Monthly Archives: October 2014

Christmas Shopping

Christmas Snowman ~“It’s the most wonderful time, of the year!” No, not because it is halloween but because the holiday season is approaching and I love it!

I’ve been Christmas shopping twice this week. Well actually, I’ve been shopping for stocking stuffers this week. :) I am pleased to say that I got some great deals today and am now nearly finished with all the gals in my extended family, i.e. my kids, parents, siblings, spouse, and their kids. I have even gotten a good start on my boys – and that is impressive, since they are difficult to buy for, so much so that I told Mike that he should go buy stocking stuffers for all the guys in the family. ;) Unfortunately, He didn’t agree but not that I thought he would.

I like to get my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving Day, this way I can fully enjoy the holidays without trying to run around and find gifts for everyone on my gift giving list. I also like to give gifts I’m certain the recipient will enjoy. Consequently we have each family member make a Christmas Wish List. In years past, they have been required to make their lists as early as August. :D Of course those were years when we did a lot of garage saling, got many stocking stuffers there, and thus had Christmas gifting on our minds earlier and more frequently. It was also easier to find things for the boys when they were little; as they have grown it has gotten more and more difficult to find good stocking stuffers for them, in part because they don’t even know what they want. It was also easier for them to make a list when they were younger because they didn’t get new video games when they first came out; they had to wait for their birthday or Christmas, so it was always the thing they wanted the most. But now, they are grown and have jobs and get the new games when they are released, so now they have to figure out what else they want. ;) Not an easy task.

One good thing over the last several years has been the formulation of the wish list from online sources. This is good because now we can order what they want online and save us some shopping days. I have enjoyed shopping with my mom and sister over the last several years. My mom and dad have been taking vacation to Florida to visit my aunt and uncle on my mom’s side, in October, which is our prime shopping time; thus my sister and I have gone without her so that we still get done by Thanksgiving.

Starting next week, I will begin my main gift shopping, which will include lots of online ordering. ;) Mom has also seen the joys of online Christmas shopping! It is SO much easier on the feet!!! :) In the first years that we shopped together, we would start around 9 or 9:30 and not finish until around midnight or 1:00 am. We are definitely older these days and do not shop that long any more. Now we just go from around 9:30 to about 5. It still makes for a long day but not exhausting. And now with online shopping, we still get it completed in the same number of days of shopping, just shorter days and less exhausting. Win! Win!

Well, it’s been a great week. I hope yours has been too.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Ideas to Study History

Today I’m sharing an article on studyHistory ~ LifeOfJoy.meing history. I hope you will find it helpful; I thought it was interesting.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

History Is Stranger Than Fiction

By Amy Barr

In some educational circles, the word history is preceded by the word required and has all the appeal of bitter medicine that must be swallowed quickly and avoided thereafter. To graduate from high school in most states, a student is required to gulp down two little doses: American history and world history. Considering that history is an account of everything ever done, this explains why so many understand so little. Students finish these fly-by classes without much knowledge and even less enthusiasm.

History has a popularity problem not because it is a dull subject but because of how it is taught. The truly intimidated panic and teach history with uninspiring flashcards or worksheets. Others fly so high over the terrain of human events that they never land to let learners stop and smell the roses of time. Home educators are generally more motivated to teach history with a spark of life in every lesson, but they often lack the confidence to follow the road less traveled to do so.

“I love dry details and stacks of dates,” said nobody ever. Quirks of happenstance, forces of personalities, and the peculiarities of human events will lead any curious person to discover that history is stranger than fiction. If “teaching” history sounds too challenging, remember this basic truth: absolutely everyone loves a good story. Help your learners realize that history is the remarkable story of everything that’s happened and they’ll take it from there with a bit of help from you. Think of it this way: once your child learns to love history, your job as educator will get a lot easier.

Pick any era and you can find some surprising details to make history more attention-grabbing for your learner at any age. Dig a bit and you’ll find it isn’t that hard to put a face on human events. The important thing is to follow paths that will be interesting to you and to your learner. Find a topic that makes those young eyes light up and start there. Teaching about Rome, for example, need not be a litany of emperors or a list of battle dates. When reluctant students start to hear about real-life details, their imagination should kick in. Soon they’ll be hooked.

When battle elephants became the trendy fashion in warfare, the Romans (who had no elephants) discovered that pachyderms are petrified by pigs. At the siege of Megara, when the Roman army grew desperate to turn the enemy away, they tried to unleash a herd of pigs into the battlefield to chase off their elephant-mounted foes. Alas, the piggies would not budge from their doomed city. The desperate Romans slathered the whole herd of pigs with oil and set them on fire. The terrified elephants trampled their own army once they caught sight of all that flaming bacon speeding toward them.

Speaking of elephants, Gaius Julius, known for his military prowess and his bold moves, inherited the name Caesar from dear old dad. Gaius would have his peers think the name Caesar came from an ancestor who once killed an elephant. Others think the name meant “hairy” because his ancestors were apparently known for their lush locks. The family nickname spotlighted the one thing about which Julius Caesar was self-conscious: an impressive bald spot. It was a happy day for Caesar when he was voted the honor of wearing a laurel wreath full-time. Henceforth, he would use that formal foliage to cover up his naked noggin. Prior to this honor he sported history’s first attested comb-over hair style.

Speaking of baldness, the emperor Caligula was so embarrassed about being covered in hair everywhere but on his head that he made mentioning goats in his presence a crime punishable by death. In his imperial court, the mere mention of goats (or looking at the emperor’s head from above) could get a person in trouble, but uttering praise for his favorite horse was entirely a different matter. He built the beast its own house and filled it with the most fashionable furniture, along with jewels and an ivory food trough. Why not give the horse all the trappings of power? Caligula planned on granting the top political office in Rome to his horse. Maybe the horse would have made better decisions than the emperor.

And speaking of laughable world leaders, powerful Antony and regal Cleopatra come to mind. They were well known practical jokers. Antony, the ring leader of all sorts of antics, was constantly searching for new laughs. The two of them would dress up in costumes to fool friends around town, but their best jokes were on each other. One time when the inseparable couple went on a fishing trip, Antony discovered the fish weren’t biting. On the sly he had a diver swim under his boat to attach a giant fish to his line so he could impress his darling Cleopatra. Realizing the ruse, the next day she secretly had another diver swim under the boat as Antony bobbed his lure. After attaching a very old, dried and salted fish, the diver gave a yank and Antony reeled it on board and realized he’d been discovered by the queen. Cleopatra quipped that Antony shouldn’t quit his day job.

So how do you find the quirky and offbeat details to make history more interesting? When kids are younger you might need to spend just a little more time at the library or work with primary sources online but, once they are older, send them on historical treasure hunts of their own. Don’t just rely on textbooks as your sole source of history. Museums, documentaries, and reenactments not only count as history lessons, but they also still have a spark of life left in them. Naturally, the best way to foster a love of history is through travel. Sure, you can read about Julius Caesar’s funeral, but did you know that you can still visit his actual funeral pyre in the Roman forum, where people still place fresh flowers daily?

There are countless peculiar and remarkable events in history, plenty to spark interest for even the most reluctant learner. If you find the right hook, even an indifferent student can get reeled in by a lifelong love of history.


Amy Barr is a homeschool mother of three and a full-time instructor of other home educated students as co-founder of The Lukeion Project, As an archaeologist, she spent more than a decade excavating sites throughout the Mediterranean and teaching Classics at the college level. Now she and her husband, Regan Barr, offer their expertise through live online workshops and college preparatory high school courses about the Classical world, Latin, and Greek. The two of them lead annual family tours to the Mediterranean and invite you to join them for a tour of the best sites in Greece.

Venn Tangling

zentangle140530 ~

I used String 040 on I think it looks like a Venn diagram too me. I chose to use Tipple and Knightsbridge. I could have filled the white squares with tipple and put the black squares where I put tipple in the overlapping part of the circles.

I’ve since thought of other ways I could have shade this too. I could’ve shaded the tipple squares on the edges to make it look as if the white squares were raised or shaded the white squares to make it look as if they were recessed. It’s always interesting how shading can change the look of the tile so much.

Tiff Zentangle140529 ~

I really like the way this one turned out. I started by writing her name in cursive and then auraed (I don’t think that is a word) it. Aura is an enhancement where you follow the previous lines but further out; in this case it made her name look a little puffy.

Then I drew the spokeish lines as if it were going through or behind her name. Then it was just a matter of drawing arches on each segment and filling in every other one from center to edge. I think it is the shading that makes this one so special.

The shading around the aura around her name gives it some lift, making it appear higher than the rest of the piece. But it is the shading on the spokes that really gives it depth.

zentangle14052930 ~ LifeOfJoy.meHere they are side by side in my Tangle-A-Day Calendar. Next year’s is now available. I’ve put it on my Christmas wish list :) , even though I have not been diligent to use it daily, I do love it and the fact that I have so many in one place not floating around on little squares/tiles.

I’d really love to have something like a wood frame photo collage made specifically for the tiles in the 3.5″ x 3.5″ size. But to be more specific, I’d like to be able to slide the tile in from the front and not have to remove it from the wall or take it apart to insert a new tile. If anyone finds something like this, please share it with me! :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Hot Cocoa

Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa ~ LifeOfJoy.meI’ve been fighting a headache all day long, so this is going to be a short post.

Any time I make Hot Chocolate this is the recipe I use. Where did I get it? Off of the can of Hershey’s Cocoa, that’s where. :)



Mix Cocoa and Sugar ~ LifeOfJoy.meFirst you mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa, and dash of salt in a medium saucepan.






Add water and bring to boil ~
Please disregard the pan; it is very old and it was very cheap.

Stir in 1/3 cup of water and cook over medium to medium high heat. Stir constantly, until it comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.




Add Milk ~


Add 4 cups of milk and keep stirring to serving temperature.

Remove from heat and add 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Serve with marshmallows or whipped cream, as desired.

Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa 2 ~


Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Homebodies and Dating

Home date ~ LifeOfJoy.meMike and I are both homebodies. We always have been. Don’t get me wrong, before I got married I was busy with college, church, and church activities but definitely enjoyed my time at home.

When Mike and I started dating, we really only went out a few times. We just enjoyed being together; we didn’t have to be doing anything special. We just liked each other’s company. Consequently, we have never really done the “dating” thing.

Then once we had kids, it was expensive because you have to add in the cost of a babysitter too. Then there was the fact that things were tight and we stopped eating out on Sunday’s with my family, so I felt quilt about us maybe going out when the kids didn’t get to do something special and we really enjoyed being in each other’s company at home anyway and didn’t need to leave the house. (In hind sight, I do wish we’d spent more time alone, just the two of us . . . put the kids to bed early, or go out on the porch for a while, just the two of us, et cetera.)

BUT now that the kids are older grown (well, Tiffany is almost grown up) but still home, I think we need some time alone together. Truth be told, we probably always needed alone time but we are truly homebodies and don’t really like leaving the house much . . . I know, we are odd ducks. ;)

So, about two years ago, after reading lots of blogs/websites about strengthening your marriage, I thought maybe we should try some date nights, since our kids were old enough that we did not need a babysitter. I determined that I would save some of my allowance and take my honey out on a date once a month. But just saying that or making that decision, would not be enough because we are such strong homebodies. I needed to have a specific day that we would go out. I chose the date of our anniversary, the 27th. I told Mike about it and he hesitantly agreed. The first couple attempts were a bust but I persevered. I’d say that we were 85% successful which is pretty good for people that really don’t like to leave home. ;)

By the end, Mike was looking forward to me spending money on him once a month ;) and I was looking forward to spending time alone with my honey. Evidently it left an impression on him, although, to be honest, not the impression I was hoping for, as he recently told a guy he was working with about our date nights on the date of our anniversary. His co-worker thought it was quite romantic and said he thought he might try it.

Next year I’ve got a different idea I’m tossing around in my head. I’ll let you know about it after I figure it all out.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

P.S. Although it was too late for me, because the time had passed already, I found lots of “dates” you can do at home or ideas for having inexpensive dates. I talked about some of that in the first four posts of Marriage Monday.


Rose Bush ~ LifeOfJoy.meTiffany and I planted two rose bushes that we got from Aldi, of all places, a couple of years ago. Not much happened the first year. One of them died out but this one survived. As you may be able to tell from the picture, it has one branch that has grown rather tall, probably a foot or more taller than the other branches. Unfortunately, I don’t know the proper way to prune it yet. Thankfully, I’m a lifelong learner and know how to find the information I need, one way or the other. Here are a few closeups. Rose Bud ~ LifeOfJoy.meRose Bud 2 ~ LifeOfJoy.meOpen Rose ~ LifeOfJoy.meIsn’t it beautiful!!! They bring me so much joy.

Flowers ~ LifeOfJoy.meThese flowers are beside my rose bush. As you may be able to tell from the first picture, they are quite a bit shorter than the rose bush. It amazes me how plants all in the same flower bed receiving the same amount of sunshine and water can grow so differently. The little bush on the back right is soooo much smaller than the one in the front, although the one in front may actually be two plants because they were so puny but the same thing happened with my petunias. Some grew much larger than others but had the same conditions. Amazing!

Dahlia+ ~ LifeOfJoy.meWhen we planted these, I did not think we were putting this plant on the left so close to everything else but truth be told, everything was much smaller and I did not anticipate them growing into one another. Then one day, I saw a few new “branches” growing in close to these plants. I almost pulled them out with the weeds but decided to let it grow and see what it was. Lo and behold, it was the dahlia we planted years ago that never showed itself before. Isn’t it pretty?

More Dalhia ~ LifeOfJoy.medalhia ~

They aren’t all the greatest photos but they can give you an idea of what they look like. The thing that surprises me about the Dahlias is that they aren’t as tall as the package said they were going to be. I had them planted in back because they were supposed to be taller but these meander on the ground a bit before blossoming. As my daddy used to say, I don’t understand all I know about this. ;)

Well, I’m going to run for now. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Today I thought I’d share one for the older kids. This article reminded me of the book A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not saying I completely followed this methodology but I did find the information worthwhile and chose what parts I wanted to use, as we are a very eclectic homeschool family. :)

I hope you enjoy this article.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


colloquium ~ LifeOfJoy.meThe Colloquium Environment
Andrew Pudewa

For the past ten years, I have always held a regularly scheduled colloquium for my teenage children and a small group of their friends. Unlike the terms literature
class or book club, colloquium carries no baggage, no connotations, and few expectations. It doesn’t imply that I will “teach” nor does it imply that the students will do any particular type of “work”—a context that often attracts and rarely threatens.

In my early years I took some training in “Socratic” teaching, a methodology of focusing primarily on asking questions to help students discover answers for themselves (as opposed to the more common method of giving them answers to questions they would later be asked). Although this training occurred in the context of mathematics instruction, the basic approach carried over into all my teaching: math, music, writing, and especially literature.

During our colloquium sessions (a term from the Latin, com- “together” + loqui “to speak”), students meet and discuss great books. My role is that of facilitator, not instructor. To accomplish this, I must do a few things: (1) Set a projected schedule for readings and meetings, (2) Find the time to read the books I ask them to read, (3) Pencil out a few questions to start a discussion each week, and (4) Discipline myself to not dominate the conversation, inadvertently changing the conversation into a lecture. That’s about it. So why have I found this to be such a good investment of time and effort? Many reasons.

First, a colloquium allows students to practice—in a formal way—the first two of the four language arts: listening and speaking. Yes, young people are listening and speaking all day, but the colloquium environment requires they do so in a focused and purposeful way. To meaningfully contribute to a conversation, students must listen carefully and consider whether what they intend to say makes sense in the context of what has already been said. They are encouraged to speak in complete, grammatically correct sentences. The formality refines conversational skills.

In addition, the structured environment promotes a positive social atmosphere and positive peer pressure. For example, assertive students who have a tendency to dominate conversations often will be put in their place by their peers. Likewise, quiet, reticent students often will be drawn out by peers or by a facilitator who asks them direct questions. My best groups have a broad age range, from the sharp 12-year-old to the high school graduate who wants to sit in with a younger sibling—and even a few parents (as long as they agree not to dominate the conversation).

Discussion promotes thinking, for what is thinking other than having a conversation with yourself? Good thinking is being able to ask good questions and using wisdom to judge the appropriateness of the answers you give yourself. By practicing asking questions to others, we refine our ability to ask questions to ourselves, thereby improving our thinking skills.

Mostly, this type of conversation helps to make literature relevant to the students. Great books address moral quandaries. Life is a moral question. Discussion facilitates necessary moral contemplation. Every teenager out there has three burning questions constantly at the core of his thinking: Who am I? Why am I here? What am I going to do with this life? Of course, these questions imply that there are true answers and therefore that truth exists. Sadly, this is the one thing most avoided in public schools—a discussion of truth; it’s practically illegal, which is the single greatest reason in my mind to avoid public schools. They are temples of the non-gospel of Relativism. Conversations about literature, however, require a context of truth, and consequently they become excellent opportunities to discuss worldviews, eternal realities, and what really matters.

Although I had a natural inclination toward this type of teaching, I found I was able to refine my approach over time with the help of a few aids. One breakthrough came when I attended Adam Andrews’ very helpful seminar titled “Teaching the Classics,” and because I personally did the video editing for that product, I listened to the whole course many times over and listened to some portions as many as a dozen times. I learned two things from that experience: (1) hearing the same thing several times doesn’t hurt me, and (2) how to ask better questions—which is the whole purpose of the seminar. Additionally, I had my class as a laboratory wherein I could test various ideas.

However, one day after class with a group of 14- to 17-year-old students, about six weeks into the book Jane Eyre, I found myself a bit frustrated and tired, feeling as though I hadn’t successfully engaged the students. Reflecting on the experience I wanted for them but had failed to create, an obvious but previously unnoticed circumstance hit me powerfully. The class dynamic was stagnant because of the format; I was asking all the questions, the students were individually offering an idea or opinion, and then the exchange stopped. I wasn’t creating the right environment; I wasn’t truly facilitating a conversation. If that was going to happen, I somehow needed to decrease so they could increase; the discussion couldn’t depend on me asking questions—that role had to expand to include them as well.

So the next week, as we got settled and after we went over the vocabulary words that the students noticed during their reading for the week, I began the discussion differently by making this statement: “So, someone ask a question about Jane Eyre.” Silence. This was new territory for them. I remained silent. One asked, “What are you doing?” I responded, “Waiting for someone to ask a question about our book.” More silence. Finally I think one of them got my point and ventured a question. I prompted another student to answer, “Diane, what do you say to that?” And I will admit that it was slow going for a while, with more than one moment of uncomfortable silence, but I persisted, intuitively knowing I was on the right track.

After a few months the environment had entirely changed. I had little to do but the occasional prompting or redirecting to prevent the discussion from getting totally off track, but I must say it went places where my mind never could have taken it. I remember one class in particular, in which we were talking about the nature of love (too much of Jane Eyre is about different types of love), and one young man mentioned that he had read The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis, so I invited him to explain those to us. This prompted the question from another student: “I wonder if there are four corresponding types of hate?” From there it was almost a free-for-all, and although not much specific to Jane Eyre was discussed, I believe it was one of the best—possibly the most important—conversations we ever had.

But you don’t have to be an expert to get started. Dive in and try. Get a small group of kids, get a book worth reading, schedule a time, and start talking. You’ll be amazed at what the colloquium environment can do.

Andrew Pudewa is the director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing ( and a homeschooling father of seven. Presenting throughout North America, he addresses issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity and insight, practical experience and humor. He and his beautiful, heroic wife, Robin,currently teach their two youngest children at home in northeastern Oklahoma.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

More Grid Tangles and a Bridge

I started this one with a string and then a grid. Then I put different grid tangles in each section. I used Chillon, Fife, Oof, Bales, and Yincut. I like the Yincut much better without the ‘sparkle’ in it. Sparkle is an enhancement and not necessarily a part of the tangle, which I didn’t realize when I first saw the step out for the tangle.

This one is Printemps, ‘Nzepple, and Mumsy. I think ‘Nzepple looks like a bridge coming down from the two, in this one.

I’m not sure why these scanned so large. I think they look better in the original size because you cannot see the irregularity of the lines in my ‘nzepple as badly.

I hope you’ll try your hand at some Zentangles. It is amazing what you can do and so easily.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Amateur Blogger and General Tso’s Chicken

Untopped Cheesecake ~ LifeofJoy.meI was going to share the recipe for No-Bake Berry Cheesecake but if I’d share it today it would just have to be No-Bake Cheesecake because this is the last picture I took of it. I’m not real good at remembering to take the final picture BEFORE serving, YET. ;)

You see, I made this for Mike’s birthday last week. I frequently have the luxury of having someone else take pictures for me while I’m making the item and that day I was not short on help. Lauren was here and she helped by taking some pictures while Tiffany made the crust and I made the filling.

Then came the struggles! Strawberries were a bit expensive this week and I did not get them at the first store I went to, they weren’t very pretty at the second store, and was darn expensive at the last store BUT sitting right next to the strawberries was a strawberry glaze, which is what I was going to make anyways, and was a dollar and thirty cents cheaper. So Tiffany and I decided it made sense to buy the glaze because it saved both time and money.

So now it is time to put the glaze on the cheesecake. I open the glaze package, remove the sealing film, and swipe my finger across the film to taste the glaze . . . YUK!!! Tiffany and Lauren each swipe and taste and in walks the Birthday Boy Man, so we have him taste it; we are all in agreement, it is NOT good. Lauren discovers a tiny little circle on the lid stating that it is sugar free; no wonder it was gross. Meanwhile, I start digging through the freezer to see if I have any frozen strawberries, to no avail, but I have plenty of frozen blueberries. We agree that tonight it will be blueberry cheesecake instead of the strawberry he wanted because I don’t want to wait for Sean to come home and bring some strawberries from the store because he wouldn’t be home until around 6:30 the way it was and none of us were driving the 30 minutes in to town to try and get good strawberries.

I made the blueberry topping/glaze but you see, it is hot and I don’t put it on the cheesecake until it cools a bit. I did get a picture of the glaze  SEPARATE FROM THE CHEESECAKE before serving but completely forgot to take the picture of the finished product before it was devoured! Ugh!!! AMATEUR BLOGGER!

Last night when I told the family about my dilemma, Sean said I’d just have to make another one so I could get pictures of it this time, which I might have done if it wasn’t eight o’clock at night! (We are more of the early to bed variety, heading to bed at 10:00 pm.) Thus, it wasn’t happening. So, I had a choice to make, share my No-Bake Cheesecake recipe or something else. Trouble is, I didn’t have pictures of something else. I needed a new plan.

Friday night I was going to try a new recipe but did not feel like it. Instead we decided to make what I’d planned for Saturday . . . pizza, which we have every weekend. Tiffany prefers to make the dough rather than the sauce, which she did. Just as I was getting ready to make the sauce, I got a call and needed to run to the ER to be with someone very dear to me. Tiffany finished dinner for the family using the pesto we’d purchased, I told you she didn’t like to make the sauce ;) , while I ran out the door. For those that care, my dear one will be just fine; hallelujah!

So today, I am sharing the link to a delicious, but involved recipe for General Tso’s Chicken. I found the recipe on Pinterest, which I love. Now, I will say that when I made this I also made homemade egg rolls, to which I had a bit too much meat in but all at the dinner table said they loved them; but of course they would because they don’t really care for veggies all that much. :D Tiffany made the sauce for the General Tso’s Chicken for me but it seemed a bit thin; I’ll make it next time and we may add another tablespoon of cornstarch to it, if it isn’t thicker. Other than that, it was a delicious recipe and I will be making it again. :) OH, I will definitely follow the sizing on the chicken in the lower pictures next time rather than the picture of the cut chicken by itself, as they appeared to be thinner pieces but that took way longer to cook in the little pan I was using. I’ll make the pieces a bit larger next time, as shown in the lower pictures. I made mine about an in wide but only about 1/4 inch thick and I’ll make them about an inch thick next time too.

One other thing, although the recipe says about a 1/2 inch of oil, it really only looks to be only enough to fully cover the bottom of the pan, maybe just an 1/8 of an inch of oil. Look at how high the oil comes on the chicken in the picture where it is frying. Thus, I won’t have to use as small of a pan and could maybe keep the pieces of chicken smaller, so as to stretch the chicken a little farther than if cut thicker. I’ll play with it and see.

Well this has gotten a bit long. Do go and try that recipe. It really was VERY GOOD!!! Definitely worth the time and really took minimal effort.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Listen to His Heart

Listen Heart ~ LifeOfJoy.meAs a stay-at-home wife and homeschool mom, it can be very busy. I found myself tuning out things from time to time. Unfortunately I tuned out my dearly beloved from time to time too. :(

As I’ve said before, communication is vital in marriage but also in all of life. It is so easy to have communication fumbles but the key is to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Of course, realizing that you are not always right, you are fallible, and your spouse can actually be right. ;) It is also important to be aware when you are being touchy (know that you need to be more cautious with your words because you are having a rough day) or your spouse has had a rough day.

Everybody has difficult days, no matter what job you have. As a stay-at-home mom there are many things that can contribute to difficult days . . . missing ingredient for dinner, an appliance breaking down, not feeling well or not being able to get anything done during the day except making more mess because you just don’t have the strength to clean up after yourself or anyone else, to give a few examples. Add in homeschooling children and that adds in a whole lot of new variables and other potential people to have difficult days of their own, which can cause the caregiver to have a difficult day. Working outside the home has its own opportunities for difficult days.

Consequently it is best to give grace to each other and realize that even when harsh words are spoken that you may not be the root of the feelings, even if the harsh words are being spoken to you or about you. It is imperative to not retort harshly, keep your cool, and be calm. Remember that the Bible tells us in Proverbs 15:1 that a “soft answer turns away wrath . . .” Did you notice that it says a soft ANSWER turns away wrath? Not being softly spoken turns away wrath? This implies to me that someone is being angry towards me and that I am to RESPOND to them with a SOFT answer, which I will admit, is NOT easy.

Sometimes I’ve been tugged in so many directions that I did not hear my husband’s heart when he spoke to me. Sometimes it is important to hear what he is meaning behind what he is saying. Now I understand, when you have to decipher so many other things in your day, you don’t really want to have to decipher what the love of your life is saying – you’d just rather he come out and say what he means. I learned all too late in our marriage that when my hubby asked me if I wanted to ‘spend some time alone together’ he wasn’t really asking if I wanted to but in a round-about way telling me that he’d like to and that my honest response of ‘No, I’m very very tired, I just want to go to sleep’ translated as rejection of him which I never would have knowingly done.

For the health of your marriage, it is essential that you take the time necessary to adjust your attitude, speak kindly, and really listen to the heart of your beloved.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº