don’t like to shop, for twice the money I ended up paying for this one. :) God is good! I just have to be patient.

Long Errand Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs we were about to begin getting groceries, Michael texted and asked if we were about done and ready to head home. He was shocked when I told him that we’d only just begun to grocery shop. He suggested that I bring home some pizzas to throw in the oven, since it was getting so late and he knew we were getting tired. I paid way more than I’d like to admit for a frozen pizza but it is keto! and that my friends, is worth a lot. We got the 3-cheese pizza because we love cheese and generally have pepperoni at home to add.  I also picked up a Red Barron cheese pizza for Michael because he said he didn’t need or want anything fancy. We got home, added pepperoni to both pizzas and enjoyed a dinner with minimal effort.

Well, Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming tonight for dinner and cookie decorating. I didn’t get the cookies made yesterday even though I had planned to do so, Thus I need to make them first thing this morning in order to have them ready tonight. :) Hopefully I’ll remember to take some pictures and have them to share with you next Friday.

Until then, God bless,

Michele ºÜº