Christmas 2019

We had a good Christmas again this year. Of course it doesn’t seem like Christmas should have come and gone already this year; I feel like time really does go by so quickly any more.

It was very different not having Brian, Lauren, and Liam spending the night on the 23rd and being here first thing on Christmas Eve, although they did get here nice and early. I hope they will be able to spend the night next year. ;)

On Christmas Day we went to my sister’s home along with my kids and my parents. It was a good day. Mom read the pop-up nativity story, as usual.

I’m so thankful that Dad felt strong enough to read the account of the birth of Jesus this year. (I read it last year because he was a bit weak from having open heart surgery.)

He’s gotten all techy on us and read it from his bible app this year. :)

This year we voted on our Christmas dinner. For about five years we had Mom’s homemade pizza but then it got to be too much and we went with easier things. But since Tiffany and I make pizza nearly every week, I figured we could alleviate some of that work.

My brother-in-law got a KitchenAid professional mixer for Christmas and helped Mom use it to make the dough. She was amazed at how much easier that machine made making the pizza dough. I made our sourdough on Christmas Eve before I went to bed so that it would have enough time to ferment properly. (Of course, I had to get out of bed to do it because I’d forgotten to do it. :D )

In the several years we had it for Christmas dinner, we got it down to a science. We put the name of the person/people that the pizza was specialized for on a paper and tape it to the side of the oven, so we remember whose is whose. :) Then that paper follows the pizza to the counter so that everyone gets exactly what they wanted. :)

The biggest thing about pizza for dinner is that we don’t get to all eat at the same time. By the time Mom’s pizza comes out of the oven, the kids are already done. ;)

I went for my walk after lunch, as I was getting tired and a bit full. The walk helped me wake up and not feel so full too. I came back in to find that they’d started playing Taboo.

Liam played with a lot of us. He went on the walk with Michael and me. Tracie brought out a bin of toys and sat down and played with some foam blocks with him. :)

He had a lot of fun and brought a lot of joy to us too!

Tiffany found my Tenzi cards and so some of us played that after dessert. ;)

Yeah, the temperatures were in the high 60’s or low 70’s, so I was barefoot and in a short sleeve t-shirt. :D

It was a great couple of days. Yesterday the four of us just stayed home and pigged out on all the desserts we had. Of course, we ate our leftover pizza too. ;) I did manage to empty the dishwasher and get the kitchen in some semblance of order.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll share my art loot that I got for Christmas soon. I look forward to playing with my goodies and sharing that with you too.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Another New Year: Getting Ready

The links I shared last year for New Year’s planning and review are still good (or updated). So I’m resharing that post here today. :) I hope it will bless you and your family.
I believe that we should always trying to better ourselves. The beginning of a new year is a good time to decide what area I want to focus on this year. Children can (and should) do this too. I found some good printables to help.
This first one is from 2014 but it is a good one. So, I recommend printing it out and putting a number sticker over the wrong year or using some correction fluid or correction tape, to erase it, unless you are one of those that can easily edit it before printing. ;) Here is the page describing this printable. The original link went 404 on me but I persevered! :D Click on the picture of the printable on that page and it will open the pdf.
This one is a little different but it goes along with what a lot of people do, creating a word for the year. It also has the individual write down a want, a need, something to share, and something in which to succeed. It’s a nice contemporary printable. At the same link is a New Year’s Eve bingo printable as well. The same site also has a really cute Year in Review. I have shared this one before, I think but she updates it every year. It is really a nice printable and colorful, although you could definitely print it out in greyscale to conserve on colored ink, if you so desire. This one is similar to the last. It too is a year in review printable. The author shares her family history with this and it sounds like a very sweet tradition that is a great memory maker. :) Like the previous one, it has you list some of your favorite things, which could be really interesting to look back on after several years and see what changed and what stayed the same.
Then there were a few game ideas that looked interesting as well. This memory game looked really cute! And here is a page with a lot of New Year’s Eve ideas to include children. The idea on the last link for glow stick games was so cute that I’m including a link to that one as well. With the days shorter, winter is a good time to try some of these games, if you happen to live in an area that gets some warmer weather this time of year. ;) Finally there was a really cute idea for a decoration for a New Year’s party. If you happen to be one that takes their Christmas decorations down by the first, this could work for you. I, however, am not only not home as we go to my sister’s home, but keep my decorations up until Epiphany on January 6th. But it really is a cute idea. You could get a jump on some of the decoration clean-up by taking the ornaments off the tree and changing it over to a New Year celebration tree. Check it out here. :) Well, I believe I have rambled on quite long enough for today. I hope you have a great New Year’s celebration with your family, whether it be at noon on December 31st, midnight of the first, or some other time. (I knew a lady that changed her clocks and celebrated the new year with her young children at 8pm, so they still got into bed on time. But you could just make it a thing, there are lots of ideas out there and listed above as well.)
Until next time, God bless, Michele ºÜº  

Christmas 2019 Baking

Wow! Yesterday was a busy day. Today we will have Christmas 1. :) It’s so exciting! Brian, Lauren, and Liam will be here shortly and we’ll open presents! :p Then we’ll spend some time with my sister and her family (and we may even pop in and see my parents for a few minutes on our way home).

Yesterday Tiffany and I did a slew of baking. It started off with pies . . . our regular Apple Crumble Pie for the family, followed by an apple pie that is considered a crossover by Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. Then she also made the pecan pie from Cookie Keto with Kristie. And rounded out the pie category with Pumpkin Pecan Slab Pie–this is the third time I’ve made this since Thanksgiving and we love it.

I made the Cinnamon Butter Bundt cake again, along with the smaller one that is nut and flax free for Tiffany.

The breakfast wraps really worked well for Thanksgiving and were delicious, so I’m going to make those again for tomorrow morning. :) I have to make my sourdough pizza dough tonight yet, and put it in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s pizza dinner with family. :) We voted for Christmas dinner and pizza won but if tacos would have been declared up front, it just may have won out. ;)

We’ll be having hamburgers and fries at my sister’s later today. I bought sweet potato fries and some thin burgers and cheese slices. It’ll be a crossover meal but hey, it’s Christmas time and at least it is mostly on-plan. ;) (Unfortunately as I write this, I haven’t yet made the buns to go with this meal . . . so tired . . . mostly because I worked out last night and my shoulder muscles are sore :D . . . and I must get them done before I go to bed.)

Let’s see, I also made four batches of Pay Off Day Candies. I put it all into a 9×13 pan and will cut it into pieces and bag some up to give as gifts. :) People love those candies!

Well, it’s an exciting day around here. I hope you are having fun times this week. :)

Until next time, Merry Christmas Eve,

Michele ºÜº

Christmas Time Snuggles

Wow! It’s Christmas week! Things can get so busy and hectic that it can be easy to forget to give your sweetheart some extra sugar this week. But I promise, if you remember to do some little “act of kindness” or little extra for your love each day, it will bless your marriage.

Consider sneaking him a piece (or even just a bite or two) of his favorite treat that you’re making for the holidays, bring him a drink as you get your own, or just take a moment and give him a smooch.

Sometimes I’ll go over and sit on Michael’s lap and stare into his eyes or just smile and tell him I love him and give him a quick kiss and then go about my business. I keep interruptions short if he’s doing something important or when he wouldn’t appreciate it. ;)

So that is my encouragement today: take a little extra time to snuggle with or do something nice for you love each day this week. :)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

 

A Party, a Road Trip, a Wedding, and Snuggles

Well, it has been a busy week. :) We started last weekend with our church Christmas dinner/party. I was very disappointed to find out that Mardels no longer has the computer system where you can burn a cd of nearly any soundtrack. So I was unable to get a soundtrack for either of the songs that we had been asked to sing at the Christmas party. So I asked my mom to play the keyboard for us and changed the song to one I knew well. ;)

This was actually the first time they sang with me. I really enjoyed it and hope they’ll sing with me again sometime (and that we’ll be asked again). I did try to get Michael to sing with us but he just wouldn’t, even though he’d sung the song with my family shortly after we’d gotten married, so he knew the song. ;) But I love him any way. :)

I’m a horrible selfie taker! :D But this was Michael and I. And here are my parents and Tiffany.

We were singing a few Christmas carols. :) It was a nice evening.

The littles stole the show though.

Then on Tuesday my nephew got married but lives in Missouri. So Tiffany and I rode with my parents to the wedding. It was a pleasant drive and pretty once we got in MO because it had snowed.

I enjoyed a bit of reading and am really enjoying the book (Alaskan Holiday) and cannot wi to get a bit more time to read. :)

Daddy was a truck driver. I wonder if he misses it.

The newlyweds, their kids, and our family.

We got some baby cuddles. :)

Sarah, Dante, and me. :)

Mom and Dante above, Tiff and Dante below.

Even my dad got some baby cuddles.

It was after dark by the time we got home. I didn’t get my zentangle tile done and since I hadn’t done a single piece of art all week, unless you count the packages I wrapped ;) , I didn’t have a thing to post on the blog. So I ended up doing the tile first thing Wednesday morning.

Lauren is great and checks my blog most days. As I pushed publish on the post for the day, I received a text from her letting me know that my blog wasn’t updated. :D Perfect timing!!! I’m so glad she checks for me. There have been a few times when I scheduled a post to publish at a wrong time.

Well, I’m going to run. Should be a fun and busy weekend, preparing for Christmas. Baking will be in full swing by Monday at the latest. :) I hope you are enjoying your holidays!

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Plain Sugar Cookies ~ LifeOfJoy.me

Homeschooling As Christmas Approaches

During the last week before Christmas I always liked to read Christmas books, like I shared last week, and include the children in baking.

Learning about other cultures can be a fun at Christmas. Christmas crafts can also be a good way to continue to count school days. :)

Remember, it doesn’t have to be boring to be educational. During the week before Christmas, I recommend keeping it simple. Reading, baking, and crafting can be great educational opportunities. :)

I hope you enjoy continued learning throughout the holidays!

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Striped and Orbed Cadent

Well, I’m late getting this post up because I was very tired after getting back home from my nephew’s wedding and just didn’t get my tile drawn until this morning.

I also have to admit that I almost ditched this prompt from Today’s Tangles: Keeping it Classic, #TTKICPROMPT121619, because it started out really badly. I actually started it twice because I was using the Micron PN pen and it just wasn’t working for me. It was all scratchy and not a pleasant experience at the time.

This one was actually the second try, where I’d flipped the tile over and started again. Ugh!

The lines were so scratchy, so I got out my graphic liner and tried to make the lines better and hated it. So I put it up and got out the standard 01 Micron and started over again. I did not hold much hope for this prompt, which was based on the Project Pack 07 Day 8, because I was off to such a rough start all three times.

I decided that my filler was going to be simple orbs and striping. Again, not holding much hope for this tile because my orbs were not smooth, at all!

Here is my tile after I finished tangling.

Here is a picture I took of it before I actually had any sunlight. ;)

Oh yeah, it looks so much better at an angle but still very choppy.

But the miracle of shading . . . here is the scanned tile after shading.

But look at the photos of it shaded!

And then I noticed that the sun was shining nicely, so I took it outside and got a shot or two. ;)

So this just proves that you shouldn’t give up on a tile, even when it isn’t looking like it is going to be any good at all. ;) I think it turned out quite nicely. I also liked that I shaded it as sections rather than individual orbs and boxes. :)

I also think that adding a bit of shading on the outside added some nice depth.

Well, I hope you have a great week before Christmas and take some time to de-stress with some tangling. :)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Breakfast Eggs and Caulirice

When I’m really hungry or feeling the need to eat more veggies, this is one of my favorites. Of course, I never expected to like zucchini or cauliflower for breakfast but I’ve actually come to like it a lot. So I thought I’d share it with you today.

First cook the cauliflower. I let it go a bit too long today but it’s no big deal to me because I like my veggies very well done. ;)

I put as much as I want in my skillet and use my meat chopper to break the cauliflower up into rice size bits.

Add a bit of salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast.

While the flavors meld and heat up (if it was pre-cooked), I cook up a couple of eggs, over easy.

Drizzle a bit of your favorite healthy oil over the caulirice and top with eggs.

If you need to get more veggies in your diet, I hope you’ll give this a try.

Breakfast Eggs and Caulirice

Ingredients

  • Cauliflower, cooked
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutritional yeast
  • eggs
  • healthy oil

Instructions

  1. Break the cauliflower into rice size pieces and season with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast.
  2. Drizzle with healthy fat over the heated caulirice.
  3. Cook eggs as desired and serve over caulirice.

http://lifeofjoy.me/breakfast-eggs-and-caulirice/

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Stressed?

I went to have an overall health check about 6 weeks ago. My cortisol levels were high, as well as insulins, and my adrenals were ramped up; this is my paraphrase of what I was told. Bottom line, my body is stressed. Thankfully, I don’t feel stressed, which I attribute to God and prayer.

I now have some supplements to help my body deal with the stress. I have also had an attitude shift or mental adjustment towards exercise. Exercise is no longer a suggestion for me; it’s a prescription–something I must do for my health. So I really try to get a decent walk in each day. I prefer it to be at least a mile but some days it is a bit shorter. The point is to get some fresh air, breathe deeply, and some stress-relieving exercise.

I’ve realized that when I have a moment when I am aware that I’m feeling a bit stressed, I must be uber stressed and need to take some deep breaths or go on my walk for the day. I’m also very thankful for prayer and worship, which can also help to relieve stress. (As well as supplements like L-Theanine. ;) )

So during this busy season, if you are feeling stressed be sure to

  • pray
  • worship
  • breathe deep
  • exercise
  • Oh and make time to snuggle with your hubby

It’s important for your health. Not only do you want to be around for another year but your family and friends want you around for another year. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº