Tag Archives: happenings

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 Jackbox.tv 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.

Jackbox.tv family game ~ Lifeofjoy.me
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 ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Xmas Breakfast '18 ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Tiff wasn’t thrilled with my Kodak moment but humored me anyway.
Brian helped too ~ Lifeofjoy.me

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 ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Xmas eve morning ~ Lifeofjoy.me

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 ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Nativity pop-up book ~ Lifeofjoy.me
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 ~ Lifeofjoy.me
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

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 ~ Lifeofjoy.me

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 ~ Lifeofjoy.me

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